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August 2009 Notable Toys — Puzzles & Skill





Age Range: 3 and up
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Puzzles & Skill
Educational



These bilingual puzzles teach children words in both English and Spanish. Varieties include "ABCs," "Addition and Subtraction" and "My Body." Launch date: 2009.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 25245      (added 8/31/2009)
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Age Range: 5 and up
SKU or Item #: 1617
Launch Date: January 2009
Gender: Girls
Category: Puzzles & Skill
Educational
Gifts



This 100-piece puzzle features bright artwork and three embedded gemstones. Launch date: 2009.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 25186      (added 8/28/2009)
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This stack and play puzzle set includes 9 levels of storage and 75 detailed figures and accessories stored inside. Plus bonus download of the story of Princess Olivia and interactive games.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 24934      (added 8/17/2009)
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Age Range: 10 and up
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Puzzles & Skill
General Games
Hobby Goods



This kit is designed for children and adults who wish to build and solve the SphereXYZ. The pieces can be assembled in any way, and once snapped in, the puzzle is ready to be solved, which is done by rotating the hemispheres and moving the scrambled tiles along the canals until each hemisphere hosts the complete collection of one of the tile colors and the two white tiles are positioned at either pole. SphereXYZ takes about 10 minutes to snap together. "It's the first-ever 'build it, solve it' puzzle," Lori Powers, co-founder of LA1Products, told TDmonthly.  Launch date: November 2009.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 24813      (added 7/30/2009)
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Age Range: 4 and up
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Puzzles & Skill
Gifts



This American-made Scramble Squares puzzle features nine cowboy-themed pieces that must be arranged into a 12" x 12" square so that the graphics match up edge to edge for every piece, forming a complete design. There exists only one solution. The packaging includes educational information relating to the puzzle theme, as well as a trivia quiz. Scramble Squares awards: TDmonthly Top Toy 2008. Launch date: 2009.

Where to Buy: LB Toys

ToyDirectory Product ID#: 24800      (added 7/30/2009)
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Age Range: 8 and up
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: General Games
Puzzles & Skill
General Toys



Inspired by the legendary genius Da Vinci, the product is a Code Machine that stretches players' imaginative and logical mind. It is a beautiful fusion of a Word game and a Logic game. Its interactive game-play makes it a great piece for friends and family pastimes. The difficulty levels are controlled by players so it is also a nice adult-child educational toy.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 24711      (added 7/21/2009)
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Age Range: 3 and up
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Puzzles & Skill



Manufactured with the specialized lenticular printing process, Visual Echo puzzles display the illusion of depth and movement when viewed from changing angles. Parallel rows of optical lenses display different facets of a complex, interlaced image underneath the top layer. The “You Are Here” puzzle, once the 500 interlocking pieces are assembled, features the planets of the solar system drifting on the star-filled background of space. 
― “Visual Echoes is a line of 3D puzzles that does pretty well. I'm looking at the line right now, and it's very good,” Robin Ellerman, owner of Trains-N-Toys in North Canton, Ohio, told TDmonthly in June 2009.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 24710      (added 7/21/2009)
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Age Range: 3 and up
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Puzzles & Skill



The row of pencils represented on the photo that emerges when this 1,000-piece puzzle is fully assembled were taken from architect Frank Lloyd Wright's desk after his death in 1959. The image is an homage to Wright's renowned talent for drawing, as well as an intricate picture for puzzling.  Completed, the puzzle measures 20” x 29”. 
― “Presently, our best-selling puzzle is a Frank Lloyd Wright piece titled ‘Pencils.’ It also happens to be from one of our best-selling puzzle manufacturers, Pomegranate, which is dominating our puzzle sales this year,” Kevin Pohle, owner of The Wizard's Chest in Denver, Colo., told TDmonthly in June 2009.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 24708      (added 7/21/2009)
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Age Range: 3 and up
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Puzzles & Skill



With two interlocking puzzle pieces for each letter of the alphabet, this 52-piece puzzle completes to 11' long. Each letter can be put together separately for a variety of learning activities that will help stimulate children's motor and critical thinking skills.
― Darlene Lockhart, owner of Toy Town in Casper, Wyo., told TDmonthly her top seller in the puzzle category is “any floor puzzle.” Lockhart was among seven of 47 retailers who said in June 2009 that floor puzzles are top-selling puzzles in their stores.
― Two of 47 storeowners named Crocodile Creek as their best-selling puzzle brand in early summer 2009.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 24707      (added 7/21/2009)
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Age Range: 3 and up
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Puzzles & Skill



