While many specialty retailers choose not to carry electronic or battery operated toys, in a July 2013 survey TDmonthly Magazine found that select high-quality toys in this category, like Snap Circuits from ELENCO and lighted construction sets from LASER PEGS VENTURES LLC, sell quite well.
You can learn more about these products, and the other top-10 electronic and battery operated toys, below.
Snap Circuits allow children to create electronic projects including AM and FM radios, digital voice recorders, burglar alarms, doorbells and more. All pieces are mounted on plastic modules and snap together with ease. This Pro version contains over 75 parts and an illustrated manual for building over 500 experiments. The set uses four AA batteries. — In late summer 2010, six of 43 retailers named Snap Circuits a science and nature best seller. — In August 2010, Jim and Retha Davis, owners of Kid’s Center in Tucson, Ariz., told TDmonthly their store sells “about 100 (Snap Circuits) a month.” — In a late Summer 2012 survey, four out of 12 retailers said that Elenco was one of their best selling Science & Nature toy brands.
Snap Circuits make learning electronics easy and fun. Kids follow the colorful pictures in the manual to build exciting projects, such as FM radios, burglar alarms, doorbells and more. Parts are mounted on plastic modules and snap together with ease. “Children can play with this kit for hours and hours and still have not completed all the projects the snap circuit kits have to offer,” Walter Larsen, national sales manager for Elenco, told TDmonthly. — One retailer said in summer 2007 his store sells 25 Elenco units monthly. Five percent of 64 retailers said in August 2008 that Snap Circuits are a best-selling science product, reporting average sales of six units per month. Four of 38 retailers echoed the same a year later. “They’ve gone back to this game six or seven times,” between January and July 2006, said TDmonthly's homeschooling mom Susan Ledford. — Any time TDmonthlyasks specialty storeowners about top-selling science toys, Elenco's Snap Circuits heads the list. This simple electronics kit appeals to both girls and boys. By making science fun and easy, Snap Circuits earned a TDmonthly Classic Toy 2007 award. — As of 12/17/2012 this product had 4.8 out of 5 stars from 575 reviews on Amazon.com. Cons: One user said that her grandchildren were "not all that interested" in the Snap Circuits, and told her that they would prefer LEGOs on their birthday.
This RC Stunt Car with lights on the wheels comes in its original box. Highly detailed features make this car one of a kind. It comes with a fully functional remote which allows the car to move forward, reverse, left and right. — Megan Pettit, manager of The Toy Maven in Dallas, Tex., told TDmonthly in a July 2013 survey that the Turbo Twister is her store's overall best-selling toy. — In a July 2013 survey, two out of 12 retailers told TDmonthly that the Turbo Twister was their best-selling electronic or battery-operated toy. — In a Fall 2013 survey, Mike D'Andrea, manager of e-commerce at Hardware Center & Toys in Paoli, Pa., told TDmonthly that Turbo Twister was one of their best-selling novelty toys.
An 8 in 1 land themed construction kit with Laser Pegs, construction parts, and a Triangle Power Base. — In a May 2013 survey about construction toys Joe Berardoni Jr, owner of Pun's Toys in Bryn Mawr, Pa. told TDmonthly that "Here at Pun’s, we continue to sell Laser Pegs very well, mostly the Land, Sea and Air series. Their new design which makes them compatible with other construction bricks has helped boost sales over last year at this time." — In a July 2013 survey Joe Berardoni Jr., owner of Pun's Toy Shop in Bryn Mawr, Pa., told TDmonthly that Laser Pegs is one of the store's best-selling electronic or battery-operated toys. — Karen Laroche, manager of Kid's Ketch in Lews, Del., told TDmonthly in a Fall 2013 survey that Laser Pegs are one of her store's overall best-selling toys.
A 6 in 1 general themed construction kit with Laser Pegs and a Triangle Power Base. — In a July 2013 survey Joe Berardoni Jr., owner of Pun's Toy Shop in Bryn Mawr, Pa., told TDmonthly that Laser Pegs is one of the store's best-selling electronic or battery-operated toys.
Kids can use one of many push-button settings on this plastic megaphone to alter their voices in different ways. It comes in a variety of colors and requires a 9-volt battery, not included. — Kevin Pohle, Head Wizard and Owner of The Wizard’s Chest in Denver, finds these to be good sellers, as well as loud. — Lindsay Demyan, sales associate at White Rabbit Toys in Ann Arbor, Mich., said kids love picking this toy up and marching around her store changing their voices with it. — “Voice changers are some of the loudest things we have,” explained John Jame, assistant manager at the Los Angeles Toys “R” Us. “They are the greatest for kids of all ages.”
This sinister device seems at first glance to be an innocent ping-pong ball. Can be used to illustrate the idea of an electric circuit to children-show how electricity can flow through a chain of people holding hands, or that a little dampness can improve conductivity, et cetera. — In a September 2014 survey, Mary Porter Green, owner of Curiosity Zone in Broadlands, Va., told TDmonthly that UFO Balls are one of the store's best-selling science and nature toys.
RC Buggy 1:20, length: 26 cm. Ready to run including rechargeable battery, charger and 9V battery. Top Speed: up to 20 km/h. Extreme long playing time: up to 40 minutes. Short charging time about 1 hr 20 min. 7.4V-700mAh Li-Ionen rechargeable battery and 8.4V-500mA charger. Full function with 2 speed mode and additional turbo gear. RC tri-band technology. Full function Ergonomic controller with hight speed turbo button. Front and rear suspension, chrome rims with pneumatic tires, differential. — In a Summer 2012 survey about electronic and battery operated toys, David Campbell, owner of Amazing Toys in Great Falls, Mont., told TDmonthly that Carrera RC cars are his best sellers in that category. — In a July 2013 survey two out of 12 retailers told TDmonthly that RC cars are their best-selling electronic or battery-operated toys.
The rotors allow for flex, so should there be a crash (an R/C heli nightmare), LitehHawk is tough enough to stand up to impacts that others simply cannot. Gyro stabilization allows LiteHawk to fly effortlessly, no "twitch", no headaches...just stable flight. The 2 in 1 Remote Control is a charger for the LiteHawk too. Simply plug the Remote into the helicopter and the on-board Lithium batteries take care of the rest. — Marc Holcomb, owner of Toys & Co. in Greensboro, N.C., told TDmonthly in a Fall 2012 survey that they sell about 12 of these helicopters each month, making them a best selling aircraft/flying toy in the store. — In a July 2013 survey Dean Smith, owner of JaZams in Princeton, N.J., told TDmonthly that LightHawk Helicopters are his store's best-selling electronic or battery-operated toy. "I'm selling about 12 a month," he said.
The Spy Pen features invisible ink that can only be revealed using the UV black light in the cap. — Mary Porter Green, owner of Curiosity Zone in Ashburn, Va, told TDmonthly in a July 2013 survey that this was one of her store's best-selling toys.
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