Retailers Recommend Fabulous Products
Retailers Recommend 10 Fabulous ProductsNovember/December 2008
by Anya Harris
Lisette DeMars from Mrs. Tiggy-Winkle’s Toys in Tucson, Arizona
“The Dancing Eggs (1) game by HABA is awesome and very silly. We’ve played it with all ages – little kids to adults. It’s fast-paced and interactive. As a matter of fact, some of our employees have bought their own to take home and play with friends.
“There are also a couple of what we call ‘Tiggy staples’ here in the store I want to mention. For example, the Touchable Bubbles (2) from Play Visions – even though they’re out in the larger world beyond specialty toy – there’s just something incredible about being able to actually catch a bubble. We blow Touchable bubbles in the store all the time. Even though they’ve been out on the market for more than six years now, we get someone in the store daily who has never seen a bubble they can catch before. It always gets a ‘Wow! This is incredible!’ response.
“I also want to rave about a company called Amos. They have a product called Colorix (3). It’s almost like the people at Amos sat down and asked ‘What is wrong with crayons?’ and determined that ‘They break, they stain and they’re hard to color with.’ They have fixed all of the above problems. Colorix roll up and down like a lipstick tube, and even though they’re water based, they act like oil pastels. Plus, you can mix water with them, and they act like watercolors. You can hand this product to someone as young as 18 months, and he can create really wonderful and brilliant artwork. You can also give them to an older child with experience in a variety of media, and he can use it as a crayon, an oil pastel or a watercolor with vibrant, beautiful results. We keep an easel set up in the corner with Colorix on it at the store.
“Another item we love here is Rody (4) by Gymnic (distributed in the U.S. by Toy Marketing International). He’s a bouncing, rubber horse. The box says 3 and up because of a plug that could be a choking hazard, but he would be fine for younger children, provided someone’s watching them. I have a 5-and-a-half-year-old cousin who still bounces on hers.
“Rody holds up to 400 pounds and is just a great indoor/outdoor, fun, active toy. It’s a brightly colored Italian-made balloon in a really nice, high-quality rubber. Even children who aren’t yet walking can enjoy it, but older ones get on and bounce. We have Rody races here all the time. Adults and kids can race together, and it’s a riot. He’s a great toy and hugely successful. Most of my family members with kids have picked up Rodys.”
Patti Leo from Toys Galore and More in Kent, Connecticut
“All the kits from Scientific Explorer are doing very well for us right now, particularly the Grow Colossal Crystals (5). I’m sold out of that one at the moment.
“The Elenco Snap Circuits (6) are popular especially during the third and fourth quarters. I always make sure I have some in then. It’s a nice Christmas item. I think a lot of parents also buy them during the back-to-school season to get their kids interested in electric circuits.
“We recently got the Oball Rattles (7) from Rhino, and those have been selling well too. I think people like it because it’s a different take on a classic.
“The Tall Stacker Pegs and Pegboard set (8) by Lauri is doing really well for us. It always does. In fact, I need to reorder.
“In terms of outdoor toys, compound bows (9) from Monkey Business Sports are still strong sellers. The season for outdoor toys is coming to a close, but all summer long they sold phenomenally well.”
Angel Stahl from Angel’s Toy Barn in Greensburg, Pennsylvania
“We brought in a plush animal stuffing machine (10) from The Bear Mill a little over two years ago. We moved to a larger location with enough space to accommodate it. We call it Nic’s Animal Workshop after my son, who had so much fun at a Build-A-Bear that we just had to bring the concept into our own store. The closest Build-A-Bear is 40 or 50 miles away and they tell me they have no plans to open in Westmoreland Mall where we’re located. We’re the only store to bring in the concept in our region. The machine produces cows, skunks, teddy bears, tigers and lions, to name a few.”