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June 2011 | Vol. X - No. 6
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June Staff Picks Part II


See June Staff Picks Part I
See June Staff Picks Part III


Our second installment of staff picks features a variety of high-quality products. Even the youngest children can learn to play piano with Piano Pals from Schoenhut Piano Co.; Smart Mom LLC offers a product that is stylish for Mom and yummy for baby; and Worx Toys Inc. provides kids with a look inside their toys with the Inferno Fire Truck. See these exciting products, and more, below.




MSRP: $5.50
Age Range: 6 and up
SKU or Item #: D100-10A
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Arts & Crafts
Personalized
Kits



The Frosted Ruff N' Ready pack contains ten 8"x10" sheets of the exclusive Frosted Ruff N' Ready Shrinkable Plastic. It's the plastic found in kits and books produced by Spin Master, Curiosity Kits, and Klutz. This plastic is actually clear plastic that has been machine roughened on one side. Recommended for use with children because colored pencils can be used to trace and color one's selected image. The sheets are unprinted, to be left up to the imagination of the user to fill in.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 27782      (added 3/29/2010)
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MSRP: $18.90
Age Range: Adult
Launch Date: October 2006
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Fashion & Accessories
Infant & Toddler
Gifts



These donut- and heart-shaped pendants mimic real gemstones and hang on a black, silk cord with a breakaway clasp. The jewelry is made from a food-safe, phthalate-free, non-toxic, lead-free, federally approved silicone, so it is safe for babies to handle and chew. Eight colors are available. Teething Bling makes “a great shower or new baby gift,” Director of Marketing Amy Maurer Creel of Smart Mom told TDmonthly. Awards: TDmonthly Innovations 2008. Launch date: October 2006.

Where to Buy: Creative Kidstuff

ToyDirectory Product ID#: 15762      (added 10/17/2007)
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MSRP: $6.99
Specialty: Yes (as of 2010)
Gender: Girls
Category: Fashion & Accessories
Gifts



This iridescent dolphin necklace is available in pink, blue, purple, and white pendants. Each pendant also has its own matching cord.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 31164      (added 11/15/2010)
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The bink'd collection of temporary tattoo earrings can be applied quickly and easily with water, in as little as 15 seconds. The tattoos are made in the USA with FDA-approved, vegetable-based inks and adhesive. When applied correctly to ears, bink'd tattoos are designed to last five or more days. Multiple designs are available.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 27950      (added 4/9/2010)
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MSRP: $3.50
Age Range: 4 and up
Target Age Range: 9 to 12
Specialty: Yes (as of 2010)
Made in: China
SKU or Item #: Ask for Popsicles by
Launch Date: July 2007
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Tween
Eco-Friendly
Fashion & Accessories



These popsicle-colored bracelets come in glittery and translucent shades, including Lime, Cherry, Grape and Blue Hawaiian. As with other bracelets by Shainsware, kids can change out the elements (letters, symbols, etc.) to personalize the band.
— In a September 2010 survey, nine percent of 44 retailers named Shainsware a best-selling jewelry brand. “I did really well with their Popsicles,” Martha Burrows of Timeless Toys in Chicago, Ill., told TDmonthly. “They just hit that market between make-your-own and a quick fix.”
— In an October 2011 survey, Katie Rook, manager of Be Beep Toys in Columbia, S.C., told TDmonthly that Shains bracelets are her best selling jewelry.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 28542      (added 5/14/2010)
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MSRP: $17.00
Age Range: 5 to 11
Target Age Range: 6 to 8
Specialty: Yes (as of 2011)
Made in: China
SKU or Item #: 64273
Launch Date: March 2011
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Arts & Crafts
Gifts
Kits



Sticky Mosaics Owl Pals comes with 4 sparkling projects, 4 plastic wall hangers and over 2500 sparkling tiles and jewel pieces. Follow a simple numbered legend and stick on the colorful tiles and jewels to create a stunning masterpiece every time. This no mess, no fuss kit features little owls peeking out of trees, snuggling under the moonlight and reading a book. "Sticky Mosaics are not just crafts; they are works of art!  Just because a craft is completed doesn't mean the fun is done; display these mosaic masterpieces for years to come with the special wall hangers included in each kit," Stephanie Carver, from The Orb Factory, told TDmonthly.
Retailers surveyed by TDmonthly have been naming The Orb Factory's Sticky Mosaics kits as a best-selling line since 2009.
In late Spring 2011, 25% of retailers surveyed said Sticky Mosaics were their best-selling line of activity kits.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 31854      (added 3/4/2011)
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MSRP: $105.00
Age Range: 3 to 9
Launch Date: January 2007
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Musical Toys
Pretend Play



