TDmonthly Magazine!
March 2006 | Vol. V - No. 3


TDmonthly’s Top 10 Toy Fair 2006 Toys

TDmonthly Staff Selects Top Products From Toy Fair 2006

Each month, TDmonthly Magazine interviews dozens of retailers across the country to determine the best-selling products in a specific category. This month, we let the retailers speak for themselves (WATCH VIDEO) and we did the picking as we searched the booths with our TDmonthly 3-chip video camera. Following are 10 of our favorite specialty toys … most of them from the smaller booths at Toy Fair.

Please check back soon: We shot video interviews with each of the manufacturers and toys on this list, and we will be uploading them throughout the next two weeks. So if you didn’t get to stop by their booths in February (or if you need a little memory refresher), settle down with a soothing beverage, relax and let the videos load …

NOTE: Videos take from 2 to 10 minutes each to load the first time.

Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Board Games

Darkness Falls on Sevinpold is a revolutionary new board game that's fun for the entire family. Sevinpold is a world where every castle is filled with secrets, perils, powers and magical creatures; where the heroes, known as the Valiant, must play as a team against the menacing Darkness in order to win; where victory cannot be declared until the very last roll of the dice when the Scepter is reunited with the Living Throne. With excitement at every turn, Sevinpold is a game that never plays the same twice. It challenges players every step of the way and maintains their interest so they want to play again and again. With two patents pending for its distinctive movement and innovative "team play" concepts, Sevinpold has changed the way board games are played.
— “Sevinpold hits that demographic of 8 to 14,” said Darren Turbeville, owner of Toy Chest in Healdsburg, Calif. “We average a piece every 10 to 14 days.”
— Sevinpold does “very well” at Thinker Toys in Carmel, Calif., said owner Mark Phillips. “I’ve sold through two or three re-orders. It’s selling without even being demonstrated. Knights and dragons and pirates are the biggest category in the world.”
— “I love it!” enthused 11-year-old Sara Seagle. “I think it has beautiful illustrations on it.” TDmonthly's Homeschooling Roundtables families played with Sevinpold an average of seven times each from January to July 2006. VIEW ARTICLE, VIEW CHART
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 5838      (added 12/9/2005)

MSRP: $9.99
Age Range: 5 and up
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Arts & Crafts

PlayFoam provides hours of creative fun with its lightweight, colorful foam-sculpting material that won't crumble, stick to skin or surfaces or dry out. According to an Educational Insights press release, PlayFoam was being “pre-ordered by the hundreds” at Toy Fair 2006.
— Sally Lesser, owner of Henry Bear’s Park in Massachusetts, told TDmonthly in spring 2007 that PlayFoam is a product her stores try to keep “in stock all the time, as I’m sure anyone would.” In fall 2007, Owner Idanna Smith of Juggles in Wakefield, R.I., named it as a best seller.
— Jim Whitney, president of Educational Insights, shared this insight with TDmonthly: "From the moment you touch PlayFoam it intrigues and fascinates ... It combines all the fun of sculpting with the soft, dry, squishy tactile feeling of a stress ball. It ... will last for years and is addictively fun."
— PlayFoam, a winner of a TDmonthly Top Toy 2007 award, is one of those creative alternatives to clay that many specialty retailers have made a staple in their stores. The reusable product comprises tiny foam balls that draw textural interest for the sculptor and offer visual appeal in a finished creation. Playfoam easily encourages open-ended play.

Where to Buy: Berkira; EQuick Xpress

ToyDirectory Product ID#: 5962      (added 12/14/2005)

MSRP: $29.95
Age Range: 8 and up
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: General Games
Board Games
Card Games

InStructures is a family/party game in which two teams race to build a structure with building blocks. However, only their "Foremen" get to see the blueprints. Good verbal communication is the key to winning.
— This game turns block-building into a competitive sport.
— The high-quality wooden building pieces make the game aesthetically pleasing, too.
— MarBan took “tons” of pre-orders for InStructures at Toy Fair, said vice-president Jenna Banks. The game will be available in June 2006.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 6013      (added 12/15/2005)

MSRP: $29.95
Age Range: 8 and up
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Candy & Food

