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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:

Brainy Baby Flash Cards - Spanish/English by BRAINY BABY

Brainy Baby Flash Cards - Spanish/English by BRAINY BABYFun picture cards that introduce Spanish and English words and associates each language's word with a matching picture. Contains over 50 words including colors, numbers, favorite objects, action words and familiar phrases. Includes a Parent Card with helpful suggestions on fun ways to use the. Contains 36 cards.


 2/29/2012 (Price: $9.99; Age: 1 to 5) ENTER BRAINY BABY TOYSHOW [Add to my Inquiry Basket][?]


iBounce Kids Trampoline by JUMPSPORT INC

iBounce Kids Trampoline by JUMPSPORT INCThe JumpSport kids trampoline is a fun and engaging way for preschoolers to exercise and learn. Every iBounce also comes with the 12- minute exercise adventure video cartoon, “Hop-Along with RompyRoo™ - Where Is Mr. Fuzzy?” Preschoolers can bounce along with RompyRoo as they help him search for his lost teddy bear. This video introduces basic movement skills and counting concepts as children bounce through the woods, over logs and across lily pads. The iBounce uses a bungee cord system that gives a soft and lively bounce. Plus, the sturdy handle bar adds stability so little ones can safely develop their balance, coordination, endurance and motor skills. Parents that own iPads or other tablet devices can download the cartoon animation, then attach the iPad to the kid-tough, universal tablet mount that’s included. Or, kids can watch the DVD version on the TV. To keep exercise activities fresh, the company will introduce a new RompyRoo adventure every few months. Launch date: 2012.
Awards: 2012 Creative Child Magazine Product of the Year, 2012 Dr Toy Best Vacation Product, 2012 Mom's Choice Gold Award, 2012 National Parenting Center Seal of Approval, 2012 Parents Choice Approved Seal, 2012 Parent Tested Parent Approved Winner, 2012 Tillywig Top Fun Award.
— As of 09/13/2012 this product had 4.6 out of 5 stars from 10 reviews on Amazon.com. Pros: Triangular platform helps prevent tipping; Great exercise option for the winter; Rompy Roo DVD is fun. Cons: Assembly is involved, but is doable with two adults.


 2/15/2012 (Price: $129.95; Age: 2 to 5) [Add to my Inquiry Basket][?]


Perplexus Twist by PATCH PRODUCTS INC.

Perplexus Twist by PATCH PRODUCTS INC.The newest Perplexus model requires a player to twist, turn, and realign the tracks within to escape traps, dead ends, and cliffhangers. A captivating new dimension for the Perplexus family of toys. Thirty transition points.
Awards: 2012 ASTRA Best Toys for Kids – Gameplay/Brainteasers


 2/12/2012 (Price: $29.99; Age: 7 and up) [Add to my Inquiry Basket][?]


Tribute Kendama by KENDAMA USA

Tribute Kendama by KENDAMA USAThe Tribute Kendama is a Japanese wooden skill toy that challenges hand-eye coordination, focus, balance, and creativity. Enjoyed by millions in Japan, its only recently been introduced into the USA thanks to KendamaUSA. " It is the only Kendama designed so that the cups can never fall off the handle, which is the #1 customer complaint with copy-cat brands," Jeremy Stephenson, president of Kendama USA, told TDmonthly. Launch date: January 2007.
Awards: 2012 ASTRA Toy of the Year Award Nominee
— David Castillo, vice president of The Red Balloon Toy Store in Salt Lake City, Utah, told TDmonthly in a November 2014 survey that Kendamas, especially ones from Kendama USA, are one of their store's best-selling toys.


 2/8/2012 (Price: $22.00; Age: 9 and up) [Add to my Inquiry Basket][?]


Lay-n-Go Lite by LAY-N-GO LLC

Lay-n-Go Lite by LAY-N-GO LLCLay-n-Go Lite (patent pending) is an 18 inch travel/mini activity mat that converts into an easily transportable satchel allowing for a quick and effortless clean-up of small toy pieces in seconds. Toy collections used on the Lay-n-Go surface are easily spread out for hours of fun at restaurants, on airplanes, in cars, at Grandma's house, etc.  Once playtime is over, the drawstring is pulled and the activity mat is instantly converted back into a soft storage bag.  Lay-n-Go Lite is small, but like its big brother/sister, it is a smart and easy personal activity mat, cleanup, storage and handy little carryall solution in one.
Awards: 2014 TDmonthly Top Toy Award


 2/8/2012 (Price: $21.95; Age: 4 and up) [Add to my Inquiry Basket][?]


