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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:

Max Liquidator Eliminator by PRIME TIME TOYS

Max Liquidator Eliminator by PRIME TIME TOYSThis pool toy looks like a swim aid but is designed to surprise other swimmers by shooting water up to 30’. It comes in a variety of colors.
— “It's made from the same stuff as the noodles,” Gwen Bowden, manager of Doodlehopper for Kids in Springfield, Va., told TDmonthly in July 2008. “We sold 28 in two weeks. It's a good seller, and we'll run out of it.”
— "We've sold over 4,000 in two-and-a-half years," Ron and Sue Banducci of Games Unlimited in Danville, Calif., told TDmonthly about this top-selling gift for boys.
— Three of 66 retailers mentioned water or pool toys when asked about best-selling gifts for boys in summer 2008. Three of 40 retailers named Max Liquidator Eliminator as an overall best seller in early summer 2010.
AWARDS: 2010 TDmonthly Top Seller


 8/28/2008 [Add to my Inquiry Basket][?]


Brain Boogie Boosters by THE LEARNING STATION

Brain Boogie Boosters by THE LEARNING STATIONThis 19-track album is specially created to get kids moving while also aiding the learning process. It features original music by Don and Laurie Monopoli of the Learning Station, both of whom collaborated with Dr. Becky Bailey of Loving Guidance Inc. on the lyrics. Stop-and-go activities boost attention spans, songs for breathing and stretching help relieve stress, and "connecting songs" improve impulse control skills. Tracks include "Itsy Ditsy Spider," "Boogie Rock," "Watch Me Listen" and "It's a Marvelous Day." "Music and movement is part of every young child's life. Why not make those movements into brain-boosting experiences that help those little brains grow?" asked Laurie Monopoli, educational coordinator for The Learning Station. This CD received a 2008 CD of the Year Award from Creative Child Magazine, as well as a 2008 Directors' Choice Award. It was also named one of Dr. Toy's 100 Best Children's Products and 10 Best Audio-Video Products for 2008. The album is available on the company's website in both CD and downloadable formats. Both include a 20-page booklet with lyrics, movements and brain-boosting activities. Launch date: May 15, 2008.


 8/28/2008 (Price: $15.00; Age: 3 to 8) [Add to my Inquiry Basket][?]


Rubbabu Small Alphabet Set by RUBBABU

Rubbabu Small Alphabet Set by RUBBABUAn alternative to plush, Rubbabu is made from natural foam rubber and covered in bright, colorful flocking. The Alphabet Set has 26 letters that are perfect for learning letter identification and spelling. Children are drawn to the visual and tactile appeal, and parents and teachers love the educational value. Display Idea: Display the full alphabet sets on shelf space at eye level. Ensure a demo is displayed so that both children and parents can feel the unique product. (Product was formerly dist. by PlaSmart)
Awards: Parent's Choice Award 2010.


 8/27/2008 (Price: $24.99; Age: 2 to 101) [Add to my Inquiry Basket][?]


Grinning Streak by LINDA SEVERT

Grinning Streak by LINDA SEVERTRefreshingly original, Grinning Streak includes some songs that are just plain goofy, a rap song about brushing your teeth, a beautiful lullaby, and songs about spaghetti, toes, connection, snorkeling, super-powers, and skin ... all in one package! “Linda Severt is the Beatles of Children's music. What she can do in a studio is mind blowing. Yowza!” -Chameleon Performance. This CD won a 2008 "Seal of Excellence" from Creative Child Magazine. Launch date: 04/01/2008.


 8/21/2008 (Price: $13.00; Age: 4 to 12) [Add to my Inquiry Basket][?]


