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November 2006 | Vol. V - No. 11




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Where to Find the Great Gifts You've Heard About...

These Toys and Games Are a Cut Above the Rest


If you’ve heard someone from TDmonthly.com talking about toys on the radio or TV, you might wonder where to find all these cool new gifts for kids.

Well, here they are!

Just follow the instructions to find a store near you.

And if you need even more toys, please click here for TDmonthly’s Holiday Gift Guide.

Webkinz by Ganz
www.webkinz.com
Click on "Store Locator"

CooCoo the Rocking Clown and Ringgz by Blue Orange
www.blueorangegames.com
Click on "Store Locator"

PlayFoam by Educational Insights
www.educationalinsights.com
Click on "Find a Dealer" and then "Educational Toy Dealers" to search by your State

PlasmaCar by PlaSmart
www.plasmacar.com
Click on "Retailers" to search by your State

Monster Under My Bed by Fundex Games
www.fundexgames.com
Growing Tree Toys
Call Us 800.486.9787

Khet by Innovention
www.khet.com/storelisting.html

OgoSport by OgoSport
www.ogosport.com/buy_now.html#
And go to: "To find OgoSport at a store near you, click here."

Zoomorphs by River Dolphin
www.zoomorphs.com/stores.php
And search by your State

Pentago by Mindtwister USA
www.mindtwisterusa.com

Ugly Dolls by Pretty Ugly LLC
www.uglydolls.com
Click on “Where Can U Find Ugly Dolls?”

Dragonology by Sababa Toys
www.sababatoys.com/m_where.html

Papo Knights by Hotaling Imports
Please go to a specialty toy store near you.

Calin by Corolle Dolls
www.corolledolls.com/retailers/
And search by your State

And here’s more info on the products, including a couple of videos:




MSRP: $29.95
Age Range: 8 and up
Launch Date: January 2006
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: General Games



In this exciting strategy game, players use colorful rings to challenge each other to win the most territories. It takes finding the right balance between gaining majorities and controlling the opponents to capture victory. Fast-paced and addictive, this beautifully crafted all-wooden game will please the whole family. For two to four players, playtime is approximately 20 minutes. The game includes a wooden playing board with 25 territories, 1 starting base, 48 wooden rings and instructions. Launch date: 2006.
— “Blue Orange Ringgz is great. It has a beautiful wooden board,” said Cathy Albrow, owner of Creative Learning Toys in Grand Rapids, Mich.
— "The best-selling toys are hands down those from Blue Orange. All-wooden games is what they do. Their games are original designs and ideas," said David Correa, buyer at Mrs. Tiggy Winkles in Tucson, Ariz.
— Adeline Bertrix, from sales and marketing at Blue Orange, told TDmonthly, “It’s a completely new concept. There is no strategy game out there like it. It can be played by two, three or four players. The colors are very lively. The design is very simple. It’s a beautiful game. It’s very addictive. Both adults and children can play it, and I think that’s very important.”
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 7326      (added 3/27/2006)
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MSRP: $19.95
Age Range: 3 and up
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Preschool



Coocoo the Rocking Clown just loves to juggle, but his big curved green shoes make him wobble and keep throwing him off balance. The kid who can help him juggle the most balls without making any of them fall, wins. For 1 to 6 players, this all-wooden game takes approximately 10 minutes to play. It includes one wooden rocking clown, 24 wooden balls and instructions. The game was launched in February 2006.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 7325      (added 3/27/2006)
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Age Range: 4 and up
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: General Games



OgoSport is the invention of Pratt Institute of Design professor Rick Goodwin. It is an inflatable disc that can be used to play catch with a ball (it gives like a trampoline and can catapult balls up to 150' in the air) and can also be used at the beach like a frisbee (as a bonus, it floats!). Batteries are not required. Available are OgoSport Mini ($7.50), Single Pack OgoSport Large ($10.00) and Double Pack OgoSport Large ($19.00).
— After the 2006 Toy Fair and Pomona shows, where the toy debuted, OgoSport was shipped to 300 stores within a couple of weeks. Shortly after, Kevin Williams of OgoSport told TDmonthly, "We’re getting great response and reorders already."
— Kate Tanner, owner of Kidstop Toys & Books in Scottsdale, Ariz., spotted OgoSport at the American International Toy Fair 2006 and knew she’d found a winner. “When we played it, we had adults waiting in line to play it,” she told TDmonthly. “When we have fun with it, you know the kids are going to have fun with it.”
TDmonthly's homeschoolers also loved OgoSport (view article).
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 7040      (added 3/1/2006)
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MSRP: $44.95
Age Range: 9 and up
Launch Date: January 2006
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: General Games



