November 2007 | Vol. VI - No. 11
Raggedy Ann & Andy by RUSS BERRIE
These 30" Raggedy Ann and Andy plush dolls are timeless. Both have red yarn hair, button eyes and triangular noses and wear their traditional outfits: a white apron over a blue cotton shirt for Raggedy Ann and a flannel shirt, blue pants and a ribbon for Andy.
— "Raggedy Ann" was among the popular licensed products mentioned by Holly Reay, owner of Kid’s Corner in Indianapolis, Ind.
— "Raggedy Ann & Andy" was also cited as a licensed-toy winner by Melodie Ingwersen, owner of Creative Kids in Columbia, S.C.
— Almost no toy could be more classic than Raggedy Ann, Johnny Gruelle's sweet-natured and moral character from the series of books he wrote for young children in 1918. Supposedly based on a rehabbed rag doll Gruelle created for his daughter, Marcella, Raggedy Ann captured the hearts of a nation. Raggedy Andy joined her advenures in 1920. These 30" versions of Gruelle's characters are a fourth-quarter staple, specialty toy store owners told TDmonthly Magazine, and so have earned a TDmonthly Classic Toy 2007 award. ( Watch Video) 4/14/2006 (MSRP: $59.95; Age: 8 and Up)
My Wedding Day by VOGUE DOLL COMPANY
Ginny’s ready for the “Big Day” in her designer wedding gown of white satin and bead trim. She looks lovely with her crown, train, long veil, and pretty yellow and pink bouquet. This Ginny edition is limited to 1,000 dolls.
— "We also have the Ginny Doll. That's a good one," said John Flagh, co-owner of Toy Village in Lansing, Mich., when asked about top-sellers in his store. 6/14/2007 (MSRP: $59.90)
Marshmallow Shooter by MARSHMALLOW FUN COMPANY
Shoot an edible miniature marshmallow over 30´ with this pump-action shooter, complete with LED sight for aiming accuracy. The easy-to-refill magazine holds 20 marshmallows (or foam pellets—which are included) for fast, nonstop action. The LED sight shoots a safe beam of red light to help locate a target. Barrel and magazine are top-rack dishwasher safe, and the back of the box even has a target for practice.
— "The Shooter did excellent for us this past year ," said Andrew Saucier, general manager for the Marshmallow Fun Company. "We were on Jay Leno and Good Morning America. We're about to go on David Letterman, and AOL picked us as a top toy of the year." In November the company launched the Marshmallow Blaster, which fires "big marshmallows," he added.
— Warren Brown, owner of French’s Toy Shop Inc. in Concord, N.H., claimed he never fired marshmallows at lax storeworkers, but later admitted, “I did use it on a couple of customers!”
— "Marshmallow Shooters are really hot," Mary Alice Miner, co-owner of Miner’s Doll & Toy Store in Ocean Springs, Miss., told TDmonthly in fall 2007.
Past Videos: Product demonstration, Toy Fair 2009 ( Watch Video) 6/28/2005 (MSRP: $21.95; Age: 8 and Up)
Caterpillar Dice Game by HABA USA/HABERMAASS CORP.
This lacing toy and dice game includes six caterpillar pieces, one head, one cord and one wooden threader. It is designed to teach colors and comes in a compact, round container for convenient storage and travel.
— Products by HABA account for the third best-selling line at Silly Goose in Essex, Mass., store owner Diane Robinson told TDmonthly.
— "Pretty much anything from Germany," sells well right now, said Amy Barrett, owner pf Lasso the Moon Wonderful Toys in Last Chance Gulch in Helena, Mont. HABA is a customer favorite. "Because of all the Mattel recalls, people are really concerned about children's toys in particular." 10/2/2007 (Age: 2 and Up)
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)
Zoobie™ Pets – Mashaka the Monkey by ZOOBIES
Part of the Safari Collection of Zoobie™ Pets, Mashaka the Monkey is a plush animal, pillow and blanket all in one. It wears a light-blue collar, and the blanket is detachable for washing convenience. The Zoobie Pets Safari Line was included on the ASTRA "Best-for-Kids" toy list for Holiday 2007 and received a Best Bet 2007 Award from the Canadian Toy Testing Council. Launch date: February 2007.
