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November 2014 | Vol. XIII - No. 11
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Top-10 Most-Wanted Tween Toys


With additional reporting by Chris Lundy and Brenda Ruggiero

It can be hard to keep kids coming to your store as they get older, but the tween toys below just might do the trick. TDmonthly interviewed specialty retailers to find out about the products that kept older kids coming back to their stores time and again. You can check out their top-10 best-selling tween toys below, then decide if any of them could be a good draw for tweens in your community.
*No manufacturer paid to be included in this list. All products listed were designated by editorial staff without regard to the company's relationship with TOYDIRECTORY.com/TDmonthly Magazine.




Specialty: Yes (as of 2014)
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Furniture & Decor
Tween
Gifts



Full color. 100% polyester shell. 100% polystyrene and scented bead fill.
— In an October 2014 survey, two out of 10 retailers told TDmonthly that scented IScream pillows were their best-selling tween item.
Awards: 2014 TDmonthly Magazine Top Toy Award
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 36726      (added 4/29/2014)
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MSRP: $19.99
Age Range: 10 and up
Specialty: Yes (as of 2012)
Made in: China
SKU or Item #: 19261
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Family Games
Board Games
Adult Games



In the Old West, the sly snake oil salesman had a special talent: he could get the most skeptical customer to buy the most dubious product. Now players can have their turn, inventing their own crazy two-word products and selling them to all types of customers. If the customer buys a product, the player wins. With over 280 wild words and 70 oddball customers, players will never run out of new combinations. Launch date: November 2010.
Awards: 2012 Mensa Select; 2012 Dr. Toy; 2012 Toy Man Seal of Excellence
— In a late Summer 2012 survey, Charles from Miller's Toys in Mamoronec, N.Y., told TDmonthly that Snake Oil is one of their top-2 best selling card games. They sell about 2 dozen copies a month.
— As of 12/6/2012 this product had 5 out of 5 stars from 2 reviews on Amazon.com. Pros: Fun for all ages.
— Gary Green, owner of Toy Box of Asheville Inc in Asheville, N.C., told TDmonthly in a February 2015 survey that Snake Oil was his store's best-selling game.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 34548      (added 7/3/2012)
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MSRP: $18.00
Specialty: Yes (as of 2014)
Gender: Girls
Category: Fashion & Accessories
Gifts
Preschool



A comfy and trendy way to carry this bag with the adjustable, long strap is over the shoulder and across to the other side. The fashionable, designer fabrics work beautifully with the profusion of sparkles to create a trendy icon, such a butterfly, heart, owl, wildcat, or flower. The jeweled designs make the bag literally shine! There are 11 styles this year.
— Priscilla Moore, owner of Mr. Fub’s Party/Toys and More in Yellow Springs, Ohio, told TDmonthly in an October 2014 survey that purses from Douglas were their store's best-selling brand of jewelry and accessories.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 36976      (added 10/29/2014)
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MSRP: $40.00
Age Range: 8 and up
Specialty: Yes (as of 2012)
Made in: China
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Construction



You don’t have to be an engineer to create with nanoblock. With these micro-sized building blocks, 3D structures are constructed like never before. Watch as the beautiful Lady Liberty takes shape with over 700 assorted size and colored pieces. Includes detailed color instructions. Launch date: September 2012.
— As of 10/01/2012 this product had 5 out of 5 stars from 1 review on Amazon.com.
— Joe Berardoni Jr., owner of Puns Toys in Bryn Mawr, Pa., told TDmonthly in a Fall 2012 survey that nanoblocks are one of their top selling hobby items.
— Rebecca Goblish, owner of Picayune Toys in Dunwoody, Ga., told TDmonthly in a May 2013 survey that for older kids, nanoblocks were her best-selling construction toy.
Awards: 2015 TDmonthly Magazine Top Toy Award
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 34927      (added 9/7/2012)
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MSRP: $16.95
Age Range: 8 and up
Gender: Girls
Category: Fashion & Accessories
Arts & Crafts
Tween



Clear directions for ten different kinds of bracelets, with all the colorful floss and beads needed to make them. A built-in clipboard provides the ideal work surface for this craft.
— Mike DiAndrea, manager of Hardware Toys in Paoli, Pa., told TDmonthly in October 2011 that they sell about 8 of these kits each month, making them a best seller in the jewelry and accessories category.
— In a January 2012 survey about arts and crafts toys, two out of 13 retailers said that Klutz's Friendship Bracelets book was a best selling toy.
— In a December 2013 survey three out of 10 retailers said that Klutz made their best-selling books.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 33039      (added 10/12/2011)
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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: $39.95
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Novelties
Tween
Furniture & Decor



Watching the rising and falling colored blobs in these lamps is hypnotizing. They measure 13.75 inches tall and come in three assorted colors: pink, green and blue.
— Mary Porter, owner of Curiosity Zone in Ashburn Va., told TDmonthly in an October 2011 survey that she sells several of these lamps each month, making them her best selling tween item.
— Marc Slotin, owner of My Imagination Station in Spartanburg, S.C., told TDmonthly in a Fall 2013 survey that lava lamps were a big seller with tweens.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 33056      (added 10/19/2011)
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MSRP: $9.99
Age Range: 3 and up
Specialty: Yes (as of 2012)
Made in: Europe
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Construction
Creative Activities
Puzzles & Skill



Plus-Plus is a brand new breed of construction toy. Made in Denmark (the land of LEGO!), it is the ultimate in open-ended, imagination-driven simplicity. Each piece is the same shape - two plus symbols joined together - allowing for endless possibility. Available in Basic or Neon colors, and in 100pc, 300pc, 600pc and 1200pc. MSRP from 9.99 to 59.99. Launch date: July 2012.
— In a September 2014 survey, Kai Rady, owner of Shenanigans Inc in Charlottesville, Va., told TDmonthly that Plus Plus is one of the store's best-selling novelty items.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 34593      (added 7/10/2012)
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MSRP: $16.99
Age Range: 5 and up
Specialty: Yes (as of 2013)
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Arts & Crafts
Fashion & Accessories
Tween



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)
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MSRP: $14.99
Age Range: 8 and up
Specialty: Yes (as of 2012)
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: General Games
Card Games
General Toys



To begin, one card is randomly drawn from those not given to players. This is placed in the middle of the table, date-side up and is the starting point of a chronological line which will slowly be built by players. The first player then chooses one of their cards. If the player thinks that the invention on their card came before that of the initial card, the player places their card to the left of the initial card. The player's card is then turned date-side up. If the player was right, it remains on the table. Otherwise, the card is discarded and a new one must be drawn to replace it. Play proceeds clockwise. The more cards which are correctly played, the harder it is to correctly place new ones.
— In a February 2014 survey, Julie Steinbach, owner of Rainbow Toys in Falmouth, Maine, told TDmonthly that Timeline from Asmodee was a best-selling game at their store.
— David Stelzer, owner of Shananigans in Baltimore, Md., told TDmonthly in an October 2014 survey that Timeline was his store's best-selling tween item.
— In a February 2015 survey, two out of 11 retailers told TDmonthly that Timeline was their best-selling game.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 34453      (added 6/21/2012)
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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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