July 2011 | Vol. X - No. 7
Syma - 3 Channel Electric Helicopter RTF w/ Auto Stabilizing Gyro + Metal Frames + Cool Strobing Head Lights by TOY WONDERS INC.
S032 Syma - 3 Channel Electric Helicopter RTF w/ Auto Stabilizing Gyro + Metal Frames + Cool Strobing Head Lights. 11.5" long helicopter comes with battery, charger and transmitter. The Syma S032 RC helicopter can go forward, backward, left, and right. This S032 even equipped with bright strobing LED head lights, so you can enjoy flying in the dark. The unique co-axial rotors counter-rotate for unprecedented stability. Light and safe, this helicopter will transform any indoor environment into a cool chopper fly zone. Get about 12 minutes flight time per charge. S032 is in RED & WHITE 2-tone colors.
— As of 12/17/2012 this product had 4.1 out of 5 stars from 899 reviews on Amazon.com. 12/15/2010 (MSRP: $70; Age: 8 and Up)
Syma - 3 Channel Radio Controlled Infrared Remote Controlled Electric RC Micro Mini Helicopter w/ Gyro by TOY WONDERS INC.
S107 Syma - 3 Channel Radio Controlled Infrared Remote Controlled Electric RC Micro Mini Helicopter w/ Gyro + Colorful Strobing LED Lights. This S107 equipped with NEW Gyroscope System for simpliest controls and stabilities, NEW Metal Frame & Body for extra durabilities, NEW Awesome Look and Design, and Bright strobing muti-color LED headlights so you can enjoy flying in the dark. At only 7" long, it easily fits in the palm of your hand and is fully functional. This S107 even has the option to charge directly from computer's USB port (USB cable included) or transmitter which uses "AA" batteries! S107 is in RED & YELLOW colors. Each Helicopter is individually packed in a window box. Box size: 17.75"L x 3"W x 7.25"H.
— As of 05/21/2012 this product had 4 out of 5 stars from 730 reviews on Amazon.com. PROS: Lightweight, durable, two methods of charging. CONS: Not suitable for children under 14; repairs are difficult.
12/15/2010 (MSRP: $60; Age: 8 and Up)
Rory's Story Cubes by GAMEWRIGHT
This pocket-sized story generator is designed to provide hours of imaginative play for all ages. With Rory's Story Cubes®, anyone can become a great storyteller and there are no wrong answers. Players simply roll the cubes and let the pictures spark the imagination. "Rory's Story Cubes is unique because of its simplicity, small packaging, low price point and endless story possibilities. It's a great learning and writing tool that can be played with one person or a large group as a party game," Emily Nichols, marketing coordinator for Gamewright, told TDmonthly. Launch date: March 2010.
Awards: 2009 Dr. Toy’s 10 Best Games of the Year; 2010 Major Fun Award; 2010 Parents’ Choice Gold Award, Creative Child Magazine Seal of Excellence Award, iParenting Media Award, Oppenheim Toy Portfolio Gold Award.
— As of 12/17/2012 this product had 4.6 out of 5 stars from 306 reviews on Amazon.com. Pros: Helps develop story telling ability; promotes cooperative play; creative; affordable. Cons: One reviewer said they were bored with it after playing a few times, but that it is very affordable.
— Stacy Kalisz of The Old Schoolhouse Magazine “absolutely loved” using the Story Cubes with her family as they came up with a variety of games. One of their favorite play variations “is to tell a group story, with each person using one die on his or her turn.” 12/28/2009 (MSRP: $7.99; Age: 8 and Up)
BUTTERFLY GARDEN by EDUCATORS RESOURCE
The entire class can watch caterpillars as time and nature work their magic in creating beautiful butterflies. Includes a coupon which is returned to the laboratory for the Butterfly Culture (yields 5 caterpillars), 11 1/4 inch tall habitat for your butterflies, a butterfly feeding kit, instructions on their care, and interesting facts about their lives. 5/7/2008
BANANAGRAMS® by BANANAGRAMS
The fast-moving word game consists of 144 ivory-like letter tiles in a zippered banana pouch. Players place the tiles face down on the table and randomly select 21 tiles. They turn their letters right-side up simultaneously and proceed to form as many intersecting and interconnecting words as possible, rearranging their own letters as many times as desired throughout the game. Awards: TDmonthly Top Seller 2007; 2009 TOTY Game of the YEAR, 2006 Oppenheim Toy Portfolio Gold Seal; 2007 iParenting; 2007 Parents' Choice Recommended; 2007 Dr. Toy Best Products. (Read Review)
— This product has been making the TDmonthly Best-sellers lists since 2007.
