You may sell specialty, but it's important to watch the mass-market to keep abreast of new trends and get tipped off early if your own best-sellers are "crossing over", like the popular Bananagrams. TDmonthly Magazine will be updating our list of mass-market top-sellers weekly to make this job easier for you.
Though sleek and thin, the LeapPad can withstand kids' roughhousing and dirty fingers. Designed to be flipped, shaken, and turned by little hands, the LeapPad comes with a tilt sensor for game control that puts kids in the middle of the action. A 5-inch color touch screen makes it easy for kids of all ages to learn and interact. There are more than 100 learning games, videos, books, and apps available, and topics covered include spelling, phonics skills, mathematics, science, music, geography, and more. — As of 8/29/2011 this product had 4 out of 5 stars from 96 reviews on Amazon.com. Pros: Larger screen than other LeapFrog products; works with Leapster explorer games and apps; comes with extra stylus in case one gets lost. Cons: Screen and camera resolution are low; takes 4 batteries; processing is slow; most apps need to be purchased separately.
One player draws a construction card and builds the structure shown. Next, an opponent loads an Angry Bird onto the launcher and catapults the bird to knock down structures and pigs. The player with the most points and knockdowns wins. Features three Angry Birds, four green pigs, one slingshot-style launcher, structure pieces and multiple mission cards. For one or more players. Launch date: May 2011. — As of 12/17/2012 this product had 3.9 out of 5 stars from 252 reviews on Amazon.com. Pros: Great alternative to the app for parents who want to reduce kids' screen time; fun for the family to play together; helps kids develop dexterity and patience. Cons: Certain structures are too elaborate to build and don't seem to be grouped in the correct level of difficulty; kids with short attention spans may lose interest in building the structures; structures are easy to knock down, which can be frustrating for younger players.
This pocket-sized story generator is designed to provide hours of imaginative play for all ages. With Rory's Story Cubes®, anyone can become a great storyteller and there are no wrong answers. Players simply roll the cubes and let the pictures spark the imagination. "Rory's Story Cubes is unique because of its simplicity, small packaging, low price point and endless story possibilities. It's a great learning and writing tool that can be played with one person or a large group as a party game," Emily Nichols, marketing coordinator for Gamewright, told TDmonthly. Launch date: March 2010. Awards: 2009 Dr. Toy’s 10 Best Games of the Year; 2010 Major Fun Award; 2010 Parents’ Choice Gold Award, Creative Child Magazine Seal of Excellence Award, iParenting Media Award, Oppenheim Toy Portfolio Gold Award. — As of 12/17/2012 this product had 4.6 out of 5 stars from 306 reviews on Amazon.com. Pros: Helps develop story telling ability; promotes cooperative play; creative; affordable. Cons: One reviewer said they were bored with it after playing a few times, but that it is very affordable. — Stacy Kalisz of The Old Schoolhouse Magazine “absolutely loved” using the Story Cubes with her family as they came up with a variety of games. One of their favorite play variations “is to tell a group story, with each person using one die on his or her turn.”
In this game, only one player will ultimately become the LEGO Champion and win the trophy. Find out who will win the many challenges, claim the trophy. A multi-challenge family game for 3–8 players. Contents: 1 buildable LEGO dice, 9 LEGO microfigures, 206 LEGO pieces, rules booklet, building instructions.
This set includes an 8" vintage-style pixie elf, a keepsake storage box and a children's picture book with a rhyming story that tells how the elf helps Santa out by watching children's behavior by day and reporting it to Santa at night. The elf is designed to be placed throughout the house during the Christmas season, creating a hide-and-seek activity for the whole family. Launch date: September 2005. — “Elf on the Shelf is doing really well since we put those out five or six weeks ago,” remarked Janet Gregory, owner of Over the Rainbow Toys in Anchorage, Alaska, in November 2008. “We just brought them in in November. [We] sold 24 last month, and 24 already this month,” Terry Myers, owner of Kaleidoscope Toys in Round Rock, Texas, told TDmonthly. — In a December 2011 survey about books, 2 out of 12 retailers named Elf on the Shelf their best-seller. "We sold 18 already, in just a couple weeks," Andrea Scartozzi from Hardware Toy Center in Paoli, Pa., told TDmonthly. William Meredith, owner of Learning Express in Cary, N.C., agreed. "Elf on a Shelf is our number one item. It has been for years!" he told TDmonthly.
