September 2007 | Vol. VI - No. 9
Toys for the Big Wow: $50 and Up
Tempt Shoppers With These Big-Ticket Items
Frugal parents and grandparents may be enticed to blow their budgets when they see these instant child-pleasers. From pianos to mansions to mini-roadsters, these are the toys that every child dreams he'll find under the tree.
See more of TDmonthly Magazine's $50 and up toys. (NOTE: Items without a price listed may fall below the $50-and-up range.)
This dynamic, new line of 44-key baby grand and upright pianos, launched to coincide with Schoenhut’s 135th anniversary, features true piano sound … without the use of electronics. The mid-sized piano is less intimidating for small children who want to learn to play the piano. This line is not intended to replace Schoenhut’s vintage models that feature chime-like tones, such as those originally developed by Albert Schoenhut in 1872. Rather, the introduction is in response to requests from customers for a “new” sound. It’s available in black, white or red. Launch date: January 2007.
— If parents wish to start their kids on the piano before they’re ready for the real baby grand, this stunningly beautiful instrument with authentic piano sound is the way to go. It received a TDmonthly Top Toy 2007 award for innovation in mechanics and design within the category of musical instruments for children, as well as its ability to grace any space while furthering a young child’s music education.
Toy Fair 2007
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 11647 (added 2/26/2007)
This self-propelling, three-wheeled ride-on toy cruises smoothly and silently along the ground, similar to the movement of a snake. The rider simply sits in the seat, feet-first, and propels with an easy back-and-forth leg movement, demonstrating a special combination of physics properties that fascinates most first-time observers. There are no chains, no motor and no batteries. The product comes packaged with extendable axis rods (S, M, L), so it can grow with the child. “Awe-inspiring physics” and “the strong, long-lasting steel tube frame and overall quality construction” really set this product apart, according to EzyRoller President Denis Allais. Launch date: May 2007.
— Anyone can sit back and get a workout with this sleek and sporty, three-wheeled ride-on toy that moves fluidly with back-and-forth leg motion. Its long, low-set and adjustable design differentiates it from other ride-ons, as do the properties of physics that bring it to life. Such stats have garnered the Ezyroller a TDmonthly Innovations 2007 award.
— Jeanette Lauture of Aunt Jean’s Toys & Treats in Montclair, N.J., told TDmonthly in summer 2008 that the Ezyroller is a hot seller in her store. “This New Zealand outdoor ride-on toy is very innovative and has longevity for kids 3 to 14 years of age,” she said. “I’ve been selling it since October of ‘07.”
Where to buy:
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 11949 (added 3/16/2007)
The Original PlasmaCar continues to intrigue and fascinate. Powered by kid power; no batteries, gears, or pedals needed. Just sit, put your feet up, and turn the steering wheel to propel yourself forward. The patented safety seat design places riders in a safe, comfortable position and minimizes tipping. Moves up to 6 mph on any smooth, flat surface. Supports up to 220 lbs. Visit www.plasmacar.com to see all the wonderful colors available.
— In a March 2015 survey, two out of 10 retailers told TDmonthly that Plasmacar is a best-selling outdoor toy.
— As of 05/13/2011 this product had 4.5 out of 5 stars from 122 reviews on Amazon.com. Cons: Does not work well on surfaces that aren't completely smooth.
— This top-seller in specialty stores earned a TDmonthly Top Toy 2007 award for its distinctive aerodynamic design and ease-of-use. TDmonthly believes it has the potential to become a classic due to its fresh, contemporary appeal and application in a child’s formative years.
Awards: 2012 Parents Choice Awards Recommended, 2009 Green Parents List Check Mark, 2009 DisneyFamily.com Top Action Figures and Toys for Toddlers, 2009+2008+2005 The National Parenting Centre Seal of Approval, 2008 iParenting Media Toy Award, 2008 Fat Brain Toy Award Active Play, 2006 TIA Outdoor Toy of the Year - Specialty Toy of the Year, 2006 Oppenheim Toy Portfolio Platinum Award, 2005 Oppenheim Toy Portfolio Gold Seal Award, 2005 Dr. Toy Best Vacation Products, 2005 Creative Child Seal of Excellence, 2001 International Patent Fair, Hong Kong Gold Medal
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 3829 (added 6/28/2005)
AquaStruct XXL™ Ultimate Extreme Shower Adventure Construction Set™ by AquaStruct Inc.
Other products from AquaStruct Inc.
