Retailers Recommend Fabulous Products
Retailers Recommend 10 Fabulous ProductsNovember/December 2005
by Diedre Byrne
From Frances Finfrock at Aunt Franny’s Toys in
“A product that seems to work really well for us is the Oball, made by Rhino Toys. It is a flexible ball with big circle finger holes that make it easy to grab. Oballs are available in a variety of colors and are now offered with sparkles (the Jelly Oball). We find that infants and older children enjoy playing with the toy. Customers have come back to my store to tell me how much their child loves to throw and catch with the Oball. It is a solid, consistent seller for me.
“The ZX5500 Race Set by Spinner Toys is a cheap thrill. It’s a brightly colored pull-back racecar set that is full of loops and curves. I have a display in my store, and it is in constant use by kids of all ages. It’s appealing to parents because of the reasonable price and good quality. I always get requests for the racecar set and consider it a solid seller.
“Gearations from TOMY Toys is a popular item among my customers. It’s a battery-operated magnetic gear set that a child can make into different configurations using a fast or slow speed (they control the speed button). It’s a great toy for children with autism who seem to like the hands-on nature of working the gears on the magnetic board. The refrigerator magnet set is fun for kids under 10 because it is easy to travel with. A cookie sheet can be used to place the refrigerator set on for an easy and fun travel activity.”
From Rose Wiegand of Once Upon a Time in
Rocky River, Ohio
“I really like Chicken Socks by Klutz, a series of wire-bound activity books for ages 4 and up. It comes in a variety of subjects; my favorite title is How to Tell Time. It includes a watch and guidebook that helps children learn about time telling. It uses words and phrases they will understand. The best aspect of Chicken Socks is that they are among just a few, fun learning products geared towards that age group. We sell a lot because they are a great learning tool.
“Another favorite is First Friends from Tolo, for infants and toddlers. First Friends are little plastic people. They are the right size for little hands and when you move the toy’s movable appendages, they make an entertaining clicking noise. There are a variety of human and animal characters to choose from. They are brightly colored and the texture is smooth. We have seen kids play with them in our stores with big smiles on their faces. Parents keep coming back for more.
“PLAYMOBIL, of course, makes a multitude of wonderful products. A big hit is the Fairy Tale Castle that comes complete with people and horses. The detail of the castle, seen both inside and out, shows the quality of the toy. A child can easily mix and match PLAYMOBIL sets together.”
From Susan Jones of London Bridge Toy Shoppe in
“A favorite of mine is the Building Cards – Castles set by Klutz that is marketed toward boys. The set comes with colored pieces of chipboard, and a guidebook with specific instructions. The notches on the board make it easy and fun to assemble the castle. I enjoy how kid-friendly it is, and they sell out without fail.
“A great learning tool and fun activity is Rush Hour by Think Fun for children ages 8 and up. It’s a traffic jam activity with 40 different puzzle cards and vehicles the players manipulate. The goal is to get the red car out of the traffic jam by only moving the other cars. It is appealing to parents because their children learn to problem solve and think their way out. Kids enjoy the bright colors and the challenge. There is also a junior Rush Hour for kids 6 to 8 who may find the other version to be too difficult. We continue to hear great things about this product.”
From Shawn McClelland of Inside the Jelly Jar in Erie, Pennsylvania
“Hexabits puzzles by the company of the same name are very popular. They are colorful, flexible, plastic puzzles that come in a variety of shapes and sizes. You can download designs for the puzzle tops or you can use a design from the Hexabits kit. It is not a typical puzzle because there are different shapes, depending on the image on the puzzle. My favorite is the 3D Critters butterfly, which makes a great birthday party favor.
“Scratch Magic products from Scratch Art appeal to both boys and girls. They allow for the incorporation of art into everyday items like notepads, stickers and even photo frames. The notepads are a consistent best seller for my store, especially during the back-to-school season.”