April 2012 | Vol. XI - No. 4
Top-10 Most-Wanted Outdoor Toys
With additional reporting from Chris Lundy and Brenda Ruggiero
Spring is finally here, which means it's time to start selling toys that will get kids outside! TDmonthly interviewed 12 retailers about their best selling outdoor toys, and while there was no distinct front-runner, classic toys like The Original Hula Hoop and Wiffle Bat and Ball were at the top of the list. Find out more about all of the Top-10 Most-Wanted Outdoor 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.
This 18” sports disk features a foam ring with a high-strength elastic membrane, and can catch and throw balls up to 150'. It is a safe, high-quality sports activity device that adapts to volleyball, tennis, baseball and other sports, and can be a blast at the beach or pool. A 12” size is also available. Suggested retail price for the two sizes ranges from $15 to $40. “The Super Sports Disk products are fantastic as confidence-building, motor-skill activities for young children, but are also great for more advanced users,” Kevin Williams of OgoSport told TDmonthly. This product received a Spring 2007 Parents' Choice Award. Launch date: May 20, 2007.
— Quality materials and a super bouncing effect earned the classy OgoSport a TDmonthly Innovations 2007 award. Its broad appeal and correlation to other sports make the disk applicable to a variety of fun and healthy activities, and its bright color and sleek packaging grab attention.
— “OgoSport is a good line for us,” Eric Masoncup, owner of Gepetto's Toy Box in Oak Park, Ill., told TDmonthly about his best-selling gift for boys in summer 2009.
— Joe Beradoni, owner of Pun's Toys in Bryn Mawr, Pa., told TDmonthly in a Summer 2011 survey about best-selling toys that "during the summer, we sell 5-7 a week."
Past videos: WTHRA 2007
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 11557 (added 2/21/2007)
The original Hula Hoop. Promotes physical activity. Contains ball inside for the Shoop-Shoop Hula Hoop sound effect. Assortment of three sizes.
— In a March 2012 survey about outdoor toys, Mike DiAndrea, manager of Hardware Toys in Paoli, Pa., told TDmonthly that they sell 65 of the Original Hula Hoop each month.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 33838 (added 3/8/2012)
Blast PadŽ Advanced Missile Launch System by MARKY SPARKY TOYS
Other products from MARKY SPARKY TOYS
This launch system features a flex tube that stretches to nearly 3’ and won’t restrict airflow. It only blasts vertically (9 degrees either way), using Metalix™ missiles (three included). The parts store in the base, and the product is also available in Electric Extra Terrestrial Green and Exploding Sun Yellow.
— Two of 66 retailers told TDmonthly in July 2008 that this product is one of their overall best sellers. Five of the 66 named it as a best-selling gift item for boys. Three of 39 retailers listed Blast Pads as their best-selling item for tween boys during an October 2009 survey. “I've been accused of giving them away with how fast I go through them,” Jude Larene, owner of Izilla Toys in Seattle, Wash., said in March 2009.
— “Blast Pads from Marky Sparky were our biggest sellers last year,” Joe Berardoni, owner of Pun’s Toy Shop in Bryn Mawr, Pa., told TDmonthly in spring 2009. Of 47 retailers, two told TDmonthly in June 2009 that Blast Pads top their sales of boys' items, reporting figures of seven to 15 sold per month. "We sell that all year. Every time we get them in we sell out," reported Kim Haynes of Lollipop Toy Store in Dawsonville, Ga., in March 2010.
—‘’We sell at least one per week, sometimes more,’’ said manager Gwen Bowden of Doodlehopper 4 Kids in 1Q 2011.
AWARDS: 2010 TDmonthly Top Seller
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 20356 (added 8/28/2008)
As a creative, educational action toy, it’s loads of fun — kids jump on the air bladder to launch a 9" all-foam rocket into the air. The Junior Stomp Rocket is used by science teachers to help children learn about trajectory, force and motion. It is also valued by psychologists, physical therapists, special-ed teachers and parents of children with special needs. “Stomp Rockets are recognized for their positive contribution to the lives of millions of children and adults around the world,” Frank Reed, of D & L Company, told TDmonthly. Awards: Top Toy of the Year 2005, Creative Child Magazine; Excellent Product 2005, iParenting Media.
— “Our top selling flying toy is The Stomp Rocket Jr.,” confirmed Sallie Kashiwa, manager of Timbuk Toys in Denver, in October 2008. “We go through about four cases (40) a month.”
— Six of 68 retailers said in fall 2008 that the Stomp Rocket is their best-selling flying toy. Holly Anvers, manager of Ages & Stages Toy Box in Golden, Colo., cited sales of about 40 units per month in late fall 2009.
