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Articles by Marie Raven


Top-5 Most-Wanted Personalized Items and Keepsakes (11/1/2010)
Recently, TDmonthly Magazine surveyed 44 specialty retailers concerning their sales of personalized and keepsake items

Top-10 Most-Wanted Toys for Tweens (11/1/2010)
For tween-aged kids, it's all about making a statement, with accessories, gadgets and décor

More Than A Sweet Treat (10/1/2010)
The runway of chocolate bars leading to a grocery checkout might not be a parent's ideal place to stand in line with a child. However, candy and food doesn't have to be forbidden from the inventory of a specialty toy store. The key is thoughtful selection with an eye for unique features.

Top-5 Most-Wanted Novelty Items (10/1/2010)
In September 2010, TDmonthly Magazine spoke with 49 specialty retailers about their top-selling novelty items. While it was difficult to identify a runaway best-seller

Top-5 Most-Wanted Action Figures (9/1/2010)
A June 2010 survey conducted by TDmonthly Magazine found that 34 percent of specialty toy retailers don't stock figurines based on popular characters

Top-5 Most-Wanted Die-Cast Toys (9/1/2010)
Recently, TDmonthly Magazine spoke to 38 retailers about their sales of die-cast items

Disney-Licensed Toys Outrank Competitors (8/1/2010)
Many specialty retailers hesitate to buy into licensed toy lines, concerned about mass-market competition and staying power in the market

Top-10 Most-Wanted Puzzles (8/1/2010)
Ravensburger is the resounding favorite brand in puzzles, a survey of 40 specialty retailers told TDmonthly Magazine in summer 2010

Top-10 Most-Wanted Electronic Toys (8/1/2010)
TDmonthly Magazine recently interviewed 40 specialty retailers across the country regarding their sales of electronic and battery-operated toys

Top-10 Most-Wanted Plush and Puppets (7/1/2010)
Folkmanis tops the list of most-wanted plush toys for the third year in a row, with about one-third of 43 retailers citing it as their best-selling plush in a TDmonthly Magazine survey.

Top-10 Most-Wanted Dolls (7/1/2010)
A recent survey conducted by TDmonthly Magazine polled 43 retailers nationwide about the sales in their doll departments

Kids Play House With KidKraft and Melissa & Doug (7/1/2010)
Children's furnishings and playhouses can enrich a play environment, but cost and size prohibit many specialty stores from carrying them, 21 of 43 retailers indicated in a recent TDmonthly Magazine survey

Top-10 Most-Wanted Construction Toys (6/1/2010)
There are newcomers to the top-10 list of best-selling construction toys in specialty — namely, Shoptaugh Games’ Jawbones (from Be Good Company)...and Lego-like sets from Cobi

Top-10 Most-Wanted Activity Kits and Playsets (6/1/2010)
In April 2010, TDmonthly Magazine interviewed 43 specialty toy stores about what's selling best among activity kits and playsets.

Retailing Tips: Strategies for Signage (5/1/2010)
Advertising strategies that reach out to the community to bring buyers into a store are important, but it doesn't stop there. TDmonthly spoke to 38 specialty retailers

Top-10 Most-Wanted Travel Toys and Games (5/1/2010)
Classic favorites like Mad Libs and Travel Bingo, and newer preferences such as Buckyballs from Maxfield & Oberton, are most in demand for travel, 39 specialty retailers shared with TDmonthly

Top-10 Most-Wanted Infant and Toddler Toys (5/1/2010)
Items like the Fill & Spill Mailbox from Melissa and Doug represent classic play patterns for young children, according to a nationwide survey of 39 specialty retailers discussing best-selling playthings for babies.

Top-10 Most-Wanted Bath Toys (5/1/2010)
In March 2010, TDmonthly Magazine interviewed 39 specialty retailers about sales in their bath toy departments. The most popular manufacturer, Alex, came in first place for 26 storeowners in North America.

Top-10 Most-Wanted Kids' Costumes and Apparel (4/1/2010)
In a recent TDmonthly Magazine survey of 37 specialty retailers in the United States, storeowners touted the detail and durability of favorite dress-up lines Creative Education of Canada and Little Adventures.

Top-10 Most-Wanted Sports & Outdoor Toys (4/1/2010)
With spring around the corner all over the country, TDmonthly Magazine set out to find what specialty retailers are selling most as families prepare to go outside and play.