The all-new LEGO Star Wars Advent Calendar comes with 24 unique gifts, including an exclusive Santa Claus Yoda minifigure plus vehicles and accessories from the Star Wars universe. Features 8 minifigures, mini Millennium Falcon and X-wing Starfighter, and is 266 pieces total.
This download card provides an access code to download learning games, e-Books, videos and more to Leapster Explorer or LeapPad Explorer systems. — As of 11/14/2011 this product had 4.2 out of 5 stars from 9 reviews on Amazon.com. Pros: Nice gift idea; Lots of games available. Cons: Lots of packaging, but all it is, is a card with an access code on it.
The finish line of the city stage is fast approaching and the red team holds a slight lead. To take the lead, the green team Formula One racer fires its missiles, but can the driver avoid the red team's spikes and stay in the race long enough to win? Includes 4 minifigures: 2 Backyard Blasters: Bart Blaster and Billy Bob Blaster; 2 X-treme Daredevils: MAX-treme and REX-treme.
Kids can have fun with the 24 Christmas gifts from LEGO City with the LEGO City Advent Calendar (7553). With a great for each day, the LEGO City advent calendar has 24 days of building fun with Mini-figures, vehicles and other accessories for LEGO City sets. The LEGO City Advent Calendar (7553) includes: 6 MiniFigures, Christmas accessories, furniture and lots of vehicles.
Made of soft, tactile skin that enables lifelike movements, girls can poke and squeeze a Fijit Friend for a verbal reaction. With word recognition capability, Fijit Friends can understand and respond to more than 30 verbal commands, culling from more than 150 built-in phrases and jokes. Girls only have to turn up the music dial to transform their Fijit Friend into a dancing machine. With Beat Detection functionality, Fijit Friends can recognize different types of music and perform different dance moves for each beat. Fijit Friends includes four original songs of their own. Fijit Friends come in an assortment of four that each feature distinct colors, voices, ears and personalities and feature integrated Sonic Chirp technology - special audio coding embedded into an external device or media platform (mobile applications, webisodes, television commercials and more), that when detected by Fijit, triggers various programmed reactions. Launch date: Fall 2011.
Escape from the Death Star in the iconic GO Star Wars Millennium Falcon (7965). Straight from the Death Star escape scene of Episode IV A New Hope, the all new LEGO Millennium Falcon features stunning details, like hull plates that open to reveal a detailed interior, twin flick missiles, rotating quad laser cannons and detachable cockpit cover. Featuring Han Solo, Luke Skywalker, Chewbacca, Ben Kenobi, Princess Leia Organa and Darth Vader, kids can rewrite history and help Ben Kenobi defeat his evil nemesis from the dark side. The LEGO Star Wars Millennium Falcon (7965) includes * Han Solo, Luke Skywalker, Chewbacca, Ben Kenobi, Princess Leia Organa and Darth Vader MiniFigures * Millennium Falcon features opening hull, detailed interior, twin flick missiles, rotating laser cannons and detachable cockpit cover * 3 lightsabers, 3 blasters and 1 crossbow also included – As of 07/23/2012 this product had 4.6 out of 5 stars from 73 reviews on Amazon.com. Pros: Set is very large; figures all fit inside the ship once it's built; sturdy once assembled. Cons: Though many reviewers said the set was durable enough to be played with, some reviewers reported that the set fell apart easily.
This game is for 2 to 4 players. Each player selects cards with colors or characters to determine where to move around the board. Players move their gingerbread pawn through a variety of confections and treats on their way to the castle. The first player to the castle wins. The simple rules and color-coded movement make this a great first game for young children.
