November 2008 | Vol. VII - No. 11
My Best Sellers: Where’d You Get That!?
Artsy Designs and Wacky Finds Draw Customers In
Where’d You Get That!? is a specialty toy, game and gift store on the elite Williams College campus in the Northern Berkshires of Massachusetts. Owners Michele and Ken Gietz told TDmonthly Magazine the store comprises one-third specialty toys (including baby items), one-third puzzles and games for children and adults, and one-third quirky gifts and humorous books. Here are the store’s top-10 best sellers:
Tiny crankshaft metal music boxes from Kikkerland feature songs such as “Sound of Music,” “Imagine,” “If I Only Had a Brain” and “Yellow Submarine.” The product measures 3" x 1.5" x 7/8" H.
— Michele and Ken Gietz of Where’d You Get That!? in Williamstown, Mass., listed this item as a top-10 best seller in fall 2008. “Kids to adults love to fidget with these,” they said. “It’s a product that is age-blind. We sell these on our front counter, so we see it’s appealing to tweeners on up.”
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 20881 (added 10/2/2008)
Best Friends is the newest magnetic poetry kit for children. Kids love to write messages and poems with and about their friends. Inspire creativity and enhance language skills with 300 magnetic word tiles especially selected for kids. - Aire Norell
— The entire line of Magnetic Poetry is a consistent best seller at Where’d You Get That!? in Williamstown, Mass., Owners Michele and Ken Gietz told TDmonthly in September 2008. “This line does an amazing job filling in the gaps for gift-giving, from storymaker for kids to Swedish, French, Spanish, Italian, even Yiddish and Pick-Up Lines,” they noted.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 2130 (added 12/29/2004)
The kid-friendly, 3D-puzzle globe is composed of curved pieces that fit together perfectly to form a solid, smooth ball without any need for glue. The 96-piece puzzle measures 5” in diameter when assembled.
— Ravensburger's puzzle balls are selling well for David Hesel, owner of The Toy Shop in Concord., Mass. "We just got a 5' one, which we just put into our window," he said in March 2008, adding that the store has sold 100 puzzle balls since January.
— Nancy Bloomberg, owner of La Toys Etcetera in Cedarhurst, N.Y., was impressed with Ravensburger puzzles at Toy Fair 2008 and recently bought “individual pieces in a new buying program,” she told TDmonthly. “Our area is heavily populated with orthodox Jews so it's important to have non-electronic toys; a focus on games, building and puzzles is generally very strong.”
— Three of 32 retailers said in October 2008 they anticipate the Puzzleball to be one of the best-selling toys for the holidays. “Puzzles are a great niche for us,” said Michele and Ken Gietz of Where’d You Get That!? in Williamstown, Mass., when discussing their best sellers in fall 2008. Ravensburger is among the various brands of puzzles their store stocks for both children and adults.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 18171 (added 3/27/2008)
Yamodo! Volume 1 by IDEA STORM PRODUCTS, LLC.
Other products from IDEA STORM PRODUCTS, LLC.
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In “the ultimate game of personal expression and creativity,” players use their imagination to draw and define the made-up word written at the top of each card. Each card features an existing doodle for players to add to, and on each pass, a player draws something and writes part of the definition. The cards become increasingly outrageous and laughable as players stretch their imagination in this game of creative collaboration. “The game is unlike any other and is even being used by teachers, guidance counselors and hospitals,” Bill Phelps, chief imaginator at Idea Storm Products, told TDmonthly. This product has received the following awards: Creative Child Magazine Award of Excellence, iParenting Media HOT Award, The National Parenting Center 2007 Seal of Approval and Dr. Toy 10 Best Games. Launch date: November 2006.
— “Yamodo! is a very clever and fun drawing/word definition group activity,” said Michele and Ken Gietz of Where’d You Get That!? in Williamstown, Mass., naming the game as a best seller in fall 2008. “Good packaging helps the game sell itself.”
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 10413 (added 12/5/2006)
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)
This squeezable soft preschool RC vehicle is ready to put out any fire or respond to any emergency. Made in a safe, child-friendly design, this simple function RC fire truck drives with an easy, two-button remote control. Chunky style is perfect for little hands. Added to the excitement is the "Bump-and-Go" sound of the siren. This product is a 2007 Creative Child Seal of Excellence Award winner.
— “These remote control rubbery trucks for 2-year-olds have simple controls and [the] best variety: school bus, garbage truck and fire truck,” said Michele and Ken Gietz of Where’d You Get That!? in Williamstown, Mass. They listed the vehicles among their top-10 best sellers at the store in September 2008.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 15587 (added 10/3/2007)
These year-at-a-glance calendars can organize an entire year at one time. They are printed on sturdy boards and have matching hang ribbons and glitter accents.
— Owners Michele and Ken Gietz of Where’d You Get That!? in Williamstown, Mass., listed Papayalicious as the “best, young-trendsetting graphic design company at the  National Stationery Show.” They reported in fall 2008 that the company’s cards, magnets, journals and calendar were selling “briskly” in their store.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 20637 (added 9/19/2008)
This kit includes an eight-color pigment ink pad and eight foam-tip dabbers as well as three bound-in plastic pages of stencils in kid-selected designs. It also comes with a bonus stencil page of abstract shapes one can put together to make anything. Easy-to-understand instructions and hints help artists with techniques such as masking, layering colors, reverse stenciling and more. The book includes inspirational artwork and space for stenciling.
— Stencil Art and other titles from Klutz are best sellers at Where’d You Get That!? in Williamstown, Mass., Owners Michele and Ken Gietz told TDmonthly in fall 2008. “It doesn’t matter how many outlets carry this line,” they said. “Most do not do the best job in display and variety. It is absolutely the fastest-turning line in arts and crafts.”
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 15520 (added 9/28/2007)
Square Up! offers a new twist on the slider puzzle – playing an opponent! The object of the game is to slide the squares to match the cube shaker before your opponent finishes. It’s a fast, two-player, visual thinking game. Each board measures about 8” square.
— This game was listed as a best seller by Michele and Ken Gietz of Where’d You Get That!? in Williamstown, Mass., in fall 2008. “It’s great for travel or restaurants,” they said. “It’s two-player, but each gets their own sliding squares board and special shaker. We’ve sold many for a small store in the last six months.”
— Brooke Andrews, owner of Millers Toy Store in Mamoroneck, N.J., told TDmonthly in late 2009 her store sells about 12 units per week of this game. Two of 44 retailers named it as one of their top-three best sellers.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 20635 (added 9/19/2008)
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Writer's Bio: Brenda Ruggiero is a freelance writer from western Maryland. Read more articles by this author
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