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Winter 2014 Tillywig Award Winners

Toys & Games

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AMAV Edible Sweet Art

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AMAV Edible Sweet Art
Price $19.99
By AMAV
Age
6+
Best Creative Fun

Here's a creative enterprise that truly hits the spot! Kids become kitchen artists with Edible Sweet Art, a smorgasbord of tasty dough in several colors, ready to be kneaded, rolled and molded to your heart's desire with the array of tools included in this set. A rolling pin, several shape cutters, a dual-size popsicle mold, multi-shape candy mold, skewers, sticks, and more, make it a snap to create treats that look as delectable as they taste. Water acts like glue on the dough, allowing you to craft and attach small, finely designed pieces, making genuine works of edible art. The finished results are so varied, beautiful, and full of detail it's almost a shame to see them go once the eating commences. An illustrated chart provides inspiration, the tools and dough endless possibilities. Putting creative young minds and small hands in motion is what this kit does best.

ARTSI Glitter Petz

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ARTSI Glitter Petz
Price $5.99
By ARTSI
Age
5+
Top Toy

Glitter Petz are charming animal companions that fit in the palm of your hand. Each comes with over 100 sparkling gems in a variety of shapes and colors you use to bring your new pet to life. The gems are self-adhering, and the wonderfully crafted animal provides the canvas to adorn. It's a simple matter of peel and stick, and the creativity, pride, and pleasure kids express in both the process and the result is a wonder to behold. There are currently 6 different Glitter Petz, sold separately (squirrel, fox, owl, puppy, pony, and kitten), playful and appealing in appearance even before all those creative touches are added. Each comes with a name, 100+ gems, and a backpack clip that makes it easy to take your pet with you wherever you go. Each Glitter Petz is so distinctively fun and charming in its own right, you may want to collect them all, friends for life.

Barbie App-tastic Cash Register

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Barbie App-tastic Cash Register
Price $34.99
By eKids
Age
3+
Top Toy

Whether or not you use the app feature along with the physical toy, this pretend cash register has tons of fun features. The hand-held scanner makes a lively beep each time you squeeze the button in its handle and 'read' an item. The register keyboard speaks aloud the individual numbers and amounts, then states the total due when you hit the checkout button. The money drawer makes a traditional mechanical cash register sound when opened and comes with paper and coin play money. There's a working microphone for broadcasting a messages to employees or shoppers ('Special sale prices, next half hour!'). But when used with the free iPad app, it can take the fun to another level. The iPad becomes your register's checkout screen, resting in a specially designed perch and connected via the unit's built-in audio cable. Onscreen, you can customize 5 different kinds of shops along with various membership cards, go on your own shopping sprees, and play games that earn rewards points to help you 'buy' certain high-end items. Extraordinary make-believe.

Bommerscheim Buddies

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Bommerscheim Buddies
Price $19.99
By Bommerscheim Sisters Company
Age
0+
Top Toy

Remember the binky or blanky your parents couldn't pry out of your hands (not even to wash) when you were a child because it made you feel happy and safe? Bommerscheim Buddies are like that - soft, cuddly, comforting - the constant companion. With floppy ears and a facial expression so distinct and welcoming young infants zero right in on it, Buddies have a retro simplicity and feel that add to their timeless attraction, and come in a variety of colorful patterns and facial designs (28 designs within 5 collections). Their soft, flannel or fleece covers are easily removable and washable, allowing you to keep their appearance fresh and clean while leaving the pillow-like interior nice and dry. Bommerscheim Buddies are a foot tall, not counting the ears, and those cute, floppy ears are designed to make carrying easy for small hands. For added variety, extra covers are available for 13.99 each in 23 different styles (viewable online at BommerscheimBuddies.com), so your child never has to go without his or her Buddie, even when it's in the wash.

Bubbles and Puddles

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Bubbles and Puddles
Price $24
By SimplyFun
Age
3+
Top Toy

Bubbles and Puddles is one of our all-time favorite games from a company that consistently produces outstanding games. One thing that makes it special is how well it plays with children of a young age. There are actually two games, 1) Bubbles, and 2) Puddles, each of which has the same set-up and game play, but a different objective. In either game, players take turns moving a Rubber Duck around a circle of tiles (sections of which belong to different players) based on rolls of the die. Each time the Duck is moved, the tile it lands next to is removed and discarded. If the duck symbol is rolled instead of a number, a previously discarded tile is returned next to the Rubber Duck and the die is rolled again. When playing Bubbles, the objective is to be the last player with one or more tiles left in front of you. When playing Puddles, the goal is the opposite - to be the first player with NO tiles in front of you. The two games complement one another perfectly. The very outcomes that excited your opponent while playing Bubbles (winning back a discarded tile, watching other player's lose tiles) will have him groaning during a game of Puddles. The game moves quickly, is easy to learn, has loads of active participation, and teaches counting, number recognition, and taking turns. For 2 to 4 players.

ChineseCUBES Starter Pack

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ChineseCUBES Starter Pack
Price $149.99
By ChineseCUBES
Age
6+
Brain Child

ChineseCubes is a fun, game-like system for learning the Chinese language. It combines the use of physical elements with computer technology and augmented reality (AR) in such a way that key aspects of speaking, writing, and translating the Chinese language are made easy and enjoyable. By placing one or more of the Chinese Character Cubes with the AR marker facing the webcam, you can select from onscreen buttons to either hear the Chinese word perfectly spoken, see its English translation appear onscreen above the cube, or view an easy-to-follow animation of the specific stroke order to use when writing out the Chinese characters. There are two primary onscreen modes. Learning Mode follows a specific progression through the Chinese characters while tracking your progress. Freestyle Mode is a looser, creative approach in which one freely combines cubes in order to see, hear, translate, and understand the results. Playing with ChineseCubes allows you to master 200 commonly used Chinese characters, the combination of which generates up to 64,000 words and conversational phrases. The set includes everything you need - 40 Chinese Character Cubes, 5 Tutor Cubes, Webcam, Software Disc, Quickstart Guide, Writing Pad and Pen, and Learning Pad.

Croak!

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Croak!
Price $30
By IELLO
Age
6+
Top Toy

There's more to this fantastic game than meets the eye. It's great light-hearted fun for those in the mood for whimsy, but it really shines when players utilize the depth of strategy available. An 8 X 8 grid of tiles is laid out, face down, on which wide-eyed frog playing pieces move. Each player starts with a Queen and two servants in play and four servants in reserve. Players take turns moving one of their frogs to an adjacent tile, each of which has an effect on the player who moved. The catch is, when the tiles are face-down, you don't know what you're getting till you land and it's flipped. The result might be a nice place to hang, a forced bounce to another tile, paralyzing mud, or the dreaded Pike, which eats your frog (gone, finito). And if you lose your Queen, you're out of the game, so let your servants take the risks. Queens make babies when they land on certain tiles, allowing you to bring reserve servants into play. Moving one of your frogs onto a tile occupied by another player eliminates the opponent's frog. There's lots of fun and action, and players who use their noggin can rule the field. The artwork, packaging, design, and components are all top-notch, making for a great play experience. For 2 to 4 players. See Croak! at 2014 New York Toy Fair in booth 137.

Eat & Tweat

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Eat & Tweat
Price $34
By SimplyFun
Age
8+
Brain Child

This is an exceptionally fun game in which every move counts. Each player starts with a bird playing piece and a given number of energy chips of varying point values. The goal is to be the player with the most energy points once all players' birds have made it to their nests. Flying burns up energy points (paid by you before the end of your turn) equal to the number of spaces you move. But you also collect energy chips of varying values from the spaces you land on, and the key is to come out ahead on those exchanges. You'll typically have several destination options on a given move, so determining in advance which of those will net you the biggest payoff is a priority. A smart move also takes into consideration the values of chips in the vicinity of each destination, since those represent point gains on future moves. Adding to the fun is the fact that the board, which is comprised of sections, is continually changing. Its rearmost sections are removed and new ones added to the front as players advance towards the nests. With players constantly managing their resources, evaluating options, and planning ahead, the experience of playing eat & tweat is exhilarating fun. 2 - 6 players.

