November 2011 | Vol. X - No. 11
Top-10 Most-Wanted Tween Products
Toys for tween-aged kids
With additional reporting from Chris Lundy, Brenda Ruggiero, and Marie Raven
For tween-aged kids, it's all about making a statement, with accessories, kits and décor. TDmonthly spoke with twelve specialty retailers about their best selling Tween products. The most mentioned items were jewelry, like bracelets from Natural Life, kits, like the Tin Can Robot from Toysmith, and decor, like the trendy LockerLookz Locker Wallpaper. You can see all of the best selling Tween items 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.
LockerLookz Wallpaper for lockers comes in eight fun patterns. The wallpaper is held up by 20 super-strong magnets, making sure no damage is done to the locker itself. The LockerLookz line of Wallpaper and accessories allows kids to personalize their space at school.
— Betsy Ordemann, owner of Magic Box LTD in New Orleans, La., told TDmonthly that she sells dozens of each piece of the LockerLookz line each month, and up to 3 dozen of the most popular pieces. “It's unbelievably popular. It's totally different than anything else in the market,” she said.
— Christine Osborne, co-owner of Wonder Works in Charleston, S.C., told TDmonthly in an October 2011 survey that LockerLookz was their best selling tween item. "We don't know how many" are sold, she said, "because it sells out too quickly!"
— William Meredith, owner of Learning Express in Cary, N.C., told TDmonthly in a Fall 2012 survey that they sell 100 LockerLookz products each month, making them a best seller in the tween category.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 31742 (added 2/22/2011)
Suddy is a very busy girl with a lot going on. She’s got no time for slow pokes and doesn’t want to wait around for laggards. If you want to keep up with her, you’ll have to live life in the fast lane. That means waking up in the morning and going to bed having lived your life to the fullest! But what does that mean? It means she loves you and also candy. Uglydoll Suddy is approx. 12" tall.
— Dean Smith, Co-owner of JaZams in Princeton, N.J. told TDmonthly in a Summer 2011 survey that as far as action figures go, "We don't sell a lot of those." Plush Uglydolls are as close as they come, and JaZams sells 15-18 each month.
— Powell Phillips, owner of Phillip's Toy Mart in Nashville, Tenn., and Kim Emigh, manager of e-commerce at Growing Tree Toys in State College, Pa., both told TDmonthly in an October 2011 survey that Ugly Dolls were their best-selling tween item, though they both said that tweens are not a big presence in their store.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 32282 (added 5/17/2011)
Be Happy Helping Hand Friendship Bracelet by NATURAL LIFE INC.
Other products from NATURAL LIFE INC.
This bracelet features a pink band covered in orange rhinestones, and bright orange ties. 7" long.
— Joanne Smith, owner of JaZams in Princeton, N.J., told TDmonthly in an October 2011 survey that jewelry from Natural Life is a best selling product for tweens at her store.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 33055 (added 10/19/2011)
Charm It! Peace Love and Happiness Charm by HIGH INTENCITY CORP.
Other products from HIGH INTENCITY CORP.
A winning design from High Intencity's Design-A-Charm contest, the Peace Love and Happiness charm was designed by Emily R. from Pleasantville, NY and rendered in vibrant detail in an enamel charm measuring approximately one inch.10 % of the proceeds from the sale of this charm will go to the World Wildlife Fund on behalf of its designer.
— “Charm It! works really well in this area,” said Blanche Snipes, owner of Tree Top Toys in Redmond, Wash., when asked about her top-selling items for tweens.
— Two of 44 retailers listed Charm It! as a best-selling item for tweens during a September 2010 survey.
— Katie Rook, manager of Be Beep A Toy Shop in Columbia, S.C., told TDmonthly in an October 2011 survey that High Intencity charm bracelets are their best selling tween item.
— Dean Smith, owner of JaZams in Princeton, N.J., told TDmonthly in a Summer 2012 survey that they sell between 40 and 50 Charm It! charms each month.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 30999 (added 10/28/2010)
Watching the rising and falling colored blobs in these lamps is hypnotizing. They measure 13.75 inches tall and come in three assorted colors: pink, green and blue.
— Mary Porter, owner of Curiosity Zone in Ashburn Va., told TDmonthly in an October 2011 survey that she sells several of these lamps each month, making them her best selling tween item.
