March 23, 2019

TDmonthly Magazine

July 2014 | Vol. XIII - No. 7

And the 2014 Top Toy Debut Awards Go To...

Retailers Have Spoken!

By Alison Marek
July 2014

Forty-six retailers voted to pick the 2014 TDmonthly Top Toy Debut Awards, including Toy Werks in San Antonio, Texas; Indigo Mountain Express in Safford, Arizona; and Epic Toys and Customizing.  Toys were nominated this spring by TDmonthly editors, who spotted new offerings at Toy Fair and ToyFest West.

Late write-ins for great toys spotted at ASTRA were provided by our intrepid Kid and Retailer Reporters — Kid Reporters Max Mendoza, Balie Bare, Alicia Laguna and Kinzer Ratajczyk; Kate Tanner of KidStop Toys & Books in Scottsdale, Ariz.; Sari Powazek of Doll House & Toy Store Too, also in Scottsdale, and Sallie Kishawa of Fairhaven Toy Garden in Bellingham, Washington.

Congratulations to ALL of the worthy winners & nominees!

See images of the first place winner and learn more about them at the end of this article.

JUST FUN (46 voters):

1. 30.43% (14 votes) Hobbytron/World Tech Toys - Unbreakable RC Helicopter

2. 23.9% (11) Leading Edge Novelty - Water Dancing Speakers; Yomega - Kendama Pro; Geospace International - Jump Rocket LED Night Shotz; Hog Wild - ZipStix

No third place owing to multiple 2nd place winners

GAMES & PUZZLES (40 voters):

1. 32.5% (13) ThinkFun - Gravity Maze

2. 27.5% (11) White Mountain Puzzles - Candy Wrappers Collage Puzzle

PLUSH & DOLLS (31 voters):

1. 45.16% (14) Folkmanis - Grunting Pig

2. 22.58% (7) Aurora World - Sloths

3. 19.35% (6) Douglas Cuddle Toys- Spotted Pig; Folkmanis - Ostrich; Douglas Cuddle Toys - Tundra Wooly Mammoth

Special Mention, Dolls:

1. 12.9% (7) Imports Dragon - Caillou Learning Doll;  Zeenie Dolls - Eco Warriors

CONSTRUCTION (35 voters):

1. 57.14% - (20) Automoblox - T9 PIck-Up

2. 31.43% - (11) Play Visions - Sands Alive!; K'Nex Brands - Amusement Park Series Super Sonic Swirl Building Set; Magmodz - Magnetic Cars

No third place owing to multiple 2nd place winners

(26 voters):

1. 46.15% - (12) Smakaball - Smakaball

2. 30.77% - (8) Pacific Play Tents - Jumping Sacks; Swring - Swring

SCIENCE & NATURE (36 voters):

1. 66.67% (24) Elenco - Snap Circuits Motion

2. 36.11% (13) Thames & Kosmos - Jumping Robots

3. 30.56% (11) Science Wiz - Cool Circuits

ARTS & CRAFTS (35 voters):

1. 42.86% (15) The Orb Factory - Plush Crafts

2. 37.14% (13) Ann Williams - Loop de Loom

3. 31.43% (11) Games Workshop - Tau Empire XV104 Riptide Battlesuit

ELECTRONICS (25 voters):

48.12% (12) Improv Electronics - Boogie Board 8.5 Color LCD eWriter; MakerBot - Makerbot Replicator Mini

INFANT & TODDLER (31 voters):

1. 38.71% (12) NogginStik

2. 35.48% (11) Calisson - Sophie the Giraffe Bath Toy

3. 32.25% (10) Plan Toys - Wooden Bath Toys; Manhattan Toy Co. - Treetop Adventure

MUSICAL TOYS (27 voters):

1. 59.26% (16) HAPE - Mighty Mini Band

2. 29.63% (8) Hohner - Green Tones Temple Wood Blocks

CLASSIC TOYS (27 voters):

1. 51.85% (14) Aurora World - Raggedy Ann & Andy -- 100 Year Anniversary

2. 25.93% (7) American Classic Toys - American Classic Carousel

And the GRAND PRIZE goes to

Elenco - Snap Circuits Motion for getting 66.67% of votes — higher than any other toy

Here's more about the winners; let's start playing!

