TDmonthly Magazine!
May 2012 | Vol. XI - No. 5
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Holiday Preview: 24 Manufacturers Share Anticipated Holiday Hits

It's never too soon to start ordering for the holidays!


mr potato commericalsChristmas may seem like it's ages away, but most retailers start ordering for the holidays between April and October.

“I start thinking about Christmas of next year before this Christmas even happens," Pam Byrd, manager and buyer for The Little Cottage Toy Shop in Franklin, Tenn., told TDmonthly Magazine.

Learn more about preparing for the Holidays

TDmonthly Magazine wants to help you get a leg up on the competition, so we asked manufacturers what they think will be their biggest holiday hits.

Family Time
Need help from little ones while preparing the holiday dinner? Keep their festive frocks clean with Kids Aprons and Messy Baby Bibs from MIMI THE SARDINE. "Our organic acrylic-coated cotton is machine-washable and wipeable, like oilcloth or vinyl - but are non-toxic," a spokesperson for the company told TDmonthly.

After dinner, what's a more relaxing family activity than putting together a puzzle? MASTERPIECES PUZZLE CO. INC. is introducing the Joys of Childhood collection from artist Donald Zolan. "These are great holiday gifts as the entire family can work on these together during the holidays," Jennifer Zolan, president of The Zolan Company, llc, told TDmonthly. Kill two birds with one stone by completing the puzzle as a family, then framing it and giving it as a thoughtful gift to a loved one.

Construction
Boys and girls alike will enjoy the new K'NEX Thrills: Atomic Coaster. Two tracks are constructed, and the coaster carts race each other to the finish. "The Atomic Coaster is a fun, educational and interactive gift! It’s a wonderful activity to complete as a family," Kate Loffio from K'NEX INDUSTRIES, INC. told TDmonthly. "Today’s children are over stimulated and need their toys to be more engaging. The Atomic Coaster is a toy children will have fun building, and they won’t even know that they are learning valuable math & science concepts while they are building it," she elaborated.

Tweens
It can be difficult to find the perfect gift for girls who are in-between age groups. PIGGY PAINT LLC is offering up the perfect solution this year with Piggy Paint Nail Pens and new Glitter Nail Polishes. "We are the only non-toxic nail pen on the market and the glitters are awesome!" Stacey Feagans told TDmonthly. These items are great stocking stuffers, and a fun activity for when mom and dad need a nap from all the holiday excitement. "The pens are easy for kids to use themselves. It's like using a marker," she explained.

Preschool
If you're looking for a gift for a family with a baby, the NapPak might be just the ticket. "This is a wonderful mat for kids to not only take to day care with them, but also to travel with on vacations or to Grandma’s house, or to use for pretend camping time,” Beth Clampitt from MY NAPPAK, INC. told TDmonthly about these portable nap mats. Kids will like them too, because, "We always strive to design patterns that are pleasing to the children, not necessarily up to date with adult fashions,” Clampitt explained.

Nursery Decor
ALEX MARSHALL STUDIOS predicts that their baby & kids themed ceramic decor pieces will be great gifts for the holidays. "These are handmade in northern California, made entirely of components sourced in California, and made to last," Andrew Barry, co-owner of Alex Marshall Studios, told TDmonthly. "These items are design oriented while still being child friendly," he elaborated. The line includes a giraffe-shaped coin bank, a bunny-shaped table lamp, and other whimsically designed pieces, and are great gift items for new or expecting parents.

Learn more about these products below, as well as other products that manufacturers think will be holiday hits.




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MSRP: $24.99
Age Range: 5 and up
Specialty: No
Made in: China
SKU or Item #: 7-41879-40095-8
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Board Games
General Games
General Toys



A fast paced game for the entire family. Race to the Dino-Cave but don't be sent back to the Dino-Bath. Large 5" dinosaurs that kids jump and switch, will have kids screaming in minutes. "Beautiful color graphics and an over-sized playing board," Don Rosenthal, president of LuvyDuvy Corporation, told TDmonthly. Launch date: January 2009.
Awards: 2009 Creative Child Magazine Seal of Excellence; 2010 National Parenting Magazine Seal of Approval; 2011 Parents' Choice Fun Stuff Award.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 34135      (added 4/24/2012)
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MSRP: $51.99
Specialty: Yes (as of 2012)
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Infant & Toddler
Preschool



The all-in-one pillow, comforter and attached fleece blanket just for kids who take naps. Can be monogrammed.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 34164      (added 4/30/2012)
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MSRP: $76.00
Age Range: All Ages
Specialty: Yes (as of 2011)
Made in: United States
SKU or Item #: BAB-100 Or
Launch Date: January 2011
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Gifts
Furniture & Decor
Personalized