Future Car

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Future Car
Price $150
By Genius Toy Taiwan
Age
8+
Top Toy

Once you've finished building Future Car, you'll have a sleek-looking remote-controlled vehicle (10 inches long by 6.5 inches wide) at your fingertips. Just download the free app and you'll be steering and driving Future Car by moving your thumbs on the screen of your iPhone or iPad in no time. You can do some pretty nifty moves and get some good speed with it, too. This comes in handy when you activate the Augmented Reality (AR) function and a virtual city springs up onscreen. You can still see the actual vehicle through the screen's lens, but the virtual buildings appear as well, for you to maneuver and do stunts around. As with other fine products from Genius Toy, building Future Car is half the fun, and you don't need to be a model enthusiast to enjoy the extremely gratifying process of doing so. There are 8 very different vehicles you can build with the same components, which snap apart and back together quite easily, so the building fun doesn't ever need to end. The 44-page, full-color manual provides easy-to follow illustrations and fascinating information on each of the real-life vehicles your constructions are modeled after.

GeniusBlocks

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GeniusBlocks
Price $24.95
By Hanz Toys
Age
8+
Sterling Fun

GeniusBlocks, like other fine products from Hanz, unleash possibilities, and in doing so, inspire creativity and innovation. There is an interesting convergence of simplicity and sophistication in this unique 100-piece building set. The simplicity resides in the fact that all the pieces are the same size, shape, and design. The sophistication stems from the ways those pieces can connect to one another and the manner in which building with them frees the mind to see in new or different ways. Hanz' 'spring fit' connecting system enables pieces to connect easily yet firmly side-to-side, top-to-top, or side-to-top, while the 'pin and barrel' design allows any two blocks to connect bottom-to-bottom, forming very solid modular units with molecular overtones. The result is an astounding variety, and in some cases oddity, of ideas that rapidly spring up. Like a form of non-verbal brainstorming, the structures and appendages grow with an improvisational flow that can lead to joyously inspired results. Each GeniusBlock package contains 100 building pieces in 4 different colors - blue, green, orange, and pink. See GeniusBlocks at 2014 New York Toy Fair in Booth No. 5747.

Gyro Robots

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Gyro Robots
Price $60
By Genius Toy Taiwan
Age
7+
Brain Child

Each of the 7 models/experiments you'll build with this set contains a powerful gyroscope that seems to defy gravity. Despite the swiftness with which you'll excitedly assemble and reassemble the pieces, morphing from one experiment to another, each of these models has a highly polished, futuristic look. Robo Gyro in particular, with his see-through blue skull, mechanical arms, and pincer hands, looks like he sprang from the pages of a science fiction story. Whether careening along a flat surface or balanced delicately on a taut string, the mobility of the Robo Gyro, Segway, Rope Walker, and Flight Simulator models is as exciting to watch as they were fun to build. The Balance Game model lets you observe changes in its center of gravity as you add blocks to it. The Gyrorector model demonstrates how a key component of all aircraft works. The Gyro Compass model adjusts automatically to point due north, a result of the earth's rotation. The included booklet, in addition to containing easy-to-follow visual guides to building the models, provides marvelous information on the Gyro Effect and its many uses. Takes 3 AAA batteries.

Hide'em & Hatch'em Eggs

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Hide'em & Hatch'em Eggs
Price $14.95
By SCS Direct Inc.
Age
3+
Sterling Fun

Few things create glee the way a good Easter Egg hunt does. With Hide'em & Hatch'em Eggs, you get the fun and excitement of the hunt plus an entirely different kind of fun once the hunt is over. Hide'em & Hatch'em Eggs look and feel surprisingly like real colored eggs, but there's far more to them than that. Once you've found them, simply place them in water and wait. Within 24 hours the eggs begin to crack. In another day or so, the shell will break open and you'll see either a bunny, a duck, or a chick peeking out at you. Within a few days your new toy pet will have grown completely out of its shell, and you'll have a new friend to play with for as long as you like. Hide'em & Hatch'em Eggs comes packaged in a playful, attractive 3-pack box that lets you see the eggs from the outside and makes a great gift for family and friends.

High Tail It!

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High Tail It!
Price $34
By SimplyFun
Age
10+
Brain Child

High Tail It, like a number of other excellent board games from publisher SimplyFun, has a way of getting your brain crackling, your mind working in new and different ways. Shortly after starting play, you find yourself seeing patterns and relationships that eluded you moments before. The further you get into game play, the more vivid those connections, and your ability to spot and anticipate them, become. That's the sign of a good game. High Tail It has Kangaroo pieces that players walk and jump around the board. The first player to get all 5 of their own Kangaroos around the board and across the river, wins. Jumping is where the real action is at, because you can really cover some terrain, either through large jumps or multiple jumps in a single move. But being good at jumping requires seeing the possibilities, setting them up, and making sure none of your Kangaroos gets left behind. You'll be surprised at what your brain can do when you're having fun.

Imaginista Twist & Loop Jewelry

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Imaginista Twist & Loop Jewelry
Price $14.99
By The Orb Factory
Age
8+
Best Creative Fun

The most striking thing about this kit is that the results - the rings, bracelets, earrings, and necklaces you'll be making quickly and easily - are so astonishingly attractive and wearable. By easy, we don't mean mindless - there's plenty of creative license you'll bring to bear with respect to size, design and color. But the actual 'how to' of using the brightly colored silicone 'O' rings to make striking, funky, fashionable jewelry is a simple step-by-step. It's just a matter of folding, turning, twisting, and connecting. The flexible, bendable ingredients (90 'O' rings of various sizes and colors, 110 jump rings, 2 earring hooks, 2 yards of elastic cord) are inherently hip-looking. The tools (your hands) are naturally easy to use. And even a glimpse at the illustrated instructions will have you salivating to jump in and start making things and showing them off, which you will in no time at all.

LEGO DUPLO My First Train Set

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LEGO DUPLO My First Train Set
Price $44.99
By The LEGO Group
Age
2 - 5 yrs.
Brain Child

LEGO DUPLO building toys are specially designed for pre-school ages 1-1/2 to 5 years old. My First Train Set is a fine example of how wonderfully LEGO DUPLO products serve that age set, both in terms of providing joyful play and in developing the skills and thought processes coming to bloom during those years. Its pieces are large and chunky - sized perfectly for small hands. The ways in which those pieces can easily but firmly be put together to create larger structures (such as the track, train, station with ticket window, fuel pump, and stop-and-go signal) stimulates creative thinking and problem-solving while building essential motor skills. And for sheer glee, few things will measure up to the look on your child's face when he or she puts the train on the track and presses the green button. The locomotive lets out an authentic train whistle sound as it begins chug-chugging around the track. The set comes with 51 sturdy, colorful pieces (including train driver and child DUPLO figures) and requires 3 AA batteries to power the engine.

