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January 2009 | Vol. VIII - No. 1
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TDmonthly's Top-10 Most-Wanted Toys: January 2009

Games Keep on Playing


Bananagrams, Blokus from Mattel and Bakugan Battle Brawlers from Spin Master Toys are still keeping kids busy with traditional games. Meanwhile, playsets and activities from Playmobil and the Orb Factory remain hot buys in the specialty toy market. An interesting addition to this month's top 10? The Fart Machine from World Tec. Hey, everyone needs a little laugh in a recession ...



MSRP: $14.99
Age Range: 7 and up
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: General Games
Educational
Award Winners



The fast-moving word game consists of 144 ivory-like letter tiles in a zippered banana pouch. Players place the tiles face down on the table and randomly select 21 tiles. They turn their letters right-side up simultaneously and proceed to form as many intersecting and interconnecting words as possible, rearranging their own letters as many times as desired throughout the game. Awards: TDmonthly Top Seller 2007; 2009 TOTY Game of the YEAR, 2006 Oppenheim Toy Portfolio Gold Seal; 2007 iParenting; 2007 Parents' Choice Recommended; 2007 Dr. Toy Best Products. (Read Review)
— This product has been making the TDmonthly Best-sellers lists since 2007.
— As of 05/13/2011 this product had 4.8 out of 5 stars from 456 reviews on Amazon.com.
— Eight of 66 retailers vouched for its best-selling status in May 2008; seven of 63 did in Sept. 2008. Shani Watmough of Planet Toys in Rockland, Maine, said her store sells 60 per month.  Fifteen of 38 named it a top-selling game in Feb. 2010.
— As of April 5, 2010, Bananagrams had spent 570 days in the top-100 best-selling toys and games on Amazon.com.
— According to owner Brett Sommer of Figpickels Toy Emporium in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho,  “It was the 2009 game of the year. The brilliant packaging definitely helps this product."
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 8301      (added 6/19/2006)
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Age Range: 4 and up
SKU or Item #: 4190
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Play Sets



The Horse Farm Stable features three horseboxes, a section for refreshments and an area for grooming. It includes three figures, three ponies, a kitten, a wheel barrel, hay, a ladder, fences and many other accessories. Dimensions are 21” L x 11” D x 10” H.
— "Playmobil is selling really well for us," Erika Evers, owner of Dancing Bear Toys in Hendersonville, N.C., told TDmonthly in early 2009.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 21673      (added 12/10/2008)
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MSRP: $69.99
Age Range: 3 and up
SKU or Item #: PC020
Launch Date: February 2005
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Vehicles - Riding
Preschool
Outdoor Fun



The Original PlasmaCar continues to intrigue and fascinate. Powered by kid power; no batteries, gears, or pedals needed. Just sit, put your feet up, and turn the steering wheel to propel yourself forward. The patented safety seat design places riders in a safe, comfortable position and minimizes tipping. Moves up to 6 mph on any smooth, flat surface. Supports up to 220 lbs. Visit www.plasmacar.com to see all the wonderful colors available.
— In a March 2015 survey, two out of 10 retailers told TDmonthly that Plasmacar is a best-selling outdoor toy.
—  As of 05/13/2011 this product had 4.5 out of 5 stars from 122 reviews on Amazon.com. Cons: Does not work well on surfaces that aren't completely smooth.
— This top-seller in specialty stores earned a TDmonthly Top Toy 2007 award for its distinctive aerodynamic design and ease-of-use. TDmonthly believes it has the potential to become a classic due to its fresh, contemporary appeal and application in a child’s formative years.
Awards: 2012 Parents Choice Awards Recommended, 2009 Green Parents List Check Mark, 2009 DisneyFamily.com Top Action Figures and Toys for Toddlers, 2009+2008+2005 The National Parenting Centre Seal of Approval, 2008 iParenting Media Toy Award, 2008 Fat Brain Toy Award Active Play, 2006 TIA Outdoor Toy of the Year - Specialty Toy of the Year, 2006 Oppenheim Toy Portfolio Platinum Award, 2005 Oppenheim Toy Portfolio Gold Seal Award, 2005 Dr. Toy Best Vacation Products, 2005 Creative Child Seal of Excellence, 2001 International Patent Fair, Hong Kong Gold Medal
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 3829      (added 6/28/2005)
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MSRP: $29.99
Launch Date: February 2008
Gender: Boys
Category: General Toys
Licensed Products
General Games



The toy accompanies the Bakugan television series, which debuted on February 24, 2008. The Bakugan characters pop open into battle-action figures and requires players to incorporate elements of skill and strategy adding to the excitement of the game. Launch date: February 2008.
— Three of 32 specialty retailers said in October 2008 they expect Bakugan Battle Brawlers to be a top holiday seller.
— "We've already been selling a lot of them and I think it's going to pick up," Owner Kerry Horn of Learning Express in Glen Ellyn, Ill., told TDmonthly. "They are going to be hard to get."
― Two of 49 retailers told TDmonthly in summer 2009 that Bakugan is their top-selling action figure.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 17833      (added 3/3/2008)
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MSRP: $29.99
Age Range: 5 to 12
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: General Games
Board Games



