October 2011 | Vol. X - No. 10
The Elf on the Shelf: A Christmas Tradition™ by CCA and B LLC
This set includes an 8" vintage-style pixie elf, a keepsake storage box and a children's picture book with a rhyming story that tells how the elf helps Santa out by watching children's behavior by day and reporting it to Santa at night. The elf is designed to be placed throughout the house during the Christmas season, creating a hide-and-seek activity for the whole family. Launch date: September 2005.
— “Elf on the Shelf is doing really well since we put those out five or six weeks ago,” remarked Janet Gregory, owner of Over the Rainbow Toys in Anchorage, Alaska, in November 2008. “We just brought them in in November. [We] sold 24 last month, and 24 already this month,” Terry Myers, owner of Kaleidoscope Toys in Round Rock, Texas, told TDmonthly.
— In a December 2011 survey about books, 2 out of 12 retailers named Elf on the Shelf their best-seller. "We sold 18 already, in just a couple weeks," Andrea Scartozzi from Hardware Toy Center in Paoli, Pa., told TDmonthly. William Meredith, owner of Learning Express in Cary, N.C., agreed. "Elf on a Shelf is our number one item. It has been for years!" he told TDmonthly.
Where to Buy: Smart Kids Toys; Kazoo Toys; Escapade Direct ( Watch Video) 2/18/2008 (MSRP: $29.95; Age: 3 and Up)
The Magical Tale of Santa Dust (by N & J Publishing/Magic Dusts) by MAGIC DUSTS
"The Magical Tale of Santa Dust - A Christmas Tradition" is the Christmas book of 2011. It is the magical tale of two small children who, on Christmas Eve, sit by their window eagerly awaiting the arrival of Santa, only to be bypassed on his yearly journey. Save for the antics of a giggling, bungling Elf and some magical dust, their Christmas dreams come true. "There has never been a book written about the lure of magical Santa Dust. Each book will be packaged with one pouch of Santa Dust," Patricia Cardello, owner of Magic Dusts, told TDmonthly. Launch date: October 2011.
Awards Santa Dust - 2008 National Stationery Show in New York City "Best New Product of the Year" Nominee; 2009 Seal of Excellence Award from Creative Child Magazine. 1/12/2011 (MSRP: $24.00; Age: 3 to 10)
Automoblox S9 Mini Sedan by AUTOMOBLOX
With a future-retro design, and connectable, interchangeable parts, this sleek toy vehicle can fit in the palm of a hand. Automoblox Minis received a TDmonthly Top Toy Award 2007.
— Automoblox has been a best-selling line, according to retailers surveyed by TDmonthly, since 2007.
— "That little three-piece Automoblox set sold extremely well. I've sold about 40 of them in two months," Janet Gregory, owner of Over the Rainbow in Anchorage, Alaska, told TDmonthly leading up to Christmas 2009. Two of 44 specialty retailers named Automoblox as an overall best seller in late 2009.
— In a February 2012 survey about wooden toys, two out of 14 retailers said that Automoblox were their bestseller in the category. Pam Byrd, manager and buyer at The Little Cottage Toy Shop in Franklin, Tenn., told TDmonthly that "Automoblox is still strong."
Where to Buy: Blue Turtle Toys; Camelot Kids; The Satin Button ( Watch Video) 10/29/2009 (MSRP: $10.00; Age: 3 and Up)
Magna-Tiles Deluxe (DX) by VALTECH CO.
This 48-piece set includes solid colored pieces, along with pieces with holes, curved pieces, a magnetic door and a wheeled piece. Magna-Tiles DX contains 12 small squares, four large squares, six isosceles triangles, 10 right triangles, 11 equilateral triangles, a wheeled piece, and arch and three special shapes. An idea guide is included.
— In late summer 2010, five percent of 43 specialty retailers told TDmonthly Magna-Tiles are an overall best-selling product.
— In late Spring 2011, 25% of retailers mentioned Magna-Tiles as a best-selling construction toy.
— As of 05/12/2011, this product had 5 out of 5 stars from 23 reviews on Amazon.com.
— In a Summer 2012 survey, Diana Nelson, owner of Kazoo & Company in Denver, Col., told TDmonthly that Magnatiles were their overall best-selling toy. 9/22/2010 (MSRP: $64.50)
EzyRoller - Pink by EZYROLLER LLC
This sleek ride-on is fueled by cambering motion — the rider pushing his or her legs against the front bar, to the left and right. It has a hand brake and features an extendable design to host riders up to 6' tall. Maximum recommended weight is 150 lbs.
— Learning Tree Toys, Games & Books in Oklahoma City, Okla., sells about a dozen EzyRollers per month, Owner Patti Tepper-Rasmussen told TDmonthly in fall 2009.
— Jackie Roy, owner of Learning Resources Toy Magic in Fort Walton Beach, Fla., told TDmonthly in late 2009 that she brought in five EzyRollers on trial on sold out in a week and a half.
— Two of 37 specialty retailers cited the EzyRoller as a top-selling ride-on in spring 2010. “The EzyRoller, by far, continues to be the best,” Christine Osborne of Wonder Works in Charleston, S.C., told TDmonthly in March 2010, reporting sales of a couple dozen per month.