GYRO Hercules Unbreakable 3.5CH Electric RTF Remote Control Helicopter by HOBBYTRON/WORLD TECH TOYS

GYRO Hercules Unbreakable 3.5CH Electric RTF Remote Control Helicopter by HOBBYTRON/WORLD TECH TOYSIntroducing the GYRO Hercules 3.5CH Electric RTF RC Helicopter. The WORLD'S FIRST AND ONLY UNBREAKABLE RC HELICOPTER. This RC helicopter has super strong polymer frame. The Helicopter's body can take up to 200 pounds of force. You can even step on it and it won't break. This awesome Helicopter comes with the greatest advancement in Helicopter Technology, a Gyro. No more crashing, no more replacing parts, the GYRO has changed the Helicopter industry completely, making this RC Helicopter super easy to fly. Great for people of all skill levels, this bad boy features a coaxial rotor a single rear rotor for precise movement and a GYRO for increased stability whether flying or hovering. Controlling the Hercules is a breeze. It can go forward, backward, up, down, left, right and hover. What really makes the GYRO Hercules stand out is the built in gyroscope making it automatically stabilize allowing you to focus on flying instead of trying not to make it crash. This product is ready to fly, there is no assembly required. Launch date: November 2012.
Awards: 2014 TDmonthly Top Toy Debut Award

 10/2/2012 (MSRP: $59.95; Age: 8 and Up)

Smakaball by SMAKABALL

Smakaball by SMAKABALLSmakaball has the amazing ability to allow people to make an exhilarating catch by snatching the ball right out of the air in a seemingly magical way on land and in the water. You can do tricks if you are playing by yourself or play catch with a friend or play monkey in the middle or 500 or even a team sport like Ultimate Smakaball. All ages and all genders ranging from unathletic to very athletic can have fun playing with each other without hindering the enjoyment of one another.
Awards: 2014 TDmonthly Top Toy Debut Award 4/17/2014

Grunting Pig by FOLKMANIS INC.

Grunting Pig by FOLKMANIS INC.Entertain your friends and LOL with the Grunting Pig puppet.  Delightful silky soft plush of pale pink with grey patches and a curly tail come to life with a workable snout, mouth and front trotters.  Squeeze his pot belly to make him grunt and witness the hilarity that ensues! This little piggy wants to come home with you. 14” long
Awards: 2014 TDmonthly Top Toy Debut Award
— In a June 2014 survey, four out of 10 retailers told TDmonthly that Folkmanis was their best-selling puppet brand.

 1/9/2014 (MSRP: $29.99)

T9 pick-up by AUTOMOBLOX

T9 pick-up by AUTOMOBLOXThere are few things as appealing as a pick-up truck. They are what you take over back woods trails or what you throw your stuff into before zooming off to your next adventure. This truck will have your children imagining daring adventures over rock strewn trails and long trips to places only a beloved pick-up can take them.
Awards: 2014 TDmonthly Top Toy Debut Award
— In a February 2015 survey, David Stelzer, owner of Shananigans in Baltimore, Md., told TDmonthly that Automoblox is his store's best-selling wooden toy. They sell around 50 every month. 4/29/2014 (MSRP: $38.00; Age: 3 and Up)

Snap Circuits Motion by ELENCO

Snap Circuits Motion by ELENCOContains over 40 parts. 165 experiments can be completed using the kit, like a spinning lighted fan, a small RC car that moves forward and backward, and more. It stimulates the mind and teaches kids about electrical engineering, gears and rations in a fun and educational way.
Awards: 2014 TDmonthly Top Toy Debut Award


