July 19, 2018

TDmonthly Magazine

August 2012 | Vol. XI - No. 8

Top-10 Most-Wanted Electronic & Battery Operated Toys

By Justina Huddleston
August 2012

With additional reporting from Chris Lundy and Brenda Ruggiero

When TDmonthly Magazine interviewed retailers about their best selling electronic or battery-operated products, several respondents shared a distaste for such items.

"If [customers] request electronics, we tell them 'Walmart'. We totally believe that creative play today will build the minds of tomorrow. We have toys that require creative thinking, not just bum stuff. We stay away from electronics," Mike Castor, owner of Pentwater Toy Box in Pentwater, Mich., told TDmonthly.

Syd Clarke, owner of Ali-Cat in Carrboro, N.C., told us that if a customer asks for electronics, she directs them to science or puzzle games.

Other retailers told us that they recommend battery-operated toys that inspire creative play and have a high play-value, like Laser Pegs blocks and 4M Green Science kits.

Take a closer look at all of the best selling electronic and battery-operated toys, below.

No manufacturer paid to be included in this article. All products listed were designated by editorial staff without regard to the company's relationship with Magazine.

E-flite Blade CP Pro RTF Electric Micro Heli by HORIZON HOBBY

E-flite Blade CP Pro RTF Electric Micro Heli by HORIZON HOBBYBased on the tried-and-true Blade CP platform, the Blade CP Pro adds the lightweight power of a three-cell 800mAh Li-Po battery pack, the lightning-quick cyclic response of Bell-Hiller mixing, and the upright or inverted agility of symmetrical main rotor blades. Plus, it can easily be outfitted with brushless power and a heading-lock gyro, without the need for a new radio system or difficult modifications. For red-hot micro heli aerobatics in about the time it takes to charge a battery pack, nothing can touch the cutting-edge Blade CP Pro.
— In a Summer 2012 survey about electronic and battery operated toys, Mark Rosenblum from Hobbytown in Fairfield, Conn., told TDmonthly that he sells 20-30 RC helicopters from E-Flite and Ares each month. 10/3/2006 (MSRP: $249.99)

4M Tin Can Robot by TOYSMITH

4M Tin Can Robot by TOYSMITHKids can recycle a soda can into a silly, walking, wobbling robot. The kit includes all the parts needed, right down to the googly eyes, except for the two AAA batteries that are required. Launch date: 2008.
— “The Tin Can Robot is a huge hit. It’s from their Green Science series, which has been doing great,” Jennifer Schneeweis, owner of Izilla Toys in Seattle, told TDmonthly in late August 2009. Two of 40 retailers mentioned the brand when discussing best-selling educational items in fall 2009.
― “Right now we have the Tin Can Robot for 8- to 10-year-olds and that's doing well,” said Marlene, manager of Kits & Kaboodle in Carmel, Ind., when asked about her best-selling item for tween boys. Seven of 39 retailers surveyed in October 2009 said science kits are their top sellers for tween boys.
― “It's a good price point and an excellent product.  It sells all the time,” Priscilla Moore, owner of Mr. Fub's Party, Toys and More  in Yellow Springs, Ohio, said of the Tin Can Robot and other 4M science kits in spring 2010.
— In August 2010, seven of 43 retailers told TDmonthly that Toysmith is a best-selling science and nature brand. Two retailers named Tin Can Robot as a top product.
AWARDS: 2010 TDmonthly Top Seller 5/19/2009 (MSRP: $15.00; Age: 8 and Up)

SC-300 Snap Circuits by ELENCO

SC-300 Snap Circuits by ELENCOSnap Circuits make learning electronics easy and fun. Kids follow the colorful pictures in the manual to build exciting projects, such as FM radios, burglar alarms, doorbells and more. Parts are mounted on plastic modules and snap together with ease. “Children can play with this kit for hours and hours and still have not completed all the projects the snap circuit kits have to offer,” Walter Larsen, national sales manager for Elenco, told TDmonthly.
— One retailer said in summer 2007 his store sells 25 Elenco units monthly. Five percent of 64 retailers said in August 2008 that Snap Circuits are a best-selling science product, reporting average sales of six units per month. Four of 38 retailers echoed the same a year later. “They’ve gone back to this game six or seven times,” between January and July 2006, said TDmonthly's homeschooling mom Susan Ledford.
— Any time TDmonthly asks specialty storeowners about top-selling science toys, Elenco's Snap Circuits heads the list. This simple electronics kit appeals to both girls and boys. By making science fun and easy, Snap Circuits earned a TDmonthly Classic Toy 2007 award.
—  As of 12/17/2012 this product had 4.8 out of 5 stars from 575 reviews on Cons: One user said that her grandchildren were "not all that interested" in the Snap Circuits, and told her that they would prefer LEGOs on their birthday. (Watch the SC-300 Snap Circuits Video Watch Video) 10/27/2005 (MSRP: $59.95; Age: 8 and Up)

Hexbug Nano Glow in the Dark by INNOVATION FIRST LABS, INC.

