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November 2010 | Vol. IX - No. 11
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Top-10 Most-Wanted Toys for Tweens

Klutz and Alex Help Tweens Say What it's All About


With additional reporting by Brenda Ruggiero, Pete Fernbaugh, Chris Lundy and Ashley Heaton.

For tween-aged kids, it's all about making a statement, with accessories, gadgets and décor. TDmonthly Magazine recently interviewed 44 specialty retailers about their hottest items for tweens, which underscored a lot of hands on products that let kids produce something totally one of a kind. In addition to craft kits from Alex and Creativity for Kids, science kits capture the attention of boys and girls alike. Here are the top-10 most wanted toys for tweens.




MSRP: $16.96
Age Range: 8 and up
Gender: Girls
Category: Books



Written by Karen Phillips as a fun, inspiring journal to celebrate the lives of tween-aged girls, My [Not So] Perfect Life invites a young lady to overcome the blank page. It is filled with fun, often humorous writing prompts in a 'fill in the blank' style. The journal contains prompts about parents, friends, school, love, destiny, and many other subjects, and is written in a smart, funny voice sure to make any girl feel great about herself. The book comes with a sparkly pencil that fits in the elastic holster right beside the pages to keep it always handy.
— “A lot of Klutz sells really well for the with the tweens,” said Kristie Lash, manager of Leapin' Lizards Toy Company in Bend, Ore., in September 2010.
— “Anything in the Klutz line … is a good standard  seller,” said Terri Soelter, owner of Teri's Toy Box in Edmonds, Wash., of her best sellers for tweens during a September 2010 survey of 44 retailers.
— “I find them a boost for self image and promote them that way,” remarked Joe Berardoni, owner of Pun's Toy Shop in Bryn Mawr, Pa., of what makes Klutz books a best seller for tweens in his store.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 30994      (added 10/28/2010)
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MSRP: $16.99
Age Range: 7 and up
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Arts & Crafts



Friend 2 Friend contains all the material needed to make two different styles of friendship bracelets in an infinite combination of colors and patterns. Bright embroidery floss in ten colors, glass seed beads and a beading needle are supplied, as well as instructions for how to make two different styles of bracelet: a flat band, and a round band. Kids can pick their colors, add beads, and create one of a kind accessories for all their friends.
— Four out of 44 retailers surveyed in September 2010 said friendship bracelets were a top-selling item for tweens.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 30995      (added 10/28/2010)
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In this innovative kit from Toysmith, kids harness the natural, clean, free energy of the sun to accomplish practical tasks. Complete supplies and instructions are provided to cook an egg and purify water. Through these products, children can learn about the powerful energy all around them and become more conscious of the environmental concerns in their world.
— “They're low price points, and they're doing really well,” said Martha Burrows, owner of Timeless Toys  in Chicago, Ill., of Toysmith's Solar Science kits during a September 2010 survey of 44 retailers. Burrows listed Solar Science as a top seller for tweens.
— In a November 2013 survey, Yamil Castillo from The Red Balloon Toy Store in Salt Lake City, Utah, told TDmonthly that Toysmith science and experimenting kits are best-selling educational toys in the store.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 30996      (added 10/28/2010)
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Wholesale Price: (Log in to view)
MSRP: $19.99
Age Range: 9 and up
SKU or Item #: 214
Launch Date: February 2003
Gender: Girls
Category: Science & Nature
Educational



With this indulgent kit, girls can transform a bath into a frothy fizzing sea of color and fragrance. They can make colorful, fragrant bath soaps, fizzers and oatmeal scrub while learning the science behind gels, fragrance and more. This kit “is not about being a stick figure or a beauty queen, but rather about relaxation and learning….While mixing and matching custom fragrances, kids can learn about the science of smell. While whipping up a fizzy bath ball, kids learn about how acids and bases react,” said Elizabeth Rives of Scientific Explorer, who created the kit for the company while still a college student.  Launch date: February 2003.
— Mary Porter, owner of science center The Curiosity Zone in Ashburn, Va., told TDmonthly, “Our best-selling toys are our science kits [from Scientific Explorer], especially Spa Science.”
— “Scientific Explorer. Anything at all sells well,” Carolyn Meyer, owner of Blue Turtle Toys in Dayton, Ohio, told TDmonthly
— “The line we do best with is Scientific Explorer, because it's a complete kit and it's easy to understand,” said Greg Bonner, owner of Heights Toy Center in Little Rock, Ark.
— Annie Ricks, owner of My Imagination Station in Hattiesburg, Miss., told TDmonthly her best-selling item for tweens is, “Spa Science, by Scientific Explorer.”
— Want this? As of 05/06/2011, this product was available for purchase at Magic Box Toys.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 10409      (added 12/5/2006)
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MSRP: $17.99
Age Range: 7 and up
Gender: Girls
Category: Arts & Crafts
Fashion & Accessories
Tween



