July 2006 | Vol. V - No. 7
TDmonthly’s Top 10 Most Wanted Flying Toys
Sales Fly Up, Up and Away With Rockets and Planes
With reporting by regional correspondents Marc Angulo, Dennis Furlan, Elizabeth Greenspan, Terri Hughes-Lazzell, Willow Polson, Bonnie Priever and Donna Sacks
Everybody dreams of flying. Some do it with the help of a local retailer. Eighteen store owners told TDmonthly Magazine which toys flew off their shelves last month.
Stomp on the launch pad and a blast of air propels the Ultra Stomp Rocket over 200' in the air. The kit contains four rockets with the OG-1 Nosecone. “We are the original creator. Stomp Rockets started the "stompin' revolution," Cynthia Peeks of D&L Co. told TDmonthly, stressing that Stomp Rockets are known for their name, quality and safety.
Awards: TDmonthly Top Seller 2008; iParenting Media, iParenting Hot; Dr. Toy Best Children´s Vacation Toy.
— Retailers surveyed by TDmonthly have been naming Ultra Stomp Rocket as a best-seller since 2006.
— Four of 45 retailers who spoke to TDmonthly in summer 2007 said the Stomp Rocket's success makes it a choice gift, reporting unit sales figures from four to dozens a month. Nine percent of 66 retailers named the Stomp Rocket as a best-selling gift for boys in July 2008. "We sell about 75 a month," Marilyn Walker, owner of Play Fair Toys in Boulder, Colo., told TDmonthly in early 2009. Thirteen percent of 47 retailers told TDmonthly in June 2009 that Stomp Rockets are a best seller for boys. “It's probably been the dang Stomp Rocket for about 15 years now. They just fly out,” Tye Steinbach, owner of Thinker Toys in Portland, Ore., said when asked about his most popular outdoor toy. Nine of 37 retailers named Stomp Rockets as a best-selling outdoor item in spring 2010.
— Despite multiple complaints about its durability, the Ultra Stomp Rocket received an average of 4.5 stars among 217 Amazon.com customers for being fun for all ages and pleasantly surprising when it comes to the distance the rockets can be launched. The toy is best used in open areas. Rockets are easy to lose and break, but refills are easy and cheap to find! (12.17.2012)
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 1088
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)
Kids can set sail in the skies with this easy-to-fly Superflyer kite from Go Fly a Kite. Constructed of durable ripstop nylon and a tough fiberglass frame, this kite is built to provide an endless number of fun summer days. The Jolly Roger is one of several different themed appliqués and prints offered on the Superflyer. Complete with flight line on a handle and a stabilizing tail, the Superflyer is a breeze to assemble and aerodynamically the easiest kite to fly.
— “We carry kites on two levels: for those that just want to fly a kite and those that want a challenge. Go Fly a Kite does the best job for all levels,” said Jeri Dorsey, buyer for Kaboodle LLC in Carmel, Ind.
— “Our newest kite is the Jolly Roger. Pirate themes are hot and we try to stay with hot themes. It’s been one of our top sellers this year,” said Jim Christianson, vice president of Go Fly a Kite. “The Superflyer’s got everything you need for a great day of flying. It’s pretty much guaranteed success for any age, any skill level.”
— Kites are strong sellers at Amazing Toys in Great Falls, Mont. “Adults will buy one for the kids and one for themselves,” Owner David Campbell told TDmonthly.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 8424 (added 6/27/2006)
Kids simply slide the safe foam Jump Rocket onto its launching pad, jump up and land on the hemisphere-shaped air pump, and watch it blast off to a height of up to 150 feet. A new patented Thrust Booster doubles the flight distance of previous versions. It is perfect for junior astronauts and parents who want to amaze all the neighbors. It includes an air pump, launch pad and three soft foam rockets. “The Jump Rocket is a very strong product for us,” Dennis Binkley, president of Geospace International, told TDmonthly.
— “We have great flying toys. In fact, I think I’m reincarnated from a 7-year-old boy. I just love them!” raved Harriet Story, owner of Leaping Lizards! In Mineral Point, Wis. “We have great rockets.”
— “Land rockets, all the types that you pump with your foot, are good,” affirmed Markie Carlson, owner of Children’s Gift Shop in Northfield, Ill.