— Zoobie Pets' innovative three-in-one design has captured the attention of numerous retailers at trade shows this year, also garnering a TDmonthly Top Toy 2007 award. In addition to featuring soft, quality materials, the Zoobie Pet’s identity as a stuffed animal, pillow and blanket is executed extremely well, leaving great possibilities for travel and growth with any child.
— The new Zoobies were doing well for Brandy Lindstrom, manager of Little Blue Choo Choo in Scottsdale Ariz. in fall 2007.
— As of 05/13/2011 this product had 4 out of 5 stars from 3 reviews on Amazon.com. Cons: Two customers said they wished they had bought the larger size, because the "baby" size was smaller than they had expected.
Where to Buy: Kazoo Toys; Poopsie's ( Watch Video) 9/25/2007 (MSRP: $30.00; Age: 3 and Up)
Pentago Classic by MINDTWISTER USA
Pentago Classic is a game that comes from Sweden, the country that brought the world the Vikings and the Nobel Prize. Swedes are known for their clever and simple styles, and this game is simple and stylistic but utilizes deep strategy and logic. Introduced in Sweden in 2004, it won the prestigious “Game of the Year” award in that country in 2005. Each game is handcrafted of wood and aluminum in a choice of three colors and includes glass marbles. "I'd buy one for myself, actually," said Debbie Scholl, owner of Fundamentally Toys in Houston, who called the game "cool." Her first shipment had just arrived at the end of October. A fifth of retailers interviewed by TDmonthly after Toy Fair had already ordered the game.
— Pentago was a top seller at The Toy Shop of Concord in Concord, Mass., in December 2009, according to Owner David Hesel. “They have a working display, and we’ve sold 300 to 400 this year because they understand how to reach the customer,” Hesel said.
Watch Games Expo Video ( Watch Video) 6/2/2006 (MSRP: $24.95)
Ernie Fire Engine by WOW TOYS
Ernie Fire Engine comes to the rescue with his powerful friction motor and crew of firefighters. Little firefighters can ring his push-button bell and watch his revolving light before using the click-and-turn ladder to fight any imaginary blaze. The firefighter’s hand opens the back door to reveal two emergency barriers. Ernie is great for long-lasting role-play fun.
— “Wow is an excellent line of cars, especially for the 1- to 1½ -year-olds,” said Fred Rosenberg, owner of On the Park in Kingwood, Texas, in spring 2007. “It’s hard to find things as well made as [Wow] that you can actually sell to that age. In the fall , we brought them in, and they’ve done very well.” They’ve also become a best seller for Brain Station and Tree Town Toys in Ann Arbor, Mich., Owners Hans and Tricia Masing told TDmonthly in fall 2007.
— “This is my baby’s favorite toy. She plays with it every day,” shared TDmonthly's Baby Roundtable reviewer Sharri Hefner. She and her co-reviewers voted Ernie No. 1 for lasting value out of the 12 toys they evaluated from March to July 2007.
— Ernie Fire Engine is full of “wow” for toddlers — from its friction-prompted motion and siren to its friendly face and likable figurines. Doors that open and close, a workable ladder and attractive packaging also contributed to its receipt of a TDmonthly Top Toy 2007 award. Saving trips to the store to buy batteries (it doesn’t need them) helped, too! ( Watch Video) 5/10/2007 (MSRP: $29.99; Age: 2 to 5)
Harry Copter Animal Rescue by WOW TOYS
Up, up and away, Harry the helicopter to the rescue! Hold his sturdy handle and squeeze the trigger to activate his friction-powered main rotor, then pick up the injured animals with his magnetic lift and drop them off safely by turning the searchlight. He’s also got a clicking tail rotor. A flying vet figure, a panda, lion and crocodile complete this wonderful role-play set.
— “My 3-year-old girl loves rescuing the animals,” said Penelope Pauley, a member of TDmonthly’s Baby Roundtable review panel. “The animals move into other games as well. It’s very versatile.” It was the No. 2 pick of 12 toys evaluated for lasting value. ( Watch Video) 11/28/2006 (MSRP: $34.99; Age: 2 to 5)
MACK Granite Cement Mixer by BRUDER TOYS AMERICA INC.
With this MACK truck, kids can turn the crank to make the cement mixer spin. The doors open and close, and the cab can be tilted forward for viewing of the engine. The truck has treaded tires and a movable chute fed by the drum. It measures 25.8” L x 7.3” W x 10.8” H. ( Watch Video) 9/28/2007 (Age: 3 to 7)