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See the Toys That Earned Top Honors This Year


TDmonthly Magazine is happy to congratulate the dozens of honorees whose names appear on lists for this year’s toy awards. To find out what constitutes an award-winner, TDmonthly spoke with noted child development expert Stevanne Auerbach, Ph.D., better known as Dr. Toy (publisher of Dr. Toy’s 100 Best Children’s Products for 2006); and children’s media expert Stephanie Oppenheim, co-founder (along with her mother, Joanne) of the Oppenheim Toy Portfolio (publishers of  the 2007 Oppenheim Toy Portfolio Platinum Awards). We have compiled four pages worth of toys that have been awarded for their efforts. To read more about what Dr.Toy and Stephanie Oppenheim had to say, CLICK HERE.

AWARDS:
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MSRP: $9.99
Age Range: 2 to 5
Launch Date: April 2006
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Books
Preschool



Written and illustrated by Lucy Cousins, this collection can be read like books and stacked like blocks. The tower features four sturdy, diminutive books packed into a colorful box illustrated with bright, bold pictures that tease at what’s inside. The books tell about Maisy’s favorite animals, clothes and toys. It won the 2007 Oppenheim Toy Portfolio Platinum Award. Launch date: April 2006.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 10018      (added 11/10/2006)
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MSRP: $17.00
Age Range: 5 to 8
SKU or Item #: 9780618194575
Launch Date: September 2006
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Books



When a boy finds a camera washed up on the shore, he develops the pictures and discovers an amazing underwater world, as well as children from other parts of the world who have seen it, too. “Flotsam is a wordless book. Author and illustrator David Wiesner conveys the story with gorgeous, incredibly detailed paintings and leaves his reader to do the rest, so that reading the book becomes a very interactive experience,” publicist Jenny Groves of Clarion Books told TDmonthly. The book received the 2007 Oppenheim Toy Portfolio Platinum Award. Launch date: September 4, 2006.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 10002      (added 11/10/2006)
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Teeny babies can voyage to the bottom of the sea or scurry up a palm tree with a frisky monkey using this imaginative activity mat. A tummy-time mat helps babies sit straight and exercise their neck muscles. The ActivityTot is also availalable in a Garden theme. The activity mats are extra large to give Baby lots of play space.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 7625      (added 4/20/2006)
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MSRP: $24.99
Age Range: 2 to 4
Launch Date: August 2006
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Construction



This hefty tub of LEGO DUPLO bricks, elements and figures is perfect for inspiring little hands and big imaginations to build a whole zoo full of familiar animals – elephants to penguins, lions to giraffes. The handy storage container is stackable and makes clean-up easy and fun. The set includes 128 pieces. “Specially designed for a preschooler’s small hands, DUPLO bricks encourage hands-on, minds-on exploration and storytelling while fostering hand-eye coordination, problem solving, patterns, motor skills and more,” Karen Lynch at Flashpoint PR told TDmonthly. Launch date: August 1, 2006.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 10000      (added 11/10/2006)
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MSRP: $16.00
Age Range: 6 and up
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Books



In this book by Niki Daly, Jamela wants a beautiful pair of princess shoes for her birthday. What she gets instead is clunky, practical school shoes. Jamela is disappointed, but with glitter, beads, and glue – and a burst of inspiration – she transforms her present into a funky, fun work of art. Mama thinks Jamela’s handiwork is a waste of hard-earned money until a local artist helps Jamela tap the full potential of her spirited creativity. This book received the 2007 Oppenheim Toy Portfolio Platinum Award. 
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 10026      (added 11/10/2006)
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MSRP: $16.00
Age Range: 5 to 8
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Books



In this book by Barbara McClintock, Adèle makes her little brother Simon promise not to lose anything on the way home from school. But as they make their way home, distractions cause Simon to leave something behind at every stop. What will they tell their mother? Detailed pen-and-ink drawings – filled with soft watercolors – make a game of this unforgettable tour through the streets and scenes of early-twentieth-century Paris. It received the 2007 Oppenheim Toy Portfolio Platinum Award.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 10025      (added 11/10/2006)
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MSRP: $15.00
Age Range: 3 to 6
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Books



