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September 2010 | Vol. IX - No. 9




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My Best Sellers: Figpickels Toy Emporium

These Toys Come Out of the Box to Ring Up the Register


At Figpickels Toy Emporium in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, “please don’t touch” is never part of the vocabulary. Customers are encouraged to play with toys and shoot each other with rubber band guns. Owners Brett and Susan Sommer recently told TDmonthly Magazine what their customers most often ended up buying after their trial run.



MSRP: $23.00
Age Range: 6 to 10
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Sporting Goods & Accessories
American-Made



These lightweight batons have a shaft length of 48 cm and come in purple, blue and fire orange with coordinating handles, suede leather ends and sure-grip surfacing for ease of use. They are handmade in the USA.
— Lunastix are best sellers at Moon Rabbit Toys in Sante Fe, N.M., Owner Shana Hack told TDmonthly in early summer 2009.
— Lunastix were best sellers at Figpickels Toy Emporium in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, in the late summer of 2010. “Our employees are quite good at demonstrating Lunastix in the store,” said owner Brett Sommer. “When people see them performing they want to try it too.  Also, the elementary schools have juggling classes that use Lunastix, so there is an endless supply & demand in the area.”
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 24527      (added 7/10/2009)
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MSRP: $29.95
Age Range: 14 and up
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Construction
Novelties



This set includes 216 powerful rare earth magnets that can be molded, shaped and snapped together in an endless variety of configurations. Each Buckyball has two poles — one repels, one attracts. Not intended for children. Watch video
— ''Pun's has sold about four dozen in the last month alone,'' Joe Berardoni, Sr., owner of Pun's Toy Shop in Bryn Mawr, Pa., shared with TDmonthly in the fall of 2010.
—Jeanette Lauture, owner of Aunt Jean's Toys & Treats in Montclair, N.J., sold nine of 24 units in two days after opening a box for display, she told TDmonthly. Two of 39 retailers named Buckyballs as a best-selling travel toy in March 2010.
— Dean Smith, Co-owner of JaZams in Princeton, N.J., told TDmonthly in a Summer 2011 survey that he sells "probably 50" sets of Buckyballs each month.
— May 27, 2010 RECALL of 175,000 sets (prior to March 2010) with 13+ labeling violating a federal standard that powerful magnets not be sold to children under 14.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 26179      (added 11/25/2009)
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Age Range: 3 and up
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Puzzles & Skill



In this game, players lay the wooden divider between the #3 notches. They then choose the first three colored blocks listed on the guide and try to fit them in the marked off space. If successful, they move the wooden divider to notch #4, add the fourth colored block, and again, try to fit it into the allotted space. The more blocks added, the more stimulating the challenge becomes. The game develops spatial and patience skills. It received the Creative Toy Awards Seal of Excellence from Creative Child Magazine in 2004. The game "consists of high-quality wood pieces of bright colors, and the instruction booklet is in 12 languages and includes puzzle combinations as well as graph charts for younger children so that the puzzle is fun and challenging for children of different ages," VP of Sales Tracey McIlwaine of Family Games told TDmonthly.
— Katamino was on the Top 10 best seller list at Figpickels Toy Emporium in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho in late summer 2010. “It appeals to adults,” explained owner Brett Sommer. “We play it in the store and it's tough for anyone watching to resist giving it a try.”
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 534      (added 9/1/2004)
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MSRP: $9.99
Launch Date: September 2009
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Electronics
Collectibles
Novelties



This small, 12-legged microrobotic creature is battery powered and designed to behave just like a real bug. It moves very quickly and can even flip over by itself. Five colors are available in the Newton Gravity Series. Awards: Parent's Choice Award 2010. Launch date: Fall 2009.
— Chris Lowe, owner of Bean Head Toys in Sandy Springs, Ga., told TDmonthly in a Summer 2011 survey that she sells between 20-30 items from the HEXBUGS line each month.
— Christine Osborne, co-owner of Wonder Works in Charleston, S.C., has a Hexbug Nano Habitat set up in the store. They've sold ''thousands,'' she said; she couldn't even guess at an exact number.
― “Hexbugs are doing very well,” said Jenny Bramhall, owner of Dandelion Toys in Fort Collins, Colo., in summer 2010. Fifteen percent of 40 retailers polled in June 2010 said Hexbugs are their best-selling electronic item.
— Hexbugs were great sellers at Figpickels Toy Emporium in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho in Aug. 2010. “They fill the affordable techno/RC need - grab and go,” said owner Brett Sommer.
AWARDS: 2010 TDmonthly Top Seller
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 26040      (added 11/9/2009)
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MSRP: $12.99
SKU or Item #: GL2M45
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Wooden Toys
Guns & Accessories



