February 2010 | Vol. IX - No. 2
|February 2010 | Vol. IX - No. 2|
February Staff Picks
New Manufacturers Put Wheels to Play
This year, kids can quench their curiosity with Worx Toys that explain how their real-life counterparts function, take playtime on the road with Neat-Oh!'s affordable mats, and balance without training wheels in a whole new way with Gyrobike's inventive alternative. See the rest of TDmonthly Magazine's February Staff Picks below.
Worx Toys line of toys lets the curious child get a detailed look inside how their favorite things work. Each Worx Toy also comes with a book that takes the child through how each of the major parts inside the toy works in real life. By seeing all of the components light up and move, children can discover what's inside the Apex Helicopter and learn all about it with the accompanying book. Components include rotor, rear prop, landing gear, and more. Launch date: 2011.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 26583 (added 1/6/2010)
Neat-Oh!® 2-Sided Large Playmat Assortment with Floor Standing Display Tray
This marshmallow softy is designed to be incredibly squishy and huggable, made from organic terrycloth and canvas, with natural corn fiber filling. It has canvas on the face and feet, and a knotted tail that makes it touchable and teethable for little kids. The rhino is machine washable and measures 8" x 5" from head to rump.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 26553 (added 1/4/2010)
MoMA String-Along Books
Inspired by classic stringing bead toys, this innovative collection of 10 books in various shapes develops motor skills while introducing color, shape, and pattern in a wonderfully playful way. Children will have hours of fun reading this set as books, playing with them as blocks, or stringing them as beads. WARNING: CHOKING HAZARD—Small parts. Not for children under 3 years.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 26591 (added 1/7/2010)
Snifty Scented Pens
Snifty Scented Pens are available in four delicious scents with corresponding artwork. Imagine yummy vanilla cupcakes, a sweet strawberries, juicy watermelons and sticky sweet Bubblegum at your fingertips anytime of the day. Snifty Pens are created using a non-toxic scented molded plastic — this keeps their scent long-lasting. The delicious aroma of SNIFTY pens will make you feel nifty! $1.95 per pen. Available to retailers in a box of 50.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 26571 (added 1/5/2010)
Designed as an alternative to training wheels, the Gyrowheel senses imbalanced riding and recenters the bicycle once it begins to wobble. This effect is accomplished by an interior disk that spins independently of the wheel to stabilize the bike even at very low speeds. It installs quickly with a wrench and has a simple on/off button, three stability settings, rechargeable batteries, and light and sound indicators. The 12" Gyrowheel is available in black and white. Watch Demo Video; Watch Gyrowheel: Top-5 Video, Toy Fair 2010
— John MacDougall, owner of Golden Apple Learning Store in Pleasanton, Calif., was impressed with this product at Toy Fair 2010. It's "a step up from a balance bike with a gyro that keeps balance without training wheels. Tech + Bike = Perfect," he said.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 26580 (added 1/6/2010)
Designed for ages 6 months and up, this colorful set of 18 oversized building blocks is made in the USA from recycled plastic milk containers. The lightweight blocks are free of PVC, phthalates and BPA. Launch date: March 2010.
— "Green Toys looks like a choice for parents that lean green and want a toy product that advertises no BPAs, no Phthalates and no PVCs. Really, a perfect first toy!" Jennifer Shuman, owner of 1SmartNoodle, told TDmonthly at Toy Fair 2010.
— Jeremiah of Z Recommends appreciated that the blocks are “chunky but hollow, making them lightweight and giving them built-in handles all the way around for little hands.” Jeremiah found the moderate size of the set perfect “for those of us who already have plenty of toys, but no oversized-Lego-style locking blocks for toddlers.”
— Reviewers on Amazon gave the Green Toys Blocks an average of 4 stars out of 5, praising the blocks for their large size and eco-friendly yet tough construction. However, some reviewers had trouble keeping the blocks attached to each other.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 26559 (added 1/5/2010)
Flipoutz™ are bracelets you can wear and personalize with Flipoutz™ coins. Trade your coins with friends and other Flipouterz. Set up your profile online and tell everyone about yourself and your coins while also tracking traded coins as they are traded from one person to the next. The Flipoutz™ Super Starter Kit includes a bracelet of your choice, a random coin, and two random 2-coin packs (making a total of 5 coins to fill up the bracelet).
