August 2009 | Vol. VIII - No. 8
|August 2009 | Vol. VIII - No. 8|
Top-10 Most-Wanted Baby Gifts
Teethers, Soft Toys and Rattles Find Their Way to Tiny Hands
With additional reporting by Terri Hughes-Lazzell, Chris Lundy, Claudia Newcorn, and Brenda Ruggerio
TDmonthly Magazine recently spoke to 47 specialty retailers about the most in-demand baby gifts at their stores. Favorites ranged from comforting snuggle toys, such as Taggies and baby blankets from Gund, to grabbing toys, such as Manhattan's colorful Winkel and wooden rattles from Haba. “For baby gifts, people are very conscious of things that are safe,” said Tara Friese, assistant manager at Tree Top Toys in Redmond, Wash. Here are the top-10 best-selling gifts for babies.
Made of soft fleece printed in a variety of colorful images, the Big Taggies is both a security blanket and a tactile activity for babies and toddlers. The 18” by 18” blanket is edged with 24 ribbon tags that will engage little ones' eyes and fingertips. Taggies are designed to provide warmth, sun protection or just plain comfort.
― “For babies, anything Taggies,” said Patti Tepper-Rasmussen, owner of Learning Tree Toys Books & Games in Oklahoma City, when asked about her best-selling baby gifts in June 2009.
― Five of 47 retailers said in summer 2009 that Taggies are their best-selling gift for babies.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 24513 (added 7/10/2009)
Little Tuffies Trucks by INTERNATIONAL PLAYTHINGS LLC
Other products from INTERNATIONAL PLAYTHINGS LLC
In sturdy colored plastic, the Little Tuffies set includes a working dump truck, digger and cement truck that roll on free-moving wheels through indoor and outdoor play.
― Eleven percent of 47 retailers told TDmonthly in June 2009 that International Playthings supplies their top-selling baby gifts.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 24514 (added 7/10/2009)
Stunning colors give this perennial favorite a lively look. Babies will be engaged and amused by the responsive rattle, and caregivers can safely refrigerate this pliable plastic toy to produce a soothing teether. “We have so much of the Manhattan baby...we sell a lot,” Owner Amy Barrett of Lasso the Moon Wonderful Toys in Helena, Mont., told TDmonthly in early 2007. “People buy them for baby gifts...baby shower gifts. They like them because the colors are so bright.”
— “Winkels from Manhattan Toy — [we sell] about 30 per month,” Burdette told TDmonthly in March 2008. Five percent of the 40 retailers who spoke with TDmonthly in spring 2008 singled out this item as their stores’ best-selling infant and toddler toy.
— "I sell 18 or so a month," Mary Ellen Cerney, owner of Dear Friends & Children in Duncan, Okla., said in March 2009. In June 2009, four of 47 retailers listed Manhattan Toy as their best-selling baby line. In March 2010, two of 39 specialty retailers cited Winkel as a best-selling baby toy.
— In June 2010, five percent of 40 specialty retailers named Manhattan Toy’s Winkel as a top-selling baby product.
— As of 05/21/2012 this product had 4.5 out of 5 stars from 299 reviews on Amazon.com.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 10528 (added 12/7/2006)
With bright orange paint to capture the eye and smoothly polished wood in round shapes that invite little fingers, the Grrow-l rattle is a whimsical and friendly grasping toy. Made in Germany with non-toxic paints for the bright body and smiling face, the four discs that make up the bear's body click together when they move.
― “Haba everything goes well,” Cathy Albro, owner of Creative Learning Toys in Grand Rapids, Mich., told TDmonthly during a June 2009 survey of best-selling baby gifts.
― “Haba does really well for us,” said Dean Nelson, owner of Wizard Kids Toys in Toledo, Ohio.
― Four of 47 retailers named Haba as their top-selling brand of baby items in summer 2009.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 24515 (added 7/10/2009)
Each Twilight Turtle and Friends character from the collection projects constellation nightlights that create a magical sleep-time environment. Each “shell” illuminates the night with three soothing color options to help ease fear of the dark. The Twilight Collection includes Twilight Turtle and Twilight Ladybug, each available in three colors and a Twilight Sea Turtle that also has five illuminated windows projecting images of sea life.
— Retailers surveyed by TDmonthly have been naming the Twilight Turtle as a best-seller since 2006.
— Six of 66 retailers mentioned one of the Twilight Turtles as a top-selling item for baby gifts in July 2008. Four of 47 retailers named Twilight Turtle as a top-selling baby gift in June 2009. Three of 64 retailers cited it as a top-selling infant and toddler toy in March 2009, and eight of 39 said the same in March 2010.
— In a 2012 survey, Erika Evers, owner of Dancing Bear Toys in Hendersonville, N.C., told TDmonthly that their best selling infant & toddler product is the "Twilight Turtle from Cloud B, and it's spin-offs, like the ladybug." They sell about 20 units each month.
