October 2008 | Vol. VII - No. 10
TDmonthly’s Top-10 Most-Wanted Collectible Toys
Plush and Action Figures Take Over Toy Shelves
With additional reporting by Sharri Hefner, Terri Hughes-Lazzell, Chris Lundy, Claudia Newcorn and Brenda Ruggiero
TDmonthly Magazine recent surveyed 64 retailers across the country about collectibles sales in their stores. Many storeowners voiced that their customers value toys that are more “playable” than “collectible,” yet products such as Madame Alexander and Steiff still have a welcome place on retailers’ shelves. Webkinz by Ganz crowned sales for the year, as well as trendy Iwako erasers imported from Japan. Here are the top-10 collectibles:
This striped character comes with an Internet access code that gives kids the freedom to explore Webkinz World online with the virtual equivalent of the plush pet. The tiger’s special item in the virtual world is a rock ledge bed.
— “Webkinz are still selling,” Owner Randy Austin of The Gifted Child in Lenox, Mass., told TDmonthly in summer 2008.
— “We move probably 100 to 150 per month,” William Meredith, owner of Learning Express in Cary, N.C., told TDmonthly in August 2008.
— Twenty percent of 64 retailers named Webkinz as their top-selling collectible toy in summer 2008.
Six of 63 retailers named Webkinz as their overall best seller in September 2008.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 20417 (added 9/8/2008)
These erasers look like individual Japanese sushi, and are available in six different designs.
— "I don't know why it's such a craze, but I sell hundreds," Meredith Zellweger of Toy Jungle in Manhattan Beach, Calif., told TDmonthly in July 2008.
— “They're selling hundreds a month,” seconded Deran Muckjian, owner of Catch a Falling Star in Lexington, Mass.
— Nine percent of 64 retailers said in summer 2008 that Iwako erasers are creating a buzz in their stores.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 19974 (added 8/1/2008)
Calico Critters Buttercup Cat Family by INTERNATIONAL PLAYTHINGS LLC
Other products from INTERNATIONAL PLAYTHINGS LLC
This family of cute, flocked cat figurines, all with names and characters in the storyline of Cloverleaf Corners — the neighborhood where International Playthings’ Calico Critters live — comes with a mother, a father and two babies, all just the right size for the wide variety of accessories and friends included in the series.
— “[They’re] nice imagination toys,” said Jackie Englehart, assistant manager of Great Rocky Mountain Toy Company in Bozeman, Mont. “[They] also have a variety of price points and little kits, so you can go all or small.”
— Of 64 retailers surveyed by TDmonthly in August 2008, 8 percent named Calico Critters as their best-selling collectible toy.
— “Calico Critters continue to develop new characters and play sets, and … provide what I feel is much-needed imaginative play,” said Joe Berardoni, Sr. of Pun’s Toy Store in Bryn Mawr, Penn. in October 2008.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 20779 (added 9/29/2008)
This highly detailed figurine is hand-painted and historically accurate. Almost all Papo Figurines can stand on their own or ride any of the horses. "The concept of creative imaginative play continues to be something that retailers and parents are very pleased with," Larry Hotaling, president of Hotaling Imports, Papo’s U.S. distributor, told TDmonthly. "It’s something that’s [otherwise] lacking with today’s children ... Papo’s been very well received." Launch date: April 2008.
— “They're popular because they're cool. [Kids] can play with them alone, or here in the store. They'll sit down on the playmat and they'll set up their guys, and they'll have wars,” said Linda Angel, owner of Kidoodles Toys in Norman, Okla., of the popularity of her Papo figurines. “The girls are buying the princess fantasy and fairy tale figures. And when they're not playing with them they make great room art and [the kids] can display them.”
— Eight percent of 64 retailers named Papo as their best-selling line of collectibles in August 2008.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 20780 (added 9/29/2008)
Breyer’s Bluegrass Bandit model is a replica of a champion Tennessee Walking Horse of the same name. The 1:9 scale sculpture is hand painted with great attention to detail, and no two are exactly alike. Bluegrass Bandit is part of Beyer’s Traditional line.
— “I sell a lot of Breyer horses … 20 to 30 per month. We're in horse country,” explained Mike DiAndrea, manager of The Hardware Centre in Paoli, Pa.
— “People are still into collecting them,” added Greg Bonner, owner of Heights Toy Center in Little Rock, Ark.
— Retailers reported average sales of 20 Breyer horses per month to TDmonthly in August 2008.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 20781 (added 9/29/2008)
World of Elves ? Jaro by SCHLEICH NORTH AMERICA, INC.
Other products from SCHLEICH NORTH AMERICA, INC.
The World of Elves line from Schleich brings a fanciful air to the carefully detailed figurines that Schleich has been producing for many years. In the World of Elves, a great battle between good and evil is played out between the Sun elves and the Shadow elves. The wolf-riding character Jaro adds to an extensive host of characters for children to collect and illustrate their own creative stories with. Launch date: Spring 2008.
— “The Schleich Fairy line has done very well,” said Jackie Englehart, assistant manager at Great Rocky Mountain Toy Company in Bozeman, Mont.
— “We sell a lot of Schleich,” said Wallace Harvey, buyer and manager at Three Cheeky Monkeys in Los Angeles, Calif., when TDmonthly asked about his best-selling collectible toys.
— Margy Peine, owner of Tree House Toys in Cumberland, Md., said in August 2008 that she sells an average of 100 Schleich animals and knights per month.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 20782 (added 9/29/2008)
Poe is an Ugly Dragon. Ugly Dragons come from the Ugly Dragon Mountain. But Poe has left the safety of his caverns is search of his big dreams.The other day he had a big dream about a big scoop of ice cream. Chocolate. While most Ugly Dragons sleep all day and fly all night, Poe is more into cars, trucks, bikes, and anything that lets him sit down while moving. Flying is hard. You have to flap your wings around all the time! Can Poe roll with you?.
— “The Uglydolls … have been very collectible for people,” Lauren Obenour, manager of Green Frog Toys in Portland, Ore., told TDmonthly in August 2008.
— “They're so popular because they're adorable, and everybody loves them,” said Shana Hack, owner of Moon Rabbit Toys in Santa Fe, N.M. “Their appeal just continues to grow.”
— When asked about his top-selling collectible toys in summer 2008, Tom Levin, owner of Tom’s Toys in Great Barrington, Mass., told TDmonthly he sells an average of 60 Uglydolls per month.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 19826 (added 7/18/2008)
A member of the current line of collectible Beanie Babies from Ty, Boomer is a caramel-colored plush pup with darker ears and a spot around one eye. He has a soft, bean-filled body, shiny plastic eyes and nose, and wears a ribbon collar around his neck.
— “Beanie Babies are still sold,” Chuck Susmilch, owner of JT Puffins in Madison, Wis., told TDmonthly.
— Six percent of 64 retailers said in August 2008 that Beanie Babies continue to be a mainstay of their sales in collectibles.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 20783 (added 9/29/2008)
Part of the Steiff Classic line, this dark grey Alpaca Teddy is jointed and made out of fine quality mohair. Featuring the authentic “button in ear” trademark of the Steiff company, this stuffed bear represents both traditional styling in the body and face, as well as traditional artisanship. The bear is surface washable and wears a studded collar.
— Of 64 retailers surveyed in August 2008, five percent said Steiff represents their top-selling collectible toy.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 20784 (added 9/29/2008)
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Writer's Bio: Marie Raven has a long history with the specialty toy industry as a family business. In addition to freelancing for TDmonthly Magazine, she writes creative and technical material for various other businesses. Read more articles by this author
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