It’s autumn and Boo and Baa are raking leaves when they hear meowing. They discover a cat that has climbed up a tree and can’t get down. What should they do to help? Boo and Baa try lots of different things, but it’s hard to convince their visitor he’s welcome to stay. Cheerful art and simple text deliver humor at its finest in the latest addition to what Publishers Weekly called “a winning series.” The book was written by Olof and Lena Landström and translated by Joan Sandin. It received the 2007 Oppenheim Toy Portfolio Platinum Award.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 10024      (added 11/10/2006)
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MSRP: $29.99
Age Range: 8 and up
SKU or Item #: 5425
Launch Date: February 2006
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: General Games



This 3-Dimensional game takes players to a whole new level of dominoes by combining traditional play along with a new way of building dominoes vertically.  The suspense grows as the dominoes go higher, and wild dominoes add to an unpredictable finish. The taller the building, the more points awarded for the dominoes played. Highrise was awarded the Platinum Best Toy Award from Oppenheim Toy Portfolio. “Highrise is a totally new concept in playing dominoes,” Dan Sabato of Fundex Games told TDmonthly. Launch date: February 2006.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 9878      (added 11/2/2006)
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MSRP: $34.98
Age Range: 5 to 11
Launch Date: April 2006
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Construction



This magnetic construction set features 108 powerful magnets permanently encapsulated inside 18 jewel-toned square Magformers and 12 triangle Magformers. The magnets rotate to their attraction position upon contact, so Magformers always connect regardless of their polarity. Watch in amazement as Magformers "form" into three-dimensional structures. Magformers received an Oppenheim Gold Award as well as the 2007 Oppenheim Toy Portfolio Platinum Award. The product’s “magnetic connector concept allows the end user to create quick, magical 3-D models,” President Larry Hunt of Rainbow Products told TDmonthly. Launch date: April 2006.
— Lynda Blankenship, owner of Smart Toys & Books in Knoxville, Tenn. told TDmonthly in late Spring 2011 that Magformers were a best-selling construction toy.
— Magformers are a best seller at Piccolo Mondo Toys in Portland, Ore., Owner Michelle Smith told TDmonthly in Dec. 2008. “We have them on a play table,” she said. Magformers have been best sellers for at least a year at Pufferbellies in Staunton, Va., Co-owner Susan Blanton said in September 2009.
— Mike DiAndrea, manager of Hardware Centre in Paoli, Pa., told TDmonthly during an April 2009 survey that he sells between 100 and 150 sets of Magformers per month. Magformers are also a best seller at Golden Apple Learning Store in Pleasanton, Calif., Owner John MacDougall told TDmonthly in August 2009.
— Want this? As of 05/10/2011, this product was available for purchase at Smart Toys & Books
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 7571      (added 4/14/2006)
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MSRP: $40.00
Age Range: 2 to 8
Gender: Girls
Category: Dolls



The one-of-a-kind Penelope Peapod, created by a city mother with a brood of seven, is a small self-contained carry-along toy for little girls. Depending on its configuration, Penelope Peapod is a doll in a bassinet, a doll in a playpen, or a sweet and stylish handbag for a little girl. It is the perfect fashion accessory and a wonderful take along toy sure to amuse for hours.
— "Penelope Peapod is our best-selling doll," said Kim Smith of Red Wagon Toy Co. in Woodstock, Vt., in spring 2007.
— Smith said she sells 30 to 40 Penelope Peapod dolls monthly, on a regular basis.
— "The response to the Penelope Peapod in Montgomery has been wonderful. There's nothing else like it. It's a handbag as well as a bassinette. It's fun and fashion combined," said Lorna Brett Howard, co-owner of Penelope Peapod.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 7897      (added 5/19/2006)
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MSRP: $49.95
SKU or Item #: ASH-5200
Launch Date: March 2005
Gender: Girls
Category: Costumes & Accessories



