TDmonthly Magazine!
May 2007 | Vol. VI - No. 5
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TDmonthly's May Staff Picks

Singing Cat and Balancing Blocks Take Center Stage


Magic is the theme this month, as brush strokes dissolve on a Buddha Board, stuffed animals become part of a bean-bag-like chair, a stuffed cat sings like the real thing (if the real thing could), and a prestidigitator passes on her skills to kids. Here are the new toys and companies that made TDmonthly Magazine staffers take a second glance.

Let us know if they work for you, by posting your comments at the bottom of the page or on our Forums.




MSRP: $18.95
Age Range: 7 and up
SKU or Item #: 2562
Launch Date: May 2007
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Videos & DVDs
Magic Sets
Educational



Master illusionist Lyn Dillies makes it easy and fun for kids to discover the world of magic. In this 53-minute educational DVD, she provides step-by-step instructions for safe and simple magic tricks with everyday objects. Children can make objects disappear with “Wonder Wand,” create a bouncing toy in “Newspaper Ball,” astound audiences with “Mindreading Crayons” and more. For the first time in DVD history, a female role model and professional illusionist effectively teaches the how-to process of 11 clever and entertaining tricks to her magic students. The DVD has received several awards for excellence in children’s programming: an iParenting Media Award, the Film Advisory Board’s Award of Excellence, Parents' Choice Approval and the Dove Foundation’s Family Approved Seal. Launch date: May 15, 2007.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 12139      (added 3/29/2007)
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Wholesale Price: (Log in to view)
MSRP: $60.00
Age Range: 2 and up
SKU or Item #: 8-54622-00107-1
Launch Date: December 2006
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Furniture & Decor
Preschool
Storage



A fun and practical solution for storing stuffed animals and putting them to work, the Boon Animal Bag is an oversized, plush bag covered with large, zippered windows made of transparent, durable mesh. Children can fill the bag with stuffed animals of all sizes, and then use it as a soft seat. The bag is machine washable and earth-friendly because, unlike most beanbag chairs, it does not require foam fillers. It comes in pink and green. Launch date: December 2006.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 12320      (added 4/13/2007)
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Wholesale Price: (Log in to view)
Age Range: 2 and up
Launch Date: February 2004
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Construction
Wooden Toys



This 34-piece set includes unpainted, quality beech wood blocks in various shapes. The blocks provide freedom of form and freedom of inspiration for play without boundaries and are suitable for both children and adults. They allow the creation of unique and sophisticated shapes, such as that created when the top of the triangle is stacked on top of the square. They may also be used for rehabilitation support. “Tsumiki is high price but with high quality,” President Hidemi Tada of Tadatora Inc. told TDmonthly. Launch date: February 2004.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 12222      (added 4/6/2007)
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Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Plush
Gifts



Fulanitos means “The world is a better place because of someone like you.” Following its namesake, creator Gaby Moed develops the high-quality line, which now includes stationery, jewelry, accessories, apparel, plush dolls, mugs and more. The simplicity of design, bright colors and joyful messages add to the product line's appeal as excellent gifts for children everywhere.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 12208      (added 4/6/2007)
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Wholesale Price: (Log in to view)
MSRP: $98.00
Age Range: 3 and up
Launch Date: January 2006
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Plush



This soft and flexible animal is handcrafted in Germany with special emphasis on naturalistic appearance and excellent quality. It is optimally designed with the utmost in children’s play requirements in mind, but will appeal to collectors of all ages. With the cat’s neutral facial expression, a child can “make it feel” whatever he wants and will enjoy playing with it for a long time. The product is filled with granules and can be washed up to 88 degrees. “The life-like appearance” of this cat makes it unique, Sales Manager Sybille Hartmann of Koesen USA told TDmonthly. Launch date: 2006.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 12311      (added 4/13/2007)
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Wholesale Price: (Log in to view)
MSRP: $6.99
Age Range: 4 and up
SKU or Item #: SC75
Launch Date: August 2006
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Gifts
Stationery



Swing Cards are possibly the most detailed, well-designed and interesting cards you’ll ever see. The Penguin Swing Card is one of a multi-award-winning range of dynamic 3-D, interactive cards that come assembled with space for a personalized message. Not only do they open out to form incredible 3-D shapes, but each card is also made up of a number of moving parts that allow the objects in the center to swing back and forth. “In addition to sending a greeting or a message, their unique swinging function encourages play and allows them to operate as collectible items,” Faye Bostock, art director's assistant at Santoro, told TDmonthly. Launch date: August 2006.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 12368      (added 4/18/2007)
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Wholesale Price: (Log in to view)
MSRP: $5.99
Age Range: 6 and up
SKU or Item #: 894508000019
Launch Date: January 2006
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Card Games



Nothing feels better than sending someone to the depths of Scum. In this exciting, versatile and family-friendly card game, players of all ages battle their way from SCUMville to the Presidency, pitting their skills against one another each round. After each round, players change seats ranging from SCUM and Next-to-Scum, to Middle Class, Vice-President and finally President. The first to reach a predetermined point total wins the game. “This game is fast-paced and fun for small or large groups, all ages, and is a well-known game,” a representative of 4J Enterprises told TDmonthly. Launch date: January 2006.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 12384      (added 4/18/2007)
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Wholesale Price: (Log in to view)
MSRP: $29.99
Age Range: 12 and up
SKU or Item #: 056349 020032
Launch Date: May 2007
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Board Games



