August 2010 | Vol. IX - No. 8
Sophie the Giraffe by CALISSON INC.
Suitable for babies 0 to 3 months and up, this teether and discovery toy features a contrasting spot pattern that offers visual stimulation, plus a squeaker for amusement. It is made of natural rubber from Hevea tree and colored with food paint. Sophie is distributed in the United States by Calisson.
— Retailers surveyed by TDmonthly have been naming Sophie the Giraffe as a best-seller since 2009.
― Nicole Boomhover, assistant manager of Learning Express in Cahaba Heights, Ala. told TDmonthly in late Spring 2011 that they sold between five and ten Sophies a month.
— In an April 2012 survey, three out of 11 retailers told TDmonthly that Sophie the Giraffe was their best selling infant & toddler product.
― “Sophie giraffe is a great baby product that we order over and over again,” Diana Nelson, owner of Kazoo & Company in Denver, Co., told TDmonthly in June 2010. “I can't keep them on the shelf,” agreed Keith Schumacker, general manager at Talbot’s Toyland in San Mateo, Calif.
― During a March 2010 survey of 39 retailers, seven said Sophie the Giraffe is a top-selling toy for infants. Sales averaged 24 per month.
— Want this? As of 05/06/2011, this product was available for purchase at Learning Express of Cahaba Heights, Ala.
AWARDS: 2014 TDmonthly Magazine Top Toy Award, 2010 TDmonthly Top Seller ( Watch Video) 4/10/2009 (Age: 0 to 1)
"Squishies" Squishy Pencil Toppers by SQWISHLAND LLC
Squishlanders are fun, 3/4" rubbery animals in a plastic capsule that can be found in more than 300,000 vending machines around the world. The squishie characters were first introduced 4 years ago as Pet Friends, and more than 55 million of the little creatures have been sold since that time. Each Sqwishlander comes with a code for access to a new kid-friendly virtual world, www.Sqwishland.com.
— Squishies pencil toppers were on the top-10 best-seller list at Totally Thomas Toy Depot in San Diego in July 2010. “They are the hottest trend in Southern California as of this spring,” President Cynthia Wyatt told TDmonthly. “’Regulars’ and ‘Rares’ — they collect them all!” 7/28/2010 (MSRP: $3.74; Age: 5 and Up)
Crane Truck by BRUDER TOYS AMERICA INC.
This truck measures 16.7" x 6.9" x 9.5" and includes a telescopic and height-adjustable crane unit swivels 360 degrees and features a locking mechanism for the hook. Other features include rubber-like wheels and a toolbox that opens and closes.
— Bruder trucks were on the top-10 best-seller list at Totally Thomas Toy Depot in San Diego in July 2010. “Customers really love the working parts and the German quality that so sets this toy apart,” President Cynthia Wyatt told TDmonthly. “As a Flagship dealer, we have access to Bruder’s replacement parts service, and are able to support this product end-to-end. Bruder’s service that they back us with is awesome. Not to mention we usually get next-day service when we do order from them. They are a great company to work with.”
— Kelly Ratoff, manager, says the Kennebunk Toy Co., in Kennebunk, Me., sells approximately 25 Bruder toys per month. ( Watch Video) 6/29/2010
Doinkit™ Dart Board by MARKY SPARKY TOYS
This dartboard set includes six balanced darts that feature N-35 Neodymium rare earth magnets and the lightweight, durable Doinkit material that keeps the darts flying perfectly true. The darts will work on any magnetic dart board.
— Owner Elaine Hackney of Boing! JP’s Toy Shop in Jamaica Plain, Mass., told TDmonthly in summer 2007 that she has been selling lots of these dart boards for years. “The quality is great. The holding power of the magnets is great. The price is right,” she explained.
— Doinkit Darts have been “unbelievable” for Piccolo Mondo Toys of Portland, Ore., Owner Michelle Smith told TDmonthly at the end of 2008. JoAnn Farrugia, owner of JaZams in Pennington, N.J., reported sales of about three dozen per month of Doinkit Darts in a March 2009 survey of best sellers.
— “The [Doinkit] Darts sell really well for kids and adults,” said Lauren Obenour, manager of Portland, Oregon’s Green Frog Toys, where the product is among the best-selling sports and outdoor toys, as of spring 2009.
— Doinkit Darts are a “longtime best seller” at Totally Thomas Toy Depot in San Diego, as reported in July 2010 by President Cynthia Wyatt. “The rare earth magnets in the darts are super strong, stay put, and don’t bounce off. They’re very safe and don’t damage your walls. Nothing but fun!” she said.
