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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:

Let's Explore . . . The Rainforest by ONE SMART COOKIE PRODUCTIONS LLC

LetFrom the "It's Our Planet" series, this DVD is designed for kids to learn about the animals, people and plants that call this region home. They can discover what a rainforest needs to survive, and how this beautiful natural resource is disappearing. In collaboration with rainforest conservation organizations, One Smart Cookie has compiled an educational and informative DVD that uses imagery and video. "The DVDs in the 'Let's Explore' series and in the 'It's Our Planet' series use a multi-level format to cover background knowledge, as well as appealing to a wide age group (pre-K through age 10). Multi-level learning (or differentiation of instruction) is a critical factor in our children's education. Being able to move at their own pace allows your child to feel a sense of pride as they complete a level and move onto the next. Each level in the 'Let's Explore' series expands on the teachings of the previous level, adding more facts, vocabulary and scientific knowledge," Keli M. DiRisio, CEO of One Smart Cookie Productions, told TDmonthly. It was named a 2009 Dr. Toy Vacation Product of the Year and was a 2009 Gold Award winner in the National Parenting Publications Awards (NAPPA). Launch date: May 2008.
 6/29/2009 (Price: $18.95; Age: 4 to 10) [Add to my Inquiry Basket][?]

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Moody Bands by MOODY BANDS

Moody Bands by MOODY BANDSThe objective of this product is to allow children as well as adults the opportunity to clearly allow others to see how they are feeling. Each wrist band has a character and a mood in writing that shows emotional states. These wristbands are designed as a fun way for kids to learn about emotions, colors and how to connect with themselves and others through feelings. "Moody Bands are an ideal tool to be incorporated in any school curriculum. This product is perfect for children, but what sets Moody Bands apart is that adults of all ages love them as well," Naif J. Faris, president of Moody Bands, told TDmonthly. Moody Bands received a 2009 Dr. Toy Best Children's Vacation Product Award, a 2009 Toy Man Award of Excellence, a 2009 Toy Man E-Choice Award, and a 2009 Toy Man Seal of Approval. Launch date: September 9, 2008.
 6/29/2009 (Price: $12.99; Age: 5 and up) [Add to my Inquiry Basket][?]

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ReUsables by DANDELION

ReUsables by DANDELIONDandelion’s ReUsables are made from a formula derived primarily of corn-based bioplastic. The ReUsables include divided plates, bowls and utensils for toddlers. Each ReUsable is durable and lightweight for use at home or on-the go. Designed with ease-of-use in mind, the divided plate keeps foods separate, the bowl has deep sides to reduce spills, and the utensils are ergonomically designed for baby’s tiny hands. Plates and bowls are sold in packs of two. The utensil pack comes with four spoons and four forks. "Dandelion’s line of ReUsable tableware is made primarily from renewable and sustainable corn-based bioplastic, which is free of bisphenol A and phthalates, and offers an inspired alternative to conventional plastic," Anthony Pinkett, account executive for Productivity PR, told TDmonthly. The line received an iParenting Media Best Product for 2009 Award and the PTPA Media Seal of Approval. Launch date: April 15, 2009.
 6/11/2009 (Price: $7.99; Age: All Ages) [Add to my Inquiry Basket][?]

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Nika by FRIENDS FOREVER GIRLSThis 18" vinyl doll represents a character in the Friends Forever Girls series of dolls and books centered on friendship, community and character. She comes with a purse accessory, a Butterfly Promises bookmark, and "The First Day of Forever" book.
 6/5/2009 (Price: $59.00; Age: 6 and up) [Add to my Inquiry Basket][?]

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Tail Wags Cat Helmet Cover by TAIL WAGS HELMET COVERS INC.

Tail Wags Cat Helmet Cover by TAIL WAGS HELMET COVERS INC.Tail Wags helmet covers are designed to fit over all makes and models of bike, ski, snowboard, toboggan, skate and equestrian helmets. They come in more than 35 animal character designs. Tail Wags was a 2008 JPMA finalist and received a 2009 iParenting Media Award. Launch date: June 2009.
 6/3/2009 (Price: $40.00; Age: 1 to 11) [Add to my Inquiry Basket][?]

