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October 2012 | Vol. XI - No. 10
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Top-10 Most-Wanted Novelty Toys

Mustaches, Puppies, and Zippers — oh my!


With additional reporting from Chris Lundy and Brenda Ruggiero

When TDmonthly Magazine interviewed retailers in late Summer 2012 about their bestselling novelty items, they named an impressively wide variety of products, including fake mustaches, plush puppies, and bracelets made of both braces and zippers! Check out their best sellers below, then decide which items might be a good fit for your store.

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.




MSRP: $10.95
Category: Gifts
Science & Nature
Novelties



Deep black with subtle green sparkles, this slightly stiffer Thinking Putty has a mind of its own. Near a powerful magnet it comes alive! Strong enough to defy gravity. It can even lift tacks and paperclips on its own after charging in a magnetic field. One would be mesmerized by the invisible forces at play.
— Candace Gooch, owner of At Once All Agog in Limerick, Maine, told TDmonthly in July 2010 that this product is one of her top-three best sellers. She cited sales of 12 in the last month and three in the last week.
— In a late Summer 2012 survey, three out of 12 retailers said Crazy Aaron's Thinking Putty was their bestselling novelty item. Richard Gibson, owner of Learning Express of Newton in Newton, Mass., told TDmonthly that the putty brings in $5-6,000 a year, and "the best is the magnetic one."
— In a Fall 2013 survey, three out of 12 retailers told TDmonthly that Crazy Aaron's Thinking Putty was their best-selling novelty toy.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 26128      (added 11/19/2009)
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MSRP: $7.50
Age Range: 3 and up
Gender: Boys
Category: Novelties



“You can be a super star every day!” says the illustrated blister card from Schylling. In assorted shapes, sizes, and colors, Schylling's Self-Adhesive Mustaches are instant personality. Whether for a disguise, fancy occasion, costume, or day-to-day fun, each of the seven mustaches is great for a laugh.
— “We sell a ton of those. I'm always amazed at the number of those we sell!” said Greg Larson, owner of Larson's Toys and Games in Columbus, Ohio, of Schylling's Self-Adhesive Mustaches during a September 2010 survey of 49 retailers.
— Two of 49 retailers listed Self-Adhesive Mustaches by Schylling as a best-seller in September 2010.
— In a late Summer 2012 survey, two out of 12 retailers said that mustaches were their bestselling novelty item.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 30695      (added 9/29/2010)
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Specialty: Yes (as of 2012)
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Water Activities
Outdoor Fun
Balls



The Waboba Surf "Bounces On The Water".  Softer and smaller, and easier to throw and catch than the original Waboba balls that bounce on the water, the Waboba Surf is an excellent item for the toy industry.  Perfect for the beach, lake, or river.
— Mike Castor, owner of Pentwater Toybox in Pentwater, Mich., told TDmonthly in a late Summer 2012 survey that they sold 200 Waboba Surf balls in three months this Summer.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 33522      (added 1/23/2012)
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MSRP: $2.99
Age Range: 3 and up
Specialty: Yes (as of 2012)
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Construction
Collectibles
General Toys



Each of the 16 all-new minifigures come in a sealed "mystery" bag, so kids never know which minifigure they might get. And each minifigure has its own special accessories, display plate and collector's leaflet. Series 7 includes: Aztec Warrior, Evil Knight, Galaxy Patrol, Jungle Boy, Viking Woman, Ocean King, Grandma Visitor, Rocker Girl, Tennis Ace, Computer Programmer, Bride, Swimming Champion, Daredevil, Bunny Suit Guy, Hippie and Bagpiper.
— In a Summer 2012 survey, Deran Muckjian, owner of Catch a Falling Star in Lexington, Mass., told TDmonthly that "Lego continually sells really well, across the board, for boy gifts," and that the LEGO minifigures were an overall best seller.
— In a late Summer 2012 survey, two out of 12 retailers said that LEGO minifigures were one of their bestselling novelty items.
— In a July 2013 survey, two out of 12 retailers told TDmonthly that  LEGO minifigs are their best-selling toy.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 34777      (added 8/3/2012)
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MSRP: $14.95
Age Range: 3 and up
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Novelties



Kids can use one of many push-button settings on this plastic megaphone to alter their voices in different ways. It comes in a variety of colors and requires a 9-volt battery, not included.
— Kevin Pohle, Head Wizard and Owner of The Wizard’s Chest in Denver, finds these to be good sellers, as well as loud.
— Lindsay Demyan, sales associate at White Rabbit Toys in Ann Arbor, Mich., said kids love picking this toy up and marching around her store changing their voices with it.
— “Voice changers are some of the loudest things we have,” explained John Jame, assistant manager at the Los Angeles Toys “R” Us. “They are the greatest for kids of all ages.”
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 4265      (added 8/23/2005)
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MSRP: $3.00
Age Range: 7 to 14
Specialty: Yes (as of 2012)
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Fashion & Accessories
Tween
Novelties



HipZips Bracelets are available in a variety of colors. These bracelets actually zip and unzip. Wear alone, or combine colors for a fun look.
— In a late Summer 2012 survey, Charles from Miller's Toys in Mamoroneck, N.Y., told TDmonthly that HipZips bracelets are their bestselling novelty item. "We get them in a 72-pack, and they fly out of the store," he said.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 34895      (added 9/4/2012)
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MSRP: $39.95
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Electronics
Travel
Interactive



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:
NORTH WEST

ToyDirectory Product ID#: 34059      (added 4/6/2012)
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MSRP: $20.00
Specialty: Yes (as of 2012)
Gender: Girls
Category: Plush
Animal Figures
Tween



This plush item is based on the real life Boo, a Westminster Dog Show champion who has more than 3 million Facebook fans. Launch date: April 2012.
— In a May 2012 survey, Joe Berardoni, owner of Pun's Toys in Bryn Mawr, Pa., told TDmonthly that "Normally I would tell you a line of plush sells well rather than an item but this past month there has been a standout. We quickly sold out of a dozen of 'Boo' from Gund, the Westminster Dog Show winner. I have more on order."
— Greg Larson, owner of Larson's Toys and Games in Columbus, Ohio, told TDmonthly in a late Summer 2012 survey that Boo from Gund is one of their top-two bestselling novelty items.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 33649      (added 2/12/2012)
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MSRP: $9.99
Age Range: 6 and up
Specialty: Yes (as of 2012)
Made in: China
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Hobby Goods
General Games
Dolls



Master the art of 3 object juggling with the colorful and addictive Funtrix Juggling Balls from Eolo Sport. Follow the instructions on the DVD and kids will soon be able to juggle and to execute great tricks. Launch date: March 2012.
— Kim Emigh, VP of e-commerce at Growing Tree Toys in State College, Penn., told TDmonthly in a late Summer 2012 survey that juggling balls were one of their bestselling novelty items.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 33945      (added 3/19/2012)
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Justina HuddlestonWriter'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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