July 2012 | Vol. XI - No. 7
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)
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)
LEGO Star Wars Millennium Falcon 7965 by LEGO
Escape from the Death Star in the iconic GO Star Wars Millennium Falcon (7965). Straight from the Death Star escape scene of Episode IV A New Hope, the all new LEGO Millennium Falcon features stunning details, like hull plates that open to reveal a detailed interior, twin flick missiles, rotating quad laser cannons and detachable cockpit cover. Featuring Han Solo, Luke Skywalker, Chewbacca, Ben Kenobi, Princess Leia Organa and Darth Vader, kids can rewrite history and help Ben Kenobi defeat his evil nemesis from the dark side. The LEGO Star Wars Millennium Falcon (7965) includes * Han Solo, Luke Skywalker, Chewbacca, Ben Kenobi, Princess Leia Organa and Darth Vader MiniFigures * Millennium Falcon features opening hull, detailed interior, twin flick missiles, rotating laser cannons and detachable cockpit cover * 3 lightsabers, 3 blasters and 1 crossbow also included
– As of 07/23/2012 this product had 4.6 out of 5 stars from 73 reviews on Amazon.com. Pros: Set is very large; figures all fit inside the ship once it's built; sturdy once assembled. Cons: Though many reviewers said the set was durable enough to be played with, some reviewers reported that the set fell apart easily. 9/1/2011 (MSRP: $139.99; Age: 9 to 14)
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)
Vtech Sit-to-Stand Learning Walker by VTECH
This product is for children ages six months and up. With a barnyard of friends to cheer baby on, little ones will love learning to walk with the Sit-to-Stand Walker. Start out with the easy-to-remove play panel for floor play or fun on the run. Then step it up with the fun-to-maneuver walker. There are three spinning flowers, five piano keys, colorful rollers, three light-up shape sorters and a telephone handset. The Sit-to-Stand Learning Walker keeps baby on track by teaching shapes, colors, animals, music and more. Requires 3 "AA" batteries, included. Measures 5.8"L x 20.9"W x 15"D.
As of 12/17/2012 this product had 4.3 out of stars from 472 reviews on Amazon.com. Cons: Wheels don't have enough traction; too "loud and obnoxious;" too expensive. 5/6/2011 (MSRP: $37.99; Age: 1 and Up)
Cards Against Humanity by CARDS AGAINST HUMANITY INC
Cards Against Humanity is a "party game for horrible people." The game is simple. Each round, one player asks a question from a Black Card, and everyone else answers with their funniest White Card. Includes 550 cards (460 White cards and 90 Black cards); over 13 duodecillion possible rounds (10^40) with 6 players; professionally printed on premium playing cards; includes game rules and alternate rules; shrink-wrapped in a custom box.
— As of 12/17/2012 this product had 4.9 out of 5 stars from 865 reviews on Amazon.com. Pros: Very interactive; humorous; great party game. Cons: One reviewer said some of the cards were "a bit too much;" some references might not be known by everyone. 6/16/2011 (MSRP: $25.00; )
Fisher-Price Ocean Wonders™ Soothe & Glow Seahorse™ by FISHER-PRICE INC.
Sometimes baby needs a little help falling asleep. With a gentle squeeze, the cuddly Fisher-Price Ocean Wonders Soothe & Glow Seahorse glows and plays soft music, lullabies and soothing sounds of the ocean. After 5 minutes the music fades, the lights dim and baby drifts off to sleep. There are 8 lullabies to please baby and power/volume control for quiet play.
— As of 08/08/2011 this product had 4.8 out of 5 stars from 331 reviews on ToysRUs.com. Pros: Comforting; the soft glow helps babies who don't like being in the complete dark. Cons: Velcro closure doesn't stick after a bit of use; the music can be too loud for some babies.
— As of 8/22/2011 this product had 4.8 out of 5 stars from 96 reviews on Amazon.com. 8/8/2011 (MSRP: $14.99; Age: 0 to 2)
Animals in Africa 1000 Piece Augmented Reality Puzzle by RAVENSBURGER
Ravensburger’s Augmented Reality technology makes puzzles come to life. Download the free AR Puzzle app from the App Store that utilizes the camera function of the iPhone or iPad versions 2 and 3 to animate the scene. Experience a totally new visual reality and reveal audio details, sound effects and factual information. Watch these fascinating animals roam through their natural habitat and listen to the sounds of Africa.
