ToyDirectory
December 15, 2017

TDmonthly Magazine

September 2010 | Vol. IX - No. 9


TDmonthly Goes Inside: Toy Castle, Jonesboro, Ark.

Specialty Store Makes Kids the King

By Alison Marek
September 2010

TDmonthly Magazine sent its video crew all the way to Jonesboro, Ark. to take a peek inside Toy Castle. Manager Nathan McKelvey shared some of his best-selling toys with us. Be sure to scroll down to watch all of the videos:

Color a Glambrella by ALEX BRANDS

Color a Glambrella by ALEX BRANDSThis pre-printed umbrella is designed to let children exercise their creativity and stay dry in style. The measures 24" and comes with six bright weatherproof markers. (Watch the Color a Glambrella Video Watch Video) 8/10/2010 (MSRP: $17.99; Age: 4 and Up)


UFC Series 1 Chuck The Iceman Liddell Figure by JAKKS PACIFIC INC.

UFC Series 1 Chuck The Iceman Liddell Figure by JAKKS PACIFIC INC.This action figure is fully articulated and is designed to resemble UFC star Chuck "The Iceman" Liddell. (Watch the UFC Series 1 Chuck The Iceman Liddell Figure Video Watch Video) 8/10/2010 (MSRP: $12.99; Age: 4 and Up)


KaZAM™ by KAZAM LLC

KaZAM™ by KAZAM LLCThe KaZAM provides an alternative way to learn to ride a pedaled bicycle based on the concept of balance first, pedal last. It is a training bicycle that assists children to balance, increase coordination and ultimately ride a traditional bicycle for the first time with confidence. "This customized toddler bicycle has the steering and balancing challenges of a traditional bicycle but it has no pedals, chain or training wheels. Unlike all the competitors on the market, there is no more awkwardness with where to put your feet when gliding and cruising on a run bike — the KaZAM is uniquely designed with a foot rest area thereby making the transition onto a pedaled bicycle quicker and seamless! Because of its unique patented footrest and design, KaZAM appeals instantly to children and their parents," John Lugo, partner at KaZAM, told TDmonthly. Launch date: November 15, 2008.
Awards: Dr. Toy 100 Best Children's Products - 2010
— "All colors are great,"Kate Tanner, owner of Kidstop Toys, told TDmonthly at Toy Fair 2010.
— Glisyn Lewis Jarrells, manager of Imaginations Toy & Furniture Colo. in Blacksburg, Va., told TDmonthly in a March 2013 survey that they sell around 10 Kazam balance bikes during the warm-weather months.
— In a July 2013 survey Diana Nelson, owner of Kazoo Toys in Denver, Colo., told TDmonthly that Kazam balance bikes are her store's overall best-selling toy. (Watch the KaZAM™ Video Watch Video) 6/29/2009 (MSRP: $99.95; Age: 3 to 5)


Calico Critters Deluxe Village House by INTERNATIONAL PLAYTHINGS LLC

Calico Critters Deluxe Village House by INTERNATIONAL PLAYTHINGS LLCSuitable for ages 9 months and up, this three-story home features nine rooms and measures 17" x 17.5" x 17". It includes a spiral staircase, bay windows, French doors, a balcony, and front-porch steps and lanterns. It comes assembled except for some accessories.
— “Calico Critters has a townhouse that was given to us … [and] sits on a play table,” Jennifer Vanderish, co-owner of Picayune Toys in Dunwoody, Ga., told TDmonthly in early summer 2008. “Kids just love it; it's amazing.”
— “Calico Critters — they've moved away from wood,” said Margy Pein, owner of Tree House Toy Shop in Cumberland, Md., when asked about best-selling furniture and playhouses. “We also have Plan, and Calico Critters outsells it six to one.”
— Four of 62 retailers named Calico Critters when asked about best-selling furniture and playhouses in June 2008. (Watch the Calico Critters Deluxe Village House Video Watch Video) 7/10/2008 (MSRP: $129.99; Age: 1 and Up)


