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May 2009 | Vol. VIII - No. 5
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Holiday Preview - Science & Nature

Fascinating Kits and Eco Alternatives Lend an Education


Science doesn’t have to be boring, especially this year when kids can pick up a solar-powered robot dog, adopt some frogs, hug a plush tummy, and play archaeologists as they search pyramids for mummies. See these and other science toys and kits below.



MSRP: $49.99
Age Range: All Ages
SKU or Item #: 21024
Launch Date: April 2009
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Science & Nature
Collectibles
Gifts



This quality Dobsonian style telescope features a 76 mm aperture reflector optical tube. FirstScope is an ideal entry level astronomical telescope, as it is designed for easy observation. The user simply navigates the night sky by moving the tube in the direction of their desired object. The compact design makes it easily portable, and the FirstScope is also stylish enough to be a decorative fixture on a bookshelf or desk. The FirstScope is the Official Product Of the 2009 International Year of Astronomy. The FirstScope pays tribute to Galileo Galilei and many of history’s most notable astronomers and scientists by displaying their names around the optical tube. Launch date: April 2009.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 23461      (added 4/28/2009)
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MSRP: $35.95
Age Range: 8 and up
Launch Date: September 2009
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Science & Nature



The Dangerous Book for Boys: Electronics presents information on electronics every child should know through fun, engaging, and impressive experiments and activities. Children ages eight and up learn how to construct simple electronic toys, such as a joy buzzer and insect.  It comes with a 32-page, full-color experiment manual and retails for $35.95. Launch date: Fall 2009.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 23130      (added 3/31/2009)
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MSRP: $16.99
Age Range: 4 and up
SKU or Item #: 77000
Launch Date: May 2009
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Science & Nature
Educational
General Games



This game includes an inflatable globe with more than 270 animals printed on it. The point of the game is to locate the animal using a variety of clues. Children 4 and up can play up to four levels. Level 1 starts by identifying an animal's silhouette in among one of six sections of the globe. With the highest level, the player is only given a verbal description of the animal. "Everyone is able to play given that the game has different levels of difficulty," Shantel Cartwright, in sales and marketing for TEDCO Toys, told TDmonthly. Launch date: May 2009.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 23123      (added 3/31/2009)
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MSRP: $16
Age Range: All Ages
Launch Date: May 2009
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Designer Toys
Science & Nature
Educational



The bladder stores pee until an individual is ready to go. Most bladders hold as much liquid as a can and a half of soda. Nerves in the bladder wall tell when it’s time to go. "This super-soft, bright yellow 6" x 4" urinary bladder plush is perfect for telling someone when urine love," Founder Wendy Bryan of I Heart Guts told TDmonthly. Launch date: May 5, 2009.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 23475      (added 4/28/2009)
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Wholesale Price: (Log in to view)
MSRP: $119.95
Age Range: 8 and up
SKU or Item #: 636815
Launch Date: June 1905
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Science & Nature



The TK2 Microscope kit gives you the tools, knowledge, and skills you need to view virtually any specimen you can find. The microscope is a dual light 40-, 100-, and 400-power metal and plastic microscope. The two battery-powered LED light sources allow for both the viewing of large or opaque objects lit from above and the viewing of thinly sliced or translucent specimens lit from below. It has a 10-power ocular lens; 4-, 10-, and 40-power objective lenses; and an aperture wheel. The lenses are all professional-quality optical glass. The microscope is durable and powerful, permitting years of continued observations.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 22837      (added 3/18/2009)
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Wholesale Price: (Log in to view)
MSRP: $19.95
Age Range: 7 and up
SKU or Item #: OWI-MSK610
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Science & Nature
Kits
Educational



Including six different snap-together models, this kit provides children with examples of many uses for solar panel technology. A car, robot dog, hover boat, and other models spring to life when their solar panels are hit by direct sunlight, or the illumination of a 50 watt halogen bulb. Models are compact and light weight, making them easy to take outside and watch as the sun's rays are converted into clean electrical energy.
— Kate Tanner, owner of Kidstop Toys, informed TDmonthly that this was one of her favorite products at Toy Fair 2010.
— Lisa LeStrange, owner of Lucky Duck Toys in Wayne, Pa., told TDmonthly that this solar kit is a bestselling science toy. It's "not expensive. We just got it and it's selling well. It's a good product — you shine a flashlight on it and it goes," she said.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 22536      (added 2/19/2009)
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This balanced ecosystem offers a low-maintenance way for children or adults to enjoy an aquarium environment. It comes complete with water, a snail, two little frogs, food and care pack. The water in the aquarium only has to be changed every five or six months.
— ''We sold about 660 during the year,” Marc Holcomb, owner of Toys & Co. in Greensboro, S.C., said in autumn 2010. Dave Campbell of Amazing Toys in Great Falls, Mont., sells approximately 12 per month.
— "I brought in 20, and in two weeks it sold out. I brought in 20 more and it sold out," Gage Brownell, manager of Belmont Toys in Belmont, Mass., told TDmonthly in March 2009 about the EcoAquariums he discovered at Toy Fair the month before. Molly McMullin of Twirl in Taos, N.M., reported sales of about 70 a month in March 2009.
— "Everyone was excited about them," Jeanne McCullough, owner of Children's Store Inc., said following ASTRA Marketplace in June 2009.
— In late summer/early fall 2009, three of 38 retailers named EcoAquariums as a best-selling science and nature product, noting sales of 18 to 60 a month. “We were hesitant to bring them in. We didn’t want to be a pet store. But it’s a neat idea. It’s low maintenance. It’s something the parents and kids can agree on,” Gary Green of Toy Box of Asheville in Asheville, N.C., told TDmonthly.
Awards: 2010 Tillywig Top Fun; Parent's Choice Award 2010
Past Videos: Toy Fair 2009
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 22491      (added 2/16/2009)
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Wholesale Price: (Log in to view)
MSRP: $69.96
Age Range: 8 and up
SKU or Item #: SCG-125
Launch Date: September 2009
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Science & Nature



