ToyDirectory
September 3, 2014

TDmonthly Magazine

August 2010 | Vol. IX - No. 8


Top-10 Most-Wanted Puzzles

Ravensburger Caters to Beginners and Enthusiasts

By Marie Raven
August 2010

With additional reporting by Chris Lundy, Claudia Newcorn and Brenda Ruggiero

Ravensburger is the resounding favorite brand in puzzles, a survey of 40 specialty retailers told TDmonthly Magazine in summer 2010. Numerous storeowners praised the brand's quality and said that both the smaller piece-count puzzles for young children as well as the complex, multi-thousand piece puzzles for adults are strong sellers. Melissa & Doug also grabs a wide audience with its wooden puzzles designed for toddlers, and sturdy floor puzzles for older children. Here are the top-10 best-selling puzzles.

Dress Up Duel Puzzle by RAVENSBURGER

Dress Up Duel Puzzle by RAVENSBURGERThis durable, 35-piece puzzle measures 11.5” x 8.25” when complete. Assembled, it features a softly watercolored illustration of two happy little ones roleplaying a sword-fighting princess and a mighty dragon in a room full of toys and dress-up accessories.
― “We always do well with Ravensburger because of the quality,” said Diane Sartain, owner of Tutoring Toy in Salt Lake City, Utah, in June 2010.
― Sandy Jones, owner of The Learning Faire in Napa, Calif., said in summer 2010 that “anything less than 65 pieces” from Ravensburger makes up her best-selling puzzles.
― Fifteen of 40 retailers told TDmonthly in June 2010 that Ravensburger is their best-selling puzzle brand. 7/21/2010 (MSRP: $9.49; Age: 4 and Up)


Wonders of the World Puzzle by RAVENSBURGER

Wonders of the World Puzzle by RAVENSBURGERTeenagers, adults and families can assemble this challenging 2,000-piece puzzle to a finished size of 38.5” x 29.5”. The picture is a richly colored montage of the world's great wonders, from ancient Stonehenge to the majestic Statue of Liberty. The photos are clustered around an image of the globe.
― “Ravensburger is my top brand,” said Terry Myers, owner of Kaleidoscope Toys in Round Rock, Texas, during a summer 2010 survey.
― “For the most part, our business is under 12, but we sell a surprising amount of the adult [Ravensburger] puzzles,” remarked John Naisbitt, owner of Thinker Things in Solana Beach, Calif., in June 2010.
― Nine of 40 retailers listed Ravensburger 1,000-piece puzzles as top-selling puzzles in summer 2010. 7/21/2010 (MSRP: $29.99; Age: 17 and Up)


Under the Sea Puzzle by MELISSA & DOUG

Under the Sea Puzzle by MELISSA & DOUGMeasuring 48” x 18” when assembled, this expansive, 100-piece floor puzzle from Melissa & Doug features an illustrated cross-section of ocean life from the sea floor to the water's sunny surface. Fish, vegetation and bottom-dwelling creatures mingle in vivid colors. The extra-thick pieces are designed to be durable and easy to handle.
― “The Melissa & Doug Floor Puzzles. You can't go wrong with those,” said Genevieve Collonge, manager of The Wooden Horse in Los Gatos, Calif., of her top-selling puzzles in June 2010.
― “[Our top seller] has been the floor puzzles from Melissa & Doug. [It's] always done really well, and we keep a nice big selection,” said Jason Curtis, owner of Funtopia in Middletown, Calif., in summer 2010.
― Nine of 40 retailers told TDmonthly in summer 2010 that Melissa & Doug Floor Puzzles are some of their best-selling puzzles. 7/21/2010 (MSRP: $12.99; Age: 6 and Up)


Safari Chunky Puzzle by MELISSA & DOUG

Safari Chunky Puzzle by MELISSA & DOUGA great beginner's puzzle in a 9” x 12” frame, Melissa & Doug's Safari Chunky Puzzle presents kids with eight whimsical African animals. Each thick wood piece fits neatly into its corresponding place on the panel and sticks up far enough for small fingers to easily grip and pull out. Each animal has its picture in full color underneath to keep matching easy, and the pieces are thick enough to stand up on their own for pretend play outside of the puzzle frame. 
― “Melissa & Doug [puzzles] sell two to three a day,” said Sandy Challinor, owner of Owl's Nest Toy Store in Southlake, Texas, in summer 2010.
― “[Melissa & Doug] is an excellent quality product,” said Diane Sartain, owner of Tutoring Toy in Salt Lake City, Utah, in June 2010.
― Ten percent of 40 retailers told TDmonthly during a summer 2010 survey that chunky puzzles from Melissa & Doug are their top-selling puzzles. 7/21/2010 (MSRP: $9.99; Age: 2 and Up)


Monsters Puzzle Tin by MUDPUPPY PRESS

Monsters Puzzle Tin by MUDPUPPY PRESSAssembled to a finished size of 18” x 12”, this 100-piece puzzle is home to a host of silly, grinning monsters. The puzzle is printed with non-toxic, soy-based ink on 90-percent recycled board, and comes in a reusable storage tin illustrated with the featured image.
― “Mudpuppy is a strong brand for us,” Diana Nelson, owner of Kazoo & Company in Denver, Colo., told TDmonthly during a summer 2010 survey on best-selling puzzles.
― During a June 2010 survey of 40 retailers, two retailers said Mudpuppy is their top-selling puzzle brand. 7/21/2010 (MSRP: $7.00; Age: 5 and Up)