Makerbot Replicator Mini by MAKERBOT

Makerbot Replicator Mini by MAKERBOTUnleash creativity with an educational, entertaining, and useful 3D printer. Choose from hundreds of thousands of free, predesigned, and ready-to-print educational, entertaining, and useful 3D models on Thingiverse. For even more design possibilities, pair the MakerBot Replicator Mini with the MakerBot Digitizer Desktop 3D Scanner.
Awards: 2014 TDmonthly Top Toy Debut Award 4/29/2014 (MSRP: $1375.00; )

PlushCraft® Owl Pal Pillow by THE ORB FACTORY LIMITED

PlushCraft® Owl Pal Pillow by THE ORB FACTORY LIMITEDCreate an Owl Pal Pillow with special glittering fabric pieces.  Use the stylus to punch pretty fabric pieces and create this beautiful no-sew craft.
Awards: 2014 TDmonthly Top Toy Debut Award
— Debbie Gray, owner of Bear and Friends in Johnson City, Tenn., told TDmonthly in a July 2014 survey that Orb Factory Plush Craft Pillows are one of their store's best-selling toys.
— Barbara Fineblum, owner of Barston's Child's Play in Baltimore, Md., told TDmonthly in October 2014 that this was one of her store's best-selling jewelry and accessories items.

 11/27/2013 (MSRP: $16.99; Age: 5 and Up)

Boogie Board 8.5 Color LCD eWriter - Red or Blue by IMPROV ELECTRONICS

Boogie Board 8.5 Color LCD eWriter - Red or Blue by IMPROV ELECTRONICSWe just put a new twist on an old favorite. The Boogie Board Original 8.5 LCD eWriter that started a paperless revolution will soon be available in two exciting new color combinations – red case front with red LCD and cyan (blue) case front with cyan LCD! The new color LCDs feature the same writing experience that you’ve come to know and love from Boogie Board eWriter products. Write or draw with the included stylus or almost any other instrument – even your finger. Great for home, school and office – almost anywhere you use a paper and pen!
Awards: 2014 TDmonthly Top Toy Debut Award


16" Raggedy Ann Classic - Large by AURORA WORLD INC.

16" Raggedy Ann Classic - Large by AURORA WORLD INC.The original doll with a heart is back. Beautifully made with fine facial features in soft brown tones and yarn hair with the classic loop style. Has the traditional embroidered "I Love You" heart on her chest and features plastic button eyes.
Awards: 2014 TDmonthly Top Toy Debut Award 8/29/2012 (MSRP: $25.00)

NogginStik® Developmental Light-up Rattle by SMARTNOGGIN INC

NogginStik® Developmental Light-up Rattle by SMARTNOGGIN INCThe NogginStik® developmental light-up rattle is baby’s first learning toy.  It might look like a cute version of a baby rattle, but it has a powerful agenda.  The NogginStik® was designed to help parents, caregivers and early intervention therapists begin encouraging early milestones in infants. The NogginStik head lights up red, blue and green to stimulate a baby’s eyes and to encourage visual tracking.  The base of the NogginStik makes a soft rattle sound to please the ears.  It has an easy to hold handle for mastering grasping and fun textures to delight the sense of touch. Your baby’s NogginStik® will help you begin to encourage her beginning milestones from the day she is born!
Awards: 2014 TDmonthly Top Toy Award
— Joe Novak, owner of Kazoo Toys of Buckhead in Atlanta, Ga., told TDmonthly in an April 2015 survey that the Noggin Stik is one of their store's top 2 best-selling infant & toddler toys. 4/28/2014 (MSRP: $22.99; Age: 0 to 1)

Mighty Mini Band by HAPE

Mighty Mini Band by HAPEThe beat goes on…and on with this 5-in-1 percussion section. When the concert's over, everything stores together until it's time for the next gig. Includes a xylophone, a drum, a cymbal, a guiro, a clapper and drumsticks.
Awards: 2014 TDmonthly Top Toy Debut Award
— In a February 2015 survey, two out of 11 retailers told TDmonthly that toys from Hape were their best-selling wooden toys. 4/28/2014 (MSRP: $39.99; Age: 2 and Up)

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