With additional reporting by Chris Lundy and Brenda Ruggiero
When TDmonthly Magazine interviewed retailers about their best-selling toys in a January 2014 survey, we found that many of the toys mentioned had graced the list before. Long running favorites like LEGO Minifigures joined more recent phenomenons, like the Rainbow Loom from Choon's Designs and My Little Pony Plush from Aurora.
Take a look at all of the best-selling toys below, then decide if any of these proven hits would be a good fit for your store.
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.
Each of the 16 all-new minifigures come in a sealed "mystery" bag, so kids never know which minifigure they might get. And each minifigure has its own special accessories, display plate and collector's leaflet. Series 7 includes: Aztec Warrior, Evil Knight, Galaxy Patrol, Jungle Boy, Viking Woman, Ocean King, Grandma Visitor, Rocker Girl, Tennis Ace, Computer Programmer, Bride, Swimming Champion, Daredevil, Bunny Suit Guy, Hippie and Bagpiper. — In a Summer 2012 survey, Deran Muckjian, owner of Catch a Falling Star in Lexington, Mass., told TDmonthly that "Lego continually sells really well, across the board, for boy gifts," and that the LEGO minifigures were an overall best seller. — In a late Summer 2012 survey, two out of 12 retailers said that LEGO minifigures were one of their bestselling novelty items. — In a July 2013 survey, two out of 12 retailers told TDmonthly that LEGO minifigs are their best-selling toy.
Package includes: Rainbow Loom(TM), Mini Rainbow Loom(TM), hook, a bag of c-clips, instruction manual and 600+ mix rubber bands (colors may vary). Makes up to 24 rubber band bracelets. — Chris Lowe, owner of Beanhead Toys in Sandy Springs, Ga., told TDmonthly in a May 2013 survey that Rainbow Loom is their best-selling activity kit. They sell about 50 each month, and if they could keep it in stock, would likely sell more. "I got 24 the other day and they were gone instantly," she told TDmonthly. — In a July 2013 survey, four out of 12 retailers told TDmonthly that the Rainbow Loom was their overall best-selling product. — In a Fall 2013 survey, two out of 12 retailers told TDmonthlythat Rainbow Loom was their best-selling novelty toy.
Loopdedoo is a new spinning tool that makes fabulous twisted bracelets in just a few minutes. It's fast, easy and fun. Just wrap the threads around the Loopdedoo device, turn the knob, guide the thread and minutes later the bracelet is done. Kids can even make necklaces, anklets, belts and more. There's no pattern to follow so each accessory is completely different and unique. Kids can use as many threads and color combinations as they like, and can make them thick, thin or anywhere in between. Launch date: November 2011. — In a January 2012 survey, Barbara Finblum, owner of Barston's Child's Play in Baltimore, Md., told TDmonthly that Loopdedoo is their best selling arts and crafts toy. "They came in in December and we sold 194 out of 5 stores - 163 out of 3 stores alone. We sold out and couldn't get them back," she said. — As of 10/5/2012 this product had 4.5 out of 5 stars from 8 reviews on Amazon.com. Pros: Easy to use; promotes creativity; fun. Cons: One user couldn't figure out how to start. — In a Fall 2012 survey, Dean Smith, owner of Jazams in Princeton, N.J., told TDmonthly that they sell 15 of this item each month, making it one of their top-2 sellers in the Hobby category.
This mini-bin of porcine cuties has been “very popular" for over 10 years, Ramona Pariente, President of Safari told TDmonthly. There are 192 hand painted Mini Pigs composed of a non toxic, soft rubber in an acetate bin. Each pig measures approximately 1". — “We have a band call Oink Henderson and the Squealers,” explained Mark Gauger, owner of Fun Zone in Iowa City, Ia. “They do a pig toss halfway through their show and sometime it’s worse than Mardi Gras. Oink buys these pigs by the hundreds.” They’re popular with Gauger’s other customers, too, and with each piggy purchase he hands out a special “Good Luck Pigs” card, explaining a German tradition that considers the possession of a pig mighty lucky. — “Safari in the little PVC animals is huge, as is their line of Carnegie dinosaurs,” said John Middelkamp, owner of Zoom in Kansas City, Mo. — A total of 6 of 45 retailers agreed that Safari animals were among their best-selling tiny toys. In Germany, continued Pariente, the mini pigs are used as a drinking game: "The idea is to roll it and make it stand. If it doesn’t stand you drink some beer." Newly available in the past year are mini ladybugs and elephants with more themes to come, she said.
