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February 2015 | Vol. XIV - No. 2
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Top-10 Most-Wanted Musical Toys


With additional reporting by Chris Lundy and Brenda Ruggiero

Digital music is here to stay, and these days, when it comes to  music, specialty toy store owners are focusing on instruments and toys rather than CDs. From guitars to harmonicas, there's an instrument for every store on the list below. Take a closer look and see which one will be the bandleader at your store this year.

*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 2013)
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Preschool
Infant & Toddler
Musical Toys



When children press a key on the piano, they not only hear a sound, they see stars pop up! The clear arch guides the popped stars onto a different pipe so when another note is played, they’ll pop some more! Adults can remove the arch to allow the stars to land on the floor, encouraging children to crawl after them. Pop! Pop! Piano measures 9" x 11" x 5.34" with clear arch attached. For ages 12 months and up.
— Dean Smith, owner of JaZams in Princeton, N.J., told TDmonthly in a January 2015 survey that Pop Pop Piano is their store's best-selling musical toy. They sell around 10 each month.
— Dean Smith, owner of JaZams Toys in Princeton, N.J., told TDmonthly in an April 2015 survey that the Pop-Pop Piano is their store's best-selling infant & toddler toy. They sell around 12 each month.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 36271      (added 7/11/2013)
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Age Range: 3 and up
Specialty: Yes (as of 2015)
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Music
Musical Toys
Creative Activities



Entertain the crowd with our 16 hole harmonica! Comes packaged in a durable cardboard box with pop up lid. Measures 5.5 x 1.5 x 1.5 in box. Ages 3 & up.
— In a January 2015 survey, two out of 10 retailers told TDmonthly that Schylling Harmonicas were their store's best-selling music toys.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 37160      (added 1/29/2015)
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MSRP: $19.99
Age Range: 1 to 4
SKU or Item #: E0302
Launch Date: February 2010
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Infant & Toddler
Musical Toys
Wooden Toys



This high-quality wooden xylophone is designed with lifestyle colors, has a handle for easy toting and storage for two sticks. The baltic birch frame and maple keys and two sticks offer fun, safe early melodies. Robin Lehnert, Hape Marketing Manager, told TDmonthly, "A 10-month old begins with a rap and a tap. Who knows what could happen next on the very beginner xylophone." Launch date: February 2010.
— In a January 2014 survey, Cariad Owens Fichtner, manager of Out of the Blue, Ltd in Albuquerque, N.M., told TDmonthly that Hape Xylophones were one of the top-2 best-selling musical toys at her store.
— In a January 2015 survey, two out of 10 retailers told TDmonthly that Xylophones were their store's best-selling music toys.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 27999      (added 4/14/2010)
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MSRP: $4.95
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Musical Toys



These Mini Maracas allow kids to participate in just about any style of music. They're loud enough to be heard, but  small enough to take along on trips and vacations. Made of specially formulated plastic, they produce a stage-quality authentic sound and come in a variety of colors.
— Maracas by Trophy were cited as one of the best-selling musical toys in the store of  Gwen Bowden, manager at Doodlehopper 4 Kids in Springfield, Va.
— Four of 45 retailers TDmonthly spoke with said Trophy maracas and shakers are hot-selling musical toys.
— Retailers said they sell from three to 30 maracas or shakers a month from Trophy.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 14256      (added 7/23/2007)
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MSRP: $59.99
SKU or Item #: Lews810
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Audio & CD
Electronics
Novelties



Connect these speakers to computers, iPhones, iPods, tablets, Android, game players & more. Multi-colored jets of water dance to the volume and beat of the music. That, added to the 4 multicolored LEDs, creates an incredible light and water show. The speakers stand 9" tall and are compatible with any audio device that has a 3.5mm audio jack connection. They are lightweight and portable. All connection cords are included.
— In a August 2014 survey, Stan Giliberto, owner of Over the Rainbow Toys in Glastonbury, Conn., told TDmonthly that this is one of their best-selling toys. "It's good for older kids who are starting to age out of toy stores," he explained.
— In a September 2014 survey, Beth Snyder, manager of Growing Tree Toys in State College, Pa., told TDmonthly that these speakers are one of the store's best-selling novelty items.

