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February 2014 | Vol. XIII - No. 2
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Figpickels Gets Kids to Prove That Specialty Toys ARE Special

Testing Events Provide Direct Feedback on the Toys You Sell


As if their annual Holiday Board of Directors Toy Testing event and Birthday Bash weren't enough, Figpickels Toy Emporium in Coer D'Alene, Idaho ran a customer-based TDmonthly toy testing and giveaway, thanks to Schoenhut Piano Company, Hohner, HABA USA and Gymnic (Toy Marketing International).


Customers Tested Toys to Win "Thank-You Giveaway"

To thank their customers for being loyal to specialty toys and games, Figpickels opened testing on select products to the general public. Anyone who walked through their doors during the holiday season was able to play with Schoenhut Piano Company's guitars and drums, Hohner's new eco-friendly Green Tones instruments, HABA USA's games and Gymnic's Rody, Rody Max and Bounce Ball. The customers' evaluation sheets served as entries to a raffle held on December 22 to win the tested toys.

And the Kids Said ...

Want to see what kids and their parents REALLY think about the toys you sell or are thinking about selling? Watch the following videos and read on!  Products were rated on a scale of 1 to 5, with 5 being the highest score:

HABA Makes Kids Smart



Ten customers played with HABA's games – Rhino Hero, Secret Code 13 + 4, Loco Lingo Fastgraphs, Loco Lingo Kindergarten, My Very First Games – Counting Fun, and Marcel Memory Game.  The games are meant for kids aged 5 and up.

Here's their Report Card:

Packaging: 4
Materials:  4.5
Appearance: 4.5
Durability: 5
Fun Factor: 4


"These games make you learn and make the process of decision making fun and rewarding," said Jeff S.

"[The games] look very intellectual," noted Avina B. "I would most definitely buy [these] for my nieces and nephews."

"Love the fact [some of the game pieces] are made of wood and are durable," raved Carina L.

"The quality of the products are very good," agreed Jenn H. "[They are] durable enough for all ages."


Hohner Hones In on Green Lovers



Twenty-six families played with Hohner's new Green Tones instruments, which are made from eco-friendly and sustainable mangowood. Instruments included the Beginner Drum Set, Temple Wood Blocks, Melody Glockenspiel, Square Tone Drum and the Stirring Xylophone, designed for kids aged 3 and up.

Here's how they played:

Packaging: 4
Materials:  5
Appearance: 4.5
Durability: 5
Fun Factor: 5


"The tone and quality are excellent," raved Steve Griffits. "My wife is an elementary music teacher with a large inventory of various instruments... but she would want these as well." Her wish was Figpickels' command: Steve had the winning ticket in the Hohner raffle!

"The beginner drum set and Melody Glockenspiel [were] very durable and engaging for [a] 7-year-old autistic boy," enthused Alisa R. "He absolutely loved them! Could have played for hours!"

"My son is 5 and LOVED the beginner drum set," noted Rachel R. "I like the all-wood set and that it isn't TOO loud."

"I like the idea behind the product – Green!—and save the planet," said Jerry S. "I also really like the sound of the toys. They sound like real instruments and not plastic children's toys."

"Very durable product for kids that go through toys fast," appreciated Russ W.

"I like how you can take the drums out and play them individually," noted Ashleigh I.

"This group of toys is awesome," raved  Lia B. "My son loves the sounds, and I love that they are made of a responsible material."


Schoenhut Rocked Out



Thirty-two customers played with Schoenhut's child-sized drumset and electric guitar with amp

Here's what was noted:

Packaging: 5
Materials:  5
Appearance: 5
Durability: 5
Fun Factor: 5


"For the inner rock star in all of us; this guitar makes me wish to be young again," said Jeff Schoengarth, who noted the similarity between his name and the company's name on his entry form. "I know my son will drive me crazy with it, but I welcome the noise." Lucky guys: They won the Schoenhut drum set!

