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TDmonthly Innovations 2008 Awards

Toys That Break the Rules ... in a Good Way

The following products deserve a pat on the back (and an award!) for introducing fresh, creative and superior elements of design and functionality that make their products easily distinguishable from others on the market. See the recipients of the TDmonthly Innovations 2008 Awards below:

(You can also see the 2007 TDmonthly Innovations award winners.)

MSRP: $34.99
Category: Board Games
General Games

Beyond Chess comes with everything you need to play. The board is made of 64 high-quality, solid, plastic squares that measure 1.5"x1.5"x.25" and accommodate most chess pieces, plus two extra squares. This set includes standard Staunton-design chess pieces, a 12-page instruction booklet and a sturdy nylon backpack-style carrying bag.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 16215      (added 11/21/2007)

Age Range: 4 and up
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Puppets

This dinosaur is a 32”-long, full-body glove puppet. Ceratasaur is a stealth, forest-dwelling meat eater with three boney horns and razor-like soft foam teeth. As with all Prehistoric Puppets, he is fully flexible down to his swishing tail! He comes with his own stand for play or display and is a great learning and role-playing puppet for ages 4 to extinct. The product is made of a super-soft, molded polyurethane foam, and is realistically painted.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 16731      (added 12/21/2007)

Wholesale Price: (Log in to view)
MSRP: $27.00
Age Range: 5 and up
SKU or Item #: 60201
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Novelties
Science & Nature
General Toys

The wand is designed to look like a true wizard’s magic wand. The patented magic wand allows levitating objects indoors to go as high as the ceiling allows. With or without a magic spell, just press the button and watch how toy objects included with the set expand and fly up as high as you can make them go. Awards: TDmonthly Innovations 2008.
— The wand demonstrates “real levitation,” Olga Ousherovitch, president and co-owner of Toysie LLC, told TDmonthly.

ToyDirectory Product ID#: 16890      (added 1/2/2008)

Wholesale Price: (Log in to view)
MSRP: $18.90
Age Range: Adult
Launch Date: October 2006
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Fashion & Accessories
Infant & Toddler

These donut- and heart-shaped pendants mimic real gemstones and hang on a black, silk cord with a breakaway clasp. The jewelry is made from a food-safe, phthalate-free, non-toxic, lead-free, federally approved silicone, so it is safe for babies to handle and chew. Eight colors are available. Teething Bling makes “a great shower or new baby gift,” Director of Marketing Amy Maurer Creel of Smart Mom told TDmonthly. Awards: TDmonthly Innovations 2008. Launch date: October 2006.

Where to Buy: Creative Kidstuff

ToyDirectory Product ID#: 15762      (added 10/17/2007)

Wholesale Price: (Log in to view)
MSRP: $39.99
Age Range: 7 and up
SKU or Item #: FNKE0011
Launch Date: April 2008
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Board Games

With Flibbix™, players build their own board game, make their own rules and then play. It's super easy and lets players rebuild and replay the game as much as they want. Players race to the finish, but things can get wacky along the way — even the game board and rules can change during play. “It's the first-ever build-a-board-game set: Players can easily build and play their own, custom board game with Flibbix. Because each game is different, it has great replay value and players can make a game that’s fun and perfect for them,” Jason Ivan of Merillian told TDmonthly. Launch date: April 2008.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 17085      (added 1/17/2008)

Wholesale Price: (Log in to view)
MSRP: $12.95
SKU or Item #: GMUS-MM-0730
Launch Date: February 2008
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Plush

This smaller version of GIANTmicrobes comes three to a pack in see-through, Petri-dish packaging. "It has struck a chord with this community. I'm shocked -- I thought it was only going to be pharmacy driven," Dave Callahan, director of sales for Giant Microbes, told TDmonthly at Toy Fair 2008. Launch date: February 2008.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 17643      (added 2/20/2008)

MSRP: $9.99
Age Range: 8 and up
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Robotics
General Toys

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 and, 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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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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