November 2007 | Vol. VI - No. 11
Hydrolab - Model EDU-8740 by ELENCO
Part of Elenco's Power Tech Series, the Hydrolab is a complete greenhouse system for cultivating plants and vegetables in an indoor environment, without soil, using a modern hydroponics system. The kit comes with a base, an adjustable translucent observation cover, four growing trays, a fertilizer tank, safe chemicals and bedding for propagating the growth of plants.
— Isis Latham, owner of Sugar Snaps Kids in Nashua, N.H., said in summer 2007 that Elenco is the best-selling line of science and nature toys in his store.
— Latham said he sells about 25 items in the Elenco line on a monthly basis.
— "The Hydrolab allows kids and adults to grow plants and vegetables indoors without the use of soil. It comes with everything one needs for a productive indoor growing environment," said Walter Larsen, national sales manager for Elenco. 9/6/2007 (MSRP: $19.95)
Instant Solid Powder (Smart Tube) by DUNECRAFT INC.
Super-absorbent, this slush powder can absorb tap water and immediately solidify. The large Instant Solid Powder Smart Tube test tube comes with powder, three food-coloring tablets and lots of fun experiment and project ideas. “The Instant Solid Powder Smart Tube can absorb 200 to 300 times its weight in water and hold it in a gooey gel.” Dunecraft Inc. Public Relations Specialist Alicia Borley told TDmonthly. “Kids can learn all about osmosis, polymers, saturation and more with this exciting Smart Tube.” Launch date: 2006. 9/4/2007 (MSRP: $7.99; Age: 4 and Up)
H-racer and Hydrogen Station by HORIZON FUEL CELL TECHNOLOGIES PTE. LTD.
The miniature hydrogen fuel cell car fits in the palm of a hand. The battery-less car operates on a fuel cell that is powered by its own on-board hydrogen storage system, ensuring it an unlimited supply of clean energy. Simply adding water to the station’s tank will create hydrogen fuel at the flick of a switch. 8/24/2007 (MSRP: $115.00; Age: 12 and Up)
Vintage Ant Farm by UNCLE MILTON INDUSTRIES INC.
In celebration of its 50th Anniversary, the Gold Ant Farm comes in its original die-cut display box with authentic 1956 graphic treatment. The back of the box contains a special message written by Milton Levine, creator of the Ant Farm. The set features a habitat with four connecting antports, clean tunneling sand, clear and flexible antway connecting tubes, an illustrated ant watcher's manual and a stock certificate to order ants through the mail.
— David Campbell, owner of Amazing Toys in Great Falls, Mont., told TDmonthly that ant farms from Uncle Milton are among the best-selling science and nature toys in his store.
— Campbell said in summer 2007 that he sells about "half-a-dozenish" of the ant farms a month.
— "This special Gold Ant Farm includes a commemorative 50th Anniversary logo and the true story about the origin of the original Ant Farm. It is perfect for collectors and new Ant Farm fans alike," said Andrew Sroufe, who handles media relations for Uncle Milton Industries. 8/23/2007 (MSRP: $14.99; Age: 6 and Up)
Sea-Monkeys Sea-Bubble by EDUCATIONAL INSIGHTS INC.
The Amazing Sea-Bubble is a return to the version everyone remembers from decades past, but it's vastly improved. The complete set includes Zoo-Quarium 10 oz. tank, Aero-Vent lid, and pouches that include purifier, eggs, and growth food. It also features universal clasp, aqua-leash, calibrated feeding spoon, user guide and insurance policy. It's all mounted on a footed blister card with convenient butterfly hook. Instructions are provided on the back of the blister card.
— We've been selling a lot of sea monkeys lately," said David Campbell, owner of Amazing Toys in Great Falls, Mont. when asked about the science and nature section of his store. 8/7/2007 (MSRP: $11)
Scary Soap Science by TOYOPS INC.
