November 2010 | Vol. IX - No. 11
VIDEOS: Retailers Talk Up Top Sellers - The Newcomers
Let Your Peers Tell You (and Your Customers) What's New and Hot
This time of year, you don't have time to talk to every customer about every toy. That's why TDmonthly Magazine lets other specialty toy-store owners from across the country do the selling for you.
Be sure to scroll down to watch all of the videos. Then go to Retailers Talk Up Top Sellers - The Classics for those toys that have made your holidays bright for 5 years or more.
Hexbug Nano Newton Gravity Series 5 Pack by INNOVATION FIRST LABS, INC.
Other products from INNOVATION FIRST LABS, INC.
These robotic creatures behave like real bugs. Kids can go online to register and track their Nano collections. Additional bugs, track, habitats, carrying cases and more are available separately.
— Five of 40 retailers told TDmonthly in June 2010 that the Hexbug is a top-selling product. In July 2010, 11 percent of 38 retailers named Hexbugs an overall top seller.
— In a June 2010 survey, two of 40 retailers told TDmonthly Hexbugs are a top-selling gift for boys ages 4 to 12.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 28518 (added 5/14/2010)
The plush panda transforms into a pillow when the Velcro enclosure is pulled apart. The pillow then transforms into a blanket when unzipped. The plush is a toy, blanket and pillow in one. The Zoobies Zoo Collection is a 2008 Babies and Mom's Radio "Squeel of Approval" Award winner.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 18009 (added 3/17/2008)
This set includes 216 powerful rare earth magnets that can be molded, shaped and snapped together in an endless variety of configurations. Each Buckyball has two poles — one repels, one attracts. Not intended for children. Watch video
— ''Pun's has sold about four dozen in the last month alone,'' Joe Berardoni, Sr., owner of Pun's Toy Shop in Bryn Mawr, Pa., shared with TDmonthly in the fall of 2010.
—Jeanette Lauture, owner of Aunt Jean's Toys & Treats in Montclair, N.J., sold nine of 24 units in two days after opening a box for display, she told TDmonthly. Two of 39 retailers named Buckyballs as a best-selling travel toy in March 2010.
— Dean Smith, Co-owner of JaZams in Princeton, N.J., told TDmonthly in a Summer 2011 survey that he sells "probably 50" sets of Buckyballs each month.
— May 27, 2010 RECALL of 175,000 sets (prior to March 2010) with 13+ labeling violating a federal standard that powerful magnets not be sold to children under 14.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 26179 (added 11/25/2009)
Suitable for babies 0 to 3 months and up, this teether and discovery toy features a contrasting spot pattern that offers visual stimulation, plus a squeaker for amusement. It is made of natural rubber from Hevea tree and colored with food paint. Sophie is distributed in the United States by Calisson.
— Retailers surveyed by TDmonthly have been naming Sophie the Giraffe as a best-seller since 2009.
― Nicole Boomhover, assistant manager of Learning Express in Cahaba Heights, Ala. told TDmonthly in late Spring 2011 that they sold between five and ten Sophies a month.
— In an April 2012 survey, three out of 11 retailers told TDmonthly that Sophie the Giraffe was their best selling infant & toddler product.
― “Sophie giraffe is a great baby product that we order over and over again,” Diana Nelson, owner of Kazoo & Company in Denver, Co., told TDmonthly in June 2010. “I can't keep them on the shelf,” agreed Keith Schumacker, general manager at Talbot’s Toyland in San Mateo, Calif.
― During a March 2010 survey of 39 retailers, seven said Sophie the Giraffe is a top-selling toy for infants. Sales averaged 24 per month.
— Want this? As of 05/06/2011, this product was available for purchase at Learning Express of Cahaba Heights, Ala.
AWARDS: 2014 TDmonthly Magazine Top Toy Award, 2010 TDmonthly Top Seller
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 23246 (added 4/10/2009)
Jewel Water Garden Starter Kit Eco-Aquarium by WILD CREATIONS
Other products from WILD CREATIONS
Part of the Wild Creations eco-aquarium line, this balanced ecosystem offers a low-maintenance way for children or adults to enjoy an aquarium environment. This starter kit comes with the Jewel Water Garden, a snail, two little frogs, food and care pack, and choice of base.
