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October 2005 | Vol. IV - No. 10
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Crafts Kits Build Sales


"Though Klutz designed (Chicken Socks activity books) for the 4-to-6 crowd, older kids are buying them." ? Denise Ramsey, My Little Red Wagon Toys
Crafting kits have always been good boredom-busters. To keep the category fresh, these days some combine two or more traditional craft mediums, some are smaller than their originals and some use artists? quality materials.

Sandy Hawson of Hobby Lobby on Sawmill Road in Columbus, Ohio said that ?anything scrappy? is a big seller. Some people have so much scrapbook material that one of her best sellers is a $4.99 paper holder that looks like a magazine rack and holds up to 200 pages. Hobby Lobby is adding more of the craft supplies to its line. Furthermore, ?teachers assign scrapbooks for kids,? said Hawson, a sign of a must-have for school supplies. She said her youngest scrapbook customers are in their early teens.

At One Two Kangaroo in Shepherdstown, W.Va., Paula Tremba does well with the Do-a-Dot (ToyDirectory) art sets. Similar to bingo markers, these applicator tubes with a sponge are popular due to their ease of use and washability. ?You don?t have to worry about the paint being spilled,? Tremba said. The marker provides more manual control for young kids than a brush. She also sells the Door Easel by ArtSkills, a roll of paper that clips to the top of the door and then unfurls for young artists.

At My Little Red Wagon Toys in Stow, Ohio, Denise Ramsey has been watching the Klutz line of Chicken Socks craft items fly off the shelf. She said they are like other Klutz craft kit books, but smaller. Though Klutz designed them for the 4-to-6 crowd, older kids are buying them. ?It?s a take-along craft to do in the car or camping,? said Ramsey. Totally Tape, $9.95, is a good seller for Ramsey. Anyone who has ever found a child playing with the last roll of tape in the house will totally understand.

Other good sellers at My Little Red Wagon, now that there?s a touch of fall in air, include knitting kits My Chunky Funky Scarf and Granny Squares by Alex. According to Ramsey, they are staples at the store. Other good sellers are two products from Made by Hands since families can do them together and kids can give the finished products as gifts.

Peter Schwiers of Mr. Toad?s Toy Company in Naples, Fla., had nothing but praise for the large-format Nana Banana Classics Coloring Books. Nana Banana uses high-quality artists? paper, tough enough for any coloring medium.

According to Jill Smyth of Nana Banana, the Classics Coloring Books are used for art therapy by nursing home residents. The company donates all profits to a variety of charities.

Schwiers favors watercolor pencils by Faber-Castell and also carries note card kits by the same manufacturer that include markers. Schwiers, who has a customer base of retired grandparents, is also fond of anything from Creativity for Kids, especially the Butterfly Canopy.

Lisa Ritchey of Faber-Castell, parent company of Creativity for Kids, said the Butterfly Canopy is a top-10 seller for them. They launched another craft product in September, Puzz-A-Model T-Rex Plasterasaurus, similar to their Legendary Dragon, which the modeler assembles out of slotted wood. The T-Rex will also have rolls of plaster gauze to fill out the skeletal form. Plaster gauze reacts immediately with water to become pliable, then hardens to a paintable surface. Another new entry is the Kool Kat Bobble Head. Already assembled, kids can paint and add glitter and rhinestone charms to the Anime-inspired cat, which gives the toy ?a bit more of an edge,? according to Ritchey.

Below are more details on the products mentioned in this article.