Create gruesomely lifelike brain-shaped soap. Operate on special castings to make slippery soap eyeballs. Graft soap fingers onto your soap creations to scare everyone including you! Blend colors and fragrance to make your own signature soap. 7/27/2007 (MSRP: $14.50; Age: 8 and Up)
Mini Super Sports OgoDisks Set by OGOSPORT, LLC
Award-winning, active-play device that adapts for many sports and games. Catches and throws balls up to 150 ft., Mini Super Spots Disk Set comes with two sports disks 12-in in diameter and a soft, rubber filaments, ball.
Where to buy:
NORTH EAST ( Watch Video) 8/27/2007 (MSRP: $33.00; Age: 3 and Up)
Kever Monster Turbo Flying Disc by SPORTCRAFT
Made of hi-tech flying fabric and possessing a "monster-" size diameter, the Turbo Flying Disc from Sportcraft is great outdoor fun for backyards, picnics, the beach, and parties. Its foam-covered rim and colorful design ensure that the disc is both safe and fun.
— In mid-2007, The Flying Disc from Sportcraft was cited as a best-selling item by Michele Wood, manager of Whippersnappers in St. Simon’s Island, Ga. 8/7/2007
The Ripple by STREET SURFING LLC
The Ripple is specially designed to meet the needs of a younger rider. It is proportionally smaller than The Wave in length and width, allowing riders to have a narrower stance to match their riding needs. The Ripple offers the same great maneuverability and allows for even tighter turns. Launch date: 2007. 7/30/2007 (MSRP: $79.99; Age: 5 to 11)
FlyZone Micro Ultrix by HOBBICO
This ready-to-fly aircraft comes with a radio and charger, and features two micro motors that allow it to fly and turn on command. 7/19/2007 (Age: 12 and Up)
Yackle Ball – Black & Capri by TTALF "TOYS" CORPORATION
America’s new x-shaped ball is great for all athletic abilities. The ball has phenomenal aerodynamics that make it go super far when thrown. It is easy to catch, and its softness makes it safe. Yackle Ball games are fun for everyone and can help with hand-eye coordination and motor skills, as well as encouraging creativity and active play. The Yackle Ball is 100-percent made in the U.S. and is strictly sold in specialty stores. “It’s a great way for children of all ages or whole families to have fun and be active together,” General Manager Charles Littwin of Ttalf Corp. told TDmonthly. Launch date: February 2007.
— Ever seen a ball shaped like an “x”? The Yackle Ball worked its way up to a TDmonthly Innovations 2007 award based on sturdy construction, attractive design and color options as well as its potential to build coordination and shape active play in a whole new way. ( Watch Video) 9/19/2007 (MSRP: $19.95; Age: 5 and Up)
UberBots 621 by UBERSTIX
“Kids” can create radio-controlled, rumbling robots and pit up to six of them against each other at a time, thanks to six interchangeable RC frequencies. Working with sturdy, yet flexible interlocking Uberstix components, builders utilize physics, engineering and creative skills to design robots that can trounce their opponents. In the heat of battle, UberBots employ jabs and hooks and even speak preprogrammed Japanese phrases designed to conquer all foes. Knocking down an opponent three times is a win. Then the fighters retire to redesign their Bots and devise another unbeatable strategy for victory. The 621 kit includes two UberBots, 250 Uberstix pieces, two remote controls, two flags, 14 rechargeable Ni-Cad batteries, two chargers and building instructions.
— These Japanese-speaking robotic construction toys received a TDmonthly Top Toy 2007 award for many reasons: the scientific knowledge they invite in construction and redesign, their RC capability to fight multiple robots at one time, the creativity and inventiveness required when reprogramming the UberBots, and the signature, interlocking Überstix parts that make up their distinctive structure. Finally, Überstix are made from recycled plastic and can be combined with other building toys, setting their kits on a higher plane than other construction toys. ( Watch Video) 3/28/2007 (MSRP: $149.99; Age: 8 and Up)
Uberfrog by UBERSTIX
The Überfrog is made of a combination of Uberstix and K’NEX materials. It features realistic movement and lots of personality. The project is rated an 8 on a difficulty scale of 1 to 10, and requires the following: 40 Quarks, eight CubStix, two LocHubs, two yellow K’NEX, five green K’NEX and two yellow K’NEX rods.
