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August 2007 | Vol. VI - No. 8




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My Best Sellers: Izilla Toys

Discs, Dolls and Collectibles Give Sales a Blast


When Co-owners Jude Larene and Jennifer Schneeweis opened their Seattle toy store in 2003, they decided to bring in toys that were appealing to them and good for children.

The pair often researches products online, asks their community for input about their store and even taps into the preferences of their 7-year-old son, Isaiah, who Jude said is “a huge help at the shop and with ordering.”

Here’s what they said sells the best. To learn more about the store, read Retailer Spotlight: Izilla Toys.






Fruit? Eraser? Collectible? Erasable? Try all four. These brightly colored erasers come in many types and sets for increased collectibility.
— “Little Japanese-made erasers from Iwako” are popular at Izilla Toys in Seattle, Co-owner Jude Larene told TDmonthly in mid-2007. “These really took off a few months ago. All the kids at local elementary schools are collecting them.”
— "I sell thousands and thousands of them — probably a couple hundred a month," added Larene.
— In early 2008, three of 45 retailers singled out Iwako erasers as their stores’ hottest selling item.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 13731      (added 6/26/2007)
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MSRP: $15.00
Age Range: 3 and up
Launch Date: July 2007
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Play Sets



Camryn McKeegan is getting ready for the annual Halloween party in Cloverleaf Corners. She can't wait to show off her costume to of all her neighbors and friends.  The set includes a critter in a witch costume, pumpkins, a broom, a magic wand, Halloween masks, party hats and all holiday decorations displayed in the image.  Launch date: July 2007.
— Calico Critters “have always done very well for us, for kids from 3 years old to 10 years old,” Co-owner Jude Larene of Izilla Toys in Seattle told TDmonthly.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 12929      (added 5/21/2007)
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MSRP: $9.95
SKU or Item #: 0316358398
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Books



Whether he's trolling the high seas for treasure or blasting off for the moon, young reporter-sleuth Tintin and his faithful dog, Snowy, have delighted readers everywhere for generations with their timeless adventures. “Tintin in Tibet” is written by Hergé. When Tintin's friend Chang's plane crashes in the Himalayas, Tintin is determined to save him. Will he get to his friend in time?
— “There seems to be a Tintin revival at the local schools,” said Co-owner Jude Larene of Izilla Toys in Seattle of this best seller in his store. “I never seem to have enough.”
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 13732      (added 6/26/2007)
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Age Range: 8 to 12
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Comics



In “Out From Boneville,” volume 1 of a nine-book epic by Jeff Smith, the three Bone cousins — Fone Bone, Phoney Bone and Smiley Bone — are separated and lost in a vast, uncharted desert. One by one, they find their way into a deep, forested valley filled with wonderful and terrifying creatures. Eventually, the cousins are reunited at a farmstead run by tough Gran'ma Ben and her spirited granddaughter Thorn. But little do the Bones know, there are dark forces conspiring against them, and their adventures are only just beginning.
— Bone comics are best-sellers at Izilla Toys in Seattle, said Co-Owner Jude Larene in mid-2007. “Bone has sold well from the moment we got them in. Kids are thirsty for a great story.”
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 13733      (added 6/26/2007)
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Wholesale Price: (Log in to view)
MSRP: $16.00
Age Range: 4 and up
SKU or Item #: 3
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Construction



Thirty-five rugged plastic pieces snap together easily to form endless poseable creatures. In this set, children can make a horse, pig, cow and mallard duck, or morph them to make all sorts of fantasy creatures. Several extra pieces are included so they can create more poseable creatures. The heads have hinged jaws, and all Zoomorphs sets are interchangeable.
— “We've only stocked them for a few months, but they fly off the shelves,” Jude Larene, co-owner of Izilla Toys in Seattle, said about Zoomorphs. “We put a pile of parts on our demo table and kids just dig them.”
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 11806      (added 3/6/2007)
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MSRP: $20.00
Age Range: 8 and up
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Aircraft



