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February 2014 | Vol. XIII - No. 2
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Top-10 Most-Wanted Arts & Crafts Toys


With additional reporting by Chris Lundy and Brenda Ruggiero

TDmonthly Magazine interviewed retailers in a January 2014 survey and learned that the Rainbow Loom was still leader of the pack in the arts & crafts category. Other popular toys like Duct Tape Totes from ALEX and specialty hit Fashion Headbands from Creativity for Kids also made the list.

Check out all of the Top-10 best-selling arts & crafts 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.




MSRP: $14.99
Age Range: 8 and up
Specialty: Yes (as of 2012)
Gender: Girls
Category: Arts & Crafts
Creative Activities
Tween



Package includes: Rainbow Loom(TM), Mini Rainbow Loom(TM), hook, a bag of c-clips, instruction manual and 600+ mix rubber bands (colors may vary). Makes up to 24 rubber band bracelets.
— Chris Lowe, owner of Beanhead Toys in Sandy Springs, Ga., told TDmonthly in a May 2013 survey that Rainbow Loom is their best-selling activity kit. They sell about 50 each month, and if they could keep it in stock, would likely sell more. "I got 24 the other day and they were gone instantly," she told TDmonthly.
— In a July 2013 survey, four out of 12 retailers told TDmonthly that the Rainbow Loom was their overall best-selling product.
— In a Fall 2013 survey, two out of 12 retailers told TDmonthly that Rainbow Loom was their best-selling novelty toy.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 35367      (added 10/25/2012)
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MSRP: $20.00
Age Range: 5 and up
Gender: Girls
Category: Arts & Crafts
Fashion & Accessories
Kits



Tooby Loops™ Fashion & Fun allows kids to turn colorful mesh tubing into creative crafts. Use the kit to create headbands, bracelets and more with Tooby Loops, chenille stems, beads, rhinestones and more – all included.
— Barb Stine, owner of Toys on the Square in Hummelstown, Pa., told TDmonthly in a January 2014 survey that Tooby Loops were a best-selling arts & crafts item.
— Joe Berardoni Jr., owner of Pun's Toys in Bryn Mawr, Pa., told TDmonthly in a May 2014 survey that Creativity for Kids is one of his store's top activity toy brands
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 35851      (added 12/20/2012)
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MSRP: $10.95
Gender: Girls
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: $24.99
Age Range: 8 to 15
Specialty: Yes (as of 2013)
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Arts & Crafts
Kits



Since it was first introduced in 1965, Spirograph has made it possible for aspiring artists of all ages to create beautifully intricate designs, originally developed as a drafting tool, by a mechanical engineer named Denys Fisher, the distinctive wheels and rings of the Spirograph cleverly combine, the principles of art and mathematics in a way that has inspired and delighted generations. Now you too can create your own cool designs and awesome pictures with the help of this fun and classic Spirograph drawing accessory. Put your paper in place and then choose again and again from 19 different gears to mix and match patterns and create a totally awesome image. Use the design guide to try out tried and true designs or get creative and create cool and colorful graphics of your own. Drawing accessory includes tray with built-in storage and includes 19 gears, 2 rings, 1 rack, 3-Ounce of Spiro-Putty, 3 retractable ball point pens, a 14 page guide book, 20 sheets of design paper and a carry along storage case with a built in work surface.
— Barbara Fineblum, owner of Barston's Childs Play in Arlington, Va., told TDmonthly in a January 2014 survey that the Spirograph was a best-selling arts & crafts toy.
— Dean Smith, owner of JaZams in Princeton, N.J., told TDmonthly in a January 2015 survey that the Spirograph is one of their best-selling arts & crafts toys - they sell around 20 each month.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 35949      (added 1/11/2013)
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MSRP: $19.99
Age Range: 5 and up
Specialty: No
Gender: Girls
Category: Fashion & Accessories
Tween
Arts & Crafts



Create 10 accessories with this ultimate headband set. The Fashion Headbands craft kit includes a rainbow array of satin headbands, rhinestone, flowers, feathers a butterfly, yards of ribbon and more. Includes: 10 Colorful Satin Headbands, Sparkling Butterfly, Elastic Felt Pieces, 2 Fabric Flowers, Assorted Ribbons, Craft Glue, Craft Thread, Colorful Feathers, Assorted Colorful Rhinestones, Instructions and Ideas.
— Elmer Carranza, assistant manager of Doodlehopper 4 Kids in Falls Church, Va., told TDmonthly in a January 2012 survey that Fashion Headbands from Creativity for Kids was a best selling arts and crafts toy. They sell about 15 each month.
— In a May 2012 survey, Taka Andrews, owner of Miller's Toys in Mamaroneck, N.Y., told TDmonthly that they sell two dozen of this item each month.
— Kim Emigh, VP of E-commerce at Growing Tree Toys in State College, Penn., told TDmonthly in a Fall 2012 survey that this was a top-2 best selling jewelry item at their store.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 32961      (added 9/28/2011)
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MSRP: $34.99
Age Range: 8 and up
Specialty: Yes (as of 2011)
Made in: China
SKU or Item #: LUEEAA
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Arts & Crafts
Kits
Gifts



