April 2007 | Vol. VI - No. 4
TDmonthly's Top-10 Most-Wanted Outdoor Toys
Go Fly a Kite ... or a Jolly Roger
With additional reporting by regional correspondent Brenda Ruggiero
TDmonthly Magazine asked retailers what toys are hot when the weather is, too. While D&L's Stomp Rocket (ToyShow) continues to stomp the competition, Stuff Design's BeamO and Small World Toys' Gertie Balls continue to fly off the shelves. Not to be outdone, standards such as the Superflyer from Go Fly a Kite and Wham-O's Anniversary Frisbee Set prove that what's old is new again. Here's what's selling in outdoor toys:
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
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)
This limited edition set celebrates Frisbee with three Commemorative Collector’s Series Discs: a gold-colored inventor’s model of the Pluto-Platter — a reproduction of the first Frisbee to take flight; anniversary editions of the Ultimate Frisbee; and a first-run All-Sport Frisbee disc that incorporates U-Flex® technology for easier gripping and softer catch ability. Launch date: Spring 2007.
— “The Frisbee is still popular as ever among 'kids' of all ages, despite the fact that it has remained mostly unchanged for over a half-century. By encouraging interaction, creativity and new play patterns, Frisbee continues to soar year after year above the clutter of other new-fangled techie toys,” Katie De Boer of The Pollack PR Marketing Group told TDmonthly.
— "Frisbees" were among the outdoor best-sellers for Paula Tremba, owner of One Two Kangaroo in Shepherdstown, W.Va.
— "Frisbees" were also mentioned as a perennial favorite by Jeanne McCullough, owner of Children's Store Inc. in Boise, Idaho.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 11505 (added 2/19/2007)
The Gertie Ball now has a little barnyard twist to it. Designed to fit into the smallest of hands, yet consisting of the same unique materials that have made the Gertie ball famous, Baby Gerties are sure to provide joy and fun for the littlest among us. They feature smiling farm-animal designs, which include a cow, sheep, pig and duck.
— "The kind of ball is important. [We] have Gertie balls," was a comment about outdoor best-sellers provided by Donna Dobkin, owner of Leapin' Lizards Toy Company in Bend, Ore.
— "We like...Gertie balls," said Frances Finfrock, owner of Aunt Franny's Toys in Richland, Wash.
— Four of 18 retailers told TDmonthly that Gertie Balls remain hot-sellers in their stores.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 11896 (added 3/13/2007)
Now there's a way to store and display favorite gardening tools from Schylling. Rakes, shovels and a full assortment of outdoor gardening toys can all be placed in this display. The Wooden Barrel Display just might be the solution for parents tired of seeing their kid's toys splattered across the lawn and driveway. Kids can now make a game out of using their tools and storing them properly.
— "Mainly what we do [are] the plastics … the sand toys, gardening toys and things people can actually use in their yard. Schylling would be the biggest," said Jordan Walden, store manager at Finnegan's Toys and Gifts in Portland, Ore.
— "Little kid-sized rakes, shovels, brooms, trowels" are popular, agreed Mary Sisson, owner of Kazoodles in Vancouver, Wash.
— The Wooden Barrel Display is part of Schylling's Little Farmer Garden Tools line of gardening tools.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 11897 (added 3/13/2007)
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)
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This 7' jump rope has glittery handles with matching twisty rope. It comes in assorted colors.
— "In the summer, we sell jump ropes from Toysmith," was the comment about outdoor toys given by Angel Stahl, owner of Angel’s Toy Barn in Greensburg, Pa.
— Jump ropes were also among best-selling outdoor toys for Sallie Scott, owner of The Learning Tree in Missoula, Mont.
— Three of 18 retailers TDmonthly spoke with cited jump ropes as a favorite outdoor product.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 11898 (added 3/13/2007)
Get a closer look at the small things in the world around you! This large clear plastic Bug Viewer has a 2.5x glass lens that is excellent for looking at the intricate details of insects and other small objects. Squares of 5mm are molded on the bottom to allow for easy measurement. It comes in bright, colorful PacSci packaging.
— "Bug" related toys are important sellers for Danny Givens, owner of Little Dickens in Lynchburg, Va. He says they get kids "back in touch with nature."
— "Bug gear" is a hot-selling category for Mary Porter, owner of Curiosity Zone LLC in Ashburn, Va.
— The Bug Viewer is just part of the Pacific Science Supplies line of earth science and field study tools that can be used to study little bugs and creatures.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 9514 (added 9/27/2006)
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Writer's Bio: Dennis Furlan is a freelance writer who lives just outside of Toronto, Canada. He works on a variety of writing and editorial jobs with clients and publications worldwide. Dennis is proud to be part of the TDmonthly team, serving as a regional correspondent for the northwestern U.S. Read more articles by this author
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