— As of 05/13/2011 this product had 4.8 out of 5 stars from 456 reviews on Amazon.com.
— Eight of 66 retailers vouched for its best-selling status in May 2008; seven of 63 did in Sept. 2008. Shani Watmough of Planet Toys in Rockland, Maine, said her store sells 60 per month. Fifteen of 38 named it a top-selling game in Feb. 2010.
— As of April 5, 2010, Bananagrams had spent 570 days in the top-100 best-selling toys and games on Amazon.com.
— According to owner Brett Sommer of Figpickels Toy Emporium in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, “It was the 2009 game of the year. The brilliant packaging definitely helps this product." ( Watch Video) 6/19/2006 (MSRP: $14.99; Age: 7 and Up)
Angry Birds Knock on Wood Board Game by MATTEL INC.
One player draws a construction card and builds the structure shown. Next, an opponent loads an Angry Bird onto the launcher and catapults the bird to knock down structures and pigs. The player with the most points and knockdowns wins. Features three Angry Birds, four green pigs, one slingshot-style launcher, structure pieces and multiple mission cards. For one or more players. Launch date: May 2011.
— As of 12/17/2012 this product had 3.9 out of 5 stars from 252 reviews on Amazon.com. Pros: Great alternative to the app for parents who want to reduce kids' screen time; fun for the family to play together; helps kids develop dexterity and patience. Cons: Certain structures are too elaborate to build and don't seem to be grouped in the correct level of difficulty; kids with short attention spans may lose interest in building the structures; structures are easy to knock down, which can be frustrating for younger players. 2/18/2011 (MSRP: $14.99; Age: 5 and Up)
Stomp Rocket Jr. Glow Kit by D & L COMPANY
When kids stomp on the launch pad, a blast of air propels the Stomp Rocket over 100 feet into the air. This kit comes with four glow-in-the-dark foam rockets.
— As of 12/17/2012 this product had 4.6 out of 5 stars from 291 reviews on Amazon.com. PROS: Simple to use, no assembly, rockets fly high, and foam construction of rockets doesn't damage people or property. CONS: Could use a sturdier base and wingnut/screw connection.
— In an August 2010 TDmonthly survey of 43 retailers, three cited Stomp Rockets as an overall top seller.
— Stephanie Dupuy of Playville in Covington, La., told TDmonthly in a November 2011 survey that their best selling flying toy is Stomp Rocket. They sell between 12 and 18 each month, depending on the weather. 7/26/2010 (MSRP: $14.99; Age: 3 and Up)
Spot It! by BLUE ORANGE GAMES
Spot It is a party game for two to eight players. It's played by laying a random assortment of cards on the table and all players racing to find one image that matches between two cards. This fast-paced game is designed to never be the same twice, and though it has very few rules to remember it requires a sharp eye to master. The set of 55 round cards transports in its own carry tin. Watch Spot It: Top-5 Video, Toy Fair 2010
— Spot It has been been a top seller for retailers surveyed by TDmonthly since early Spring 2010.
— In a March 2012 survey, 3 out of 12 retailers told TDmonthly that Spot It was their overall best selling product, and had been for more than a year.
— Dean Smith, Co-owner of JaZams in Princeton, N.J., told TDmonthly in a Summer 2011 survey that he sells 50-60 copies of Spot It each month.
Awards: 2010 TDmonthly Top Seller, Dr. Toy 100 Best Children's Products - 2010
Where to buy:
NORTH WEST ( Watch Video) 2/11/2010 (Age: 6 and Up)
The Settlers of Catan® (4th Edition) by MAYFAIR GAMES INC.
