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TDmonthly Innovations 2007 Awards

These Winners Surpass Expectations


It’s with great excitement that TDmonthly Magazine announces its TDmonthly Innovations 2007 Awards. The following items were chosen not only because they are of high quality and allow for valuable play or intriguing observation, but also because they display highly innovative design or usability that easily distinguishes them from other products on the market. Here are the award-winning products that have artfully shown innovation at work:



Wholesale Price: (Log in to view)
MSRP: $19.95
Age Range: 5 and up
SKU or Item #: 689076173865
Launch Date: February 2007
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Sporting Goods & Accessories
Outdoor Fun
American-Made



America’s new x-shaped ball is great for all athletic abilities. The ball has phenomenal aerodynamics that make it go super far when thrown. It is easy to catch, and its softness makes it safe. Yackle Ball games are fun for everyone and can help with hand-eye coordination and motor skills, as well as encouraging creativity and active play. The Yackle Ball is 100-percent made in the U.S. and is strictly sold in specialty stores. “It’s a great way for children of all ages or whole families to have fun and be active together,” General Manager Charles Littwin of Ttalf Corp. told TDmonthly. Launch date: February 2007.
— Ever seen a ball shaped like an “x”? The Yackle Ball worked its way up to a TDmonthly Innovations 2007 award based on sturdy construction, attractive design and color options as well as its potential to build coordination and shape active play in a whole new way.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 15247      (added 9/19/2007)
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Wholesale Price: (Log in to view)
MSRP: $99.95
Age Range: 3 and up
SKU or Item #: EZY-001
Launch Date: May 2007
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Vehicles - Riding
Outdoor Fun



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:
SOUTH
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 11949      (added 3/16/2007)
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Wholesale Price: (Log in to view)
MSRP: $89.95
Age Range: 8 and up
SKU or Item #: TM101
Launch Date: April 2007
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Science & Nature



This product defies well-known scientific theorem by featuring one permanent magnet floating on top of another. A globe (or any suitable object) can be made to levitate above a specially engineered, electromagnetic base. It appears to defy the Earnshaw-Braunbeck theorem, more than a century old. Launch date: April 2007.
— The fact that this globe seems to defy a long-known scientific theorem related to magnets is one reason it received a TDmonthly Innovations 2007 award. It also makes a great desk ornament, sure to stop all passersby who just can’t help but take a closer look.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 11618      (added 2/23/2007)
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Wholesale Price: (Log in to view)
MSRP: $11.95
Age Range: 2 and up
SKU or Item #: 57970
Launch Date: June 2006
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Sporting Goods & Accessories
Outdoor Fun



This action toy helps keep kids fit as they simulate and learn how to skate, surf and snowboard without getting wet, cold or sore. Children can twist it, kick it, flip it or pop it as they play. The board measures 21” by 5.25” and comes in red, yellow, green and blue. “This product is the first of its kind. The boarding industry never had a plastic, functional, inexpensive toy — a 21st century toy,” CEO Bob Ellis of GarageCo Toys told TDmonthly. Launch date: June 2006.
— It’s very simple, yes, but the Yo Baby Practice Board received a TDmonthly Innovations 2007 award due to its usefulness as a training tool for very young children, propelling them to develop board-sport skills they can use later in life. It’s perfect for use on carpet in the home, and can easily travel anywhere.
— “We're doing well with Yo Babys, [and] ordering a case a month,” said Connie Hoeft, owner of C R Toys in Kearney, N.E., when asked about her best-selling sports toys in spring 2009.
— “We do really well with the Yo Baby practice boards. Last year, we went through a lot of those,” Lauren Obenour, manager of Green Frog Toys in Portland, Ore., told TDmonthly in March 2009.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 11555      (added 2/21/2007)
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Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: General Games



This popular new laser game now has a 6"- by 6"-square add-on that creates a second level of play atop the original 10"- by 8"-square board. Players alternate turns moving mirrored pieces around the playing field and firing laser diodes to illuminate, and eliminate, their opponent’s pieces. Moves can now include a directional move or rotation of the expansion tower, or movement from the upper to lower level and vice versa.
— Khet 3D: Tower of Kadesh adds more excitement to the popular laser-beam game, employing additional board space so that lasers can not only bounce off mirrored pieces on the main playing field, but also enter a whole new dimension by finding their way up a tower to the second level. The strategy, creativity and materials involved in this game earned it a TDmonthly Innovations 2007 award.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 11695      (added 2/27/2007)
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Wholesale Price: (Log in to view)
MSRP: $19.99
Age Range: 3 to 8
SKU or Item #: A1125XX
Launch Date: August 2007
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Play Sets
Gifts
Pretend Play