Khet combines lasers with cstrategy in an award-winning game that takes minutes to learn but yields infinite possibilities. Players move Egyptian-themed, mirrored pieces around the playing field, ending each turn by firing a laser that bounces around with the goal of knocking out an opponent’s pharaoh. The silver player wins the game by deflecting his laser around the field and hitting the red player’s pharaoh. With the addition of fog or smoke, the laser beam becomes visible for more high-tech excitement. Khet (formerly known as Deflexion) caused a stir in 2006 at Toy Fair and Pomona. “The game truly spans the generation gap, with enough technology to interest the 'video-gamers' of the younger crowd while maintaining enough classic strategy ... to interest their grandparents and everyone in between,” Luke Hooper of Innovention Toys told TDmonthly.   It received a 2006 MENSA Select Award and was a 2007 T.O.T.Y. Game-of-the-Year Nominee. Launch date: 2006. Read Review
— "Khet ... is great seller for us. It's new and did well — even at $50," summed up Danny Givens, owner of Little Dickens in Lynchburg, Va.
— "I put my money on Khet," Co-owner Michele Gietz of Where'd You Get That? in Williamstown, Mass., said in October 2008 about anticipated holiday best sellers. "We only bring in 15 at a time, but the price doesn't scare anybody off — just have to hit the right people."
― Taka Andrews, owner of Miller's Toy Store in Mamaroneck, N.Y., said Khet is a top seller for tween boys, despite the allure of video games. Seven of 39 retailers told TDmonthly in October 2009 that board games are their go-to items for tween-aged boys.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 3719      (added 5/27/2005)
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MSRP: $29.95
Age Range: 4 and up
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: General Games



This is a perfect game for kids who like to be grossed out. Kids are afraid of the monsters under their beds, but they should also be afraid of other gross and gooey things that sometimes get stashed there … such as dirty diapers. In this yucky-fun game, kids have to pick nasty things out from under the bed without disturbing the monster, or else they lose! "I think the kids will absolutely love it!" Ricki Block, owner of Ariel’s Child in New Windsor, N.Y., enthused to TDmonthly Magazine. Right after Toy Fair, buyers from Tree Top Kids in Washington, D.C., were also eagerly anticipating this new game's release. The game won a Toy of the Year Award from Family Fun Magazine in 2006.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 7013      (added 2/24/2006)
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MSRP: $24.00
Age Range: 8 and up
Launch Date: January 2006
Gender: Girls
Category: Arts & Crafts
Fashion & Accessories
Tween



This brand new, expanded kit includes a style guide to inspire and educate tween girls about variations in skirt, shirt and trouser shapes. It also includes a wide array of colorful pencils and crayons, croque sheets with the outlines of their “models,” newsprint paper, tracing paper, spec sheets and fabric samples. The whole kit folds into a portable 11” by 15” portfolio, for designing on the go. This product received a 2007 Oppenheim Toy Portfolio Gold Award. Launch date for the Deluxe kit: 2006.
— Right after Toy Fair, Debbie Scholl, owner of Fundamentally Toys in Houston, was seriously considering this item. “With this whole ‘Project Runway’ getting more popular, girls are looking more into design and creation,” she explained to TDmonthly.
— “The design-your-own-wardrobe [kit] is a very good one,” agreed Barbara Vininsky, owner of Jack & Jill in Montreal, Quebec. She expects it to be a big 2006 hit in her store, which sells trendy toy and clothing items.
TDmonthly's homeschoolers and their moms also raved about the kit, and were ready to order refills to "keep styling."
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 7310      (added 3/27/2006)
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Wholesale Price: (Log in to view)
MSRP: $50.00
Age Range: 4 and up
SKU or Item #: 81
Launch Date: October 2006
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Construction



Children can easily snap together 100 rugged plastic pieces to form these poseable creatures: Blue Crab, Dimorphodon, Horse, Sea Lion, Conure Parrot, Hadrosaur, African Elephant, Swallowtail Butterfly, Bull Trout, and Platypus. Or, they can morph and interchange pieces to make various fantasy creatures. Extra pieces and an educational booklet are included with the reusable tub. “Zoomorphs has used PVC in almost every piece. It has a much softer and warmer (emotionally) feel than typical hard plastic. We are also the only animal-only building toy ever created,” president Mark McFarland of River Dolphin Toys told TDmonthly. Zoomorphs has spread through the specialty toy market based almost solely on word of mouth. From around 50 stores back in 2005, Zoomorphs can now be found in almost 1,100 gift and toy stores. The Deluxe tub sets "are opening up a whole new market for us — the educational market," said McFarland. Retailers are again expecting the new Zoomorph set to be as successful as the smaller sets were last Christmas. Launch date: October 2006.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 9854      (added 10/30/2006)
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MSRP: $9.99
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Computers



