May 2012 | Vol. XI - No. 5
Top-10 Most-Wanted Bath Toys
Bath Toys from Alex Scrubbed out the Competition
With additional reporting from Chris Lundy and Brenda Ruggiero
When TDmonthly Magazine surveyed retailers about their best selling bath toys, five of the 11 retailers named ALEX-PANLINE USA INC. as their best selling brand. GREEN TOYS INC.'s Tugboat was runner up, with two retailers naming it their best selling bath toy.
Learn more about the other best selling bath 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.
The 3-in-1 Music Island includes three real instruments for the tub on a fish-shaped floating island. It's part of the famous Tub Tunes' line of bathtub musical instruments for toddlers. The Island includes a drum, xylophone and Octopus Jingle Shaker. It also comes with two mallets, music sheets and a music holder.
— “Alex is where it is at for bath toys. We sell at least two a week,” said Alison Cox, owner of Animal Quackers in Raleigh, N.C.
— “Alex bath toys do well, all of them. We especially do well with Tub Tunes,” Patricia Masing, co-owner of Tree Town Toys in Ann Arbor, Mich., told TDmonthly in March 2008.
— Five of 37 retailers cited the Tub Tunes' line as a hot-selling bath toy with customers in spring 2007. Thirty percent of 40 retailers who spoke with TDmonthly in March 2008 singled out this item as the best-selling bath toy in their stores.
— Want this? As of 05/06/2011, this product was available for purchase at Hardware Toys.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 12269 (added 4/10/2007)
Designed for ages 6 months and up, this toy for bathtubs and mud puddles is made in the USA of recycled plastic milk containers. It floats, is equipped with a spout on the front for scooping and pouring water, and is free of BPA, PVC, phthalates and external coatings. It comes in packaging made of recycled or recyclable materials and featuring soy inks. Launch date: March 2010.
— In an April 2012 survey about bath toys, two of eleven retailers told TDmonthly the Tugboat from Green Toys was their best seller.
Kristen Dolle, Manager of Playthings Toy Shoppe in Louisville, Ky. named the Green Toys Tugboat as a best-seller in the bath category when surveyed by TDmonthly in late Spring 2011.
— Want this? As of 05/06/2011, this product was available for purchase at Playthings Toy Shoppe.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 26560 (added 1/5/2010)
This squirter measures 9 cm in length and squirts water for bath time fun.
— In an April 2012 survey, Dean Smith, owner of JaZams in Princeton, N.J., told TDmonthly that they sell 2 dozen bath squirters from HABA each month.
— In March 2008, Nancy Barringer, owner of Jamie Two Coats Toy Shop in Shelburne, Vt., told TDmonthly that these “little squirters” are so popular that her store has been selling 20 per month since Christmas.
— Five percent of 40 retailers who spoke with TDmonthly in March 2008 singled out HABA toys as their best-selling bath toys.
— Many other varieties are available, including a sea horse, pirate, ship, frog and fish.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 18655 (added 4/30/2008)
For ages 6 months and up. The bathtub is baby's ocean. Set includes 13 toys in a floating boat; captain; life preserver; fishing hook & 4 ready-to-catch fish; 3 nesting cups that shower, stack & pour, octopus comb & whale nailbrush. Everything stows away below deck.
Awards: American Baby Toy of the Year Award.
— Mary Porter Green, owner of The Curiosity Zone in Ashburn, Va., told TDmonthly in a 2012 survey that their best selling infant & toddler products are from Toysmiths "B." line. "Though expensive, it has great packaging and is perfect for gift giving. Fish & Splish is an especially great product," she told TDmonthly. She also said this item was a best seller in the bath category.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 34057 (added 4/6/2012)
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Colorful works of art can be created on someone’s tummy, or on the bathtub wall, using this set of six bathtub crayons. A duck-shaped sponge is provided to erase the “canvas” and start anew. “This is one of our top bath items,” said Elin Kabo, director of communications for Alex.
