TDmonthly Magazine!
September 2005 | Vol. IV - No. 9


TDmonthly´s Top 10 Most Wanted Non-Plush Talking Toys

For many children, toys are more than just inanimate objects — they’re pals, confidants and, in many cases, teachers as well. Taking this personal relationship to the next level, talking toys engage children in a variety of educational activities without cutting into their all-important play time. TDmonthly spoke with over a dozen retailers across the country who said the following talking toys sell well at their stores.

MSRP: $32.99
Age Range: 1 to 3
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Infant & Toddler

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."
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 4385      (added 8/31/2005)

MSRP: $43.99
Age Range: 5 to 8
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Educational
General Toys
Electronic Games

The multi-button, electronic cash register features a functional coin reader that correctly identifies real and included plastic play coins and a checkout scanner equipped with sound. The game will teach kids coin identification, addition, subtraction and place-value.
— Peg Scholtes, owner of Capitol Kids in Madison, Wis., said this product sells consistently well in her store.
— “I would have sold more of [them] had I not run out, but I thought I had ordered [more] and forgot,” Co-owner Mary Sisson of Kazoodles in Vancouver, Wash., told TDmonthly in early 2008.
— This is a best-seller on
— Two of 43 retailers named a product by Learning Resources, including this cash register, when discussing best-selling playsets in April 2010.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 4384      (added 8/31/2005)

MSRP: $30.00
Age Range: 3 and up
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Wooden Toys

This train station announces its destinations in New York, London, Paris and Berlin in the languages of the countries it is set to visit.
— “Our customers will appreciate something with different languages,” said Peg Scholtes, owner of Capitol Kids in Madison, Wis., who explained that previous products with foreign languages sold well in her store. This is a brand new product that she expects will sell well once it is set up on its demo table.
— “That would be very cool!” said Katie LeRoy, sales associate at Generations — Children’s Store in Ann Arbor, Mich., who hadn’t heard of the product yet but said that kids are drawn to the older station (the Record and Play Railway Train Station), where kids can pre-record their voices. She has the product set up on a demo table in the middle of the store.
— It comes in a demonstration box so children will be more likely to test out the product before buying.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 2843      (added 2/11/2005)

MSRP: $159.00
Age Range: 8 and up
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Educational

Depending on what button on the globe’s base is pressed, this globe can tell users all kinds of geographic information, including population, distances, a nation’s highest point, its currency and the lowest point of large bodies of water, to name just a few features.
— Michelle Burns, supervisor at Grandrabbit’s Toy Shoppe in Boulder, Colo., who was currently sold out of the product, said they have sold out of this product a couple of different times throughout the year.
— It was an Educational Source Top 10 Toy of the Year.
— It is a best seller at the Discovery Channel Store online.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 4383      (added 8/31/2005)

MSRP: $9.99
Age Range: 2 to 4
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Infant & Toddler

This puzzle consists of two blocks, one with the front halves and one with the rear halves of farm animals depicted on them. When the two halves are matched up correctly, the animal makes an appropriate sound.
— According to Brent Barker, sales associate at Terra Toys in Austin, Texas, these blocks are the best-selling of the talking toys in his store. While the blocks come in a variety of versions, the animal version sells the best.
— Michelle Burns, supervisor at Grandrabbit’s Toy Shoppe in Boulder, Colo., said the product sells very well at the store because “it’s not a complicated process. Kids get instant gratification.”
— These blocks can be used as educational tools to help children develop critical thinking skills and enhance hand-eye coordination.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 4382      (added 8/31/2005)

MSRP: $29.95
Age Range: 3 to 6
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Interactive

With this colorful, programmable telephone, children can learn how to call home, 911 Emergency Service, and other important telephone numbers. Parents can program in any number and record a message that kids hear when they dial that number.
— Manager Jessica Thompson, at the Baton Rouge location of Learning Express, said, “usually people buying for 3 to 4 year olds come in looking for it. The 4, 5, and 6 year olds play with it when it’s on display.”
— This is a hit at Capitol Kids in Madison, Wis., according to owner Peg Scholtes, who said, “It sells continuously. Usually I don’t like talking toys, but these I like.”
— This item is also a good seller at Doodlehopper 4 Kids in Springfield, Va., said manager Gwen Bowden.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 4381      (added 8/31/2005)

MSRP: $15.99
Age Range: 1 and up
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Infant & Toddler

This plastic camera makes a clicking sound when kids snap a photo, and has two buttons that prompt kids to say “cheese” and to “smile.”
— “I would order it more often if we didn’t have to place large orders all at one time,” said Jessica Thompson, manager of the Learning Express in Baton Rouge. She orders about 12 cameras a month.
— According to Stacy Pyles, sales associate at Toy Factory in Jacksonville, Fl., it does pretty well in her store, too.
— This item sold out at U Silly Goose’s online store.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 4380      (added 8/31/2005)

MSRP: $349.95
Age Range: 8 and up
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Rail Roads & Trains

Coming in four versions, representing the Green Bay Packers, Pittsburgh Steelers, New England Patriots and Philadelphia Eagles, each locomotive has recorded play-by-play radio calls from famous plays in each team’s history. The set includes three freight trains, 31” by 51” of oval track space and a 100-watt transformer.
— Paul Caplan, buyer and manager of S.W. Randall Toyes & Gifts in Pittsburgh, Penn., says the best-selling product in his store this season is bound to be the Pittsburgh Steeler train. “Regional stuff works better in our area,” due to strong local pride, Caplan said.
— Ray Nawort, owner of Hobby World Inc. in Wyoming, Mich., said this is one of their leading brands, with a wide variety selling quite well. He added, the voice chip “definitely helps” to move the product.
— According to Andy Edelman, vice president of marketing for MTH, this line is expected to be the company’s top seller for 2005, with the Steelers train outselling the rest. PITTSBURGH STEELERS SET HAS BEEN DISCONTINUED.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 4378      (added 8/31/2005)

MSRP: $29.99
Age Range: 3 and up
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Puzzles & Skill

When a state-shaped puzzle piece is placed on the map correctly, the name of the state, state capital and state motto are recited. The USA Talking Map also plays the National Anthem and recites the Pledge of Allegence. It is one of Tek-Nek Toys'  best selling items in the Youth Electronics category.
— According to Michael Alsup, manager at the Carmel and Monterrey locations of Thinker Toys, the product sold out at the Carmel location and has been doing well at the Monterrey location after only a short period of time.
— It received four out of five stars as the average customer rating among 16 reviews on
— Chris Folmar, marketing manager at Tek-Nek Toys, said this map has been one of their best-selling toys.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 4377      (added 8/31/2005)


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