May 2012 | Vol. XI - No. 5
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)
Twilight Turtle by CLOUD B
Each Twilight Turtle and Friends character from the collection projects constellation nightlights that create a magical sleep-time environment. Each “shell” illuminates the night with three soothing color options to help ease fear of the dark. The Twilight Collection includes Twilight Turtle and Twilight Ladybug, each available in three colors and a Twilight Sea Turtle that also has five illuminated windows projecting images of sea life.
— Retailers surveyed by TDmonthly have been naming the Twilight Turtle as a best-seller since 2006.
— Six of 66 retailers mentioned one of the Twilight Turtles as a top-selling item for baby gifts in July 2008. Four of 47 retailers named Twilight Turtle as a top-selling baby gift in June 2009. Three of 64 retailers cited it as a top-selling infant and toddler toy in March 2009, and eight of 39 said the same in March 2010.
— In a 2012 survey, Erika Evers, owner of Dancing Bear Toys in Hendersonville, N.C., told TDmonthly that their best selling infant & toddler product is the "Twilight Turtle from Cloud B, and it's spin-offs, like the ladybug." They sell about 20 units each month.
— Want this? As of 05/06/2011, this product was available for purchase at Toys & Co.
AWARDS: 2010 TDmonthly Top Seller ( Watch Video) 3/30/2006 (MSRP: $34.00; Age: 2 and Up)
Monsieur or Madame Wooden Clutching Toys by HABA USA/HABERMAASS CORP.
Baby’s new best friend! The Monsieur and Madame wooden clutching toys have charming faces and colorful moving parts to keep baby interested. Made in Germany using beech wood from sustainably managed forests. Approx. 4 ½” Launch date: September 2011.
— Kai Rady, owner of Shenanigans Inc in Charlottesville, Va., told TDmonthly in a 2012 survey about infant and toddler products that wooden rattles from HABA were one of her best sellers. 8/23/2011 (MSRP: $14.00; Age: 0 to 5)
Tobbles by FAT BRAIN TOY CO.
"While there are several stacking toys on the market, none of them are circular and included the added element of balance. Tobbles is a stacking toy which encourages children to explore and discover," Erik Quam, Director of Product Development at Fat Brain Toy, told TDmonthly.
Awards: 2011 Finalist for ASTRA's Best Toys for Kids
— Melodie Ingwersen, owner of Creative Kids Inc in Columbia, S.C., told TDmonthly in an April 2012 survey about best selling infant & toddler products that they sell 2-3 dozen Tobbles each month. 5/27/2011 (MSRP: $24.95; Age: 1 and Up)
Pink Comfy Cozy Bear by GUND INC.
Made of comforting fabrics and textures, Gund Comfy Cozy 24" blankets are available in various styles and colors. They feature satin paw pads and are machine washable. A 12" size is also available.
Gwen Bowden, manager of Doodlehopper 4 Kids in Springfield, Va. told TDmonthly in late Spring 2011 that Comfy Cozies were a best-selling toy in the infant & toddler category.
— Elmer Carranza, assistant manager of Doodlehopper 4 Kids in Falls Church, Va., told TDmonthly in an October 2011 survey that Comfy Cozy blankets are their best selling keepsake item. They sell about a dozen each month.
— Want this? As of 05/06/2011, this product was available for purchase at Doodlehopper 4 Kids. 6/25/2010 (MSRP: $32.00; Age: 0 to 5)
Baby Farm Friends Bowling by INTERNATIONAL PLAYTHINGS LLC
Baby Farm Friends Bowling from the Earlyears line includes six numbered pins with a soft weighted ball so baby can practice coordination and counting at the same time. The cushiony pins make soft sounds and resemble farm animals including a cow, pig, sheep, dog and duck. The colorful ball has its own distinctive chiming sound and the pins are distinctively numbered from one to six and are easy to stand up. The toy comes with a reusable zip bag, so when kids are done with it they can put it back. This toy won an iParenting Media Award. "Bright, colorful and classic, it's a must for any 12 month-old," Sue Tice, public relations manager for International Playthings, told TDmonthly.
— "We actually have baby bowling — soft cloth pins and balls — by International Playthings that does well," said Cheryl Pyles, manager at Toyland in Milford, N.H., when predicting hot-selling baby items for Christmas 2007.
— "It's all seasons for babies, and International Playthings for babies and toddlers," said Patricia Masing, co-owner of Tree Town Toys in Ann Arbor, Mich.
— Gwen Bowden, manager of Doodlehopper 4 Kids in Springfield, Va. told TDmonthly in late Spring 2011 that this soft bowling set was a best-selling toy in the infant & toddler category.