Made from the versatile, multi-experiment Snap Circuits that allow kids to safely and easily build real electronic projects, this kit features many of the latest innovations in alternative energy. Featuring a hand-crank dynamo, solar panel, and wind turbine, kids can light up an LED, power a clock, charge a rechargeable battery (included), run a small radio, and watch the created energy on an analog meter. Instructions for many other projects are included in the kit; can be integrated with other Snap Circuits sets. This product received a Dr. Toy Green Award. Launch Date: Fall 2009
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 22499      (added 2/17/2009)
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Wholesale Price: (Log in to view)
MSRP: $24.95
Age Range: 8 and up
SKU or Item #: 633516
Launch Date: June 1905
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Science & Nature



Play the role of archaeologist as you explore this pyramid model and the treasures buried within. After using hieroglyphics to decipher the secret to unlocking the pyramid, use tools and techniques similar to those of a real archaeologist to carefully excavate a sarcophagus, death mask, and four canopic urns from inside. Open the sarcophagus, and you will discover a model mummy preserved within.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 22830      (added 3/18/2009)
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The World's #1 Sprout Song and Jack's Story on CD! Electronic files are also available for free on A Jack Sprout Inc.'s website.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 22462      (added 2/12/2009)
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MSRP: $24.95
Launch Date: January 2009
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Videos & DVDs
Books
Science & Nature



The DVD's images of peaceful, flowering gardens and multidimensional stones transitioning in an artistic display of creation, accompanied by tranquil nature sounds, are designed to shift the mind to right-brain thinking and free viewers from anxiety and stress. It comes with colorful 5” x 7” postcards to mail or frame. "'Healing Stones and Gardens' suspends time for an extraordinary moment and facilitates a journey to a sacred place where we can reconnect with inner divinity," Sue Defabis, project manager at Five Star Publications, told TDmonthly. Launch date: 2009.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 23423      (added 4/27/2009)
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Wholesale Price: (Log in to view)
MSRP: $12.00
Age Range: 3 and up
SKU or Item #: HU-20
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Science & Nature



With its over sized 5" lens, the green-handled BigEye magnifying glass zooms kids in on the world at 2.5x magnification. Manufacturers of professional optical equipment, Carson makes their light-weight acrylic lenses durable enough kids' outdoor adventures but still with clear, consistent surfaces to yield a crisp view of the observed world rather than blurry or distorted images.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 22503      (added 2/17/2009)
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Wholesale Price: (Log in to view)
MSRP: $19.95
SKU or Item #: ANTWRA1
Launch Date: January 2009
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Science & Nature



An ant farm and an art project!  An elegant acrylic case shipped with a multi-colored filling made with finely ground glass, the ant farm starts like a sand sculpture.  Children can design their ant habitat by carefully pouring the colors into layers and hills.  Detailed instructions are included on how to infuse the sand with sugar water while sending away from the ants.  After the ants are added, the ant farm becomes self-sustaining, requiring no further feeding.  Then, as the ants tunnel and build their home inside the ant farm, they alter the sand sculpture, piling the colored sand on top where they have been digging.  Comes with habitat, special building sand in five colors, facts and instructions booklet, zoom lens, and mail-in coupon for ants. Launch Date: 2009
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 22520      (added 2/17/2009)
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MSRP: $169.95
Age Range: 10 and up
SKU or Item #: 620318
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Science & Nature
Educational
Kits



Targeted for ages ten and up, this edition enables a younger audience to experience one of the most significant technologies of the early 21st Century — especially appropriate in the midst of our auto industry crisis and global energy situation. By constructing and operating a unique reversible hydrogen fuel cell, powered by water and sunlight, children build a model car that actually runs on water! And in so doing, they join auto manufacturers in experimenting with a technology that will power not only automobiles, but electronic devices such as laptops and cell phones. This new edition has a beautifully redesigned car body with a display stand and a rewritten 64-page, full-color experiment manual, and retails for $169.95. Available fall 2009.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 22410      (added 2/6/2009)
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MSRP: $18
Age Range: All Ages
Launch Date: May 2009
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Designer Toys
Science & Nature
Educational



The stomach creates a highly acidic environment used to digest cookies, ice cream, bacon and more. This lil' guy's digestive juices help break down food for the intestine, which absorbs the actual nutrients. This orange 8.5" x 5.5" tummy is part of the I Heart Guts collection, which is "icky yet adorable," the company's founder, Wendy Bryan, told TDmonthly. Launch date: May 5, 2009.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 23474      (added 4/28/2009)
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MSRP: $9.99
Launch Date: February 2009
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Science & Nature



Get ready to Explore Space with this exciting mini-kit! Young Scientists recreate a solar eclipse, match planets to their descriptions, make their own “moonlight,” recreate the phases of the moon, construct a constellation box, identify mystery constellations, and design constellation cards. Explore Space will make Young Scientists want to be future astronomers! Launch date: February 2009.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 22337      (added 1/30/2009)
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