These Lalaloopsy have silly hair that bends every which way. Now kids can style their Lalaloopsy doll's hair and their pet's tail too. Includes fun hair styling brush, 4 clips and 6 hair beads. Pet has matching bendable tail. — As of 10/10/2011 this product had 4.8 out of 5 stars from 4 reviews on ToysRUs.com.
The Olivia 2 in 1 Real World Playset Dollhouse magically transforms from Olivia's house to her pirate ship. Open the set and play with Olivia in her house - it's just like her real house on the show. 3 different play areas include her bedroom, kitchen and living room. When kids are ready to go on a pirate adventure, simply close the set and by opening it from the opposite side, they can transform her house into her pirate ship. — As of 11/14/2011 this product had 3.9 out of 5 stars from 28 reviews on Amazon.com. Pros: Easy to assemble; smaller size is good for younger kids. Cons: not very durable; the latch that keeps the house closed is flimsy.
This magnetic dry-erase boardand chalkboard provides a large work area. Each board includes a clip to hold paper. The set includes four detachable storage bins for holding art accessories and a folding easel for easy storage, and comes with an eraser and 77 magnetic letters and numbers. — As of 8.12.10, this product had 4 out of 5 stars from 130 reviews on ToysRUs.com and was listed No. 6 in best-selling toys and games. PROS: Educational, long-lasting, engaging. CONS: Messy; some parents questioned its quality.
Chutes and Ladders is the game of rewards and consequences. As kids travel along the game path, they encounter situations that reward them for good deeds by letting them climb the ladders or punish them for misbehaving by sending them down chutes. All the while, they are learning to recognize numbers and count to 100. Included are a game board, spinner with arrow, four pawns and instructions in English and Spanish.
Bullseye is ready for Woody's next rootin' tootin' western adventure. But he's so excited he's ready to bolt at any second. Load him up with all the gear the gang needs but do it gently. Players will never know when he's going to jump up and take off. — As of 11/14/2011 this product had 2 out of 5 stars from 8 reviews on ToysRUs.com. Cons: The main piece of the game would not stay in place for many users; the game was not interesting.
The LEGO MiniFigure Series 5 adds 16 all-new, special MiniFigures to the growing LEGO MiniFigure Collection. Each MiniFigure comes in a sealed, mystery bag. Each character has its own special accessories, display plate and collector's leaflet. Inspired by movies, sports, history and just everyday life. This collection includes: Fitness Instructor, Snowboarder Guy, Lizard Man, Lumberjack, Gladiator, Small Clown, Egyptian Queen, Evil Dwarf, Boxer, Ice Fisherman, Zoo Keeper, Graduate, Royal Guard, Cave Woman, Detective. — As of 10/10/2011 this product had 4.9 out of 5 stars from 9 reviews on ToysRUs.com. — Robert Lightburn from Cville's Hobbies, Games and Toys in Charlottesville, Va., told TDmonthly in an October 2011 survey that LEGO items sell well with the tween crowd.
With Monopoly Electronic Banking, players wheel and deal their way to a fortune even faster using debit cards instead of cash. All it takes is a card swipe for money to change hands. Now players can collect rent, buy properties and pay fines - with the touch of a button. It's a new way to play the family classic that's been brought up-to-date with modernized tokens (including a Segway personal transporter, an Altoids tin, space shuttle, flat-screen TV, baseball cap and a dog in handbag), higher property values and locations based on their favorite landmarks. — As of 11/14/2011 this product had 4.8 out of 5 stars from 58 reviews on Amazon.com. Pros: Updates make the game more realistic and relevant to younger players. Cons: Not as educational as players no longer have to count money.
This adjustable basketball set features an oversized rim and junior size basketball. Baskets are easier to make, encouraging more active, winning play. — As of 05/20/2011, this product had 4.3 out of 5 stars from 103 reviews on Amazon.com, and was listed No. 22 in the top 100 best-selling toys and games. PROS: Adjustable, durable and "addicting" for kids. Appeals to a wide age range. CONS: Board can bend forward.