April 24, 2024

TDmonthly Magazine


Toys in Motion: Construction

By TDmonthly Staff

Mr. TOYDIRECTORY "builds" a whole new way of looking at construction toys: from little pieces to finished products. Just click and watch.

Vertical Vengeance Roller Coaster by K'NEX BRANDS

Vertical Vengeance Roller Coaster by KK'NEX builders and thrill seekers will feel the hair on the back of their necks and goose-bumps on their arms rise high with the newest addition to K'NEX Thrill Ride series - the K'NEX Vertical Vengeance Coaster. The giant coaster features K’NEX’s brand new micro parts for bigger-building fun and measures over 5 feet tall. The building set includes a vertical, motorized chain lift that carries two coaster cars all the way to the top. The cars then race down 33 feet of track through loops, turns and spirals. To make the ride more realistic, the kit comes with coaster sounds and screams. Step-by-step instructions are included, with each broken down to translate the 3D result into a 2D visual that is easy to understand. The set includes a part organizer for easy sorting and storage.The set will be available Fall 2006. Requires two AA batteries for motor and sound effects. (Watch the Vertical Vengeance Roller Coaster Video Watch Video) 4/20/2006 (MSRP: $59.99; Age: 10 and Up)

Mindstorms NXT by LEGO

Mindstorms NXT by LEGOFor kids who have tired of swatting at gnats and mites, this new robotics construction set will give them something bigger to aim at. Kids can build a variety of critters, including a robotic bug. The bug will back off if it gets too close to an object or, if it feels threatened, it will reach out and “sting” the intruder.
This robotics toolset includes a “Quick Start” guide to build and program a robot in 30 minutes. Mindstorms uses “intelligent brick” and light, sound, motion and touch sensors. This product is blue-tooth wireless technology capable. LEGO Mindstorms NXT won first prize in the category “Technical Innovation” at the international Nürnberg toy fair in Münich. Launch date: 2006.
— "LEGO, if I can get them, but that's a whole other story," said David Campbell, owner of Amazing Toys in Great Falls, Mont., when discussing upcoming holiday 2007 hot sellers for young boys.
— "We're the best ones to sell it for LEGO,” Campbell added. “I can steer people toward Mindstorms in my store, and I can steer them away from Mindstorms [if they] shouldn't have it. doesn't talk to people."
— Seven of 54 retailers said that despite the availability of LEGO in the mass market, it will still sell in specialty stores during the holidays. (Watch the Mindstorms NXT Video Watch Video) 2/28/2006 (MSRP: $249.99; Age: 10 and Up)

Pyrates Shark Escape by MEGA BRANDS

Pyrates Shark Escape by MEGA BRANDSThis is an exciting three-way battle among a fearsome shark and two double-crossing Sea Marauders who have just discovered a rare treasure. As they return to their crew’s ship, they encounter a fearsome giant shark that stands in their way! The massive attack shark destroys the sail barge and devours the figures with attack-jaw trigger action! It includes two highly-detailed mini-figures, firing harpoon with tether and a special hiding place! (Watch the Pyrates Shark Escape Video Watch Video) 6/7/2006 (MSRP: $19.99; Age: 6 and Up)

Magformers by MAGFORMERS LLC

Magformers by MAGFORMERS LLCThis magnetic construction set features 108 powerful magnets permanently encapsulated inside 18 jewel-toned square Magformers and 12 triangle Magformers. The magnets rotate to their attraction position upon contact, so Magformers always connect regardless of their polarity. Watch in amazement as Magformers "form" into three-dimensional structures. Magformers received an Oppenheim Gold Award as well as the 2007 Oppenheim Toy Portfolio Platinum Award. The product’s “magnetic connector concept allows the end user to create quick, magical 3-D models,” President Larry Hunt of Rainbow Products told TDmonthly. Launch date: April 2006.
— Lynda Blankenship, owner of Smart Toys & Books in Knoxville, Tenn. told TDmonthly in late Spring 2011 that Magformers were a best-selling construction toy.
— Magformers are a best seller at Piccolo Mondo Toys in Portland, Ore., Owner Michelle Smith told TDmonthly in Dec. 2008. “We have them on a play table,” she said. Magformers have been best sellers for at least a year at Pufferbellies in Staunton, Va., Co-owner Susan Blanton said in September 2009.
— Mike DiAndrea, manager of Hardware Centre in Paoli, Pa., told TDmonthly during an April 2009 survey that he sells between 100 and 150 sets of Magformers per month. Magformers are also a best seller at Golden Apple Learning Store in Pleasanton, Calif., Owner John MacDougall told TDmonthly in August 2009.
— Want this? As of 05/10/2011, this product was available for purchase at Smart Toys & Books (Watch the Magformers Video Watch Video) 4/14/2006 (MSRP: $34.98; Age: 5 to 11)

