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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:

Ingenious Inventions by EVOLVING TOYS LLC

Ingenious Inventions by EVOLVING TOYS LLCIn this techno trading game, players try to diversify their hands with the best inventions from each invention family by 'doing deals' (trades) with other players. Deal Maker cards give an added zing to play. There's an inventor’s die and an inventions pocket guide. It "puts the future in childrens’ hands like no other game before it!" Geoffrey Moran, President, Evolving Toys, told TDmonthly. This product was a Museum Store Association Buyer’s Choice Award Finalist 2009. Launch date: August 15, 2009.


 6/29/2009 (Price: $10.95; Age: 8 and up) [Add to my Inquiry Basket][?]


Constellation Connect! by EVOLVING TOYS LLC

Constellation Connect! by EVOLVING TOYS LLCDid you know the constellations are grouped by astronomers into families – like the Hercules, Heavenly Waters and Ursa Major families – whose members are in the same region of the night sky? After playing this game a few times, individuals may be connecting constellations all over the sky. It includes action cards and a galactic die to change the game play up in lots of spacey ways. An awesome constellation pocket guide is included. "Constellation Connect! is an attractively packaged game with a lively blend of fun and educational attributes, making it suitable for home, vacation or classroom use. It introduces the deep beauty of the starry skies to children in a friendly, fun and non-overwhelming way," Geoffrey Moran, president of Evolving Toys, told TDmonthly. This game received a 2009 Dr. Toy Best Vacation Children’s Product award. Launch date: August 15, 2008.


 6/29/2009 (Price: $10.95; Age: 8 and up) [Add to my Inquiry Basket][?]


Dino Flip 5 by BRIARPATCH INC.

Dino Flip 5 by BRIARPATCH INC.Players flip the tokens as they play to make a constantly changing game. They flip the score card to keep track of games they've won, and the first to five is the grand winner. It is made in the USA of recycled materials and received a 2009 Oppenheim Gold Award. Launch date: March 31, 2009.


 6/29/2009 (Price: $12.00; Age: 4 and up) [Add to my Inquiry Basket][?]


Hanukkah Scribble Mat! by SCRIBBLE MATS

Hanukkah Scribble Mat! by SCRIBBLE MATSLike all Scribble Mats!, this durable vinyl place mat is designed to provide hours of fun and creativity. Kids can learn as they color. Each mat comes with a box of four crayons. Scribble Mats! may be used at school, home, restaurants, or during travel. "Color on Wipe off Scribble Mats! are made with our signature surface that allows any waxed based crayon to wipe clean and easy with a dry paper towel or cloth. Kids can color again and again," Andi Thea of Scribble Mats! told TDmonthly. This product received a 2003 Dr. Toy Best Classic Toy award. Launch date: July 2003.


 6/29/2009 (Price: $7.00; Age: 3 to 7) [Add to my Inquiry Basket][?]


Funny Phone Early Listening Game by Learning Resources by LEARNING RESOURCES INC.

Funny Phone Early Listening Game by Learning Resources by LEARNING RESOURCES INC.The Funny Phone Early Listening Game is created to get players of all ages giggling. Players dial a number and listen as Funny Phone tells what the next game is. With more than 300 challenges — tongue twisters, singing, drawing, acting and more — Funny Phone is full of surprises. Winners can dial a secret phone number to hear a victory message. It features automatic shut-off, adjustable volume and a break-away safety cord. It requires 3 AA batteries, not included. An AC adapter is available separately. This product was named one of Dr. Toy's 100 Best Children's Products 2009. Launch date: April 15, 2009.


 6/29/2009 (Price: $34.99; Age: 4 to 12) [Add to my Inquiry Basket][?]


Global Wonders: Around the World DVD by GLOBAL WONDERS INC.

Global Wonders:  Around the World DVD by GLOBAL WONDERS INC."Global Wonders: Around the World" is an educational entertainment brand created to inspire kids (3 to 6) to explore and appreciate the customs, music, languages and lifestyles of various cultures from around the neighborhood and world. It was created by a mom of two young girls and a veteran team of children's entertainment and developmental education experts. In a world where animation meets live-action footage, children can discover, share, and compare new cultures with their new friends from Global Wonders. "Global Wonders packaging dazzles, and the cultural content is entertaining and deep. Interactive features like WonderVision and Language Jams also set it apart," David Burchianti, VP of marketing and brand development for Global Wonders, told TDmonthly. It has received the following awards: Dr. Toy Best New Product, iParenting Media Best New DVD and Toy Tips Top 10 Back to School Toy. Launch date: October 21, 2008.


 6/29/2009 (Price: $15.99; Age: 3 to 6) [Add to my Inquiry Basket][?]


Dinosaurs, Extinct? by BRIARPATCH INC.

Dinosaurs, Extinct? by BRIARPATCH INC.This game asks the question, "Can you keep your dinosaur alive into the 21st century?" It's a board game full of pitfalls and promotions as each player's dino works its way from the Jurassic to modern times, trying to avoid terrifying predators and extraordinary earth events in order to survive and be the winner. It comes with six free dinosaur replicas and is made in the USA. This game received an Oppenheim Gold Award. Launch date: March 31, 2008.


 6/29/2009 (Price: $21.00; Age: 5 and up) [Add to my Inquiry Basket][?]


I Spy Ready, Set, Silhouette! by BRIARPATCH INC.

I Spy Ready, Set, Silhouette! by BRIARPATCH INC.It takes a keen eye and a quick hand to keep up in this fast-paced matching game. Players search the colorful picture cards to find the one that matches the silhouette card in hand. The player with the most matches wins. No reading is required and there are four levels of play. The game is created to help develop visual interpretation, critical thinking and social skills. It received a 2009 Oppenheim Gold Award. Launch date: March 31, 2009.


 6/29/2009 (Price: $17.00; Age: 5 and up) [Add to my Inquiry Basket][?]


Block Mates™ - Safari by GUIDECRAFT INC.

Block Mates™ - Safari by GUIDECRAFT INC.Block Mates build upon the foundation of unit blocks by providing children with a themed exploration set. All Block Mates are designed to fit standard unit blocks and can be built in their natural form or mixed and matched with others in the set to create new, imaginative creatures. The patented gasket design is created for a snug fit. There are five characters per set. The Safari set includes Gorilla, Rhinoceros, Elephant, Alligator and Lion. Blocks not included. There is not a toy in any market like Block Mates™. "They bring new life to a store's unit block sales and they are not marketed in big-box stores. They can be sold as an educational toy or a creative toy," Dave Ruddock, digital imaging and design for Guidecraft, told TDmonthly. This product received a Best of 2008 Instructor Teacher's Pick award and a 2008 and 2009 Oppenheim Toy Portfolio Gold Seal Award. Launch date: October 20, 2008.


 6/29/2009 (Price: $25.00; Age: 3 to 6) [Add to my Inquiry Basket][?]


Monkey Match by POPULAR PLAYTHINGS

Monkey Match by POPULAR PLAYTHINGSTo play, a child selects one of five colorful, two-sided match cards and place it in the tray. Then, he places the magic monkey in the center on the left side of the card and points his banana to the picture, letter, shape, or color he wants to try and match. Then, he selects the image on the right side of the card that best matches his selection. To see if he's correct, he'll place the monkey in the center on the right side of the card and let go. He will mysteriously spin and point to the correct match. "This little monkey's actions will even amaze adults and he does it all without batteries," Jason Cheung, general manager of Huntar Company, told TDmonthly. This product received a 2009 Parents' Choice Silver Honor Award. Launch date: 2009.


 6/29/2009 (Price: $19.99; Age: 4 and up) [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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