TDmonthly: Toy Fair 2010 Coverage - Feb 14th to 17th - Special Live Coverage
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  Day 1 – Retailer Panel

TDmonthly Magazine is proud to present its first-ever expert panel of specialty toy-store owners at Toy Fair — featuring individuals who know the industry best and have a sharp eye for selecting quality toys because they live and breathe “play” day in and day out! Read about their businesses below, and see our daily Retailer Panel picks for their recommendations of toys, games and gift items you should check out for your store.

See below for top picks from our Retailer Panel for Day 1.

Also see their top picks for the other days of Toy Fair:
Retailer Panel - Day 2
Retailer Panel - Day 3
Retailer Panel - Day 4





Name: Rapid 4® More
Company: UNCLE SKUNKLE TOYS, INC.
Other products by UNCLE SKUNKLE TOYS, INC.
MSRP: $89.99
Age: 8 and up
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: General Games

ToyDirectory Product ID#: 17438

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Available in wood only, Rapid 4 More® adds more excitement and strategy to the fast-paced game of Rapid 4, with the addition of an entirely new, large playing surface. Play both sides of the board in your pursuit to grasp victory while foiling your friends along the way. Rapid 4 More also allows up to 4 players, extending the level of zany enjoyment to all involved.
— "This is a perfect game!" raved 7-year-old Ben Christensen, a reviewer in TDmonthly's Grade-School Roundtable, which collectively awarded Rapid 4 More four out of five TD stars.
— "For about age 8 and up Rapid 4 More is a fast fun interactive game for 2 to 4 players.  Get 4 balls in a row in any direction, but be careful because you have to drop your balls from a maze to do it.  A fun strategy game.  Recommended!" Jennifer Shuman, of 1SmartNoodle, told TDmonthly at Toy Fair 2010. 2/7/2008



Name: CAMP Travel Edition
Company: EDUCATION OUTDOORS
Other products by EDUCATION OUTDOORS
MSRP: $19.99
Age: 4 and up
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Travel
Watch the CAMP Travel Edition Video Watch Video Now
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 22239

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The CAMP Travel edition is very compact and mobile, with a unique wood design. Up to 4 multi-level players, and has fun “setback” and “move forward” functions. All new outdoor trivia cards, with vibrant full color images, includes content highlighting all 50 states.
— "The board game Camp has sold well in our store. Happy to see the travel edition that kids and parents can play together," Marlene England of Dancing Bear Toys & Gifts, told TDmonthly at Toy Fair 2010. 1/27/2009



Name: Faux Bow
Company: MARKY SPARKY TOYS
Other products by MARKY SPARKY TOYS
MSRP: $24.95
Age: 8 and up
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Outdoor Fun
Watch the Faux Bow Video Watch Video Now
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 25248

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Everything about this toy is fake. We admit it. From the faux Black Ebony handle to the fake bow string. It's all fake. All fake except the performance. The Faux Bow was designed with only one goal: To be the best performing toy bow on the market. We beat all the competition by miles. Every Nerf® enthusiast's jaw will drop at the distance and accuracy of this beast. It out shoots and out distances everything in the class. My mom always told me not to judge a book by its cover. No truer words could be said about the Faux Bow™. Under its fake exterior lies the heart of a dragon (here comes the segue). So, if dragons are on the menu... Faux Bow™ is ready to do some slaying. Comes with 3 perfectly balanced Faux titanium arrows and one 3 arrow quiver.
— "This Bow an Arrow is new from Marky Sparky - creators of the popular 'Doink It Darts.' The bow shoots 'arrows,' which are more-or-less the same missles sold in Marky Sparky's popular 'Blast Pad' rockets. The rockets worked well and seem to be a good addition to a strong line," Joe Mitchell, owner of YoYo Joe's Toys & Fun, told TDmonthly at Toy Fair 2010.
— “Those things fly out of here,” unintentionally punned Christine Osborne, co-owner of Wonder Works in Charleston, S.C., in Fall 2010. 8/31/2009



Name: Mi Yim - Good Earth Fairy
Company: GREENPOINT BRANDS
Other products by GREENPOINT BRANDS

Gender: Girls
Category: Dolls
Watch the Mi Yim - Good Earth Fairy Video Watch Video Now
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 25709