LEGO Friends Dolphin Cruiser

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LEGO Friends Dolphin Cruiser
Price $69.99
By TheLEGO Group
Age
7 - 12 yrs.
Best Creative Fun

With LEGO there are two phases to the fun, building and playing, and LEGO Friends Dolphin Cruiser shines in both areas. Building, of course, is a form of play, and the pride and excitement children feel as their efforts quickly take shape under their own hand are palpable. One of the many play benefits to building the Dolphin Cruiser is the way the steady sense of accomplishment fuels an often unprecedented combination of focus, concentration, and enjoyment. When finished, there's such a jaw-dropping level of detail, parents will wish they could shrink themselves down and take a several-month cruise on the vessel. Which is exactly what kids do, through imaginative play. The ship's multiple levels, cabins, and decks are beautifully laid out with colorful, fashionable furniture for the Mia, Maya, and Andrew mini-doll figures to enjoy. The water slide, water scooter, picnic table, snack bar, and dozens of other fine features create a festive air that inspires one adventure after another to spring forth freely from young minds. Paradise at your fingertips!

LEGO Legends of Chima Gorzan's Gorilla Striker

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LEGO Legends of Chima Gorzan's Gorilla Striker
Price $49.99
By The LEGO Group
Age
8-14 yrs.
Top Toy

This kit provides the immense satisfaction of assembling 505 pieces into a universe of fierce mini-figures and futuristic weaponry, a world whose astonishing detail and functionality inspires countless hours of imaginative play. Those pieces come tidily packaged in 4 separate bags within the box, making it easy to follow the step-by-step illustrations. The kit's centerpiece is the Gorilla Striker, an impressively fierce robot-like machine with pose-able joints in which the Gorzan figure sits top-and-center, the brains of this mammoth battle station. A panel in the striker's chest swings open to reveal six flick missiles that can be launched from controls in the rear. A powerful banana launcher on the striker's shoulder sends a missile flying through the air, and a mechanism in back allows you to swing its massive gorilla-like arms and hands (with giant articulated fingers) in a wide arc. This feature is handy in knocking Rizzo's flying machine (with the Rizzo figure aboard) from the raven nest tower, a stronghold with a functional fruit catapult in its base. The other two figures, both exclusives, are G'Loona and Grumlo, and all 4 figures come equipped with weaponry, armor, and head gear. Out of this world!

Lexibook Tablet Ultra 2

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Lexibook Tablet Ultra 2
Price $149
By Lexibook
Age
2+
Brain Child

This comprehensive children's tablet provides a great deal of technology and content at a very reasonable price, including an Android operating system, 7-inch touch screen, 4 GB of internal memory (expandable to 32 GB), a Wi-Fi internet connection, built-in speaker, and front and rear cameras. The Tablet Ultra also comes packed with educational content - $220 worth of applications and services altogether. Activities like drawing, coloring, letters, numbers, animals & nature, songs (and much more) entertain while building essential skills. Exercises help children develop language and math skills. Hundreds of interactive lessons and quizzes build and reinforce the knowledge as it's learned. An interactive library contains 200 pre-loaded e-books to be read in English and other languages, including classics by authors like Mark Twain and Rudyard Kipling. There's even a language translator to aid in developing foreign language abilities. There are 53 games pre-loaded, with additional games and applications available for download. And if that isn't enough, it comes with 8 GB flash built-in memory and 100 GB free cloud storage. See Lexibook at 2014 New York Toy Fair in booth #3227, Hall 3A.

Lexibook Tablet XL

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Lexibook Tablet XL
Price $179
By Lexibook
Age
2+
Brain Child

Lexibook XL is a great tablet for the entire family to use and share, with features and apps that satisfy the yearnings of both children and adults. Individual profiles can be easily personalized for each family member to access separately. A time management feature allows parents to manage tablet usage for each and every profile, and the Wi-Fi connection and internet access is made secure through parental controls. The large, 10-inch HD screen is a boon to the eyes, and a built-in front and rear camera is excellent for video-connecting with friends. Lexibook Tablet XL comes loaded with services and applications valued at over $440.00. Younger children can access interactive educational applications and learn fundamentals such as shapes, letters, words, and more, while older kids can work through more than 500 lessons and quizzes in math, history, geography and languages. The tablet is pre-loaded with dozens of digital books, games, and creative activities, while thousands of additional applications and games can be securely downloaded using parental controls. The Android operating system is extremely easy to navigate, and an HDMI port makes connecting to a television a snap. See Lexibook at 2014 New York Toy Fair in booth #3227, Hall 3A.

My Friend Huggles Doll

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My Friend Huggles Doll
Price $49.95
By Great Divide Corp
Age
3-8 yrs.
Top Toy

The appearance and feel of My Friend Huggles Dolls makes them seem like imaginary friends come to life. That's due in part to their life-like size (34 inches tall), but more so to their bright, smiling faces, cheerful outfits, and big, expressive eyes. And every bit of them is soft and plush, perfect for holding and hugging. In addition to being a treat for the senses, each Huggles Doll comes with her own name and virtues, aiming to inspire character and the building of core values in young children. For example, Sweet Rubi is always grateful, Lily the ballerina is forever kind, and music-loving Kira is irrepressibly cheerful. Each handmade doll has embroidered facial features, glorious yarn hair, and comes with removable, interchangeable clothing. With such vivid, varied colors and personalities, Huggles Dolls are full of life, as if animated girls had somehow stepped right out of a movie screen to play with us in the three-dimensional world. New York Toy Fair 2014 Booth No. 1058.

Outdoor Tuckaire Toddler Travel Bed w/built-in sleeping bag/air mattress

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Outdoor Tuckaire Toddler Travel Bed w/built-in sleeping bag/air mattress
Price $139.95
By The Shrunks
Age
2+
Sterling Fun

Any notion that camping out (or any other form of travel sleeping) means a rough night's sleep is dispelled by the Tuckaire Travel Bed. Its unique design is a major factor in its high level of comfort. The air mattress is really two connected mattresses. The outer air mattress (within which the inner mattress is nestled) extends an inch or two higher all around the edge, forming a soft, supportive layer surrounding the sleeping child. The luxurious, fleece-lined sleeping bag attaches to the inner mattress by tucking over its corners much the way a fitted sheet tucks snugly onto a bed. This means no slipping or sliding around, just comfort and stability. The sleeping bag's exterior is made from water-resistant nylon, and its top zippered layer is removable, adaptable to a variety of weather conditions and preferences. A powerful rapid bellows pump is included, making inflation quick and easy, as is a carrying bag for compact, portable transportation from one location to another.

Picked-On Poindexter

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Picked-On Poindexter
Price $19.99
By Dee 'n' me, LLC
Age
3-8 yrs.
Brain Child

Picked-On Poindexter is a cute, cuddly, 13-inch plush frog whose story is told in a companion app (available for 99 cents). On Poindexter's first day of school, he makes new friends, but is also confronted by bullies. The makers of Picked-on Poindexter are long-time educators with a focus on fostering emotional expression and self-confidence in children, and their experience and commitment is evident in the ways bullying is handled in the story. Poindexter's mother acknowledges and affirms his different-ness (he has red knees, blue feet, and a diddly on his face) but also coaches him on what to do if he ever finds himself in a situation where someone is picking on him. The fruit of that practical parenting is seen in the effective, realistic ways Poindexter and his new friends respond to the bullies, including bringing a teacher into the mix when appropriate. Both the app (which includes a read-to-me feature with professional narration) and plush toy are well-suited to young children and create a healthy framework within which to understand the dynamics of bullying. The app features five upbeat, original songs, each placed so that the lyrics tie into, and expand on, the storyline.

PlushCraft Owl Pal Pillow

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PlushCraft Owl Pal Pillow
Price $16.99
By The Orb Factory
Age
5+
Brain Child

Here's a craft kit everybody can do and love. The Owl Pal Pillow starts off adorable and becomes ever more so as kids use a plastic stylus to anchor one colored fabric piece after another, with just a gentle push for each. When finished, the Owl Pal Pillow appears so lively, with ruffled, colorful wings and body, it looks as it had been done by a professional. There are over 200 pieces of fabric included in five different colors. Numbers on the front of the pillow indicate which colors go where, making the process intuitive and simple to follow. The focus involved, as well as the precision of the repetitive motion, make this product an excellent activity for enhancing concentration and fine motor skills. The calm pleasure of the process and the fine, pride-inducing results build confidence and a love of working with the hands.

