TDmonthly Magazine!
January 2014 | Vol. XIII - No. 1


Top-10 Most-Wanted Halloween Toys

With additional reporting by Chris Lundy and Brenda Ruggiero

Though some retailers interviewed by TDmonthly Magazine in December 2013 told us they don't sell specific Halloween merchandise, others touted the selling power of items such as fake mustaches, face painting kits, and of course costumes!

Other retailers told us that while they don't carry specific Halloween items, they do creatively merchandise their stores to reflect the spirit of the spookiest season.

Take a look at our retailers' Top-10 Best-Selling Halloween products 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 Magazine.

MSRP: $7.50
Age Range: 3 and up
Gender: Boys
Category: Novelties

“You can be a super star every day!” says the illustrated blister card from Schylling. In assorted shapes, sizes, and colors, Schylling's Self-Adhesive Mustaches are instant personality. Whether for a disguise, fancy occasion, costume, or day-to-day fun, each of the seven mustaches is great for a laugh.
— “We sell a ton of those. I'm always amazed at the number of those we sell!” said Greg Larson, owner of Larson's Toys and Games in Columbus, Ohio, of Schylling's Self-Adhesive Mustaches during a September 2010 survey of 49 retailers.
— Two of 49 retailers listed Self-Adhesive Mustaches by Schylling as a best-seller in September 2010.
— In a late Summer 2012 survey, two out of 12 retailers said that mustaches were their bestselling novelty item.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 30695      (added 9/29/2010)

The flexible wire inside this 6.75" black mustaches allows it to be shaped in various styles, including the friendly barber, the stern general and the dapper dandy. It comes with a rubber piece that clips to the nose.
— Two of 38 specialty retailers mentioned mustaches as a best-selling novelty item in fall 2008. Michelle Bears, owner of The Toy Store in Highlands, N.C., told TDmonthly her store sells about 48 Accoutrements fake mustaches per month.
— Donna Frederick, owner of The Play House Toy Store in Durham, N.C., told TDmonthly in a December 2011 survey about Halloween that, "Accoutrements sells a set of novelty mustaches that is very popular."
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 25899      (added 10/30/2009)

MSRP: $24.95
Age Range: 6 and up
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Arts & Crafts
Creative Activities
Halloween Merchandise

This new edition of Face Painting was completely refreshed, revised, and revitalized for a new generation. Klutz added more detailed directions for simple sponge and brush techniques and created tear-out cheat sheets to make painting birthday parties easier than ever. But the biggest change is the Wolfe Brothers face paints. They go on smoothly, dry quickly, last longer, and wash off easily, with bold, bright colors. The book comes with a six-color palette of face paints, a brush, a sponge, and 12 tear-out take-along design cards.
— Her Halloween 2010 crowd liked the Klutz face painting book, reported Gwen Bowden, manager of Doodlehopper for Kids in Springfield, Va.
— In a December 2011 survey about best selling Halloween products, 3 retailers said face painting kits were among their best sellers.
— Syd Clarke, owner of Ali-Cat in Carrboro, N.C., told TDmonthly in a December 2014 interview that Face Paint from Klutz is one of their best-selling Halloween toys.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 31366      (added 12/22/2010)

MSRP: $39.99
Launch Date: January 2008
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Costumes & Accessories
Pretend Play
Halloween Merchandise

This authentic-looking fireman costume features bright stripes and comes with a hat, a megaphone, an ax, a fire extinguisher and other accessories. It retails in a clear vinyl bag. Launch date: 2008.
—  “Melissa and Doug have great dress-up costumes ... those are moving briskly,” said Diana Nelson, owner of Kazoo and Company in Denver, Colo., about her top-selling dress-up items in March 2010.
— In a December 2013 survey two out of 10 retailers told TDmonthly that fire fighter costumes were one of their best-selling Halloween costumes.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 17771      (added 2/27/2008)

MSRP: $25.00
Specialty: Yes (as of 2012)
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Fashion & Accessories
Arts & Crafts

This fun kit includes 4 colors of Body Glitter (2.8 g/0.10 oz); 1 Body Glue (3 ml / 0.10 fl oz); 12 3"x2" Self Adhesive Stencils; 2 pc. brush set; Instruction/Care Card.
— Barb Stine, owner of Toys on the Square in Hershey, Pa., told TDmonthly in a December 2013 survey that tattoos are one of their best-selling Halloween toys.

