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December 2014 | Vol. XIII - No. 12
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Top-10 Most-Wanted Toys


With additional reporting by Chris Lundy and Brenda Ruggiero

The holidays are upon us, and toys like Elf on a Shelf are back and selling big in specialty. Retailers interviewed by TDmonthly also reported that Frozen licensed toys and LEGO are also going strong. Take a look at the best-selling toys below to learn more.

*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.






These 2"-high trains can be customized with a child's name and are compatible with Maple Landmark trains and other wooden track systems, including Thomas the Tank Engine and Brio wooden trains. Name Trains letter cars connect with simple and safe magnets and are made from New England rock maple.
— Tye Steinbach from Thinker Toys in Portland, Ore., told TDmonthly in a November 2014 survey that Name Trains from Maple Landmark are one of their store's best-selling toys. They sell a few dozen each month.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 29235      (added 6/29/2010)
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MSRP: $22.00
Age Range: 9 and up
Specialty: Yes (as of 2012)
Made in: China; Europe
SKU or Item #: 030955263076
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Wooden Toys
Outdoor Fun
Educational



The Tribute Kendama is a Japanese wooden skill toy that challenges hand-eye coordination, focus, balance, and creativity. Enjoyed by millions in Japan, its only recently been introduced into the USA thanks to KendamaUSA. " It is the only Kendama designed so that the cups can never fall off the handle, which is the #1 customer complaint with copy-cat brands," Jeremy Stephenson, president of Kendama USA, told TDmonthly. Launch date: January 2007.
Awards: 2012 ASTRA Toy of the Year Award Nominee
— David Castillo, vice president of The Red Balloon Toy Store in Salt Lake City, Utah, told TDmonthly in a November 2014 survey that Kendamas, especially ones from Kendama USA, are one of their store's best-selling toys.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 33599      (added 2/8/2012)
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MSRP: $24.95
Age Range: 3 and up
Specialty: Yes (as of 2013)
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: General Toys
Construction



Apply pressure to two Squigz. Air rushes out and the fun rushes in! Connecting to each other and to any solid, non-porous surface - Squigz are a species all their own. They flex. They stick. They suck people into creativity. Once they take hold, it takes some pull to separate them. When Squigz POP! in protest - you’ll have to admit… your hands and ears are shamelessly delighted!
— Jenni Mallory, manager of Magic Box LTD in New Orleans, La., told TDmonthly in a March 2014 survey that Squigz was a best-selling product.
— David Castillo, vice president of The Red Balloon Toy Store in Salt Lake City, Utah, told TDmonthly in a November 2014 survey that Squigz from Fat Brain Toys is one of their store's best-selling toys.


Where to buy:
NORTH EAST
NORTH WEST
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 36420      (added 12/4/2013)
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MSRP: $29.95
Age Range: 3 and up
Launch Date: September 2005
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Dolls
Books
Gifts



This set includes an 8" vintage-style pixie elf, a keepsake storage box and a children's picture book with a rhyming story that tells how the elf helps Santa out by watching children's behavior by day and reporting it to Santa at night. The elf is designed to be placed throughout the house during the Christmas season, creating a hide-and-seek activity for the whole family. Launch date: September 2005.
— “Elf on the Shelf is doing really well since we put those out five or six weeks ago,” remarked Janet Gregory, owner of Over the Rainbow Toys in Anchorage, Alaska, in November 2008. “We just brought them in in November. [We] sold 24 last month, and 24 already this month,” Terry Myers, owner of Kaleidoscope Toys in Round Rock, Texas, told TDmonthly.
— In a December 2011 survey about books, 2 out of 12 retailers named Elf on the Shelf their best-seller. "We sold 18 already, in just a couple weeks," Andrea Scartozzi from Hardware Toy Center in Paoli, Pa., told TDmonthly. William Meredith, owner of Learning Express in Cary, N.C., agreed. "Elf on a Shelf is our number one item. It has been for years!" he told TDmonthly.

Where to Buy: Smart Kids Toys; Kazoo Toys; Escapade Direct

ToyDirectory Product ID#: 17594      (added 2/18/2008)
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Age Range: 3 and up
Specialty: Yes (as of 2014)
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: General Games
Preschool
General Toys



Winner of two Academy Awards®, Disney Frozen has captivated imaginations worldwide. Journey with Elsa and Anna, along with an enchanting cast, as they match images and letters. Familiar characters and objects invite kids to learn, while devoted fans will be swept into their wintry world. Between any two cards there is always one, and only one, match. Spot it first and you’ll never want to Let It Go!
© Disney
— In a November 2014 survey, two retailers told TDmonthly that Frozen licensed toys are best-sellers in their stores.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 36892      (added 8/8/2014)
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MSRP: $54.99
Age Range: 8 to 14
Specialty: No
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Construction
Collectibles
Licensed Products



Hunt down the Rebels in the iconic TIE Fighter. Equipped with dual flick missiles and opening cockpit, this instantly recognizable and hugely popular starship of the Imperial fleet returns to battle the rebel alliance once again. Includes 4 minifigures: TIE fighter pilot, Imperial officer, Death Star trooper and R5-J2 droid.
— As of 4/11/2012 this product had 4.4 out of 5 stars from 9 reviews on Amazon.com. Pros: Stonger than previous sets; more representative of the Tie Fighters seen in the movies than previous sets.
— In a May 2013 survey, 50% of retailers surveyed told TDmonthly that LEGO Star Wars was their best-selling line of licensed products.
— Helen Santosuosso, owner of Village Toy Shop in North Easton, Mass., told TDmonthly in a November 2014 survey that LEGO Star Wars is one of their store's best-selling toy lines.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 34076      (added 4/11/2012)
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MSRP: $69.99
Age Range: 7 to 12
Specialty: No
Gender: Girls
Category: Construction
Tween
Kits



Set sail for fancy fun in the Dolphin Cruiser, a 2-story yacht with a waterslide that splits in half for playing inside with 3 mini-dolls. 612 pieces.
— Dalene Lockhart, owner of Toy Town in Casper, Wyo., told TDmonthly in a May 2014 survey that LEGO Superheroes and LEGO Friends were the best-selling construction toys in her store.
— In a November 2014 survey, two retailers told TDmonthly that LEGO was a best-selling line of toys.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 36322      (added 9/26/2013)
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MSRP: $80.00
Specialty: Yes (as of 2014)
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Creative Activities
Kits
General Toys



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)
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MSRP: $39.99
Specialty: Yes (as of 2014)
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Construction
Kits
Interactive



Take the ultimate safari adventure with this fully loaded 12 in 1 National Geographic Animals kit from Laser Pegs! Animal enthusiasts everywhere will love building models of their favorite wildlife friends like the Elephant, Giraffe, Lion, Rhino, and many more. Pump up your playtime by lighting up your creations to extend your safari well into the night!
— Teresa Derry, owner of Annie's Toy Chest in Cocoa, Fla., told TDmonthly in a November 2014 survey that Laser Pegs is one of their store's top-2 best-selling toy lines.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 36880      (added 7/31/2014)
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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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