May 2008 | Vol. VII - No. 5
TDmonthly’s Top-10 Most-Wanted Travel Toys
Melissa & Doug Tags Along
With additional reporting by Sheila Coyle, Virginia Davis, Terri Hughes-Lazzell, Christine Lebednik and Brenda Ruggiero
TDmonthly Magazine spoke with 40 specialty retailers about what's on their must-have list when it comes to travel. Storeowners overwhelmingly named magnetic playsets, activity books and bingo games as the top-selling travel items, with Melissa & Doug as the most popular manufacturer of travel games. Also tops were Imaginetics by International Playthings Inc., activity books by Klutz and Lee Publications, and Milton Bradley travel games by Hasbro Inc.
This wooden, magnetic dress-up doll will encourage imaginative play. The 27-piece set comes with a stand and colorful, magnetic outfits and accessories.
— Over one-fifth of retailers who spoke with TDmonthly in March 2008 singled out Melissa & Doug as the hottest manufacturer of travel toys.
— “Melissa & Doug has a whole new line of travel games. We sell about one a week,” Steve Ricks, owner of My Storyhouse Toys in Roswell, Ga., told TDmonthly in March 2008.
— “Melissa & Doug has a magnetic paper doll that is great for travel, and we sell about one a week,” Pam Horwitz, manager of Mr. Toad’s Toy Company in Naples, Fla., told TDmonthly in March 2008.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 18656 (added 4/30/2008)
Imaginetics - Bob the Builder ? The Machine Shelter by INTERNATIONAL PLAYTHINGS LLC
Other products from INTERNATIONAL PLAYTHINGS LLC
The 13-piece travel playset is based on the popular series “Bob the Builder.” Each piece is magnetized, so kids can create and recreate scenes endlessly.
— Three of 40 retailers agreed in March 2008 that Imaginetics are the best-selling travel games in their stores.
— Fifteen percent of retailers who spoke with TDmonthly in March 2008 said magnetic playsets are the best-selling travel products in their stores.
— "Any type of small travel games and magnetic stickers, such as Imaginetics," Jamie Burdette, owner of LB Toys in Media, Pa., told TDmonthly in March 2008, when asked to name his best-selling travel toy.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 18654 (added 4/30/2008)
The Klutz Kids Travel Book is a 48-page backseat survival kit. This super high-quality book comes with a built-in clipboard, 100-page notepad, 47 page activity book and a conveniently attached zipper pouch full of markers, yarn, dice, string and more. Mazes, Cat's Cradle Loop, Hidden Pictures, Parcheesi Board, License Plate Bingo and Classic Song Lyrics are just a few of the activities included in this ultimate travel kit. It’s a winner of the Parent's Choice Gold Award.
— Two of 40 retailers who spoke with TDmonthly in March 2008 singled out this kit as their stores’ best-selling travel item.
— Amy, owner of Babies to Kids in Flagstaff, Ariz., told TDmonthly that her store sells “over 20 per month” of this item.
— In March 2008, Amy Oliver, owner of Giggles in South Hamilton, Mass., named this kit as one of her stores’ best-selling travel products.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 7675 (added 4/21/2006)
This two-sided board allows kids to release their artistic expressions either on a chalkboard or dry-erase surface. It comes with colored chalk, a dry-erase marker, and 36 magnetic letters and numbers. The board measures 16” x 12” x 0.75”.
— As of fall 2007, new art supplies by Melissa & Doug rank as a top seller at Brain Station and Tree Town Toys in Ann Arbor, Mich., said Owners Hans and Tricia Masing.
— “Melissa & Doug has some cute new travel games they just came out [with], and we are selling one or more a day,” Andre Truso, a longtime salesperson at The World of Mirth in Richmond, Va., told TDmonthly in March 2008.
— “New travel games by Melissa & Doug…We just got them in, but they are selling pretty fast,” Mary Fortier, a longtime salesperson at The Toy Palace in Jackson, Miss., told TDmonthly in March 2008.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 16023 (added 11/5/2007)
Disney Princess Enchanted Stables 2in1 Book by LEE PUBLICATIONS
Other products from LEE PUBLICATIONS
All your favorite princesses and their horses take you to a land of magical games and coloring. The activities include Magic Pen® Painting and Invisible Ink. The Special Pen also produces a rainbow of colors instantly. The Special Pen reveals the invisibly printed pictures. Each book includes 24 pages of fun and a special pen.
