February 2008 | Vol. VII - No. 2
TDmonthly's February Staff Picks
Toys Before Toy Fair
Even before you hit the show, you’ll need to know what new companies are out there and the latest offerings from vendors you trust. TDmonthly Magazine looked through this month’s nearly 500 uploaded products and found a few we hope will work for you:
Want to see more? Check out February's Notable and New Toys articles here.
Ruin is a ruthless race for fortune and glory toward the center of an ancient Mayan ruin. Players move through and around an unpredictable and interchangeable game board. The distinctive 3-D game board allows you to change the path on every turn as game cards actually insert directly into the board. A perfect game for the entire family, this light-strategy game offers elements of skill, chance, luck and imaginative adventure. Launch date: April 1, 2008.
— "I appreciated that this toy was linked to an ancient culture, opening the door for discussion and history exploration," said TDmonthly Roundtable reviewer Teresa Wilson, whose four children, along with other kid-reviewers, enjoyed the strategic options the game affords.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 16985 (added 1/8/2008)
Introduced in 2007 and expanded for 2008, our aquatic and land animal Trendy™ lines are made from ultra-soft and “light” material making for even more hugs and cuddles. There are upwards of 25 species in this line covering land and aquatic animals alike! Up to three sizes of each species available.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 16980 (added 1/8/2008)
This kit allows kids and adults alike to build creations strong enough for use and abuse in the most extreme conditions. After running the creations on a racecourse or a robot battlefield, simply dissemble the creation and build a new one using the same pieces. “The unique, patent-pending, ‘lock-together’ connection system is the key to MINDS-i,” Christy Marzetta, of MINDS-i’s operations department, told TDmonthly. Launch date: Spring 2008.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 16978 (added 1/8/2008)
The ball features a great texture that makes catching easy and fun. Additionally, the ball comes with five special modes of music that suggest over 50 creative movements. The ball’s sound track is specially timed for slower auditory processing. Get caught with the ball when the music stops and one will need to perform a special move or task. A game book is included.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 16969 (added 1/8/2008)
The set features triple-milled Mor soaps from Australia. Soaps come in exotic scents like Moroccan Mint, Snow Gardenia, Kale & Watercress, Vines of Arcadia and Oolong Tea.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 16956 (added 1/8/2008)
The set includes a 0.7mm mechanical pencil, an eraser and archival quality Pigma® ink pens in 0.3, 0.4, 0.6 and 1.0mm line widths. The versatility of the four pen-tip sizes is perfect for both beginning and experienced illustrators. “Pigma Sensei invites creativity by providing the basic illustration tools for manga or comic artists to have on-hand at conventions, classes or sketching on-the-go,” Sakura of America Marketing Assistant Linda K. Lyon told TDmonthly. Additionally, “the illustration booklet points out to beginners which line widths work for details, lettering and bold effects.” Launch date: January 2008.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 16947 (added 1/8/2008)
CON OO4 1:25 Schield Bantam C-35 Crane with Salvage Accessories by SpecCast
Other products from SpecCast
The Bantam crane offers a choice of three interchangeable salvage accessories: logging grapple, scrap grapple and electro-magnet. You can control the crane functions by inserting the key to raise and lower the crane boom and attachment. The cab door opens to reveal fully detailed operator controls and platform. This die-cast model replica features individually linked, free-rolling tracks, and the cab can rotate 360 degrees.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 16933 (added 1/7/2008)
K.R. Bourgoine's Adventurer Card Game by SHADOWCIRCLE PRESS
Other products from SHADOWCIRCLE PRESS
This fast-paced fantasy card game challenges one to four players to search out a dangerous vampire named Count Lodrac. It comes with two, six-sided dice and 80 cards that are colorfully illustrated to represent rooms, monsters, weapons and more. Game play takes approximately 10 to 15 minutes, and expansion packs are available separately (beginning summer 2008). Everything needed to play is in the box; it is not a CCG. “The vibrant art that adorns each card depicts a novel-worthy world full of self-generating adventures, making Adventurer Card Game an easy game that never plays the same way twice — without the aid of computers,” K.R. Bourgoine told TDmonthly. Launch date: May 22, 2008.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 17014 (added 1/10/2008)
In "what's the deal?" – a tween and teen prep kit - Fiona and Luke find themselves in lots of sticky situations. Follow these exploits with children and watch Fiona and Luke grow as they think through the best solutions, and begin to apply them in their own lives.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 16929 (added 1/4/2008)
This twist on charades has players create the shapes' names on the cards provided, using any of the differently sized and differently colored pipe-cleaners. Try making a bowtie, a palm tree and even a coffee mug under time pressure. Launch date: August 15, 2008.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 16906 (added 1/3/2008)
A remake of the original 60’s doll, Flatsy is flat, yet bendable and poseable. The Flatsy collection includes six 4-3/4” dolls, each equipped with their own assortment of hair accessories. The trendy doll fits perfectly in pockets.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 16903 (added 1/3/2008)
Making Change Quizmo® by WORLD CLASS LEARNING MATERIALS INC.
Other products from WORLD CLASS LEARNING MATERIALS INC.
This game will help students develop and improve their skills in dealing with money, estimation, coin recognition, rounding and more. It is intended for 2 to 20 players. Launch date: January 1, 2008.
— “Making Change Quizmo® helps students build on basic money identification and spending skills by incorporating many higher-level concepts such as rounding, regrouping and upper-level subtraction,” World Class Learning Materials Product Development Manager Alyssa S. Brown told TDmonthly.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 16899 (added 1/3/2008)
The E-Racer is part of the "bamboo collection", a line of fun, eco-friendly toys produced by HaPe. Children will be intrigued by the colors and design of the E-Racer while parents will appreciate the natural bamboo shape, water-based colors and sustainable materials. The E-Racer is naturally fun! Launch date: February 2008.