Where to buy:
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 35212      (added 10/4/2012)

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MSRP: $19.99
Age Range: 1 to 2
Specialty: Yes (as of 2012)
Made in: Canada
SKU or Item #: 53022
Gender: Girls
Category: Costumes & Accessories
Pretend Play
Creative Activities

Satin Cape with an overlay of glittery silver organza. The back is embellished with a silver crown. The front has a white bow with a velcro closure, and the cape is trimmed with a silver metallic bias. Launch date: May 2012.
— In a December 2013 survey two out of 10 retailers said that Creative Education costumes were their best-selling Halloween products.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 34213      (added 5/11/2012)

MSRP: $31.99
Age Range: 3 to 7
Specialty: Yes (as of 2011)
SKU or Item #: 55693
Launch Date: February 2009
Gender: Boys
Category: Pretend Play
Costumes & Accessories
Developmental Toys

This product was a 2009 ASTRA Best Toys for Kids Winner — the only costume to win this award in 2009 in the Pretend/Fantasy Play category. The green Dragon side is made with shimmering scales and a yellow dragon tail. The silver Knight side emulates a glittering armor and is embellished with a red and black emblem. The Reversible Dragon/Knight Hood (sold separately) completes the look of this fiery dragon and a feisty knight. "This is a truly unique and high-quality design and it's sold for the specialty market only," Veesha Knight, sales and marketing manager for Creative Education of Canada, Inc., told TDmonthly. Launch date: February 2009.
Awards: 2010 Children's Choice Award by the Canadian Toy Testing Council.
— Donna Frederick, owner of The Play House Toy Store in Durham, N.C., told TDmonthly in a December 2011 survey that "We ran out of capes this year," and that she will definitely order capes from the Great Pretenders line by Creative Education again for Halloween next year.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 25854      (added 10/29/2009)

Gender: Girls
Category: Costumes & Accessories

A charming little fairy from a familiar tale, the I Won't Grow Up character costume is comprised of a stretch velvet leotard in glittery forest green with an attached petal skirt in several layers of chiffon. It is accented with sheer fabric flowers. A pink tiara is included, and it pairs with various wings or other accessories from the A Wish Come True line.
— “The fairy tutus, anything like that,” said Katherine King, manager of Giggles Toys and More in Bozeman, Mont., who listed A Wish Come True as one of her top-selling lines dress-up lines.
— Six percent of 52 retailers listed A Wish Come True for their top-selling dress up in early 2009.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 22742      (added 3/10/2009)

Age Range: 8 and up
Specialty: Yes (as of 2010)
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Educational
Science & Nature

Build a brain and then pick it apart with this sequel to the Squishy Human Body. This anatomically correct model, complete with moving mandible (jawbone) and squishy plastic brain and eyes, makes for a realistic experience of our body's gray matter. With the included illustrated book, kids go on a tour through the sense, movement, memory, emotion, decision-making, and automatic functions like breathing and digestion. Phenomena like brain freeze and notes on how and when things go wrong are also explored. Includes: 9-piece transparent skill that fits together at the sutures, 8 squishy brain parts, Squishy eyeballs, 4 vertebrae pieces with spinal cord, Skull base, Tools: forceps, scalpel, and tweezers, Skull map, Brain blister with labels, and 32-page, fully illustrated book.
— In a December 2013 survey two out of 10 retailers told TDmonthly that skull and brain novelty items were Halloween best-sellers.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 31237      (added 11/30/2010)

SKU or Item #: 10375
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Novelties
Halloween Merchandise

Follow the simple instructions on the back of the box and you will be rewarded with a lifelike brain gelatin dessert. The mold is 9" x 7" x 4" (22.7 cm x 17.8 cm x 10.2 cm) and made of non-toxic green plastic.  It comes in an illustrated window box.
— Mary Porter Green, owner of Curiosity Zone in Ashburn, Va., told TDmonthly in a December 2013 survey brain molds are one of their best-selling Halloween toys.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 23314      (added 4/22/2009)

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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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