April 2006 | Vol. V - No. 4
Outdoor Fun With Oomph
Outdoor Toys Keep Kids' Motors Running
Kathy Bultman of The Rocking Horse Toy Company of Charlevoix, Harbor Springs, Mackinaw City and Petoskey, Mich., agrees that anything kids can shoot at each other (“Even though they’re not supposed to”) is a winning item. She said that Wild Planet’s Dodge Disks fit the bill, shooting foam disks using AA batteries. She added that the company’s "Mission: Impossible"-style gizmos, such as its Spy Agent Walkie Talkies, sell well. Set to release this year and expected to sell well is the company’s souped-up remote control Spy Video Car.
My Little Red Wagon in Stow, Ohio, is selling a lot of marshmallow guns by The Marshmallow Fun Company (ToyDirectory), according to Joyce Stephens, one of the store’s managers. They come in two sizes: The Blaster shoots standard size treats and The Blower puffs out the minis.
The Marshmallow Fun Company is getting ready to release two new products, The Bow and Mallow and The Executive Blaster. The Bow and Mallow will shoot marshmallow-tipped arrows and The Executive Blaster will be chrome and black, shoot marshmallows about 80 feet, and be geared more toward adults. No word yet on the suggested retail price for these items.
Other popular items include the safe flying disc Beamo, by Stuff Design Inc., the Surefire Compound Bow, by Monkey Business Sports (new for 2006) and the quick-to-recharge Backyard Flyer,by Kid Galaxy Inc., according to Kyle Buckley, a cashier at My Little Red Wagon.
And for those kids that get a little overzealous in battling their siblings, there's always Take-Out-Time-Out by TOTO Products(ToyShow). This thin, flexible, waterproof mat can fit into a purse or bag and be toted to the pool, playground or simply the back yard. "During outdoor play, TOTO allows for parents to continue the consistency in teaching children proper social skills," noted Lisa Bogart Carvajal, founder and president of TOTO Products.
Funrise Toys (ToyShow) is staying in the “extreme sports” market with the Nylint Rock Crawler, a safe way for kids to participate in the X-game phenomenon without the physical dangers that go along with the real thing, says designer/inventor David Neal. More than a remote control truck, it fills the void between off-the-shelf monster trucks and the modified productions of remote control hobbyists.
But things that shoot aren’t doing so well for some folks, according to R.C., at on-line retailer Store4Knowledge in Stephenville, Texas. Instead, these retailers are doing well with the kinds of things grandma and grandpa buy for their grandchildren come spring — pint-sized garden tools that run on dirt and muscle power, like the Kid’s Tools by ToySmith.
The following is more information on popular outdoor products.
Kids can declare sweet victory with The Marshmallow Blaster. Its powerful air compression chamber "blasts" normal-sized marshmallows more than 40'. Marshmallows are not included.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 7376 (added 3/29/2006)
Simple and fun, the Blower allows kids to quietly approach their friends to peg them with a mini-marshmallow or foam pellet. Marshmallow ammo is sold separately to maintain freshness. Truly ammo-licious!
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 7377 (added 3/29/2006)
Kids can send spoken messages or use Spy Code for secrecy. It includes a set of 2 Walkie Talkies with Spy Code, which have a 50-foot range. It requires two 9-volt batteries, sold separately.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 7378 (added 3/29/2006)
The Backyard Flyer Double Pack is a high-flying plane from Kid Galaxy that brings the wonder of flight to the backyard. The toy provides two great planes, one red and one blue, with one launcher for high-flying variety and value. The Backyard Flyer is a powered flight plane that charges on its own integrated hand-held, battery-powered launcher. Made of high-strength EPP foam, both planes are ideal for young daredevils. This product is a 2007 Creative Child Seal of Excellence Award winner.
— "Kid Galaxy's Backyard Flyer, that is a good seller," noted Helen Noland, owner of Father Goose in Macon, Ga.
— "For 8 and up it's a terrific seller," observed Judy Bielewicz, manager of Imagination Toys in St. Louis, Mo.
— “Backyard Flyers from Kid Galaxy” are a best-seller at Izilla Toys in Seattle, Co-owner Jude Larene said in mid-2007. “My [7-year-old] son bought our first one and he has really spread the gospel about this toy. Amazingly, these sell well year-round.”
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 2179 (added 1/7/2005)
This remote control car with video camera, infrared night-vision headset screen and hand-held control will blow kids away. Kim Bratcher of Wild Planet told TDmonthly that the Spy Video Car is the first Spy-themed RC vehicle that offers infrared night vision and a private head-mounted display. It works up to 75' away. “It combines imaginative Spy role-play adventures with action-packed RC fun,” Bratcher said. This product received a 2007 T.O.T.Y. Award for “Boy Toy of the Year.” In fall 2006, it was the Grand Prize Winner for RC Toys in FamilyFun Magazine's Toy of the Year awards.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 7379 (added 3/29/2006)
The Surefire Compound Bow X2 is an accurate‚ high-performance foam bow and arrow. It features dual power cords‚ guide-wire technology and super-safe soft foam arrows. It includes one Compound Bow and four soft foam arrows. The bow can be used indoors and out.
— Sarah Evers, owner of Dancing Bears in Rochester, Minn., said that she continually runs out of stock on this popular item. “Kids always want one, but I don’t have any.” “The Compound Bow’s been a phenomenal seller for us last year and this year,” verified Tracy Mumford of Monkey Business Sports. “We have a new Surefire Crossbow 2 that features a lot of the same elements that made the Compound Bow popular, like cool design. There’s a whole new mechanism and the arrows will go over 60'.”
— Colleen Nelson, owner of Goodie Gum Drops in Burien, Wash., listed Surefire Compound Bows as a best seller in a March 2009 survey of 60 retailers, reporting sales of between 10 and 15 per month. “They are consistent sellers, and within the birthday party price range,” commented Deborah Smith of Toys That Teach in Richmond, Va.
— Eight percent of 60 retailers told TDmonthly in spring 2009 that Monkey Business manufactures their top-selling outdoor and sports toys.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 5797 (added 12/7/2005)
A rake, a trowel and a shovel come in a beautiful gift box. This is great for spring, when kids want to help tend the garden.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 7381 (added 3/29/2006)
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