July 2007 | Vol. VI - No. 7
TDmonthly's Top-10 Most-Wanted Die-Cast Toys
Pull Back With Planes, Trains and Automobiles
With additional reporting by Alison Marek and regional correspondents Terri Hughes-Lazzell and Christine Lebednik
Realism is a real trend in die-cast, according to 34 specialty retailers TDmonthly Magazine spoke with recently. Schylling's pull-back line pulls its own weight, and Siku seeks dominance in the category with its four-wheeled competitors. Meanwhile, Toysmith and Corgi fly high with jet collections, and RC2's Johnny Lighting AMX, as well as Mattel's Hot Wheels Camaro, are adding classic muscle to their lineups.
Here's what’s hitting the roads and runways in kids' imaginations. And to read about the latest forecast for die-cast, read Classics and Mods Go Head to Head.
The Four Wheel Loader is part of Ravensburger's Siku Super Series - Die Cast Metal.
— When asked about top-selling die-cast, Daren Levitt, owner of Toy Chest in North Conway, N.H., replied, "Siku: They're German. We sell those and they do very well, especially the construction figures."
— Although one retailer reported sales of six units a month for the Siku die-cast, others mentioned monthly sales of eight dozen and even 200.
— Seven of 34 retailers TDmonthly spoke with in spring 2007 mentioned Siku as a best-selling die-cast item in their stores.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 13022 (added 5/22/2007)
Children love the idea of having their own 8-1/2” school bus. This die-cast vehicle has a pull-back motor for pull-back-and-go action, as well as a working stop sign and swinging doors. "Schylling carries around 50 die-cast vehicles, and the large school bus is one of the best sellers," said Stephen Medina of Schylling Toys.
— “[Schylling’s] die-cast school bus,” Marilyn Walker, owner of Play Fair Toys in Boulder, Colo., told TDmonthly, when asked to name the best-selling die-cast in her store. “We sell hundreds each year.”
— Six of 34 retailers TDmonthly spoke with in spring 2007 agreed that Schylling is hot in die-cast. Nine of 55 specialty retailers who spoke with TDmonthly in May 2008 singled out school buses as their best-selling die-cast vehicles.
— Marc Slotin, owner of My Imagination Station in Spartanburg, S.C., told TDmonthly in a Summer 2011 survey that die-cast school buses were among his best-selling die-cast toys.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 13023 (added 5/22/2007)
Toysmith's Turbo Jet is a 7” die-cast plane with a powerful pull-back-and-go motor. The doors open and close for added fun. There are four passenger jets to choose from in this line.
— “[We] sell about 100 of Toysmith’s [die-cast] planes each month,” Fred Rosenberg, owner of On the Park in Kingwood, Texas, told TDmonthly in May 2008.
— Five of 55 retailers TDmonthly spoke with in May 2008 cited Toysmith products as their best-selling die-cast.
— In a Summer 2012 survey, two out of 10 retailers told TDmonthly that Toysmith's die-cast planes were best sellers.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 13024 (added 5/22/2007)
1:64 Scale Johnny Lightning Musclecar 1969 AMC AMX by RC2 BRANDS
Other products from RC2 BRANDS
It’s 1969 and Detroit is pumping out the most memorable musclecars of the era. Their names haunt the streets of time, including the AMC AMX — one of the most accurate Johnny Lightning castings to date. Today, we stare enviously at the beauty of its design, distinctive color schemes, bold graphic packages and massive engines, and all we can think is: "I want that car!" This release of the AMX is painted in factory-correct Go Green with black stripes. Launch date: 2006.
— “We carry the little 1:64 Johnny Lightning. That is our best-seller,” said David Campbell, owner of Amazing Toys in Great Falls, Mont., when asked about die-cast in his store. “We sell around four dozen a month,” he added.
— Three of 34 retailers TDmonthly spoke with in spring 2007 specifically cited Johnny Lightning as a best seller in die-cast items.
— "Each Johnny Lightning release also includes the ever popular white lightning chase cars," said Tom Zahorsky, senior design manager for Johnny Lightning.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 13025 (added 5/22/2007)
Land Rover Defender With Horse Carrier is part of Ravensburger's Siku Super Series - Die-Cast Metal.
