TDmonthly Magazine!
October 2005 | Vol. IV - No. 10


TDmonthly´s Top 10 Most Wanted Natural Toys

Throughout most of Toyland, plastic is king. But all-natural toys are carving out their own niche in the industry and finding plenty of consumers ready to purchase them. When it comes to organics, though, online retailers are beating most specialty stores to the punch. There are plenty of sites devoted just to toys made of organic or natural materials, suggesting there’s a niche market out there ready for tapping.

If you think your customers might be ready to go green, here’s what’s selling well across the land:

Wholesale Price: (Log in to view)
MSRP: $10.99
Category: Science & Nature

Toys don’t come any more natural than the geode, one of nature’s most interesting phenomena. Geodes occur in nature when sedimentary or volcanic rocks are hollowed out (sometimes by water) and filled with other minerals that eventually form crystals.
— These geodes come fully formed, so kids can break open the rocks themselves to reveal the crystals inside.
— “Kids really like these,” said Susan Waterstreet of Tree Top Kids in Washington, D.C. “They’re neat because they look innocuous on the outside, but when the kids break it open, they can see how the crystals have formed on the inside, and it’s cool. They’re a good seller.”
— Kim Walter, manager of Giggles in Stoughton, Wis., said that people couldn’t resist this product. “Kids love these; they’re by far the most popular thing on the rack. I don’t think a kid can leave without buying a geode.”
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 4882      (added 9/30/2005)

MSRP: $49.99
Category: Plush

Distributed in the U.S. by Challenge & Fun Inc., what kid could resist a gangly little piglet like this? Stuffed with pure wool, his outer skin is made of 100 percent cotton. All Lana Organics are organic, handmade and manufactured in Germany by home-based moms.
— The Lana Organic line sells best online for Alex Goedrich of Maulika, whose brick-and-mortar store is in Carlsbad, Calif.
— “The pig is one of our top-2 selling Lana Organics,” noted Jason Oliver, chief operating officer of Oompa Toys, based in Los Angeles. Number one for his online store is the Gray Goose.
— Lana Organics are certified by international organic organizations. The German-based toys are made at home by moms under the company’s guidance.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 4883      (added 9/30/2005)

MSRP: $14.98
Age Range: 3 and up
Category: Puzzles & Skill

Children can learn while playing with this colorful 12” x 18” puzzle made of painted wood. The pictures under each piece represent the numerical value.
— Kim Walter, manager of Giggles in Stoughton, Wis., said that this is one of her strongest products. “Just fabulous” is how she described it.
— “The bright colorful pieces help kids tactilely learn about numbers and feel the accomplishment of solving the puzzle. They sell really well,” noted Susan Waterstreet of Tree Top Kids in Washington, D.C. “We do really well with puzzles,” she added.
— All Melissa & Doug products are top sellers at Golden Aspen Toys in Chicago, sales associate Sherri Anaya told TDmonthly.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 4884      (added 9/30/2005)

MSRP: $20
Age Range: 2 and up
Category: Rail Roads & Trains

It’s “all aboard!” for this toy. The train is leaving the station to have plenty of kiddie passengers. The 15 interchangeable brightly colored pieces let kids design their own cars. It measures 17" x 3" x 6".
— This train moves off the shelves for Kim Walter, manager of Giggles in Stoughton, Wis. She told TDmonthly, “People seem to love all the vehicles in this line.”
— “That’s one of our best selling items,” said Susan Waterstreet of Tree Top Kids in Washington, D.C. “We also now have a jumbo version; they’re fabulous sellers for kids 2 and up.”
— This toy is a steady seller at Be Beep A Toy Shop in Columbia, S.C.
— Since Jillie Beans Toys & More opened in Westminster, Colo., in fall 2006, Melissa & Doug’s Stacking Train has been a consistently strong seller, Owner Valerie Elsea told TDmonthly in April 2010.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 4886      (added 9/30/2005)

MSRP: $26.99
Age Range: 3 and up
Category: Board Games

Agriculture has never been so much fun. Kids battle to harvest their crops before the ravens descend on the farm. The board features colorful wooden fruit pieces. Kids can join up and play as teams.
— “It’s an expensive game, generally speaking, but it has a very good following of people who know it and recommend it and then other people buy it,” said Jason Oliver, chief operating officer of Oompa Toys, based in Los Angeles. “We have three versions of the game. The regular sells the most. It’s consistent.”
—  “It probably sells best of our HABA games,” said Owner Alex Goedrich of Maulika in Carlsbad, Calif. “HABA does a really nice line of games with wooden pieces that are fun and quick and easy to learn,” retailer Diane Robinson of Essex, Mass., told TDmonthly before the 2006 holidays.
— This game is a top seller at Stone Soup in Bar Harbor, Maine, Catherine Higgins said in May 2008. Two other retailers, out of 66 surveyed, also named HABA items as best sellers in their stores.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 4887      (added 9/30/2005)