This versatile new little piano grows with your child! The main unit, decorated with a whimsical animal’s head, is perfect for toddlers because it sits safely and squarely on the floor within easy reach of little hands. Later on, the sides with the animal’s body can be attached, conveniently raising the piano to a comfortable upright height for an older child seated at the bench. Schoenhut toy pianos are noted for their excellent quality and unique chime-like tones. The width of the keys promotes proper finger placement, enabling an easy transition to a larger piano.
Awards: Dr. Toy 100 Best Children's Products - 2010
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 30766      (added 10/11/2010)
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MSRP: $79.99
Age Range: 8 and up
Target Age Range: 9 to 12
Specialty: Yes (as of 2011)
Made in: China
SKU or Item #: 108642
Launch Date: May 2011
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Construction
Educational
General Toys



Children will have a blast building and racing on this fast and fun Techno Gears Marble Mania Twin Turbo Trax. After completing the build kids can compete against each other as they race their marbles through this exciting turbo marble speedway. Fun sound effects add to the excitement and the winning time shown on an LED display. Colors may vary. Requires two "AA" batteries and two button cell batteries. "We manufacture the longest running marble run on the market, " Sherri Borrelli, Sales Administrator for The Learning Journey International, told TDmonthly. Launch date: May 2011.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 31813      (added 3/4/2011)
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Age Range: 4 and up
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Candy & Food
Novelties
Science & Nature



These miniature ice cream makers take three minutes to turn ingredients (sugar, milk cream, water, and anything else like to add like nuts, raisins, or candy) into an iced confection. There's no motor or batteries...the only energy required is a little vigorous shaking. Simply place ice cubes and salt into the lower part of the cup, and fill the top with sweetened juice, milk or cream. Fasten the lid and shake. The salt quickly melts the ice, which makes the aluminum plate super-cold, turning the liquid into ice cream, ice milk, or sorbet. Available in assorted animal characters (polar bear, cat, seal, dog, penguin)
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 31750      (added 2/22/2011)
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MSRP: $65.00
Age Range: 6 to 14
Made in: China
SKU or Item #: 9112001
Launch Date: January 2010
Gender: Boys
Category: Educational
Remote Controlled
Award Winners



The Torch Fire Truck lets children get a detailed look inside to see how it works. The Torch Fire Truck comes with an illustrated Howie Work’s adventure hardcover storybook that takes them through how each of the major parts work in real life. By pushing a simple, three-digit combination of buttons on the vehicle or the included Worx Storybook Transmitter, an infrared signal is sent to the Torch Fire Truck revealing a working engine, emergency lights, fire hose, and much more. Launch date: July 2011.
Awards: 2011 Creative Child Toy of the Year
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 26584      (added 1/6/2010)
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Box-O-Mania puts a modern twist on the traditional cardboard box - the inspiration behind imaginative play and creative learning without complicated instructions and power charges. Inspired by this timeless toy, Box-O-Mania play boxes and specially-designed reusable stickers provide kids with the creative space in which they can use their fantasy through a variety of themes: a fire station, a beauty salon, a home, a clubhouse and more. Made of lightweight, yet sturdy corrugated plastic, Box-O-Mania play boxes offer more than twelve square feet of interior space for up to three children; they are easy to assemble, convenient to transport and store away.
— "My daughter is going to love this one. Fun, interactive child sized houses made from correlated plastic panels that velcro easily together. Available in 4 colors and several different themes. Use dry erase markers or the included sticker collection to decorate and personalize. When your done, wipe it off and start anew. Great for imaginative play," Jennifer Shuman, of 1SmartNoodle, told TDmonthly at Toy Fair 2010.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 27091      (added 2/14/2010)
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MSRP: $29.95
Gender: Boys
Category: Guns & Accessories
Novelties



The Executive Marshmallow Shooter holds 25 miniature marshmallows in its magazine chamber and fires up to 30 feet accurately.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 31764      (added 2/23/2011)
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MSRP: $24.99
Age Range: 7 and up
Target Age Range: 13 and up
Specialty: Yes (as of 2010)
Made in: China
SKU or Item #: 70220
Launch Date: October 2010
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Electronics
Collectibles
Audio & CD



HeadPhonies are portable mini speakers shaped like designer toys. They are compatible with all iPod variations, and will also work with other MP3 and CD players, as well as computers, handheld video games and even certain cell phones. The speakers stand at only 3” tall, and are designed with high sound quality in mind. Each HeadPhonies includes a cable for connecting a music library as well as a charging cable for the internal battery. The internal battery can be charged in about an hour with a playback time of over four hours per charge. "The MOBI HeadPhonies provides the sound of a Boom-Box with the cute design of Hello Kitty," MOBI Technologies National Sales Manager Andrew Buckband told TDmonthly.
Awards: 2010 CEA Innovations Award for Design and Engineering
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 30631      (added 9/23/2010)
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MSRP: $17.99
Age Range: 4 to 9
Launch Date: August 2008
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Vehicles - Small Toy
American-Made
General Toys