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This soft doll is made of organic fabric and colored with vegetable dyes. Launch date: Fall 2009.
— The My Natural Good Earth Fairy is eco-friendly inside and out; she is stuffed with organic cotton, wears a leafy skirt made from linen, and features rosy cheeks created with plants and minerals. Young girls love the Good Earth Fairy, and many of them were almost equally excited by the sturdy reusable cardboard gift box the fairy comes packaged in, turning it into a home for their fairy or a place to keep valuables. Reviewers found the doll well constructed and strong enough to survive their attempts to rip out its hair (all in the name of science, of course). Jodi Grundig from Mom’s Favorite Stuff felt assured by the doll, knowing its natural materials would not aggravate her children’s allergies. With a cute design, high durability, and environment conscious materials, the Mi Yim Good Earth Fairy is a winner with parents and kids alike.
— "Excited to add this product to the other MiYim items we carry. Quality and packaging are top-notch," Marlene England of Dancing Bear Toys & Gifts, told TDmonthly at Toy Fair 2010. 10/21/2009



Name: U-Play Mat Starter Set
Company: PLAY THIS WAY EVERY DAY LLC.
Other products by PLAY THIS WAY EVERY DAY LLC.
MSRP: $49.00
Age: 1 to 5
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Educational

ToyDirectory Product ID#: 26026

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The U-Play Mat is a U-shaped mat with 15 clear pockets on its surface. The mat is 4 feet wide, and 3 feet deep. The innovative "U" shape allows the child to sit inside the opening of the "U" with full access to the 15 pockets. The child has full visual and tactile access to the whole surface, without having to crawl atop the mat. Child-safe see-through pockets allow fifteen theme-based cards to be secured to the mat surface. This patent pending design allows for the caregiver to sit across and engage the child in a variety of exercises using the adorable theme-based card decks. The pockets are designed to be slightly larger than the cards, allowing for the cards to be placed and removed easily. This set is recommended for at-home use, especially with the one to two year old child just starting to use the U-Play Mat. Includes: U-Play Mat, Tote, U-Animals Card Deck, and U-Foods Card Deck.
— "A great language activity that promotes listening, language and social skills.  A superior choice for children who need support in these areas and might have trouble staying focused," Jennifer Shuman, of 1SmartNoodle, told TDmonthly at Toy Fair 2010. 11/9/2009



Name: Fuzzles – Ilsa Lime Flower Bear
Company: DOUGLAS CUDDLE TOYS
Other products by DOUGLAS CUDDLE TOYS
MSRP: $11.55
Gender: Girls
Category: Plush

ToyDirectory Product ID#: 26849

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They are floppy, utterly soft and cuddly, come in fresh distinctive hues and ready to play, gift, or stand brightly in any room decor. Girls will want to collect them, trade them, bond with them, and just carry them everywhere. 12 styles available including Hot Pink Fizz Cat, Dog, and Horse; Pink Dot Monkey and Cat; Flower Monkey, Bear, Dog, and Horse; Tropical Dog, Bear, and Horse. All approximately 11" in size.
— "These ridiculously cute patterned plush toys are new from Douglas in 2010. They come in several different styles and sizes. They seem to build off the success of the 2009 introduction of the Rad Dogs from Douglas," Joe Mitchell, owner of YoYo Joe's Toys & Fun, told TDmonthly at Toy Fair 2010. 2/1/2010



Name: Blocks Rock!
Company: BLOCKS ROCK! LLC
Other products by BLOCKS ROCK! LLC
MSRP: $24.99
Age: All Ages
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: General Games
Watch the Blocks Rock! Video Watch Video Now
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 27060

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Blocks Rock is a fast-paced blocks game of recognition, action and excitement that can be played by two players or two teams. Launch date: March 2010.
— "Blocks Rock with cognitive reasoning and fine motor control.  What makes this game unique is that it was designed by kids for kids and all sales proceeds go back to their school. Kudos to those that inspired these children. Geared to children 6 years and older and played by two individuals or two teams, players race to build a pattern on a matching card. The game is made challenging by a clever a 3D element.  Add a timer for solo play and use multiple cards to increase the level of difficulty as proficiencies rise," Jennifer Shuman, of 1SmartNoodle, told TDmonthly at Toy Fair 2010. 2/11/2010




Name: Natural Modeling Dough
Company: CLEMENTINE ART
Other products by CLEMENTINE ART
MSRP: $8.99
Age: 3 and up
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Arts & Crafts