Packed in a bright red latching box emblazoned with a painted stegosaurus, four individually bagged jigsaw puzzles offer different skill levels for young children.  At four, six, nine and 12 pieces, each puzzle assembles into a picture of a different dinosaur (a pterodactyl, tyrannosaurus, triceratops and the pictured stegosaurus). 
— In an August 2011 survey, 2 out of 12 retailers said that Crocodile Creek's puzzles were best-sellers in the puzzle category. Jeanette Lauture of Aunt Jean's Toys & Treats in Montclair, N.J., said that she sells 3-6 Crocodile Creek puzzles each week.
― “We have Crocodile Creek and do well with those,” Jeri Dorsey, buyer for Kits and Kaboodle in Carmel, Ind., told TDmonthly in June 2009 when asked about top-selling puzzles.
— "All of the Crocodile Creek products" for school do well, said Rick Henry, owner of Stellabella Toys in Cambridge, Mass., in autumn 2010. He sells approximately 50 pieces of lunch boxes, thermoses and the like per month.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 24706      (added 7/21/2009)
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Age Range: 10 and up
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Puzzles & Skill



Individuals can build a smooth, solid, 6”-diameter sphere out of 240 curved pieces. The ball stays together with no glue required, displaying a detailed and colorful image of fire-breathing dragons all over its surface. The puzzle comes with a display base to impress friends and family by showing off the completed ball. 
― “Puzzle Balls from Ravensburger ... are really popular right now,” said Emily Bieritz, manager of My Favorite Toy Store in Downers Grove, Ill., in June 2009.
― Three of 47 retailers told TDmonthly in early summer 2009 that Puzzle Balls from Ravensburger are top sellers in their stores.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 24705      (added 7/21/2009)
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Age Range: 3 and up
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Puzzles & Skill



The 24 large, interlocking pieces of this wooden jigsaw puzzle fit together to reveal a brightly colored African landscape populated with friendly cartoon animals. Underneath the setting sun, children will recognize the faces of a giraffe, lion, elephant, hippo, zebra and pink flamingo. The puzzle builds and stores in the tray, allowing children to recreate the image over and over again. 
― “Melissa & Doug overall does really well,” said Fred Meyer, owner of Meyer's Toy World in Battle Creek, Mich., when asked about his top-selling puzzle in June 2009.
― Seventeen of 47 retailers told TDmonthly in early summer 2009 that Melissa & Doug is their top-selling puzzle line, reporting sales between 15 and 30 pieces per month.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 24702      (added 7/21/2009)
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Age Range: 10 and up
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Puzzles & Skill



Completing to the intriguing image of a mid-1600s map of the world, this 3,000-piece puzzle measures 32” by 48”. Ravensburger puzzles are made out of fully interlocking pieces of durable board cut with precision tools.
― “We get lots of compliments from customers for their quality and prices,” Mary Horne, owner of J. Christopher in Jonesboro, Ark., told TDmonthly about what makes Ravensburger her main puzzle brand.
― “I've always been happy with the quality of the products and the diversity of the line,” said Janet Gregory, owner of Over the Rainbow Toy Store in Anchorage, Alaska. Gregory was among 24 of 47 retailers who said in June 2009 that Ravensburger is their best-selling puzzle brand.
― “They're great puzzles. We do a lot of them,” said Cathy Albro, owner of Creative Learning Toys in Grand Rapids, Mich., of Ravensburger in early summer 2009.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 24701      (added 7/21/2009)
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Age Range: 8 and up
SKU or Item #: PM302
Launch Date: August 2009
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Puzzles & Skill
Gifts
American-Made



From the company's vintage magazine collection comes this 500-piece jigsaw puzzle of the March 1931 cover of Popular Mechanics Magazine. It features an image of an innovative airplane design in flight and is made in the USA from post-consumer recycled materials. Launch date: August 15, 2009.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 24670      (added 7/19/2009)
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Age Range: 8 and up
SKU or Item #: PM301
Launch Date: August 2009
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Puzzles & Skill
Gifts
American-Made



From the company's vintage magazine collection comes this 500-piece jigsaw puzzle of the October 1926 cover of Popular Mechanics Magazine. Featuring an image of a pirate battle, it is made in the USA from post-consumer recycled materials. The company's collection features "relevant puzzles that have broad cross-market appeal from general gift buyers and casual puzzlers to even the most discerning of jigsaw enthusiasts," Adam Silver, co-President of New York Puzzle Company, told TDmonthly. Launch date: August 15, 2009.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 24669      (added 7/19/2009)
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Age Range: 12 and up
SKU or Item #: 158
Launch Date: August 2009
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Puzzles & Skill
Gifts
Licensed Products



From the company's New Yorker collection comes this 1000-piece jigsaw puzzle of the November 29, 1952, cover of The New Yorker magazine. Featuring art by Arthur Getz, this puzzle is a drawing of the famous Thanksgiving Day Parade watched around the country every year. It is made in the USA from post-consumer recycled materials. Launch date: August 15, 2009.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 24668      (added 7/19/2009)
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Age Range: 12 and up
SKU or Item #: 155
Launch Date: May 2009
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Puzzles & Skill
Gifts
Licensed Products