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.
Aurora grows its diverse collection of must-have My Little Pony plush with stylish new designs including characters in a "seated" pose (a first for My Little Pony plush in the gift market) as well as a new keychain assortment where each pony includes a clip for hanging just about anywhere. The popular ponies with personality are based on characters from the hit animated series MY LITTLE PONY FRIENDSHIP IS MAGIC, including PINKIE PIE, RAINBOW DASH, APPLEJACK, RARITY, FLUTTERSHY and for the first time ever, PRINCESS TWILIGHT SPARKLE. (MSRP: $5 for keychain; MSRP: $20 for "seated" style) — Gladys Griffin, owner of Main Street Toy Shop in Columbus, Ga., told TDmonthly in a January 2014 survey that My Little Pony plush from Aurora was a best-seller. "They were just out of here in no time," she said of a recent, fast-selling order. — Gary Green, owner of Toy Box of Asheville Inc in Asheville, N.C., told TDmonthly in a May 2014 survey that Aurora's My Little Pony was their best-selling line of licensed toys.
The original Boogie Board LCD eWriter that started a revolution. Ultra light (4oz.) and thin (1/8"). One just isn’t enough. Get one for on the go, in the office and multiple places around the house. Almost anywhere you’d keep memo pads, sticky notes or scrap paper. — Erika Evers, owner of Dancing Bear Toys in Hendersonville, N.C., told TDmonthly in an April 2012 survey that their best selling travel toy is the Boogie Board. They sell 6-7 each month. — Chris Lowe, owner of Beanhead Toys in Sandy Springs, Ga., told TDmonthly in a late Summer 2012 survey that they sell 15 of this item each month, making it a bestselling novelty item. — Greg Larson, owner of Larson's Toys and Games in Columbus, Ohio, told TDmonthlyin a March 2013 survey that they sell 18 Boogie Boards each month, and up to 48 a month during 4th quarter.
This 48-piece set includes solid colored pieces, along with pieces with holes, curved pieces, a magnetic door and a wheeled piece. Magna-Tiles DX contains 12 small squares, four large squares, six isosceles triangles, 10 right triangles, 11 equilateral triangles, a wheeled piece, and arch and three special shapes. An idea guide is included. — In late summer 2010, five percent of 43 specialty retailers toldTDmonthly Magna-Tiles are an overall best-selling product. — In late Spring 2011, 25% of retailers mentioned Magna-Tiles as a best-selling construction toy. — As of 05/12/2011, this product had 5 out of 5 stars from 23 reviews on Amazon.com. — In a Summer 2012 survey, Diana Nelson, owner of Kazoo & Company in Denver, Col., told TDmonthly that Magnatiles were their overall best-selling toy.
Spot It is a party game for two to eight players. It's played by laying a random assortment of cards on the table and all players racing to find one image that matches between two cards. This fast-paced game is designed to never be the same twice, and though it has very few rules to remember it requires a sharp eye to master. The set of 55 round cards transports in its own carry tin. Watch Spot It: Top-5 Video, Toy Fair 2010 — Spot It has been been a top seller for retailers surveyed by TDmonthly since early Spring 2010. — In a March 2012 survey, 3 out of 12 retailers told TDmonthly that Spot It was their overall best selling product, and had been for more than a year. — Dean Smith, Co-owner of JaZams in Princeton, N.J., told TDmonthly in a Summer 2011 survey that he sells 50-60 copies of Spot It each month. Awards: 2010 TDmonthly Top Seller, Dr. Toy 100 Best Children's Products - 2010
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