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September 2008 | Vol. VII - No. 9




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TDmonthly’s Top-10 Most-Wanted Gifts for Babies

Infants and Parents Take Hold of Natural Toys


With additional reporting by Sharri Hefner, Terri Hughes-Lazzell, Chris Lundy, Claudia Newcorn, Marie Raven and Brenda Ruggiero

TDmonthly Magazine’s recent poll of 66 specialty toy retailers indicates that many top-selling baby toys are geared toward a tactile experience and feature health-wise, safe-to-the-touch materials. Top sellers on retailers’ lists are toys made from organic materials, such as Kathe Kruse dolls by Europlay and Miyim plush by Hosung NY. Many consumers are interested in toys made any place other than China, such as Australia or European countries, and are drawn to classic wooden toys.




Wholesale Price: (Log in to view)
MSRP: $45.00
Age Range: 2 and up
SKU or Item #: 2335
Launch Date: July 2008
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Wooden Toys
Infant & Toddler
Preschool



Made in Germany, this imaginative beechwood pull toy and stacking toy is sure to be an heirloom toy in any child's home. It is designed to stimulate the child's creative skills, large motor skills and spatial thinking. The different sizes and colors can be assembled on the three upright sticks in numerous ways — with no "right or wrong," so it increases the child's confidence in his or her creativeness. Kids can pull the item around the room to "show off" to friends and family. Launch date: July 2008.
— “For babies, I really like HABA,” said Jennifer Andress, owner of Megan’s Toybox in Bellevue, Wash. “They make really high-quality [products]. My best sellers are the clutching toys.”
— “HABA is getting more popular as a line because of the safety issues; people are becoming a lot more aware of that kind of thing,” Tara Friese, assistant manager of Tree Top Toys in Redmond, Wash., told
TDmonthly in July 2008.
— Six of 66 retailers mentioned HABA as a top-selling brand for baby gifts in summer 2008.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 20010      (added 8/5/2008)
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MSRP: $34.00
Age Range: 2 and up
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Plush
Infant & Toddler
Preschool



Each Twilight Turtle and Friends character from the collection projects constellation nightlights that create a magical sleep-time environment. Each “shell” illuminates the night with three soothing color options to help ease fear of the dark. The Twilight Collection includes Twilight Turtle and Twilight Ladybug, each available in three colors and a Twilight Sea Turtle that also has five illuminated windows projecting images of sea life.
— Retailers surveyed by TDmonthly have been naming the Twilight Turtle as a best-seller since 2006.
— Six of 66 retailers mentioned one of the Twilight Turtles as a top-selling item for baby gifts in July 2008. Four of 47 retailers named Twilight Turtle as a top-selling baby gift in June 2009. Three of 64 retailers cited it as a top-selling infant and toddler toy in March 2009, and eight of 39 said the same in March 2010.
— In a 2012 survey, Erika Evers, owner of Dancing Bear Toys in Hendersonville, N.C., told TDmonthly that their best selling infant & toddler product is the "Twilight Turtle from Cloud B, and it's spin-offs, like the ladybug." They sell about 20 units each month.
— Want this? As of 05/06/2011, this product was available for purchase at Toys & Co.
AWARDS: 2010 TDmonthly Top Seller
AD


Age Range: 0 and up
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Plush



Gund’s Comfy Cozy is a 24-inch plush blanket with a full satin underside and a plush animal pillow. The blankets come in a variety of colors and animals including a monkey, cow, lamb, horse, lion, bear, puppy, and kitten.
— “There are so many that are good, but I say Gund Comfy Cozies — the larger size a baby can lie on” are my best-selling baby gifts, Dennis Hofstetter, owner of The Toy Store in Atlanta, told TDmonthly in July 2008.
— “For babies, we have had a lot of success with the My First Teddy Bear [Comfy Cozy] blanket by Gund,” added Donna, owner of Treasured Child in LaGrange, Ky. “I have re-ordered twice and we just started carrying them six weeks ago.”
— Eleven percent of 66 retailers mentioned a Gund product when discussing as top-selling gifts for babies in summer 2008.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 20314      (added 8/28/2008)
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MSRP: $7.00
Age Range: 1 and up
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Gifts



This rubbery, tri-colored ball is a staple for any child learning cognitive and social skills and developing fine- and gross-motor skills. Ideal for children with a special need, the ball is durable and has a skeletal structure that allows for easy catching. "Kids and teachers agree that Oballs are the easiest balls to catch and hold. The cool design already has won five awards for excellence and innovation, including an Oppenheim Toy Portfolio Gold Award and a Dr. Toy Best Vacation Products Award,” said Suzanne Silverglate, owner of Rhino Toys.
— “Everybody buys it,” Dalene Lockhart, owner of Toy Town in Casper, Wyo., told TDmonthly in 2007. “Right now it is head and shoulders above others [in the infant/toddler category]. It's probably been that way for two years.” Retailers reported average monthly sales of five to 25 a month.
— In summer 2008, four of 66 specialty retailers named the Oball as one of their top-selling gifts for babies. “We sell more of them because our store does gift wrapping and it makes a good topper,” said Jill Jernigan, owner of J. Christopher Toys in Jonesboro, Ark.
― Ask retailers about top-selling balls and the Oball is an answer that’s sure to come up, winning the graspable toy a TDmonthly Top Seller 2007 award. Six of 64 retailers named the Oball as a best-selling baby toy in March 2009, and two of 39 said the same a year later. “[It] is definitely the best-selling gift for babies,” stated John Naisbitt, owner of Thinker Things in Del Mar, Calif., in June 2009.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 456      (added 9/1/2004)
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MSRP: $12.00
Age Range: 0 to 2
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Infant & Toddler



