TDmonthly Magazine!
August 2011 | Vol. X - No. 8
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TDmonthly Classics Award Winners Part I


See Part II

When it comes down to the bottom line in the toy industry, we have to ask: Which products do kids LOVE? From more than 32,000 products in TDmonthly's database, the following 14 toys (the first of two batches) were selected for being some of our all-time favorites.

No nominees or winners paid a submission fee to be considered for the program or chosen as an award recipient.

Products were reviewed based on various criteria, including play value, safety, price point vs. quality, factors of social or environmental awareness, favorable review from retailers, consumers, experts and/or TDmonthly staff, and successful presence in or availability to the specialty market.

For more information on submitting your products for awards consideration, see here.




Age Range: 6 and up
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: General Games
Educational



Kids can create a “doodle” with a few rolls of the Doodle Dice. There’s a different doodle pictured on each card of the deck. When players build a doodle that matches one of the cards, they take that card. Players can block an opponent's turn or take one of their cards away. Players who collect one card of each color win. It’s the fun, challenging way for everyone in the family to be a "doodle artist." Instructions come in English and Spanish. For two to six players, Doodle Dice launched in February 2006.
Awards: A TDmonthly Classics Award for being an all-time favorite toy.
— As of 7/21/2011 this product had 4.8 out of 5 stars from 45 reviews on Amazon.com.
— "We like Doodle Dice from Jax. It sold well for us this last year even though we hadn’t seen it before," said Bill Rayment, co-owner of Toy Crossing in Harbor Beach, Mich.
— "A great game from Jax is Doodle Dice. It's inexpensive and made for varied ages," commented Bob Breneman, co-owner of G. Willikers Toy Shop in Portsmouth, N.H. It’s his 7th-best-selling product.
— Cindy Levine, president of Jax, told TDmonthly, "Doodle Dice involves very different game play. Participants from age 6 to adult have an equal and full chance to win. It engages players and has a style unlike any other game out there."
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 6845      (added 2/7/2006)
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Age Range: 7 and up
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: General Games
Educational
Board Games



Travel the U.S.A. the Sequence Way. Each card has the name of a capital with it's location shown on the state. Players match the state's shape and color on the card to the same state shape and color on the board, then place a chip on that space. The first player to get five chips in a row wins the game. Players of all ages will have fun learning the states and their capitals while enjoying the fun, challenging play of the sequence game. The states on the board also feature their corresponding state names. This game is for two to four players.
Awards: A TDmonthly Classics Award for being an all-time favorite toy.
— As of 7/21/2011 this product had 4.8 out of 5 stars from 13 reviews on Amazon.com.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 10605      (added 12/8/2006)
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Wholesale Price: (Log in to view)
MSRP: $24.99
Age Range: 14 and up
SKU or Item #: 173
Launch Date: March 2008
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Board Games
General Games
Party Goods



Likewise! is a thought provoking party game where it pays to think alike. In this game, individuals are presented with a random pairing of a Description and Subject Cards and attempt to match answers with words or doodles. With over 5,000 possible category combinations, this is the laughable, lively, like-minded party game that everyone will enjoy. Launch date: March 1, 2008.
Awards: A TDmonthly Classics Award for being an all-time favorite toy.
— As of 7/21/2011 this product had 4.6 out of 5 stars from 16 reviews on Amazon.com.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 16986      (added 1/8/2008)
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MSRP: $59.95
Age Range: 3 and up
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Musical Toys



Schoenhut's new Mini-Grand is the perfect choice for a toddler's first piano. It is just the right size for a child's favorite doll, too. Both fun and educational, it is an ideal instrument to encourage musical creativity.
Awards: A TDmonthly Classics Award for being an all-time favorite toy.
— As of 7/21/2011 this product had 5 out of 5 stars from 1 review on Amazon.com.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 8573      (added 7/14/2006)
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MSRP: $39.95
Age Range: 3 and up
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Wooden Toys
American-Made
Rail Roads & Trains



