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September 2010 | Vol. IX - No. 9




Tools:

What's HOT: Toys That Draw the Masses

Vtech and Baby Einstein are Top Sellers


What are the hottest toys on the market? Online sales reveal that Vtech, Baby Einstein, Munchkin and Manhattan Toy are among the most sought-after brands out there. Below, see the best sellers from Target.com and other mass-market sites including Toys "R" Us, Amazon.com and Walmart.



MSRP: $14.00
Age Range: 1 and up
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Educational
Infant & Toddler



This motorized ball stimulates gross motor movement and aims to catch babies' attention with colors and lights. The colorful buttons teach numbers, shapes, animal names and sounds. Three AA batteries are included.
 —  As of 1.10.2011 this product had 3.5 out of 5 stars on Target.com from 65 reviews and was listed as a top 30 bestselling toy. Pros: Interactive; Rolls independently. Cons: Music is annoying to some parents.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 30411      (added 9/3/2010)
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MSRP: $13.99
Age Range: 0 and up
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Plush
Infant & Toddler



This soft, multi-textured friend is designed to be both cuddly and educational. The youngest babies can hug him to hear a Baby Einstein melody and explore the textures for tactile development. As children grow they can learn color names by squeezing each leg to hear its color in English, Spanish or French. The Octoplush includes volume control and requires two AA batteries.
 —  As of 8.30.10, this product had 4 out of 5 stars from 31 reviews on Target.com and was listed in the top 30 best-selling toys and games. PROS: Cute, educational and appeals to children. CONS: Colors can wear off with time.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 30410      (added 9/3/2010)
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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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MSRP: $22.99
Age Range: 0 to 3
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Interactive



Baby can learn A-B-Cs, 1-2-3's and parts of the body, plus sing along to 10 favorite songs and games. The dog bone collar lights up to the music. It teaches the alphabet, numbers, parts of the body and colors. It includes games for interactive fun.
— “The whole Laugh & Learn line is great, but the Puppy is our best seller,” explained Diana Wells, owner of Well, Well, Wells in Portland, Ore.
— Lynn Adams, a mom from Phoenix,: “My mother bought this for my almost 7-month-old daughter this weekend and she just loves it. She smiles and laughs constantly when she plays with it … I love this toy because of the variety of things it says/sings.”
— — As of 8.24.10, this product had 4.5 out of 5 stars from 100 reviews on Target.com and was listed in the top 30 best-selling toys and games. PROS: Interactive and entertaining.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 3585      (added 5/18/2005)
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MSRP: $19.99
Age Range: 1 and up
Launch Date: July 2007
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Educational



LeapFrog’s Spin & Sing ball musically introduces babies to letters and animals, while encouraging language development and motor skills. The colorful spinning wheel matches each letter of the alphabet with a different animal, all in three fun learning modes: letters, animals and music. Launch date: July 2007.
 —  As of 8.30.10, this product had 5 out of 5 stars from 19 reviews on Target.com and was listed in the top 30 best-selling toys and games. PROS: Durable, entertaining and educational.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 13574      (added 6/22/2007)
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MSRP: $99.99
Age Range: 3 to 5
SKU or Item #: SG311C33
Launch Date: January 2008
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Vehicles - Riding
Wooden Toys
Preschool



Designed to help young children learn balance and coordination while riding without training wheels or pedals, this bicycle features a leatherette seat with adjustable height, inflatable rubber tires, and foam grips on the handle bars. The eco-friendly model is constructed from birch wood from a replenishable source and packaged in a recycled paper carton. It is made with non-toxic paints and formaldehyde-free glue. The body even includes a built-in handle for carrying. Launch date: 2008.
 —  As of 8.30.10, this product had 4 out of 5 stars from 6 reviews on Target.com and was listed in the top 30 best-selling toys and games. PROS: Builds skills and confidence; easy to assemble. CONS: Some parents complained parts can detach easily.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 23077      (added 3/30/2009)
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MSRP: $12.99
Age Range: 2 and up
Gender: Girls
Category: Pretend Play



This is a little, brightly colored soft "pleather" purse with pretend play accessories. A charming flower decorates the front and soft chunky handles attach on top. Included is a wallet, debit card, lipstick, keys, soft unbreakable mirror and play cell phone.
 —  As of 8.30.10, this product had 4.5 out of 5 stars from 25 reviews on Target.com and was listed in the top 30 best-selling toys and games. PROS: Well-made; encourages imaginative play.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 7842      (added 5/10/2006)
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MSRP: $20.00
SKU or Item #: 7-35282-03101-4
Launch Date: January 2000
Gender: Girls
Category: Infant & Toddler
Musical Toys