— Two of 40 retailers who spoke with TDmonthly in March 2008 singled out Lee Publications products as the best-selling travel items in their stores.
— In March 2008, over 22 percent of retailers who spoke with TDmonthly named activity books as their best-seller when it comes to travel products.
— Many other varieties are available, including Ratatouille, Disney Fairies and Finding Nemo.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 16997 (added 1/9/2008)
In this 20-minute version of Scrabble, two to four players roll the dice and use letters to construct a word. Opponents use the remaining dice to build off the previous word played, and the first person to score 200 points is the winner. Launch date: October 2007.
— Of 40 retailers who spoke with TDmonthly in March 2008, four singled out Milton Bradley products as their best-selling travel games.
— Barbara Fineblum, owner of Barston’s Child’s Play in Baltimore, Md., told TDmonthly in March of 2008 that “travel games by Milton Bradley” are the best-selling travel games in her store.
— “Milton Bradley travel toys always are good sellers,” added Gary Larson, owner of Larson’s Toys and Games in Columbus, Ohio.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 15759 (added 10/17/2007)
This carrier keeps babies close and secure, while allowing the caregiver to comfortably go about his or her daily activities. The carrier accommodates children weighing between 8 and 25 lbs., and can be easily worn, removed and adjusted to fit each child. It features a padded and adjustable head support that cradles the baby’s head and a comfortable wide-padded strap that evenly distributes the baby’s weight.
— Two of 40 retailers who spoke with TDmonthly in March 2008 singled out this item as their stores’ best-selling travel item.
— In March 2008, Melissa, manager of Aldrich Baby News, told TDmonthly that this item was her stores’ absolute best-selling travel product.
— The carrier comes in a variety of styles, including City Black, Midnight Blue and Chocolate Brown.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 18657 (added 4/30/2008)
This 40-page, pirate-themed, interactive activity book comes with an eye patch, a compass, a bandana, face paint crayons, play coins, temporary tattoos, a treasure map and more. The book measures 9” x 9”.
— “We have a whole section on travel. Alex is a big one for us,” Jane Beck, owner of B.J. Beck’s Toys in Cedarburg, Wis., told TDmonthly in March 2008.
— Five percent of retailers who spoke with TDmonthly in March 2008 named Alex as the maker of the most popular travel toys.
— Pirate themes appear to be in, with over 7 percent of retailers who spoke with TDmonthly in March 2008 naming a pirate-themed item as a best-selling toy in their store.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 18652 (added 4/30/2008)
Glitter Jewelry Sticker Activity Book by DOVER PUBLICATIONS
Other products from DOVER PUBLICATIONS
The kit comes with a brown-eyed miss waiting to be adorned with 29 reusable sticker trinkets, bracelets, earrings, rings and more. All of the jewels are highlighted with a dash of glitter to make them extra dazzling.
— “We sell the small sticker books by Dover and each customer buys at least two or three, so we sell 20 or 25 a month,” Beth Gandes, owner of The Toy Shop in Lexington, Ky., told TDmonthly in March 2008.
— Five percent of 40 retailers who spoke with TDmonthly in March 2008 named sticker sets as one of their best-selling travel items.
— Many other sticker activity sets are available, including Little Advent Calendar, Egyptian Temple, Coral Reef, Jurassic Dinosaurs, Alice in Wonderland, Police Station and Camping Fun.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 18658 (added 4/30/2008)
These unique travel bingo cards need no markers or pencils to play. Everyone in the car can participate in trying to spot the items on the card as the hours fly by and the destination becomes nearer.
— In March 2008, four of 40 manufacturers named bingo as the best-selling travel game in their stores.
— “Travel Bingo from Regal Games always sells,” Patricia Masing, co-owner of Tree Town Toys in Ann Arbor, Mich., told TDmonthly in March 2008.
— Travel bingo is very popular at Larson’s Toys and Games in Columbus, Ohio, Owner Gary Larson told TDmonthly in March 2008. “We sold over 500 last year,” he said.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 7487 (added 4/5/2006)
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