June 2012 | Vol. XI - No. 6
Top-10 Most-Wanted Activity Kits and Playsets
Creativity for Kids Painted in Positive Light
With additional reporting from Chris Lundy and Brenda Ruggiero
When TDmonthly Magazine surveyed retailers in May 2012 about their best selling activity kits and play sets, six of the 13 named arts & crafts items as their top sellers. CREATIVITY FOR KIDS was the most mentioned brand, followed closely by THE ORB FACTORY.
Learn more about the best selling products from these companies, and others, 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.
Create 10 accessories with this ultimate headband set. The Fashion Headbands craft kit includes a rainbow array of satin headbands, rhinestone, flowers, feathers a butterfly, yards of ribbon and more. Includes: 10 Colorful Satin Headbands, Sparkling Butterfly, Elastic Felt Pieces, 2 Fabric Flowers, Assorted Ribbons, Craft Glue, Craft Thread, Colorful Feathers, Assorted Colorful Rhinestones, Instructions and Ideas.
— Elmer Carranza, assistant manager of Doodlehopper 4 Kids in Falls Church, Va., told TDmonthly in a January 2012 survey that Fashion Headbands from Creativity for Kids was a best selling arts and crafts toy. They sell about 15 each month.
— In a May 2012 survey, Taka Andrews, owner of Miller's Toys in Mamaroneck, N.Y., told TDmonthly that they sell two dozen of this item each month.
— Kim Emigh, VP of E-commerce at Growing Tree Toys in State College, Penn., told TDmonthly in a Fall 2012 survey that this was a top-2 best selling jewelry item at their store.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 32961 (added 9/28/2011)
Sticky Mosaics Happily Ever After Jewelry Box by THE ORB FACTORY LIMITED
Other products from THE ORB FACTORY LIMITED
Kids can custom design this jewelry box with shimmering faux jewels and colorful foam tiles. Includes more than 750 sparkling tiles and jewel pieces. Launch date: 2011.
Awards: 2011 ASTRA Best Toys for Kids
— In a January 2012 survey about arts and crafts toys, ten of 13 retailers said Sticky Mosaics from the Orb Factory were among their top two best sellers in the category. Retailers reported selling anywhere from 10 to 150 each month.
— In a March 2012 survey, 2 out of 12 retailers told TDmonthly that Sticky Mosaics from The Orb Factory were their best selling product. Elmer Caranza, manager of Doodlehopper 4 Kids in Springfield, Va., told TDmonthly that they sell about 2 dozen items from the Sticky Mosaics line each month, and that it's been a best seller for almost a year now.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 33428 (added 1/6/2012)
This kit contains over 500 Pop-Outs, fun and easy pop-out shapes that can be glued on the kit´s 20 cards and envelopes with the included glue stick.
— In a May 2012 survey about best selling toys Kim Emigh, VP of ecommerce at Growing Tree Toys in State College, Pa., gushed to TDmonthly: "Every time we get this item in, it sells so quickly!"
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 4807 (added 9/26/2005)
Stick'n Style® Cupcake Clutch by THE ORB FACTORY LIMITED
Other products from THE ORB FACTORY LIMITED
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Look sweet as sugar with this Cupcake Clutch. Follow a simple numbered legend and add over 150 sparkling jewels to create this tasty clutch. Skip right to dessert and pair this with any outfit for some funky fashion flair. Launch date: March 2012.
— In a May 2012 survey, two of 13 retailers said that The Orb Factory was a best selling brand of activity kit.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 34030 (added 4/4/2012)
Baseball Guys packs an entire stadium into a handy plastic storage bin. Each box contains 26 2 1/2" players from red and blue teams, an umpire, a felt field and an adjustable scoreboard.
Awards: iParenting Media
— Katie from Katie’s Nesting Spot felt that the Baseball Guys made a great way for fathers and grandfathers to bond with their kids over baseball. She appreciated the comparatively large size of the figures and the included stackable carry case, though she remarked that the container lid did not stay shut when moved.