Schmovie - The Hilarious Game of Outlandish Films

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Schmovie - The Hilarious Game of Outlandish Films
Price $29.95
By Galactic Sneeze
Age
13+
Laugh Out Loud

Schmovie is the perfect party game. It takes seconds to learn, generates a high volume (both frequency and decibels) of laughs, and can accommodate anywhere from 3 to 24 players. Players or teams compete to collect the most Schquid Trophies by coming up with the best/funniest titles for make-believe movies. On each turn a die is rolled, and a What? card and Who? card flipped from the tops of two different decks. The die provides the genre and the two cards suggest a premise for the film. Players use dry erase markers to write down their made-up titles before submitting them to the designated Schmovie Producer (a different player on each turn), who then chooses the winner of that round. For example, on one turn the die showed Action genre, the What? card said 'undercover' and the Who? card said 'werewolf.' The hands-down winner was the made-up title Dirty, Hairy. The first player/team to collect 4 or 5 trophies wins the game. Schmovie isn't really about winning, though, it's about the fun. No stress, just good times! New York Toy Fair 2014 Booth No. 6356.

Solar Catamaran

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Solar Catamaran
Price $40
By Genius Toy Taiwan
Age
8+
Brain Child

This scientific model kit is not only a blast to build, play, and learn with, it's also extremely relevant. Each of the 6 different models this kit allows you to build are propelled by a motor that can alternately be powered by either the solar cell or battery power. In other words, it's a hybrid energy system. As long as you've got a strong beam of light or sunlight at your disposal, you can flip the switch and let solar power be your source. In the absence of those resources, flip the switch the other way and battery power takes over. The booklet, in addition to providing easy-to-follow, step-by-step instructions, provides fascinating information about the technology behind the kit and its components. The Solar Catamaran Airboat, which moves sleekly across the surface of the water, is the kit's centerpiece. When you're ready for a change of pace, the parts can be easily disassembled by hand and reassembled as either the Off-Shore Windmill, Solar Propeller Airplane, Air Fan, Fan Rocket, or Air Blaster Speeder, each of which is detailed in the instructions.

Stepaire Bandit Nap Pad w/built-in pump & air matress

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Stepaire Bandit Nap Pad w/built-in pump & air matress
Price $69.95
By The Shrunks
Age
2+
Sterling Fun

The Stepaire Bandit Nap Pad seems to beckon to you. Its soft, warm-colored appearance promises comfort and coziness, its all-in-one design, simplicity. Great qualities, these, in a product parents rely on to transport their children to the land of rest and sleep. The internal air mattress inflates in under a minute using the built-in Stepaire Pump, so-named because foot and body-weight do the inflating. The one-inch nap pad protects against cold floors, and the durable, water-resistant bottom layer provides insulation suitable to a wide variety of environments. The pillow, nap pad, and soft fleece blanket form a single unit for quick, portable comfort, nothing to get lost or left behind. Deflating it is just as easy, so that it rolls up quickly and compactly for easy transportation in its own convenient carrying bag. Whether used at home or at daycare, for overnights, camping, or an extended trip, kids bond with the Stepaire Bandit as if it were their new best friend.

The Three Little Pigs

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The Three Little Pigs
Price $30
By IELLO
Age
7+
Best Family Fun

This highly entertaining game has humor, whimsy, strategy, and is tremendous fun. Players take turns rolling 5 dice with the goal of building houses with which to ward off the lurking wolf. Dice show either doors, windows, roofs, or a Wolf face. Players are allowed up to 3 rolls on each turn, putting aside those dice they like and re-rolling those they don't. Accumulating multiple dice showing the same house part can enable you to purchase straw, wood, or brick tiles at the end of your turn. In no time, players have numerous houses in various states of progress on the table. If a Wolf face rolls up on your turn, it can't be rerolled, and rerolling the other dice now carries the risk of a second Wolf ending your turn. The upside when this happens is that you get a parting shot at decimating an opponent's house using the Breath spinner. Only completed houses are worth points at the end of the game, so blowing away even a single tile from an opponent can change the game's outcome. Every inch of this game, from the hilarious packaging to its carefully constructed, playfully designed components, promises a good time. And it more than delivers. For 2 to 5 players. See The Three Little Pigs at 2014 New York Toy Fair in booth 137.

Tiggly Shapes and apps

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Tiggly Shapes and apps
Price $29.99
By Kidtellect Inc.
Age
18mo.-4 yr
Brain Child

Tiggly shapes are colorful, three-dimensional geometric shapes that interact with learning apps. The four brightly colored shapes - circle, star, square, and triangle, are engaging and stimulating in and of themselves. But when used in conjunction with the free apps, the magic really begins to fly. The Tiggly Safari app lets kids construct a series of onscreen animals by placing the correct shapes onto matching onscreen outlines. The graphics and functionality are top-notch, with a wide variety of entertaining farm, jungle, and aquatic animals cleverly formed from basic shapes. Sight and hearing are nicely brought into play through rich onscreen visuals, repetition of shape names each time a match is made, and ongoing animal sounds that match the as yet unseen animal being constructed. Another free app, Tiggly Draw, lets kids create their own art from basic shapes, producing musical sounds associated with each shape. A variety of details (eyes, nose, wings, tail, hat, etc.) can then be added by dragging choices from a menu, unleashing comical sound effects. There are other excellent apps as well, each combining the developmental benefits that come from holding and manipulating objects with the educational magic made possible through digital learning. New York Toy Fair 2014 Booth No. 3101.

Tubby Table

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Tubby Table
Price $39.99
By Tubby Table Toys, Inc.
Age
1+
Brain Child

Tubby Table brings new ways to play to the land of fun-in-the-tub. This sturdy, portable, brightly-colored table stands on a pedestal that adheres to the bottom of the tub via a large suction cup, providing stability while helping to ensure the fun and water stay in the tub. Water passes easily through the perforated tabletop, and its rounded edges are designed with child safety in mind. Five openings in the tabletop house five cups of different shapes and colors, which, when face down, sit flush with the surface like pegs in holes, each displaying a number. Face up, they rest only a sixteenth of an inch or so into those same openings, like cups in a cup-holder. That peg-in-hole design, as well as the cups' stack-ability and use in transferring water from one place to another builds fine motor skills. Cognitive and developmental skills such as counting, sorting, and color differentiation are built and reinforced by the types of play naturally encouraged by the cups' unique, carefully thought-out design. Tubby Table works incredibly well in conjunction with other favorite bathtub toys and comes with its own non-slip bathmat. Bravo!

Twinkle Top Treehouse

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Twinkle Top Treehouse
Price $9.99
By PomTree
Age
5+
Best Creative Fun

Playing with Twinkle Top Treehouse is like having something from a children's animated movie magically pop off the screen and spring to life in three dimensions. Its colors are so vivid, its details so vibrant it seems almost unreal. Even more remarkable (and a huge part of the fun) is the fact that kids and parents assemble this 11.25-inch treehouse using nothing but their bare hands. No glue, no mess, just foam pieces (and a few finely crafted cardboards) that fit snugly together before being decorated with adhesive foam add-ons and dozens of beautifully illustrated stickers. Furniture that fits in the treehouse and a stand-up girl (and her pet cat) breathe added life into this extraordinary wonderland. The package, an exceptionally attractive reusable storage box (with pink rope handle), includes 274 pieces grouped into easy-to-put-together sections. Twinkle Top Treehouse inspires countless hours of creative play. Assembly desired! New York Toy Fair 2014 Booth No. 6055.

