ToyDirectory
May 18, 2021

TDmonthly Magazine

July 2008 | Vol. VII - No. 7


TDmonthly’s Top-10 Most-Wanted Novelty Toys

Toysmith Gets Consumers All Wound Up

By Sivhour Sim
July 2008

With additional reporting by Sharri Hefner, Terri Hughes-Lazzell, Julie L. Jones, Alison Marek, Marie Raven, and Brenda Ruggiero

When it comes to novelty items, consumer interest ranges from wind-ups to plush to yo-yos to erasers. When TDmonthly Magazine spoke with 55 specialty retailers about which novelty toys were zooming off their counters and shelves, many emphasized the popularity of balls, wind-up toys, “small pick-up items” and dollar toys.

Topping the list of best-sellers are wind-ups by California Creations and Toysmith, Horror Balls by Play Visions, Original Slinkys by Poof-Slinky Inc., erasers by BC Industries, and The Amazing Flying Monkey from Westminster International Inc.

Flippin' Animal Wind-Ups by TOYSMITH

FlippinKids can watch these animals walk, then flip for fun. The assortment includes a dog, cat, frog and monkey. Launch date: 2006.
— “Wonderful wind-up toys from Toysmith,” Candace Williams of The Toy Maven in Dallas, Texas, told TDmonthly when asked to name the best-selling novelty item in her store.
— “Toysmith wind-ups are most popular,” Fred Rosenberg, owner of On the Park in Kingwood, Texas, told TDmonthly in May 2008. According to Rosenberg, they sell “hundreds” per month.
— In May 2008, 11 of 55 retailers named Toysmith as the manufacturer of their best-selling novelty toys. 6/9/2008 (MSRP: $2.50; Age: 3 and Up)


Original Slinky by POOF-SLINKY INC.

Original Slinky by POOF-SLINKY INC.

Kids today can enjoy this classic metal toy as much as their parents did when they were children. Awards: TDmonthly Classic 2008.
— Original Slinkys are one of the top-10 best sellers at the Lollipop Shop in Jonesborough, Tenn., and Kiawah Island, S.C., Co-owner Jeff Gurley told TDmonthly in spring 2008.
— “Slinkys are still doing very well,” Ray Goodhart of Ages & Stages Toy Box in Golden, Colo., told TDmonthly in May 2008, noting that they sell “probably 15 to 20” per month.
— “Slinky — nostalgia does very well,” Linda Hill, owner of Emerald Isle Toys in Emerald Isle, N.C., told TDmonthly in May 2008. “[We sell] 50 per year … [to] kids — not parents — looking for older toys.”
— In May 2008, three of 55 retailers named the Slinky as one of their best-selling novelty items. Original Slinkys are a top-10 best seller at the Lollipop Shop in Jonesborough, Tenn., and Kiawah Island, S.C., Co-owner Jeff Gurley told TDmonthly in spring 2008.

Where to Buy: Rocking Horse Toy Store; Berkira (Watch the Original Slinky Video Watch Video) 6/4/2008 (Age: 5 and Up)


Iwako Ice Cream Erasers by BC INDUSTRIES

Iwako Ice Cream Erasers by BC INDUSTRIESThis eraser looks just like a cup of ice cream. Many other varieties are available in the ice cream line, including ice cream in a cone and ice cream bars.
— “The erasers are doing really well,” David Ekwall of The Wooden Toy in Wethersfield, Conn., told TDmonthly in May 2008. “They’re erasers from Japan that come in all different shapes — there are vehicles and cakes and ice cream.”
— “Japanese erasers are huge pickups,” Candace Williams of The Toy Maven in Dallas, Texas, told TDmonthly in May 2008. “[We’re] almost out of a 1,300 wholesale order [placed] three weeks ago.”
— In May 2008, two retailers singled out Japanese erasers as their best-selling novelty item. (Watch the Iwako Ice Cream Erasers Video Watch Video) 6/9/2008 (MSRP: $1.00; Age: 5 and Up)