Loopdedoo is a new spinning tool that makes fabulous twisted bracelets in just a few minutes. It's fast, easy and fun. Just wrap the threads around the Loopdedoo device, turn the knob, guide the thread and minutes later the bracelet is done. Kids can even make necklaces, anklets, belts and more. There's no pattern to follow so each accessory is completely different and unique. Kids can use as many threads and color combinations as they like, and can make them thick, thin or anywhere in between. Launch date: November 2011.
— In a January 2012 survey, Barbara Finblum, owner of Barston's Child's Play in Baltimore, Md., told TDmonthly that Loopdedoo is their best selling arts and crafts toy. "They came in in December and we sold 194 out of 5 stores - 163 out of 3 stores alone. We sold out and couldn't get them back," she said.
— As of 10/5/2012 this product had 4.5 out of 5 stars from 8 reviews on Amazon.com. Pros: Easy to use; promotes creativity; fun. Cons: One user couldn't figure out how to start.
— In a Fall 2012 survey, Dean Smith, owner of Jazams in Princeton, N.J., told TDmonthly that they sell 15 of this item each month, making it one of their top-2 sellers in the Hobby category.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 33342      (added 12/15/2011)
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MSRP: $18.95
Age Range: 7 and up
Gender: Girls
Category: Arts & Crafts
Creative Activities
Bags & Backpacks



With this kit, kids can design their own bag out of duct tape. Take the pre-sewn bag from plain to fab. It's so easy. Includes pre-sewn tote bag, 6 rolls of duct tape, non-stick paper, stencil and easy instructions.
— In a January 2014 survey, two out of 10 retailers told TDmonthly that Duct Tape Totes were a best-selling arts & crafts toy.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 35875      (added 1/4/2013)
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MSRP: $14.99
Age Range: 4 and up
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Arts & Crafts



Tucked away in a wooden box are 16 different animal and nature stamps that kids can use to create their own designs. Two different inkpads are included, as are seven colored pencils for filling in the spaces.
— “Holy Moly, there’s a ton of stuff that does well” in Melissa & Doug, particularly the stamp and bead sets, enthused Steven Levy, owner of Toy City in Surry, N.H.
— Of 58 retailers who spoke with TDmonthly, four cited Melissa & Doug as makers of popular holiday stocking-stuffer items. Additionally, of the four, three cited Melissa & Doug’s art kits as being the “it” product.
— It was one of the best sellers at Imaginit in Decorah, Iowa, said Kayla Storlee.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 5634      (added 11/21/2005)
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Age Range: 5 and up
Launch Date: January 2010
Gender: Girls
Category: Arts & Crafts
Creative Activities
Tween



This craft kit includes three 10" x 12" designs with a mermaid theme, sparkling sequins and jewels to give the pictures dazzle, and a glam grabber tool to grab and stick the decorative pieces. Launch date: 2010.
— John MacDougall, owner of Golden Apple Learning Store in Pleasanton, Calif., liked this product at Toy Fair 2010, saying, "[It's] easy to do and [the] results are dazzling!"
— Gladys Griffin, owner of Main Street Toy Shop in Columbus, Ga., told TDmonthly in a January 2014 survey that Do-A-Dot-Art is a best-selling arts & crafts toy.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 27295      (added 2/19/2010)
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MSRP: $13.99
Age Range: 8 to 12
Specialty: Yes (as of 2012)
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Arts & Crafts
Creative Activities
General Toys



Tapeffiti Tape Art Tote Set is a fashion craft kit. Decorate the tote bag with 6 mini tape dispensers with different colors and patterns. Also has 6 replacement rolls and a style design guide with more than 2 dozen other project ideas, including tape bracelets, picture frames, pens or pencils, and pen/pencil containers. (Comes in Barbie licensed version, too). Also sold separately are 4 or 6 roll collection of Tapeffiti tapes in various designs, patterns, and colors. Color and pattern tapes for decorating is one of the hottest personal style trends for teens and tweens. Included are a full size tote bag, 6 mini tape dispensers with assorted colors and patterns.
Awards: 2012 Dr.Toy Best 20 for $20
— Karen Laroche, manager of Kid's Ketch in Lews, Del., told TDmonthly in a Fall 2013 survey that Tapefetti is one of their best-selling tween products.
— Molly McMullin from Twirl in Ranchos de Taos, N.M., told TDmonthly in a January 2014 survey that Fashion Angels Tapeffiti was a best-selling arts & crafts toy.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 35785      (added 12/14/2012)
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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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