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April 2008 | Vol. VII - No. 4
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TDmonthly’s Top-10 Most-Wanted Puzzles

Popularity of Melissa & Doug and Ravensburger Not So Puzzling


With additional reporting by Sheila Coyle, Virginia Davis, Terri Hughes-Lazzell, Christine Lebednik and Brenda Ruggiero

Forty-five specialty retailers recently shared with TDmonthly Magazine that the most popular puzzles in their stores are wooden puzzles, floor puzzles and wooden floor puzzles.  Melissa & Doug and Ravensburger manage to produce all three.

Here are the top-10 puzzles:




Wholesale Price: (Log in to view)
MSRP: $10.00
Age Range: 3 and up
SKU or Item #: 0 00772 90424 7
Launch Date: January 2007
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Puzzles & Skill
Infant & Toddler



When assembled, this 28-piece puzzle measures 10’ long. It is made of heavy-grade cardboard that is coated on both sides and is 20 percent thicker than the competition's material. The company’s colorful, detailed, value-priced floor puzzles are available in a variety of shapes, sizes and piece-counts, ranging from 24 to 100 pieces. The pieces of the Alphabet Train Floor Puzzle are self-correcting and the puzzle itself is an amazing 10’ long upon completion. Launch date: Re-launched January 2007 with revised graphics.
— “Our best seller is Melissa & Doug — their wooden floor puzzles are very popular,” said Melodie Ingwersen, owner of Creative Kids in Columbia, S.C.
— Research conducted by TDmonthly indicated that sales of Melissa & Doug Floor Puzzles were strongest in the Southeast, where retailers averaged more than 30 units sold a month.
— Over 57 percent of retailers told TDmonthly in early 2008 that Melissa & Doug puzzles were the best-selling puzzles in their stores.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 12004      (added 3/20/2007)
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SKU or Item #: 4005556111183
Launch Date: July 2007
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Puzzles & Skill
Gifts
General Toys



The 8-1/2” 3D puzzle will help children learn geography in an innovative way. The puzzle features 540 perfectly crafted, curved plastic puzzle pieces the fit snugly together to form a solid, smooth ball. No glue is required. The underside of each piece is conveniently numbered to provide arrangement help. A variety of styles are available, including penguins, dinosaurs, dolphins and unicorns. Launch date: Summer 2007.
— “Ravensburger adult puzzles – we sell four or five a day,” Scott Sloan, manager of Toys Inc. in Myrtle Beach, S.C. told TDmonthly.
— “We sell a lot of Ravensburger [puzzles] for adults. At least a dozen every day,” Pam Horwitz, manager of Mr. Toad’s Toy Company in Naples, Fl., told TDmonthly. Four of 45 retailers surveyed by TDmonthly named Ravensburger adult puzzles as their best-selling puzzles.
— “Ravensburger puzzles are my very fav,” said Michelle Smith, owner of Piccolo Mondo Toys in Portland, Ore., in December 2008 of this strong seller in her store.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 17473      (added 2/12/2008)
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MSRP: $9.99
Age Range: 2 to 5
Launch Date: June 2006
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Wooden Toys
Puzzles & Skill
Preschool



The jumbo puzzle features thick puzzle pieces that are hand-painted, feature full-color images and are capable of standing on their own for additional play. When assembled, the puzzle measures 12" x 11" x 4/5". The puzzle promotes creativity and matching skills. Launch date: June 2006.
– “Melissa & Doug…we sell two or three of their products every day. The best selling one is their puzzles,” Steve Ricks, owner of My Story House Toys in Roswell, Ga., told TDmonthly.
– Over 63 percent of retailers who spoke with TDmonthly named a Melissa & Doug product as their best-selling wooden toy item. Melissa & Doug wooden animal puzzles are very popular at The Toy Shop in Lexington, Ky., the owner told TDmonthly. “We sell one or two a day.”
— “Klutz books have been steady sellers for us,” Melodie Ingwersen, owner of Creative Kids Toy Shop in Columbia, S.C., told TDmonthly in March 2008.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 17656      (added 2/21/2008)
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Age Range: 3 and up
SKU or Item #: 666273053114
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Puzzles & Skill
Licensed Products
Preschool



The 24-piece puzzle measures 27” x 33” when assembled. The puzzle comes in the shape of Thomas the Tank.
— Of 45 retailers surveyed by TDmonthly in early 2008, 40 percent named Ravensburger as their stores’ most popular manufacturer of puzzles.
— When it comes to puzzles, “Ravensburger is the best,” Susan Blanton, owner of Pufferbellies in Staunton, Va., told TDmonthly.
— According to Jacob Talkington, manager of Toy Joy in Austin, Texas, his store does well with Thomas the Tank puzzles.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 18085      (added 3/24/2008)
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Age Range: 18 and up
SKU or Item #: 4005556178056
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Puzzles & Skill
General Games
Adult Games



