May 2013 | Vol. XII - No. 5
Retailers Share Anticipated Summer Hits
There's still time to stock up on hot new summer toys, so TDmonthly asked retailers to share which products they think will be best-sellers this season.
Several retailers said that they expect outdoor toys from OGOSPORT, LLC to be big hits. "I think that OgoSport will continue to be our bestseller over the summer," Dean Smith, owner of JaZams in Princeton, N.J., told TDmonthly.
Mike DiAndrea, manager of Hardware Toy/Big Smile Toys in Paoli, Pa., has big hopes for the Junior Blast Pad from Marky Sparky Toys. "We sold close to 400 last year, and I think it will be just as popular this summer," he told TDmonthly.
He also has big hopes for Glove Force, a remote control car and helicopter from REGAL ELITE that he saw at Toy Fair. The control is hidden inside a glove that users wear. "We've sold quite a few already," he said. This is a versatile toy that can be played with rain or shine.
Ride-on toys are always popular in the summer months. Patti Tepper-Rasmussen, owner of Learning Tree Toys, Games & Books, Inc. in Oklahoma City, Okla., told TDmonthly that she expects to sell the "Ybike Pewi, balance bikes from KAZAM, Skuut balance bike, and scooters from KETTLER."
Meanwhile, Karl Steinbach, owner of Rainbow Toys in Falmouth, Maine, expects PlasmaCars from PlaSmart and tricycles from Kettler to be their summer ride-on hits.
A couple of retailers we spoke with expected to sell sky-high numbers of kites. Gladys Griffin, owner of Main Street Toy Shop in Columbus, Ga., said of her anticipated summer hit: "If it's any indication of what I've sold this spring, it's kites." She likes the versions available from IN THE BREEZE, both a distributor and manufacturer of kites. "They're really friendly and easy to work with," she told TDmonthly.
Likewise, Teresa Derry, owner of Annie's Toy Chest in Cocoa, Fla., sells lots of kites in the summer. Her preferred brands are PREMIER and SKYDOG.
Of course, summer isn't always sunny. For rainy days and summer storms, these indoor toys can keep kids entertained.
What does Stan Giliberto, owner of Over the Rainbow Toys LLC in Glastonbury, Conn., expect to be a summer best-seller? "LEGO Lego Lego. Lego continues to be the strongest seller of anything we have. I do a quarter of my business in Lego," he told TDmonthly.
Kate Noreen, manager of MudPuddles Toys & Books in Sherwood, Ore., recommends Boogie Board LCD writers and Kinetic Sand from WABA. "I couldn't keep my hands out of it," she said of the latter.
You can learn more about these anticipated summer hits below.
This 18” sports disk features a foam ring with a high-strength elastic membrane, and can catch and throw balls up to 150'. It is a safe, high-quality sports activity device that adapts to volleyball, tennis, baseball and other sports, and can be a blast at the beach or pool. A 12” size is also available. Suggested retail price for the two sizes ranges from $15 to $40. “The Super Sports Disk products are fantastic as confidence-building, motor-skill activities for young children, but are also great for more advanced users,” Kevin Williams of OgoSport told TDmonthly. This product received a Spring 2007 Parents' Choice Award. Launch date: May 20, 2007.
— Quality materials and a super bouncing effect earned the classy OgoSport a TDmonthly Innovations 2007 award. Its broad appeal and correlation to other sports make the disk applicable to a variety of fun and healthy activities, and its bright color and sleek packaging grab attention.
— “OgoSport is a good line for us,” Eric Masoncup, owner of Gepetto's Toy Box in Oak Park, Ill., told TDmonthly about his best-selling gift for boys in summer 2009.
— Joe Beradoni, owner of Pun's Toys in Bryn Mawr, Pa., told TDmonthly in a Summer 2011 survey about best-selling toys that "during the summer, we sell 5-7 a week."
Past videos: WTHRA 2007
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 11557 (added 2/21/2007)
Blast PadŽ Advanced Missile Launch System by MARKY SPARKY TOYS
Other products from MARKY SPARKY TOYS
This launch system features a flex tube that stretches to nearly 3’ and won’t restrict airflow. It only blasts vertically (9 degrees either way), using Metalix™ missiles (three included). The parts store in the base, and the product is also available in Electric Extra Terrestrial Green and Exploding Sun Yellow.
