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March 2008 | Vol. VII - No. 3
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TDmonthly's March Staff Picks

Post-Fair Considerations for '08


You may be exhausted from all the products you encountered at Toy Fair, so TDmonthly Magazine has compiled a “short list” from the hundreds of products that were added to our site last month. See if these options could work for your store:



MSRP: $7.99
Launch Date: January 2008
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Play Sets
Action Figures
Collectibles



Each PVC figure in the eight-piece set is designed by a different artist. The figures stand approximately 3” to 4” in height and are packaged individually in blind boxes. The series thematically focuses on the representation of animals that demonstrate the human condition. Mugs Bunny, King of the Deadbeets, Scurvy Nevil and Baby-Eating Crocodile are just a few of the figures available in the series. Launch date: January 26, 2008.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 17373      (added 1/31/2008)
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Age Range: 2 to 7
Launch Date: February 2008
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Infant & Toddler
Preschool
Educational



The miniature television remote-control provides complete protection from inappropriate channels. Parents can program the remote with five pre-set channels, and children can safely use the remote on their own. The remote is designed to fit comfortably in little hands and meets toy safety standards. Launch date: February 2008.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 17384      (added 1/31/2008)
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Wholesale Price: (Log in to view)
MSRP: $44.95
Age Range: 8 and up
SKU or Item #: 07314PNR4SV
Launch Date: June 2008
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: General Games
Eco-Friendly
Family Games



The wooden version of the quick-connection game involves both luck and strategy. Players take turns dropping marbles through the maze of levers in order to get a winning combination of four marbles in a vertical, horizontal or diagonal. The removal of a fifth marble in a column allows for continuous play and unexpected twists. The beautiful, fold-up wood design makes Rapid 4® Wood attractive when left out in a den and a snap to pack up and take on vacation. This product is a Dr. Toy Best Product Award winner. Launch date: June 2008.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 17408      (added 2/4/2008)
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Every ChatterChik™ represents a different U.S. state and comes to life through her distinctive bio, appearance, personality and lifestyle. Girls can collect all 50 cards in the series and even trade-out with their friends.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 17401      (added 2/1/2008)
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Elect our Presidential plush in 2008! The 10" Eisenhower Elephant holds the Eisenhower $1.00 coin and the 9.5" Kennedy Donkey holds the Kennedy half dollar. A commemorative hang-tag tells history of both political parties. High-quality soft plush.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 17398      (added 2/1/2008)
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SKU or Item #: 11401
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Fashion & Accessories



Design your dream horses, riding gear, course, jumps and more with this English-theme equestrian sketchbook set. The design guide includes info and details for designing your own horses, riding gear, jodhpurs, boots and more for dressage, polo, etc. Fun for horse lovers and riders of all ages. Includes 40 English-themed sketch-pad pages, markers, colored pencils, eraser, sharpener and design guide.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 17396      (added 2/1/2008)
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Wholesale Price: (Log in to view)
MSRP: $14.95
Age Range: 3 and up
SKU or Item #: 501
Launch Date: July 2008
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Creative Activities
Play Sets



This set of five colorful insect capes will create quite a "buzz" on a nature walk or family outing. Great for indoor and outdoor play, as party favors, or as costumes for an educational play, these fun capes inspire the imagination. The packaging features a wealth of fun facts about each insect species. They are made from soft and safe EVA foam and are also available in a school assortment of 20 capes (item #551), perfect for team activities and chaperoned field trips. Launch date: July 1, 2008.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 17511      (added 2/13/2008)
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MSRP: $19.99
Age Range: 3 to 7
SKU or Item #: 119
Launch Date: April 2008
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Creative Activities
Travel
Gifts



The game invites children to play dress up with fun items such as a yellow jacket, a purple leopard print sweater or an orange dress. The set includes over 20 pieces of brightly colored felt with silk-screened details, a vinyl storage back and a felt board. Numerous titles are available. Launch date: Spring 2008.
— Babalu Felt Tales is most recognized by parents and toy expert for being travel friendly. It has received an average rating of 4 out of 5 stars, based on combined reviews from Amazon.com and etoys.com, also due to its ability to bring out the creative side of children as they build and tell their own stories. One concern is the small parts, which can easily be lost, torn, or swallowed by children under 3. (09.08.08)
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 17506      (added 2/13/2008)
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Wholesale Price: (Log in to view)
MSRP: $5.75
Age Range: 5 and up
SKU or Item #: KPR
Launch Date: January 2006
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Key Chains
Novelties