— Nine percent of 43 specialty retailers told TDmonthly Wild Creations’ Eco-Aquarium was a best seller in late spring 2010.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 22597 (added 2/25/2009)
Sticky MosaicsŪ Riding School by THE ORB FACTORY LIMITED
Other products from THE ORB FACTORY LIMITED
Kids can create four fabulous designs with this kit, which includes numbered templates and a number-to-color matching legend designed to make it fun and simple. It comes with four templates, four wall hangers and more than 3,000 sticky foam and jewel pieces. "Our number-to-color matching system ensures a perfect picture every time. A child does not need to be artistic to create their own masterpiece to give as a gift or hang on their wall," Damien Crocker, sales and marketing representative for The Orb Factory Limited, told TDmonthly. Launch date: June 15, 2009.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 23859 (added 5/22/2009)
This sleek ride-on is fueled by cambering motion — the rider pushing his or her legs against the front bar, to the left and right. It has a hand brake and features an extendable design to host riders up to 6' tall. Maximum recommended weight is 150 lbs.
— Learning Tree Toys, Games & Books in Oklahoma City, Okla., sells about a dozen EzyRollers per month, Owner Patti Tepper-Rasmussen told TDmonthly in fall 2009.
— Jackie Roy, owner of Learning Resources Toy Magic in Fort Walton Beach, Fla., told TDmonthly in late 2009 that she brought in five EzyRollers on trial on sold out in a week and a half.
— Two of 37 specialty retailers cited the EzyRoller as a top-selling ride-on in spring 2010. “The EzyRoller, by far, continues to be the best,” Christine Osborne of Wonder Works in Charleston, S.C., told TDmonthly in March 2010, reporting sales of a couple dozen per month.
Past Videos: WTHRA 2008
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 25944 (added 11/3/2009)
These colorful rubber bands function like traditional bands but feature fun animal shapes when not holding something together.
— "We got 270 packages on Thursday and were sold out by Saturday morning. High school, middle school and elementary school kids are all buying them," Katie Rook, owner of Be Beep A Toy Shop in Columbia, S.C., told TDmonthly in fall 2009.
— Editors Note: This item is very similar to the Animal Rubber Bands by Eastern Accent Int'l, first reported by TDmonthly in 2005.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 25538 (added 10/6/2009)
Reducing fossil fuel use and CO2 emissions is part of the recipe for aspiring gourmets who use the Green Toys Chef Set. This classic collection of kitchen essentials is made in the U.S.A. from 100% recycled plastic milk containers. Safe, non-toxic, BPA-free, and even meets FDA food contact standards. Dishwasher safe. The set includes a stock-pot with lid, skillet, ladle and spatula.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 27665 (added 3/23/2010)
This rugged playset is constructed of Sprigwood, which is a bio-composite material that blends reclaimed wood and recycled plastic, and is dyed with safe pigments. The set includes explorer and rescue boats, Captain Owen the adventure guide, an interchangeable adventure hat, a life preserver, mother and baby dolphins, and a backpack accessory.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 26135 (added 11/20/2009)
Dado will engage your imagination and help develop a keen eye for design, color, shape, size, space, balance, proportion and composition. Constructed horizontally, vertically or nested together, Dado invites unlimited visual spatial development and problem solving through design-centered play. Dado features ten cubes, scaled from 1” to 5”. This game is "self-expression revealed through a contemporary palette of play, " Kathy Lorkovic, at Fat Brain Toys, told TDmonthly. This product has won numerous awards, including a 2007 National Parenting Center Seal of Approval Award, a Spring 2007 Dr. Toy Best Product Award, a 2007 iParenting Media Excellent Products Award and a Creative Child Preferred Choice Award. Launch date: September 1, 2006.
— “Dado Cubes forms the foundation of a series of design-centered educational toys,” offered Mark Carson, developer and president of Fat Brain Toys. Dado is “that rare toy that combines intuitive fun with fine design. Equally rare is its ability to entertain young and old alike,” he added. “Beyond Dado, we have a number of products in development that have been inspired by true educational research.”
Past Videos: Toy Fair 2007
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 9637 (added 10/6/2006)
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This dartboard set includes six balanced darts that feature N-35 Neodymium rare earth magnets and the lightweight, durable Doinkit material that keeps the darts flying perfectly true. The darts will work on any magnetic dart board.
— Owner Elaine Hackney of Boing! JP’s Toy Shop in Jamaica Plain, Mass., told TDmonthly in summer 2007 that she has been selling lots of these dart boards for years. “The quality is great. The holding power of the magnets is great. The price is right,” she explained.
— Doinkit Darts have been “unbelievable” for Piccolo Mondo Toys of Portland, Ore., Owner Michelle Smith told TDmonthly at the end of 2008. JoAnn Farrugia, owner of JaZams in Pennington, N.J., reported sales of about three dozen per month of Doinkit Darts in a March 2009 survey of best sellers.
— “The [Doinkit] Darts sell really well for kids and adults,” said Lauren Obenour, manager of Portland, Oregon’s Green Frog Toys, where the product is among the best-selling sports and outdoor toys, as of spring 2009.
