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July 2010 | Vol. IX - No. 7
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Holiday Preview: Construction Toys

Kids Build Fun With Beetles and Bots


In the world of building, Yoshiritsu's LaQ sets build beetles and more, KnuckleStrutz wows with poseable robots, and Fat Brain Toys plays with the cute factor in a line of stackable turtles. Learn about Around Square's Goodwood Deconstruction Blocks and other items in TDmonthly's Holiday Preview of Construction Toys below. back to main article

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MSRP: $23.00
Age Range: 5 and up
Target Age Range: 6 to 8
Specialty: Yes (as of 2010)
Made in: Japan
SKU or Item #: 49 52907 01900 4
Launch Date: September 2009
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Construction
Educational
Arts & Crafts



This award-winning, snap-together block allows individuals to make spherical shapes from toy blocks. LaQ Hobby Kits are 260-piece kits designed to make various interchangeable models. The Hobby Kit Beetle has instructions to make a Beetle, Wood Louse, Spider, Bee, Ant, Butterfly and Ladybug.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 28919      (added 6/16/2010)
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Launch Date: January 2010
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Construction
Aircraft



Uberstix introduces a construction toy that flies and performs stunts. One can build and design their own Gliders while experimenting with the placement of Wings, Wheels, Nosecones and Tailfins.  Make your glider do stunts. Learn about the forces that affect aerodynamics.  These flexible Glider Kits are made with lightweight foam wings they will soar for long distances. Each has a 13.5 inch wingspan.  They come in a variety of 8 graphic designs including the "CYPRUSO", "ELECTICUS",  "FOURBARRELL",  "PLASMOS", "SKORGE", "STEAMTANK",  "TURBINER", and "VORTICIES." Launch date: 2010.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 28152      (added 4/21/2010)
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MSRP: $49.99
Age Range: 5 and up
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Construction
Vehicles - Small Toy



Complete with wheels and flexible parts, this set allows children to build a fire truck and five other models.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 28133      (added 4/20/2010)
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MSRP: $44.95
Age Range: 6 and up
Specialty: Yes (as of 2010)
Made in: United States
SKU or Item #: 30200
Launch Date: February 2010
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: American-Made
Construction
Educational



Mini No Ends is a table-top version of No Ends that contains more diversified beam parts and wheels in every kit. The pieces snap into place and can be easily pulled apart to later become new easy-to-build creations. Kids are encouraged to build structures while having hours of fun. "There is no end to what the child can design," Taurus Toy President Dawn Baird told TDmonthly.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 28974      (added 6/18/2010)
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Age Range: 7 and up
Target Age Range: 7 and up
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Construction



Called by Be Good Company “The Buildable Art System,” Jaw Bones is construction and sculpture in one. The brightly colored pieces in distinctive shapes ratchet, swivel and snap together in an endless array of combinations, allowing children a lot of freedom when deciding what they want to build and how.  An instruction booklet with more than 17 individual projects is included with the kit to offer children ideas.
― Two of 49 retailers said Jaw Bones is a top-selling construction line during an April 2010 survey.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 28454      (added 5/6/2010)
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MSRP: $8.50
Age Range: 5 and up
Target Age Range: 5 to 8
Specialty: Yes (as of 2010)
Made in: Japan
SKU or Item #: 45 5290 708103 2
Launch Date: June 2010
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Construction
Educational
Arts & Crafts



Snap together pink and white block parts to create a butterfly that can be attached to the LaQ Headband. The Kit includes one headband part and 35 LaQ parts. The Headband Part can also be used with block parts from other LaQ kits to create bunny ears, dog ears, a tiara, silly head pieces, or whatever you can imagine. "LaQ is a snap together construction toy completely unique in how the joint parts connect in various angles so that a child can create geometrical and spherical shapes from toy blocks," Mo Saeki, Overseas Division Manager for YOSHIRITSU CO., LTD, tells TDmonthly.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 28967      (added 6/18/2010)
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Age Range: 3 and up
Target Age Range: 3 and up
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Construction



