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The Few, The Proud…The Award-Winning Toys

Who Made the Cut This Year?

By Alison Marek and Julie L. Jones

Thousands of products are introduced to the toy industry every year, but only a limited number are good enough, playable enough and innovative enough to garner an award.

In addition to issuing TDmonthly Awards, TDmonthly Magazine regularly asks manufacturers to present their award winners to our readers so that retailers can quickly identify products with great potential and manufacturers can learn and be inspired by others' successes. Here are the most recent responses:

Play! by MILKSHAKE MUSIC

Play! by MILKSHAKE MUSICCelebrating children at play, this rocking album features songs about making-believe (“Pirates” and “Superhero”) and sports (“Baseball” and “Bowling”), as well as impressionistic tunes (“Plant a Garden” and “Magic Ride”). The band is led by singer Lisa Mathews and guitarist Mikel Gehl, whose videos appear on PBS KIDS and NOGGIN. The CD includes three bonus tracks written for the new season of Discovery Kids’ “ToddWorld.” “Milkshake creates kids' music that’s as magical as childhood itself, but packaged in a sophisticated pop-rock style that parents and older siblings will love, too,” Miles at Milkshake Music told TDmonthly. This product received a spring 2007 Parents' Choice Recommended seal. Launch date: November 2006.


 12/14/2006 (Price: $14.99; Age: 3 to 8) [Add to my Inquiry Basket][?]


"All the Colors" With Ira Marlowe by BRAINY TUNES RECORDS

"All the Colors" With Ira Marlowe by BRAINY TUNES RECORDSThis 14-track CD, featuring Ira Marlowe, includes family-friendly melodic tales about a family that encounters a Triceratops while toy-shopping, an alien who must return to a planet where everything is in black-and-white, and much more. A 20-page illustrated lyric booklet accompanies the songs. The textured, dynamic arrangements prompt kids to get moving and participate creatively while the narrative, visual imagery in the songs engages imaginations. “These music-videos-without-the-video help build young minds…. Our philosophy is to challenge kids, deliberately including information just enough over-their-heads to trigger questions and curiosity,” Marlowe, creative director and producer at Brainy Tunes Records, told TDmonthly. This product is a winner of the Parents' Choice Award and the 2006 Mr. Dad Seal of Approval Award. Launch date: December 3, 2006.


 12/14/2006 (Price: $12; Age: 3 and up) [Add to my Inquiry Basket][?]


Tivitz by SAS GAMES INC.

Tivitz by SAS GAMES INC.Tivitz is a teacher-endorsed, challenging math and strategy game. Players move tivits, which are like dice and have a different number on each of six sides, across the game board, trying to strategically land on score values on the other side. The object is to capture goals that, when combined with the tivits value, create equations that give the highest-point scores. Baseball, Space, Aqua and Soccer versions are available. "Tivitz has proven to be an entertaining, fun and effective tool that helps kids think, learn and perform, better and more confidently,” Joe Whitaker of SAS Games told TDmonthly. "TiViTz is not just your standard educational board game," added Vice President Jennifer Brand of Crosby-Volmer International Communications. "Teachers, educators and school officials across the country have praised the game for having a significant impact in helping to increase student's standardized math test scores." This product received a Spring 2007 Parents' Choice Award and a Spring 2007 Seal of Approval from the National Parenting Center, in addition to being named on Dr. Toy's Spring 2007 Best Products List. Launch date: January 2007.
— Alison Shanahan, who evaluated Tivitz for TDmonthly's Homeschooling Roundtable, noticed that while her kids played the game, "They were very silly, discussing space conquest." But that didn't stop them from learning: "I noticed that while attempting to achieve inter-galactic domination, they focused on getting correct mathematical outcomes," she said.


 12/14/2006 (Price: $29.95; Age: 8 and up) [Add to my Inquiry Basket][?]