Steps4Kids to Write Cursive by Steps4Kids, LLC

Steps4Kids to Write Cursive by Steps4Kids, LLCThis colorful DVD shows how to write all "contemporary cursive" upper and lowercase letters in cursive, tips to remember letter connections, reminders on correct pencil grips and posture, and colorful graphics to not only show how the letters are written but to introduce cursive sight words to help children learn to read cursive writing. The DVD has received the following awards: 2008 Toy Man Seal of Approval and Editor's Choice Award, Dr. Toy's 100 Best Children's Products 2008, 2008 Parents' Choice Approved Award, and 2008 Preferred Product Award from Creative Child Magazine. Launch date: Summer 2008.


 8/21/2008 (Price: $19.99; Age: 7 to 101) [Add to my Inquiry Basket][?]


Steps4Kids to Write Their ABCs by Steps4Kids, LLC

Steps4Kids to Write Their ABCs by Steps4Kids, LLCThis nationally acclaimed DVD, teaches children to write upper and lowercase manuscript letters on lined paper, teaches ways to remember the proper pencil grip, introduces the children to letter sounds and 100+ sight words to develop early reading skills, and even provides tips on how to avoid letter reversals! It includes fun drawing breaks using letters to keep kids interested.


 8/21/2008 (Price: $19.99; Age: 4 to 7) [Add to my Inquiry Basket][?]


Easy-Stand Domino Set by TAG TOYS INC.

Easy-Stand Domino Set by TAG TOYS INC.Easy-stand, extra large dominos are designed for little hands to easily manipulate. The uniquely designed base and pitch of each domino helps the small child stand them up easily, with little frustration and yet when pushed they will come crashing down upon each other. Children will find many ways to design and stack the dominos using bridge and stairs.
Awards: A TDmonthly Classics Award for being an all-time favorite toy.


 8/4/2008 (Age: 4 to 5) [Add to my Inquiry Basket][?]


Rue, The Monster of Insecurity by THE MONSTERS IN MY HEAD LLC

Rue, The Monster of Insecurity by THE MONSTERS IN MY HEAD LLC

Rue, the irresistible Monster of Insecurity hides behind flowers because he thinks he's different. He doesn’t realize that his unusual features make him interesting.  He thinks that his nose just doesn't "fit" with his shaggy hair, cheese curl ears and fluffy wings. How silly! What he needs is a little encouragement. Won't you tell him he is perfect just the way he is? Rue is a part of the The WorryWoo Monsters series that tackles complicated feelings and transforms them into quirky, loveable characters. Rue and "The Nose That Didn't Fit" won a 2009 Excellent Product Award from iParenting Media and the 2009 Toy of the Year Award (category: storybook and plush) from Creative Child Magazine, as well as a TDmonthly Top Toy Award 2009.

Where to Buy: My Toy Smart


 8/1/2008 (Price: $21.50; Age: 3 and up) [Add to my Inquiry Basket][?]


The Nose That Didn't Fit by THE MONSTERS IN MY HEAD LLC

The Nose That DidnEver felt that your feet are too big or your ears stick out? If so, you will be able to relate to Rue, The Monster of Insecurity in his new story The Nose That Didn't Fit. Follow his silly antics as he attempts to change himself only to find out that beauty is in the eye of the beholder. In this, the second book of the WorryWoo series, Author Andi Green explores the emotional world of insecurity through captivating illustrations and a playful tale. Rue and "The Nose That Didn't Fit" won a 2009 Excellent Product Award from iParenting Media and the 2009 Toy of the Year Award (category: storybook and plush) from Creative Child Magazine.


 8/1/2008 (Price: $14.50; Age: 5 and up) [Add to my Inquiry Basket][?]


Mini Plaja Pets - Muga the Elephant by SMALL WORLD TOYS

Mini Plaja Pets - Muga the Elephant by SMALL WORLD TOYSPlaja Pets are magnetically mixable plush that allow children to use their imaginations to create hundreds of new animals oombinations. The Mini Plaja Pets measure 4" in height and are offered in 12 designs. The product received an iParenting Media Award. The larger, 8" size is available in six designs. Launch date: September 2008.


 7/31/2008 (Price: $6.99; Age: All Ages) [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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