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December 2011 | Vol. X - No. 12
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20 Top-Selling Mass-Market Toys


You may sell specialty, but it's important to watch the mass-market to keep abreast of new trends and get tipped off early if your own best-sellers are "crossing over", like the popular Bananagrams. TDmonthly Magazine will be updating our list of mass-market top-sellers weekly to make this job easier for you.



MSRP: $7.99
Age Range: 8 and up
Launch Date: March 2010
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Family Games
General Games
Travel



This pocket-sized story generator is designed to provide hours of imaginative play for all ages. With Rory's Story Cubes®, anyone can become a great storyteller and there are no wrong answers. Players simply roll the cubes and let the pictures spark the imagination. "Rory's Story Cubes is unique because of its simplicity, small packaging, low price point and endless story possibilities. It's a great learning and writing tool that can be played with one person or a large group as a party game," Emily Nichols, marketing coordinator for Gamewright, told TDmonthly. Launch date: March 2010.
Awards: 2009 Dr. Toy’s 10 Best Games of the Year; 2010 Major Fun Award; 2010 Parents’ Choice Gold Award, Creative Child Magazine Seal of Excellence Award, iParenting Media Award, Oppenheim Toy Portfolio Gold Award.
— As of 12/17/2012 this product had 4.6 out of 5 stars from 306 reviews on Amazon.com. Pros: Helps develop story telling ability; promotes cooperative play; creative; affordable. Cons: One reviewer said they were bored with it after playing a few times, but that it is very affordable.
— Stacy Kalisz of The Old Schoolhouse Magazine “absolutely loved” using the Story Cubes with her family as they came up with a variety of games. One of their favorite play variations “is to tell a group story, with each person using one die on his or her turn.”
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 26509      (added 12/28/2009)
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MSRP: $24.95
Age Range: 6 and up
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: General Games



Requiring no reading from its players, Qwirkle is a simple-to-learn but stimulating game based around matching the attributes of the game play tiles. Players build rows and columns by placing tiles adjacent to tiles they share an attribute with (shape or color), and score bonus points if they can think ahead and put a tile down touching multiple other tiles. While the game is easy to understand, a good eye and quick thinking make Qwirkle challenging enough for a wide range of ages to play together.
Awards: 2011 Speiele des Jahres (German game of the year).
― “We sell a lot of Qwirkle,” Sue Banducci said of popular games in her Danville, Calif., store, Games Unlimited. “Qwirkle was best-selling over Christmas,” said Shirley Reilly, owner of Let's Play in Hillsboro, Ore., in January 2009.
― When asked about his top-selling games in early 2009, Tye Steinbach of Thinker Toys in Portland, Ore. told TDmonthly, “It was probably Qwirkle. We're not huge gamers in our family, but it's really fun.”
— Four of 44 specialty retailers named Qwirkle as a best seller in late fall 2009. Ages & Stages Toy Box in Golden, Colo., sells about 10 Qwirkle games per month, Manager Holly Anvers told TDmonthly.
— As of 12/17/2012 this product had 4.8 out of 5 stars from 483 reviews on Amazon.com and was No. 6 on the top 100 bestselling toys and games. Pros: Exciting; intellectually stimulating, easy to learn. Cons: Some said it took too long to play; only had 3 reviews less than 3 stars, however.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 22437      (added 2/9/2009)
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MSRP: $14.99
Age Range: 5 and up
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Board Games
General Games
Licensed Products



One player draws a construction card and builds the structure shown. Next, an opponent loads an Angry Bird onto the launcher and catapults the bird to knock down structures and pigs. The player with the most points and knockdowns wins. Features three Angry Birds, four green pigs, one slingshot-style launcher, structure pieces and multiple mission cards. For one or more players. Launch date: May 2011.
— As of 12/17/2012 this product had 3.9 out of 5 stars from 252 reviews on Amazon.com. Pros: Great alternative to the app for parents who want to reduce kids' screen time; fun for the family to play together; helps kids develop dexterity and patience. Cons: Certain structures are too elaborate to build and don't seem to be grouped in the correct level of difficulty; kids with short attention spans may lose interest in building the structures; structures are easy to knock down, which can be frustrating for younger players.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 31720      (added 2/18/2011)
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These helium-filled shark balloons are remote controlled to "swim" through the air. The infrared remote functions include climb, descend, and tail fin control. Up to a 40 ft range. 57 inches long, 36 inches high.
— As of 10/14/2011 this product had 2.8 out of 5 stars from 19 reviews on ToysRUs.com. Pros: Visually striking. Cons: Difficult to assemble; flimsy; does not stay inflated very long.
— Mike McCollum, owner of Learning Express in Hoover, Ala., told TDmonthly in November 2011 that Air Swimmers are becoming one of his best selling flying toys. He said that since September 2011, he has sold 16 of the sharks and 7 of the clown fish.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 33041      (added 10/14/2011)
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MSRP: $24.99
Age Range: 6 and up
SKU or Item #: BL100
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Puzzles & Skill
Educational
Family Games