These handmade keychains feature colorful stars and moons floating in clear, safe oil, surrounded by tough acrylic casing. The 14 available varieties are Ocean, Lime, Dark Green, Runway Pink, Hot Pink, Purple, Burgundy, White, Tangerine, Red, Light Blue, Medium Blue, Deep Blue and Black. Launch date: Improved in 2006.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 17481      (added 2/12/2008)
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MSRP: $9.99
Age Range: 8 and up
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Robotics
General Toys
Educational



The micro-robotic HEXBUG is a tiny, obedient insect that features bump-sensor feelers that help it avoid objects in its path. It responds to clapping or other loud noise by backing up or changing direction. The HEXBUG is small enough to fit in the hand and comes in five different body types and colors including pink, blue, green, yellow and orange. Awards: TDmonthly Innovations 2008.
— According to more than 60 reviews on Amazon.com and Radioshack.com, this fun, durable toy has been rated 4 out of 5 stars due to its entertaining and educational features. It is portable for any occasion and appropriate for any age. Consumers should be careful though, as they have been known to be flimsy and easily breakable, like real bugs! (09.12.08)
— "Everyone wants one, from adults to kids," Charles Bonner, owner of Heights Toy Center in Little Rock, Ark., told TDmonthly of this best seller in April 2009. "I sell 200 to 250 a month." Three of 44 retailers tagged Hexbugs as an overall best seller in late fall 2009.

— During a September 2010 survey, two of 44 retailers listed Hexbugs as their top-seller for tweens.


ToyDirectory Product ID#: 17476      (added 2/12/2008)
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Wholesale Price: (Log in to view)
MSRP: $15.00
Age Range: 1 and up
SKU or Item #: 121740
Launch Date: January 2008
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Plush
Infant & Toddler
Licensed Products



Created for children ages 6 months and up, this super-soft snuggle pal comes in his own satin-lined "pod" and is based on the WHO character from the Dr. Seuss classic "HORTON HEARS A WHO." Babies will love toting and tucking in their own adorable first baby doll. Launch date: January 2008.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 17475      (added 2/12/2008)
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MSRP: $14.95
Launch Date: December 2007
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Bath
General Toys
Gifts



The set includes a polar bear bath sponge, a badger night balm, a collectible polar bear magnet, an educational polar bear arctic habitat coloring book, non-toxic crayons, a storage pail and a surprise gift. The plastic bath toys are designed and modeled in the US and then cast with phthalate-free resin that includes recycled content. A percent of all sales supports wildlife conservation. Launch date: December 2007.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 17469      (added 2/12/2008)
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MSRP: $129.99
Age Range: 3 and up
Launch Date: February 2008
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Musical Toys
Wooden Toys
Preschool



This versatile little piano grows with the child. The main unit, decorated with a whimsical animal's head, is perfect for toddlers because it sits safely and squarely on the floor within easy reach of little hands. Later on, the sides with the animal's body can be attached, conveniently raising the piano to a comfortable height for an older child seated at the bench. Included is Schoenhut's® Learning System, with a removable color-coordinated strip that fits behind the keys to guide small fingers from chord to chord. The accompanying songbook contains a collection of familiar tunes. Schoenhut toy pianos are famous for their lovely chime-like tones. The keys are spaced correctly for a full-sized piano, which teaches proper finger placement and affords an easy transition to a large piano.The piano is 19-3/4" H x 16" W x 10-3/4" D and the bench measures 8" H x 8" D x 11" W. This product weighs 17 lbs. Launch date: February 2008.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 17658      (added 2/25/2008)
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Age Range: 8 and up
Launch Date: April 2008
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Board Games
General Games



This "curious game of clever connections" challenges two to four players to compare and identify SETs on the dice with those on the board, scoring as many points as possible by making SETs up, down and across the game board. Playing time is 30 to 45 minutes. Launch date: April 2008.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 17655      (added 2/21/2008)
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MSRP: $24.99
Launch Date: December 2007
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Robotics
Remote Controlled



