The Few, The Proud…The Award-Winning Toys
Who Made the Cut This Year?
By Alison Marek and Julie L. Jones
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:
Think-ets by THINK-A-LOT TOYS
The educational and fun-filled game uses adorable miniature objects from around the world that inspire imagination and test memory. All packaged in a little drawstring bag, it’s an at-home game, a travel game, a party game, a storytelling game and a camping game that’s perfect for children and families. Think-ets has received the following awards: 2008 iParenting Media Award (Classic and Hot), 2008 The Toy Man Product Guide (Award of Excellence & Editor's Choice), AblePlay, and 2007 Creative Child Seal of Excellence. Launch date: September 2007.
— Teresa Derry, owner of Annie’s Toy Chest in Cocoa, Fla., told TDmonthly in March 2009 that her stores sells about 12 Think-ets per week, keeping them located near the register. “I can’t keep it in the store,” she said.
— “Think-ets are good ones for traveling,” seconded Lisa McMartin, co-owner of Wonderment Inc. in Minneapolis, Minn.
Past videos: Product Demonstration
9/27/2007 (Price: $9.99; Age: 8 and up) [Add to my Inquiry Basket][?]
The Little Engine That Could™ Set by WHITTLE TOY COMPANY
The Little Engine That Could™ Set: It’s the train that’s kept rolling since 1930. The train that made the phrase “I Think I Can, I Think I Can,” is a permanent part of our American lexicon and continues to teach us the power of positive thinking. This set consists of five cars: The Little Blue Engine, Yellow Gondola, Red Toy Car, White Milk Car, and Red Caboose.
Awards: A TDmonthly Classics Award for being an all-time favorite toy.
— As of 7/21/2011 this product had 4.5 out of 5 stars from 2 reviews on Amazon.com.
9/27/2007 (Price: $39.95; Age: 3 and up) [Add to my Inquiry Basket][?]
Baby's Journey by TERRA TRADITIONS
Detail all of a baby’s first special moments in the pages of this acid-free, fully archival book. Record anything from the baby’s the first Ultrasound to the first birthday. The book is also available in a Swarovski crystal version, with an MSRP of $69.95.This book is an iParenting Media Award winner for Best Baby Book of 2007.
9/27/2007 (Price: $49.95; Age: 0 and up) [Add to my Inquiry Basket][?]
JumpStart World 2nd Grade by KNOWLEDGE ADVENTURE, INC
This computer software provides children with a revolutionary 3D world of learning that progresses in response to each child’s pace. Kids build critical second grade level skills as they discover new lands and solve the mystery to become a JumpStart Hero. This product is a 2007 iParenting Media Award winner.
9/26/2007 (Price: $19.99; Age: 7 to 9) [Add to my Inquiry Basket][?]
JumpStart World 1st Grade by KNOWLEDGE ADVENTURE, INC
The first grade level software provides children with a revolutionary 3D world of learning that progresses in response to each child’s pace. Kids are introduced to puzzle play and problem solving as they build essential first grade level skills and explore a vast world of learning. This product is a 2007 iParenting Media Award winner.
9/26/2007 (Price: $19.99; Age: 6 to 8) [Add to my Inquiry Basket][?]
Suzi Shelton Live at Southpaw by SUZIMUSIC LLC
This DVD features kindie-rock artist Suzi Shelton live in concert at Brooklyn’s Southpaw nightclub. It showcases ten original Shelton songs, including “Goin’ on a Road Trip” and “So Long Chocolate Cake,” plus special interviews with Suzi and The Gumdrops. “This DVD gives kids and parents the next best thing to a live concert with Suzi Shelton, an up-and-coming family recording artist,” Beth Blenz-Clucas of Sugar Mountain PR told TDmonthly. This product is a National Parenting Publications of America Gold Award winner. Launch date: September 2007.
9/25/2007 (Price: $20.00; Age: 2 to 10) [Add to my Inquiry Basket][?]
Zoobie™ Pets – Mashaka the Monkey by ZOOBIES
Part of the Safari Collection of Zoobie™ Pets, Mashaka the Monkey is a plush animal, pillow and blanket all in one. It wears a light-blue collar, and the blanket is detachable for washing convenience. The Zoobie Pets Safari Line was included on the ASTRA "Best-for-Kids" toy list for Holiday 2007 and received a Best Bet 2007 Award from the Canadian Toy Testing Council. Launch date: February 2007.
— Zoobie Pets' innovative three-in-one design has captured the attention of numerous retailers at trade shows this year, also garnering a TDmonthly Top Toy 2007 award. In addition to featuring soft, quality materials, the Zoobie Pet’s identity as a stuffed animal, pillow and blanket is executed extremely well, leaving great possibilities for travel and growth with any child.
— The new Zoobies were doing well for Brandy Lindstrom, manager of Little Blue Choo Choo in Scottsdale Ariz. in fall 2007.
— As of 05/13/2011 this product had 4 out of 5 stars from 3 reviews on Amazon.com. Cons: Two customers said they wished they had bought the larger size, because the "baby" size was smaller than they had expected.
Where to Buy: Kazoo Toys; Poopsie's
9/25/2007 (Price: $30.00; Age: 3 and up) [Add to my Inquiry Basket][?]
The Clean Burper by BABE EASE LLC
The oversized burp cloth measures 25" x 12" x 8" and is made of 100 percent soft, thick cotton. Its unique shape provides additional front and back coverage where messes often occur, and a sculptured shoulder width helps keep the cloth comfortably in place. The cloth comes in a two-pack and is available in three colors. This product is a 2008 iParenting Media Award winner.
9/21/2007 (Price: $19.95; Age: 0 and up) [Add to my Inquiry Basket][?]
Camouflage Super-Soft Clean Shopper by BABE EASE LLC
The Camouflage Super-Soft Clean Shopper is the latest way to keep shopping-cart germs away. The Clean Shopper's unique one-piece design covers the entire seating-area of a shopping cart so baby's sensitive skin is not exposed to disease-causing metal. The Super-Soft Clean Shopper comes complete with two toy loops for attaching toys or teethers; two pockets for storing sippy cups, coupons or keys; a safety strap to help baby sit more securely; and a drawstring carrying tote for convenient storage. It is suitable for ages eight months and up. This product is an iParenting Media Award winner. Launch date: 2007.
9/19/2007 (Price: $34.95; Age: 0 and up) [Add to my Inquiry Basket][?]
Automoblox Mini: T9 Pickup Truck by AUTOMOBLOX
Automoblox Minis are a reinvention of the classic wooden toy car — a fusion of heirloom craftsmanship and ultra-modern styling, transformed into a mix-and-match design system that allows kids to create their own special car styles. This truck features blue wheels and a transparent blue top. “The fact is, there are no similar products. That’s what sets the Minis apart from everything else,” Manager of Public Relations Tina Noelle Mezzina of Automoblox told TDmonthly. Launch date: October 2007.
— A smaller version of the original Automoblox, the Minis earned a TDmonthly Top Toy 2007 award by coupling classic wooden design with sleek, colorful modern appeal. Automoblox vehicles drive away with a prize because they have a construction component, feature quality materials, come in various styles, are virtually indestructible and are ideal for both play and display.
9/19/2007 (Price: $9.99; Age: 3 to 9) [Add to my Inquiry Basket][?]
Following are some of the programs represented in TDmonthly.com's section of award winners: Dr.
Media Awards, TIA
Toy Portfolio, The
National Parenting Center, and Parents'
You may also access TDmonthly's review
section to see which products earned 5 TD stars.