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September 2009 | Vol. VIII - No. 9
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Top-10 Most-Wanted Action Figures

Schleich and Safari Run Wild


With additional reporting by Terri Hughes-Lazzell, Chris Lundy, Claudia Newcorn and Brenda Ruggiero

In July 2009, TDmonthly Magazine interviewed 49 specialty retailers around the country concerning their sales of play and action figures. Though many stores said they don't carry traditional licensed action figures, lines of other figurines that offer a wide variety of themes and individual styles, such as those from Schleich, Safari and Hotaling Imports' Papo line were touted as strong sellers. Here are the top-10 best-selling action figures.




MSRP: $5.49
Age Range: 3 and up
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Animal Figures



Intended to reflect nature on a smaller scale, Schleich's detailed model of an alert mother kangaroo carrying her new baby is molded in durable plastic and hand painted. The lifelike detail of her fur, the color variations in her coat, and both animals' faces will help enrich inventive play time. 
― “Schleich animals are a steady seller,” said Kathleen Tutone, owner of Treehouse Toys in Portsmouth, N.H., in July 2009.
― When asked about her best-selling action or play figures, Lesa Smith, owner of Whiz Kids in San Luis Obispo, told TDmonthly, “We really only do the animals, just from Schleich. We love Schleich.”
― Forty-seven percent of 49 retailers said in summer 2009 that Schleich is a top-selling brand in their stores.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 24915      (added 8/11/2009)
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Age Range: 3 and up
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Action Figures



With pole-ax brandished, this creepy skeleton is not only hand painted in detail but also glows in the dark for a little extra ghoulish fun once the light goes down. The skeleton stands on his own, ready to take on whatever role is required in a child's story telling.
― “Papo is our better seller for that,” replied Michelle Smith, owner of Piccolo Mondo Toys in Portland, Ore., when asked about her best-selling action figures in July 2009.
― “Papo is a real constant seller and it remains steady all through the year,” said Michelle Sahr, owner of My Little Red Wagon in Stow, Ohio.
― Nine of 49 retailers said in summer 2009 that Papo is their top-selling brand of action figures.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 24914      (added 8/11/2009)
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MSRP: $3.99
Age Range: 3 and up
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Animal Figures



Standing 3.5” tall and 1.75” long, Safari's Forest Raccoon is a realistic replica of this curious forest dweller. Beginning with detailed sculptures that are then hand painted, Safari's Wild Safari Forest series is designed for the hands of a smaller child. Whether roaming a back yard or more exotic flights of fancy, the Forest Raccoon is intended to be a long-time companion in pretend play.
― “We probably sell four to five a day, but it depends on the time of year. In fourth quarter we sell hundreds,” said Kenneth Young, owner of Fundamentals Creative Toys, who told TDmonthly in summer 2009 that Safari is a top-selling brand in his Mendina, Ohio, store.
― “Animals by Safari do very well,” said Jeanne McCullough, owner of Children’s Store in Boise, Idaho, of her best-selling action figure during a July 2009 survey.
― Of 49 retailers, seven listed Safari as a top-selling brand in their stores.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 24916      (added 8/11/2009)
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MSRP: $14.99
Age Range: 4 and up
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Play Sets



Kids can play the real heroes while coordinating a rescue effort with this playset from Playmobil. The detailed face of the burning building has a balcony on it for one of the included firemen to climb his tall ladder to while another hooks up the hose to the fire hydrant. Four figures are included with lots of pieces to inspire the imagination.
― “As far as toy figures go, our Playmobil products sell well,” Kim Emigh, VP of e-commerce at Growing Tree Toys in State College, Pa., told TDmonthly in July 2009.
― “It all sells so well,” remarked Sarah Green, manager of Kids at Heart in Portland, Ore., of Playmobil during a summer 2009 survey of best-selling action figures.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 24917      (added 8/11/2009)
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MSRP: $5.99
Age Range: 3 and up
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Action Figures



