With additional reporting by Terri Hughes-Lazzell, Chris Lundy, Claudia Newcorn and Brenda Ruggiero
In June 2009, TDmonthly Magazine asked 47 retailers what are the most in-demand items for girls in their stores. Almost half said that craft kits are their go-to category for anyone shopping for a girl, with fashion-minded products from Alex-Panline and Creativity for Kids being especially popular. Here are the top-10 best selling gifts for girls.
Encouraging equal portions of creativity and pampering, Alex's Spiffy Spa kit contains ingredients for an opulent afternoon pedicure. Including three bottles of kid-friendly nail polish in assorted colors, two toe separators, a nail file and more than 100 nail stickers, young girls have plenty of options to match their toes to any summer fashion they might fancy. Also in the kit, a pair of super-soft slippers awaits accessorizing with 30 pre-cut felt shapes that slip over already-applied buttons. Spiffy Spa is available with two different sizes of slippers. The small is suitable for ages 6 to 8; the large is suitable for ages 8 to 10. ― “Right now, it's one called the Spiffy Spa, from Alex,” Steve Banducci, owner of Games Unlimited in Danville, Calif., told TDmonthly of his best-selling gift for girls in June 2009. ― “Spa kits by Alex do well,” said Donna Schwedler, manager of Treasured Child in La Grange, Ky., said in summer 2009. ― In June 2009, six of 47 retailers named Alex craft kits as a best seller for girls.
“My Very Own Horse Book” is the perfect item or gift for the horse lover. All the horse sense packed into the book can be applied to a hand-painted, collector-quality horse model that comes with it. Since no horse is complete without its tack, the materials and instructions needed for making a saddle, blanket and bridle are included. Every page features color photography and beautiful artwork. The book is written by Cornelia Thompson. "My Very Own Horse Book will teach readers everything they'd ever want to know about horses — from gaits and grooming to breeds and body language," said Samantha Wolfert, publicist for Klutz. — "They love horses, and the Klutz horse book is still popular," said Priscilla S. Moore, owner of Mr. Fub's Party "Toys and More" in Yellow Springs, Ohio, when predicting what girls ages 8 to 12 will prefer for the 2007 holiday season. Six of 54 retailers told TDmonthly that Klutz books will be hot with older girls for Christmas 2007. ― “Craft kits from Klutz are big for us,” said Dean Nelson, owner of Wizard Kids Toys in Toledo, Ohio, in June 2009. ― Pat Cooley, owner of Cooleykatz Toys in Livermore, Calif., named “My Very Own Horse” as a top seller for girls in her store, and 9 percent of 47 retailers said in summer 2009 that Klutz is a best-selling girls’ gift line.
A multi-dimensional play toy, this cuddly plush also has an online personality unlocked by its unique code — the passport to the Webkinz website. After purchasing the stuffed animal, a bright eyed Arctic fox with snow-white fur and a big bushy tail, kids can interact with their new friend online on a website specifically designed with their safety and interests in mind. Each animal comes with special items and favorite foods: the Arctic fox loves Winter Snow Crepes and exercises on its very own Frozen Tundra Treadmill. ― “Webkinz continues to do well,” said Robin Ellerman, owner of Trains-N-Toys in North Canton, Ohio., in summer 2009. ― “Webkinz, by Ganz. We sell a lot of those,” Jacque Flagg, owner of Jacque's Inc in Bryan, Texas, told TDmonthly in June 2009 when asked about best-selling girl gifts.
Snap CapsŪ All in the Family by m3 girl designs LLC
The All in the Family collection for Snap Caps®, interchangeable, magnetic bottle cap necklaces, features funky graphics and family member oriented messages. A strong magnet attaches the bottle cap to stretchy necklaces also available from m3 girl designs, making them easy to swap out and trade with siblings or friends, or simply match to the day's outfit. ― “Snap Caps have been very popular,” remarked Denise Van Patten, owner of Katherine's Cottage in Chico, Calif., during a June 2009 survey of best-selling gifts for girls. ― “They're good for a broad age range,” Mary Horne, owner of J. Christopher in Jonesboro, Ark., told TDmonthlyabout Snap Caps' popularity in her store in summer 2009.
