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June 2011 | Vol. X - No. 6
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Top-10 Most-Wanted Licensed Toys

Toys from a galaxy "Far, Far Away" boosted sales for these retailers.


With additional reporting by Chris Lundy and Brenda Ruggiero

In late Spring 2011, TDmonthly interviewed 12 retailers about their best-selling licensed toys. However, six of the 12 retailers said they didn't really sell licensed products. “We're very conservative with licenses because of their heavy usage in the mass market," Melodie Ingwersen, owner of Creative Kids in in Columbia Ill, told TDmonthly.

That being said, there was one property that was mentioned almost across the board. Six of the 12 surveyed- 50 percent- mentioned Star Wars products, whether it be LEGO building sets or pretend play toys like the Lightsaber below, from Hasbro. LEGO products featuring Harry Potter and Ninjago were also mentioned as top sellers in the category. You can see all of the best-selling licensed products below.

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: $10.99
SKU or Item #: 7655
Gender: Boys
Category: Action Figures
Construction
Licensed Products



Kids can build an army of Clone Troopers with this set, which includes four figurines plus a blaster turret and speeder bike.
— Dean Smith, Owner of JaZams in Princeton, N.J., told TDmonthly in late Spring 2011 that he sells "at least" 20 of these LEGO sets each month.
— As of 05/13/2011 this product had 4.5 out of 5 stars from 20 reviews on Amazon.com. Pros: Detailed; the speeder vehicle included is fun and seats two clones; good for travel because of their smaller scale. Cons: One reviewer complained there weren't enough figures included in the set.
— "Every time there's a new Star Wars LEGO, it blows right out the door," Joe Berardoni, owner of Pun's Toy Shop in Bryn Mawr, Pa., told TDmonthly in September 2008. He and one other retailer, out of 63 polled, mentioned LEGO when discussing best-selling products.
— “Star Wars Lego has been insane at our store,” said Michelle Smith of Piccolo Mondo Toys in Portland, Ore., at the end of 2008.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 20727      (added 9/24/2008)
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MSRP: $129.99
Age Range: 14 and up
SKU or Item #: 10178
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Construction
General Toys
Action Figures



When assembled, the All-Terrain Armored Transport (AT-AT) measures over 12” x 14” and is capable of walking forward and backward and moving its head up and down, using the power functions system. The 1,137-piece set includes an opening cockpit, rotating laser cannons, an AT-AT pilot, General Veers, a snow trooper and a rope- and light saber-equipped Luke Skywalker.
— In a late Spring 2011 survey, four out of 12 retailers surveyed said that LEGO Star Wars sets were their best-selling licensed products. six out of 12 mentioned Star Wars in general as being their best-selling licensed property.
— As of 05/12/2011 this product had 3.6 out of 5 stars from 5 reviews on Amazon.com. Cons: Fragile once assembled; does not come with numbered bags, unlike most LEGO sets.
—  “Star Wars is big right now. We sell one or two units of … LEGO every day,” Gary Timmerding, manager of Johnny’s Toys in Covington, Ky., told TDmonthly in April 2008.
— In spring 2008, 16 of 50 retailers singled out LEGO as their best-selling construction toy; four specified Star Wars.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 18077      (added 3/24/2008)
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MSRP: $109.99
Specialty: No
Gender: Boys
Category: Collectibles
Licensed Products



This official replica of Anakin’s lightsaber from "Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith" features a glowing, bright blue blade that “ignites” with realistic power-up and power-down effects. The blade includes four motion sensor-controlled sound effects and comes with a display base.
— Gwen Bowden, Manager of Doodlehopper 4 Kids in    Springfield, Ill., told TDmonthly that her best-selling licensed products were all Star Wars-themed: "everything from action figures to light sabers. We sell lots- probably 14 each month of different things."
— As of 05/13/2011 this product had 4.5 out of 5 stars from 28 reviews on Amazon.com. Pros: Accurate representation of the lightsaber from Revenge of the Sith; good sound effects. Cons: Blade does not sit securely in the hilt; when used too vigorously, the blade can lose touch with the base plate and not light up.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 29974      (added 8/11/2010)
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MSRP: $29.46
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Construction
General Games