— Cons: May stain some tubs (especially tile grout). Crayons disintegrate quickly in the water. One user said the crayons were much smaller than indicated on the package, due to being encased in a misleadingly long plastic holder. (Reviews from Amazon.com)
— Ten of 64 retailers named the Bathtub Crayons from Alex as a top-selling bath item, citing monthly unit sales of anywhere from six to 80 per month, in March 2009. Nearly 70 percent of the respondents named the Alex line in general, or a particular product from the range, when discussing best-selling bath toys.
— Eight of 39 retailers named this product a best-selling bath item in March 2010. Nearly 67 percent of retailers cited Alex as their No. 1 manufacturer for bath toys.
— Want this? As of 05/06/2011, this product was available for purchase at Doodlehopper 4 Kids.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 3964 (added 7/15/2005)
Mr. Bubble Foam Soap will whip up bath time fun. Kids can use their imagination to make all kinds of fun shapes with silly floating foam. Safe and gentle, it washes thoroughly and leaves skin soft and smooth.
— Katie Roo, manager of Be Beep A Toy Shop in Columbia, S.C., told TDmonthly in an April 2012 survey about bath toys that they sell about a dozen units of Mr. Bubble Foam Soap each month.
— In an April 2013 survey about best-selling bath toys Kate Noreen, manager of MudPuddles Toys & Books in Sherwood, Ore., told TDmonthly that "Mr. Bubble stuff has sold really well. It's that classic name, but it's thick foam so it's really fun to play with."
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 34109 (added 4/20/2012)
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This shaving set comes with a 7-oz. can of Foaming Body Soap, plastic play razor, shaving brush, comb and an unbreakable, child-safe mirror. Awards: iParenting Media Award; Parents Magazine Best Toys of the Year, 2004.
— Retailers have been telling TDmonthly that Shaving in the Tub is a best-selling bath toy since 2007. Other Alex bath toys have been best-sellers in their category for several years as well.
— Shaving in the Tub was specifically named as a best-selling bath toy by three of 39 specialty toy retailers in spring 2007. Only six of 37 retailers surveyed didn’t mention Alex when asked about best-selling bath toys. In March 2009, four of 64 retailers told TDmonthly this product is a best-selling bath item in their stores, selling anywhere from half a dozen to two dozen units each month. Nine of 39 retailers cited it as a best-selling bath product in March 2010.
— As of 4/19/2012, this product had 4.5 out of 5 stars from 5 reviews on Amazon.com. Pros: Fun for younger kids; rinses easily; nice bonding activity for fathers and their kids. Cons: One reviewer said her child had fun with it once, but not a lot of creativity is involved and he lost interest the next time.
— Want this? As of 05/06/2011, this product was available for purchase at My Imagination Station.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 12270 (added 4/10/2007)
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WaterBlocks brings classic block play into a watery environment. The bath tub and pool are the perfect places to create floating towns, bridges, waterslides, ball runs, towers and more. The "sticky" viscosity of water creates a helpful cling between blocks, and the movement, buoyancy and flow of water add an engaging twist to classic block play. The set includes 20 pieces.
— Laura Turman, owner of One Two Kangaroo in Shepherdstown, W.Va., told TDmonthly in an April 2012 survey that Waterblocks are their best selling bath toy.
— Joe Berardoni, owner of Pun's Toys in Bryn Mawr, Pa., told TDmonthly in an April 2015 survey that floating playsets from Just Think Toys are their best-selling bath toys.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 29740 (added 7/26/2010)
This set includes a basketball net and three squirting balls. A suction cup rim and mesh net allows the product to be mounted easily to a smooth surface for bath-time fun.
—Margy Peine, owner of Tree House Toy Shop in Cumberland, Md. named Rub a Dub Shapes For The Tub as a best-seller in the bath category when surveyed by TDmonthly in late Spring 2011.
— In an April 2012 survey about bath toys, five out of 11 retailers named Alex as their best selling brand.
— Want this? As of 05/06/2011, this product was available for purchase at Tree House Toy Shop.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 32204 (added 4/29/2011)
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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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