Wild Cards by BIRDCAGE PRESS

Kids can play three great card games and discover 47 wild mammals of North America, from polar bears to river otters. Each card has fun facts about the animals and what family they belong to. Bonus cards teach kids to identify animal tracks. Tips for playing "Memory," "Old Maid," and "Go Fish" are included. This product received a Spring 2007 Parents' Choice Approved Award. Launch date: February 2007.


 12/11/2006 (Price: $9.95; Age: 5 and up) [Add to my Inquiry Basket][?]


Go Fish for Wildlife: Sea Creatures by BIRDCAGE PRESS

By playing "Go Fish," "Rummy," "Crazy Eights" and "Snap!" players get to know 36 wild creatures in each game. They can learn their names in English and Spanish and discover what family each one belongs to. Each deck is filled with wildlife photos taken by the world's greatest wildlife photographers, and bonus cards give fun facts. This product received a Spring 2007 Parents' Choice Approved Award. Launch date: February 2007.


 12/11/2006 (Price: $9.95; Age: 5 and up) [Add to my Inquiry Basket][?]


Go Fish for Wildlife: Mammals by BIRDCAGE PRESS

Children can play "Go Fish," "Rummy," "Crazy Eights" and "Snap!" and get to know 36 wild creatures in each game. Players learn their names in English and Spanish and discover what family each one belongs to. Each deck is filled with wildlife photos taken by the world's greatest wildlife photographers, and bonus cards give fun facts. This product received a Spring 2007 Parents' Choice Approved Award. Launch date: February 2007.


 12/11/2006 (Price: $9.95; Age: 5 and up) [Add to my Inquiry Basket][?]


Sequence States and Capitals by JAX LTD INC.

Sequence States and Capitals by JAX LTD INC.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.


 12/8/2006 (Age: 7 and up) [Add to my Inquiry Basket][?]


Amazing Baby Sound Balls by KIDS PREFERRED INC.

Amazing Baby Sound Balls by KIDS PREFERRED INC.These baseball-sized, fabric balls feature bright colors and patterns for stimulating sensory play with a classic toy. They come in a see-through tote. The product was a Platinum Winner in the 2007 Oppenheim Toy Portfolio Awards.


 12/7/2006 (Price: $17.00) [Add to my Inquiry Basket][?]


Amazing Baby Development Blanket Teether by KIDS PREFERRED INC.

Amazing Baby Development Blanket Teether by KIDS PREFERRED INC.This flat bear has a crinkled body with chewy teether hands, easy-to-grab rings, and various patterns and materials. It was a Platinum Winner in the 2007 Oppenheim Toy Portfolio Awards.


 12/7/2006 (Price: $11.00) [Add to my Inquiry Basket][?]


Zoo Tycoon 2: Marine Mania by BLUE FANG GAMES

Zoo Tycoon 2: Marine Mania by BLUE FANG GAMESThis expansion pack introduces 20 new marine animals, including green sea turtles, black tip reef sharks and West Indian manatees, into the “Zoo Tycoon 2” experience. Players can watch an orca breach the surface of its tank while dolphins teach each other new tricks. In addition to building new tanks, gamers can customize their own aquatic shows, teaching animals to entertain guests and increase zoo ratings. “Marine Mania lets you train your aquatic animals to perform amazing shows to the delight of your zoo guests,” Jason Ing of Blue Fang Games told TDmonthly. This product received a 2007 Parents' Choice Approved award. Launch date: October 17, 2006.


 12/6/2006 (Price: $29.99; Age: 10 and up) [Add to my Inquiry Basket][?]


Viewing products 1131—1140 out of 1181 products.

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Following are some of the programs represented in TDmonthly.com's section of award winners: Dr. Toy, iParenting Media Awards, TIA T.O.T.Y., Oppenheim Toy Portfolio, The National Parenting Center, and Parents' Choice Awards.

You may also access TDmonthly's review section to see which products earned 5 TD stars.

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