We knew we could get news coverage for manufacturers and retailers by running a program that donated almost 2,000 toys worth $60,000+, but even we didn't know how extensive and powerful TDmonthly's 2012: A Year of Charity promotional giveaway program would be for sales!
Brett and Susan Sommers of Figpickels Toy Emporium said they felt like "the busiest toy store in America" thanks to all the media coverage they got from their holiday giveaway. Children's World's New Year giveaway made it onto TV, as did Jake's Toy Box's giveaway in the spring. Nine specialty toy stores and 17 specialty toy manufacturers were covered by local newspapers, radio shows and TV stations! And thousands of needy children benefited from the generosity of Hape, Magicforest Ltd., Moonjar, b. dazzle inc., Uncle Skunkle, Douglas Cuddle Company, Crossen Creations, FindIt Games, PlayMais Canada Inc., Amazing Science!, Moving Picture Books, Education Outdoors, We R Fun Games, The Spelling Bee Game, Schoenhut Piano Company and Safari Ltd®
Safari Ltd® and Schoenhut Piano Company loved this unique promotional program so much they signed up repeatedly.
And now, we're ready to bring joy and happiness to kids again for Spring 2013 ... and so are Safari Ltd® and (new to the program) Infinitoy and Glide Bikes! But space is limited to 10 manufacturers, which means there are only 7 spots left! HURRY! And only two for retailers (at least two of the retailer spots will be offered first to veterans of the program). New to the program will be video coverage of the events to be posted to ToyDirectory's YouTube page.
"The gift of giving is contagious," said Safari Ltd® owner and CEO Ramona Pariente. "We are excited to work together to bring joy to those less fortunate again this year."
Ed Mondello of Glide Bikes is happy that some of his bikes will be donated to kids with special needs, because they are the top-recommended balance bike by physical therapists who work with that population. Greg McVey of Infinitoys will be donating his Zoobs Challenge Sets, which turn building a variety of contraptions into a fun competition that increases in difficulty level as you progress. McVey said he is excited to be "helping needy kids further their skills." As with the Glide Bikes, Zoobs are great for all kids, including those with special needs.
Vendors should sign up now to reserve their spots. We need at least 7 manufacturers to make the program do-able. This is a promotional program for manufacturers that gets them unique and lasting news coverage from the moment they sign up all the way until after ASTRA Marketplace in June, and with a final wrap-up article in July, helps stores create noteworthy events that gets them local media coverage and helps thousands of needy kids. Please note: This may be the only charity giveaway we do in 2013; a holiday giveaway depends on the success of the Spring giveaway program, so don't delay in signing up or entering the contest.
TDmonthly's Charity Giveaway is a unique and dynamic promotional program where your company or store will get recognition for your generosity and your high-quality products while you help needy kids and schools while elevating the presence of specialty toys in communities around the nation.
Read here about how each retailer was able to get exposure for the donors, for their stores, and for specialty toys in general: Figpickels Toy Emporium in Coeur D'Alene, Idaho; Children's World in Sarasota, Florida; Kidstop Toys & Books in Scottsdale, Arizona; Toy House & Baby Too in Jackson, Michigan; Fairhaven Toy Garden in Bellingham, Washington and Fun Things Etc. in Waynesville, NC; Jake's Toy Box in Arvada, Colorado; Kazoo Toys in Denver; and Doll House & Toy Store in Scottsdale, Ariz.. Some of the retailers increased the value of the giveaways by adding in their own donations, or even matching the value of product received from the vendors. Tina Schwindt, of Fairhaven Toy Garden, visited each of the schools and educational programs she donated product to so that she could teach the kids and teachers how to play the games.
Retailers, if you want a chance at this one-of-a-kind event-creating, newsworthy giveaway, please email firstname.lastname@example.org the following information by MARCH 25, 2013: Your name: Phone #: Email: Name of Store: Year Founded: How many events you hold per year: How many events get covered by your local media: Why you want to participate in this program: How you intend to promote the specialty toy manufacturers who are donating through the program: Charities you currently work with and would like to benefit from this program: Are you willing to follow TDmonthly's guidelines for holding events promoting this program? Are you able to ensure that all toys are photographed and that Releases are obtained for all photos and videos taken during the giveaways:
Good luck!! Below are some of the toys that were donated last year and a sneak preview at some of this year's toys!!
