January 2010 | Vol. IX - No. 1
Whether it be poodle, pug or pomeranian, find your favorite pooch in Manhattan Toy's line of Fuzzy Nation dog-fashioned purses and wristlets. Try "baffling" or "perplexing" the mind with some brain-challenging games from Flying Rabbit and PlaSmart, or play your way onto the team with innovative balls from Fair Trade Sports and Saturnian 1 Sports. See below the rest of TDmonthly Magazine's staff picks for January — products we think specialty toy stores should take a close look at.
Cover image: Fuzzy Nation Crested-in-Tattoo "Betsey J" from Manhattan Toy
Mama K's Aromatic Play Clay by MAMA MADE IT LLC
Mama K's Aromatic Play Clay is an all-natural play clay scented with organic essential oils and available in six scents, including soothing lavender, relaxing chamomile and tension-easing bergamot. "I'm confident there is no other product like Mama K's Aromatic Play Clay currently on the market," Mama Made It owner Kari Erickson-Valenzuela told TDmonthly. "It is high quality, 100-percent natural, gluten-free, beautifully colored using only natural ingredients and subtly scented for aromatherapy with the highest quality organic essential oils. It's lovely." Awards: 2009 Goddard Systems Best Green Toys Under $30.00. Launch date: 2009. ( Watch Video) 11/25/2009 (MSRP: $23.99; Age: 2 and Up)
Fuzzy Nation - Pug-in-Sateen "Angie's Geisha" Handbag by MANHATTAN TOY
Shaped to look just like a Pug (with a bit of extra design detail), this purse is outfitted with a silk blend outer fabric with a floral pattern, a zippered pouch for keys, makeup and cell phone, and the signature silver leatherette paw bearing the company's bone cross logo. It comes in a gift box with a paw-shaped "breathing hole."
— "What's been a surprise to me is the Fuzzy Nation stuff. I honestly chided my wife for ordering them, and I can't keep them in stock," Jude Larene, co-owner of Izilla Toys in Seattle, told TDmonthly in late fall 2009. "Even the expensive $50 purses are just flying out." 12/2/2009 (MSRP: $49.00)
Baffle! by FLYING RABBIT ENTERPRISES INC.
Baffle! consists of a 5 x 5 grid of 25 squares on the game board, plus 25 game pieces in five shapes and colors. The player strategically places and removes pieces to accomplish the goal of each particular game. In Baffle! Classic, he must end up with a configuration in which each row, column and diagonal has a piece of each shape and a piece of each color.
— At the Play House Toy Store in Durham, N.C., this game is a best seller, Owner Donna Frederick told TDmonthly in late November 2009. ( Watch Video) 11/30/2009 (MSRP: $29.99)
CLIPIT™ Elephant Paper Clips by INTERNATIONAL ARRIVALS
This package includes 20 elephant-shaped paper clips in assorted colors. 12/2/2009 (MSRP: $3.95)
Flip-n-Stack Monkeys by ZING
Flip-n-Stack Monkeys includes everything you need to create a perfect monkey tower: four super-magnetic monkeys, one launcher, and a target landing pad. Multiple stacking options allows for the monkeys to be stacked in different arrangements. ( Watch Video) 12/1/2009 (MSRP: $16.00; Age: 6 and Up)
Perplexus Original by PATCH PRODUCTS INC.
The first member of the Perplexus family, this see-through sphere houses a 3-D labyrinth game with 100 barriers, turns, twists and cliffhangers that serve as obstacles to getting a small steel ball to the end. Invented in 1970 by Michael McGinnis, a design teacher, Perplexus helps develop motor and dexterity skills, along with hand-eye coordination.
― As of 12/17/2012 this product had 4.4 out of 5 stars from 393 reviews on Amazon.com and was No. 12 on the top 100 bestselling toys and games.
— At Izilla Toys in Seattle, "Perplexus is selling really, really well for us," Co-owner Jude Larene told TDmonthly in late fall 2009.
— In summer 2010 this game was a top-10 best seller at Dancing Bear Toys in Asheville and Hendersonville, N.C..
Awards: 2012 Parents’ Choice Awards - Silver, 2011 Time Magazine – 15 Smartest Toys for Young Geniuses, 2011 Parent Tested Parent Approved – Seal of Approval, 2011 Grand Prix Kidexpo – Elu par les Parents (Parents’Choice), 2011 Children of Museum of Indianapolis – Top 10 Toys of 2011, 2011 Canadian Toy Testing Council – Children’s Choice, 2011 Babble List – Best Kids Toys, 2010 Toy Insider – Hot 20, 2010 The National Parenting Center – Seal of Approval, 2010 Prémio Brazil – Award of Excellence, 2010 Parents’ Magazine – Top Toys, 2010 NAPPA – Gold, 2010 ASTRA – Best Toy for Kids 12/2/2009 (MSRP: $24.99; Age: 6 and Up)
Pit-Stop Racers by SKULLDUGGERY
Each Pit-Stop racer includes a plastic chassis, racing decals, paint, paint brush, wheels and axles. Pit-Stop racers are designed to run on 1:64 Hot Wheels tracks. 6 different Pit-Stop Racers to choose from. 12/9/2009
Fun Gripper™ Fireball Footballs by SATURNIAN 1 INC.
Made of durable composite suede material with Fun Gripper™ patented Foam Matrix covering, these vibrantly colorful footballs come in 2 sizes (10" and 8.5") and in 3 assorted neon colors. $14.99-$15.99 each. 12/7/2009
Hip&Go - Chocolate Leather with Green Stitch by RED MOHICAN
Designed with adjustable features for wear across this hips, this Hip&Go is equipped with a storage pocket on each side to carry a wallet, phone, keys, baby accessories and more. It is made of Nappa leather and features interior green lining with a velvety feel. 12/7/2009 (MSRP: $229.00)
Fair Share Chore Cards by ROBIN DOWNES DESIGN
Fair Share Chore Cards eliminates dreaded arguments among who does what chores and takes the phrase "that’s not fair" out of the housework equation by leaving chore assignments to the luck of the draw. The chore cards have helpful directions printed on each card on how to accomplish each chore safely and efficiently. The only Ace in the deck serves as a "get out of a chore free" card, giving one a lucky break from a chore. ( Watch Video) 12/7/2009 (MSRP: $14.95)
Cobra Cubes by SMART ZONE
Cobra Cubes is a stimulating 3 dimensional puzzle that facilitates the development of logic and spatial vision. Reading and following the directions make the snake twist around the cubes. Cobra Cubes consists of 40 challenging puzzles in increasing difficulty. For 1 player, ages 6 and up. 12/7/2009 (MSRP: $19.95; Age: 6 and Up)