July 2013 | Vol. XII - No. 7
Top-10 Most-Wanted Plush and Puppets
With additional reporting from Chris Lundy and Brenda Ruggiero
When TDmonthly interviewed retailers in June 2013 about their best-selling plush and puppets, one name was mentioned above all the rest: FOLKMANIS.
Along with Folkmanis' unique puppets, plush dogs from DOUGLAS CUDDLE TOY and Ballz from TY INC lead the pack.
You can learn more about these, and all of the Top-10 Plush and Puppets, 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.
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)
One of four styles, Sassy Black and White Shih Tzu is dressed to thrill in a pink leopard dress with hot pink satin bow. A soft pink bib attaches the dress around the neck with a cozy feel. Also available are Sassy Pug, Sassy Cream Shih-Tzu, and Sassy Bichon.
Awards: 2013 TDmonthly Seal of Approval
— In a June 2013 survey, three out of 11 retailers told TDmonthly that Douglas was their best-selling plush brand. "The dogs are so soft and cuddly and they look very realistic. Plus, they are relatively inexpensive. We sell one almost every day!" Suzi McMullen, manager of e-commerce at Doodlehopper 4 Kids in Springfield, Va., said.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 34976 (added 9/12/2012)
There are six Sweet Puppies in the kennel including PJ the Black Lab, Tootsie the Beagle, Patsy the Golden Retriever, Gi-Gi the Yellow Lab, Button the Bernese Mountain Dog and Abby the German Shepherd. Each adorable pup is created of the softest mohair fur and obediently sits at 10-inches. Each wears a cute red webbed collar.
Awards: 2013 TDmonthly Seal of Approval
— In a May 2012 survey about best selling plush and puppets, Lisa LeStrange, owner of Lucky Duck Toys in Wayne, Pa., told TDmonthly that they "sell about 175-200 pieces" of Douglas plush each month.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 34099 (added 4/13/2012)
Beanie Ballz are a little wild and wacky, toss 'em and they always land on their feet. They are 13" in diameter and are made of Ty's best selling fabric - Ty Silk.
— Kristen Pollard of Mud Puddle Toys in Salem, Mass., told TDmonthly in a June 2013 survey that they sell 30-40 Ballz each month. "They have those big eyes that people like...they're big and can be used as a pillow. I've even sold them to adults. I have to stop questioning why they're selling so well because it's selling to everyone, boys and girls!" she said.
— Diane Gervais, owner of Amato's Toy & Hobby in Middletown, Conn., told TDmonthly in a March 2014 survey that Beanie Ballz were a best-selling product.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 36260 (added 6/26/2013)
My First Doll is made with soft plush in a vibrant shade of pink and has adorable embroidered details. She makes a wonderful gift for your child to love and squeeze.
— "Our best plush items are some of the cute Kids Preferred items, like their soft baby dolls," Kim Emigh, manager of e-commerce at Growing Tree Toys in State College, Pa., told TDmonthly.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 36261 (added 6/26/2013)
The adorable 10” Snuffles is celebrating his 30th birthday with a special commemorative medallion. This cuddly bear is ready to show his affection with two colors: frosted-tip, caramel plush fur or frosted-tip, chocolate plush fur.
— Joe Berardoni Jr., owner of Pun's Toys in Bryn Mawr, Pa., told TDmonthly that their best-selling plush is Snuffles.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 27612 (added 3/17/2010)
This coiled Snake is made of iridescent fabric and features a tail that rattles. All glove puppets are made of polyester and cotton and are machine washable in cold water. Launch date: 2012.
— Grafton Stine, owner of Toys on the Square in Hummelstown, Pa., told TDmonthly in a June 2013 survey that Beleduc hand puppets are their best-selling puppet. "We sell tons of them," he said.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 33477 (added 1/19/2012)
Ultra soft plush Grover comes with a satin cape 15". A silver helmet and lightning bolt logo complete the super hero look. Launch date: January 1, 2013.
— Isaac Judd from Magic Beans in Brookline, Mass., told TDmonthly in a June 2013 survey that Sesame Street plush from Gund is their best-selling plush item. They sell about 50 each month of all the characters combined.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 35638 (added 12/3/2012)
Floppy and relaxed, Jellycat's Loppie Elephant is covered in soft, shaggy fabric. Wide ears, curving trunk and beady eyes, along with long limbs and big feet, characterize this 13” gentle giant.
— “Jellycat is our best line,” said Mary Schedjick, owner of Educare Learning Center in Oshkosh, Wis., during a May 2009 survey of top-selling plush.
— Two of 42 retailers listed Jellycat as their best-selling line of plush in spring 2009.
— In a June 2014 survey, three out of 10 retailers told TDmonthly that Jellycat made their best-selling plush toys.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 24050 (added 6/9/2009)
This fox is 15 inches tall and is soft and squishy. Squishables comply with U.S. ASTM F963 safety standards. They're made out of all new materials (100% polyester fiber). Squishables can be spot-cleaned. Also available in a miniature size.
Awards: TDmonthly Top Toy Award, June 2011
— Why it won: These extra soft and plush animal/pillows include a variety of characters we don't usually see in children's toys, such as narwhals. They come in several sizes, too, which make them fun for decorating a kid's or tween's room. With a range of characters from the Google Android to a T Rex, they'll appeal to boys, too.
— "Squishables are selling really well. It's a big ball pillow in the shape of animals. We sold 20 last month," Joe Berardoni, owner of Pun's Toys in Bryn Mawr, Pa., told TDmonthly in late Spring 2011.
— In a May 2012 survey, Elmer Carranza, manager of Doodlehopper 4 Kids in Springfield, Va., told TDmonthly that they sell six Squishables each month, making them the best seller in the plush category.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 32352 (added 5/27/2011)
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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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