This soft-sided bin is not only decorated according to the theme, but is also shaped to resemble a train depot. It looks like an engine house when it’s carrying toys, but opens up into a train lover’s delight of a playscape. It also includes eight sections of wooden track and three train cars, all of which match other popular wooden trains. “Neat-Oh! products alone offer the patent-pending ability to convert back and forth from toy to storage,” said Gerry Linda, director of marketing for Neat-Oh! International. Launch date: August 2007. This product was previously catalogued under the name ZipBin® Softie™ Train Depot Playset™ Play, Zip, Go! (changed January 2009).
— The shape, artwork and usefulness of this ZipBin® set made it a recipient of a TDmonthly Innovations 2007 award. Not only does it zip-up into a storage space and zip-out into a play mat, but it also includes toys for play so that kids and parents have everything they need right at the time of purchase.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 15330      (added 9/21/2007)
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MSRP: $44.00
Age Range: 3 and up
SKU or Item #: SD001
Launch Date: May 2007
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Sporting Goods & Accessories
Outdoor Fun



This 18” sports disk features a foam ring with a high-strength elastic membrane, and can catch and throw balls up to 150'. It is a safe, high-quality sports activity device that adapts to volleyball, tennis, baseball and other sports, and can be a blast at the beach or pool. A 12” size is also available. Suggested retail price for the two sizes ranges from $15 to $40. “The Super Sports Disk products are fantastic as confidence-building, motor-skill activities for young children, but are also great for more advanced users,” Kevin Williams of OgoSport told TDmonthly. This product received a Spring 2007 Parents' Choice Award. Launch date: May 20, 2007.
— Quality materials and a super bouncing effect earned the classy OgoSport a TDmonthly Innovations 2007 award. Its broad appeal and correlation to other sports make the disk applicable to a variety of fun and healthy activities, and its bright color and sleek packaging grab attention.
— “OgoSport is a good line for us,” Eric Masoncup, owner of Gepetto's Toy Box in Oak Park, Ill., told TDmonthly about his best-selling gift for boys in summer 2009.
— Joe Beradoni, owner of Pun's Toys in Bryn Mawr, Pa., told TDmonthly in a Summer 2011 survey about best-selling toys that "during the summer, we sell 5-7 a week."

Past videos: WTHRA 2007
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 11557      (added 2/21/2007)
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MSRP: $19.95
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Novelties



Hog Wild's already distinctive and innovative Faucet Light is new and improved. It now changes color when the water changes temperature. When the water is hot, the light turns red. When the water is cold, the light turns blue. The magic point at which the change occurs is 89º F. The Faucet Light is fun and functional. It's also ideal for the kids’ bathroom, and a smart gift for older people, too. It works on most faucets and includes universal adaptors for 95 percent coverage across the U.S.
— "Little fun pick-me-ups, like the Faucet Light from Hog Wild, do well," said Kate Tanner, owner of Kidstop Toy & Book Store in Scottsdale, Ariz.
— This version of Hog Wild’s Faucet Light brings extra visual appeal and utility by warning users if the sink water is hot or cold. It’s both fun and functional, and makes for an innovative extra nightlight for late trips to the bathroom or kitchen. It might even encourage kids to wash their hands more often! Therefore, it was awarded a TDmonthly Innovations 2007 award.

Where to Buy: Escapade Direct

ToyDirectory Product ID#: 13111      (added 5/24/2007)
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MSRP: $9.95
Launch Date: February 2007
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Robotics
Electronics



Eyes jiggle, legs wiggle and antennae sway to-and-fro in the combo tango-jitterbug-Frightened Grasshopper dance. This little kit is an attention-grabber. Pint-sized and powered to pack a punch, this enticing amusing solar bug will capture kids’ hearts while demonstrating an alternative energy principle. No batteries or tools are required, and there are fewer than 10 parts to assemble. This product received a 2007 Seal of Excellence from Creative Child Magazine. Launch date: February 2007.
— For promoting the use of solar energy in a hoppin’ way, this cute, little grasshopper received a TDmonthly Innovations 2007 award. It is simple to assemble and reacts immediately when placed under sunlight, clicking its legs across the ground as it rattles around, shivering with fear.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 11694      (added 2/27/2007)
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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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