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May 2011 | Vol. X - No. 5
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May 2011 | Vol. X - No. 5
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Top-10 Most-Wanted Infant & Toddler Toys

High-quality and variety define these best-sellers.


With additional reporting by Chris Lundy and Brenda Ruggiero

TDmonthly surveyed 12 retailers in late Spring 2011 to find out what the hottest toys were in the infant & toddler category. From a turtle that shines constellations onto a child's bedroom ceiling from CLOUD B to a plush bowling set from INTERNATIONAL PLAYTHINGS LLC, the best-sellers were varied, with one important thing in common- their high quality.

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: $34.00
Age Range: 2 and up
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Plush
Infant & Toddler
Preschool



Each Twilight Turtle and Friends character from the collection projects constellation nightlights that create a magical sleep-time environment. Each “shell” illuminates the night with three soothing color options to help ease fear of the dark. The Twilight Collection includes Twilight Turtle and Twilight Ladybug, each available in three colors and a Twilight Sea Turtle that also has five illuminated windows projecting images of sea life.
— Retailers surveyed by TDmonthly have been naming the Twilight Turtle as a best-seller since 2006.
— Six of 66 retailers mentioned one of the Twilight Turtles as a top-selling item for baby gifts in July 2008. Four of 47 retailers named Twilight Turtle as a top-selling baby gift in June 2009. Three of 64 retailers cited it as a top-selling infant and toddler toy in March 2009, and eight of 39 said the same in March 2010.
— In a 2012 survey, Erika Evers, owner of Dancing Bear Toys in Hendersonville, N.C., told TDmonthly that their best selling infant & toddler product is the "Twilight Turtle from Cloud B, and it's spin-offs, like the ladybug." They sell about 20 units each month.
— Want this? As of 05/06/2011, this product was available for purchase at Toys & Co.
AWARDS: 2010 TDmonthly Top Seller




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: 2010 TDmonthly Top Seller
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 23246      (added 4/10/2009)
.


MSRP: $6.99
Age Range: All Ages
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Balls
Infant & Toddler
General Toys



A ball full of finger holes that is incredibly easy to catch, captivating to hold, and safe to throw. Shiny, Smooth, Flexible, Durable and virtually Indestructible — Oball is the ideal ball in every situation. Now all the great Oball features in a colorful sparkly ball.
— Mike DiAndrea, owner of Hardware Toys in Paoli, Pa. told TDmonthly in Spring 2011 that he sold around a 18 of these glittery Oballs each month.
— Want this? As of 05/06/2011, this product was available for purchase at Hardware Toys.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 32223      (added 5/2/2011)
.


MSRP: $24.95
Age Range: All Ages
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Gifts



Little Taggies Colours Collection 12” x 12” blankets are made with soft, rich fabrics edged with an array of vibrant, engaging tags, described on the company’s website as “scrumptious to touch.” Colorful patterns include Confetti, Polka Dot fun, Bubbles and Sweet Swirls.
— “A new blanket made of minky fabric — Little Taggies Colours,” is the best-selling baby gift at  Doodlehopper for Kids in Springfield, Va., Manager Gwen Bowden told TDmonthly in July 2080. “They are really soft. We just got them in; we had six and we have one left.”
— “Consumers just want something a little unusual that they can't find in mass market,” explained Kara Fichtner, manager of Out Of The Blue Ltd. in Albuquerque, N.M., whose store does well with Taggies.
— Mike DiAndrea, owner of Hardware Toys in Paoli, Pa. told TDmonthly in Spring 2011 that he sold one dozen Taggies blankets each month.
— Want this? As of 05/06/2011, this product was available for purchase at Hardware Toys.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 20316      (added 8/28/2008)
.


MSRP: $22.00
Age Range: 1 and up
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Infant & Toddler



Baby Farm Friends Bowling from the Earlyears line includes six numbered pins with a soft weighted ball so baby can practice coordination and counting at the same time. The cushiony pins make soft sounds and resemble farm animals including a cow, pig, sheep, dog and duck. The colorful ball has its own distinctive chiming sound and the pins are distinctively numbered from one to six and are easy to stand up. The toy comes with a reusable zip bag, so when kids are done with it they can put it back. This toy won an iParenting Media Award. "Bright, colorful and classic, it's a must for any 12 month-old," Sue Tice, public relations manager for International Playthings, told TDmonthly.
— "We actually have baby bowling — soft cloth pins and balls — by International Playthings that does well," said Cheryl Pyles, manager at Toyland in Milford, N.H., when predicting hot-selling baby items for Christmas 2007.
— "It's all seasons for babies, and International Playthings for babies and toddlers," said Patricia Masing, co-owner of Tree Town Toys in Ann Arbor, Mich.
— Gwen Bowden, manager of Doodlehopper 4 Kids in Springfield, Va. told TDmonthly in late Spring 2011 that this soft bowling set was a best-selling toy in the infant & toddler category.
— Want this? As of 05/06/2011, this product was available for purchase at Doodlehopper 4 Kids.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 5608      (added 11/21/2005)
.


