May 2008 | Vol. VII - No. 5
TDmonthly’s Top-10 Most-Wanted Bath Toys
Alex-Panline Makes a Big Splash
With additional reporting by Sheila Coyle, Virginia Davis, Terri Hughes-Lazzell, Christine Lebednik and Brenda Ruggiero
TDmonthly Magazine spoke with 40 specialty retailers to find out which bath toys are making the biggest splash. More than 62 percent of retailers named products by Alex-Panline USA Inc. as the most popular in their stores. Topping the list are: Tub Tunes, Rub-a-Dub Foaming Body Soap, Rub-a-Dub Pirates of the Tub and Dirty Dogs by Alex-Panline; Washcloths by BabyLuxe; Tomy Water Symphony and Bathtubbies by International Playthings Inc.; and little water squirters by HABA.
The 3-in-1 Music Island includes three real instruments for the tub on a fish-shaped floating island. It's part of the famous Tub Tunes' line of bathtub musical instruments for toddlers. The Island includes a drum, xylophone and Octopus Jingle Shaker. It also comes with two mallets, music sheets and a music holder.
— “Alex is where it is at for bath toys. We sell at least two a week,” said Alison Cox, owner of Animal Quackers in Raleigh, N.C.
— “Alex bath toys do well, all of them. We especially do well with Tub Tunes,” Patricia Masing, co-owner of Tree Town Toys in Ann Arbor, Mich., told TDmonthly in March 2008.
— Five of 37 retailers cited the Tub Tunes' line as a hot-selling bath toy with customers in spring 2007. Thirty percent of 40 retailers who spoke with TDmonthly in March 2008 singled out this item as the best-selling bath toy in their stores.
— Want this? As of 05/06/2011, this product was available for purchase at Hardware Toys.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 12269 (added 4/10/2007)
This 7-oz. can of green foamy soap is available with a frog or duck topper. Kids will have fun playing with the foam and getting clean at the same time.
— “Alex has Rub a Dub foaming body wash and we sell some of that almost every day,” Steve Ricks, owner of My Storyhouse Toys in Roswell, Ga., told TDmonthly in March 2008.
— “The Rub a Dub soap by Alex … we sell one a day,” Andre Truso, a longtime salesperson at The World of Mirth in Richmond, Va., told TDmonthly in March 2008.
— Five percent of 40 retailers who spoke with TDmonthly in March 2008 singled out this soap as their stores’ best-selling bath item.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 18649 (added 4/30/2008)
This 38-piece, phthalate-free set includes foam pieces that stick to the wall, letting kids build pirate ships and islands. It also includes three pirate squirters and a suction-cup mesh bag for drying and storage. This item is a Creative Child Magazine Preferred Choice Award winner and an iParenting Media Award winner.
— “Alex has … pirate ships — we sell at least one of those every day,” Pam Horwitz, manager of Mr. Toad’s Toy Company in Naples, Fla., told TDmonthly in March 2008.
— “[We] carry a lot of Alex — they sell best. They all fly out the door,” Susan Blanton, owner of Pufferbellies in Staunton, Va., told TDmonthly in March 2008.
— More than 7 percent of 40 retailers who spoke with TDmonthly in March 2008 singled out Alex’s pirate ship as their stores’ best-selling bath toy.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 18650 (added 4/30/2008)
This six-pack washcloth set features six different pastel colors. Each cloth measures 9” x 9”.
— Babyluxe Washcloths are the best-selling bath item at Aldrich Baby News in Tucson, Ariz., Store Manager Melissa, told TDmonthly in March 2008.
— “Babyluxe — [we sell] several a month,” a representative of Sedona Kid in Sedona, Ariz., told TDmonthly in March 2008, when asked to name the best-selling bath item in the store.
— Five percent of the retailers who spoke with TDmonthly in March 2008 singled out this item as their best-selling bath item.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 18660 (added 4/30/2008)
Suitable for children ages 6 months and up, these big, soft squirters need to be cleaned at bath time. Magic ink "dirt" disappears in warm bath water. Each phthalate-free set of four includes a mini washcloth for kids to use to scrub the dogs clean.
— “My whole bath section is almost all Alex; my favorite one is the Dirty Dogs,” Billy Thelander, owner and manager of Little Bits Toys in Wellesley, Mass., told TDmonthly in March 2008.
— Two of 40 retailers who spoke with TDmonthly in March 2008 named this particular item as the best-selling bath toy in their stores.
