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August 2005 | Vol. IV - No. 8




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TDmonthly´s Top 10 Most Wanted Wooden Games and Puzzles


Many retailers have pointed out the appeal of wooden games and puzzles: Unlike cardboard games, wooden games won’t tear and can be passed down through generations. It has even been said that owners of wooden games and puzzles often build an emotional attachment to the products because they are crafted from natural products. The following are some of the top sellers in this category for over a dozen retailers that spoke with TDmonthly Magazine.





MSRP: $29.95
Age Range: 7 and up
Category: Wooden Toys



Players try to get four wooden columns in a row. The pieces can be moved after they’ve been initially played on the grid.
— Kathie Dockstader, buyer for Top Ten Toys in Seattle, said, "people like it because it´s visually stunning … it adds an element. It makes you want to play." Jude LaRene, owner of Izilla Toys in Seattle, recommended this for Christmas because: “It’s still a game many don't have yet and everyone loves.”
— “Customers are looking for word games; I call them logical-thinking games. [Games] such as Gobblet by Blue Orange,” Terry Myers, owner of Kaleidoscope Toys in Round Rock, Texas, told TDmonthly.
— Two of 44 retailers named Gobblet as one of their absolute best sellers in late fall 2009.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 3950      (added 7/15/2005)
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MSRP: $49.98
Age Range: 8 and up
Category: Wooden Toys



Players compete for space in the "walls of the city" by placing either dark or light pieces within the board´s grid.

— According to Romalda Allsup, buyer for Terra Toys in Austin, Texas, "It´s a classic. We sell it with chess."
— "As more people get into the electronic age, it´s nice to connect with something natural," said Kathie Dockstader, buyer for Top Ten Toys in Seattle, Wash., explaining why this product sells well.
— This basic version sells better than other versions at Games of Berkeley, according to supervisor Gabriel Dominique
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 3952      (added 7/15/2005)
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MSRP: $25
Age Range: 8 and up
Category: Wooden Toys



This set is made of oak, folds up to look like a book and holds the wooden pieces inside so the game’s ready for travel.

— All kinds of wooden chess boards "with transportable wooden pieces" sell well at D&J Hobby & Craft in Campbell, Calif., according to Jeff Cathcart, purchaser for the historical department.
— John Smith, the store minder of Chess Express in Ann Arbor, Mich., said that the top selling chess board over the past year in his store is this set.
— At $25, it’s in a pricing sweet spot, and "looks really good for an inexpensive set," Smith explained.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 3953      (added 7/15/2005)
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MSRP: $15.00
Age Range: 8 and up
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Wooden Toys



On a dark oak board, this one-player game is won by moving 21 marbles in grooves until only one is left on the board. It includes a marble bag and instructions.

— Of the many products made by Square Root Games that Games of Berkeley stocks, supervisor Gabriel Dominique said this game sells best.
— Mark Henderson, sales associate with Fun & Games in Milpitas, Calif., said the Square Root products sell well in his store.
— This classic game has been around for centuries, suggesting it will continue to appeal to customers for years to come.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 3954      (added 7/15/2005)
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MSRP: $8.99
Age Range: 1 to 2
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Wooden Toys



The 3-piece puzzle measures 10-1/4"W x 9"H and has pegs that are easily grasped by little hands.

— Kathie Dockstader, buyer for Top Ten Toys in Seattle, Wash., says that all of Small World Toys´ puzzles sell well, especially those with farm animals.
— Jo Ann Barrett, owner of White Rabbit Toys in Ann Arbor, Mich., said "these do extremely well."
— Romalda Allsup, buyer for Terra Toys in Austin, Texas, explained that this sells well because it is the first in a line of puzzles that grow with the child, going up to 40 pieces.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 3955      (added 7/15/2005)
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MSRP: $54.95
Age Range: 6 and up
SKU or Item #: 49-8211
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Wooden Toys
Board Games



Played like Connect Four, a kind of vertical tic-tac-toe, this wood version has pieces made of light and dark colored wood.

— Sean Holland, manager of Tyche´s Games in Athens, Ga., said "We always like to have it in stock."
— It received five stars on Funagain.com by an anonymous consumer who wrote that it´s a "classic game for all ages. It sits on our coffee table and is beautiful in its wooden simplicity. This game will last decades and decades."
— This game has the added appeal of a long history: Captain Cook supposedly used this game nightly to relax with his fellow shipmates, according to popular legend.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 3956      (added 7/15/2005)
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MSRP: $23
Age Range: 8 and up
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Wooden Toys



This nice wood board with metal pegs and cards folds in half and keeps the pieces inside.

— John Smith, the store minder of Chess Express in Ann Arbor, Mich., said its popularity "has to do with quality compared with how much it costs."
— At Games of Berkeley, supervisor Gabriel Dominique said they sell twice as many of their travel cribbage boards than they do of their other cribbage boards.
— The game is so popular that the American Cribbage Congress holds cribbage tournaments across the United States.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 3957      (added 7/15/2005)
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MSRP: $9.99
Age Range: 2 and up
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Wooden Toys



Taking the traditional peg puzzle to the next level, realistic animal sounds are heard when the puzzle pieces are properly placed on the board.
— Jo Ann Barrett, owner of White Rabbit Toys in Ann Arbor, Mich., was excited about sales so far of this new Melissa & Doug product.
— Susan Israel, sales person for Toy Box in Asheville, N.C., said this sells well at her store.
— “Only when they put the right pieces in does it make noise, so the battery doesn’t wear down,” pointed out Owner Alice Pillivant of Gramps’ Garage in Maynard, Mass.

ToyDirectory Product ID#: 3958      (added 7/15/2005)
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MSRP: $10
Age Range: 4 and up
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Wooden Toys



Made of bamboo, this little two-dimensional, inch-thick panda with a rocker bottom acts as the main game piece. Players take turns placing pieces of bamboo on him, trying not to tip him over.

—"It’s flying off my shelves! It´s selling like crazy!" according to Jo Ann Barrett, owner of White Rabbit Toys in Ann Arbor, Mich., who has sold out of the product.
— "Yikes! We´ve had a huge run on Pandabo this week!" was posted on the Peapods Natural Toys & Baby Care Web site on July 13. They had sold out of the product.
—What makes it a top seller? "It´s unique, the price is good and the packaging is fantastic," according to Barrett.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 3959      (added 7/15/2005)
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MSRP: $11.99
Age Range: 3 to 7
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Wooden Toys



This 48-piece puzzle has large, colorful pieces and comes with a paper insert of the dinosaur picture to help kids put the pieces in place.

— Mary Tague, owner of Toy Town in Key Biscayne, Fla., said "the puzzle speaks for itself" which helps it to sell well at her store.
— Susan Israel, sales person for Toy Box in Asheville, N.C., said the dinosaur-themed puzzles of the Melissa & Doug products sold well at her location.
— On Imaginarium.com, this product received five stars from L. Ansley who wrote, "My 4-year-old daughter loves dinosaurs, but not puzzles so much. She does like this puzzle, though, because the large, sturdy pieces fit together well and stay where they are put."
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 3960      (added 7/15/2005)
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