July 22, 2018

TDmonthly Magazine

August 2012 | Vol. XI - No. 8

August Holiday Preview: 18 Gift Ideas for Specialty Retailers

By Justina Huddleston
August 2012

It's a lot of work to track down the elusive "perfect gift," but TDmonthly Magazine is making the search a little easier by asking manufacturers of all different kinds of toys and games about their anticipated holiday hits.

Check out the products they mentioned below and decide whether you think any of them could be the “perfect gift” for your customers or the kids in your life!

Stocking Stuffers

Super Illusions Thinking Putty from CRAZY AARON ENTERPRISES is a fun pocket-sized novelty gift for kids of all ages. "The three new Super Illusions are unbelievably vibrant colors that shift depending on how the light hits them...Not only is it safe, non-toxic, and non-gooey, but it will snap, tear, bounce, and even shatter," Valeria Carrasco, PR rep from Crazy Aaron Enterprises, told TDmonthly.

It will be a merry holiday season for kids who receive Merry Mega Buttons in their stocking. These super big button candies come in flavors like Candy Cane, Sugar Cookie, and Hot Chocolate, putting a jolly new spin on a traditional favorite.

Give younger kids the time of their life with a fun watch from SOLO TIME LTD. "We have in stock more than several hundred designs," a rep from the company told TDmonthly.

For older kids, consider a small logic puzzle or other stimulating game, like Ivan's Hinge from FAT BRAIN TOYS. "Players knit together a solution in their mind...then play it out by folding, looping, turning, and bending. All wrong? Untwist, unweave, unwind – and have a go again," Marketing Rep Kathy Lorkovic told us.

For the newest members of the family Appeteethers, teethers that come in "Chompin’ Chicken Wing" and "Baby-Q Rib" styles, make for a soothing treat. Best of all? "Appeteethers are great for soothing a baby's sore gums, but parents absolutely think they are hysterical! There is no other teething toy designed to accomplish both tasks," Lori Bredemeier, owner/CEO of LITTLE TOADER, explained.

Family Games

Snake Oil, which was fully launched this summer, is a great gift for the whole family. "It's very easy to learn and a huge hit with teenagers," Leah Sugar, VP of marketing at OUT OF THE BOX PUBLISHING, told TDmonthly Magazine.

What to get tech-savvy tweens? "Before the iPad was first released we saw a large number of children using the iPods and iPhones for games that they played by themselves - with limited family interaction. We had the idea, wouldn't it be nice if we could get the iPhone game appeal for kids around a board game?" This question lead EXIM Games to create xPirate, a family board game that integrates Apple's i-devices (iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch) with traditional board game play. It takes the fun of tech devices but makes them social, helping to bring the whole family together, according Tony Sisson, spokesperson for the company.

Pajaggle is a puzzle/board game that is fun and challenging for kids and adults. "There’s nothing quite like the Pajaggle Board Game. It’s not one-dimensional—there are lots of ways to play. It’s made in America. It was made to engage any and all age groups," William Witt, chairman of PAJAGGLE INC, shared with TDmonthly.

Another great new game for the whole family is Off Your Rocker from STRATUS GAMES LLC. "As a group, the players choose a quirky problem they will portray and one player, the psychiatrist, must ask random questions to try to figure out what it is. The players must respond according to their quirk without being overly obvious, which offers a unique challenge for the psychiatrist and the feeling of an inside joke for the patients," ensuring family fun, Chris James from Stratus Games told TDmonthly.

Community from eeBoo is a cooperative game that gives kids the opportunity to think about what truly makes a home, a theme that is very appropriate during the winter holidays. "I just want to say that personally I love this game. I’ve played it and I think my spatial abilities improved over just one game! The board is also entrancing and it’s the sort of thing I would have lost hours to as a kid," shared Rosie Pohlmann from eeBoo.


Give kids the gift of outdoor fun with Sky Ball sports. "Sky Ball can bounce up to 75ft in the air, and we have incorporated that aspect into our Junior Sports line. The items are great for kids as they get them active, and it gives them confidence. With the Sky Ball kids can hit and kick the ball much further than with a traditional ball," explained Carissa Spencer Enright from MAUI TOYS INC.

For children who prefer bicycles to balls, Chalktrail from FAT BRAIN TOYS is a gift that will get them outdoors in no time. Kids simply attach the chalk-wielding device to the back of their bikes, and as they ride around the street and sidewalk are decorated with colorful trails. Gift it to more than one kid, and they can create colorful designs together.