— Want this? As of 05/06/2011, this product was available for purchase at Doodlehopper 4 Kids. 11/21/2005 (MSRP: $22.00; Age: 1 and Up)
Egg Shakers by LATIN PERCUSSION
These new and safety-approved capless egg shakers provide kids with quick, delicate and responsive shaker sounds. Constructed of durable wipe-clean plastic and filled with non-toxic steel shot, the Egg Shakers make sweet, reliable and rhythmic sounds for kids and adults alike. "Our egg shaker is unique because of our patented design sealing process. Other egg shakers are seamed in the middle or have a glued end cap. In other words, ours is safer and has a better appearance," said Ray Enhoffer, director of R&D at Latin Percussion.
— "Shakers are the type of toy that might be selling in the music section. We get them from LP RythMix," said Tristan Hewitt, manager at Dragon's Toy Box in Seattle. “Everybody needs some egg shakers,” said Janet Gregory, owner of Over the Rainbow Toy Store in Anchorage, Alaska. “They’re perfect for baby hands, and I sell them to lots of grown-ups for all kinds of things.”
— Two of 45 retailers told TDmonthly in 2007 that shakers from Latin Percussion are popular with their customers, citing sales of about 30 and 120 units monthly. Six percent of 68 retailers said in July 2008 that egg shakers are their top-selling musical toy.
— Egg shakers are “perfect for little ones to hold in their baby hands, and non-toxic,” Diana Nelson, owner of Kazoo & Company in Denver, told TDmonthly of this best seller in her store in January 2009. “It's something simple and not too noisy for a parent; I think that's why they do well,” explained Sherry Peddie, manager of Applause Kids in Bracebridge, Ontario, in January 2010. 7/23/2007 (MSRP: $6.50; Age: 2 and Up)
B. Fish & Splish Bath Boat by TOYSMITH
For ages 6 months and up. The bathtub is baby's ocean. Set includes 13 toys in a floating boat; captain; life preserver; fishing hook & 4 ready-to-catch fish; 3 nesting cups that shower, stack & pour, octopus comb & whale nailbrush. Everything stows away below deck.
Awards: American Baby Toy of the Year Award.
— Mary Porter Green, owner of The Curiosity Zone in Ashburn, Va., told TDmonthly in a 2012 survey that their best selling infant & toddler products are from Toysmiths "B." line. "Though expensive, it has great packaging and is perfect for gift giving. Fish & Splish is an especially great product," she told TDmonthly. She also said this item was a best seller in the bath category. 4/6/2012 (Age: 1 to 3)
Mozart Magic Cube by MUNCHKIN INC.
With this award-winning product, children can add or subtract instruments with the touch of a button, and lights flash along with the music. With harp, flute, French horn, piano and violin instrument buttons, one orchestra button, and soft, rounded corners, it provides hours of interactive play. The product "gives children the opportunity to learn specific musical sounds of five different orchestral instruments and how they interact together to create a Mozart masterpiece. It inspires creativity by putting the child in the conductor’s seat,” Doug Gillespie, vice president of marketing at Munchkin told TDmonthly. Launch date: 2000.
— As of 8.30.10, this product had 4 out of 5 stars from 38 reviews on Target.com and was listed in the top 30 best-selling toys and games. PROS: Safe, durable, interactive and engaging.
— Kai Rady, owner of Shenanigans Inc in Charlottesville, Va., told TDmonthly in a 2012 survey about infant and toddler products that the Mozart Magic Cube was one of her top sellers.
— "This past December  we sold several Mozart Magic Cubes from Munchkin. Even the price tag in the mid forty dollar range did not stop our customers," Joe Berardoni, owner of Pun's Toys in Bryn Mawr, Pa., told TDmonthly. 12/7/2006 (MSRP: $20.00)
Fun Time Tractor by INTERNATIONAL PLAYTHINGS LLC
This tractor has a farmer that drives around with five removable plastic farm animals that make their animal sounds when placed on the plastic vehicle.
— Out of the Blue Ltd. Store Manager Kara Fichtner, in Albuquerque, N.M., told TDmonthly in May 2006: “It’s one of my favorite toys. It’s something we show customers when they come in looking for a toy for a 1-year-old.”
— “We sell 144 tractors a year, and we don’t have many people coming in,” Grafton Stine, owner of Toys on the Square in Hummelstown, Pa, told TDmonthly in summer 2007.
— “For a first birthday toy, it’s the Fun Time Tractor from iPlay — it really sells,” noted Teresa Ford, owner of Kids’ Ketch in Lewes, Del., when asked about best-selling baby gifts in July 2008. Six of 39 retailers told TDmonthly in March 2010 that International Playthings supplies their best-selling infant and toddler toys. Two singled out the Funtime Tractor as a top-selling individual item with sales of four per month.
— In a 2012 survey about best selling infant & toddler products, Joe Berardoni, owner of Pun's Toys in Bryn Mawr, Pa. told TDmonthly, "Pun’s best selling baby toy continues to be the Funtime Tractor from International Playthings. Even though it retails for more than $30, this store sells a disproportional amount- up to 12 a month, even during slow times. Of course, my staff all love it also, so it is usually recommended." ( Watch Video) 8/31/2005 (MSRP: $32.99; Age: 1 to 3)