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December 2006 | Vol. V - No. 12
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TDmonthly's December Staff Picks

Some Special Toys for the Specialty Market


TDmonthly staff members are always looking at new toys, hoping to find something that will sit well (for a very short time) on specialty retailers’ shelves. This month, nature takes a ride in the forms of ladybugs and ducks, and a lobster speaks for himself. Please let us know if they work for you!



Category: Plush



Baby Dragons are 6.5" tall and available in three styles: orange, lime green, and blue. These brightly colored mythical creatures are a great baby toy.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 10297      (added 11/28/2006)
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Wholesale Price: (Log in to view)
MSRP: $139.00
Age Range: 0 to 1
SKU or Item #: 2406
Launch Date: November 2006
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Infant & Toddler



This 36" rocker features a hardwood frame and washable, removable seating fabric attached with Velcro. The product is handcrafted in Poland and is designed to create a gentle rocking motion for baby. The tail section opens as a pouch to store toys and other items. Marion Zeiger of Zeiger Enterprises told TDmonthly that “parents, and especially grandparents, are looking for quality … that lasts. Poland doesn’t have a throwaway society,” and their “children’s items are made to last from one child to the next.”  For ages 4 mos. to 14 mos. Launch date: November 1, 2006.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 9805      (added 10/26/2006)
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MSRP: $17.99
Age Range: 0 to 5
Launch Date: August 2006
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Videos & DVDs



Featuring the Emmy Award winning original classical music of mom and composer Belinda Takahashi, PhD, young children laugh, sing and learn as they interact with Juno and her lovable puppet friends. Help little ones overcome their fears with Way To Go, Juno. Follow Juno and her friends as they cope with common childhood fears. The lovable puppets learn that through true blue friendship, they can overcome anything. Sing along in English, Spanish and French. Language and "A,B,C" flashcards included. For every product sold, the Juno Company donates a very special music DVD to a child in need. Launch date: August 2006.
Awards: 2006 Dr. Toy Top 100 Best Children’s Products
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 9803      (added 10/26/2006)
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Age Range: 3 to 8
Gender: Girls
Category: Costumes & Accessories



Following the yellow brick road has never been easier for Dorothy in our adorable gingham dress. And when she wants to fly, she can transform into the remarkable Good Witch Glinda! Style #105: One size adjusts to fit ages 3 to 8.
— Susan Podshadley of Fairytale Fashion told TDmonthly that her company "saw the need for high quality dress up that is made with fine fabrics and sewing techniques.  The garments are not only an exquisite gift of heirloom quality fantasy, but are also built to withstand years of active play.”
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 9820      (added 10/26/2006)
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Gender: Girls
Category: Plush



The redesigned Pet Carriers feature six new styles including dogs, a horse and even a unicorn. The carriers feature a loop showcasing detachable and interchangeable charms, which replace the embroidered phrases that used to adorn the most popular product from Aurora.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 9832      (added 10/27/2006)
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MSRP: $14.99
Age Range: 8 and up
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Educational
General Games



Zotto is the addictive word game of chance and strategy. The object of the game is to have fun, of course, and to make as many words with the highest point value as possible from among the random letters popped. Form as many three- to four-letter words as you can by joining letters up, down, side-to-side and diagonally. Everyone who plays Zotto and has fun wins. The player with the highest overall score wins the game, too. Intensely addictive and exceptionally challenging, Zotto is excellent fun for the whole family.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 9842      (added 10/27/2006)
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MSRP: $19.99
Age Range: 5 to 12
SKU or Item #: 9780976245438
Launch Date: August 2006
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Videos & DVDs



Animator and elementary school art teacher Michael Moodoo shows how to use basic shapes to create realistic dinosaur drawings. This program features drawing techniques, fun characters, colorful animation and facts on dinosaur behavior and anatomy. It was named one of the Top 100 Best Children’s Products of 2006 by Dr. Toy. Michael Dowell, artist and host of the Drawing Power! series, told TDmonthly the program was created in the classroom “in order to provide fun, informative, step-by-step instruction for viewers.” There’s a minimum wholesale order of six units, and free shipping on case orders of 25 units. Launch date: August 2006.
— The workshop setting in which “Drawing Power!” was developed allowed Dowell to discover the mistakes that 90 percent of kids make, and find “simple, effective ways of allowing them to create realistic and satisfying 3-D drawings.”
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 9890      (added 11/2/2006)
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Wholesale Price: (Log in to view)
MSRP: $35.00
Age Range: 8 and up
SKU or Item #: F2F-011
Launch Date: November 2006
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Board Games



In this tile-laying board game, players assume the role of a species — reptiles, dinosaurs, mammals or man — striving for dominance on planet Earth. Play takes approximately 30 to 45 minutes. “Our games have simple, elegant mechanisms with a surprising depth of play that appeals to all ages,” vice president Lawrence Whalen Jr. of Face2Face Games told TDmonthly. Launch date: November 1, 2006.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 9891      (added 11/2/2006)
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Wholesale Price: (Log in to view)
MSRP: $17.95
Age Range: 2 and up
Launch Date: September 2004
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Videos & DVDs



This is an entertaining and exciting educational video about lobster fishing along the Maine Coast. With Lobsterman Chris Robinson as your host, you get to explore the sights, sounds and (with a little imagination) even the smells aboard the “Miss Lizzie,” a real Maine lobster boat. How traps work, what lobsters eat and how big they can grow are all part of the excitement, along with the playful antics of the animated co-host Lobster Bob, in this unique 30-minute lobster-catching adventure. A minimum order of 10 units is required. Launch date: Fall 2004.
— “There are no other DVDs in existence that provide such a wholesome, educational and entertaining treatment of how lobster are caught,” Tim Tonner of Barking Lobster Entertainment told TDmonthly. “I frequently get emails from families around the country…who thank me for producing ‘Let's Go Lobstering!’ — mostly because they learned so much about a new subject!”
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 9912      (added 11/2/2006)
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MSRP: $29.99
Launch Date: January 2006
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Dolls
Arts & Crafts
American-Made



Taffy is a cute little preemie baby, and is just 17” long. She is one of the newest kits from the Secrist Dolls Reborn line. She comes as a blank, unfinished doll kit ready for a reborn artist to bring to life. Secrist also offers reborning supplies and an instructional DVD so that newcomers can learn to make their own lifelike newborns. Launch date: 2006.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 9959      (added 11/8/2006)
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Alison MarekWriter's Bio: ALISON MAREK is an award-winning writer, director and cartoonist whose work has been published by Fairchild Publications and DC Comics (Piranha Press), broadcast on Showtime and other cable networks, and viewed worldwide in film festivals. See her short films and print work on www.alisonmarek.com. Watch her nefarious villains in the web series www.MuggsMovers.com. Get inspired by her cartoons "Daily ARFFirmations to Unleash Your Inner Fido" at www.ARFFirmations.com. Phew! And then ...  Read more articles by this author

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