The Backyard Flyer Double Pack is a high-flying plane from Kid Galaxy that brings the wonder of flight to the backyard. The toy provides two great planes, one red and one blue, with one launcher for high-flying variety and value. The Backyard Flyer is a powered flight plane that charges on its own integrated hand-held, battery-powered launcher. Made of high-strength EPP foam, both planes are ideal for young daredevils. This product is a 2007 Creative Child Seal of Excellence Award winner.
— "Kid Galaxy's Backyard Flyer, that is a good seller," noted Helen Noland, owner of Father Goose in Macon, Ga.
— "For 8 and up it's a terrific seller," observed Judy Bielewicz, manager of Imagination Toys in St. Louis, Mo.
— “Backyard Flyers from Kid Galaxy” are a best-seller at Izilla Toys in Seattle, Co-owner Jude Larene said in mid-2007. “My [7-year-old] son bought our first one and he has really spread the gospel about this toy. Amazingly, these sell well year-round.”
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 2179      (added 1/7/2005)
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MSRP: $23.95
Gender: Boys
Category: Sporting Goods & Accessories



The Blast Pad Advanced Missile Launch System comes with telescoping technology that expands to almost 3'. The carrying case holds up to six soft-tipped missiles and the Flex Launch tube can’t kink to restrict airflow. Mark Rappaport, founder of Marky Sparky, invented his first toy when he was 9, according to his website. The Blast Pad was the winner of the 2003 Creative Child Magazine Preferred Choice Award.
— “We sold more than 500 during Christmas [2005] alone,” said Lee Ann Stern, general manager for the 11-year-old Village Toy Shop in Easton, Mass. Amanda Toupes, manager of Magic Box in New Orleans, added, “Some of [the missiles] get 200' in the air.”
— This toy is "sans pareil," according to Michael Ziegenhagen, owner of four Playmatters stores in Cleveland. "It has broad appeal as an outdoor boy toy" and has been one of his best sellers for four years.
— “These have sold well for us from day one,” Co-owner Jude Larene of Izilla Toys in Seattle told TDmonthly in mid-2007. “It's a kid magnet at the park.”
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 404      (added 9/1/2004)
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Wholesale Price: (Log in to view)
MSRP: $10.00
Age Range: 5 and up
SKU or Item #: 745117175004
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Sporting Goods & Accessories
Outdoor Fun



This disc is the world standard for the sport of Ultimate and the official disc of the Ultimate Players Association Championship Series. Ultimate players call it sports equipment ... kids on the beach call it fun. Precision engineered quality has ensured consistent flight since 1981. Full-color custom printing is also available.
— “Discraft flying discs” are best-sellers at Izilla Toys in Seattle, according to Co-Owner Jude Larene. “We sell Ultra-Star discs, which is the official disc for playing Ultimate. Seattle has a huge Ultimate community, even in elementary schools.”
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 13734      (added 6/26/2007)
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MSRP: $26.99
Age Range: 2 and up
Gender: Girls
Category: Dolls



Thanks to its cuddly soft beanbag body, Calin Cheerful Bright can be posed just like a real baby. The 12" doll has blue sleeping eyes, can wear fashion from the Mon Premier collection, and can have a number of accessories added to it from the Corolle line.
— "Probably any of my Calin from Corolle" serve as the best-selling items in dolls, according to Mary Sisson, owner of Kazoodles in Vancouver, Wash.
— “We sell different styles [of Calin]. About 30 a month,” Marilyn Walker, owner of PlayFair Toys in Boulder, Colo., told TDmonthly in January 2008.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 13485      (added 6/14/2007)
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Wholesale Price: (Log in to view)
MSRP: $15.40
Age Range: 0 and up
SKU or Item #: 74901
Launch Date: January 2006
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Infant & Toddler
Dolls



This soft, warm and cuddly towel doll is made of the finest cotton, perfect for playing, cuddling or sleeping. The bright, fresh colors are stimulating to babies’ eyes, and the loveable ladybug head is hand painted. Many more characters are available, including a bear, bunny, mouse and frog. “Käthe Kruse towel dolls are made of [the] highest-quality natural fabrics,” Marion Hohmann of Käthe Kruse Puppen GmbH told TDmonthly. “They are the first friend to hug and play.” Launch date: January 2006.
— Jude Larene, co-owner of Izilla Toys in Seattle, said that the Käthe Kruse towel doll “is the best baby gift. As soon as you suggest it, most people will not look at anything else.”
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 13735      (added 6/26/2007)
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Brenda RuggieroWriter's Bio: Brenda Ruggiero is a freelance writer from western Maryland. Read more articles by this author

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