In this game designed by Klaus Teber, three to four players who are immigrants to Catan must develop their colony on the island by establishing roads, villages and settlements and making strategic trades of bricks and lumber, livestock or other commodities to obtain necessary resources. Play takes about 60 to 90 minutes. The first player to 10 points wins. "The new edition was released three years ago and has sold more copies in those three years than the first, second or third editions combined," Bob Carty, Sales & Marketing Director, Mayfair Games, told TDmonthly in early 2010.
— In August 2010, five percent of 43 retailers surveyed named The Settlers of Catan an overall top seller. The same month, Steven Levy, owner of Toy City in Keene, New Hampshire, told TDmonthly his store sells approximately three Settlers of Catan games per week.
— “It's real easy to teach, and then you just develop strategies from there," Mike Snyder, owner and manager of Cville's Hobbies, Games and Toys in Charlottesville, Va., told TDmonthly in a February 2012 survey about best selling games. Cville's sells 16-20 copies of the game each month.
— As of 12/17/2012 this product had 4.7 out of 5 stars from 632 reviews on Amazon.com. 3/3/2010 (MSRP: $42.00; Age: 10 and Up)
Angry Birds 5" Plush Red Bird With Sound by COMMONWEALTH TOY & NOVELTY CO
Angry Birds is the #1 app worldwide and has been downloaded over 100 million times. Angry Birds plush bring the characters from on-screen into the real world. These soft plush Angry Birds make sounds from the game when squeezed, and are an officially licensed product. 5/24/2011 (MSRP: $11.99; Age: 1 and Up)
Rainforest Melodies & Lights Deluxe Gym by FISHER-PRICE INC.
This activity gym is designed to stimulate babies with music, lights, nature sounds, games and textures. It features 20 minutes of parent-activated continuous music, and a baby mode with eight to 12 seconds of lights and music. Included are a floor quilt with silky borders and colorful arches, a spinner with rattling beads, spinning butterflies, a shiny mirror, a crinkly leaf and movable and stationary activity toys. The gym measures 20" x 32.5" x 32.5." 7/28/2010 (MSRP: $69.99; Age: 0 and Up)
Beyblade Metal Fusion Battle Top - Lightning L-Drago by HASBRO INC.
BeyBlade tops are spinning battle tops (also called Beys). Their design features five separate components, which can all be customized for unique performance. Hundreds of combinations are possible, each creating a distinct battle style. With the pull of the ripcord, the tops can be launched into battle. The last top standing wins. Top includes Face Bolt, Energy Ring: L-Drago, Fusion Wheel: Lightning, Spin Track: 100 and Performance Tip. 7/25/2011 (MSRP: $8.99; Age: 8 to 10)
Crayola Dry-Erase Crayons by CRAYOLA LLC
Each bright crayon in this eight-pack can be used on a dry-erase surface and is said to erase cleanly and not dry out. The pack, which comes with an eraser mitt and crayon sharpener, includes red, orange, yellow, green, blue, purple, brown and black shades. Launch date: 2010. 2/11/2010 (MSRP: $4.99; Age: 5 and Up)
Baby Einstein Baby Neptune Ocean Adventure Gym by KIDS II
This soft activity gym features an electronic aquarium with classical melodies and dancing lights. A whale-shaped prop-up pillow accompanies baby on this aquatic adventure, which comes to life with the crisp and colorful real-life scenery of the sea on the play mat. A soft textured border encourages tactile development. Remove the arch and the play gym becomes the perfect play mat for tummy time. Tummy time is enhanced by the animal peek-a-boo flaps with real-life imagery, as well as the ability to reposition and attach toys to loops on the mat or loops on the whale pillow. The play gym comes with several developmental and colorful plush and plastic toys, including a large fish-shaped baby-safe mirror, a set of Ocean Discovery cards featuring real-life images of 6 underwater animals, a Baby Neptune rattle, and a star-shaped teether. The play gym also has 8 links for repositioning the toys. The plush Octopus with various textures and dangling rattles and teethers offers baby an on-the-go toy. The play gym features a 2-in-1 musical aquarium toy that can be used both with the gym and in the crib. his underwater-themed gym folds up for easy transportation and storage.
— As of 05/20/2011 this product has 4.2 out 5 stars from 63 review on Amazon.com. Pros: Lots of elements can be detached; many reviewers like the light-up mobile. Cons: Not interactive enough; noises are annoying/ not melodical enough; not enough toys/toys not interesting enough. 5/5/2011 (MSRP: $69.99; Age: 0 to 2)
Fisher-Price Laugh & Learn Fun with Friends Musical Table by FISHER-PRICE INC.
