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April 2006 | Vol. V - No. 4




Tools:

TDmonthly’s Top 10 Most Wanted Clothes-Making Kits

Kids Enjoy Playing Fashion Designer


Kids would rather make stuff for their rooms than for their backs, reported the 25 specialty toy retailers who spoke with TDmonthly Magazine in late March. Feet, however, seem to be an exception, since flip-flop kits were named by seven as their top-selling clothing products. Only one said flip-flops had been a flop. Knitting and crochet continue to grow for most retailers surveyed (as long as there’s a willing instructor around to demonstrate those first finger-tangling steps), though summer will probably keep kids away from the wool.

For crafty kids with fashion sense, the following kits are either current or projected top sellers for 2006. The order of the products does not necessarily reflect their popularity:




MSRP: $19.99
Age Range: 6 and up
Launch Date: February 2006
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Fashion & Accessories



Creativity for Kids has come out with a brand new flip-flop kit that gives tween girls a little elevation: They have wedge-style heels for maximum fashionability. The kit comes with two flip-flop styles so it makes a great mother/daughter activity or fun for two friends. The larger pair features a fun, chunky heel and has blue and pink stripes, and the smaller pair is pink with circles. They come with self-adhesive sequin trims, sparkling angel eyelash yarn and iridescent butterflies. The kit was launched in February 2006.
— “Flip-flops have been hot,” enthused Michelle Deutschmann, owner of Kaleidoscope Toys in Falmouth, Mass. Half of retailers who sold make-your-own clothing kits said that flip-flops were their best items, and it was the most popular kit in this survey.
— “Flip-flop kits keep selling,” agreed Rich Gordon, owner of the Learning Express in Exton, Pa.
— “Flip-flops have been strong for a couple of years,” said Kate Tanner, owner of Kid Stop Toy & Book Store in Scottsdale, Ariz.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 7307      (added 3/27/2006)
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MSRP: $19.95
Age Range: 5 and up
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Arts & Crafts



The mini pegLoom includes everything needed for a complete woven project: a 7” by 10” hardwood loom with rugged nylon pegs, cotton warp string, brightly colored 100 percent pure wool yarns, plastic needle for easy weaving and illustrated instructions. The pegs are slanted, which helps keep the yarn in place.
— Kevin Hart, co-owner and buyer at Toy Store in Atlanta, told TDmonthly, “Harrisville Design … makes their own wool … they’ve been around hundreds of years.” Also popular at his store are Harrisville’s crocheting and quick-knit scarf kit.
— Craft kits from Harrisville Designs sell well, agreed Sydney Shure, owner of Ideas and Toys Etc in Westminister, Md.
— The pegLoom was a winner of the Teachers' Choice Award and the Oppenheim Toy Portfolio Gold Seal "Best Toy" Award.”
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 7309      (added 3/27/2006)
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MSRP: $24.00
Age Range: 8 and up
Launch Date: January 2006
Gender: Girls
Category: Arts & Crafts
Fashion & Accessories
Tween



This brand new, expanded kit includes a style guide to inspire and educate tween girls about variations in skirt, shirt and trouser shapes. It also includes a wide array of colorful pencils and crayons, croque sheets with the outlines of their “models,” newsprint paper, tracing paper, spec sheets and fabric samples. The whole kit folds into a portable 11” by 15” portfolio, for designing on the go. This product received a 2007 Oppenheim Toy Portfolio Gold Award. Launch date for the Deluxe kit: 2006.
— Right after Toy Fair, Debbie Scholl, owner of Fundamentally Toys in Houston, was seriously considering this item. “With this whole ‘Project Runway’ getting more popular, girls are looking more into design and creation,” she explained to TDmonthly.
— “The design-your-own-wardrobe [kit] is a very good one,” agreed Barbara Vininsky, owner of Jack & Jill in Montreal, Quebec. She expects it to be a big 2006 hit in her store, which sells trendy toy and clothing items.
TDmonthly's homeschoolers and their moms also raved about the kit, and were ready to order refills to "keep styling."
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 7310      (added 3/27/2006)
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MSRP: $14.99
Age Range: 4 and up
Launch Date: January 2006
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Fashion & Accessories