— Eighteen percent of 38 specialty retailers named Stomp Rockets an overall best-selling toy in July 2010. Scott Loveless, owner of Toys That Teach in Bothell, Wash., told TDmonthly in summer 2010 that his store sells “somewhere along the lines of 40 to 60” Stomp Rockets each month. “Stomp Rockets … are always a summer favorite.”
— In autumn 2010, Marc Holcomb, owner of Toys & Co. In Greensboro, S.C., said he sold approximately 50 per month per store. “It's our #1 gift item,'' he told TDmonthly.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 1089
The Spooner is a balance trainer that simulates board maneuvers associated with surfing, skateboarding and snowboarding but not limited to that. The Spooner helps to develop flexibility and strength in the legs as well as creating a better center of balance. The Spooner is a core trainer, a stabilizer and a pasteurizer because of the ability to work the muscles closest to the spine. Also, it's loads of fun and can be done on any surface indoors or out. Made of H.D.P.E. it is unbreakable. Our guarantee is "You break it, we replace it." Made by Hand in the USA. Launch date: 2006.
— In a March 2012 survey about outdoor toys, two out of 12 retailers told TDmonthly that Spooner Boards were among their best sellers.
— In a March 2012 survey, Chris Lowe, owner of Beanhead Toys in Sandy Springs, Ga., told TDmonthly that Spoonerboards were one of her best selling ride-on toys.
— Alexander McPherson, toy supervisor at Little Dickens in Lynchburg, Va., told TDmonthly in a March 2013 survey that Spooner Boards are their best selling item - they sell about 114 each year, with sales of the item concentrated in 4th quarter.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 23177 (added 4/7/2009)
The Original djubi™ by ALIQUANTUM INTERNATIONAL INC
Other products from ALIQUANTUM INTERNATIONAL INC
djubi™ (pronounced joo-bee) is played with specially designed racquets and a distinctive ball called “the djubi”. To play, place the rubber loop over the launch hook, pull back and aim. When the ball is released it flies through the air at varying degrees of speed, distance and height, depending on the launch trajectory. The djubi is then snagged out of the sky in the deep racquet pocket. Playing djubi undoubtedly will take the tried-and-true game of catch to a cool, new level of fun and excitement for all. See video of djubi in action at djubi.com.
— Christine Osborne, owner of Wonder Works in Charleston, S.C., told TDmonthly in March 2010 that her store sells 36 units per month of the djubi.
— In a March 2012 survey, John Taylor, owner of O.P Taylor's in Brevard, N.C., told TDmonthly that the djubi was one of his best selling outdoor toys.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 20825 (added 9/30/2008)
This is the official Wiffle Ball brand 32 inch bat in classic yellow with a 12 inch softball. This is the same ball, made by the same family that started the whole thing way back in 1952.
— In a March 2012 survey, Donna Frederick, owner of The Play House Toy Store in Durham, N.C., told TDmonthly that her best selling outdoor toy is the original Wiffle Ball and Bat. “It's all retro, and it's under $10. It's made in the USA, and it's a good outdoor family toy,” she said. They sell "A dozen a month, easily, not including extra balls people buy."
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 33839 (added 3/8/2012)
This set includes Two 5 1/2" Water Rockets; One 8 1/2" Water Rocket; 2 Fuel Funnels and Launcher; Rocketry Booklet.
— In a March 2012 survey about best selling outdoor toys, Mary Porter Green, owner of The Curiosity Zone in Ashburn, Va., told TDmonthly that she sells about a dozen of this water rocket set each month.
— As of 03/08/2012 this product had 2.3 out of 5 stars on Amazon.com. Pros: Fun when pump is working properly. Cons: Many reviewers said the pump was not strong enough to jettison the rocket high into the air.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 33840 (added 3/8/2012)
Two kid-sized racquets featuring shell designs and a boing-y surface, team up with two brightly colored balls to make a great racquet set that will entice players of all ages to "come out of their shells." Improves hand-eye coordination and encourages physical activity.
— In a March 2012 survey, Donna Frederick, owner of The Play House Toy Store in Durham, N.C., told TDmonthly that this is one of her best selling outdoor toys for younger kids.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 33841 (added 3/8/2012)
Kids can launch Megatech's Firefly® to incredible heights with the included launcher. It spirals back to earth thanks to its uniquely designed fins. The high intensity LED allows kids launch it day or night. With this feature they'll never lose sight of it during flight.
— In a March 2012 survey, John Taylor, owner of O.P Taylor's in Brevard, N.C., told TDmonthly that he sold more than 2,000 Fireflies last year. He keeps them by the register as an impulse item, and on nights with a lot of foot traffic, he'll give one to a kid and ask them to play with it in front of the store a while.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 33842 (added 3/8/2012)
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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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