— Doinkit Darts are a “longtime best seller” at Totally Thomas Toy Depot in San Diego, as reported in July 2010 by President Cynthia Wyatt. “The rare earth magnets in the darts are super strong, stay put, and don’t bounce off. They’re very safe and don’t damage your walls. Nothing but fun!” she said.
Past Videos: ASTRA 2008
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 14606 (added 8/13/2007)
Sprig Hollow - Dragonfly's Heli-Scoopter by SPRIG TOYS, INC.
Other products from SPRIG TOYS, INC.
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)
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)
ZipBin™ - Dinosaur by NEAT-OH! INTERNATIONAL LLC
Other products from NEAT-OH! INTERNATIONAL LLC
10-year-old Max Rothschild co-invented these storage bins/toys with his father, Wayne. Unzipped, the Dinosaur ZipBin becomes a dinosaur island activity surface for use with dinosaurs, animals, vehicles, boats and action figures. Fantasy play is encouraged by a prehistoric world featuring a volcano, a river, a tar pit and a mysterious cave. ZipBins also come in Road & Rail, Castle, Medieval Castle, Farm, Unicorn and other versions. ZipBins were launched in January 2006.
— Katherine and John Hodge of Neat-oh! International consider their Zip Bin line of toys to be a “a new way to play ... and put things away!”
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 6828 (added 2/6/2006)
Flying Monkey by WESTMINSTER INTERNATIONAL CO.
Other products from WESTMINSTER INTERNATIONAL CO.
This monkey slingshot's strong elastic arms can propel him far distances. Users simply put two fingers in the hand pockets, pull back and let go. He comes complete with a cape and mask, and lets out a loud monkey call when released.
— In autumn 2010, Christine Osborne, co-owner of Wonder Works in Charleston, S.C., said she was still selling about 30 soaring simians per month.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 30677 (added 9/27/2010)
These animal erasers have removable puzzle parts so they can be taken off and reassembled. The animal collection includes elephants, panda bears, a giraffe, a cow and a pig.
— "Over the course of the last year, it was 500 to 1,000 units per week," Gage Brownell of Belmont Toys in Belmont, Mass., told TDmonthly in March 2010 about his store's sales of Iwako erasers.
— BC USA Erasers were on the top-10 best-seller list at Jillie Beans Toys & More in Westminster, Colo., in April 2010, reported Owner Valerie Elsea. “Tweeny girls and boys love them and they are easy to collect,” she told TDmonthly. “They’ve been selling well since the fall of .”
— Gwen Bowden, manager of Doodlehopper 4 Kids in Springfield, Va., told TDmonthly in a Summer 2011 survey that her best-selling collectibles are "Japanese erasers. We sell some every day - about 100 per month."
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 27581 (added 3/15/2010)
These sporty wooden toy cars feature streamlined shapes and realistic brightly colored "windows" and "tires."
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 29706 (added 7/23/2010)
Wheely Bugs are hand-crafted ride-on toys that go backwards, forwards, sideways and in circles. They provide free movement so children can be entertained while developing gross motor skills.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 30680 (added 9/27/2010)
The first member of the Perplexus family, this see-through sphere houses a 3-D labyrinth game with 100 barriers, turns, twists and cliffhangers that serve as obstacles to getting a small steel ball to the end. Invented in 1970 by Michael McGinnis, a design teacher, Perplexus helps develop motor and dexterity skills, along with hand-eye coordination.
― As of 12/17/2012 this product had 4.4 out of 5 stars from 393 reviews on Amazon.com and was No. 12 on the top 100 bestselling toys and games.
— At Izilla Toys in Seattle, "Perplexus is selling really, really well for us," Co-owner Jude Larene told TDmonthly in late fall 2009.
— In summer 2010 this game was a top-10 best seller at Dancing Bear Toys in Asheville and Hendersonville, N.C..
Awards: 2012 Parents’ Choice Awards - Silver, 2011 Time Magazine – 15 Smartest Toys for Young Geniuses, 2011 Parent Tested Parent Approved – Seal of Approval, 2011 Grand Prix Kidexpo – Elu par les Parents (Parents’Choice), 2011 Children of Museum of Indianapolis – Top 10 Toys of 2011, 2011 Canadian Toy Testing Council – Children’s Choice, 2011 Babble List – Best Kids Toys, 2010 Toy Insider – Hot 20, 2010 The National Parenting Center – Seal of Approval, 2010 Prémio Brazil – Award of Excellence, 2010 Parents’ Magazine – Top Toys, 2010 NAPPA – Gold, 2010 ASTRA – Best Toy for Kids
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 26245 (added 12/2/2009)
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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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