October 2010 | Vol. IX - No. 10
What's HOT: Toys That Draw the Masses
Squinkies and Sing-a-ma-Jigs Have Broad Appeal
What are the most buzzed-about toys right now? Online sales show Squinkies from Blip Toys and Sing-a-ma-Jigs from Fisher Price to be the hottest items of the moment. Below, see top sellers from Toys "R" Us and other mass-market sites including Target, Amazon.com and Walmart.
The Squinkies™ Surprize Inside Bubble Pack includes 16 collectible “squooshy” friend and pet mini-dolls individually encased in signature plastic toy bubbles. Adding fun and intrigue, four bubbles are frosted to hide their content offering more fun surprises. Pop the bubble open and find a Squinkies surprise inside. With hundreds to collect, trade and share, Squinkies offers kids endless hours of imaginative play as they create their very own Squinkies world. This pack comes with 16 Squinkies, including kittens, puppies, babies and ponies.
Awards: 2010 Toys R Us Fab 15 Hot Toy List; 2010 Time To Play Magazine 2010 Most Wanted List; 2010 Dr. Toy
― As of 9.21.2010, this product was listed No. 2 on Amazon's top 100 best-selling toys and games.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 30333 (added 9/1/2010)
This kit contains materials for making up to 22 friendship bracelets. It includes four looms for two styles and eight patterns, along with 22 colors of floss, beads, a beading needle and a convenient storage case.
— As of 05/12/2012 this product has 3.9 out of 5 stars from 54 reviews on Amazon.com. Cons: Instructions are not helpful enough; not enough designs included.
— Kim Myers, co-owner of Hobbytown USA in Murfreesboro, Tenn., told TDmonthly in late Spring 2011 that ALEX arts and crafts were best-sellers in their category, especially among older girls.
― As of 9.21.2010, this product had 4 out of 5 stars from 24 reviews on Amazon.com and was No. 33 on the top 100 best-selling toys and games.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 30599 (added 9/21/2010)
Sing-a-ma-jigs are the new free-spirited, off-beat plush characters that love nothing better than to sing together. With each squeeze of their tummies, they offer up a little bit of chatter and then individual notes to a song. But the real magic happens when kids put the characters all together and squeeze their tummies one more time and the Sing-a-ma-jigs erupt into a harmonic chorus like none heard before!
― As of 9.21.2010, this product had 5 out of 5 stars from 8 reviews on Amazon.com and was No. 43 on the top 100 best-selling toys and games. PROS: Entertaining, cute and interactive. Appeals to children and adults.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 27177 (added 2/17/2010)
This detailed, movie-size figure measures 14" tall. Woody comes with an interactive cowboy hat — he knows if it’s on or off — and speaks over 25 phrases. He comes styled with a cowboy hat, boots, a vest with badge and a belt with buckle
— As of 8.24.10, this product had 4 out of 5 stars from 2 reviews on Target.com and was listed in the top 30 best-selling toys and games. PROS: Interactive.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 30202 (added 8/24/2010)
Players try to fill their Zingo! cards with matching tiles from the Zingo Zinger. The first player to fill his or her card wins. Rules can be adjusted to favor more or less competition among players, and to vary the length of time each game requires. This game was a 2007 T.O.T.Y. Nominee for Specialty Toy of the Year. "It teaches memory, matching, vocabulary and social interaction skills. Kids have so much fun playing again and again; they don’t realize they’re learning essential thinking skills," Marketing Communications Manager Emily Peters of Thinkfun told TDmonthly.
— “Customers use this game as their ‘standard’ party gift,” Owner Elaine Hackney of Boing! JP’s Toy Shop in Jamaica Plain, Mass. told TDmonthly in summer 2007.
— “We sell out as soon as they come in,” added Pam Horwitz, manager of Mr. Toad’s Toy Company in Naples, Fla. Four of 63 retailers singled out Zingo! as the hottest-selling game in their store. Seven percent of 56 retailers listed Zingo as a top-selling game in January 2009. Six of 38 retailers called it a best-selling game in Feb. 2010.
— “Zingo is a great game for 4- to 5-year olds,” Jamie Burdette, owner of LB Toys in Media, Pa., told TDmonthly about this game — a top seller in his store — in April 2008. “The basic Bingo concept starts to introduce words and spelling.”
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 3529 (added 5/10/2005)
Kids can pet this cub to watch him “come alive,” blinking and reaching out. The bear figure comes with bottle accessory and three AAA batteries.
― As of 9.13.10, this product had 5 out of 5 stars from 1 review on Walmart.com and was listed as a top-rated plush toy.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 29332 (added 7/6/2010)
Sea Monkeys Sunken Treasure by EDUCATIONAL INSIGHTS INC.
Other products from EDUCATIONAL INSIGHTS INC.
This Sea Monkeys kit comes with everything one needs to get started raising these living, swimming ”micro-crustaceans.” After treatment with the included water purifier, sprinkle the pouch of dormant Sea Monkey eggs into the tank, and watch the new pets appear and grow. It comes with a “growth guarantee.”
— “Another thing that sells really well is the Sea Monkeys. We sell a lot of those, and we had one of those on display,” Pat Cooley, owner of Cooleykatz Toys Livermore, Calif., told TDmonthly in August 2008 when discussing popular science and nature toys.
— “Kids still get so excited about those little kits,” said Janet Gregory, owner of Over the Rainbow Toys in Anchorage, Alaska. “A lot of adults seem to be drawn to them, too, because of the nostalgia factor.”
― As of 9.23.2010, this product had 4 out of 5 stars from 9 reviews on ToysRUs.com and was listed No. 10 in best-selling science and nature toys. PROS: Entertaining, educational, interactive and easy to use.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 20423 (added 9/8/2008)
Backyard Safari Bug Vacuum by SUMMIT PRODUCTS
Other products from SUMMIT PRODUCTS
Children discover the adventure just outside their door with the Backyard Safari Bug Vacuum! This cool, interactive toy captures insects by battery operated vacuum suction power without harm, into a plastic capsule. The live bugs can then be viewed and studied through the magnifier in the capsule. Children can either release the bug back into the outdoors or transfer the bug into a habitat.
— “The bug vacuum — those guys sell really well,” said Pat Cooley, owner of Cooleykatz Toys in Livermore, Calif., in August 2008.
— Forty percent of 64 retailers across the nation, from Alaska to Florida, said that bug observation and collecting items headlined their summer sales in 2008.
― As of 9.23.2010, this product had 4 out of 5 stars from 10 reviews on ToysRUs.com and was listed No. 5 in best-selling science and nature toys. PROS: Durable, interactive, engaging and educational.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 659 (added 11/30/2004)
Color Shifters cars go through a transformation when immersed in warm or cold water. Themes include flames, city, camo, racing and color-to-color.
— “The Hot Wheels are the best,” remarked Helen Dean, owner of Toy Safari in Alameda, Calif., when asked about her sales in die-cast vehicles in July 2009.
— Four of 49 retailers told TDmonthly in summer 2009 that Hot Wheels is a top-selling brand, reporting sales of about 100 per month, on average.
― As of 9.21.2010, this product had 4 out of 5 stars from 21 reviews on Amazon.com and was No. 24 on the top 100 best-selling toys and games. PROS: Sturdy and entertaining. CONS: Does not work well indoors. Must be refilled often.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 25174 (added 8/28/2009)
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Writer's Bio: Ashley Heaton has written articles for magazines and websites including 944 Magazine and Pricegrabber.com. Before joining the staff of TDmonthly Magazine, she spent five years providing editorial and administrative support in the luxury accessories industry. Read more articles by this author
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