March 2015 | Vol. XIV - No. 3
TENZI by CARMA GAMES
Everyone gets ten dice. Someone says “Go.” Then everyone rolls and rolls as fast as they can until someone gets all their dice on the same number. It’s a fun, fast frenzy. It’s TENZI. It's "Super-simple to learn & super-fast to play," Steve Mark, executive Dice president of CARMA GAMES, LLC, told TDmonthly. Launch date: April 2011.
— In a February 2012 survey about games, Mary Porter Green, owner of The Curiosity Zone in Ashburn, Va., told TDmonthly that she sells 6+ copies of Tenzi each month.
— In a February 2013 survey, two out of 11 retailers told TDmonthly that Tenzi was their best selling game.
— Glisyn Lewis Jarrells, manager of Imaginations Toy & Furniture in Blacksburg, Va., told TDmonthly in a March 2013 survey that Tenzi is their overall best selling product. They sell around 15 copies of the game each month. ( Watch Video) 11/8/2011 (MSRP: $14.95; Age: 7 and Up)
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)
Timeline: Inventions by ASMODEE EDITIONS
To begin, one card is randomly drawn from those not given to players. This is placed in the middle of the table, date-side up and is the starting point of a chronological line which will slowly be built by players. The first player then chooses one of their cards. If the player thinks that the invention on their card came before that of the initial card, the player places their card to the left of the initial card. The player's card is then turned date-side up. If the player was right, it remains on the table. Otherwise, the card is discarded and a new one must be drawn to replace it. Play proceeds clockwise. The more cards which are correctly played, the harder it is to correctly place new ones.
— In a February 2014 survey, Julie Steinbach, owner of Rainbow Toys in Falmouth, Maine, told TDmonthly that Timeline from Asmodee was a best-selling game at their store.
— David Stelzer, owner of Shananigans in Baltimore, Md., told TDmonthly in an October 2014 survey that Timeline was his store's best-selling tween item.
— In a February 2015 survey, two out of 11 retailers told TDmonthly that Timeline was their best-selling game. ( Watch Video) 6/21/2012 (MSRP: $14.99; Age: 8 and Up)
Rush Hour by THINKFUN
Voted one of Parent's Choice Foundation's "Best 25 Toys in 25 Years," Rush Hour puts players to the test, demanding thought and vision. As if the commute home isn’t enough, in these 40 beginner-to-expert challenges, players must navigate a red car through a traffic jam and gridlock to successfully leave the game board. Challenge cards fit neatly into a pull-out tray beneath the game tray. Watch video
― “Logic games are selling very well, particularly (those from) ThinkFun,” Amy Akin, manager of Giggles for Kids in Suwanee, Ga., told TDmonthly in early 2009.
― “We do really well with ThinkFun games — problem solving, like Rush Hour,” added William Bingham, owner of Firefly Toy Shop in Milford, Pa. When asked about best-selling item for tween boys in October 2009, Fred Meyer, owner of Meyer's Toy World in Battle Creek, Mich., told TDmonthly, “Rush Hour is great. We sell hundreds.” It was named a best-selling game by five of 38 retailers in Feb. 2010. During a summer 2010 survey of 40 retailers, two said Rush Hour from ThinkFun is their top-selling puzzle, citing sales of up to 60 pieces per month.
AWARDS: 2010 TDmonthly Top Seller 9/29/2005 (MSRP: $15.99; Age: 8 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)
Snake Oil by OUT OF THE BOX PUBLISHING
In 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 Amazon.com. 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)
Zingo! by THINKFUN
Players try to fill their Zingo! cards with matching tiles from the Zingo Zinger. The first player to fill his or her card wins. Rules can be adjusted to favor more or less competition among players, and to vary the length of time each game requires. This game was a 2007 T.O.T.Y. Nominee for Specialty Toy of the Year. "It teaches memory, matching, vocabulary and social interaction skills. Kids have so much fun playing again and again; they don’t realize they’re learning essential thinking skills," Marketing Communications Manager Emily Peters of Thinkfun told TDmonthly.