This tiny doggie is a computer whiz. Not only is he a cute plush toy, but he also lives online. Kids can access his online persona with a special code on his hangtag. They can even build a special room just for him, with points gained from answering trivia questions at the Webkinz website. The Canadian Toy Testing Council, the leading authority on toys in Canada, has recognized Webkinz pets with its top 3-Star rating. Webkinz won the iParenting Media Award, Outstanding Products of 2006.
— When asked about the biggest surprise hit of 2006, Lisa Mitchell of Peacock Feathers in Needham, Mass., replied, "The Webkinz. They're the next big craze." "The way Webkinz has continued has definitely been a surprise," added Rich Gordon, owner of Learning Express in Exton, Pa.
— In store, Webkinz is also the best-selling plush toy, Laura Brauer, owner of Cloud Nine Toys in Sudbury, Mass., and Nancy Streeter, owner of Eureka Toys in Newburyport, Mass., agreed in September.
— Susan McVeigh, communications manager at Ganz, excitedly told TDmonthly that there were more than 1,000,000 pets registered on the site as of early August 2006, and by October "KinzPost ...was used to send more than 1,000,000 gifts and messages."
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 8721      (added 7/25/2006)
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MSRP: $20.00
Age Range: All Ages
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Designer Toys
Dolls



This 14" plush Peaco is very shy. … Well, shy on the outside. On the inside, Peaco is a wild man! You can see it in his eyes. All three. Peaco really shines when he’s doing what he does best, DANCING. Peaco loves to dance in the water...much to the dread of his cousin Cinko. Why dance in the water? Well, think about it: When you dance in the water, no one can see you! SHY! Remember? It’s kind of a pain explaining, water dancing to lifeguards though. Please dance with Peaco; he’s seen your moves! (But don’t step on his ears.) Peaco is also available in a $10 Little Ugly size (7") and $6 key chain size (4").
— “Uglydolls. I think that half the people that buy them are buying them to give to adults. That’s been a phenomenon,” was the consumer behavior noticed by Rick Henry, owner of Stellabella Toys in Cambridge, Mass.
— “We might be behind the rest of the country, but suddenly Uglydolls are real big,” said Debbie Scholl, owner of Fundamentally Toys in Houston, Texas.
—”I attribute Uglydoll's success to the quality and originality of the brand,” Victoria George, PR director for Pretty Ugly LLC, told TDmonthly. “It's the only plush product on the market that carries such versatility and broad-spectrum appeal. They're soft, cuddly and the narratives are funny, silly and sweet. They really have a wide demographic of fans and enthusiasts, which is so unique for a toy brand.”
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 9177      (added 8/29/2006)
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Age Range: 4 and up
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Action Figures



This highly detailed, hand-painted, two-headed dragon stands 4.5” tall.
— "The most critical thing [with action figures] is the dragons, and in the dragons, Papo wins. The 2-Headed Dragon Figure is number one," said Kate Tanner, owner of Kidstop Toy & Book Store in Scottsdale, Ariz. Other Papo action figures specialty retailers told TDmonthly are selling well were horses, animals and fantasy figures.
— Tanner was one of 10 retailers TDmonthly spoke with, out of a total of 34, who cited something other than a knight or a pirate as a best-selling Papo figure in their store.
— "The 2-Headed Dragon is available in two colors: green and, new for 2007, red," said Brian J. Shackelton, operations manager for Hotaling Imports Inc.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 8580      (added 7/18/2006)
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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)
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MSRP: $26.99
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Dolls



Calin Charming Pastel is specially designed to encourage hugs and capture hearts. Thanks to the soft, beanbag body, this doll can be posed just like a real baby. With blue sleeping eyes and a pink-and-white striped outfit this 12” doll is perfect for ages 18 months and up.
— Fifteen of 57 retailers TDmonthly surveyed said that Corolle dolls were among the best-selling classic toys in their stores.
— In spring 2007, Owner Sally Lesser of Massachusetts’ Henry Bear’s Park stores mentioned Calin dolls, specifically, as best sellers. Corolle dolls are also popular at Juggles in Wakefield, R.I., Owner Idanna Smith said.
— Maggie Moss-Tucker, public relations consultant for Corolle, told TDmonthly, "The bottom line about Calin is that it's truly one of the best dolls on the market. Its price, design, play value and accessories are what makes it such a great doll."
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 9262      (added 9/5/2006)
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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 www.alisonmarek.com. Watch her nefarious villains in the web series www.MuggsMovers.com. Get inspired by her cartoons "Daily ARFFirmations to Unleash Your Inner Fido" at www.ARFFirmations.com. Phew! And then ...  Read more articles by this author

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