This robot is a miniature of the original Spykee. It has a simple remote control and the ability to move forward, backward and turn 360 degrees. It comes in four colors. Launch date: Late 2007.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 17634      (added 2/19/2008)
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Launch Date: April 2008
Gender: Girls
Category: Gifts
Fashion & Accessories
Tween



The set builds environmental awareness with statement charms such as Love Earth, Green is Good, Plant A Tree and Reduce-Reuse-Recycle. Each set comes with five eco-themed interchangeable charms and a charm bracelet. The packaging is made of 100 percent recycled cardboard, features an eco-art design and comes with a 100 organic cotton insert. Launch date: Spring 2008.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 17620      (added 2/19/2008)
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Wholesale Price: (Log in to view)
MSRP: $29.95
Age Range: 3 and up
Launch Date: September 2005
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Dolls
Books
Gifts



This set includes an 8" vintage-style pixie elf, a keepsake storage box and a children's picture book with a rhyming story that tells how the elf helps Santa out by watching children's behavior by day and reporting it to Santa at night. The elf is designed to be placed throughout the house during the Christmas season, creating a hide-and-seek activity for the whole family. Launch date: September 2005.
— “Elf on the Shelf is doing really well since we put those out five or six weeks ago,” remarked Janet Gregory, owner of Over the Rainbow Toys in Anchorage, Alaska, in November 2008. “We just brought them in in November. [We] sold 24 last month, and 24 already this month,” Terry Myers, owner of Kaleidoscope Toys in Round Rock, Texas, told TDmonthly.
— In a December 2011 survey about books, 2 out of 12 retailers named Elf on the Shelf their best-seller. "We sold 18 already, in just a couple weeks," Andrea Scartozzi from Hardware Toy Center in Paoli, Pa., told TDmonthly. William Meredith, owner of Learning Express in Cary, N.C., agreed. "Elf on a Shelf is our number one item. It has been for years!" he told TDmonthly.

Where to Buy: Smart Kids Toys; Kazoo Toys; Escapade Direct

ToyDirectory Product ID#: 17594      (added 2/18/2008)
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MSRP: $22.99
Age Range: 3 and up
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Remote Controlled
Preschool



Kid Galaxy introduces My First RC Dinos! With animated loveable features the green Tyrannosaurus Rex and blue Triceratops bring prehistoric fun to life for little tots. Each spin when they are turned on. When the button on the Trilobite remote is pressed the Dinos go forward. At the same time, the Dinos’ mouth chomps, his legs move and his tail sways side to side. Simple function 1 button R/C enhances the fun for your little one.
— Geoff Pendexter, owner of Whirlygigs in Brentwood, N.H., told TDmonthly in a Fall 2012 survey that they sell about 6 of this item each month, making it a best selling hobby item in their store.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 17531      (added 2/14/2008)
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MSRP: $24.99
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Plush



Backpack Style Carrier
Holds six of your favorite mini plush animals.
(Dimensions: 10"w x 12 1/2"h x 3 1/2"d)
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 17512      (added 2/13/2008)
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MSRP: $9.99
Age Range: 12 and up
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Science & Nature



This 6-crystal kit grows two crystal clusters on rock, two gem-like single crystals, and two crystal geodes. Just dissolve the crystal growing chemicals in hot water, place a rock or geode cast with a diameter of up to 6" (15 cm) into the solution, and watch how crystals grow on it.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 17794      (added 2/28/2008)
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SKU or Item #: 6641
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Construction
Wooden Toys
Arts & Crafts



With this kit, children use match-like pieces called microbeams to build intricate constructions.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 17786      (added 2/27/2008)
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MSRP: $39.99
Launch Date: January 2008
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Costumes & Accessories
Pretend Play
Halloween Merchandise



This authentic-looking fireman costume features bright stripes and comes with a hat, a megaphone, an ax, a fire extinguisher and other accessories. It retails in a clear vinyl bag. Launch date: 2008.
—  “Melissa and Doug have great dress-up costumes ... those are moving briskly,” said Diana Nelson, owner of Kazoo and Company in Denver, Colo., about her top-selling dress-up items in March 2010.
— In a December 2013 survey two out of 10 retailers told TDmonthly that fire fighter costumes were one of their best-selling Halloween costumes.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 17771      (added 2/27/2008)
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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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