TDmonthly Magazine!
January 2010 | Vol. IX - No. 1
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TDmonthly Goes Inside… The Acorn Store, Santa Monica, Calif.

Eclecticism and Quality Lure Kids of All Ages


Even during the lead-paint scare in 2007, not one of her products was recalled.
The Acorn Store is the only retail shop on its block, but a sidewalk display of toys and trikes pulls in passersby who are strolling or cruising the Santa Monica area of Los Angeles. The window features a wooden tree house that owner Ellen West [watch video interview, below] was given for good luck when she first opened, seven years ago. It’s worked its magic so well, she hasn’t moved it since.

Get the Flash Player to see this video.


What does move are her products, which range from wooden toys to velvety dress-up clothes. She’s divided her main room into seven or eight distinct areas to showcase products by category. As her success blossomed, she added a costume room filled with fantasy outfits for both boys and girls. She’s currently converting another adjacent space to a Plan Toys showroom.

Ellen prides herself on choosing only top-quality products that encourage children to think creatively. Even during the lead-paint scare in 2007, not one of her products was recalled. Her focus and vision pay off; she’s never had to hold a sale to keep products flowing out the door.

Following are some of Ellen’s favorite toys. Please scroll down to watch all the videos, and click here to see Ellen's Plan Toys showroom:

Retailers: Did you know you can broadcast TDmonthly Toy Videos from your website?  Manufacturers: Find out how a TDmonthly Video attracts buyers.




Age Range: 0 to 1
SKU or Item #: 0906
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Infant & Toddler
Wooden Toys



Baby can clutch and chew the Perlina with either hand. Plus there's a bell for extra entertainment.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 26331      (added 12/10/2009)
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MSRP: $35.00
Age Range: 0 to 2
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Infant & Toddler



These soft blocks include a variety of textures, plus Velcro attachments, to keep babies stimulated as they build.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 26339      (added 12/10/2009)
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MSRP: $25.00
Age Range: 1 and up
SKU or Item #: 1189
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Infant & Toddler



First Blocks includes a little buggy with a driver and six different building blocks, each with its own surprise, acoustic or visual, for playing, building, assigning and discovering. Blocks measure 4 x 4 x 8 cm.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 5349      (added 11/7/2005)
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Wholesale Price: (Log in to view)
MSRP: $29.00
Age Range: 0 and up
SKU or Item #: 74131
Launch Date: February 2008
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Plush
Collectibles
General Toys



The soft, smiling doll is composed of funny, appealing colors and is perfect for cuddling with, day or night. It is made from fine cotton and terrycloth, making it long lasting and washable. Launch date: February 2008.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 19098      (added 5/30/2008)
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This heart-shaped plush pillow plays a soothing lullaby to help Baby sleep.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 26355      (added 12/10/2009)
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Age Range: 0 and up
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Plush
Teddy Bear



This classic stuffed toy will comfort kids of all ages. It's stuffed with wool for extra cuddliness.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 26356      (added 12/10/2009)
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In an all-new design, it includes an area to the left of the sink bowl perfect for drying dishes, cutting wooden veggies and more. The cabinet compartment includes a true divided cupboard as well as the signature oven door. It's crafted with precise, slot-together construction so assembly takes just a few
minutes.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 26335      (added 12/10/2009)
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Age Range: 3 and up
SKU or Item #: 1368
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Wooden Toys
Preschool



These child-sized wooden eggs come in an authentic-looking cardboard carton.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 26332      (added 12/10/2009)
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MSRP: $50.00
Age Range: 2 to 7
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Aircraft
Wooden Toys



This solidly constructed wooden plane can serve as a push toy for small children, if the peg people are removed. Put them back in and older kids have a great pretend play vehicle to fly around the house. It's made of hardwood in Poland and measures 4¼" tall x 11" wide.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 26337      (added 12/10/2009)
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Launch Date: January 2009
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Vehicles - Small Toy
Eco-Friendly



There will be no hazardous waste dumps with this mini dump trucks; it's made of sustainable bamboo. Launch date: Early 2009.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 23655      (added 5/12/2009)
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MSRP: $25.00
Age Range: 8 and up
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Wooden Toys
Novelties



Place the red ball on the flipper stick, press down and let it snap back up. The ball will fly towards the basket. Solid wood, 9.5 inches long by 3 inches wide.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 26327      (added 12/10/2009)
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MSRP: $10.00
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: General Games
Wooden Toys



Pick up as many sticks as you can, without making the other sticks move.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 26338      (added 12/10/2009)
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Age Range: 3 to 8
SKU or Item #: 4426
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: General Games



In four game variations the children will recognize the groceries by touching, ordering or assigning them as quickly as possible, all helped by a good memory. A game collection for two to four children. Also, the wooden groceries are perfect for "free play" games.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 26333      (added 12/10/2009)
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MSRP: $35.00
Age Range: 4 and up
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: General Games



