TDmonthly Magazine!
December 2005 | Vol. IV - No. 12


TDmonthly’s Top 10 Most Wanted Quick Gifts for Girls

The customer’s on his way to a holiday party and just remembered that the host has kids. All girls. What do you hand him when he’s in a hurry and has only $20 to spend per kid? Fifteen retailers around the country gave TDmonthly Magazine their suggestions, broken down by age group in ascending order:

MSRP: $14.99
Age Range: 3 and up
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Books

The big foam book lets kids continue their learning while they´re in the bathtub. The pages are bound by velcro, so they can be detached and played with individually, and the foam number pieces are removable, reversible and stick-able. The book includes 20 number pieces.
— “They’re rubberized so kids can take them in the tub. The pieces pop out like a puzzle,” said Elaine Hackney, owner of J. P. Boing’s Toy Shop in Jamaica Plains, Mass., adding that the series of bath books from innovativeKids is one of her best-selling bath toys.
— Waterproof bath books also do well at Tree Top Kids in Washington, D.C., said store director Susie Waterstreet.
— “This is a great toy for preschool children,” Maryam Seyedhosseini, TDmonthly Magazine’s Expert Mom, said of Innovative Kids’ My Giant ABC Bath Book.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 4963      (added 10/10/2005)

MSRP: $19.99
Age Range: 3 and up
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Collectibles

These tiny flocked, articulated figures are as foxy as can be. Mother Velvette wears an eyelet apron so she can prepare yummy meals for her family. Father Slick is dressed in coveralls, ready for a hard day’s labor. Brother Buster and sister Scarlet work off the calories from their mom’s good food by playing in their yard with the other kids from Cloverleaf Corners.
— “Calico Critters sell big time,” said Warren Brown, owner of French’s Toy Shop Inc. in Concord, N.H.
— “Omigod! Unbelievable! That’s like a top seller,” enthused Ricki Block, owner of Ariel’s Child in New Windsor, N.Y.
— “I believe it is the level of detail [in the toys] along with the collectibility of the critters that has resulted in so many fans … from very young children to tween girls,” commented Susan Tice, product manager for International Playthings Inc.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 5631      (added 11/21/2005)

MSRP: $14.99
Age Range: 4 and up
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Arts & Crafts

Tucked away in a wooden box are 16 different animal and nature stamps that kids can use to create their own designs. Two different inkpads are included, as are seven colored pencils for filling in the spaces.
— “Holy Moly, there’s a ton of stuff that does well” in Melissa & Doug, particularly the stamp and bead sets, enthused Steven Levy, owner of Toy City in Surry, N.H.
— Of 58 retailers who spoke with TDmonthly, four cited Melissa & Doug as makers of popular holiday stocking-stuffer items. Additionally, of the four, three cited Melissa & Doug’s art kits as being the “it” product.
— It was one of the best sellers at Imaginit in Decorah, Iowa, said Kayla Storlee.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 5634      (added 11/21/2005)

MSRP: $18.00
Gender: Girls
Category: Dolls

These wholesome dolls let girls go wild with fashion without venturing into the grown-up world. The Only Hearts Club looks and dresses like real little girls. They have their own series of books, too, which helps reinforce the message that girls should listen to their hearts and do the right thing. Anna Sophia comes with her own fashionable striped poncho and a cargo skirt. There are six girls in the Only Hearts line, and plenty of with-it tween fashions.
— “The dolls are very popular and the line contains lots of extra clothing, book sets, extra pets, furniture and accessories,” recommended Shannon Reding-McQueen, co-owner of the Denver Doll Emporium in Colorado.
— Len Simonian, president of OHC Group LLC., noted that the dolls do best when presented with their clothes, accessories and accompanying books. "Content is an important of the line and why people have been responding positively to it," he told TDmonthly Magazine.
— The Only Hearts were the best selling nonbaby doll at Terry’s Toy Box in Seattle. “It’s a very playable doll,” commented Terri Soelter, owner. “Mothers appreciate that it’s not a sexy doll."
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 5636      (added 11/21/2005)

Age Range: 7 and up
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Arts & Crafts

This innovative activity kit uses curved mirrors like a reverse fun house — an optical illusion trick that produces the kit’s brain-tickling coloring and drawing challenges. The kit has earned numerous national toy honors — including Parent’s Choice Gold, three Dr. Toy awards, the National Parenting Center Seal of Approval and a National Association for Gifted Children recommendation. IN NOVEMBER 2008, THIS PRODUCT WAS REBRANDED AND REPACKAGED AS THE MORPH-O-SCOPES CIRCUS KIT. Click here to see current packaging.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 1525      (added 12/3/2004)

MSRP: $15.99
Age Range: 7 and up
Gender: Girls
Category: Arts & Crafts

Kids can knit with their fingers by spinning the yarn round and round the ring. In just a short time, they’ll have a scarf, a hat or even a backpack. The ring adjusts, based on which project is being made. The kit comes with thick colored yarn, the ring, easy instructions and a carry-me case.
— “We love this knitting machine,” said Katie Henry, long-time sales associate at Toy Magic in Bethlehem, Pa. “Girls are making knitting clubs.”
— “Any of the Alex craft projects” are great for girls, said Linda Doucette, manager of the Learning Express in Hampton, N.H.
— Alex has a whole category devoted just to this hot new/old craft, with more than 10 items. Seven have won awards.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 5638      (added 11/21/2005)

MSRP: $6.00
Age Range: 6 and up
Gender: Girls
Category: Creative Activities
Fashion & Accessories

Choose from 17 silver rings that sport various moods you may be in (or wish for) today, such as Joy, Happiness or Faith. The outside edge of the ring features beautiful colored rhinestones that suit the ring´s emotion. String two or three on either the silver chains or suedette laces, and switch them around to match your mood or outfit. These rings range in price from $9 to $12.
— Tween girls really go for “necklaces and jewelry” that they can design themselves, said Sonija Kalajian, owner of the Toy Shop in Westford, Conn.
— The Bead Shop make-it and share-it jewelry kits are big sellers at all the retailers surveyed.
— “The Heart-to-Heart necklaces are selling like crazy,” affirmed Lisa Orman, publicist for the The Bead Shop.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 634      (added 9/1/2004)

MSRP: $19.95
Age Range: 12 and up
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Arts & Crafts

Room Lanterns comes with a string of ten tiny lights, ready to plug in and get glowing. To personalize them, Klutz has bound seven sets of perforated paper shades right in the book. Girls follow the step-by-step instructions to punch out the shades and fold them into shape. Easy-to-use snaps and rings to attach the shades make it simple to secure the shades to the light string. Klutz makes craft books for girls and boys of all ages.
— When asked what to give as a last-minute gift for a girl this holiday, Jean Simmons, owner of the Toy Chest in North Conway, N.H., said, “something from the Klutz rack. Our new one is Room Lanterns.”
— The Klutz line also does really well for girls at Toy City, in Surry, N.H., said owner Steven Levy.
— “Klutz craft items are great for tweens,” agreed Kevin Pohle, owner of the Wizard’s Chest in Denver, Colo.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 5639      (added 11/21/2005)

Alison MarekWriter's Bio: ALISON MAREK is an award-winning writer, director and cartoonist whose work has been published by Fairchild Publications and DC Comics (Piranha Press), broadcast on Showtime and other cable networks, and viewed worldwide in film festivals. See her short films and print work on Watch her nefarious villains in the web series Get inspired by her cartoons "Daily ARFFirmations to Unleash Your Inner Fido" at Phew! And then ...  Read more articles by this author


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