The object of this addictive game is to score points with the dice and strategically use the UPSET cards to beat opponents. Two to six players start with 25 uPcentS (chips) — 10 for the pot and 15 to play with. As players' scores rise, they win chips. If they don't score, they lose chips. And if they go into debt, they are out. If a player rolls UPSET, everyone else must restart from scratch. Playing time is 30 to 120 minutes. Launch date: May 15, 2007 (specialty); August 2007 (mass market).
— UPSET “plays like a classic while at the same time satisfying today’s thirst for games of chance and strategy,” Executive Officer Paul Thomas of p.s. PlayGames told TDmonthly.
— "UPSET is brand new, and p.s. PlayGames is excited to be branching out into the U.S. market. Since our May 2007 launch in Canada, we have made great strides in sales, marketing and media attention. We welcome any U.S. stores and/or distributors to give UPSET a try," Thomas added.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 12459      (added 4/23/2007)
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Wholesale Price: (Log in to view)
MSRP: $19.99
Age Range: 7 and up
SKU or Item #: 901-11290
Launch Date: January 2007
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Arts & Crafts



A full pound of stained glass is included in this bright, fun kit that contains everything needed to make two 12” flip flop stepping stones. Contents also include 7 lbs. of stepping stone mix, two reusable molds, design templates and complete instructions. Launch date: January 1, 2007.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 12449      (added 4/23/2007)
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MSRP: $14.99
Age Range: 8 and up
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Construction



ÜberTropolis 101 is a great way to introduce kids to ÜberTropolis building. This basic set comes with 101 Überstix pieces that allow children to build bridges, towers and the Mobius strip. In addition to basic Überstix I-sticks, the set comes with quarks, which allow kids to build towers and other structures taller than they are. Sturdy components result in structures that can hold a child’s weight. ÜberTropolis 101 can be used with other building systems and recyclables. “In designing everything to be accessible, it’s not just about the price point but also being able to add onto it. You can buy a few thousand Popsicle sticks for a few bucks or you can get some McDonald’s straws ― those are free,” CEO Dane Scarborough of Überstix explained.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 12433      (added 4/23/2007)
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MSRP: $25.95
Age Range: 3 to 10
Launch Date: November 2006
Gender: Girls
Category: Party Goods
Arts & Crafts



With this party set, little girls can put on their fancy lace gloves, sip some tea and cool off with their own hand-painted fan. This party box is a little girl’s dream, and participants can have their teddy bears or favorite dolls join in on the fun. A 4-pack and 8-pack ($44.95) are available. “Our products … rely heavily on the imagination of children. We believe our parties are just the foundation for authentic play time. Our themes give the children an idea and some tools; the rest is up to them,” Co-founder Kim Mack of Out of the Box Party told TDmonthly. Launch date: November 2006.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 12434      (added 4/23/2007)
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MSRP: $39.99
Age Range: 4 and up
SKU or Item #: 49162
Launch Date: September 2007
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Arts & Crafts
Creative Activities



This revolutionary eight-in-one fold n’ go easel is easy to clean and features a patented trend-setting design that allows children to be creative at home and on the go. It serves as a mess-free hub for Rose Art coloring and drawing materials, and includes eight broadline markers, a roll of paper and a deluxe bag for portability and storage. This product is a 2007 iParenting Media Award winner. Launch date: Fall 2007.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 12469      (added 4/24/2007)
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Wholesale Price: (Log in to view)
MSRP: $29.00
Age Range: 8 and up
SKU or Item #: 612
Launch Date: June 2007
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: General Games
Puzzles & Skill



Together, two players build one pyramid using 13 of their cubes and five of their opponent’s cubes. Strategic positioning is crucial because when the pyramid is completed, each of its three faces comprises 15 squares. The player with the most pieces on at least two faces wins the game. “There is a combined effort between both players to build one 3-D pyramid. … How they choose to position their opponents’ pieces can be very interesting,” Susan Hebblethwaite of Family Games told TDmonthly. Launch date: June 2007.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 12381      (added 4/18/2007)
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MSRP: $12.95
SKU or Item #: 26337
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Plush



Casy the Cat is one of nine extremely soft, irresistibly cute and musical plush available in the Big Paw Superstars collection. Watching these talented fellows singing to their music with the actual voice of the animal will put a big smile on children's faces.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 12423      (added 4/19/2007)
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SKU or Item #: 49-9512
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Board Games



Spectrum originated from the classic Sudoku puzzles that have entertained and challenged countless people from around the world. Just as Scrabble evolved from the classic crossword puzzle, Spectrum has already developed a life of its own. Spectrum consists of three distinct games — Spectrum Solitaire, Team Spectrum and Spectrum Challenge.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 12432      (added 4/23/2007)
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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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