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
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:
Bella Rose Kimochi by PLUSHY FEELY CORP.
Kimochis are small pillows with a feeling (happy, sad, silly, brave) printed on one side and a corresponding facial expression on the other. Each Kimochis plush character comes with a set of three feelings and a how-to Kimochis Feel Guide. The characters — Clover, Cat, Huggtopus, Cloud, Bella Rose, Bug and Lovey Dove — have a special pocket where kids can store their "Kimochis" or feelings. Using the characters and their Kimochis, kids can get in touch with their emotions through puppetry and play. “Getting back to the basics by playing and communicating with Kimochis™ is a simple, yet powerful way to teach children how to: be aware of feelings, choose how to communicate in emotional moments, and redo mistakes. Children will be drawn to the fun, adorable, accessible characters. Parents will be drawn to the high-quality craftsmanship and the valuable educational content," Susan Schroeder, director of marketing and communications for Plushy Feely Corp., told TDmonthly. Awards: 2009 Creative Child Magazine Seal of Excellence; Best Vacation Products by Dr. Toy; Kaboose.com's Top 13 Amazing Toys for Preschoolers; TDmonthly Top Toy Award, June 2011 — Why it won: The latest line of Kimochis are cuter than ever and just as good at helping children articulate some of their more troubling emotions. Bella Rose is pretty and soft and works just as well as a traditional stuffed animal as she does as a teaching tool.
Kid'Sleep Classic by CLAESSENS' KIDS/LIVE LOVE DREAM INC.
The Kid’Sleep Classic has many benefits, as a night light and sleep teacher for young children and an alarm clock for older children. It helps young children have an understanding of when it is time to get out of bed and when it is not. It is a great tool for nighttime self regulation, and the result is that both parents and children get more sleep. The Kid’Sleep Classic helps kids stay in bed until it is time to get up. If the sleeping animal is lit, kids know to stay in bed. When the awake animal is illuminated, it is okay to get out of bed and start the day. Kids naturally relate to the sleeping or awake animal. Color recognition is not required. The Kid’Sleep Classic has dual nighttime/naptime settings and an optional alarm (which is a very sweet bird chirping sound followed by a rooster crowing), in addition to three levels of brightness. The Kid’Sleep Classic comes in blue (bunny) or pink (cow). Launch date: September 2009. Awards: 2011 Parent Tested Parent Approved
Eco-friendly Wooden Flower Counting Game by BOIKIDO
This environmental friendly wooden Flower Counting Game is made of wood from FSC-monitored source, painted with water-based paints, packaged in a box made of recycled materials, and printed with soy-bean ink. Kids learn colors, numbers and counting with this attractive flower with a happy smiley face. The game helps develop motor and cognitive skills. It includes 60 pegs for counting. Store the pieces in the sturdy drawer box that comes with the toy. Tested to meet European and U.S. safety standards. Awards: 2011 Parents' Choice Approved Award
This environmental friendly wooden Double Sided Matching Game is made of wood from FSC-monitored source, painted with water-based paints, packaged in a box made of recycled materials, and printed with soy-bean ink. Learning ABCs is very important for kids while growing up. These 52 double sided wooden pieces will help kids learn their ABCs while playing. Develop motor and cognitive skills. Match the upper case letter with the corresponding lower case letter, each pair has a unique way to fit into each other to minimize frustration. Flip the pieces and you have a different set of matching game for extra fun. Store the pieces in the nice and sturdy drawer box which comes with the toy. It's been tested to meet European and U.S. safety standards. Awards: 2011 Parents' Choice Recommended Award
This environmental friendly wooden Double Sided Alphabet Puzzle is made of wood from FSC-monitored source, painted with water-based paints, packaged in a box made of recycled materials, and printed with soy-bean ink. Learning ABCs is very important for kids while growing up. These 26 double sided wooden pieces will attract kids to it so they can play and learn while developing motor and cognitive skills. By sorting the capital letters in the right sequence, kids can assemble a beautiful picture. On the reverse side, a long caterpillar helps kids learn both upper and lower case letters. Store all the pieces in the nice and sturdy drawer box which comes with the toy. The toy has been tested to meet European and U.S. safety standards. Awards: 2011 Parents' Choice Recommended Award
Only One Ocean contains 14 original songs from the award-winning Banana Slug String Band; all designed to inspire young people and their families to learn about and care for the ocean. Special guests include Grammy winners George Winston, Victor Wooten of Bela Fleck & the Flecktones, and BeauSoleil avec Michael Doucet. All songs are based on "Ocean Literacy: The Essential Principles of Ocean Sciences K-12." Associated curricula also available. Awards: 2008 NAPPA (National Parenting Publications Awards) Honor Award; 2008 Skipping Stones Honor Awards; 2007 Moonbeam Children's Book Gold Award; 2007 iParenting Media Award; 2005 Gail Rich Award; 2005 NAPPA (National Parenting Publications Awards) Gold Award; 2005 Parents' Choice Silver Award; 2004 iParenting Media Award; 2004 Creative Child Magazine Seal of Excellence Award; 2000 AFIM Children's Album of the Year; 1997 American Library Association's Notable Children's Recording Award; 1996 NAPPA Honor Award; 1996 Parent's Choice Honor Award; School Library Journal starred review
Spiffies wipes, which contain the natural cavity-fighting ingredient xylitol, have been found to significantly reduce the development of cavities in kids. The individually-packaged wipes come in child-friendly flavors, so kids actually enjoy using them. Awards: 2010 National Parenting Center Products for Babies award
The Adventures of Zylie & Friends by ZYLIE THE BEAR
The Adventures of Zylie and Friends is a new award-winning collection of lovable plush characters, fashionable outfits, and educational stories. The line follows Zylie, a young bear from Manhattan, on her exciting adventures around the world where she meets new friends, collects new outfits, and learns about new countries and cultures. The characters come packaged in their own Adventure Kits, complete with 18" 5-jointed plush bear, signature outfit, accessories, passport, and a storybook from the series. Awards: 2010 Oppenheim Toy Portfolio Platinum Best Toy Award; 2010 Dr. Toy Best Picks; 2010 Parent's Choice Approved; 2010 NAPPA Rising Star; 2010 Creative Child Magazine Top Toy of the Year Award; 2011 PAL Award
Step2 Click and Whirl Mower Blower by THE STEP2 COMPANY
A push toy with lots of pretend possibilities. This mower is designed for true walkers. It is not weighted for toddlers that are looking for something to hold onto. This is a prop that makes a pleasing sound when it's pushed. The top of the mower comes off and doubles as a leaf blower. It has a crank and a see-thru window so that you can see the parts move. Not difficult to put together. Awards: Oppenheim Toy Portfolio Best Toy Award, Platinum, 2010.
This is a set of building blocks that are made out of bamboo. They are Lincoln Log inspired pieces - the set comes with 63 pieces. There's enough pieces to make the house as shown on the packaging or to create your own structure. Awards: Oppenheim Toy Portfolio Best Toy Award, Platinum, 2010.