ToyDirectory Product ID#: 27072

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This all-natural, crumble-free dough comes in a three-pack of 4-oz. containers holding strawberry-, lemon-, and lime-scented dough shaded with turmeric, carmine and spinach. It's designed to last for more than a year when sealed in the container.
— "Natural Modeling Dough and Natural Soy Crayons...Love the natural ingredients, clean eye-catching packaging, and price points," Marlene England of Dancing Bear Toys & Gifts, told TDmonthly at Toy Fair 2010. 2/12/2010



Name: Little Picasso Art Kit
Company: THE PIGGY STORY INC.
Other products by THE PIGGY STORY INC.
MSRP: $22.00
Age: 3 and up
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Arts & Crafts

ToyDirectory Product ID#: 27090

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Now whenever your Little Picasso has the urge to be brilliant, this 20 piece art organizer will keep their mess to a minimum. The Little Picasso Art Kit is a fun and easy way to keep pencils, markers and other art supplies neatly packed to take along to school, car rides, vacation or out for the day. With a place to embroider, this art set is one of kind and a zipper pouch keeps their little knickknacks handy too. Size: folded 4.75" h X 8" w X 1.5 d unfolded 8" h X 18.5" w. Includes 8 markers, 8 colored pencils, 1 pencils sharpener, 1 glitter glue pen, and 1 pair of safety scissors.
— "Little Picasso Art Kits and Chalk N Doodles...Beautiful fabric and clever design make these kits more special than ordinary art supplies. Perfect for home or on the go," Marlene England of Dancing Bear Toys & Gifts, told TDmonthly at Toy Fair 2010. 2/14/2010




Name: Box-O-Mania's Play Box Kit
Company: BOX-O-MANIA
Other products by BOX-O-MANIA

Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Pretend Play
Watch the Box-O-Mania's Play Box Kit Video Watch Video Now
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 27091

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Box-O-Mania puts a modern twist on the traditional cardboard box - the inspiration behind imaginative play and creative learning without complicated instructions and power charges. Inspired by this timeless toy, Box-O-Mania play boxes and specially-designed reusable stickers provide kids with the creative space in which they can use their fantasy through a variety of themes: a fire station, a beauty salon, a home, a clubhouse and more. Made of lightweight, yet sturdy corrugated plastic, Box-O-Mania play boxes offer more than twelve square feet of interior space for up to three children; they are easy to assemble, convenient to transport and store away.
— "My daughter is going to love this one. Fun, interactive child sized houses made from correlated plastic panels that velcro easily together. Available in 4 colors and several different themes. Use dry erase markers or the included sticker collection to decorate and personalize. When your done, wipe it off and start anew. Great for imaginative play," Jennifer Shuman, of 1SmartNoodle, told TDmonthly at Toy Fair 2010. 2/14/2010



Name: Bubber Modeling Compound
Company: WABA FUN LLC
Other products by WABA FUN LLC
MSRP: $12.99
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Creative Activities
Watch the Bubber Modeling Compound Video Watch Video Now
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 27094

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Bubber feels light as air and fluffy as a cloud. It's so light that it actually floats on water. Discover the joy of carving in a soft compound that leaves clean, sharp lines and amazing imprints. Bubber is non-toxic, leaves no stain or residue and never dries out, so you can play with it over and over. Watch Bubber: Top-5 Video, Toy Fair 2010
— "We came upon it today for the first time and ordered it promptly. The basic bucket sells for about $12.99 and comes in several colors," Joe Mitchell, owner of YoYo Joe's Toys & Fun, told TDmonthly at Toy Fair 2010. 2/15/2010



Name: Organeco Blocks
Company: HAPE
Other products by HAPE

Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Infant & Toddler
Watch the Organeco Blocks Video Watch Video Now
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 27095

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Bright and colourful building blocks made from lightweight bamboo. The blocks are printed with various abstract designs which encourage creativity and imaginative play. Particularly suited for child hands, they can be very easily built on top of each other.
— "Fresh off winning the Toy Innovation Award at the 2010 Nuremberg Toy Fair, Hape has introduced these really big colorful hollow, bamboo construction blocks. Painted with water based paint, the blocks are big and easy for little hands to manipulate," Joe Mitchell, owner of YoYo Joe's Toys & Fun, told TDmonthly at Toy Fair 2010. 2/15/2010



Name: Henrietta the Pull-Along Hen
Company: INTERNATIONAL PLAYTHINGS LLC
Other products by INTERNATIONAL PLAYTHINGS LLC
MSRP: $19.99
Age: 1 and up
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Infant & Toddler