TykeLight AnimaLamp - Monkey

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TykeLight AnimaLamp - Monkey
Price $24.95
By Mobi Technologies, Inc.
Age
0+
Brain Child

The TykeLight Animal Lamp is a brilliant asset for both children and parents, enhancing reading, playtime, crafts, schoolwork, and anything else on which you might like to shed some light. These fun, playful-looking animals brighten any room before you even turn them on. But tilt Monkey's head back (also available in Bunny or Giraffe) and you have a wonderfully effective light source made up of 12 bright white LEDs, cool and safe to the touch and easy to direct. It turns on and off silently with the merest touch. The LEDs are gentle on the eyes and incredibly easy to dim or brighten. Bedside, it can be a nightlight or a reading lamp. Mom and dad can use it at the changing table, an easy way to see what they're doing without over-stimulating a sleepy child. Take the TykeLight on camping trips, car rides, overnights, anywhere you want to go. Its portability, durability, and long-lasting rechargeable battery allow you to shed light where, when, and how you want it. Includes AC Adaptor/Charger.

yoMOTO

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yoMOTO
Price $80
By Prince Lionheart
Age
18 mo.+
Top Toy

yoMOTO stands out in the crowd of products designed to mobilize young children. For one thing, it is decidedly un-bike-like in appearance. Sharper, flashier, and with a contemporary look that includes the sort of sleek lines one might expect from a high-end sports car, yoMOTO catches your eye. That look appeals to kids of all ages, and yoMOTO's functional aspects are especially well-suited to getting the very young on wheels, fast. The low-to-the ground, four-wheeled design offers greater stability. Its narrow, lightweight frame creates a lean-and-learn experience that develops gross motor skills and the confidence kids need in order to progress to two-wheeled bikes. Kids can push off with either foot and glide along, feet perched in footholds on either side of the ride, feeling safe and secure. The only assembly required is to snap each of two handles into place (used for steering), a process that takes about 10 seconds. New York Toy Fair 2014 Booth No. 5534.

Winter 2014 Tillywig Award Winners

Music & Audio

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Celeste Sings, Kids Dance

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Celeste Sings, Kids Dance
Price $14.98
By Romantic Realist Records
Age
3+
Top Toy

This compact disc packs an awful lot of fun into 15 deliciously danceable songs, putting its own indelible spin on a number of timeless children's favorites, pop songs, and even classical (an enlivened version of Pachelbel's Canon rocks). This collection of toe-tapping tunes delivers a wide range of tempos, beats, and styles. The album's bouncy opener, The Hug Song, with its insistent, upbeat refrain of "I want a hug," lets you know right off the bat you're in for a good time. Listeners of all stripes are sure to be enamored of Waltzing With Bears, a lighthearted song whose triple meter and natural instrumentation conjure the image and feel of hill country. The Jazz Age version of Rubber Duckie and a jazzy, Satchmo-esque Zip a Dee Doo Dah are two standouts that swing in an entirely different way, while the whirlwind lyrics of James, James, Morrison Morrison are sure to leave you breathless. Beatles fans will find Celeste's version of Octopus's Garden irresistible. The musicianship and production values are top-notch throughout, but what really stands out are the vocals, both lead and background. The singers' pitch-perfect clarity, exuberance, and knack for expertly capturing the feel of every song make this CD a favorite of parents and kids alike.

Jazz For Babies - 5 Album Instrument-themed Set

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Jazz For Babies - 5 Album Instrument-themed Set
Price $14.99
By Jazz For Babies, LTD
Age
all ages
Brain Child

Having some of the most beautiful songs ever recorded at your fingertips, arranged as soothing jazz lullabies, would strike most parents as a godsend. And it is. Calm and serene can be precious commodities in households with young children, and each of the songs on the five albums in this set evokes a similar feeling of utter relaxation. Acoustic instrumentation, crystal-clear harmonies and melodies, slow, soothing tempos, and song selection all play a part in this. The Piano Album consists solely of acoustic piano and double bass, while each of the other four albums (The Guitar Album, The Trumpet Album, The Saxophone Album, The Vibraphone Album) adds a single acoustic instrument to the piano and double bass. The 75 tunes range from pop songs like John Lennon's 'Imagine' and the Jackson Five's 'I'll be There' to eternal standards such as 'Body and Soul' and 'God Bless the Child'. What you put in your children's ears will inform their musicality, creativity, and temperament for years to come. The music served up by Jazz For Babies takes that future into account while promoting a calm, satisfying atmosphere in the present.

The Mighty Sky

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The Mighty Sky
Price $10.99
By BNC Records
Age
0+
Brain Child

One doesn't entirely expect an album intended to inspire and teach children about the mysteries of the universe to be drenched in the sort of high-level musicianship and first-rate songwriting found on The Mighty Sky. The lyrics alone are something to marvel at for the easy way they incorporate scientific concepts while sounding natural and catchy. The vocals and harmonies are exceptional throughout, and the songwriting encompasses a wide range of styles, from folk, bluegrass, and a cappella to full-out rock & roll and the blues. The energy and rhythms are often irresistibly danceable (try staying seated during Zodiacial Zydeco), and frequently interlaced with humor (check out the rousing Test, Re-test & Verify, a faux lofty paean to the scientific method). And therein lies one of the many keys to this album's success - taking a seemingly weighty subject and making it buoyant, playful, and wildly entertaining.

Winter 2014 Tillywig Award Winners

Books & Magazines

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Higgledy Piggledy - A Tale of Four Little Pigs

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Higgledy Piggledy - A Tale of Four Little Pigs
Price $14.95
By Roxy Ann Press
Age
4-8 yrs.
Top Toy

This high quality, hardbound book is a gem. Higgledy Piggledy is the delightful tale of four little pigs, brothers who share an idyllic life in the town of Sudden. They get along with one another famously, with one exception. The three brothers with rhyming names, Curly, Twirly, and Whirly, sometimes make fun of their differently named brother - Higgledy Piggledy - simply because his name is unlike theirs. Even so, life is good, that is, until a new neighbor, Mr. Wolf, arrives in town and moves in next door. Mr. Wolf licks his lips and pats his stomach whenever he sees the four pigs, a nasty habit that rattles their nerves, and rightly so. In no time at all, Mr. Wolf captures them and plans to make a meal of them. The way in which Higgledy Piggledy's name saves him and leads to the rescue of his brothers makes for a clever story. It also shows that being different is not a bad thing, and in fact can be quite rewarding. The story has both an old-world and contemporary feel, with dazzling illustrations full of charm, warmth, and humor that captivate the reader. Inspired by the English Fairy Tale, 'The Three Little Pigs,' Higgledy Piggledy has the makings of a modern day classic.

Winter 2014 Tillywig Award Winners

Websites, Video & DVD

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Alphabet DVD

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Alphabet DVD
Price $19.99
By Rock 'N Learn
Age
2-5 yrs.
Brain Child

Alphabet DVD is true to its name, providing animated segments and playful songs and games that teach children the letters of the alphabet while building word awareness and phonic familiarity. Alphabet Al is the animated host who leads us through the fun and learning, starting with the New Alphabet Song, a sing-a-long that takes us through all the letters of the alphabet, first in upper case, then in lower. Next, each letter gets its very own sing-a-long, each of which introduces us to several words that start with the given letter. Reinforcement through repetition is used to excellent effect throughout the entire DVD. The highly entertaining Funny-Looking Letters Game conveys that letters don't always look exactly the same, and helps children recognize familiar letters regardless of color, font, or typeface. The Name Game is also great fun, with kids jumping up when the first letter of their name is called and sitting back down when a bell rings. Alphabet DVD closes out with all letters (upper and lower case) traced on a virtual blackboard one after another, as well as the numbers 0 through 9.