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 26532 (added 12/29/2009)
Under a licensing agreement with World Wildlife Fund, Terra Toys introduces the Wildlife Conservation Collection. Players can challenge themselves in strategy and conservation with the 8-in-1 Combo Games Set, learning about some incredible species. Illustrated game boards and pieces are designed to bring endangered species and habitats to life. Games featured include: chess, checkers, backgammon, dominoes, ludo, pick-up sticks, and salamanders and ladders, plus playing cards and instructions for all games. The games teach strategy and teamwork, improve numbers skills and provide social companionship. The set is portable and compact. The components, including the playing cards, wood pieces, boards and the storage unit, are made from Forest Stewardship Council materials. The pick up sticks are made from bamboo. Package size is 10.5" L x 2" W x 10.5" H. "The Forest Stewardship Council is an independent, international non-profit association established to promote the responsible management of the world’s forests. Approximately 5 percent from the sale of the product will be donated to support WWF’s global conservation efforts. In addition, the products are beautifully designed to stimulate empathy for and understanding of the animals and the unique habitats depicted," Sean Tyrrell, Category Manager, Terra Toys, told TDmonthly. Awards: Dr. Toy Green Toy of the Year 2009. Launch date: January 10, 2009.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 26516 (added 12/28/2009)
Kimochis™ ... Toys with Feelings Inside - Kimochi Lovey Dove
Kimochis are small pillows with a feeling (happy, sad, silly, brave) printed on one side and a corresponding facial expression on the other. Each Kimochis plush character comes with a set of three feelings and a how-to Kimochis Feel Guide. The characters — Cat, Huggtopus, Cloud, Bug and Lovey Dove — have a special pocket where kids can store their "Kimochis" or feelings. Using the characters and their Kimochis, kids can get in touch with their emotions through puppetry and play. “Getting back to the basics by playing and communicating with Kimochis™ is a simple, yet powerful way to teach children how to: be aware of feelings, choose how to communicate in emotional moments, and redo mistakes. Children will be drawn to the fun, adorable, accessible characters. Parents will be drawn to the high-quality craftsmanship and the valuable educational content," Susan Schroeder, director of marketing and communications for Plushy Feely Corp., told TDmonthly. Awards: 2009 Creative Child Magazine Seal of Excellence, Best Vacation Products by Dr. Toy, and Kaboose.com's Top 13 Amazing Toys for Preschoolers. Launch date for Lovey Dove: 2010.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 26512 (added 12/28/2009)
DINGaRINGs Craig Crocodile
DINGaRING characters like Craig Crocodilel feature old-school craftsmanship and good quality materials. All are safe and non-toxic, with wooden rings and internal rattles, designed to serve as an interactive toy for ages 0 and up. Each toy comes with its own introduction swing tag and unique backer card which allows it to be free-stand, hung or laid flat, for various display options.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 26491 (added 12/21/2009)
This interactive, web-enabled, financial education game is developed to help children learn what they should know about money. It includes fun and educational games for kids 6 to 12 years old to learn about saving, mathematics, foreign cultures, ecology and more. "This is the first interactive moneybox connected to an Internet gaming platform. This is also one of the best educational games that will make your kids money savvy," Jerome Bousquet, online sales and development, Ekomini Inc., told TDmonthly. Launch date: September 2009.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 26457 (added 12/16/2009)
Deborah Zemke has shown how to make fun, easy, and personality-filled doodles with her books D Is for Doodle, Doodle a Zoodle, 2 Is for Toucan, and Doodles to Go. Now children can doodle at mealtimes with these placemats, featuring 36 doodles from her books. Bound together as a pad—so there's always another placemat ready when one has been used—this set makes the perfect gift and will liven up dinners at home and in restaurants, picnics, and birthday parties.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 26761 (added 1/22/2010)
Vintage Farm Animal Wall Cards
These set of eight adorable vintage farm animal cards are the latest addition to Children Inspire Design's collection. Each set includes a pig, cow, horse, hen, rooster, bunny, goat and sheep. Cards are available in English, Chinese, French, German, Italian, Spanish or Swedish. Available in 5x7 size.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 26730 (added 1/22/2010)
This highly realistic Seatbelt Buckle Key Chain mimics an actual aircraft seatbelt at half the size. Enjoy endless satisfaction releasing the upper lever and listen for that satisfying “click” when closing the buckle. Rest easy knowing that your keys are safely stowed and ready for "take-off". Available in AirTran, jetBlue, and US Airways markings. Coming soon: American Airlines, Alaska Airlines, Continental, and Southwest markings.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 26720 (added 1/21/2010)
Mistletoe is ready for the holidays wearing a green long sleeve T-shirt under a decorated moss green short sleeve knit turtleneck sweater and genuine leather black belt. Red woolen shorts, black lycra tights and black boots finish the festive outfit. This outfit is complemented by her bright and cheerful blue eyes and 100% Japanese synthetic auburn hair. She is 12" tall and completely posable with 21 points of articulation.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 26709 (added 1/14/2010)
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The Speedster Race Car lets children 6+ get a detailed look inside to see how it works. The Speedster Race Car comes with an illustrated Howie Work’s adventure hardcover storybook that takes kids through how each of the major parts work in real life. Check out the working engine, transmission, steering and much more. The doors can be opened to get even closer to the action. Launch date: July 2011.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 26581 (added 1/6/2010)
This combat card game with a martial arts theme contains 54 cards and is for two or more players. Participants can choose to use one or more deck for this fast-paced game of attack and defense that simulates the discipline of martial arts sparring. Opponents may spar cooperatively or competitively. Players can expand play with an add-on deck, and fly, spin, duck and dodge their way to victory. It includes rules for single-round play through a six-belt tournament, and there are special rules for beginner, intermediate and advanced play. Launch date: December 2009.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 26673 (added 1/14/2010)
Seven Card Samurai
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A family card game set in feudal Japan during the era of the Samurai which depends on skill, strategy and planning. It is a time where bandits roam the countryside stealing the precious rice from villages. Yours is one of those villages. Defend your rice with Samurai and Ronin, use bandits and Ninjas to steal other villages’ rice and eliminate their Samurai, and plead with the local Shogun to conscript help for you. But be warned, for the other villages are doing the exact same thing. Launch date: 2010.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 26643 (added 1/11/2010)
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Writer'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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