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September 2007 | Vol. VI - No. 9




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Toys, Games and Gifts From $20 to $50

Pricier Offerings for Gift Givers With Cash


The holidays are the time to splurge, so be sure to provide your customers with plenty of pricier, though still reasonable, new toys and games. Here are some that TDmonthly found for you.

Read more about toys $20 to $30, $30 to $40 and $40 to $50. (NOTE: Items without a price listed may fall outside the stated price ranges.)




MSRP: $20.00
Age Range: 3 and up
Launch Date: July 2007
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Play Sets



Carla Whiskers and her pony Willow have practiced jumps all summer, but they are up against tough competition in the 1st Annual Cloverleaf Corners Horse Show.  Today is the day to find out who is going to take home the first place trophy.  The horse show play set includes Carla Whiskers, Willow the Pony, bridle and reins, brush, comb, trophy and awards.  Launch date: July 2007.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 12927      (added 5/21/2007)
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MSRP: $29.99
Age Range: 2 to 5
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Infant & Toddler



Ernie Fire Engine comes to the rescue with his powerful friction motor and crew of firefighters. Little firefighters can ring his push-button bell and watch his revolving light before using the click-and-turn ladder to fight any imaginary blaze. The firefighter’s hand opens the back door to reveal two emergency barriers. Ernie is great for long-lasting role-play fun.
— “Wow is an excellent line of cars, especially for the 1- to 1½ -year-olds,” said Fred Rosenberg, owner of On the Park in Kingwood, Texas, in spring 2007. “It’s hard to find things as well made as [Wow] that you can actually sell to that age. In the fall [2006], we brought them in, and they’ve done very well.” They’ve also become a best seller for Brain Station and Tree Town Toys in Ann Arbor, Mich., Owners Hans and Tricia Masing told TDmonthly in fall 2007.
— “This is my baby’s favorite toy. She plays with it every day,” shared TDmonthly's Baby Roundtable reviewer Sharri Hefner. She and her co-reviewers voted Ernie No. 1 for lasting value out of the 12 toys they evaluated from March to July 2007.
— Ernie Fire Engine is full of “wow” for toddlers — from its friction-prompted motion and siren to its friendly face and likable figurines. Doors that open and close, a workable ladder and attractive packaging also contributed to its receipt of a TDmonthly Top Toy 2007 award. Saving trips to the store to buy batteries (it doesn’t need them) helped, too!
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 12722      (added 5/10/2007)
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Wholesale Price: (Log in to view)
MSRP: $24.95
Age Range: 3 and up
SKU or Item #: 8031
Launch Date: August 2007
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Plush



Wooly the Sleep Sheep is the newest addition to the Warm Buddy family. Every Warm Buddy plush animal comes with a removable inner heat pack that can be warmed in the microwave. Wooly is the perfect bedtime companion, as his gentle heat calms children and helps them sleep. A large size (MSRP: $34.95) is also available. “We pride ourselves on creating the highest quality and cutest warm-up plush animals available,” Jason Cave of Warm Buddy Co. told TDmonthly. Launch date: August 2007.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 14422      (added 7/31/2007)
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MSRP: $25.00
Age Range: 2 and up
SKU or Item #: 33280
Launch Date: August 2007
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Plush
Battery Operated



Suitable for ages 18 months and up, this 13” bear sings, dances and glams up the holiday season in her fabric Santa suit with zebra trim. When touch activated, she dances as she sings “Santa Baby.” Three AA batteries are included. Launch date: August 2007.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 14364      (added 7/26/2007)
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Wholesale Price: (Log in to view)
MSRP: $25.00
Age Range: 3 and up
Launch Date: August 2007
Gender: Girls
Category: Plush
Preschool
Licensed Products