MSRP: $32.00
Age Range: 0 to 5
Gender: Girls
Category: Plush
Teddy Bear
Infant & Toddler



Made of comforting fabrics and textures, Gund Comfy Cozy 24" blankets are available in various styles and colors. They feature satin paw pads and are machine washable. A 12" size is also available.
Gwen Bowden, manager of Doodlehopper 4 Kids in Springfield, Va. told TDmonthly in late Spring 2011 that Comfy Cozies were a best-selling toy in the infant & toddler category.
— Elmer Carranza, assistant manager of Doodlehopper 4 Kids in Falls Church, Va., told TDmonthly in an October 2011 survey that Comfy Cozy blankets are their best selling keepsake item. They sell about a dozen each month.
— Want this? As of 05/06/2011, this product was available for purchase at Doodlehopper 4 Kids.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 29180      (added 6/25/2010)
.


MSRP: $14.99
Age Range: 3 and up
Gender: Boys
Category: Cars
Infant & Toddler
Eco-Friendly



This 5 in 1 transforming truck has vehicle and sand play all in one. The water resistant playset is complete with Dunebug, truck, rake, shovel, bucket, and wildflower seeds. Expand your world with additional Sprig Hollow toys.
In late Spring 2011, Margy Peine, owner of the Tree House Toy Shop in Cumberland, Md. told TDmonthly that the Sand Truck was a recent best-seller in the infant & toddler category.
— Want this? As of 05/06/2011, this product was available for purchase at Tree House Toy Shop.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 32222      (added 5/2/2011)
.


MSRP: $12.00
Age Range: 0 and up
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Infant & Toddler
Developmental Toys
Gifts



Stunning colors give this perennial favorite a lively look. Babies will be engaged and amused by the responsive rattle, and caregivers can safely refrigerate this pliable plastic toy to produce a soothing teether. “We have so much of the Manhattan baby...we sell a lot,” Owner Amy Barrett of Lasso the Moon Wonderful Toys in Helena, Mont., told TDmonthly in early 2007. “People buy them for baby gifts...baby shower gifts. They like them because the colors are so bright.”
— “Winkels from Manhattan Toy — [we sell] about 30 per month,” Burdette told TDmonthly in March 2008. Five percent of the 40 retailers who spoke with TDmonthly in spring 2008 singled out this item as their stores’ best-selling infant and toddler toy.
— "I sell 18 or so a month," Mary Ellen Cerney, owner of Dear Friends & Children in Duncan, Okla., said in March 2009. In June 2009, four of 47 retailers listed Manhattan Toy as their best-selling baby line. In March 2010, two of 39 specialty retailers cited Winkel as a best-selling baby toy.
— In June 2010, five percent of 40 specialty retailers named Manhattan Toy’s Winkel as a top-selling baby product.
— As of 05/21/2012 this product had 4.5 out of 5 stars from 299 reviews on Amazon.com.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 10528      (added 12/7/2006)
.


MSRP: $29.95
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Plush
Novelties
Furniture & Decor



This 18" ladybug is made of soft red and black plush. Open the velcro closure to use the bug as a pillow, then close the velcro to create a soft pet.
— According to Cynthia Wyatt, president of Totally Thomas Toy Depot in San Diego, My Pillow Pets were on the store’s top-10 best-seller list in July 2010. “Soft and cuddly!” she told TDmonthly. “They are the perfect pal for naptime and nighttime. They sell well … when we can get them, that is!”
— As of 8.03.2010, this product had 3.5 out of 5 stars from 23 reviews on Amazon.com and was No. 11 in the top 100 best-selling toys and games. PROS: Soft, cuddly and kids respond well to it. CONS: Some parents questioned whether it is actually washable.
— Want this? As of 05/06/2011, this product was available for purchase at Toys & Co.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 29761      (added 7/27/2010)
.


MSRP: $34.99
Launch Date: February 2011
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Plush
Preschool
Infant & Toddler



This plush Curious George Storytime Pal features a stuffed animal with a child sized blanket folded inside. When the blanket is removed children can snuggle up and use the stuffed animal as a pillow. The blanket zips on and off and is machine washable; the Zoobie stuffed animal is held in shape by two velcro tabs.
— In late Spring 2011, 8% of retailers surveyed by TDmonthly mentioned Zoobies as a best-selling toy for infants & toddlers.
— In a May 2012 survey, one out of 11 retailers told TDmonthly that Zoobies were their best selling plush/puppet item.
— Want this? As of 05/06/2011, this product was available for purchase at Magic Box Toys.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 31420      (added 1/7/2011)
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Justina HuddlestonWriter's Bio: Justina Huddleston graduated Magna Cum Laude from Emerson College with a BA in Writing, Literature, and Publishing in 2009. After graduating she was the on-site director of the Boston Children's Museum gift store for a year, selling educational, developmental, and creative activity toys that tied in with the museum's exhibits. Justina also interned at children's book publisher Candlewick Press before moving from Boston to Los Angeles, where she is now Assistant Managing Editor at TDmonthly. Read more articles by this author

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