Whether nobly defending his kingdom or leading an invading force, this knight is ready to for any enemy. Sculpted and hand painted in a costume inspired by historic wear, with detailed textures and expression, this warrior stands proud with his broadsword raised. It is part of Schleich's extensive line of knight and fantasy figurines.
― Of 49 retailers surveyed in July 2009, six said knights are the top-selling theme in their action and play figures.
— ''Schleich figures have started selling again – the knights and horses,'' stated Linda Laramy, owner of Crackerjacks in Easton, Md. She sells about 12 per week.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 24918      (added 8/11/2009)
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MSRP: $24.99
Age Range: 4 and up
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Action Figures



A balanced mix of characters from the heroic Rebel Alliance and evil Imperial army, these four figures from Star Wars Episode IV are captured in realistic detail that kids and adults will remember from the movie. Characters included are Darth Vader, Princess Leia, C-3P0 and a specially equipped Storm Trooper. The figures can be displayed as decor or part of a collection, or stored in the included commemorative tin.
― “Star Wars is No. 1,” said Anna Barr, owner of Anna's Toy Depot in Austin, Texas, when asked about her best-selling action figures in July 2009. 
― Three of 49 retailers told TDmonthly in summer 2009 that Star Wars accounts for their top sales in action figures.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 24919      (added 8/11/2009)
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MSRP: $15.99
Age Range: 3 and up
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Action Figures
Animal Figures



Safari's Carnegie Collection is a line of detailed dinosaur models whose features have been authenticated by the paleontologists at the Carnegie Museum of Natural History, which houses the largest collection of dinosaur fossils in the world. Measuring almost a foot long, the finned Tylosaurus is hand painted and intended to come to life in the hands of a child, transporting him back to the age of the dinosaurs. 
― “Dinosaurs from Safari are good sellers,” said David Campbell, owner of Amazing Toys in Great Falls, Mont., during a July 2009 survey of top-selling action and play figures.
― Three of 49 retailers said in summer 2009 that dinosaur figurines are the most in-demand play figures in their stores.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 24920      (added 8/11/2009)
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MSRP: $29.99
Launch Date: February 2008
Gender: Boys
Category: General Toys
Licensed Products
General Games



The toy accompanies the Bakugan television series, which debuted on February 24, 2008. The Bakugan characters pop open into battle-action figures and requires players to incorporate elements of skill and strategy adding to the excitement of the game. Launch date: February 2008.
— Three of 32 specialty retailers said in October 2008 they expect Bakugan Battle Brawlers to be a top holiday seller.
— "We've already been selling a lot of them and I think it's going to pick up," Owner Kerry Horn of Learning Express in Glen Ellyn, Ill., told TDmonthly. "They are going to be hard to get."
― Two of 49 retailers told TDmonthly in summer 2009 that Bakugan is their top-selling action figure.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 17833      (added 3/3/2008)
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Age Range: 3 and up
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Action Figures



Modeled after librarian and best-selling author Nancy Pearl, the figure in Accoutrements' Deluxe Librarian set is smiling brightly and ready to assist.  She comes with a library cart, stacks of books and loose individual books as well as a computer.  A button on her back activates her exclusive 'shushing action' for anyone who might be too loud in the library.
― “They're quirky and ironic,” said Clifford Jackson, assistant manager of The Wizard's Chest in Denver, Colo., of what makes Accoutrements action figures a top seller there.  “They're only available for a short time, and are quickly gone.”
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 24921      (added 8/11/2009)
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MSRP: $48.00
Age Range: 4 and up
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Action Figures



In six colors, Pretty Ugly's Ice Bat character stands at the ready in smooth vinyl. Each figure in this series glows in the dark, adding a little flair to a collection of any size. Launch date: September 2009.
― Shana Hack, owner of Moon Rabbit Toys in Santa Fe, N.M., told TDmonthly in July 2009 that Uglydoll characters are top-selling action figures in her store, reporting average sales of 48 per month.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 24922      (added 8/11/2009)
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Marie RavenWriter'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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