ToyDirectory
October 19, 2017

TDmonthly Magazine

November 2007 | Vol. VI - No. 11


TDmonthly's Top-10 Most-Wanted Baby Gifts

Melissa & Doug Keeps Stacking Up

By Dennis Furlan
November 2007

With additional reporting by regional correspondents Virginia Davis, Terri Hughes-Lazzell, Christine Lebednik and Greg Rock

Toys from Melissa & Doug and International Playthings will be popular gifts for babies and toddlers during the 2007 holiday season, specialty retailers told TDmonthly Magazine. It's a Royal Jungle out there with Manhattan Toy's Snuggle Plush. And Small World’s Tolo will get little ones to shake, rattle and roll.

Here's what's bound to make baby smile this holiday season:

Rainbow Stacker by MELISSA & DOUG

Rainbow Stacker by MELISSA & DOUGThe 3.5" x 3.5" x 8.5 Rainbow Stacker is a classic toy that allows infants to develop cognitive and motor skills. It comes with seven rings, each a different color and size, as well as a ball and a wooden base. Kids can stack the rings in order from largest to smallest, and place the red ball on top to complete the task.
— When asked to predict a hot baby item for Christmas 2007, Shirley Reilly, owner of Let's Play in Hillsboro, Ore., said, "Probably the Melissa & Doug Wooden Stacking Rings ... because they sell for $5. Parents and grandparents like to buy it for kids."
— Seven of 54 retailers asked by TDmonthly said that Melissa & Doug baby toys will be big-ticket items for the 2007 holiday season.
— "The Rainbow Stacker is a true classic toy. It includes eight smooth, easy-grasp wooden pieces to stack on the solid wood, rocking base," said Valerie Cavallaro of Melissa & Doug. 9/20/2007 (MSRP: $6.00; Age: 1 and Up)


Lift-Off Rocket by INTERNATIONAL PLAYTHINGS LLC

Lift-Off Rocket by INTERNATIONAL PLAYTHINGS LLC

Suitable for children 18 months and up, this rocket lights up and emits realistic rocket sounds with the push of a button. It has a handle for take-along play and comes with an alien, a moon crate, a dune buggy, a space puppy dog and two astronauts. The rocket features a cargo hold, a Murphy bed and toilet, a cockpit and an on/off switch and volume control. "The Lift-Off Rocket by iPlay is designed to encourage young imaginations and introduce them to new worlds. This high-quality playset has a space theme with an at-home-feel," Sue Tice, public relations director and product manager at International Playthings Inc., told TDmonthly. Awards: TDmonthly Top Seller 2007. Launch date: March 2007.
— As of 5/12/2011 this product had 4.5 out of 5 stars on Amazon.com from 98 reviews. Cons: Doors fall off too easily; the dog and alien figurines are too large to fit in the rover.
— Lynda Blankenship, owner of Smart Toys & Books in Knoxville, Tenn., told TDmonthly in late Spring 2011 that Lift Off Rockets were among her best-selling activity kits and playsets.
— “One of my favorite toys this season, for 18 months and up, is the iPlay Lift-Off Rocket," said Deb Necker, owner of Necker’s in Simsbury, Conn., when discussing hot-selling infant toys in her store.
— The Lift-Off Rocket is popular at LB Toys in Media, Pa., according to Owner Jamie Burdette. “It’s a great 1- to 2-year-old toy for a boy,” he said in April 2008. “Rocket ship toys for this age are hard to find.”
— Want this? As of 05/11/2011 this product was available at Smart Toys & Books (Watch the Lift-Off Rocket Video Watch Video) 6/28/2007 (MSRP: $40.00; Age: 2 and Up)


Walker Wagon by HABA USA/HABERMAASS CORP.

Walker Wagon by HABA USA/HABERMAASS CORP.The Walker Wagon is designed to aid children in moving. The added seat allows brother and sister to come along for the ride, and there's sufficient room behind the seat to store utensils or other toys. Even the seat itself can double as storage for items baby likes to wheel around the house. The Walker Wagon is of sturdy construction and features rubber tires on wooden rims.
— “I'm selling like one a week. It's amazing. I'm sold out now,” said Jude Larene, owner of Izilla Toys in Seattle.
— “It’s a great seller and I just think it'll take off in the holidays,” Larene added in fall 2007.
— Four of 54 retailers told TDmonthly that Haba will be big in the baby category for Christmas 2007. 9/20/2007 (MSRP: $119.49; Age: 1 and Up)


Reversible Plushie Blankets by TAGGIES INC.

Reversible Plushie Blankets by TAGGIES INC.Amazingly soft, these generously large, two-ply coral plush blankets offer kids double-sided comfort and fun. They're available in multiple styles that coordinate with the Taggies friends and the Sleep N’ Play apparel collection. These 30” x 40” blankets are available in Lion, Flower and Frog designs.
— Three of 54 retailers TDmonthly spoke with about baby items said Taggies blankets are something to look for during the 2007 holiday season. “All their blankets and products sell well,” said Connie Hall, owner of The Three Bears in Ruidoso, N.M.
— Six of 45 retailers said Taggies is a popular gift brand with their customers. In summer 2007, retailers reported to TDmonthly sales of one or two dozen Taggies items a month.
— "Taggies Reversible Plush Blankets utilize the company's patented tags, making the blankets not only soft and luxurious, but also soothing and comforting for baby. The colors are bright, the characters fun, and the tags interactive," said Danielle Signorelli, spokesperson for Taggies. 7/23/2007 (MSRP: $24.00; Age: All Ages)