ToyDirectory Product ID#: 36813      (added 6/12/2014)
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MSRP: $19.99
Age Range: 3 and up
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Musical Toys



This 10-piece set of musical instruments (heavy on the percussion with maracas, a tambourine and a triangle) lets a child explore the wonders of sound, music, anthropology or just the fun of making some noise.
― Richard Gibson, owner of Learning Express of Newton, Mass., says his store sells about 6 or 7 of these sets per month.
— In summer 2008, Meredith Zellweger, owner of Toy Jungle in Manhattan Beach, Calif., touted this set as her “go-to musical toy.” Melanie Anderson of Daly City, Calif., said, “The kids have so much fun playing with them. They are real instruments, not plastic imitations that don´t sound quite right. This was a purchase I don´t regret.” 
— Three of 45 retailers cited Band in a Box when asked about best-selling musical toys in mid 2007, citing sales of between three and 10 units per month. Seven of 48 retailers named it as a musical best seller in January 2010.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 4401      (added 8/31/2005)
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MSRP: $49.99
Age Range: 3 and up
SKU or Item #: FN630G
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Musical Toys



Sized for small people, the 30” acoustic guitar from Trophy Music has six steel strings that are tunable with durable metal pegs. It stores well in the heavy cardboard box it comes in, and is also offered in a 34” size.
— “Guitars are big sellers,” Paul Faustine of Red Dragon Toys in Brunswick, Maine, said in summer 2008.
— Retailers surveyed sold an average of six guitars per month.
— Nine percent of 68 retailers named guitars as their best-selling musical toy for children.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 20035      (added 8/12/2008)
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MSRP: $40.00
Age Range: 3 and up
Launch Date: January 1986
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Musical Toys
Music
Award Winners



Tuned to a C Major scale, the Chimalong is an 8-note metallophone that can be played by number, color or notes. The youngest children will use the included 15-song songbook to play by color; older children can play by number. As they progress, they'll learn to read the music and play by note. Additional songs are available on the Woodstock Chimes website. Packaged in a 4-color window box. Comes with 2-mallets, 15-song songbook and an extra #7 tube, which changes the B (for key of C) to B flat (for key of G), giving greater musical flexibility. Chimalong is "recommended for its educational value by many professional musicians, including John Sebastian, Marilyn Horne, André Watts, Peter Schickele and the late Jim Henson," Peggy Daniel, Web Development Director of Woodstock Chimes, told TDmonthly. The Chimalong has received the following awards: 2003 Parent's Choice Top 25 Toys in 25 Years; 1995 Oppenheim Toy Portfolio Classic Toy, Blue Chip Award; 1995 Oppenheim Toy Portfolio Best Toy Award, Platinum; 1995 Oppenheim Toy Portfolio Best Toy Award, Gold Seal; and 1987 Parent's Choice Gold Award. Launch date: 1986.
―  Karen Park, owner of Zaks Gifts in Manchester-by-the-Sea, Mass., only recently began selling Chimalongs, she told TDmonthly in 4Q 2010; she sells about four per month.
— Patti Tepper-Rasmussen, owner of Learning Tree Toys, Games & Books, Inc. in Oklahoma City, Ok.,  told TDmonthly in a January 2015 survey that the Woodstock Chimalong is their store's best-selling musical toy.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 25789      (added 10/28/2009)
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MSRP: $49.99
Specialty: Yes (as of 2015)
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Music
Musical Toys
Creative Activities



Let your child discover and explore the sounds of music with our Confetti range of musical instruments. Our role play toys are brightly colored and so much fun to play. Whether you have a soloist in the family or an entire band, music can benefit your child in so many different ways. Music can 'boost your child's brain power, improve your child's memory, help them be more social, build their confidence, and even teach them a little patience.'
Awards: Oppenheim Platinum Seal Best Toy Award
— Taka  Andrews, owner of Miller's in Mamoroneck, N.Y., told TDmonthly in a January 2015 survey that they sell a handful of Janod Guitars each month, making them the store's best-selling musical toy.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 37161      (added 1/29/2015)
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MSRP: $17.95
Age Range: 2 and up
Specialty: Yes (as of 2015)
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Music
Musical Toys
Creative Activities



Build a musical instrument with this 24-piece set. Includes 2 mouthpieces, 2 trumpet ends and twisting tubes. All components are made of unbreakable ABS plastic. Compatible with Tubation.
— David Stelzer, owner of Shananigans Toy Store in Baltimore, Md., told TDmonthly in a January 2015 survey that the Saxoflute is one of their store's best-selling musical toys.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 37162      (added 1/29/2015)
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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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