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February 2011 | Vol. X - No. 2
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Top-10 Most-Wanted Arts & Crafts

The Usual Suspects Top the List


With additional reporting by Marie Raven and Peter Fernbaugh

TDmonthly Magazine interviewed 14 specialty retailers who carried Arts & Crafts products in their store about some of the best-selling Arts & Crafts items that go through their doors.

Many of these retailers cited similar manufacturers that sell well, including such favorites as Klutz, The Orb Factory, and Creativity for Kids. "Anything Klutz," chimed Nancy Hanson, owner of The Toy Box in Friday Harbor, Wash.

Here are the products exercising children's right hemispheres:




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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MSRP: $19.95
Age Range: 8 and up
Launch Date: January 2010
Gender: Girls
Category: Books
Arts & Crafts
Fashion & Accessories



The Klutz Glossy Bands book kit lets kids make their very own durable rubbery jewelry. The kit includes four tubes of non-toxic, acrylic gel. Kids can follow the instructions to squeeze and swirl the gel into beautiful patterns that turn into one-of-a-kind bracelets.
Deal Seeking Mom Tara Kuczykowski declared, “If your child is into the Silly Bandz craze, he or she is sure to love making Glossy Bands!”
— Jennifer of 5 Minutes for Mom reported that her 11-year-old daughter “loved this kit, and it’s something she could do on her own, without help or hovering from me.” Jennifer liked that the Klutz Glossy Bands book “provided enough instruction to get her started, and enough leeway for her creativity to grow and her to try new things on her own.”
— Jo-Lynne of Musings of a Housewife gave the book to her daughter, who spent several days making bracelets. Her daughter’s love for the kit led Jo-Lynne to call the Glossy Bands Book “the perfect birthday gift for your craft-obsessed little girl.”
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 29370      (added 7/7/2010)
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MSRP: $19.99
Age Range: 7 to 12
SKU or Item #: 1571
Launch Date: December 2008
Gender: Girls
Category: Arts & Crafts
Creative Activities
Furniture & Decor



Girls can make a special place to store their jewelry with the Mosaic Jewelry Box, using more than 300 colorful acrylic tiles and glitter grout to decorate a plain white jewelry box and transform it into a sparkling masterpiece. This product received a 2009 iParenting Media Outstanding Product Award. Launch date: December 3, 2008.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 24995      (added 8/19/2009)
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MSRP: $12.99
Age Range: 7 and up
Gender: Girls
Category: Tween
Books
Arts & Crafts



Ready to be personalized, this friendship scrapbook is stocked with quizzes, slumber party ideas and a foam wheel and floss to make friendship bracelets.
— Two of 39 retailers named friendship bracelets as a best seller for tween girls during a fall 2009 TDmonthly survey.
― Of 39 retailers surveyed in October 2009 about their top-selling jewelry and accessory items, one listed Forever Friends by Alex as their best seller.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 25588      (added 10/12/2009)
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MSRP: $16.99
Age Range: 5 and up
SKU or Item #: 62859
Launch Date: March 2010
Gender: Girls
Category: Arts & Crafts
Creative Activities
Stickers



Girls can create four fabulous butterflies by following the numbered pattern. The kit includes four shaped templates, four plastic hangers, and more than 1,900 foam and jewel pieces. Launch date: March 15, 2010.
— Sticky Mosaics have been consistent best sellers at Jillie Beans Toys & More in Westminster, Colo., since the store started carrying them in fall 2009. “These are just fun,” said Owner Valerie Elsea in April 2010. “Parents say that their kids are so engaged when they are doing this craft. Any and all are great!”
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 27043      (added 2/11/2010)
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MSRP: $14.99
Age Range: 7 and up
Gender: Boys
Category: Arts & Crafts
Creative Activities



These create-your-own whimsical wind-ups with this set. The Wind-up Workshop Robots come with five wind-up mechanisms, colorful cardboard robot cut outs, retro-robot stickers, wiggly eyes, sticky foam shapes, eight mini markers and more.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 28055      (added 4/16/2010)
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MSRP: $22.99
Age Range: 7 and up
SKU or Item #: D6287
Gender: Girls
Category: Arts & Crafts
Fashion & Accessories
Creative Activities



Including a unique light table that illuminates every outfit, this kit helps kids create a full fashion line using acetate wardrobe pieces. Just add color, patterns, and texture. Comes complete with the fashion-forward light table, over 30 acetate wardrobe pieces, ten artist grade color pencils, and ten sheets of drawing paper.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 31438      (added 1/11/2011)
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MSRP: $14.99
Age Range: 5 and up
SKU or Item #: 62897
Launch Date: March 2010
Gender: Girls
Category: Arts & Crafts
Creative Activities
Fashion & Accessories



This kit contains more than 500 shimmering jewels, and the box itself is felt lined, with a mirror on the inside cover. Girls follow the pattern for perfect results every time. Launch date: March 15, 2010.
— In early 2011, Kazoodles in Vancouver, Wash. continues to do well with Sticky Mosaics, particulary Heart Box.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 26915      (added 2/4/2010)
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MSRP: $49.99
Age Range: 4 and up
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Arts & Crafts
Creative Activities
General Games



Kids can paint with sweeping gestures when they use this generous-sized easel. One side is a chalkboard, the other´s a dry-erase board. Load a piece of paper into the paper holder and kids can paint and scribble to their heart’s content. Each side of the easel features a colorful tray that can hold paints, cups, chalk, erasers, clips and more. “Our Deluxe Easel has become one of our best-selling items because of its great value, high-quality construction and versatility,” said Rick Davis, part of the marketing team at Melissa & Doug. It has two adjustable boards that allow children of all sizes to enjoy painting and creating, and the easy-to-clean trays are removable in seconds.”
— This product has been making the TDmonthly Best-sellers lists since 2005.
—  As of 1.06.2011 this product had 4.5 out of 5 stars from 647 reviews on Amazon.com and was No. 18 on the top 100 bestselling toys and games. Pros: Double Sided; easy to clean. Cons: Supplies must be purchased separately.
— "The Melissa & Doug Easel, hands-down, beats everything in terms of dollars. It's well-made and good value," was the praise given by David Campbell, owner of Amazing Toys in Great Falls, Mont.
— “Our easel, from Melissa & Doug, just blows out of here,” said Nishan Shepard, owner of Rockridge Kids in Oakland, Calif., in early 2010.
— Seven of 48 retailers named the easel as their top-selling art item in January 2010, reporting average sales of three per month.
— This easel has been a consistent best seller for Jillie Beans Toys & More of Westminster, Colo., since the store opened in 2006. (April 2010)
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 4844      (added 9/29/2005)
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