Marbotz by XOBOTZ TOYS

Marbotz by XOBOTZ TOYSThe Marbotz kit comes with everything you need to make your own robot out of marbles. The plastic pieces are joined together with the marbles so kids can use their imagination to construct their own models. Marbotz are easy to put together and have won the 2005 Creative Toy Award from Creative Child Magazine. (Watch the Marbotz Video Watch Video) 1/4/2006 (MSRP: $19.95; Age: 6 and Up)


Nightmorphs by RIVER DOLPHIN TOYSSixty rugged plastic pieces snap together easily to form endless combinations of poseable creatures. In this set, kids can make a cat, fruit bat, lantern fish, desert lizard, snake and firefly or morph them to make all sorts of fantasy creatures. The heads have hinged jaws, and select pieces, such as the cat’s eyes, glow in the dark. All Morphs sets are interchangeable. The Morphs are also available in jungle, sea, pet, runners, fliers and dinos sets.
— “This is a great one,” said Doris Jelliff, bookkeeper for Dinosaur Hill in New York City. “It was a big hit when they first came out and now they’ve come out with new glow-in-the-dark ones.”
— “This is one of the hot sellers,” said Ricki Block of Ariel’s Child in New Windsor, N.Y. “All of the sets are going to be popular.”
— “We started with 60 stores in 2004, but the word got around so now we’re in 700,” said River Dolphin partner Mark McFarland. “The demand has been high; we’ve gotten slammed with orders. We got in 25,000 units today and they are almost entirely sold.” READ MOM REVIEW (Watch the Nightmorphs Video Watch Video) 10/27/2005

Pirate Ship Park by K'NEX BRANDS

Pirate Ship Park by KThis K'NEX® product comes with all the parts necessary to build a real, working pirate ship ride. The pendulum-like ride will stand more than two-feet tall and is comprised of rods and connectors and runs on a battery-powered motor. Once erected, the ship will swing back and forth before eventually flying around for a 360-degree spin. (Watch the Pirate Ship Park Video Watch Video) 9/23/2005 (MSRP: $49.99; Age: 9 to 12)


Poly M Basic by POLY-M EDUCATIONAL TOYS This German take on building blocks should provide young children with an outlet for their constructive imaginations, as the set offers 15 different types of blocks and 62 pieces overall. Kids can erect skyscrapers or use the wheels to build a fire truck; the possibilites are endless. The set comes with a plastic storage box. (Watch the Poly M Basic Video Watch Video) 9/14/2005 (Age: 3 to 6)

Thomas & Friends Load and Carry Train Set by LEGO

Thomas & Friends Load and Carry Train Set by LEGOThomas can be loaded up at the cargo tower, then sent on his way to Tidmouth Station. The set includes a cargo tower with a slide so kids can open it to drop cargo. It also features a full track that measures 23" by 35", train signal and station. It recently won a 2006 Oppenheim Toy Award, comes with more than seven feet of track and 16 curved track pieces and is compatible with the complete LEGO and DUPLO systems. (Watch the Thomas & Friends Load and Carry Train Set Video Watch Video) 9/7/2005 (MSRP: $29.99; Age: 2 to 5)

LEGO 50th Anniversary System of Play Limited Edition by LEGO

LEGO 50th Anniversary System of Play Limited Edition by LEGO LEGO´s been doing what it does so well for 50 years: creating interlocking pieces that kids can use to build anything their imaginations can dream up. This LEGO-brick-shaped bin holds 500 classic pieces that includes special limited edition gold bricks. (Watch the LEGO 50th Anniversary System of Play Limited Edition Video Watch Video) 9/1/2005 (MSRP: $9.99; Age: 4 to 9)

Superstructs BIG Builder by WABA FUN LLC

Superstructs BIG Builder by WABA FUN LLCThe 126-piece Superstructs BIG Builder set gives you everything you need to build detailed, hard-working construction vehicles. Build a working forklift, dump truck, crane or utility truck with the enclosed step-by-step plans. And once you have mastered these, you can take them apart and use your imagination to build other great creations. (Watch the Superstructs BIG Builder Video Watch Video) 6/1/2005 (MSRP: $35.95; Age: 4 and Up)


Skrooz by PROGRESSIVE TRADINGThe possibilities are limitless with the traditional MAGZ bar, so just imagine the boundless capabilities of an adjustable MAGZ bar! SKROOZ is a revolution in magnetic construction toys and in the MAGZ family itself. The bars come in two different sizes: 1" and 1 1/4" that can be adjusted to 1 1/2" and 2", respectively, by a simple twist of the bar. Perfect for beginners or advanced sculptors, the adjustment ability of the bar makes it easy to create intricate bends, curves, accents or just broad angles and structures. SKROOZ comes in three primary color sizes (42, 84, and 168 pieces) and in a metallic set with 84 pieces. (Watch the Skrooz Video Watch Video) 9/1/2004

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