CWIST

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CWIST
Price $0
By CWIST
Age
5-10 yrs.
Brain Child

CWIST is a free website parents use as a means of providing high quality activities (both physical and educational) for their children to do and, more importantly, the motivation to do them. Kids use CWIST because it's fun. In the dashboard, parents add to their account the children who will be participating and then can assign to any of those kids a cwist. A cwist is, among other things, an educational, community service, or outdoor activity to be completed. There is quite a library of cwists to choose from on the website, as well as a library of rewards (called wishes), and parents can create their own cwists and wishes. Indeed, those libraries are a growing crowd-sourced collaboration between parents and educators, to the benefit of all. Typically the parent chooses the cwist, the child the accompanying wish that will be received upon completion of the cwist. Having a system of rewards that can range from purchasable items to something as simple as a sleepover or dinner out can work wonders in motivating a child. Having them laid out prettily onscreen adds more than a bit of magic to the equation, and using the website itself becomes a form of constructive entertainment for both parents and children. Kids' challenges with a twist - a brilliant way to engage children in a positive fashion.

Kiddy Read

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Kiddy Read
Price $24.9
By Adamas Digital Pte Ltd
Age
0-6 yrs.
Brain Child

Kiddy Read is a 14-month long early reading program that uses short (2 - 10 minutes long), preplanned daily sessions, six days a week. The structured curriculum encompasses four 3.5-month terms, starting with single words in the first term and then progressing through couplets, phrases, and sentences/stories. The bite-sized brevity of the lessons makes them easy to digest and an excellent fit for families on the go. One of the brilliant things about Kiddy Read is the way each lesson can be viewed in a variety of modes - Word, Picture, Word & Picture, Multisensory, and Quickflash. By changing modes a child can be exposed to the same set of words repeatedly, with accompanying images and narration varying from mode to mode. This both holds the child's interest and enhances comprehension, as does the fact that each lesson's words are presented in categories (my family, my body, nature, colors, etc.). Your child ultimately progresses to reading complete stories whose words, couplets, phrases and sentences he or she will by then be quite familiar with. Kiddy Read's systematic approach enables kids to get the most out of their daily lessons, and their website is extraordinarily well-organized and easy to use, creating an excellent experience for both children and parents. Kiddy Read is $24.90 for a single term (84 lessons), $39.90 for 2 terms, or only $74.90 for all 4 terms purchased together.

Little Champion Reader 3-Level Reading Kit

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Little Champion Reader 3-Level Reading Kit
Price $150
By Kiddie Katchwords LLC
Age
3-7 yrs.
Brain Child

Little Champion Reader is a comprehensive reading program that combines three proven reading approaches - Phonics, Sight Word Memorization, and Whole Language, into a single system. The system is broken into three levels within which your child moves from reading words, to phrases, and then to complete sentences. While progressing through the levels, your child uses all 3 reading techniques simultaneously, so that he or she can reap the unique benefits of each approach along the way. The system includes 9 DVDs (3 at each level) that form the core of the learning system and present lessons and stories that are visually engaging, entertaining, and contain a wealth of key words and phrases. The set also includes 15 sliding flashcards, 15 phonics books, and a CD with 150 printable worksheets. These components are labeled as to level and lesson order, making them easy to coordinate into lessons rich in content and variety. Suggested lesson plans are clearly laid out in the instruction manual and require only 20 minutes of active learning daily. The program can be completed in 15 weeks, but is designed to be flexible so that parents can customize according to their child's needs.

Winter 2014 Tillywig Award Winners

Mobile Apps

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Ansel & Clair: Dinosaur Trilogy (3 iPad apps: Jurassic, Cretaceous & Triassic)

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Ansel & Clair: Dinosaur Trilogy (3 iPad apps: Jurassic, Cretaceous & Triassic)
Price $1.99
By Cognitive Kid, Inc.
Age
4-12 yrs.
Brain Child

Each of the 3 animated educational apps in this trilogy costs $1.99 and covers a different period - Jurassic, Cretaceous, and Triassic. In all three, we start out with a present-day fossil dig, after which Ansel & Clair (our beloved guides) use their spaceship, Marley Peterson, to take us back in time. There we see and learn all about the creatures of the period and the environment in which they lived. Kids take photographs of the things they learn and arrange them in a travel log, solve puzzles, make their own dinosaurs, and are exposed to a host of fascinating creatures. Dynamic sound and visual effects make the experiences visceral, exciting, and fun, while the high level of interactivity rivets kids' attention. There is never a dull moment, and the detail and interactivity is finely tuned towards having kids fully absorb and understand what they're learning. Don't be surprised to hear your children happily discussing the differences between sedimentary, igneous, and metamorphic rocks. Just enjoy their newfound enthusiasm for learning, awakened by these apps. It's a beautiful thing.

Ansel & Clair: Little Green Island

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Ansel & Clair: Little Green Island
Price $4.99
By Cognitive Kid, Inc.
Age
6-12 yrs.
Best Creative Fun

Ansel and Clair are back with another fine app loaded with fun and learning. This time they help kids explore the ways we humans can impact our environment for better or worse. Each player gets his very own island. By picking up trash, sowing seeds, and moving a rain cloud around to water them, players earn Greenbucks with which they purchase a variety of items beneficial to the environment. In doing so, they transform their island from a barren place to one full of greenery, combating a host of environmental threats along the way. Methane, pesticides, pollutants, and other eco-challenges pop up, sometimes in the form of menacing little creatures singing and skittering about onscreen. Solutions for dealing with them are presented, and players take action and see the benefits of doing so. That's the brilliance of this app - the investment children feel in the onscreen environment and the tangible payoffs they experience in taking actions reflective of those needed in the real world. In addition to knowledge absorbed while playing the exciting games, kids also view images and text on topics ranging from the amount of garbage a single human generates over a lifetime to the beneficial impact recycling and the growth of trees have on the environment.

Ansel & Clair: Paul Revere's Ride

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Ansel & Clair: Paul Revere's Ride
Price $4.99
By Cognitive Kid, Inc.
Age
6-12 yrs.
Brain Child

This app brings Paul Revere and the American Revolution to life in ways that keep the details fresh in a child's mind long after their device has been turned off. It's an animated journey loaded with fun, interactive features, and, as always, having Ansel and Clair as our travel companions keeps us coming back for more. Players see and hear events, circumstances, and locations from the American Revolution, while mini-games specific to each topic reinforce and bind that information with a playful touch. From Paul Revere himself we learn about the Boston Tea Party, No Taxation, The Boston Massacre, and other key events. Each of these events triggers a mini-game (like tossing tea chests to feed a shark) and an opportunity to take a photograph relating to the event, followed by a pop-up quiz review. Children can touch and drag a locator to visit key locations, reenact historical events, trace Paul Revere's route, decipher coded messages, and of course, witness his famous ride. These and many other exciting activities within the app result in countless hours of fun and learning.

