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The Few, The Proud...The Award-Winning Toys!

Who Made the Cut This Year?

By Alison Marek and Julie L. Jones

Thousands of products are introduced to the toy industry every year, but only a limited number are good enough, playable enough and innovative enough to garner an award.

In addition to issuing TDmonthly Awards, TDmonthly Magazine regularly asks manufacturers to present their award winners to our readers so that retailers can quickly identify products with great potential and manufacturers can learn and be inspired by others' successes. Here are the most recent responses:


ABUNDANT HARVEST for Kids (US Patent 7,073,792) is appropriate for ages 5 through adult. The situations presented in this version of the game are directed towards children who are learning the importance of making decisions that are based on principle. The scenarios provide parents, caregivers and educators the opportunity to teach children, and allow children to begin to develop and apply principle-based reasoning skills as they work their way through situations common in today's world.
Awards: 2012 Creative Child Magazine Game of the Year Award; Dr. Toy’s® 2012 Best Vacation Toy; Parent Tested Parent Approved Award Winner.

 11/16/2012 (Age: 5 and up) [Add to my Inquiry Basket][?]

Plush Number Characters by NUMBERSALIVE!

Plush Number Characters by NUMBERSALIVE!Team Ten, the colorful and friendly plush number characters 0-9, encourage children to think of numbers as something fun and relevant. Each 10" number has a unique personality with a whimsical human face. Children form a bond with the numbers while storytelling, increasing mathematical language concepts and number recognition. Children love hugging their number friends and telling stories about how they find the numbers in everyday life! Great for birthdays and anniversaries, too. Launch date: November 2012.
Awards: 2012 Creative Child Magazine Top Toy of the Year
 11/16/2012 (Price: $15.95; Age: All Ages) [Add to my Inquiry Basket][?]

Care for Our World Play Set by COMPENDIUM INC.

Care for Our World Play Set by COMPENDIUM INC.As children turn the pages of Care for Our World, they’ll encounter dozens of playful creatures, and will learn the importance of caring for all the plants, animals, and people that call planet Earth their home. The whimsical animals come to life with this punch-out-and-play set, which includes everything kids need to create and explore their own wildlife habitat. Simply punch out and assemble the pre-cut animals and plants, and use the habitat box as a backdrop for hours of imaginative play. Launch date: May 2012.
Awards: 2012 Mom's Choice Award; 2012 Silver Medal in Book with Merchandise (plush toy, etc.), Moonbeam Children's Book Award; 2012 Playset of the Year, Creative Child Awards; 2012 Top Toy of the Year, Creative Child Awards; 2012 Runner-up in the Children's Books Category, Green Book Festival
 11/14/2012 (Price: $34.95; Age: 2 to 8) [Add to my Inquiry Basket][?]


SmartMax Set - BASIC 25 by SMART TOYS AND GAMES INCSmartMax Set - BASIC 25 allows children ages three and up to experience the wonders of magnetism and the fascinating world of construction in a safe way. Towers, bridges, and houses are just a few building options that take advantage of the large pieces to engage even the youngest builder.
— Diane Gervais from Amato's Toy & Hobby in Middletown, Conn., told TDmonthly in a November 2014 survey that Smartmax sets are one of their store's best-selling educational toys. "Smartmax is pretty popular right now in preschool," she told us.

Awards: 2013 TDmonthly Seal of Approval

 11/14/2012 (Price: $49.99; Age: 3 and up) [Add to my Inquiry Basket][?]

Magneatos Better Builder 30 pc Set with Storage Case by GUIDECRAFT INC.

Magneatos Better Builder 30 pc Set with Storage Case by GUIDECRAFT INC.Discover the all new Magneatos Better Builder Series. With super strong magnetic force, unique rod and ball configurations and myriad design possibilities, Magneatos Better Builders are a wonderfully inventive way to help children discover principles of science, construction, and engineering while developing their creativity skills. Includes handy storage bin and deluxe 22-page Activity Guide which explores magnet science and provides sample building models for all ages. Magnets are safely and securely embedded in the over sized rods. Metal balls ensure a quick and strong connection. Tested to ages 18 months plus. For ages 2+.
Awards: Oppeheim Platinum Best Toy Award Winner
 11/9/2012 (Price: $49.95; Age: 2 and up) [Add to my Inquiry Basket][?]

