ToyDirectory
October 21, 2017

TDmonthly Magazine

August 2010 | Vol. IX - No. 8


What's HOT: Toys That Draw the Masses, Part 2

Beach Sets and Moons Cater to Outdoor Enthusiasts

By Ashley Heaton
August 2010

Want to know the hottest toys out there? Online buying activity reveals that Silly Bandz from BCP Imports, LeapFrog, LEGO and Melissa & Doug are among the most popular playthings on the market. Take a look at this lineup of best sellers from Amazon.com and other mass-market sites including Toys "R" Us, Target and Walmart. View Part 1

Quiddler by SET ENTERPRISES INC.

Quiddler by SET ENTERPRISES INC.

A fast word game played with cards, Quiddler is designed for 1 to 8 players. Each game consists of eight hands. The first hand is played with three cards, and a card is added during each hand until the players begin the final hand with 10 cards each. The object of the game is to combine an entire hand into words of two or more letters, drawing and discarding on each turn. The first player to have an entire hand of words goes out. Quiddler is a deck of 181 cards.
— “People love the rummy concept, where you need to go out, and this is an unusual variation with a little bit of Scrabble thrown in,” explained Roberta Edwards, owner of Wishes Toys & Gifts in La Quinta, Calif. Clifford Jackson, assistant manager of The Wizard’s Chest in Denver, Colo., said his customers appreciate “not only the ability to spell, but [that] it also focuses on smaller words (three to five letters), so you play faster and also focus.”
— In summer 2007, two of 32 retailers cited Quiddler as a best-selling card game in their stores. Of 64 retailers surveyed in August 2008, nine named Quiddler as their top-selling card game. One year later, four of 38 retailers cited it as a best-selling card game. In August 2010, 12 percent of 43 retailers named Quiddler a top seller in the card game category, with one citing sales of 96 monthly.
AWARDS: 2010 TDmonthly Top Seller


 11/2/2005 (MSRP: $12.00; Age: 8 and Up)


LEGO Mindstorms NXT 2.0 by LEGO

LEGO Mindstorms NXT 2.0 by LEGOThe intelligent 612-piece NXT Lego brick features 32-bit microprocessor, a large matrix display, 4 input and 3 output ports, and Bluetooth and USB communication link; batteries not included. This set includes interactive servo motors and four sensors (Ultrasonic Sensor, 2 Touch Sensors and the all-new Color Sensor). The Color Sensor has triple functionality; it distinguishes colors and light settings, and functions as a lamp. This product comes with easy-to-use software (PC and Mac) with icon-based drag-and-drop programming and 16 fun building and programming challenges, along with building instructions for 4 new amazing robots. Awards: 2010 TOTY Award
— As of 7.27.2010, this product had 4.5 out of 5 stars from 46 reviews on Amazon.com, and was listed No. 44 in the top 100 best-selling toys and games. PROS: Teaches simple programming with well-designed, easy-to-use software. Encourages creative play. CONS: Not innovative enough; doesn't allow for open-ended play; one customer received two defective sets before receiving one that worked.
— In late Spring 2011, 25% of retailers surveyed said LEGO was their best-selling brand of construction toys. 2/15/2010 (MSRP: $279.99; Age: 3 and Up)


Beach Set in Bag by TOYSMITH

Beach Set in Bag by TOYSMITHThis beach kit for children comes with essential items in a reusable zipper bag. The set includes a 5" watering can, a 9.5" shovel-sieve, a 9.5" spade, a 9.5" rake, two sand molds, a bucket with a handle and a 6.5" diameter sieve.
— As of 7.27.2010, this product had 4 out of 5 stars from 21 reviews on Amazon.com, and was listed No. 48 in the top 100 best-selling toys and games. PROS: Children found it engaging and entertaining. CONS: Not very durable. 4/22/2010 (MSRP: $12.99; Age: All Ages)


Moon in My Room by UNCLE MILTON INDUSTRIES INC.

