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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:

Award Winning – Cool Colors Mini Pack by ARTS EDUCATION IDEAS

Award Winning – Cool Colors Mini Pack by ARTS EDUCATION IDEASThis kit includes 12, 27" square scarves, two of each of the following color combinations: purple, lavender, royal blue, medium blue, kelly green and lime green. It includes an instructional/informational insert and a reusable plastic hanging storage bag. "Our scarf kits contain high quality, 100-percent washable nylon scarves in vibrant colors. ... we also provide durable and reusable plastic bags for storage as well as Velcro to hang the scarves in a special place, where they can be put away easily and beautifully," Rosanne Jessen, marketing associate for arts education IDEAS, told TDmonthly. Launch date: 1996.


 10/5/2009 (Price: $22.50; Age: All Ages) [Add to my Inquiry Basket][?]


Zhu Zhu Pets™ Hamster - Mr. Squiggles by CEPIA LLC

Zhu Zhu Pets™ Hamster - Mr. Squiggles by CEPIA LLCThis hamster on a mission loves to explore and can scoot along the ground and boogie through its different habitats. The Zhu Zhu Pets Hamster line also includes Chunk, Pipsqueak and Num Num, all of which squeak and chatter when in loving mode. This product was named one of Dr. Toy's 100 Best Children's Products 2009. Launch date: Fall 2009.


 10/5/2009 (Price: $11.99; Age: 4 and up) [Add to my Inquiry Basket][?]


The Amazing Alphabotz™ Superphonic Decoder Cards by IDEOPOLIS LLC

The Amazing Alphabotz™ Superphonic Decoder Cards by IDEOPOLIS LLCThe Alphabotz Superphonic Decoder Cards jumpstart beginning reading skills by building lasting associations between sounds and the letters that represent them. The cards include a variety of games and activities that are designed to promote vital early literacy skills such as phonemic awareness and are geared toward children of various skill levels, making this product both an educational tool and a toy. "The ALPHABOTZ personify sounds in the English language. They help children visualize and build lasting associations between sounds and the letters that represent them. The letter/letter team on a character's chest and the icon on its head serve as constant visual reinforcements for the sound that is represented by that character," Nicole Sigsby, principal of Ideopolis LLC, told TDmonthly. Awards: 2009 Creative Child Magazine Preferred Choice Award in the Educational Products Category; iParenting Media; Mom's Choice; Tillywig Brain Child; and Dr. Toy's 100 Best Children's Products 2009; 2009 Family Choice Award; 2010 The Toy Man Seal of Approval, Award of Excellence and Editors Choice Award. Launch date: July 2009.
— "Just when you thought it was not possible, here is another fresh approach to letter recognition.  Developed by an educator, Alphabots are for children at all developmental levels.  Use the 46 robot character cards in one of 12 fun letter and sound games to improve phonemic awareness. I love Alphabotz!" Jennifer Shuman, of 1SmartNoodle, told TDmonthly at Toy Fair 2010.


 10/2/2009 (Price: $19.95; Age: 3 to 7) [Add to my Inquiry Basket][?]


Mixis™ Culturally Inspired Clothing by YNU GROUP INC.

Mixis™ Culturally Inspired Clothing by YNU GROUP INC.Mixis™ Culturally Inspired Clothing draws on influences from China, Japan, India and Central and North American. Each outfit draws inspiration from traditional, historical and modern fashion trends. (Doll not included).
Awards: A TDmonthly Classics Award for being an all-time favorite toy.


 9/23/2009 (Age: 6 and up) [Add to my Inquiry Basket][?]


Mixis™ Limited Edition Sunshine Collectible Play Dolls by YNU GROUP INC.

Mixis™ Limited Edition Sunshine Collectible Play Dolls by YNU GROUP INC.Mixis™ Limited Edition Sunshine Collectible Play Dolls (Emerald, Rosa, Opal and Houda) come in the same reusable keepsake package; are wearing beautiful casual dresses, a pair of handmade espadrilles and a matching purse.
Awards: A TDmonthly Classics Award for being an all-time favorite toy.


 9/23/2009 (Age: 6 and up) [Add to my Inquiry Basket][?]


