October 2007 | Vol. VI - No. 10
Webkinz Dalmatian by GANZ
This adorable Webkinz pup is the life of the party, as long as you bring along some of his favorite five-alarm chili from the W Shop. As with the entire Webkinz line, the Dalmatian comes with a special code that allows a child to interact with it on the Web. His "special item" includes the Ganz Rapid Rescue Fire Truck.
— "We just got the relatively new Dalmatian. Their new stuff is great," said Chris Walsh, owner of The Whiz Store in Westborough, Mass., about Ganz. "The demand for Webkinz is going down, supply is up and prices are coming down. Yet, it's still selling quite strongly.”
— Almost 25 percent of the 58 retailers TDmonthly spoke with expect strong holiday sales of Webkinz.
— Although many specialty retailers have complained about how Ganz has handled Webkinz’ sudden popularity, they haven’t quibbled at all about the thousands of dollars these little plush toys have added to their cash registers. The extra publicity the toys have generated hasn’t hurt either, which makes Webkinz a shoo-in for the TDmonthly Top Seller 2007 award. 9/20/2007 (MSRP: $7.75; Age: 3 and Up)
Webkinz Black Stallion by GANZ
This black horse is gentle, mysterious and beautiful — the perfect pal to share secrets and stories with. In the online Webkinz World, the Black Stallion loves to cook. Its special item is the hay bale sofa and its special food is the horseshoe huckleberry hotcakes.
— Lynn Robillard, owner of Toys in the Attic in Manchester, Vt., told TDmonthly that when they’re available, Webkinz are one of her top-10 best-selling product lines.
— These computer-savvy plush pals take fourth place for best-selling toys at Red Wagon Toy Co. in Woodstock, Vt., according to Owner Kim Smith, who spoke with TDmonthly in summer 2007. 7/27/2007 (MSRP: $10.99; Age: 6 and Up)
Kookeys - Orange and White Cat by 10VOX ENTERTAINMENT INC.
This cuddly kitty holds the key to an online world filled with games and rewards. ( Watch Video) 10/3/2007 (MSRP: $14.99)
Kookeys - T Rex by 10VOX ENTERTAINMENT INC.
This fierce cuddler has an online counterpart that lets kids access a virtual world full of games, contests and rewards.
— During TDmonthly's Homeschool Roundtable review of Kookeys, 8-year-old Joe Ledford expressed excitement for the online entertainment the plush animals afford. "Can I play the arcade games?" he asked his mom. "They are really fun!" ( Watch Video) 10/3/2007 (MSRP: $14.99)
Shining Stars - Snowy Owl by RUSS BERRIE
The White Snowy Owl is a cute and precious addition to Russ Berrie's Shining Stars lineup of collectible plush dolls. When kids purchase a Shining Stars friend, they can log onto the Shining Stars website and use the secret code inside the plush’s hangtag to register and name a star with the International Star Registry. Children can print a star certificate that gives the exact location of the star. The site also offers fun games and activities.
― When the Webkinz crunch hit and retailers were left Cheeky-Dog-less for Easter, savvy store-owners picked up the slack by turning their little Webkinz fanatics into Shining Stars lovers. Steady sales since have earned Shining Stars a TDmonthly Top Seller 2007 award.
— Three Sisters sold 400 Shining Stars dolls between April and July of 2007. The toys also did well during Easter 2007 for The Treasured Child in La Grange, Ky. Other retailers have reported more lukewarm sales.
— "Unlike some other Web-play plush, only Shining Stars comes with a secret code that opens up a world of Web adventure, allows collectors to get their very own star in the constellation of their choice, and helps the Starlight Starbright Children's Foundation through the donation of 'glow points,'" said Stephanie Araujo, marketing coordinator for Russ Berrie. ( Watch Video) 8/20/2007 (MSRP: $18.95)
Shining Stars - Beagle by RUSS BERRIE
This plush beagle is one in a collection of 24 stuffed animals produced by Russ Berrie in partnership with the International Star Registry® and AGE® Inc. With every RUSS Shining Stars friend comes the opportunity to register and name a star with the International Star Registry. Each plush piece is cis identifiable by the star icon and embroidered Shining Stars logo on its paw pad. Each pet also comes with a tag that contains an online code, giving kids access to the Shining Stars site, where they can play games, enter into safe chats with other Shining Star owners, and build a virtual world for their plush pets. 5/23/2007 (MSRP: $15.00; Age: 4 and Up)
Ty Girlz – Jammin' Jenna by TY INC.
This 14” soft-sculpt doll is dressed in the latest trend-setting fashions that can be mixed and matched, and each Ty Girlz outfit comes with complementary accessories. The dolls have soft, realistic hair that can be easily combed and styled in numerous ways. Their clothes, hair and makeup are coordinated in monochromatic hues for a distinctive look, and the dolls are accompanied by a 3-D interactive virtual world. Launch date: July 2007. 8/9/2007 (MSRP: $12.00; Age: 6 and Up)
Ty Girlz – Cute Candy by TY INC.
This 14” soft-sculpt doll is dressed in the latest trend-setting fashions that can be mixed and matched, and each Ty Girlz outfit comes with complementary accessories. The dolls have soft, realistic hair that can be easily combed and styled in numerous ways. Their clothes, hair and makeup are coordinated in monochromatic hues for a distinctive look, and the dolls are accompanied by a 3-D interactive virtual world. “Our patent-pending design, quality, price, fashions, detail and virtual Girlz world, set us apart from the rest,” Marketing Manager Dana Scott-Turkovich for Ty Inc. told TDmonthly. Launch date: July 2007. 8/9/2007 (MSRP: $12.00; Age: 6 and Up)
Jellybeanies - Strawberry Bear Sammy by TOMORROW INC.
Strawberry Bear is one of eight candy-colored plush animals with a patent-pending scent release feature. The fragrance is designed to last up to 24 months. Each character includes a unique story and a special alphanumeric code to access a customized online environment where children can interact with their toy and make new friends. “It’s a consumer promoted, advertised line that’s sold exclusively outside of Top 3 Mass Customers,” Chief Marketing Officer Jim Huntley of Tomorrow Incorporated told TDmonthly. He also said that scent “rose to the top” of the preferred list in a study of 10 features among 500 6- to 12-year-old girls. Launch date: July 1, 2007. 6/8/2007 (MSRP: $13.00; Age: 3 and Up)
Webkinz - Knapsack Purple by GANZ
This soft violet backpack is a perfect way for Webkinz lovers to take along their favorite furry friends. It adds function and style to the Webkinz universe that has captivated collectors everywhere.
— "Webkinz by Ganz is our hottest selling item right now. ... With Webkinz, girls start at about 6 to 7 years old," said Amy Oliver, owner of Giggles in Hamilton, Mass.
— "The Webkinz are coming up with a whole slew for Halloween and Christmas. They're the most popular right now," the manager of Fun Among Us in Ipswich, Mass., told TDmonthly.
— Eleven of 54 retailers believe the Webkinz craze will also carry through for tween girls during the 2007 holiday season. 9/20/2007 (MSRP: $14.99)
Bella Sara Plush Gift Box - Bella by HIDDEN CITY ENTERTAINMENT
This 6" cuddly horse comes with an activation certificate that introduces the consumer to the magical world of Bella Sara online, where girls can play games, meet other horses and care for their virtual friend. The gift set also includes one Ancient Lights seven-card pack. Jewel, Nike and Fiona horses are also available. 12/4/2007 (MSRP: $12.99)