August 2014 | Vol. XIII - No. 8
Top-10 Most-Wanted Toys
With additional reporting by Chris Lundy and Brenda Ruggiero
TDmonthly Magazine wants to keep you up to date on all of the hottest specialty toys. That's why this month we interviewed retailers about their best-selling toys from all categories. Take a look at their hot products below, then decide if any would be a good fit for your store.
*No manufacturer paid to be included in the Top-10 list below. All products listed were designated by editorial staff without regard to the company's relationship with TOYDIRECTORY.com/TDmonthly Magazine.
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)
The Original PlasmaCar continues to intrigue and fascinate. Powered by kid power; no batteries, gears, or pedals needed. Just sit, put your feet up, and turn the steering wheel to propel yourself forward. The patented safety seat design places riders in a safe, comfortable position and minimizes tipping. Moves up to 6 mph on any smooth, flat surface. Supports up to 220 lbs. Visit www.plasmacar.com to see all the wonderful colors available.
— In a March 2015 survey, two out of 10 retailers told TDmonthly that Plasmacar is a best-selling outdoor toy.
— As of 05/13/2011 this product had 4.5 out of 5 stars from 122 reviews on Amazon.com. Cons: Does not work well on surfaces that aren't completely smooth.
— This top-seller in specialty stores earned a TDmonthly Top Toy 2007 award for its distinctive aerodynamic design and ease-of-use. TDmonthly believes it has the potential to become a classic due to its fresh, contemporary appeal and application in a child’s formative years.
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
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 3829 (added 6/28/2005)
PlushCraft® Owl Pal Pillow by THE ORB FACTORY LIMITED
Other products from THE ORB FACTORY LIMITED
Create an Owl Pal Pillow with special glittering fabric pieces. Use the stylus to punch pretty fabric pieces and create this beautiful no-sew craft.
Awards: 2014 TDmonthly Top Toy Debut Award
— Debbie Gray, owner of Bear and Friends in Johnson City, Tenn., told TDmonthly in a July 2014 survey that Orb Factory Plush Craft Pillows are one of their store's best-selling toys.
— Barbara Fineblum, owner of Barston's Child's Play in Baltimore, Md., told TDmonthly in October 2014 that this was one of her store's best-selling jewelry and accessories items.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 36391 (added 11/27/2013)
Stomp on the launch pad and a blast of air propels the Ultra Stomp Rocket over 200' in the air. The kit contains four rockets with the OG-1 Nosecone. “We are the original creator. Stomp Rockets started the "stompin' revolution," Cynthia Peeks of D&L Co. told TDmonthly, stressing that Stomp Rockets are known for their name, quality and safety.
Awards: TDmonthly Top Seller 2008; iParenting Media, iParenting Hot; Dr. Toy Best Children´s Vacation Toy.
— Retailers surveyed by TDmonthly have been naming Ultra Stomp Rocket as a best-seller since 2006.
— Four of 45 retailers who spoke to TDmonthly in summer 2007 said the Stomp Rocket's success makes it a choice gift, reporting unit sales figures from four to dozens a month. Nine percent of 66 retailers named the Stomp Rocket as a best-selling gift for boys in July 2008. "We sell about 75 a month," Marilyn Walker, owner of Play Fair Toys in Boulder, Colo., told TDmonthly in early 2009. Thirteen percent of 47 retailers told TDmonthly in June 2009 that Stomp Rockets are a best seller for boys. “It's probably been the dang Stomp Rocket for about 15 years now. They just fly out,” Tye Steinbach, owner of Thinker Toys in Portland, Ore., said when asked about his most popular outdoor toy. Nine of 37 retailers named Stomp Rockets as a best-selling outdoor item in spring 2010.
— Despite multiple complaints about its durability, the Ultra Stomp Rocket received an average of 4.5 stars among 217 Amazon.com customers for being fun for all ages and pleasantly surprising when it comes to the distance the rockets can be launched. The toy is best used in open areas. Rockets are easy to lose and break, but refills are easy and cheap to find! (12.17.2012)
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 1088
The Spooner is a balance trainer that simulates board maneuvers associated with surfing, skateboarding and snowboarding but not limited to that. The Spooner helps to develop flexibility and strength in the legs as well as creating a better center of balance. The Spooner is a core trainer, a stabilizer and a pasteurizer because of the ability to work the muscles closest to the spine. Also, it's loads of fun and can be done on any surface indoors or out. Made of H.D.P.E. it is unbreakable. Our guarantee is "You break it, we replace it." Made by Hand in the USA. Launch date: 2006.