Consensus® Junior Edition by MINDLOGIC INC.

Consensus® Junior Edition by MINDLOGIC INC.Consensus® Junior Edition is an educational and parent friendly game. It is well suited as a family game. Consensus® Junior Edition is a game about opinions. Consensus® Junior Edition is not a trivia game, nor is it a strategy game. It is a game that allows its participants to express themselves as individuals and/or as part of a group.It has received the following awards: Dr. Toy 100 Best Products 2009; Dr. Toy 10 Best Socially Responsible Products 2009; Major Fun Award 2009; Tillywig Laugh Out Loud Award 2009; Creative Child Magazine: Game of the Year 2009; Family Review Center Gold Award 2009; and Oppenheim Toy Portfolio Gold Award 2009.
— Bernie DeKoven (Major Fun) proclaims that Consensus Junior Edition “is as much a tool for family harmony as it is a game for family fun.” With gameplay similar to Apples to Apples, Consensus Junior Edition challenges players to choose the noun card they feel best fits the revealed adjective card. Players who are able to come to a consensus and choose successfully move ahead. Everyone’s opinion matters, no matter their age, and even kids below the recommended age of 8 can play with a little parental help.
— At Toy House and Baby Too in Jackson, Mich., Consensus Junior Edition is a best-selling game, Owner Phil Wrzesinski told TDmonthly in November 2009.


 9/14/2009 (Price: $24.95; Age: 8 and up) [Add to my Inquiry Basket][?]


Truth Be Told by BUFFALO GAMES INC.

Truth Be Told by BUFFALO GAMES INC.In this game for three to eight players, each round, the rotating Host reads his true answer to the given question card, along with everyone else's bluff answers, and players try to guess the correct answer to score points. An example of a question card is, "Truth Be Told, my favorite snack is _________." Bluff answers can also score points in this party game designed for fun and laughter. It includes 564 Truth Be Told questions on 141 cards, eight markers, eight fill-in-the-blank cards, eight paddles, a scoreboard and instructions. Launch date: Fall 2009 in select markets; 2010 nationwide.
Awards: 2010 Tillywig Laugh Out Loud


 9/11/2009 (Price: $27.99; Age: 14 and up) [Add to my Inquiry Basket][?]


Advent Calendar by HABA USA/HABERMAASS CORP.

Advent Calendar by HABA USA/HABERMAASS CORP.More than just a simple one time use advent calendar. This calendar can be used again and again. Each of the 24 sliding box compartments contain a wooden shape – perhaps a star or even a donkey. Children can’t wait to open the next day’s drawer. After the first use, the calendar can be reloaded with ‘treats’ for next year OR save the wooden parts and mix them up.
Awards:
A TDmonthly Classics Award for being an all-time favorite toy.


 9/3/2009 (Price: $35.00; Age: 3 and up) [Add to my Inquiry Basket][?]


Pop Fly by JUSTIN ROBERTS

Pop Fly by JUSTIN ROBERTSThe album relates true experiences of baseball success and failure as well as other fun and funny stories. This is the sixth CD from Justin Roberts and the Not Ready for Naptime Players. Indie rock for kids, this “kindie” album tells 11 tales of distracted outfielders and magnificent imaginations. It won the Parents' Choice and NAPPA Gold Award. Launch date: 2008.


 9/1/2009 (Price: $15.00; Age: 2 and up) [Add to my Inquiry Basket][?]


Yikerz! by WIGGLES 3D

Yikerz! by WIGGLES 3DPerennial best seller! Place your Yikerz! pieces (magnets) down on the board and try to avoid attracting the other pieces already played. The object is to get rid of all your pieces. If Yikerz! collapse together, those pieces are yours to add to your stack. Stand the Yikerz! upright for increased magnetism and danger for your opponent’s next turn! But beware, that play could backfire on your next turn. The unique four-piece interchangeable game board designs allow for many different configurations that create a variety of challenges and suits different skill levels. Comes in a convenient travel pouch for portable fun, anywhere, anytime! Warning:  Choking Hazard - Contains Magnets
Awards: Mensa Select award winner, 2010


 8/31/2009 (Price: $16.99; Age: 14 and up) ENTER WIGGLES 3D 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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