With this award-winning product, children can add or subtract instruments with the touch of a button, and lights flash along with the music. With harp, flute, French horn, piano and violin instrument buttons, one orchestra button, and soft, rounded corners, it provides hours of interactive play. The product "gives children the opportunity to learn specific musical sounds of five different orchestral instruments and how they interact together to create a Mozart masterpiece.  It inspires creativity by putting the child in the conductor’s seat,” Doug Gillespie, vice president of marketing at Munchkin told TDmonthly. Launch date: 2000.
 —  As of 8.30.10, this product had 4 out of 5 stars from 38 reviews on Target.com and was listed in the top 30 best-selling toys and games. PROS: Safe, durable, interactive and engaging.
— Kai Rady, owner of Shenanigans Inc in Charlottesville, Va., told TDmonthly in a 2012 survey about infant and toddler products that the Mozart Magic Cube was one of her top sellers.
— "This past December [2012] we sold several Mozart Magic Cubes from Munchkin. Even the price tag in the mid forty dollar range did not stop our customers," Joe Berardoni, owner of Pun's Toys in Bryn Mawr, Pa., told TDmonthly.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 10548      (added 12/7/2006)
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MSRP: $9.99
Age Range: 0 and up
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Infant & Toddler



These three jungle pals feature fun sounds and textures. The set includes a textured teether monkey with a rattling sound, a big crinkle-ear elephant with star clackers, and a jingling, textured lion with a peek-a-boo mirror
— As of 8.24.10, this product had 5 out of 5 stars from 11 reviews on Target.com and was listed in the top 30 best-selling toys and games. PROS: Soft, safe and well-sized.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 30201      (added 8/24/2010)
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MSRP: $9.99
Age Range: 0 to 1
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Infant & Toddler



This set of three soft, squishy blocks features textures, sounds and imagery to keep babies engaged and entertained with stacking and discovery. The small block features real-life imagery, an apple-shaped teether and number learning, the medium block features crinkle sides for sound effects, number learning and colorful imagery, and the large block features 3-D butterfly wings with crinkle, real-life imagery and number learning.
  — As of 8.24.10, this product had 5 out of 5 stars from 5 reviews on Target.com and was listed in the top 30 best-selling toys and games. PROS: Entertaining and well-priced.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 30200      (added 8/24/2010)
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MSRP: $9.99
Age Range: 1 and up
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Bath
Infant & Toddler



These 10 water-squirting sea characters are designed for under-water bubbles and bath games. The squirters come in a clear canister that makes storage easy.
  — As of 8.24.10, this product had 4.5 out of 5 stars from 34 reviews on Target.com and was listed in the top 30 best-selling toys and games. PROS: Safe and entertaining. CONS: Some parents complained that the toys collect mold inside.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 30199      (added 8/24/2010)
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MSRP: $15.99
Age Range: 0 to 1
Gender: Girls
Category: Infant & Toddler



This gift set is full of toys designed to surprise and delight babies during their first days of play. The gift set includes an assortment of five rattles and teethers in a variety of shapes and vibrant colors to stimulate and help develop interaction, communication and motor skills. The rattles are aim to inspire movement while the teethers provide soothing relief.
— As of 8.24.10, this product had 5 out of 5 stars from 35 reviews on Target.com and was listed in the top 30 best-selling toys and games. PROS: Cute and engaging.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 30198      (added 8/24/2010)
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MSRP: $5.99
Age Range: 0 and up
Target Age Range: 0 to 2
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Infant & Toddler
Developmental Toys



The colorful ball is flexible and includes sections that allow babie to mix and match red, blue, yellow and green. Designed for little hands to grasp, it includes a rattle inside for baby to shake and measures 4" in diameter.
  — As of 1.10.2011 this product had 5 out of 5 stars on Target.com from 11 reviews and was listed as a top 30 bestselling toy. Pros: Assists in motor-skill development; makes rattling sounds.
As of 1.10.2011 this product had 5 out of 5 stars on Target.com from 11 reviews and was listed as a top 30 bestselling toy. Pros: Assists in motor-skill development; makes rattling sounds.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 29779      (added 7/28/2010)
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MSRP: $9.99
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Infant & Toddler



Stack and tumble, build and crumble with these soft fabric blocks. These four blocks each feature different patterns and characters, along with crinkles or chimes and a 3-D feature.
— As of 8.24.10, this product had 5 out of 5 stars from 1 review on Target.com and was listed in the top 30 best-selling toys and games. PROS: Easy to hold.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 30203      (added 8/24/2010)
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MSRP: $49.95
Age Range: 3 and up
Launch Date: February 2008
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Educational
Clocks & Watches
Electronics