MSRP: $9.95
Age Range: 4 to 6
Category: Arts & Crafts



Klutz introduced eight titles of Chicken Socks activity books in February of 2005 and added six more in the spring. Totally Tape has four rolls of colored tape and an activity book. Kids use the tape to “color in” the black and white pictures.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 3989      (added 7/18/2005)
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MSRP: $15.95
Category: Arts & Crafts



Nana Banana has 19 titles in the series, including two original stories about Buttercup the basset hound and his travels to New York City and Monticello. The 14? x 20? books tell a complete story with one line of text per page. The books illustrate familiar stories and fairy tales in original pen-and-ink drawings, the exception being ?The Wizard of Oz,? which reproduces the W.W. Denslow illustrations from the first ?Oz? book.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 3990      (added 7/18/2005)
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MSRP: $19.99
Category: Arts & Crafts



This room décor kit results in a sparkling canopy ? and what little girl can resist a canopy over her bed? The kit includes tulle, sparkle paint, mini butterflies and flowers in tulle, and rhinestones.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 3991      (added 7/18/2005)
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MSRP: $19.99
Category: Arts & Crafts



The wooden dragon, inspired by traditional Chinese design, is first assembled from pieces of slotted wood. Paint, glitter and feathers can adorn the finished product from the Creativity for Kids Puzz-A-Model line.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 3992      (added 7/18/2005)
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MSRP: $9.99
Age Range: 3 and up
Category: Arts & Crafts



This basic set includes four 2.5 oz. markers in red, yellow, blue and green. The marker tips are round and flat. Artists make pictures by stamping the dots close to each to each other, creating impressionist works of art.
— "One of our best selling art project items is the Do-A-Dot Art. Those are fantastic," was the enthusiastic response from Judy Bielewicz, manager at Imagination Toys Inc. in St. Louis, Mo.  
—  "Art supplies, like Do-A-Dot, which is an ink-filled foam-tipped brush," was how Linda Laramy, owner of Crackerjacks, Inc. in Easton, M.D, described her best-sellers in this category.
—  This unique product allows kids to experiment with paints but with a "brush" designed like a marker.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 3993      (added 7/18/2005)
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MSRP: $9.99
Age Range: 3 and up
Category: Arts & Crafts



The Door Easel is a roll of paper that clips to the top of the door (clips included) and then unfurls for young artists. The kit comes with a door protector and 25 markers. Paper roll refills are available. It could also work as an alternative to the flip chart for office use.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 3994      (added 7/18/2005)
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MSRP: $13.99
Age Range: 7 and up
Gender: Girls
Category: Arts & Crafts



This beginner’s kit for knitting comes with simple instructions to knit a scarf and hat. The chunky needles and fat yarn make it easy for little hands. Each kit comes with a set of wooden needles and lots of yarn.
— “Knit your own scarf has been very popular,” said Kevin Hart, owner of Toy Shop in Atlanta. “Alex’s Chunky Funky scarf sold very well,” agreed Michelle Deutschmann of Kaleidoscope Toys in Falmouth, Mass.
— “A lot of the knitting and crocheting is big, from Alex,” Trish Garlock, owner of Treasured Child in La Grange, Ky., told TDmonthly.
—  Genevieve Collonge of the Wooden Horse told TDmonthly, “Alex Chunky Funky Scarf is a really good kit.”
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 4809      (added 9/26/2005)
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MSRP: $19.99
Age Range: 8 and up
Gender: Girls
Category: Arts & Crafts



Kids can learn to crochet these colorful squares just like Grandma. They then put them together to make a scarf, a hat and other cool accessories. The easy-to-follow instructions make it fun and fast. And the suitcase allows kids to take their work with them wherever they go. It also comes with 300 yards of yarn in six bright colors, a crochet hook, plastic needle and easy instructions.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 4808      (added 9/26/2005)
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MSRP: $19.99
Age Range: 4 and up
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Arts & Crafts
Creative Activities
Kits



This kit contains over 500 Pop-Outs, fun and easy pop-out shapes that can be glued on the kit´s 20 cards and envelopes with the included glue stick.
— In a May 2012 survey about best selling toys Kim Emigh, VP of ecommerce at Growing Tree Toys in State College, Pa., gushed to TDmonthly: "Every time we get this item in, it sells so quickly!"
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 4807      (added 9/26/2005)
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MSRP: $19.99
Age Range: 4 and up
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Arts & Crafts



This handy kit contains everything needed to create 12 unique puppets. It comes with 11 PuppetStix, 12 stands, over 600 Pop-Outs and a glue stick.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 4806      (added 9/26/2005)
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