TDmonthly Classics 2007 Awards
These Toys Have Stood the Test of Time
TDmonthly Magazine is proud to announce its TDmonthly Classics 2007 Awards. The following products were chosen because they've been steady sellers in specialty stores for at least five years (many have sold well for 10 years or more), are considered a staple in their category by retailers who've spoken to TDmonthly and are of high quality and play value. We wish we could have given another dozen awards in this category, but here are the ones who made the cut for 2007:
Snap Circuits make learning electronics easy and fun. Kids follow the colorful pictures in the manual to build exciting projects, such as FM radios, burglar alarms, doorbells and more. Parts are mounted on plastic modules and snap together with ease. “Children can play with this kit for hours and hours and still have not completed all the projects the snap circuit kits have to offer,” Walter Larsen, national sales manager for Elenco, told TDmonthly.
— One retailer said in summer 2007 his store sells 25 Elenco units monthly. Five percent of 64 retailers said in August 2008 that Snap Circuits are a best-selling science product, reporting average sales of six units per month. Four of 38 retailers echoed the same a year later. “They’ve gone back to this game six or seven times,” between January and July 2006, said TDmonthly's homeschooling mom Susan Ledford.
— Any time TDmonthly asks specialty storeowners about top-selling science toys, Elenco's Snap Circuits heads the list. This simple electronics kit appeals to both girls and boys. By making science fun and easy, Snap Circuits earned a TDmonthly Classic Toy 2007 award.
— As of 12/17/2012 this product had 4.8 out of 5 stars from 575 reviews on Amazon.com. Cons: One user said that her grandchildren were "not all that interested" in the Snap Circuits, and told her that they would prefer LEGOs on their birthday.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 5252 (added 10/27/2005)
MSRP: $55.00Age Range: 2 and upGender: Girls
14" Bébé Do (pronounced "baby dough") has a beautifully sculpted face with a delicate, lifelike, newborn expression and eyes that open and close. Her translucent vinyl skin appears like that of a newborn baby. Bébé Do wears pink footed pajamas and comes with a picture book that shows make-believe moms how to care for their baby doll.
— Ruth Mandt, one of TDmonthly
’s Dolls Roundtable reviewers, said her granddaughters "think this is the sweetest baby doll they have. They take this doll everwhere and care for it like a real baby.” It was picked by the Roundtabler reviewers as the doll with the most lasting value.
— Corolle baby dolls are constantly mentioned as a great seller in specialty retail stores, especially around the fourth quarter, which makes vanilla-scented Bébé Do a natural for a TDmonthly Classic Toy 2007
award. Her sweet face has just enough realism to trigger a nurturing instinct. Her scaled-down size makes her a perfect fit for little mommies. Where to Buy: Blue Turtle Toy Store
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 2380 (added 1/12/2005)
Everyone in the Lambrook Family loves nothing better than fresh fruit. This is not surprising, as Father Danny is in charge of the orchards in Cloverleaf Corners where he grows delicious apples and pears. Mother Barbara helps him take care of the trees, while sister Iona and brother Winton help with smaller jobs after school. Calico Critters are a best seller at Henry Bear’s Park stores in Massachusetts, Owner Sally Lesser told TDmonthly
in spring 2007.
― In spring 2007, Roberta Edwards, owner of Wishes Toys & Gifts in La Quinta, Calif., named International Playthings as a vendor who has “gone the extra mile.”
— "We probably sell more of the Calico Critter dollhouse than anything from International Playthings. They're hot," said Jeanne McCullough, owner of Children's Store Inc.
in Boise, Idaho. Five of 62 retailers cited Calico Critters when asked about best-selling play houses or furniture in their stores.
— Known as the Sylvanian Families across the pond, Calico Critters' cute little animal families are collected and loved by little girls and boys around the world. Since being reintroduced to the States, the furry minis have taken off big time, earning them a TDmonthly Classic Toy 2007
award. Where to Buy: Luv U Pumkin
; Blue Turtle Toy Store
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 12999 (added 5/22/2007)
Wholesale Price: (Log in to view) MSRP: $19.99Age Range: 8 and upSKU or Item #: 5050Launch Date: July 2006Gender: Boys And Girls
A winner of 20 awards, Rush Hour continues to be one of ThinkFun’s most popular and renowned mind-challenging games. In honor of Rush Hour’s 10 years of success, ThinkFun is celebrating with a Deluxe Edition that is guaranteed to delight seasoned Rush Hour fans and newcomers alike. Just like the traditional game, the object is to put problem-solving skills in gear to help the red car escape the traffic jam. But Rush Hour Deluxe Edition has been revved-up for maximum performance, featuring 60 of ThinkFun’s best challenges and an exciting new level of play. It comes complete with a modern design, 15 bright metallic cars and a collector’s gift box for easy travel. Launch date: Summer 2006.
— When surveyed about his best-selling puzzles in a Summer 2011 survey, Joe Berardoni, owner of Pun's Toys
in Bryn Mawr, Pa., said he sells between 5 and 7 Rush Hours puzzles each month.