Hexbug Nano Glow in the Dark by INNOVATION FIRST LABS, INC.The regular Hexbugs and the HEXBUG Nano Hive Habitat Set won the Specialty Toy of the Year Award at the 2012 American International Toy Fair. This glow in the dark version features the same motion sensors and scuttling capabilities that made the original version so popular. Glow in the dark habitats are also available. Batteries included.
— Jamie Merlavage of Tree House Toy Shop in Cumberland, Md., told TDmonthly in a Summer 2011 survey that they sell about a dozen HEXBUG Nanos each month.
— Mary Porter Green, owner of The Curiosity Zone  in Ashburn, Va., told TDmonthly in a Summer 2011 survey about best-selling toys that she sells a dozen HEXBUGS each month.
— In a March 2012 survey, 2 out of 12 retailers told TDmonthly that Hexbugs were their best selling product. Mike DiAndrea, manager of Hardware Toys in Paoli, Pa., said that they sell dozens of different styles of Hexbugs each month, and that the line has been a best seller for more than a year now. 2/18/2011 (MSRP: $7.99; Age: 3 and Up)

Morphibians Shark by KID GALAXY INC.

Morphibians Shark by KID GALAXY INC.This four-wheel drive, remote-controlled vehicle can be navigated over land and on water. It has working headlights and requires two AA batteries. The controller takes an additional two AAA batteries (not included).
— Grafton Stine from Toys on the Square in Hummelstown, Pa., told TDmonthly in a Summer 2011 survey that R/C vehicles from Kid Galaxy were their best-selling electronic toy.
— In a November 2011 survey, Elmer Carranza, assistant manager of Doodlehopper 4 Kids in Falls Church, Va., told TDmonthly that "The Morphibians are great. They can run through dirt, grass, puddle of water and look like sharks and frogs. We sell about 6-8 in a month."
—  As of August 2010, this product had 3.5 out of 5 stars from 40 reviews on Parents liked that it is versatile and easy to use, but some complained that it required two types of batteries. (Watch the Morphibians Shark Video Watch Video) 7/29/2010 (MSRP: $29.99)

Ultra-Micro MD 500D CX 100 by ARES RC

Ultra-Micro MD 500D CX 100 by ARES RCThe Ares™ Ultra-Micro MD 500D CX 100 is perfect for first-time and experienced pilots looking for an ultra-scale and ultra-stable heli they can fly indoors almost anytime and anywhere. The highly-detailed MD 500D scale body is equipped with LED lights and is available in two attractive trim schemes while the included decals allow for quick and easy customization as a News, Rescue, Fire or Police helicopter. The MD 500D CX 100’s coaxial, counter-rotating blade design offers excellent control and unsurpassed stability that will have any first-time pilot hovering like a pro in no time. The ultra-micro size and low weight make it possible to fly indoors in just about any bedroom, living room or office, and best of all the heli is 100% factory-assembled and ready-to-fly right out of the box. Also in the box is everything needed to fly including AA batteries for the 4-channel transmitter equipped with interference-free 2.4GHz technology, an LCD screen, dual rates and digital trims, a 220mAh 1S 3.7V LiPo battery and DC USB charger for charging from almost any computer or 5V USB power source, plus an AC adapter for quick and convenient charging from almost any outlet.
— In a Summer 2012 survey about electronic and battery operated toys, Mark Rosenblum from Hobbytown in Fairfield, Conn., told TDmonthly that he sells 20-30 RC helicopters from E-Flite and Ares each month. 7/5/2012

Shadow Fox by CARRERA

Shadow Fox by CARRERARC Buggy 1:20, length: 26 cm. Ready to run including rechargeable battery, charger and 9V battery. Top Speed: up to 20 km/h. Extreme long playing time: up to 40 minutes. Short charging time about 1 hr 20 min. 7.4V-700mAh Li-Ionen rechargeable battery and 8.4V-500mA charger. Full function with 2 speed mode and additional turbo gear. RC tri-band technology. Full function Ergonomic controller with hight speed turbo button. Front and rear suspension, chrome rims with pneumatic tires, differential.
— In a Summer 2012 survey about electronic and battery operated toys, David Campbell, owner of Amazing Toys in Great Falls, Mont., told TDmonthly that Carrera RC cars are his best sellers in that category.
— In a July 2013 survey two out of 12 retailers told TDmonthly that RC cars are their best-selling electronic or battery-operated toys. 7/5/2012 (MSRP: $69.99; Age: 6 and Up)

My Web RC - Wiki Rally Street - Souped-up Jitney 1:24 - Ready to Run by MY FUNKY PLANET CORP.

My Web RC - Wiki Rally Street - Souped-up Jitney 1:24 - Ready to Run by MY FUNKY PLANET CORP.The My Web RC - 1:24 - Wiki Rally Street - Souped-up Jitney - Ready-to-run includes online My Web RC game card for user access. With exchangeable body, full function.
— In a November 2011 survey, Stephanie Dupuy from Playville in Covington, La., told TDmonthly that they sell six units from the Wiki Rally line each month.
— Greg Bonner, owner of Heights Toy Center Inc. in Little Rock, Ark. told TDmonthly in a Summer 2012 survey that he sells just over a dozen My Funky Planet racing cars each month, making them his best selling electronic/battery operated toy. 11/7/2011 (MSRP: $19.99)

Copyright © 2018 TDmonthly®, a division of®, Inc.