This 44-piece set includes an assortment of valves, tubes, hoses, caps, suction mounts and a sprayhead, as well as the AquaStruct WaveRider OceanSpray Surfboard Tub Mat and the AquaStruct TubeWave OceanSpray Shower Curtain. It is designed to help tweens create a low-flow shower adventure, and it intuitively teaches circuit logic, problem solving and resource allocation. It also saves water with AquaStruct’s 2.5 gallons per minute earth-friendly AlphaValve. Launch date: August 2007.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 11738 (added 3/1/2007)
Mighty World's Complete Base Camp by INTERNATIONAL PLAYTHINGS LLC
Other products from INTERNATIONAL PLAYTHINGS LLC
This play set includes three explorer figures, an ATV, an adventure truck, a horse, a horse trailer and hitch, a kayak and paddles, a tent, sleeping bags, a campfire and more. The vehicles can even be adjusted and taken apart. “Mighty World is a comprehensive, exciting line of play figures, accessories, and play sets designed to foster children’s imagination and creativity by encouraging them to create, experience and explore their own world of pretend play,” Andrea Harvey, public relations representative for International Playthings, told TDmonthly. This product is a Spring 2007 Dr. Toy Best Product Award winner. Launch date: September 2007.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 14179 (added 7/19/2007)
Toys Toys ? Mercedes SL 6v Battery Operated Car by BIG TOYS USA
Other products from BIG TOYS USA
Made in Italy under license from Mercedes and designed in conjunction with their engineers, this replica consists of a tough polyethylene bodywork, making it strong and flexible, while the deep injected paint makes scratches easily buffed away.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 14441 (added 8/1/2007)
A new twist on our classic doll pram we?ve had for over 30 years! Colorful inviting hearts pattern mattress pad, pillow and blanket are sure to comfort your child?s dolls! Height adjustable handles.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 14407 (added 7/31/2007)
“Kids love this attractive, high-quality toy replica of the popular Joovy Caboose Stand-On Tandem stroller,” Greg Gardner of Joovy told TDmonthly. The clever design features of the Joovy Toy Caboose allow children to secure and transport two or three cherished toy friends at once, for hours of role-playing fun. The Joovy "Just-Like-Mine" Caboose Tandem Stroller sets the highest standard for toys — designed with realistic features to maximize role-playing fun. With real swivel front wheels, it’s easy to maneuver and suitable for playing indoors and out. A deluxe padded handle gives extra comfort and an easy-to-use trigger system makes folding a breeze. Launch date: Holidays 2006.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 10319 (added 11/30/2006)
This pirate set, featuring the first and only plush pirate ship in the world, is professionally designed and finely made. It includes a 32” pirate ship and six pirates, all of which are also available individually. “Due to the extremely high demands for pirate items, the pirate collection has become our No. 1 seller in 2007. Due to the lack of plush gifts for boys, this item could be a great gift for boys,” Sales Manager Makan Hashemieh of JooJoo told TDmonthly. Launch date: March 2007.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 14363 (added 7/26/2007)
Part of Safari’s Fantastic Farm collection, this uniquely designed barn opens in half to reveal cows, pigs and goats and stalls on opposite sides. The barn is made of real wood construction and comes in an attractive gift box. All doors and windows open and close for increased imaginative play.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 14309 (added 7/25/2007)
Heartfelt Treasures by LINDA RICK, THE DOLL MAKER
Other products from LINDA RICK, THE DOLL MAKER
From the Doll Maker Porcelain Collection, this collectible doll stands 24” tall and is constructed of full-body porcelain. She is dressed in a flowery vintage pink dress and wears a large, ribboned hat. She holds two matching teddy bears while a third sits on the bottom of her dress. Production of this doll is limited to only 150 units. “Exquisite detail and fabric is what makes these collectible porcelain dolls so priceless,” Susan Calliari, national accounts manager at The Doll Maker, told TDmonthly. Launch date: 2007.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 14239 (added 7/20/2007)
This aggressive machine is fully functional with deep-tread tires that dig up dirt while riding across the terrain. Move it onto the lake, pond or stream and watch water spit up from the tires while twin propellers spin for extra power. This product is a 2007 Creative Child Preferred Choice Award winner.
— Radio-controlled vehicles were named as a much-wished-for-holiday toy by boys, according to a 2007 Reuters report.
— “This remote-controlled car goes on land and water and is designed for kids ages 5 and up,” said Joe Berardoni, Sr., owner of Pun’s Toy Store in Bryn Mawr, Pa., in the fall of 2008. “It has been popular for several years now.”