16" Go Glider for children ages 5-10. Made from lightweight aluminum alloy, the Go Glider features our patented slow speed geometry along with removable foot pegs, child sized handbrake, quick release seat post clamp, kickstand, and a lifetime warranty! Available in 5 metallic colors, weighs only 10 pounds.
12" Mini Glider for children ages 2-5. Made from lightweight aluminum alloy, the Mini Glider features our patented slow speed geometry along with removable foot pegs, child sized handbrake, quick release seat post clamp, kickstand, and a lifetime warranty! Available in 5 metallic colors, weighs only 8 pounds.
How can kids move a ball into a target with 2 high walls from 2 feet away? Build a ramp? A catapult? A trampoline? A zip-line? There are no right answers and we provide no solutions--it's up to kids to use ZOOB pieces (and other materials that they choose) to build contraptions that solve the challenges. The ZOOB Challenge features 175 ZOOB pieces, string, wheels, a ball, rubber bands, a foam play pad, and 25 challenges based on STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, & Math) skills-skills that educators have targeted as essential to helping the US compete successfully in the 21st century.
Our keepers are more than just "cleaner-uppers". They show nurturing in action. Each replica is finely hand painted and accurate down to the last detail. Educational information in five languages is included with each replica. All our products are phthalate-free and thoroughly safety tested to safeguard your child's health. Safari Ltd.® takes pride in providing breathtaking, innovative and value priced figures for now over three generations. Featured is our Safari Ltd.® People Joe & Aussie Zookeeper.
Extra large, soft, playful, true-to-life vinyl replicas of some of the most amazing creatures in the world. Excellent learning tool to introduce young children to our delicate and often endangered inhabitants of our planet. A fun way to spark the innate curiosity of a child. Each replica is finely hand painted and accurate down to the last detail. Educational information in five languages is included with each replica. All our products are phthalate-free and thoroughly safety tested to safeguard children's health.
Our action packed swashbucklers will delight the imagination of any young matey. Sculpted by a leading American character sculptor, our pirates are so life-like that they will transport kids back to the days of pirate ships and sunken treasures.
Detailed replicas of tropical marine life and a realistic coral reef surround this young diver with a wild underwater adventure. Exquisite sculpting and attention to detail make this the ideal gift for any child. The packaging features educational information in 5 languages on the back. All Safari Ltd.® products are phthalate and lead free and safety tested to safeguard children’s health. We take pride in the quality, innovation and design that have characterized our products for over 3 generations. Flippers, Fins & Fun Gift Set Includes: Dolphin, Sea Turtle, Queen Triggerfish, Grouper, Coral Reef, and Freddie the Free Diver. Box Size: 11” W x 4.75” H x 4” D (28 x 12 x 10 cm)
In celebration of our tenth anniversary, Moonjar has created a brand new Moneybox with a global twist. Each metallic section is wrapped in the words, "Save, Spend and Share" in languages from around the world. The boxes are gold, silver and copper colors to appeal to the tween set as well as their parents.
Little rock star swill take center stage playing Schoenhut's “next generation” guitar. Schoenhut's innovative design incorporating a molded composite body with dual curves greatly enhances sound and durability. The birch soundboard which offers excellent tone and resonance, hardwood neck (for rigidity), and molded composite fretboard ensure proper height and spacing of the frets. Six steel strings permit a wide range of rich sounds. Available in several vibrant designs. Includes: Pick and Extra String.
This "to-go" box is one of our Conversation to Go options – there are three total. This box is filled with 100 unique conversation starters about Vacation and travel. It’s not about where you have been, it’s about where you are going with this conversation game. It will bring you to places you never dreamed of.
Hilarious! Combines fast "moo"-ving action and authentic family-farm mishaps for "udder"-ly unpredictable fun! Teaches basic economics, yet is simple to understand and play. A REAL family game - designed so ages 8 to 108 can easily play together, comfortably! First to "Retire" wins! "Life on the Farm" has won a National Parenting Center "Seal of Approval 2012"; Best Family Fun Tillywig Toy Awards; National Teacher's Choice "For the Family" Award; “Outstanding Product”and “Hot Product” *iParenting Media Awards, among many others.