From the company's New Yorker collection comes this 1000-piece jigsaw puzzle of the December 8, 2008, cover of The New Yorker magazine. Finding the humor in politics, this puzzle features art by Barry Blitt, with a drawing of President Barack Obama interviewing dogs to find his new pet. It is made in the USA from post-consumer recycled materials. "We make puzzles you'll want to frame and hang as art," Adam Silver, co-president of New York Puzzle Company, told TDmonthly. Launch date: May 2009.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 24667      (added 7/19/2009)
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Age Range: 12 and up
SKU or Item #: GH202
Launch Date: August 2009
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Puzzles & Skill
Gifts
Licensed Products



From the company's vintage magazine collection comes this 1000-piece jigsaw puzzle of the November 1931 cover of Good Housekeeping Magazine. It features artwork by Jessie Wilcox Smith, well known for her paintings of classic childhood experiences, and is made in the USA from post-consumer recycled materials. Launch date: August 15, 2009.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 24666      (added 7/19/2009)
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Age Range: 12 and up
SKU or Item #: GH203
Launch Date: August 2009
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Puzzles & Skill
Gifts
Licensed Products



From the company's vintage magazine collection comes this 1000-piece jigsaw puzzle of the May 1925 cover of Good Housekeeping Magazine. It features artwork by Jessie Wilcox Smith, well known for her paintings of classic childhood experiences, and is made in the USA from post-consumer recycled materials. "We make puzzles you'll want to frame and hang as art. Relevant puzzles that have broad cross market appeal from general gift buyers and casual puzzlers to even the most discerning of jigsaw enthusiasts," Adam Silver, co-president of New York Puzzle Company, told TDmonthly. Launch date: August 15, 2009.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 24665      (added 7/19/2009)
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Made up of nine wooden cubes with red patterning, this "anti-puzzle" has no right answer or winning move. It encourages exploration through assembling the blocks in various ways — and the patterns are a match at all times, no matter how the cubes are placed. Launch date: 2009.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 24550      (added 7/15/2009)
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Age Range: 8 and up
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Puzzles & Skill



Designed to challenge the mind, this puzzle ball features two rotating hemispheres and two sets of colored tiles that move within canals on the sphere. Once the tiles are scrambled, the goal is to get them back into their original configuration, with one white tile at the north pole and the other at the south. There are several different strategies and approaches for one or more players.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 24496      (added 7/8/2009)
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Age Range: 1 to 4
SKU or Item #: BEL10124
Launch Date: January 2009
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Puzzles & Skill
Developmental Toys
Infant & Toddler



With this puzzle, toddlers can match the shape of one of the four knob puzzle pieces or discover what is underneath. The Pond Knob Puzzle is designed to promote fine motor and concentration skills. "Delightful graphics encourage children to uncover and learn more about animals in their environment," Robin Lehnert, marketing manager for Hape Intl, told TDmonthly. Launch date: 2009.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 24376      (added 6/29/2009)
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Age Range: 2 and up
Launch Date: June 2009
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Developmental Toys
Puzzles & Skill
Creative Activities



This tower features 10 sturdy blocks to nest, stack and tumble down. Kevin Hawkes provided the realistic animal depictions for eeBoo's latest set of award-winning nesting blocks. Launch date: June 25, 2009.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 24347      (added 6/29/2009)
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Age Range: 3 and up
Launch Date: June 2009
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Puzzles & Skill
Developmental Toys
Preschool



This game comes with 10 three-piece spelling puzzles using three letter animals illustrations — pig, fox, hen, etc. The eco-friendly product uses 90-percent recycled grey board and non-toxic inks. Its old-fashioned look is designed to be appealing to every generation of toy buyers. In this pre-reading game, the puzzle also spells its name. Launch date: June 30, 2009.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 24346      (added 6/29/2009)
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Age Range: 3 and up
SKU or Item #: 2049
Launch Date: February 2009
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Puzzles & Skill
Educational
Infant & Toddler



The Lauri Caterpillar Crepe Rubber Puzzles for Wood Puzzle Graduates are made in the United States and have soft, bright, durable and washable pieces that won't curl, crease or tear. The puzzle has two skill levels. Kids first follow the pattern, and then they can take it away to increase the challenge. It's designed for kids to feel special achievement when each piece fits snugly. "The best thing about the Lauri Caterpillar Crepe Rubber Puzzle is that it's latex-free, washable and completely safe! Parents also appreciate the educational value of the puzzles, which encourage concentration, patience and quiet play," Jessica Wineke, PR coordinator for Patch Products, told TDmonthly. Launch date: February 2009.
— Lauri puzzles are best sellers at Moon Rabbit Toys in Santa Fe, N.M., Owner Shana Hack told TDmonthly in June 2009.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 24341      (added 6/29/2009)
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