October 2007 | Vol. VI - No. 10
TDmonthly Magazine's Toy Videos give you instant access to toy demos so you can evaluate a product before you buy it. If it works, it shows. If not, that shows, too. Seeing is believing, but hearing doesn't hurt, either. Does TDmonthly's ToyTV work for you? Let us know.
*Video of the month*
Pirates' Take Along Island by PLAYMOBIL INC.
FlyZone Quantum Flyer by HOBBICO
This flyer does not require batteries and soars up to 35’ high. Users simply pull back the knob on the launcher to send the flyer skyward. It works best when launched into the wind. ( Watch Video) 7/19/2007 (Age: 7 and Up)
mark-my-time™ Digital Metronomes by MARK-MY-TIME LLC
This all-in-one bookmark can fit neatly into a child's stocking and includes a metronome, A440 tuner and practice timer. The metronome allows one to guide a music student with the countdown timer, setting it for 15, 20, 30 minutes or more with the touch of a button. When the practice session is over, an alarm will sound. The cumulative timer can be used to accumulate total practice time over multiple practice sessions. All of these features can be used simultaneously. This product has received awards from the National Association of Music Merchants, iParenting and Children’s Technology Review. ( Watch Video) 7/9/2007 (MSRP: $19.95; Age: 5 and Up)
KiDS ScoreCard: 2007 Inaugural Edition - Yankees by KIDS SCORECARD LLC
Each KiDS ScoreCard reusable sticker cling and game board set includes team logos, baseball stickers and 20 players’ clings, as well as a playing field and scoring sections. It allows individuals to follow their favorite sports, teams and players, whether at a game, on the road or at home, and is ideal for collecting, playing and trading. “It is the first collectible that can be used at the game and as a game!” Richard L. Vickroy, director of operations for KiDS ScoreCard, told TDmonthly. Launch date: April 1, 2007. ( Watch Video) 6/20/2007 (MSRP: $4.99; Age: 3 to 12)
JunPo - #5 Axl by UNKL
Axl, a crab fisherman by day, takes on the specialty task of deep sea recovery and has completed 205 missions. His tool of choice is the Tallen 205. Launch date: July 2006. ( Watch Video) 7/13/2007 (MSRP: $34.99; Age: 15 and Up)
AT-43 Reversible Gaming Tiles by RACKHAM
Suitable for miniature gaming, these 15 recto-verso gaming tiles represent the inside of the factory-world Damocles. Launch date: July 2007. ( Watch Video) 8/9/2007 (MSRP: $20.00; Age: 14 and Up)
Desert Toob™ by SAFARI LTD.®
This addition to the Toob line comes in a desert theme. Twelve hand-painted and authentic-looking replicas are neatly packed in a reusable acetate tube, capped with a spinning world. The phthalate-free PVC collectible miniatures are designed for school projects, dioramas and desktops. The replicas vary in size from 1-1/2” to 3”. The Toob line already features over 40 different themes, including Pirates, Cowboys, Rainforest, Coral Reef, Dinosaurs, Horses, Pets, Penguins, Reptiles, Sharks and many more. ( Watch Video) 9/4/2007 (MSRP: $7.90; Age: 3 and Up)
Solar System Magnetic Sculpture by SAFARI LTD.®
The vibrant and colorful metal pieces stack on a magnetic base to create endless whimsical sculptures. The Solar System includes nine planets, a space ship and an astronaut. An educational leaflet is included describing each planet. The magnetic sculptures line includes 15 themes, among them exotic birds, America the beautiful, Egyptian, knights and maidens and more. The magnetic base is 3" in diameter and the individual magnetic pieces are 0.5" in length. ( Watch Video) 3/1/2006 (MSRP: $8.00; Age: 4 and Up)
Zoo Buddies You Can Draw: The Amazing Step-by-Step Art Card Studio by STERLING PUBLISHING CO.
Illustrated cards included in this set guide children through each step in creating a complete picture; each new stroke is displayed in a contrasting color. Kids can then flip the card to try drawing the picture from a different perspective or pose. Subjects include bears, chimpanzees, pandas, penguins and more. Each kit includes 32 double-sided cards, eight colored pencils, a 64-page drawing pad and a pencil sharpener. The box features front magnetic closure. “Using an easy, no-erase approach, our art cards eliminate the frustration kids feel when they have to go back and erase guide lines to finish their drawings,” Associate Publicist Meaghan E. Finnerty of Sterling Publishing told TDmonthly. Launch date: August 2007. ( Watch Video) 8/29/2007 (MSRP: $9.95; Age: 5 and Up)
Gone Fishin' Bath Toy by MUNCHKIN INC.
