May 2012 | Vol. XI - No. 5
Top-10 Most-Wanted Travel Toys and Games
Spot It from Blue Orange traveled to the top of our best sellers list
With additional reporting from Chris Lundy and Brenda Ruggiero
Summer vacation is on its way, and parents are always looking for ways to keep kids entertained on long flights or on road trips. So, TDmonthly Magazine interviewed retailers to see what their best selling travel toys were. Spot It by BLUE ORANGE was once again the most popular game, according to four of the 11 retailers we surveyed, followed by sticker books by USBORNE PUBLISHING.
Recommend the best selling travel toys below to frazzled customers as they prepare for their family trips.
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
Spot It is a party game for two to eight players. It's played by laying a random assortment of cards on the table and all players racing to find one image that matches between two cards. This fast-paced game is designed to never be the same twice, and though it has very few rules to remember it requires a sharp eye to master. The set of 55 round cards transports in its own carry tin. Watch Spot It: Top-5 Video, Toy Fair 2010
— Spot It has been been a top seller for retailers surveyed by TDmonthly since early Spring 2010.
— In a March 2012 survey, 3 out of 12 retailers told TDmonthly that Spot It was their overall best selling product, and had been for more than a year.
— Dean Smith, Co-owner of JaZams in Princeton, N.J., told TDmonthly in a Summer 2011 survey that he sells 50-60 copies of Spot It each month.
Awards: 2010 TDmonthly Top Seller, Dr. Toy 100 Best Children's Products - 2010
Where to buy:
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 27018 (added 2/11/2010)
A surprising number of retailers said this was a top pick by shoppers when ready to hit the road. This newest version challenges players to find 39 small plastic zoo animals by shaking a tube filled with plastic pellets.
— Laura Miller, owner of Imagination Village in Concord, N.H., said, “It’s not supposed to be a travel toy, but a lot of people buy it for this use.”
— Meghan Bergman, “keyholder” at Rhyme 'n Reason Toys, in Pembroke, Mass., said “we recommend these for trips a lot.”
— Sandy Whitten, co-owner of Sparks Toy and Hobby Shoppe in Smithfield, R.I. said, “We just got a new shipment of 12 in a week and a half ago and we’ve only got five left.”
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 8377 (added 6/22/2006)
Fun on the Farm Imaginetics by INTERNATIONAL PLAYTHINGS LLC
Other products from INTERNATIONAL PLAYTHINGS LLC
Lightweight and portable, this small Imaginetics play set combines whimsical animal illustrations and a richly colored background with reusable, interactive magnets. Each image is backed with thin, flexible magnetic material, allowing pieces to be repositioned easily on the themed backdrop. Children can tell stories or invent games, and when finished the play set folds closed to protect and secure the pieces.
― “We sell a lot of Imaginetics,” said Jill Brown, buyer at Kidoodles in Norman, Okla., when asked about her best-selling travel items in spring 2010. Seven of 39 retailers surveyed by TDmonthly in March 2010 said magnetic play sets are their top-selling travel toy.
― In late Spring 2011 two out of 12 retailers surveyed mentioned Imaginetics as a best-selling travel toy.
— Want this? As of 05/06/2011, this product was available for purchase at Magic Box Toys.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 27938 (added 4/9/2010)
Be a super detective! Use your Invisible Ink pen to uncover the truth and solve the mysteries. Here are just some of the games you will find inside this book, decode the cryptograms, decipher Krazygrams, and nab the crook in jailbreak.
Each book includes 48 pages of fun and a special pen.
― Out of 39 retailers, four named activity books from Lee Publications as their top-selling travel item in March 2010, reporting sales averaging 24 per month.
― Kristen Dolle, manager of Playthings Toy Shoppe in Louisville, Ky. told TDmonthly in late Spring 2011 that Magic pen books by Lee Publications were a best-selling travel toy.
— In an April 2012 survey about best selling travel toys, Joe Berardoni, owner of Pun's Toys in Bryn Mawr, Pa., told TDmonthly: "As a category, Lee Publication’s Yes & Know books continue to sell out during travel time due to their wide age range and low retail price."
— Want this? As of 05/06/2011, this product was available for purchase at Playthings Toy Shoppe.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 27940 (added 4/9/2010)
A delightful sticker book with over 500 colorful stickers to complete the summery scenes. There's a summer flower garden to decorate with buzzing insects, pirate mice to add to a treasure ship, and stickers for beaches, boats, airports, picnics and other summer scenes. An amusing activity with lots to talk about on journeys and long summer days.
— In an April 2012 survey about best selling travel toys, three out of 11 retailers said that sticker books from Usborne were their best sellers.