Each box comes with two hats. The kit includes an adjustable fabric baseball hat and a visor. Peel-and-stick felt shapes let little hands decorate with ease. The hat can be finished off with pretty fabric ribbons. Launch date: 2006.
— “It’s really darling,” enthused Trish Garlock of Treasured Child in La Grange, Ky. “There’s also a ribbon-and-felt tote bag that looks like it’ll match.”
— Of the 14 retailers who carried make-your-own clothing items, 10 said that Creativity for Kids kits were among their best sellers.
— Boys who want cool caps, too, can make CFK’s “Creature Caps.”
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 7312      (added 3/27/2006)
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MSRP: $14.95
Age Range: 9 and up
Launch Date: March 2006
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Arts & Crafts



With Ribbon Purses, girls can make up to 14 bitty bags, with no two exactly alike. Everything they need is included — colorful floss, plush chenille and satin cording, sparkling beads and seven different kinds of beautiful ribbon. Super-simple instructions, clearly illustrated every step of the way, ensure that even beginning crafters will be able to sew and embellish their own dinky designer purses. The biggest question will be how many to keep and how many to give to friends.
— Kate Tanner, owner of Kid Stop Toy & Book Store in Scottsdale, Ariz., is betting that tween girls will go for the new Ribbon Purses book/kit.
— Susan Sellers, buyer for Tree Top Kids in Washington, D.C., also expects Klutz craft kits to continue to be faves with tween girls this year.
— Ribbon Purses launched in March 2006.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 7313      (added 3/27/2006)
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MSRP: $17.00
Age Range: 8 and up
Launch Date: January 2006
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Arts & Crafts
Tween



Ballerinas and fashionistas alike will want to make these ultra-cool leg warmers. Included is the "Leg Warminator Tool" for quick and easy completion of a first pair of leg warmers. It comes packaged in a vinyl knitting tote for easy storage and display on retailer shelves. This product received a 2007 Oppenheim Toy Portfolio Platinum Best Toy Award. Launch date: 2006.
— “Leg warmers are coming back,” Susan Sellers, buyer for Tree Top Kids in Washington, D.C., told TDmonthly. “I ordered it for four stores.”
— Fashion Angels (formerly known as The Bead Shop) is very excited about its 2006 wearable line, publicist Lisa Orman told TDmonthly.
— Fashions Angels products are a fave with tweens, retailers have told TDmonthly.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 7314      (added 3/27/2006)
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MSRP: $19.95
Age Range: 8 and up
Gender: Girls
Category: Creative Activities



Kids can wear a different band every day of the week with these adjustable and durable ribbon bands. The quartz watch is water resistant. Kids can coordinate their watch bands with their outfits each and every day.
— “The ribbon watch from Alex did very well,” Susan Sellers, buyer for Tree Top Kids in Washington, D.C., told TDmonthly. “You change out the ribbon” to get a whole new fashion statement.
— Rich Gordon, owner of Learning Express of Exton, Pa., said that he always looks forward to new craft kits from Alex.
— Make-your-own clothing items from Alex, including crochet and knitting, were top sellers for a majority of specialty toy retailers surveyed.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 6148      (added 12/22/2005)
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MSRP: $13.99
Age Range: 7 and up
Gender: Girls
Category: Arts & Crafts



This beginner’s kit for knitting comes with simple instructions to knit a scarf and hat. The chunky needles and fat yarn make it easy for little hands. Each kit comes with a set of wooden needles and lots of yarn.
— “Knit your own scarf has been very popular,” said Kevin Hart, owner of Toy Shop in Atlanta. “Alex’s Chunky Funky scarf sold very well,” agreed Michelle Deutschmann of Kaleidoscope Toys in Falmouth, Mass.
— “A lot of the knitting and crocheting is big, from Alex,” Trish Garlock, owner of Treasured Child in La Grange, Ky., told TDmonthly.
—  Genevieve Collonge of the Wooden Horse told TDmonthly, “Alex Chunky Funky Scarf is a really good kit.”
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 4809      (added 9/26/2005)
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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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