July 2009 | Vol. VIII - No. 7
Top-10 Most-Wanted Furniture and Play Houses
Guidecraft and KidKraft Bring Buyers to the Table
With additional reporting by Terri Hughes-Lazzell, Chris Lundy, Claudia Newcorn and Brenda Ruggerio
In May 2009, TDmonthly Magazine conducted a survey of sales in furniture and children's play house items. A majority of the 43 retailers polled said they are not in the business of selling children's furniture.
“We don't have enough room,” explained Lisa McMartin, co-owner of Wonderment, Inc. in Minneapolis, Minn. Nonetheless, some of these items have proven popular in retailers’ stores and customers’ homes. From the classic styling of KidKraft's Queen Anne Toy Chest to Be Amazing's modern, modular Build-A-Fort, here are the top-10 best-selling furniture items and play houses.
Made of weather-resistant wood and finished in a natural hue, this table set is intended to provide kids with a perfect place of their own. It may be used outside for snack time, homework, play or meals. The table comes with two matching benches with a storage area underneath to keep backpacks or playthings off the ground when not in use. The tall umbrella in the middle of the table provides shade for comfort and protection from the sun.
— “KidKraft [sells best] for outside,” said Janet Gessner, owner of Deep River Toy Company in Deep River, Conn., during a May 2009 survey of furniture sales conducted by TDmonthly.
— Three of 43 retailers said KidKraft is their best-selling brand of children's furniture.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 24204 (added 6/25/2009)
With sturdy all-wood construction and a dark cherry finish, this chest provides not only ample storage space but also utility as a bench when the lid is closed. Safety hinges are designed to protect little fingers from being pinched or bruised by the lid falling shut.
— “I have sold two of my high-end toy chests since we started selling them assembled a month ago,” Janet Gregory, owner of Over the Rainbow Toy Store in Anchorage, Alaska, told TDmonthly during a May 2009 survey of top-selling furniture.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 24205 (added 6/25/2009)
This 50.5" long by 34.5" wide by 20" tall solid hardwood table has a double-sided white melamine surface that is easy to clean and fantastic for puzzles, Play-Doh, arts and crafts. In addition, the table comes with an easy to clean, light-weight plastic play mat with detailed digital graphics that include roads/trails, airstrips, trees, rocks, grass, beaches and water. The table railing includes a number of holes that allows for an expanding line of playtime accessories. This table is featured in specialty toys stores only, no mass market stores! It is also the only train/activity table that allows a child to sit with their legs comfortably under the table! Its the number one table in the specialty market!
— “We have Nilo play tables,” Chuck Harper, owner of Explorations Inc. in Granger, Ind., told TDmonthly when asked about his best-selling children's furniture in May 2009.
― Three of 48 retailers surveyed in May 2010 listed Nilo as their best-selling furniture item.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 3306 (added 3/25/2005)
With this ample spread of green camouflage material and assortment of clips and hooks, children can erect an enclosure of whatever shape they like with the assistance of handy surfaces or objects — a couple of chairs and the wall, a card table and the corner of the bedframe, or wherever else their imaginations can take them. The set includes neon light wands to illuminate the inside of the space, a technique used by real-life law enforcement and security in low light.
— “Build-A-Fort by Be Amazing,” said Jeanette Lauture, owner of Aunt Jean's Toys and Treats in Montclair, N.J., who named this product as one of her top sellers in a May 2009 survey of furniture and play houses.
— Three of 43 retailers said tents are their best-selling play house item.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 24206 (added 6/25/2009)
Safari Slumber Set by TIME TO PLAY CORPORATION LIMITED
Other products from TIME TO PLAY CORPORATION LIMITED
Boldly decorated with friendly wild creatures, the Safari Slumber Set is made to transport children away to far off adventures in the jungle. The spacious tent has a mesh top for ventilation and a split-front panel with tie-backs and a Velcro closure. It can be used inside or outdoors. The set also includes a 24” by 48” slumber bag with matching graphics.
— “The Safari and Princess Tents by Time To Play are new for us. We got them in May and have sold four so far,” said said Jeanette Lauture, owner of Aunt Jean's Toys and Treats in Montclair, N.J., of her best-selling furniture and play house items during a May 2009 survey.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 24208 (added 6/25/2009)
Adirondack Chair by PEPPERELL BRAIDING / HOLGATE TOYS
Other products from PEPPERELL BRAIDING / HOLGATE TOYS
A child-sized spin on a classic design, Holgate's Adirondack Chair is made in the USA out of Pennsylvania black cherry hardwood. Most of the chair is finished in the wood's rich, natural color, while the back slats are painted in bright primary colors. The chair can be personalized with a name on the front slat as shown (silk screened; upper-case letters only), and arrives fully assembled.
— “Holgate is our best seller,” said Angel Stahl, owner of Angel's Toy Barn, during a May 2009 survey of best-selling kids’ furniture and play house items.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 24209 (added 6/25/2009)
Isabella Vanity and Computer Desk by STANLEY FURNITURE COMPANY
Other products from STANLEY FURNITURE COMPANY
Designed to be an efficient and attractive workspace for a young lady, the Isabella Vanity and Computer Desk is full of functional and decorative details. Four drawers and a recessed stationary shelf underneath the desk provide organizational storage for office supplies, playthings and treasures. The center drawer pulls out for a keyboard. Sculpted accents and turned legs accent the ivory finish. It’s compatible with a matching line of other furniture and accessories from Stanley Young America.
— Janet Gessner, owner of Deep River Toy Company in Deep River, Conn., said she sells one or two pieces of children's furniture a month. “Stanley Young America [sells best] for inside furniture,” she told TDmonthly during a May 2009 survey of best-selling furniture.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 24210 (added 6/25/2009)
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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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