February 2015 | Vol. XIV - No. 2
Top-10 Most-Wanted Arts & Crafts Toys
With additional reporting by Chris Lundy and Brenda Ruggiero
Arts & crafts toys are always big sellers in specialty, and the items below are reported to be hot, hot, hot, according to the retailers TDmonthly interviewed in January 2015. See all of the products below that store owners told us were their customers' favorite arts & crafts toys.
*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.
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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)
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)
From glittery pop tabs to yards of printed ribbons, create your uniquely-you accessories to sparkle up your style. Includes glitter and silver colored pop tabs, ribbons, headbands, toggle claps, glue and rhinestones. With 100+ pieces to choose from, you can create the perfect accessory to pop with any outfit
— In an October 2014 survey, two out of 10 retailers told TDmonthly that Sparkle Pop Jewelry was their best-selling jewelry item.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 36994 (added 10/30/2014)
Sticky Mosaics® Hidden Pictures by THE ORB FACTORY LIMITED
Other products from THE ORB FACTORY LIMITED
Hidden Pictures makes art appear before your eyes. This Sticky Mosaics kit is full of surprises. Follow a numbered legend and add tiles to 4 fun projects. Complete your picture to reveal one of 4 Wild Animals.
— In a May 2014 survey Sherri Stone, manager of Toys & Co. in Charlotte, N.C., told TDmonthly that The Orb Factory is their best-selling brand of activity kits. "Over a weekend, we could sell 30 pieces of Orb," she said - and 200/month of the whole line.
— In a January 2015 survey, two out of 10 retailers told TDmonthly that Sticky Mosaics was their best-selling arts & crafts line.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 36403 (added 11/27/2013)
Sticky Mosaics® Jungle Adventure by THE ORB FACTORY LIMITED
Other products from THE ORB FACTORY LIMITED
Follow a simple numbered legend and add over 2000 sparkling jewels and tiles. Includes 4 sparkling projects.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 36401 (added 11/27/2013)
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)
Make colorful, chunky jewelry with Bling Blocks! Create looks that are uniquely your own by stringing Bling Blocks into necklaces and bracelets. Add sparkly touches to your designs! You can make a ring and earrings, too. Includes blocks, silver-colored beads, 1 block ring, sticky gems, satin cord, elastic string, earring hooks, jump rings, beading needle and easy to follow instructions.
— Joe Berardoni Jr., owner of Pun's Toys in Bryn Mawr, Pa., told TDmonthly in a May 2014 survey that ALEX-PANLINE is one of his store's top activity toy brands.
— Matt Peel, manager of Toys & Co. in Greensboro, N.C., told TDmonthly in a January 2015 survey that Alex Toys was their best-selling brand of arts & crafts toys.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 36335 (added 9/26/2013)
The Classic Potholder Loom by HARRISVILLE DESIGNS INC.
Other products from HARRISVILLE DESIGNS INC.
Kids can make colorful potholders for home, as gifts or to sell as a fund-raiser for school, church or a club. Potholder looms are one of those wonderful old-fashioned inventions still popular and useful today. The project is fun and easy to do for all ages. Cons: Colors are not vibrant; loops fray easily which makes finishing the edges especially difficult.
— Owner Bob Breneman listed traditional craft kits in sixth place for best-sellers at G. Willikers in Portsmouth, N.H. In particular, Harrisville Designs’ traditional Pot Holder Loom kits sell well.
— In late Spring 2011, Michelle Bears, owner of The Toy Store in Highlands, N.C., told TDmonthly that these looms were a best-selling activity kit at her store.
— Greg Larson, owner of Larson's Toys and Games in Columbus, Ohio, told TDmonthly in a January 2015 survey that the classic Pot Holder Loom was one of their best-selling arts & crafts items.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 11903 (added 3/13/2007)
This set comes with four bottles of poster paint and four spill-proof paint cups. Also included are an easel paper roll, chalk, paint brushes, a dry-erase marker and an eraser.
— In a November 2011 survey, 2 out of 12 retailers said art supplies from Melissa & Doug were their best selling educational products.
— Mark Rosenblum from Hobbytown in Fairfield, Conn., told TDmonthly in a January 2015 survey that Melissa & Doug was one of their best-selling brands of arts & crafts toys.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 29771 (added 7/27/2010)
A complete pattern workshop for creative children to teach them how to make beautiful Art Nouveau motifs. Designed for older children, this kit will engage their artistic sensibilites while teaching them a classic art form. The kit comes complete with highest quality pigmented felt tipped brush pens in eight colors, multitudes of stickers and 4 colorful card "canvasses".
Because play is essential to a child's development, Djeco creates toy collections that are always entertaining, educational and imaginative. Staying faithful to their philosophy of incorporating art into play, the passionate and inventive Djeco creative team includes unique illustration and bold graphic design into all of their toys.
— Taka Andrews, owner of Miller's in Mamoroneck, N.Y., told TDmonthly in a January 2015 survey that DJECO art kits are their store's best-selling arts & crafts toys.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 37159 (added 1/29/2015)
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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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