Product features 1 buildable LEGO Die, 9 LEGO microfigures which includes Harry Potter, Hermione Granger, Ron Weasley, Draco Malfoy and Albus Dumbledore, building instructions and 1 rule booklet, and 332 LEGO pieces.  For 2 to 4 players.  Be the first to successfully navigate the magical castle to collect all your homework from your classes and get back to your common room.
— In late Spring 2011, 5 of 12 retailers surveyed said that LEGO was their best-selling brand of licensed products. Joe Berardoni Jr., Owner of Pun's Toys in Bryn Mawr, Pa., said that "We try to avoid licensed products...that said, however, we still do carry LEGO, and their licensed kits sell well, such as Star Wars and Harry Potter."
—As of 10.25.2010, this product had 4.5 out of 5 stars from 30 reviews on Amazon.com and was No. 7 on the top 100 best-selling toys and games. PROS: Build your own gameboard. CONS: Not suitable for younger kids.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 30950      (added 10/25/2010)
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Harry Potter fans and LEGOmaniacs alike will enjoy this recreation of Harry's alma mater, Hogwarts School. The 682-piece castle is intricate and has a number of special features, but comes with a clear set of instructions for kids to follow. The castle's portraits revolve, owls dwell in the spires, and flames rise up from torches. The set includes number of characters from the Harry Potter series: Harry himself, Ron Weasley, Hermione Granger, Draco Malfoy, Professor Snape, Hagrid, and Professor Dumbledore.
— In late Spring 2011, 5 of 12 retailers surveyed said that LEGO was their best-selling brand of licensed products. Joe Berardoni Jr., Owner of Pun's Toys in Bryn Mawr, Pa., said that "We try to avoid licensed products...that said, however, we still do carry LEGO, and their licensed kits sell well, such as Star Wars and Harry Potter."
— As of 05/13/2011 this product had 4.4 out of 5 stars from 57 reviews on Amazon.com. Pros: Reviewers really liked the mini-figures included in the set; very detailed. Cons: Recommended age seemed too young to several reviewers.

ToyDirectory Product ID#: 27648      (added 3/19/2010)
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MSRP: $19.99
Age Range: 7 to 14
Gender: Boys
Category: Action Games
Construction
Action Figures



Kids build the Spinjitzu Arena, pick their character and play the cards to influence the outcome between Jay, the Master of Lightning, and Frakjaw, the toughest warrior in the Skeleton Army. Set includes 2 minifigures, 2 spinners, 6 weapons, 2 character cards, 8 battle cards, and enough LEGO® bricks to make the Spinjitzu Arena.
— In late Spring 2011, 5 of 12 retailers surveyed said that LEGO was their best-selling brand of licensed products. Brooke Andrews, Owner of Miller's Toys in Mamaroneck, N.Y., said that LEGO Ninjago was their best-selling licensed product. "We sold out our whole LEGO order, and there are also books, games, and accessories," she told TDmonthly.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 31711      (added 2/18/2011)
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MSRP: $22.99
Age Range: 4 and up
Specialty: No
Launch Date: June 2010
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Vehicles - Small Toy
Creative Activities
Licensed Products



These cars, based on film character favorites Lightning McQueen, Mater and Ramone, change color when dipped in water. For more organized car customization, the CARS Color Changers auto body shop playset allows boys to easily change the paint job of their CARS Color Changers vehicles.
— Michelle Bears, owner of The Toy Store in Highlands, N.C., told TDmonthly in late Spring 2011 that she sells about 20 Disney Cars licensed products each month.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 29061      (added 6/23/2010)
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MSRP: $24.99
Age Range: 7 and up
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Board Games
Licensed Products



Kids play along with their favorite characters from Jeff Kinney’s bestselling “Diary of a Wimpy Kid” book series in this socially-interactive board game. Players move their game pieces — including Greg, Rowley, Fregley and Manny — around the game board and complete different challenges to see how well they know each other. The player who advances to the finish by answering the most questions correctly wins. For three to four players.
— Lynda Blankenship, owner of Smart Toys & Books in Knoxville, Tenn., told TDmonthly in late Spring 2011 that this game was her store's best-selling licensed product.
— As of 05/13/2011 this product had 4 out of 5 stars from 8 reviews on Amazon.com. Pros: Entertaining for the whole family. Cons: Needs to be played by at least 4 people to be fun, according to one reviewer; rules are complicated for younger players.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 27463      (added 3/4/2010)
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Launch Date: February 2011
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Videos & DVDs
Preschool
Rail Roads & Trains



This new worldwide hit television series is about eager young engines Wilson, Brewster and Koko as they learn to become working trains in the land of Chuggington. In these six episodes, the trainees find fun and excitement as they get lost in a deserted town, handle an important responsibility in the safari park, and discover that the repair shed isn't such a scary place after all. There's plenty of action and laughs along the way with lessons about overcoming fear, responsibility and problem solving, all while discovering social-readiness values like friendship, teamwork, courtesy and more. As the trains practice their skills and complete daily tasks, they learn to ride the rails of life.
— Christine Osborne, co-owner of Wonder Works Toys in Charleston, S.C., said Chuggington was her best-selling licensed line of toys. "It's selling great without a display table set up," she told TDmonthly in late Spring 2011.
— As of 05/13/2011 this product had 4.6 out of 5 stars from 11 reviews on Amazon.com. Pros: Engaging characters; teaches positive peer interaction; bright and interesting graphics. Cons: Some reviewers wished it had been longer; the theme song is almost too catchy.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 31407      (added 1/6/2011)
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MSRP: $39.99
Launch Date: February 2011
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Plush
Licensed Products



This plush Good Night Moon Bunny 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, Melodie Ingwersen, owner of Creative Kids in in Columbia Ill., said of the Storytime pals from Zoobies: "They did a real good job transporting the character to a Zoobie,” and they're only $1-2 more than the non-licensed characters. She told TDmonthly that these were among her best-selling licensed products.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 31421      (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 Editorial Director of TDmonthly Magazine. Read more articles by this author

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