The Biz: The Grapevine

In a world of toys where everything makes noise and requires every type of battery, there’s something refreshing about going old school. Goodwood Deconstruction Blocks are designed by Aroundsquare for creative play for play’s sake. Aroundsquare sees play as a range of activities from manual to mental, from tangible to imaginary, from closed to open, from individual to group, from competitive to cooperative, and from silent all the way to rowdy. In short, there is no right or wrong way to play with Goodwood Deconstruction Blocks, making them the right choice for families, and for your store.

What do you get when you mix a clean sidewalk, kids and lots of colored chalk? Fun, creativity, and giggles galore are all good answers. Kids can express their inner Picasso on their driveways, sidewalks and more with sidewalk chalk, but one mom on a mission found a way to add even more fun. When Mel Carota’s daughter was 18 months old, she fell in love with chalk. Mel wanted to give her more than just chalk sticks to create with, so this innovative parent figured out how to make chalk in different shapes and colors. You won’t find boring chalk sticks in Mel’s Etsy shop; the fun shapes are all handmade with attention to detail.

The middle school and high school years are busy, exciting, and stressful. Children are beginning to come into their own; they develop their own personal styles and become increasingly individualistic. Even if you don’t usually stock craft projects in your store, you will want to consider the power of Book Blingz. Many schools require students to cover their textbooks to help preserve the integrity of the book and cut costs (clean, covered books last longer and save tax dollars). Book Blingz provides everything a tween or teen needs to construct a personalized book cover in a variety of styles and colors.

Bibi & Mimi
Satsuma Designs

Many of today’s children don’t spend much time in creative engagement or reading. They do spend a lot of time in front of the TV or playing video games. These activities are, unfortunately, displacing the more active and creative pursuits of yesteryear. While there is no turning back the clock on technology, retailers can give families a way to help develop their kids’ talents that don’t involve any screen time: the board game. With children, though, not just any game will do. That’s where Funnybone Toys really shines.

Every child is unique and wants to proclaim his or her individuality. With Groovy Signs, available in over one thousand looks as well as custom designs, retailers have a great way to invite shoppers to let each personality blossom. The 6” x 22” aluminum sign is the basic, but custom banners, water bottle labels, personalized decals, locker signs and dry erase boards are also available. Tween girls adore signs with quotes like “Camo Girl”, “Georgia Cutie” and “Miss Priss”. Feather boas in a range of colors including hot pink, kelly green, turquoise, yellow and purple come with each sign for added pow.

Sometimes a loved one is far away and a simple picture just isn’t reminder enough. Or maybe you just need to offer a more personalized gift for special occasions. Sure, there are standard recordable cards and books on the market that allow them to hear a familiar voice, but with no context. Now people can let the frame tell the story all on its own. Pictures truly are worth 1,000 words (assuming you can say that many in 10 seconds) with Chatterbox, a recordable picture frame that allows customers to record messages that can last forever, even when the picture changes.

All Baby & Child, Inc. (ABC Kids Expo)

What does the airline industry have to do with fashion and medicine? All three fields utilize silicone. Silicone itself is heat-resistant and safe enough to be used in the human body. Its versatility extends far beyond medicine, though. Silicone, which aids in lightweight airplane design, also gives wings to fashion accessories that are comfortable yet durable. Riding the currents of easy-to-wear fashion is Rubbs. A Florida-based company, Rubbs focuses on providing fashionable silicone rubber accessories.

Little girls enjoy hours of pleasure pushing a doll in a baby carriage on the sidewalk, in the park and at home. Playing Mommy comes naturally to lots of young misses who dress up their dolls or favorite stuffed animals and proudly show them off. There is no better way to do this than with an heirloom-quality wicker doll carriage or a play pram with all the right accessories. Give your customers a taste of best-in-class with a classic carriage or cradle from Regal Doll Carriages.

Imagined monsters lurking under a child’s bed is an age-old fright. Some parents have used “monster spray” to rid the room of beasts, or tried to calm the child with other methods. What if you could offer your customers friendly monsters who could help their little ones rest easy? Monster Factory, a character toy brand based in Canada, creates soft plush monster friends. The Monster Factory motto: “Monsters are just like you and me.” Founded by Adam Dunn, Rhya Tamasauskas and Bliss Man, the Monster Factory began as a collaborative art project that saw the creation of the original six monster characters, known as the Heartbreakers.