Kids are now able to blast off to outer space and beyond with the Jr. Astronaut Space Helmet, which features high quality construction and amazing details. It includes built-in sound chips, a spring loaded retractable shield, a mock boom microphone, and an official looking NASA logo. This product received the Oppenheim Toy Portfolio Platinum Award for 2007. Launch date: March 2005.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 10044      (added 11/10/2006)
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MSRP: $49.95
Age Range: 2 to 12
Launch Date: May 2006
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Costumes & Accessories



This top quality Astronaut Suit is sure to please any little space traveler. Its official look and feel make it seem like it’s real. It also comes in Bright Orange, and includes an official NASA special commander patch and an official embroidered NASA cap. This product received the Oppenheim Toy Portfolio Platinum Award for 2007. Launch date: May 2006.
— “They have the best quality on the market,” said Diane Robinson, who listed the Jr. Astronaut costume as the top-selling dress-up item in her Essex, Mass., store, Silly Goose.
— “The higher-priced items that do well are from Aeromax, because of their quality and authenticity,” said Ray Goodhart, president of Ages and Stages Toy Box in Arvada, Colo.
— “They are top notch in quality,” Patti Tepper-Rasmussen, owner of Learning Tree Toys, Books and Games in Oklahoma City, Okla., observed of Aeromax's costumes in early 2009.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 9443      (added 9/21/2006)
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MSRP: $34.95
Age Range: 1 and up
SKU or Item #: 826026
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Construction



These soft, pliable peg-top blocks come in four shapes and colors. This product received the Oppenheim Toy Portfolio Platinum Award for 2007. “Our EduBlocks stand alone in the industry with their soft, flexible and child-safe construction,” Judith Culberson, national sales manager for Edushape, told TDmonthly.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 10045      (added 11/10/2006)
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Wholesale Price: (Log in to view)
MSRP: $15.00
Age Range: 3 and up
SKU or Item #: ANBING
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Preschool
General Games



In this game, players match animal chips to the six animals on each board. The chips come in a cloth bag, and the game is great for preschoolers who can’t read yet. The game features “superior illustrations, quality materials, (and) high-end design,” Devo Ihonde, director of sales at eeBoo corp., told TDmonthly. It received the Oppenheim Toy Portfolio Platinum Award for 2007. 
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 10046      (added 11/10/2006)
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MSRP: $17.00
Age Range: 3 and up
Launch Date: February 2006
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Preschool



Time for Tea! Kids spin for a plate and napkin first. Then some tea to quench their thirst. Mind your manners if you please … but lose a turn if you see bees! This wonderful tea party game comes with a floral tablecloth for players to gather around. The first player to collect one item from each category, by spinning the tea pot–shaped spinner starting with a plate and building up their tea-time favorites, wins. The Tea Party Game was launched in February 2006.
— Devo Ihonde of eeBoo Corp. told TDmonthly that “children can enjoy choosing different tea cups, saucers and treats.”
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 7009      (added 2/24/2006)
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MSRP: $12.97
Age Range: 2 to 7
SKU or Item #: 837101219549
Launch Date: January 2006
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Audio & CD



This indie-rock album featuring Frances England's distinctive voice is a unique and clever option for preschool listeners. Compared to Norah Jones, Sarah McLaughlin and Liz Phair, England's sound and sophisticated songwriting have been garnering critical acclaim from music critics, parents and children alike. It is the sole winner of the 2007 Oppenheim Toy Portfolio Platinum Award in the audio category. Launch date: 2006.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 10051      (added 11/10/2006)
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MSRP: $19.95
Age Range: 0 to 3
Launch Date: October 2005
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Plush
Infant & Toddler



Toss the Taggies is approximately 8" in diameter and comes adorned with loads of multi-colored, multi-textured tags that babies and children love to rub and grab. It is designed to benefit children developmentally as they are enticed to explore the various tactile and visually stimulating looped satin tags. The colors and material are both soothing and comforting. This product recently received an iParenting Media Awards editorial inclusion and an Oppenheim Toy Portfolio Gold Seal Award. It also received the 2007 Oppenheim Toy Portfolio Platinum Award and the 2007 Oppenheim SNAP (Special Needs Adaptable Product) Award. “The patented functionality and multiple tactile and developmental opportunities offered by our unique, looped tags…set this product apart,” Shirley Conner of Taggies Inc. told TDmonthly.

