July 22, 2018

TDmonthly Magazine

April 2008 | Vol. VII - No. 4

TDmonthly’s Top-10 Picks from Pomona

New Toys Balance Art with Construction

By Alison Marek & Julie L. Jones
April 2008

At the Western States Toy & Hobby Show in Pomona, Calif., in March, artful clowns balanced, toothpicks got “jig”gy and the classic sock monkey acted like a yo-yo. Following are TDmonthly’s top-10 picks from the West Coast show. The problem-solving and -creating card game Math Maze gets an honorable mention, though we believe the packaging should be redesigned.

Check back in mid-April; we'll upload videos of most of these products, so you can really see how they play:

Big Eye Dummies - Disco by BIG EYE DUMMIES

Big Eye Dummies - Disco by BIG EYE DUMMIESStanding at approximately 13”, Disco comes with two sets of interchangeable eyes and two mouths. Disco loves music and plays drums in a band called “The La De Dum Dums.” She’s a groovy, lovable, rebellious Dummy who once played drums for four hours straight — while she was waiting in line at the post office. Disco likes to do things her way. “Big Eye Dummies are unique because they are filled with fluffy stuffing instead of rocks,” Creator Dave Lipson told TDmonthly. “You can run over a Big Eye Dummy on your tricycle and it will still be dumb, and that makes it special.” Launch date: June 1, 2008. (Watch the Big Eye Dummies - Disco Video Watch Video) 3/24/2008 (MSRP: $24.00; Age: 3 and Up)


TwigJig® Starter Kit by EPSILON INDUSTRIES INC.Used to position toothpicks precisely for gluing into strong trusses, the TwigJig makes short work of otherwise tedious projects, allowing individuals to easily build complex designs. The Starter Kit contains one TwigTrimmer for cutting toothpicks to the right lengths, one Square TwigJig with a rubber core for making square trusses, one Triangle TwigJig with a rubber core for making triangular trusses, 16 TwigClips for holding trusses together before gluing, 200 rubber bands, one bottle of Elmer's glue, 800 toothpicks, and instructions for making trusses.  Plans for projects may be downloaded from the TwigJig website. “It is truly a brand new idea and a 100-percent unique product,” Chris Naramor of Epsilon Industries told TDmonthly. “[It’s] the only product that uses ‘jigs’ and lets you build structures out of something as simple as toothpicks.” Launch date: January 2008. (Watch the TwigJig® Starter Kit Video Watch Video) 3/24/2008 (MSRP: $29.95; Age: 10 and Up)


QUILI™ by JOHN PERRY STUDIODesigned by sculptor John Perry, this balancing toy and construction system named from eQUILIbrium, combines the forms of acrobats, clowns and other creatures with the forces of balance and magnetism. Some of the beautifully sculpted and finished figurines are easily balanced and suitable for children as young as 3, while others are more elegant and more challenging to balance, transcending to interactive art with appeal to older children and grownups. The figurines will each have a name and will be changed periodically, presenting some collectible potential. A choice of three basic sets will be available for an MSRP of about $14 each, and 5”- to 6”-tall figurines will be sold separately for $3 to $6. Launch date: Summer 2008. (Watch the QUILI™ Video Watch Video) 3/24/2008 (MSRP: $14.00; Age: 3 and Up)

FunFlyStick - Magic Levitation Wand by Unitech Toys Inc/Toys i.e., LLC

FunFlyStick - Magic Levitation Wand by Unitech Toys Inc/Toys i.e., LLC

The wand is designed to look like a true wizard’s magic wand. The patented magic wand allows levitating objects indoors to go as high as the ceiling allows. With or without a magic spell, just press the button and watch how toy objects included with the set expand and fly up as high as you can make them go. Awards: TDmonthly Innovations 2008.
— The wand demonstrates “real levitation,” Olga Ousherovitch, president and co-owner of Toysie LLC, told TDmonthly. (Watch the FunFlyStick - Magic Levitation Wand Video Watch Video) 1/2/2008 (MSRP: $27.00; Age: 5 and Up)

Eye Can Art Printmaking Kit by BLUE ART BOX LLC

Eye Can Art Printmaking Kit by BLUE ART BOX LLCThis "collograph" printmaking kit allows children to create distinctive paper collages, then print dramatic pictures using non-toxic printing inks. It includes two colors of printing ink, a brayer, a tag board, a glue stick, a crayon, scissors, white and color papers and instructions. “Eye Can Art kits provide fun art projects, high-quality materials, enough art materials to experiment with techniques, and easy-to-follow illustrated instructions that encourage unique, open-ended expression,” Co-owner Shannon Ninburg of Eye Can Art told TDmonthly. Launch date: November 2007.
Awards: 2008 Parents Choice Award; 2009 Oppenheim Toy Portfolio Gold Seal; 2009 Tillywig Brain Child Award (Watch the Eye Can Art Printmaking Kit Video Watch Video) 3/24/2008 (MSRP: $23.99; Age: 4 and Up)

Glow-and-Throw UFO Flying Disc by STAMOS ENTERPRISES

Glow-and-Throw UFO Flying Disc by STAMOS ENTERPRISESUsers can create hundreds of different colorful and 3D flying shapes and designs with this illuminated or lighted flying disc. Each colorful light appears as its own 3D flying shape. Awards: 2009 Top Toy of the Year, Creative Child Magazine. Launch date: January 2008. (Watch the Glow-and-Throw UFO Flying Disc Video Watch Video) 3/17/2008 (MSRP: $12.95; Age: 7 and Up)

Soft-Play Dragon by BULLYLAND TOYS INC.

Soft-Play Dragon by BULLYLAND TOYS INC.This bright, poseable dragon measures 20” and is made of a soft, rubbery material.
— Although she carries a lot of animals by Safari Ltd., Owner Gillian Fetz of The Learning Tree in Missoula, Mont., plans to supplement her display with larger figurines — dragons, dinosaurs and elephants — in this line of “lightweight, kind of squishy animals.” (Watch the Soft-Play Dragon Video Watch Video) 3/24/2008

Math Maze Mastery Set by MATH MAZE USA

Math Maze Mastery Set by MATH MAZE USAThis game allows learners to master positive and negative integers, fractions and whole numbers. The game apparatus includes a six-sided hex rod called a Mathematics Function Bar. One side indicates addition, the second subtraction, the third multiplication, the fourth division, and the fifth and sixth player's choice. The bar is used in conjunction with two sets of cards, Red Factor and Green Player, which are numbered 1 through 10. Players take turns creating and solving math problems using multiple operations, trying to get rid of their cards before their opponents do. Launch date: March 1, 2008. (Watch the Math Maze Mastery Set Video Watch Video) 2/29/2008 (MSRP: $19.95; Age: 8 and Up)

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