— Marc Slotin, owner of My Imagination Station in Spartanburg, S.C., told TDmonthly in a Fall 2013 survey that lava lamps were a big seller with tweens.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 33056 (added 10/19/2011)
The LEGO MiniFigure Series 5 adds 16 all-new, special MiniFigures to the growing LEGO MiniFigure Collection. Each MiniFigure comes in a sealed, mystery bag. Each character has its own special accessories, display plate and collector's leaflet. Inspired by movies, sports, history and just everyday life. This collection includes: Fitness Instructor, Snowboarder Guy, Lizard Man, Lumberjack, Gladiator, Small Clown, Egyptian Queen, Evil Dwarf, Boxer, Ice Fisherman, Zoo Keeper, Graduate, Royal Guard, Cave Woman, Detective.
— As of 10/10/2011 this product had 4.9 out of 5 stars from 9 reviews on ToysRUs.com.
— Robert Lightburn from Cville's Hobbies, Games and Toys in Charlottesville, Va., told TDmonthly in an October 2011 survey that LEGO items sell well with the tween crowd.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 33011 (added 10/10/2011)
Kids can recycle a soda can into a silly, walking, wobbling robot. The kit includes all the parts needed, right down to the googly eyes, except for the two AAA batteries that are required. Launch date: 2008.
— “The Tin Can Robot is a huge hit. It’s from their Green Science series, which has been doing great,” Jennifer Schneeweis, owner of Izilla Toys in Seattle, told TDmonthly in late August 2009. Two of 40 retailers mentioned the brand when discussing best-selling educational items in fall 2009.
― “Right now we have the Tin Can Robot for 8- to 10-year-olds and that's doing well,” said Marlene, manager of Kits & Kaboodle in Carmel, Ind., when asked about her best-selling item for tween boys. Seven of 39 retailers surveyed in October 2009 said science kits are their top sellers for tween boys.
― “It's a good price point and an excellent product. It sells all the time,” Priscilla Moore, owner of Mr. Fub's Party, Toys and More in Yellow Springs, Ohio, said of the Tin Can Robot and other 4M science kits in spring 2010.
— In August 2010, seven of 43 retailers told TDmonthly that Toysmith is a best-selling science and nature brand. Two retailers named Tin Can Robot as a top product.
AWARDS: 2010 TDmonthly Top Seller
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 23707 (added 5/19/2009)
These unicorn erasers have removable puzzle parts so they can be taken apart and reassembled. The collection includes six pastel colors.
— In summer 2010, Margy Peine, owner of Tree House Toys in Cumberland, Md., told TDmonthly her store sells about 75 Japanese erasers per month.
— Thirteen percent of 38 specialty retailers named Japanese erasers a best-selling product in July 2010.
— Linda Laramy, owner of Crackerjacks in Easton, Md., told TDmonthly in an October 2011 survey that they don't sell many tween items other than collectible erasers, which they sell about 4 dozen of each month.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 29936 (added 8/10/2010)
MOGO Magnetic Charmband and Charms by MOGO DESIGNS, INC.
Other products from MOGO DESIGNS, INC.
MOGO charmbands let girls link together different magnetic charms for nearly endless possibilities. Each band is made of durable nylon and contains eight silvertone charm holders.
— In September 2010, three of 44 specialty retailers cited MOGO products as a best-selling jewelry and accessory item. The same month, Jenny Bramhall, owner of Dandelion Toys in Fort Collins, Colo., told TDmonthly, “people are really attracted to them - buying them, and then coming back and buying them as gifts.”
— Elmer Carranza. assistant manager of Doodlehopper 4 Kids in Falls Church, Va., told TDmonthly in an October 2011 survey that they sell "a good dozen or two" MOGO bracelets each month.
— Joe Berardoni, owner of Pun's Toys in Bryn Mawr, Pa., told TDmonthly in an October 2011 survey that MOGO Bracelets are one of their best selling tween items.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 30730 (added 10/6/2010)
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Dragon Tears is one of many colors in the Piggy Paint nail polish line. This sparkling, green polish is reminiscent of a common mythical green dragon. Piggy Paint is an eco-friendly, non-toxic nail polish designed for fancy girls. This hypoallergenic, odorless formula is designed to be gentle enough for sensitive little hands and noses, yet it dries to a hard, durable finish. "Not only are consumers going green, but Moms are always looking for safe products for their little angels," Melanie Hurley, CEO of Piggy Paint, told TDmonthly.
— Elmer Carranza, assistant manager of Doodlehopper 4 Kids in Falls Church, Va., told TDmonthly in an October 2011 survey that they sell about two dozen nail polishes each month, making it their best selling tween product.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 25317 (added 9/9/2009)
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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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