This set includes a bright fishing pole with a strong magnetic hook that easily catches all three of the included sea squirts. The fishing reel makes a clicking sound, and the squirts float, squirt water and sink when filled with water. ( Watch Video) 7/6/2007 (Age: 2 and Up)
Magic Mesh by MAGIC MESH
Magic Mesh is perfect for moms who want to have fun and be creative with their kids without the messy cleanup: just cut, emboss, weave, layer and more. Magic Mesh’s self-adhesive quality makes it great for positioning and re-positioning on scrapbook pages, cards, gift tags and many other surfaces. Magic Mesh is also great for covering up torn pages and matting photos. A 36-page fully illustrated book offering a wide variety of tricks and tips to wow friends and family is available separately. Magic Mesh is available in four weaves (fine, medium, quilted and Dottie Ann) and 54 colors. ( Watch Video) 5/21/2007
Magic Mirror Laptop by KIDZ DELIGHT
When a child opens this early-learning laptop, his or her reflection will magically appear on the screen. Kids can learn and play with ABCs, 123s, colors, shapes, animal names, sounds and melodies. This product won a 2007 iParenting Media Award. Launch date: June 2007. ( Watch Video) 4/18/2007 (MSRP: $22.99; Age: 1 and Up)
iPod Nano Carrying Case – Oinky by FUN FRIENDS
Made with quality materials and reinforced stitching for durability, this pink piglet case is designed to ensure a proper fit. It comes with a clip that easily attaches to a belt, handbag or tote. The machine-washable product is also compatible with other small MP3 devices. “Fun Friends are the only plush character iPod accessories on the market today,” President Charles Larson of Fun Friends told TDmonthly. Launch date: March 2007. ( Watch Video) 6/28/2007 (MSRP: $14.99; Age: All Ages)
Dinosaur Excavation Kit – Stegosaurus by EDC
This kit gives future paleontologists an opportunity to discover firsthand what it’s like to carefully excavate dinosaur bones from hard rock through role playing. It includes archaeological digging tools, eye goggles and a brush. Kids can excavate the stegosaurus skeleton, which comes encased in clay rock, and then assemble the pieces for display. Launch date: June 2007. ( Watch Video) 8/22/2007 (MSRP: $14.99; Age: 6 and Up)
Egyptology Code-Writing Kit by CANDLEWICK PRESS
Each kit contains code-making instructions, 16 sheets of notepaper, 16 envelopes, six postcards and two sheets of stickers. This one is assembled from the desk of missing explorer and amateur Egyptologist Emily Sands, and it allows other fans of Egyptology to communicate using hieroglyphics, which comes in hand when sharing secret discoveries. Launch date: November 2007. ( Watch Video) 8/29/2007 (MSRP: $9.99; Age: 6 and Up)
Crème Puff Elephant - Small by FIRST & MAIN INC.
This non-toxic, non-allergenic plush toy is handcrafted by skilled artisans with the highest attention to detail. It is 6” long and has an embroidered face. ( Watch Video) 8/29/2007 (MSRP: $6.00; Age: 3 and Up)
Press 'n Dress Outfit Set - Dance Recital by POCKETS OF LEARNING LLC
This dance recital set includes three different outfits. Each outfit is designed to be fashionable, yet easy for small fingers to control. “Press ‘n Dress Doll & Outfit sets are developed from the concept of paper dolls, but with the elegance of fine fabrics. Each interchangeable cloth outfit has secure Velcro backing, so a child can just ‘press to dress,’” May Grant of Pockets of Learning Communications told TDmonthly. Launch date: January 2007. ( Watch Video) 6/25/2007 (MSRP: $9.95; Age: 2 to 6)
DJ Jingles™ by RUSS BERRIE
This 11” plush Dalmatian moves to the beat as he jams out to his own rendition of “Jingle Bells.” The product is suitable for ages 18 months and up, and comes with four AA batteries. ( Watch Video) 7/26/2007 (MSRP: $30.00; Age: 2 and Up)
Little Squirts Bathtub Toys by MUD PIE
The Little Squirts Bathtub Toy Set includes five colorful little farm animal squirts for bath-time fun. The set includes a pink bunny, a lime green and black-spotted cow, a yellow ducky, a light blue sheep and a blue horse with saddle. Each toy measures 2” x 2.5”. “The EiEiO collection, inspired by the favorite children's song "Old McDonald Had a Farm," also offers clothing sets, booties, bibs, socks, blankets, door pillows, spoon and fork sets and bath scrubbies and soaps, providing a fun way to entertain baby and teach about animals at bath time and throughout the day,” a representative of Mud Pie told TDmonthly. Launch date: July 2007. ( Watch Video) 8/7/2007 (MSRP: $10.00; Age: 1 to 8)
Ishababies® by AISHA & CO. LLC
Ishababies® are the critically acclaimed family of "soft-sculptured friends" with "flavors" for everyone. In both 11” and Mini-Backpack Clip versions, they have a distinctive look, touch and feel that evoke strong appeal and lots of fun. Recognized as finalists for “Best New Product” – gift category in the 2007 and 2005 National Stationery Show competitions, Ishababies have global range that delivers on the Aisha & Co. brand promise of “One World...All Flavors.” All authentic 11” Ishababies are clothed in the trademarked Ishababies diaper and have the signature of designer Aisha Bailey embroidered on the rear.