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Giftique Press 'n Dress Doll - Personalized by POCKETS OF LEARNING LLC

Giftique Press The company's longtime sweetheart, the Press 'n Dress Doll & Outfit Collection, is available in an embroiderable carry case for personalization. Developed from the concept of paper dolls, each interchangeable cloth outfit has secure Velcro® backing so kids can just “press to dress.” The product is tested and certified safe for all ages, and is designed to develop role playing and social skills. "Press ‘n Dress is absolutely perfect for the little girls who have not yet developed the small motor skills to dress and undress a traditional doll," May Grant, director of communications for Pockets of Learning, told TDmonthly. Press 'n Dress has received the following awards: Dr. Toy Best Vacation Toy in 2000; National Parenting Publications (NAPPA) Honors Award Winner in 2002; and a TDmonthly Top Toy award in 2008. Launch date: June 2009.
 6/3/2009 (Price: $24.95; Age: 2 to 5) [Add to my Inquiry Basket][?]

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Stackers Storage Play Set: Noah's Ark by TIER TOYS

Stackers Storage Play Set: NoahThis colorful stack and play puzzle combines together to form Noah's Ark. The Ark breaks up into 13 layers, 12 of the layers acting as different levels of storage for the different plastic animal figures residing within them. Each layer of the ark have special spaces to hold each individual animal figure in place. 21 pairs of animals as well as two human figurines are included. Animals include giraffes, pigs, birds, horses, rhinos, and dogs. This product received a 2009 Tillywig Brain Child Award and Sterling Fun Award, as well as a 2009 Seal of Approval from The National Parenting Center.

Past Videos:
Product Demonstration
 6/2/2009 (Price: $49.99) [Add to my Inquiry Basket][?]

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Quelf by IMAGINATION INTERNATIONALPlayers pick one of eight quirky characters and make their way around the board answering "Scatterbrainz" categories and "Quizzle" trivia, or acting out "Stuntz" and "Showbiz" cards, all while following the "Roolz." "Quelf provides cross-generational appeal that is active, wholesome and hilarious fun that the whole family can enjoy together. It is the most random and silly game on the market and will provide players with a memorable night!" Jill Schneiderman, in marketing for Imagination International, told TDmonthly. Launch date: 2005. This game has received the following awards: 2007 Creative Child Seal of Excellence, 2007 iParenting Media Award, 2006 Major Fun Award, 2006 National Parenting Center Seal of Approval, and 2005 Upbeat Magazine Board Game of the Year.
 5/28/2009 (Price: $15; Age: 12 and up) [Add to my Inquiry Basket][?]

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The Jing Joe Cooling/Warming Infant Pad by PATONGCO LLC INC.

The Jing Joe Cooling/Warming Infant Pad by PATONGCO LLC INC.The Jing Joe Cooling/Warming Infant Pad is a 9.5" x 14" nylon pad with a built-in fan that draws in ambient air and delivers it out the front mesh spacer. The pad is design to fit easily in a car seat, stroller, swing or bouncer to provide a cushion of air for a child to sit up against that will keep them dry and comfortable without compromising the safety. "[An] opening on each side of the pad accommodates [the] shoulder strap so as not to compromise intended safety features, and also allows use of accessories, such as [the] padded head support and shoulder strap padding. Adjustment to the shoulder straps is required depending on size of the child," Anthony Tong, president of PaTongco LLC, told TDmonthly. The Jing Joe has received the following awards: 2009 Mom's Best Award; 2009 The Toy Man Seal of Approval; 2009 The Toy Man Award of Excellence; and 2009 The Toy Man Editor's Choice. Launch date: February 17, 2009.
 5/22/2009 (Price: $49.95; Age: 0 to 3) [Add to my Inquiry Basket][?]

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JazzyToes Bright Mary Janes Baby Socks by JAZZIES LLC

JazzyToes Bright Mary Janes Baby Socks by JAZZIES LLCJazzyToes Bright Mary Janes Baby Socks with non-skid soles are created to match vibrant outfits of little girls. The Mary Janes come with a silver, sparkling flower on the buckle. Included in the set are six colors: Red, Pink, Orange, Purple, Green and Yellow. The product comes in a ready-to-mail gift box. Size: 0-12 months, 12-24 months. "Our sizing is more generous than other socks in the market that they truly fit babies up to 24 months. Our socks come with non-skid soles, and are compliant with CPSIA. The socks come with ready-to-mail packaging, so [it] makes gifting a breeze," Lisa Dunkerley, manager of JazzyToes, told TDmonthly. JazzyToes have received the following awards: 2008 Creative Child Award, PTPA Award and iParenting Media Award. Launch date: June 2009.
 5/22/2009 (Price: $25; Age: 0 to 2) [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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