The dual-color alarm clock and nightlight timer lets parents appoint a time for the nightlight to change from yellow to green – teaching young children when it’s okay to get out of bed. The built-in interactive talking time-teaching game is a fun activity designed to foster an educational dialog between parent and child before bed. The product’s functional alarm, kid-friendly shape and interchangeable colored bezels make clock and nightlight duo a good fit in any room at any age. "Teach Me Time! is a unique educational time-teaching tool that grows with the child, beginning from the day he or she is first out of the crib," Rachel Zinser, of American Innovative LLC's strategic sales and marketing department, told TDmonthly. Launch date: February 17, 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: Educational, entertaining and not too loud.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 16209      (added 11/21/2007)
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MSRP: $26.99
Age Range: 3 and up
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Electronics
Educational



This colorful laptop with LCD screen comes with 30 engaging activities. A detachable mouse with mouse pad is included.
 —  As of 1.10.2011 this product had 4 out of 5 stars on Target.com from 37 reviews and was listed as a top 30 bestselling toy. Pros: Interactive; portable; educational. Cons: Lower quality graphics; some reports of trouble with the mouse.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 29768      (added 7/27/2010)
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Age Range: 1 and up
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Electronics
Audio & CD
Infant & Toddler



Promote music appreciation and auditory development by introducing your little one to baby-friendly versions of classical masterpieces by Mozart, Vivaldi, Chopin and Rossini with the Baby Einstein Takealong Tunes. A large, easy to press button allows your baby to toggle through seven high quality and enjoyable classical melodies at home, or for on-the-go fun.
  — As of 8.24.10, this product had 5 out of 5 stars from 53 reviews on Target.com and was listed in the top 30 best-selling toys and games. PROS: Engaging and well-designed
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 14749      (added 8/20/2007)
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MSRP: $8.99
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Infant & Toddler



This toy bar provides multiple activities for babies on the run. The frog toy features baby-activated lights and three melodies. The spinning paddle mirror and turtle rattle encourage reaching and hand- eye coordination. The straps attach easily to infant carriers for use on-the-go.
— As of 8.24.10, this product had 4.5 out of 5 stars from 30 reviews on Target.com and was listed in the top 30 best-selling toys and games. PROS: Entertaining and engaging. CONS: Some parents complained replacement batteries are difficult to find.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 30204      (added 8/24/2010)
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MSRP: $16.00
Age Range: 0 to 2
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Infant & Toddler
Interactive



This musical bee baby learning toy is designed to teach basic numbers, shapes and colors. Children can shake the bee to see a playful flashing light and hear upbeat melodies, or be soothed to sleep with a soft glowing light, lullabies and nature sounds. The sound sensor automatically activates the musical bee to put fussy babies back to sleep.
 — As of 9.13.2010, this product had 5 out of 5 stars from 127 reviews on Walmart.com and was listed as a top-rated toddler toy. PROS:  Safe, well-made, engaging and keeps children busy.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 30587      (added 9/16/2010)
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MSRP: $49.50
Age Range: 1 to 5
Gender: Girls
Category: Vehicles - Riding
Preschool



The Little Tikes Cozy Coupe features a removable floor and handle on the back for parent-controlled push rides, and comes with a high seat back and storage in the rear, plus a driver's door that opens and closes. This ride-on features an updated look to celebrate the Cozy Coupe's 30th anniversary.
 — As of 9.13.2010, this product had 4.75 out of 5 stars from 220 reviews on Walmart.com and was listed as a top-rated toddler toy. PROS: Entertaining. CONS: Can be difficult to assemble.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 30588      (added 9/16/2010)
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MSRP: $179.00
Gender: Girls
Category: Wheeled Toys



Radio Flyer has reinvented the toy wagon yet again. The company’s Ultimate Family Wagon sports a five-fold seat (patent pending) that allows for multiple seating and storage setups. Choose from 1) two children in seats with parent access storage, 2) one child in seat + covered storage area, 3) one child in seat + extra large storage area, 4) one child in seat + tray table + storage area, or 5) seats fold flat for flatbed wagon. Child seat belts are included, as is a UV-protection canopy that removes in seconds. There are two child cup holders and two adult cup holders.
— "The best quality wagons are probably Radio Flyer. They have a lock hold on the wagon market," said Casey Sartain, manager of Tutoring Toy Inc. in Salt Lake City, Utah.
— "We sell a wide range of Radio Flyer wagons, which continue to be a hit," commented Kim Emigh, managing partner at Growing Tree Toys & Books in State College, Pa.
— Cheryl Barrett of Mystical Toys in Mystic, Conn., said of Radio Flyer, "More of the toys are child safe and fewer things fall off or detach."
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 9639      (added 10/6/2006)
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MSRP: $26.99
Age Range: 0 and up
Gender: Girls
Category: Plush