MSRP: $5.99
Age Range: 1 and up
Category: Infant & Toddler

This wooden rattle provides comfort for teething babies. Colorful and durable, the rattle is built to withstand a heavy workload. The blocks on the rattle are connected by elastic, allowing the rattle to be bent and played with.
— The rattle was HABA’s best-selling infant product in 2004.
— Joe Thoron, co-owner of, said that this rattle is a consistently great seller. “A lot of parents are concerned especially about what’s going into their children’s mouths, so parents that want a natural product usually get the HABA rattle.”
— “This sells very well,” said Jason Oliver, chief operating officer of Oompa Toys in Los Angeles.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 4888      (added 9/30/2005)

MSRP: $34.00
Age Range: 8 and up
Category: Wooden Toys
Rail Roads & Trains

The never-ending track makes for never-ending fun. The looping track is made of natural, unstained wood. The wooden train and two trees are brightly painted. The sturdy 24-piece track measures 112” in length. Train cars are held together by magnets.
— "Brio wooden train sets," was the direct answer given by Paula Tremba, owner of One Two Kangaroo in Shepherdstown, W.Va., when asked which wooden toys sell well in her store.
— "We have Brio trains," said David Correa, buyer at Mrs. Tiggy Winkles in Tucson, Ariz. He added, "Brio is really dedicated to really good quality."
— In an early 2007 survey, Brio Trains were specifically cited by three of 51 retailers TDmonthly spoke with about wooden toy best-sellers.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 4890      (added 9/30/2005)

Wholesale Price: (Log in to view)
MSRP: $26.00
SKU or Item #: 1 80123 00000 9
Category: Play Sets

These friendly-faced stuffed vegetables make perfect playmates for youngsters with gardening on their minds. A tomato, carrot, mushroom and green bean come in a cozy crate. The vegetables are stuffed with 100 percent cotton. The veggies are safe enough for babies to teethe on.
— Joe Thoron of said this is a popular item. “All the Under the Nile stuff does well,” he said, “and the Veggies and Crate set seem to be one of the most popular toys.”
— “We’re constantly running out” of the veggies set, said Ramona Oappier of The Nurture Center, which has a brick-and-mortar store in Lafayette, Calif. as well as an extensive online site.
— Janice Masoud, president of Under the Nile, said the Veggies and Crate set is a winner for the company. "It´s one of the most popular products we have," she said. "It performs very well."
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 4891      (added 9/30/2005)

MSRP: $57
Category: Plush

Distributed in the United States by Challenge & Fun Inc., this organic dragon is so soft, kids’ll forget that he breathes fire in his spare time. German-based Lana oversees the entire production of the doll, from the weaving and dyeing to the actual hand-crafting. The outer fabric is made of 100 percent cotton. The inside is filled with pure wool.
— “The dragon is one of our best sellers,” said Alex Goedrich of Maulika in Carlsbad, Calif.
— “Lana Organic toys are original. They look a little different,” noted Jason Oliver, chief operating officer of Oompa Toys in Los Angeles. “The dragon is one of the top 5 better selling Lana Organics.”
— Pacifier, in Minneapolis, is getting ready for Christmas by ordering a number of Lana Organic toys, said owner John Witthuhn.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 4893      (added 9/30/2005)

Category: Plush

What is more timeless than the Classic Teddy Bear? Young and old can appreciate the comfort that comes from owning a Teddy bear. This stuffed animal takes on a whole new dimension of luxury and softness when it is made out of alpaca fur. This bear is perfect for the collector. Personalize it for a memorable gift, or use an alpaca fur teddy bear as an accessory for the bed or couch. Fur bear colors include white, fawn, honey, cinnamon, chocolate, silver and black.

— Marsha Hallet, owner of Hallet Huggables, sells most of her products online to American alpaca ranchers who have gift shops, and to teddy-bear collectors who favor her higher priced, larger items, such as her 14" bears. The bears are often bought as stress relievers because they’re so soft, or as a baby’s first teddy bear, she told TDmonthly Magazine.
— Barbara Simmons of the Linen Tree gift shop in Scottsdale, Ariz., said that her store has been carrying the bears for more than a year. “They’re selling really well,” she told TDmonthly.
— Columbine, a gifts and home furnishings store in Madera, Calif., orders the bears every fall. “They sell very well,” said owner Michelle Sander. “We get the bear in all different colors.”
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 4897      (added 9/30/2005)


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