Chinese Yo-Yo by TOYSMITH

Chinese Yo-Yo by TOYSMITHThis yo-yo features a roll of paper with a printed design on a 7” handle. The paper extends when the yo-yo is forced outward by a simple wrist motion.
— “Funny enough, Chinese yo-yos,” Alicia Smith, owner of Juneau's Imagination Station in Juneau, Alaska, told TDmonthly when asked to name the best-selling novelty item in her store. “I don't know why, but all of the sudden everybody loves them. [I] probably sell a couple dozen in a month.”
— “Chinese yo-yos … do really well,” Mary Sisson, owner of Kazoodles in Vancouver, Wash., told TDmonthly in May 2008. “They're on backorder right now.”
— Nathan McKelvey, manager of Toy Castle, LLC in Jonesboro, Ar., told TDmonthly in a September 2011 survey that they sell about 100 of this item each month. 6/9/2008 (MSRP: $4.95; Age: 3 and Up)


Flingshot Flying Monkey by PLAYMAKER TOYS

Flingshot Flying Monkey by PLAYMAKER TOYSThis monkey works like a slingshot and offers hours of screaming fun (he’s designed to scream on impact). The toy is 11” tall with an arm-span of 13”. With a bit of arm power, he can fly up to 30 feet – the farther one pulls him back, the farther he will fly. “The novelty of a monkey flying through the air and screaming, catapulted by the stretchy arms, brings smiles to children and adults alike,” said Ernie Wong, president of Playmaker Toys. “It requires interaction from those who play with it. You just don't watch it do stuff, you're an active part of what makes it such an entertaining product."
— “[We sell] three per day, 75 to 80 in a month” of the flying monkeys by Westminster International, Teresa Ford, owner of Kids’ Ketch in Lewes, Del., told TDmonthly in May 2008.
— “[We sell] at least 20 per month,” Owner Mary Sisson of Kazoodles in Vancouver, Wash., told TDmonthly in May 2008. She buys the store’s best-selling monkeys from Westminster and California Creations. “We sold something like 97 in a week before Christmas — mostly to adults for their offices,” Sisson said in early ‘08.
— The Flingshot Flying Monkey was a surprise hit, and thus earned a TDmonthly Top Seller 2007 award. (Watch the Flingshot Flying Monkey Video Watch Video) 10/23/2006 (MSRP: $4.99)


Curious George Jack in the Box by SCHYLLING

Curious George Jack in the Box by SCHYLLINGWind the crank and a plush Curious George pops out of the 5” tin box. The song “Pop Goes the Weasel” plays as the crank is activated. This item is intended for children over the age of 18 months. Launch date: December 2000.
— “I sell quite a bit of [Schylling’s] Jack-in-the-boxes,” Jeanne McCullough, owner of Children's Store Inc. in Boise, Idaho, told TDmonthly, when asked to name her store’s best-selling novelties.
— Three retailers singled out Schylling products as best sellers in the novelty category.
— Over a dozen other jack-in-the-box varieties are available in the Schylling line. 5/19/2008 (MSRP: $19.99; Age: 1 and Up)


Webkinz Chicken by GANZ

Webkinz Chicken by GANZThis feathery friend comes with a hangtag that grants its owner access to Webkinz World online, where it even has a special egg chair.
— “Enough said” was Jamie Burdette’s comment when he listed Webkinz as a continued best-seller in his store, LB Toys in Media, Pa., in April 2008.
— Nine of 66 retailers named Webkinz as their best-selling toy in May 2008. Donna Stone, owner of The Perfect Present in Suwanee, Ga., displays the plush in a glass case right inside the door and, on average, sells 790 Webkinz per month.
— In spring 2008, two of 55 retailers singled out Webkinz as their best-selling novelty toy. 4/22/2008


The Self-Inflating Whoopee Cushion by WESTMINSTER INTERNATIONAL CO.

The Self-Inflating Whoopee Cushion by WESTMINSTER INTERNATIONAL CO.This whoopee cushion self-inflates and comes in a “Try Me!” package. It is available in yellow, orange or pink.
— “The whoopie cushion — that's your perennial novelty item,” Tye Steinbach of Thinker Toys in Portland, Ore., told TDmonthly in May 2008.
—  According to Thea Brown, buyer and general manager at World of Mirth LLC in Richmond, Va., whoopee cushions are best-sellers, running out the door at a rate of “10 per month.”
— In May 2008, three of 55 retailers surveyed by TDmonthly singled out prank products as best-sellers in the novelty category. 6/9/2008








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