The Little Engine That Could™ Set: It’s the train that’s kept rolling since 1930. The train that made the phrase “I Think I Can, I Think I Can,” is a permanent part of our American lexicon and continues to teach us the power of positive thinking. This set consists of five cars: The Little Blue Engine, Yellow Gondola, Red Toy Car, White Milk Car, and Red Caboose.
Awards: A TDmonthly Classics Award for being an all-time favorite toy.
— As of 7/21/2011 this product had 4.5 out of 5 stars from 2 reviews on Amazon.com.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 15474      (added 9/27/2007)
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MSRP: $49.00
Age Range: 3 and up
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Developmental Toys
Balls
Inflatable Toys



Gymnic Line’s Rody Horse is a favorite with children to learn balancing and coordination while they hop on it. (A base is available for transforming to a Rocking Rody Horse.) Rody is used in therapy for handicapped children, owing to its softness and ride-on qualities. Made of super-strong, latex-free vinyl, Rody inflates according to the size and weight of a child with a hand or foot pump. The maximum inflated height to “saddle” is 12". Rody is recommended for kids ages 3 and up, with adult supervision.
Awards: A TDmonthly Classics Award for being an all-time favorite toy.
— As of 7/21/2011 this product had 4.5 out of 5 stars from 145 reviews on Amazon.com.
— “We do more Rody Horse [than any other physical fitness toy]. They look like a horse. They’re more unique and kids love them,” said Jenny Goodlund, manager of JT Puffin’s in Madison, Wis.
— Jennifer Blacklock, sales and marketing representative for Toymarketing International, told TDmonthly, “Even though the Rody is for 2- to 4-year-olds, my 7-year-old rides it and loves it. He plays games with it with his little brother. It’s just a really good toy that teaches balance and coordination. It’s fun exercise — what we need more of in this society today.”

ToyDirectory Product ID#: 6701      (added 1/25/2006)
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MSRP: $16.99
Age Range: 5 to 8
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Books



A young boy attempts to solve the mystery of his missing sock, only to realize that his sock has run away, and is quite possibly leading an adventurous life of its own. Mystery. Humor. Enrichment activities that complement this book can be downloaded free from www.wocto.com (Jakary, Lin. Illus by Ryan Olson, 40 pages ) "Children can relate to the hero’s troubles and excitedly share their own past frustrations. This will be a well-worn favorite." — Linda Hartner Coffman, M.A., Elementary School Teacher
Awards: A TDmonthly Classics Award for being an all-time favorite children's product.
— As of 7/21/2011 this product had 5 out of 5 stars from 1 review on Amazon.com.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 22034      (added 1/8/2009)
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Age Range: 3 and up
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Developmental Toys
Balls



Made in Italy, the Gymnic Line’s Hop ball is the very best quality in hopping balls. Made of super strong, yet soft latex-free vinyl, for long lasting use and durability. Great exercise product for indoors and smooth safe outdoor surfaces. Promotes children’s body coordination, balance, lymph circulation and provides a fun workout while hopping on the ball.
Awards:
A TDmonthly Classics Award for being an all-time favorite toy.
As of 7/21/2011 this product had 5 out of 5 stars from 2 reviews on Amazon.com.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 16201      (added 11/20/2007)
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MSRP: $105.95
Age Range: 2 to 4
SKU or Item #: F-300 / F-301
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Preschool
Wooden Toys
Furniture & Decor



TAG's Toddler Table, with fully rounded, child safe edges, is designed so childred can sit up close for playtime. The extra large, durable and washable high impact laminate surface can take all the pounding and spilling a child can deliver. The matching Toddler Chair (sold separately) is designed for comfort and safety. Feature include: wide, tip-resistant legs, smooth, rounded edges and corners, extra wide seat, angled backrest, and easy-grip tote handles
Awards: A TDmonthly Classics Award for being an all-time favorite children's product.
— As of 7/21/2011 this product had 4.7 out of 5 stars from 16 reviews on Amazon.com.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 9621      (added 10/5/2006)
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MSRP: $16.99
Age Range: 6 to 10
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Books