— "It’s really Siku. That’s what we carry the most," said Debbie Carroll, partner at Kringle’s Toy Box in Amherst, N.H., when asked in spring 2007 about hot-selling die-cast in her store.
— Kringle’s sells "about 200 a month," Carroll told TDmonthly.
— Retailers also mentioned other Siku die-cast items, including construction vehicles and vintage car models.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 13026 (added 5/22/2007)
These die-cast trains measure 3” long and are powered by pull-back motors. The trains come in assorted styles and colors. "The Mini Trains are a perfect item to keep by the cash register for that impulse purchase for the antsy child," said Stephen Medina of Schylling Toys.
— "I do new die-cast, [including] Schylling," said Anna Barr, owner of Anna's Toy Depot in Austin, Texas.
— Among Schylling die-cast items mentioned to TDmonthly by retailers in spring 2007 were classics, pull backs, tractors, school buses, jumbo jets, ambulances and lawn mowers.
— In summer 2010, two of 38 retailers told TDmonthly that toy trains are a best-selling collectible, with one specifically naming Schylling’s Die-Cast Pull-Back Mini Train.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 13027 (added 5/22/2007)
The 5” pull-back, die-cast VW Beetle is decorated with a variety of flowers, smiley faces, rainbows and peace signs. Assorted colors are available.
— In spring 2007, Toysmith was named among the best-selling die-cast by Anna Barr, owner of Anna's Toy Depot in Austin, Texas.
— Die-cast items from Toysmith mentioned by retailers included trucks, planes and classic vehicles.
— The Volkswagen Beetle is often cited by specialty retailers as a customer favorite in various toy categories.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 13028 (added 5/22/2007)
The last 100 years has seen aircraft become an integral part of modern-day transportation. The Showcase Harrier NASA is part of Corgi USA's 100 Years of Flight Showcase Collection: The Aerobatic Teams Series. The 100 Years of Flight Series offers an introduction to collecting by offering a wide variety of aircraft in smaller sizes. Each model is 3" to 4" in length.
— "We've got die-cast airplanes by Corgi and they do really well," said Connie Hall, owner of The Three Bears in Ruidoso, N.M.
— When asked to provide a sales figure for Corgi die-cast planes, Hall replied, "30 a month."
— Two of 34 retailers TDmonthly spoke with in spring 2007 specifically mentioned Corgi airplanes as die-cast best sellers in their stores.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 13029 (added 5/22/2007)
These 1:18 cars represent an emerging muscle car revolution — old-school muscle cars meet new-school performance technology. Car builders have been restoring classic muscle cars for years, but now builders are rebuilding these cars with the latest technology. These G-Machines are getting the hottest upgrades, such as brand new Corvette or Viper engines, racing suspensions, aftermarket brake kits, roll cages, custom hoods and offset wheels.
— "The only thing I carry is Hot Wheels," said Melissa McCollum, owner of Learning Express in Hoover, Ala., when asked about the die-cast category.
— Two of 34 retailers TDmonthly spoke with in spring 2007 named Hot Wheels among their best-selling die-cast toys.
— “The Hot Wheels 1:18-scale vehicles feature exclusive licenses from some of the world’s most famous car makers,” said Michele Sturdivant, director of PR for Mattel Brands. “Collectors can choose from a wide range of popular models such as the Corvette C6 Z06, Ferrari F430 Spyder, 2007 Escalade, Ferrari FXX and Ford Shelby Cobra GT500.”
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 13030 (added 5/22/2007)
Chevrolet Impala Police Car by MAISTO INTERNATIONAL CORP
Other products from MAISTO INTERNATIONAL CORP
The Maisto Chevy Impala is an authentic 1:24-scale kit. It has a die-cast metal body with plastic parts. A working steering wheel and opening doors add to the car's realistic design. The Impala kit comes with a bonus set of wheels and a screwdriver. No paint or glue is required. It's part of Maisto's Assembly Line Die-Cast Model Kits line.
— Daren Levitt, owner of Toy Chest in North Conway, N.H., told TDmonthly, "I just got Maisto. They're die-cast, but boxed, and come in different scales."
— Levitt added, "They're not higher end. They're more like a small matchbox type, but they also get into larger cars that are 8" to 10". I just got those."
— A TDmonthly survey of retailers in spring 2007 indicated that popular die-cast police car models come from various manufacturers.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 13031 (added 5/22/2007)
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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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