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April 2008 | Vol. VII - No. 4
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Bakugan Battle Warriors Triumph Over Boys


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

A new hot item for boys may be the Bakugan Battle Brawlers line of strategic card games and marbles that transform into robots, by SpinMaster. One Canadian retailer claims it's "out of control." [Update 5/19/08: Since we published this, Boston.com has also reported that the toy's caught on in the U.S.] Despite reports of a slowdown, 25 percent of 45 storeowners surveyed by TDmonthly Magazine named Webkinz by Ganz as their hottest item. Other top sellers included erasers by Iwako, playsets by Playmobil, Sticky Mosaics by The Orb Factory and Bananagrams by Bananagrams.




MSRP: $14.95
Age Range: 6 and up
Launch Date: February 2008
Gender: Boys
Category: Action Figures
General Games
Collectibles



Bakugan is a strategic card game played with magnetic, spring-loaded marbles that transform into robots. The game spawned an animated series on Cartoon Network, Bakugan Battle Brawlers, which debuted on February 24, 2008, according to Wikipedia. Launch date: February 2008.
— Barbara Vininsky, owner of Blossom & Harry in Montreal, Canada, said in early 2008 that this is her hottest item by far: "It's out of control; I've never seen anything like it." Boys 6 to 9 are snatching it up as fast as she can order, even though her store specializes in clothing and she rarely has hot toys for boys.
— Two of 63 retailers named Bakugan when asked about their overall best-selling toy in September 2008. Tim Hayes, owner of Learning Express in Sudbury, Mass., told TDmonthly in November 2008 that his store sells 500 to 600 units of Bakugan monthly. “We’ve been very fortunate in having shipments,” he said.
— David Marks, owner of Learning Express of Westport in Westport, Conn., lauded Bakugan for its wide range of appeal. "I've been in this business for 13 years and I've never seen a product appeal to kids as young as 5 and as old as 13," he told TDmonthly.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 18227      (added 4/3/2008)
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Fruit? Eraser? Collectible? Erasable? Try all four. These brightly colored erasers come in many types and sets for increased collectibility.
— “Little Japanese-made erasers from Iwako” are popular at Izilla Toys in Seattle, Co-owner Jude Larene told TDmonthly in mid-2007. “These really took off a few months ago. All the kids at local elementary schools are collecting them.”
— "I sell thousands and thousands of them — probably a couple hundred a month," added Larene.
— In early 2008, three of 45 retailers singled out Iwako erasers as their stores’ hottest selling item.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 13731      (added 6/26/2007)
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Wholesale Price: (Log in to view)
MSRP: $94.99
Age Range: 4 and up
SKU or Item #: 4290
Launch Date: August 2008
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Pretend Play
Construction
Creative Activities



This pirate ship comes with a cabin, a working anchor winch, a functional loading crane, a boat hook and space for treasure and cannons. It also includes four figures, a monkey, a parrot and other accessories. The boat floats or drives on rollers and can be upgraded with the PLAYMOBIL Underwater Motor (Item #7530). The ship measures 26" L x 9" D x 22" H. “The Pirate Ship also includes string which is used to make the anchor winch and crane functional,” Playmobil Inc. Advertising and Marketing Manager Michelle Winfrey told TDmonthly. Launch date: August 2008.
— Three of 45 retailers shared with TDmonthly in early 2008 that Playmobil products are the hottest sellers in their stores.
— The pirate line by Playmobil made the top-10 best-sellers list at LB Toys in Media, Pa. in spring 2008. “Much of the line is made in Europe, and it strongly encourages imagination,”said Owner Jamie Burdette.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 16617      (added 12/18/2007)
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MSRP: $14.99
Age Range: 7 and up
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: General Games
Educational
Award Winners



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)
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Age Range: 7 and up
SKU or Item #: 147W
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Arts & Crafts
Creative Activities



Giving kids the chance to make recycled paper by hand, this kit includes construction paper, a papermaking tray, two screens, two boards, six poster paints, ribbons, wooden beads and additional accessories.
— Owner of The Toy Shop in Lexington, Ky., and Erica Welton, manager of Bedford Falls Toy Shop in Charlotte, N.C., both told TDmonthly in early 2008 that Alex’s craft kits for older kids are the best-sellers in their store.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 17556      (added 2/18/2008)
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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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Wholesale Price: (Log in to view)
MSRP: $11.99
Age Range: 3 and up
SKU or Item #: 120470
Launch Date: January 2008
Gender: Girls
Category: Dolls
Plush
Gifts



This beautiful 13" doll exudes fun and spunk in her pretty little floral dress. Launch date: January 2008.
— In early 2008, 2 of 45 retailers singled out Manhattan Toy as the best-selling line in their stores.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 16966      (added 1/8/2008)
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MSRP: $19.99
Age Range: 7 to 12
SKU or Item #: 4995
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Construction
General Toys
Play Sets



The 272-piece set can be used to construct a helicopter with cargo-lift capability, a speedboat with power-anchor capability or a power-propelled plane. The cargo copter measures 12” long and over 4” high.
— “Legos are always a huge item,” Rich Gibson, owner and manager of Learning Express of Newton in Newton Centre, Mass., told TDmonthly in early 2008.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 18075      (added 3/24/2008)
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MSRP: $14.98
Launch Date: March 2008
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Videos & DVDs
Licensed Products



Thomas and his friends are featured in six new adventures, including "Cool Truckings," "Skarloey Storms Through" and "Wash Behind Your Buffers." In addition, children can sing-along with the puffing steam cloud to two music videos. The DVD has an approximate running time of 50 minutes. This product received a 2008 Parents' Choice Approved award. Launch date: March 4, 2008.
— According to Bennie Campbell, owner of ABC Toys in Conway, Ark., “Thomas the Train always has been” the stores’ hottest selling line.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 17445      (added 2/8/2008)
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This cute little duck comes with a code that allows its owner to access Webkinz World online.
— Over 26 percent of 45 retailers surveyed by TDmonthly in early 2008 named Webkinz as their hottest selling item.
— “Webkinz by Ganz — they still sell out every shipment,” Melodie Ingwersen, owner of Creativity for Kids in Columbia, S.C., told TDmonthly in early 2008.
— “[They] have been really hot for the last couple of years,” she added.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 17573      (added 2/18/2008)
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