May 2013 | Vol. XII - No. 5
Top-10 Most-Wanted Infant and Toddler Toys
With additional reporting from Chris Lundy and Brenda Ruggiero
TDmonthly recently interviewed retailers to find out about their current best-selling infant and toddler toys. The toy that most frequently hauled in big sales was the Funtime Tractor from INTERNATIONAL PLAYTHINGS, mentioned by 25% of the retailers surveyed.
Learn about all of the Top-10 Best-Selling Infant and Toddler 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.
Fun Time Tractor by INTERNATIONAL PLAYTHINGS LLC
Other products from INTERNATIONAL PLAYTHINGS LLC
This tractor has a farmer that drives around with five removable plastic farm animals that make their animal sounds when placed on the plastic vehicle.
— Out of the Blue Ltd. Store Manager Kara Fichtner, in Albuquerque, N.M., told TDmonthly in May 2006: “It’s one of my favorite toys. It’s something we show customers when they come in looking for a toy for a 1-year-old.”
— “We sell 144 tractors a year, and we don’t have many people coming in,” Grafton Stine, owner of Toys on the Square in Hummelstown, Pa, told TDmonthly in summer 2007.
— “For a first birthday toy, it’s the Fun Time Tractor from iPlay — it really sells,” noted Teresa Ford, owner of Kids’ Ketch in Lewes, Del., when asked about best-selling baby gifts in July 2008. Six of 39 retailers told TDmonthly in March 2010 that International Playthings supplies their best-selling infant and toddler toys. Two singled out the Funtime Tractor as a top-selling individual item with sales of four per month.
— In a 2012 survey about best selling infant & toddler products, Joe Berardoni, owner of Pun's Toys in Bryn Mawr, Pa. told TDmonthly, "Pun’s best selling baby toy continues to be the Funtime Tractor from International Playthings. Even though it retails for more than $30, this store sells a disproportional amount- up to 12 a month, even during slow times. Of course, my staff all love it also, so it is usually recommended."
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 4385 (added 8/31/2005)
The 6" version of Whoozit has hidden noise makers, including rattles, squeakers and crinkle paper to perk up little ears. Whoozit is made of ultrasoft velour and attaches to most strollers, carriers and car seats. Whoozit is uniquely designed to hold babies’ attention. Barbara Fineblum, owner of Barston’s Child’s Play in Baltimore, Md., told TDmonthly Whoozit by Manhattan Toy would be a 2006 holiday best seller in a market where “nothing really stands out.”
— Jessica Wood of Northshire Bookstore in Manchester Center, Vt., told TDmonthly in summer 2008 that her store sells six to 12 Whoozits a month.
— Catherine Higgins of Stone Soup in Bar Harbor, Maine, reported monthly sales of 5 to 6 units.
— Three of 66 retailers mentioned Whoozit as a best-selling baby gift in July 2008.
— As of 8.24.10, this product had 4.5 out of 5 stars from 2 reviews on Target.com and was listed in the top 30 best-selling toys and games. PROS: Humorous; keeps children busy.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 5305 (added 11/2/2005)
Gund’s Comfy Cozy is a 24-inch plush blanket with a full satin underside and a plush animal pillow. The blankets come in a variety of colors and animals including a monkey, cow, lamb, horse, lion, bear, puppy, and kitten.
— “There are so many that are good, but I say Gund Comfy Cozies — the larger size a baby can lie on” are my best-selling baby gifts, Dennis Hofstetter, owner of The Toy Store in Atlanta, told TDmonthly in July 2008.
— “For babies, we have had a lot of success with the My First Teddy Bear [Comfy Cozy] blanket by Gund,” added Donna, owner of Treasured Child in LaGrange, Ky. “I have re-ordered twice and we just started carrying them six weeks ago.”
— Eleven percent of 66 retailers mentioned a Gund product when discussing as top-selling gifts for babies in summer 2008.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 20314 (added 8/28/2008)
These balls come in many colors and interesting shapes. Some like the Crater ball has finger holds while the Bubble ball has bumps. You might also like the Fashion balls with swirling indents that make them easier to grasp. Or look for the ones with alphabet letters, geometric shapes, or numerals molded into their surfaces. They are the size of a softball and make a nice impulse toy that leads to active play.
Awards: Oppenheim Toy Portfolio Best Toy Award, Gold Seal, 2010.
— Dean Smith, owner of JaZams in Princeton, N.J., told TDmonthly in an April 2013 survey that they sell around 20 Rubbabu balls a month, making them a best-seller.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 30834 (added 10/14/2010)
This rubbery, tri-colored ball is a staple for any child learning cognitive and social skills and developing fine- and gross-motor skills. Ideal for children with a special need, the ball is durable and has a skeletal structure that allows for easy catching. "Kids and teachers agree that Oballs are the easiest balls to catch and hold. The cool design already has won five awards for excellence and innovation, including an Oppenheim Toy Portfolio Gold Award and a Dr. Toy Best Vacation Products Award,” said Suzanne Silverglate, owner of Rhino Toys.
