TDmonthly Magazine!
April 2009 | Vol. VIII - No. 4


TDmonthly's Top-10 Most-Wanted Sports and Outdoor Toys

Summer Takes Flight

With additional reporting by Terri Hughes-Lazzell, Chris Lundy, J. D. Meisner, Claudia Newcorn and Brenda Ruggiero

Stomp Rockets by D&L Company continue to be favorites in the category of sports and outdoor toys, a recent TDmonthly Magazine survey of 60 specialty retailers revealed. Other flying toys, such as the Blast Pad from Marky Sparky Toys and the Surefire Compound Bow from Monkey Business Sports, are also staples, U.S. storeowners reported. Customers continue to be drawn to classics, including kites and jump ropes, such as the durable standbys from Premier and Just Jump It.

Here are the top-10 best-selling sports and outdoor toys:

MSRP: $15.00
Age Range: 8 and up
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 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

MSRP: $24.95
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Kites

Designed especially for beginning kite fliers, the colorful Bird of Paradise from Premier Kites features a durable but lightweight fiberglass frame, and strong, bright ripstop nylon. Kids can send this graceful avian into clear skies on winds between 6 and 20 mph with the included 300’ of 50-lb Dacron kite string. The string comes on a plastic handle, and the kite is packaged in a reusable carry case.
— Thirteen percent of 60 retailers surveyed in March 2009 listed kites as their best-selling outdoor or sports toy, with sales of between six and a dozen per month.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 23038      (added 3/27/2009)

This launch system features a flex tube that stretches to nearly 3’ and won’t restrict airflow. It only blasts vertically (9 degrees either way), using Metalix™ missiles (three included). The parts store in the base, and the product is also available in Electric Extra Terrestrial Green and Exploding Sun Yellow.
— Two of 66 retailers told TDmonthly in July 2008 that this product is one of their overall best sellers. Five of the 66 named it as a best-selling gift item for boys. Three of 39 retailers listed Blast Pads as their best-selling item for tween boys during an October 2009 survey. “I've been accused of giving them away with how fast I go through them,” Jude Larene, owner of Izilla Toys in Seattle, Wash., said in March 2009.
— “Blast Pads from Marky Sparky were our biggest sellers last year,” Joe Berardoni, owner of Pun’s Toy Shop in Bryn Mawr, Pa., told TDmonthly in spring 2009. Of 47 retailers, two told TDmonthly in June 2009 that Blast Pads top their sales of boys' items, reporting figures of seven to 15 sold per month. "We sell that all year. Every time we get them in we sell out," reported Kim Haynes of Lollipop Toy Store in Dawsonville, Ga., in March 2010.
—‘’We sell at least one per week, sometimes more,’’ said manager Gwen Bowden of Doodlehopper 4 Kids in 1Q 2011.
AWARDS: 2010 TDmonthly Top Seller
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 20356      (added 8/28/2008)

MSRP: $25.00
Age Range: 6 and up
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Sporting Goods & Accessories
Outdoor Fun

The Surefire Compound Bow X2 is an accurate‚ high-performance foam bow and arrow. It features dual power cords‚ guide-wire technology and super-safe soft foam arrows. It includes one Compound Bow and four soft foam arrows. The bow can be used indoors and out.
— Sarah Evers, owner of Dancing Bears in Rochester, Minn., said that she continually runs out of stock on this popular item. “Kids always want one, but I don’t have any.” “The Compound Bow’s been a phenomenal seller for us last year and this year,” verified Tracy Mumford of Monkey Business Sports. “We have a new Surefire Crossbow 2 that features a lot of the same elements that made the Compound Bow popular, like cool design. There’s a whole new mechanism and the arrows will go over 60'.”
— Colleen Nelson, owner of Goodie Gum Drops in Burien, Wash., listed Surefire Compound Bows as a best seller in a March 2009 survey of 60 retailers, reporting sales of between 10 and 15 per month. “They are consistent sellers, and within the birthday party price range,” commented Deborah Smith of  Toys That Teach in Richmond, Va.
— Eight percent of 60 retailers told TDmonthly in spring 2009 that Monkey Business manufactures their top-selling outdoor and sports toys.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 5797      (added 12/7/2005)

Both the single (8') and double (16') are made from a double-braid, soft polypropylene rope that swivels right in the hand, making handles unnecessary. These colorful and durable jump ropes (available in six solid colors and six confetti colors) can be adjusted to fit most size kids, and they can be put into the family wash if soiled. They can be used by adults, too.
— “Jump ropes … are really big right now,” Linda Hamm, owner of Early Work Toy Station in Petaluma, Calif., told TDmonthly in spring 2009.
— Four of 60 retailers surveyed in March 2009 said jump ropes account for their top sales in outdoor and sports toys.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 22354      (added 2/2/2009)

MSRP: $8.99
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Outdoor Fun

Made from durable rubber, this textured, heavy-duty ball may be used on the playground or in the gym.  The 7”-diameter ball sports whimsical illustrations of dinosaurs, as well as their names. Suitable for indoor or outdoor use, the rubber used to make this ball contains no PVC, latex or vinyl.
— When asked about the best-selling sports items in her Fort Collins, Colo., store, Dandelion Toys owner Jenny Bramhall told TDmonthly, “Playground balls by Crocodile Creek.” Retailers reported sales averaging about six per month of playground balls.
— Seven percent of 60 retailers interviewed by TDmonthly during a March 2009 survey regarding sports and outdoor toys listed play balls as their top sellers in this category.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 23039      (added 3/27/2009)

