January 2008 | Vol. VII - No. 1
Top-10 Most-Anticipated Toys for 2008
Give Us More of These, Storeowners Say
With additional reporting by Sheila Coyle, Virginia Davis, Terri Hughes-Lazzell and Brenda Ruggiero
Christmas is over, so let the ordering begin! Based on fairly spectacular holiday sales, specialty retailers told TDmonthly Magazine Dec. 26 to 28 that they’re eager for more. The most anticipated category for 2008? Games, led in part by consumer enthusiasm for Bananagrams, said one-third of retailers.
G. Willikers in Portsmouth, N.H., sold approximately 600 to 700 of the fruity word game during the holidays, reported 10-year employee, Karin Scott.
Next came crafts, with three votes, then anything “not made in China,” two storeowners said. Seven hadn’t had time to even think about it.
Here are the types of toys 27 specialty retailers told TDmonthly they are looking forward to in the new year:
The fast-moving word game consists of 144 ivory-like letter tiles in a zippered banana pouch. Players place the tiles face down on the table and randomly select 21 tiles. They turn their letters right-side up simultaneously and proceed to form as many intersecting and interconnecting words as possible, rearranging their own letters as many times as desired throughout the game. Awards: TDmonthly Top Seller 2007; 2009 TOTY Game of the YEAR, 2006 Oppenheim Toy Portfolio Gold Seal; 2007 iParenting; 2007 Parents' Choice Recommended; 2007 Dr. Toy Best Products. (Read Review)
— This product has been making the TDmonthly Best-sellers lists since 2007.
— As of 05/13/2011 this product had 4.8 out of 5 stars from 456 reviews on Amazon.com.
— Eight of 66 retailers vouched for its best-selling status in May 2008; seven of 63 did in Sept. 2008. Shani Watmough of Planet Toys in Rockland, Maine, said her store sells 60 per month. Fifteen of 38 named it a top-selling game in Feb. 2010.
— As of April 5, 2010, Bananagrams had spent 570 days in the top-100 best-selling toys and games on Amazon.com.
— According to owner Brett Sommer of Figpickels Toy Emporium in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, “It was the 2009 game of the year. The brilliant packaging definitely helps this product."
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 8301 (added 6/19/2006)
In this game, players help 12 whitewater rafters brave the rapids and make it safely back to their raft. The crew, fit with jigsaw pieces as a base, can face either the bow or stern of the raft, but there is only one correct solution for each direction. Players must help these rafters back in their raft or they will be all washed up. The game includes two puzzles in one and a boatload of fun.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 11862 (added 3/7/2007)
The Rubik's® Cube is an icon recognized around the world, selling over 350 million units. Now there's an all new spin on the world's #1 Cube—the Rubik's Revolution™. Packed with speed games and brainteasers everyone can play, the award-winning Rubik's Revolution is an all new spin on the world's #1 Cube. Six addictive, fast paced electronic games are easy to learn, but will push your skills to the limit with multiple challenging levels to unlock. Fun for ages 5 or 105, play by yourself or compete against your friends in both single and multiplayer games to become master of the Cube. “Rubik’s Revolution was designed as the electronic sequel to one of the best-selling toys in history ... It provides a whole new take on cubing. It is about speed. It is about smarts,” said Eric Levin, executive vice president of Techno Source. “Techno Source is also offering a Professor Rubik’s Signature Edition for the specialty market.” Winner of 10 Awards including the TIA 2008 T.O.T.Y. Game of the Year, Rubik's Revolution won a 2008 iParenting Media Award, a 2007 National Parenting Center Seal of Approval Award, a Dr. Toy Summer 2007 Best Products Award and a 2007 NAPPA Gold Award. Launch date: Summer 2007.
― “I think it will do very well,” Debbie Wurzburger, owner of Toy Chest in Pikesville, Md., told TDmonthly.
— Four out of 58 retailers who spoke with TDmonthly cited Rubik’s Revolution as their most popular “big-kid” item.
— When asked what he would most recommend for older kids and adults, Bill DeFusco, owner of Toyz Toy Store in Chesire, Conn., told TDmonthly, “The first one that comes to my mind [is] Rubik’s Revolution.”
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 11558 (added 2/21/2007)
Pirate gear includes a 5" W x 4" H x 4" D papier-maché treasure chest, a soft-foam eye patch, a head scarf, jewels, gemstones, gold coins, a sticker, paint and two secret treasure maps. “It’s a little bit of crafting, and a whole lot of pretending,” said Lisa Ritchie, public relations manager for Faber-Castell. Launch date: February 2007.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 15853 (added 10/22/2007)
Decked out with designs of pets, fruits, stars and flowers, this bag, measuring 14” W x 11” W x 4” D, allows kids to custom-color to their heart’s content. It is large enough to carry school books and binders, and comes with six permanent markers in a pouch. This product was named one of Dr. Toy’s 10 Best Creative Products and 100 Best Children’s Products.
— “The Color-a-Messenger Bag from Alex is a good one for us,” said Emily Bieritz, manager of My Favorite Toy Store in Downers Grove, Ill., of the strongest-selling items for girls in her store in summer 2009.
— In late 2007, 40 percent of retailers singled out Alex-Panline USA Inc. as their best-selling arts-and-crafts manufacturer. Two of 47 retailers told TDmonthly in June 2009 that the Color-a-Messenger Bag is a best-selling gift item for girls.
— Ken, working manager at Toys Unique in Dallas, Texas, told TDmonthly previously that his store does well with Alex’s Color-a-Messenger Bag, selling just under 50 per month. Explorations Inc. Owner Chuck Harper in Granger, Ind., had named this item as his store’s best-seller.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 16026 (added 11/5/2007)
This kit lets kids enjoy looped scarves that are easy to make and fun to wear.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 16188 (added 11/19/2007)
To help meet the demand for Webkinz sweeping the continent, Ganz has come out with a new line of Lil'Kinz. Like their larger counterparts, Lil'Kinz characters come with their own codes that are revealed after purchase. Kids adopt the little guys as their own and take them into an online world of fun and KinzKash. Kids can now make Lil'Kinz Hippo their best buddy, play some games at the arcade and stop by the "W" shop to pick up a bowl of crunch "shoots n' roots."
— “We sold over 2,000,” Gwen Boden said of how Webkinz fared in 2007. Boden is the manager of Doodlehopper in Springfield, Va.
— “Webkinz: We sell daily, hourly,” Robin Ellerman, owner of Trains-n-Toys in North Canton, Ohio, told TDmonthly.
— Over 21 percent of retailers told TDmonthly that Webkinz was their all-around best-selling item of 2007.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 16092 (added 11/12/2007)
From the Organic Layette Collection, the baby tee is made of 100 percent certified organic cotton (no pesticides or herbicides) and made entirely in the United States. Products in the Organic Collection have MSRPs between $9.00 and $48.00. Launch date: January 15, 2007.
— “We believe that being domestic is important, too!” Chris Svensrud, designer, inventor and president of Pixel, told TDmonthly.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 16792 (added 12/28/2007)
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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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