— “Everybody buys it,” Dalene Lockhart, owner of Toy Town in Casper, Wyo., told TDmonthly in 2007. “Right now it is head and shoulders above others [in the infant/toddler category]. It's probably been that way for two years.” Retailers reported average monthly sales of five to 25 a month.
— In summer 2008, four of 66 specialty retailers named the Oball as one of their top-selling gifts for babies. “We sell more of them because our store does gift wrapping and it makes a good topper,” said Jill Jernigan, owner of J. Christopher Toys in Jonesboro, Ark.
― Ask retailers about top-selling balls and the Oball is an answer that’s sure to come up, winning the graspable toy a TDmonthly Top Seller 2007 award. Six of 64 retailers named the Oball as a best-selling baby toy in March 2009, and two of 39 said the same a year later. “[It] is definitely the best-selling gift for babies,” stated John Naisbitt, owner of Thinker Things in Del Mar, Calif., in June 2009.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 456 (added 9/1/2004)
Stunning colors give this perennial favorite a lively look. Babies will be engaged and amused by the responsive rattle, and caregivers can safely refrigerate this pliable plastic toy to produce a soothing teether. “We have so much of the Manhattan baby...we sell a lot,” Owner Amy Barrett of Lasso the Moon Wonderful Toys in Helena, Mont., told TDmonthly in early 2007. “People buy them for baby gifts...baby shower gifts. They like them because the colors are so bright.”
— “Winkels from Manhattan Toy — [we sell] about 30 per month,” Burdette told TDmonthly in March 2008. Five percent of the 40 retailers who spoke with TDmonthly in spring 2008 singled out this item as their stores’ best-selling infant and toddler toy.
— "I sell 18 or so a month," Mary Ellen Cerney, owner of Dear Friends & Children in Duncan, Okla., said in March 2009. In June 2009, four of 47 retailers listed Manhattan Toy as their best-selling baby line. In March 2010, two of 39 specialty retailers cited Winkel as a best-selling baby toy.
— In June 2010, five percent of 40 specialty retailers named Manhattan Toy’s Winkel as a top-selling baby product.
— As of 05/21/2012 this product had 4.5 out of 5 stars from 299 reviews on Amazon.com.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 10528 (added 12/7/2006)
One part teether, one part toy. The Green Ring is perfect for teething and beneficial skill building infant fun. The Green Ring is 100% compostable and features GreenDot, a MADE IN THE USA biomaterial made from corn! The GreenRing toy is comprised of a 3 inch loop of smooth maple wood encircled by our soft, corn starch bio-resin. This clip friendly ring is great for travel, easy cleaning, and is 100% eco-friendly. The bright green outer ring can be removed and sanitized in the dishwasher.
— Gladys Griffin, owner of Main Street Toy Shop in Columbus, Ga., told TDmonthly in an April 2013 survey that Green Ring is one of their best-selling infant/toddler toys.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 36150 (added 4/22/2013)
Designed for little hands with big plans. Beeps, flashes & spins.
Easy to turn when it hits an obstacle. Radio signal works across rooms. Auto-off feature conserves all that power. Try it in the dark - colors light up your room like a toddler disco.
— Mary Porter Green, owner of Curiosity Zone in Ashburn, Va., told TDmonthly in an April 2013 survey that their best-selling infant/toddler toy is "probably the Battat 'Wheeee-mote Control Car' - we always seem to be ordering more."
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 36151 (added 4/22/2013)
Tolo First Friends Tractor and Trailer by SMALL WORLD TOYS
Other products from SMALL WORLD TOYS
This industrious farmer is heading to town, towing his trailer and cow behind him. When kids push the seated farmer down the engine revs, lights go on, horn sounds and tractor moves. The tractor features realistic brake lights, a flashing headlight and a horn that beeps! Its soft rubber tires turn and do not scratch floors. Farmer and cow figures are removable with swiveling heads and limbs that make a fun “clicking” sound. The set is created from durable, brilliantly colored plastic.
— Patti Tepper-Rasmussen, owner of Learning Tree Toys, Games & Books, Inc. in Oklahoma City, Okla., told TDmonthly in an April 2013 survey that “Anything Tolo" sells well for toddlers, especially the First Friends vehicles. "Kids love chasing them and listening to them. They're very sturdy.”
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 4258 (added 8/23/2005)
What’s more fun than a barrel of monkeys? Well, a MONKEY IN BARREL puppet of course. When you pull the monkey down into the soft microfiber barrel, the barrel lid closes. Guess what kind of monkey business is going on in there or pop the monkey out for a playful surprise. Launch date: January 2013.
— In an April 2013 survey Mary Porter Green, owner of Curiosity Zone in Ashburn, Va., told TDmonthly that Folkmanis puppets are a best-selling toy for infants/toddlers.
— In a June 2013 survey, six out of 11 retailers told TDmonthly that Folkmanis was their best-selling brand of plush or puppets.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 35773 (added 12/13/2012)
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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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