With additional reporting from Chris Lundy and Brenda Ruggiero
In a Summer 2012 survey, TOYSMITH, SCHYLLING, MATTEL (Hot Wheels), and TOY WONDERS INC. were named repeatedly by retailers as the best selling die-cast toy brands. While two of the retailers surveyed by TDmonthly Magazine did not sell any die-cast items, most of the other retailers reported modest sales, making die-cast, if not a key category for many of the stores, one that contributes to their bottom line nonetheless.
Learn about the top-10 products that retailers said sold the best, below.
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 TOYDIRECTORY.com/TDmonthly Magazine.
Toysmith's Turbo Jet is a 7” die-cast plane with a powerful pull-back-and-go motor. The doors open and close for added fun. There are four passenger jets to choose from in this line. — “[We] sell about 100 of Toysmith’s [die-cast] planes each month,” Fred Rosenberg, owner of On the Park in Kingwood, Texas, told TDmonthly in May 2008. — Five of 55 retailers TDmonthly spoke with in May 2008 cited Toysmith products as their best-selling die-cast. — In a Summer 2012 survey, two out of 10 retailers told TDmonthly that Toysmith's die-cast planes were best sellers.
Die-cast construction for durability. Powerful pull-back-and-go motor. 5" long. Yellow. — In a Summer 2011 survey, two out of 14 retailers told TDmonthly that Toysmith school buses were among their best-selling die-cast items. — In a Summer 2012 survey, two out of 10 retailers told TDmonthly that Toysmith was their best selling brand. — In an August 2013 survey, four out of nine retailers told TDmonthly that Toysmith was their best-selling brand of die-cast toy.
X3078/956B Mattel Hot Wheels Batman - Batmobile Assortment. 1:50 scale diecast model. Manufactured by Mattel. Each car individually blister carded. Card size: 5.25" x 6.5". Assortment includes: 1940s Batmobile - Batman (2 pcs); Batmobile - Batman Forever (2 pcs); Tumbler - Batman Begins (2 pcs); Tumbler - The Dark Knight (2 pcs). Launch date: July 20, 2012. — In a Summer 2012 survey, four out of 10 retailers told TDmonthly that Hot Wheels was their best selling brand of die-cast toy. — In an August 2013 survey Dean Smith, owner of JaZams in Princeton, N.J., told TDmonthly that Hot Wheels were their best-selling die-cast toys.
Hot Wheels wall tracks are taken to the next level with this set, which includes a spiral elevator and fun demolition elements like a car chomper and a moving saw. Attached to the wall with 3M command strips, to avoid ruining walls. Launch date: June 2012.
— In a Summer 2012 survey, four out of 10 retailers told TDmonthly that Hot Wheels was their best selling brand of die-cast toy.
5107D Kinsmart - School Bus. 5"L x 1.5"W x 1.75"H die-cast metal yellow school bus with openable door & pull back motor action. This yellow school bus is manufactured by Kinsmart. 12 pcs per display box. — When asked about best-selling die-cast items in a Summer 2011 TDmonthly survey, Dean Smith, Co-owner of JaZams in Princeton, N.J. said of the Kinsmart School Bus "We sell a lot of them: about 30 to 40 per month. It will pick up in the next 2 months. It's our biggest single die cast item." — In a Summer 2012 survey about die-cast toys, Dean Smith, owner of JaZams in Princeton, N.J., told TDmonthlythat they sell 15 school buses from Toy Wonders each month. — In an August 2013 survey, two out of nine retailers told TDmonthly that yellow school buses were their best-selling type of die-cast toy.
With realistic, modern details shrunk down to a size that fits in the palm of a child's hand, the Service Center 5-Pack of Matchbox cars from Mattel brings the excitement of city streets within reach. Tow truck, fuel tanker semi, heavy duty pickup and the other members of the set are completed with believable branding. Matchbox cars can be collected or traded, and their durable die-cast construction will stand up to plenty of play. — “[Matchbox] is a good price point for our store,” said Mike Snyder, manager of The Game Place in Charlottesville, Va. Snyder said his wife refers to Matchbox cars as “reward toys”. — Out of 38 retailers, four said Matchbox cars from Mattel are their top-selling die-cast item, reporting sales averaging 40 per month during a July 2010 survey. — In a Summer 2012 survey about die-cast toys, Dean Smith, owner of JaZams in Princeton, N.J., told TDmonthly that they sell about 12 of this Matchbox car 5 pack each month.
This 1:34 scale car lights up and makes sounds. — Linda Laramy, owner of Crackerjacks Toys and Children's Books in Easton, Md., told TDmonthly in a Summer 2011 survey that she sells 6 of this item each month. — In a Summer 2012 survey, four out of 10 retailers told TDmonthly that Schylling was their best selling brand of die-cast toy. — In an August 2013 survey, two out of nine retailers told TDmonthly that police cars were their best-selling type of die-cast toy.
Few vehicles on the city streets captivate children as much as the garbage truck. This big modern semi, detailed at a 1:43 scale and complete with an opening back hatch, lets kids have their very own to drive around the towns of their imagination. The pull-back motor sends it zipping off on its route. — Eight out of 38 retailers surveyed in July 2010 by TDmonthly said Schylling is their top-selling die-cast line. — "We sell the small cars and trucks by Schylling every day," Grafton Stine, owner of Toys on the Square in Hummelstown, Pa., told TDmonthly in a 2011 survey. — Diana Nelson, owner of Kazoo & Company in Denver, Col., told TDmonthly in a Summer 2012 survey that "Schylling has some of the best die-cast pricing along with Toysmith."
15252 RC2 ERTL John Deere - 400D Articulated Dump Truck. 1:50 scale diecast collectible model. This 400D Articulated farm tractor is a 7.75"L x 3"W x 3.25"H die-cast metal with openable hood & dumpable bed. Individually packed in a window box. Box size: 9.5"L x 4.75"W x 5"H. Manufactured by RC2 Brands. Item 15252 is in ORANGE color. — Cynthia Phillips Strinich, owner of Phillip's Toy Mart in Nashville, Tenn., told TDmonthly in a Summer 2012 survey that John Deere branded die-cast toys are their best sellers in the category.
5353D Kinsmart - 2010 Bentley Continental Supersports Convertible. 1:38 scale diecast collectible model car. This Bentley Continental Supersports is a 5"Lx 2"Wx 1.25"H die cast metal car with openable doors and pullback action. This Bentley Continental Supersports is manufactured by Kinsmart. 12 pcs per display box in assorted colors. Launch date: July 20, 2012. — In a Summer 2012 survey, two out of 10 retailers told TDmonthly that Kinsmart was their best selling brand of die-cast toy.
Writer'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