April 2015 | Vol. XIV - No. 4
Top-10 Most-Wanted Outdoor Toys
With additional reporting by Chris Lundy and Brenda Ruggiero
Spring has finally sprung, and with it comes the return of outdoor fun.
TDmonthly interviewed retailers about their best-selling outdoor toys so you can stock your store full of top products in time for warmer weather.
Take a look at the top-10 best-sellers below, then choose which would be at home on your store shelves.
*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.
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 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)
This sleek ride-on is fueled by cambering motion — the rider pushing his or her legs against the front bar, to the left and right. It has a hand brake and features an extendable design to host riders up to 6' tall. Maximum recommended weight is 150 lbs.
— Learning Tree Toys, Games & Books in Oklahoma City, Okla., sells about a dozen EzyRollers per month, Owner Patti Tepper-Rasmussen told TDmonthly in fall 2009.
— Jackie Roy, owner of Learning Resources Toy Magic in Fort Walton Beach, Fla., told TDmonthly in late 2009 that she brought in five EzyRollers on trial on sold out in a week and a half.
— Two of 37 specialty retailers cited the EzyRoller as a top-selling ride-on in spring 2010. “The EzyRoller, by far, continues to be the best,” Christine Osborne of Wonder Works in Charleston, S.C., told TDmonthly in March 2010, reporting sales of a couple dozen per month.
Past Videos: WTHRA 2008
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 25944 (added 11/3/2009)
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)
Spring Ring adds extra zing to indoor and outdoor fun. Use them to give favorite old games an exciting new twist or come up with something completely new and different. No Rules Required for this creative new toy. Constructed with a firm foam outer ring and a stretchy trampoline center fabric, the versatile Spring Rings can be used like a paddle, thrown like a frisbee. They even float. Great for indoors (when used with the dry splash ball) or outdoors.
Awards: 2010 Creative Child Magazine, Preferred Choice Award; 2010 Dr. Toy Best Picks Award.
— In a March 2013 survey, Joe Berardoni Jr, manager of Pun's Toys in Bryn Mawr, Pa., told TDmonthly that "The top selling outdoor item over the last two years has been the Spring Ring from Maranda...Even in the winter months, we have sold out of the item consistently, and have reordered several times already in 2013. We sell around 24-30 pieces a month during 'outside' weather months."
— Joe Barardoni Sr., owner of Pun's Toys in Bryn Mawr, Pa., told TDmonthly in a March 2014 survey that the Spring Ring was a best-selling outdoor toy.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 35211 (added 10/4/2012)
This bright set features 30 multi-colored balloons plus a pump.
— Randy Austin reported that Rocket Balloons were popular sellers during the summer of 2008 at her store, The Gifted Child, in Lenox, Mass.
— “Rocket Balloons were fabulous [last year] and we have people waiting for them now,” said Eric Masoncup, owner of Geppettos Toy Box in Oak Park, Ill., of his top-selling outdoor item during a March 2010 survey of best sellers.
— Two of 37 retailers named Rocket Balloons are a best-selling outdoor toy in spring 2010.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 20435 (added 9/9/2008)
Blast PadŽ Advanced Missile Launch System by MARKY SPARKY TOYS
Other products from MARKY SPARKY TOYS
This launch system features a flex tube that stretches to nearly 3’ and won’t restrict airflow. It only blasts vertically (9 degrees either way), using Metalix™ missiles (three included). The parts store in the base, and the product is also available in Electric Extra Terrestrial Green and Exploding Sun Yellow.
— Two of 66 retailers told TDmonthly in July 2008 that this product is one of their overall best sellers. Five of the 66 named it as a best-selling gift item for boys. Three of 39 retailers listed Blast Pads as their best-selling item for tween boys during an October 2009 survey. “I've been accused of giving them away with how fast I go through them,” Jude Larene, owner of Izilla Toys in Seattle, Wash., said in March 2009.
— “Blast Pads from Marky Sparky were our biggest sellers last year,” Joe Berardoni, owner of Pun’s Toy Shop in Bryn Mawr, Pa., told TDmonthly in spring 2009. Of 47 retailers, two told TDmonthly in June 2009 that Blast Pads top their sales of boys' items, reporting figures of seven to 15 sold per month. "We sell that all year. Every time we get them in we sell out," reported Kim Haynes of Lollipop Toy Store in Dawsonville, Ga., in March 2010.
—‘’We sell at least one per week, sometimes more,’’ said manager Gwen Bowden of Doodlehopper 4 Kids in 1Q 2011.
AWARDS: 2010 TDmonthly Top Seller
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 20356 (added 8/28/2008)
This free-standing modular display comes free with any $400 order. It holds Just Jump It merchandise including jump ropes, skippers, steppers and lariats.
— "Our favorite Jump Rope co. Just Jump It has their act together! A New rack that holds all their product - what a concept!" John MacDougall owner of Golden Apple Learning Store in Pleasanton, Calif. told TDmonthly at Toy Fair 2010.
— Joyce Will, owner of Learning Express in Andover, Mass., told TDmonthly in an March 2015 survey that Just Jump It jump ropes are one of her store's best-selling outdoor toys.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 27211 (added 2/18/2010)
Outfit your bike or scooter in style! The Bike Airplanes propeller spins as you ride! Made of plastic. Measures 7.62" x 5.5" x 1".
— Ari Miller from Off the Wagon in Kent, Ohio, told TDmonthly in an March 2015 survey that bike accessories like the Bike Airplane are one of their store's best-selling outdoor toys.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 37283 (added 3/30/2015)
Bella Butterfly swings open on the easy-access door of this whimsical bug house. A sturdy handle, a beautifully striped floor and lots of air holes provide the perfect place to house and observe insects and bugs. Dimensions: 5.5" x 7.5" x 3.5"
— Mary Porter Green, owner of Curiosity Zone in Ashburn, Va., told TDmonthly in an March 2015 survey that bug houses are one of her store's best-selling outdoor toys.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 37284 (added 3/30/2015)
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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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