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March 2008 | Vol. VII - No. 3




Tools:

Wooden Toys Are the Hot Old Thing

Consumer Interest in Natural Products Continues


While the furor over the recalls last summer has simmered down a bit, wooden toys are still enjoying a resurgence. Here, TDmonthly Magazine presents some of the latest toys that started as trees. Check back weekly; the article will be updated as new products come in.

See a trend report here, and for a recent take on this old-fashioned category, see the December 2007 story, Wooden Toys Catch Fire.

Balancing Tree by PLANTOYS
Balancing Tree by PLANTOYSHelp develop fine motor skills. Toss the dice to see what color you get, then choose an animal that have the same color as the one you rolled. The player that can balance the animals on the boat using the pincers without making it fall is the winner. The set consists of a boat, 6 pairs of animals, a dice, and a pincers. Ideal for 1 to 4 players. 12/30/2015


Slice and Bake Cookie Set - Wooden Play Food by MELISSA & DOUG
Slice and Bake Cookie Set - Wooden Play Food by MELISSA & DOUGThis colorful wooden set includes 12 wooden, sliceable cookies and 12 toppings, wooden knife, spatula, cookie sheet and a kitchen mitt for safe, "low-calorie" play! The cookies store in a durable dough tube.
— Molly Hungerford, manager at Leapin' Lizards Toy Company in Bend, Or., told TDmonthly in a March 2015 survey that Melissa & Doug's wooden play food is one of her store's best-selling eco-friendly toys. 3/30/2015 (Price: $19.99; Age: 3 and up)


My First Loom by HAPE
My First Loom by HAPEMake the shuttles go zip and zoom as you weave your very own design. Talk about the way cloth is made. Look at different kinds of fabric. 11/13/2014 [Add to my Inquiry Basket][?]


Balance Boat - Endangered Animals by BEGINAGAIN
Balance Boat - Endangered Animals by BEGINAGAINKids develop dexterity, patience and pretend play skills with the BeginAgain Balance Boat. Inventing their own games and stories, kids will stack the brightly colored endangered animals as high as they can, balancing them atop the 6"x12" wooden boat. The animals are also perfect pocket pals, starring daily in pretend adventures. Made from eco-friendly rubber wood with non-toxic, child-safe stains, each of the 15 pieces in this playset is double-sided and one inch thick. Recommended for ages 3+, the Balance Boat includes a 14" x 12" wood tray for storage and display.

 9/22/2014 (Price: $35.00; Age: 3 and up) [Add to my Inquiry Basket][?]


Lincoln Logs Collector's Edition Homestead by K'NEX BRANDS
Lincoln Logs CollectorThe BIGGEST Lincoln Logs® set ever created - over 330 parts, including real wood Lincoln Logs®, just like you remember! Includes a frontiersman figure, 2 horses and a buildable covered wagon that really moves. Packaged in a beautiful, silver-accented tube for durable storage 8/28/2014 (Price: $99; Age: 3 and up) [Add to my Inquiry Basket][?]


Tree Top Adventure by MANHATTAN TOY
Tree Top Adventure by MANHATTAN TOYThis wooden activity center is packed full of exciting features! Includes 4 quadrants with a variety of activities: 6 tracks with animal-themed gliders, 6 bead runs with colorful wooden beads, a spring flower and more. Adult assembly required. 4/28/2014 (Price: $99.95) [Add to my Inquiry Basket][?]


Apple Ball Roller by PURE PLAY TOYS
Apple Ball Roller by PURE PLAY TOYSAn apple a day makes everyone play! With Pure Play Toys' Wooden Apple Ball Roller, kids love watching the large wooden balls meander along the “worm tracks” and through holes in the brilliantly colored apple. This toy's large size makes it a perfect center piece for retailers, homes and preschools. Unlike most marble or ball run toys, Pure Play Toys' Wooden Apple Ball Roller has been engineered to be safe for children under 3 years old. Comes with three 1-1/2” diameter wooden balls - too large to pose a choking hazard. Measures 24"H x 20"W x 8-1/2"D. Safe for ages 18 months and up. 4/7/2014 (Age: 2 and up) [Add to my Inquiry Basket][?]


KEVA Trebuchet by MINDWARE
KEVA Trebuchet by MINDWAREBuild your own medieval siege engine from pre-drilled planks, a little glue and the help of easy, step-by-step “blueprint” instructions. Then let the fun and experimentation begin! What travels farther: a marshmallow or a piece of macaroni? Alter the counterweight to adjust the trebuchet's hurl, and practice knocking down a field of target planks using the two included balls.
— In a February 2014 survey, Julie Steinbach, owner of Rainbow Toys in Falmouth, Maine, told TDmonthly that this Trebuchet from Mindware was among their best-selling wooden toys.
— Tye Steinbach from Thinker Toys in Portland, Ore., told TDmonthly in a May 2015 survey that this is one of their best-selling activity kits. 2/27/2014 (Price: $29.95; Age: 7 and up)


Croc Pile by AREAWARE
Croc Pile by AREAWAREA set of five stackable wooden crocodiles. 6/18/2013 [Add to my Inquiry Basket][?]


Rainbow House by HABA USA/HABERMAASS CORP.
Discover the possibilities! Your little one will love the Rainbow House Pegging Game from HABA!  Stackable, colorful fun! 19 parts, 1 peg base with 3 pegs. 5/23/2013 [Add to my Inquiry Basket][?]


Brio Farm Railway Set by SCHYLLING
Brio Farm Railway Set by SCHYLLINGThis rural railway set has the classic Brio quality and features a barn with loading crane, farm engine with wagon, farm tractor with trailer, farm animals and hay bale.
— In a February 2014 survey, two out of 10 retailers told TDmonthly that Brio Trains were among their best-selling wooden toys.
— Patti Tepper-Rasmussen, owner of Learning Tree Toys, Games & Books, Inc. in Oklahoma City, Ok., told TDmonthly in an August 2014 survey that Brio was one of the store's best-selling brand of collectibles.
— In a February 2015 survey, Sue Hottel, co-owner of No Kidding (aka Sand Castle Toys Inc) in Mattapoisett, Mass., told TDmonthly that Brio trains are her some of her store's best-selling wooden toys. 4/29/2013 (Price: $59.99; Age: 3 and up)


Rubber Band Paddle Boat Toysmith by TOYSMITH
Rubber Band Paddle Boat Toysmith by TOYSMITHWind up this 6 inch wooden boat and watch it paddle across the water. Each boat includes three rubber bands. Powered by an ordinary rubber band, this old-fashioned paddle boat zips across bathtub, swimming pool or pond-inspiring pure delight. A simple, time-tested classic, it's crafted of varnished pine with rubber band-driven paddle wheel. Simply wind paddle, place boat in the water, carefully release, and watch it go.
— Mary Porter Green, owner of Curiosity Zone in Ashburn, Va., told TDmonthly in a February 2013 survey that the Rubber Band Paddle boat was her best selling wooden toy.  2/13/2013 (Price: $6.99; Age: 5 and up) [Add to my Inquiry Basket][?]




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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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