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January 2016 | Vol. XV - No. 1




Tools:

Top-10 Most-Wanted Play Sets


With additional reporting by Brenda Ruggiero

Keep kids busy for hours with these play sets - which are also best-sellers, according to specialty retailers interviewed by TDmonthly.

*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: Play Sets
Collectibles
Animal Figures



The lights turn on and off in this spacious four-room townhome, and the room divider can be moved to create a fifth room. The home opens and closes for lots of decorating and pretend play fun. The moveable staircase and extra floor area can be used to create larger rooms. House measures 12"" x 12"" x 12"" closed, 21"" x 21"" x12"" opened. The Hazelnut Chipmunk Family lives in this home. Critters & some accessories sold separately.
— In a December 2014 survey, two out of nine retailers told TDmonthly that this was a best-selling play set at their store.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 37108      (added 12/30/2014)
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MSRP: $68.00
Age Range: 4 and up
Gender: Boys
Category: Play Sets
General Toys
Action Figures



With the Playmobil Soldiers Fort with Dungeon kids can help the soldiers defend their fort, which includes a prison drop door, dungeon, and vault. Located on the door to the vault is a magic coin that can be used on the Pirate Adventure Island. Set also includes three figures, working cannon, and other accessories. Dimensions: 20.1 x 18.9 x 9.3 inches (L x W x H). Recommended for ages four to ten.
— Sue Hottel, manager of No Kidding (aka Sand Castle Toys Inc) in Mattapoisett, Mass., told TDmonthly in a May 2014 survey that Playmobil was one of the top-2 best-selling construction toys in the store.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 35475      (added 11/9/2012)
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MSRP: $49.99
Age Range: 3 and up
SKU or Item #: CC2780
Gender: Boys
Category: Play Sets
Animal Figures
Dolls - Accessories



This cozy cottage comes fully assembled and ready to play with everything you need for hours of pretend play fun with Calico Critters. This play set comes equipped with over 10 furniture pieces & accessories including: Bell Hopscotch Rabbit, bed with matching sheets, round table with chairs, kitchen counter with sink & oven, movable ladder for easy access to each floor, cookware and food. Launch date: 2010.
— "We also see a lot of interest in the Calico Critter playhouses - there is quite a variety of them," Suzi McMullen, manager of e-commerce at Doodlehopper 4 Kids in Springfield, Va., told TDmonthly in a June 2013 survey.
— Syd Clarke, owner of Ali-Cat in Carrboro, N.C., told TDmonthly in a December 2014 interview that the Calico Critters Cozy Cottage is one of their best-selling play sets.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 27718      (added 3/24/2010)
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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: $199.99
Age Range: 3 and up
Launch Date: February 2010
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Collectibles
Pretend Play
Animal Figures



This environment includes two Mango Monkeys, a hot tub, pagoda, patio, water slide and lake for pretend play. The Tree House also features four spacious rooms to fill with furniture and accessories. Critters can feel free to take a dip and relax in the hot tub, enjoy meals outside on the patio or take a fun canoe ride on the lake. Critters can also open the trap door to go down the water slide, or travel across the bridge to the pagoda and view beautiful scenery.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 29729      (added 7/26/2010)
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Age Range: 2 and up
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Bath



A bright smiling motor boat, cheerful skipper and faithful canine companion are designed to bring fun and interest to bath time. The two characters come out of the boat, which floats in the bath or rolls along on its hidden, friction-powered wheels for out-of-water playtime.
— Mary Sisson, owner of Kazoodles in Vancouver, Wash., told TDmonthly Wow Toys is a top seller in her bath department. “We've done well with the water-centric Wow Toys. The ones that are boats are really good.”
— Out of 39 retailers surveyed in March 2010, two named Wow Toys as their best-selling line of bath items.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 28100      (added 4/16/2010)
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Specialty: Yes (as of 2014)
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Play Sets
Animal Figures
Collectibles



Father, Richie is a huge sports fan and works as a sports writer for the Cloverleaf Corners newspaper. Sister, Isabella is the most popular girl in school. She is a member of several clubs including gymnastics and tennis. Baby girl, Katie loves to take a lot of naps and listen to lullabies.
— Barbara Fineblum, owner of Barstons Childs Play in Rockville, Md., told TDmonthly in a December 2014 interview that the Calico Critters Hopper Kangaroo Family was a best-selling play set at their store.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 37109      (added 12/30/2014)
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MSRP: $129.99
Age Range: 8 and up
Specialty: Yes (as of 2015)
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Construction
Kits
Play Sets



Enjoy an amazing stay at Heartlake City's Grand Hotel! Heartlake Grand Hotel over 3 modular stories has an elevator, lobby, 2 bedrooms, rooftop pool, taxi, 5 LEGO Friends mini-dolls and much more. Includes 5 mini-doll figures: Andrea, Olivia, Stephanie, Susan and Nate, plus a dog and a cat. The three-story Hotel features a lobby, reception area, cafe, jazz bar, master bedroom, single bedroom, rooftop pool area, functioning elevator, outside dining area, fountain and a black cab. The hotel lobby features a revolving door, chandelier, reception desk with computer element, cafe and a jazz lounge with stage, grand piano, saxophone and microphone elements. The master bedroom features a double bed, vanity desk and a sliding door to the balcony.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 37436      (added 10/28/2015)
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MSRP: $61.59
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Play Sets
Kits
General Toys



Cable has a maximum distance of 6.6 feet. Dimensions of the Valley Station: 15.2 x 12.2 x 9.4 inches (LxWxH). Dimensions of the Mountain Station: 13.4 x 7.7 x 13.4 inches (LxWxH). The average construction time is approximately 60 minutes.
— Paula Bolte, owner of Imaginations Toy & Furniture Co. in Blacksburg, Va., told TDmonthly in a November 2014 survey that Playmbil is her best category - almost 10% of her store's sales come from Playmobil.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 36914      (added 8/28/2014)
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MSRP: $10.99
Age Range: 4 to 8
Specialty: No
Gender: Girls
Category: Preschool
Play Sets
General Toys



Kids will have fun when they are on the go with the Princess Carrying Case. This easy to take-along playset comes with a figure, unicorn, peacock, swan, vanity, and other accessories.
— Peg Scholtes, owner of Capitol Kids LTD in Madison, Wis., told TDmonthly in a December 2014 interview that Playmobil take-along sets, particularly princess and pirate, are some of their best-selling play sets.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 35363      (added 10/24/2012)
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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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