Hug, cuddle or squeeze this plush frog and you’ll get a variety of responses sure to engage and delight.
- This item was a top seller for several Web retailers including Amazon.com and WalMart.com in May 2005.
- Imaginarium.com says that this item promotes visual skills, musical ability, independent play and motor skills in little ones.
- Newly released tie-in products, including a “Baby Tad’s First Feelings” book, are sure to increase interest in this award winner.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 3615      (added 5/20/2005)
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MSRP: $159.99
SKU or Item #: 767800
Gender: Girls
Category: Play Sets
Preschool
American-Made



Play time is Party Time with the newest LifeStyle™ kitchen from Step2®! Bi-level three-sided access means this kitchen is perfect for multiple-child play, and a huge accessory set provides all the necessary pieces.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 12993      (added 5/22/2007)
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MSRP: $129.99
Age Range: 8 and up
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Sporting Goods & Accessories



This sports board blends the anatomy of both surfing and snowboarding with an innovative and fun design. It features a cutting-edge kick tail and raised nose, plastic end platforms that rotate independently and are connected by a metal torsion bar for sharp turns and precision moves, polyurethane wheels and traction pads. It is available in red, blue, green, silver and pink, and each comes with an instructional “How to Ride” DVD.
— “The best thing [at Toy Fair] was the new Razor skateboard,” Manager Christi Johnson of Magic Box in New Orleans told TDmonthly. “There are twist bars in the middle so you can twist and turn. It’s really fun.”
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 11724      (added 2/28/2007)
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MSRP: $89.99
Age Range: 6 to 12
SKU or Item #: 7744
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Construction
General Toys
Play Sets



The police station play set is composed of three police vehicles, five policemen, two prisoners, a police dog, interrogation rooms, prison cells, a prison transport truck, car and motorcycle and plenty of accessories. The 953-piece set also includes gates that open, roof spotlights, a command base tower, sliding garage doors, trick walls and more.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 18074      (added 3/24/2008)
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MSRP: $34.99
Age Range: 5 and up
Launch Date: January 2010
Gender: Boys
Category: Pretend Play
Licensed Products



Kids can slip on the Iron Man 2 Iron Man Helmet to hide their identity from their evil adversaries. The helmet is designed in Iron Man's signature style and features a variety of electronic lights and sounds, including data correspondence from JARVIS, his trusty computer companion. Fans will especially enjoy the helmet's slow release visor that lends remarkable authenticity to this fun role-play toy. Launch date: 2010.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 28226      (added 4/26/2010)
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MSRP: $14.99
Age Range: 6 and up
Specialty: No
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Action Figures
Licensed Products



Designed to carry a basic Avatar warrior figure, the direhorse comes with an exclusive i-Tag for in-depth online exploration of the mysterious world of Pandora.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 28986      (added 6/18/2010)
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Age Range: 4 and up
Specialty: No
Gender: Girls
Category: Dolls



Frankie is only 15 days old, and is easily embarrassed when her stitches come loose at inopportune moments. She has black and white striped hair and comes with a pet dog.
— As of 1.07.2011 this product had 4 out of 5 stars on Walmart.com and was the #5 bestselling item in the Dolls & Dollhouses category. Pros: Poseable; accessories included. Cons: Reports of the legs falling off due to internal manufacturing error.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 28741      (added 6/2/2010)
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MSRP: $29.99
Age Range: 6 and up
Target Age Range: 6 to 11
Specialty: No
Gender: Girls
Category: Dolls
Creative Activities



This doll set features two Moxie Girlz wearing fun outfits girls can color themselves. Also included are two friendship bracelets to share with a friend and accessories to color with washable markers.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 29603      (added 7/20/2010)
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MSRP: $12.88
Age Range: 6 and up
Specialty: No
Gender: Girls
Category: Plush
Interactive



Kids can connect this cuddly pet into a computer and use her secret code to unlock an exclusive online community. They can connect and play games with friends, make new virtual pets, go on exciting adventures and much more.
 — As of 9.13.2010, this product had 4 out of 5 stars from 5 reviews on Walmart.com and was listed as a top-rated plush toy. PROS: Well-priced and interactive.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 30589      (added 9/16/2010)
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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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