TDmonthly Magazine!
May 2008 | Vol. VII - No. 5
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TDmonthly’s Top-10 Most-Wanted Infant & Toddler Toys

International Playthings is Tops for Tots


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

When TDmonthly Magazine spoke with 40 specialty retailers about infant and toddler products, one sentiment was echoed again and again: parents want products that are safe. For many, safe means wooden, organic or “not made in China,” said 36 percent of storeowners.

Popular items include playsets, blankets and plush by International Playthings Inc., wooden toys by Melissa & Doug, the Kringelring by HABA and the Winkel by Manhattan Toy. See them all below:




Wholesale Price: (Log in to view)
MSRP: $65.00
Age Range: 2 and up
SKU or Item #: G02254
Launch Date: March 2007
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Infant & Toddler
General Toys



Suitable for children 18 months and up, this playset plays seven songs and features four animal figurines that make their respective sounds when sorted correctly. It also includes four “vegeta-balls” that can slide down ramps. The product requires three AA batteries (included). Launch date: March 2007.
— Fifteen percent of retailers named International Playthings as the manufacturer of their stores’ best-selling infant and toddler toys.
— Four of 40 retailers who spoke with TDmonthly in March 2008 revealed that playsets were the best-selling item for infants and toddlers.
— “International Playthings playsets,” Robin Ellerman, owner of Trains-n-Toys in Canton, Ohio, told TDmonthly in March 2008, when asked about his best-seller for babies and tots.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 13800      (added 6/28/2007)
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MSRP: $19.99
Age Range: 3 and up
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Wooden Toys
Infant & Toddler
Preschool



This wooden pizza set comes with 50 toppings, six thick slices of pizza, a bright tray, a cutter and a spatula. All pieces are packaged inside a convenient wooden box.
— Fifteen percent of the 40 retailers who spoke with TDmonthly in March 2008 singled out Melissa & Doug products as their best-selling infant and toddler products.
— “A pizza by Melissa & Doug — we sell about one a month,” Mary Fortier, a longtime salesperson at The Toy Palace in Jackson, Miss., told TDmonthly in March 2008.
— “Customers ask if we’re following recalls; they ask for wooden toys from Melissa & Doug,” Barbara Burn, owner of Children’s Orchard in Litchfield Park, Ariz., shared with TDmonthly in March 2008.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 18635      (added 4/29/2008)
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MSRP: $6.50
Age Range: 0 and up
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Infant & Toddler



The beechwood teething ring features maple elements threaded over a sturdy, cloth-covered red band. Two blue rings clatter when this rattle is shaken. The German-made toy is finished with non-toxic, child-friendly substances.
— Ten percent of the 41 retailers who spoke with TDmonthly in March 2008 singled out HABA as the most popular manufacturer of infant and toddler products.
— Nancy Barringer, owner of Jaimie Two Coats Toy Shop in Shelburne, Vt., told TDmonthly in March 2008 that wooden teething toys by HABA are her stores’ best-selling infant and toddler item.
— “HABA infant wooden teethers,” are also a best-seller for little ones for Diana Glasier, owner of Green Caboose in Stroudsburg, Pa.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 4028      (added 7/27/2005)
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MSRP: $12.00
Age Range: 0 and up
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Infant & Toddler
Developmental Toys
Gifts



Stunning colors give this perennial favorite a lively look. Babies will be engaged and amused by the responsive rattle, and caregivers can safely refrigerate this pliable plastic toy to produce a soothing teether. “We have so much of the Manhattan baby...we sell a lot,” Owner Amy Barrett of Lasso the Moon Wonderful Toys in Helena, Mont., told TDmonthly in early 2007. “People buy them for baby gifts...baby shower gifts. They like them because the colors are so bright.”
— “Winkels from Manhattan Toy — [we sell] about 30 per month,” Burdette told TDmonthly in March 2008. Five percent of the 40 retailers who spoke with TDmonthly in spring 2008 singled out this item as their stores’ best-selling infant and toddler toy.
— "I sell 18 or so a month," Mary Ellen Cerney, owner of Dear Friends & Children in Duncan, Okla., said in March 2009. In June 2009, four of 47 retailers listed Manhattan Toy as their best-selling baby line. In March 2010, two of 39 specialty retailers cited Winkel as a best-selling baby toy.
— In June 2010, five percent of 40 specialty retailers named Manhattan Toy’s Winkel as a top-selling baby product.
— As of 05/21/2012 this product had 4.5 out of 5 stars from 299 reviews on Amazon.com.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 10528      (added 12/7/2006)
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Wholesale Price: (Log in to view)
MSRP: $50.00
Age Range: 0 and up
SKU or Item #: E00911
Launch Date: December 2007
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Infant & Toddler
Developmental Toys
General Toys



