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January 2010 | Vol. IX - No. 1




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In This Issue

Tips for Finding and Showing Off Your Merchandise


Is it 2010 already? OK, now it’s really time to start planning for Toy Fair, thinking about your open-to-buy, considering new trends, and exploring opportunities to keep your store fresh. We’ve got some advice and ideas in this month’s features to help you out:

Boutiques for Bucks

How many individual stores do you have within your specialty shop? David Hesel, owner of this month’s spotlight toy store, the Toy Shop of Concord in Massachusetts, has seen brand sales increase by 25 to 40 percent with the addition of dedicated displays and boutique sections that highlight particular lines, such as Corolle and Schleich. (see “Schleich Worlds of Play Capture the Globe”) He’s hoping to expand the idea with more companies in the next few years, as the Toy Shop continues to be POS-wise about inventory and keeps customers coming back. (See full article.)

Take-Along Tips for Toy Fair

What better way to learn about Toy Fair than from wholesale buyers who have gone before you? In “Retailing Tips: How to Tackle Toy Fair,” more than 40 specialty retailers impart their wisdom for first-timers — or those who need a little refresher. At the top of the list? Safeguard your spending, don’t step foot on the show floor without a plan, and be prudent to stop, think and organize as you take in the overwhelming display of products at the show.

Staff Picks

You can search for new toys by category in our new products section, or see a vastly abbreviated version of products we think are worth a look in our Staff Picks article. Check out the three-item preview below:




MSRP: $23.99
Age Range: 2 and up
SKU or Item #: 5TAPC
Launch Date: January 2009
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Arts & Crafts
General Toys
Eco-Friendly



Mama K's Aromatic Play Clay is an all-natural play clay scented with organic essential oils and available in six scents, including soothing lavender, relaxing chamomile and tension-easing bergamot. "I'm confident there is no other product like Mama K's Aromatic Play Clay currently on the market," Mama Made It owner Kari Erickson-Valenzuela told TDmonthly. "It is high quality, 100-percent natural, gluten-free, beautifully colored using only natural ingredients and subtly scented for aromatherapy with the highest quality organic essential oils. It's lovely." Awards: 2009 Goddard Systems Best Green Toys Under $30.00. Launch date: 2009.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 26189      (added 11/25/2009)
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Each Pit-Stop racer includes a plastic chassis, racing decals, paint, paint brush, wheels and axles. Pit-Stop racers are designed to run on 1:64 Hot Wheels tracks. 6 different Pit-Stop Racers to choose from.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 26301      (added 12/9/2009)
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MSRP: $3.95
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: School Supplies
Novelties



This package includes 20 elephant-shaped paper clips in assorted colors.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 26242      (added 12/2/2009)
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Julie L. JonesWriter's Bio: Julie L. Jones has written articles for both newspapers and magazines. Before joining the staff of TDmonthly Magazine, she worked as a communications writer and provided editorial support for a market research company. Read more articles by this author

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