ToyDirectory Product ID#: 27096

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Fun first pull toy is great for encouraging beginning walkers. Pull the hen along to see the eggs come out one by one, great for teaching cause and effect. Press the hen's comb to hear realistic chicken sounds.
— "This uber cute hen is a pull along toy, and while being pulled it drops multiple pre-hatched chicks," Joe Mitchell, owner of YoYo Joe's Toys & Fun, told TDmonthly at Toy Fair 2010. 2/15/2010




Name: Fubulous Wubulous™ Glam Art™ Magnificent Mermaids
Company: DO-A-DOT ART!
Other products by DO-A-DOT ART!
Age: 5 and up
Gender: Girls
Category: Arts & Crafts
Watch the Fubulous Wubulous™ Glam Art™ Magnificent Mermaids Video Watch Video Now
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 27295

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This craft kit includes three 10" x 12" designs with a mermaid theme, sparkling sequins and jewels to give the pictures dazzle, and a glam grabber tool to grab and stick the decorative pieces. Launch date: 2010.
— John MacDougall, owner of Golden Apple Learning Store in Pleasanton, Calif., liked this product at Toy Fair 2010, saying, "[It's] easy to do and [the] results are dazzling!"
— Gladys Griffin, owner of Main Street Toy Shop in Columbus, Ga., told TDmonthly in a January 2014 survey that Do-A-Dot-Art is a best-selling arts & crafts toy. 2/19/2010



Name: KEVA Contraptions 200-Plank Set
Company: MINDWARE
Other products by MINDWARE
MSRP: $49.95
Age: 7 and up
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Construction
Watch the KEVA Contraptions 200-Plank Set Video Watch Video Now
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 27299

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This kit gives some structure to free-form building with planks, including an idea book with instructions for building ball-track structures, ramps, funnels and more. It allows for scientific experimentation as kids test rolling the two included lightweight balls to see if they move as anticipated.
— "A new concept kit will help kids build bigger and better — simple, open-ended and smart," said John MacDougall, owner of Golden Apple Learning Store in Pleasanton, Calif., at Toy Fair 2010.
— It was also a top-two favorite at ASTRA's Share the Fair event during Toy Fair 2010.
— In an April 2012 survey, Elmer Carranza, manager of Doodlehopper 4 Kids in Springfield, Va., told TDmonthly that KEVA blocks are their best selling construction toy. 2/19/2010




TDmonthly Retailer Panel:

Marlene England and her husband, Tom, own Dancing Bear Toys and Gifts, a battery-free specialty toy store located in historic downtown Frederick, Md. The couple opened the store in 2000 as an alternative to high-tech, mass-market toys and games. Dancing Bear features fun for all ages —from baby gifts to board games, children’s books, musical instruments, science kits, arts and crafts, puppets and more.

Jeanette Lauture, mother to elementary school-aged twins, owns Aunt Jean’s Toys & Treats in Montclair, N.J. The store opened in March 2007 and specializes in innovative, imaginative, quality toys, with a nice selection of eco-friendly offerings and toys made in the USA.

John MacDougall owns Golden Apple Learning Store in Pleasanton, Calif., which serves as a center for toys, games, children’s books and teacher resource materials. It has been in business for 31 years and specializes in open-ended, non-electronic and non-licensed toys and games.

Joe Mitchell and his wife, Emily, own YoYo Joe's Toys & Fun in Wilmington, Del. YoYo Joe's opened in November 2008. Specializing in safe, educational and really fun toys, YoYo Joe's was named 'Best of Delaware' toy store for North Delaware by Delaware Today Magazine for 2009.

Jennifer Shuman owns 1Smart Noodle, an El Paso, Texas-based business that offers educational toys, games and activities selected through a screening process that includes an objective assessment of educational value and traditional value (cost benefit) and a subjective assessment, "Will I buy this item for my own children?" A mother of three children with various developmental delays, and having worked as an Early Childhood Educator for more than 20 years, she also stocks playthings that work well as therapy tools.

Kate Tanner owns Kidstop in Scottsdale, Ariz., a specialty toy and book store that takes play seriously and has been offering creative and imaginative items to families for more than 10 years. Kate specifically looks “for toys that ignite light bulbs over little heads” and often receives tips from the shop’s English Springer and head toy tester, McGuire.



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