Observations of a toy veteran

Politics and toys. Never the twain, eh? Well, that all might be about to change if former Hasbro CEO Alan Hassenfeld makes a run for US Senate in his home state of Rhode Island in 2012.
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Not that he will be putting toys at the top of his legislative agenda. Hassenfeld said he’s been talking with those close to him and wants to consider how he can best help the state. Recently, he gave $10,000 to Rhode Island’s Moderate Party. Hassenfeld says he wishes the congressional delegation spent more time on the state’s problems.

Of course, Hassenfeld is no stranger to the politics of the toy industry, most famously when fighting off a mouth watering $53 a share, $5.3 billion bid for Hasbro from Mattel in 1996 when he had to deploy every trick in the book to wage a vigorous media campaign to stress the possible negative ramifications of the mega-merger.

If toys and politics are strange bedfellows, how about the increasing numbers of over 50s now using social networking sites?

Some 400,000 British adults aged over 50 are using social networking sites from their mobile phones and are three times more likely to access social media sites than younger adults, according to new research. Many brands are focusing on younger demographics, but marketers are being advised that it would be sensible to focus on more mature mobile social networkers as well.

As a group, mobile social networkers aged 50 plus have seen a 52 per cent increase in size in the last year, compared to a 48 per cent increase for mobile social networkers aged under 30.

Just look at all the visitors who were roaming the aisles at Toy Fair glued to their smart phones, a fair few of whom were silver surfers it’s fair to say. The Toy Fair app that was available included useful stuff for visitors, but I’d put money on the suspicion that that wasn’t all they were using them for.


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