In extreme miniature, these multi-colored erasers are made to look like delicious gourmet cakes decorated with thick frosting and fruit slices. Each cake has six separate slices and comes in a round case. Four differently colored varieties are available. ― “The Iwako erasers seem to be a hot one,” said Pat Selby, owner of Calico Cat in West Bainbridge Island, Wash., about her top-selling items for girls in summer 2009. ― Deran Muckjian, owner of Catch a Falling Star, told TDmonthly in June 2009 that both locations of Catch of Falling Star sell 1,000 Iwako erasers per month.
With the supplies included in the Sticky Mosaics Mermaids set from Orb Factory, kids can create four magical underwater scenes exploring the adventures of mermaids. Creative and accessible with more than 2,600 adhesive foam and glittering jewel pieces, four sparkling designs will come to life as children make their own tile-like mosaics. ― “Orb's Sticky Mosaics continue to sell well, even in slow months,” Joe Berardoni, owner of Pun's Toy Shop in Bryn Mawr, Pa., told TDmonthly during a June 2009 survey of best-selling gifts for girls. ― Three of 47 retailers said Sticky Mosaics are a best-selling item for girls, reporting sales of between 50 and 100 pieces per month.
Princess Elise Magnetic Dress-Up Set by MELISSA & DOUG
Complete with a royal array of magnetic outfits, the Princess Elise Dress-Up Set offers a variety of activities and an even greater variety of ways to combine them. Girls can mix and match the colors and styles of the painted magnetic clothes that come with the princess figure, pretend to design fashions, tell stories about Princess Elise's adventures, and more. The set includes the dress-up doll figure, a wooden stand, and magnetic outfits and accessories. ― Sandy Haynes, owner of Lollipop Toys in Dawsonville, Ga., sells 10 to 12 units per month of Melissa and Doug's Magnetic Dress-Up dolls. In June 2009, she told TDmonthly, “They remind grandparents of cloth dolls.”
Painted on all four sides and the top with vibrant images of kimono-clad Asian royalty, this edition in Enchantmints' Princesses of the World series is sized for cards, stationery and other treasures. The mirrored top opens to start a miniature figurine turning gracefully inside and triggers the included music box. Drawers in the front and either side slide out to accommodate pens, pencils, jewelry and other precious things. ― “We have been selling a lot of jewelry boxes lately, specifically from Enchantmints,” said Kim Emigh, vice president of e-commerce at Growing Tree Toys in State College, Pa., when asked about her best-selling gift for girls in June 2009.
Decked out with designs of pets, fruits, stars and flowers, this bag, measuring 14” W x 11” W x 4” D, allows kids to custom-color to their heart’s content. It is large enough to carry school books and binders, and comes with six permanent markers in a pouch. This product was named one of Dr. Toy’s 10 Best Creative Products and 100 Best Children’s Products. — “The Color-a-Messenger Bag from Alex is a good one for us,” said Emily Bieritz, manager of My Favorite Toy Store in Downers Grove, Ill., of the strongest-selling items for girls in her store in summer 2009. — In late 2007, 40 percent of retailers singled out Alex-Panline USA Inc. as their best-selling arts-and-crafts manufacturer. Two of 47 retailers told TDmonthly in June 2009 that the Color-a-Messenger Bag is a best-selling gift item for girls. — Ken, working manager at Toys Unique in Dallas, Texas, told TDmonthly previously that his store does well with Alex’s Color-a-Messenger Bag, selling just under 50 per month. Explorations Inc. Owner Chuck Harper in Granger, Ind., had named this item as his store’s best-seller.
Designed By You Formal Fashions by CREATIVITY FOR KIDS
Starting with the base of three different couture style dresses in shiny satin, young designers can decorate, accessorize, and embellish to their heart's content. Included rhinestones, ribbon, flowers, lace, glitter and trims offer plenty of possibilities for kids to get creative and bring their fashion designs to life. The gowns are sized to fit most 9” to 12” dolls. ― “We sell a lot of craft kits for girls, especially the fashion kits from Creativity for Kids,” said Janet Gregory, owner of Over the Rainbow Toy Store in Anchorage, Alaska, in June 2009. “Those are usually a sure-fire sell when people come in shopping for little girls.”
Writer's Bio: Marie Raven has a long history with the specialty toy industry as a family business. In addition to freelancing for TDmonthly Magazine, she writes creative and technical material for various other businesses. Read more articles by this author