There are toys, and there are Fabulous toys. For retailers, they’re the ones that fly off the shelves, create buzz for the store and turn random shoppers into loyal, returning customers. Fabulous toys are not necessarily brand new, but they keep kids and adults coming back to see what other cool things they can buy from your store. That’s what edplay’s Fabulous Awards recognize. This year’s 60 contenders were “nominated” by the retailers we contacted at random last year for edplay’s regular “Retailers Recommend” column. Using descriptions like, “I’ve sold a ton of these,” “It’s a win-win all around,” and “Kids love it,” store owners and employees shared their favorites.
The Swurfer is most Fabulous
Winning the top award this year (based on the number of retailer “likes” on our Facebook page) is The Swurfer from The ROB Company. Our readers and Facebook friends sure know what they’re talking about – ASTRA also just named The Swurfer this year’s Best Toy for Kids in Active Play!
When a surfing dad, Rob, noticed his young kids trying to copy his moves from the beach, he created a curved piece of wood so they could practice their own Hang Ten from the shore. Wondering what else could be done with his invention – which he named The Natural Balance Board – Rob added holes, ropes and handles … and The Swurfer was born. It’s a twist on the traditional swing that’s fun for the entire family.
“We love our Swurfer, and so do all the kids in the neighborhood!” commented Sharon Payer, from Charleston, South Carolina, where The Swurfer was designed. Sold exclusively online and through specialty retailers, The Swurfer has quickly spread from its home base to backyards everywhere. “We had one sent to us in Australia!” commented Karen Steele, one of our retailers from Down Under. “Kids love it and friends want me to start selling them here!”
The simple design is great for stretching, balance, relaxation and fun, Rob says. Each Swurfer is built by hand, from rock maple to guarantee stability. It’s easy to assemble and attaches to any sturdy tree. Durable, UV- and mold-resistant roping is included for easy mounting.
Skippity is Fabulous 2
Skippity from Mindware brings bright colors – and a bit of cool – to the classic game of checkers. Retailer Dwight Byers and his staff in Washington say the game is a guaranteed hit. “It’s a bestseller, year-round. It looks like a checker board, but it’s 10 squares by 10 squares in five colors.”
Like checkers, the goal is to jump over chips to collect a set of matching colors. But forget the black and red pieces of the old classic, these come in a rainbow of five colors. The winner is the player with the most sets. It’s great for developing problem-solving skills and strategic thinking.
Apparently we’re not the only ones who noticed that Skippity is pretty Fabulous – it’s also won the Major Fun Award and Parents’ Choice Silver Award. It’s simple enough for a 5 year old, but older kids (and parents) enjoy the strategy involved. Perfect for family game night!
Mirari’s myPhone wins Fabulous 3
If there’s one thing that all kids want to play with, it’s mom or dad’s cell phone. The myPhone is a solution to sticky fingers all over your soon-to-be cracked screen. It’s designed to look just like a real smartphone, with touch icons that activate songs, sounds and lights. With the ABCs, 123s, bell noises, camera snaps and favorite kid songs, it’s a great toy for early learning and sensory development.
“The myPhone from Mirari is a constant seller,” said New Jersey retailer Winnie Vatola in October. “Customers love that they can record their voice on it, and the phone will ring so the child can hear the message. It’s a popular purchase for baby showers.” The myPhone includes a separate remote ringer that parents can use to “call” their child from the other room and then watch as they listen to a familiar voice. Batteries required for the remote and phone are included.
Deyna Vesey from Michigan visited our Facebook page for the Fabulous contest, and voted with a “like” for the myPhone. But her comment said it all, “Actually, it’s LOVE not like!”