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 14184 (added 7/19/2007)
Norscot Scale Models - Cat® 836H Landfill Compactor by NORSCOT COLLECTIBLES
Other products from NORSCOT COLLECTIBLES
This 1:50 scale model features authentic all-metal wheels, articulated steering, oscillating rear wheels and a dozer blade that raises and lowers. It measures 8.12” L x 4” H x 3.75” W.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 14079 (added 7/13/2007)
This 18” high-quality vinyl doll is part of the company’s ethnic collection. Carlos looks and feels like a real baby and is specially weighted so he can easily be carried and cuddled. He features a high-quality, poly fiber, synthetic bean-filled body and comes with a 16" satin-trimmed blanket.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 14074 (added 7/13/2007)
This brunet Ellowyne doll, designed by Robert Tonner, comes in an outfit that includes a printed dress, crochet bag, beaded jewelry, stockings and lace-up boots. The doll stand is included. She comes in a limited edition of 1,000. (EDITOR'S NOTE: Video refers to Ellowyne as being 13 years old, but she's "actually" 18!)
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 14007 (added 7/9/2007)
The colorful Invent a Tent system is designed to help build children’s minds through creative play, allowing them to construct a unique play structure every time they pull it out. The kit includes set pole lengths and fabric dimensions and condenses easily into one storage bag. “Compared to similar products on the market, Invent A Tent builds a much sturdier play structure that is large enough for multiple children to play in at once. It also comes with an ample amount of fabric to cover the whole structure,” Cameron Scott of Invent A Tent told TDmonthly. Launch date: January 2007.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 13986 (added 7/6/2007)
This model of the 2007 FJ Cruiser by Toyota features realistic design and intricate detail. The real square-shouldered sports utility vehicle features an all-steel body that opens with two full-sized doors, two rear-hinged clamshell doors for backseat access and a side-hinged tailgate. It also has a 245-horsepower 4.0-liter V-6 engine. Launch date: April 2007.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 13964 (added 7/6/2007)
Wood Punk? Lumberbots? What does one call these finely crafted, amazingly designed wooden robots created by toy maker Takeji (Take-G) Nakagawa, whose motto is “to bring wooden beauty and quality into life in my own style”? Stylish they are. One almost wouldn’t mind these robots destroying one's city, they look so good. “Trees take [a] long time to grow and show us their beauty. I think that I have responsibilities as a craftsman and an artist of breathing new life into these trees. I have a job to link 100 years in the past and 100 years in the future through my work.” Not yet to the shores of the U.S.A., it’s only a matter of time before these stunning robo-timbers invade our land.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 13899 (added 7/3/2007)
Kids Crooked House - Standard Playhouse by KIDS CROOKED HOUSE
Other products from KIDS CROOKED HOUSE
The Kids Crooked House Basic playhouse is carefully handcrafted in Maine out of 2 x 4 wood pieces, cedar shingles and other high-quality materials. Accessories such as a roof dormer or front porch can easily be added for even more fun, and the house can be painted with a number of fun colors, including Tigger Orange, Red Barn, Deep Woods Green, Garden Green, Camp Brown and Rustic Blue/Gray. White or black trim is available.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 13893 (added 7/3/2007)
This Speedster Fire Truck has a heavy gauge steel body with plastic fenters to protect walls and furniture. Its wheels are made of steel and tires are made of rubber with a pedal-free working steel chrome steering wheel. Also included are a chrome fire bell, ladder racks, wooden ladders and custom graphics. This vehicle is Toy Safety tested and approved. It is chip and rust resistant, child safe, and has a powder coating of non-toxic paint. Adult supervision and assembly required.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 13877 (added 7/2/2007)
Annekatrin Melan Limited Edition Collection ? Anteater "Tamandua" by KÖSEN USA, Inc.
Other products from KÖSEN USA, Inc.
This anteater 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. As a limited edition of 500 units, it also appeals as a collectible for all ages. It has a long flexible and extractable tongue, and its silky fur is made of golden yellow alpaca wool. This anteater is 15.4” long and comes with a wooden display box and a certificate. “The life-like appearance and top-quality craftsmanship,” set this plush product apart from others, Sales Manager Sybille Hartmann of Koesen USA told TDmonthly. Launch date: 2007.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 13665 (added 6/25/2007)
The doll’s hand-painted face and partially sculpted, partially painted beard with hand-applied braids strongly capture the likeness of Johnny Depp as Jack Sparrow in Disney’s "Pirates of the Caribbean 3." The doll is crafted of fine quality vinyl and hard plastic and features 14 points of articulated movement. Standing 17” tall, the doll comes equipped with a pistol, sword and display stand. Launch date: May 31, 2007.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 13528 (added 6/18/2007)
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Writer'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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