October 2006 | Vol. V - No. 10
Kids Snatch Up Adult Collectibles
Ugly Rabbit Gives Knights a Run for Their Dunny
A little punk rabbit has sneaked into a market where PVC knights usually reign supreme, reported a TDmonthly Magazine regional correspondent. While a quarter of 38 retailers surveyed confirmed that Papo (ToyShow) was still selling like “wildfire,” Sidney Witt, co-owner of The Toy Store in Atlanta, claimed that boys and girls have picked up on a KidRobot adult collectible: the 2-faced Dunny.
“They’re blind packaged, like baseball cards, and you don’t know what you will get,” explained Witt.
Adults are still into the Dunnies, too. Witt’s other hot collectible, for all genders and ages, is Pretty Ugly’s Uglydolls (Gift Guide). These two toys “have become sensations, in a way,” he said.
The rest of the retailers reported that boys were craziest for trains from Thomas the Tank Engine and plastic animals by Safari (Gift Guide), Schleich (Gift Guide)and Papo. Girls liked the latter, too, adding Bryer horses to their collectible lists. Two retailers mentioned the Webkinz by Ganz as one of their best buy-more toys.
And though Margaret James, manager of Child’s Play in Gresham, Ore., claimed that Manhattan Toy’s (ToyDirectory) “Groovy Girls are on the way out,” she added that they’re “still the biggest one category we have. … Once people get started on them, they come back for more accessories and clothing.”
Nine retailers confirmed that the Groovies remained their hottest collectible for girls. “Some adults collect the Groovy Girls, too,” noted Shannon Nashif, manager of Creative Kidstuff in Portland, Ore. One southern retailer said that Kidz by Dezign's (ToyShow) Slumber Girls, which launched nationally in summer 2006, was waking up the collector in her girl customers.
Here are the toys that kids are collecting, retailers told TDmonthly:
Age Range: 3 and up
Horses by Safari are one of the best-selling collectibles at The Toy Store of Highlands in Highlands, N.C., owner Michelle Hubbell told TDmonthly. All of the Safari animals do well at Victoria’s Toy Station in Baton Rouge, commented owner Katie Culotta.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 7954 (added 5/23/2006)
This tiny doggie is a computer whiz. Not only is he a cute plush toy, but he also lives online. Kids can access his online persona with a special code on his hangtag. They can even build a special room just for him, with points gained from answering trivia questions at the Webkinz website. The Canadian Toy Testing Council, the leading authority on toys in Canada, has recognized Webkinz pets with its top 3-Star rating. Webkinz won the iParenting Media Award, Outstanding Products of 2006.
— When asked about the biggest surprise hit of 2006, Lisa Mitchell of Peacock Feathers in Needham, Mass., replied, "The Webkinz. They're the next big craze." "The way Webkinz has continued has definitely been a surprise," added Rich Gordon, owner of Learning Express in Exton, Pa.
— In store, Webkinz is also the best-selling plush toy, Laura Brauer, owner of Cloud Nine Toys in Sudbury, Mass., and Nancy Streeter, owner of Eureka Toys in Newburyport, Mass., agreed in September.
— Susan McVeigh, communications manager at Ganz, excitedly told TDmonthly that there were more than 1,000,000 pets registered on the site as of early August 2006, and by October "KinzPost ...was used to send more than 1,000,000 gifts and messages."
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 8721 (added 7/25/2006)
The 10” tall cloth fashion doll Maya shows her flair for fashion and love for vivid colors as she dons her multi-color striped corduroy pants and yellow halter top. To complete her look, Maya carries her matching corduroy purse and slips into her raspberry Mary Jane-style shoes with yellow accents. Her hair is 100 percent acrylic and dry cleaning is recommended. “[Dolls] by Kidz by Design — a new manufacturer — sell well,” said Karen Sullivan, owner of Polka Dot Kids in Marietta, Ga. Tween girls “love their hair, which is as close to natural hair as you can get,” explained Kidz by Dezign vice president and the designer’s son, Chris Carpenter. “They can style it and comb it.”
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 8719 (added 7/25/2006)
Casting gender stereotypes aside, Anne Bonny proves that you don’t have to be a man to be a pirate. Armed with two pistols, a cutlass and a boarding axe, this 5-1/4" tall, hard vinyl version of Anne Bonny is ready to rough up all of the boy action figures. She comes packaged on an illustrated blistercard. “We sell pirate toys well,” reported Linda Hill, owner of Emerald Isle Toys on Emerald Isle, N.C. “Our pirates are by Accoutrements.”
