TDmonthly Magazine!
September 2011 | Vol. X - No. 9


Top-7 Most-Wanted Action Figures

Six out of 14 Retailers Don't Sell Action Figures at All

With additional reporting from Chris Lundy and Brenda Ruggiero

When TDmonthly Magazine interviewed retailers for a Summer 2011 survey about best-selling action figures, four out of the 14 said that figurines from Papo were their best-sellers. However, six of the 14 said they don't sell action figures at all. Below, see what items in the category were best-sellers, along with a couple of toys, like play sets from Playmobil and plush from Uglydoll, that retailers said they sell instead.

No manufacturer paid to be included in this article. All products listed were designated by editorial staff without regard to the company's relationship with Magazine.

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

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)

MSRP: $31.99
Age Range: 5 and up
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Action Figures
Animal Figures

The dinosaur Apatosaurus (formerly Brontosaurus) was one of the largest land animals that ever existed. This enormous plant-eater had a long neck, a long whip-like tail, a hollow backbone, peg-like teeth in the front of the jaws, and four massive, column-like legs. This hand painted replica is sculpted in close cooperation with the Natural History Museum of the Humboldt-University Berlin.
— "Schleich animals sell all the time. We have a large display in the back," Candace Gooch, owner of At Once All Agog in Limerick, Maine, told TDmonthly in March 2010. She noted her store sells a few dozen Schleich animals per week.
— In a Summer 2011 survey, two out of 14 retailers told TDmonthly that Schleich was their best-selling brand of action figure.
— In an August 2013 survey Dean Smith, owner of JaZams in Princeton, N.J., told TDmonthly that Schleich animals are one of the store's best-selling collectible lines.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 25977      (added 11/5/2009)

MSRP: $6.99
Age Range: 4 and up
Specialty: No
Gender: Boys
Category: Action Figures
Licensed Products

When he was 14 years old, Peter Parker was bitten by a spider that had been irradiated in a nuclear experiment. Something in the spider's venom changed him, over night, from the nerdy kid he'd been to something else entirely. Given incredible strength, speed and stamina, he reveled in his power. The tragic death of his uncle threw Peter's good fortune into fierce perspective, giving him direction. From that day on, he vowed to battle evil wherever he could find it as The Amazing Spider-Man. Detailed with defined "muscles", pose this Spider-Man action figure in a battle-ready pose with his "spinning" web accessory aimed at the enemy! Fully articulated, he's ready to make a stand in your collection. Action figure comes with a "spinning" web accessory and a S.H.I.E.L.D. file with a secret code.
— Mike DiAndrea, manager of Hardware Toys in Paoli, Pa., told TDmonthly in a Summer 2011 survey that he sells 6 Spider-Man action figures from Hasbro each month, and that they're his best-selling action figure.
— In a Summer 2012 survey Elmer Carranza, manager of Doodlehopper 4 Kids in Springfield, Va., told TDmonthly that they sell a dozen Spider-Man figures each month.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 32668      (added 8/9/2011)

MSRP: $20.00
Age Range: All Ages
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Plush

Suddy is a very busy girl with a lot going on. She’s got no time for slow pokes and doesn’t want to wait around for laggards. If you want to keep up with her, you’ll have to live life in the fast lane. That means waking up in the morning and going to bed having lived your life to the fullest! But what does that mean? It means she loves you and also candy. Uglydoll Suddy is approx. 12" tall.
— Dean Smith, Co-owner of JaZams in Princeton, N.J. told TDmonthly in a Summer 2011 survey that as far as action figures go, "We don't sell a lot of those." Plush Uglydolls are as close as they come, and JaZams sells 15-18 each month.
— Powell Phillips, owner of Phillip's Toy Mart in Nashville, Tenn., and Kim Emigh, manager of e-commerce at Growing Tree Toys in State College, Pa., both told TDmonthly in an October 2011 survey that Ugly Dolls were their best-selling tween item, though they both said that tweens are not a big presence in their store.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 32282      (added 5/17/2011)

Age Range: 3 and up
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Action Figures
General Toys

The Malta Knight figuring from Papo is detailed play figure ready for action. With his sword raised and helmet turned to face his assailant, he can stand alone or ride one of the man armored horses available in the line. The Malta Knight wears chain mail and a bright red tabard emblazoned with a white cross, finished with period inspired details like his shoes, helmet, and scabbard.
—“[Our best seller is] Papo action figures by Hotaling Imports. We can't keep them on the shelves,” said Kathy Burns, manager of My Favorite Toy Store in Downer's Grove, Ill., during a July 2010 survey of top-selling action figures.
— Nine out of 38 retailers said Papo is a best-selling item in their stores.
— Linda Laramy, owner of Crackerjacks Toys and Childrens Books in Easton, Md., told TDmonthly in a Summer 2011 survey that she sells "a couple dozen" Papo knights each month, making them her best-selling action figure.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 30320      (added 8/30/2010)

MSRP: $89.99
SKU or Item #: 4875
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Play Sets
Pretend Play

The well-disguised Secret Agent Headquarters contains covert features, such as a trapdoor leading to the jail, a jet ski hiding place for an emergency escape, and a secret command center with LED board. The Secret Agent Headquarters also contains plenty of equipment for the agents. The multifunctional vehicle can be converted for deployments on land, water, and air, the speedboat can be upgraded with the Playmobil Underwater Motor (#7350), and the LED super weapon can also be used against attackers. The set comes with five figures, including a double agent with a changeable face. Another exciting feature is the functional alarm system that can be placed in rooms at home to warn of "intruders." Dimensions: 20.1 x 15.7 x 8.5 inches (L x W x H). Recommended for ages seven to twelve.
— Joe Beradoni, owner of Pun's Toys in Bryn Mawr, Pa., told TDmonthly in a Summer 2011 survey that "We do not sell action figures in our store. The closest products to them are Playmobil and Papo figures."
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 31538      (added 1/21/2011)

MSRP: $3.99
Age Range: 6 to 12
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Construction
Play Sets
Action Figures

This minifigure features a magic wand, a book of spells on a tilting pedestal, a desk, two beakers to hold magic potions and a little green dragon mascot.
— In late summer 2010, four of 43 specialty retailers surveyed told TDmonthly that LEGO products are an overall top seller.
— Gwen Bowden, manager of Doodlehopper 4 Kids in Springfield, Va., told TDmonthly in a Summer 2011 survey that  LEGO minifigures are a best-seller: "LEGO minifigures have been one of our top sellers this month. We've sold about 2 a day, or about 65 in a month." Erika Evers, owner of Dancing Bear Toys in Hendersonville, N.C., agreed, saying that they sell "about 8 a day" at her store.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 29592      (added 7/19/2010)

Justina HuddlestonWriter's Bio: Justina Huddleston graduated Magna Cum Laude from Emerson College with a BA in Writing, Literature, and Publishing in 2009. After graduating she was the on-site director of the Boston Children's Museum gift store for a year, selling educational, developmental, and creative activity toys that tied in with the museum's exhibits. Justina also interned at children's book publisher Candlewick Press before moving from Boston to Los Angeles, where she is now Editorial Director of TDmonthly Magazine. Read more articles by this author


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