Sensor, the sensory explorer, guides the players to an exciting planet: carrying out various activities all about seeing, hearing, smelling, tasting, touching and moving, they get to know their senses better. Who, for example has ears like a lynx or a good nose?
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 26334      (added 12/10/2009)
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MSRP: $25.00
Age Range: 3 to 5
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Books



The children of the forest live deep in the roots of an old pine tree. They collect wild mushrooms and blueberries and shelter under toadstools when it rains. They play with the squirrels and frogs, and when autumn comes, they collect and prepare food to see them through the long winter, until the warm spring breeze starts to blow.. Written and illustrated by Elsa Beskow, whose  picture books for children have been known and loved for over a century.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 26328      (added 12/10/2009)
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Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Arts & Crafts



Even little folks can get their colors in with this set of beeswax crayons. In addition to classic round crayons, the set includes crayon blocks, which are easier for tiny tykes to manipulate and cover a greater amount of space with the least effort.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 26340      (added 12/10/2009)
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Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Arts & Crafts



The Ferby giant coloured pencil with a wood-sealed end is 12 cm long. The strongly pigmented colour lead with a diameter of 6.25 mm is highly break resistant. The unique shape of the pencil is a round triangular that suits the writing hand . It reduces muscular strain and provides ease in writing and drawing. Particularly small hands, left-handed people and those with weak muscles gain comfort and ease from the comfort grip. A maximum of pigments, the wipe and water resistant lead and the high break resistance guarantee highest quality.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 26342      (added 12/10/2009)
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Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Arts & Crafts



This set of modeling slabs is made of beeswax that never dries out. Children simply warm the colored slabs in their hands to soften it to the consistency they wish and form whatever their imaginations direct.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 26341      (added 12/10/2009)
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Age Range: All Ages
SKU or Item #: KAP-007
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Musical Toys
Gifts



This seven-tone pentatonic glockenspiel has a lovely, crystal-clear sound.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 26329      (added 12/10/2009)
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MSRP: $25.00
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Musical Toys



Big empty spice nut shells sound like falling water. The Spice Nut Shaker measures 11" and is made in Indonesia.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 26343      (added 12/10/2009)
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Wholesale Price: (Log in to view)
MSRP: $129.95
SKU or Item #: 6004
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Pretend Play
Furniture & Decor
Costumes & Accessories



Hang the Silk Rose Garden Canopy over a child´s bed or over a table to create a fantasy play area. Yards and yards of soft billowy silk with a rainbow top. Other styles available.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 3681      (added 5/26/2005)
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SKU or Item #: EF65
Gender: Girls
Category: Furniture & Decor
Gifts



These old-fashioned illustrations of fairy folk can be hung from their ribbons to add a touch of magic to any girl's room.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 26354      (added 12/10/2009)
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Age Range: 8 and up
SKU or Item #: FGP8833
Gender: Girls
Category: Collectibles
Dolls



Fernview is one of a series of finely sculpted fairies in the Faerie Glen series. Fairies also come in multiethnic skin tones.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 26330      (added 12/10/2009)
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Age Range: 6 to 12
Gender: Girls
Category: Tween
Gifts
Furniture & Decor



The tallest style is excellent for tiny treasures. Earrings, bracelets, charms and sachets are all safe and comfortable inside. There are four drawers, one in front and one on each side. The Spring Burst box measures 6" x 4" x 6".
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 26344      (added 12/10/2009)
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MSRP: $24.95
Age Range: 8 and up
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Arts & Crafts
American-Made



Make your own heirloom sampler using traditional patterns! The possibilities are endless.
Finished Size: 5" x 7"

Contents:

  • Wooden Frame for working and mounting (8" x 10")
  • Tapestry Needle (size 22)
  • Cross Stitch Fabric
  • Wool Yarns in 8 beautiful colors: Gold, Tundra, Aster, Teak, Charcoal, Topaz, Periwinkle, and Iris
  • Illustrated Instructions

Lots of Fun Ideas!
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 16189      (added 11/19/2007)
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This lovely dress features velvet leotard and tulle skirt. It comes in aqua or pink.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 26345      (added 12/10/2009)
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MSRP: $67.00
Gender: Boys
Category: Costumes & Accessories
Pretend Play



This chestnut suede-like (100% rayon) 2-piece outfit features authentic looking trim on bodices and a head piece.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 26347      (added 12/10/2009)
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This chef set lets kids feel like experts in any pretend kitchen.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 26348      (added 12/10/2009)
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Bright red velvet-like flocked vest, black and white striped pants with drop crouch, swagger style yellow satin belt, black taffeta scarf, eye patch and white poly-cotton shirt make this pirate garb fun for boys or girls.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 26346      (added 12/10/2009)
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Alison MarekWriter'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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