— Veronica Flamenco, a mother of four boys and reviewer for TDmonthly's Diversity Roundtable, appreciated that Ishababies represent "cultural diversity, and the individuality that we all possess." ( Watch Video) 7/9/2007 (Age: 3 and Up)
Lamb Comfy Cozy by GUND INC.
Made of comforting fabrics and textures, Gund Comfy Cozy 24" blankets are available in various styles and colors. They feature satin paw pads and are machine washable. A 12" size ($12.00) is also available.
— When asked for the best-selling classic toy in her store, Diana Gisolfu, co-owner of Sisters Kids in Springfield, Mass., replied, “Gund Comfy Cozies. We’re an authorized dealer because we sell so many of these. It’s like a blanket with a head on it. It attracts the grandmothers market.”
— “People just love plush from Gund,” was the simple but enthusiastic response from Debbie Wurzburger, owner of Toy Chest in Pikesville, Md.
— Gund plush was specified as a big seller by eight of 57 retailers surveyed by TDmonthly. ( Watch Video) 7/10/2006 (MSRP: $24.00; Age: 0 and Up)
Wheely Bug by PRINCE LIONHEART INC.
Multi-award winning and multi-directional Wheely Bugs, distributed in the United States by Prince Lionheart, go backward, forward, sideways and 'round and 'round. These ride-on bugs have a magical mind of their own. Their bodies have a padded layer of sponge, which is covered with a tough polyurethane skin that can easily be wiped clean. Handmade and crafted from the highest quality materials, Wheely Bug features multi-directional casters and unlimited mobility on all level surfaces. “The fact that the Wheely Bug is multi-directional, encourages gross motor skills and at the same time is heaps of fun,” explains its appeal, said Sarah Eastman, sales and marketing associate at Prince Lionheart. “In addition,” she continued, “this is a great product for the specialty market because it is handmade and beautifully crafted. Now moms can let their kids play with bugs, worry-free.”
― Wheely Bug was a Toy Fair favorite spotted by Terry Myers, owner of Kaleidoscope Toys in Round Rock, Texas. It was voted Toy of the Year in BabyTalk's Dec. 2006/Jan. 2007 issue and received the 2007 Silver Award for Best Baby & Infant Product in The Netherlands.
— This handmade Australian toy earns gold stars for everything — wooden base, sturdy construction, simple design, adorable themes, easy-to-clean seat, multi-directional motion and two size options — all adding up to its receipt of a TDmonthly Top Toy 2007 award.
— Two of 60 retailers in a March 2009 survey listed Prince Lionheart Wheely Bugs as a best-selling ride-in in their stores. The Wheely Bug was a best seller at Golden Apple Learning Store in Pleasanton, Calif., in summer 2009. ( Watch Video) 11/27/2006 (MSRP: $69.99; Age: 2 to 5)
Castle Woodcraft Construction Kit by PUZZLED, INC.
This puzzle kit comes complete with everything you need to build your own castle. The designs are already on the puzzle pieces and kids just need to pop them out and begin constructing. 10/19/2005 (Age: 5 and Up)
Mythical Realms Sea Dragon by SAFARI LTD.®
From the Mythical Realms line, this hand-painted piece is made from translucent phthalate-free PVC. Other creatures in the Mythical Realms collection include Poseidon, Griffin, Mermaid, Pegasus and Minotaur. Launch date: January 2008. ( Watch Video) 9/14/2007 (MSRP: $14.00; Age: 3 and Up)