Zoob's sturdy snap-together pieces are joined with colorful, flexible foam pieces that allow children to customize and accessorize their creations in new ways. The 80 Zoob pieces come with more than 100 pre-cut foam shapes and 10 sheets of foam from which kids can cut their own pieces. Instructions are included for projects ranging from robots to rocking horses, but the kit is totally open ended, allowing young creators to design straight from their imaginations. Cons: Foam pieces tear too easily.
― “Zoob seems to appeal to a broader age range,” Amy Barrett, owner of Lasso the Moon Wonderful Toys in Helena, Mont., told TDmonthly in spring 2010 of what makes Zoob her top-selling construction toy.
― Of 43 retailers surveyed in April 2010, three listed Zoob as their best seller in construction.
— Mary Porter Green, owner of The Curiosity Zone in Ashburn, Va. told in late Spring 2011 TDmonthly she sells a dozen Zoob kits each month.
— Want this? As of 05/10/2011, this product was available for purchase at The Curiosity Zone
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 28451      (added 5/6/2010)
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MSRP: $20.00
Age Range: 5 and up
Specialty: Yes (as of 2010)
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Construction
Vehicles - Small Toy
Pretend Play



Children can build a realistic miniature army Jeep with this 100-block set.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 28947      (added 6/16/2010)
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MSRP: $44.99
Age Range: 3 and up
Launch Date: January 2010
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: General Toys
Construction



Dado Planks by Fat Brain Toy Co. are made of recycled plastic, feature notches which can connect and interlock with other peices for different configurations. Standard planks in various colors are also included. Dado Planks are interchangeable and can be used with all the other plank building systems. Set includes 106 pieces in five colors. Awards: Parent's Choice Award 2010. Launch date: 2010.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 28056      (added 4/16/2010)
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MSRP: $30.00
Age Range: 3 and up
Target Age Range: 3 to 5
Specialty: Yes (as of 2010)
Made in: China
SKU or Item #: 0
Launch Date: December 2009
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Construction
Wooden Toys
Creative Activities



Goodwood is a system of innovative wooden blocks, designed to invite imaginative and creative play. The precisely crafted blocks allow for building in every dimension, creating structures that are architecturally interesting and visually pleasing. The system includes seven intercompatible sets, each intended to be fun and interesting on its own, and to combine in fascinating ways with the others. These colored blocks are made from forest-friendly wood and are CPSIA tested. "The abstract, innovative shapes of the Goodwood blocks, which fit together in surprising and interesting ways, cultivate truly open-ended explorative play," Around Square President Matthew Hiebert told TDmonthly.
Awards: Dr. Toy Best Vacation Children’s Products Award
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 29103      (added 6/25/2010)
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MSRP: $120.00
Age Range: 8 and up
Target Age Range: 8 and up
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Construction



With more than 600 pieces, the 50 Model Set from Erector offers kid builders a multitude of creative options. The kit is packed with detailed instructions for 50 complete models, 38 of which are taken from favorites in the 10 to 40 model kits, plus 12 new designs. From that springboard of projects, children can leap into inventing their own creations with the tools and parts provided in the box. This kit also includes a small, hand-held power tool to make assembly easy and fast.
— Melodie Ingwersen, owner of Creative Kids Inc. in Columbia, Ill. said Erector sets were one of her best-selling construction toys in late Spring 2011.
― “Erector sets do really well for us,” Chris Cahalane, owner of Cape Cod Toys  in Mashpee, Mass., told TDmonthly when asked about top-selling construction toys in spring 2010.
― “Erector sets have made a comeback,” said Lance Ghulam, manager of Handlebar Toys in Lafayette, Calif., during an April 2010 survey.
— Want this? As of 05/10/2011, this product was available for purchase at Creative Kids Inc.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 28450      (added 5/6/2010)
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MSRP: $79.99
Age Range: 8 and up
Specialty: Yes (as of 2010)
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Educational
Construction



Solar Power Plus is a gigantic photovoltaic science lab that navigates the fundamentals of solar energy, the conversion of light into electricity, and circuits. This kit includes two of the special solar panels from the Solar Power kit that when connected generate up to 3 volts of electricity to power 22 different models. 265 building pieces are included.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 28583      (added 5/20/2010)
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MSRP: $10.99
SKU or Item #: 300048
Launch Date: January 2010
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Construction
General Toys