Each corner of this table has an entire interactive learning center with lights and a friendly character who invites baby to play, encouraging movement and exploration all around the table. Baby can learn letters, numbers, counting, first words, colors, shapes, opposites, animals and much more - in English and Spanish. Musical fun includes sing-along songs, tunes, real instrument sounds and a variety of music styles. Requires 3 AA batteries (not included). 7/25/2011 (MSRP: $44.99; Age: 1 to 3)
GeoTrax Disney Pixar's Cars Mega Set by FISHER-PRICE INC.
In this set Lightning McQueen is an RC car with the ability to drive forward or backward. Send him roaring after the other push vehicles as he delivers fun movie phrases. Flo adds to the fun with cool lines from the movie, and Sheriff hides behind the billboard, waiting for speeders. Includes Lightning McQueen RC vehicle, Flo, Sheriff, Sally and Sarge push vehicles, Flo's V-8 café, mountains of Radiator Springs, 2 ramp tracks, 1 "T" switch track, 2 "Y" switch tracks, 4 curve tracks, 1 cross track, 2 straight tracks 6" long, 2 straight tracks 3" long, Radiator Springs traffic light, highway sign, 2 guardrails, 3 off-track ramps and a Radiator Springs billboard. 7/6/2011 (MSRP: $99.99; Age: 3 to 7)
Twist & Fold Activity Gym by INFANTINO LLC
Designed to pop up in a single motion, this play gym includes four toys and a bolster pillow to be used for tummy time. It is available in two color options.
— Real Moms Real Views “was wowed by the [Gym’s] COLORS! They are so bright and fun.” The reviewer said, “Set up is a breeze,” and the Activity Gym “would make a wonderful Baby Shower Gift too!”
— “Infantino knows babies and knows what Mom's want and need in quality infant products,” declared Deborah Sloan at Baba’s Farm Life. Deborah loved how well thought out the Twist & Fold Activity Gym is with its emphasis on stimulation, style and safety for baby.
— As of 05/24/2011 this product had 4.6 out of 5 stars from 62 reviews on Amazon.com. Cons: one reviewer said that hers would not stand up straight; One person said the colors in real life were different than those depicted online. 10/28/2009 (MSRP: $36.99; Age: 0 and Up)
Anchors Away Water Play Pirate Ship by LITTLE TIKES INC.
The Anchors Away Pirate Ship is made of durable plastic construction and features two fun characters, a squirting shark and a constant running water fountain. Kids can keep the water moving by pumping or pouring the water into the crows nest; the spinners cause a current in the ship which moves floating objects around. Kids can aim and squirt water from the water cannon to see the steering wheel spin, and the anchor raises and lowers by cranking the handle.
— As of 6/6/2011 this product had 3.2 out of 5 stars from 39 reviews on Amazon.com. Pros: Interactive; keeps kids engaged. Cons: Numerous reports of the plank and the cannon squirter breaking; expensive; water flow in fountain isn't strong enough to make the wheels spin smoothly. 6/6/2011 (MSRP: $79.99; Age: 3 to 6)
Crayola Magnetic Double Easel by CRAYOLA LLC
This magnetic dry-erase boardand chalkboard provides a large work area. Each board includes a clip to hold paper. The set includes four detachable storage bins for holding art accessories and a folding easel for easy storage, and comes with an eraser and 77 magnetic letters and numbers.
— As of 8.12.10, this product had 4 out of 5 stars from 130 reviews on ToysRUs.com and was listed No. 6 in best-selling toys and games. PROS: Educational, long-lasting, engaging. CONS: Messy; some parents questioned its quality. 8/12/2010 (MSRP: $44.99; Age: 3 and Up)
Playskool Busy Basics Busy Ball Popper by HASBRO INC.
Suitable for children ages 9 months and up, the Busy Ball Popper pops colorful balls out of the top after they are dropped onto the track. It features sound effects and eight songs, and requires 4 D batteries. This product received a 2003 NAPPA Gold Award. 9/24/2008 (MSRP: $19.99; Age: 1 and Up)