This 12”-tall fairy-in-training is a bright, bubbly character with a tendency for turning things into pumpkins with her training wand. She is made of soft-pink plush and features pigtails woven from pink and purple yarn, as well as white mesh wings and a dress of blue lilac. “She’s the newest character on Sesame Street and this is her first appearance as a plush pal,” Shallu Chhabra, marketing and licensing manager for GUND, told TDmonthly. “GUND has taken great care in adding lots of wonderful design details — including yarn and embroidery accents and shimmery fabrics — to make Abby especially suited to the specialty toy market.” Launch date: August 2007.
— Gund’s Sesame Street characters and large puppets are best-selling items at Clever Kids in Rochester, Minn., according to Owner Michelle Beyer.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 14160      (added 7/19/2007)
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Wholesale Price: (Log in to view)
MSRP: $25.00
Age Range: 10 and up
SKU or Item #: 40450 40451
Launch Date: August 2007
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Board Games



This gladiator combat game comes with five pre-painted pewter miniatures, game rules, character sheets, counters and a full-color arena play sheet. Launch date: August 2007.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 14149      (added 7/19/2007)
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MSRP: $28.00
Age Range: 3 and up
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Puppets



Olive is a full body hand puppet. She is a little girl with a friendly, goofy face and long hair. Like all Diabolo puppets, her mouth has a built-in squeaker. Olive is fully lined with a cute pink skirt, striped leggings and stuffed feet. A great hand puppet for boys and girls ages 3 and up.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 14125      (added 7/18/2007)
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MSRP: $19.95
Age Range: 6 and up
SKU or Item #: 110
Launch Date: August 2007
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Wooden Toys
Creative Activities
Kits



This Woodman kit includes durable beech wood components and the tools a child needs to build the toy. The pre-cut wood is slightly unfinished, allowing kids to sandpaper it for the finishing touches. The set includes a hammer, dowels and glue for old-fashioned assembly. It also features paints and paintbrushes for detail and personalization. Launch date: August 2007; stickers added to the kit in 2009.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 14065      (added 7/13/2007)
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Wholesale Price: (Log in to view)
MSRP: $19.99
Age Range: 5 and up
Launch Date: September 2007
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Stationery
Educational
General Games



With this special diary, kids write with invisible ink markers and then shine the UV mini-light on the page to read what they’ve written. Each set comes with a locking 240-page diary with two keys, a mini UV-light and two invisible ink pens in a 6.5” x 7” x 1.5” magnetic-closure keepsake box. Varieties include Fairy, Castle, Princess Pea and Merlin. “A perfect gift, the My Invisible Diary sets combine the secret elements of invisible ink with a personal diary and a special keepsake box decorated with beautiful artwork,” Elizabeth Carpenter of Mazeology told TDmonthly. Launch date: September 1, 2007.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 13987      (added 7/6/2007)
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MSRP: $35.00
SKU or Item #: 4234
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Wooden Toys



This cooperative game is fun for all ages. Together, two to four players have to grab the wooden pieces and stack them to match the picture on the card. But watch out! If they fall, the King gets closer to the castle. Together, we can be strong and beat the king!
— This children’s game requires concentration and cooperation, which is one reason it received a TDmonthly Top Toy 2007 award. In addition, Castle Knights boasts pleasant graphics, quality wooden pieces and, perhaps many retailers’ favorite characteristic about HABA products in general authentic European appeal.

Where to Buy: Camelot Kids

ToyDirectory Product ID#: 14409      (added 7/31/2007)
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Wholesale Price: (Log in to view)
MSRP: $29.99
Age Range: 3 and up
SKU or Item #: 882769
Launch Date: July 2007
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Costumes & Accessories
Halloween Merchandise
Licensed Products



This Deluxe Harry Potter™ Costume features a black robe with a school crest decal and clasp. It is available in sizes small, medium and large. “We are the official licensee of Harry Potter costumes and accessories offering an extensive range of products,” Pat Cacciola of Rubie’s Costume Company told TDmonthly. Launch date: July 2007.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 13688      (added 6/25/2007)
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MSRP: $34.99
Age Range: 8 and up
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Board Games



 In this game, players must play through their characters’ challenges in the ancient world. It comes with 100 pieces of original art and six pewter figures that represent Old Testament Heroes.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 13635      (added 6/25/2007)
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Wholesale Price: (Log in to view)
MSRP: $34.95
Age Range: 2 to 6
SKU or Item #: 6710
Launch Date: January 2007
Gender: Girls
Category: Dolls



This seven-piece starter set includes a doll, five outfits and an embroidered carrying case. Each outfit has a Velcro backing so that children can dress the doll with just a press of the fingers. “The Press 'n Dress set engages the young child’s imagination even before their small motor skills develop,” May Grant of Pockets of Learning told TDmonthly. Awards: TDmonthly Top Toy 2008. Launch date: January 2007.

