TDmonthly Magazine!
June 2010 | Vol. IX - No. 6


Summary of Online Toy Reviews

TD Scout Shares Positive Consumer Reviews from Thousands of Websites

TDmonthly Magazine’s Review Scout scours the Web weekly for reviews of new and hot products so you don’t have to spend your time searching. Out of thousands of blog, retail and other sites, his research uncovers toys, games and other gifts that are worthy of your attention now. Check this space for briefs on reviews and ratings from across the nation and even the globe.

MSRP: $59.99
Age Range: 3 and up
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Kits
Creative Activities

This extra-large kit is designed to give kids everything they need to start cooking. Once they don their chef’s had and apron, kids can use the included measuring cups, bowls, whisk and other utensils to create their own meals. With a little adult guidance and supervision, the BPA-free nylon, silicone and plastic items in the kit can foster a lifelong love of food and cooking.
— Katie of Time 2 Eat Yall praised Curious Chef’s products for being durable and dishwasher safe. Katie explained, “With Curious Chef's products, young ones can experience and learn a ‘hands on’ approach about kitchen basics and safety with Mom assisting headache free.”
— A mom reviewer at Brimful Curiosities tried some Curious Chefs utensils with her daughter, who “proudly arranged them on the counter, excited to have her very own kitchen tools just like Mommy.” The utensils proved safe enough for a child yet effective enough for an adult as the mother-daughter team prepared an apple crisp together.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 28236      (added 4/27/2010)

MSRP: $25.00
Age Range: 3 and up
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Plush
Designer Toys

The Dreamlets are designer fleece plush monsters. Thinko, Stanley, Uncle, Ceecee, Qoindo and Beebee combine bright colors with simple designs and relatable personalities to appeal to all ages. Dreamlets range in size from 6” to 12” tall.
Plastic and Plush called Dreamlets “one of our favorite new plush lines of the year” and observed that the individual Dreamlets characters make the most of the simplified design elements and varied fabrics used.
In the Know Mom’s Erin said Dreamlets were “welcomed into our home with a huge bear hug and a squeal that was so loud, my eyes crossed. … Needless to say, we’re huge Dreamlets fans.” Her co-blogger Sarah was impressed by the quality of Dreamlets, predicting, “These durable handmade beauties will surely last the years.”
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 28613      (added 5/24/2010)

Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Novelties

Finally: colored bubbles. After spending more than a decade trying every way possible, inventor Tim Kehoe, with the essential help of chemist, Ram Sabnis, finally developed a line of nontoxic, nonstaining bubbles in a variety of colors. Each bottle of different colored solution is shaped as a different bubble character. Each color has its own name and personality, spanning the rainbow and then some, with colors such as black and pink.
— Jessie from A Year in the Life of June Cleaver tried the pink Zubbles and was “amazed as these extremely pink, shimmering bubbles floated up around us into the sky … like something you only see in your dreams.” Jessie found she was not alone in her admiration: “Our neighbor's children ran over to see the amazing bubbles and everyone, even their parents, were fascinated by them.”
— Andrea of Mama In Flip Flops2 was impressed that the vibrant pinks and blues of the Zubbles did not leave permanent stains on her daughter’s clothes. Her kids had tons of fun blowing bubbles while Andrea felt safe knowing Zubbles are non-toxic.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 5580      (added 11/18/2005)

MSRP: $12.00
Age Range: 3 and up
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Educational
School Supplies

The fronts of the 26 colorful cards from the Under the Sea set feature marine life illustrations from Janell Genovese. The backs of the cards include facts about the animals so kids can learn on the go.
— Laurie of Double Bugs liked that the flash cards encourage thinking and imagination. She said, “My boys have a blast with these and even made the animal noises to match.”
— Dee from Two of a kind, working on a full house found that within a week her son was remembering what he learned from the flash cards. She felt this would give him an advantage when he started preschool.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 28610      (added 5/24/2010)

MSRP: $31.95
Age Range: 4 and up
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Educational
General Games

The Zillio 2D Playground is a more cost-conscious and compact version of Mega Zillio. Using the included dice, cards, tokens and instructions, kids can play more than 20 different games to build their multiplication, pattern recognition and problem-solving skills.
Hula Hooping Mom found Zillio to be “a fun way to keep kids interested in math and a fun way for you to ‘refresh’ your memory so that you can help with that homework.”
— Mike from Cool Baby Kid enjoyed playing with his nephews and appreciated the educational focus of Zillio. “Being an engineer, I know the value a solid math background can provide and feel that the Zillio Games can assist in preparing the educational foundation for possibly another future engineer in our family,” he said.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 28237      (added 4/27/2010)

