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August 2011 | Vol. X - No. 8
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August 2011 | Vol. X - No. 8
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Top-10 Most-Wanted Electronic Toys

25% of Retailers Say HEXBUGs are the Best-Seller


With additional reporting from Chris Lundy and Brenda Ruggiero

In a summer 2011 survey about best-selling electronic toys, HEXBUGs from Innovation First Labs topped the list, followed by R/C Vehicles from Kid Galaxy.

However, five of the 12 surveyed retailers told TDmonthly that they usually focus on non-electronic, non-battery operated toys.

Syd Clarke, owner of Ali-Cat in Carrboro, N.C., told TDmonthly that when customers come in looking for an electronic toy, she'll point them toward the non-electric version. Donna Frederic, owner of The Play House Toy Store in Durham, N.C., said that she directs customers looking for electronic toys "toward more complex and challenging things," like brain teasers and puzzles.

Toys that were big sellers nonetheless include various R/C vehicles, light-up building kits from Laser Pegs LLC, and the Twilight Turtle from Cloud B. You can see these, and the other best-selling electronic toys, 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: $9.99
Launch Date: September 2009
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Electronics
Collectibles
Novelties



This small, 12-legged microrobotic creature is battery powered and designed to behave just like a real bug. It moves very quickly and can even flip over by itself. Five colors are available in the Newton Gravity Series. Awards: Parent's Choice Award 2010. Launch date: Fall 2009.
— Chris Lowe, owner of Bean Head Toys in Sandy Springs, Ga., told TDmonthly in a Summer 2011 survey that she sells between 20-30 items from the HEXBUGS line each month.
— Christine Osborne, co-owner of Wonder Works in Charleston, S.C., has a Hexbug Nano Habitat set up in the store. They've sold ''thousands,'' she said; she couldn't even guess at an exact number.
― “Hexbugs are doing very well,” said Jenny Bramhall, owner of Dandelion Toys in Fort Collins, Colo., in summer 2010. Fifteen percent of 40 retailers polled in June 2010 said Hexbugs are their best-selling electronic item.
— Hexbugs were great sellers at Figpickels Toy Emporium in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho in Aug. 2010. “They fill the affordable techno/RC need - grab and go,” said owner Brett Sommer.
AWARDS: 2010 TDmonthly Top Seller
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 26040      (added 11/9/2009)
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MSRP: $7.99
Age Range: 3 and up
Gender: Boys
Category: Electronics
Robotics
Novelties



The regular Hexbugs and the HEXBUG Nano Hive Habitat Set won the Specialty Toy of the Year Award at the 2012 American International Toy Fair. This glow in the dark version features the same motion sensors and scuttling capabilities that made the original version so popular. Glow in the dark habitats are also available. Batteries included.
— Jamie Merlavage of Tree House Toy Shop in Cumberland, Md., told TDmonthly in a Summer 2011 survey that they sell about a dozen HEXBUG Nanos each month.
— Mary Porter Green, owner of The Curiosity Zone  in Ashburn, Va., told TDmonthly in a Summer 2011 survey about best-selling toys that she sells a dozen HEXBUGS each month.
— In a March 2012 survey, 2 out of 12 retailers told TDmonthly that Hexbugs were their best selling product. Mike DiAndrea, manager of Hardware Toys in Paoli, Pa., said that they sell dozens of different styles of Hexbugs each month, and that the line has been a best seller for more than a year now.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 31716      (added 2/18/2011)
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MSRP: $39.99
Age Range: 3 and up
Target Age Range: 3 to 5
Specialty: Yes (as of 2011)
Made in: China
SKU or Item #: 477-1631
Launch Date: September 2010
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Creative Activities
General Toys
Robotics



The HEXBUG Nano Bridge Battle Habitat Set allows kids to create the ultimate battleground for the HEXBUG Nano. HEXBUG Nano owners place their bugs on either side of the elevated arena where they must scurry over an orange bridge, through one-way gates and meet in the center battle platform. HEXBUG Nanos nudge and knock their competitor out of the battle arena until only one bug is left standing and reigned champion. Bridge Battle comes with 29 easy connect pieces and two rare HEXBUG Nanos.
— In a Summer 2011 survey, 25% of 12 retailers told TDmonthly that HEXBUGs were their best-selling electronic or battery-operated product.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 31822      (added 3/4/2011)
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MSRP: $29.99
Specialty: Yes (as of 2010)
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Remote Controlled
Outdoor Fun
Vehicles - Small Toy



