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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:

Clump-o-Lump by KNOCK KNOCK

Clump-o-Lump by KNOCK KNOCKClump-o-Lump is a line of super-snuggable plush creatures that zip apart into three whimsical pieces—head, torso, and rump—so they can be mixed, matched, and multiplied. With over 2,303 combinations possible, Clump-o-Lumps offer countless hours of fun, imagination, and super-swappable collectibility. The inaugural Clump-o-Lump family includes six characters: Frog-o the Frog, Bee-o the Bee, Shark-o the Shark, Bird-o the Bird, Tig-o the Tiger, and Squid-o the Squid. Just zip-and-match ’em to make ’em tall, small, or anything at all. Launch date: March 2012.
Awards: 2013 TDmonthly Seal of Approval
 3/16/2012 (Price: $25.00; Age: 5 and up) [Add to my Inquiry Basket][?]


Larf by KIDS CAN PRESSNo one believes Larf exists, and he likes it that way. Larf, you see, is a sasquatch, the only sasquatch in the world (or so it seems). He has a very pleasant, and very private, life in the woods, where on any given day he might be found jogging, gardening or walking Eric, his pet bunny. But everything changes one morning when Larf discovers that another sasquatch is scheduled to make an appearance in the nearby city of Hunderfitz. What?! That must mean he's not the only sasquatch in the world! Excited by the prospect of having a friend to share hair grooming tips with (and let's face it, teeter-tottering alone is no fun), Larf disguises himself as a city slicker and heads for Hunderfitz — where he's in for a couple enormous surprises. Ashley Spires once again shows her chops for creating irresistible, quirky characters and laugh-aloud stories and illustrations. Readers with little feet and big feet will fall head over heels for Larf. Launch date: Spring 2012.
Awards: 2013 TDmonthly Seal of Approval
 3/15/2012 (Price: $16.95; Age: 3 to 7) [Add to my Inquiry Basket][?]

Green Start Chunky Wooden Puzzles: Silly Squares by INNOVATIVEKIDS

Green Start Chunky Wooden Puzzles: Silly Squares by INNOVATIVEKIDSBrand new Earth-friendly green start chunky wooden puzzles are made with wood from sustainable forests and packaged in a reusable carry-along storage case. Created with the help of child-development experts, these puzzles have chunky, raised pieces to support basic grasping skills, combined with slight gradations of cognitive challenge. A fun double-decker bus contains six square windows of the same size and shape that can fit into any of the spots but need to be rotated so the animals face right side up. Border of each piece matches color inside well. Launch date: April 2012.
Awards: 2013 TDmonthly Seal of Approval
— In a February 2013 survey, two out of 11 retailers told TDmonthly that puzzles were their best selling wooden toy.
 3/14/2012 (Price: $12.99; Age: 1 and up) ENTER INNOVATIVEKIDS TOYSHOW [Add to my Inquiry Basket][?]

All Duct Out by ALEX BRANDS

All Duct Out by ALEX BRANDSKids can just tear, stick, and wear. Create unique duct tape fashions using the fluorescent and animal print tape and easy templates included in this fun Alex kit. Get all "duct" out in colourful rings, bracelets, necklaces, earrings, headbands, brooches, belts and more. Includes 8 rolls of duct tape (2.74 metres each) and other items needed.
Awards: 2013 TDmonthly Seal of Approval
— In a Summer 2012 survey, Deran Muckjian, owner of Catch a Falling Star in Lexington, Mass., told TDmonthly that "anything Alex releases that has to do with duct tape" becomes a best seller at his store.
— In a Fall 2012 survey, two out of 12 retailers told TDmonthly that duct tape kits from ALEX were their best selling hobby item.
— In a December 2012 survey about bestselling toys, four out of 12 retailers said that Duct tape kits from Alex were their bestselling Arts & Crafts toy.

 3/13/2012 (Price: $25.00; Age: 7 and up) ENTER ALEX BRANDS TOYSHOW [Add to my Inquiry Basket][?]

Peacock Curves by HAPE

Peacock Curves by HAPEPart puzzle, part stacker. These rainbow curves create a colorful fan of feathers when sorted from smallest to largest.
Awards: 2013 TDmonthly Seal of Approval
 3/13/2012 (Price: $19.95; Age: 1 and up) [Add to my Inquiry Basket][?]

Pancakes by HAPE

Pancakes by HAPEWhat could be better than a stack of pancakes for breakfast? Sliced strawberries and maple syrup add the finishing touches. "Combination of felt and wood with silk screen printed details on the strawberries. Nutrition facts on the back of the pancake box suggest playing with this Hape toy boosts the imagination," Robin Lehnert, Marketing Manager for Hape North America, told TDmonthly. Launch date: January 2012.
Awards: 2012 Finalist for ASTRA Best Toys for Kids
 3/13/2012 (Price: $24.99; Age: 3 to 7) [Add to my Inquiry Basket][?]

Master Workbench by HAPE

Master Workbench by HAPELittle builders with big ideas can work right at this professional-looking station. Shelves and storage keep all the tools and supplies in the 38 piece set within easy reach. Includes an "adjustable height counter that grows with a child," Robin Lehnert, Marketing Manager for Hape North America, told TDmonthly. Launch date: January 2012.
Awards: 2013 TDmonthly Seal of Approval
 3/13/2012 (Price: $120.00; Age: 3 to 7) [Add to my Inquiry Basket][?]

Digits in a Box by PLASMART INC.

Digits in a Box by PLASMART INC.Can kids fit all the numbers back in? First, spill the ten digits (0-9) from the box and give them a scramble. Then, place the pieces back in the box so that the lid closes flat. There are over 4000 possible solutions.
Awards: 2011 Parents’ Choice Awards - Recommended
 3/13/2012 (Price: $9.99; Age: 8 and up) ENTER PLASMART INC. TOYSHOW [Add to my Inquiry Basket][?]

Cloud Dragon by SAFARI LTD.

Cloud Dragon by SAFARI LTD.In the clouds above lives a mystical and translucent Cloud Dragon. Safari Ltd® welcomes this magical creature to its 2012 collection. Beware, as its icy cold breath gives a cool breeze to the world below. Measuring 8.5”L x 4”H, this model is appropriate for ages 4+. All products are 100% guaranteed and phthalate and lead free to ensure children’s safety. Safari Ltd®’s 2012 introductions and more can be viewed and purchased online at Launch date: 2012.
Awards: 2013 TDmonthly Seal of Approval
 3/7/2012 ENTER SAFARI LTD. TOYSHOW [Add to my Inquiry Basket][?]

I Can Brush Tooth-brushing Gel by DR PRODUCTS

I Can Brush Tooth-brushing Gel by DR PRODUCTSI Can Brush is designed for toddlers first tooth-brushing experience. It is swallowable for those little ones who can't yet spit out, is fluoride free and xylitol rich. Safe for infants and toddlers, I Can Brush was developed by a pediatrician. Non-gritty, non-pasty and tastes great, making it solution for any child that is particular about the feel and taste of toothpaste. Grape flavor. Launch date: June 2011.
Awards: 2011 Creative Child
 3/5/2012 (Price: $7.99; Age: All Ages) [Add to my Inquiry Basket][?]

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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