August 2005 | Vol. IV - No. 8
These products are either unexpectedly great sellers or something we just think is cool. Take a look: Maybe they’ll work for you!
LighTalk by Compact Impact.com, LLC.
Lightalk is a handheld scanner that transforms drawings or words into pictures that can be seen in the air. The 8-1/2” toy has a scanning area of 4” x 7”. A press of a button allows the user to scan an image made with a black marker that’s at least .2” thick. After the image has been saved, the user flicks the switch again and waves the Lightalk back and forth extremely rapidly; a series of orange LED lights magically recreates the image, thanks to the persistence of vision. It can also be programmed to store up to 4 images at a time. The scanner comes in blue, white or pink and includes a matching cord so kids can carry it around their necks to scan at a moment’s notice. 7/27/2005 (MSRP: $39.95)
Pinky Street by VANCE PROJECT
A niche product from Japan, distributed here by DRAGON MODELS USA, Pinky Street is being collected by kids and adults in specialty comics and anime stores. Conceived as a “girl next door” fashion doll, Pinky Street figures were designed by modeler Yuki Kanaya (Baby Sue). Influenced by anime and current Tokyo fashion trends, the 4” vinyl dolls have interchangeable heads, hair, body parts, clothing and feet. Each doll comes dressed and with one extra vinyl outfit. The more Pinky Streets collected, the more mix-and-match outfit possibilities there are! Fun, imaginative and a good alternative to “brattier” fashion dolls. Warning: Pinky Streets are collectibles, aren´t produced on a mass scale and are sometimes in short supply, so if you think the doll is right for your store, you should get your order in as soon as possible. ( Watch Video) 8/23/2005 (MSRP: $9.99)
Skumbo by KIDROBOT
A collectible like no other, Skumbo is the weirdest, funkiest, cutest evil dude around. Created by hybrid transmedia crossover artist Tristan Eaton, this limited edition vinyl action figure is like no other. And action is the key word; Skumbo came to Earth for the hootch, and stayed for the nightlife, roaming the planet looking for trouble and finding it. He’s too cute for hell, too drunk for heaven. 4 ½ inches tall, he comes in Red Cutty and Felon Purple. ( Watch Video) 8/23/2005 (MSRP: $39.95)
Animal Rubber Bands - Zoo by EASTERN ACCENT INTERNATIONAL
These brightly-colored silicone bands work like ordinary rubber bands when stretched, but revert to giraffes, rhinos, kangaroos, elephants, ostriches and hippos when relaxed. The work of Japanese designers Yumiko Ohashi and Masanori Haneda, whose mission is to endow longevity on disposable items, the bands are one of the hottest items for little girls at The Purple Bear in Guilford, Conn. Kids collect them and share them with friends. "It´s like the Beanie Babies," declared Jeanne Orlando, store manager. "They´re very, very popular. They´re a big hit with little kids," said Chris Kline, sales associate of the Museum of Modern Art´s Design Store in New York City. They also sell very well at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art´s store. Most toy stores aren´t carrying them yet, but they´re not only popular with Tween girls at Learning Express stores, but are "picking up," said senior buyer Sandie Pardiso. Twenty-four animals come in each box. They´re also available as a Pets line and on a card with six animals. Editor's Note: Animal Rubber Bands became a hot fad across the country in 2009. TDmonthly first reported on their potential as a top-seller in 2005. Launch date: 2002. 7/27/2005 (MSRP: $4.00)
Voice Changer Toy by SCHYLLING
Kids can use one of many push-button settings on this plastic megaphone to alter their voices in different ways. It comes in a variety of colors and requires a 9-volt battery, not included.
— Kevin Pohle, Head Wizard and Owner of The Wizard’s Chest in Denver, finds these to be good sellers, as well as loud.
— Lindsay Demyan, sales associate at White Rabbit Toys in Ann Arbor, Mich., said kids love picking this toy up and marching around her store changing their voices with it.
— “Voice changers are some of the loudest things we have,” explained John Jame, assistant manager at the Los Angeles Toys “R” Us. “They are the greatest for kids of all ages.” 8/23/2005 (MSRP: $14.95; Age: 3 and Up)
Mexican Train by PUREMCO
Mexican Train is domino game for all seasons and groups. With brightly colored dominoes with jumbo dots, and a clear plastic train turntable centerpiece, 91 double 12 dominoes, 8 train markers, a dual-sound electronic centerpiece with a train and rooster sounder for the games of Mexican Train and Chickenfoot, all in a black, leatherette case, it´s a one-stop fun time.
— "It’s a good interactive game ... kind of like a conversational game for all ages," Michelle Hubbell, owner of The Toy Store in Highlands, N.C., told TDmonthly.
— Two of 63 retailers named Mexican Train when discussing their overall best-selling toy or game in September 2008. 8/23/2005 (MSRP: $22.95; Age: 6 and Up)
Power Brain XP by YOMEGA
Designed for beginner yo-yo enthusiasts, the Power Brain XP features a "Smart Switch” auto-return clutch that allows the user to switch between manual and automatic returns. Beginners can easily get a sense of the rhythm while they’re learning to handle the yo-yo. As their skills increase, they can switch to a manual return mode for longer spin times and more challenging tricks. It comes in blue, orange or neon yellow. The back of the yo-yo has a transparent window so the user can view the Smart Switch mechanism. ( Watch Video) 8/23/2005 (MSRP: $12.95)