Dolls and Plush

Girls seeking a wintertime companion will find comfort and fun with ADORA's 20" Winter Wonderland doll. She wears a cozy red ribbed knit dress and hat with white trim, making her the perfect compliment to traditional holiday decor.

After a long day of unwrapping presents, girls can put their new friend to bed in the Rock-a-bye Cradle from HAPE. This cradle, from Hape's new Happy Doll Furniture line, is made of FSC certified wood and accented with white and pink non-toxic paint.

Santa Boo Boo Bear from CUDDLE BARN is another holiday-themed pal. He plays peek-a-boo with his floppy hat while singing 'I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus.' "Santa Boo Boo Bear gets everyone ready for the holiday season with his sweet song," Anamaria Davila, account executive at Cuddle Barn, shared.


Get video game fanatics away from the TV with the Mario Kart Wii: Mario & Bowser Ice Race Set from K'NEX BRANDS. "The Mario Kart Wii building sets allow the video game to be brought to life — away from the game console. The characters fit into all the vehicles so kids can put any character into any vehicle, a freedom unavailable in the video game. Kids build and power the obstacles, encouraging even more interaction," Kate Loffio from K'Nex told TDmonthly.


Customizable fashion items are great gifts for tween girls, giving them an outlet for self-expression and the development of personal style. For instance, "MOGO purses have rivets to customize with MOGO charms," Katie Elliot from MOGO told TDmonthly. The MOGO charms come in dozens of styles, featuring everything from cupcakes to cats to alphabet letters.

Encourage creativity from a young age with My First Creative Collage™ Princess from THE ORB FACTORY. "It's sometimes difficult to find crafts for pre-school aged children that go beyond gluing one piece of paper to another. But My First Creative Collage™ explores textures and patterns, and yields perfect results every time," Stephanie Carver from The Orb Factory told TDmonthly.

Learn more about these product below, and don't forget to check out our May, June, and July Holiday Preview articles to learn about even more potential holiday hits.

Merry Mega Buttons by STICHLER PRODUCTS, INC.

Merry Mega Buttons by STICHLER PRODUCTS, INC.Super big, each button is larger than 1/2". 72 buttons per sheet (144 per pack). Kosher and peanut free. Comes in holiday flavors like Candy Cane, Merry Berry, Sugar Cookie, and Hot Chocolate. 30 units per carton. 7/24/2012 (MSRP: $2.50)

Thinking Putty Super Illusions by CRAZY AARON ENTERPRISES, INC.

Thinking Putty Super Illusions by CRAZY AARON ENTERPRISES, INC.Thinking Putty is high quality silicone bouncing putty enhanced with knock-your-socks-off colors. It is all Made in the USA, non-toxic, and never dries out. The three new Super Illusions are unbelievably vibrant colors that shift depending on how the light hits them. The dynamic colors shine like no others: when held up to the light and pulled thin, the colors magically disappear and kids can see right through them. Launch date: June 2012.
— Mary Sisson, owner of Kazoodles in Vancouver, Wash., told TDmonthly in a Fall 2012 survey that Thinking Putty is one of her best sellers in the tween category. 7/19/2012 (MSRP: $13.50; Age: 3 and Up)

Appeteethers by LITTLE TOADER LLC

Appeteethers by LITTLE TOADER LLCAppeteethers are fun, safe, patented teethers that are unlike any others on the market. They come in silly shapes including Chompin' Chicken Wing and a Baby-Q Rib, and are non-toxic, BPA-free, PVC-free, lead-free, and phthalate-free. They are made of silicone and have great texturing to help massage sore gums. Kids love chewing away on these, and parents get a kick out of watching them. Exceeds Consumer Product Safety Compliance Standards. Non-Toxic, BPA-Free, PVC-Free, Lead-Free, Phthalate-Free. Launch date: December 2010. 7/10/2012 (MSRP: $9.99; Age: 0 and Up)


