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January 2009 | Vol. VIII - No. 1




Tools:

Innovations of 2009

Transformations Take Center Stage


From plush and blankets that turn inside out to multi-use furniture inspired by animals, there are plenty of fun, new products to ring in the New Year. See some of the most innovative products since fall 2008 below:

(No manufacturer paid to be included in this article. All products listed were chosen by editorial staff without regard to the company's relationship with ToyDirectory.com/TDmonthly Magazine.)




Category: Plush



Pakicetus-Squalodon is the first of Evolvems, evolutionary transforming plush toys, to be developed. Pakicetus-Squalodon represents an amazing evolutionary transition that led to all modern whales. Whales, which are mammals not fish, developed from land mammals that began to venture further and further into the ocean for a meal and protection from predators.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 21456      (added 11/24/2008)
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MSRP: $250
Age Range: 4 and up
Launch Date: February 2009
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Fashion & Accessories
Creative Activities
Tween



Shailie goes beyond “dress-ups,” allowing girls to design, create, and wear their own fashions. It includes a life-sized designer dress form and stand (girls' size medium). Shailie dresses come in pieces, and sleeves, skirts, tops and accessories come in various styles, colors and lengths. Using Velcro®, all pieces mix and match to create endless looks. The design easily comes off to wear and model with friends. "Shailie promotes interactive play among a variety of ages, and the possibilities for creativity and fashion fun are endless," President Kari Kawa of Style Paige LLC told TDmonthly. Launch date: February 15, 2009.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 21381      (added 11/18/2008)
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Wholesale Price: (Log in to view)
MSRP: $12.99
Age Range: 1 to 6
Launch Date: January 2009
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Bath
Plush
Water Activities



ZooPoo puts the FUN in functional. Tucked away inside each plush character is a refillable Shampoo (or Poo, if you will) tube so that the product can be applied by squeezing it out right on a little stinker. Launch date: 2009.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 21754      (added 12/12/2008)
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MSRP: $46.00
Age Range: 0 to 5
Launch Date: September 2008
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Fashion & Accessories
Gifts
Infant & Toddler



The patent-pending blankie-ball features an attached self-encompassing pocket to keep the blanket clean and portable for moms and babies on the go. The luxuriously soft blanket tucks inside the pouch and converts into a stylish and soft pillowy ball. There are six fun and contemporary styles to choose from, each with a different colored blanket inside. This product is extremely unique because of the pouch attached to the blanket. "No other blanket tucks into a ball for easy portability and cleanliness," Samantha Namboothiri, director of sales and marketing at Wagamama Baby, told TDmonthly. Launch date: September 7, 2008.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 21318      (added 11/13/2008)
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MSRP: $14.99
Age Range: 8 and up
SKU or Item #: 1241
Launch Date: September 2008
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: General Toys
Robotics
Gifts



Measuring just six centimeters long, each battery operated HEXBUG Crab is loaded with robotic intelligence. The six-legged creature feels its way around while sensing objects in its path and avoiding them. Users interact with the bug by tripping the sound sensor with a hand clap or loud noise, which sends it crawling off in a new direction. Launch date: September 29, 2008.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 21812      (added 12/12/2008)
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MSRP: $12.95
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Books



In this book of Scanimation visual effects, readers see an ice skater doing a pirouette, a boy riding his bike, a girl kicking a soccer ball, and more. The multi-phase animation used in the book is an awe-inspiring technology patented by artist and inventor Rufus Butler Seder.
— In a December 2011 survey about books, Donna Frederick owner of The Play House Toy Store in Durham, N.C., told TDmonthly that Scanimation books were her best selling titles. "People like it because it's fun like a flip book. Even adults like them. We sell out of them all the time," she said. 
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 21834      (added 12/15/2008)
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MSRP: $89.00
SKU or Item #: FCJJ-26
Launch Date: September 2008
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Educational
Kites
Eco-Friendly