— "Anything by Taggies; those sell like crazy," Holly Anvers, manager of Ages & Stages Toy Box in Golden, Colo., told TDmonthly about her best-selling infant product in March 2010. "Especially the Toss the Taggies ball." Two of 39 retailers named Taggies as a top-selling baby product.

ToyDirectory Product ID#: 7104      (added 3/3/2006)
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Wholesale Price: (Log in to view)
MSRP: $14.99
Age Range: 8 and up
SKU or Item #: 7102
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: General Games



Two to four players can enjoy this ultimate family dice game as they choose a card, and then try to complete one of 60 outrageous dice challenges. The harder the combo, the more chips earned. This game received the 2007 Oppenheim Toy Portfolio Platinum Award, a GAMES 100 listing and the iParenting Media Award. It comes with 64 cards, 36 chips, and 8 dice. Its “repeat playability” is a big plus, Jason Schneider, product development and marketing manager for Gamewright, told TDmonthly. “There are thousands of possible dice combinations, which translate to lots of exciting games!”
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 10047      (added 11/10/2006)
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Wholesale Price: (Log in to view)
MSRP: $32.00
Age Range: 3 to 6
Gender: Girls
Category: Costumes & Accessories
Pretend Play



Acting Out's Musical Hokey Pokey is fun for the entire family. Dancing fun...that's what it's all about!!!
This interactive dance song has been a favorite since the 1940's. The Musical Hokey Pokey skirt is available in two styles. Style 10014 is pink satin covered with colorful polka dots. The second layer is purple crinoline for a full skirt, lined in hot pink satin for itch free play.  Style 10015 is purple and hot pink tulle with a polka dotted ribbon sewn through, lined with satin for itch free wear. One size fits most three to six year olds. Three AAA batteries included.  Andrea Nasstrom of Acting Out told TDmonthly the skirt plays high-quality music girls can dance to. “What little princess doesn't want to dance around in her dress-up?” It received the 2007 Oppenheim Toy Portfolio Platinum Award.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 9384      (added 9/15/2006)
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MSRP: $14.98
Launch Date: August 2006
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Videos & DVDs



Kids learn how powerful Mother Nature can be as she unleashes her spectacular natural phenomena. They witness the inner workings of Niagara Falls, a lightning storm and an avalanche. Episodes include "Ice," "Water," "Earth Power" and "Electricity." The video “stands alone as an entertaining program that answers many questions posed by children as they learn about our world and how things work,” Dan Gurlitz, general manager of KOCH Vision, told TDmonthly. It received the 2007 Oppenheim Toy Portfolio Platinum Award.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 8321      (added 6/20/2006)
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Wholesale Price: (Log in to view)
MSRP: $19.95
Age Range: 1 to 3
SKU or Item #: 880251-100298
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Videos & DVDs



Ideal for ages 10 months and up, this video series of award winning DVDs teaches babies to communicate before they can speak using sign language, reducing frustration and creating a special bond that is so important for healthy child development. Set to inspiring classical music and designed to encourage interaction, "My Baby Can Talk – Sharing Signs" takes babies and their parents on an inspiring discovery of 28 words and signs. The program features beautiful real world images, delightful puppet shows, colorful toys in motion and babies communicating with simple gestures. This would appeal to specialty retailers since using sign language with hearing babies is one of the hottest parenting trends today and the "My Baby Can Talk" series is currently the most popular program. It is ideal for children ages 10 to 36 months.

“Parents are able to verify that their pre-verbal babies are actually learning language…because their babies begin communicating with simple gestures,” Kathleen Waidhofer of Baby Hands Productions told TDmonthly. The product was named one of the 100 Best Children’s Products of 2006 by Dr. Toy.
 
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 6321      (added 1/5/2006)
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Julie L. JonesWriter's Bio: Julie L. Jones has written articles for both newspapers and magazines. Before joining the staff of TDmonthly Magazine, she worked as a communications writer and provided editorial support for a market research company. Read more articles by this author

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