There are toys, and there are toys. For retailers, they’re the ones that fly out the door, 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 contenders – nearly 70 – were “nominated” by the retailers we telephoned at random last year for edplay’s regular “Retailers Recommend” column. Using descriptions like, “I’ve sold a ton of these,” “It’s on everyone’s must-have list right now,” and “Kids love it,” store owners and employees shared their favorites.
Doinkit Darts are most Fabulous
Winning the top award this year (based on the number of retailer “likes” on our Facebook page) is Doinkit Darts from Marky Sparky Toys. Launched in 2009, the magnetic dart board set won a spot on ASTRA’s Best Toys for Kids list that year, and became a bestseller during the holidays. Four years later, it’s still a favorite.
“A sample of the Doinkit Dart set is out in the store and people play with it a lot,” noted toy retailer Linda Lynden in Beaver, Pennsylvania, last year. “They love it. The darts stick so well to the board.”
The secret’s in their very strong, N-35 Neodymium rare earth magnets. “Combined with our space-age Doinkit material that’s light, durable and keeps the dart flying perfectly true, we feel we have the perfect dart,” says the company.
Other retailers agree, and point out the set’s great features, like the lightweight board, the satisfying “doink” sound the darts make as they hit it, and, yes, the trueness of their flight.
The set comes with the board and six darts; additional/replacement darts are available.
Spirograph is Fabulous 2
Retailer Nerice Kendter and her staff in Doylestown, Pennsylvania, were very excited last March when they heard that Kahootz Toys had re-launched the Original Spirograph. “It is the Spirograph that I played with as a child,” she explained. “What’s great, though, is that the holes in the disks are larger for use with colored pencils and markers.”
According to originalspiro
graph.com, the classic toy was first invented as a drafting tool by a mechanical engineer in England. He launched it as a toy in 1965 at the Nuremberg Toy Fair. In 1967 it was named Toy of the Year by the British
Association of Toy Realtors.
Kenner Inc. brought it across the pond, and it was eventually acquired by Hasbro, which still owns it today.
Kahootz has the license, and continues to develop Spirograph tools that create iconic rings and spirals in many sizes, and with different materials such as string. Currently, Spirograph-like designs are a hot decorating trend’ appearing on everything from cupcakes to ceiling medallions. If you don’t believe me, visit Pinterest.
In addition to second place in edplay’s 2014 Fabulous Awards, the Original
Spirograph appeared on ASTRA’s Best Toys for Kids list last year, and was a finalist for TIA’s 2014 TOTY Awards.
The Kahootz website says, “The distinctive wheels and rings of Spirograph cleverly combine the principles of art and mathematics in a way that has inspired and delighted generations.”
A tech toy wins Fabulous 3
“Boogie Board E-Writers from Improv Electronics blow out of the store,” said New Jersey toy retailer Margaret Spicer last May. “The premise is the same as the old-fashioned Magic Slate: kids write on the Boogie Board, and then press a button when they want to erase it and start over.”
She recommended the product because “the possibilities with this toy are endless. A mom can keep these lightweight LCD writing tablets in her purse, and take it to entertain the kids in the car, a restaurant or a grocery store.”
Introduced in 2010, the Boogie Board was the first paperless writing tablet to use pressure-sensitive Reflex LCD – flexible plastic that’s impact-
resistant, as opposed to glass – as its writing surface. Boogie Board tablets do not require power to generate or retain an image, but a small amount supplied by a watch battery is needed to erase it.
Best of all, the writing surface responds well to various amounts of
pressure to create different line thicknesses.
2014’s Fabulous Runners-Up
from Carma Games
Teaching Cash Register
from Learning Resources
Snap Circuit LIGHT
from Elenco Electronics
Djeco Craft Kits
from Hotaling Imports
from The Orb Factory