Every month, TDmonthly staff evaluate the toys that pass through our hands and pages, searching for things with a new or unusual twist for specialty toy store owners. This month, we fell for an asthma-free bear puppet, uniquely colored wooden blocks and a spy video car. Please let us know if these toys work for you!
This security blanket and finger puppet in one makes a cuddly 8” square, perfect for baby’s hands and easy to pack. A Lilirose Velour Bear Doudou is also available. The product comes in a charming round gift box. In French, “doudou” means a blanket to wipe tears. “The softness, washability and unmistakable Kaloo look are what make all Kaloo products distinctive childhood favorites,” Lisa Orman of KidStuff PR told TDmonthly. Launch date: October 2006.
This soft and cuddly 13” canine is allergy tested and allows children to “cuddle with confidence.” The asthma-friendly guidelines are as follows: Put the toy inside a freezer bag and place it in a 10-degree or colder freezer for 24 hours; then, machine wash cold (delicate cycle) and tumble dry low. This process should be repeated every four weeks.
This set of five rattles is made of 100 percent cotton and was hand knit in Peru. It features an apple, an orange, a strawberry, a watermelon and a pear. A Veggies set is also available. Launch date: January 2006.
Rock out with Rockwood's junior electric guitar package. Everything included to get started. This 30" long appropriately scaled electric guitar comes with a battery-powered mini-amp, pitch pipe for tuning, strap, cord and bag. It's available in black and red.
In this game invented by Michael J. Corinthios, Ph.D., two Queens re-named "Ministers" flank the King, establishing symmetry and thereby correcting an anomaly of the structure of chess. A 9x9 folding board and nine pawns per player add space and power, and a conventional 8x8 pattern is on the back side. This 3rd edition includes tournament-sized plastic pieces plus a vinyl roll-up board (19.5" x 19.5") and cloth bag (12" x 7"). “Chess variants have come and gone. This variant is distinguished by its utmost respect for chess. This game constitutes the least deviation … the only change being the perfection of symmetry,” Dr. Corinthios told TDmonthly. Launch date: November 17, 2006.
This is the world's first skateboard with a patent-pending propulsion system. With this simple and easy-to-operate skateboard, the Zogo rider just sits or stands on the board and pulls up on the ropes to make Zogo go. A pivoting caster assembly in the front makes it easy to turn simply by putting more weight on the left or right foot. It does not only bring the zooming fun, but also provides kids with plenty of exercise, especially for the upper body, and improves balance and coordination. Three colors are available: red, blue and green. Kids will like its racecar-like look. This model is a limited edition with only 1000 units available. Inventor Hong Prodnuk told TDmonthly that her young daughter “loves it so much and can also sit down and pull the ropes. [It’s] just very good for the beginners.” Launch date: March 2007.
Safari Ltd introduces a new edition to the stunning Incredible Creatures Series, which has more than 45 different replicas. This hand-painted, phthalate-free Emperor Penguin with Baby depicts how the father penguin cares for the young after birth. Our Incredible Creatures series will ignite the imagination and stimulate the curiosity of every child. The Penguin is soft to the touch for added realism and includes 5-language educational information. Replica size: 3.15” L x 4.5” H. Launch date: January 2007.
Children and adults can grow their own Healing Garden with three powerful healing plants, aloe, hyssop and eucalyptus, decorative sensory stones, and more. The plants were chosen for their healing properties and aesthetic beauty, as well as for their ease of growth. The Healing Garden is a new addition to DuneCraft’s Windowsill Greenhouse line. The all-inclusive greenhouse contains three color seed packets, a planting and drainage mixture and instructions.
Hairy is the star of Xeko Mission: Madagascar, the award-winning animal trading card game. This 5" hairy-eared dwarf lemur from Madagascar is made from earth-friendly organic cotton and soy-based fabric, features an 8" tail, and is roughly the size of a real hairy-eared dwarf lemur, one of the most endangered lemurs in the world. The Xeko Pals line of quality plush toys is designed to delight toy lovers while raising awareness of endangered species and raising money for global conservation efforts. Hairy is “the ‘green’ gift of the year!” Mark Gross, director of marketing for Matter Group, told TDmonthly. Launch date: February 12, 2007.
The Phantom Ghost Ship from Le Toy Van looks like an authentic pirate ship, but also features a spooky skeleton and spider web design. With glow-in-the-dark skeleton fabric sails, it sets sail with two masts, rope ladders, two removable jail cages, a prison, a working anchor and an opening stern for greater play value. The wooden, durable Phantom Ghost Ship holds so many ghostly pretend-play details that kids will sail off into some spooky and great imaginative play. Launch date: May 1, 2006.
This fuzzy collection will have other plush toys green with envy. Large Plush (MSRP): $24.99; Beanie Plush (MSRP): $9.99; Key fob (MSRP): $5.99.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 10393 (added 12/4/2006)
Writer'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