Usable indoors or outdoors, this super-powered microscope will magnify anything 40 times its natural size. Author Shar Levine helps kids easily turn their home, bedroom or backyard into a laboratory. The microscope can be used on the stand or off, and kids can observe the details of prepared slides or create their own. Launch date: September 2007.
From armadillos to zebras, the latest title from the award-winning Challenge series is packed with 1,000 trivia questions covering all the quintessential animals and animal topics kids can’t get enough of. Kids use the game component to answer randomly chosen questions, and the automatic score-keeping function shows who knows the most about the animal kingdom. Launch date: August 2008.
Young equine enthusiasts will learn how to draw horses using two artist horse models (one adult and one foal), pastels, colored pencils, smudger, and other useful tools. Accompanied by a fully illustrated book featuring several different guided projects that stress a variety of techniques, treatments, and approaches for drawing realistic, cartoon, or abstract horses, there’s really no limit. Launch date: August 2008.
Kids can build a multi-terrain robotic vehicle, complete with six S-shaped legs designed to conquer tough terrains, such as sand, rocks, and grass. They'll test its limits by towing toy cars, climbing a stack of books, or negotiating a wall. Includes instructions for five guided projects that touch upon the science of motion and energy to explain why RoboXplorer reacts differently to various terrains.
Kids can whip up a variety of fun, imaginative cupcakes as artful configurations or intriguing singles. It features custom-designed tools and skill-building techniques. In "Sweet!," author Jenna Land Free and expert Leslie Miller focus on how to make single cupcakes as well as splendid configurations. This fully illustrated, 24-page book comes with recipes, techniques and tips on how to create one-of-a kind works of edible art using creamy frosting, simple fondant and elegant ganache. Classic decorating tricks are broken down into simple step-by-step directions. The kit includes a froster designed with little hands in mind; three frosting tips: flat, star, and round; a frosting spreader (mini offset spatula); a stencil holder with four pre-cut stencils: sand dollar, snowflake, dragon face and bow; mini cutters in three shapes: circle, flower and shell; tweezers; a cake comb; and a rolling pin with raised edges for evenly rolled fondant. The pack is 10" W x 10" H x 2" D with e-flute packout. Launch date: August 2009.
Ever wondered if the light in the fridge stays on when you close the door? Fiber optics can light the way. It may sound like some supercomplicated electronic technology, but the basics are quite simple. Author Jim Becker helps kids understand what’s going on as they use the power of light to build 10 high-tech electronic projects, including a burglar alarm, an electronic rooster, and a flexible flashlight. The kit includes two preassembled workbenches (transmitter and receiver), three optical fiber rods and a connector, 26 hookup wires, two LED couplers, 12 activity cards , and a 12-panel fully illustrated booklet. "The retail feedback we have received tells us that there is not a similar product on the market," Darcy Morris, Director of Sales & Marketing, SmartLab Toys, told TDmonthly. Launch date: April 30, 2010.
Step into the world of fashion to create entire collections using a custom light tablet and cling-type wardrobe pieces. The Style Guide and Look Book show you how to use simple clothing silhouettes and add color, pattern, texture and embellishment to create collections for your design portfolio. The kit also includes 45 traceable clothing and accessory clings, 10 markers, 12 pencils, an eraser, sharpener, color and fabric wheel, and a sketchbook. Launch date: 2010.
Kids can wrangle backyard creepy-crawlies into this mini funhouse, catching crickets, ants and beetles with the handheld bug catcher, then watching how they behave in the 5” x 3.5” x 3” plastic playground. The Bug Playground comes with a 12-panel fully illustrated booklet written by insect expert David George Gordon.
This motorized bug scurries across the floor like a futuristic beetle. When the rubber traction pads are attached, Robo-Bug can crawl over sand, rocks and even hills. It also "includes a full color booklet about insects and how they rule the world!" SmartLab's Director of Sales and Marketing, Darcy Morris, told TDmonthly.
What keeps your stomach from digesting itself? How does a power grip affect a tennis game? What in the world is a hippocampus? This kit’s activity cards answer these questions while getting a child ready for the science fair. The kit includes a skeletal snap-together hand with adhesive fingertip pads, a three-part skull model with glow-in-the-dark eyeballs and a snap-together brain, a 12” human body model with nine removable squishy vital organs and 12 bones and muscles, a poster, 12 activity cards and instruction sheets.
Girls can create custom interchangeable fabric-covered snaps that mix and match into a closet full of accessories, including rings, bracelets, necklaces, belts, ponytail bands, barrettes, headbands and more. Skills to create printed fabric, such as photo transfers and embroidering, are broken down into easy, step-by-step directions.
The Programmable Rover is a toy, a robot and a tool for learning the basic fundamentals on programming. Kids can program this Rover to navigate specified courses to deliver a treat to a pet, surprise a family member with a personalized message, carry a soda, guard a bedroom or just dance. With a spiral bound Owner's Manual, kids will begin work through guided projects building their knowledge for the more advanced operating techniques. This cleverly crafted guide helps get the Rover rolling and will inspire the next level of learning — charting one's own adventures.
With this kit, kids can explore the science behind weather using this interactive station to track wind, rain and temperature. Five experiments take children from challenging the local weatherman to predicting the weather using crickets. "A full-on forecasting station," SmartLab Toys Director of Sales and Marketing Darcy Morris told TDmonthly.