Curious things happen when a brother and sister befriend an eccentric centenarian and invite her home for tea. Online lesson plans to complement this pre-chapter picture book are available for free at www.wocto.com First in the Jakry Kids series. (Jakary, Lin. Illus by Ryan Olson, 28 pages) "As an educational therapist and reading specialist, I found The Jakry Kids: Curiosity Shop to be a jewel. This is a book that you don’t have to urge your kids to read. It’s a book that they’ll be begging you to read." —Christy Hendrickson, MD, CET
Awards: A TDmonthly Classics Award for being an all-time favorite children's product.
— As of 7/21/2011 this product had 5 out of 5 stars from 1 review on Amazon.com.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 22036      (added 1/8/2009)
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Age Range: 4 to 5
SKU or Item #: ES-20 / ES-21
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Wooden Toys
Developmental Toys



Easy-stand, extra large dominos are designed for little hands to easily manipulate. The uniquely designed base and pitch of each domino helps the small child stand them up easily, with little frustration and yet when pushed they will come crashing down upon each other. Children will find many ways to design and stack the dominos using bridge and stairs.
Awards: A TDmonthly Classics Award for being an all-time favorite toy.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 19995      (added 8/4/2008)
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Wholesale Price: (Log in to view)
MSRP: $15.00
Age Range: 3 to 8
SKU or Item #: LS-1600CD
Launch Date: August 2007
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Award Winners
Educational
Audio & CD



This 69-minute dance fitness CD features 19 songs that go with various styles of dance — ballroom, disco, hip hop, free form clogging and much more. It includes a 24-page booklet with lyrics and dance instructions, and is designed to introduce children to basic dance moves that help with natural rhythm and motor skills. “Creative movement and dance is an enjoyable way for kids to develop their physical strength, channel their energy, stimulate their imagination, promote their creativity and foster their social skills — especially if adults and other children get involved,” Laurie Monopoli of The Learning Station told TDmonthly. Launch date: August 31, 2007.
Awards: A TDmonthly Classics Award for being an all-time favorite children's product.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 16280      (added 11/27/2007)
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This lightweight running bike is designed to help children gain practice in balance and control as they ride without pedals. It features a steel frame and handlebars and has Launch Pad™ footrests. The handlebar and seat height are adjustable to accommodate riders from 30" to 44" tall. Rider weight limit is 50 lbs. The bike is available in green, red, blue, yellow, orange and pink.
Awards: A TDmonthly Classics Award for being an all-time favorite toy.
— As of 7/21/2011 this product had 4.7 out of 5 stars from 140 review on Amazon.com.
— "We've sold 10 of the 12 [bikes]," Fred Meyer, owner of Meyer's Toy World in Battle Creek, Mich., told TDmonthly of this new product in his store in April 2010.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 23133      (added 3/31/2009)
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MSRP: $29.99
Age Range: 3 and up
SKU or Item #: 2843
Launch Date: August 2009
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Puppets
Plush
Educational



Kids can slip their hand through the opening of this soft, slinky ferret puppet's chest to work his mouth. There's an additional rear pocket for extra wriggling. Launch date: August 4, 2009.
Awards: A TDmonthly Classics Award for being an all-time favorite toy.
— As of 7/21/2011 this product had 4.8 out of 5 stars from 4 review on Amazon.com.
— In late Spring 2011, eight out of 15 retailers surveyed said that puppets from Folkmanis were best-sellers in the category. "They have all kinds, and people can get odd things, like a ferret," Lisa LeStrange, owner of Lucky Duck Toys in Wayne, Pa., told TDmonthly. She sells 10-15 Folkmanis puppets each month.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 24366      (added 6/29/2009)
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