Friday, August 24, 2012

It's here! The 2012 Toys "R" Us Differently-Abled Catalog!

As a child, I always looked forward to the "Wish Book" to come in the mail.  The Wish Book was a time to dream and learn about all of the wonderful new toys that Santa might bring to my house on Christmas morning.  Now, as a parent of a child with Special Needs, I have wanted a Wish Book to help me understand what toys and games my son would enjoy and learn from.  Oh how I wished for this Wish Book to help my son.

One day I received a catalog in the mail.  I was used to getting lots of catalogs in the mail, since I had twin boys and somehow my name ended up on every single kid targeted catalog in the whole universe.  But this catalog really caught my attention.  It had a special child on the cover.  I opened it and it had more special kids in it.  AND the toys were described by where the child was developmentally and what skills they would encourage and enhance.  I love this catalog.  I see all these beautiful smiling children.  I see toys that are developmentally appropriately labeled.  I see a chance for me as a parent to help my child play and learn without giving him a toy that is not appropriate for him.  I see a company that continues to support the special needs community.  Thank you Toys "R" Us for continuing to give to children play and learning.

Aug. 23, 2012, 11:00 a.m. EDT

Toys"R"Us® Unveils 2012 Edition Of The Toys"R"Us Toy Guide For Differently-Abled Kids® Available Now In Its Stores Nationwide And Online

TV Host, Mom and Philanthropist Nancy O'Dell Appears on Cover of Company's Trusted, Toy-Selection Resource Published Annually for Parents of Children with Special Needs