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 8718 (added 7/25/2006)
Hand painted with nontoxic paint and crafted of high-quality vinyl, this dinosaur replica was launched in January 2006.
— “I should just open a store for those things,” said Warren Brown, owner of French’s Toy Shop in Concord, N.H., of Schleich figures.
— Michele and Ken Gietz, owners of Where’d You Get That? In Williamstown, Mass., said these are consistent good sellers.
— Jordan Walden, manager of Finegans Toys and Gifts in Portland, Ore., said anything dinosaur is usually popular.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 7824 (added 5/9/2006)
Reeves International’s Breyer Animal Creations brand has unveiled Mini Whinnies, a new line of micro-mini horses. Mini Whinnies horses measure just 1” to 2” tall and are offered in single sets, backpack travel sets and play sets. Capturing all the glamor and fun of exotic equine vacation destinations around the world, Mini Whinnies travel play sets are packaged in vinyl back packs for jet-setting horse lovers. Exotic equestrian vacations captured in these fun play sets are the annual Chincoteague Island Pony Round Up, horse racing on snow at posh St. Moritz in the Swiss Alps, wilderness trekking in the Land Down Under, and cross-country gallops across the Irish Countryside. Breyer also pays homage to its own annual collector and horse festival BreyerFest, held annually at the Kentucky Horse Park, with the Deluxe BreyerFest Play Set. “Those are really popular,” said Mike King, toy buyer for Palo Alto Sport Shop and Toy World in Calif. Prices range from $7.00 to $25.00.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 3379 (added 4/18/2005)
The Dunny series continues with new 3” creations by Tristan Eaton, Abe Lincoln Jr., Mishka and others. The 17-piece blind assortment includes some designs that are limited to just 500 pieces. To add to the excitement, hidden inside 400 special boxes are tickets redeemable for an 8” Love Dunny by Tado, who also designed the box art. One grand prizewinner will receive a custom 20” Dunny by Tado. Some retailers stage trading parties for Dunny aficionados. Launch date: July 27, 2006.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 8717 (added 7/25/2006)
This 83-piece track set is enclosed in a wooden box with a removable lid/seat. The track layout is 42” by 28” and includes aquarium cars and two destinations: an aquarium with swimming fish and the fish food factory. “Thomas the Tank Engine is our biggest seller ... anything by Thomas Tank,” enthused Dan Mewborn, owner of Past Time Toys in Surf City, N.C.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 7559 (added 4/12/2006)
This rag-a-muffin mouse looks ready to take some wear and tear from young playmates. The tot-sized version is 18-cm tall while the small version is 26-cm tall. Both floppy varieties have well-proportioned whiskers as well as pink ears and tails. “Jelly Cat is one of our best sellers for girls,” Jerri Daniel, manager of Olivia & Co. in Ocala, Fla., told TDmonthly in early summer, 2006. “Our toys are hip and humorous, and always soft and sumptuous,” said Ken Askew, national sales manager for Jelly Cat. Launch date: January 2006.
― Jelly Cat is one supplier who has “gone the extra mile” for Wishes Toys & Gifts in La Quinta, Calif., Owner Roberta Edwards said in spring 2007.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 8359 (added 6/21/2006)
This spooky skeletal pirate figure, standing approximately 3.5" tall, is hand-painted and highly detailed. He has a massive sword and shiny pistol. "Each Papo figure is painted by hand and incredibly detailed," said Brian J. Shackelton, operations manager for Hotaling Imports Inc.
— Betsy Justings, owner of Betsy's on Ross in Auburn, Ala., told TDmonthly that Papo Pirates is the hottest selling item in her store.
— Two of 45 retailers who spoke with TDmonthly specifically cited Papo Pirates as a continuing hot-seller in their stores. Both retailers are located in the Southeast.
— Pirates came in second to knights in the best-selling action figure category, according to research conducted by TDmonthly in spring 2007.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 7825 (added 5/9/2006)
Based on the successful Anime from Tokypop, Princess Ai borrows clothes. “These will fit me well, with just a few adjustments … snip, snip.” Princess Ai not only has musical talent, she is a fashion diva! Though adult collectors are big fans of Bleeding Edge dolls, "tween girls like them, too," Bleeding Edge's studio director, Toni DeAso, told TDmonthly.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 5576 (added 11/16/2005)
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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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