— As of 7/12/2011 this product had 4.3 out of 5 stars from 19 reviews on Amazon.com. Pros:
Helps build problem solving skills; great for travel or quiet time. Cons:
Two reviewers said that the Deluxe Edition was disappointing, as it actually has less features than the original game.
— Kids caught in traffic love to pull out this game and find their way out of the crunch. Rush Hour makes a great travel toy, specialty retailers have told TDmonthly
, and it's been a top seller in their stores for more than 10 years. For these reasons, we gave it our TDmonthly Classic Toy 2007
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 10158 (added 11/20/2006)
These 30" Raggedy Ann and Andy plush dolls are timeless. Both have red yarn hair, button eyes and triangular noses and wear their traditional outfits: a white apron over a blue cotton shirt for Raggedy Ann and a flannel shirt, blue pants and a ribbon for Andy.
— "Raggedy Ann" was among the popular licensed products mentioned by Holly Reay, owner of Kid’s Corner
in Indianapolis, Ind.
— "Raggedy Ann & Andy" was also cited as a licensed-toy winner by Melodie Ingwersen, owner of Creative Kids in Columbia, S.C.
— Almost no toy could be more classic than Raggedy Ann, Johnny Gruelle's sweet-natured and moral character from the series of books he wrote for young children in 1918. Supposedly based on a rehabbed rag doll Gruelle created for his daughter, Marcella, Raggedy Ann captured the hearts of a nation. Raggedy Andy joined her advenures in 1920. These 30" versions of Gruelle's characters are a fourth-quarter staple, specialty toy store owners told TDmonthly Magazine
, and so have earned a TDmonthly Classic Toy 2007
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 7596 (added 4/14/2006)
Ideal for learning balance and coordination, the Rody Horse allows children to hop around and can even be attached to a base that transforms it into a Rocking Rody Horse. The soft ride-on is often used in therapy for handicapped children, and is made of super-strong, latex-free vinyl. It inflates according to the size and weight of a child with a hand or foot pump. The maximum inflated height to “saddle” is 12".
— “Rodys have always sold well for us. Over and over, people tell us they were the hit of the party,” Elaine Hackney, owner of Boing! JP’s Toy Shop in Jamaica Plain, Mass., told TDmonthly in summer 2007.
— Nobody can resist a bounce or two on this high-quality rubber toy from Italy. Rody comes in assorted colors and has been a steady seller in specialty stores for more than a decade. The combination of high quality, great play value and universal appeal earned this toy a TDmonthly Classic Toy 2007 award.
— “We sell a ton of Rodys by TMI. This is one of the best sellers in the store,” Peg Scholtes, owner of Capitol Kids Ltd. in Madison, Wis., told TDmonthly in March 2008.
Where to Buy: Really Great Toys
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 14605 (added 8/13/2007)
SET is a board game where any table becomes the board. It is a highly addictive, original game of visual perception. The goal is to be the first to see a SET from the 12 cards laid face up on the table. A SET is three cards that are either all the same or all different in each individual feature. With no turns and no luck, SET is challenging, fast and fun!
Players 1 to 20 (or as many as can fit around a table)
Ages 6 to 99
— “It's a really great game, one that we sell day in and day out,” Sally Lesser, owner of Henry Bear’s Park in Massachusetts, told TDmonthly
in spring 2007.
— Two of 63 retailers mentioned Set when asked about their overall best-selling toy or game in September 2008. Ten of 64 retailers named Set as a best-selling card game in August 2008, and more than 25 percent of 38 retailers said the same in late summer 2009. In Feb. 2010, five of 38 retailers cited it as a top-selling game.
— “[Set is] popular mainly because all ages can play it at the same time,” pointed out Greg Bonner, owner of Heights Toy Center
in Little Rock, Ark., in summer 2008.
— In a late summer 2010 TDmonthly
survey, 23 percent of 43 retailers surveyed named SET a best-selling card game.AWARDS: 2010 TDmonthly Top Seller
; 2007 TDmonthly
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 4570 (added 9/13/2005)
Imported from Germany to the U.S. in 1995, this European designer game is thematically nonviolent, elegant in game play and visually appealing. Players must collect and trade resources, such as wood and sheep, and build the best settlement on an island. Moves require strategic planning, and negotiating and trade are crucial elements of the game.
— "The Settlers of Catan is extremely popular with boys over 12. It's a great game that’s a combination of Risk and Monopoly," was the analysis provided by Leanna Halbrecht, owner of Animations in Teaneck, N.J.
— "I'm having a lot of interest in Settlers of Catan and its expansion packs," added Amy Barrett, owner of Lasso the Moon Wonderful Toys in Helena, Mont. “Games such as Settlers of Catan … are becoming more popular,” said Owner David Campbell of Amazing Toys in early 2009. — This game has been exciting kids — and specialty retailers — for years. Its long-running status as a top seller earned it a TDmonthly Classic Toy 2007 award.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 2230 (added 1/18/2005)
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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