— Rhea of Mommy23Monkeys reported that her eldest son disliked having to switch between figures posed in “hitting” and “running” poses while acting out games. Her more imaginative sons thoroughly enjoyed playing with the figures, both in baseball and non-baseball themed play.
— In a May 2012 survey about best selling toys, Mike DiAndrea, manager of Hardware Toy Center in Paoli, Pa., told TDmonthly that they sell 10 of this item each month.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 28611 (added 5/24/2010)
The multi-button, electronic cash register features a functional coin reader that correctly identifies real and included plastic play coins and a checkout scanner equipped with sound. The game will teach kids coin identification, addition, subtraction and place-value.
— Peg Scholtes, owner of Capitol Kids in Madison, Wis., said this product sells consistently well in her store.
— “I would have sold more of [them] had I not run out, but I thought I had ordered [more] and forgot,” Co-owner Mary Sisson of Kazoodles in Vancouver, Wash., told TDmonthly in early 2008.
— This is a best-seller on imaginetoys.com.
— Two of 43 retailers named a product by Learning Resources, including this cash register, when discussing best-selling playsets in April 2010.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 4384 (added 8/31/2005)
Kids activate traps and prepare the knights to guard the Playmobil Falcon Knights' Castle from intruders. The castle comes with a drawbridge, breakout wall, drop-down ladder, and a trap door. The set also includes four Falcon Knights, horse, functional cannon, and many other accessories. Dimensions: 23.6 x 22.8 x 13.8 inches (L x W x H).
— In a May 2012 survey about best selling toys, Erin Blanton of Pufferbellies Toys & Books for Children in Staunton, Va., told TDmonthly that they sell 250 Playmobil sets each month, especially the knight sets.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 33527 (added 1/27/2012)
Young ladies can create a charming keepsake box with this incredibly colorful craft kit. The Do It Yourself Jewelry Box comes with fun decorative accessories, such as ribbons, stickers, glitter glue, and more. It features a plush velvet interior, ring holder, storage drawer and vanity mirror. This jewelry box is sure to be a treasure during the most precious years of a young girl's journey. The box measures 6.5” x 5.5” x 4.5”.
— Do It Yourself Craft items from Melissa and Doug were among the best-selling items for young girls in the store of Michael Lanz, owner of Kiddy Corner in Ellington, CT.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 15067 (added 9/6/2007)
Zoob's sturdy snap-together pieces are joined with colorful, flexible foam pieces that allow children to customize and accessorize their creations in new ways. The 80 Zoob pieces come with more than 100 pre-cut foam shapes and 10 sheets of foam from which kids can cut their own pieces. Instructions are included for projects ranging from robots to rocking horses, but the kit is totally open ended, allowing young creators to design straight from their imaginations. Cons: Foam pieces tear too easily.
― “Zoob seems to appeal to a broader age range,” Amy Barrett, owner of Lasso the Moon Wonderful Toys in Helena, Mont., told TDmonthly in spring 2010 of what makes Zoob her top-selling construction toy.
― Of 43 retailers surveyed in April 2010, three listed Zoob as their best seller in construction.
— Mary Porter Green, owner of The Curiosity Zone in Ashburn, Va. told in late Spring 2011 TDmonthly she sells a dozen Zoob kits each month.
— Want this? As of 05/10/2011, this product was available for purchase at The Curiosity Zone
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 28451 (added 5/6/2010)
This kit contains materials for making up to 22 friendship bracelets. It includes four looms for two styles and eight patterns, along with 22 colors of floss, beads, a beading needle and a convenient storage case.
— As of 05/12/2012 this product has 3.9 out of 5 stars from 54 reviews on Amazon.com. Cons: Instructions are not helpful enough; not enough designs included.
— Kim Myers, co-owner of Hobbytown USA in Murfreesboro, Tenn., told TDmonthly in late Spring 2011 that ALEX arts and crafts were best-sellers in their category, especially among older girls.
― As of 9.21.2010, this product had 4 out of 5 stars from 24 reviews on Amazon.com and was No. 33 on the top 100 best-selling toys and games.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 30599 (added 9/21/2010)
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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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