Young ladies can combine the soft and silky lip balm base with a variety of yummy flavors to create their own lip sensations. Simply soften the base in a bath of warm water and then add the flavorings. Mix up fun fruity combinations and add a hint of color, too. Cool cosmetic tins that come with the balm kit can be decorated with layers of fun sticker designs and labels. It's a fun, creative, and practical way for a girl to learn and role play.
— "Make Your Own Lip Balm from Creativity for Kids: It's a craft kit that gives you all the materials to make your own," said Mary Sisson, owner of Kazoodles in Vancouver, Wash., when asked about popular gift items for girls in her store.
— “The lip balm from Creativity for Kids does very well,” Ron Kutchik, owner of Grand Slam Toys in Kodiak, Alaska, said when asked about best-selling activity kits in spring 2009.
— About half of 49 retailers surveyed about their sales in activity kits or playsets mentioned craft items as top sellers in April 2009. Three of 39 retailers identified lip balm kits as a best seller for tween girls in fall 2009.
— “Creativity for Kids. The Make Your Own Lip Balm kit is best,” said Amy Hofsetter, owner of The Toy Store  in Atlanta, Ga., of her top-selling item for tweens in September 2010.
— Three of 44 retailers said Creativity for Kids supplies their best-selling items for tweens.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 14509      (added 8/7/2007)
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Soaring in front of a beautiful fantasy castle, the majestic Pegasus takes flight as if it might launch right off the surface of this 1500 piece puzzle from Ravensburger. The finished puzzle measures 33” x 23.5”, and a full picture of its detailed image is on the front of the box. The many details in the high-quality graphic will keep puzzlers interested from start to finish.
— In an August 2011 survey, 5 out of 12 retailers told TDmonthly that Ravensburger jigsaw puzzles were their top-selling puzzles.
— As of 7/12/2011 this product had 4 out of 5 stars from 2 reviews on Amazon.com. Pros: Challenging but not frustrating; "gorgeous." Cons: One reviewer said the puzzle was too large when completed.
— Three of 44 retailers told TDmonthly that puzzles are a top-selling item in their stores in September 2010.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 30997      (added 10/28/2010)
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MSRP: $9.99
Age Range: 8 and up
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Robotics
General Toys
Educational



The micro-robotic HEXBUG is a tiny, obedient insect that features bump-sensor feelers that help it avoid objects in its path. It responds to clapping or other loud noise by backing up or changing direction. The HEXBUG is small enough to fit in the hand and comes in five different body types and colors including pink, blue, green, yellow and orange. Awards: TDmonthly Innovations 2008.
— According to more than 60 reviews on Amazon.com and Radioshack.com, this fun, durable toy has been rated 4 out of 5 stars due to its entertaining and educational features. It is portable for any occasion and appropriate for any age. Consumers should be careful though, as they have been known to be flimsy and easily breakable, like real bugs! (09.12.08)
— "Everyone wants one, from adults to kids," Charles Bonner, owner of Heights Toy Center in Little Rock, Ark., told TDmonthly of this best seller in April 2009. "I sell 200 to 250 a month." Three of 44 retailers tagged Hexbugs as an overall best seller in late fall 2009.

— During a September 2010 survey, two of 44 retailers listed Hexbugs as their top-seller for tweens.


ToyDirectory Product ID#: 17476      (added 2/12/2008)
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MSRP: $5.95
Age Range: 5 and up
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Novelties



Containing the shapes of a dolphin, sea turtle, crawfish, and other creatures native to the habitat affected by the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill, this special pack of Silly Bandz is designed to raise awareness for creatures threatened in this environment. A portion of the sales from every pack will go to helping rescue affected wildlife. In addition, this pack features “thermo activated” technology, causing a change in temperature to change the Silly Bandz's color.
— Two of 44 retailers listed Silly Bandz as a best-seller for tweens, reporting sales of approximately 100 per month during a September 2010 survey.
— "We've sold 2,300 this year at all three stores,” Marc Holcomb, owner of of Toys & Co. in Greensboro, S.C., said in autumn 2010. ''Silly Bandz is trending down, and they are selling their excess to stores in California, Washington and Texas,'' he added.
--Christine Osborne, co-owner of Wonder Works in Charleston, S.C., sells about 3,000 to 4,000 per month.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 30998      (added 10/28/2010)
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A winning design from High Intencity's Design-A-Charm contest, the Peace Love and Happiness charm was designed by Emily R. from Pleasantville, NY and rendered in vibrant detail in an enamel charm measuring approximately one inch.10 % of the proceeds from the sale of this charm will go to the World Wildlife Fund on behalf of its designer.
— “Charm It! works really well in this area,” said Blanche Snipes, owner of Tree Top Toys in Redmond, Wash., when asked about her top-selling items for tweens.
— Two of 44 retailers listed Charm It! as a best-selling item for tweens during a September 2010 survey.
— Katie Rook, manager of Be Beep A Toy Shop in Columbia, S.C., told TDmonthly in an October 2011 survey that High Intencity charm bracelets are their best selling tween item.
— Dean Smith, owner of JaZams in Princeton, N.J., told TDmonthly in a Summer 2012 survey that they sell between 40 and 50 Charm It! charms each month.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 30999      (added 10/28/2010)
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MSRP: $34.99
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Novelties



Standing tall at 16.3”, this cool piece of retro decor emits colored mood lighting that shifts with the mesmerizing motion of the 'lava' inside. The heat of the bulb in the base of the lamp warms the secret goo formula, causing it to convect in unpredictable globs and bubbles.
— “Lava Lamps are the most popular, I have some from Schylling,” said Fred Rosenberg, owner of On The Park in Kingwood, Texas, of his best-selling tween items. “I sell as many as I can get.”
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 31000      (added 10/28/2010)
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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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