Alex Marshall Studios is adding a giraffe coin bank to their line of handmade, personalized baby and kids' ceramics. Available in character or silhouette design, each bank is handmade in their northern California studio and can be personalized with the name and date of birth. Each piece is made from a white earthenware clay, is CPSIA compliant and measures 7.5 x 2.5 x 12" h.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 31449      (added 1/12/2011)
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MSRP: $8.99
Age Range: 3 and up
Specialty: Yes (as of 2012)
Gender: Girls
Category: Tween
Fashion & Accessories
Creative Activities



Soft, Light Pink Nail Polish. Piggy Paint Nail Pen has a felt tip for easy coverage and quick drying results. Piggy Paint Nail Pens are packaged as shown.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 34165      (added 4/30/2012)
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MSRP: $25.95
Age Range: 1 to 3
Specialty: No
Made in: United States
SKU or Item #: 1905
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Eco-Friendly
Fashion & Accessories
Infant & Toddler



Keep kids clean with our messy baby bibs, which feature the crumb-catching pocket our bibs have made famous and long sleeves. They tie at the neck to guarantee generous spill protection and double as an art smock for the expressive toddler artist. Our organic acrylic-coated cotton is machine-washable and wipeable, like oilcloth or vinyl - but are non-toxic. Our products are designed in Sweden, and all our products are American made. Launch date: January 2011.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 34137      (added 4/24/2012)
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MSRP: $19.95
Age Range: 2 to 6
Specialty: No
Made in: United States
SKU or Item #: 3070
Gender: Girls
Category: Arts & Crafts
Eco-Friendly
Fashion & Accessories



These adjustable, durable and practical aprons grow with your child – or are great hand-me-downs, due to their ingenious strap system. Perfect for art projects, cooking, spaghetti dinners, or science experiments, as they wash or wipe right off. Fits 2-6 years. All our acrylic-coated cotton is organic, and unlike PVC or oilcloth, completely nontoxic. American-made from European fabrics. Size: 16.5W x 19.5"L. Launch date: January 2012.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 34136      (added 4/24/2012)
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MSRP: $14.99
Age Range: 3 and up
Specialty: Yes (as of 2012)
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Puzzles & Skill
Family Games
General Toys



1000 pc puzzle features artwork by Donald Zolan. A good family activity, or for older children to complete alone.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 34166      (added 4/30/2012)
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MSRP: $34.99
Age Range: 5 and up
Specialty: Yes (as of 2011)
Made in: United States
SKU or Item #: TBLK01
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Construction
Eco-Friendly
American-Made



Toobalink is the only construction toy that uses paper towel tubes and toilet tissue tubes as a main building element.  A Toobalink set comes with all the pieces necessary to build a wide variety of connectors, which are then used to hold the tubes together to build large scale structures. Each Toobalink kit comes with 39 pieces, including brand new tubes so that kids can get building right away. Kids love it because they can collect more tubes to build bigger, better structures and parents love it because the extra building material is FREE. Made in the USA. Launch date: June 2012.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 32878      (added 9/8/2011)
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MSRP: $69.99
Age Range: 9 and up
Specialty: Yes (as of 2012)
Made in: United States; China
SKU or Item #: 51441
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Construction
Amusement Park-Related
General Toys



Kids can build an atomically cool coaster with dueling action, using over 850 K'NEX pieces to create a thrilling roller coaster building experience. 2 dueling cars twist, turn, and dive as they race through over 37 feet of track. The Atomic Coaster builds over 4 feet tall and includes a motorized chain lift. Color-coded, easy-to-follow building instructions are included. Go to the K'Nex website to download instructions for a 2nd coaster model. Launch date: September 2012.
Awards: 2012 Best in Play at Toy Fair - Parenting Magazine
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 34155      (added 4/27/2012)
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MSRP: $19.99
Age Range: 3 to 7
Specialty: Yes (as of 2012)
Made in: China
SKU or Item #: E1502
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Puzzles & Skill
Educational
Wooden Toys



Sturdy, stand-along letters let kids practice their ABC's as well as form simple words. Birch wood puzzle frame and stand-up puzzle pieces painted with water-based paint. Launch date: January 2012.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 34142      (added 4/27/2012)
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MSRP: $12.00
Age Range: 5 and up
Specialty: Yes (as of 2012)
Made in: China; Taiwan.
SKU or Item #: 30108-11
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Arts & Crafts
Creative Activities
Gifts