The 6" version of Whoozit has hidden noise makers, including rattles, squeakers and crinkle paper to perk up little ears. Whoozit is made of ultrasoft velour and attaches to most strollers, carriers and car seats. Whoozit is uniquely designed to hold babies’ attention. Barbara Fineblum, owner of Barston’s Child’s Play in Baltimore, Md., told TDmonthly Whoozit by Manhattan Toy would be a 2006 holiday best seller in a market where “nothing really stands out.”
— Jessica Wood of Northshire Bookstore in Manchester Center, Vt., told TDmonthly in summer 2008 that her store sells six to 12 Whoozits a month.
— Catherine Higgins of Stone Soup in Bar Harbor, Maine, reported monthly sales of 5 to 6 units.
— Three of 66 retailers mentioned Whoozit as a best-selling baby gift in July 2008.
— As of 8.24.10, this product had 4.5 out of 5 stars from 2 reviews on Target.com and was listed in the top 30 best-selling toys and games. PROS:  Humorous; keeps children busy.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 5305      (added 11/2/2005)
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SKU or Item #: 74191
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Dolls



Soft and fully washable, Nicki Baby dolls come in a variety of colors and are made of all natural materials. Colors include blue, violet, yellow, green, light blue, pale red, orange, rose, pink and red.
— Diane Robinson, owner of Silly Goose Inc., in Essex, Mass., said she sells a dozen a month of the “Nicki Baby organic doll from Kathe Kruse.”
— A summer 2008 survey about best-selling baby gifts found many retailers to be fans of European-made toys.
— “We love Kathe Kruse’s unique products from Germany,” reported Michelle Smith of Piccolo Mondo Toys in Portland at the end of December 2008.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 20315      (added 8/28/2008)
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MSRP: $24.95
Age Range: All Ages
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Gifts



Little Taggies Colours Collection 12” x 12” blankets are made with soft, rich fabrics edged with an array of vibrant, engaging tags, described on the company’s website as “scrumptious to touch.” Colorful patterns include Confetti, Polka Dot fun, Bubbles and Sweet Swirls.
— “A new blanket made of minky fabric — Little Taggies Colours,” is the best-selling baby gift at  Doodlehopper for Kids in Springfield, Va., Manager Gwen Bowden told TDmonthly in July 2080. “They are really soft. We just got them in; we had six and we have one left.”
— “Consumers just want something a little unusual that they can't find in mass market,” explained Kara Fichtner, manager of Out Of The Blue Ltd. in Albuquerque, N.M., whose store does well with Taggies.
— Mike DiAndrea, owner of Hardware Toys in Paoli, Pa. told TDmonthly in Spring 2011 that he sold one dozen Taggies blankets each month.
— Want this? As of 05/06/2011, this product was available for purchase at Hardware Toys.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 20316      (added 8/28/2008)
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MSRP: $34.99
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Plush



miYim’s organic Storytime Collection characters are soft, naturally colored with embroidered details and stuffed with unbleached cotton. Molly the gray bunny and her friends, Eugene the yellow bear and Fred the brown monkey, share their tales with children in mind. Their playful hands and feet and long arms are perfect for hugging, and stimulate children’s imagination. They wear their little storybooks on their chests. Molly and her friends are 14” high.
— “Right now my best-selling gift item is by a company called Miyim — their organic cotton baby toys,” said Linda Hanzelko of Timmy’s Toy Chest in Lake Mary, Fla., when asked about top-selling baby gifts in July 2008.
— “It’s actually selling pretty well across the board,” she added.
— Hosung NY is one of a handful of organic toymakers becoming increasingly popular with consumers.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 5713      (added 11/28/2005)
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MSRP: $19.99
Age Range: 1 and up
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Wooden Toys



Melissa and Doug’s wooden ducky flaps its wings while it’s pushed and rolled along. A large wooden knob helps small hands grasp the handle and it’s brightly painted with non-toxic paint. It measures 21.5” x 7” x 5” when assembled.
— “We sell the most of Melissa & Doug’s push-and-quack Flapping Duck Toy,” Laurel Marvin Jacobs of Science to Go in Tampa, Fla., told TDmonthly in July 2008.
— Science to Go sells an average of five Flapping Duck Push Toys per month, Marvin said.
— Two of 66 retailers polled in a summer 2008 survey cited Melissa & Doug as a top-selling manufacturer of baby gifts.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 20354      (added 8/28/2008)
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MSRP: $32.99
Age Range: 1 to 3
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Infant & Toddler



This tractor has a farmer that drives around with five removable plastic farm animals that make their animal sounds when placed on the plastic vehicle.
— Out of the Blue Ltd. Store Manager Kara Fichtner, in Albuquerque, N.M., told TDmonthly in May 2006: “It’s one of my favorite toys. It’s something we show customers when they come in looking for a toy for a 1-year-old.”
— “We sell 144 tractors a year, and we don’t have many people coming in,” Grafton Stine, owner of Toys on the Square in Hummelstown, Pa, told TDmonthly in summer 2007.
— “For a first birthday toy, it’s the Fun Time Tractor from iPlay — it really sells,” noted Teresa Ford, owner of Kids’ Ketch in Lewes, Del., when asked about best-selling baby gifts in July 2008. Six of 39 retailers told TDmonthly in March 2010 that International Playthings supplies their best-selling infant and toddler toys. Two singled out the Funtime Tractor as a top-selling individual item with sales of four per month.
— In a 2012 survey about best selling infant & toddler products, Joe Berardoni, owner of Pun's Toys in Bryn Mawr, Pa. told TDmonthly, "Pun’s best selling baby toy continues to be the Funtime Tractor from International Playthings. Even though it retails for more than $30, this store sells a disproportional amount- up to 12 a month, even during slow times. Of course, my staff all love it also, so it is usually recommended."
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 4385      (added 8/31/2005)
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