The 9,000-piece astrology puzzle measures 54” x 76” when assembled.
— “Five hundred pieces and above are the best-sellers,” David Hesel, owner of The Toy Shop of Concord in Concord, Mass., said of Ravensburger’s puzzles. “It’s the adult puzzle business,” Hessel told TDmonthly.
— According to Dennis Hosstedder of The Toy Store in Atlanta, Ga., “We sell [a Ravensburger puzzle] every day."
— “We sell a lot of Ravensburger puzzles… four or five puzzles a day,” Pam Horowitz, manager of Mr. Toad’s Toy Company in Naples, Fla., told TDmonthly in early 2008.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 18086      (added 3/24/2008)
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MSRP: $14.99
Age Range: 2 to 3
SKU or Item #: 6746
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Puzzles & Skill
Pretend Play



Where do all the farm animals belong? Put the animals in the right places to solve the puzzle. Puzzle board includes figure, cow, horse, pig, cat, sheep and accessory. Also available: Circus Puzzle Board.
— Playmobil’s puzzles are so popular in Toy Zone in San Antonio, Texas, that the store sells “around 100 a month,” manager Mark Lopez told TDmonthly in early 2008.
— According to Jamie Burdette, owner of LB Toys in Media, Pa., “the Playmobil line” is the store’s hottest selling line.
— Two of 45 retailers who spoke with TDmonthly in early 2008 singled out Playmobil puzzles as the best-selling puzzles in their stores.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 11772      (added 3/5/2007)
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MSRP: $5.99
Age Range: 3 and up
SKU or Item #: 019649200146
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Puzzles & Skill
Wooden Toys
Preschool



The game includes 18 wooden puzzle pieces that can be used to create six different bears, each wearing different clothes and a different expression on his face. All pieces are stored inside a 6” wooden box that features a convenient slide-off lid.
— Kim Saltzstein, owner of Silly Goose Toys in Gilbert, Ariz., told TDmonthly that Schylling’s puzzles are one of her stores’ best-selling puzzles.
— Over one-fourth of 45 retailers who spoke with TDmonthly in early 2008 named wooden puzzles as their best-selling puzzles.
— An Emma Moody bear puzzle version is also available.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 18091      (added 3/24/2008)
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MSRP: $16.99
Age Range: 2 to 5
SKU or Item #: 5402754
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Puzzles & Skill
Wooden Toys
Preschool



The puzzle is composed of sturdy wooden pieces. The puzzle will help children build fine-motor skills, imagination skills and numbers skills. The hour and minute hands even spin around to help children learn to tell time.
— “Puzzibilities by Small World – we sell at least one a week,” Bennie Campbell, owner of ABC Toys in Conway, Ark., told TDmonthly.
— Over 10 percent of retailers who spoke with TDmonthly in early 2008 named puzzles for very young children as their best-selling type of puzzle.
— The Puzzibilities line includes four progressive levels of puzzles, designed to stimulate learning across ages and developmental skills.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 18088      (added 3/24/2008)
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MSRP: $11.99
Age Range: 3 and up
SKU or Item #: 413
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Puzzles & Skill
Educational
General Games



The 48-jumbo-piece puzzle depicts the planets and the moon in the solar system. The puzzle is educational and also teaches kids matching and motor skills. Each puzzle piece is made of extra-thick cardboard for extra durability. The puzzle measures 24” x 36” when assembled.
— “Melissa & Doug’s solar system puzzle – we sell at least one a day,” Steve Ricks, owner of My Story House Toys in Roswell, Ga., told TDmonthly.
— “Floor puzzles by Melissa & Doug – [we sell] at least one a day,” Bob Colbert, owner of The Toy Box in Searcy, Ark., told TDmonthly.
— Over 11 percent of retailers who spoke with TDmonthly in early 2008 shared that large floor puzzles by Melissa & Doug are their stores’ best-sellers when it comes to puzzles.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 18089      (added 3/24/2008)
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New in 2008 is Puzzler's decor line, consisting of six different styles to choose. This beautiful four-in-one craft project is perfect for home, office or simply as a gift. First, create the upper 500 piece puzzle which is 12" x 18". Second, create the lower 500 piece puzzle also 12 X 18. Third, create the outer mat 200-piece puzzle size 24" x 36". Fourth glue all three puzzles. Frame all three puzzles to create one frameable picture.
— Fran Annya, co-owner of Golden Aspen Toys in Flagstaff, Ariz., said that “Serendipity puzzles are nice.”
— Four of 45 retailers who spoke with TDmonthly in early 2008 named puzzles geared toward the adult demographic as their best-selling puzzles.
— The 1,200-piece puzzle comes in six different varieties.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 17790      (added 2/28/2008)
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