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September 2007 | Vol. VI - No. 9




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TDmonthly's Top-10 Most-Wanted Gifts

Alex Wraps It Up


With additional reporting by regional correspondents Virginia Davis, Terri Hughes-Lazzell, Erik Jay, Christine Lebednik and Brenda Ruggiero

Specialty retailers are selling a wide and eclectic array of gift items to their customers, they told TDmonthly Magazine. Alex's Wrap 'n Ribb'n combines crafts and jewelry for the young girl. Taggies' Reversible Plushie Blanket adds comfort and function to a baby's experience, and D & L Co.’s Stomp Rocket and Rhino Toys’ Oball continue to sell in any store section. Read about the trends in Buying for Birthday Babes.

Here are the top sellers:




MSRP: $14.99
Age Range: 7 and up
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Arts & Crafts
Creative Activities



To make a bracelet, kids simply wrap the bangle with different ribbons and stick it down with double-stick tape. The Wrap 'n Ribb'n comes with five plastic bangles, lots of ribbon, double-stick tape and glue.
— Michelle of Whippersnappers in Simon's Island, Ga., told TDmonthly that the Wrap 'n Ribb'n "is a cute bracelet-making kit for girls."
— Five of 45 retailers TDmonthly spoke with in summer 2007 said Alex arts and crafts are popular gift items with their customers.
— Retailers reported average sales for Alex craft items ranging from six to 30 a month.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 14246      (added 7/23/2007)
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MSRP: $24.00
Age Range: All Ages
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Plush



Amazingly soft, these generously large, two-ply coral plush blankets offer kids double-sided comfort and fun. They're available in multiple styles that coordinate with the Taggies friends and the Sleep N’ Play apparel collection. These 30” x 40” blankets are available in Lion, Flower and Frog designs.
— Three of 54 retailers TDmonthly spoke with about baby items said Taggies blankets are something to look for during the 2007 holiday season. “All their blankets and products sell well,” said Connie Hall, owner of The Three Bears in Ruidoso, N.M.
— Six of 45 retailers said Taggies is a popular gift brand with their customers. In summer 2007, retailers reported to TDmonthly sales of one or two dozen Taggies items a month.
— "Taggies Reversible Plush Blankets utilize the company's patented tags, making the blankets not only soft and luxurious, but also soothing and comforting for baby. The colors are bright, the characters fun, and the tags interactive," said Danielle Signorelli, spokesperson for Taggies.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 14247      (added 7/23/2007)
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MSRP: $15.00
Age Range: 8 and up
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Rockets
Outdoor Fun



Stomp on the launch pad and a blast of air propels the Ultra Stomp Rocket over 200' in the air. The kit contains four rockets with the OG-1 Nosecone. “We are the original creator. Stomp Rockets started the "stompin' revolution," Cynthia Peeks of D&L Co. told TDmonthly, stressing that Stomp Rockets are known for their name, quality and safety.
Awards: TDmonthly Top Seller 2008
; iParenting Media, iParenting Hot; Dr. Toy Best Children´s Vacation Toy.
— Retailers surveyed by TDmonthly have been naming Ultra Stomp Rocket as a best-seller since 2006.
— Four of 45 retailers who spoke to TDmonthly in summer 2007 said the Stomp Rocket's success makes it a choice gift, reporting unit sales figures from four to dozens a month. Nine percent of 66 retailers named the Stomp Rocket as a best-selling gift for boys in July 2008. "We sell about 75 a month," Marilyn Walker, owner of Play Fair Toys in Boulder, Colo., told TDmonthly in early 2009. Thirteen percent of 47 retailers told TDmonthly in June 2009 that Stomp Rockets are a best seller for boys. “It's probably been the dang Stomp Rocket for about 15 years now. They just fly out,” Tye Steinbach, owner of Thinker Toys in Portland, Ore., said when asked about his most popular outdoor toy. Nine of 37 retailers named Stomp Rockets as a best-selling outdoor item in spring 2010.
— Despite multiple complaints about its durability, the Ultra Stomp Rocket received an average of 4.5 stars among 217 Amazon.com customers for being fun for all ages and pleasantly surprising when it comes to the distance the rockets can be launched. The toy is best used in open areas. Rockets are easy to lose and break, but refills are easy and cheap to find! (12.17.2012)
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 1088
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MSRP: $19.95
Age Range: 0 and up
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Dolls
Infant & Toddler



