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


TDmonthly’s Top 10 Most Wanted Tween Girl Toys

Girls 9 to 12 Make Crafts and Constructions

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

Tween girls are still heavily into crafts, concurred retailers surveyed by TDmonthly’s regional correspondents. Wearable items — particularly jewelry and hair ornaments — are especially big. Tweeners are also likely to pick up games, puzzles and construction toys. But a few of them just can’t get Calico Critters and other cute animal toys out of their hearts.

MSRP: $19.99
Age Range: 7 and up
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Arts & Crafts
Creative Activities

This kit includes markers and special book pages for creating an original story that is mailed to the publisher in the postpaid envelope provided. Each book features up to 12 pages with 20 typeset words and includes a title page, a dedication page and a special "About-the-Author" page. The author´s name, book title and illustration are laminated onto the cover. Additional reproductions and rush service are optional. The IlluStory kit now offers an Internet production option that includes online drawing tools and allows for more words per page, a choice of font styles and colors and faster delivery times at no extra cost.
— As of 1.06.2011 this product had 5 out of 5 stars from 23 reviews on and was listed as a top 30 bestselling toy. Pros: Allows for complete creativity; you get a hardbound copy of your creation. Cons: Your book gets sent back more slowly if you choose the manual, as opposed to online, version.
— Art kits are the best sellers for girls from 9 to 12 at Brenda Marshall’s Calico-Cat in Simpsonville, S.C.
— “Illustory is one of the better items for girls in that age range,” agreed Steve Dunning, owner of Learning Express in Greenville, S.C.
— Arts and crafts are always hot with tween girls, concurred Rob Slye, owner of Toys Ahoy in Barrington, R.I.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 3995      (added 7/18/2005)

MSRP: $35.95
Age Range: 8 and up
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Board Games

Not your ordinary family, The Griffins have joined with America’s favorite board game to create a no-holds-barred land grab — and it’s each man, woman and child for him- or herself. Set in Quahog, fans get to wheel and deal for 22 unique locations in Peter Griffin’s hometown. Geronimo’s Palace, Cleveland’s Deli and Pawtucket Pats are just a few of the locations up for sale, not to mention the sovereign nation of Petoria. This collector’s edition features never-before-seen Family Guy illustrations and six collectible pewter tokens.
— “Tween girls like a lot of the classic games — especially board game,” said Laura Brauer, general manager for Cloud Nine Toys in Sudbury, Mass.
— Games are big with big girls, agreed Holly Owellette, owner of Learning Train Toys in Sun Prairie, Wis.
— “Games still work” for girls of that age, concluded Paul Faustine, owner of Red Dragon Toys in Brunswick, Maine. “Games are still on an increase and have been for the last year or two — the games that a youngster can play and don’t drive parents nuts,” he added.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 7523      (added 4/12/2006)

MSRP: $19.95
Age Range: 8 and up
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Arts & Crafts

Kids can color in these 20 designs on transparent vellum, then hang them in the windows and let the sun shine in. Each design comes with two suggested color schemes. Kids can replicate these by following numbered templates that can be seen through the paper while coloring. Twelve number-coded, double-pointed markers are also included. The book is written by Barbara Kane.
— “Klutz crafts … make your own and do your own things,” are popular picks for tween girls, said Heather Downs, manager of The Toy Shop in Bethel, Maine.
— “Klutz crafts” are the top-selling toys for 9- to 12-year-old girls at Giggles in Stoughton, Wis., manager Kim Walter told TDmonthly.
— Art sets do great at Dancing Bear Toys in Hendersonville, N.C., said owner Erica Evers.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 7847      (added 5/10/2006)

MSRP: $7.99
Age Range: 3 and up
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Collectibles

Poppy and twin brother Penn both love to roll in the mud in the pigpen. Kids might like to know that these cute piglets were kid- designed. “Contests are held throughout the year for Calico Critter fans [on our Web site] which always receives a wonderful turn-out,” Susan Tice, product manager and public relations director, told TDmonthly Magazine. In 2004, children were encouraged to design their own critter family. “The winner created a pig family, and 2005 saw the arrival of the Pigglywink Pig Family and Twins to Cloverleaf Corners as a result,” she said.
— Calico Critters are still the favs among girls 9 to 12, said Pat Selby, owner of Calico Cats, LLC in West Bainbridge, Wash.
— Selby added that the Critters was also the top pick for younger girls.
— International Playthings helps sponsor Calico Critter-themed parties in specialty stores across North America.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 5594      (added 11/18/2005)

Age Range: 8 and up
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Collectibles
Action Figures

This mini horse knows how to look good, even on a windy day. Realistically detailed, he paws the ground as his tousled mane falls in his face.
— Schleich animals do great with girls 9 and up, said Cathy Albrow, owner of Creative Learning Toys in Grand Rapids, Mich.
— Schleich collectibles are in the top two picks for tween girls, agreed Breck Hewitt, co-owner of Dragon’s Toy Box in Seattle.
— The Andalusian Stallion is new for 2006.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 7848      (added 5/10/2006)

MSRP: $150.00
Age Range: 4 and up
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Wooden Toys

Kids and adults alike can enjoy using the 105 pieces in this set to create many different kinds of giant marble runs. The brightly colored, sturdy wood pieces include two twist-action helix pieces. It also has rails, connecting blocks, accelerators and action pieces. This large Quadrilla set comes with 100 colorful marbles and instructions on how to build three rail combinations.
— Girls and boys are both into building systems, as well, such as Marble Run,” Eric Masoncup, owner of Gepetto’s Toy Box in Oak Park, Ill., told TDmonthly.
— Quadrilla was a monster hit during the holiday season 2005 and continued to sell afterward, retailers all across the nation told TDmonthly.
— Accessories, including extra tracks and blocks, are available separately.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 3949      (added 7/15/2005)

Age Range: 3 and up
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Plush

Little girls will adore this sweet pink reindeer’s seductive look, batty eyelashes and pink ribbon. She comes with a Periwinkle Pet Carrier or Mini-Pet Carrier featuring “Joy” and snowflakes embroidered on either side. Razzle Dazzle comes in three sizes: 8” ($5.99), 12” ($11.99) and 18” ($19.99).
— What do tween girls like most? “It’s still stuffed animals,” said Emily, a long-term employee of Ambassador Toys in San Francisco.
— At French’s Toy Shop in Concord, N.H., girls 9 to 12 go for animals and “anything in girl colors,” said owner Warren Brown.
— Fancy Pals are one of Aurora’s hottest plush items.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 7399      (added 3/30/2006)

This original Big Picture Box houses artist Kinuko Craft’s Eleanor of Aquitaine. Exciting new packaging means that by opening the flap the cover image can be showcased in an expanded view and looked at while building the puzzle.
— Breck Hewitt, co-owner of Dragon’s Toy Box in Seattle, said that tween girls in his store pick puzzles over most other toys.
— Tween girls like to be challenged, agreed most retailers.
— Masterpieces Puzzles offers six other designs by Kinuko Craft, Eleanor of Aquitaine’s artist, including four with glitter and glow.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 7813      (added 5/9/2006)

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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