November 2010 | Vol. IX - No. 11
Recently, TDmonthly Magazine surveyed 44 specialty retailers concerning their sales of personalized and keepsake items. While some storeowners have found name-specific merchandise a challenge to stock, others make personalized items, such as those from John Hinde and Blue Sabre, a rewarding addition to their product assortment. Here are the top-5 most-wanted personalized and keepsake items:
Monarchs Treasure Box by ENCHANTMINTS
Painted on all sides with colorful butterflies, the Monarch Treasure Box from Enchantmints contains a multitude of places for tiny keepsakes. Jewelry, craft supplies, or any ephemera that has captured a girl's imagination can be tucked into its various drawers and compartments. Closed, the box measures 6” x 4” x 6”. The underside of the lid is mirrored, and when open a delicate Monarch butterfly slowly rotates while music plays.
— Two out of 44 retailers interviewed in September 2010 said jewelry and treasure boxes from Enchantmints are a best-selling keepsake in their stores.
— In an October 2011 survey, Powell Phillips, owner of Phillip's Toy Mart in Nashville, Tenn., told TDmonthly that jewelry boxes from Enchantmints were his best selling keepsake item. 10/28/2010
My Name Flashlights by JOHN HINDE LTD.
These kid-powered flashlights are available in 104 designs with 88 popular names and eight color combinations.
— "We have sold a lot of those," Gwen Bowden, manager of Doodlehopper for Kids in Springfield, Va., told TDmonthly, listing this product as one of her best sellers in June 2010.
— Gwen Bowden, manager of Doodlehopper for Kids in Springfield, Va., told TDmonthly that My Name Flashlights from John Hinde are her best selling personalized items. “[We sell] one a day, maybe more.”
— Of 44 retailers, two said John Hinde is a best-selling product line in a September 2010 survey of most-wanted personalized items. 4/21/2010
Pirate Lunch Box by ROMANOFF PRODUCTS INC
Styled like a miniature treasure chest hauled up from a sunken ship or unearthed on a dangerous deserted island, this Pirate Lunch Box is made of durable plastic and snaps shut for easy transport of a healthy meal, or gold doubloons. The gloss finished box is available in white, red, blue, hot pink, purple, silver and clear. It is ready to be personalized for – or by! - a child.
— Lori Hershman, owner of Evan's Toy Shop in Hamden, Conn., said she personalizes and sells approximately 18 Romanoff lunch boxes per week during a September 2010 interview. 10/28/2010
NameTrains by MAPLE LANDMARK WOODCRAFT CO.
Each different-colored letter, available in A through Z, comes on wheels. All letters are crafted from hard maple and have a nontoxic color finish. Magnets allow letters to be strung in a line to form names. $4.90 each.
— “Maple Landmark wooden train letters sell very well,” said Gail, manager of the Toy Chest in West Hartford, Conn.
— 44 retailers surveyed in September 2010 said Maple Landmark Name Trains are their best-selling personalized item.
— In an October 2011 survey, Joe Berardoni, owner of Pun's Toys in Bryn Mawr, Pa., told TDmonthly that "We do not personalize, but we do sell a lot of Maple Landmark’s colored train letters." They are "great as a newborn gift," and Pun's sells dozens each month. 7/15/2005 (MSRP: $4.90; Age: 3 and Up)
License Plate by BLUE SABRE INC.
There are over 1,400 standard baby names available for this license plate collection, with options for special names as well.
— These license plates were named as a top-10 best seller at Twirl Toystore & Playspace in Taos, N.M., in early 2009, according to Owner Molly McMullin. “Families of tourists love them for souvenirs. We had them printed with ‘Twirl-Taos, NM,” she told TDmonthly. “Kids love to see their name on products, and people think they’re a great tie-on for packages. A fellow toy-store owner encouraged me to bring these in, and I am grateful for the advice.”
— “We always sell a bunch of those,” said Molly McMullin, owner of Twirl in Ranchos de Taos, N.M., of her top-selling personalized item, Blue Sabre License Plates.
— Two of 44 storeowners said License Plates from Blue Sabre are their most-wanted personalized item during a September 2010 survey conducted by TDmonthly. 3/27/2009 (MSRP: $3.50; Age: 5 and Up)