The first member of the Perplexus family, this see-through sphere houses a 3-D labyrinth game with 100 barriers, turns, twists and cliffhangers that serve as obstacles to getting a small steel ball to the end. Invented in 1970 by Michael McGinnis, a design teacher, Perplexus helps develop motor and dexterity skills, along with hand-eye coordination.
― As of 12/17/2012 this product had 4.4 out of 5 stars from 393 reviews on Amazon.com and was No. 12 on the top 100 bestselling toys and games.
— At Izilla Toys in Seattle, "Perplexus is selling really, really well for us," Co-owner Jude Larene told TDmonthly in late fall 2009.
— In summer 2010 this game was a top-10 best seller at Dancing Bear Toys in Asheville and Hendersonville, N.C..
Awards: 2012 Parents’ Choice Awards - Silver, 2011 Time Magazine – 15 Smartest Toys for Young Geniuses, 2011 Parent Tested Parent Approved – Seal of Approval, 2011 Grand Prix Kidexpo – Elu par les Parents (Parents’Choice), 2011 Children of Museum of Indianapolis – Top 10 Toys of 2011, 2011 Canadian Toy Testing Council – Children’s Choice, 2011 Babble List – Best Kids Toys, 2010 Toy Insider – Hot 20, 2010 The National Parenting Center – Seal of Approval, 2010 Prémio Brazil – Award of Excellence, 2010 Parents’ Magazine – Top Toys, 2010 NAPPA – Gold, 2010 ASTRA – Best Toy for Kids
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 26245      (added 12/2/2009)
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MSRP: $11.99
Age Range: 1 and up
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Plush
Licensed Products
Novelties



Angry Birds is the #1 app worldwide and has been downloaded over 100 million times. Angry Birds plush bring the characters from on-screen into the real world. These soft plush Angry Birds make sounds from the game when squeezed, and are an officially licensed product.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 32332      (added 5/24/2011)
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MSRP: $70
Age Range: 8 and up
SKU or Item #: S032
Launch Date: December 2010
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Remote Controlled
Aircraft
Hobby Goods



S032 Syma - 3 Channel Electric Helicopter RTF w/ Auto Stabilizing Gyro + Metal Frames + Cool Strobing Head Lights. 11.5" long helicopter comes with battery, charger and transmitter. The Syma S032 RC helicopter can go forward, backward, left, and right. This S032 even equipped with bright strobing LED head lights, so you can enjoy flying in the dark. The unique co-axial rotors counter-rotate for unprecedented stability. Light and safe, this helicopter will transform any indoor environment into a cool chopper fly zone. Get about 12 minutes flight time per charge. S032 is in RED & WHITE 2-tone colors.
— As of 12/17/2012 this product had 4.1 out of 5 stars from 899 reviews on Amazon.com.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 31314      (added 12/15/2010)
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MSRP: $60
Age Range: 8 and up
SKU or Item #: S107
Launch Date: December 2010
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Remote Controlled
Aircraft
Hobby Goods



S107 Syma - 3 Channel Radio Controlled Infrared Remote Controlled Electric RC Micro Mini Helicopter w/ Gyro + Colorful Strobing LED Lights. This S107 equipped with NEW Gyroscope System for simpliest controls and stabilities, NEW Metal Frame & Body for extra durabilities, NEW Awesome Look and Design, and Bright strobing muti-color LED headlights so you can enjoy flying in the dark. At only 7" long, it easily fits in the palm of your hand and is fully functional. This S107 even has the option to charge directly from computer's USB port (USB cable included) or transmitter which uses "AA" batteries! S107 is in RED & YELLOW colors. Each Helicopter is individually packed in a window box. Box size: 17.75"L x 3"W x 7.25"H.
— As of 05/21/2012 this product had 4 out of 5 stars from 730 reviews on Amazon.com. PROS: Lightweight, durable, two methods of charging. CONS: Not suitable for children under 14; repairs are difficult.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 31313      (added 12/15/2010)
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MSRP: $19.99
Age Range: 4 and up
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Wooden Toys



