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Well-reviewed toys and products recommended by specialty retailers are more likely to be nominated for a TDmonthly Award and appear in our annual Specialty Toys Report. For submission information, please see the bottom of the page.



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Recent Reviews:

Hoppers® Jr by THINKFUNName: Hoppers® Jr
Company: THINKFUN
Age: 5-7
Price: $14.99
Category: Puzzles & Skill

Please click here to read TDmonthly´s Toy Expert review of this product.

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Poingo by PUBLICATIONS INTERNATIONAL LTD.Name: Poingo
Company: PUBLICATIONS INTERNATIONAL LTD.
Age: 3-7
Price: $34.99
Category: Books

What It Is
Poingo is a system designed to make reading books an interactive experience for children.  When the Poingo pen is touched to select text and pictures on the pages of Poingo books,  it responds with sound, music or words — even questions to get kids more involved in the story or complementary activities on the pages. Book titles include “Finding Nemo,” “Cars” and other licensed stories from Disney.

What We Thought
Poingo definitely has a “wow” factor that catches children’s attention. After all, how many books talk back to you? A 4-year-old girl who tried out Poingo really enjoyed the interactive pen and soundbooks, and especially liked the side games and voices used. She had a little trouble with the directions on her own, but was able to get more out of it with an adult there to explain. Her older sister, 7, most appreciated the feature that allows you to click on the highlighted words and hear a definition. At her age, however, she found the constant repetition (e.g., “How many splashes do you hear?” in a game in the “Nemo” book) annoying and would prefer more grown-up stories.

Why They’ll Want It
While Poingo isn’t likely to replace old-fashioned reading, it does provide a novel alternative that offers a short-term activity allowing kids to explore stories in a whole new way.  — TDmonthly Staff 11/14/08

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Spalding Rookie Gear by SPALDING SPORTS WORLDWIDEName: Spalding Rookie Gear
Company: SPALDING SPORTS WORLDWIDE
Age: 6-10
Price: Not Specified
Category: Sporting Goods & Accessories

What It Is
Spalding’s Rookie Gear is a set of lightweight sports balls that is designed in proportion to a child’s size and weight. Each ball can be purchased separately for football, soccer or basketball play. The basketball and soccer ball come in two design choices. The balls are made with the same quality as standard Spalding sports balls, which will give kids a sense of importance and professionalism. They’re ideal for players aged 6 to 10.

What We Thought
Full-sized sports balls are often too heavy and large for children, which makes young players feel clumsy. By engineering a set of balls to match young hands, feet and muscle power, Spalding is sending the message that growing athletes are just as important as their older counterparts. The balls are approximately 25% lighter than standard youth balls, making them easier to toss or kick to impressive lengths.

Why They’ll Want It

Strangely enough, kids love kids-sized things! And what could be better than a set of balls that makes them feel like pros? Even if they have to shoot baskets against Big Bro or Sis to avoid vacuuming the living room this week, they’ll be able to hold their own with these balls designed just for their build and weight. The colorful designs will also appeal to their sense of individuality and playfulness. — Alison Marek, 11-6-08

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JUMBULAYA: The Rearranging, Ever-Changing Word Jumble Game by PLATYPUS GAMES LLCName: JUMBULAYA: The Rearranging, Ever-Changing Word Jumble Game
Company: PLATYPUS GAMES LLC
Age: 10 and up
Price: $29.95
Category: Board Games

Please click here to read TDmonthly´s Toy Expert review of this product.

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The Family Dinner Box of Questions by THE BOX GIRLSName: The Family Dinner Box of Questions
Company: THE BOX GIRLS
Age: All Ages
Price: $19.95
Category: General Games

Please click here to read TDmonthly´s Toy Expert review of this product.

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Flashflight® SpokeLit™ by NITE IZE INC.Name: Flashflight® SpokeLit™
Company: NITE IZE INC.
Age: 7 and up
Price: $6.99
Category: Safety

Please click here to read TDmonthly´s Toy Expert review of this product.

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Fan-Tastic Teeth Paint by NUDENT LLCName: Fan-Tastic Teeth Paint
Company: NUDENT LLC
Age: All Ages
Price: $8.99
Category: Costumes & Accessories

Please click here to read TDmonthly´s Toy Expert review of this product.

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Little Passenger Backpack by UNIVERSAL MAPName: Little Passenger Backpack
Company: UNIVERSAL MAP
Age: All Ages
Price: $21.95
Category: Kits

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32 Artist Color Oil Pastels by eeBoo corp.Name: 32 Artist Color Oil Pastels
Company: eeBoo corp.
Age: 3 and up
Price: $8.95
Category: Arts & Crafts

Please click here to read TDmonthly´s Toy Expert review of this product.

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Brain Boogie Boosters by THE LEARNING STATIONName: Brain Boogie Boosters
Company: THE LEARNING STATION
Age: 3-8
Price: $15.00
Category: Audio & CD

Please click here to read TDmonthly´s Toy Expert review of this product.

