December 2008 | Vol. VII - No. 12
Top-10 Most-Wanted RC and Flying Toys
Kid Galaxy Gets Children Under Remote-Control
With additional reporting by Sharri Hefner, Sheri Jobe, Julie L. Jones, Terri Hughes-Lazzell, Chris Lundy, Claudia Newcorn and Brenda Ruggiero
In TDmonthly Magazine’s survey of 68 specialty toy retailers regarding sales of hobby, remote-control and flying toys, Kid Galaxy took the top spot by a landslide with its selection of RC cars and planes, touted by storeowners as engaging and reliable. These picks for early RC hobbyists were joined by light, simple gliders from AG Industries and Guillow, filling out a wide range of imaginative, highly interactive toys. Here are the top-10 best sellers:
This light, Styrofoam airplane is simple enough for easy flight and durable enough for an eventual nosedive. It has the distinctive double wings of biplanes, and a bright red color detailed with checkered stripes on the wings and tail. Charging off its launcher in less than a minute, the plane is just a trigger-pull away from flight. The charger-controller requires six AA batteries.
— “[It's] Kid Galaxy by far. The Backyard Flyer,” said Kate Tanner, owner of Kidstop Toys & Books Store in Scottsdale, Ariz., when asked about best-selling flying toys in October 2008.
— “The Red Biplane is actually our best seller,” Ava Allen, owner of Be Beep a Toy Shop in Columbia, S.C., told TDmonthly.
— About 25 percent of 68 retailers named the Backyard Flyer from Kid Galaxy as a top-selling toy.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 20931 (added 10/10/2008)
This 26-piece introductory set includes a complete figure 8 of track with a riser to support the overpass, a train car and a battery-operated Thomas the Tank Engine character train. Thomas runs on his own at the touch of a button, pulling cars behind him. Children can stop him at the station of Sir Topham Hatt, allowing them to act out their favorite Thomas stories or invent their own. It is fully compatible with all other Thomas the Tank Engine wooden railway sets.
— “Thomas the Train has had major resurgence,” said Christine Osborne, owner of Wonder Works in Charleston, S.C., when asked in October 2008 about top-selling hobby items.
— “We sell Thomas trains; [they] would be our best selling,” answered Terry Young, owner of Doodlehopper 4 Kids in Springfield, Va.
— Amy Barrett, owner of Lasso the Moon Wonderful Toys in Helena, Mont., told TDmonthly in October 2008 that Thomas the Tank Engine is one of her overall best sellers.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 20556 (added 9/19/2008)
Kid Galaxy’s Morphibians unite a wide variety of play types as they are safe not only for land, but also for water. Battery-operated and remote-controlled, a Morphibian is an all-terrain vehicle, going from driveway to living room to bathtub easily. Simple controls and aggressive styling make this chunky, four-wheel-drive vehicle appealing to a wide range of ages. Morphibians are available in two frequencies to allow two cars to be driven at once without interfering with one another’s signal.
— “For RC toys, we turn to Kid Galaxy for dependable electronics and age-appropriate play value,” said Sallie Kashiwa, manager of Timbuk Toys in Denver, who noted the Morphibian as a best seller for older boys.
— Ten percent of 68 retailers named the Morphibian as a best-selling hobby toy in October 2008, citing average sales of eight to 10 per month.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 20599 (added 9/19/2008)
My First RC GoGo Fire Truck is made of soft cast-molded PVC vinyl and is for the very youngest enthusiasts of radio-controlled toys. The truck has wonderful details and is big and chunky, perfect for small hands. In vibrant red with a white ladder perched on the side and big silver bumpers, the GoGo Fire Truck is a small but mighty vehicle with a color-coordinated steering wheel remote.
- Asked about her best-selling items in the hobby category, Lesa Smith, owner of Whiz Kids in San Luis Obispo, Calif., told TDmonthly, “The KG GoGos for littler kids.” She reported sales of about a dozen a month.
- “Our top seller is the GoGo Fire Truck for preschoolers,” added Sallie Kashiwa, manager of Timbuk Toys in Denver, in October 2008.
- “[It’s] easy to display. It's great to merchandise and put a special price point on,” said Diana Nelson, owner of Kazoo & Company in Denver.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 6218 (added 12/29/2005)
As a creative, educational action toy, it’s loads of fun — kids jump on the air bladder to launch a 9" all-foam rocket into the air. The Junior Stomp Rocket is used by science teachers to help children learn about trajectory, force and motion. It is also valued by psychologists, physical therapists, special-ed teachers and parents of children with special needs. “Stomp Rockets are recognized for their positive contribution to the lives of millions of children and adults around the world,” Frank Reed, of D & L Company, told TDmonthly. Awards: Top Toy of the Year 2005, Creative Child Magazine; Excellent Product 2005, iParenting Media.
