Top-10 Most-Wanted Card Games
With additional reporting by Chris Lundy and Brenda Ruggiero
Card games are a perennial favorite for kids and families, and as the weather gets colder and there's less to do outdoors, we thought we'd interview retailers about their best-sellers. Spot It! from BLUE ORANGE GAMES still looms large on our best-sellers lists, but other classics were still popular with retailers as well.
*No manufacturer paid to be included in this list. All products listed were designated by editorial staff without regard to the company's relationship with TOYDIRECTORY.com/TDmonthly Magazine.
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 - 2010Where to buy: SOUTH NORTH EAST NORTH WEST
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 27018 (added 2/11/2010)
Make a splash wherever your adventures take you with the new ultra-durable version of the family favorite! Water and dirt are no match for this deck of plastic cards. Now any time can be opportunity to spot it, whether you’re at the beach, by the pool, or camping in the great outdoors. Summery and seaside symbols get everybody in the mood for fun in the sun. Spot the match to win!
— In a September 2014 survey, Melissa Pennille, co-owner of Teaching Toys & Books
in Tacoma, Wash., told TDmonthly
that Spot It! Splash is one of the store's best-selling card games.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 36911 (added 8/28/2014)
SET is a board game where any table becomes the board. It is a highly addictive, original game of visual perception. The goal is to be the first to see a SET from the 12 cards laid face up on the table. A SET is three cards that are either all the same or all different in each individual feature. With no turns and no luck, SET is challenging, fast and fun!
Players 1 to 20 (or as many as can fit around a table)
Ages 6 to 99
— “It's a really great game, one that we sell day in and day out,” Sally Lesser, owner of Henry Bear’s Park in Massachusetts, told TDmonthly
in spring 2007.
— Two of 63 retailers mentioned Set when asked about their overall best-selling toy or game in September 2008. Ten of 64 retailers named Set as a best-selling card game in August 2008, and more than 25 percent of 38 retailers said the same in late summer 2009. In Feb. 2010, five of 38 retailers cited it as a top-selling game.
— “[Set is] popular mainly because all ages can play it at the same time,” pointed out Greg Bonner, owner of Heights Toy Center
in Little Rock, Ark., in summer 2008.
— In a late summer 2010 TDmonthly
survey, 23 percent of 43 retailers surveyed named SET a best-selling card game.AWARDS: 2010 TDmonthly Top Seller
; 2007 TDmonthly
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 4570 (added 9/13/2005)
A fast word game played with cards, Quiddler is designed for 1 to 8 players. Each game consists of eight hands. The first hand is played with three cards, and a card is added during each hand until the players begin the final hand with 10 cards each. The object of the game is to combine an entire hand into words of two or more letters, drawing and discarding on each turn. The first player to have an entire hand of words goes out. Quiddler is a deck of 181 cards.
— “People love the rummy concept, where you need to go out, and this is an unusual variation with a little bit of Scrabble thrown in,” explained Roberta Edwards, owner of Wishes Toys & Gifts in La Quinta, Calif. Clifford Jackson, assistant manager of The Wizard’s Chest in Denver, Colo., said his customers appreciate “not only the ability to spell, but [that] it also focuses on smaller words (three to five letters), so you play faster and also focus.”
— In summer 2007, two of 32 retailers cited Quiddler as a best-selling card game in their stores. Of 64 retailers surveyed in August 2008, nine named Quiddler as their top-selling card game. One year later, four of 38 retailers cited it as a best-selling card game. In August 2010, 12 percent of 43 retailers named Quiddler a top seller in the card game category, with one citing sales of 96 monthly.
AWARDS: 2010 TDmonthly Top Seller
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 5300 (added 11/2/2005)
A royally rousing card game! Sleeping Queens is a fun new strategy game invented by an eight-year old. The Pancake Queen, the Ladybug Queen and ten of their closest friends have fallen under a sleeping spell and it´s your job to wake them up. Use quick thinking and a little luck to wake these napping nobles from their royal slumbers. Play a knight to steal a queen or take a chance on a juggling jester. But watch out for wicked potions and dastardly dragons! The player who wakes the most queens wins.
— Tova Rubin, manager at Toytraders in Lakewood, N.J., said this is one of her top-selling card games.
— This is a popular choice at White Rabbit Toys in Ann Arbor, Mich., according to store manager Cheri Sims.
— Casey Sartain, son and buyer at Tutoring Toy in Salt Lake City, attributes the success of this game to the fact that a younger group can play it and that they enjoy the action of slapping cards down on the pile.
— Seven percent of 43 retailers named Sleeping Queens a top-selling card game in a summer 2010 TDmonthly survey. In August 2010, Shana Hack, owner of Moon Rabbit Toys in Santa Fe, New Mex., told TDmonthly her store sells about 12 Sleeping Queens games per month.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 1957 (added 12/21/2004)
MSRP: $16.00Age Range: 10 and upLaunch Date: September 2009Gender: Boys And Girls
Anomia is a game where common knowledge becomes uncommonly fun. Anomia plays off the fact that our minds are positively brimming with all sorts of random information: things to eat, pop songs, websites, etc... Sure, under normal circumstances, it's easy enough to give an example of a frozen food, or a dog breed; but you will find that your brain works a little differently under pressure. Easy to learn, fun to play over and over again, Anomia will have any group of friends, family, even perfect strangers, shouting and laughing out loud as they try to beat each other to the punch. It can be your turn at any time and anyone can be your opponent. For 3 to 6 players. One round lasts about 30 minutes. Launch date: Fall 2009.