John Deere Big Scoop Dump Truck by LEARNING CURVE

John Deere Big Scoop Dump Truck by LEARNING CURVEThis 15" truck is designed for smaller hands. It features easy-to-use functional loaders and dump boxes, in addition to free-rolling wheels and child-friendly designs. (Watch the John Deere Big Scoop Dump Truck Video Watch Video) 8/10/2010 (MSRP: $39.99; Age: 3 and Up)


Giraffe Plush by MELISSA & DOUG

Giraffe Plush by MELISSA & DOUGThis cuddly, huggable plush is designed to look realistic and can stand on its own. (Watch the Giraffe Plush Video Watch Video) 8/10/2010 (MSRP: $99.99; Age: 3 and Up)


Melissa & Doug Deluxe Easel by MELISSA & DOUG

Melissa & Doug Deluxe Easel by MELISSA & DOUGKids can paint with sweeping gestures when they use this generous-sized easel. One side is a chalkboard, the other´s a dry-erase board. Load a piece of paper into the paper holder and kids can paint and scribble to their heart’s content. Each side of the easel features a colorful tray that can hold paints, cups, chalk, erasers, clips and more. “Our Deluxe Easel has become one of our best-selling items because of its great value, high-quality construction and versatility,” said Rick Davis, part of the marketing team at Melissa & Doug. It has two adjustable boards that allow children of all sizes to enjoy painting and creating, and the easy-to-clean trays are removable in seconds.”
— This product has been making the TDmonthly Best-sellers lists since 2005.
—  As of 1.06.2011 this product had 4.5 out of 5 stars from 647 reviews on Amazon.com and was No. 18 on the top 100 bestselling toys and games. Pros: Double Sided; easy to clean. Cons: Supplies must be purchased separately.
— "The Melissa & Doug Easel, hands-down, beats everything in terms of dollars. It's well-made and good value," was the praise given by David Campbell, owner of Amazing Toys in Great Falls, Mont.
— “Our easel, from Melissa & Doug, just blows out of here,” said Nishan Shepard, owner of Rockridge Kids in Oakland, Calif., in early 2010.
— Seven of 48 retailers named the easel as their top-selling art item in January 2010, reporting average sales of three per month.
— This easel has been a consistent best seller for Jillie Beans Toys & More of Westminster, Colo., since the store opened in 2006. (April 2010) (Watch the Melissa & Doug Deluxe Easel Video Watch Video) 9/29/2005 (MSRP: $49.99; Age: 4 and Up)


Shape Sorting Cube by MELISSA & DOUG

Shape Sorting Cube by MELISSA & DOUGThis shape sorter features 12 chunky, vibrantly colored shapes that make a clinking sound as they drop into the natural finished hardwood cube. Children can then open the lid, take them out and start all over again.
— As of 4/11/2012 this product had 3.1 out of 5 stars from 157 reviews on Amazon.com. Pros: More advanced than a traditional shape sorter (has more shapes). Cons: Lid is loose; some of the shapes are too similar and can fit in the wrong holes. (Watch the Shape Sorting Cube Video Watch Video) 8/10/2010 (MSRP: $14.99)


Cutting Fruit by MELISSA & DOUG

Cutting Fruit by MELISSA & DOUGHealthy breakfast, refreshing snack-time treat? Whatever the occasion, kids can cut into this 17 piece set of bright colored wood fruits, such as kiwis, oranges and a big slice of melon. Velcro rounds between the segments serve the dual purpose of holding the uncut fruit together and creating a satisfying crunch sound as the included wooden knife slices right through. It comes with a wooden crate in which to store the food.
― “Anything Melissa & Doug. Play food is probably the best,” Linda Hanzelko, owner of Timmy's Toy Chest in Lake Mary, Fla., told TDmonthly regarding best-selling wooden toys.
― “All wooden cutting food from Melissa & Doug” sells well, added William Bingham, owner of Firefly Toy Shop in Milford, Pa.
― Seven of 56 retailers surveyed said cutting food was a top-selling wooden toy. (Watch the Cutting Fruit Video Watch Video) 2/9/2009 (MSRP: $19.99; Age: 3 and Up)


Perfect Petzzz White Bulldog by CD3 INC.