— “Our top selling flying toy is The Stomp Rocket Jr.,” confirmed Sallie Kashiwa, manager of Timbuk Toys in Denver, in October 2008. “We go through about four cases (40) a month.”
— Six of 68 retailers said in fall 2008 that the Stomp Rocket is their best-selling flying toy. Holly Anvers, manager of Ages & Stages Toy Box in Golden, Colo., cited sales of about 40 units per month in late fall 2009.
— Eighteen percent of 38 specialty retailers named Stomp Rockets an overall best-selling toy in July 2010. Scott Loveless, owner of Toys That Teach in Bothell, Wash., told TDmonthly in summer 2010 that his store sells “somewhere along the lines of 40 to 60” Stomp Rockets each month. “Stomp Rockets … are always a summer favorite.”
— In autumn 2010, Marc Holcomb, owner of Toys & Co. In Greensboro, S.C., said he sold approximately 50 per month per store. “It's our #1 gift item,'' he told TDmonthly.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 1089
Fast, compact and lightweight, the KG Racer is a hardy, easy-to-use remote-control car. Requiring no charging, the Racer is powered by batteries that stay safely in secure compartments in the car and the kid-friendly, two-button controller. Several styles of car are available with color schemes to suit boys and girls, and the cars are available in two frequencies to allow for two vehicles to be run at the same time without interfering with one another’s signal.
— Amy Barrett of Lasso the Moon Wonderful Toys in Helena, Mont., named KG Racers as her best-selling remote control toy in October 2008.
— Almost half of 68 retailers surveyed listed Kid Galaxy as their top-selling brand of RC and flying toys.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 20579 (added 9/19/2008)
White Wings Special Performers Eight-Model Kit by AG INDUSTRIES
Other products from AG INDUSTRIES
With model planes all based on the scientific properties of flight, White Wings manufactures a wide array of large and small aircraft, both thrown gliders and rubber-band-powered planes, some of which can fly hundreds of feet. The eight different airplanes in this kit have elegant designs and colored wings; the pieces are all pre-cut for ease of building.
— “We also do a lot of AG Industries' White Wings model airplanes. Sold out of them,” said Barbara Paeth-Haas, owner of The Durango Kid in Durango, Colo.
— “I’d say they do pretty well,” said Rebecca Pfeil of Timeless Toys in Homer, Alaska, who was among the 8 percent of 68 retailers who named AG Industries’ White Wings their best-selling flying toy in October 2008.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 20559 (added 9/19/2008)
This easy-to-build plane is made of pre-cut pieces of balsa wood. The double-wing design is stenciled with dramatic details for an authentic World War I look, with the spacing of the structure maintained by light plastic pieces to keep everything in place.
— “Balsa wood planes, by Guillow,” said Joel Hardy of Magpie Toys in Red Lodge, Mont., of the store’s best-selling flying toys.
— Eight percent of 68 retailers reported Guillow’s balsa flyers as top sellers among aircraft in October 2008.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 20606 (added 9/19/2008)
A more full-featured remote-controlled aircraft than some of Kid Galaxy’s simpler models, Field Flyers are more than just launch-and-fly gliders. The combination launcher and charger allows even beginner pilots to guide the airplane after launching. With a 20-minute charge, the Field Flyer will fly for about four minutes with a range of 100’.
— “Kid Galaxy Field Flyers, [the] remote planes you fly,” said Patti Tepper-Rasmussen, owner of Learning Tree Toys in Oklahoma City, Okla., when asked about best-selling aircraft in October 2008.
— “They’re very popular and easy to use,” Carol Knight, owner of The Toy Store in Ketchum, Idaho, told TDmonthly.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 20578 (added 9/19/2008)
A complete slot-car racing set, Police Chase features two authentically detailed cars. One, a Crown Victoria police interceptor with working headlights, and the other, a Corvette with blue under-lighting, race along the tracks at the command of two turbo-speed controllers included in the set. The lap-counter keeps track of who is in the lead.
— Five percent of 68 retailers said in October 2008 that slot cars are their top-selling hobby item.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 20575 (added 9/19/2008)
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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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