September 2012 | Vol. XI - No. 9
Incredible Creatures Veiled Chameleon with Butterfly by SAFARI LTD.®
Safari Ltd.® introduced this addition to the stunning Incredible Creatures Series, which has more than 45 different replicas, in 2008. This hand-painted, phthalate-free Veiled Chameleon is intricately detailed and is in the midst of catching a butterfly. The Incredible Creatures series will ignite the imagination and stimulate the curiosity of every child. The Chameleon is soft to the touch for added realism and includes 5-language educational information. Replica size: 9.28” L x 4.3” H. Launch date: 2008.
Awards: 2012 TDmonthly Top Toy Award. Why it won: Who says learning can't be fun? Safari LTD.®'s hand-painted figurines include educational information on the tag, and whimsical designs like the Incredible Creatures Veiled Chameleon — tongue sticking out to catch a vibrant butterfly — will engage kids' imaginations. This figure is durable, stands on its own, has a colorful exterior that will catch the attention of kids of all ages. 1/4/2007 (MSRP: $9.00; Age: 3 and Up)
YAMSLAM, Roll to Win by BLUE ORANGE GAMES
Calculated chances and strategic choices will place the odds in favor of players as they let the five dice roll them to a win with Yamslam. After each roll, a player chooses the dice that will get the best combination. Each combination is worth a different value and has only four chips, so it's important to take the best ones before they run out. Players race to get special bonuses before their friends do, keeping the suspense rolling until the end. The game has appeal for all ages and is convenient for travel, as it is "self contained in a beautiful tin box," Adeline Bertrix, sales manager for Blue Orange Games, told TDmonthly. Launch date: February 15, 2009.
Awards: Dr. Toy's 100 Best Children's Products 2009; 2012 TDmonthly Top Toy Award. Why it won: This dice-rolling game from Blue Orange is fun for both kids and adults. With each roll of the dice players must strategize how they can win the chip with the highest point value. Without even realizing it, kids are learning basic math skills like addition and probability. The game is self-contained in a red tin, making it easy to play on the road or tote along to a party.
— Yamslam is on the best-seller list at Golden Apple Learning Store in Pleasanton, Calif., Owner John MacDougall told TDmonthly in summer 2009.
— "Right now, a game called Yamslam is our best-selling game," said Sue Banducci of Games Unlimited in Danville, Calif., in late 2009. She was anticipating sales of about 250 units during December.
— Three of 38 retailers cited Yamslam as a best-selling game in Feb. 2010.
( Watch Video) 1/23/2009 (MSRP: $19.99; Age: 7 and Up)
Neat-Oh!® ZipBin® Dinosaur Bring Along Backpack (Dark Green) by NEAT-OH! INTERNATIONAL LLC
This ferocious dinosaur head is the perfect place to store and play with the Tyrannosaurus Rex that's included. Unzip the backpack to reveal a prehistoric jungle, tar pit, volcano and lava filled gorge. When it’s time to go, kids can pack-up the dinos, zip up the backpack and throw it over their shoulder. Includes 1 dinosaur. Colorful, Durable, wipe-clean surface.
Awards: 2012 TDmonthly Top Toy Award. Why it Won: This dinosaur shaped back pack unzips into a colorful, durable playmat. The playmat features prehistoric scenes like a tar pit and an erupting volcano. The backpack comes with one toy dinosaur, and kids can add their own collection as well. They can even have fun with the zipped-up backpack, which resembles the face of a fearsome green dino. The material is durable and easily wipes clean, and the zippers run smoothly, securely holding dinos and other toys until kids are ready to unzip and play again. 8/21/2012 (MSRP: $19.99)