— As of 07/23/2012 this product had 4.6 out of 5 stars from 17 reviews on Amazon.com. Pros: Great picture quality; has a nice mix of easy and difficult sections; AR component can help encourage kids to play with a more traditional toy (you have to complete the puzzle before you can unlock the digital components). Cons: One reviewer said the interlocking pieces were looser than is usual for a Ravensburger puzzle; only works with iPhone or iPad. 7/23/2012 (MSRP: $19.99; Age: 12 to 15)
Brilliant Basics Baby's First Blocks by FISHER-PRICE INC.
Ten bright blocks are ready for baby to drop into the open bucket or through the shape-sorting lid. This toy is designed for developing eye-hand coordination and other early skills. Then children can move on to sorting, stacking and learning about identifying and matching shapes. This set includes a plastic shape-sorting box with a handle and ten colorful blocks.
Awards: 1995 Oppenheim Toy Portfolio Blue Chip Classic Award Winner.
— As of 05/21/2012 this product had 4.1 out of 5 stars from 314 reviews on Amazon.com. PROS: Basic, durable baby toy that keeps children entertained. CONS: Lid does not snap on; May contain carcinogens.
7/26/2010 (MSRP: $12.99; Age: 0 and Up)
Ninjago Epic Dragon Battle 9450 by LEGO
Defeat the Great Devourer in the epic battle between good versus evil. The Great Devourer has been awakened and threatens to devour the world of Ninjago. Can the legendary green ninja, riding the awesome 4-headed Ultra Dragon, overpower this evil adversary? Can Lord Garmadon harness the power of the 4 golden weapons of Spinjitzu to destroy the mighty snake and what about Sensei Wu? Can Jay defeat the evil snake Generals Acidicus, Skalidor and snake soldier Chokun to release his master from the impenetrable snake prison? Includes 7 minifigures: Lloyd ZX, Jay ZX, Sensei Wu, Lord Garmadon, Acidicus, Skalidor and Chokun. Set features 4-headed Ultra Dragon, The Great Devourer, snake prison, Hypnobrai fang blade with blue anti-venom capsule, 4 golden weapons and 7 regular weapons.
— As of 07/16/2012 this product had 4.4 out of 5 stars from 5 reviews on Amazon.com. Pros: Very large set with many pieces; dragon's jaw can open and close. Cons: One user said that when they tried to play with the product after it was built, the blocks fell apart. 7/16/2012 (MSRP: $119.99; Age: 6 to 14)
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)
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)
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)
Winkel by MANHATTAN TOY
Stunning colors give this perennial favorite a lively look. Babies will be engaged and amused by the responsive rattle, and caregivers can safely refrigerate this pliable plastic toy to produce a soothing teether. “We have so much of the Manhattan baby...we sell a lot,” Owner Amy Barrett of Lasso the Moon Wonderful Toys in Helena, Mont., told TDmonthly in early 2007. “People buy them for baby gifts...baby shower gifts. They like them because the colors are so bright.”
— “Winkels from Manhattan Toy — [we sell] about 30 per month,” Burdette told TDmonthly in March 2008. Five percent of the 40 retailers who spoke with TDmonthly in spring 2008 singled out this item as their stores’ best-selling infant and toddler toy.
— "I sell 18 or so a month," Mary Ellen Cerney, owner of Dear Friends & Children in Duncan, Okla., said in March 2009. In June 2009, four of 47 retailers listed Manhattan Toy as their best-selling baby line. In March 2010, two of 39 specialty retailers cited Winkel as a best-selling baby toy.
— In June 2010, five percent of 40 specialty retailers named Manhattan Toy’s Winkel as a top-selling baby product.
— As of 05/21/2012 this product had 4.5 out of 5 stars from 299 reviews on Amazon.com. ( Watch Video) 12/7/2006 (MSRP: $12.00; Age: 0 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)
LEGO Ninjago Kai's Blade Cycle 9441 by LEGO
On a dangerous journey aboard Destiny's Bounty, an ancient shipwreck, Sensei Wu and the ninja have located the powerful golden Hypnobrai staff deep inside of the secret snake shrine. As they land the flying ship in the water to seize the staff, Zane and Jay get a scaly surprise from Hynobrai General Skales and his accomplice warrior, Slithraa. Sensei Wu fires the ship's cannon into the battle until his ancient enemy, Lord Garmadon, appears. Can Sensei Wu protect the Ninjago treasures onboard without the help of the ninjas? Choose the battle in an epic showdown where the fate of the Ninjago world hangs in the balance. Includes 6 minifigures: Sensei Wu, Kendo Zane, Kendo Jay, Lord Garmadon, Skales and Slithraa; Destiny's Bounty ninja ship, snake staff shrine, golden Hypnobrai staff and 16 weapons.