Melissa & Doug put their spin on another classic toy with See & Spell. Eight, two-sided cutout boards feature pictures and empty spots for letters. Kids can use the 64 included wooden letters to fill the empty spots, complete the puzzle, and spell the sight-reading word featured in the picture. The wooden letters can also be used as stencils.
— Cleeo of cleeo and bea said the See & Spell is “an excellent tool in helping our tots grasp the concept of reading,” though she lamented the lack of a lid to keep all the pieces inside the box.
Viewpoints reviewers praised the product for using lowercase letters instead of the typical uppercase letters found with most spelling products.
— Reviewers on Melissa & Doug’s site felt that See & Spell might not maintain the interest of children for a sustained period of time and hoped for a word expansion pack to help with this issue.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 27474      (added 3/4/2010)
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Wholesale Price: (Log in to view)
MSRP: $29.95
Age Range: 3 and up
Launch Date: September 2005
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Dolls
Books
Gifts



This set includes an 8" vintage-style pixie elf, a keepsake storage box and a children's picture book with a rhyming story that tells how the elf helps Santa out by watching children's behavior by day and reporting it to Santa at night. The elf is designed to be placed throughout the house during the Christmas season, creating a hide-and-seek activity for the whole family. Launch date: September 2005.
— “Elf on the Shelf is doing really well since we put those out five or six weeks ago,” remarked Janet Gregory, owner of Over the Rainbow Toys in Anchorage, Alaska, in November 2008. “We just brought them in in November. [We] sold 24 last month, and 24 already this month,” Terry Myers, owner of Kaleidoscope Toys in Round Rock, Texas, told TDmonthly.
— In a December 2011 survey about books, 2 out of 12 retailers named Elf on the Shelf their best-seller. "We sold 18 already, in just a couple weeks," Andrea Scartozzi from Hardware Toy Center in Paoli, Pa., told TDmonthly. William Meredith, owner of Learning Express in Cary, N.C., agreed. "Elf on a Shelf is our number one item. It has been for years!" he told TDmonthly.

Where to Buy: Smart Kids Toys; Kazoo Toys; Escapade Direct

ToyDirectory Product ID#: 17594      (added 2/18/2008)
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MSRP: $3.49
Age Range: 5 to 7
Specialty: No
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Collectibles
Construction
Action Figures



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)
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MSRP: $8.99
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Educational
Arts & Crafts



Non-toxic, child safe ink. unscented. These pads are wonderful for large stamps. Stamp pad measures 6-1/4" x 4". Conforms to ASTM D-4236.
— In a November 2011 survey about best selling education products, Kim Emigh, manager of e-commerce at Growing Tree Toys in State College, Pa., told TDmonthly that, "We sell the large stamp pads from Center Enterprises — little kids just love them. They are easy to use for hands or their extra-large stampers."
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 33149      (added 11/10/2011)
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MSRP: $59.99
Age Range: 4 to 6
Specialty: No
Gender: Girls
Category: Animal Figures
Interactive
Robotics



With real-as-can-be movements, sounds and actions, COOKIE MY PLAYFUL PUP lets kids experience the joy of having a puppy of their very own. When kids pet her on her head or back, she barks, moves her head and wags her tail. Give her cheek a little scratch and she'll turn toward their hand to ask for more. When they tell her just how sweet she is, she'll respond with puppy babble that sounds just like she's talking. She loves her squeaky toy — when kids make it squeak, she'll turn her head toward the sound. When kids put her toy bone in her mouth, she'll make crunching sounds like she's chewing it. This pup is about 14 inches tall and can either sit up or lie down.
— As of 10/18/2011 this product had 4 out of 5 stars from 22 reviews on Walmart.com. Pros: Realistic; fun; entertaining. Cons: Dog doesn't "walk" so many reviewers reported their kids lost interest after a couple days; batteries run out quickly.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 33069      (added 10/19/2011)
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MSRP: $39.99
Age Range: 4 to 12
Specialty: No
Gender: Boys
Category: Cars
Remote Controlled