— "All the children were delighted with how the projects looked upon completion," reported Teresa Wilson, a TDmonthly Homeschooling Roundtable mom who evaluated the Uberfrog. "This toy is a winner." She awarded it five out of five stars. ( Watch Video) 2/27/2007 (MSRP: $9.99; Age: 8 and Up)
Wildstreak Mini Hovercraft by SPARC!
The Wildstreak Mini Hovercraft comes with a painted ABS plastic body and its compact design lets you speed and spin anywhere. Designed for versatility and durability, the Wildstreak is the ultimate RC toy and can be driven over land or water. And it comes with radio, battery pack, charger and transmitter batteries, so you can start the excitement right out of the box! 10/1/2007 (MSRP: $69.99; Age: 8 and Up)
Arrowhead Attack Chopper by SPARC!
The Arrowhead is the ultimate in attack heli fun. Featuring a foam fuselage for durability and toughness, twin blades that allow for ultra-stable flight and a three-channel radio that lets you fly forward, steer, and climb or descend, the Arrowhead is ready for battle. And it comes completely ready to fly with Li-Po battery, transmitter, batteries and charger. 10/1/2007 (MSRP: $114.99; Age: 14 and Up)
1/18 Mini-LST2 Monster Truck RTR by LOSI
Featuring a dual-deck aluminum chassis, oversized aluminum shocks with threaded adjusters, a four-wheel drive, metal ring and pinion gears, dual high-torque Frenzy-370 motors, Losi Radio System with genuine Spektrum DSM technology, complete ball bearings and more, the Mini-LST2 represents the ultimate mini-truck experience. And there’s a full line of custom parts, upgrades and more available for you to customize. 10/1/2007 (MSRP: $229.99; Age: 14 and Up)
Wild Safari® Jungle Wart Hog by SAFARI LTD.®
Our Wild Safari® Jungle Wart Hog is authentically sculpted, hand-painted and phthalate-free. Developed with the leading animal experts, these replicas are just like the real thing, only smaller. Safari’s jungle series has over 70 realistic replicas. All animals include five language educational information to educate children about our planet’s endangered wild kingdom. Replica size: 4.25” L x 2.5” H. View our entire collection at www.safariltd.com 9/27/2007 (MSRP: $3.50; Age: 3 and Up)
Ultra Stomp Rocket by D & L COMPANY
Stomp on the launch pad and a blast of air propels the Ultra Stomp Rocket over 200' in the air. The kit contains four rockets with the OG-1 Nosecone. “We are the original creator. Stomp Rockets started the "stompin' revolution," Cynthia Peeks of D&L Co. told TDmonthly, stressing that Stomp Rockets are known for their name, quality and safety.
Awards: TDmonthly Top Seller 2008; iParenting Media, iParenting Hot; Dr. Toy Best Children´s Vacation Toy.
— Retailers surveyed by TDmonthly have been naming Ultra Stomp Rocket as a best-seller since 2006.
— Four of 45 retailers who spoke to TDmonthly in summer 2007 said the Stomp Rocket's success makes it a choice gift, reporting unit sales figures from four to dozens a month. Nine percent of 66 retailers named the Stomp Rocket as a best-selling gift for boys in July 2008. "We sell about 75 a month," Marilyn Walker, owner of Play Fair Toys in Boulder, Colo., told TDmonthly in early 2009. Thirteen percent of 47 retailers told TDmonthly in June 2009 that Stomp Rockets are a best seller for boys. “It's probably been the dang Stomp Rocket for about 15 years now. They just fly out,” Tye Steinbach, owner of Thinker Toys in Portland, Ore., said when asked about his most popular outdoor toy. Nine of 37 retailers named Stomp Rockets as a best-selling outdoor item in spring 2010.
— Despite multiple complaints about its durability, the Ultra Stomp Rocket received an average of 4.5 stars among 217 Amazon.com customers for being fun for all ages and pleasantly surprising when it comes to the distance the rockets can be launched. The toy is best used in open areas. Rockets are easy to lose and break, but refills are easy and cheap to find! (12.17.2012)
12/17/2012 (MSRP: $15.00; Age: 8 and Up)