— They sell "15 to 20" Anomia games per month at Magic Box in New Orleans, said manager James Dello Stritto in early 2011.
— Four of 12 retailers who attended ASTRA 2010 named Anomia as one of their favorite products at the show.
— “Anomia is really great; I’ve been told for the last year to get it,” said Kristen Pollard, owner of Mudpuddle Toys
in Marblehead, Mass., in summer 2010.
— In an August 2010 survey, nine percent of 43 retailers said Anomia is a card game best seller. Barbara Fineblum, owner of Barston’s Child’s Play
in Baltimore, Md., told TDmonthly
the same month that her store sold 89 Anomia games in one month.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 26705 (added 1/14/2010)
FIVE CROWNS® – The Game Isn’t Over ‘til the Kings Go Wild! ® FIVE CROWNS is a five-suited rummy-style game that is a quick favorite for both avid and casual card players. It starts with 3 cards and 3s are wild, the next hand has 4 cards and 4s are wild and so on ‘til the Kings Go Wild! Make the right combinations, be the first to go out, then watch the others scramble as they get one last chance to cut their losses. Players 1-7. Age 8+
— This take-off on Rummy, only with five suits instead of four, sells well for Andy Detling, owner of Whoops! & Co. in Minocqua, Wis. “I noticed more of a return to family games this year,” said Cheri Sims, store manager of White Rabbit Toys in Ann Arbor, Mich., who said this game was one such game that families were stocking up on.
— In summer 2007, three of 32 retailers cited Five Crowns as the most popular card game. In August 2008, almost 25 percent of retailers named Set Enterprises as their top-selling card game company; 8 percent listed Five Crowns as a best-selling card game. In late summer 2009, three of 38 retailers cited it as their top-selling card game. In Feb. 2010, four of 38 retailers called it a best-selling game, selling between 3 and 25 units monthly. In an August 2010 TDmonthly survey, three of 43 retailers named Five Crowns a card game best seller.
— As of 10.25.10, this product had 5 out of 5 stars from 15 reviews on Walmart.com and was listed as the #3 bestseller in Games & Puzzles. PROS: easy to learn, fun for the whole family.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 6639 (added 1/20/2006)
Because the game has sold so well since its introduction in 1996, Gamewright released a 10th Anniversary Edition in 2006. Players will still need to discard their rat cards while collecting cat cards, but the new edition will have brand new art, more power cards and the addition of a “Super Peek” power to make the game even more fun.
— “My best-selling games are from Gamewright: Rat-a-Tat Cat. It’s so popular because it’s travel-sized, it’s just a little card game, the whole family gets involved, and the price is right,” said Julie Nicolazzo of Toy Boat in Hudson, Mass.
— "Rat-a-Tat Cat by Gamewright is our best-seller [in card games]. I think it does well because it’s a small game to learn, not overwhelming," said Lisa McMartin, co-owner of Wonderment Inc.
in Minneapolis, Minn. — 19 percent of 43 retailers cited Rat-a-Tat Cat as a card game best seller in a summer 2010 survey.
— Casey Sartain, buyer for Tutoring Toy
in Salt Lake City, Utah, told TDmonthly
the store sells approximately 24 Rat-a-Tat Cat games each month.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 8382 (added 6/22/2006)
The five shards of Alara meet conflict in Conflux, where Bant Knights battle Naya Behemoths and displaced vampires add to the havoc. Conflux features 145 expansion cards and is available in intro and fat packs as well as boosters.
— In late summer 2009, three of 38 retailers named Magic as their best-selling card game. Fifteen of the top 25 card games at Toy City
in Keene, N.H., are Magic units, Owner Steve Levy told TDmonthly
in August 2009, at which time his store had sold 850 Conflux boosters for the year.
— Mike Lane, manager of Hobbytown in Cumming, Ga., told TDmonthly
in late summer 2009 that his store attracts up to 25 kids for Friday night Magic tournaments. He cited sales of about 50 packs of month of Magic: The Gathering cards.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 25295 (added 9/8/2009)
Kids flip and stack this clever loaf of cards to build slamwiches and double deckers. Tomato, lettuce, tomato ... slap! The player who gets there first will win the pile. But he’ll have to catch the thief and stop the muncher from stealing a stack of cards. When he’s out of cards, he’s out of the game. The first player to collect all the cards wins. Slamwich teaches reading readiness skills, such as visual discrimination and sequencing. While kids are flipping and stacking cards, they're actually learning how to recognize a series, make combinations, and anticipate what might happen. "Slamwich includes bread-shaped, die-cut cards. It's a fast-playing card game. It's also Gamewright's first card game," said Jason Schneider, product development and marketing manager for Gamewright.
— Rosie Morris, manager of Whiz Kid Toys
in San Luis Obispo, Calif., told TDmonthly
to watch out for Gamewright, naming Slamwich as one of their hottest 2006 sales items.
— "We have a lot of card games from Gamewright. One of the better ones is Slamwich," Shirley Reilly, owner of Let's Play in Hillsboro, Ore., told TDmonthly
. In an August 2008 survey of 64 retailers, storeowners reported average sales of about a dozen per month. Six named Slamwich as a best-selling card game.
— In August 2010, five of 43 retailers surveyed cited Slamwich as a best-selling card game.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 10251 (added 11/27/2006)
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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
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