Moon in My Room by UNCLE MILTON INDUSTRIES INC.This authentically sculpted and detailed moon hemisphere attaches to any wall and lights up internally to illuminate any room. A remote control allows the user to display 12 different realistic moon phases (full moon, crescent, etc.). Also included is a 15-minute CD Audio Tour so kids can learn about the moon, its effect on the Earth, where humans landed and all of the age-old myths and legends about it. It works great as a sophisticated nightlight, too.
— As of 8.03.2010, this product had 4.5 out of 5 stars from 162 reviews on Amazon.com and was No. 49 in the top 100 best-selling toys and games. PROS: Engaging for all ages. Turns off automatically. CONS: LED lights are not replaceable, and batteries wear out quickly. 1/10/2006 (Age: 6 and Up)


Tag Reading System by LEAPFROG

Tag Reading System by LEAPFROGThe electronic reading pen contains a small infrared camera that recognizes letters, words and symbols printed on the pages of Tag books. The pen delivers audio, games and activities that correspond with the specific book the child is reading. Tag's 16MB memory capacity allows it to hold up to five books at any given time. Tag also tells parents which words kids are reading well, and documents the amount of time kids spend reading.
— As of 8.03.2010, this product had 4 out of 5 stars from 43 reviews on Amazon.com and was No. 50 in the top 100 best-selling toys and games. PROS: Educational, entertaining and portable. CONS: Requires a computer with USB port and CD device. Is not compatible with some MAC computer systems. 2/27/2008 (MSRP: $49.99; Age: 4 to 8)


TotSports Easy Score Basketball Set by LITTLE TIKES INC.

TotSports Easy Score Basketball Set by LITTLE TIKES INC.This adjustable basketball set features an oversized rim and junior size basketball. Baskets are easier to make, encouraging more active, winning play.
— As of 05/20/2011, this product had 4.3 out of 5 stars from 103 reviews on Amazon.com, and was listed No. 22 in the top 100 best-selling toys and games. PROS: Adjustable, durable and "addicting" for kids. Appeals to a wide age range. CONS: Board can bend forward. 5/2/2005 (MSRP: $34.99; Age: 1 to 5)


Rumblin' Engine Lawn Mower by LITTLE TIKES INC.

RumblinThis pretend lawn mower features mechanical sounds that require no batteries. It comes with three yard tools and a removable gas can with lid, for "filling up" the mower.
 — As of 8.12.10, this product had 4 out of 5 stars from 20 reviews on ToysRUs.com and was listed No. 23 in best-selling toys and games. PROS: Sturdy, easy to assemble, attractive design. 8/12/2010 (MSRP: $24.99; Age: 1 and Up)


LEGO Star Wars Snow Trooper Army Pack by LEGO

LEGO Star Wars Snow Trooper Army Pack by LEGOWith this army pack, children can lead the attack on planet Hoth by launching flick fire missiles from a battle station. This pack, designed to celebrate the 30th anniversary of "The Empire Strikes Back" includes two snowtroopers, one Imperial officer and one AT-AT driver.
— As of 05/12/2011 this product had 4.5 out of 5 stars from 34 reviews on Amazon.com. Cons: Pieces are small and hard to put together for younger kids; smaller than depicted.
— As of 8.12.10, this product had 4 out of 5 stars from eight reviews on ToysRUs.com and was listed No. 20 in best-selling toys and games. PROS: Colorful, sturdy and easy to assemble.
— Dave Campbell, owner of Amazing Toys in Great Falls, Mont.,  said he sells about 24 LEGO Star Wars toys per month. 8/12/2010 (MSRP: $12.99; Age: 6 and Up)


Barbie Shower and Show Horse by MATTEL INC.

Barbie Shower and Show Horse by MATTEL INC.Girls can place this horse in the glitter-pink tub and use the real working shower head with water to reveal pink color change streaks on her mane and tail, plus colorful body art designs. Tawny the horse comes with a saddle, trophies, ribbons and treats.
 — As of 8.12.10, this product had 4 out of 5 stars from six reviews on ToysRUs.com and was listed No. 19 in best-selling toys and games. PROS: Entertaining, cute and encourages imaginative play. CONS: Some parents questioned its quality. 8/12/2010 (MSRP: $24.98; Age: 3 and Up)


Kung Zhu Pets Battle Arena by CEPIA LLC

Kung Zhu Pets Battle Arena by CEPIA LLCWith eight original characters split into two battling groups called Special Forces and Ninja Warriors, Kung Zhu Pet owners will have the thrill of training each character to transform fighting, battling warriors. While these Kung Zhu hamsters may start of as "cute" and "mild-mannered" once they are sent into their main training grounds, smart chip technology will actually allow for a distinct personality transformation of fighting ninja and warriors.
 — As of 8.12.10, this product had 4 out of 5 stars from seven reviews on ToysRUs.com and was listed No. 14 in best-selling toys and games. PROS: Easy to use and entertaining. CONS: Not very durable. 8/12/2010 (MSRP: $34.99; Age: 3 and Up)


Crayola Magnetic Double Easel by CRAYOLA LLC

Crayola Magnetic Double Easel by CRAYOLA LLCThis magnetic dry-erase boardand chalkboard provides a large work area. Each board includes a clip to hold paper. The set includes four detachable storage bins for holding art accessories and a folding easel for easy storage, and comes with an eraser and 77 magnetic letters and numbers.
 — As of 8.12.10, this product had 4 out of 5 stars from 130 reviews on ToysRUs.com and was listed No. 6 in best-selling toys and games. PROS: Educational, long-lasting, engaging. CONS: Messy; some parents questioned its quality. 8/12/2010 (MSRP: $44.99; Age: 3 and Up)


G.I. Joe Duke Ultimate Soldier by HASBRO INC.

