July 2011 | Vol. X - No. 7
Top-10 Most-Wanted Plush and Puppets
Animal Puppets From Folkmanis Lead the Pack
With additional reporting by Chris Lundy and Brenda Ruggiero
When TDmonthly interviewed 15 retailers about their best-selling Plush and Puppets in late Spring 2011, more than half of respondents said animal puppets from Folkmanis were their best-sellers. In fact, with the exception of people puppets from Melissa & Doug and the aptly-named Uglydolls from Pretty Ugly LLC, all of the best-selling plush and puppet items were modeled on fuzzy animals.
See all the Top-10 Most-Wanted Plush and Puppets 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.
Kids can slip their hand through the opening of this soft, slinky ferret puppet's chest to work his mouth. There's an additional rear pocket for extra wriggling. Launch date: August 4, 2009.
Awards: A TDmonthly Classics Award for being an all-time favorite toy.
— As of 7/21/2011 this product had 4.8 out of 5 stars from 4 review on Amazon.com.
— In late Spring 2011, eight out of 15 retailers surveyed said that puppets from Folkmanis were best-sellers in the category. "They have all kinds, and people can get odd things, like a ferret," Lisa LeStrange, owner of Lucky Duck Toys in Wayne, Pa., told TDmonthly. She sells 10-15 Folkmanis puppets each month.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 24366 (added 6/29/2009)
Made of soft huggable plush fabric, Goober has a loveable face and silky chocolate-brown fur accented with cream-colored fur on his belly and muzzle. Measures 11" tall. Surface washable.
— In late Spring 2011, 30% of retailers surveyed by TDmonthly said that plush and puppets from Gund were best-sellers in the category. Mike DiAndrea, manager of Ace Hardware & Toy Center in Paoli, Pa., said he sells about 6 Goober Bears each month.
— As of 6/10/2011 this product had 5 out of 5 stars from 20 reviews on Amazon.com.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 32436 (added 6/10/2011)
Say hi to the nice policeman as he tips his hat in response. The play possibilities are endless with this quality hand puppet from Melissa & Doug. Measuring 6.5" x 15", the puppet comes with a wooden rod to allow children control over this play guardian of the community. The Policeman is part of the Melissa & Doug career hand puppets that all come with finely detailed uniforms. Others puppets include a Fireman and Construction Worker.
— In a late Spring 2011 survey of 15 retailers, two retailers said that character puppets from Manhattan Toy were best-sellers in that category.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 10278 (added 11/28/2006)
The toy is modeled after Ruby, the rabbit from the book and animated television series “Max & Ruby.” Ruby measures 8” in length and wears her puffy sleeved purple shirt with her yellow dress. A Max beanie baby is also available.
— In late Spring 2011, two out of 15 retailers surveyed said that Beanie Babies were their best-selling plush. "We still sell Beanie Babies... there's such a large variety and they're still very low in price," Colette Shockley, owner of The Littlest Princess in Norcross, GA told TDmonthly. She sells 10-12 each month.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 18065 (added 3/21/2008)
Dave Darinko is a natural born leader. He’s the one you want on your side when you’re about to face the music. And when you do face the music, he’s the guy who knows where the volume knob is. Does that make sense? Anyway, Dave gives you the thumbs up. He knows that you know he knows you know. Uglydoll Dave Darinko is approximately 12" tall.
— Two out of 15 retailers surveyed in late Spring 2011 said that Uglydolls were their best-selling plush.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 32250 (added 5/6/2011)
The big, curious, green eyes standout on this loveable 14.5" plush kitty. His understuffed, extra long body makes him incredibly poseable and huggable, too. He's made out of a silky, soft fabric that simply begs to be petted. Iggy's friends in the Lanky Cat line from Manhattan include Moe and Ziggy.
— Paula Bolte, owner of Imaginations Toy & Furniture Co. in Blacksburg, Va., told TDmonthly in late Spring 2011 that she sold 12 Lanky Cats each month.
— "Lanky Cats by Manhattan Toy. I can't get enough of them," said Jude Larene, owner of Izilla Toys in Seattle, WA, when discussing the latest craze to sweep his store.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 13482 (added 6/14/2007)
YooHoo & Friends Dress Up ? Blast to the Past by AURORA WORLD INC.
Other products from AURORA WORLD INC.
From flower girl to firefighter, Aurora has released nine new "dress up" outfits that fit all of Aurora's five inch YooHoo & Friends. Each dress up set comes in clear packaging that includes two accessories. Retailers can combine the dress up packaging (fits slatwalls) with existing YooHoo & Friends displays. The "Blast to the Past" set includes three YooHoo & Friends "hippies.” Available separately are the "Go Green" set with two flower girls and a princess butterfly; and a third set that includes doctor, firefighter and police officer. Each 5-inch YooHoo & Friends animal (w/ sound) is available separately for $6.
— "They are all over the board, but I've sold about 100 of the various things," Barbara Fineblum, Owner of Barston's Child's Play in Baltimore, Md., said about YooHoos to TDmonthly when surveyed in late Spring 2011.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 31495 (added 1/13/2011)
This fox is 15 inches tall and is soft and squishy. Squishables comply with U.S. ASTM F963 safety standards. They're made out of all new materials (100% polyester fiber). Squishables can be spot-cleaned. Also available in a miniature size.
Awards: TDmonthly Top Toy Award, June 2011
— Why it won: These extra soft and plush animal/pillows include a variety of characters we don't usually see in children's toys, such as narwhals. They come in several sizes, too, which make them fun for decorating a kid's or tween's room. With a range of characters from the Google Android to a T Rex, they'll appeal to boys, too.
— "Squishables are selling really well. It's a big ball pillow in the shape of animals. We sold 20 last month," Joe Berardoni, owner of Pun's Toys in Bryn Mawr, Pa., told TDmonthly in late Spring 2011.
— In a May 2012 survey, Elmer Carranza, manager of Doodlehopper 4 Kids in Springfield, Va., told TDmonthly that they sell six Squishables each month, making them the best seller in the plush category.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 32352 (added 5/27/2011)
Trevor is one of the newest additions to the Douglas collection. He is a Bernese Mountain Dog with realistic markings of his breed. He is very soft, 16" long with a generous, solid body, and nearly the size of a live puppy.
— Lisa LeStrange, owner of Lucky Duck Toys in Wayne, Pa., said her best-selling plush was from Douglas Cuddle Toy; specifically, "All the dogs, because they carry many different breeds and people can come in and ask for a particular one, like a Bernese Mountain Dog" she told TDmonthly when surveyed in late Spring 2011.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 32438 (added 6/10/2011)
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The 15” velour plush bunny wears a soft, jersey knit stripe union suit and a matching stocking cap. The bunny is machine washable and features embroidered facial features for child safety. “Children love the super soft style and extra long ears for snuggling,” North American Bear Public Relations Manager Lorene C. Shiraiwa told TDmonthly. Launch date: March 2008.
— “When someone wants a nice, quality gift, that can be laundered and will last a long time, [Sleepyhead Bunny] is one of my best,” Colette Shockley, owner of The Littlest Princess in Norcross, GA told TDmonthly in late Spring 2011. She sells as many as 10 each month.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 18363 (added 4/11/2008)
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Writer'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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