Baseball Guys packs an entire stadium into a handy plastic storage bin. Each box contains 26 2 1/2" players from red and blue teams, an umpire, a felt field and an adjustable scoreboard.
Awards: iParenting Media
— Katie from Katie’s Nesting Spot felt that the Baseball Guys made a great way for fathers and grandfathers to bond with their kids over baseball. She appreciated the comparatively large size of the figures and the included stackable carry case, though she remarked that the container lid did not stay shut when moved.
— Rhea of Mommy23Monkeys reported that her eldest son disliked having to switch between figures posed in “hitting” and “running” poses while acting out games. Her more imaginative sons thoroughly enjoyed playing with the figures, both in baseball and non-baseball themed play.
— In a May 2012 survey about best selling toys, Mike DiAndrea, manager of Hardware Toy Center in Paoli, Pa., told TDmonthly that they sell 10 of this item each month.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 28611      (added 5/24/2010)

Wholesale Price: (Log in to view)
MSRP: $54.00
Age Range: All Ages
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Furniture & Decor

These big, whimsical wall art prints (18" x 24") are both educational and eco-friendly, and depict the friends and adventures of Greenie, the eco-friendly elephant. The peel-and-stick wall art is designed to be removed and relocated hundreds of times without losing adhesive ability, marring walls or leaving residue. The inks, adhesive and coatings are all water based, so the wall art is safe for infants, toddlers and children of all ages.
— Michelle, A Happy Hippy Mom, highlighted the fabric texture of the print and its extremely easy application and reapplication process. The eco-friendly inks, laminates and adhesives used for the print allowed Michelle to safely hang the print low enough for her son to fully appreciate his new animal friends.
2 Wired 2 Tired’s Tésa used a Greenie2Steps lion print to help her daughter conquer her nightmares. The bright and colorful lion makes Tésa’s daughter smile as it keeps bad dreams away.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 24833      (added 8/4/2009)

MSRP: $15.95
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Books

SteamPotVille, from first-time author and illustrator Steve Ouch, is a journey into an imaginative world where dreamy landscapes merge with whimsical animals. Kids are encouraged to search the book for hidden animals and objects.
— Even after reading “SteamPotVille,” the mommy reviewer at Beautiful Brown Babies was not quite sure what it was about. However, she described the book as “rip-rollicking fun,” a “glorious and glossy adventure.”
— Angela of Moms In a Blog called the book “magical, to say the least.” She raved about the illustrations and recommended the book for kids who love animals.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 28612      (added 5/24/2010)

MSRP: $15
Age Range: 3 to 10
Launch Date: April 2010
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Audio & CD
Pretend Play

The Big Picture is a socially conscious salute to Uncle Rock’s musical heroes, including 12 original songs and two covers. Known for his rockabilly style and lyricism inspired by Roald Dahl and Shel Silverstein, Uncle Rock offers a musical variety show here with songs about recycling, acceptance of differences and the importance of shopping locally. Publicist Beth Blenz-Clucas of Sugar Mountain PR told TDmonthly, "These songs are fun but also provide food for thought." Launch date: April 13, 2010.
— Jenn Savedge of Mother Nature Network praised the CD for being “socially conscious” but not “sickeningly sweet.” She told fellow parents, “You'll honestly be glad when your kids want to hear it again and again.”
— Jeff Bogle of Out With The Kids was equally impressed by the mellow and more upbeat songs featured on the CD. He proclaimed, “If you’ve never owned an Uncle Rock album before, now is the time to rectify that situation.”
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 27981      (added 4/14/2010)

MSRP: $14.00
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Audio & CD

Debi Derryberry (the voice of Nickelodeon’s Jimmy Neutron) combines jazz, folk, calypso and reggae styles with her whimsical flying Baby Banana character in this CD of nine original songs about freckles, tropical fruit, an orangutan and more. The 10th track features Debi reading her story “Baby Banana and the Licorice Tree.”
The Casual Perfectionist’s JoAnn listened to the CD several times with her daughter. Both enjoyed the silly subjects of the songs and Debi’s “magical” singing. JoAnn concluded, “This is a CD that will stay near the top of our collection for a while!”
— Michelle from Flying Giggles and Lollipops reported that her family “took this CD with us on our camping trip and all the children had a blast when we played it.” She laughed to the CD along with her kids, explaining, “This is one you will not mind listening to, which is a good thing, because your children are going to be requesting it over and over again!”
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 28238      (added 4/27/2010)

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Peter AounWriter's Bio: Peter Aoun is a communications professional focused on the toy industry. He has conducted research on the impact of music on learning, as well as the convergence of toys and technology to create new forms of play. Read more articles by this author

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