Observations from a toy industry survivor (February)

Christmas brought us a wave of good and bad news again and I will kick off this month with a tale of canny product development in the US.
Author:
Publish date:
Social count:
0
11_Jon Salisbury NEW.jpg

Squinkies are going to be one of the hottest toys this year in the US says Toys 'R' Us CEO, Jerry Storch.

Described as small eraser heads figures that “girls just love”, Squinkies are great as collectibles because you can get into the craze at virtually any price level. You can start with a small pack, buy houses and all kinds of things to play with your Squinkies to interact with each other. And there are hundreds of them.

This really is a toy phenomenon at its simplest, most base level, stripping out all need for the technology or character licensing endorsement that might add USPs but burden product development with considerable investment and cost that is inevitably reflected in the retail price.

Squinkies was born out of the developer, Blip Toys', correct call that the US consumer is under financial pressure like never before and is demanding affordability.

“Demand is tight,” says Laura Phillips, SVP for toys at Walmart. “Mom doesn’t feel bad. ‘I can get into it and my child can really enjoy it,’” she said. “That matters in this economy.”

Always looking to steal a lead on the competition, one retailer in the UK seems to have shot itself in the flipper. How many times have you been told that what toy retailers need is more in-store theatre? Well, it seems that you can take thing a bit too far as Hamleys discovered when it received a hail of abuse from animal welfare experts for treating animals like “living toys” after advertising an event as a Christmas treat for kids featuring live penguins.

Details of the event were quickly removed from its website. Hamleys was also planning a reindeer event.
What’s the old adage? Never work with animals and kids?

Related

Featured Jobs

Vivid Job Logo 620 x 349

Digital Marketing Executive - Toys & Games

Vivid is Britain’s biggest toy company and the 20 largest in the world. With offices across the globe, they sell an amazing portfolio of toys and games to over 60 countries. Vivid is best known for its association with blockbuster brands and is very excited about future opportunities around the world.

Liberty

UK Sales Agents

Liberty House Toys have been appointed as the exclusive UK distributor for the BiOBUDDi brand, and we are pleased to introduce this new unique, innovative and exciting range of 100% environmentally-friendly toy building blocks. We are seeking experienced sales agents with existing network in the toy retail market.

Gameplan Job Logo 620 x 349

Head of Product Development & Marketing

Our client is a privately owned French toy and games manufacturer which sells through distributors in forty countries. The company develops and sells innovative electronic interactive toys and games for the educational and gaming markets, and also takes suitable licenses. To progress its successful business development a Head of Product Development & Marketing is to to recruited.

HIT Entertainment Job Logo 620 x 349

Licensing Systems Administrator

The Contract System Coordinator is a newly created role to support the deal term entry process into Mattel’s new Contract Management System for its Licensing business. The role will support the Business Teams at the Deal & Amendment phase of the contracting process and act in conjunction with the System Administration team.