WAYNE, N.J., Aug. 23, 2012 /PRNewswire via COMTEX/ -- Today, Toys"R"Us, Inc. announced the release of the 2012 edition of the Toys"R"Us Toy Guide for Differently-Abled Kids®, an easy-to-use toy selection resource for those who know, love and shop for children with special needs. Published annually, this complimentary guide is available now in Toys"R"Us® and Babies"R"Us® stores nationwide and online, in both English and Spanish, at This year, mom, TV host and philanthropist Nancy O'Dell appears on the cover alongside Saskia Vogt, an 8-year-old girl with Down syndrome.
"I have a strong personal connection and commitment to the special needs community, so I am proud to partner with Toys"R"Us in supporting this valuable resource," said Nancy O'Dell. "Growing up, my best buddy was my Aunt Ellen, who was born with Down syndrome. Because of my memories of her, to this day, she remains my inspiration for promoting inclusion for individuals of all abilities. In raising awareness of the Toys"R"Us Toy Guide for Differently-Abled Kids, I hope to help moms, dads, aunts, uncles, siblings and friends of differently-abled kids create magical play moments like those I shared with my own Aunt Ellen."
Nancy O'Dell has long served as an advocate for those affected by physical, cognitive and emotional challenges through her involvement in charitable organizations like Best Buddies, as well as Muscular Dystrophy Association and National Down Syndrome Society. Now, with the launch of the 2012 edition of the Guide in "R"Us stores nationwide and through her partnership with Toys"R"Us, O'Dell has yet another avenue through which she is able to support differently-abled individuals.
History of the Guide and Its Impact on Families of Children with Special NeedsFor nearly two decades, the Guide has served as a trusted resource for family, friends and caregivers of children with special needs, providing a carefully selected assortment of toys that can help kids explore new worlds and achieve personal victories. Each of the nearly 100 toys featured in the 64-page resource has been selected in partnership with National Lekotek Center, a nonprofit organization dedicated to making play accessible to children of all abilities. Each item featured helps children with physical and cognitive disabilities develop critical skills through the power of play, including fine and gross motor, visual, language, creativity and more.
In addition to toy recommendations, parents will also find value in the Guide's "Top Ten Tips for Buying Toys," prepared by the National Lekotek Center, as well as "Safe Play Tips for Children with Special Needs," which were created with guidance from leading safety and special needs organizations to help avoid playtime injuries.
"It's a wonderful thing to bring joyful play experiences to children of all abilities, whether it's helping them become an amazing superhero, an adorable princess or a fearless ninja through the magic of play," said Sloane Lucas, Director, Corporate Philanthropy, Toys"R"Us, Inc. "The Toys"R"Us Toy Guide for Differently-Abled Kids is a labor of love for the Toys"R"Us family that we're proud to have provided to our customers for nearly two decades. We're so excited to share the 2012 edition."
Shop by Skill In-Store or at Home to Alleviate GuessworkSince 1994, Toys"R"Us has partnered with the National Lekotek Center to assess the play value of toys for differently-abled children. The organization assigns at least two skill-building icons to each toy that appears in the Guide. These color-coded symbols help users easily identify toys most suitable for the child they're shopping for by signifying the specific benefits of each item. Following are select examples of toys featured in the 2012 Guide, corresponding to each of the ten skills:
Auditory: Fijit Friends(TM) from Mattel®
Creativity: Duplo® Creative Cakes from LEGO® Systems, Inc.
Fine Motor: Color Wonder Metallic Paper from Crayola
Gross Motor: Imaginarium® Deluxe Pounding Bench from Toys"R"Us®
Language: Barbie Voice Changing Rockstar Boombox from KIDdesigns®
Self Esteem: Imaginarium® Wooden Ramp Race from Toys"R"Us®
Social Skills: Mr. Bucket from Hasbro®
Tactile: Lalaloopsy(TM) Silly Hair Doll(TM) from MGA Entertainment®
Thinking: Light n' Sound Busy Giraffe from Toys"R"Us®
Visual: Zibbies from Toys"R"Us®
Toys"R"Us Leverages Digital and Social Channels to Reach ConsumersAt, shopping by skill is even easier, as visitors can narrow the selection of nearly 100 toys featured in the print edition of the Guide to those more appropriate for the special needs child in their lives by simply clicking on any of the ten skill-building icons. The application will then show users a refined list of toys that can help a child develop that specific skill. Also, for shoppers who prefer to browse the Guide from the comfort of their own home, this dedicated microsite offers a digital, flippable version in both English and Spanish.
Additionally, through its various social media channels, including Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Pinterest, Toys"R"Us will provide its fans and followers with product highlights from the Guide throughout the year, as well as safe play and toy-buying tips for children with special needs. The company will also offer exclusive and engaging content, including special video messages from Nancy O'Dell, behind-the-scenes footage and photos from the cover shoot, toy trivia and more.
Company's Ongoing Commitment to the Special Needs CommunityThrough the Toys"R"Us Children's Fund, a public charity affiliated with the company, Toys"R"Us, Inc. has long supported the special needs community. Organizations that receive support include: American Society for Deaf Children, Autism Speaks, Best Buddies, Children and Adults with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder, Eva's Heroes, HollyRod Foundation, Muscular Dystrophy Association, National Down Syndrome Society, National Lekotek Center, National Organization of Parents of Blind Children, Special Olympics, Spina Bifida Association and United Cerebral Palsy.
To download behind-the-scenes b-roll footage of the 2012 Guide cover shoot, please click here and to download high-res photos, including the cover image, please click here.  
About Toys"R"Us, Inc.
Toys"R"Us, Inc. is the world's leading dedicated toy and juvenile products retailer, offering a differentiated shopping experience through its family of brands. Merchandise is sold in 873 Toys"R"Us and Babies"R"Us stores in the United States and Puerto Rico, and in more than 625 international stores and over 145 licensed stores in 35 countries and jurisdictions. In addition, it exclusively operates the legendary FAO Schwarz brand and sells extraordinary toys in the brand's flagship store on Fifth Avenue in New York City. With its strong portfolio of e-commerce sites including,, and, it provides shoppers with a broad online selection of distinctive toy and baby products. Headquartered in Wayne, NJ, Toys"R"Us, Inc. employs approximately 70,000 associates annually worldwide. The company is committed to serving its communities as a caring and reputable neighbor through programs dedicated to keeping kids safe and helping them in times of need. Additional information about Toys"R"Us, Inc. can be found on Follow Toys"R"Us, Babies"R"Us and FAO Schwarz on Facebook at, and and on Twitter at and
SOURCE Toys"R"Us, Inc.

Previous years catalogs.

Eva Longoria
Actress and Philanthropist
Holly Robinson Peete
Actress, Author
and Philanthropist
Whoopi Goldberg
Comedian/Host of The View
Meredith Vieira
Host of Who Wants to be a Millionaire
Maria Shriver
Author and First Lady of California
Dionne Quan
Voice of Kimi
on the Rugrats
John Ritter
Mattie J.T. Stepanek
Poet/Author/2002 Muscular Dystrophy
Association Goodwill Ambassador
Maria Shriver
Author and First Lady of California
Chris Burke
Actor, Spokesperson for the National Down Syndrome Society
Doug Flutie
Buffalo Bills Quarterback
Marlee Matlin
Heather Whitestone
1995 Miss America
Jim Abbott
Major Leagur Pitcher

Be gentle.

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