— Katie Frederick, owner of The Wooden Rainbow in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, told TDmonthly in March 2008 that this item is the best-selling bath toy in her store.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 18651 (added 4/30/2008)
Tomy - Water Symphony by INTERNATIONAL PLAYTHINGS LLC
Other products from INTERNATIONAL PLAYTHINGS LLC
Bathtime has never sounded so good; when kids slip these color-coded dolphins into their inner tubes, put them in water and tap their little heads, each one emits its own special note. Included is a color-coded music guide that shows kids how to play “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star," "Mary Had a Little Lamb," and "London Bridge." Each tube has its own number for bath time counting fun. The toy measures approximately 11” x 16” x 4” and is intended for children over the age of 18 months. Batteries are not included.
— “Water Symphony by Tomy — we sell two or three a month,” Kathy Byrd, owner of Fantasy Island Toys in Fairhope, Ala., told TDmonthly in March 2008 about this toy that’s been making music in kids’ tubs since 1998.
— Barbara Fineblum, owner of Barston’s Child’s Play in Baltimore, Md., said in March 2008 that musical toys by Tomy are some of her best-selling bath toys.
— Five percent of 40 retailers who spoke with TDmonthly in March 2008 named Tomy’s musical bath toys as a best-seller in that category.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 3968 (added 7/15/2005)
Tomy - Bathtubbies by INTERNATIONAL PLAYTHINGS LLC
Other products from INTERNATIONAL PLAYTHINGS LLC
These wind-up bath toys are available in turtle, seal and frog varieties. Each splashes and swims around the tub. This item is intended for children over the age of 18 months.
— “International Playthings — they all sell well,” Greg Larson, owner of Larson’s Toys and Games in Columbus, Ohio, told TDmonthly in March 2008, when asked to name his best-selling bath toy.
— Peg Scholtes, owner of Capitol Kids Ltd. in Madison, Wis., told TDmonthly in March 2008 that “wind-up bath toys” are one of the store’s best sellers.
— In March 2008, David Hesel, owner of The Toy Shop of Concord in Concord, Mass., told TDmonthly that International Playthings Inc. produces some of the best-selling bath toys in his store.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 18653 (added 4/30/2008)
This squirter measures 9 cm in length and squirts water for bath time fun.
— In an April 2012 survey, Dean Smith, owner of JaZams in Princeton, N.J., told TDmonthly that they sell 2 dozen bath squirters from HABA each month.
— In March 2008, Nancy Barringer, owner of Jamie Two Coats Toy Shop in Shelburne, Vt., told TDmonthly that these “little squirters” are so popular that her store has been selling 20 per month since Christmas.
— Five percent of 40 retailers who spoke with TDmonthly in March 2008 singled out HABA toys as their best-selling bath toys.
— Many other varieties are available, including a sea horse, pirate, ship, frog and fish.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 18655 (added 4/30/2008)
Froggle Bath Center is an interactive center of fun that takes baby on an exploration of the water. The frog’s detachable arms transform into a scooper and strainer while the body features a whirlpool, roll beads, spinning star and dolphin, and push-button activities in color-changing materials. This item is intended for children over the age of nine months.
— When asked in March 2008 about her best-selling bath toy, Amy Herrington, owner of Babies to Kids in Flagstaff, Ariz., told TDmonthly, “Tiny Love Froggy — more than 20 per month.”
— More than 7 percent of retailers, who spoke with TDmonthly in March 2008, named a developmental toy for infants as their best-selling bath toy.
— This toy is intended to help babies develop cognitive, sensory and coordination skills while having fun.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 7123 (added 3/6/2006)
Gone Fishin' Magnetic Bathtub Game by RICH FROG INDUSTRIES
Other products from RICH FROG INDUSTRIES
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As magnetized critters float around the tub, little ones use the fishing rod, also magnetized, to play the game. When the two magnets meet, they’ve caught the big one. Every catch is guaranteed, and the fishing is also good in swimming pools and at the beach. This game comes in Pond (frog, duck and fish) and Ocean (dolphin, octopus and turtle) varieties. “The magnets inside are sewn into a mesh bag first and then that mesh bag is sewn tightly inside the product, enhancing its safety factor. Also, the fishing rod is foam-filled, not rigid, so it is soft,” John Gallagher of Rich Frog Industries told TDmonthly. Launch date: July 2007.
— “[The] Rich Frog line does well — the whole assortment. … [We] sell maybe 15 per month,” Susan Pruett, manager of Kilmarnock Toy Store in Kilmarnock, Va., told TDmonthly in 2008.
— One-fourth of the 40 retailers who spoke with TDmonthly in March 2008 said their best-selling bath toys are animal-themed.
— In March 2008, five percent of 40 retailers who spoke with TDmonthly singled out fishing sets as the best-selling bath toys in their stores.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 12466 (added 4/23/2007)
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