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January 2006 | Vol. V - No. 1




Tools:

A Few of Their Favorite Things

Retailers Look Back to a Year Filled With Great Toys


New toys are coming in just a couple of months. But what were retailers’ favorite toys of 2005?

Throughout the year, TDmonthly Magazine tracked those items that sold well in a number of retail locations. Yet, not every toy store owner carries, or in some cases, has even heard of, the same toys. Those products are still worth knowing about. Here are a few toys that didn’t make TDmonthly’s 2005 Top-10 lists but that retailers picked as their favorite things in 2005:




MSRP: $56.90
Age Range: 3 and up
SKU or Item #: 2761
Gender: Boys
Category: Wheeled Toys



The MAN Side Loading Garbage Truck by Bruder can be seen at full-scale functioning daily on any street in cities around the United States. This truck is fully functional, with a grapple to unload the bins from the side. The tailgate opens and latches and the collection body tips to unload the garbage. Additional garbage can sets can be purchased separately. The dimensions of the Bruder Side Loading Garbage Truck are 20.9" x 8.7" x 10.1". Bruder trucks always do well at Boomerang Toys in New York City, said owner Karen Barwick. “The bigger and more expensive, the better it is!” she added. “I can’t keep them in stock,” commented Jude Larene, owner of Izilla Toys in Seattle.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 5786      (added 12/7/2005)
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MSRP: $12.00
Age Range: 3 and up
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Wheeled Toys



This Garbage Can Set comes with 3 small garbage cans (green, yellow and blue) and 1 large silver garbage bin. They all have lids that open and close and the silver bin is on rollers to easily move the heavy trash. They are made to be used with Bruder Garbage Trucks.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 5787      (added 12/7/2005)
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MSRP: $29.00
Age Range: 2 and up
Launch Date: June 2007
Gender: Boys
Category: Pretend Play



Now baby can giddy up with this nifty cowboy costume just for little tykes. One size fits kids up to 25 lbs. Turtleneck and tights are not included. Cowboy outfits by Mullins Square are one of shoppers’ favorite things at Dear Friends & Children in Duncan, Okla., said owner Mary Ellen Cerney. Bob Mullins, owner of Mullins Square, said that they added "about a dozen new animal costumes, including lions and elephants" for 2007. "And they look good!" he enthused. Launch date: June 1, 2007.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 5788      (added 12/7/2005)
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MSRP: $58.00
Gender: Girls
Category: Pretend Play



This frothy pink satin dress is trimmed with bows and has rows and rows of magic glittered tulle to satisfy the most demanding princess. The tiara is sold separately. Puppet Workshop princess dresses are a favorite at Kidoodles in Norman, Okla., said owner Linda Angel. Dress-up clothes are also a favorite with the kids from TDmonthly Magazine’s Homeschooling Roundtable.
— “Puppet Workshop is good quality. ...It’s real,” said Andrea Keyes, manager of Dilly Dally’s in Rogers, Ariz.
— “Princesses and that sort of thing are always popular,” was the observation given by Amanda Toups of Magic Box in New Orleans, La.
— Eight of 67 retailers told TDmonthly that the Puppet Workshop line of costumes were among the best sellers in their store.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 5789      (added 12/7/2005)
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MSRP: $5.99
Age Range: All Ages
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: General Toys



Available in red, pink or blue, more than 10 million of these classic balls have been sold. Once inflated, they measure 9” in diameter. “You blow these up with a straw and bounce them on the carpeting and grass,” said Ricki Block, owner of Ariel’s Child in New Windsor, N.Y.
— “I do sell a lot of Gertie Balls to people doing physical therapy. Gertie balls are by far number one,” commented Gage Brownell, manager at Belmont Toys in Belmont, Mass.
— “A lot of Gertie Balls. They’re great. They travel well. Kids like the texture,” seconded Karen Williams-Fox, manager of Woodbury Mountain Toys in Montpelier, Vt.
— Lisa Orman, public relations rep for Small World Toys, explained to TDmonthly,  “Gertie balls have a unique, slightly sticky surface that makes them extra easy to throw and catch — even for the youngest kids. Because Gertie balls are light and soft, they can be used for both indoor and outdoor play. It is also the only ball that travels small: Deflate for easy packing, then re-inflate quickly with the included straw.”
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 5791      (added 12/7/2005)
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Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Wheeled Toys



Distributed by Ravensburger in the United States, Siku has been making model cars and vehicles in Germany since 1921. Siku toys are a favorite with Gideon Rettich, partner at Classic Toys in New York City. “These toys are of the same quality as 30 or 40 years ago,” he raved.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 5792      (added 12/7/2005)
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MSRP: $21.95
Age Range: 8 and up
SKU or Item #: 1100
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: General Toys
Novelties



