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August 2010 | Vol. IX - No. 8




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Top-10 Most-Wanted Gifts for Infants and Toddlers

Giraffes and Ladybugs Entertain Little Ones


With additional reporting by regional correspondents Marie Raven, Brenda Ruggiero, Chris Lundy and Claudia Newcorn

Vulli’s Sophie the Giraffe and Cloud B’s Twilight Ladybug and Twilight Turtle are, by far, top sellers among infant and toddler gifts, according to a June 2010 TDmonthly Magazine survey of 40 specialty retailers. The characters enchant babies with their cute faces and sense-stimulating qualities. Also popular are plush items from Douglas and Taggies, and multifunctional toys from Manhattan Toy and International Playthings. Here are the top-10 most-wanted baby gifts:






Suitable for babies 0 to 3 months and up, this teether and discovery toy features a contrasting spot pattern that offers visual stimulation, plus a squeaker for amusement. It is made of natural rubber from Hevea tree and colored with food paint. Sophie is distributed in the United States by Calisson.
— Retailers surveyed by TDmonthly have been naming Sophie the Giraffe as a best-seller since 2009.
― Nicole Boomhover, assistant manager of Learning Express in Cahaba Heights, Ala. told TDmonthly in late Spring 2011 that they sold between five and ten Sophies a month.
— In an April 2012 survey, three out of 11 retailers told TDmonthly that Sophie the Giraffe was their best selling infant & toddler product.
― “Sophie giraffe is a great baby product that we order over and over again,” Diana Nelson, owner of Kazoo & Company in Denver, Co., told TDmonthly in June 2010. “I can't keep them on the shelf,” agreed Keith Schumacker, general manager at Talbot’s Toyland in San Mateo, Calif.
― During a March 2010 survey of 39 retailers, seven said Sophie the Giraffe is a top-selling toy for infants. Sales averaged 24 per month.
— Want this? As of 05/06/2011, this product was available for purchase at Learning Express of Cahaba Heights, Ala.
AWARDS: 2014 TDmonthly Magazine Top Toy Award, 2010 TDmonthly Top Seller
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 23246      (added 4/10/2009)
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MSRP: $29.95
Launch Date: November 2009
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Plush
Infant & Toddler
Gifts



The redesigned Twilight Ladybug features a vibrantly colored shell and soft, matching fur on its body.  The constellations are on a 45 minute timer. 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.
―As of 1.06.2011 this product had 4 out of 5 stars from 833 reviews on Amazon.com and was No. 25 on the top 100 bestselling toys and games. Pros: Soft plush; shuts of automatically to reserve battery power. Cons: Light burnt out and was not replaceable.
― In a June 2010 survey, nine of 40 retailers told TDmonthly that Cloud B Twilight critters are top-selling baby toys, with five citing Twilight Ladybug and six citing Twilight Turtle. Twilight Ladybug is the “go-to (product) for infant gifts” at School Crossing Inc. in Williamsburg, Va., according to Owner Sherry Phipps.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 25978      (added 11/5/2009)
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MSRP: $12.00
Age Range: 0 and up
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Infant & Toddler
Developmental Toys
Gifts



Stunning colors give this perennial favorite a lively look. Babies will be engaged and amused by the responsive rattle, and caregivers can safely refrigerate this pliable plastic toy to produce a soothing teether. “We have so much of the Manhattan baby...we sell a lot,” Owner Amy Barrett of Lasso the Moon Wonderful Toys in Helena, Mont., told TDmonthly in early 2007. “People buy them for baby gifts...baby shower gifts. They like them because the colors are so bright.”
— “Winkels from Manhattan Toy — [we sell] about 30 per month,” Burdette told TDmonthly in March 2008. Five percent of the 40 retailers who spoke with TDmonthly in spring 2008 singled out this item as their stores’ best-selling infant and toddler toy.
— "I sell 18 or so a month," Mary Ellen Cerney, owner of Dear Friends & Children in Duncan, Okla., said in March 2009. In June 2009, four of 47 retailers listed Manhattan Toy as their best-selling baby line. In March 2010, two of 39 specialty retailers cited Winkel as a best-selling baby toy.
— In June 2010, five percent of 40 specialty retailers named Manhattan Toy’s Winkel as a top-selling baby product.
— As of 05/21/2012 this product had 4.5 out of 5 stars from 299 reviews on Amazon.com.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 10528      (added 12/7/2006)
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MSRP: $24.99
Age Range: 1 and up
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Infant & Toddler
Play Sets



This six-piece soft plush set is designed to stimulate baby’s developing senses. Each play piece features different activities. The teapot plays "I'm a Little Teapot," the cups rattle or jingle and have a crinkly tea bag tag, the croissant crinkles, and the rattling cupcake has a mirror inside.
— Three of 40 retailers told TDmonthly in early summer 2010 that International Playthings items are best-selling infant and toddler toys.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 29403      (added 7/8/2010)
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MSRP: $11.99
Age Range: 0 and up
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Infant & Toddler



This little beetle has wings that fold up around her so she can hide. The bright red, yellow, orange and green rustling foil rattle measures 6" tall and is made of foam covered with a cotton-poly blend.
— In a June 2010 TDmonthly survey, five percent of 40 specialty retailers named HABA rattles as top-selling baby toys.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 29402      (added 7/8/2010)
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MSRP: $12.70
Age Range: 0 and up
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Infant & Toddler
Gifts



This cuddly infant toy features a peaceful duck face and decorative yellow ribbon ties. It measures 13” square and is machine washable.
— “I sell 20 to 30 a month,” Fred Rosenberg, owner of On the Park in Kingwood, Texas, told TDmonthly about the Lil’ Snugglers in spring 2009.
— Two of 64 retailers named this product as a best-selling infant and toddler toy in March 2009. Two of 40 retailers cited Lil’ Snugglers as a top seller for babies in June 2010.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 23234      (added 4/9/2009)
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MSRP: $11.99
Age Range: 1 and up
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Bath
Infant & Toddler
Play Sets



Suitable for ages 6 months and up, this set of colorful garden squirters for bathtime includes a flower, snail, ladybug, bee and butterfly. The products are phthalate free.
— “Most of my bath toys are Alex, and their bath squirters do really well,” Elizabeth Ryan, owner of Tales & Toys in Venice, Calif., told TDmonthly in March 2009, noting that she sells four to six of the squirter sets per month.
— Two of 64 retailers noted strong sales of Alex’s squirters in the bath category in spring 2009.
— “I can't miss on my bath toys for toddlers … the Alex line,” Linda Hanzelko of Timmy’s Toy Chest in Lake Mary, Fla., told TDmonthly in June 2010, citing sales of 30 a month.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 23236      (added 4/9/2009)
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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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AD


MSRP: $21.99
Age Range: 0 to 2
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Infant & Toddler
Plush



This colorful, floppy-eared dog stands 10” and is designed to delight children with the crinkle sound in his ears. He comes with attached multicolored tags for rubbing.
― Two of 40 specialty retailers told TDmonthly in early summer 2010 that Taggies are a top-selling infant gift, with one store estimating sales at 10 per month.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 29401      (added 7/8/2010)
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Ashley HeatonWriter's Bio: Ashley Heaton has written articles for magazines and websites including 944 Magazine and Pricegrabber.com. Before joining the staff of TDmonthly Magazine, she spent five years providing editorial and administrative support in the luxury accessories industry. Read more articles by this author

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