TDmonthly Magazine!
October 2006 | Vol. V - No. 10


TDmonthly's Top-10 Most-Wanted Costumes

Princess Is "King" of Costumes

With additional reporting by regional correspondents Virginia Davis, Elizabeth Greenspan, Terri Hughes-Lazzell, Krista Lebednik and Brenda Ruggiero

Pirates are big, but Princesses are bigger, 67 specialty toy retailers told  TDmonthly Magazine. Princesses ruled at 61 toy stores, while Pirates brought plunder to 32. Knights and gladiators added to the fighting spirit and adventure theme for boys, while girls flitted for ballerinas and fairies. Here’s what’s selling:

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)

Wholesale Price: (Log in to view)
MSRP: $35.00
Age Range: 3 and up
Launch Date: October 2006
Gender: Girls
Category: Costumes & Accessories

The Sugar Plum Fairy Musical Dress is part of Acting Out’s line of unique and innovative musical costumes. The music device is hidden in an interior pocket. Little girls can simply press the pocket to activate the music, which continues with motion. Three AAA batteries are included. Launch Date:  October 25, 2006.
— “Acting Out musical dress-ups are definitely my No. 1 line. Hopefully, they will come out with something for boys,” was the enthusiastic endorsement given by Debbie Wurzburger, owner of The Toy Chest in Baltimore, Md.
— “Acting Out skirts are getting bigger now. They’ve caught on,” is how Terri Bracken, owner of Earth Explorers Toys in Zionsville, Ind., described the popularity of this line with her customers.
— “All of our product is unique in comparison to other dress-up, since its musical,” Andrea Nasstromm, a partner and business manager at Acting Out, told TDmonthly. She added, “The Sugar Plum Fairy Musical dress features the ‘Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy’ music from Tchaikovsky’s Nutcracker ballet. Also, the dress is beautiful quality — full of sparkles and lined with satin for itch-free wear. It’s truly a little girl’s dream costume.”
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 9385      (added 9/15/2006)

MSRP: $12.95
Gender: Boys
Category: Costumes & Accessories

This 4-piece set includes a helmet, breastplate, sword and shield. It’s available in silver or black.
— “Mostly knight armor and swords: That’s what consistently sells well,” was the sales trend observed at Blue Turtle in Dayton, Ohio, by owner Carolyn Meyer.
— “What’s popular are swords and things that would go with that.  ... That seems to be best now,” seconded Gwen Bowden, manager at Doodlehopper 4 Kids in Springfield, Va.
— Lisa Orman, public relations for Small World Toys, shared with TDmonthly: “This set is a great value. All pieces are soft plastic, and made for safe, comfortable, imaginative play.”
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 9442      (added 9/21/2006)

MSRP: $49.95
Age Range: 2 to 12
Launch Date: May 2006
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Costumes & Accessories

This top quality Astronaut Suit is sure to please any little space traveler. Its official look and feel make it seem like it’s real. It also comes in Bright Orange, and includes an official NASA special commander patch and an official embroidered NASA cap. This product received the Oppenheim Toy Portfolio Platinum Award for 2007. Launch date: May 2006.
— “They have the best quality on the market,” said Diane Robinson, who listed the Jr. Astronaut costume as the top-selling dress-up item in her Essex, Mass., store, Silly Goose.
— “The higher-priced items that do well are from Aeromax, because of their quality and authenticity,” said Ray Goodhart, president of Ages and Stages Toy Box in Arvada, Colo.
— “They are top notch in quality,” Patti Tepper-Rasmussen, owner of Learning Tree Toys, Books and Games in Oklahoma City, Okla., observed of Aeromax's costumes in early 2009.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 9443      (added 9/21/2006)

This true-to-life dress-up kit includes a jacket with a realistic embroidered fire fighting symbol, working pockets that stay closed with Velcro and real reflector stripes; pants that have an elastic band for a better fit, real reflector stripes and knee patches; and a head protector. It's 100 percent polyester and comes packaged in a durable snap-sealed poly bag. It comes in five sizes and is flame resistant. A fire helmet is sold separately.
— “Children love to pretend. These costumes are good for Halloween and can be used year round,” is why this line is appreciated by Kim Anderson, manager at The Fun Forrest in Sumter, S.C.
— For boys, “it’s firemen by Dress Up America,” was the direct response given Melody Anderson, owner of Creative Kids in Columbia, S.C.
— Lou Landau, sales manager for Dress Up America Toy Inc., told TDmonthly, “We offer deluxe quality at deluxe prices. Our costumes are machine washable, come with quality embroidering, and have Velcro straps to ensure safety and usability.”
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 6689      (added 1/25/2006)