— Toy City in Keene, N.H., sells about 50 to 70 Jump Rockets per month, Owner Steve Levy told TDmonthly in July 2008.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 6370 (added 1/6/2006)
The Flashflight Junior is in between the full-sized Flashflight and the Mini. Bright LED illumination makes it a cinch to catch in the dark. Its soft touch is easy on the hands. The long-life battery is replaceable. LED colors include Red, Blue, Green and Disco. The Junior weighs 110 grams.
— “We have [flying disks] that light up,” said Harriet Story, owner of Leaping Lizards! in Mineral Point, Wis., when talking to TDmonthly about her best-selling flying toys.
— Retailers have also reported good sales for the Flashflight Disc-o-Mini, which changes colors “on the fly.”
— “It's just plain fun,” Brenda Isaac, marketing manager for Nite Ize, said when asked about why the product was doing so well. “It’s a marriage of an old-fashioned toy with new technology.” A Flashflight for dogs is coming soon.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 8425 (added 6/27/2006)
Kids can let loose and fly with this one-piece Slingshot from Monkey Business.
— “Slingshots from Monkey Business Sports,” are good sellers, said Harriet Story, owner of Leaping Lizards in Mineral Point, Wis.
— Slingshots are also good sellers for Chuck Harper, owner of Explorations Inc. in Granger, Ind.
— Monkey Business is a favorite with specialty retailers.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 8426 (added 6/27/2006)
These little planes can fly for more than 100 yards. They’re fully charged in only 10 seconds and powered by a micromotor. The charger is included.
— “We’ve done consistently well with the ECharger Planes by Spin Master,” said Tricia Cooper, buyer for Le Jouet Inc. in Metairie, La. “It’s a great price point for presents.”
— “Spin Master makes Air Hogs for boys that are very popular,” agreed Markie Carlson, owner of Children’s Gift Shop in Northfield, Ill.
— “The ECharger planes are an evergreen product that is a great intro to the category,” Harold Chizick, vice president of promotional marketing for Spin Master told TDmonthly. “It’s not radio-control, so kids can experience a powered toy flight without having to worry about controls.”
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 8427 (added 6/27/2006)
The 36 D Squared is the rocket kids have been waiting for. It’s sleek but has full-body design, a payload section, laser cut fins and waterslide decals. It launches on two Estes D size model rocket engines and is recovered by a large 24” parachute. It was released in the first half of 2006.
— “Flying toys really are geared for older kids,” pointed out Steve Meynig, store manager of Tom's Toys in Beverly Hills, Calif.
— Estes Rockets are great toys for dads and kids to play with together, retailers have told TDmonthly.
— Estes rockets are warranted against defects in materials or workmanship for a period from the date of original purchase, according to their Web site.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 8428 (added 6/27/2006)
OgoSport is the invention of Pratt Institute of Design professor Rick Goodwin. It is an inflatable disc that can be used to play catch with a ball (it gives like a trampoline and can catapult balls up to 150' in the air) and can also be used at the beach like a frisbee (as a bonus, it floats!). Batteries are not required. Available are OgoSport Mini ($7.50), Single Pack OgoSport Large ($10.00) and Double Pack OgoSport Large ($19.00).
— After the 2006 Toy Fair and Pomona shows, where the toy debuted, OgoSport was shipped to 300 stores within a couple of weeks. Shortly after, Kevin Williams of OgoSport told TDmonthly, "We’re getting great response and reorders already."
— Kate Tanner, owner of Kidstop Toys & Books in Scottsdale, Ariz., spotted OgoSport at the American International Toy Fair 2006 and knew she’d found a winner. “When we played it, we had adults waiting in line to play it,” she told TDmonthly. “When we have fun with it, you know the kids are going to have fun with it.”
— TDmonthly's homeschoolers also loved OgoSport (view article).
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 7040 (added 3/1/2006)
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Writer's Bio: ALISON MAREK is an award-winning writer, director and cartoonist whose work has been published by Fairchild Publications and DC Comics (Piranha Press), broadcast on Showtime and other cable networks, and viewed worldwide in film festivals. See her short films and print work on www.alisonmarek.com. Watch her nefarious villains in the web series www.MuggsMovers.com. Get inspired by her cartoons "Daily ARFFirmations to Unleash Your Inner Fido" at www.ARFFirmations.com. Phew! And then ... Read more articles by this author
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