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The Wiggles: “You Make Me Feel Like Dancing” by KOCH ENTERTAINMENTName: The Wiggles: “You Make Me Feel Like Dancing”
Company: KOCH ENTERTAINMENT
Age: All Ages
Price: $18.00
Category: Audio & CD

Please click here to read TDmonthly´s Toy Expert review of this product.

Learn more about The Wiggles: “You Make Me Feel Like Dancing”

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Makin Waves by LEONARDO MUSICName: Makin Waves
Company: LEONARDO MUSIC
Age: All Ages
Price: $12.99
Category: Audio & CD

Please click here to read TDmonthly´s Toy Expert review of this product.

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The Terrible Twos: Jerzy The Giant by POQUITO RECORDSName: The Terrible Twos: Jerzy The Giant
Company: POQUITO RECORDS
Age: All Ages
Price: Not Specified
Category: Audio & CD

Please click here to read TDmonthly´s Toy Expert review of this product.

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Bitty Fish by KANE PRESS INC.Name: Bitty Fish
Company: KANE PRESS INC.
Age: 3-7
Price: $5.95
Category: Books

Please click here to read TDmonthly´s Toy Expert review of this product.

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Think Green! by KIDS THINK BIG LLCName: Think Green!
Company: KIDS THINK BIG LLC
Age: 4-10
Price: $14.95
Category: Books

Please click here to read TDmonthly´s Toy Expert review of this product.

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Johnny Appleseed by HARPERCOLLINS PUBLISHERSName: Johnny Appleseed
Company: HARPERCOLLINS PUBLISHERS
Age: 6-9
Price: $16.99
Category: Books

Please click here to read TDmonthly´s Toy Expert review of this product.

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The Three Little Pigs’ Christmas by PC Treasures, Inc.Name: The Three Little Pigs’ Christmas
Company: PC Treasures, Inc.
Age: 3-8
Price: $6.95
Category: Books

Please click here to read TDmonthly´s Toy Expert review of this product.

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Oh, the Wondrous Places You´ll Go! Travel Cards by THE WONDER FORGE LLCName: Oh, the Wondrous Places You´ll Go! Travel Cards
Company: THE WONDER FORGE LLC
Age: 8 and up
Price: $12.95
Category: Educational

The Dr.’s Impressions
This set contains 21 cards, each featuring a different location. Each card shows a beautiful photograph, facts, history and trivia about the location.

Kids’ Perspective
The kids who looked at these cards, ages 9 and 12, liked the pictures and the strange facts but were a little overwhelmed by the amount of information.

Recommendation
These cards are beautiful and the facts and trivia are fascinating, but it is a little like reading an encyclopedia. We take one or two out at dinner to introduce a new place, but are usually not able to read through the entire card without getting overwhelmed. — Dr. Tiffany Wright, 11/1/08

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Visiting My Grandmother by BOYS TOWN PRESSName: Visiting My Grandmother
Company: BOYS TOWN PRESS
Age: 2-8
Price: $13.95
Category: Books

What It Is
This interactive book is written to be a collaborative project between a child and grandmother, or completed after a visit to grandma’s house. It allows the child to write, draw and include photos of his or her time with grandmother, providing a unique way for the two to spend quality time while also preserving memories.

Why You Should Carry It
This book is one to pass down through generations as an information piece and, most of all, a part of heartfelt memories. “Visiting My Grandmother” is only one in a series of interactive books by K.A. Bye. Other titles include “My Trip to the Zoo,” “I Like Holidays!” and “I Like Birthdays!” I love the concept of the series but feel it is more appropriate for ages 4 to 8. Although the illustrations are cute, the book as a whole lacks the strength to meet the needs of the audience that would be most likely to make it into a project. As is, the series might be more easily marketed to parents, as they are more likely to complete each project.

What Kids Think
Although written for beginning readers, ages 2 to 8, those who experienced the book (2- to 4-year-olds) were more interested in looking at the pictures and didn’t show much interest in committing to it long term. On average, most children aged 2 to 8 will only spend 30 minutes working on it. — Sheri Williams, 11/1/08

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Pliko Switch Completo Stroller by PEG PEREGOName: Pliko Switch Completo Stroller
Company: PEG PEREGO
Age: All Ages
Price: $599.00
Category: Infant & Toddler

What It Is
The Pliko Switch Completo is an Italian-designed, fully accessorized stroller with a lightweight aluminum frame, a hood/sun canopy, height-adjustable handles, and front swivel wheels. It reclines and adjusts in multiple ways, and the back footrest is fashioned to accommodate an older sibling.

What We Thought
Every claim that the company makes about this stroller is true. The Italian tailoring creates a chic and elegant design, but the real benefit of this attractive stroller is in its other features. The stroller is very sturdy, its components fold easily into a compact formation, and the brake system gives the user extra confidence in the safety of the product — once the back brake is set on one wheel, it automatically sets on the other as well. In addition, the stroller steers without difficulty and is lightweight enough to lift and place in or remove from a car. The convenience of the adjustable handle and the ability to reverse the seat so that the baby can either face forward or face the operator make the stroller comfortable for multiple users in various environments.