Past Videos: ASTRA 2008 ( Watch Video) 8/13/2007 (MSRP: $22.95; Age: 3 and Up)
Thomas & Friends™ Take-n-Play™ Thomas - Hiro by FISHER-PRICE INC.
Take-n-Play Thomas diecast railway models are high-quality replicas that measure 3” to 5” long. They are compatible with the discontinued Take-Along Thomas trains.
— Take-n-Play Thomas items were top sellers at Totally Thomas Toy Depot in San Diego in summer 2010. “Hiro is still the most sought-after engine since last year when the Great Discovery movie came out,” President Cynthia Wyatt told TDmonthly. 7/28/2010 (MSRP: $6.99; Age: 3 and Up)
Calico Critters Deluxe Living Room Set by INTERNATIONAL PLAYTHINGS LLC
This set for critter families includes more than 40 furniture pieces and accessories, including a light-up fire place complete with tools and fire logs, a comfortable couch, arm chairs, a coffee maker, a telephone, a clock, newspapers and more. Cons: Lots of little pieces that are hard to assemble.
— In late Spring 2011, 4 out of 12 retailers said toys from Calico Critters were their best-selling play sets.
— Calico Critters made the top-10 best-seller list at Totally Thomas Toy Depot in San Diego in July 2010. “We sell a ton of critters and accessories of all sorts, but the Deluxe Living Room Set seems to be on everybody’s list,” President Cynthia Wyatt told TDmonthly. “These precious critters are absolutely irresistible as are the homes and accessories.”
AWARDS: 2010 TDmonthly Top Seller (entire Calico Critters line) 7/28/2010 (MSRP: $24.99; Age: 3 and Up)
My Pillow Pets Ladybug by CJ PRODUCTS
This 18" ladybug is made of soft red and black plush. Open the velcro closure to use the bug as a pillow, then close the velcro to create a soft pet.
— According to Cynthia Wyatt, president of Totally Thomas Toy Depot in San Diego, My Pillow Pets were on the store’s top-10 best-seller list in July 2010. “Soft and cuddly!” she told TDmonthly. “They are the perfect pal for naptime and nighttime. They sell well … when we can get them, that is!”
— As of 8.03.2010, this product had 3.5 out of 5 stars from 23 reviews on Amazon.com and was No. 11 in the top 100 best-selling toys and games. PROS: Soft, cuddly and kids respond well to it. CONS: Some parents questioned whether it is actually washable.
— Want this? As of 05/06/2011, this product was available for purchase at Toys & Co. ( Watch Video) 7/27/2010 (MSRP: $29.95)
Thomas & Friends Wooden Railway – James the Red Engine by LEARNING CURVE
James likes to think of himself as a really splendid engine. This can occasionally lead to grandiose ideas about the sort of work suitable for such a noble creature, which invariably lands James in trouble. This engine measures 6” x 1.5” x 2”.
— Items from the wooden railway system were top sellers at Totally Thomas’ Toy Depot in San Diego, Cal. in the summer of 2010, according to Cindy Wyatt, president. “Since the Misty Island Rescue Movie is just making its debut, we expect to see our sales soar on Dash the Logging Engine and his buddies Bash and Captain,” she said.
— Thomas is a big hobby for little kids. Though she doesn't sell a lot during the year, ''I bring it in at Christmas time,'' said Jeanne McCullough, owner of The Children's Store in Boise, Idaho. 7/28/2010 (MSRP: $21.99; Age: 2 and Up)
Thomas & Friends Pez Candy Dispensers by PEZ
Candy dispensers shaped like your favorite train are ready for loading up with sweet treats.
— Thomas & Friends Pez candy dispensers were top sellers at Totally Thomas Toy Depot in San Diego as of July 2010, according to Cynthia Wyatt, president. “Yummy and collectible,” she said. “The perfect treat for any Thomas fan.” 7/28/2010 (MSRP: $1.99)
Blue Angels U.S. Navy Kite by BRAINSTORMPRODUCTS LLC
With a wingspan of 30” and height of 31”, this nylon jet stunt kite features a fiberglass airframe and includes Skytails, a line and a dual-control handle. The wind rating for this style is 7 to 15 mph.
— “A personal favorite of mine are the Blue Angels Kites. Our store is down the road from MCAS Miramar (formerly Miramar Naval Air Station). Many military people live in our community and we see military aircraft regularly, so this kite is really popular. In general, our Brainstorm kites outsell all our others. They’re priced well and have some really fun styles,” Cynthia Wyatt, president of Totally Thomas Toy Depot in San Diego, told TDmonthly in July 2010. 7/28/2010 (Age: 10 and Up)