— “It's made of eco-friendly bamboo, a highly sustainable, replenishable material,” Robin Lehnert of HaPe International told TDmonthly.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 16893 (added 1/3/2008)
Blunders™ - Make Learning Manners Fun by SUCCESSFUL KIDS INC.
Other products from SUCCESSFUL KIDS INC.
The adorable characters of Becky, Bobby, Brenda and Billy Blunder revolutionize the way manners are taught. The game includes a game board, a story book and 300 fun and interactive charade, multiple-choice, scenario and true/false questions covering social and dining etiquette. “Blunders™ is the only board game on the market today that makes learning manners interactive and fun!” Successful Kids Inc. President Aimee Symington told TDmonthly. This game has received the following awards: Dr. Toy, National Parenting Center Seal of Approval, iParenting Media, Creative Child Preferred Choice, Mr. Dad Seal of Approval, eChoice, and The Toy Man Award of Excellence and Seal of Approval. Launch date: February 17, 2008.
— "I've loved the Blunders Game from the moment I was introduced to it. Now you can reinforce manners at one of the places where manners are key. Manner Mats takes the blunders concept and turns it into a set of 38 table mats. The mats include tones of games including word searches, challenges, multiple choice, what is wrong with the picture, complete the sentence and many more. Another innovative way to teach manners without having to point your finger," Jennifer Shuman, owner of 1SmartNoodle, told TDmonthly at Toy Fair 2010.
Past videos: Toy Fair 2009
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 16257 (added 11/27/2007)
Each night, in the hours between supper and bedtime, the Tear Thief carries her waterproof, silvery sack as she steals the tears of every child who cries. But what does she do with all those tears? This warm, poignant and beautifully illustrated story offers a thought-provoking message and a starting point to share children's emotional experiences. Launch date: September 2007.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 17007 (added 1/10/2008)
This 26-card set is designed to help children learn through sight and sound. Each card includes a full-color, professional photo. Kids are introduced to all the letters in the alphabet through familiar, real-life objects that surround them every day. Made in the USA and known for their high quality, the cards are laminated, easy to wipe and big for little hands to hold. Goosie Cards “have a clean, simple design so children can easily focus on the photo and the word without distraction,” Founder and CEO Jen Marchetti of Goosie LLC told TDmonthly. Launch date: May 12, 2007.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 17191 (added 1/24/2008)
Constructed of ultra-soft fleece, this purse has cotton handles and liner and includes a removable, poly-filled pillow covered in cotton sheeting. It’s ideal for travel or sleepovers and can be carried anywhere. The purse zips closed at the top.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 17090 (added 1/17/2008)
This colorful ponytail holder that looks like a pom-pom may also be used as a gift bow, a napkin ring or even adornment for a stuffed animal. Pomchies are available in a variety of solid, seasonal and “spirit” colors.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 17106 (added 1/17/2008)
This 8" doll is from Tonner's Kickit series.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 17351 (added 1/30/2008)
Costume Club Kids™ - Lindsay & Bumblebee Costume by PADDYWHACK LANE LLC
Other products from PADDYWHACK LANE LLC
One of 10 dolls in the Costume Club Kids™-series, 14” Lindsay is fully posable with a vinyl head, arms and legs and a soft cotton body for snuggling. She wears a whimsical dress-up costume with embroidered details and simple fasteners for little hands. Each Costume Club Kids doll wears canvas high-top sneakers. The line was created by a husband-and-wife team based on the personalities of their eight children. Launch date: January 2008.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 17342 (added 1/30/2008)
Nuchi™ 15-Piece Circle Train Set by THE LITTLE LITTLE LITTLE TOY COMPANY
Other products from THE LITTLE LITTLE LITTLE TOY COMPANY
This classic wooden train set has a circular track layout that can be easily assembled into different shapes. Designed for the child new to trains, this set is simple enough to assemble right out of the box. It can easily be used with other interlocking wooden train tracks, so children can pair it with existing sets they own. The 15-piece set includes eight durable interlocking curved tracks, two trees, an engine and two loading cars. The cars are brightly painted and utilize magnets to help children assemble the set easily. The set is 18" in diameter while cars are 2" long, 1" wide and 1½" high.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 17333 (added 1/30/2008)
This 7”-tall action figure with 11 points of articulation is designed to help children experience the adventure of the Indian epic Ramayana. The toy comes with a Rama Mini-Comic that reveals Rama’s time of exile in the forest, his efforts to save his wife, and the lessons he imparts to and learns from his family as he battles for his royal title.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 17322 (added 1/30/2008)
Simplymini Fashion Stickers Variety Set by AK TOY COMPANY INC.
Other products from AK TOY COMPANY INC.
This modern version of Colorforms features detailed fashion stickers for mix-and-match fun. Girls can peel the designs on and off, adding shoes, hair, bags and other accessories to the scenes shown in the included booklets. The collectible series of books and stickers are produced in limited quantities. “Our product is colorful, high quality, multi-cultural, imaginative and educational. [It’s] great for developing fine motor skills, imaginative play, sharing, collecting and learning,” Founder Anne Kim of AK Toy Company told TDmonthly. “Simplymini … is not available in large retail stores and [is] currently sold in over 25 specialty stores in the Northeast and Midwest.”
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 17320 (added 1/30/2008)
Puzzibits™ Flexible 3D Puzzle Art™ - Ocean Depths by MANHATTAN TOY
Other products from MANHATTAN TOY
The 150 flexible, interlocking pieces included in this set can be used to create three 3D designs — a turtle, a seahorse and an octopus.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 17317 (added 1/30/2008)
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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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