TDmonthly Magazine!
September 2009 | Vol. VIII - No. 9
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TDmonthly Goes Inside … Toy Crazy, Malibu

Games and Pirates Make Waves in Beachside Store


In 1998, when Melissa Moore opened the first Toy Crazy in Malibu, Calif., the beachside town was a lot more laidback than it is today. Sandals and cutoffs were de rigeur fashion and iconoclastic specialty shops the norm. Now, her mall is filled mostly with high-end chains and her customers frequently include Hollywood celebrities, she told TDmonthly Magazine.

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Despite the changes, Melissa has managed to maintain Toy Crazy’s distinct identity. At both her Malibu and Brentwood stores, she focuses on specialty products that her clients cannot find elsewhere and pays attention to trends, such as higher demand for infant products, eco-friendly toys and muted colors that suggest natural dyes and paints. Though she offers some generic beach items, the bulk of her non-infant sales comes from family games and dress-up.

See toys that sell well at Toy Crazy in the videos below (please scroll down the page to see them all) and watch the video above to hear Melissa explain what makes her store unique and why it has lasted for more than a decade.

Here are some toys that Toy Crazy customers are crazy for:




MSRP: $13.99
Age Range: 3 and up
Launch Date: January 2008
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Eco-Friendly
Play Sets



Dragonfly’s Heli-Scoopter is a durable vehicle that cleverly transforms into a sturdy sand tool. Sized for 
“take along” fun, this water resistant, five-in-one play set includes a Sprig Hollow insect character with interchangeable wings.Dragonfly’s Heli-Scoopter is also a shovel and the helipad is a sand strainer.  Launch date: 2008.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 20958      (added 10/16/2008)
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MSRP: $16.00
Age Range: 0 and up
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Infant & Toddler
Developmental Toys



Suitable for ages 3 months and up, this activity toy features bright colors and pictures of expressive baby faces by renowned photographer Penny Gentieu. It features various textures along with a bell, a rattle and teething accents.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 21999      (added 1/5/2009)
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MSRP: $28.95
Age Range: 0 and up
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Infant & Toddler
Eco-Friendly



Taggies Naturals  are ideal for the family that embraces a natural lifestyle and has both safety and the environment in mind. These small 12" x 12" blankets are made of exceptionally comfortable, 100% certified organically grown cotton fibers, pure silk ribbons and safe dyes. With an eco-friendly conscience, the Naturals collection offers sophisticated and unexpected prints. Launch date: 2009
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 24614      (added 7/16/2009)
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The Gyro-discs spin up to 1000 rpm. Just hold the 11" metal ring and strike the smaller, colored discs. As you rotate the ring, the discs begin spinning faster and faster, like mini-gyroscopes. At first, the challenge is to keep all the discs spinning. Once you can do this, there are several tricks and stunts to master.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 24615      (added 7/16/2009)
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MSRP: $45.00
Age Range: 0 and up
SKU or Item #: 02532
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Infant & Toddler



Babies can be at home wherever they go, if the Monkey Mat goes with them. This extra-soft plush playmat and rug will keep baby safe and clean.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 24616      (added 7/16/2009)
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MSRP: $24.99
Age Range: 2 and up
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Infant & Toddler



Toddlers will love leading the parade with this wooden elephant that claps two cymbals together when pushed along. With a large wooden knob for easy grasping, this is a wonderful first push toy to accompany those first steps.  Brightly painted with non-toxic paint. It measures 21.5" x 7" x 5" assembled.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 24556      (added 7/15/2009)
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MSRP: $24.99
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: General Games



Young children will enjoy this as a counting game, while two to four older players will enjoy it for the strategy. Our heirloom quality version of this classic seafaring game has a latching wooden box that features a transparent, shatterproof top and flipping wooden number tiles. It includes two dice, a convenient storage pouch and a detailed instruction booklet.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 24557      (added 7/15/2009)
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MSRP: $29.99
Gender: Boys
Category: Costumes & Accessories



The Pirate Set includes panne vest,  and a hat made from durable laminated panne. New this year, the set includes the Eye Patch. It comes in black or red.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 24618      (added 7/16/2009)
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The Knight Set (60063) is made of a laminated silver spangle in a tunic style with elastics attaching the sides for flexibility. The Knight Set comes with a reversible hood, the Knight Glitter Cape and the Crown are sold separately. The Fairy Dress with Wings (34633) is made of a lilac crepe satin ruched top and the skirt is made of layers of tulle and soft lilac tricot.  The attached wings are covered with silver sparkle tulle.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 21287      (added 11/12/2008)
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This soft foam pirate saber will make a little blackbeard feel like the king of the seas, without causing any harm.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 24622      (added 7/16/2009)
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MSRP: $49.99
Age Range: 3 and up
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Pretend Play
Dolls - Accessories