STiX add another dimension to construction designs with Wedgits. Each STiX part follows the geometry of the WEDGiTS small, white octahedron - making it easy to link different WEDGiTS designs, structures or vehicles. Four pieces are included in this pack. Launch date: 2010.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 27899      (added 4/6/2010)
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Make a Copter Ball, a Rocket Ball or a Glider Ball with the new OGOBILD-FLY. The soft bouncy rubber ball has 12 sockets that let you reposition and twist the wings to create your own flying creation. Part of the new OGOBILD Building Ball system from OGOSPORT. Can be combined with any of the other OGOBILD attachments offering a brilliant combination of active and constructive play.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 27807      (added 3/31/2010)
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MSRP: $29.90
Age Range: 8 and up
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Robotics
Construction



This robot construction kit includes pieces for children to make animals and figures that move via a one-geared motor.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 27805      (added 3/30/2010)
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Age Range: 6 and up
Launch Date: January 2010
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Construction
Developmental Toys
Animal Figures



Each box set contains 24 Reptangles in green, yellow, orange, red, purple and blue that can be snapped and slid together in more than 100 ways. The turtles connect at various angles and come with an activity book with 40+ puzzles to encourage kids to think about geometric concepts and design as they build.
Awards: Parent's Choice Award 2010. Launch date: 2010.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 28021      (added 4/15/2010)
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MSRP: $6.00
Age Range: 8 and up
Launch Date: January 1992
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Wooden Toys
Construction
Educational



The hobby kits by WALACHIA vary in size and theme. They contain up to 300 parts of precisely cut wooden prisms of 9 x 9 mm, gables, roofs and bases made of plywood, doors and windows, even foil to substitute for glass. Paper prints can be applied on roof areas, or children can glue shingles made of beech veneer. The set also contains dusting material to represent grass, as well as sandpaper to use for small adjustments. Individual parts are glued with wood and paper glue according to step-by-step diagram instructions. Instructions available in eight languages. Launch date: 1992.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 27711      (added 3/24/2010)
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Made of fleece covered foam, these plush blocks provide children with a safe construction toy. Children can make tables, towers, bridges and forts.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 27485      (added 3/8/2010)
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Launch Date: June 2010
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Arts & Crafts
Creative Activities
Construction



Teifoc allows kids to build with real bricks made from high-quality materials. The mortar is made from a mixture of fine sand and a corn-extract, easy to create by just adding water. Teifoc offers many sets that include all materials needed to build housing structures. The bricks are reusable after immersion in water for a few hours. After the cement is dissolved, the bricks are easy to clean with fresh water. Launch date: June 2010 (U.S.).
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 27453      (added 3/4/2010)
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MSRP: $50.00
Launch Date: June 2010
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Construction
Preschool



This collection is designed for Magformers to transform into hundreds of creative construction vehicles. Each set includes emergency lights and engine sound, plus an attachable, poseable figurine. Launch date: June 2010.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 27386      (added 2/26/2010)
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MSRP: $32.00
Age Range: 4 and up
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Construction



This set includes 32 seven-sided design blocks in various shapes and colors that are designed to allow for nearly unlimited constructions.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 27382      (added 2/25/2010)
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These beechwood blocks in a pastel palette are made in Germany and come in a 10-piece set.
— Two of 38 specialty retailers named HABA blocks as a best-selling wooden toy in February 2010.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 27376      (added 2/25/2010)
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MSRP: $49.95
Age Range: 7 and up
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Construction
Wooden Toys



This kit gives some structure to free-form building with planks, including an idea book with instructions for building ball-track structures, ramps, funnels and more. It allows for scientific experimentation as kids test rolling the two included lightweight balls to see if they move as anticipated.
— "A new concept kit will help kids build bigger and better — simple, open-ended and smart," said John MacDougall, owner of Golden Apple Learning Store in Pleasanton, Calif., at Toy Fair 2010.
— It was also a top-two favorite at ASTRA's Share the Fair event during Toy Fair 2010.
— In an April 2012 survey, Elmer Carranza, manager of Doodlehopper 4 Kids in Springfield, Va., told TDmonthly that KEVA blocks are their best selling construction toy.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 27299      (added 2/19/2010)
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MSRP: $15.00
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Construction
Outdoor Fun



This set combines a fun construction toy with active play. It includes colorful interchangeable pieces to create sculptures that can then be tossed around and thrown on the ground both indoors and out. Watch OgoBild: Top-5 Video, Toy Fair 2010
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 27169      (added 2/17/2010)
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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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