— Two of 66 retailers told TDmonthly in July 2008 that this product is one of their overall best sellers. Five of the 66 named it as a best-selling gift item for boys. Three of 39 retailers listed Blast Pads as their best-selling item for tween boys during an October 2009 survey. “I've been accused of giving them away with how fast I go through them,” Jude Larene, owner of Izilla Toys in Seattle, Wash., said in March 2009.
— “Blast Pads from Marky Sparky were our biggest sellers last year,” Joe Berardoni, owner of Pun’s Toy Shop in Bryn Mawr, Pa., told TDmonthly in spring 2009. Of 47 retailers, two told TDmonthly in June 2009 that Blast Pads top their sales of boys' items, reporting figures of seven to 15 sold per month. "We sell that all year. Every time we get them in we sell out," reported Kim Haynes of Lollipop Toy Store in Dawsonville, Ga., in March 2010.
—‘’We sell at least one per week, sometimes more,’’ said manager Gwen Bowden of Doodlehopper 4 Kids in 1Q 2011.
AWARDS: 2010 TDmonthly Top Seller
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 20356 (added 8/28/2008)
Regal Elite launches its new "Glove Force" technology, which allows users to direct their 'copters by turning their wrists left or right, with the help of a small thumb-controlled throttle. Launch date: Spring 2012.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 33692 (added 2/14/2012)
Pewi is an innovative walker/ride-on for the toddler market. Designed for children as young as nine months old, and as a child grows with the Pewi, it transitions into a foot to floor ride-on. With specially designed caster wheels, the Pewi ensures a quiet smooth ride that is suitable for indoor and outdoor play. As a ride-on a child can easily move the Pewi in any direction. The Pewi is designed to help develop early stage balance and motor skills. For ages 9-24 months. Available in 3 colors – Red, Pink and Blue.
— Michael Ziegenhagen, owner of Playmatters in Avon, Ohio, told TDmonthly in a March 2014 survey that the Pewi was a best-selling outdoor toy.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 30579 (added 9/15/2010)
The KaZAM provides an alternative way to learn to ride a pedaled bicycle based on the concept of balance first, pedal last. It is a training bicycle that assists children to balance, increase coordination and ultimately ride a traditional bicycle for the first time with confidence. "This customized toddler bicycle has the steering and balancing challenges of a traditional bicycle but it has no pedals, chain or training wheels. Unlike all the competitors on the market, there is no more awkwardness with where to put your feet when gliding and cruising on a run bike — the KaZAM is uniquely designed with a foot rest area thereby making the transition onto a pedaled bicycle quicker and seamless! Because of its unique patented footrest and design, KaZAM appeals instantly to children and their parents," John Lugo, partner at KaZAM, told TDmonthly. Launch date: November 15, 2008.
Awards: Dr. Toy 100 Best Children's Products - 2010
— "All colors are great,"Kate Tanner, owner of Kidstop Toys, told TDmonthly at Toy Fair 2010.
— Glisyn Lewis Jarrells, manager of Imaginations Toy & Furniture Colo. in Blacksburg, Va., told TDmonthly in a March 2013 survey that they sell around 10 Kazam balance bikes during the warm-weather months.
— In a July 2013 survey Diana Nelson, owner of Kazoo Toys in Denver, Colo., told TDmonthly that Kazam balance bikes are her store's overall best-selling toy.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 24276 (added 6/29/2009)
The Skuut wooden balance bike gives preschoolers the big-kid riding experience, as well as a leg up on the competition. Its design helps youngsters forgo the awkward "training wheel" period. The Skuut has no pedals, so children kick off the ground as if running, thus pushing or "skuut-ing" themselves and the bike forward. Developing strength and balance as they go, kids can walk, coast or "skuut" along before transitioning to a two-wheeler. Launch date: November 10, 2006.
— “People like it because it's a little different. It's not a bike or a trike; it's not an infant ride-on. It covers that in-between stage and has a nice age range,” said Owner Tye Steinbach of Thinker Things in Portland, Ore., during a March 2009 survey.
— “We're starting to see more interest in coaster bikes," Phil Wrzesinski, owner of Toy House and Baby Too in Jackson, Miss., told TDmonthly in spring 2009. Skuut offers “fun for pre-bike riders,” according to Patricia Fieldler, owner of Green Frog Toys in Portland, Ore. This bike was on her top-nine best-seller list in spring 2009.
— Two of 37 retailers named Skuut as a best-selling ride-on in March 2010. Skuut "is a huge seller," noted Elaine Hackney of Boing! JP Toy Shop in Jamaica Plain, Mass. Past Videos: Toy Fair 2008
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 9999 (added 11/10/2006)
Synthetic rubberized front tire. 8 position adjustable handlebar. Extra wide footplate. EVA foam rear tires for a smoother ride. High carbon steel frame with fade resistant powder coat finish.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 36165 (added 4/30/2013)
Kiddi-o Air Tire Swift by KETTLER INTERNATIONAL INC.
