Wham-O Partners with The Wish Factory to Create New Merchandise Lines

Wham-O and The Wish Factory Inc. have entered into a strategic sales and marketing agreement. Under the terms of the agreement, The Wish Factory will manage marketing and sales worldwide for Wham-O classic brands Super Ball, Hula Hoop, Track Ball, Hacky Sack, Aqua Sports, Arctic Force, and Continuous Air Water Slides.

In addition to re-launching many of the Wham-O iconic brands, Wham-O and The Wish Factory will present an expanded line next fall. The new product lines will include Wham-O Extreme Sports, which will be introduced to retail trade in January, and Wham-O Swim.

Wham-O manufactures classic brands such as Frisbee discs, Hacky Sack, Slip ’N Slide water slides, and Hula Hoop toy hoops as well as outdoor brands like Morey, Boogie body boards, Snow Boogie sleds, and BZ Pro Boards.

Reshoring Toys

By Howard N. Aronson, Managing Partner, Lackenbach Siegel LLP

Like the proverbial child who runs away from home only to return before nightfall, an American toymaker is bringing most of its manufacturing back to the U.S.—after more than a decade of outsourcing in Asia. The decision of K’NEX Brands, a family-owned maker of plastic building toys, to boost manufacturing at The Rodon Group, its Hatfield, Pa. plant, is only one example of a major trend. Persuasive factors leading to the ultimate decision included quality control, overall costs, timeliness of deliveries, and intellectual property issues. Many are following the lead of K’NEX and rediscovering that home sweet home is the best place to make and distribute products after all.

Manufacturing in the U.S. created many advantages for K’NEX:
• Greater ability to react to shifts in consumer demands for toys because it’s much quicker and easier to retool–thus creating additional sales;
• Delivery times are quicker–as are changes in delivery schedules, for example, to take advantage of unexpected increases in sales at some stores;
• There’s more control over quality–including avoiding toy safety product recalls;
• There’s more control over materials–again, especially important where safety is an issue, as it is with many toys;
• Overseas labor costs are increasing, whereas using robotics in its U.S. plant is boosting productivity–thus lowering per unit labor costs;
• Transportation costs are rising;
• Time zone differences make communication between manufacturers and suppliers difficult. [Read more...]

The Yo-Yo and Frisbee Collide in New ToyQuest Product

ToyQuest is releasing a unique yo-yo and Frisbee hybrid: the Banzai Yo-Be. The toy is a flying disk that players can sling like a Frisbee, which comes back to the player like a yo-yo. The sling disk, which features a tethered elastic cord, can be used for a combination of play and physical activity. The Yo-Be will be available nationwide in spring 2010, retailing for around $12.99.

The Toy Book’s Toy Report 01/13/10

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Catch up on last week’s news! Read The Toy Book Toy Report for 01/13/10.

To view click here.

WHAM-O to Bring Frisbee Production to U.S.

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Starting at the end of the month, WHAM-O will produce half of its Frisbees in the United States, which the company says is an effort to increase manufacturing jobs in the domestic market. The domestic production is part of a partnership with Manufacturing Marvel America, a division of the international Manufacturing Marvel Group, which specializes in plastic injection molding for toys and operates facilities in California and Michigan. Last August, WHAM-O began producing one of its PoolZone products in Michigan.