MSRP: $69.95
Age Range: 3 and up
SKU or Item #: PC040
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Vehicles - Riding
Outdoor Fun

Now more than 10 years old, PlasmaCar continues to intrigue and fascinate with millions of units sole and multiple awards in over sixty countries worldwide. Just sit, put your feet up, and turn the steering wheel to propel yourself forward up to 6 mph on any smooth, flat surface. With a maximum weight capacity of 220 lbs., even parents and grandparents have experienced a giggle by taking it for a spin. Made from state-of-the-art, high-quality ABS plastics, this kid-powered, durable, ride-on vehicle comes in a variety of colors.
— “I can't believe how many of these I sell,” remarked Jacque Flagg, owner of Jacque’s Inc. in Bryan, Texas. In a March 2009 survey, Flagg reported sales of around 20 per month.
— In spring 2009, 41 percent of 60 retailers listed PlasmaCar as a best-selling ride-on in their stores, reporting sales of a dozen per month on average.
Awards: 2012 Parents Choice Awards Recommended, 2009 Green Parents List Check Mark, 2009 Top Action Figures and Toys for Toddlers, 2009+2008+2005 The National Parenting Centre Seal of Approval, 2008 iParenting Media Toy Award, 2008 Fat Brain Toy Award Active Play, 2006 TIA Outdoor Toy of the Year - Specialty Toy of the Year, 2006 Oppenheim Toy Portfolio Platinum Award, 2005 Oppenheim Toy Portfolio Gold Seal Award, 2005 Dr. Toy Best Vacation Products, 2005 Creative Child Seal of Excellence, 2001 International Patent Fair, Hong Kong Gold Medal
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 22968      (added 3/24/2009)

Wholesale Price: (Log in to view)
MSRP: $11.95
Age Range: 2 and up
SKU or Item #: 57970
Launch Date: June 2006
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Sporting Goods & Accessories
Outdoor Fun

This action toy helps keep kids fit as they simulate and learn how to skate, surf and snowboard without getting wet, cold or sore. Children can twist it, kick it, flip it or pop it as they play. The board measures 21” by 5.25” and comes in red, yellow, green and blue. “This product is the first of its kind. The boarding industry never had a plastic, functional, inexpensive toy — a 21st century toy,” CEO Bob Ellis of GarageCo Toys told TDmonthly. Launch date: June 2006.
— It’s very simple, yes, but the Yo Baby Practice Board received a TDmonthly Innovations 2007 award due to its usefulness as a training tool for very young children, propelling them to develop board-sport skills they can use later in life. It’s perfect for use on carpet in the home, and can easily travel anywhere.
— “We're doing well with Yo Babys, [and] ordering a case a month,” said Connie Hoeft, owner of C R Toys in Kearney, N.E., when asked about her best-selling sports toys in spring 2009.
— “We do really well with the Yo Baby practice boards. Last year, we went through a lot of those,” Lauren Obenour, manager of Green Frog Toys in Portland, Ore., told TDmonthly in March 2009.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 11555      (added 2/21/2007)

Wholesale Price: (Log in to view)
MSRP: $22.95
Age Range: 3 and up
SKU or Item #: 90008
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Sporting Goods & Accessories
General Toys

This dartboard set includes six balanced darts that feature N-35 Neodymium rare earth magnets and the lightweight, durable Doinkit material that keeps the darts flying perfectly true. The darts will work on any magnetic dart board.
— Owner Elaine Hackney of Boing! JP’s Toy Shop in Jamaica Plain, Mass., told TDmonthly in summer 2007 that she has been selling lots of these dart boards for years. “The quality is great. The holding power of the magnets is great. The price is right,” she explained.
— Doinkit Darts have been “unbelievable” for Piccolo Mondo Toys of Portland, Ore., Owner Michelle Smith told TDmonthly at the end of 2008. JoAnn Farrugia, owner of JaZams in Pennington, N.J., reported sales of about three dozen per month of Doinkit Darts in a March 2009 survey of best sellers.
— “The [Doinkit] Darts sell really well for kids and adults,” said Lauren Obenour, manager of Portland, Oregon’s Green Frog Toys, where the product is among the best-selling sports and outdoor toys, as of spring 2009.
— Doinkit Darts are a “longtime best seller” at Totally Thomas Toy Depot in San Diego, as reported in July 2010 by President Cynthia Wyatt. “The rare earth magnets in the darts are super strong, stay put, and don’t bounce off. They’re very safe and don’t damage your walls. Nothing but fun!” she said.

Past Videos: ASTRA 2008
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 14606      (added 8/13/2007)

MSRP: $14.95
Age Range: 4 and up
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Outdoor Fun

When swung and thrown by the tail attached to the hollow ball that houses the Klutz Sling Chute, kids and adults alike can send this parachute high. Once aloft, the brightly colored 32” parachute deploys and floats the ball gracefully to the ground. Users quickly stuff the chute back in the ball to repeat the process. While easy enough for a young child to handle, the Sling Chute can provide lots of entertainment and observation for older children as well.
— “The Klutz Sling Chute. I sell tons of those,” Patti Tepper-Rasmussen, owner of Learning Tree Toys in Oklahoma City, Okla., told TDmonthly when asked about her top-selling outdoor products in spring 2009.
— Two of 60 retailers surveyed in March 2009 reported this product as a best-selling outdoor toy, with one store averaging sales of about 15 per month.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 23040      (added 3/27/2009)

Marie RavenWriter's Bio: Marie Raven has a long history with the specialty toy industry as a family business. In addition to freelancing for TDmonthly Magazine, she writes creative and technical material for various other businesses. Read more articles by this author


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