A key differentiator at Learning Express Toys is the ability to demonstrate products. Playing with the toys in-store not only provides enjoyment, but also gives the customer a true understanding of the toy’s value.
The Top Toys program was implemented to recognize those items that are easily demonstrated. For each of the five catalogs Learning Express Toys produces annually, Top Toys are selected by our store owners and our buyers. “We believe in the importance of having an opportunity to experience a toy before buying it,” says Rob Kracinovich, Senior Buyer. “For example, it’s difficult to understand how some games are played without taking them out of the package and trying them!”
Mess-Free Glitter is a favorite to show in-store and something that very much needs to be demonstrated in-store! When parents saw how easy, fun, and CLEAN this craft is, they realized it was different from any glitter craft they had used in the past.
Lake Zurich store owner Rick Derr is convinced that demos are powerful. “We have dedicated Demo Dudes and Demo Divas who focus on showing our customers the unique features of the products.” The Top Toy program was created to help our owners focus on several toys per catalog that need to be opened in-store for best results. Rick, however, doesn’t limit his staff to showcasing only Top Toys. “It is absolutely imperative that we distinguish ourselves from online retailers with services and in-store ‘fun’—like demos and classes—that an online retailer just can’t do,” says Rick. “Kids want to visit us—I don’t hear them saying, ‘I want to demo and play with a physical toy on my computer.’ They want to be in the store!”
The May/June catalog features Top Toys ranging from Smakaball to Tiki Toss to the Bellz Game, to Summer Bridge Activities Workbooks. “Some toys seem to be purely fun,” says Lisa Visco, VP Merchandising. “But, all of our toys offer some educational element. For example, coordination and dexterity are gained through many of our outdoor products.”
In addition to the in-store demos, online blog reviews, and catalog advertising, our Top Toys are featured weekly in our Win it Wednesday contests on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. Recently, the cool, Ultra Glow Soccer Disk attracted the attention of more than 700 contestants who wanted a chance to own this lighted disk that glides on a cushion of air.
The next time you are shopping your local Learning Express Toys, be sure to look for the Top Toy sign and ask for a demo!