The 12” Waldorf Towel Doll is an old-fashioned European tradition for new mothers. Made from the finest cotton flannel, this soft towel doll absorbs the familiar scent of the mother, so when babies are alone in bed, the calming effect leaves them feeling safe and happy. Made in Germany of cotton flannel, the machine-washable doll has a hand-embroidered face.
— When asked about best-selling gifts, Jude Larene, owner of Izilla Toys in Seattle, replied, "The Käthe Kruse towel dolls. They're probably my single best selling category. They have 10 different styles. They just sell very, very well." He said he sells about 10 per month.
— Four of 45 retailers said the dolls and towel dolls from Germany are popular gift items.
— "Käthe Kruse Waldorf towel dolls are the first friend of a baby — something to cuddle and love. [They] are made of all natural fabrics," said Marion Hohmann of Käthe Kruse.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 14248      (added 7/23/2007)
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MSRP: $2.99
Age Range: 4 and up
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Action Figures



Aye aye, matey. Kids can now add the One-Eyed Pirate to their Playmobil treasure. This particular find comes with an adjustable action figure, a treasure chest, gold pieces, a sword and an old-style pirate revolver.
— "Pirate-themed stuff like figurines — Playmobil specifically," said Alex, lead clerk at Learning Tree Toys in Oklahoma City, Okla., when asked about popular gifts in his store.
— Four of 45 retailers said Playmobil makes for great gifts with their customers. Thirty units a month was the most common sales figure given to TDmonthly.
— "The Playmobil One-Eyed Pirate is a captivating 3” figure wearing gold hoop earrings, while protecting a chest full of gold. It is a wonderful addition to the Playmobil Pirate Playworld and perfect for the Playmobil collector," said Playmobil's Michelle Winfrey.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 14249      (added 7/23/2007)
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MSRP: $14.95
Age Range: All Ages
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Developmental Toys
Gifts



Rhino's "Everybody Ball" just got bigger: bigger circles, bigger holes, bigger ball and bigger action. And it's just as smooth, shiny and indestructible as the original Oball. Kids can kick it, stomp it or crush it and the Big Oball bounces right back to a perfectly formed sphere. Amazingly fun and durable, it also comes in a variety of colors.
— "That would probably be the Oball. We sell lots of those," said Char Mcaulay of Toy Town in Casper, Wyo., when asked about great gift sellers in her store.
— Three of 45 retailers agreed that Rhino's Oball is popular with customers, reporting average sales of about 10 to 20 a month.
— "The Really Big Oball is available in two color combinations: blue/green and blue/orange. Its unique patent-pending and compressible design makes it a perfect fit for the smallest of spaces in luggage," Suzanne Silvergate, owner of Rhino Toys, told TDmonthly.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 14250      (added 7/23/2007)
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MSRP: $14.99
Age Range: 3 and up
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Gifts
Preschool
General Toys



These 3.5" wooden robots interlock in many different positions to create remarkable shapes.
— These robots are a best-selling gift item, according to Tom England, owner of Dancing Bear Toys and Gifts in Frederick, Md.
— England told TDmonthly he sells about 15 units a month of the Stacking Robots.
— "They're a great remake of a classic toy. Kids love robots, but many of them are too young for our tin wind-up reproduction robots that are age-graded 8 and up," said Stephen Medina of Schylling Toys.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 14251      (added 7/23/2007)
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MSRP: $12.99
Age Range: 1 and up
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Infant & Toddler
Gifts



The Press N Go Inchworm is fast. Kids can press down on the happy little Inchworm’s back and watch him zoom across the floor for hours of cause-and-effect fun. His wheels feature colorful moving beads and his back is decorated with bright geometric shapes to intrigue and engage young minds. The Press N Go Inchworm is easy to press for speedy and long-distance travel. No batteries are required.
— The Press N Go Inchworm was cited as a best-selling gift purchase by Mary Sisson, owner of Kazoodles in Vancouver, Wash.
— Six of 45 retailers who spoke with TDmonthly cited items from International Playthings as best-selling gifts.
— Retailers told TDmonthly they average six to 10 units a month for International Playthings gift items.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 14252      (added 7/23/2007)
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MSRP: $12.95
Age Range: 6 and up
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Gifts



Wild Planet's popular Dodge Discs now come in a Spy version. Kids shoot rapid-fire discs from the motorized hand blaster. They can test their skills on the included target or battle against opponents. The blaster fires safe, soft-foam discs and can rapid-fire as fast as any kid who thinks fast and moves faster. It comes with a built-in shield and 20 foam discs. Batteries are not included.
— "Dodge Discs from Wild Planet — shooting little disks [where kids are] trying to dodge the discs," said Peter Scott, owner of Perfect Toy in Avon, Conn., when asked about popular items for boys in his store.
— Retailers told TDmonthly they sell about 10 units a month of the shooter toys from Wild Planet.
— "The Spy Disc Shooter is the first defense tool in the Spy Gear line. The motorized spy-themed disc launcher has a rapid-fire feature for when you need to make a quick get-away. It comes with 20 soft-foam discs and the shooter also serves as a shield should your enemy spies have access to a launcher of their own," said Cori Burns, director of marketing for Wild Planet.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 14253      (added 7/23/2007)
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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

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