Using Light Control technology, the car automatically chases after the light projected on the floor. The unique dual-sided design allows the car to keep running when the car flips over, and the ultra-cool light-up rims change color upon flipping. The Chaser includes a four-in-one stunt ramp for more exciting racing action and stunt abilities. This 1:32 scale car has a performance range of up to 40' and a scale speed of up to 300 mph, and two transmitter settings allow for racing two cars at the same time for double the fun.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 33079      (added 10/19/2011)
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MSRP: $8.99
Age Range: 3 and up
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Board Games



Chutes and Ladders is the game of rewards and consequences. As kids travel along the game path, they encounter situations that reward them for good deeds by letting them climb the ladders or punish them for misbehaving by sending them down chutes. All the while, they are learning to recognize numbers and count to 100. Included are a game board, spinner with arrow, four pawns and instructions in English and Spanish.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 5703      (added 11/28/2005)
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MSRP: $29.99
Age Range: 6 to 15
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Arts & Crafts
Creative Activities



The Crayola Glow Book lets kids create glowing, moving, animated art. Six glow marker colors and four removable drawing surfaces allow kids to draw, layer, and arrange images, and then light them in sequence so that the images appear to move. And since glow marker drawing surfaces wipe clean with a damp cloth, kids can create new images as often as they like. Variable lighting effect options maximize the glowing contents.
— As of 11/16/2011 this product had 4.5 out of 5 stars from 17 customer reviews on Amazon.com. Pros: Helps develop fine motor skills; easy clean up; versatile. Cons: Only comes with one sample template to trace; hard to find refills for the markers; the plastic sheets can be difficult to put in place or remove.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 33172      (added 11/16/2011)
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MSRP: $19.99
Age Range: 6 to 8
Specialty: No
Gender: Girls
Category: Tween
Fashion & Accessories
Arts & Crafts



Experience a whole new twist on accessory design with the Umagine Bizu Bead Style Studio. This must—have style center lets kids store, select and dispense their Bizu collection, making them the designer. With over 15,000 combinations, the Style Studio rotating tower allows kids to inventory their Bizu collection and create new fashionable accessories. Follow the trend by making Glam, Rock, Wild, or Funky styles, then become the trendsetter by mixing and matching to create an entirely new look. Create 4 stylish bracelets, link 3 together to make a necklace, or set the style with cool backpack and cell phone accessories. Includes Style Studio rotating tower, 40 beads (including 4 character heads), 4 elastic bands with toggle clasps, 1 beading tool, 2 clips, 4 character template cards and 1 instruction guide.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 33118      (added 11/7/2011)
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MSRP: $94.99
Age Range: 8 to 14
Specialty: No
Gender: Boys
Category: Construction
Pretend Play
Licensed Products



Defend the LEGO Star Wars Hoth Echo Base (7879) from the evil Imperial forces. Imperial forces have discovered the Rebel base hidden on the ice planet of Hoth and are preparing to crush the Rebel Alliance. Han Solo, Chewbacca, Princess Leia and protocol droid R—3PO get ready to fend off the attack as 2 snowtroopers approach. Luke Skywalker is in the bacta tank being treated by medical droid 2—1B. The LEGO Star Wars Hoth Echo Base (7879) includes: Tauntaun stable with locking gate, tauntaun, rotating radar dishes, falling icicle trap, working cargo crane, and medical bay with bacta tank; Han Solo, injured Luke Skywalker, Princess Leia, 2—1B, protocol droid R—3PO, Chewbacca and 2 snowtroopers; flick missile gun turrets; repeating blaster and blaster rifle weapons; Measures over 21" wide and 5" tall; Imperial speeder bike measures over 5" long; Contains 773 pieces.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 33117      (added 11/7/2011)
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MSRP: $34.99
Age Range: 4 to 6
Specialty: No
Gender: Girls
Category: Dolls
Pretend Play



These Lalaloopsy have silly hair that bends every which way. Now kids can style their Lalaloopsy doll's hair and their pet's tail too. Includes fun hair styling brush, 4 clips and 6 hair beads. Pet has matching bendable tail.
— As of 10/10/2011 this product had 4.8 out of 5 stars from 4 reviews on ToysRUs.com.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 33012      (added 10/10/2011)
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