Europe´s 2002 game of the year, Blokus is a strategy game for the family. It's similar to the ancient Go Game — the board is a grid and players use their pieces to try to control as much territory as possible. The game pieces are in four, 21-piece sets of varying shapes. Each player chooses a color and works on expanding his  territory on the board while blocking others from doing the same. Each new piece laid down must touch at least one other piece of the same color, but can only touch at corners, not along edges. The game ends when all players have been blocked from laying down more pieces. Points are deducted for pieces not played, and the player with the highest score at the end, wins. Blokus comes with a game board with 400 squares, 84 game pieces (red, green, blue and yellow), and instructions.
— In spring 2007, Sally Lesser, owner of Massachusetts’ Henry Bear’s Park, called Blokus a “consistent best-seller” at her three stores. It's also tops at Juggles in Wakefield, R.I., and Kazoodles in Vancouver, Wash. Six of 63 retailers named Blokus as their overall best seller in September 2008. Three of 52 retailers named Blokus as one of their overall top sellers in November 2008. Blokus is no longer distributed by Educational Insights as of 12/4/08.
― “No. 1 is Blokus,” Linda Hanzelko, owner of Timmy's Toy Chest in Lake Mary, Fla., told TDmonthly when asked about best-selling games in early 2009. “It's an easy sell. It's one that people come back later and say 'You were right.'” In late 2009, Lori Hershman, owner of Evan's Toy Shoppe in Hamden, Ct., estimated sales of about 34 units monthly. Six of 38 retailers called it a best-selling game in Feb. 2010, selling from three to 150 units per month.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 3721      (added 5/27/2005)
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Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Novelties



This remote-controlled gadget offers five different fart sounds that are said to be very realistic.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 23640      (added 5/12/2009)
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MSRP: $1.00
Age Range: 5 and up
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Novelties
School Supplies
Gifts



Round and colorful, these puffy blowfish erasers are available in four assorted colors.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 19976      (added 8/1/2008)
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MSRP: $15.99
Age Range: 8 and up
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: General Games
Puzzles & Skill



Voted one of Parent's Choice Foundation's "Best 25 Toys in 25 Years," Rush Hour puts players to the test, demanding thought and vision. As if the commute home isn’t enough, in these 40 beginner-to-expert challenges, players must navigate a red car through a traffic jam and gridlock to successfully leave the game board. Challenge cards fit neatly into a pull-out tray beneath the game tray. Watch video
― “Logic games are selling very well, particularly (those from) ThinkFun,” Amy Akin, manager of Giggles for Kids in Suwanee, Ga., told  TDmonthly in early 2009.
― “We do really well with ThinkFun games — problem solving, like Rush Hour,” added William Bingham, owner of Firefly Toy Shop in Milford, Pa. When asked about best-selling item for tween boys in October 2009, Fred Meyer, owner of Meyer's Toy World in Battle Creek, Mich., told TDmonthly, “Rush Hour is great. We sell hundreds.” It was named a best-selling game by five of 38 retailers in Feb. 2010. During a summer 2010 survey of 40 retailers, two said Rush Hour from ThinkFun is their top-selling puzzle, citing sales of up to 60 pieces per month.
AWARDS: 2010 TDmonthly Top Seller

ToyDirectory Product ID#: 4845      (added 9/29/2005)
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MSRP: $16.99
Age Range: 6 and up
Gender: Girls
Category: Arts & Crafts
Tween



Numbered templates and sticky foam allow kids to easily create beautiful mosaics. This particular kit includes 3000+ sticky foam and jewel pieces, four sparkling designs and four wall hangers.
— “Without a doubt, the Orb Sticky Mosaics” are a best-selling girl gift, said Joe Berardoni, owner of Pun’s Toy Shop in Bryn Mawr, Pa.
— “Sticky Mosaics by The Orb Factory. Enchanted Forest in particular. We sold five dozen of that particular one last year,” Kai Rady, owner of Shenanigans Inc in Charlottesville, Va., told TDmonthly during a January 2010 survey regarding best-selling arts and crafts items.
— Eighteen of 48 retailers listed Sticky Mosaics as their best-selling arts and crafts item in early 2010.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 20310      (added 8/28/2008)
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Age Range: 6 and up
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Plush
Interactive
Tween



This striped character comes with an Internet access code that gives kids the freedom to explore Webkinz World online with the virtual equivalent of the plush pet. The tiger’s special item in the virtual world is a rock ledge bed.
— “Webkinz are still selling,” Owner Randy Austin of The Gifted Child in Lenox, Mass., told TDmonthly in summer 2008.
— “We move probably 100 to 150 per month,” William Meredith, owner of Learning Express in Cary, N.C., told TDmonthly in August 2008.
— Twenty percent of 64 retailers named Webkinz as their top-selling collectible toy in summer 2008.
Six of 63 retailers named Webkinz as their overall best seller in September 2008.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 20417      (added 9/8/2008)
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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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