Why They´ll Want It
In short, it´s all there. As one new dad said, "The company thought of everything I would have wanted in a stroller." In a market overwhelmed with options, this stroller impresses with its sharp design, convenient adjustability and no-hassle features that contribute to its overall safety and comfort. — TDmonthly Staff 10/23/2008

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WowWee Flytech Bladestar by WOWWEE GROUP LTD.Name: WowWee Flytech Bladestar
Company: WOWWEE GROUP LTD.
Age: 8 and up
Price: $49.99
Category: Remote Controlled

What It Is
The Flytech Bladestar is an intelligent and rechargeable indoor aircraft that hovers with the use of a remote controller, via autopilot mode or when guided with your hands. The three-channel controller also stores the charger.

What We Thought
This is a very interesting toy that kids will have a great deal of fun with. My 15-year-old cousin tried it and said the aircraft takes a little getting used to, but after one minute he was flying like a pro! Every charge affords five minutes of flight. Flying into walls is no problem because the body was made to be crash-resistant, and it also comes with spare blades and propellers. 

Why They’ll Want It
The helicopter-like hovering action is fun for all children ages 8 and above. There is a dogfight feature that kids can use to face off against each other with two Flytech Bladestars. It has different modes and comes with a durable case, which makes the Flytech Bladestar a very versatile toy. — Melvin Chua 9/15/08

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EeZee Kricket by EeZee KricketName: EeZee Kricket
Company: EeZee Kricket
Age: 8 and up
Price: $15.00
Category: Board Games

Please click here to read TDmonthly´s Toy Expert review of this product.

Learn more about EeZee Kricket

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Scribble Puzzle by SCRIBBLE MATSName: Scribble Puzzle
Company: SCRIBBLE MATS
Age: 4-11
Price: $5.00
Category: Puzzles & Skill

Please click here to read TDmonthly´s Toy Expert review of this product.  

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If You Don´t Take Care of Your Body, Where Else Are You Going to Live? by PORCHLIGHT HOME ENTERTAINMENTName: If You Don´t Take Care of Your Body, Where Else Are You Going to Live?
Company: PORCHLIGHT HOME ENTERTAINMENT
Age: 6 and up
Price: $14.98
Category: Videos & DVDs

Please click here to read TDmonthly´s Toy Expert review of this product.

Learn more about If You Don´t Take Care of Your Body, Where Else Are You Going to Live?

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Tri-Cross™ by GFC GEORGIA LLCName: Tri-Cross™
Company: GFC GEORGIA LLC
Age: 10 and up
Price: $22.95
Category: Board Games

Please click here to read TDmonthly´s Toy Expert review of this product.

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Wood Puzzle School Bus by SCHYLLINGName: Wood Puzzle School Bus
Company: SCHYLLING
Age: 2 and up
Price: $5.99
Category: Preschool

Please click here to read TDmonthly´s Toy Expert review of this product.

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The Teasing Bird and Other Stories by BRAINY TUNES RECORDSName: The Teasing Bird and Other Stories
Company: BRAINY TUNES RECORDS
Age: 3 and up
Price: $12.00
Category: Audio & CD

Please click here to read TDmonthly´s Toy Expert review of this product.

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Let´s Go! Travel, Camp and Car Songs by (Susie Tallman & Friends) by ROCK ME BABY RECORDSName: Let´s Go! Travel, Camp and Car Songs by (Susie Tallman & Friends)
Company: ROCK ME BABY RECORDS
Age: 2-7
Price: $13.99
Category: Audio & CD

Please click here to read TDmonthly´s Toy Expert review of this product.

Learn more about Let´s Go! Travel, Camp and Car Songs by (Susie Tallman & Friends)

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Two Flowers by DANIELLE SANSONEName: Two Flowers
Company: DANIELLE SANSONE
Age: All Ages
Price: $14.00
Category: Audio & CD

Please click here to read TDmonthly´s Toy Expert review of this product.

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Connie Talbot: Over the Rainbow by RAINBOW RECORDINGSName: Connie Talbot: Over the Rainbow
Company: RAINBOW RECORDINGS
Age: All Ages
Price: $21.65
Category: Audio & CD

Please click here to read TDmonthly´s Toy Expert review of this product.

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12340 Santa Monica Blvd. Suite 226.
Los Angeles, CA 90025

Many of the toys considered for review are donated to children's services organizations, such as Children's Hospital Los Angeles. Also, to recover the cost of reviewing, starting August/2012 we may occasionally resell products that are sent to us.

* Please make checks payable to ToyDirectory.com, Inc. Payment does not guarantee a positive review. Advertising with ToyDirectory and TDmonthly Magazine does not guarantee a positive review. Quality, play value and educational value are considered when reviewing toys and games.

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