"Although I don't know much about music products, I want my niece to have the option to learn different forms of music. I think she would learn a lot from these," speculated Elizabeth Bailey. She'll find out soon: Elizabeth won Schoenhut's acoustic guitar!

"I've played guitar for 10+ years and would love to give this to my son," said Chris Goodrich. He got his wish and won the Schoenhut electric guitar!

"Amazing little set up!" raved Jen F. about the guitar and drumset. "We come from a family of music and this would be a wonderful gift to our family."

"The drums are loud. Yeah!" proclaimed  Cayden G.

"Fun little guitar. Just like a full-sized with working tone and volume switches. Love it," summed up Mark K.

"I thought it was cool," remarked Kalista K. "I really want it to start a band and be really famous! It was amazing."

"Good for entertainment and developing musical talent," noted Maricela L.

Bridget N. said she loved the instruments because they "help with math skills."

"An excellent learning tool for children," agreed Joanna L. "The size is just right for little hands and legs. All kids love to hit a drum and make music."

"Man, if my nephews had this, my sisters would still hate me in 30 years," joked Johnny N. in appreciation.


Rody  Bounces High



Thirty-two kids bounce-tested Gymnic's Rody, Rody Max and Bounce Ball.
 
Here's how they rode out:

Packaging: 5
Materials:  5
Appearance: 5
Durability: 5
Fun Factor: 5


"I like that it can be used for a couple of years, not just a few months, as the child grows with it," said Jodi Skantel, who won Rock-n-Rody.

"Great toy for hours of exercise, camouflaged as fun... followed by a nap, so [it's] a gift for yourself and the child," said Jeff Schoengarth. He'll get to put his theory to the test, as he won the Hop Ball.

"[Rody] is the most bounciest and funnest toy I've played on and seen!" raved Dot C.

"Rody was a HUGE hit with both of my children. They were fighting over whose turn it was," said Rachel R. "Rody Max is great for my older kiddos... ages 5 and 7."

"Great toy! I run an Early Learning Center – this is a perfect toy for our preschoolers!" said Becky B.

 "This toy would be great exercise for winter days,"  recommended Brenda L.

"Good toy to help improve balance," noted Josh H. "Like the design [and] that you hold onto the ears."

"Happy to see a larger size Rody!" exclaimed Armande G. "It was perfect for my 7-year-old. She had a blast!"

"My 5 year old son said it felt good on his bottom. LOL. And it was great because it jumped high," summed up Gabriel C.

Watch this video to see how Brett and Susan Sommers of Figpickels Toy Emporium maximized the opportunity given to them by TDmonthly and donors Schoenhut Piano Company, Gymnic (Toy Marketing International), Hohner and HABA USA by creating a memorable Holiday Event to reward their customers for supporting specialty toys and local businesses.



You knew the toys you sell were great, and now you have proof, thanks to Figpickels and their customers!

Do you want YOUR toys tested? Contact alison@toydirectory.com for options and details.




MSRP: $60.00
Age Range: 3 and up
Specialty: Yes (as of 2013)
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Musical Toys
Music
Preschool



Four instruments on a central base perfect for the budding Ringo Starr: Two removable drums, bright cymbal and multi-timbre wood block add to the array of sounds kids can make. 12.5” Ergonomically designed Mangowood base fits easily on a lap or table. Includes pair of wooden mallets. Closed box with handle.

ToyDirectory Product ID#: 36382      (added 11/22/2013)
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Age Range: 6 to 12
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Musical Toys
Music
Creative Activities



The perfect instrument for a JUNIOR ROCK STAR. Delivers great sound and incorporates many of the same features as a full-sized professional drum set. Built to last, constructed of high-quality hardwood shells and sturdy chrome-plated steel hardware.  8” Mounted Tom Drum & 10" Mounted Snare Drum, tunable w/ precision, adjustable, double-braced mounting arm 16” Bass Drum, tunable w/ two stabilizers for adjustable angle 10" Crash/Ride Cymbal, tunable, adjustable, Bass Drum Pedal, adjustable spring action Assembly required. Includes: Easy set-up instructions w/ illustrations, adjustable padded foam seat, tuning key, drum sticks.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 14919      (added 8/28/2007)
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MSRP: $125.00
Age Range: 5 and up
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Developmental Toys
Balls
Inflatable Toys



Made in Italy, Gymnic’s Rody Max is a favorite with children and adults. It is the same as our popular Rody Horse, but for kids and adults (ages 5 years and up). It is used 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. Made of heavy duty, latex-free vinyl. Inflates according to size and weight of child. Is surface washable with soap and water. Rody Max is available in Orange, Red and Blue.

