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Stuffed Giant Toys and The Teddy Bear Industry in The US

In the world of soft toys, there is so much to choose from that it can make deciding on which one to pick, a daunting task. That problem should be easily solved when you look to stuffed giant toys as your choice. With these larger than life animals, stuffed giant toys make the pleasure of owning them all the more enjoyable.

The United States was booming in the early 1920s; new businesses popped up every day in a place where both enterprise and innovation were strongly encouraged. Loads of immigrants came to what was deemed the Land of Opportunity. In October 1929, all of this came tumbling down when Wall Street crashed after millions of dollars were wiped off the stock market. Businesses and banks failed and what followed was the Great Depression in which 13.7 million people were unemployed.

Many of the U.S. soft toy manufacturers didn’t survive this period and while they were able to benefit from the embargo on imported German toys that was in place during World War I, the market practically dried up given buying teddy bears and other luxury items were considered a waste of money. Lots of toymakers went out of business, novelty lines of teddy’s disappeared, and cheaper, poor-quality bears became favored by buyers and manufacturers. In 1933, things began to turn around when following the new reforms (called the New Deal) put in place by President Franklin D. Roosevelt, new companies and new designs emerged.

In 1923, Benjamin Mitchom joined his father’s company in New York – the Ideal Novelty Co. In 1928, when his father died, Benjamin took over the company and turned it into one of the world’s leading toy manufacturers. During the 1920s and 1930s, Ideal teddy bears didn’t change very much; during the years of war, the bears were a little thinner as materials were at a premium at that time. A range of small jointed bears were produced in the 1940s which were stuffed with kapok (a soft natural fiber). They had noses that were molded out of resin and actually foreshadowed the machine washable bears that were to come in the 1950s.

Knicherbockers was another U.S. company that was in competition on toy shelves with Ideal. The Knickerbocker Toy Co. was founded in 1850 in Albany, New York State and produced educational toys like wooden alphabet blocks. In the 1920s, they turned to making soft toys. Some of their early bears had triangular-shaped heads that had large, round ears, and flat muzzles. Their bodies were usually thinner than those of European teddy’s that were being made during the same time and there were no humps on their backs.

The Commonwealth Toy & Novelty Co. (which is still in operation today), did everything they could think of so they could outlast the Depression. Established in 1934 by a Mr. Greenfield, it focused on the novelty bear market. In 1937, it launched the ‘Feed Me Bear’ line which was one of their most successful. While not the best looking teddy, children fell in love with him because they could put things in his mouth. When they pulled a string at the back of his head, his mouth would open; food could be fed into his mouth and removed at an opening at the back. This line of bears was used to promote animal crackers by The National Biscuit Co. and they were often put on display in grocery stores all over the United States.

Since teddy bears are as much loved today as when they were first created in Germany in 1902, it seems conceivable that when choosing stuffed giant toys, going for teddy’s would be a wise decision. While there are lots of other types of stuffed giant toys from which to choose, they don’t always seem to conjure up the same things a teddy does: companions that can share in every disaster and every triumph, comfort when times are tough, and finally, share in every great or small adventure.

┬ęCopyright Shelley Vassall, 2010.

The Origins Of The Most Popular Vending Machine Toys And Toy Capsules

The addition of vending machine toys and toy capsules can be beneficial to any candy, gumball, or other vending machine business. Toys such as pencil toppers, animals, charms, football helmets, rings, excite the girls and boys alike, they inspire their imaginations, and the kids are drawn to the vending machines that feature the popular toys. Kids love to touch the toys and figurines that they have only been able to see on TV, and in the movies. Sometimes, the toys can be worn and the kids love to show off and be special and different from the other kids in school and at the social events. So what are the origins of the most popular vending capsules? These are the top three vending toys: The Toy Entrepreneurs, the Hollywood Storytellers, and the Japanese Inventors. Let’s see the examples of vending toys coming out of these three sources.

