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April 2010 | Vol. IX - No. 4
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Top-10 Most-Wanted Kids' Costumes and Apparel

Sequins and Sparkles Bring Magic to Play


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

In a recent TDmonthly Magazine survey of 37 specialty retailers in the United States, storeowners touted the detail and durability of favorite dress-up lines Creative Education of Canada and Little Adventures. While girls' fantasy items such as Sarah's Silks are popular, more realistic role-play items from Aeromax and Melissa & Doug are also in demand. Here are the top-10 best-selling dress-up and apparel items in specialty toy stores.

No manufacturer paid to be included in this article. All products listed were designated by editorial staff without regard to the company's relationship with TOYDIRECTORY.com/TDmonthly Magazine.




MSRP: $36.00
Age Range: 3 and up
Gender: Girls
Category: Pretend Play
Costumes & Accessories
Apparel



With details and fabrics selected with careful attention to both look and tactile feel, Creative Education of Canada's Sequins Fairy Dress is a costume and play tool all in one. This sleeveless dress has a skirt of soft, multi-tiered tricot and matching petals over the shoulders. The bodice of the dress is elastic with sequins, allowing a great fit for growing girls.
— “You can't beat Creative Education of Canada,” said Sheryl Guidera, owner of Kaleidoscope the Parent Teacher Store in Capitola, Calif., of her top-selling line of dress-up items in March 2010.
— “We've stayed with Creative Education of Canada for quality and value, delivery and service,” said Barbara Paeth-Haas, owner of The Durango Kid in Durango, Colo., in spring 2010.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 27765      (added 3/29/2010)
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MSRP: $29.99
Age Range: 2 to 9
SKU or Item #: 11133
Launch Date: February 2009
Gender: Girls
Category: Pretend Play
Costumes & Accessories
Apparel



This exquisite dress is made with a stretchy pink, crushed velvet bodice and an elegant skirt made from pink China silk. There is great attention to detail in the trims and ruffles, making this a charming, regal dress up. Launch date: February 15, 2009.
— “Little Adventures — anything with a princess theme for girls. They're well-made outfits, and reasonably priced,” Gary Green said of the top sellers in the dress-up department of his Asheville, N.C. store, Toy Box of Asheville.
— “Little Adventures, a new company out of Salt Lake, has a Princess line which does very well,” said Carol Knight, owner of The Toy Store in Ketchum, Idaho, in early 2009.
— “I sell Little Adventures out of Utah. [We] found them to have more of a play value,” Jeanne McCullough, owner of Children's Store Inc. in Boise, Idaho, told TDmonthly when asked about her best-selling dress-up items.
—  “Little Adventures is the most successful and ha[s] the best quality,” Jim Davis, owner of Kid's Center in Tucson, Ariz., told TDmonthly of his best-selling line of dress-up clothing in spring 2010.
—  Eight of 37 retailers named Little Adventures as a best-selling dress-up line during a March 2010 survey.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 21774      (added 12/12/2008)
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MSRP: $39.99
Launch Date: January 2008
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Costumes & Accessories
Pretend Play
Halloween Merchandise



This authentic-looking fireman costume features bright stripes and comes with a hat, a megaphone, an ax, a fire extinguisher and other accessories. It retails in a clear vinyl bag. Launch date: 2008.
—  “Melissa and Doug have great dress-up costumes ... those are moving briskly,” said Diana Nelson, owner of Kazoo and Company in Denver, Colo., about her top-selling dress-up items in March 2010.
— In a December 2013 survey two out of 10 retailers told TDmonthly that fire fighter costumes were one of their best-selling Halloween costumes.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 17771      (added 2/27/2008)
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MSRP: $37.95
Gender: Boys
Category: Pretend Play