Other products from KETTLER INTERNATIONAL INC.
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Patented Limited Turn Radius reduces tipping. Patented Quik-Adjust frame to easily adjust the size to fit different aged children. Features Tubeless air tires on sealed ball bearings for a smooth and quiet ride. Attached the included Push-bar and take a stroll through the park. Launch date: March 2012.
— In a March 2012 survey, 2 out of 12 retailers said trikes from Kettler were their best selling ride-on toys.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 33314 (added 12/9/2011)
Now more than 10 years old, PlasmaCar continues to intrigue and fascinate with millions of units sole and multiple awards in over sixty countries worldwide. Just sit, put feet up, and turn the steering wheel to propel forward up to 6 mph on any smooth, flat surface. With a maximum weight capacity of 220 lbs., even parents and grandparents have experienced a giggle by taking it for a spin. Made from state-of-the-art, high-quality ABS plastics, this kid-powered, durable, ride-on vehicle comes in a variety of colors.
Awards: 2012 Parents Choice Awards Recommended, 2009 Green Parents List Check Mark, 2009 DisneyFamily.com Top Action Figures and Toys for Toddlers, 2009+2008+2005 The National Parenting Centre Seal of Approval, 2008 iParenting Media Toy Award, 2008 Fat Brain Toy Award Active Play, 2006 TIA Outdoor Toy of the Year - Specialty Toy of the Year, 2006 Oppenheim Toy Portfolio Platinum Award, 2005 Oppenheim Toy Portfolio Gold Seal Award, 2005 Dr. Toy Best Vacation Products, 2005 Creative Child Seal of Excellence, 2001 International Patent Fair, Hong Kong Gold Medal
— Mary Sisson, owner of Kazoodles in Vancouver, Wash., told TDmonthly in a Fall 2012 survey that the Plasmacar is one of her top-2 overall best selling toys.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 34762 (added 8/2/2012)
Made with weather resistant rip stop polyester fabric and fiberglass rods. 30-inch long by 30-inch wide - with (3) 12-feet tails. Bold bright colors - easy assembly. Kite bag, kite line and handle included. Easy to fly in winds ranging from 6~20 mph.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 36166 (added 4/30/2013)
Designed to resemble a hot air balloon, this whimsical nylon kite features a durable but lightweight fiberglass frame.
— Five of 43 specialty retailers told TDmonthly in May 2010 that kites are a best seller. Mike DiAndrea, manager of Hardware Center Inc. in Paoli, Pa., which stocks Premier Kites, cited sales of 65 kites in April 2010.
—"They have a really good quality," said Ginger Milligan, co-owner of Fantasy Island Toys in Fairhope, Ala., in 1Q 2011.
— Teresa Derry, owner of Annie's Toy Chest in Cocoa, Fla., told TDmonthly in a November 2014 survey that Premier Kites is their store's best-selling brand of flying toys.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 28775 (added 6/7/2010)
Float like a Butterfly with these beautiful Skydog creations. Easy to fly and made of durable ripstop nylon and fiberglass, these Butterflies and Bugs will be fun flying favorites for many years.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 36167 (added 4/30/2013)
Train with Stephanie for the big soccer game. Dribble the soccer ball through the cone obstacle then practice guarding the goal with the goal-shooting function. Practice hard then take a quick break on the bench and refuel with the water from the cooler and a banana. After some tough training, play fetch with Scarlett. Includes Stephanie mini-doll figure and her dog, Scarlett.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 36015 (added 1/18/2013)
Boogie Board 8.5 LCD Writing Tablet by IMPROV ELECTRONICS
Other products from IMPROV ELECTRONICS
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:
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 34059 (added 4/6/2012)
This play sand is made up of regular sand and a special non-toxic compound that makes it sticky - but only to itself. This means that kids can use it just like wet sand, while grownups don't have to worry about it making a big mess. The sand is also waterproof, so kids can make water features in their sand castle without having to worry about the castle washing away.
— In a August 2014 survey, two out of 10 retailers told TDmonthly that Kinetic Sand was their best-selling toy.
— In a November 2014 survey, two retailers told TDmonthly that Kinetic Sand is one of their store's best-selling educational toys.
Where to buy:
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 36168 (added 4/30/2013)
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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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