Perfect Petzzz White Bulldog by CD3 INC.This bulldog, made of 100-percent synthetic fur, simulates breathing as its tummy rises and falls, and comes with the following: a collar with tag, a bed and carrier, a brush, an adoption certificate and one D alkaline battery. (Watch the Perfect Petzzz White Bulldog Video Watch Video) 1/12/2009 (MSRP: $39.95)


Sweet Pea E300-S Electric Scooter by RAZOR

Sweet Pea E300-S Electric Scooter by RAZORNow available in pink, this is one of Razor's speediest scooters, as it can travel up to 15 mph. It carries up to 220 pounds, boasts a “neighbor-approved” quiet motor, and has a detachable seat if kids want to ride it with the power off. Launch date: Spring 2009. (Watch the Sweet Pea E300-S Electric Scooter Video Watch Video) 3/12/2008 (MSRP: $249.99; Age: 12 and Up)


Big Red Barn by SCHLEICH NORTH AMERICA, INC.

Big Red Barn by SCHLEICH NORTH AMERICA, INC.A combination of quality wood and durable molded parts, this barn has a removable roof for easy access, two large sliding stall doors with stalls to keep farm and horse animals in. (Watch the Big Red Barn Video Watch Video) 8/10/2010


Zoo Collection - Pin the Panda by ZOOBIES

Zoo Collection - Pin the Panda by ZOOBIESThe plush panda transforms into a pillow when the Velcro enclosure is pulled apart. The pillow then transforms into a blanket when unzipped. The plush is a toy, blanket and pillow in one. The Zoobies Zoo Collection is a 2008 Babies and Mom's Radio "Squeel of Approval" Award winner. (Watch the Zoo Collection - Pin the Panda Video Watch Video) 3/17/2008 (Age: All Ages)


Buckyballs™ by Zoomdoggle by MAXFIELD & OBERTON

Buckyballs™ by Zoomdoggle by MAXFIELD & OBERTONThis set includes 216 powerful rare earth magnets that can be molded, shaped and snapped together in an endless variety of configurations. Each Buckyball has two poles — one repels, one attracts. Not intended for children. Watch video
— ''Pun's has sold about four dozen in the last month alone,'' Joe Berardoni, Sr., owner of Pun's Toy Shop in Bryn Mawr, Pa., shared with TDmonthly in the fall of 2010.
—Jeanette Lauture, owner of Aunt Jean's Toys & Treats in Montclair, N.J., sold nine of 24 units in two days after opening a box for display, she told TDmonthly. Two of 39 retailers named Buckyballs as a best-selling travel toy in March 2010.
— Dean Smith, Co-owner of JaZams in Princeton, N.J., told TDmonthly in a Summer 2011 survey that he sells "probably 50" sets of Buckyballs each month.
— May 27, 2010 RECALL of 175,000 sets (prior to March 2010) with 13+ labeling violating a federal standard that powerful magnets not be sold to children under 14. (Watch the Buckyballs™ by Zoomdoggle Video Watch Video) 11/25/2009 (MSRP: $29.95; Age: 14 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)


My Name Mugs With Sippy Lids by JOHN HINDE LTD.

My Name Mugs With Sippy Lids by JOHN HINDE LTD.These colorful mugs are available in various names so that children can have their own special cup.
— “John Hinde name mugs and sippy cups are a consistent reorder,” said Steve Melody, owner of Melody’s Choices in Fayetteville, Ark., in spring 2009. (Watch the My Name Mugs With Sippy Lids Video Watch Video) 5/8/2009