— In a March 2012 survey about outdoor toys, two out of 12 retailers told TDmonthly that Spooner Boards were among their best sellers.
— In a March 2012 survey, Chris Lowe, owner of Beanhead Toys in Sandy Springs, Ga., told TDmonthly that Spoonerboards were one of her best selling ride-on toys.
— Alexander McPherson, toy supervisor at Little Dickens in Lynchburg, Va., told TDmonthly in a March 2013 survey that Spooner Boards are their best selling item - they sell about 114 each year, with sales of the item concentrated in 4th quarter.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 23177 (added 4/7/2009)
Set includes 5 pounds of Sands Alive!, 6 Geometric Shape Molds, 4 Deluxe Castle Molds, 4 Small Castle Molds, 5 Mini Castle Topper Molds, 2 Sculpting Tools, 1 Paver, Brick and Pebble Rollers with Interchangeable Handle and Large Play Tray.
— In a March 2014 survey, 2 out of 9 retailers told TDmonthly that Sands Alive! was a best-selling product.
— Kelly Ratoff, owner of Kennebunk Toy Company in Kennebunk, Maine, told TDmonthly in a May 2014 survey that Play Visions sands are consistently best-sellers. "As many as we can get, we sell through," she said.
— David Castillo, vice president of The Red Balloon Toy Store in Salt Lake City, Utah, told TDmonthly in a November 2014 survey that Sands Alive is one of their store's best-selling educational toys. "Sands Alive especially has been hard to keep on the shelf," he told us.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 36657 (added 3/31/2014)
This plush doll is ready for a garden party in her perfectly coordinated hair and outfit. Her jewel-toned hair is styled into a bun and echoes the bright hues of her flower-adorned dress.
— In a Summer 2011 survey, 2 out of 14 retailers told TDmonthly that Groovy Girls were their best-selling doll. Linda Laramy, owner of Crackerjacks Toys and Childrens Books in Easton, Md., told TDmonthly that she sells about 5 Groovy Girls each month.
— Five percent of 40 specialty retailers told TDmonthly in early summer 2010 that Groovy Girls dolls are a top seller for girls ages 4 to 12.
― In a May 2012 survey about dolls, 2 out of 11 retailers said that the Groovy Girls line was their best seller.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 29829 (added 7/29/2010)
Let the magnetic stylus be your pen and the bead board be your paper. Use your imagination to draw shapes, letters and pictures, popping individual beads to the surface. Erase with the tip of a finger.
— Dean Smith, owner of JaZams in Princeton, N.J. told TDmonthly in a July 2014 survey that the Free Play Magnatab was their store's best-selling toy.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 35210 (added 10/4/2012)
Made of genuine balsa wood. Rubber band powered. Easy to fly.
— Mary Porter Green, owner of The Curiosity Zone in Ashburn, Va., told TDmonthly in a November 2011 that Balsa airplanes are among her best selling flying toys.
— Geoff Pendexter, owner of Whirlygigs in Brentwood, N.H., told TDmonthly in a Fall 2012 survey that they sell about 15 of these planes each month, making them a best selling aircraft toy in the store.
— Gregory Faith, owner of Hobby Town USA in Nashua, N.H., told TDmonthly in a February 2013 survey that these gliders were their best selling wooden toy.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 33145 (added 11/9/2011)
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Fastrack is an all-new kind of sports game. It consists of a wooden tray with an elastic band across each end and a bridge in the middle with a slot opening. Each side starts with 5 wooden disks. Using the elastic cord, players must be quick and aim well to be the first to send all of the disks zooming across to the other side. The first to successfully clear all 10 disks to the opponent's side wins the round. "Fastrack is high quality, eco-friendly, durable and made of wood," Nicole Britton from Blue Orange Games told TDmonthly. Launch date: June 2011.
Awards: 2011 Dr. Toy's Best Green Product; 2011 ASTRA Best Toys for Kids — In a July 2014 survey, one out of 14 retailers told TDmonthly that Fastrack was their store's best-selling toy.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 31974 (added 3/22/2011)
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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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