— Want this? As of 05/06/2011, this product was available for purchase at Toys & Co.
AWARDS: 2010 TDmonthly Top Seller
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 7426 (added 3/30/2006)
Both blanket and stuffed companion, the 24” Comfy Cozy Lion is made of silky fleece material in the shape of a lion. The big cat's round head has embroidered features and a loose fleece mane that matches the fringe on his floppy tail. When taking a break from play time, toddlers can curl up with their new friend for a short nap.
― “Gund's baby blankets are always steady sellers,” Joe Berardoni, owner of Pun's Toy Shop in Bryn Mawr, Pa., told TDmonthly in June 2009.
― “We do well with Gund,” said Jeri Dorsey, buyer for Kits and Kaboodle in Carmel, Ind., when asked about his top-selling baby gifts in summer 2009.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 24520 (added 7/10/2009)
Suitable for babies 0 to 3 months and up, this teether and discovery toy features a contrasting spot pattern that offers visual stimulation, plus a squeaker for amusement. It is made of natural rubber from Hevea tree and colored with food paint. Sophie is distributed in the United States by Calisson.
— Retailers surveyed by TDmonthly have been naming Sophie the Giraffe as a best-seller since 2009.
― Nicole Boomhover, assistant manager of Learning Express in Cahaba Heights, Ala. told TDmonthly in late Spring 2011 that they sold between five and ten Sophies a month.
— In an April 2012 survey, three out of 11 retailers told TDmonthly that Sophie the Giraffe was their best selling infant & toddler product.
― “Sophie giraffe is a great baby product that we order over and over again,” Diana Nelson, owner of Kazoo & Company in Denver, Co., told TDmonthly in June 2010. “I can't keep them on the shelf,” agreed Keith Schumacker, general manager at Talbot’s Toyland in San Mateo, Calif.
― During a March 2010 survey of 39 retailers, seven said Sophie the Giraffe is a top-selling toy for infants. Sales averaged 24 per month.
— Want this? As of 05/06/2011, this product was available for purchase at Learning Express of Cahaba Heights, Ala.
AWARDS: 2010 TDmonthly Top Seller
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 23246 (added 4/10/2009)
This rubbery, tri-colored ball is a staple for any child learning cognitive and social skills and developing fine- and gross-motor skills. Ideal for children with a special need, the ball is durable and has a skeletal structure that allows for easy catching. "Kids and teachers agree that Oballs are the easiest balls to catch and hold. The cool design already has won five awards for excellence and innovation, including an Oppenheim Toy Portfolio Gold Award and a Dr. Toy Best Vacation Products Award,” said Suzanne Silverglate, owner of Rhino Toys.
— “Everybody buys it,” Dalene Lockhart, owner of Toy Town in Casper, Wyo., told TDmonthly in 2007. “Right now it is head and shoulders above others [in the infant/toddler category]. It's probably been that way for two years.” Retailers reported average monthly sales of five to 25 a month.
— In summer 2008, four of 66 specialty retailers named the Oball as one of their top-selling gifts for babies. “We sell more of them because our store does gift wrapping and it makes a good topper,” said Jill Jernigan, owner of J. Christopher Toys in Jonesboro, Ark.
― Ask retailers about top-selling balls and the Oball is an answer that’s sure to come up, winning the graspable toy a TDmonthly Top Seller 2007 award. Six of 64 retailers named the Oball as a best-selling baby toy in March 2009, and two of 39 said the same a year later. “[It] is definitely the best-selling gift for babies,” stated John Naisbitt, owner of Thinker Things in Del Mar, Calif., in June 2009.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 456 (added 9/1/2004)
On a simple base of naturally finished rubber wood, four sets of pegs are set up to match 16 colored wood shapes. Whether matching the shapes to their respective pegs, sequencing the colors, or exploring other combinations, children can develop motor skills, problem solving and spatial reasoning. The Geometric Sorting Board is manufactured out of sustainably harvested rubber wood and colored with safe vegetable dyes.
― During a June 2009 survey of best-selling baby gifts, two stores told TDmonthly that Plan supplies their top-selling items.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 24521 (added 7/10/2009)
With non-slip suede soles and gently elasticized ankles to keep these first shoes on little feet, Robeez are designed to protect and stabilize early walkers while not restricting children's feet. This pair is decorated with appliques of koala bears complete with soft fringe tufting the ears.
― “In my infant section, I sell a lot of Robeez shoes consistently,” Janet Gregory, owner of Over the Rainbow Toy Store in Anchorage, Alaska, told TDmonthly in June 2009.
― Two of 47 retailers said in early summer 2009 that Robeez shoes are the most popular baby gift in their stores.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 24522 (added 7/10/2009)
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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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