With the Play & Freeze Ice Cream Maker, you can make ice cream anywhere! You don’t need electricity, just add ice and rock salt in one end and ice cream mix in the other end; then have a ball as you shake it, pass it or roll it! You can make a pint of gourmet ice cream in about 20 minutes of having a ball! Made of durable polycarbonate, it’s lightweight, portable and easy to clean. Great for kids (ages 8+) as well as the whole family.  Ideal for indoors or outdoors; Picnics, Parties, Camping and more!
— Industrial Revolution kicked their ball up and down the aisle at Toy Fair to convince specialty retailers that they really could make ice cream.
— The TDmonthly camera crew spotted a long-term specialty retailer ordering the ball for her toy store.
— Industrial Revolution said they did better than expected at Toy Fair with on-the-spot orders.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 6783      (added 2/1/2006)

MSRP: $19.95
Age Range: 7 and up
SKU or Item #: 030
Launch Date: January 2006
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: General Games

The game begins with 17 pairs of tiles that feature the engaging characters from the Cogno games and books series. The object is to find as many matched pairs as possible — while preventing other players from finding them first. In Codebreaker, players use the included dry-erase markers to draw or write something on the backs of the cards they pick. Players delve into their lifetime of memories to create “codes” that help them remember where the game’s characters are hiding. The key is creating codes that others won’t guess … and the fun is guessing others’ codes.
— The original Cogno game was a huge hit for Kate Tanner, owner of Kidstop Toy & Book Store in Scottsdale, Ariz. VIEW ARTICLE The game “is endlessly creative and interesting, because players draw from their lifetime of memories to write or draw secret reminders about the characters in the game. The key is making coded reminders for yourself that other players will not figure out!” Montaldo told TDmonthly. Award: 2006 Dr. Toy's 100 Best Children’s Products — Building on the success of the Cogno games, Codebreaker challenges memory and creativity while adding the fun of secrecy and (best of all) dry-erase markers! Since it’s basically “memory” with some scribbling, retailers can easily teach the game to customers and just as easily ring up the next sale. That winning combo won Codebreaker a TDmonthly Top Seller 2007 award.

Where to Buy: Berkira

ToyDirectory Product ID#: 6793      (added 2/1/2006)

Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: General Games

Perplex City’s greatest treasure has been stolen. Players can collect and solve the Perplex city puzzle cards for clues and information. The 256 puzzle cards feature all sorts of problems, from mazes to cryptography. When a player thinks a puzzle is solved, he goes to the Perplex City Web site to enter a unique card ID number and the answer. If correct, he earns the number of Perplex Points marked on the card. These points are used to track his progress in solving the cards. If a player finds the stolen cube, he’ll get a $200,000 reward! And that’s no game.
— There are now 16,884 registered Perplex City players.
— 202,201 cards have been solved … but the game’s still open and the $200,000 is waiting to be claimed!
— Cards are currently available for sale at specialty shops throughout the world.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 7034      (added 2/28/2006)

MSRP: $40.00
Age Range: 3 and up
Gender: Girls
Category: Dolls

Ginny and Her NONO are new best friends! Ginny is dressed in stylish jean overalls showing off her love for NONO Dolls. Wearing her favorite tennis shoes, Ginny and her NONO are ready for anything. Ginny is proud to be the first kid on the block with a NONO Doll, as she continues to be a fashion leader in doll society. Ginny and Her NONO is a joint project from Vogue Dolls using NONO Doll under a license from the newest USA doll company, Goodreau Doll, LLC.
— The full-sized NONOs are a line of designer dolls that are brand new for 2006.
— The families behind Vogue Dolls and Goodreau Doll are best friends in real-life, too.
— The set will be ready for play in May 2006.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 7035      (added 2/28/2006)

MSRP: $15.99
Age Range: 8 and up
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Science & Nature

Now kids can really party down. With the new Crazy Chemistry Party by ScienceWiz/Norman& Globus, up to seven children can make a mess and learn something while they’re at it. Using the kit, they can make their own candles and coat their fingers with wax. They also get to mix vinegar and baking soda to power up balloons. If they’re lucky, the balloons will explode and make everyone happy. “They make a mess, which is the whole thing about chemistry for young children,” Kevin Norman of Norman & Globus told TDmonthly. “The kids have a good time.”
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 7036      (added 2/28/2006)

Alison MarekWriter's Bio: ALISON MAREK is an award-winning writer, director and cartoonist whose work has been published by Fairchild Publications and DC Comics (Piranha Press), broadcast on Showtime and other cable networks, and viewed worldwide in film festivals. See her short films and print work on Watch her nefarious villains in the web series Get inspired by her cartoons "Daily ARFFirmations to Unleash Your Inner Fido" at Phew! And then ...  Read more articles by this author


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