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What It Takes to Be "Good'

Retailers' Favorite Suppliers Strut Their Stuff


With additional reporting by regional correspondent Dennis Furlan

Through a recent survey of 129 specialty retailers, TDmonthly Magazine learned which vendors toy- and gift-store owners believe are the most fair and accommodating for their businesses. Eighty retailers collectively pointed out companies that are “good” in their books.

Retailers love these suppliers for their ordering and shipping terms, their customer service, and of course, their product selection. See below some of the companies they named, and some of the prize products they produce. Below is the third page of products.

Also see page 1 and page 2.





MSRP: $26.95
Age Range: 3 to 5
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Educational
Inflatable Toys



This set of 15 inflatable skeleton parts fits together to form a 4’-tall skeleton that can be easily displayed. The backside of each part consists of an area where the name of the bone can be written. Snap fasteners, string, a hang tab and an activity guide are also included in the set.
―  “I like working with … Learning Resources … as I can order only what I can use for the time period,” Owner Patti Tepper-Rasmussen of Learning Tree Toys in Oklahoma City, Okla., told TDmonthly in spring 2007.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 12977      (added 5/21/2007)
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MSRP: $19.99
Age Range: 5 and up
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Arts & Crafts



Art kits that make it easy to be creative! Your child will love showcasing treasured photos and artwork with everything needed to create one-of-a-kind frames. Contains more than 500 Pop-Outs!™ (fun and easy pop-out shapes), ten frames in three sizes and a glue stick.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 11947      (added 3/15/2007)
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MSRP: $19.99
Age Range: 4 and up
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Vehicles - Accessories



The ultimate crime fighter needs the ultimate crime-fighting vehicle. Enter the new ShadowTek Batmobile.  This tricked-out cruiser features electronic lights and sounds, twin projectile launchers, and two modes of play: “stealth” and “attack.”  The ShadowTek Batmobile fits with most 4-3/4” figures, which are sold separately.  The ShadowTek Batmobile requires three button cell batteries, which are included.
— "Some Batman cars" were best-selling in the action figure category according to Terri Bracken, owner of Earth Explorers Toys in Zionsville, Ind.
— Mattel is “accommodating to small stores beyond what is expected of such a large company. They give free shipping for very small orders and special discounts for small stores,” Harold Herskowitz of Toy Trade told TDmonthly.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 13099      (added 5/24/2007)
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MSRP: $14.99
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Aircraft



3... 2... 1... Blastoff. Zoom into “space” with this awesome Sky Rocket that can fly over 300' high. Simply pull back the sling shot launcher and watch it go. Made of lightweight foam, these sport rockets are the highest performance hand-launched rockets available today. A set of three sports rockets includes two long-range rockets, one mid-range rocket and the hand launcher.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 9074      (added 8/21/2006)
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MSRP: $10.00
Age Range: 6 and up
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Educational



The Languages “Around and About” Learning Wheel is the latest release from the Mudpuppy Press “Around and About” Learning Wheel series. This Languages Learning Wheel teaches kids common words in Spanish, French, Italian and German. Like the other wheels in the series, this new wheel is designed for easy transport and traveling fun. The die-cut wheel measures 10" in diameter.
― Tom England, owner of Dancing Bear Toys & Gifts in Frederick, Md., told TDmonthly in spring 2007 that he likes working with Mudpuppy Press for their “quality of products and uniqueness.”
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 12979      (added 5/21/2007)
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Wholesale Price: (Log in to view)
MSRP: $16.00
Age Range: 3 and up
SKU or Item #: 3173
Launch Date: February 2007
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Plush



Bringing to life a universal childhood anxiety to make the big scary world friendlier, Yucky is a funny fiend in soft velboa with hefty hands to "wipe off kisses from big people" who love him. One of six new My Own Monsters designed by kids for kids, machine-washable Yucky is safe for all ages and a gratifying gift of comfort beyond the ordinary. A portion of all My Own Monster sales will be donated to Global Action for Children, a nonpartisan organization dedicated to helping vulnerable children around the world. Launch date: February 2007.
― North American Bear “accommodate[s] me no matter how 'little' I am,” Kathleen Fisher of Pink Belly Gifts told TDmonthly in spring 2007.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 11811      (added 3/6/2007)
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MSRP: $24.95
Age Range: 3 and up
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Construction



The Creative Blocks from Plan Toys are a developmental toy for young and growing minds. Consisting of beautifully crafted natural wooden blocks, this set gives children the opportunity to build objects like a town or a castle. Skills such as problem solving and perception are specifically developed, as only a child's imagination limits the building possibilities. The set consists of 46 pieces that come in packaging that is 9” x 7.4” x 3.6”.
— "We carry good old-fashioned wooden blocks. We carry a couple of different varieties, including the Plan wooden blocks," said Teri Soelter, owner of Teri's Toybox in Edmonds, Wash.
―  “The quality is very good, the prices are moderate, and the toys have learning value,” Marilyn Sipila, owner of Toys Etc. in Poulsbo, Wash., said of Plan Toys in spring 2007.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 12687      (added 5/7/2007)
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MSRP: $59.99
Age Range: 0 to 1
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Infant & Toddler



The bébéPOD plus captivates the interest of babies with its bright colors, fascinating toy, and the soft and squishy feel of a seat designed especially for them. Its ergonomic design provides optimal support in helping baby learn to sit, it helps ensure that baby is comfortable and secure, and it comes with a selection of fun and stylish placemats. Ideal for travel, the non-toxic product is easy to clean and has a removable pommel, adjustable tray and a custom-designed Sassy toy with toy bar. It is intended for babies ages three months to 14 months. This product is an iParenting Media Award winner.
― Prince Lionheart is one company that “accommodate[s] me no matter how 'little' I am,” Kathleen Fisher of Pink Belly Gifts told TDmonthly in spring 2007.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 11109      (added 1/11/2007)
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MSRP: $12
Age Range: 1 to 12
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Arts & Crafts



This nifty carryall stores up to 64 crayons; ten are included. No more crayons cluttering mom’s purse. It fastens securely for easy carrying. Keeps up with crayons in cars, airplanes, restaurants doctor’s office...everywhere kids go. Just fold close, roll and go. The ribbon closure is personalized with the child’s name.
― Princess Linens is one of the best vendors, said Donna Bliss of My Miracle Baby.com.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 8884      (added 8/4/2006)
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Julie L. JonesWriter's Bio: Julie L. Jones has written articles for both newspapers and magazines. Before joining the staff of TDmonthly Magazine, she worked as a communications writer and provided editorial support for a market research company. Read more articles by this author

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