HANDTRUX®, a BRAND new, made in AMERICA toy line of safe, imaginative, hand-operated construction vehicle toys. To be released first: the HANDTRUX® Backhoe, along with a film documentary, “Zapped by a Dream: How to make a toy in America” and an original rock music CD by Rough Embrace, “Crush on You.” These unique sandbox sized dirt machines look and work just like the Big Iron, kids can really do precision digging for hours of unstructured playtime. “This is a new twist on a time-treasured category: sand toys. Unlike previous offerings, these are toys that you wear, incorporating the patented, amazing ‘handraulic’-operated power grip,” Ernest Autumn Van Den Heuvel, president of TenTonToys/EVERGREENRIVER Media Holdings LLC, told TDmonthly. Launch date: August 2008.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 18933      (added 5/19/2008)
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MSRP: $129.00
Age Range: 2 and up
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Bicycles & Tricycles
Outdoor Fun



This walk bike helps children as young as 2 get outside and learn about balance. Lets them learn to balance by "walking" at their own pace, reducing the number of falls and scrapes. They'll be ready for a pedal bike in no time. Features adjustable seat and handlebars. Unique frame allows even young children to easily mount and dismount. Pneumatic tires and ball bearings keep it rolling smoothly. Full 2 year warranty.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 31775      (added 3/1/2011)
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MSRP: $150
Age Range: 12 and up
Launch Date: January 2010
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Vehicles - Riding
Bicycles & Tricycles
Sporting Goods & Accessories



This hubless, human-powered ride-on features two wheels set in a straight line on a variable axis. The rider puts sets a foot through each wheel and self propels the Freerider. Launch date: January 2010.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 26428      (added 12/16/2009)
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MSRP: $79.99
Age Range: 2 to 7
Target Age Range: 2 to 7
Specialty: Yes (as of 2010)
Made in: China
SKU or Item #: 609722589000
Launch Date: October 2010
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Travel
Outdoor Fun
Gifts



Weighing less than three pounds and the size of a rolled towel, the Piggyback Rider bonds parent and child in active transport that is natural and instinctive.  Rather than a seat attached to a frame or wheels, the brothers Jonny and Wayne Lifshitz designed a backpack with a shoulder mounted foot bar for a child to stand on, four integrated grab handles for a child to hold, and a safety harness to secure the child. The foot bar rests just below adult waist level, allowing the child to stand perched on the adult’s back and be engaged in active transport, rather than sit (and fall asleep). The Piggyback Rider is built strong and sturdy, made with high quality climbing buckles, webbing and a tempered aluminum bar. The foot bar has textured grip tape to ensure  traction on the shoes; the child’s harness is clipped to the adult carrier at two points and the back has a neoprene panel for comfort. The entire carrier comes in a convertible multipurpose storage bag/mudflap.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 31159      (added 11/12/2010)
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MSRP: $59.95
Age Range: 3 to 9
Target Age Range: 6 to 8
Specialty: Yes (as of 2010)
Made in: United States
SKU or Item #: Pop N' Play Castle
Launch Date: January 2009
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Play Houses
Eco-Friendly
Creative Activities



BuildaDream Playhouses give children the gift of creativity. The unique products are lightweight, sturdy and easy-to-assemble with no adhesive or fasteners required. The cardboard is printed with black graphics on white corrugated cardboard made from 80-percent recycled materials, to allow children to decorate with creative accents, making it their own.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 31287      (added 12/8/2010)
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MSRP: $39.95
Age Range: 8 and up
Target Age Range: 9 to 12
Specialty: Yes (as of 2010)
Made in: United States
SKU or Item #: RT001
Launch Date: January 2010
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Software - Educational
Video Games
Educational



Roman Town lets the player be an archaeologist and manage a team of diggers while learning about archaeological techniques and uncovering ancient objects. Graphics rendered in 3D let players explore Roman buildings and immerse themselves in Roman history. One can put pots together, exercise puzzle skills with fun mini-games, and find out what archaeologists really do. President of Dig-It Games Suzi Wilczynski told TDmonthly, "Roman Town is unique, educational and, most importantly, lots of fun!"
Awards: The Tillywig Brain Child Award; NAPPA Honors; The National Parenting Center 2010 Seal of Approval; Creative Child 2010 Game of the Year Award; Dr Toy’s Best Vacation Product; five 2010 Life Buzz Parent-to-Parent awards.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 28295      (added 4/29/2010)
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