October 2009 | Vol. VIII - No. 10
TDmonthly Goes Inside ... Pixie Toys, Long Beach, Calif.
Where Fairies Play, Kids Craft and Photo Memories are Made
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Heather Daykin was born to toys. Her mother ran a toy store, and when it came time to decide her own future, selling toys was the only option that appealed to her. She opened the first Pixie Toys three years ago, then changed locations twice, settling in the Bixy Knolls area of Long Beach, Calif., on a street lined with other specialty shops.
Choosing pixies as her theme, Heather created a woodland atmosphere in her store and chose open shelves that allow kids to grab and play with the many different types of specialty toys she offers. She offers extras to her customers, such as craft days and movie nights, plus has the bonus of an inhouse photography studio. By pairing up with shooter Vangie Ogg, Daykin gets to split the rent as well as the clientele, many of whom will pick up a toy as a treat for a good session.
Here are some of Heather's fairy best toys:
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This environmentally friendly tea set includes a tea pot with lid, a sugar bowl with lid, creamer, four cups, four saucers and four teaspoons. The set is constructed of bio-plastic made from renewable, sustainable resources in order to help decrease fossil-fuel use and greenhouse gas emissions. Starch-based bio-plastic is ultimately biodegradable. "We do our best to make environmentally friendly business decisions, given today's available technologies from product development to packaging," according to Laurie Hyman, a partner at Green Toys. Green Toys also produces all of its products in the U.S. which cuts down on transportation costs and CO2 emissions. "Green Toys products are ideal for parents looking to make environmentally conscious decisions when it comes to shopping for their children," stated Hyman. Launch date: September 2007.
— “One of my new favorite toys is the Green Toys tea set and cooking set,” said Michelle Smith of Piccolo Mondo Toys in Portland, Ore., at the end of 2008.
Past Videos: ASTRA 2009
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 14495 (added 8/7/2007)
Made in the USA of recycled plastic milk jugs, this tool kit includes flat and Phillips screwdrivers, a wrench, pliers, a hammer, a saw, and two each of nails, bolts, nuts and two-hole connectors. The environmentally friendly set also includes a tool box for storage of the toys. Launch date: 2009.
Past Videos: ASTRA 2009
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 22797 (added 3/13/2009)
The Dinosaur Dish Set includes a plate, bowl, cup, fork and spoon. The melamine is BPA free and the set conforms to or exceeds U.S. and European safety standards. Gifts sets are 15"w x 11"H x 3"D. It is top-rack dishwasher safe or can be handwashed in warm water.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 25458 (added 9/30/2009)
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This is a plastic, blow-molded skateboard deck only, NO WHEELS OR TRUCKS. Kids learn, practice, and get skills from balance and action sports moves indoors or out. The Yo Baby Kick Flipper is a great INDOOR sports toy. Whether it's too hot outside or the snow is coming down, children stay active and practice the fastest growing sport in the world indoors or outdoors. Parents love the product because children can learn boarding skills safely. The DVD that comes with it is mesmerizing for children and they watch it over and over hoping to master the same moves with their Yo Baby Kick Flipper.
Awards: 2007 TDmonthly Innovations Award; 2009 product of the year; 2008 preferred choice; ASTRA pick of the year; 2008 Seal of Excellence; Action Product Award ASR 2009
— “We're doing well with Yo Babys, [and] ordering a case a month,” said Connie Hoeft, owner of C R Toys in Kearney, N.E., when asked about her best-selling sports toys in spring 2009.
Past Videos: Toy Fair 2009
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 23142 (added 4/2/2009)
This elegant 12” knitted butteryfly is musical, too. When his tail is pulled, he plays a Brahms lullaby.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 25441 (added 9/30/2009)
This 8” velour cow is soft and cuddly for infants.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 25443 (added 9/30/2009)
These mom and baby bovines are tethered together. When the string is pulled, they make music.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 25444 (added 9/30/2009)
This soft wagon carries a load of sensory toys for baby.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 25460 (added 9/30/2009)
Soft and light, the 7.5” Cosmidoux Hang Up Rattle is a snuggly that can be hung on the stroller, on the cradle or simply manipulated in baby's hands. It jingles softy and is machine washable.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 25461 (added 9/30/2009)
These colorful car seat covers are removable for washing and can also be transferred to shopping carts to keep baby clean. The covers are made by a Long Beach, Calif., mompreneur.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 25445 (added 9/30/2009)
This pretty infant dress can later be worn as a top. The dress is made by a Long Beach, Calif., mompreneur.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 25446 (added 9/30/2009)
Kimochis™ ... Toys with Feelings Inside by PLUSHY FEELY CORP.
Other products from PLUSHY FEELY CORP.
Kimochis are small pillows with a feeling (happy, sad, silly, brave) printed on one side and a corresponding facial expression on the other. Each Kimochis plush character comes with a set of three feelings and a How-To Kimochis Feel Guide. The characters have a special pocket where kids can store their "Kimochis" — of feelings. Using the characters and their Kimochis, kids can get in touch with their emotions through puppetry and play. "Getting back to the basics by playing and communicating with Kimochis is a simple, yet powerful way to teach children how to: be aware of feelings, choose how to communicate in emotional moments, and redo mistakes. Children will be drawn to the fun, adorable, accessible characters. Parents will be drawn to the high-quality craftsmanship and the valuable educational content," Associate Susan Schroeder of Plushy Feely Corp. told TDmonthly. Launch date: August 2008.