Baby Stella Peach by MANHATTAN TOY

Baby Stella Peach by MANHATTAN TOYWearing a soft, two-piece pastel outfit, Baby Stella has embroidered facial features, a belly button and a round tummy. She comes with a pacifier that magnetically attaches to her mouth.
― “I sell a lot of Baby Stella. She's so darn cute,” said Jean McCullough, owner of Children's Store Inc. in Boise, Idaho, when asked about best-selling dolls during a May 2010 survey.
― Four of 43 retailers told TDmonthly in late spring 2010 that Baby Stella is one of their best-selling dolls.
― Donna Frederick, owner of The Play House Toy Store in Durham, N.C., told TDmonthly in a May 2012 survey that Baby Stella is their best selling doll. "This is a good first doll for kids. They come in different skin tones, and they're not awfully expensive," she said. (Watch the Baby Stella Peach Video Watch Video) 10/28/2009 (MSRP: $30.00; Age: 1 and Up)


Spark Kick Scooter by RAZOR

Spark Kick Scooter by RAZORThe classic scooter design is kicked up a notch with a sparking mechanism to light up the ride. Riders can step on the refillable Spark Bar while riding to blaze a trail of sparks down the roadway. Launch date: Spring 2009. (Watch the Spark Kick Scooter Video Watch Video) 2/16/2009 (MSRP: $69.99; Age: 8 and Up)


Train and Track Table by THE STEP2 COMPANY

Train and Track Table by THE STEP2 COMPANYThis intricate, extra-large play table comes with a three-piece train set and three friction-powered cars. The molded-in track and nonremovable bridges remain inside so pieces cannot be misplaced or lost and the table can be stored and retrieved easily. (Watch the Train and Track Table Video Watch Video) 8/10/2010 (MSRP: $99.95)


John Deere Real Sounds Lawnmower by LEARNING CURVE

John Deere Real Sounds Lawnmower by LEARNING CURVEThis realistic interactive lawnmower features mower, gas and oil sounds, as well as voice prompts to check oil and gas. It includes rotating grass clippings and a fold-down handle for storage, and requires two AA batteries.
As of August 25, 2010, this product had 3.5 out of 5 stars from 17 reviews on Amazon.com. PROS: Interactive and appeals to toddlers. CONS: Not very portable, and some parents complained the handle does not stay up. (Watch the John Deere Real Sounds Lawnmower Video Watch Video) 8/25/2010 (MSRP: $30.99; Age: 2 to 5)


Thomas & Friends A Busy Day at the Quarry Set by LEARNING CURVE

Thomas & Friends A Busy Day at the Quarry Set by LEARNING CURVEThomas and Mavis pick up cargo, then and ascend and descend step climbs in this play set. The trains follow the rails through the gates, up over the bridge and to the tug boat that just came for a visit.
— In a February 2012 survey about bestselling wooden toys, Barbara Fineblum, owner of Barston's Child's Play in Baltimore, Md., told TDmonthly that Thomas the Tank Engine toys were among their bestsellers.
— In a May 2012 survey, two out of 12 retailers told TDmonthly that Thomas the Tank Engine was their best selling licensed brand. (Watch the Thomas & Friends A Busy Day at the Quarry Set Video Watch Video) 8/25/2010


Magician's Apprentice: Card Tricks Unshuffled by MELISSA & DOUG

MagicianThis magic set is full of professional-quality magic devices and gimmicks. It includes step-by-step instruction booklets with detailed illustrations for performing over 30 mystifying tricks. Additional sets include rope tricks, thumb tricks and coin tricks. (Watch the Magician's Apprentice: Card Tricks Unshuffled Video Watch Video) 8/25/2010


Blue Pucker Powder by CREATIVE CONCEPTS LLC

Blue Pucker Powder by CREATIVE CONCEPTS LLCThis bright blue candy powder has a sour fruit punch flavor. The bottle measures 5" x 3.75" x 2." (Watch the Blue Pucker Powder Video Watch Video) 8/25/2010 (MSRP: $15.00)


Kitchen Chemistry Set by POOF-SLINKY INC.

Kitchen Chemistry Set by POOF-SLINKY INC.This kit uses common household substances to make fun things like rock candy, super bubbles, and molding clay. Kids can explore the science behind the food we eat and the substances we use in our homes every day. Other experiments turn bones to rubber, change liquid to rainbows, make candy, and more. (Watch the Kitchen Chemistry Set Video Watch Video) 8/26/2010 (MSRP: $12.99; Age: 8 and Up)






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