TDmonthly: Toy Fair 2010 Coverage - Feb 14th to 17th - Special Live Coverage
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  Day 3 – 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 3.

Also see their top picks for the other days of Toy Fair:
Retailer Panel - Day 1
Retailer Panel - Day 2
Retailer Panel - Day 4





Name: Blunders™ - Make Learning Manners Fun
Company: SUCCESSFUL KIDS INC.
Other products by SUCCESSFUL KIDS INC.
MSRP: $24.95
Age: 5 to 10
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Educational
Watch the Blunders™ - Make Learning Manners Fun Video Watch Video Now
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 16257

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The adorable characters of Becky, Bobby, Brenda and Billy Blunder revolutionize the way manners are taught. The game includes a game board, a story book and 300 fun and interactive charade, multiple-choice, scenario and true/false questions covering social and dining etiquette. “Blunders™ is the only board game on the market today that makes learning manners interactive and fun!” Successful Kids Inc. President Aimee Symington told TDmonthly. This game has received the following awards: Dr. Toy, National Parenting Center Seal of Approval, iParenting Media, Creative Child Preferred Choice, Mr. Dad Seal of Approval, eChoice, and The Toy Man Award of Excellence and Seal of Approval. Launch date: February 17, 2008.
— "I've loved the Blunders Game from the moment I was introduced to it.  Now you can reinforce manners at one of the places where manners are key.  Manner Mats takes the blunders concept and turns it into a set of 38  table mats. The mats include tones of games including word searches, challenges, multiple choice, what is wrong with the picture, complete the sentence and many more. Another innovative way to teach manners without having to point your finger," Jennifer Shuman, owner of 1SmartNoodle, told TDmonthly at Toy Fair 2010.

Past videos: Toy Fair 2009 11/27/2007




Name: Word on the Street
Company: OUT OF THE BOX PUBLISHING
Other products by OUT OF THE BOX PUBLISHING
MSRP: $24.99
Age: 12 and up
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Adult Games
Watch the Word on the Street Video Watch Video Now
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 23108

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On each turn, one team flips over a category card. Team members frantically brainstorm words that fit the category while the opposition tries to sidetrack them. The team must agree on a word and pull each letter of that word one lane closer to their side of the street, all before the time runs out. "It has excellent educational applications but feels like a party game," Leah Osterhaus, VP of marketing for Out of the Box Publishing, told TDmonthly. Awards: 2009 Oppenheim Gold Award; 2009 Major; 2010 Dr. Toy Best Vacation Products; 2010 Mensa Select. Launch date: June 2009.
— "A great language skills development game. I wonder if they are going to make a Spanish version," Jennifer Shuman, owner of 1SmartNoodle, told TDmonthly at Toy Fair 2010. 3/31/2009



Name: Blocks
Company: GREEN TOYS INC.
Other products by GREEN TOYS INC.
Age: 1 and up
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Eco-Friendly
Watch the Blocks Video Watch Video Now
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 26559

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Designed for ages 6 months and up, this colorful set of 18 oversized building blocks is made in the USA from recycled plastic milk containers. The lightweight blocks are free of PVC, phthalates and BPA. Launch date: March 2010.
— "Green Toys looks like a choice for parents that lean green and want a toy product that advertises no BPAs, no Phthalates and no PVCs. Really, a perfect first toy!" Jennifer Shuman, owner of 1SmartNoodle, told TDmonthly at Toy Fair 2010.
— Jeremiah of Z Recommends appreciated that the blocks are “chunky but hollow, making them lightweight and giving them built-in handles all the way around for little hands.” Jeremiah found the moderate size of the set perfect “for those of us who already have plenty of toys, but no oversized-Lego-style locking blocks for toddlers.”
— Reviewers on Amazon gave the Green Toys Blocks an average of 4 stars out of 5, praising the blocks for their large size and eco-friendly yet tough construction. However, some reviewers had trouble keeping the blocks attached to each other. 1/5/2010




Name: Gyrowheel
Company: GYROBIKE INC.
Other products by GYROBIKE INC.
MSRP: $115.00
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Vehicles - Riding
Watch the Gyrowheel Video Watch Video Now
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 26580