Snake Oil by OUT OF THE BOX PUBLISHINGIn the Old West, the sly snake oil salesman had a special talent: he could get the most skeptical customer to buy the most dubious product. Now players can have their turn, inventing their own crazy two-word products and selling them to all types of customers. If the customer buys a product, the player wins. With over 280 wild words and 70 oddball customers, players will never run out of new combinations. Launch date: November 2010.
Awards: 2012 Mensa Select; 2012 Dr. Toy; 2012 Toy Man Seal of Excellence
— In a late Summer 2012 survey, Charles from Miller's Toys in Mamoronec, N.Y., told TDmonthly that Snake Oil is one of their top-2 best selling card games. They sell about 2 dozen copies a month.
— As of 12/6/2012 this product had 5 out of 5 stars from 2 reviews on Pros: Fun for all ages.
— Gary Green, owner of Toy Box of Asheville Inc in Asheville, N.C., told TDmonthly in a February 2015 survey that Snake Oil was his store's best-selling game. 7/3/2012 (MSRP: $19.99; Age: 10 and Up)

Pajaggle Board Game by PAJAGGLE INC

Pajaggle Board Game by PAJAGGLE INCThe award winning combination of a game, a brainteaser and a puzzle all rolled into one. Based upon concepts of spatial recognition and visual discrimination, the Pajaggle Board Game challenge players to quickly put unique pieces where they belong. Simple, right? Think again! Pick up a board and give it a try.
Awards: 2013 TDmonthly Seal of Approval, 2011 Tillywig  "Best Family Fun"; 2011 Major Fun: Keeper Award (First puzzle game to ever receive such an award); 2012 Astra  Best Game of the Year; 2012 Creative Child Magazine: Game of Year Award (Watch the Pajaggle Board Game Video Watch Video) 3/26/2012 (MSRP: $29.99; Age: 8 and Up)

Off Your Rocker by STRATUS GAMES LLC

Off Your Rocker by STRATUS GAMES LLCPlayers and the rest of the group all share a quirky problem that is interfering with their lives, so they have gathered together and invited a psychiatrist to figure out what’s wrong. Will the psychiatrist be able to diagnose the problem, or will he end up just as crazy as the players? Launch date: July 2012.
— "This is that rare party game that combines zany interactivity with a solid yet simple mechanical structure. As a patient, it’s a lot of fun to learn your secret prompt and know that the psychiatrist player doesn’t know it. As the psychiatrist, it can be challenging and hilarious to watch your friends act crazy." - a review on 4/27/2012 (MSRP: $24.95; Age: 12 and Up)

Community by eeBoo corp.

Community by eeBoo corp.This game gives kids the opportunity to think about what makes COMMUNITY. From HOME players build the roads that will connect the special places players will select, creating, when they’re done, a bird’s eye view Of HOME and a whole village they made together. Players will have to think ahead and work together to successfully accomplish this endeavor. Community challenges players to build roads linking Home to other important locations in a community. "Children often rely on electronic games to construct and interact with realities. Now they can satisfy that intellectual drive and learn something along the way, all within a social activity that encourages cooperation and communication," Rosie Pohlmann from eeBoo told TDmonthly. 7/19/2012 (Age: 5 and Up)

xPirate Game by EXIM GAMES

xPirate Game by EXIM GAMESEXIM Games is introducing the world's first and only board game with integrated game play through the use of an Apple iPhone, iPod touch or iPad, patent pending. Only EXIM Games can give kids the ability to use the unique xPirate board game with multiple Apps and mobile platforms. Welcome to xPirate. Players have been recruited as Captains of their own xPirate ship. In this strategic pirate quest for hidden treasure, victory is awarded to the xPirate ship that finds all its hidden treasures and returns home first. Launch date: November 2011.
Awards: 2012 - 2012 Creative Child Awards Program, 2012  Game of the Year Award 7/10/2012 (MSRP: $49.99; Age: 8 and Up)

Sky Ball Jr Golf Set by MAUI TOYS, INC.

Sky Ball Jr Golf Set by MAUI TOYS, INC.The Maui Jr Sky Ball Golf ball can travel up to 300 feet. It’s the farthest hitting Sports Training Golf Set in the world. The Maui Toys Sky Ball Jr Golf Set  is the best Junior Sports Training golf set that money can buy. It develops hand eye confidence for junior athletes by simulating the experience of long drives, just like a pro. And because it’s made for junior athletes, Sky Ball Jr Golf sets come in bright Orange, Red, and  Blue. Launch date: January 2012. 7/13/2012 (MSRP: $14.99; Age: 6 and Up)

Sky Ball Soccer by MAUI TOYS, INC.