Sets of essential art materials for on-the-go artists. High-quality Thin Markers, Colored Pencils, Watercolor Pencils, and Oil Pastels in clear durable cases. Inner trays neatly hold materials. Expandable handle and snap closure. Descriptive label. AP Non-Toxic. Launch date: January 2012.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 34163      (added 4/27/2012)
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MSRP: $12.99
Age Range: 3 to 8
Specialty: Yes (as of 2012)
Made in: China
SKU or Item #: PHAT1000
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Apparel
Gifts
Award Winners



Each hat comes with 3 removable Patch Pals that stick to the Velcro circle on any Patch Hat. Just peel off one Patch Pal and press on another. Not only does a Patch Hat make a great gift, it is fun. Kids can swap patches on their hats and with their friends as they collect all the Patch Pal characters. Each Patch Pal has a Name, Hometown, Species, Age, Size and Pal - so kids can learn about animals while collecting all the patches.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 34162      (added 4/27/2012)
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MSRP: $14.99
Age Range: 6 and up
Specialty: Yes (as of 2012)
Made in: China
SKU or Item #: H001
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Puzzles & Skill
Educational
Travel



8 cups, plenty of Hiccups. This hand-held puzzler has straightforward direction but challenging play. Pass the ball sequentially from cup to cup without a hiccup. Drop the ball and start back at cup #1. Frustratingly fun.
Awards: 2012 Creative Child Awards – Seal of Excellence
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 34161      (added 4/27/2012)
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MSRP: $8.95
Age Range: 3 and up
Specialty: Yes (as of 2012)
Made in: China
SKU or Item #: PLOOPS
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Christmas
Novelties
Key Chains



Oops is a 4 inch plush on a key chain. Mobile fun for kids on the go. A squeeze of his belly and kids'll know this mouse ate too much candy while riding with Santa - he burps. Launch date: February 2012.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 34160      (added 4/27/2012)
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MSRP: $24.95
Age Range: 4 and up
Specialty: No
Made in: United States
SKU or Item #: 5-1627
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: American-Made
Furniture & Decor
Arts & Crafts



This clever and adorable paint-by-number chalkboard mural will please any dragon lover. Just Tape, Trace & Paint. It is 4' x 4' and kids can repeat it in whole or in part as many times as they like. Launch date: April 2012.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 34157      (added 4/27/2012)
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MSRP: $15.99
Age Range: 8 and up
Specialty: Yes (as of 2012)
Made in: China
SKU or Item #: 91800
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Dice
Travel
Action Games



Choose a Side, Roll the Dice, Rule the World. Can flying saucers and death rays beat out tanks, nukes and troopers?  Will the Zombie Horde outlast the pro Wrestlers?   Find out with the AvA challenger series, a fun take on dice elimination games. Eighteen custom dice—9 for each team—deliver full-value fun. The handy guides help players plan their battle moves. Players also love the two dice cups that snap together to double as a carrying case for portability and play-anywhere fun.
Now 4 Editions to Mix and Match for unlimited variety.
Army vs. Aliens               91800
Pirates vs. Ninjas           91801
Robots vs. Dinosaurs     91802
Zombies vs. Wrestlers   91803
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 34154      (added 4/27/2012)
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MSRP: $50.00
Age Range: 3 and up
Specialty: Yes (as of 2012)
Made in: Europe
SKU or Item #: 7022
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Inflatable Toys
Developmental Toys
Drop Ship



Made in Italy, the Gymnic Line’s Rody Horse is a favorite with children to learn balancing and coordination while hopping on their Rody. Used in Therapy for special needs children due to its softness and ride-on qualities. Inflates according to size and weight of child (inflation by adult). Is surface washable with soap and water. Base is available for transforming to a Rocking Rody Horse.  Rody is available in 14 colors. Launch date: November 2012.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 34152      (added 4/27/2012)
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MSRP: $24.95
Age Range: 8 and up
Specialty: Yes (as of 2012)
Made in: China
SKU or Item #: STT 3423
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Board Games
Dice
General Games



Kids and their friends are going on a photo safari. To see as many animals as possible, they will have to plan their trip well. Whoever visits the most areas and takes the best photographs will be the safari champion. Launch date: July 2012.
— "My little geeks and I have played DiceAFARI a number of times and keep enjoying it more and more. The dice certainly add an element of randomness and luck to the game but also act as an equalizer...Light, flexible, customizable, and accessible, DiceAFARI is a fun game that will challenge and entertain." - Review on FatherGeek.com.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 34149      (added 4/27/2012)
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MSRP: $15.95
Age Range: 8 to 12
Specialty: Yes (as of 2012)
Made in: United States
SKU or Item #: 730799061271
Gender: Girls
Category: Tween
Gifts
Card Games