This is a fast-paced, fun Spelling Board Game that teaches spelling, vocabulary and reading as it's played using spelling words taken directly from any child's grade-appropriate spelling list. Also available in challenging Adult level for those who think they can spell but might find out otherwise.The fast-paced game teaches spelling, reading and vocabulary. "There are no other board games on the market which allow each player to spell words selected from their own grade level and which combine elements of chance, strategy and spelling knowledge in a way that makes learning to spell fun and easy," Richard J. Sullivan, president of The Spelling Bee Game, Inc., told TDmonthly. Launch date: July, 2009. Awards: 2010 Creative Child Magazine Game of the Year, Children's Educational Board Game Category; 2011 Creative Child Magazine, Game of the Year, Children's Educational Board Game Category.
PlayMais is a biodegradable crafting material made from corn and colored with food coloring. It is manufactured in Germany, 100% safe, and biodegradable. PlayMais stimulates children's imagination and creativity, trains fine motor skills, and develops social group skills. PlayMais can be shaped, squeezed, cut and all it takes is a little bit water to create unlimited fun. Children can build in 2 or 3 dimensions, or wherever their imagination takes them.
The sophisticated colors of the realistic Serengeti Scramble Squares puzzle make it among the best selling styles of Scramble Squares overall, appreciated by enthusiasts of African art and nature, naturalists and conservationists. This puzzle is also especially popular with children. Awards— Dr. Toy’s Best Classic Toys for 2011
The Temple In Paradise Scramble Squares® 9-piece educational brain teaser puzzle for all ages celebrates The San Marga (“The Good Path”) Iraivan Temple being constructed at the foot of an extinct volcano on Kauai, the northernmost of the Hawaiian Islands. The temple is being constructed at Kauai's Hindu Monastery, 5 miles from the town of Kapaa, 4 miles inland from the Pacific Ocean. The temple construction commenced in 1975 and is scheduled for completion in 2017. There are Hindu temples in virtually every nation on earth, over 1,000 in the United States and nearly a million in India, but this temple was destined to be unique—a white-granite edifice being brought stone by stone from south central India after being hand-carved by 75 sculptors working for 27 years with simple bamboo-handled mallets and tens of thousands of mild steel chisels. Their monumental efforts reflect the ultimate in artisan craftsmanship and design, surrounded by as beautiful a setting as the paradise island of Kauai could provide. Awards: 2012 Dr.Toy Best Picks
Fishing Camp is a game where both children & adults can play & learn fun facts about Fishing. The game is designed to grow with the player, starting at level one questions, which are primarily identification of fish and fishing tackle. As the players increase in their knowledge about Fishing, they grow into the higher level questions. A fun & educational game where parents & children can play to see who catches the first fish and gets back to the docks. Game includes: 1 game board, 200 game cards(400 questions, and 100 fun facts), 1 decoder, 8 game characters, 1 die, 16 level cards, and 1 GPS card. Launch date: 2012.
Now the whole family can play a fast paced hidden object game with the Deluxe Find It Game containing over 70 hidden items. The Deluxe Find It hidden object game includes a deck of cards, a spinner, a timer, the check off pad, and instructions for 6 ways to play and variations to adapt to younger players. The basic play starts with each player being dealt seven cards that vary in point value. At the beginning of each turn use the spinner to determine the action required prior to play (add points, miss a turn, trade hands etc.) Look fast! Players will have 30 seconds to try to find a many items as possible. Play continues until someone finds all of their items and runs out of cards. Awards: 2010 Creative Child Magazine Seal of Excellence; Tillywig Sterling Fun Award Winner
By combining high quality animation, rich narration, sound effects and music, Moving Picture Books provide a fun and educational digital reading experience for children ages 0-7. There are 38 titles — both classic stories and new favorites — each available in English, Spanish and English Read-Along-Text versions. Our books can be purchased as digital downloads, or DVDs.
Learn fundamental principles of science through Amazing Science Experiments. Viewers learn about electricity, magnetism, heat, temperature, pressure, surface tension, buoyancy, and much more. For every demonstration, a complete materials list is given, and each experiment features multiple camera views so kids can see exactly what happens. Most importantly, every concept is explained in a step-by-step fashion. Viewers not only be amazed - they'll understand the science behind every experiment.
