TDmonthly Magazine!
June 2006 | Vol. V - No. 6


TDmonthly’s Top 10 Most Wanted Boy Toys for Ages 4 to 8

Specialty Toy Stores Across the Nation Speak

With reporting by regional correspondents Pennie Hoover, Marie Rossiter, Virginia Davis and Terri Lazzell

This month, many familiar faces rear their heads in this wide-reaching top-10 grouping. Why? Because we’ve been reporting on these manufacturers and their product lines all along. But take a look: there are a few surprises as well as new products available within the lines that manufacturers — and retailers — predict will move fast this summer and beyond.

Gender: Boys
Category: Pretend Play

This heavy-duty tractor is packed with realistic play features, including independent suspension on each of the treaded wheels, and can be steered using the included wheel tool. It also has a movable front loader that really works, an adjustable trailer hitch, doors that open and close, and a hood that lifts to reveal a detailed engine.
— Direct replicas of the real thing “are very popular right now” according to Village Toy Shop general manager Lee Ann Stern in North Easton, Mass.
— Frank Meyer, manager of A Child’s Delight in Corte Madera, Calif., said that these are his top sellers for boys in this age group.
— Emily, aka she who “has been there the longest,” said that these are top sellers at Ambassador Toys in San Francisco.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 7820      (added 5/9/2006)

Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Rockets

Launched in spring 2006, this sleek rocket soars over 1,000 feet. It comes in a rocket-shaped package and launches on standard Estes engines.
— Laura Brauer, general manager of Cloud Nine Toys in Sudbury, Mass., partially credits the popularity of Estes’ rockets to the fact that kids can launch them with their parents.
— Foam rockets and airplanes sell well for Paul Faustine, owner of Red Dragon Toys in Brunswick, Maine.
— Marc Truax, store manager of Try & Buy Toy Stores in Katonah, N.Y., mentioned rockets as popular sellers.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 7821      (added 5/9/2006)

MSRP: $8.99
Age Range: 7 to 16
Gender: Boys
Category: Construction

Thok's plan is to convince all the other Piraka that he is on their side, and then betray them. He has the power to bring inanimate objects to life to serve him and spellbinder vision to disorient a foe. If those fail, he relies on his ice peg and ice gun to freeze enemies, and his zamor spheres to make them slaves. Thok comes with zamor spheres and a launcher. His Piraka eyes light up and his teeth glow in the dark.
— Pat Selby, owner of Calico Cats LLC in West Bainbridge Island, Wash, said these are a huge hit with boys aged 4 to 8.
— Karen Fox, owner of Woodbury Mountain Toys in Montpelier, Vt., said LEGOs are her top seller for that age group of boys.
— At G. Willikers in Portsmouth, N.H., this series comes in at 5th place of the store’s top sales points, the owners told TDmonthly.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 7822      (added 5/9/2006)

MSRP: $36.99
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Pretend Play

Part of the company’s Sun Beach Vacation line launched in April 2006, this snazzy yacht floats on water and when combined with the Underwater Motor moves around. The deck is removable and the anchor winch works. The cabin comes complete with beds, a kitchen, furniture and a bathroom. It is 17.3” by 5.9” by 7”.
— “The police set has always been huge here. Also, the boys like the arctic collection, too,” said Warren Brown, owner of French’s Toy Shop in Concord, N.H.
— “Playmobil sets of all kinds” sell well for Village Toy Shop general manager Lee Ann Stern, in North Easton, Mass.
— Marc Truax, store manager of Try & Buy Toy Stores in Katonah, N.Y., said that these are a hit with his male clientele ages 4 to 8.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 7823      (added 5/9/2006)

Age Range: 3 and up
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Pretend Play

Hand painted with nontoxic paint and crafted of high-quality vinyl, this dinosaur replica was launched in January 2006.
— “I should just open a store for those things,” said Warren Brown, owner of French’s Toy Shop in Concord, N.H., of Schleich figures.
— Michele and Ken Gietz, owners of Where’d You Get That? In Williamstown, Mass., said these are consistent good sellers.
— Jordan Walden, manager of Finegans Toys and Gifts in Portland, Ore., said anything dinosaur is usually popular.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 7824      (added 5/9/2006)

Age Range: 4 and up
Gender: Boys
Category: Pretend Play
Action Figures

This spooky skeletal pirate figure, standing approximately 3.5" tall, is hand-painted and highly detailed. He has a massive sword and shiny pistol. "Each Papo figure is painted by hand and incredibly detailed," said Brian J. Shackelton, operations manager for Hotaling Imports Inc.
— Betsy Justings, owner of Betsy's on Ross in Auburn, Ala., told TDmonthly that Papo Pirates is the hottest selling item in her store.
— Two of 45 retailers who spoke with TDmonthly specifically cited Papo Pirates as a continuing hot-seller in their stores. Both retailers are located in the Southeast.
— Pirates came in second to knights in the best-selling action figure category, according to research conducted by TDmonthly in spring 2007.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 7825      (added 5/9/2006)

MSRP: $20.00
Age Range: 2 and up
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Science & Nature

Two train cars filled with nontoxic liquid are included in this set. One car contains an octopus, the other a shark.
— Heather Downs, manager of The Toy Shop in Bethel, Maine, said Thomas train accessories sell well.
— The wooden trains in this set sell well for Cheeky Monkey Toys in Menlo Park, Calif., according to manager Amanda Scadina.
— Kristit Largoza, operations manager for Thomas’ Trackside Station in Strasburg, Penn., said that these cars in particular “are selling wonderfully.”
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 7560      (added 4/12/2006)

MSRP: $7.99
Age Range: 3 to 5
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Construction

Included in a handy storage case, this set of 16 easy-snap pieces can be used to make a gaggle of goofy monsters. The characters'  blinkin' eyes come to life with one simple touch.
— Heather Downs, manager of The Toy Shop in Bethel, Maine, said K’NEX sell well at her store.
— Marc Truax, store manager of Try & Buy Toy Stores in Katonah, N.Y., said that KID K’NEX products sell well with boys in this age group because the pieces snap together to make funny creations.
— "Within this age bracket, Blinkin' Monsters is one of K'NEX's bestsellers," said Rebeca Schiller, public relations representative for the company.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 7827      (added 5/9/2006)


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