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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:


Shake Rattle And   Drum by WESTCO EDUCATIONAL PRODUCTSThis handcrafted wood set includes seven pieces: A bucket drum with a natural skin head, a pair of drum sticks, a single jingle stick, a handled castanet and a pair of mini maracas. Fun for the whole family or class! Includes a parent/teacher friendly activity guide for ideas on using the items to encourage child development.
— As of 10/30/2012 this product had 4.6 out of 5 stars from 26 reviews on Pros: The drum makes a nice noise; fun for kids on their own or in groups.
Awards: 2015 TDmonthly Top Toy Award
 10/25/2012 (Price: $39.99; Age: 3 and up) ENTER WESTCO EDUCATIONAL PRODUCTS TOYSHOW [Add to my Inquiry Basket][?]


Word Snag by PRESSMAN TOY CORP.Players must turn over a category card then roll the letter dice. Everyone tries to match the letters with something related to the category. If they’re looking for “Vehicles” — take the “T” and yell out “Truck!”, then keep on looking for more. The first player to get 20 points wins.  For 2 to 4 players, ages 8 and up. Contents: 7 dice, dice cup, 30 category cards, score pad, rules. Launch date: June 2012.
Awards: 2012 Family Fun Toy of the Year T.O.Y. Award
 10/25/2012 (Price: $12.00; Age: 8 and up) [Add to my Inquiry Basket][?]

Pirate Adventure Island by PLAYMOBIL INC.

Pirate Adventure Island by PLAYMOBIL INC.Avast ye, matey; there's hidden treasure in this Playmobil Pirate Adventure Island. Find the 5 magic coins and use them to unlock a secret cave where the treasure lies hidden. Sound & light effects activate when the cave is opened. But beware of danger. The island also has hidden stairs and falling rocks. Set contains 210 pieces, including 3 figures, exotic creatures, rowboat, working cannon, and many other accessories. There's even a colorful poster for little buccaneers to put on their wall.
Awards: 2013 TDmonthly Seal of Approval
 10/24/2012 (Price: $119.99; Age: 4 to 10) [Add to my Inquiry Basket][?]

A Laurie Berkner Christmas by TWO TOMATOES RECORDS LLC

A Laurie Berkner Christmas by TWO TOMATOES RECORDS LLCThe first-ever Christmas album from kids' music superstar Laurie Berkner, featuring classic seasonal and Christmas songs as well as three original tracks. "The CD is set apart from other holiday albums for kids because Laurie Berkner is the biggest name in children's music in the country - dubbed 'The queen of children's music' by People Magazine and 'The undisputed queen of kindie rock'" by USA Today.  The reason she is the biggest name in kids' music is her appeal to parents, not just kids," Sarah Geist Rosen from SKG Publicity told TDmonthly. Launch date: October 2012.
Awards: 2013 TDmonthly Seal of Approval
— As of 12/6/2012 this product had 4.9 out of 5 stars from 23 reviews on Pros: Features many Christmas classics; interesting vocal arrangements; enjoyable for kids and adults. Cons: One reviewer wished there were more original songs.

 10/19/2012 (Price: $13.98; Age: All Ages) [Add to my Inquiry Basket][?]

The Mystery at Disney World by GALLOPADE INTERNATIONAL

The Mystery at Disney World by GALLOPADE INTERNATIONALFour funny friends travel to Disney World for the vacation of a lifetime. They have a lot of fun, until... A pirate kidnaps one. Ghosts grab the second. A mouse house swallows the third one. And the fourth is left to find them all. Solving this magical mystery will take a little good luck and loads of creativity. Launch date: 2003.
Awards: 2004 Learning Magazine Teachers' Choice Award for the Family
 10/19/2012 (Price: $7.99; Age: 7 to 14) [Add to my Inquiry Basket][?]

Mimi and Papa's Everyday Amazing Almanac by GALLOPADE INTERNATIONAL

Mimi and PapaA modern-day kid-friendly almanac that makes every ordinary day an Amazing Almanac Day. Parents and children will love learning about the educational facts with a traditional trusted companion feel. Launch date: December 2011.
Awards: 2012 Seal of Excellence from Creative Child Magazine
 10/19/2012 (Price: $14.99; Age: 7 to 14) [Add to my Inquiry Basket][?]

Space Checkers by WIGGLES 3D

Space Checkers by WIGGLES 3DSpace Checkers combines the luck of dice with the strategy of checkers. Players capture opponents' flying saucers by jumping over them. The first race to collect any 10 ships wins the game. Launch date: June 2012.
Awards: 2012 Tillywig Best Family Fun Award
 10/17/2012 (Price: $15.99; Age: 6 and up) ENTER WIGGLES 3D TOYSHOW [Add to my Inquiry Basket][?]

PlushCraft™ Flower Power Pillow by THE ORB FACTORY LIMITED

PlushCraft™ Flower Power Pillow by THE ORB FACTORY LIMITEDCreate a funky flower pillow. Use the stylus to punch pretty fabric and make this fun and easy fabric-by-number craft. Create the perfect pillow for travel, décor and sweet dreams. This no mess craft teaches number and pattern recognition and creates a finished product that is sure to brighten up any little girls’ bedroom. Launch date: October 2012.
Awards: 2013 TDmonthly Seal of Approval
 10/17/2012 (Price: $19.99; Age: 5 to 15) ENTER THE ORB FACTORY LIMITED TOYSHOW [Add to my Inquiry Basket][?]


Photoloco by RSV PRODUCTIONS INC.Players slip a photo into the clear Photoholder and draw. Players must get their teammates to guess what they're drawing, right on top of the photo. The photos help give their scribbles context, but it's not as easy as one may think; some things players have got to draw might seem obvious, but only to them. They've got 90 seconds to draw as many items from the list as they can, and then collect a Phototoken for each correct guess by their team. A secret red-reveal panel keeps everybody honest, dry-erase markers allow them to play over and over, and play is fast and hilarious. Launch date: November 2011.
Awards: 2012 Game of the YEAR (Party games category) from Creative Child Magazine
 10/16/2012 (Price: $24.95; Age: 8 to 17) [Add to my Inquiry Basket][?]

Pass-Ackwords by R&R GAMES INC.

Pass-Ackwords by R&R GAMES INC.A game for 4 players in which players attempt to give their opponent clues from a list of words that all relate to the secret hidden word. First team to guess the hidden word wins the round and first to win three wins the game. The challenge is to make sure players don't give the easiest clues too early or their opponents may steal the word. Launch date: July 2012.
Awards: 2012 Games Magazine TOP 100 - Word game category
 10/16/2012 (Price: $19.95; Age: 12 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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