— “Customers use this game as their ‘standard’ party gift,” Owner Elaine Hackney of Boing! JP’s Toy Shop in Jamaica Plain, Mass. told TDmonthly in summer 2007.
— “We sell out as soon as they come in,” added Pam Horwitz, manager of Mr. Toad’s Toy Company in Naples, Fla. Four of 63 retailers singled out Zingo! as the hottest-selling game in their store. Seven percent of 56 retailers listed Zingo as a top-selling game in January 2009. Six of 38 retailers called it a best-selling game in Feb. 2010.
— “Zingo is a great game for 4- to 5-year olds,” Jamie Burdette, owner of LB Toys in Media, Pa., told TDmonthly about this game — a top seller in his store — in April 2008. “The basic Bingo concept starts to introduce words and spelling.” ( Watch Video) 5/10/2005 (MSRP: $15.00; Age: 4 to 8)
BANANAGRAMS® by BANANAGRAMS
The fast-moving word game consists of 144 ivory-like letter tiles in a zippered banana pouch. Players place the tiles face down on the table and randomly select 21 tiles. They turn their letters right-side up simultaneously and proceed to form as many intersecting and interconnecting words as possible, rearranging their own letters as many times as desired throughout the game. Awards: TDmonthly Top Seller 2007; 2009 TOTY Game of the YEAR, 2006 Oppenheim Toy Portfolio Gold Seal; 2007 iParenting; 2007 Parents' Choice Recommended; 2007 Dr. Toy Best Products. (Read Review)
— This product has been making the TDmonthly Best-sellers lists since 2007.
— As of 05/13/2011 this product had 4.8 out of 5 stars from 456 reviews on Amazon.com.
— Eight of 66 retailers vouched for its best-selling status in May 2008; seven of 63 did in Sept. 2008. Shani Watmough of Planet Toys in Rockland, Maine, said her store sells 60 per month. Fifteen of 38 named it a top-selling game in Feb. 2010.
— As of April 5, 2010, Bananagrams had spent 570 days in the top-100 best-selling toys and games on Amazon.com.
— According to owner Brett Sommer of Figpickels Toy Emporium in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, “It was the 2009 game of the year. The brilliant packaging definitely helps this product." ( Watch Video) 6/19/2006 (MSRP: $14.99; Age: 7 and Up)
FIVE CROWNS® by SET ENTERPRISES INC.
FIVE CROWNS® – The Game Isn’t Over ‘til the Kings Go Wild! ® FIVE CROWNS is a five-suited rummy-style game that is a quick favorite for both avid and casual card players. It starts with 3 cards and 3s are wild, the next hand has 4 cards and 4s are wild and so on ‘til the Kings Go Wild! Make the right combinations, be the first to go out, then watch the others scramble as they get one last chance to cut their losses. Players 1-7. Age 8+
— This take-off on Rummy, only with five suits instead of four, sells well for Andy Detling, owner of Whoops! & Co. in Minocqua, Wis. “I noticed more of a return to family games this year,” said Cheri Sims, store manager of White Rabbit Toys in Ann Arbor, Mich., who said this game was one such game that families were stocking up on.
— In summer 2007, three of 32 retailers cited Five Crowns as the most popular card game. In August 2008, almost 25 percent of retailers named Set Enterprises as their top-selling card game company; 8 percent listed Five Crowns as a best-selling card game. In late summer 2009, three of 38 retailers cited it as their top-selling card game. In Feb. 2010, four of 38 retailers called it a best-selling game, selling between 3 and 25 units monthly. In an August 2010 TDmonthly survey, three of 43 retailers named Five Crowns a card game best seller.
— As of 10.25.10, this product had 5 out of 5 stars from 15 reviews on Walmart.com and was listed as the #3 bestseller in Games & Puzzles. PROS: easy to learn, fun for the whole family. ( Watch Video) 1/20/2006 (MSRP: $12.99; Age: 8 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)