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February 2011 | Vol. X - No. 2




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Most Anticipated Toys of 2011

What Might Be Hot


With additional reporting by Chris Lundy and Brenda Ruggiero

When TDmonthly’s regional correspondents asked 14 specialty toy retailers what toys they most anticipated for 2011, three mentioned Perplexus by Plasmart

“I have been anticipating the new Perplexus models; they're Squirvy Murvy and Braincramp,”  shared Mary Sisson, co-owner of  Kazoodles in Vancouver, Wash. “We've done really well with Perplexus.”

“[Cloud B is] supposedly coming out with a musical Twilight Turtle which will show a constellation on the ceiling plus play music,” Diana Gisolfu, co-owner of Sisters Kids in Springfield, Mass., told TDmonthly. “Cloud B is my number-one product in the store.”

Robert Hunter, manager of Toy City in Keene, N.H., was looking forward to new products from the Creative Whack Company, makers of the Ball of Whacks.

For Richard Gibson, owner of Learning Express in Newton, Mass., the answer was easily constructed: “The new LEGOS have been huge,” he said.

Here are older models of next year’s most-anticipated toys:




MSRP: $24.99
Age Range: 6 and up
SKU or Item #: BL100
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Puzzles & Skill
Educational
Family Games



The first member of the Perplexus family, this see-through sphere houses a 3-D labyrinth game with 100 barriers, turns, twists and cliffhangers that serve as obstacles to getting a small steel ball to the end. Invented in 1970 by Michael McGinnis, a design teacher, Perplexus helps develop motor and dexterity skills, along with hand-eye coordination.
― As of 12/17/2012 this product had 4.4 out of 5 stars from 393 reviews on Amazon.com and was No. 12 on the top 100 bestselling toys and games.
— At Izilla Toys in Seattle, "Perplexus is selling really, really well for us," Co-owner Jude Larene told TDmonthly in late fall 2009.
— In summer 2010 this game was a top-10 best seller at Dancing Bear Toys in Asheville and Hendersonville, N.C..
Awards: 2012 Parents’ Choice Awards - Silver, 2011 Time Magazine – 15 Smartest Toys for Young Geniuses, 2011 Parent Tested Parent Approved – Seal of Approval, 2011 Grand Prix Kidexpo – Elu par les Parents (Parents’Choice), 2011 Children of Museum of Indianapolis – Top 10 Toys of 2011, 2011 Canadian Toy Testing Council – Children’s Choice, 2011 Babble List – Best Kids Toys, 2010 Toy Insider – Hot 20, 2010 The National Parenting Center – Seal of Approval, 2010 Prémio Brazil – Award of Excellence, 2010 Parents’ Magazine – Top Toys, 2010 NAPPA – Gold, 2010 ASTRA – Best Toy for Kids
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 26245      (added 12/2/2009)
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MSRP: $29.46
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Construction
General Games



Product features 1 buildable LEGO Die, 9 LEGO microfigures which includes Harry Potter, Hermione Granger, Ron Weasley, Draco Malfoy and Albus Dumbledore, building instructions and 1 rule booklet, and 332 LEGO pieces.  For 2 to 4 players.  Be the first to successfully navigate the magical castle to collect all your homework from your classes and get back to your common room.
— In late Spring 2011, 5 of 12 retailers surveyed said that LEGO was their best-selling brand of licensed products. Joe Berardoni Jr., Owner of Pun's Toys in Bryn Mawr, Pa., said that "We try to avoid licensed products...that said, however, we still do carry LEGO, and their licensed kits sell well, such as Star Wars and Harry Potter."
—As of 10.25.2010, this product had 4.5 out of 5 stars from 30 reviews on Amazon.com and was No. 7 on the top 100 best-selling toys and games. PROS: Build your own gameboard. CONS: Not suitable for younger kids.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 30950      (added 10/25/2010)
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MSRP: $34.00
Age Range: 2 and up
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Plush
Infant & Toddler
Preschool



Each Twilight Turtle and Friends character from the collection projects constellation nightlights that create a magical sleep-time environment. Each “shell” illuminates the night with three soothing color options to help ease fear of the dark. The Twilight Collection includes Twilight Turtle and Twilight Ladybug, each available in three colors and a Twilight Sea Turtle that also has five illuminated windows projecting images of sea life.
— Retailers surveyed by TDmonthly have been naming the Twilight Turtle as a best-seller since 2006.
— Six of 66 retailers mentioned one of the Twilight Turtles as a top-selling item for baby gifts in July 2008. Four of 47 retailers named Twilight Turtle as a top-selling baby gift in June 2009. Three of 64 retailers cited it as a top-selling infant and toddler toy in March 2009, and eight of 39 said the same in March 2010.
— In a 2012 survey, Erika Evers, owner of Dancing Bear Toys in Hendersonville, N.C., told TDmonthly that their best selling infant & toddler product is the "Twilight Turtle from Cloud B, and it's spin-offs, like the ladybug." They sell about 20 units each month.
— Want this? As of 05/06/2011, this product was available for purchase at Toys & Co.
AWARDS: 2010 TDmonthly Top Seller
AD


MSRP: $35.00
Age Range: 8 and up
SKU or Item #: 861000000045
Launch Date: February 2008
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Puzzles & Skill
Creative Activities
General Toys



The new Ball of Whacks features six brilliantly contrasting colors, creating 30 magnetic pyramids that can be arranged into a multitude of shapes and mosaics. Additionally, the pieces can be configured according to the included color-design challenges for even more brain-teasing fun. Launch date: February 2008.
— “Unlike most brain-teasers or puzzles, there are no wrong ways to play with the Ball of Whacks,” Creative Whack Company Communications Director Lynn Araujo told TDmonthly. “Every time you pick it up, you'll be inspired to find new ways to play with it.”
— The Ball of Whacks is a best seller at Kazoodles in Vancouver, Wash., Co-owner Mary Sisson told TDmonthly in early 2008.

Past Videos:
ASTRA 2008
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 16814      (added 12/28/2007)
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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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