This four-wheel drive, remote-controlled vehicle can be navigated over land and on water. It has working headlights and requires two AA batteries. The controller takes an additional two AAA batteries (not included).
— Grafton Stine from Toys on the Square in Hummelstown, Pa., told TDmonthly in a Summer 2011 survey that R/C vehicles from Kid Galaxy were their best-selling electronic toy.
— In a November 2011 survey, Elmer Carranza, assistant manager of Doodlehopper 4 Kids in Falls Church, Va., told TDmonthly that "The Morphibians are great. They can run through dirt, grass, puddle of water and look like sharks and frogs. We sell about 6-8 in a month."
—  As of August 2010, this product had 3.5 out of 5 stars from 40 reviews on Amazon.com. Parents liked that it is versatile and easy to use, but some complained that it required two types of batteries.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 29836      (added 7/29/2010)
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MSRP: $40.00
Age Range: 8 and up
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Remote Controlled
Electronics
Vehicles - Small Toy



At the pool, on the pond, or on the shores of a small lake, Kid Galaxy's Barracuda is a fun, refreshing water toy. Durable, fast and easy to steer, the boat is designed with a distinctive hull for stability on the water's surface and a steerable prop for responsive handling. The boat comes in two colors: bold red and white, and bright yellow. The two designs are 49MHz and 27MHz respectively, allowing for two boats to race and play together without crossing the signals from the controllers. The vehicle requires one 9V and 6 AA batteries, which do not come with the set.
— In a Summer 2011 survey, 2 out of 12 retailers said that R/C vehicles from Kid Galaxy were their best-selling electronic or battery-operated product.
― Barbara Fineblum, owner of Barston's Child's Play in Baltimore, Md., said in June 2010 she sells three Kid Galaxy Barracudas per month, and listed this item as her best-selling electronic toy.
― “They're really good and sturdy. [Kid Galaxy] is a great company to work with,” said Sarah Evers, owner of Dancing Bear Toys in Hendersonville, N.C., after telling TDmonthly Kid Galaxy is her top-selling electronics line during a summer 2010 survey.
— Though Pun’s Toys is not a hobby store, “we sell dozens [of Kid Galaxy products] in total each month,'' said Owner Joe Beradoni, whose store is located in Bryn Mawr, Penn.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 29639      (added 7/21/2010)
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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


Wholesale Price: (Log in to view)
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MSRP: $29.99
Age Range: 5 and up
Specialty: Yes (as of 2010)
Made in: 0
SKU or Item #: 12035
Launch Date: January 2010
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Hobby Goods
Remote Controlled
Aircraft



This mini-helicopter is modeled after the latest generation of the U.S. military’s Unmanned Combat Air Vehicles, and excels at hovering and maneuvering in mid-air. With the thumb-sized infrared Remote Controller (R/C), URAV pilots can control the speed of the dual rotors, and thus the rate of descent and ascent. A “sweet spot” on the thumb switch of the tiny R/C lets it hover in place just like a real helicopter. With a range of 50 feet, this high-tech marvel can make friends with pigeons resting on telephone wires, or play tag with dragonflies. It’s built sturdily enough to withstand the occasional crash landing. The R/C also controls the craft’s dazzling LED light array. Requires 8 AA batteries (not included).
— The RC URAV Unmanned Recon Air Vehicle has ''gone over really well this year,'' reported Jeanne McCullough, owner of The Children's Store in Boise, Idaho, late 2010. ''It's really cute. It goes up and down.''
— Kristin Dolle, Manager of Playthings Toy Shop in Louisville, Ky., told TDmonthly that she sells 8-10 of these each month. "Every time we have them, we sell out of them," she said.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 31227      (added 11/24/2010)
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MSRP: $24.99
Age Range: 5 and up
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Puzzles & Skill
Educational
Battery Operated



This picture-filled wooden puzzle of the United States includes 40 pieces created to help develop map skills. When each puzzle piece is placed in the correct location, the puzzle speaks the names of the states and capitals. It measures 0.8” x 15.8” x 11.9”. It requires three AAA batteries (not included).
— Ten percent of 40 retailers named Melissa & Doug as a best-selling brand when it comes to educational products. LB Toys in Media, Pa., sells about 30 per month of the U.S. wooden map puzzle, Owner Jamie Burdette told TDmonthly in fall 2009.
— Michael O'Dell of Toys from the Attic in Rehoboth Beach, Del., told TDmonthly in a Summer 2011 survey that they don't sell many electronic or battery operated toys, but of those they do have, sound puzzles from Melissa & Doug sell best.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 26173      (added 11/24/2009)
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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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