The activity quilt is made with soft, luxurious materials and consists of beautiful detailing, delighting babies in tactile and visual stimulation. One side of the quilt features a peek-a-boo ladybug mirror, a squeaky pig, a musical lamb and a crinkly cow, while the other side features Taggies' signature fleece. The quilt comes with two, soft handles for easy transport. Launch date: December 2007.
— Five percent of the 40 retailers who spoke with TDmonthly in March 2008 singled out Taggies' blankets as the hottest infant and toddler item in their stores.
— “The little Taggies' blankets with tabs on the ends,” Amy Oliver, owner of Giggles in South Hamilton, Mass., told TDmonthly in March 2008, when asked about which infant and toddler item sells best. 
— The blanket’s looped tags are designed to stimulate and promote a baby’s mental development.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 18450      (added 4/17/2008)
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Wholesale Price: (Log in to view)
MSRP: $16.00
Age Range: 0 and up
SKU or Item #: 59064
Launch Date: January 2008
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Plush
Gifts



The pony is crafted of different pink calico patterns and corduroy accents. The pony also features a wide embroidered smile, aqua velour ears and a ruffled calico tail and head trim. An 8” style and a 22” style are also available. Launch date: January 2008.
— The pony uses “colors and material that match with today’s fashion industry,” Gund Marketing and Licensing Manager Shallu Chhabra told TDmonthly.
— “Stuffed animals by Gund — [we sell] three or less per month,” Tina, owner of Baby Furniture & Accessories in Albuquerque, N.M., told TDmonthly in March 2008, when asked which items sell best for infants and toddlers in her store.
— Five percent of the 40 retailers who spoke with TDmonthly in March 2008 named Gund as the hottest manufacturer of baby products in their stores.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 16783      (added 12/28/2007)
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Age Range: 0 and up
SKU or Item #: E00102
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Infant & Toddler
Developmental Toys
General Toys



This developmental toy features a squeaking belly, a crinkly red tail, multiple-textured teething rings, a colorful beak, colorful legs and wings and much more.
—  “The Earl E. Bird by Earlyears — we sell about one a week and it has been our best-selling infant toy for a long time,” Melodie Ingwersen, owner of Creativity For Kids in Columbia, S.C., told TDmonthly in March 2008.
— Two of 41 retailers who spoke with TDmonthly in March 2008 named the Earlyears' line by International Playthings as their best-selling infant and toddler line.
— The toy is machine-washable, making it convenient for moms and sanitary for babies.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 18636      (added 4/29/2008)
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Age Range: 2 and up
SKU or Item #: 5105
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Wooden Toys
General Toys
Infant & Toddler



This wooden pull-toy makes rhythmic click-clack sounds as it moves along. The toy measures approximately 3” x 10” x 3-1/2” and is intended for children over the age of 19 months.
— “Plan Toys’ Alligator is very good. We sell about one a week,” Dennis Hostedder of The Toy Store in Atlanta, Ga., told TDmonthly.
— “Plan has really moved up and really picked up,” Barbara Fineblum owner of Barston’s Child’s Play in Baltimore, Md., said in March 2008. Five percent of the 40 retailers who spoke with TDmonthly in March 2008 named Plan Toys as their most popular infant and toddler manufacturer.
— Plan Toys’ alligator and walk ‘n roll are top sellers at Moon Rabbit Toys in Santa Fe, N.M., Owner Shana Hack told TDmonthly in early summer 2009.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 18637      (added 4/29/2008)
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MSRP: $43.95
Age Range: 2 to 4
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Infant & Toddler
Inflatable Toys



Ideal for learning balance and coordination, the Rody Horse allows children to hop around and can even be attached to a base that transforms it into a Rocking Rody Horse. The soft ride-on is often used in therapy for handicapped children, and is made of super-strong, latex-free vinyl. It inflates according to the size and weight of a child with a hand or foot pump. The maximum inflated height to “saddle” is 12".
— “Rodys have always sold well for us. Over and over, people tell us they were the hit of the party,” Elaine Hackney, owner of Boing! JP’s Toy Shop in Jamaica Plain, Mass., told TDmonthly in summer 2007.
— Nobody can resist a bounce or two on this high-quality rubber toy from Italy. Rody comes in assorted colors and has been a steady seller in specialty stores for more than a decade. The combination of high quality, great play value and universal appeal earned this toy a TDmonthly Classic Toy 2007 award.
— “We sell a ton of Rodys by TMI. This is one of the best sellers in the store,” Peg Scholtes, owner of Capitol Kids Ltd. in Madison, Wis., told TDmonthly in March 2008.

Where to Buy: Really Great Toys

ToyDirectory Product ID#: 14605      (added 8/13/2007)
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The dog’s body is split into three sections, leading his body to wiggle when he is pulled. The toy rolls along on four wheels and comes with a red leash around his neck.
— “Applepie Toy’s Pull-Along Pals,” Jacob Roehl, manager of Necker’s in Simsbury, Conn., told TDmonthly in March 2008, when asked to name the best-selling infant and toddler toy in his store. Roehl said his store sells approximately 15 of these per month.
— In March 2008, two of 41 retailers singled out wooden pull toys as their best-selling infant and toddler products.
— The Applepie Toy pull-along line includes other animals, such as a cat, a duck and other dog breeds.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 18638      (added 4/29/2008)
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