May 2012 | Vol. XI - No. 5
Pentago Cruise Edition by MINDTWISTER USA
This "cruise edition" of the quick-play, easy-to-learn strategy game Pentago is ideal for portability and travel. Launch date: 2007.
Awards: May 2012 TDmonthly Top Toy Award. Why it won: Not only is this game a proven best seller; it also earned a high rating from TDmonthly's panel of reviewers, as well as users on Amazon.com.
— Brooke Andrews, owner of Millers Toy Store in Mamoroneck, N.Y., told TDmonthly in late fall 2009 that her store sells about 12 Pentago games per week. Erika Evers, owner of Dancing Bear Toys in Hendersonville, N.C., estimated sales of about 8 to 12 units per month.
— As of 4/12/2012 this product had 4.8 out of 5 stars from 24 reviews on Amazon.com. 8/20/2008 (MSRP: $19.95; Age: 6 and Up)
Pound and Tap Bench by HAPE
Pounding sends the balls tinkling over the xylophone. Pull out the keyboard and the xylophone can be played solo. All Hape products comply with EN71 and ASTM quality standards - wood used comes from FSC managed forests.
Awards: May 2012 TDmonthly Top Toy Award. Why it won: This item was named a Top-10 Musical toy in February and a Top-10 Wooden toy in March by specialty retailers interviewed by TDmonthly. Its innovative design combines the elements of the popular shape sorting/tapping toy and the xylophone, giving it great play value.
— As of 1/6/2012 this product had 4.2 out of 5 stars from 13 reviews on Amazon.com. Pros: Durable; lots of ways to play. Cons: The keyboard is not properly tuned.
— In a 2012 survey about Musical Products, three out of 13 retailers said this item was their best seller. Kelly Boone, manager of The Elephant's Trunk in Greenville, S.C., told TDmonthly that they sold at least 36 during the holidays.
— In a February 2012 survey about wooden toys, two out of 14 retailers said that this was their bestseller in the category. Kristin Dolle, manager of Playthings Toy Shoppe in Louisville, Ky. told TDmonthly that they sell between 8 and 12 units of this item each month. ( Watch Video) 1/9/2012 (MSRP: $29.99; Age: 1 to 5)
Quoridor by Gigamic by BACKALLEY PRODUCTS, INC.
The aim is to reach the other end first. The problem is that each opponent puts up fences to slow the other down. Not to worry, there's always a way out. But who will find the shortest route? Created by Gigamic; exclusively distributed through Back Alley Traders in the USA.
Awards: May 2012 TDmonthly Top Toy Award. Why it won: This beautifully designed wooden strategy game has won several prestigious awards already in the US and in Europe. It also has great user reviews on Amazon.com. TDmonthly staff who saw the game demoed at Toy Fest West 2012 were impressed. Other awards: 1997 Mensa Select Top 5 Best Games; Games Magazine Game of the Year 1997; Best Bet of the Toy Testing Council 1997; Prix d’Excellence des Consommateurs; Consumer’s Toy Award 1997 Quebec; Spelgut 1997; Grand Prix du Jouet 1997; Games Magazine “Games 100 Selection” 1998; Games Magazine “Best Games.”
— As of 4/10/2012 this product had 4.8 out of 5 stars from 25 reviews on Amazon.com. ( Watch Video) 3/26/2012 (Age: 6 and Up)
Sticky MosaicsŪ KeepSake Boxes by THE ORB FACTORY LIMITED
Store your secret treasures in these super sparkly KeepSake Boxes! Follow a numbered legend and add sparkling jewels to make three special boxes. Each box features a different Princess along with her special animal friend. Launch date: March 2012. 4/4/2012 (MSRP: $14.99; Age: 5 to 10)
Sticky Mosaics Happily Ever After Jewelry Box by THE ORB FACTORY LIMITED
Kids can custom design this jewelry box with shimmering faux jewels and colorful foam tiles. Includes more than 750 sparkling tiles and jewel pieces. Launch date: 2011.
Awards: 2011 ASTRA Best Toys for Kids
— In a January 2012 survey about arts and crafts toys, ten of 13 retailers said Sticky Mosaics from the Orb Factory were among their top two best sellers in the category. Retailers reported selling anywhere from 10 to 150 each month.
— In a March 2012 survey, 2 out of 12 retailers told TDmonthly that Sticky Mosaics from The Orb Factory were their best selling product. Elmer Caranza, manager of Doodlehopper 4 Kids in Springfield, Va., told TDmonthly that they sell about 2 dozen items from the Sticky Mosaics line each month, and that it's been a best seller for almost a year now. 1/6/2012 (MSRP: $19.99; Age: 5 to 9)