There are toys, and there are fabulous toys. For retailers, they’re the ones that fly off the shelves, create buzz for the store and turn random shoppers into loyal, repeat customers. Fabulous toys are not necessarily brand new, but they keep kids and adults coming back to see what other cool things they can buy from your store. That’s what edplay’s Fabulous Awards recognize. This year’s contenders – nearly 70 – were “nominated” by the retailers we contacted at random last year for edplay’s regular “Retailers Recommend” column. Using descriptions like “We can’t keep it in stock,” “Everyone’s talking about it” and “Sure to be the next big thing,” store owners and employees told us about their favorites.
Mukikim – Rock and Roll It! Piano and Drum Kit
Mukikim’s Rock and Roll It! Piano has won several awards in the past few years, including ASTRA’s Best Toys for Kids in 2016. This year, our readers chose the Mukikim piano/drum Set as edplay’s top prizewinning combo.
Mukikim announced its entry into the music category in 2016 with these flexible, portable and affordable products. They are a great way to encourage aspiring musicians, or to simply promote active play. The beginning piano is made from a silicone material, so it’s easy to roll up for travel or storage. It features 49 standard keys, multiple keyboard tones, multiple demo songs, a record and playback feature, and a built-in speaker. The starter Drum Set features 10 percussion sounds, a portable roll-up design, multiple instrumental tracks to play along, a record and playback function, multiple sound styles, and MP3 connection. It comes with drumsticks and two foot pedals (high hat and bass). Both run off USB or battery power.
Mukikim added new products to the Rock and Roll It! line this year: the Rainbow Piano – a colorful “twist” on the award-winning original with an instructional songbook and new window packaging; Drum LIVE! – featuring a live concert scene, headphones and foot pedals for deep bass and high-hat percussion sounds; and the more advanced Studio Piano and Studio Drums.
In addition to the Rock and Roll It! line, Mukikim’s nine unique brands include the SpyX Jr. James Bond line of gadgets (a 2015 Creative Child “Product of the Year” award winner), the remote-controlled flying eBird, the Mini Flyer infrared flying saucer, and the new Voice N’ Go Racer – a voice-controlled sports car kids can command with a smart watch – and more.
Mukikim was founded in 2012 in Israel by Zvika Givli and his wife, and is now headquartered in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. The international company has brought a world of award-winning innovation to the specialty toy market in just a few years – and we think that’s pretty Fabulous!
Getta1Games Mission to Space and Ghost Mine
Launched by toy industry veterans last year, Getta1Games is off to a Fabulous start! Two of the high-quality game manufacturer’s family games – Ghost Mine and Mission to Space – tied for second place in this year’s Fabulous awards.
Mission to Space is an heirloom-quality wooden game that lets players use a pulley system to fly their rocket ship into space, then navigate the alien atmosphere and land without losing cargo. It’s a charmingly low-tech, one-player challenge featuring a wooden game base and frame, reversible game board, pulley system and two metal cargo balls.
Ghost Mine is face-to-face fun for two players who use magnetic wands to navigate the maze and grab “gems” for their mining car. Players choose strategic offense or defense play and develop dexterity while navigating. The game includes metallic “gems” sealed inside a wooden game board, two wooden legs with wand holders and two magnetic wands.
The Florida-based game company made its debut at Toy Fair this year.
“We are the manufacturer, so our pricing is very competitive,” says Tim Walsh, director of Getta1Games, and the former VP of product development at Patch Products (now Play Monster). “We have a passion for games. Face-to-face play strengthens families and friendships. What’s more important than that?”
And the name? “We have a friend who saw one of our games and loved it,” Walsh shared. “His English isn’t perfect, so he said, ‘I gotta getta one!’ The name stuck.”
Diggin Active Slimeball Dodgetag
The classic game of dodge ball gets a kid-friendly twist with Slimeball DodgeTag from Diggin Active. The addition of some squishy slime didn’t scare off our readers – they voted to put the active game in the Fabulous top three.
Slimeball Dodgetag is an on-trend extension to Diggin’s best-selling DodgeTag game. Players throw the soft, squishy slimeballs at their opponents’ sticky target vests – if the ball sticks, it’s a hit! Two vests and four slimeballs are included and the balls stick to the DodgeTag gear – but nothing else – so there’s no mess or marks. Slimeball accessories like a Slinger and Target Practice are also available to extend the fun.
The founders of Diggin Active grew up as sports enthusiasts and are passionate about bringing the joy of an active, healthy lifestyle to kids. Seems like Slimeball DodgeTag’s a pretty Fabulous way to do that!
from Play Visions
My Fairy Garden
from Haywire Group
Grow Your Own Crystal Jewelry
Comfort Food Squishables
from WABA Fun
Magnutto Make a Mood
from North Star Games