— In a September 2014 survey, Kai Rady, owner of Shenanigans Inc in Charlottesville, Va., told TDmonthly that their store sells "hundreds and hundreds" of these sticker books each month, making them one of the store's best-selling novelty items.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 34058 (added 4/6/2012)
The third Perplexus family member is a hot favorite with all ages, including teens and adults. Epic’s track is over 30 ft. long, and has 125 barriers. It is so challenging that it even has a mid-way restart point. Once kids pick it up, they won’t want to put Epic down.
— As of 01/12/2012 this product had 4.2 out of 5 stars from 114 reviews on Amazon.com.
— In an April 2012 survey about best selling travel toys, Kai Rady, owner of Shenanigans Inc in Charlottesville, Va., told TDmonthly that her best seller is "Perplexus, especially the Epic version."
Awards: 2012 The National Parenting Centre - Seal of Approval, 2012 Learning Express Toys - Best Toy Award, Games Category, 2012 Canadian Toy Testing Council- Best Bet 2012, 2011 The National Parenting Centre - Gold Seal of Approval, 2011 Parent Tested Parent Approved - Seal of Approval, 2011 Neighbourhood Educational Toy Stores - Gold Star, 2011 Fat Brain Toy ‘Award - Brainteasers, 2011 Family Fun - Toy of the Year, 2011 Disney Top 10 Family Fun - Toy of the Year, 2011 Creative Child Magazine - Game of the Year
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 33460 (added 1/12/2012)
Boogie Board 8.5 LCD Writing Tablet by IMPROV ELECTRONICS
Other products from IMPROV ELECTRONICS
The original Boogie Board LCD eWriter that started a revolution. Ultra light (4oz.) and thin (1/8"). One just isn’t enough. Get one for on the go, in the office and multiple places around the house. Almost anywhere you’d keep memo pads, sticky notes or scrap paper.
— Erika Evers, owner of Dancing Bear Toys in Hendersonville, N.C., told TDmonthly in an April 2012 survey that their best selling travel toy is the Boogie Board. They sell 6-7 each month.
— Chris Lowe, owner of Beanhead Toys in Sandy Springs, Ga., told TDmonthly in a late Summer 2012 survey that they sell 15 of this item each month, making it a bestselling novelty item.
— Greg Larson, owner of Larson's Toys and Games in Columbus, Ohio, told TDmonthly in a March 2013 survey that they sell 18 Boogie Boards each month, and up to 48 a month during 4th quarter.
Where to buy:
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 34059 (added 4/6/2012)
A royally rousing card game! Sleeping Queens is a fun new strategy game invented by an eight-year old. The Pancake Queen, the Ladybug Queen and ten of their closest friends have fallen under a sleeping spell and it´s your job to wake them up. Use quick thinking and a little luck to wake these napping nobles from their royal slumbers. Play a knight to steal a queen or take a chance on a juggling jester. But watch out for wicked potions and dastardly dragons! The player who wakes the most queens wins.
— Tova Rubin, manager at Toytraders in Lakewood, N.J., said this is one of her top-selling card games.
— This is a popular choice at White Rabbit Toys in Ann Arbor, Mich., according to store manager Cheri Sims.
— Casey Sartain, son and buyer at Tutoring Toy in Salt Lake City, attributes the success of this game to the fact that a younger group can play it and that they enjoy the action of slapping cards down on the pile.
— Seven percent of 43 retailers named Sleeping Queens a top-selling card game in a summer 2010 TDmonthly survey. In August 2010, Shana Hack, owner of Moon Rabbit Toys in Santa Fe, New Mex., told TDmonthly her store sells about 12 Sleeping Queens games per month.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 1957 (added 12/21/2004)
BINGO on the go. Choose an appropriate theme among the eight provided, slide a card into each game boards and pay attention to the passing scenery. Includes two game boards and four double-sided game cards. There are no loose pieces and everything stores conveniently in the board. Great for travel.
— Laura Turman, owner of One Two Kangaroo in Shepherdstown, W.Va., told TDmonthly in an April 2012 survey that Travel Bingo is her best selling travel toy.
— In a late Summer 2012 survey, Mike Castor, owner of Pentwater Toybox in Pentwater, Mich., told TDmonthly that they sold 71 travel bingo sets in the past three months.
— In an April 2013 survey, two out of 12 retailers told TDmonthly that Travel Bingo from Melissa & Doug is their bestselling travel toy.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 34060 (added 4/6/2012)
It's the compact version of the classic naval combat game for plenty of fun on the run. Players keep track of hits and misses, and sink all of their enemy's ships to win the game. All of the pieces fit inside the case, making it easy to travel with.
— Mike DiAndrea, manager of Hardware Center Toys in Paoli, Pa., told TDmonthly in an April 2012 survey about travel toys that their best seller is Fun on the Run Battleship. They sold "18 this month," he said.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 32228 (added 5/2/2011)
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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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