Where to Buy: Camelot Kids
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 13616      (added 6/25/2007)
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Wholesale Price: (Log in to view)
Age Range: 8 and up
SKU or Item #: 0-31635-01014-0
Launch Date: April 2007
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Preschool



This musical and animated cat and dog duo sing verses separately and chorus together. They sing the song that Lucy and Ethel of “I Love Lucy” made forever famous: "Friendship." The MSRP is between $23.99 and $29.99. Launch date: April 2007.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 13613      (added 6/25/2007)
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MSRP: $38.00
Launch Date: July 2007
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Dolls



Each set comes with a lovable Precious Moments goose and her childhood friend.  Her friend stands 12” tall and wears a black lace-trimmed dress, bonnet and muff set, all adorned with poinsettias. The girl’s muff can be personalized with up to eight characters — a special service included in the price of the doll. Launch date: July 2007.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 13596      (added 6/22/2007)
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If you think you can bend ‘em like Beckham give this game a try. Compete in dice challenges and soccer ball challenges to battle your way to victory. Use your poker face to keep your Keeper Cards a secret until the time is right to slam them down and change the game.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 13565      (added 6/22/2007)
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MSRP: $59.99
Age Range: 3 and up
Launch Date: June 2007
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Dolls
Interactive



The plush Adoptable Kinders Rag Dolls designed by famed artisan Aranza Zamora are washable, wear interchangeable clothes and stand about 18” tall. The collection is themed as an active group of 26 kindergarten friends with different personalities, and the name of each character begins with a different letter of the alphabet. The dolls come with an internet key-code that allows children to register online at the “Adoptable Kinders School,” where they can play educational games progressing from kindergarten through high school. A child graduates to the next grade when the games for one grade level are completed. “Our dolls are true rag dolls made from sewn fabrics and non-allergenic polyester filling. They are handmade here in the United States,” Maria Zamora of Granza Inc. told TDmonthly. Launch date: June 2007.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 13973      (added 7/6/2007)
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Wholesale Price: (Log in to view)
MSRP: $39.99
Age Range: 3 and up
SKU or Item #: PC101
Launch Date: November 2006
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Creative Activities
Educational
Hobby Goods



The Playful Chef set includes 10 kid-sized cooking tools, one toolbelt apron and five healthy hands-on recipes, all packed in a backpack for easy storage. The Chef gives children safety tips, color-coded measurements, 10-step instructions and 11 illustrated learning lessons. It also helps them learn how to plan a healthy meal, shop for nourishing ingredients and cook with the right tools. This cooking kit received a 2007 iParenting Media Outstanding Product Award and was selected for Dr. Toy’s Best Products Resource Program Spring 2007. Launch date: November 2006.
— Lots of companies make cooking toys and accessories, but Playful Chef was awarded a TDmonthly Top Toy 2007 award for giving kids a chance to try to their hand at the real thing. With authentic tools, recipe guides and a sturdy apron, this quality set prepares children for a true chef’s experience in the kitchen, including attention to safety.

