TDmonthly Magazine!
July 2007 | Vol. VI - No. 7
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TDmonthly's Toy Videos

What Works? What Doesn't? See for Yourself


TDmonthly's Toy Videos give you instant access to toy demos so you can evaluate a product before you buy it. If it works, it shows. If not, that shows, too. Seeing is believing, but hearing doesn't hurt, either.


Videography by Rob Poswall. Edited by Alison Marek.


*Video of the month*

ARTLAB Clay Studio: Wild Animals by SMARTLAB TOYS

High-grade clay layered over movable armatures means animals can be posed in a multitude of life-like ways. Kids learn how to create a clay template and add colorful twists and textures to creations. The kit includes four reusable “wild animal” armatures, sculpting tools and 680 grams of clay (12 colors). Read about it in the 32-page sculpting book by Julia Harrison called “Wild, Weird and Wonderful!” (Watch Video)


To see archived videos sorted by category please click here.

You can also watch manufacturer demos from 2007 and 2006 trade shows.

And here are the new videos for this month:




Wholesale Price: (Log in to view)
MSRP: $12.99
Age Range: 6 and up
Launch Date: April 2007
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Science & Nature



Solar Robots use real solar cells to power themselves. Using only the power they harness from the sun, these robots can walk around. Solar Robots are available in two styles and are for outdoor use only.  Launch date: Spring 2007.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 10977      (added 1/5/2007)
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Wholesale Price: (Log in to view)
MSRP: $29.95
Age Range: 8 and up
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Board Games



The object of the game is to achieve a Happy Retirement by obtaining a balanced lifestyle (an outcome that most people do not achieve in real life). Players acquire lifestyles and an income that are generally beyond a typical person’s means. Players have to make sets consisting of three different types of lifestyles: expensive (e.g., traveling the world), not so expensive (e.g., mountain-bike trips) and free (e.g., good friends). Not included in the rules is the fact that the most valuable lifestyles to own are the ones that are free. Players find this out during game play. The most valuable attribute on the board is “Positive Attitude.” Although the game was designed for Baby Boomers, children love to play it, too, because you can’t get “bumped out” of the game. They also like having fistfuls of money. Parents consider the game to be educational and fun, as kids learn about values, negotiation and the cost of living. Game play runs 90 minutes. President Martin Kral of Marty’s Games Corp. said his game “touches a part of everyone’s lives. ...There are currently 90 million people in North America over the age of 50, and in 20 years, there will be over 180 million, and they all want a Happy Retirement.”
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 10266      (added 11/28/2006)
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MSRP: $19.99
SKU or Item #: 619770000389
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: General Games



This game by William Sariego challenges players to artillery bombardment and assault combat during the 10-month struggle between Germany and France. Elite troops have numerous advantages, and morale is vital. Game pieces represent regiments and a handful of battalions. Units are rated for morale, attack, defense and movement.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 12217      (added 4/6/2007)
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Wholesale Price: (Log in to view)
MSRP: $12.00
Age Range: 3 and up
SKU or Item #: 9780735308381
Launch Date: April 2007
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Educational



Each card on this 26-card ring contains an image and a corresponding word in French, with the English word on the other side. Children can use the cards as flash cards or spread them out and practice sorting skills while reading the words out loud. They can sort by color or by type of object, for example. Launch date: Spring 2007.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 12145      (added 3/29/2007)
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Wholesale Price: (Log in to view)
MSRP: $14.99
Age Range: 6 and up
Launch Date: January 2006
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Card Games



In this fast-play card game, dragons are celebrating and the magic is out-of-hand, so it can take time to sort things out. With luck, a swift eye and good teamwork, these dragons will leave the party with the same wings and tail with which they came. The non-collectible, team-based game is for four to eight players. “Children focus on the matching and simple teamwork, while adults like the fast play and the use of signals between partners,” Vice President Jamie Chambers of Margaret Weis Productions told TDmonthly. Launch date: January 2006.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 11328      (added 2/1/2007)
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MSRP: $78.00
Age Range: All Ages
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: General Games



BuddhaWheel, a non-competitive game based on the Wheel of Life, and shortlisted in GA's 2006 Gift of the Year awards, is a fascinating journey for adults and children of all ages and religious inclinations. Each player’s character collects good and bad karma on her path to Buddhahood, which includes traveling through the god, jealous gods, human, animal, hungry ghost, and hell realms. It is a thought-provoking exploration that inspires spirited discussion as well as pure enjoyment. Because BuddhaWheel is non-competitive, players can join. leave, and save their game at any point. The game highlights the decisions that we make in our daily lives and creates a lot of laughter. Players also express their own imaginative ideas, and this helps them deepen their understanding of each other.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 6947      (added 2/21/2006)
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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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