G.I. Joe Duke Ultimate Soldier by HASBRO INC.When several members of his team were held captive in a COBRA fortress, G.I. Joe Duke the Ultimate Soldier armed himself in a special suit that turns the wearer into a one-person fighting system. This 8" Duke action figure comes with a backpack, an electronic lights and sounds heavy laser cannon, a fire storm blaster, three pulse missiles, a flame blaster, a flame projectile, a power cutter saw and a helmet.
 — As of 8.12.10, this product had 4 out of 5 stars from 10 reviews on ToysRUs.com and was listed No. 12 in best-selling toys and games. PROS: Detailed and realistic; inspires imaginative play. 8/12/2010 (MSRP: $12.98; Age: 5 and Up)


Littlest Pet Shop Go Fish Card Game by HASBRO INC.

Littlest Pet Shop Go Fish Card Game by HASBRO INC.In this game, players compete to collect the most matching pets.
 — As of 8.12.10, this product had 5 out of 5 stars from tworeviews on ToysRUs.com and was listed No. 4 in best-selling toys and games. PROS: Durable, easy to use, interactive. 8/12/2010 (MSRP: $5.99; Age: 5 and Up)


Toy Story Memory Board Game by HASBRO INC.

Toy Story Memory Board Game by HASBRO INC.This Memory game features the beloved characters from the Toy Story films.
 — As of 8.12.10, this product had 5 out of 5 stars fromsix reviews on ToysRUs.com and was listed No. 3 in best-selling toys and games. PROS: Educational, durable, easy to use. 8/12/2010 (MSRP: $9.99; Age: 3 and Up)


Imaginext Space Shuttle Play Set by FISHER-PRICE INC.

Imaginext Space Shuttle Play Set by FISHER-PRICE INC.With this play set, kids can pressa button for takeoff sounds and blinking lights, turn a figure to open doors, open the solar panels, activate the stairs or rotate the crane. The set includes a tower with elevator, a shuttle with crane, a moon vehicle, two figures, two helmets, a console and three AA alkaline batteries.
 — As of 8.12.10, this product had 5 out of 5 stars from two reviews on ToysRUs.com and was listed No. 17 in best-selling toys and games. PROS: Easy to assemble and use; well-made. 8/12/2010


Smart Cycle Extreme Software: Disney Pixar's Cars by FISHER-PRICE INC.

Smart Cycle Extreme Software: Disney PixarChildren can explore the area around Radiator Springs as they learn early math skills, letters, colors, shapes and more.
As of 8.12.10, this product had 4 out of 5 stars from two reviews on ToysRUs.com and was listed No. 1 in best-selling toys and games. PROS: Easy to use, educational, engaging. 8/12/2010 (MSRP: $21.99; Age: 5 and Up)


Laugh and Learn Say Please Tea Set by FISHER-PRICE INC.

Laugh and Learn Say Please Tea Set by FISHER-PRICE INC.This set includes a teapot, two pretty cups, three tasty treats and plenty of songs, sounds and fun phrases. It is designed to introduce children to pretend play while they learn about counting, shapes, opposites, manners and more. Open the lid for magical interaction and a peek-a-boo pal inside, or press the teabag to hear a song. Two AA batteries are required.
— As of 8.03.2010, this product had 5 out of 5 stars from 72 reviews on Amazon.com and was #47 in the top 100 best-selling toys and games. PROS: Cute, clean, educational and durable. CONS: Electronic component can include defects. 8/3/2010 (MSRP: $18.99; Age: 1 to 3)


NERF N-Strike Maverick by HASBRO INC.

NERF N-Strike Maverick by HASBRO INC.The Maverick blaster features a six-dart rotating barrel with easy flip loading, rapid launching action, a pullback mechanism and an auto-advancing barrel. The Maverick is a part of the N-Strike team, so it can snap onto the NERF Unity Power System. Six darts and instructions are included.
— As of 05/21/2012 this product had 4.4 out of 5 stars from 302 reviews on Amazon.com. PROS: Well-priced, easy to assemble and use, darts fly far. CONS: Darts lack durability. 8/3/2010 (MSRP: $14.99; Age: 6 and Up)


Medical Kit by FISHER-PRICE INC.