Magnum Enterprises wooden rubber band pistols, rifles and crossbows were Top 10 best sellers at Figpickels Toy Emporium in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho in late summer 2010. “They’re well made by a regional neighbor in America,” owner Brett Sommer explained. “We live in a big hunting area, and what boy can't resist trying out the sort of right-of-passage.”
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 12476      (added 4/25/2007)
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MSRP: $5.99
Age Range: 3 and up
SKU or Item #: 50113
Launch Date: March 2010
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Animal Figures
Pretend Play
Collectibles



This hand-painted Black Bear by Papo is a high-quality animal figure. Operations Manager of Hotaling Imports Brian Shackelton told TDmonthly, "The design of all Papo products is realistic and natural, which enables you to experience the large variety of nature — from domestic animals on a farm to wild animals in the jungle." Launch date: March 2010.
— Papo Figures were best sellers at Figpickels Toy Emporium in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, in late summer 2010, according to owner Brett Sommer. “Customers love the quality and selection,” he noted.
— In a Summer 2011 survey, four out of 14 retailers told TDmonthly that Papo was their best-selling brand of action figure.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 28006      (added 4/14/2010)
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MSRP: $14.99
Age Range: 7 and up
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: General Games
Educational
Award Winners



The fast-moving word game consists of 144 ivory-like letter tiles in a zippered banana pouch. Players place the tiles face down on the table and randomly select 21 tiles. They turn their letters right-side up simultaneously and proceed to form as many intersecting and interconnecting words as possible, rearranging their own letters as many times as desired throughout the game. Awards: TDmonthly Top Seller 2007; 2009 TOTY Game of the YEAR, 2006 Oppenheim Toy Portfolio Gold Seal; 2007 iParenting; 2007 Parents' Choice Recommended; 2007 Dr. Toy Best Products. (Read Review)
— This product has been making the TDmonthly Best-sellers lists since 2007.
— As of 05/13/2011 this product had 4.8 out of 5 stars from 456 reviews on Amazon.com.
— Eight of 66 retailers vouched for its best-selling status in May 2008; seven of 63 did in Sept. 2008. Shani Watmough of Planet Toys in Rockland, Maine, said her store sells 60 per month.  Fifteen of 38 named it a top-selling game in Feb. 2010.
— As of April 5, 2010, Bananagrams had spent 570 days in the top-100 best-selling toys and games on Amazon.com.
— According to owner Brett Sommer of Figpickels Toy Emporium in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho,  “It was the 2009 game of the year. The brilliant packaging definitely helps this product."
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 8301      (added 6/19/2006)
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Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Books



Mudgy & Millie is a children's book about a moose named Mudgy, and a mouse named Millie. These two best friends love playing games, and in this story the game is hide-and-seek. Take a fun-filled trip with Mudgy around Coeur d'Alene as he travels from Tubbs Hill, to the beautiful shores of Lake Coeur d'Alene in search of his pal Millie.
Written by Susan Nipp, and wonderfully illustrated by nationally acclaimed artist Charles Reasoner.
— Mudgy & Millie items were on the top 10 best seller list at Figpickels Toy Emporium in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, in Aug. 2010, as reported by owners Brett and Susan Sommer.
— “The Mudgy & Millie book is unique to this area and I think visitors buy it as a one-of-a-kind momento of their trip to Coeur d'Alene,” Brett Sommer said.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 30314      (added 8/30/2010)
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MSRP: $199.99
Age Range: 8 and up
Target Age Range: 8 to 12
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Electronics



Bring the universe into your home! Laser Stars project thousands of moving stars onto the ceiling and walls. Realistic Blue Nebulae Clouds are realistic and adjustable. They can also be turned off for a brand new effect. An AC adapter is included as well.
— Laser Star was a Top 10 best seller at Figpickels Toy Emporium in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho in Aug. 2010. “We have one on display in a dark room,” said owner Brett Sommer. “It’s like a universe in a room. The blue cosmic nebulae clouds and moving green stars take most people’s breath away. Everyone wants to fall asleep floating in space.”
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 30315      (added 8/30/2010)
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Brenda RuggieroWriter's Bio: Brenda Ruggiero is a freelance writer from western Maryland. Read more articles by this author

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