As part of The Genius of Play campaign, the Toy Industry Association (TIA) has kicked off an industry-wide social media initiative to open a dialogue with parents and raise awareness about the developmental benefits of play. TIA suggests that the social media posts range from encouraging kids and parents to engage in imaginative play, such as arts and crafts and dress up, to asking parents to share how toys and play helped their children reach important developmental milestones.
Last year, Bunch O Balloons raised close to $1 million, thanks to a highly successful Kickstarter campaign. Now the product, already launched by Zuru Toys, will make its promotional debut with a guerrilla and experiential marketing campaign this spring. In addition, Bunch O Balloons is expected to receive widespread support across retailers in anticipation of summer.
Mattel: We engage with consumers across all brand and corporate social media platforms, including Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube, as well as retailer sites, like Wal-Mart and Kohl’s. At Mattel, we have a fully functioning reporting and engineering team dedicated to understanding what the consumer is saying and turning that data into actionable improvements for both our manufacturing and design process.
Tony Norman (TN): We have three commercial-grade 3-D printers at Hexbug headquarters that run pretty much continuously. Design is iterative, and our 3-D printers enable us to engage in rapid prototyping. This rapid prototyping allows us to get real working samples out to focus groups quickly and frequently, so as to gather feedback and make the necessary changes prior to starting production. This highly accelerated production process significantly reduces our time to market and sets us apart from other toy companies.
Outfit7 Limited has signed a licensing agreement for its Talking Tom and Friends franchise with Toyze, an app store for 3-D-printed customizable game characters. Users will be able to customize Talking Tom and Friends characters into 3-D models, share their creations on social channels, and bring them to life as 3-D-printed toys.
Toyze offers two options to model and produce toys. First is the free app for 3-D customization: The company’s intuitive, in-app 3-D editor allows users to personalize characters in 3-D view, add accessories and attributes, play with poses and sizes, and build their collections. Once completed, users can share their creation via Facebook, Instagram, and email with friends and family.
Users will also be able to [Read more...]
Got plans this weekend? This past April 1, it appeared that toddlers had taken over Boon’s social media pages, and while that turned out to be an April Fool’s joke, many of the random photos posted by Boon are part of a larger social media game. Indeed, photos found at Boon’s Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest pages contain “clues” about specialty retailers in the Boston, Chicago, San Francisco, and Los Angeles areas.
Details on how to decipher these clues have been posted in videos on Boon’s blog. Through Sunday, any fans in those cities who figure out the clues—and subsequently check-in at the specialty retailer in their city on Foursquare—will receive a discount code for 20 percent off Boon products.
Mattel has released BOOMco, a new line of blasters available in select markets, including the UK, France, and Benelux. International market rollouts will continue over the next few months, with a North America debut in July timed for summer.
For BOOMco, Mattel is introducing the Smart Stick system, a dart and target system to go with amped-up blasters. With Smart Stick, darts can only bond to Smart Stick surfaces, and integrated blaster shields—which can retract or be removed—deflect or collect opponents’ darts. Targets in the Smart Stick system feature loud graphics so kids can easily see how true their aim is.
BOOMco blasters feature air blast performance that is 100-percent kid-powered, and have an adrenaline-inspired design. Blasters include the Twisted Spinner, which includes a 310-degree rotating barrel that can blast darts up to 70 feet away; fast-acting, push-button transformable shields; and 8 Smart Stick darts and a Smart Stick target. Meanwhile, the Rapid Madness is an air-powered blaster that can fling 20 Smart Stick darts in seconds, and has the capability of blasting up to 50 feet away. The Rapid Madness includes a quick push-button, removable transforming Smart Stick shield for the catch and defense of darts, and 30 darts. Both the Twisted Spinner and Rapid Madness are recommended for kids ages 6 and older.
BOOMco will be supported by a strong digital presence in which fans can continuously engage and interact on popular platforms. A YouTube channel will offer blaster-in-action videos and behind-the-scenes footage. Meanwhile, an Instagram account will feature photos and visual play inspirations. BOOMco will also be issuing monthly challenges to fans that will show fun ways to play with the new blasters. In addition, a mobile app released later this year will feature gaming options and the ability to record and edit action favorite moments.
Updates on the availability of BOOMco products can be found at www.boom-co.com.
Icing has teamed up with Hasbro to design a capsule collection of jewelry and accessories inspired by Hasbro’s popular Monopoly game. This exclusive collection is designed in metallic gold and bedazzled jewels, featuring chain link, beading, and glitter details on pieces including a charm bracelet, stud earrings, iPhone cases, wallets, makeup compacts, T-shirts, and rings.
To celebrate the launch and to encourage shoppers to showcase their “gaming” spirit, Icing will also launch an Instagram “Glam Game” promotional sweepstakes with a grand prize of a seven-day cruise for two on Carnival Cruise Lines. The sweepstakes encourages fans to express their unique sense of style by snapping and uploading a photo of themselves. Official Rules for the “Glam Game” sweepstakes can be found on Facebook.
Build-A-Bear Workshop will introduce its second collection of Smurf characters in honor of Columbia Pictures and Sony Pictures Animation’s The Smurfs 2, in theaters July 31. Find the newest friends from the film, Vexy and Hackus, joining Smurfette on their latest adventure at Build-A-Bear Workshop and online at buildabear.com.
To celebrate the Smurfs’ arrival, Build-A-Bear Workshop is holding an #IlovemySmurf Instagram contest. Guests are invited to take a picture of their Smurfs plush from Build-A-Bear Workshop and share it on Instagram using the hashtag #IlovemySmurf in their Instagram photo. Images will be judged on a set of criteria and the five best photos will win. Winners will receive a $50 Bear Buck$ gift card. The contest runs from July 12- July 21.
Make-your-own Smurfette, Vexy, and Hackus can be outfitted in a variety of Smurfs clothing and accessories, including Smurfette dress, Smurfette and Vexy pajamas, Smurf BFF slippers, Vexy skirt outfit, Smurf hoodie, and Smurfs theme song (La La Song).