A game for the Girls who will Rock the World. Girls gather their BFF's and get ready for LOL fun. The Girl Game is a game for fun loving "Tween" girls who love to laugh. Draw activity cards and take the challenges. Earn Character cards to fill in the Storyboard. Some of the cards are played to keep; others are played hard to give away. When the game ends every girl reads her story aloud. " The Girl Game is made in the USA, printed with vegetable based inks and made using recycled paper," Carla Miller, Late for the Sky Production Co., told TDmonthly. Launch date: May 2012.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 34148      (added 4/27/2012)
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MSRP: $40.00
Age Range: 4 and up
Specialty: Yes (as of 2012)
Made in: United States; China
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Books
Space
Educational



This adventure kit comes included with all the necessary tools to explore the amazing world of Planets 3D. The kit contains a 3D book, 3D cards, magic costume card, software and Popar Reader. Kids will have an unforgettable experience as they magically turn into an astronaut and watch rockets, space probes, rovers, and the international space station leap from the pages or cards. Launch date: 2011.
Awards: 2012 Best of the Toy Fair - The View; 2012 National Parenting Centers Seal of Approval.
— Fred Rosenberg, owner of Toy on the Park in Kindwood, Texas, told TDmonthly in a Winter 2012 survey that augmented reality books by Popar Toys are their bestsellers in the category.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 34146      (added 4/27/2012)
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MSRP: $29.99
Age Range: 3 to 8
Specialty: Yes (as of 2012)
Made in: China
SKU or Item #: 2460
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Construction
Preschool
Creative Activities



Now youngsters can take pegging to a whole new level of excitement when playing with this versatile building set that combines popular Tall-Stacker Pegs with Mighty Monkey Pegs. Kids can stack colorful pegs and create different configurations for their monkeys to play. Use the included monkey figurines to swing from a vine, zoom down the slide or ride the elevator basket — with the Tall-Stacker Mighty Monkey Playset, the thrills are endless. "The Tall-Stacker Mighty Monkey Playset encourages free-form building and role-play, while fostering creativity and imagination," Mary Dolan, public relations coordinator for Patch Products, told TDmonthly. Launch date: July 2012.
Awards: 2013 TDmonthly Seal of Approval
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 34139      (added 4/27/2012)
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MSRP: $6.99
Age Range: 8 and up
Specialty: Yes (as of 2012)
Made in: United States
SKU or Item #: 82200
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Aircraft
Outdoor Fun
American-Made



Marble Copter is a brand new outdoor light up helicopter toy. Fling the Marble Copter up to 50 feet in the air using the launching wand, and watch as the copter lights up, glows in the dark, the light reflects off the hologram wings, and helicopters to the ground. Great nighttime fun for kids 8 and up. Launch date: May 2012.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 34132      (added 4/24/2012)
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MSRP: $19.99
Age Range: 6 and up
Specialty: Yes (as of 2012)
Made in: China
SKU or Item #: 4001
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Board Games
Educational
School Supplies



Telepathy Jr is the younger version of the Telepathy board game. Telepathy Jr teaches kids how to use logic and deduction at an early age and is important in the area of critical thinking. Game plays in around 10 - 15 minutes. "There are not a lot of logic/deduction games for youngsters out there and Telepathy Jr will help kids practice their deductive skills," Derek Chinn, owner of LMD Games, told TDmonthly. Launch date: June 2012.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 34131      (added 4/24/2012)
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MSRP: $34.99
Age Range: 4 to 8
Specialty: Yes (as of 2012)
Made in: China
SKU or Item #: LER 5020
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Educational
Creative Activities
General Games



Build some sweet structures. Stretches creativity, problem solving and fine motor skills. Includes chunky, durable candy pieces in a variety of fun, familiar designs plus Activity Guide with illustrated, step-by-step building directions. Largest piece measures 7"L x 1⁄2“ in diameter. Launch date: January 2012.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 34130      (added 4/24/2012)
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Justina HuddlestonWriter's Bio: Justina Huddleston graduated Magna Cum Laude from Emerson College with a BA in Writing, Literature, and Publishing in 2009. After graduating she was the on-site director of the Boston Children's Museum gift store for a year, selling educational, developmental, and creative activity toys that tied in with the museum's exhibits. Justina also interned at children's book publisher Candlewick Press before moving from Boston to Los Angeles, where she is now Editorial Director of TDmonthly Magazine. Read more articles by this author

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