Top-10 Most-Wanted Arts & Crafts Toys (2/1/2010)
In January, TDmonthly Magazine interviewed 47 specialty retailers around the country (plus one in Canada) to find out the latest trends in arts and crafts for kids

Top-10 Most-Wanted Musical Toys (2/1/2010)
TDmonthly Magazine recently interviewed 47 specialty toy-store owners around the country (plus one in Canada) to find out what's selling in their music departments

Top-10 Most-Wanted Jewelry and Accessories (11/1/2009)
A fun piece of jewelry or a cute accessory is a great way for a kid to make a statement, especially if they’ve made it themselves.

Top-10 Most-Wanted Toys for Tween Boys (11/1/2009)
Notoriously difficult to select products for, boys in their pre and early teens may not be so fixated on electronics and video games after all

Top-10 Most-Wanted Action Figures (9/1/2009)
In July 2009, TDmonthly Magazine interviewed 49 specialty retailers around the country concerning their sales of play and action figures.

Top-10 Most-Wanted Collectibles (9/1/2009)
Based on a TDmonthly Magazine survey of 49 specialty retailers regarding sales of collectibles, the wide range of products catching customers’ acquisitive fancy goes from cute Japanese erasers from BC Industries to familiar collectors’ items including Steiff plush and Breyer horses.

Top-10 Most-Wanted Die-Cast Vehicles (9/1/2009)
In July 2009, TDmonthly Magazine interviewed 49 specialty retailers around the country about their sales in die-cast vehicles.

Top-10 Most-Wanted Baby Gifts (8/1/2009)
Recently, TDmonthly Magazine spoke to 47 specialty retailers about the most in-demand baby gifts at their stores.

Toymakers and Toy Stores Go Green (8/1/2009)
With environmental issues at the forefront of consumer consciousness, toy retailers and manufacturers are turning more attention to protecting our climate and natural resources.

Top-10 Most-Wanted Puzzles (8/1/2009)
In June 2009, TDmonthly Magazine asked 47 specialty retailers about their best-selling puzzles.

Top-10 Most-Wanted Gifts for Boys (8/1/2009)
In June 2009, TDmonthly Magazine surveyed 47 specialty toy retailers about what's selling best for boys in their stores.

Top-10 Most-Wanted Gifts for Girls (8/1/2009)
In June 2009, TDmonthly Magazine asked 47 retailers what are the most in-demand items for girls in their stores.

Out With Electronics, In With Classics (8/1/2009)
In a world of gadgets and technology, many specialty toy-store owners stick to non-electronic products to stock their shelves and please their customers.

Top-10 Most-Wanted Plush and Puppets (7/1/2009)
In May 2009, TDmonthly Magazine surveyed 43 specialty retailers about their sales of plush and puppets. More than half of the storeowners said Folkmanis accounted for their top sales.

Top-10 Most-Wanted Dolls (7/1/2009)
“All of a sudden, we've had a surge on dolls,” Bill Rayment, owner of Toy Crossing in Harbor Beach, Mich., told TDmonthly Magazine during a recent survey of 43 specialty toy stores.

Top-10 Most-Wanted Furniture and Play Houses (7/1/2009)
In May 2009, TDmonthly Magazine conducted a survey of sales in furniture and children's play house items

Green Means Go (7/1/2009)
You've seen the influx of "green"-dubbed toys and children's products over the past few years, and it's only becoming greater

Top-10 Most-Wanted Construction Toys (6/1/2009)
In April 2009, TDmonthly Magazine surveyed 49 specialty retailers about their sales of construction toys for children. This foundational category continues to provide strong sales in independent stores

Top-10 Most-Wanted Activity Kits and Playsets (6/1/2009)
In April 2009, TDmonthly Magazine surveyed 49 retailers around the country about their sales of activity kits and playsets.

Top-10 Most-Wanted Licensed Toys (6/1/2009)
In April 2009, TDmonthly surveyed specialty toy retailers around the country about their sales of licensed product. Here are the top-10 best-selling licensed toys

Top-10 Most-Wanted Costumes and Apparel (4/1/2009)
In February 2009, TDmonthly Magazine spoke with 52 specialty retailers around the country about their sales of dress up, costumes and children's apparel.