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Designed as an alternative to training wheels, the Gyrowheel senses imbalanced riding and recenters the bicycle once it begins to wobble. This effect is accomplished by an interior disk that spins independently of the wheel to stabilize the bike even at very low speeds. It installs quickly with a wrench and has a simple on/off button, three stability settings, rechargeable batteries, and light and sound indicators. The 12" Gyrowheel is available in black and white. Watch Demo Video; Watch Gyrowheel: Top-5 Video, Toy Fair 2010
— John MacDougall, owner of Golden Apple Learning Store in Pleasanton, Calif., was impressed with this product at Toy Fair 2010. It's "a step up from a balance bike with a gyro that keeps balance without training wheels. Tech + Bike = Perfect," he said. 1/6/2010



Name: VentureView Science Kits
Company: PERISPHERE & TRYLON INC.
Other products by PERISPHERE & TRYLON INC.
MSRP: $39
Age: 6 to 12
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Kits

ToyDirectory Product ID#: 26930

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These science construction kits are designed to allow young minds to build and understand Solar, Water, Elastic, Dynamo and Wind power sources while building kinetic models and vehicles. They are "well-conceived and comprehensive kits with many variations and high value," a representative of Perisphere & Trylon, Inc., told TDmonthly. Launch date: May 2010.
— John MacDougall, owner of Golden Apple Learning Store in Pleasanton, Calif., was impressed with the Wind Energy kit with giant turbine blades at Toy Fair 2010. "We love renewable energy education kits," he said.
— ''Science kits do well overall,'' Cheryl Richmond owner Punkin Doodles Havre, Mont., shared with TDmonthly. 2/4/2010




Name: Peek Poker
Company: BLUE ORANGE GAMES
Other products by BLUE ORANGE GAMES
MSRP: $19.99
Age: 12 and up
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Dice
Watch the Peek Poker Video Watch Video Now
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 26954

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Players use their three dice hidden in their see-through cup and three community dice to make their combinations. The winner will be the one who can combine enough luck and strategy to walk off with all the chips! "Peek Poker is a fast-paced, fun and relaxed dice version of its cousin, Texas Hold’em Poker. Think you have got a good hand? Challenge your opponents ... And beware of bluffers, they’ll fill you with doubt!" Bert Devort, Sales Department, Blue Orange Games, told TDmonthly. Launch date: February 14, 2010.
— "We always love new things from Blue Orange Games," shared John MacDougall, owner of Golden Apple Learning Store in Pleasanton, Calif., at Toy Fair 2010. "Peek Poker Holdem will be another hit for us!" 2/4/2010



Name: EQUALS
Company: LEARNING BY DESIGN
Other products by LEARNING BY DESIGN

Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Educational

ToyDirectory Product ID#: 27165

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With the EQUALS game, kids can practice their basic math facts while they play a challenging game with their friends. Every child can be a winner. It does not matter if they are fast or slow with their facts, every child will have a chance to win. Kids can play addition, subtraction, multiplication or division. The game adjusts to fit each child. As they play EQUALS, kids will practice over 280 basic facts.
— "Great game for promoting logical thinking and spacial relations," Jennifer Shuman, owner of 1SmartNoodle, told TDmonthly at Toy Fair 2010. 2/17/2010




Name: Chopper Balance Bike
Company: SMART GEAR LLC
Other products by SMART GEAR LLC

Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Vehicles - Riding

ToyDirectory Product ID#: 27166

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The Chopper Balance Bike from Smart Gear Toys is for children ages 2 to 5 years. This beautifully eco-friendly balance bike promotes balance, grossmotor coordination and overall gross motor skills. A great therapy tool to employ with children who have weakness in these areas. The bike comes with a comfy cushioned adjustable seat, inflatable rubber tires and a convenient built-in handle for easy carrying or hanging (if you choose to store it that way). The Chopper also features motorcycle decals to give it the appearance of an actual chopper.
— "My own daughter, who just turned four, still has some issues with pedal coordination and this bike could really help her keep up with her big brothers when we all take a ride," Jennifer Shuman, owner of 1SmartNoodle, told TDmonthly at Toy Fair 2010. 2/17/2010



Name: Fisher Price Classic Toy Recreations
Company: BASIC FUN INC.
Other products by BASIC FUN INC.

Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: General Toys

ToyDirectory Product ID#: 27185

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Fisher Price classic toy re-creations by Basic Fun are high quality preschool toys from days past that are every bit as appealing as toys for toddlers and preschool children today. From the classic toy look to their classic toy operation, these toys mirror the Fisher Price toy classics.
— "Basic Fun is recreating some of the toys that I grew up with, including the Chatter Telephone, the Teaching Clock and the Change A Record Music Box. We've found our customers love buying toys for their kids (or grand kids) that they had when they were little. These are moderately priced (all under $40 retail) and look identical to the old Fisher Price toys," Joe Mitchell, owner of YoYo Joe's Toys & Fun, told TDmonthly at Toy Fair 2010. 2/17/2010




Name: Jaw Bones – The Buildable Art System™
Company: BE GOOD COMPANY
Other products by BE GOOD COMPANY

Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Construction

ToyDirectory Product ID#: 27186

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JAWBONES® is The Buildable Art System™ with construction pieces that swivel, ratchet and snap together in countless ways. The precision pieces in the four Jawbones sets will provide many hours of enjoyment for any budding artist, architect, sculpter, designer engineer or builder.
— "We liked that most of the sets include a storage jar for the pieces," Joe Mitchell, owner of YoYo Joe's Toys & Fun, told TDmonthly at Toy Fair 2010. 2/17/2010



Name: Stirling Engine Kit
Company: THAMES & KOSMOS
Other products by THAMES & KOSMOS
MSRP: $199.95
Age: 12 and up
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Science & Nature

ToyDirectory Product ID#: 27187

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Discover the Stirling engine, a simple, clean and efficient energy technology that is quickly becoming a viable source of electricity as the availability of fossil fuels declines. The Stirling engine in this kit uses renewable energy from the sun to drive a generator, which charges a rechargeable battery to power an electric car. Named after its inventor, Robert Stirling, the original Stirling engine dates back almost 200 years. Today, high-tech Stirling engines are being used in arrays of giant mirrored solar collectors and common applications like compact generators.
— "This set will be shipping in the fall and, like all of Thames & Kosmos products, is a wonderful scientific learning tool," Joe Mitchell, owner of YoYo Joe's Toys & Fun, told TDmonthly at Toy Fair 2010. 2/17/2010



Name: The Zyclone
Company: ZING
Other products by ZING

Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: General Toys
Watch the The Zyclone Video Watch Video Now
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 27188

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This flying toy flings soft foam rings hundreds of feet accurately. The rings are soft enough that even if you hit someone with them, it won't hurt.
— "I first saw this toy while watching David Letterman's holiday toy segment this past December. After Dave literally and figuratively destroyed several toys, he really seemed to like the Zyclone. We tried it at Toy Fair and suspect it will be a breakout springtime toy this year," Joe Mitchell, owner of YoYo Joe's Toys & Fun, told TDmonthly at Toy Fair 2010. 2/17/2010



Name: makedo™ - Kit for One
Company: REEVES INTL. INC.
Other products by REEVES INTL. INC.
Age: 5 and up
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Creative Activities

ToyDirectory Product ID#: 27194

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Encouraging kids to reuse, recycle and be creative, makedo kits include connectors that help fashion masterpieces out of cardboard and other objects. The Kit for One houses 69 pieces, including 30 pins, 30 clips, eight hinges, a construction tool and an inspiration poster. Watch makedo: Top-5 Video, Toy Fair 2010
— John MacDougall, owner of Golden Apple Learning Store in Pleasanton, Calif., thought the makedo line "clever" at Toy Fair 2010.
— Susan Stephenson, The Book Chook, called Makedo “beautifully thought out.” Although she found the cutting tool less effective than scissors, she loved the value and limitless possibilities of a set that uses what would otherwise be junk.
— Makedo was a Readers’ Choice Winner for TreeHugger’s Best of Green Awards. 2/17/2010




Name: Electric Rock Guitar Shirt
Company: THINKGEEK INC.
Other products by THINKGEEK INC.
MSRP: $29.99
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Apparel

ToyDirectory Product ID#: 27195

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This t-shirt allows one to strum and make music with pre-recorded major chords. It comes with a magnetic pick and a mini amp with sound adjustment.
— "Geeks are our customer base!" said John MacDougall, owner of Golden Apple Learning Store in Pleasanton, Calif., at Toy Fair 2010. 2/17/2010



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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