This clean-energy set created for use at home or school uses fuel cells and allows kids to learn about wind energy as well as create hydrogen using wind and water; thus kids make their own scientific demonstrations. The set includes a water/gas storage module, a reversible fuel cell, a miniature wind turbine, an electric motor, a propeller blade and a manual. Launch date: Fall 2008.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 21548      (added 12/2/2008)
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Age Range: 8 and up
Launch Date: October 2008
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Novelties
Key Chains



Those tempted to reach for the nearest sheet of plastic bubbles need look no further than Mugen Pop Pop.  Mugen Pop Pop is a highly addictive handheld keychain device that stimulates the strangely satisfying experience of popping plastic bubble packaging. Launch date: October 27, 2008,
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 21366      (added 11/14/2008)
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MSRP: $35.00
Age Range: 8 and up
SKU or Item #: 07228
Launch Date: November 2008
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Science & Nature
General Toys
Educational



This educational game for one to four players lets individuals create their own scale-model hurricanes. It includes a board game and activities, plus a 29-page fun fact booklet. Launch date: November 27, 2008.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 21344      (added 11/13/2008)
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MSRP: $499
Age Range: 0 and up
SKU or Item #: 001-55-040
Launch Date: September 2008
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Developmental Toys
Furniture & Decor
Eco-Friendly



The Snake can function as a table, and may be used together with other tumbling animals in an obstacle course. It can also be turned upside down and used as a boat. "bObles is a playful interior environment for children, with a design their parents would love to place within their homes. The tumbling animals can be used as furniture, but [are] meant for play. The whole idea is to enhance children's motor skills while playing!" Director Mette Dyhrberg of bObles told TDmonthly. Launch date: September 2008.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 21491      (added 11/25/2008)
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MSRP: $24.99
Age Range: 3 and up
Launch Date: October 2008
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Infant & Toddler
Gifts
Electronics



TykeLight GloMate by MOBI features an easy-to-clean surface that is soft to the touch, durable and impact resistant. The all-white GloMate, once illuminated, can turn a constant blue, green or pink; or rainbow-mode cycles between all three colors. Thanks to the built-in NmH rechargeable batteries and low-voltage charging base, TykeLight GloMate can provide up to 10 hours of constant light when fully charged. It turns on automatically when removed from the base, and the LED lights do not give off heat, so it’s cool to the touch. “Gentle Sleep” mode automatically dims and shuts off the light after 15 minutes. "The GloMate is not just a nightlight, but [also] a portable buddy for kids [that] is great for traveling and the perfect answer to 'Can you leave the light on?'" Dan Grody, publicist at Tellem Worldwide on behalf of MOBI, told TDmonthly. "It provides the perfect ambiance for nighttime feedings and it uses very little energy, lasting through the day or night on a single charge." This item received a 2008 Greatest Products iParenting Media Award. Launch date: October 2008.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 21320      (added 11/13/2008)
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Wholesale Price: (Log in to view)
MSRP: $19.99
Age Range: 8 and up
SKU or Item #: HEXBUG-WORM
Launch Date: October 2008
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Remote Controlled
Robotics
General Toys



The HEXBUG Inchworm is the first Micro Robotic Creature in the HEXBUG line to feature a full-function IR remote control. Users drive the Inchworm forward, back, left and right. A and B control bands allow users to control two Inchworms at once or multiple Inchworms on the same band. The product features a unique crawling and pirouette motion around its center pod foot. "This unique HEXBUG Micro Robotic impulse item is offered in a five-pack impulse counter display with five-color variety assortment," Joel Carter, VP of marketing for Innovation First, told TDmonthly. Launch date: October 15, 2008.
— The Inchworm has been a top seller at Pufferbellies in Staunton, Va., for at least a year, according to co-owner Susan Blanton in fall 2009.
— The Hexbug Inchworm is a popular item at the Toy Shop of Concord in Concord, Mass., Owner David Hesel told TDmonthly in late 2009.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 20882      (added 10/2/2008)
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