This all-inclusive art kit puts young gearheads behind the handlebars of their dream motorcycle. Kids will learn how to illustrate custom motorcycles using a light table, colored pencils, acetate overlays printed with simple traceable outlines of motorcycle frames, and 71 traceable “cling” accessory add-ons. The set includes instructions for creating 21 custom bikes.
What mystery material is on a toothbrush? Where is the coldest place on Earth? Why are frogs famous for being slimy? This kit’s 12 activity cards reveal all. "This deluxe kit combines our You-Track-It Weather Lab, Indoor Outdoor Microscope and Extreme Secret Formula Lab all into one," SmartLab Toys Director of Sales and Marketing Darcy Morris told TDmonthly.
Which planet spins backwards? When is a star not a star? If you miss your flight to Mars, how long will you have to wait for the next one? All answers are revealed in this kit’s activity cards and fold-out solar system guide. "This deluxe kit lets you explore the solar system, planetarium and moon with the mars rover model and launch an expedition with the remote control rocket," SmartLab Toys Director of Sales and Marketing Darcy Morris told TDmonthly.
With this hands-on kit and tour guide, kids enter the world of the human body — complete with removable squishy vital organs as well as skeletal, vascular, and muscular systems, kids explore the complex inner workings of the human body and see how everything fits together. Research physician Lucille M. Kayes helps examine the good, the bad, and the ugly parts of the human body by following a bite of pizza as it travels through the body. Includes: 12" plastic human body model and stand, 12 plastic bones and muscles, 9 removable squishy vital organs, Body parts Organ-izer, Tweezers, Forceps, and 32-page fully illustrated book, Awards: 2008 NAPPA Honors Award; 2008 Creative Child Preferred Choice Award (Educational/Science Toys Category); 2008 Parents’ Choice Recommended Award
Build a brain and then pick it apart with this sequel to the Squishy Human Body. This anatomically correct model, complete with moving mandible (jawbone) and squishy plastic brain and eyes, makes for a realistic experience of our body's gray matter. With the included illustrated book, kids go on a tour through the sense, movement, memory, emotion, decision-making, and automatic functions like breathing and digestion. Phenomena like brain freeze and notes on how and when things go wrong are also explored. Includes: 9-piece transparent skill that fits together at the sutures, 8 squishy brain parts, Squishy eyeballs, 4 vertebrae pieces with spinal cord, Skull base, Tools: forceps, scalpel, and tweezers, Skull map, Brain blister with labels, and 32-page, fully illustrated book. — In a December 2013 survey two out of 10 retailers told TDmonthly that skull and brain novelty items were Halloween best-sellers.
Including a unique light table that illuminates every outfit, this kit helps kids create a full fashion line using acetate wardrobe pieces. Just add color, patterns, and texture. Comes complete with the fashion-forward light table, over 30 acetate wardrobe pieces, ten artist grade color pencils, and ten sheets of drawing paper.
Standing over two feet tall, the Weird & Wacky Contraption Lab has 60 mix-and-match pieces to build an unlimited amount of contraptions. Kids can dream up crazy courses, then build and test them using this easy-to-construct Velcro-like system. Instructions offer tips and tricks on how to best manipulate the kit's components. It guides kids through five sample contraption designs while they learn how to predict the outcome of each. "Contraption Lab offers full-circle skill building from prediction and planning to testing and experimentation," Nancy Storment, marketing & PR rep for SmartLab Toys, told TDmonthly. Launch date: October 2011. Awards: TDmonthly Top Toy Award, January 2012. — Why it won: A great product that encourages creativity.
Featuring five squishy innards-including a tongue-this anatomically correct model of the king of dinosaurs will amaze and enlighten through a journey of building and fun. The Squishy T. rex has detailed anatomy, inside and out, with removable squishy organs. Kids learn all about the T. rex through the accompanying book, The Mighty T. rex by Dennis Schatz. Launch date: September 2012.
Old-school and new-school technology collide in this plug n' play portable speaker dock kids build themselves. Rock the house or take the show on the road. Kids learn basic electronics by investigating how speakers and amplification work. Docking station works with iPod, iTouch, and other audio devices. Launch date: September 2012.
Explore flights of fancy with five fantastical butterflies you build yourself. With this kit, kids get a close-up look at the fragile, fluttering creatures living in butterfly gardens. A one-of-a-kind tool allows kids to create oversized butterflies for their bedroom walls. "Wallscapes Butterflies includes a unique device that allows for 3D butterflies to be created easily by anyone. This interior decoration kit provides a social occasion to craft pretty, cheerful and fun projects that can be hung on a bedroom wall, placed inside a locker at school, or gifted to a friend," Nancy Storment, marketing & PR rep at SmartLab Toys, told TDmonthly. Launch date: April 2012.
Put this glow-boratory to the test with 20 experiments that will help you answer questions like, what makes a glowing ball bounce and, what does fake snow have in common with spaghetti? View the experiments with a hand-held black light, build a lava lamp, and create glowing alien blood. Test out projects that teach about these 9 principles of science: fluorescence, phosphorescence, chemiluminescence, bioluminescence, polymers, non-Newtonian fluids, carbon dioxide reactions, crystal formation, and nucleation. This kit includes: a handheld black-light activator, 4 glow sticks, mix-n-measure scoop, fluorescent ink, beaker, mixing cup, 3 creature molds, 2 test tubes and stand, funnel, bouncy ball mold, glow-in-the-dark powder, bouncy ball polymer, jelly balls polymer, fake snow polymer, star stickers, and a 24-page Lab Book.