Medical Kit by FISHER-PRICE INC.This kit includes everything a child needs to pretend to be a doctor, such as a blood pressure cuff with a spinning gauge, a working stethoscope, a thermometer, and a bandage.
As of 8.16.10, this product had 4 out of 5 stars from 43 reviews on ToysRUs.com and was listed No. 35 in best-selling toys and games. PROS: Durable, realistic, well-priced, entertaining.
— Barbara Fineblum, owner of Barston's Child's Play in Baltimore, Md., told TD in October 2014 that this kit was one of her store's best-selling preschool items. 8/2/2005 (MSRP: $10.99; Age: 3 to 7)


Lullaby Classics Audio CD by BABY EINSTEIN

Lullaby Classics Audio CD by BABY EINSTEINThis album offers educational lullabyes for children.
— As of 8.12.10, this product had 4 out of 5 stars from nine reviews on ToysRUs.com and was listed No. 22 in best-selling toys and games. PROS: Relaxing and uplifting. 7/6/2006 (MSRP: $6.99; Age: 0 and Up)


The Very Hungry Caterpillar by PENGUIN GROUP USA

The Very Hungry Caterpillar by PENGUIN GROUP USAThis 32-page hardcover tells the classic story of the caterpillar who eats, eats and eats, and then transforms into a lovely butterfly. Launch date: October 15, 1981.
— Two of 44 specialty retailers named this as one of their best-selling books in late 2009.
— As of 8.12.10, this product had 5 out of 5 stars from 17 reviews on ToysRUs.com and was listed No. 21 in best-selling toys and games. PROS: Engaging, interactive and easy for children to understand. 12/7/2009 (MSRP: $21.99; Age: 1 to 6)


Bakugan 7-in-1 Maxus Dragonoid by SPIN MASTER TOYS

Bakugan 7-in-1 Maxus Dragonoid by SPIN MASTER TOYSMaxus Dragonoid is a combination of 7 Bakugan (1 Bakugan and 6 Bakugan Trap) that unite to form the ultimate monster. The 6 Bakugan Trap that make up Maxus Dragonoid are unique to the Maxus Dragonoid monster and cannot be found in any other Bakugan products. Comes with Grakas Hound, Dark Hound, Grafias, Brachium, Spitarm, SpyderFencer & Neo Dragonoid. All the Bakugan that compose Maxus Dragonoid can also be used individually in the game. 1 Bakugan and 7 Bakugan Traps unite into ONE. Awards: 2010 TOTY Award Winner
— As of 8.12.10, this product had 4 out of 5 stars from 25 reviews on ToysRUs.com and was listed No. 16 in best-selling toys and games. PROS: Detailed, easy to use and entertaining. CONS: Small parts. 2/15/2010 (MSRP: $39.99; Age: 3 and Up)


Mighty Beanz - 3 pack by SPIN MASTER TOYS

Mighty Beanz - 3 pack by SPIN MASTER TOYSMighty Beanz are collectible and playable versions of the old Mexican jumping beans. These little characters can do tricks, race each other down along and come in more than 100 fun characters with sports, ocean and zoo themes and more. Accessories are sold separately.
— As of 8.12.10, this product had 4 out of 5 stars from 28 reviews on ToysRUs.com and was listed No. 13 in best-selling toys and games. PROS: Easy to play, entertaining, interactive. CONS: Some parents felt this product did not hold children's interest. (Watch the Mighty Beanz - 3 pack Video Watch Video) 1/12/2010


Goodnight Moon by HARPERCOLLINS PUBLISHERS

Goodnight Moon by HARPERCOLLINS PUBLISHERSMore than 60 years old, Margaret Wise Brown’s “Goodnight Moon” continues to lull children to sleep with its gently colored illustrations by Clement Hurd and simple, soothing message. The baby bunny in the story goes to bed, bidding goodnight to all of the things in the bedroom and the familiar view outside the window. 
— “My classics like ‘Goodnight Moon’” are top sellers in the book category, said Elizabeth Ryan, owner of Tales & Toys in Venice, Calif.
— Three of 52 retailers told TDmonthly in November 2008 that “Goodnight Moon” is a best-selling book for them.
— As of 8.12.10, this product had 4 out of 5 stars from 65 reviews on ToysRUs.com and was listed No. 7 in best-selling toys and games. PROS: Vivid illustrations, stimulates imagination, entertains while teaching values. 12/10/2008 (MSRP: $17.99; Age: 3 and Up)






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