Tranquil Turtle by CLOUD B

Tranquil Turtle is the first Cloud B product that combines both sight and sound features in one soft, comforting character. Glowing in a relaxing aquamarine or amethyst color, the shell projects a magical underwater light effect with a gentle wave motion and plays soothing sounds to help children sleep. Launch date: February 2012.
Awards: 2012 NAPPA Honors, 2012 The National Parenting Center - Seal of Approval


 2/1/2012 (Price: $47.95; Age: All Ages) [Add to my Inquiry Basket][?]


The Scrambled States of America Game - Deluxe Edition by GAMEWRIGHT

The Scrambled States of America Game - Deluxe Edition by GAMEWRIGHTThe Scrambled States of America Game is based on the book "The Scrambled States of America" by Laurie Keller. Kids learn learn the names, capitals, nicknames, shapes and positions of the states through a myriad of visual teasers, language riddles and geography challenges. Collect state cards by matching them to a Scramble challenge. Or “Go the Distance” and find a state’s closest neighbor. Collect the most cards to win. New deluxe edition features new art, new challenges, and a copy of The Scrambled States of America book.
Awards: 2012 Dr. Toy Best Classic Toys, 2012 Dr.Toy Best 20 for $20
— In a February 2014 survey, Mark Rosenblum from Hobbytown in Fairfield, C.T., told TDmonthly that Scrambled States was one of their best-selling games.


 1/20/2012 (Age: 8 and up) [Add to my Inquiry Basket][?]


Flapz by BLUE ORANGE GAMES

Flapz by BLUE ORANGE GAMESFlapz is a pocket-sized game packed with giant-sized fun! With its 96 original challenges, Flapz has kids playing at what they love the most: storytelling, blinking contests, rhyming, memory challenges, goofy dancing. As the challenges change with the situations and the players, no two games of Flapz will ever be the same. Flapz is the perfect pocket game that will last forever! Its eco-friendly material is strong, light and waterproof. Launch date: May 2012.
Awards: 2012 Dr. Toy Best Green Toys


 1/20/2012 (Price: $8.99; Age: 6 and up) ENTER BLUE ORANGE GAMES TOYSHOW [Add to my Inquiry Basket][?]


Perplexus™ Epic by PATCH PRODUCTS INC.

Perplexus™ Epic by PATCH PRODUCTS INC.The third Perplexus family member is a hot favorite with all ages, including teens and adults. Epic’s track is over 30 ft. long, and has 125 barriers. It is so challenging that it even has a mid-way restart point. Once kids pick it up, they won’t want to put Epic down.
— As of 01/12/2012 this product had 4.2 out of 5 stars from 114 reviews on Amazon.com.
— In an April 2012 survey about best selling travel toys, Kai Rady, owner of Shenanigans Inc in Charlottesville, Va., told TDmonthly that her best seller is "Perplexus, especially the Epic version."
Awards: 2012 The National Parenting Centre - Seal of Approval, 2012 Learning Express Toys - Best Toy Award, Games Category, 2012 Canadian Toy Testing Council- Best Bet 2012, 2011 The National Parenting Centre - Gold Seal of Approval, 2011 Parent Tested Parent Approved - Seal of Approval, 2011 Neighbourhood Educational Toy Stores - Gold Star, 2011 Fat Brain Toy ‘Award - Brainteasers, 2011 Family Fun - Toy of the Year, 2011 Disney Top 10 Family Fun - Toy of the Year, 2011 Creative Child Magazine - Game of the Year


 1/12/2012 (Price: $29.99; Age: 8 and up) [Add to my Inquiry Basket][?]


Baby Band by HOHNER

Baby Band by HOHNERThis award-winning set includes a mini rainbow shaker, baby maraca, baby rattle and cage bell. Includes a vinyl carrying case.
Awards: 2007 Creative Child Magazine Top Toy of the Year Award
— As of 01/09/2012 this product had 4.5 out of 5 stars from 24 reviews on Amazon.com.
— In a January 2012 survey, Dean Smith, co-owner of JaZams in Princeton, N.J., told TDmonthly that their best selling musical item was, "Baby Band from Hohner — we had them for just a few months, and sold 15/month. It's a popular item."


 1/9/2012 (Price: $21.99; Age: 1 and up) ENTER HOHNER TOYSHOW [Add to my Inquiry Basket][?]




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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