Sky Ball Soccer by MAUI TOYS, INC.Sky Ball Soccer puts hyper charged into soccer. It makes a kid feel like a pro. They can kick Sky Ball®Soccer 100 meters (or about 100 yards), the length of a soccer field. This means kids can kick Sky Ball Soccer from goal to goal with one strike. In addition, when they bounce Sky Ball Soccer it can bounce up to 75 feet. The hyper action alone brings a new twist to the game. The combination of the highly guarded secret Sky Ball material, as well as the air and helium pressurization make Sky Ball Soccer perform like no other junior ball. Sky Ball Soccer can be used in all weather conditions. It won't ever get water logged or affected by ice cold weather. Launch date: January 2012. 7/13/2012 (MSRP: $19.99; Age: 6 and Up)

Chalktrail by FAT BRAIN TOY CO.

Chalktrail by FAT BRAIN TOY CO.Healthy riding colors the world beautiful. Creativity for sidewalks, parking lots, and streets. Hook Chalktrail® to a bike, then get riding. Draw figure eights, wavy meandering paths, perfect circles, fascinating designs by retracing the same route again and again in succession. It’s freshly invigorating, beautiful play. Works with all bike sizes and training wheels. Includes highly durable Chalktrail® connector  Easy on, easy off - no tools or parents required. Comes with one piece non-toxic, washable chalk. Launch date: August 2012. 7/5/2012 (MSRP: $19.95; Age: 3 and Up)

Santa Boo Boo Bear by CUDDLE BARN

Santa Boo Boo Bear by CUDDLE BARNSanta Boo Boo Bear is the newest and cutest Holiday hit this season at Cuddle Barn. This adorable Teddy Bear plays peek a boo with his big floppy Christmas hat while singing “I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus”. Using only the best quality materials for our products; all our Cuddle Barn friends a have crisp, clear sound and are made with soft to the touch plush fabric that makes all children want to cuddle up with our Cuddle Barn pals. Launch date: June 2012. 7/19/2012 (MSRP: $29.99)

Mario Kart Wii: Mario & Bowser Ice Race Set by K'NEX BRANDS

Mario Kart Wii: Mario & Bowser Ice Race Set by KKids can bring Mario Kart Wii to life as they race Mario and Bowser through a series of ice-themed obstacles. The set includes the parts to build Mario and Bowser, 2 Standard Karts with super-fast battery-powered motors, 2 moving obstacles: Penguins & Shy-Guy Snowboarders PLUS 2 collectible items from the game: a golden mushroom and a spiked blue shell. Also includes 16 pieces of buildable, interconnectable track that creates a closed loop - combine this set with other sets from the Mario Kart Wii Series to build even bigger tracks. Building set includes 182 parts. Launch date: May 2012. 7/5/2012 (MSRP: $64.99; Age: 6 and Up)

MOGO Stella Cross-body Purse by MOGO DESIGNS, INC.

MOGO Stella Cross-body Purse by MOGO DESIGNS, INC.A take anywhere cross body cutie featuring a long adjustable strap and stylish key chain charm. Available in 2 colors: Soft Silver and Neon Pink. Each Stella holds up to 5 charms for super stylin' customization (Charms sold separately). Size:  6.5" x 5.5". Launch date: September 2012. 7/5/2012 (MSRP: $20.00; Age: 8 and Up)

My First Creative Collage™ Princess by THE ORB FACTORY LIMITED

My First Creative Collage™ Princess by THE ORB FACTORY LIMITEDCreate 3 pretty Princess collages. Peel, stick and reveal beautiful pictures perfect to hang and display. Young children create their designs by matching colors and textures in three simple steps. Launch date: March 2012. 3/12/2012 (MSRP: $9.99; Age: 30 to 8)

My First Creative Collage™ Dinos by THE ORB FACTORY LIMITED

My First Creative Collage™ Dinos by THE ORB FACTORY LIMITEDLearn all about dinosaurs while creating 3 colorful collages. Peel, stick and reveal beautiful pictures perfect to hang and display. Young children create their designs by matching colors and textures in three simple steps. Launch date: March 2012. 3/12/2012 (MSRP: $9.99; Age: 3 to 8)

Rock-a-bye Cradle by HAPE

Rock-a-bye Cradle by HAPERock "dolly" to sleep in this sturdy cradle. Rock-a-bye Cradle is from the Happy Doll Furniture range of the Hape Collection.  Measuring 18.90”L x 12.20“W x 10.04”H, Rock-a-bye Cradle is age graded for children 4 Years +. The toy is beautifully crafted of FSC certified wood from sustainable forests and colored with safe water based paint. Launch date: July 2012. 6/18/2012 (Age: 4 and Up)

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