ToyDirectory Product ID#: 19781      (added 7/11/2008)
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MSRP: $17.99
Age Range: 2 and up
Specialty: Yes (as of 2012)
SKU or Item #: 3177
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: General Games
Family Games
Infant & Toddler



Our classic "Orchard" for the youngest ones. Can the children harvest the fruit into the basket before the raven reaches the Orchard? Cooperative game.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 33973      (added 3/21/2012)
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MSRP: $50.00
Age Range: 3 and up
Specialty: Yes (as of 2013)
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Musical Toys
Music
Preschool



Rubberwood blocks with five different pitches for fun rhythmic play. When struck with a mallet the blocks sound higher or lower depending on their size – the smaller the block the higher the pitch. 12.5” ergonomically designed Mangowood base fits easily in your lap or on a table. Includes pair of wood mallets. According to Brett Sommers of Figpickels Toy Emporium in Coer D’Alene Idaho, not only do the toys have musical value, but kids are attracted to the bright, candy-like colors. Retail box will hang.

ToyDirectory Product ID#: 36383      (added 11/22/2013)
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MSRP: $115.99
Age Range: 6 and up
SKU or Item #: 609C
Launch Date: August 2009
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Music
Electronics
Musical Toys



This could be a first guitar for kids and a travel guitar for players of all ages. It includes eight dot position inlays, 1/4 pin pickup, and a silkscreen logo. No assembly is required. Launch date: August 2009.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 24237      (added 6/29/2009)
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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: $12.00
Age Range: 5 and up
Specialty: Yes (as of 2012)
SKU or Item #: 4789
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: General Games
Family Games
Infant & Toddler



Rhino Hero is out and about again. The super hero from the animal world fearlessly scales the highest houses looking for burglars and rogues. He is as strong as a lion and as smart as a fox but also as heavy as a rhinoceros. So even the most robust multi-story buildings may start to wobble. Kids must try to help Rhino Hero accomplish his wobbly mission and build a skyscraper as tall and solid as possible. A heroic 3D-stacking game for 2-5 super heroes ages 5-99. Available with English packaging.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 33987      (added 3/22/2012)
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MSRP: $45.00
Age Range: 3 and up
Specialty: Yes (as of 2013)
SKU or Item #: 3705
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Musical Toys
Music
Preschool



12.5" ergonomically designed eco-friendly Mangowood base fits easily on a lap or table. Eight precision tuned bars in the C major diatonic scale provide an authentic musical experience that never sounds tinny. Includes pair of wood mallets. 
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 36384      (added 11/22/2013)
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AD


MSRP: $30.00
Age Range: 3 and up
Specialty: Yes (as of 2013)
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Musical Toys
Music
Preschool



6” eco-friendly Rubberwood tone drum with 4 grooved tone chambers that produce warm and appealing rhythms when struck. Includes child safe rubber mallet. Open box will hang.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 36385      (added 11/22/2013)
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AD


MSRP: $15.00
Age Range: 3 and up
Specialty: Yes (as of 2013)
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Musical Toys
Music
Preschool



5.5” Rubberwood stirring xylophone. Wooden mallet stirred inside xylophone creates soothing soft sounds. Includes hanging header card.
— Crisi Chapman, co-owner of Dear Friends & Children in Duncan, Ok., told TDmonthly in a March 2015 survey that wooden instruments from Hohner are her store's best-selling eco-friendly toys.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 36386      (added 11/22/2013)
.
AD