The Jr. Mail Courier outfit is a realistic one-piece suit. It also comes with a pinstriped shirt with patch, shorts with a wide accent stripe, an official looking visor and a matching courier bag.
—  During a March 2010 survey on top-selling dress-up lines, two of 37 retailers named Aeromax as their best vendor.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 7840      (added 5/10/2006)
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Age Range: 3 and up
Gender: Girls
Category: Pretend Play
Costumes & Accessories
Apparel



Made of airy, sumptuous 100-percent silk, the Rainbow Fairy Skirt is designed to create magic with every move. Fully reversible, the skirt is finished with a satin rose detail on both sides, and its multiple layers come to a fluttering pointed hem.  The waist is elastic for ease and comfort of wear.
—  “We do great with Sarah's Silks; they have great skirts,” said Eric Masoncup, owner of Geppetto's Toy Box in Oak Park, Ill., of his top-selling dress-up items during a March 2010 survey.
—  Two of 37 retailers named Sarah's Silks as their top-selling line of dress-up clothes in spring 2010.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 27766      (added 3/29/2010)
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MSRP: $40.00
Age Range: 3 and up
Gender: Girls
Category: Pretend Play
Costumes & Accessories
Apparel



Whether used for a multi-media Halloween costume or good frightening fun any time of year, the musical Monster Mash skirt offers a funky dimension to dress up. The skirt, which is knee length and finished with multiple layers of colored tulle, plays music at the push of a button. This piece in Acting Out's line of musical dress up plays the 1960s hit “Monster Mash,” and the music continues with motion but stops automatically if the child is still.
— “We sell Acting Out, their petticoats and things. We sell a lot of those,” said Jill Brown, buyer at Kidoodles Toys in Norman, Okla., of the store's top-selling dress-up clothes in March 2010.
— Out of 37 retailers, two listed Acting Out as the supplier of their best-selling dress-up items in spring 2010.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 27767      (added 3/29/2010)
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MSRP: $34.00
Age Range: 0 and up
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Apparel
Infant & Toddler



This soft, simple cotton gown can be converted into a legged onesie by re-arranging the snaps around the leg. Great for changing weather or changing diapers, the gown is machine washable and sports elegant picot trimming around the hems.  The garment is available in three colors of embroidery detail: a green frog, pink hearts or a yellow duck.
— “Moms really like the quality and the designs,” said Vicky Davis, owner of Children's Prep in Atlanta, Ga., of Kissy Kissy.  In March 2010, Davis reported sales of around 30 pieces per day.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 27768      (added 3/29/2010)
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Age Range: 3 and up
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Costumes & Accessories
Apparel



This hat from Jacobson Hats makes a ferocious statement with a bright red, wide-open mouth of shark teeth. The wearable plush shark is modeled after a Great White, and could be used in pretend play games, puppet shows, or any time when a situation needs a little silliness.
— “Jacobson Hats sell well,” said Gage Brownell, manager of Belmont Toys in Belmont, Mass., when asked about his top-selling dress-up items during TDmonthly's March 2010 survey of 37 specialty retailers.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 27769      (added 3/29/2010)
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MSRP: $34.99
Age Range: 3 and up
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Pretend Play
Costumes & Accessories
Apparel



Fashioned from bright green lamé material, the Dragon Cape transforms a little one into a great, fierce creature of legend. The hood picks up to form horns, and bright yellow plates trail down the back into a long, pointed tail. 
— Ten of 37 specialty retailers who participated in a March 2010 survey said Creative Education of Canada is their top- selling line of dress-up clothing.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 27770      (added 3/29/2010)
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Age Range: 0 and up
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Pretend Play
Costumes & Accessories
Apparel



This marabou-edged satin robe has a gathered neck and waist to fit a variety of shapes and sizes. Soft fabric wings and a tiny feathered halo complete the costume, which is constructed to fit children up to 25 lbs.
— Kim Haynes, owner of Lollipop Toy Store in Dawsonville, Ga., said in March 2010 that Mullins Square is her best-selling line of apparel. “They are durable and great looking.”
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 27771      (added 3/29/2010)
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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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