Zingo!® SightWords by THINKFUN

Zingo!® SightWords by THINKFUNZingo! Sight Words is a fun, interactive game that teaches reading skills through fast-paced play. Designed for players ages 4-6, this game teaches early readers to recognize and read some of the most common words in the English language. The sight words featured in this game were identified by leading educators as the most fundamental. Learning and mastering them is key to becoming a successful, fluent reader - doing it through play makes learning fun. Launch date: September 2012.
Awards: 2013 TDmonthly Seal of Approval, Play On Words (PAL) Award
— As of 11/15/2012 this product had 4.9 out of 5 stars from 17 reviews on Pros: Helps kids learn to read; Easy to learn, but still challenging and fun.
 11/8/2012 (Price: $19.99; Age: 4 to 7) [Add to my Inquiry Basket][?]

PathWords™ Jr. by THINKFUN

PathWords™ Jr. by THINKFUNPathWords Jr. is a clever word search puzzle with a twist. To complete each themed challenge, place colorful Tetris-style puzzle pieces over letters to spell a word forward or backwards. With its unique design and tactile appeal, PathWords Jr. builds spatial reasoning and strengthens vocabulary with clever graphic hints and funny word play. An ideal game for children ages 6 and  up, PathWords Jr. instills a lifelong love of word puzzles and logic games.
Awards: Dr. Toy Best Vacation Children's Product Award; ASTRA Best Toys winner in 2011; Creative Child Puzzle of the Year; Parents' Choice (Gold); Oppenheim Toy Portfolio (Platinum); Teachers' Choice; National Parenting Publications Award (NAPPA).
— As of 11/15/2012 this product had 4.9 out of 5 stars from 17 reviews on Pros: Helps build logic and spacial skills; helps kids develop literacy skills.
 11/8/2012 (Price: $19.99; Age: 6 and up) [Add to my Inquiry Basket][?]

Swish™ by THINKFUN

Swish™ by THINKFUNFeaturing cool transparent cards, Swish is an innovative spatial game for children ages 8 and up that challenges mental muscles to the extreme. Players must examine cards, mentally flipping & rotating to make matches, or “Swishes.” Swishes are made by layering cards so that every ball swishes into a hoop of the same color. Players must prepare their brain for a seriously fun workout during this fast-paced challenge that’s fun for the whole family.
Awards: Parents’ Choice Silver Honors award; TOTY Nominee for Educational Toy of the Year 2012.
— As of 11/15/2012 this product had 4.7 out of 5 stars from 56 reviews on Pros: Helps develop spatial relation skills; Well designed; innovative gameplay. Cons: Might be difficult for younger kids.
 11/8/2012 (Price: $12.99; Age: 8 and up) [Add to my Inquiry Basket][?]


Classic Set by CUBICITI COMPANY LLCThe Classic set consists of 36 varieties of maple blocks. Painted with non-toxic water based acrylic paints and sealed with organic beewax.
Awards: 2013 TDmonthly Seal of Approval
 11/2/2012 (Price: $79.00) [Add to my Inquiry Basket][?]

About Face by eeBoo corp.

About Face by eeBoo corp.In this fun game, kids create an endless cast of characters as leaves, ribbons, coins, seashells, paper clips and a variety of found objects combine to make millions of faces. 160 object images. Made from 90% recycled materials.
Awards: 2013 TDmonthly Seal of Approval
 10/30/2012 (Age: 3 and up) [Add to my Inquiry Basket][?]

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Following are some of the programs represented in's section of award winners: Dr. Toy, iParenting Media Awards, TIA T.O.T.Y., Oppenheim Toy Portfolio, The National Parenting Center, and Parents' Choice Awards.

You may also access TDmonthly's review section to see which products earned 5 TD stars.

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