With additional reporting by Chris Lundy and Brenda Ruggiero
In a February 2014 survey about wooden toys, retailers told TDmonthly Magazine that the best-selling wooden toys in their stores tend to be classics, like wooden train sets, puzzles, and marble runs. Take a look at the timeless wooden toys they named as top-10 best-sellers 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.
Create up to 5 different layouts with this 20-piece play set. Includes Thomas, 17 pieces of track, a bridge and a tunnel. — Grafton Stein, owner of Toys on the Square in Hummelstown, Pa., told TDmonthly in a May 2013 survey that Thomas the Tank Engine toys are their best-selling licensed products. — In a February 2014 survey, three out of 10 retailers told TDmonthly that Thomas & Friends sets from Fisher-Price were among their best-selling wooden toys. — In a February 2015 survey, Sue Hottel, co-owner of No Kidding (aka Sand Castle Toys Inc) in Mattapoisett, Mass., told TDmonthly that Thomas & Friends trains are her some of her store's best-selling wooden toys.
This rural railway set has the classic Brio quality and features a barn with loading crane, farm engine with wagon, farm tractor with trailer, farm animals and hay bale. — In a February 2014 survey, two out of 10 retailers told TDmonthly that Brio Trains were among their best-selling wooden toys. — Patti Tepper-Rasmussen, owner of Learning Tree Toys, Games & Books, Inc. in Oklahoma City, Ok., told TDmonthly in an August 2014 survey that Brio was one of the store's best-selling brand of collectibles. — In a February 2015 survey, Sue Hottel, co-owner of No Kidding (aka Sand Castle Toys Inc) in Mattapoisett, Mass., told TDmonthly that Brio trains are her some of her store's best-selling wooden toys.
This fishbowl features three happy residents for puzzle play. The extra-thick, three-piece wooden puzzle includes a fish, a turtle and a crab, each with jumbo wooden knobs for easy grasping. Full-color, matching pictures appear underneath each piece. — In a Summer 2011 survey, 5 out of 12 retailers told TDmonthly that wooden peg puzzles from Melissa & Doug were their best-sellers in the category. — As of 7/12/2011 this product had 4.5 out of 5 stars from 32 reviews on Amazon.com. Pros: Durable; age-appropriate; puzzle pieces fit well. Cons: One reviewer said the veneer on the puzzle pieces began peeling a month after purchasing it. — In a June 2010 survey of 40 specialty retailers, 15 percent named Melissa & Doug as an overall top-selling brand. Two retailers told TDmonthlythat the brand’s puzzles sell especially well.
Featuring detailed images of 8 favorite noisy vehicles, this wooden peg puzzle makes the vehicle sound when a piece is placed correctly in the puzzle board. Eight sounds in all. Full-color, matching picture under each piece. Dimensions: 1.2" x 8.5" x 11.7" Assembled. AAA batteries not included. — Michael O'Dell of Toys from the Attic in Rehoboth Beach, Del., told TDmonthly in a Summer 2011 survey that he sells 10 Melissa & Doug sound puzzles each month. — As of 7/12/2011 this product had 3 out of 5 stars from 23 reviews on Amazon.com. Pros: Affordable; engaging. Cons: Many reviewers said the sounds were poor quality. — In a February 2012 survey about wooden toys, three out of 14 retailers said that puzzles from Melissa & Doug were their best sellers in the category. “Melissa and Doug has been a core of the store for years and years," Mike Snyder, owner and manager of Cville's Hobbies, Games and Toys in Charlottesville, Va., told TDmonthly.
This 10-piece set of musical instruments (heavy on the percussion with maracas, a tambourine and a triangle) lets a child explore the wonders of sound, music, anthropology or just the fun of making some noise. ― Richard Gibson, owner of Learning Express of Newton, Mass., says his store sells about 6 or 7 of these sets per month. — In summer 2008, Meredith Zellweger, owner of Toy Jungle in Manhattan Beach, Calif., touted this set as her “go-to musical toy.” Melanie Anderson of Daly City, Calif., said, “The kids have so much fun playing with them. They are real instruments, not plastic imitations that don´t sound quite right. This was a purchase I don´t regret.” — Three of 45 retailers cited Band in a Box when asked about best-selling musical toys in mid 2007, citing sales of between three and 10 units per month. Seven of 48 retailers named it as a musical best seller in January 2010.
Play more than 20 classic tabletop coin games with this unique contraption- Basketball, Baseball, Football, Hockey and many more. Includes the official SLOTTER, flip card & instructions in a Peg Pack package. Launch date: May 2011. — In a February 2014 survey, Dean Smith, owner of Jazams Toys in Princeton, N.J., told TDmonthly that Slotter is their best-selling wooden toy. They sell around 10 each month.
Pounding sends the balls tinkling over the xylophone. Pull out the keyboard and the xylophone can be played solo. All Hape products comply with EN71 and ASTM quality standards - wood used comes from FSC managed forests. Awards: May 2012 TDmonthly Top Toy Award. Why it won: This item was named a Top-10 Musical toy in February and a Top-10 Wooden toy in March by specialty retailers interviewed by TDmonthly. Its innovative design combines the elements of the popular shape sorting/tapping toy and the xylophone, giving it great play value. — As of 1/6/2012 this product had 4.2 out of 5 stars from 13 reviews on Amazon.com. Pros: Durable; lots of ways to play. Cons: The keyboard is not properly tuned. — In a 2012 survey about Musical Products, three out of 13 retailers said this item was their best seller. Kelly Boone, manager of The Elephant's Trunk in Greenville, S.C., told TDmonthly that they sold at least 36 during the holidays. — In a February 2012 survey about wooden toys, two out of 14 retailers said that this was their bestseller in the category. Kristin Dolle, manager of Playthings Toy Shoppe in Louisville, Ky. told TDmonthlythat they sell between 8 and 12 units of this item each month.
Build your own medieval siege engine from pre-drilled planks, a little glue and the help of easy, step-by-step “blueprint” instructions. Then let the fun and experimentation begin! What travels farther: a marshmallow or a piece of macaroni? Alter the counterweight to adjust the trebuchet's hurl, and practice knocking down a field of target planks using the two included balls. — In a February 2014 survey, Julie Steinbach, owner of Rainbow Toys in Falmouth, Maine, told TDmonthly that this Trebuchet from Mindware was among their best-selling wooden toys. — Tye Steinbach from Thinker Toys in Portland, Ore., told TDmonthly in a May 2015 survey that this is one of their best-selling activity kits.
This kit gives some structure to free-form building with planks, including an idea book with instructions for building ball-track structures, ramps, funnels and more. It allows for scientific experimentation as kids test rolling the two included lightweight balls to see if they move as anticipated. — "A new concept kit will help kids build bigger and better — simple, open-ended and smart," said John MacDougall, owner of Golden Apple Learning Store in Pleasanton, Calif., at Toy Fair 2010. — It was also a top-two favorite at ASTRA's Share the Fair event during Toy Fair 2010. — In an April 2012 survey, Elmer Carranza, manager of Doodlehopper 4 Kids in Springfield, Va., told TDmonthly that KEVA blocks are their best selling construction toy.
Build a fantastic marble run with this brilliantly colored 30 – piece set. Watch the marbles spiral and hop down the various pieces of track. The Marble Run Deluxe is made of PlanWood, a sustainable material made from recycled sawdust. — In a February 2014 survey, Julie Steinbach, owner of Rainbow Toys in Falmouth, Maine, told TDmonthly that Marble Runs were one of their best-selling wooden 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