Shoot an edible miniature marshmallow over 30´ with this pump-action shooter, complete with LED sight for aiming accuracy. The easy-to-refill magazine holds 20 marshmallows (or foam pellets—which are included) for fast, nonstop action. The LED sight shoots a safe beam of red light to help locate a target. Barrel and magazine are top-rack dishwasher safe, and the back of the box even has a target for practice.
— "The Shooter did excellent for us this past year [2005]," said Andrew Saucier, general manager for the Marshmallow Fun Company. "We were on Jay Leno and Good Morning America. We're about to go on David Letterman, and AOL picked us as a top toy of the year." In November the company launched the Marshmallow Blaster, which fires "big marshmallows," he added.
— Warren Brown, owner of French’s Toy Shop Inc. in Concord, N.H., claimed he never fired marshmallows at lax storeworkers, but later admitted, “I did use it on a couple of customers!”
— "Marshmallow Shooters are really hot," Mary Alice Miner, co-owner of Miner’s Doll & Toy Store in Ocean Springs, Miss., told TDmonthly in fall 2007.

Past Videos: Product demonstration, Toy Fair 2009
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 3824      (added 6/28/2005)
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MSRP: $37.99
Age Range: 3 and up
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Wheeled Toys



The transformable truck has an easy snap-fit assembly with light and sound, dual rear wheels, removable axles, bumpers and more. It is sturdy for basic play and also model-quality for older children with its adjustable assembly feature. It also features a detailed chassis and working steering. The compartment doors, two cab doors and hood open for added play value. This set includes a firefighter figure, rescue basket, hoses, fire extinguishers, ax and flashlight. “Mighty Worlds is brand new … and it's been selling extremely well already,” raved Ricki Block, owner of Ariel’s Child in New Windsor, N.Y.
— “Mighty World … is also liked by adults. They’re pretty humorous and modern,” said Wendy Kramer, manager of Big Fun Toys in Hoboken, N.J. “The cop has a gun and donut.”
— It’s still doing well for Block, she told TDmonthly in July.
Susan Tice, publicity director for International Playthings, said that Mighty World had a small test run in 2005, “but the major launch [was] Jan. 2006.”
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 5796      (added 12/7/2005)
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MSRP: $25.00
Age Range: 6 and up
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Sporting Goods & Accessories
Outdoor Fun



The Surefire Compound Bow X2 is an accurate‚ high-performance foam bow and arrow. It features dual power cords‚ guide-wire technology and super-safe soft foam arrows. It includes one Compound Bow and four soft foam arrows. The bow can be used indoors and out.
— Sarah Evers, owner of Dancing Bears in Rochester, Minn., said that she continually runs out of stock on this popular item. “Kids always want one, but I don’t have any.” “The Compound Bow’s been a phenomenal seller for us last year and this year,” verified Tracy Mumford of Monkey Business Sports. “We have a new Surefire Crossbow 2 that features a lot of the same elements that made the Compound Bow popular, like cool design. There’s a whole new mechanism and the arrows will go over 60'.”
— Colleen Nelson, owner of Goodie Gum Drops in Burien, Wash., listed Surefire Compound Bows as a best seller in a March 2009 survey of 60 retailers, reporting sales of between 10 and 15 per month. “They are consistent sellers, and within the birthday party price range,” commented Deborah Smith of  Toys That Teach in Richmond, Va.
— Eight percent of 60 retailers told TDmonthly in spring 2009 that Monkey Business manufactures their top-selling outdoor and sports toys.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 5797      (added 12/7/2005)
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MSRP: $60.00
Age Range: 0 to 3
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Vehicles - Riding



Launched in summer 2005, this little horsie is made using a patented rubber bounce suspension that provides a safe, quiet ride. A removable "safety saddle" lets the toy grow with its rider. Parents will appreciate that the fabric body is removable and washable. The toy also features easy-grip handles and squeezable ears that make a crinkling sound, fun for kids as young as 9 months. The Rock & Bounce Pony does great at the Children’s General Store in New York City, said general manager Michael Stone. "This product's done extremely well for us," Brian Simms, vice president of sales for Radio Flyer, told TDmonthly. "It has great gift-giving appeal and we've seen fourth-quarter sales ramp up as a result." Not only will Radio Flyer be continuing this item for 2006, said Simms, but they're considering developing a series with unique features, such as longer plush, specifically for the specialty toy market.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 4051      (added 7/29/2005)
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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 www.alisonmarek.com. Watch her nefarious villains in the web series www.MuggsMovers.com. Get inspired by her cartoons "Daily ARFFirmations to Unleash Your Inner Fido" at www.ARFFirmations.com. Phew! And then ...  Read more articles by this author

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