MSRP: $21.00
Age Range: 2 and up
Gender: Girls
Category: Costumes & Accessories
Pretend Play

This classic Princess hat has a special secret lining that keeps it standing tall! The perfect addition to any dress-up box. Matches all the Fairy Finery fashions — in boa or sequin trim.
—  "Girls like the princess hats from Fairy Finery," said Terry Myers of Kaleidoscope Toys in Round Rock, Tes.
— Peggy Sebert, owner of Becky & Me in Glenview, Ill., listed "Fairy Finery" as among her "strongest sellers" in costume accessories.
— Nine of the 67 retailers TDmonthly spoke with cited princess hats and accessories as favorites among the little girls in their stores.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 9614      (added 10/4/2006)

MSRP: $12.99
Age Range: 3 and up
Gender: Girls
Category: Costumes & Accessories

A little girl can become a flower fairy in no time with this costume, which includes wings, headband, wand and tutu in a decorative plastic carrying bag.
— “We have them year-round,” was the testament to the sales consistency of Schylling costumes given by Susan Pruett, manager at Kilmarnock Toy Store in Kilmarnock, Va.
— “It’s the same type things as Halloween. I just increase the number at Halloween,” said Terry Myers of Kaleidoscope Toys in Round Rock, Texas.
— Eight retailers told TDmonthly that fairy costumes flew off the shelves.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 9445      (added 9/21/2006)

MSRP: $17.00
Gender: Girls
Category: Costumes & Accessories

This unique princess hat is modeled after those worn during the Renaissance era. It’s made of soft velvet with two princess cones on top and long satin strips that drape from each cone. The inside is fully lined and can be adjusted to fit any head size. It was recently honored by Dr. Toy award as one of the Best Vacation products for 2006.
— “I carry accessories the girls like, like Princess Hats from Elope,” said Terry Myers of Kaleidoscope Toys in Round Rock, Texas.
— “Elope hats,” was the immediate response given by Kathleen Tutone, manager at Treehouse Toys in Portsmouth, N.H., when asked about the best-selling costumes and accessories in her store.
— Kelli Borel, national sales manager at Elope Inc., explained the company’s success to TDmonthly: “What makes us different? First and foremost, our innovative product — we have a terrific in-house design team. And we accept and encourage design suggestions from all elopians! Next is our dedication to maintaining a high quality product at a reasonable price. Last, because elope is a socially responsible company, we do not buy or manufacturer on the open market. We have a dedicated factory in China so we can protect our designs, maintain our quality and maintain the highest working conditions for our factory workers.”
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 8406      (added 6/27/2006)

Dennis FurlanWriter's Bio: Dennis Furlan is a freelance writer who lives just outside of Toronto, Canada. He works on a variety of writing and editorial jobs with clients and publications worldwide. Dennis is proud to be part of the TDmonthly team, serving as a regional correspondent for the northwestern U.S. Read more articles by this author


Back to TDmonthly's front page

Advertise on TDmonthly

Related Product Archives

Cave Club
» More Information

Calico Critters - Seaside Cruiser Houseboat
» More Information

LEGO Disney Princess Elsa's Sparkling Ice Castle
» More Information

Related Articles
·Toys to Talk About: Costumes & Accessories
·ASTRA's Best Toys For Kids Nominees - Pretend - Role Play
·Vendors Flaunt Fashions on Video
·Top-10 Most Wanted Educational Toys
·Top-10 Most-Wanted Toys
·Top-10 Most-Wanted Arts & Crafts Toys

Also See
·Q&A With Mary Beth Minton, CEO of Zylie the Bear
·Noodle Head's Purr-fect Plush Gifts Will Bow-Wow Your Customers
·ASTRA Preview: Creative Activities
·Toy Fair Coverage 2011
·Top-10 Toys at Toy Fair 2011
·Top-10 Girls Toys at Toy Fair 2011