August 2012 | Vol. XI - No. 8
Monster High Venus McFlytrap Doll by MATTEL INC.
The Venus McFlytrap doll has a signature style with lots of scary cool details and an ancient monster heritage. Venus McFlytrap grows for a London punk style made more unique with her perennial green hue and vine details. She has been known to use her pollen powers of persuasion to get the other monsters to volunteer for ecological causes. She comes with her pet, a Venus Flytrap (of course.), and diary.
— As of 8/27/2012, this product had 4.5 out of 5 stars from 16 reviews on Amazon.com. Pros: Lots of accessories; has eco-friendly message. Cons: One reviewer said that the doll is fragile and the legs snapped off. 8/27/2012 (MSRP: $39.95; Age: 6 to 15)
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)
Monster High Robecca Steam Doll by MATTEL INC.
The Robecca Steam doll has a signature style with lots of scary cool details and an ancient monster heritage. Her internal clock runs a bit slow, but she makes up for it with a steampunk style that suits her metallic glow. She wears a dress that showcases her seams and comes with her pet mechanical penguin and diary.
— As of 8/27/2012, this product had 4.7 out of 5 stars from 15 reviews on Amazon.com. Pros: Lots of details; unique design. 8/27/2012 (MSRP: $36.97; Age: 6 to 15)
Crayola 24ct Long Colored Pencils by CRAYOLA LLC
Twenty-four nontoxic Crayola colored pencils, each pre-sharpened and 7 inches long. The colors cover the chart: standards such as black, white, yellow, and green, plus all the intermediates - aqua green, jade green, violet, mahogany, peach, magenta, and more. All Crayola© colored pencils are made from reforested wood. 7/30/2012 (MSRP: $5.75; Age: 4 to 15)
The Battle of Helm's Deep by LEGO
The walled fortress of Helm's Deep is under attack by the mighty Uruk-hai army and the forces of men, elves, and a dwarf must do everything they can to stop them from breaching the fortress walls. Includes 8 minifigures: Aragorn, Gimli, Haldir, King Théoden, Berserker Uruk-hai and 3 Uruk-hai.1368 pieces. Launch date: June 2012. 2/13/2012 (MSRP: $129.99)
Crayons 24-Pack by CRAYOLA LLC
This set of 24 crayons comes in a convenient tuck-box and features educator-preferred color selection
— As of 8.03.2010, this product had 5 out of 5 stars from 4 reviews on Amazon.com and was #34 in the top 100 best-selling toys and games. PROS: Durable, with a variety of colors. CONS: None listed. 8/3/2010 (MSRP: $3.99)
LEGO Ninjago Lloyd ZX 9574 by LEGO
Lloyd ZX is the legendary green ninja, destined to win the great battle between good and evil and bring peace once again to the land of Ninjago. But before he can fulfil his destiny, his fellow ninjas must help him master the art of Spinjitzu and defeat the evil Serpentine snake tribes. Use the 4 battle cards included to influence the outcome. Set includes minifigure, gold spinner, green crown, LEGO bricks, golden weapon, 2 regular weapons, character card and 4 battle cards. 8/27/2012 (MSRP: $19.99; Age: 6 to 14)
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)
Fisher-Price Laugh & Learn Click 'n Learn Remote by FISHER-PRICE INC.
The Laugh and Learn Click 'n Learn Remote is baby's very own remote with so many buttons, songs and learning fun. With realistic styling and a light at the top of the remote, baby will delight in being in control of all the sounds and music. Baby can click away to learn about numbers, opposites, colors, greetings and first words. Turn the volume up and down or switch channels to hear a new station. With four songs and lots of realistic sound effects, baby will love being in control of their very own learning remote. 8/27/2012 (MSRP: $10.99; Age: 0 to 6)
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)
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)
Crayola Washable Markers Broad Point 8 Pack by CRAYOLA LLC
Favorite colors and easy washability make these markers a classroom favorite. Easily washes off skin and clothing. Water-based ink. 7/30/2012 (MSRP: $5.18; Age: 4 to 15)
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)
The Hunger Games Movie Mockingjay Prop Replica Pin by NECA
From the Hunger Games movie of 2012. The mocking Jay pin replica as worn by Katniss in the Games. Measuring about 1.5" in diameter.
— As of 05/21/2012 this product had 4.6 out of 5 stars from 102 reviews on Amazon.com. 3/30/2012 (MSRP: $14.99; Age: 14 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)
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)
LEGO Ultimate Building Set by LEGO
This Lego starter kit lets younger children build a house, car, dog, helicopter and more. The set features 405 pieces stored in a durable plastic box with a see-through top. Included are minifigure, a building plate and a wide mix of standard bricks in various colors, as well as house and wheel elements.
— As of 12/17/2012 this product had 4.6 out of 5 stars from 293 reviews on Amazon.com and was No. 19 on the top 100 bestselling toys and games. Pros: 405 pieces and one figurine included; packaged in durable storage container. Cons: Younger children may need help with construction; pieces do not fill up bucket all the way. 7/26/2010 (MSRP: $29.99; Age: 4 and Up)
Pillow Pets Plush Dream Lites NightLite Rainbow Unicorn by CJ PRODUCTS
Pillow Pet Dream Lites turns darkened rooms into a starry sky instantly. Simply press the button it projects a starry sky on the ceiling and walls. Creates a magical and tranquil environment that helps kids ease into a restful sleep. Built in timer shuts off after 20 minutes. Folds up into a pet or opens to lay flat. All the DreamLites come with 4 light options steady blue, amber, or green and the 4th is all three colors that transition every 4 seconds continually in a loop. The face of the particular pet is also projected along with the stars.
— As of 7/30/2012 this product had 4.1 out of 5 stars from 10 reviews on Amazon.com. Pros: Projects the stars well; good battery life. Cons: Hard plastic tops means they aren't very snuggly. 7/30/2012 (MSRP: $32.00; Age: 3 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)