TDmonthly's Top-10 Most-Wanted Sports and Outdoor Toys (4/1/2009)
Stomp Rockets by D&L Company continue to be favorites in the category of sports and outdoor toys, a recent TDmonthly Magazine survey of 60 specialty retailers revealed.

TDmonthly's Top-10 Most-Wanted Ride-On Toys (4/1/2009)
Whether it's toddlers just learning to make full use of their growing legs, or adolescents racing their friends around the park, riding toys in a variety of shapes and sizes can provide hours of healthy, active entertainment indoors and outdoors.

TDmonthly's Top-10 Most-Wanted Games (3/1/2009)
In January 2009, TDmonthly Magazine polled 56 specialty retailers around the nation about their sales in the games category.

TDmonthly’s Top-10 Most-Wanted Wooden Toys (3/1/2009)
Classic and durable wooden toys have been a mainstay for generations, and in today’s market the focus is shifting to sustainable, environmentally friendly, and safe more than ever before, TDmonthly Magazine learned during a survey of 56 specialty retailers.

Top-10 Most-Wanted Arts and Crafts (2/1/2009)
In late fall 2008, TDmonthly Magazine polled 44 specialty retailers on their sales of arts and crafts items. In this staple category, sales underscored the wild popularity of Orb Factory's Sticky Mosaics.

TDmonthly’s Top-10 Most-Wanted Books (1/1/2009)
In November 2008, TDmonthly surveyed retailers across the country about their sales of books for kids, young adults and teens.

Turning Electronic Appeals Into Specialty Deals (12/1/2008)
Despite constant advances in the technology market with gadgets, games and computers, as well as electronic toys for children, many specialty toy stores consciously keep their product selection founded in more traditional toys.

Top-10 Most-Wanted RC and Flying Toys (12/1/2008)
In TDmonthly Magazine’s survey of 68 specialty toy retailers regarding sales of hobby, remote-control and flying toys, Kid Galaxy took the top spot by a landslide

Retailers and Manufacturers Scramble for Safety (12/1/2008)
As the Dec. 12 deadline approaches for online retailers to post specific warnings alongside select children’s products under requirements in the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act of 2008

TDmonthly’s Top-10 Most-Wanted Jewelry and Accessories (11/1/2008)
A TDmonthly Magazine survey of more than 50 specialty retailers revealed that jewelry sales are headed by kits from companies such as Fashion Angels, Klutz and Alex that encourage kids to make bold, new fashion statements by designing their own accessories.

TDmonthly’s Top-10 Most-Wanted Toys for Tweens (11/1/2008)
When asked about sales of items for tweens, between ages 8 and 12, 51 specialty retailers lauded craft kits as tops, particularly from Creativity for Kids, Alex and Klutz

Adding On: Generating Revenue Beyond Toy Sales (11/1/2008)
The right complementary products and services can generate extra revenue for a store and keep customers returning regularly.

TDmonthly’s Top-10 Most-Wanted Science and Nature Toys (10/1/2008)
Parents were grateful for the opportunity to turn kids out of the house for active play during summer, but opportunities to bring the outside in topped sales numbers for the year so far

TDmonthly’s Top-10 Most-Wanted Collectible Toys (10/1/2008)
TDmonthly Magazine recent surveyed 64 retailers across the country about collectibles sales in their stores.

TDmonthly’s Top-10 Most-Wanted Card Games (10/1/2008)
In August, TDmonthly Magazine spoke to 64 specialty retailers about their best-selling card games.

TDmonthly’s Top-10 Most-Wanted Educational Products (9/1/2008)
TDmonthly Magazine recently surveyed more than 60 specialty retailers around the country about their strongest-selling educational toys and school supplies.

TDmonthly’s Top-10 Most-Wanted CDs and Musical Toys (9/1/2008)
When TDmonthly Magazine recently spoke to 68 retailers about their sales of music for children, most expressed that it’s a steady, stand-by category with an emphasis on simple instruments

TDmonthly’s Top-10 Most-Wanted Plush and Puppets (8/1/2008)
TDmonthly Magazine recently talked to more than 60 specialty retailers about one of the industry's most standby product categories: puppets and plush toys.

Get Ready for the Holidays Now (5/1/2008)
Fourth-quarter sales are the game-breaker for independent retail businesses, but the other 75 percent of the year is just as critical, because that's when decisions are made about what product will be there for the crush of holiday shoppers.

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