— Amy of Coffee with the Mrs. reported that her son “loves his Kimochi Cloud doll and is already starting to use more words about feelings since he got the doll.” He has even improved his reading by identifying the words printed on the emotions.
— Take It From Me’s Kristin used the emotions of her daughter’s Kimochi to help her deal with the complex emotions she was feeling about a recent move. The Kimochis were so successful, Kristin said, that: “Now every time my daughter starts to get upset, I refer to the Kimochis and looking for what she feels helps her to calm down and relax.”
Awards: Dr. Toy 100 Best Children's Products - 2010
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 21463 (added 11/24/2008)
The Tootsie Roll Metal Lunch Box is printed and embossed with “delicious” graphics. It measures approximately 8” x 7”.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 25447 (added 9/30/2009)
This set includes a week’s worth of graphic socks with dots and comes in a gift box.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 25449 (added 9/30/2009)
The Pinx line includes birthday and greeting cards with whimsical watercolor designs. This company is no longer in business.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 25450 (added 9/30/2009)
This heavy duty, textured ball is great for indoor or outdoor play. The ball is 7" diameter. It is made of rubber and contains no PVC, latex or vinyl. The product conforms to or exceeds U.S. and European safety standards.
— During a March 2010 survey of top-selling sports and outdoor products, three out of 37 retailers told TDmonthly play balls are their best seller.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 25459 (added 9/30/2009)
What kind of mermaid can’t swim? These mermaids are fully submersible for bathtub or swimming pool fun. They come with either magenta or purple hair that can be combed.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 25451 (added 9/30/2009)
The Mermaid Cookbook by Barbara Beery is filled with delicious, nutrious recipes that get kids thinking about healthy eating while engaging their imaginations. This spiral-bound book is perfect as a gift or for creating themed parties.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 25452 (added 9/30/2009)
This mermaid doll is soft and cuddly enough for a young child, but carries detail to foster the imagination of older girls.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 25453 (added 9/30/2009)
Karina Grace Beach by ONLY HEARTS CLUB GROUP LLC
Other products from ONLY HEARTS CLUB GROUP LLC
The Only Hearts Club dolls are wholesome playthings meant to foster healthy self-images in young girls. Karina Grace comes decked out for a day of healthy fun at the beach.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 25454 (added 9/30/2009)
Piggy Fairy "Tasty Tales Tableware Set" by THE PIGGY STORY INC.
Other products from THE PIGGY STORY INC.
This three-piece set — part dinnertime, part storytime — is a fun take on classic children’s tableware. Made of keepsake-quality ceramic and designed for older kids (4-6) who’ve mastered table manners, each piece depicts a different scene and caption from one of three original, Piggy Story tales. The entire set is microwave and dishwasher safe, and comes nestled in a tin box with matching placemat and a small storybook. The tin box measures 7” x 7” x 4.75”.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 25456 (added 9/30/2009)
This 9.5" soft and cuddly frog with removable clothing is based on the beloved characters from Arnold Lobel's classic books. NOTE: THESE ITEMS HAVE BEEN DISCONTINUED.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 25457 (added 9/30/2009)
This book allows girls to create their own poseable fairy dolls that feature petal dresses and flowing floss hair. Supplies to make 12 posey pixies are included, and the book is written by Rachel Haab.
- “Girls love Klutz; [it] sells constantly,” Jeanne McCullough, owner of Children’s Store Inc. in Boise, Idaho, told TDmonthly.
- “Klutz is No. 1 by far,” said Ron Banducci, co-owner of Games Unlimited in Danville, Calif., when telling TDmonthly about best-selling items for tweens in fall 2008.
- “[Tweens] want to make something,” said Diana Gisolfi, co-owner of Sister’s Kids in Springfield, Mass.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 20618 (added 9/19/2008)
The bug “pod”, with six ribbon legs and antennae, hides a sleepy, 8” doll inside. Ideal as a first baby doll, Snuggle Bug encourages and develops nurturing skills in children. With its embroidered detailing, satin-lined interior and soft exterior, Snuggle Bug will be a favorite snuggle buddy for years to come. It’s for babies 6 months and up.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 25462 (added 9/30/2009)
Rub-a-dub-dub, there’s a big duck in your tub. Schylling Toy Company believes that bigger is better, which is why this duck is 12” long from beak to tail. The Large Rubber Duck comes with an assortment of hats for virtually any occasion a child might have in mind: rain hat, bonnet and sailor’s hat.
— "Rubber duckies by Schylling" were bath best-sellers according to Tristan Hewitt, manager of Dragon's Toy Box in Seattle. Another agreed.
— Both retailers noted that ducky sales are sporadic throughout the year.
— Mike DiAndrea, manager of Hardware Toys/Big Smile Toys in Paoli, Pa., told TDmonthly in an April 2013 survey that they sell about 5 of this toy each month, making it a best-seller in the bath toy category.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 12271 (added 4/10/2007)
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Writer'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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