Where to Buy: The Satin Button

ToyDirectory Product ID#: 13956      (added 7/6/2007)
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Wholesale Price: (Log in to view)
MSRP: $44.00
Age Range: 3 and up
SKU or Item #: 38770
Launch Date: February 2007
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Dolls



Forever looking for a treasure is Käthe Kruse’s little Pirate Boy, who is always in a good mood and loves to play. His hand-embroidered face has fun little freckles and his red hair is made of genuine wool. Standing 7” high, this handcrafted doll is dressed in cropped, red pirate pants, while a white shirt with pirate logo and black cap complete his pirate look. Wherever he goes, he always first places his flag. He is stuffed with 100-percent sheep wool and covered with cotton stockinet. Käthe Kruse Waldorf dolls are individually handcrafted and not mass produced. They are “little individuals that stimulate the child's fantasy and imagination,” Marion Hohmann of Europlay told TDmonthly. Launch date: February 2007.
— “[My customers] love Waldorf school philosophy,” said Kristen Pollard, co-owner of Mud Puddle Toys in Marblehead, Mass.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 13943      (added 7/5/2007)
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Wholesale Price: (Log in to view)
MSRP: $44.95
Age Range: 4 and up
SKU or Item #: 028375163915
Launch Date: June 2007
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Musical Toys



No matter whether kids slap it, tap it or bang on it, the Woodstock Conga Drum has a great tone. Children can get their salsa going and drum away. This musical instrument features authentic wood construction, chrome-plated steel hardware and a durable drumhead. A drum key is included. “The Woodstock Conga Drum is a professional-quality instrument that is scaled down to a size suitable for children. It's got an authentic conga drum look, but even more importantly, it has authentic conga drum sound,” Web Development Director Peggy Daniel of Woodstock Percussion told TDmonthly. Launch date: June 2007.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 13808      (added 6/28/2007)
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Wholesale Price: (Log in to view)
MSRP: $40.00
Age Range: 2 and up
SKU or Item #: G02232
Launch Date: March 2007
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Preschool
Infant & Toddler
General Toys



Suitable for children 18 months and up, this rocket lights up and emits realistic rocket sounds with the push of a button. It has a handle for take-along play and comes with an alien, a moon crate, a dune buggy, a space puppy dog and two astronauts. The rocket features a cargo hold, a Murphy bed and toilet, a cockpit and an on/off switch and volume control. "The Lift-Off Rocket by iPlay is designed to encourage young imaginations and introduce them to new worlds. This high-quality playset has a space theme with an at-home-feel," Sue Tice, public relations director and product manager at International Playthings Inc., told TDmonthly. Awards: TDmonthly Top Seller 2007. Launch date: March 2007.
— As of 5/12/2011 this product had 4.5 out of 5 stars on Amazon.com from 98 reviews. Cons: Doors fall off too easily; the dog and alien figurines are too large to fit in the rover.
— Lynda Blankenship, owner of Smart Toys & Books in Knoxville, Tenn., told TDmonthly in late Spring 2011 that Lift Off Rockets were among her best-selling activity kits and playsets.
— “One of my favorite toys this season, for 18 months and up, is the iPlay Lift-Off Rocket," said Deb Necker, owner of Necker’s in Simsbury, Conn., when discussing hot-selling infant toys in her store.
— The Lift-Off Rocket is popular at LB Toys in Media, Pa., according to Owner Jamie Burdette. “It’s a great 1- to 2-year-old toy for a boy,” he said in April 2008. “Rocket ship toys for this age are hard to find.”
— Want this? As of 05/11/2011 this product was available at Smart Toys & Books

ToyDirectory Product ID#: 13798      (added 6/28/2007)
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MSRP: $39.99
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Play Houses



Kids can supercharge their imagination with Cranium's Super Fort building system. Hundreds of structures can be built with the Super Fort, including submarines, fantasy castles and more. The fort can be built safely and easily using quick-snap magnetic connectors and foam tubes, and it comes with floor and fabric panels, clips and large and small storage bags.
— "Probably the best [play house] we've got going now is the Super Fort from Cranium," said Dan Willis, owner of Communique Toys in Seattle. "We probably sell a couple a month.”
— Two of 62 retailers TDmonthly spoke with in spring 2007 specifically cited Cranium forts when asked about customer favorites in play houses and furniture. 
— “As opposed to fantasy-based play delivered by traditional small-scale construction toys, Super Fort delivers a stronger role-play experience where kids can actually climb into the ‘rocket’ they just built, for example,” said Cranium Head of the Hive Heather Snavely.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 13512      (added 6/15/2007)
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MSRP: $39.99
SKU or Item #: 33682R/4
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Collectibles
Die-Cast
Vehicles - Small Toy