Crazy Cheese by BLUE ORANGE GAMES

Crazy Cheese by BLUE ORANGE GAMESCrazy Cheese is both a puzzle and a brain-teaser, all in the same slice of cheese. With two levels of difficulty, the Crazy Cheese puzzle is designed to provide hours of entertainment for the whole family. "Beware, as simple as it appears, completing this puzzle without the solution key is a phenomenal feat of perseverance and brain power!" Bert Devort, Sales Department, Blue Orange Games, told TDmonthly. Launch date: February 14, 2010.
― Two of 40 retailers told TDmonthly in June 2010 that Crazy Cheese is one of their top-selling puzzles.
— Jeanette Lauture of Aunt Jean's Toys and Treats in Montclair, N.J. Sells about two to four Blue Orange games per month, she said in the fall of 2010. (Watch the Crazy Cheese Video Watch Video) 2/4/2010 (MSRP: $9.99; Age: 7 and Up)


Rubik's 30th Anniversary Wood Edition Cube by WINNING MOVES GAMES

RubikA limited edition released for the Rubik's Cube's 2010 30th anniversary, this cube is an original-sized, fully functional Rubik's Cube made of wood. Five of the six sides are painted in different colors, while one is left natural. 
― “Rubik's Cubes. The wooden ones that just came out … were gone in a week,” said Shana Hack, owner of Moon Rabbit Toys in Santa Fe, N.M., when TDmonthly asked about her best-selling puzzles in summer 2010.
― Barbara Fineblum, owner of Barston's Child's Play in Baltimore, Md., said in June 2010 that she sells 68 Rubik's Cubes per month. Of 40 retailers, two said Rubik's Cubes are their top-selling puzzle. 7/21/2010 (MSRP: $30.95; Age: 8 and Up)


Perplexus Original by PATCH PRODUCTS INC.

Perplexus Original by PATCH PRODUCTS INC.The first member of the Perplexus family, this see-through sphere houses a 3-D labyrinth game with 100 barriers, turns, twists and cliffhangers that serve as obstacles to getting a small steel ball to the end. Invented in 1970 by Michael McGinnis, a design teacher, Perplexus helps develop motor and dexterity skills, along with hand-eye coordination.
― As of 12/17/2012 this product had 4.4 out of 5 stars from 393 reviews on Amazon.com and was No. 12 on the top 100 bestselling toys and games.
— At Izilla Toys in Seattle, "Perplexus is selling really, really well for us," Co-owner Jude Larene told TDmonthly in late fall 2009.
— In summer 2010 this game was a top-10 best seller at Dancing Bear Toys in Asheville and Hendersonville, N.C..
Awards: 2012 Parents’ Choice Awards - Silver, 2011 Time Magazine – 15 Smartest Toys for Young Geniuses, 2011 Parent Tested Parent Approved – Seal of Approval, 2011 Grand Prix Kidexpo – Elu par les Parents (Parents’Choice), 2011 Children of Museum of Indianapolis – Top 10 Toys of 2011, 2011 Canadian Toy Testing Council – Children’s Choice, 2011 Babble List – Best Kids Toys, 2010 Toy Insider – Hot 20, 2010 The National Parenting Center – Seal of Approval, 2010 Prémio Brazil – Award of Excellence, 2010 Parents’ Magazine – Top Toys, 2010 NAPPA – Gold, 2010 ASTRA – Best Toy for Kids 12/2/2009 (MSRP: $24.99; Age: 6 and Up)


Rush Hour by THINKFUN

Rush Hour by THINKFUN

Voted one of Parent's Choice Foundation's "Best 25 Toys in 25 Years," Rush Hour puts players to the test, demanding thought and vision. As if the commute home isn’t enough, in these 40 beginner-to-expert challenges, players must navigate a red car through a traffic jam and gridlock to successfully leave the game board. Challenge cards fit neatly into a pull-out tray beneath the game tray. Watch video
― “Logic games are selling very well, particularly (those from) ThinkFun,” Amy Akin, manager of Giggles for Kids in Suwanee, Ga., told  TDmonthly in early 2009.
― “We do really well with ThinkFun games — problem solving, like Rush Hour,” added William Bingham, owner of Firefly Toy Shop in Milford, Pa. When asked about best-selling item for tween boys in October 2009, Fred Meyer, owner of Meyer's Toy World in Battle Creek, Mich., told TDmonthly, “Rush Hour is great. We sell hundreds.” It was named a best-selling game by five of 38 retailers in Feb. 2010. During a summer 2010 survey of 40 retailers, two said Rush Hour from ThinkFun is their top-selling puzzle, citing sales of up to 60 pieces per month.
AWARDS: 2010 TDmonthly Top Seller 9/29/2005 (MSRP: $15.99; Age: 8 and Up)


USA Map Puzzle by SMALL WORLD TOYS

USA Map Puzzle by SMALL WORLD TOYSSmall World Toys' USA Map is a bright, durable wooden puzzle featuring all 50 states. Each piece is shaped like its corresponding state and fits into the carefully shaped outline. In addition to the geography of the nation, pieces feature a state's major cities and industries on the front, with the capital listed underneath the piece.
― James Burdette, owner of LB Toys in Media, Pa., said in June 2010 that his store sells 35 USA Map Puzzles per month.
― Two of 40 retailers told TDmonthly in summer 2010 that their best-selling puzzle is the USA Map Puzzle. 7/21/2010 (MSRP: $20.99; Age: 5 and Up)




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