by Rebecca Carlson
Elisabeth Dahl from The Calico Toy Shoppe on Bainbridge Island, Washington
“Coming soon to our shelves is Unstable Unicorns (1), a brand new card game that is fun for children and adults. It is a strategic game that focuses on building an army of seven different unicorns without being sabotaged by the other players.
“Bracelet Charms (2) by Charm it! are really popular right now – parents have been buying them as Easter basket stuffers. There are more than 100 different designs. The charms easily clip onto chain-link bracelets.
“Lazy Cat Squishies (3) by bcmini are the cutest. They’re small and simple but have grabbed the attention of every customer in our store. The cats can be squeezed and used as a stress reliever or for simple imaginative play.
“The ZoomKit (4) by Kids Go Co, a local company here, makes it easier to travel with children. It’s a portable table that includes storage space to keep small toys from getting lost.
“Sensory Rollers (5) by Fat Brain Toys have been a hit with our youngest customers. The balls are made of brightly colored silicone. Each ball is imprinted with a different texture and has a chime hidden inside.
“Good Luck Minis (6) by Safari always sell well for us. The figurines are inexpensive and come in a variety of different animals that can be collected or played with.
“The Nee Doh ball (7) by Schylling is another small stress reliever. It can be squished, thrown, or pulled on. The whole ‘fidget toy’ trend hasn’t quite died down here, so these balls have been selling really well.”
Ann Kienzle from *Play in Chicago
“A bestseller right now is Mudpuppy’s Little Feminist Board Book Set (8). The pages of the four mini books (Pioneers, Artists, Leaders, and Activists) feature brightly colored portraits of real women who have had an impact on the world.
“Da Bomb Bath Fizzers (9) have been a huge hit in our store. Each bath bomb has a small surprise inside that varies with each theme: Quote Bomb, Bling Bomb, Party Bomb and more. The company was started by two sisters when they were just 10 and 11 years old, and has continued growing ever since.
“We just brought in Original Unicorn Horns (10) by Brooklyn Owl. They’re felt horns that are sewn on a headband for easy-to-wear imaginative play. Plus, they come in four different sizes and a variety of different colors so that all ages can enjoy them.
“Vintage lip balms (11) by TINte Cosmetics have us feeling nostalgic. Each balm comes in a small slider tin. It comes in flavors like vanilla, bubble gum, grape, tropical punch, and more.”
Christine Osborne from Wonder Works Toys in Charleston, South Carolina
“The Swurfer Kick (12) from Flybar was engineered to provide more power, stability and range of motion. You control the level of fun: you can slowly sway from side to side or use your legs to power higher and carve through the air. Made from durable plastic, it is for the smallest riders but can accommodate people up to 150 pounds.
“The pieces of construction toy BIG (13) from Plus-Plus USA are all one simple shape, but the building possibilities are endless. The new size is perfect for small hands.
“Goblies (14) from Darice are throwable paintballs filled with non-sticky, washable, and biodegradable goo. Like water balloons, they’re painless, and they’re made from plant-based ingredients that won’t hurt your lawn.
“Happy the Hedgehog (15) is the first of Faber-Castell’s Sequin Pets line. The weighted plush hedgehog features fur on his front but his back is flippable sequin material that’s fun to pet.
“ITZI (16) from Carma Games is brand new from the creators of TENZI! Players match cards in a burst of quick thinking, card-slapping hilarity.”