"The Fast & The Furious" 2003 Ford Saleen Mustang Hard Top. Joy ride. 1:18 scale diecast collectible model car. This 2003 Ford Saleen Mustang is a 9.25"L diecast with openable doors, hood & trunk, workable steering, and detailed engine & components. Sits on a display stand. This 03 Ford Mustang is manufactured by American Muscle. RC2 Brands. 33682 in RED color.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 12772      (added 5/15/2007)
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Wholesale Price: (Log in to view)
MSRP: $39.95
Age Range: 3 to 9
SKU or Item #: 19390
Launch Date: January 2007
Gender: Girls
Category: Dolls



Adorable Girl dolls wear fashionable clothes that appeal to young girls and have a positive message that all girls are beautifully and wonderfully created just as they are. Blond-haired Zoe is outfitted with colorful striped leggings, a fur-trimmed jacket and a pretty ribbon in her hair. Each doll represents the uniqueness and personality of each little girl who will love and cherish her. The dolls — also Maisie, Lili, Kylie, Gracie and Chloe — are significant in size and very huggable. Adorable Originals is working on an extensive line of clothing, accessories and books to complete the Adorable Girl doll collection. Launch date: January 2007.
— Adorable Originals were a favorite pick at the ASTRA Marketplace 2007 for doll collector, retailer and expert Denise Van Patten.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 12046      (added 3/22/2007)
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MSRP: $17.99
Gender: Girls
Category: Plush



This 16" puppy serves as a sweet, cuddly companion for little ones.
— Plush by Douglas Cuddle Toys are best sellers at Red Wagon Toy Co. in Woodstock, Vt., Owner Kim Smith told TDmonthly in summer 2007.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 14792      (added 8/22/2007)
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Wholesale Price: (Log in to view)
MSRP: $40.00
Age Range: 3 to 8
Gender: Girls
Category: Dolls



Penelope Peapod is both a doll in a bassinet and a stylish handbag — fun and fashion combined. It allows little girls to carry a handbag just like Mom. Additionally, it allows them to bring their baby along for the ride. The peapods now come with Liberty of London fabric, the sweetest English prints with matching classic ginghams. The Liberty of London Collection includes Mayfair (pictured), Kensington and more. Orders only come in pre-packed assortments of 12, two each of six Liberty styles. Penelope Peapod is an Oppenheimer Toy Portfolio 2007 Platinum Award winner.
— “In one quick and easy maneuver for even the smallest hands, the peapod opens and the fabric flips over the sides to create a beautiful bassinet and reveal a sweet, soft-body doll,” Owner Kim Smith of Red Wagon Toy Co. in Woodstock, Vt., told TDmonthly in summer 2007 about this No. 2 best seller in her store.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 13530      (added 6/18/2007)
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Wholesale Price: (Log in to view)
MSRP: $34.95
Age Range: 16 and up
SKU or Item #: 8 55704 00001 2
Launch Date: December 2006
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Board Games



This board game takes the word variety to a whole new level. Players will be asked to perform a variety of challenges, including sock wrestling, imitating the sound of coughing up a hairball, taste-testing while blindfolded and more. Launch date: December 2006.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 14313      (added 7/25/2007)
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MSRP: $24.99
Age Range: 1 and up
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Play Sets



This interactive pirate ship play set features an anchor that can be raised and lowered, a cannon ball launcher, a telescope to keep watch and a plank that extends out over the edge of the ship. Wheels on the bottom of the ship simulate the movement of sailing on the ocean. The set includes Pirate and First Mate characters, a removable treasure chest and a Sound Book. Toddlers and preschoolers will love constructing their own version of Play Town from these imaginative play sets. Play Town’s chunky design and bright primary color palette are visually appealing, and the natural wood pieces signify a quality playset that will stand up to the rough and tumble world of preschool play.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 13791      (added 6/28/2007)
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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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