The Toy Entrepreneurs: Silly Bands

Take the US company out of Ohio, Brainchild Products. They just recently invented the Silly Bandz brand of shaped silicone bracelets. What they have seen in just months after launching, is an incredible demand for such bracelets across the nation. The kids love them. They collect them, trade them, envy them. Then, the parents are not far behind. Under pressure from the kids, they will do anything to get their kids hands on Silly Bandz. The huge demand quickly sprouted a number of copycats such as Funky-Bandz, Zanybandz, Logo Bandz, Doodle Bandz, Rubba Bandz, Goofy Bands, Bama Bandz, and Stretchy Fun Bands. There is just no end to what shapes the silicone wrist bands can come in. Parents gave up on the names and refer to all shaped silicone bands simply as “silly bands”.

The Hollywood Storytellers

Every time a script makes it to the movie, the main characters are made into celebrities. They appear everywhere, on billboards, on TV, in movie theaters, bookstores, they come with your happy meal, and last but not least they will appear as toys in toy vending machines. Due to the incredible marketing machine behind each Hollywood movie, the recognition factor for Hollywood movie based figurines and toys is tremendous. Kids will instantly recognize the toys or toy capsules and will be drawn to them.

The Japanese Inventors: Squishies Pencil Toppers

The latest toy capsules vending craze coming out of Japan is small but innovative in a typical Japanese style. They are called Squishies Pencil Toppers and they are little silicone toys that can be attached on top of kids pencils to liven them up. Squishies come as squishy animals, squishy humans, squishy bugs and spiders, squishy frogs and squishy fish. Some come as light up squishies and they light up when squeezed!

Wholesale Toys – Top 4 Reasons to Wholesale Toys!

Inside every individual is a child. This is undeniable. We see people of all ages enjoy toys whatever form it is. My dad for one enjoys his car very much because he considers it his favorite toy. In my case I enjoy my laptop as much as I enjoyed my doll. I am pretty certain that given enough money, parents will buy their children all the toss that their hearts desire. The best thing about toys is that the possibilities are endless in toy design. Moreover, old toys that are well maintained still possess considerable value. This is the main reason that makes wholesale toys a very lucrative endeavor.

Why then should you go sell toys online? Here are the top 4 reasons from my experience why wholesaling toys is profitable.

1. Demand is stable.

Every child is given the best form of leisure by their parents. Thus, the best toys are bought for kids by their parents. It is also a fact that the population of the world is considered young and that in the coming decades more kids will populate the world. This translates then to the demand for toys going into a stable curve. All kids will want their own toys in one form or another. You should take advantage of this. Nothing is more profitable than selling a product that has stable demand.

2. Branding is not a necessity.

In selling toys whether online or in stall, the toy brand is not the main enticement for customers. In my experience, I look more in the safety feature of the toy than the brand it carries. In fact, I advise that you sell toys that carry brands that are not the most popular. This helps you offer the toys with a lower price tag. Moreover, branded toys that are not that popular still carry the same safety features that more popular brands carry.

3. Drop Shippers are easy to find.

Unlike other wholesale items, it is easier to find drop ship suppliers for wholesale toys. However, caution should still be done because some suppliers carry counterfeit toys. Remember your real customer is not the adults who buy your product but the children who will play with your toy products. Safety is your primary concern with the kids market. It is your responsibility then to make sure that the drop shipper you partner with is reliable and offers safe toys.

4. Business is easy to maintain.

When you sell toys online or in stalls, maintaining the business is relatively easier. Even if the toy industry has a fast turn around of designs, old designs are still easy to sell because there is no such thing as old-fashioned designs in toys safe for toys that rely on technology. Mechanical and educational toys not requiring batteries or computer software never gets stocked in your shelves. In fact, if you have toys that are stocked and you sell them at a low price expect that people will come running to you.
Now that you have an idea on how profitable the wholesale toy industry is, it is my hope you grab the opportunity.