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December 2009 New Specialty Toys — Science & Nature







Hugg-A-Planet is a line of soft, squishable, detailed astronomical bodies. Each Hugg-A-Planet features hundreds of geographic features and destinations illustrated and labeled on the planet’s shell. NASA embraced Hugg-A-Planet as a teaching tool and sent the plush Moon, Mars, and Earth into space aboard the International Space Station. This set celebrates that achievement by including Hugg-A-Planet Earth, Moon, and Mars identical to those currently in orbit.
— Online Reviews: Parents attest to the set’s appeal to children of all ages. The youngest of children are drawn to the set’s bright colors and use the planets as pillows or safe balls. Slightly older children like to find where they live on the Earth. Older kids can use the set for a homework aid as they learn geography and astronomy. The Earth includes a pocket that can be used to store the Moon, and enterprising youngsters have turned this pocket into a storage compartment for their favorite possessions. See Potamus Prefers, Sara Plays House, and Night Owl Mama.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 26546      (added 12/31/2009)
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Age Range: 10 to 14
SKU or Item #: 08027
Launch Date: April 2010
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Science & Nature
Books
Educational



Ever wondered if the light in the fridge stays on when you close the door? Fiber optics can light the way. It may sound like some supercomplicated electronic technology, but the basics are quite simple. Author Jim Becker helps kids understand what’s going on as they use the power of light to build 10 high-tech electronic projects, including a burglar alarm, an electronic rooster, and a flexible flashlight. The kit includes two preassembled workbenches (transmitter and receiver), three optical fiber rods and a connector, 26 hookup wires, two LED couplers, 12 activity cards , and a 12-panel fully illustrated booklet. "The retail feedback we have received tells us that there is not a similar product on the market," Darcy Morris, Director of Sales & Marketing, SmartLab Toys, told TDmonthly. Launch date: April 30, 2010.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 26513      (added 12/28/2009)
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Dinoworks is a fascinating, educational and fun-filled kit that will show you what it is like to be a paleontologist in the field. It goes from casting the bones of the Tyrannosaurus to the complete construction of it. An illustrated educational booklet is included with the kit along with glue and magnets to display one's creation.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 26302      (added 12/9/2009)
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Age Range: 12 and up
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Science & Nature
Kits
Educational



This kit includes chemicals needed to grow a Rose Quartz crystal cluster of up to 4" in diameter. It comes with the Space Age Crystal Growing chemical, a stirring rod, a display pedestal and instructions. Within just a few hours of transferring the chemical to hot water, pouring the mixture into the vessel and letting it cool, crystals will begin to form and then continue growing for many days.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 26230      (added 12/2/2009)
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Age Range: 10 and up
SKU or Item #: 00067259000070
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Arts & Crafts
Science & Nature



Heavy duty rock tumbler changes rough stones into beautiful, high-luster semi-precious gemstones. Make jewelry with settings included in this set. U.L. Listed.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 26203      (added 11/25/2009)
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Age Range: 8 and up
Gender: Girls
Category: Science & Nature
Kits
Tween



Designed to teach girls about cosmetic chemistry, this kit includes ingredients to make custom scents and indulge in a crystal mud treatment and a sea salt scrub. Girls can also buff and shine their nails for a finished look.
— Two of 40 retailers cited Scientific Explorer as a best-selling educational brand in fall 2009. The Curiosity Zone in Ashburn, Va., sells dozens of Scientific Explorer kits per month, Owner Mary Porter told TDmonthly.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 26174      (added 11/24/2009)
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Deep black with subtle green sparkles, this slightly stiffer Thinking Putty has a mind of its own. Near a powerful magnet it comes alive! Strong enough to defy gravity. It can even lift tacks and paperclips on its own after charging in a magnetic field. One would be mesmerized by the invisible forces at play.
— Candace Gooch, owner of At Once All Agog in Limerick, Maine, told TDmonthly in July 2010 that this product is one of her top-three best sellers. She cited sales of 12 in the last month and three in the last week.
— In a late Summer 2012 survey, three out of 12 retailers said Crazy Aaron's Thinking Putty was their bestselling novelty item. Richard Gibson, owner of Learning Express of Newton in Newton, Mass., told TDmonthly that the putty brings in $5-6,000 a year, and "the best is the magnetic one."
— In a Fall 2013 survey, three out of 12 retailers told TDmonthly that Crazy Aaron's Thinking Putty was their best-selling novelty toy.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 26128      (added 11/19/2009)
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Age Range: 5 and up
Launch Date: January 2008
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Science & Nature
Educational
Novelties



The Particle Zoo is a collection of more than 36 plush versions of subatomic particles from the worlds of physics and astronomy. Often compared to Giant Microbes, these handmade soft toys represent the familiar neutron and proton as well as lesser-known particles like the charm quark and muon. A favorite of physics students can make unique birthday and graduation gifts, especially for physics students. The particles are handmade in the USA. "There are no other companies making plush subatomic particles, so they are a unique concept. Because they are weighted according to their relative masses, they can serve as a teaching aid or novelty gift," Julie Peasley, owner and seamstress for The Particle Zoo, told TDmonthly. Launch date: 2008.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 25847      (added 10/29/2009)
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Age Range: 8 to 15
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Robotics
Eco-Friendly
Science & Nature



The Green Science - Soda Can Robug is an imaginative way for children to explore mechanics and electricity. The kit includes a plastic mechanic body, wire wings, wire legs, motor with wires, screws and detailed instructions.
— In a Fall 2013 survey, Gary Green, owner of Toy Box of Asheville Inc in Asheville, N.C., told TDmonthly that the Soda Can Robug from Toysmith was one of their best-selling science toys.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 25673      (added 10/20/2009)
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Age Range: 5 and up
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Science & Nature
Kits
Licensed Products



In this kit built around eco-friendly activities, kids get to shrink plastic, make a compost tube, make paper, decompose food, learn about reducing, reusing and recycling, and more.
— Jeanette Lauture, owner of Aunt Jean’s Toys & Treats in Montclair, N.J., told TDmonthly in August 2009 that her store sold 36 of the Magic School Bus series kits in one month.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 25302      (added 9/8/2009)
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This classic novelty toy, the thermodynamic Drinking Bird, is available either with red or blue liquid. Once the bird begins drinking, he doesn’t ever stop.
Moon Rabbit Toys in Santa Fe, N.M., sells about 20 per month of the Happy Drinking Bird, Owner Shana Hack told TDmonthly in August 2009.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 25300      (added 9/8/2009)
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Age Range: 6 and up
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Science & Nature



This 9” x 6” living space for ants includes four ports that attach to other ant habitats in the line, an ordering form to send off for receipt of live ants in the mail, and an illustrated “Ant Watcher’s Manual.” The break-resistant, escape-proof habitat is situation on a tip-proof stand.
— Two of 38 retailers named Uncle Milton’s Ant Farms as one of their best-selling science toys in August 2009, citing sales of three to five per month.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 25299      (added 9/8/2009)
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