Past Videos: WTHRA 2008 ( Watch Video) 11/3/2009 (MSRP: $99.95; Age: 3 and Up)
Ready Set Stilts by ALEX BRANDS
These fully adjustable stilts feature soft grip handles. Kids can practice walking on their stilts using the sturdier big foot trainers. Once their balance skills have improved, they replace the trainers with no-skid caps. Fits kids up to 110 lbs. 5/24/2011 (MSRP: $35.95; Age: 5 to 12)
Spot It! by BLUE ORANGE GAMES
Spot It is a party game for two to eight players. It's played by laying a random assortment of cards on the table and all players racing to find one image that matches between two cards. This fast-paced game is designed to never be the same twice, and though it has very few rules to remember it requires a sharp eye to master. The set of 55 round cards transports in its own carry tin. Watch Spot It: Top-5 Video, Toy Fair 2010
— Spot It has been been a top seller for retailers surveyed by TDmonthly since early Spring 2010.
— In a March 2012 survey, 3 out of 12 retailers told TDmonthly that Spot It was their overall best selling product, and had been for more than a year.
— Dean Smith, Co-owner of JaZams in Princeton, N.J., told TDmonthly in a Summer 2011 survey that he sells 50-60 copies of Spot It each month.
Awards: 2010 TDmonthly Top Seller, Dr. Toy 100 Best Children's Products - 2010
Where to buy:
NORTH WEST ( Watch Video) 2/11/2010 (Age: 6 and Up)
Children's Zoo by PLAYMOBIL INC.
The Children’s Zoo allows children to role-play petting and feeding animals at the zoo. This set includes four figures, piglets, goats, sheep, and lamb. Also comes with fences for the animal enclosure, rock formation with water fall, birdfeeder, and many other accessories. Recommended for ages four to ten. Warning. Choking Hazard. Small parts. Not for children under 3 years.
— Rebecca Goblish, owner of Picayune Toys in Dunwoody, Ga., told TDmonthly in a Summer 2011 survey that Playmobil is one of her top-three best-selling brands of toy. 1/21/2011 (MSRP: $39.99)
Ninjago Spinjitzu Starter Set by LEGO
Kids build the Spinjitzu Arena, pick their character and play the cards to influence the outcome between Jay, the Master of Lightning, and Frakjaw, the toughest warrior in the Skeleton Army. Set includes 2 minifigures, 2 spinners, 6 weapons, 2 character cards, 8 battle cards, and enough LEGO® bricks to make the Spinjitzu Arena.
— In late Spring 2011, 5 of 12 retailers surveyed said that LEGO was their best-selling brand of licensed products. Brooke Andrews, Owner of Miller's Toys in Mamaroneck, N.Y., said that LEGO Ninjago was their best-selling licensed product. "We sold out our whole LEGO order, and there are also books, games, and accessories," she told TDmonthly. 2/18/2011 (MSRP: $19.99; Age: 7 to 14)
Angry Birds 5" Plush Red Bird With Sound by COMMONWEALTH TOY & NOVELTY CO
Angry Birds is the #1 app worldwide and has been downloaded over 100 million times. Angry Birds plush bring the characters from on-screen into the real world. These soft plush Angry Birds make sounds from the game when squeezed, and are an officially licensed product. 5/24/2011 (MSRP: $11.99; Age: 1 and Up)
Fashion Headbands by CREATIVITY FOR KIDS
Create 10 accessories with this ultimate headband set. The Fashion Headbands craft kit includes a rainbow array of satin headbands, rhinestone, flowers, feathers a butterfly, yards of ribbon and more. Includes: 10 Colorful Satin Headbands, Sparkling Butterfly, Elastic Felt Pieces, 2 Fabric Flowers, Assorted Ribbons, Craft Glue, Craft Thread, Colorful Feathers, Assorted Colorful Rhinestones, Instructions and Ideas.
— Elmer Carranza, assistant manager of Doodlehopper 4 Kids in Falls Church, Va., told TDmonthly in a January 2012 survey that Fashion Headbands from Creativity for Kids was a best selling arts and crafts toy. They sell about 15 each month.
— In a May 2012 survey, Taka Andrews, owner of Miller's Toys in Mamaroneck, N.Y., told TDmonthly that they sell two dozen of this item each month.
— Kim Emigh, VP of E-commerce at Growing Tree Toys in State College, Penn., told TDmonthly in a Fall 2012 survey that this was a top-2 best selling jewelry item at their store. 9/28/2011 (MSRP: $19.99; Age: 5 and Up)
Snap Circuits Pro 500-in-1 (SC-500) by ELENCO
Snap Circuits allow children to create electronic projects including AM and FM radios, digital voice recorders, burglar alarms, doorbells and more. All pieces are mounted on plastic modules and snap together with ease. This Pro version contains over 75 parts and an illustrated manual for building over 500 experiments. The set uses four AA batteries.
— In late summer 2010, six of 43 retailers named Snap Circuits a science and nature best seller.
— In August 2010, Jim and Retha Davis, owners of Kid’s Center in Tucson, Ariz., told TDmonthly their store sells “about 100 (Snap Circuits) a month.”
— In a late Summer 2012 survey, four out of 12 retailers said that Elenco was one of their best selling Science & Nature toy brands. 9/9/2010 (MSRP: $94.95; Age: 8 and Up)