This durable metal shopping cart looks just like those in real stores. Sturdy metal construction includes pivoting front wheels, a folding doll seat and protective corner bumpers to navigate the aisles in style and safety. It measures 18.5" x 13.5" x 22.5" assembled. Contains small parts. Adult assembly required. Launch date: 2009.
— These carts are best sellers at Learning Resources Toy Magic in Fort Walton, Fla. "There are between 25 and 35 on hold for Christmas," Owner Mark Pattison told TDmonthly in late October 2009.
— Jamie Burdette, owner of LB Toys in Media, Pa., said in fall 2009 that his store sells about 60 of these shopping carts per month.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 24555      (added 7/15/2009)
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MSRP: $29.99
Age Range: All Ages
Gender: Girls
Category: Costumes & Accessories



This fairy tunic features a bridal satin top with multiple layers of tricot and tulle for the skirt. The fairy tunic is designed to be worn over clothes, and it fastens at the sides with adjustable satin ribbon ties. Trimmed with ribbon roses, this fairy dress is sure to be a hit with any fairies-to-be. It features satin-tie ribbons allow for size flexibility at the waist. It comes in  light pink, dark pink, lilac and purple.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 24617      (added 7/16/2009)
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Age Range: 3 and up
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Puppets



Playing with puppets can be a joyful experience for children as they create stories, use new words and practice fine motor skills to make puppet gestures.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 24620      (added 7/16/2009)
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MSRP: $8.95
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Puppets



Kids can shiver timbers anywhere with this fierce pirate puppet.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 24621      (added 7/16/2009)
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MSRP: $7.95
Age Range: 3 and up
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Puppets



This pig glove puppet is soft and easy to manipulate. Snort.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 24619      (added 7/16/2009)
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Age Range: 8 and up
Gender: Girls
Category: Dolls
Musical Toys
Gifts



This wind-up musical doll rolls her head in time with the music. She's "Jo" in the "Little Women" collection.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 25106      (added 8/25/2009)
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MSRP: $25.00
Age Range: 0 and up
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Plush
Infant & Toddler



Mopley is a 12” curly white plush lamb with corduroy face and legs and zig-zag top stitching.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 25100      (added 8/25/2009)
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MSRP: $31.99
Age Range: 3 and up
SKU or Item #: 50800
Gender: Girls
Category: Dolls - Accessories



This double stroller is perfect for toting twins. It features a pink plastic frame and pink fabric.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 25099      (added 8/25/2009)
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Age Range: 1 and up
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Vehicles - Riding



A low center of gravity and wide wheels give this classic wooden push trike stability enough for the tiniest of tots.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 25103      (added 8/25/2009)
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MSRP: $16.00
Age Range: 3 and up
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Puppets



Thornwald will come alive with a child's imagination for puppetry magic. He features plush fur and googly eyes.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 25101      (added 8/25/2009)
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Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Puppets



This realistic butterfly puppet features spreading wings and tentacled eye stalks.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 25102      (added 8/25/2009)
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MSRP: $2.95
Age Range: 8 and up
Gender: Girls
Category: Collectibles
Gifts



Tynies are glass collectibles, introduced in 2008 with 40 different styles. New styles are released three times per year. Each Tynies has a name — each name is three letters. First edition Tynies come on a cardboard base that can be removed by soaking in water for about one minute. Because Tynies are handmade, they vary in color and shape.
— Christine Osborne, co-owner of Wonder Works in Charleston, S.C., told TDmonthly in an October 2011 survey that Tynies are her best selling keepsake item. They sell about 200 per month in each store.
— In a Summer 2012 survey, two out of 10 retailers told TDmonthly Tynies were their best selling collectibles. Elmer Carranza, manager of Doodlehopper 4 Kids in Springfield, Va., told TDmonthly that they sell 8-10 Tynies each month.
— In an August 2013 survey Dean Smith, owner of JaZams in Princeton, N.J., told TDmonthly that Tynies are one of the store's best-selling collectible lines.

ToyDirectory Product ID#: 25105      (added 8/25/2009)
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This ball can bounce up to 50' high.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 25107      (added 8/25/2009)
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Alison MarekWriter's Bio: ALISON MAREK is an award-winning writer, director and cartoonist whose work has been published by Fairchild Publications and DC Comics (Piranha Press), broadcast on Showtime and other cable networks, and viewed worldwide in film festivals. See her short films and print work on www.alisonmarek.com. Watch her nefarious villains in the web series www.MuggsMovers.com. Get inspired by her cartoons "Daily ARFFirmations to Unleash Your Inner Fido" at www.ARFFirmations.com. Phew! And then ...  Read more articles by this author

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