Tolo - Shake, Rattle and Roll by SMALL WORLD TOYS

Tolo - Shake, Rattle and Roll by SMALL WORLD TOYSFor ages 3 months and up, Shake, Rattle, and Roll helps develop motor skills as babies shake the rattle and make brightly colored beads pitter-patter back and forth. The rattle aids both visual and auditory stimulation for the baby, and introduces something new and fun into their growing cognitive world.
— "Tolo, if I can get it. Small World Toys has been carrying it. I think it's a European brand," said Marilyn Sipila, owner of Toys Etc. in Poulsbo, Wash., when discussing hot-selling baby items for Christmas 2007 and beyond.
— Small World Toys is also a popular baby toy brand with customers at Learning Tree Toys in Oklahoma City, Okla.
— Two of 54 retailers TDmonthly spoke with in fall 2007 said Small World Toys will sell well in the baby section during the holidays. 9/20/2007 (MSRP: $9.45)


Turtle - Ocean Blue by ROBEEZ FOOTWEAR, LTD.

Turtle - Ocean Blue by ROBEEZ FOOTWEAR, LTD.These cheerful lime turtles with burnt-orange shells feature stitched detail and happy smiles on an ocean-blue background. They come with soft, flexible soles recommended by experts, easy slip-on/stay-on elasticized ankle bands and skid-resistant, textured suede soles. The shoes are washable by hand or machine and are made of quality leather with a lined upper. They include comfortable leather cushions that protect but are also breathable to keep baby's feet cool and comfortable.
— "I think Robeez are always good. It's not a toy but it moves faster than anything," said Christina Callan, owner of Interactive Toys, Crafts & More in Elum, Wash., when asked what would be hot for babies during Christmas 2007.
— In fall 2007, two of 54 retailers specifically cited Robeez when asked about hot-selling items, especially for the holiday season.
— "Robeez shoes are a reasonably priced addition to complete a gift package. The designs featured on our shoes often complement the toy being purchased," said Kelly Striemer, marketing specialist for Robeez. 9/20/2007 (MSRP: $27.95)


Fill & Spill Fishbowl by MELISSA & DOUG

Fill & Spill Fishbowl by MELISSA & DOUGFor 6 months and up, this toy features four silly sea creatures in a mesh-bottomed bowl. The Fill & Spill Fishbowl is a multi-textured toy that rattles, jingles, squeaks and crinkles in little hands. Made with soft materials, it is machine washable, self-storing and great for travel. It measures 8" x 12" x 6" inches boxed.
— "I haven't done my Christmas shopping yet, but these just came in yesterday and I'm pretty happy with them.  There's a Fill and Spill Picnic Basket, Jug and Fish Bowl. There's also a flower pot version and a candy jar," said David Campbell, owner of Amazing Toys in Great Falls, Mont.
— "They're little see-through items. They sell for $20. They look pretty good,” Campbell added.
— "Made with ultra-soft materials, this clever activity toy helps develop fine motor skills and hand-eye coordination and stimulates tactile senses in delightful ways," said Valerie Cavallaro of Melissa & Doug. 9/20/2007 (MSRP: $16.00; Age: 1 and Up)


Baby Farm Friends Bowling by INTERNATIONAL PLAYTHINGS LLC

Baby Farm Friends Bowling by INTERNATIONAL PLAYTHINGS LLCBaby Farm Friends Bowling from the Earlyears line includes six numbered pins with a soft weighted ball so baby can practice coordination and counting at the same time. The cushiony pins make soft sounds and resemble farm animals including a cow, pig, sheep, dog and duck. The colorful ball has its own distinctive chiming sound and the pins are distinctively numbered from one to six and are easy to stand up. The toy comes with a reusable zip bag, so when kids are done with it they can put it back. This toy won an iParenting Media Award. "Bright, colorful and classic, it's a must for any 12 month-old," Sue Tice, public relations manager for International Playthings, told TDmonthly.
— "We actually have baby bowling — soft cloth pins and balls — by International Playthings that does well," said Cheryl Pyles, manager at Toyland in Milford, N.H., when predicting hot-selling baby items for Christmas 2007.
— "It's all seasons for babies, and International Playthings for babies and toddlers," said Patricia Masing, co-owner of Tree Town Toys in Ann Arbor, Mich.
— Gwen Bowden, manager of Doodlehopper 4 Kids in Springfield, Va. told TDmonthly in late Spring 2011 that this soft bowling set was a best-selling toy in the infant & toddler category.
— Want this? As of 05/06/2011, this product was available for purchase at Doodlehopper 4 Kids. 11/21/2005 (MSRP: $22.00; Age: 1 and Up)


Baby Vegetables Set by HABA USA/HABERMAASS CORP.

Baby Vegetables Set by HABA USA/HABERMAASS CORP.Designed for ages 6 months and up, these are vegetables a child can actually listen to and cuddle. Made of velour and cotton/polyester, the carrot and tomato make rattling noises, while the lettuce leaf rustles.
— "I would say any of the Haba grocery items," said Candace Gooch, owner of At Once All Agog in Limerick, Maine, when predicting 2007 holiday sellers.
— "I haven't even thought about it yet — not sure what’s going to be hot — but every baby is new and needs the basics. Haba baby always does well," said Peg Scholtes, owner of Capitol Kids in Madison, Wis.
— Two of 54 retailers TDmonthly spoke to specifically cited Haba pretend food as something to watch for during the 2007 holiday season. 9/20/2007 (MSRP: $10.00; Age: 1 and Up)






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