The Magical Rainbow is a magnetized game that takes children on a special adventure through its lands. Players race to a pot of gold, watching out for Paddy the Leprechaun, who on every turn travels from land to land protecting his gold. Throughout the journey players will try to collect gold coins, avoid the Leprechaun and his lucky trinkets, and use strategy to win the game. This game is designed to teach children color recognition, sequencing, patterns, counting, strategy and sharing. "It’s more than a board game, it’s a tool for releasing the imagination in every child," Crossen Creations President Frank Crossen told TDmonthly. Awards: 2009 Family Choice Award
In this human-puzzle game, players use color wristbands to bind their hands and feet to one another, leading to a sticky mess of people. The goal of the game is to crawl, walk, scoot or jump one’s way towards the finish line, all the while maintaining the connections determined by a shake of the Bambooga Shaker. Bambooga is safe and eco-friendly, adhering to "green-" manufacturing practices with second-generation, sustainable bamboo construction. “Bambooga is the result of a social-entrepreneurship project sponsored by Kids Ark Foundation of Thailand,...an organization that hopes to find a solution to the AIDS epidemic in Thailand,” Uncle Skunkle Toys Inc. Marketing and Communications Director Maya Cardoso told TDmonthly. A portion of "the proceeds from the manufacturing of Bambooga [is] recycled back to Kids Ark and [goes] towards projects to raise education and standards of living.” Launch date: April 2008. Awards: Bambooga is a winner of "Dr. Toy’s 100 Best Picks Children’s Products for 2009" and also won Creative Child Magazine's "Toy of the Year Award" for 2008. Bambooga has also been recognized with a favorable review by The Old Schoolhouse, a magazine for homeschooling families.
Schoenhut ® Piano Company: "Leader in the World of Toy Pianos since 1872" Schoenhut’s® bright red, 18-key tabletop is the perfect choice for a toddlers first piano. Both fun and educational, it is an ideal instrument to use for developing eye-hand coordination and encouraging musical creativity.
Chromatically tuned, the lovely chime-like notes are produced by little hammers striking precision-ground, German steel music rods (versus the conventional taut wires used in full-sized models).
Schoenhut’s® patented Learning System, with its play-by-color teaching method, makes playing simple and fun. A removable color strip fits behind the keys to guide small fingers from chord to chord. The chart also works on adult keyboards, since keys on Schoenhut® toy pianos are of corresponding width. This teaches children proper "finger stretch" from the very beginning. The accompanying Songbook contains a collection of familiar tunes. This Learning System has been specially designed to build a child’s confidence and develop basic playing skills.
Imported / Materials: hardwood and hardboard / Recommended age: Three and up
Music is a wonderful opportunity for little ones to expand their sensory and imaginative personality. Music helps them to understand rhythm and harmony, and also to express themselves and their moods. This set of percussion instruments from Sevi is an easy way to get kids started. It comes with 8 pieces, including a tambourine, castanets, a triangle, maracas and a noise maker. Produced by Sevi, Europe’s oldest wooden toy company, this product contains parts and components that are recommended for children ages 2 and up.
Noah’s Ark Balance Game comes with pairs of brightly painted wooden animals and can be played either cooperatively or competitively by the entire family. Kids learn about weight distribution and how the shape of an object affects where it is able to be balanced. Played against an opponent, kids learn to place animals just so their opponent has difficulty finding a spot for their piece. Pieces are the perfect size for ages 3+. Kids can also work together to see how quickly they can stack all the animals on the rocking ark. Sevi is Europe’s oldest wooden toy company.
Everything tastes better when you've got the right accessories. These safe and simple toys revolve around food and cooking, to promote realistic role play, and encourage healthy eating. The Apron Set includes an elasticized chef's hat, quilted oven mitt and bright orange-trimmed apron. The mitt and apron fabric is exclusive to Hape.
String-Along Shapes are first toys that encourage coordination, dexterity, imagination, and simple problem solving. This brightly colored set of 30 maple shapes includes two strings that turn blocks into a train, a caterpillar or a tower. The possibilities are endless and so is the fun. Shapes are approximately 1.25' wide each.
Featuring the same great play as The Original LCR Left Center Right Dice Game, players flip over three LCR cards that are labeled with L's, C's, R's and dots, which determine where the flipper's chips will go. The last player with chips, wins the game. It's that simple!.Fast-paced, exciting and fun, it's a great game for kids to play along with adults providing hours of entertainment for the whole family. LCR Left Center Right Card Game includes 110 Playing Cards, 24 playing chips and Instructions. For 3 or more players.
Twinkle Tunes features a 1-octave (8-note) keyboard that electronically produces lovely piano sounds, enhanced with a beautifully illustrated interchangeable songbook containing a collection of 12 familiar tunes. This instrument, designed for the child who has no previous piano study, is paired with Schoenhut’s patented Tri-Play Learning System. Easily portable for young children, this unique toy provides hours of musical fun. Battery included. Additional books sold separately.
Writer'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