MSRP: $21.99
Age Range: 6 and up
Specialty: Yes (as of 2013)
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Preschool
General Games
Family Games



Tonight is the the night the secret mission "Amun Re" beings! The team, made up of four cunning secret agents, breaks into the museum and, thanks to their precise calculations, cracks the tricky codes of the security system. Be it through addition or subtraction, multiplication or division, the numbers on the dice have to be combined so that the results coincide with the code numbers. Who will be the first to overcome all the light barriers to get hold of the precious Amun Re mask?
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 36410      (added 12/2/2013)
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AD


MSRP: $23.99
Age Range: 3 and up
Specialty: Yes (as of 2013)
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: General Games
Family Games
Preschool



This is a game packed full with ideas and suggestions, stories, riddles, and poems all about the pieces included. It is a fun way to aid development of language skills, imagination, concentration, and reactions. For 1-6 players and a reader. Please note: This game can be played without the other games in the Ratz Fatz series.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 36411      (added 12/2/2013)
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MSRP: $11.99
Age Range: 3 and up
Specialty: Yes (as of 2013)
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: General Games
Family Games
Preschool



Experience how exciting a day at nursery can be with your children! When a story, poem, or a riddle is being read aloud, children have to listen carefully. Is an object on the table mentioned or is this object being looked for in the riddle? Think quickly and grab the object! Helps to develop concentration, language skills, and reactions. For 1-6 players ages 3 years and up, and a reader. Please note: This game can be played separately, i.e. without "Ratz Fatz" or "Ratzolino."
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 36412      (added 12/2/2013)
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AD


MSRP: $28.99
Age Range: 2 and up
Specialty: Yes (as of 2013)
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: General Games
Family Games
Preschool



Watch the fun add up with My Very First Games - Counting Fun from HABA! Farmer Tim wants to check that everything is in order on the meadow and feed clover leaves to the animal kids! But the rascals are playing tag and happily frolic about! Farmer Tim soon loses track. Can you help Tim count and feed the animal kids? A bouncy counting game for ages 2 and up!
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 36413      (added 12/2/2013)
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MSRP: $29.99
Age Range: 2 and up
Specialty: Yes (as of 2013)
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: General Games
Family Games
Preschool



Bury your hand inside Marcel's tummy, touch the cards, discover the different hidden materials, and match up the pairs! A memory game for ages 2 and up! The circles on each card have a different fabric, creating a sensory aspect to the game! Children can match up pairs by touching and feeling the cards while they are inside the bag. They can also be matched up visually, by comparing the cute critters on them. Marcel the owl is a soft, plush drawstring bag for perfect storage of the game pieces and he can also be a friendly stuffed animal to play with on his own!
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 36414      (added 12/2/2013)
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Wholesale Price: (Log in to view)
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MSRP: $59.99
Age Range: 3 to 12
Specialty: No
Made in: China
SKU or Item #: 605
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Musical Toys
Music
Drop Ship



Little rock stars will take center stage playing Schoenhut's “next generation” guitar. Schoenhut's innovative design incorporating a molded composite body with dual curves greatly enhances sound and durability. The birch soundboard which offers excellent tone and resonance, hardwood neck (for rigidity), and molded composite fretboard ensure proper height and spacing of the frets. Six steel strings permit a wide range of rich sounds. Available in several vibrant designs. Includes: Pick and Extra String. Launch date: January 2012.
Awards: 2013 TDmonthly Seal of Approval

ToyDirectory Product ID#: 35560      (added 11/16/2012)
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Alison MarekWriter's Bio: ALISON MAREK is an award-winning writer, director and cartoonist whose work has been published by Fairchild Publications and DC Comics (Piranha Press), broadcast on Showtime and other cable networks, and viewed worldwide in film festivals. See her short films and print work on www.alisonmarek.com. Watch her nefarious villains in the web series www.MuggsMovers.com. Get inspired by her cartoons "Daily ARFFirmations to Unleash Your Inner Fido" at www.ARFFirmations.com. Phew! And then ...  Read more articles by this author

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