Frozen: Storybook Deluxe

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Frozen: Storybook Deluxe
Price $6.99
By Disney Publishing Worldwide
Age
5-10yrs.
Top Toy

Frozen: Storybook Deluxe is packed with extraordinary interactive features, gorgeous illustrations, and page after page of magical moments. Read the pages on your own or let the app narrate them to you. Unleash dramatic or humorous animated scenes with the tap of a finger. Record and play back your own voice reading the story or even record your own dialogue. Flipping your device has the unique effect of letting you hear and see scenes from both sisters, Anna and Elsa's, points of view, adding hugely to the fun. The musical soundtrack and sound effects blend with the visuals to create a dramatic, exciting experience. In addition to putting the epic story at your fingertips, the app provides games and puzzles. Kids can choose from special 'ice craft' tools that let their fingers unfurl beautiful icy patterns while they draw their own crystalline art. Each of the six puzzles included start out hidden by ice puzzle-pieces that kids can remove by sliding them onto a matching piece to the side. Frozen: Storybook Deluxe provides non-stop entertainment while stimulating children's brains in all the right ways.

iBitz Kids PowerKey Acitivity Tracker by GeoPalz

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iBitz Kids PowerKey Acitivity Tracker by GeoPalz
Price $0
By GeoPalz, LLC
Age
4-10 yrs.
Top Toy

This outstanding activity tracker for kids is both a fitness monitor and a game, a combination that proves to be a powerful motivator when it comes to keeping children active and fit. The wireless device ($34.99) is worn on the child's hip or shoe and syncs to a free app in which kids see their onscreen character blast off on a space adventure. Those galactic destinations map to real-life activity goals set by parents and monitored via the device. Parents log in to set goals and create rewards the child will earn by achieving them. The rewards can be whatever the parent chooses to enter - one-on-one time with Dad, a trip to Kiddie-land, a sleepover, a desired toy. Kids can also earn coins and exclusive content through Disney's Club Penguin. A parent can assign multiple goals at one time. When the child logs into the app, each goal appears as a planet on the galactic path. By tapping the screen, the child can view each planet and the goal (number of steps) associated with reaching the planet. Tap again and the reward to be earned upon completion of the goal is shown as well as the current progress made towards achieving that goal. By forming a direct link in the child's mind between physical activity and tangible benefits (rewards, fun and games), Ibitz Kids PowerKey helps establish healthy habits that can last a lifetime. See iBitz Kids PowerKey Acitivity Tracker at 2014 New York Toy Fair in Booth No. 3021.

iHome Disney Creativity Studio App and Smart Stylus

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iHome Disney Creativity Studio App and Smart Stylus
Price $49.99
By eKids
Age
3+
Best Creative Fun

Here you have a kingdom's worth of art tools and an abundance of Disney themes and characters at your disposal. Real Disney artists provide step-by-step tutorials on how to draw Disney characters. The smart stylus becomes an extension of your hand and morphs from one tool to another (pencil, crayon, marker, brush, and many others) with a tap, allowing for a dazzling range of nuance and detail. The app has three modes: Learn to Draw, in which one traceable line after another appears on screen, Activities (coloring, tracing, connect the dots), and Draw your Own. Learn to Draw and Activities each provides an array of Disney images, your choice of which determines what you'll be drawing. A separate menu broadens those choices considerably by letting you select from a number of Disney themes - Mickey or Minnie Mouse, Monsters University, Sofia the First, and several others. This setting changes the characters and images that appear in the Learn to Draw and Activities Modes. Among the many other exciting features, one of our favorites is a tool that unleashes spinning tops across the screen that spray color when touched with the tip of the stylus.

iHome Marvel Creativity Studio Deluxe App and Smart Stylus

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iHome Marvel Creativity Studio Deluxe App and Smart Stylus
Price $39.99
By eKids
Age
3+
Best Creative Fun

As its name implies, this set includes a smart stylus - a handy tool about the size and shape of a thick pen, but much cooler looking - and an app you download to your device. The stylus comes with a protective, snazzy-looking carrying case that sports the Marvel logo. The stylus interacts wirelessly with the app and gives you full access to all deluxe tools and character packs for free. With it, you can draw, color, and animate classic Marvel superheroes such as Spider Man, the Hulk, and many others, and you're given a wide variety of scenes and backgrounds to choose from. At your whim, the stylus functions as any number of tools - pencil, marker, crayon, spray, brush, chisel, chalk, eraser. A button on the stylus allows you to increase or decrease the size of those tools, making possible a great variety of nuance and detail in your artwork. Draw freehand or trace outlines you can make appear and disappear from the screen with a tap. The stickers feature allows you to add pre-made superheroes and villains to your creations, and is particularly useful when using the feature that enables you to record and playback exciting action scenes, including sound effects. Honing your art skills has never been this much fun!

Luca Lashes Visits Mommy in the Hospital

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Luca Lashes Visits Mommy in the Hospital
Price $1.99
By Luca Lashes LLC
Age
0-4 yrs.
Brain Child

This interactive ebook is just one in a series about a boy named Luca whose magical eyelashes give him courage when dealing with new and unexpected situations. A key ingredient and strength of the series is that it is geared towards helping children deal with common, but sometimes stressful, occurrences that are a natural part of childhood. The stories, along with suggestions and talking points for parents at the end, are designed to help parents guide children through these experiences in an emotionally healthy way. Each page is loaded with a variety of playful sound effects and animations triggered by the reader tapping or swiping the screen, and has a feature called Screen Tilt animation. The illustrations are lush and hand drawn. The app can either be set to 'Read to me' mode, in which individual words are highlighted as they're read, forming an associative bond, or it can be set to 'By myself' mode. The narration can be set to any of several languages. This particular story has a gentle, loving quality that eases the anxiety around visiting a family member in the hospital (in this case Mommy), a situation for which parents and children alike could use all the support they can get.

Lullabytes

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Lullabytes
Price $0
By Baby Bytes Studios, LLC
Age
0+
Brain Child

This free app may just be a mom's best friend. Lullabytes helps create a well-rested child by playing soothing lullabies, tracking baby's sleep patterns, and providing tips and tools for mom and dad that help establish healthy bedtime routines and create an environment conducive to a good night's sleep for all. At bedtime, twelve of the world's most beautiful classical lullabies are played for baby in a sequence totaling 25 minutes. The music stops when baby falls asleep, and starts again if baby cries. Sleep patterns are tracked by the app and stored (with the tap of a finger) in an easily accessible sleep diary. The diary makes it easy to zero in on the details of specific days, or to view, at a glance, two-week summaries that reveal key facts such as Longest Sleep Session, Most Common Bed Time, Average Nap Length, and Average Sleep Per Day. These are good facts to have at your fingertips, giving you the knowledge to make adjustments where needed or to stay the course when things are going smooth as silk. The lullabies are specially arranged to have a soothing effect on young ears.

Picked-On Poindexter

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Picked-On Poindexter
Price $0.99
By Dee 'n' me, LLC
Age
3-8 yrs.
Brain Child

Picked-On Poindexter is the companion app to a cute, cuddly, 13-inch plush frog (available separately for $19.99). On Poindexter's first day of school, he makes new friends, but is also confronted by bullies. The makers of Picked-on Poindexter are long-time educators with a focus on fostering emotional expression and self-confidence in children, and their experience and commitment is evident in the ways bullying is handled in the story. Poindexter's mother acknowledges and affirms his different-ness (he has red knees, blue feet, and a diddly on his face) but also coaches him on what to do if he ever finds himself in a situation where someone is picking on him. The fruit of that practical parenting is seen in the effective, realistic ways Poindexter and his new friends respond to the bullies, including bringing a teacher into the mix when appropriate. Both the app (which includes a read-to-me feature with professional narration) and plush toy are well-suited to young children and create a healthy framework within which to understand the dynamics of bullying. The app features five upbeat, original songs, each placed so that the lyrics tie into, and expand on, the storyline.

