May 2013 | Vol. XII - No. 5
Top-10 Most-Wanted Travel Toys and Games
With additional reporting from Chris Lundy and Brenda Ruggiero
Summer vacation is coming up, so TDmonthly Magazine interviewed retailers to find out which travel toys and games will bring the biggest sales this season. Travel games and magnetic toys were the most popular options.
See more details about the best-selling travel toys and games 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.
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)
These magnetic travel playsets offer a variety of popular themes to appeal to children of all ages. Imaginative children will enjoy getting lost in a magnetic world of their choice. The flat packaging and product are easy to store in a backpack or can be left in the back seat of the car.
— “They have wonderful themes — pirate, princess, fairy, Mr. Potato Head,” said Diane Robinson, president and owner of Silly Goose Inc. in Essex, Mass.
— Mary Kiely, manager of Stellabella Toys in Cambridge, Mass., said, “Bob the Builder’s one of our favorites. We’ve had a lot of comments from customers — great for ages 3 and 4 and up. The USA map version is great for the older kids.”
— Five of 36 retailers agreed in spring 2007 that Imaginetics are best sellers in their stores. Retailers reported selling anywhere from 10 to 30 units each month.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 7485 (added 4/5/2006)
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)
Qwirkle just got easier to pack. Our travel-sized Qwirkle plays just like the award-winning original. It’s as simple as matching colors and shapes, but it takes both logic and strategy to score big. Fun for all ages and perfect to take anywhere.
— In an April 2013 survey, two out of 12 retailers said that Travel Qwirkle is their best-selling travel toy.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 36152 (added 4/22/2013)
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)
Mad Libs combine language education, creative stimulation, and just plain silly fun. Each page asks for a list of words by part of speech, which are then plugged into strategic blanks in a short story on the page following. When distributed throughout the Mad Libs framework, a list of seemingly ordinary words becomes inventive and hilarious.
― Two of 39 retailers who participated in TDmonthly's March 2010 survey of top-selling travel toys said Mad Libs are their best.
— “We sell three Mad Libs a day,” Ava Allen, owner of Be Beep A Toy Store in Columbia, S.C., told TDmonthly in autumn 2010.
— In an April 2013 survey, two out of 12 retailers said that Mad Libs are one of their best-selling travel products.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 27942 (added 4/9/2010)
These unique travel bingo cards need no markers or pencils to play. Everyone in the car can participate in trying to spot the items on the card as the hours fly by and the destination becomes nearer.
— In March 2008, four of 40 manufacturers named bingo as the best-selling travel game in their stores.
— “Travel Bingo from Regal Games always sells,” Patricia Masing, co-owner of Tree Town Toys in Ann Arbor, Mich., told TDmonthly in March 2008.
— Travel bingo is very popular at Larson’s Toys and Games in Columbus, Ohio, Owner Gary Larson told TDmonthly in March 2008. “We sold over 500 last year,” he said.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 7487 (added 4/5/2006)
Everyone’s favorite travel-size game has officially hit the open road. Each colorful symbol is something one would see on a typical road trip. This edition has a new way to play: One card is turned over, and all players scan the scenery for things that match the symbols from the card. Spot it to win.
— Karl Steinbach, owner of Rainbow Toys in Falmouth, Maine, told TDmonthly in an April 2013 survey that this version of Spot It! is a best-selling travel toy.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 33348 (added 12/16/2011)
These 96 brilliantly colored, flexible magnetic tiles come with a sturdy 8" by 8" black textured steel activity board, color-illustrated instructional material, and a double-record album-style package to store the board and tiles. The diamond-shaped tiles are used to create everything from snowflakes and starbursts to a bouquet of flowers and swarm of fireflies. The game has won a Parents´ Choice Award for play and educational value, quality and design. It is made in the USA.
— Patti Tepper-Rasmussen, owner of Learning Tree Toys, Games & Books, Inc. in Oklahoma City, Okla., told TDmonthly in an April 2013 survey that Fractiles are one of the store's best-selling travel products.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 302 (added 9/1/2004)
Add excitement to travel with this sturdy, reusable classic travel game. Learn the name and location of all fifty states, identify states by their license plate design or simply plot your trip by flipping the states along your rout. No loose pieces to leave a trail.
— Gladys Griffin, owner of Main Street Toy Shop in Columbus, Ga., told TDmonthly in an April 2013 survey that this game is their best-selling travel toy.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 36153 (added 4/22/2013)
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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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