— As of 4/11/2012 this product had 4.7 out of 5 stars from 9 reviews on Amazon.com. Pros: Lots of minifigs; sets are sturdy enough to play with after building.
— In an April 2012 survey, five of 13 retailers said that LEGO is their best selling construction brand. Melissa McCollum, owner of Learning Express in Hoover, Ala., told TDmonthly that they sell about 150 LEGO sets each month, especially from the Ninjago and DC Universe lines. 4/11/2012 (MSRP: $14.99; Age: 8 to 14)
Swimways Baby Spring Float Sun Canopy by SWIMWAYS CORP
This three-position adjustable, removable canopy protects baby from the sun and folds for storage just like the Baby Spring Float. There is a mesh play space for toys and splashing. Dual inflation chambers and low seat enhance security; the included sun canopy blocks 90% harmful UV rays. Features a "rainy day ducky" design and includes a carry/storage bag. 34"L x 30"W x 3"H. 1.64 lbs. Ages 9 to 24 months.
— As of 05/21/2012 this product had 4.5 out of 5 stars from 199 reviews on Amazon.com. Pros: Thorough sun protection; folds up easily; the mesh area for toys is convenient. Cons: One customer complained of a leak around the hole where you inflate the float; One customer said her baby flipped over and was held under water because her legs were still in the hole. 5/26/2011 (MSRP: $24.99; Age: 1 to 2)
Butterfly Garden by INSECT LORE
This net habitat (almost like a Chinese lantern) encloses caterpillars, food and the setting for a caterpillar’s eventual metamorphosis. It requires mail-sent larvae. “The Butterfly Garden not only shows actual insect metamorphosis, but it does so in just three weeks' time. Many other animal habitats can take up to six months for any changes to occur. This makes it a perfect item for kids who have short attention spans and is an ideal science project for any classroom,” John White, marketing director of Insect Lore, told TDmonthly.
— Fred Rosenberg of On the Park in Kingwood, Texas, named this as his No. 1 seller in May 2008, with sales of 50 to 60 units monthly. “I just can't keep them in stock right now,” he told TDmonthly. “We have a display on our counter with the real butterflies so people can see it go through the process,” said Kim Emigh, VP of e-commerce at Growing Tree Toys in State College, Pa.
— 25% of 64 retailers surveyed in August 2008 named this as their top-selling nature toy, reporting average sales of 12 per month. Five of 38 retailers named Insect Lore’s butterfly habitats as best-selling science and nature products in late summer 2009. In an August 2010 survey, 21 percent of 43 specialty retailers said Insect Lore is a top-selling science and nature brand. Five retailers specifically cited Butterfly Garden as a best seller.
— As of 5/21/2012, the Butterfly Garden had spent more than 1,600 days in the top-100 best-selling toys and games at Amazon.com and has 4.4 out of 5 stars from 461 reviews.
AWARDS: 2010 TDmonthly Top Seller ( Watch Video) 7/18/2005 (MSRP: $19.99)
Ticket to Ride by DAYS OF WONDER
Borrowing a Beatles song as its title, this 2004 Spiel des Jahres ("Game of the Year")winner is extraordinarily popular among the board game cognoscenti with sales just over 250,000 and availability in six languages and 30 countries. Players embark on a “track trip,” collecting train cards to connect cities in an effort to claim the longest rail route in North America. - Andrew Robinton
— As of 12/17/2012 this product had 4.8 out of 5 stars from 463 reviews on Amazon.com. ( Watch Video) 1/18/2005 (MSRP: $39.95; Age: 8 and Up)
Little Tikes TotSports T-Ball Set by LITTLE TIKES INC.
Beginning T-ball set includes an easy-to-use oversize bat, 2 oversize baseballs and Tee. Adjustable height “T” adapts to a child’s developing skills. Special “hang-on-the-wall” design for easy small-space storage. Helps improve batting skills, motor skills and coordination.
As of 05/12/2011 this product was #1 in the Toy Sports category on Amazon.com and had 4.5 out of 5 stars from 50 reviews. Cons: One reviewer said that though the minimum age is listed at 2 years, her two year old had trouble with it; the base isn't very heavy so on the grass it's not very steady; the height only adjusts by about an inch. 5/12/2011 (MSRP: $19.99; Age: 2 to 4)