Sofia the First: The Floating Palace

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Sofia the First: The Floating Palace
Price $4.99
By Disney Publishing Worldwide
Age
0-5 yrs.
Best Creative Fun

Disney Publishing continues the adventures of Sofia the First with this brand-new Story Theater app, which includes the very popular Puppet Theater feature. Sofia and her family are on a royal vacation when Sofia not only discovers a real mermaid, she becomes one herself through the powers of her magical amulet! Among the mermaids she meets underwater is Princess Ariel from 'The Little Mermaid,' who arrives just in time to help Sofia save her friend Oona from a sea monster. Watery sound-effects and finger-tap triggered animated bursts add interactive excitement to the story. Puppet Theater lets kids record their own onscreen action story, choosing from a variety of backgrounds, characters, and music before hitting the record button. By controlling the characters' movements with a finger and supplying the dialogue, it's surprisingly easy to make creative, exciting, often hysterically funny, adventure videos of your own to play back for friends and family. A wonderful addition to the ongoing story of Sofia the First!

Tiggly Shapes and apps

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Tiggly Shapes and apps
Price $29.99
By Kidtellect Inc.
Age
18mo.-4 yr
Brain Child

Tiggly shapes are colorful, three-dimensional geometric shapes that interact with learning apps. The four brightly colored shapes - circle, star, square, and triangle, are engaging and stimulating in and of themselves. But when used in conjunction with the free apps, the magic really begins to fly. The Tiggly Safari app lets kids construct a series of onscreen animals by placing the correct shapes onto matching onscreen outlines. The graphics and functionality are top-notch, with a wide variety of entertaining farm, jungle, and aquatic animals cleverly formed from basic shapes. Sight and hearing are nicely brought into play through rich onscreen visuals, repetition of shape names each time a match is made, and ongoing animal sounds that match the as yet unseen animal being constructed. Another free app, Tiggly Draw, lets kids create their own art from basic shapes, producing musical sounds associated with each shape. A variety of details (eyes, nose, wings, tail, hat, etc.) can then be added by dragging choices from a menu, unleashing comical sound effects. There are other excellent apps as well, each combining the developmental benefits that come from holding and manipulating objects with the educational magic made possible through digital learning. New York Toy Fair 2014 Booth No. 3101.

Winter 2014 Tillywig Award Winners

Health & Safety

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DualScan Prime Thermometer

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DualScan Prime Thermometer
Price $29.95
By Mobi Technologies, Inc.
Age
0+
Brain Child

If ever there was a handy, dandy, multi-purpose thermometer, this is it. It's quick and easy to use, with a compact design that's simple, attractive, and straightforward. Press any button to turn it on. The backlit display makes it easy to read. Need to take a human being's temperature? Press the forehead button or ear button (little pictures indicate which is which) depending on whether you prefer to take the temperature from the forehead or from the ear. Both work in mere seconds, and when dealing with a sick child, options and swiftness come in handy. Need to take the temperature of food or a bottle? Press the forehead button and ear button at the same time to enter food/object mode. Want to know the temperature of the room you're in? Check the room temperature display. The device also tracks date and time and has a memory that stores the most recent nine temperature readings and when they were taken. Sleep mode causes the thermometer to turn off automatically after one to three minutes of non-use, saving the energy of the two AAA batteries on which it runs. Speed, accuracy, reliability, and ease of use, all in the palm of your hand.

iBitz Kids PowerKey Activity Tracker by GeoPalz

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iBitz Kids PowerKey Activity Tracker by GeoPalz
Price $34.99
By GeoPalz, LLC
Age
4-10 yrs.
Top Toy

This outstanding activity tracker for kids is both a fitness monitor and a game, a combination that proves to be a powerful motivator when it comes to keeping children active and fit. The wireless device is worn on the child's hip or shoe and syncs to a free app in which kids see their onscreen character blast off on a space adventure. Those galactic destinations map to real-life activity goals set by parents and monitored via the device. Parents log in to set goals and create rewards the child will earn by achieving them. The rewards can be whatever the parent chooses to enter - one-on-one time with Dad, a trip to Kiddie-land, a sleepover, a desired toy. Kids can also earn coins and exclusive content through Disney's Club Penguin. A parent can assign multiple goals at one time. When the child logs into the app, each goal appears as a planet on the galactic path. By tapping the screen, the child can view each planet and the goal (number of steps) associated with reaching the planet. Tap again and the reward to be earned upon completion of the goal is shown as well as the current progress made towards achieving that goal. By forming a direct link in the child's mind between physical activity and tangible benefits (rewards, fun and games), Ibitz Kids PowerKey helps establish healthy habits that can last a lifetime. See iBitz Kids PowerKey Acitivity Tracker at 2014 New York Toy Fair in Booth No. 3021.

Outdoor Tuckaire Toddler Travel Bed w/built-in sleeping bag/air mattress

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Outdoor Tuckaire Toddler Travel Bed w/built-in sleeping bag/air mattress
Price $139.95
By The Shrunks
Age
2+
Sterling Fun

Any notion that camping out (or any other form of travel sleeping) means a rough night's sleep is dispelled by the Tuckaire Travel Bed. Its unique design is a major factor in its high level of comfort. The air mattress is really two connected mattresses. The outer air mattress (within which the inner mattress is nestled) extends an inch or two higher all around the edge, forming a soft, supportive layer surrounding the sleeping child. The luxurious, fleece-lined sleeping bag attaches to the inner mattress by tucking over its corners much the way a fitted sheet tucks snugly onto a bed. This means no slipping or sliding around, just comfort and stability. The sleeping bag's exterior is made from water-resistant nylon, and its top zippered layer is removable, adaptable to a variety of weather conditions and preferences. A powerful rapid bellows pump is included, making inflation quick and easy, as is a carrying bag for compact, portable transportation from one location to another.

Stepaire Bandit Nap Pad w/built-in pump & air pad

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Stepaire Bandit Nap Pad w/built-in pump & air pad
Price $69.95
By The Shrunks
Age
2+
Sterling Fun

The Stepaire Bandit Nap Pad seems to beckon to you. Its soft, warm-colored appearance promises comfort and coziness, its all-in-one design, simplicity. Great qualities, these, in a product parents rely on to transport their children to the land of rest and sleep. The internal air mattress inflates in under a minute using the built-in Stepaire Pump, so-named because foot and body-weight do the inflating. The one-inch nap pad protects against cold floors, and the durable, water-resistant bottom layer provides insulation suitable to a wide variety of environments. The pillow, nap pad, and soft fleece blanket form a single unit for quick, portable comfort, nothing to get lost or left behind. Deflating it is just as easy, so that it rolls up quickly and compactly for easy transportation in its own convenient carrying bag. Whether used at home or at daycare, for overnights, camping, or an extended trip, kids bond with the Stepaire Bandit as if it were their new best friend.

Winter 2014 Tillywig Award Winners

Software & Electronics

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ChineseCUBES Starter Pack

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ChineseCUBES Starter Pack
Price $149.99
By ChineseCUBES
Age
6+
Brain Child

ChineseCubes is a fun, game-like system for learning the Chinese language. It combines the use of physical elements with computer technology and augmented reality (AR) in such a way that key aspects of speaking, writing, and translating the Chinese language are made easy and enjoyable. By placing one or more of the Chinese Character Cubes with the AR marker facing the webcam, you can select from onscreen buttons to either hear the Chinese word perfectly spoken, see its English translation appear onscreen above the cube, or view an easy-to-follow animation of the specific stroke order to use when writing out the Chinese characters. There are two primary onscreen modes. Learning Mode follows a specific progression through the Chinese characters while tracking your progress. Freestyle Mode is a looser, creative approach in which one freely combines cubes in order to see, hear, translate, and understand the results. Playing with ChineseCubes allows you to master 200 commonly used Chinese characters, the combination of which generates up to 64,000 words and conversational phrases. The set includes everything you need - 40 Chinese Character Cubes, 5 Tutor Cubes, Webcam, Software Disc, Quickstart Guide, Writing Pad and Pen, and Learning Pad.