COMMENTARY: Let Kids Play With What They Want!

Every so often, I babysit my cousin’s two kids, one boy age 5 and one girl age 6. During one particular instance, we ended up saving a city on the brink of destruction while playing with a police construction set accompanied by a fire truck and superhero action figures. That’s when Alex asked his sister why she wanted to play with us when we were playing with “boy” toys.

“Because it’s fun,” she casually replied in a heartbeat, adding a quick shrug. And it was as simple as that. But what would make Alex question why his sister wanted to play with him even though there were no female characters involved in the story?

Maddie.March7While some toys in the industry are truly gender neutral, others are “reverse gendered.” Gender neutral toys, such as certain board games and Play-Doh, do not intentionally appeal to the divide between girls and boys. Reverse gendered toys don’t exactly have the opposite purpose, but the companies attempt to reach a broader audience. A manufacturer will make changes to a previously gender-specific toy to make the opposite gender drawn towards it. The most common way this is done is having the exact same product produced in two different color palettes. [Read more...]

Google’s Zeitgeist Releases Top 10 Trending Toy Searches for 2013

Google has released its annual Zeitgeist—a “spirit of the times”—which gives us a chance to remember the people, places and topics that got us talking, and ultimately searching, before a new year begins. The list of top toy searches features new toys such as Minions and Palace Pets, but also old favorites, such as Play-Doh. Here are the top 10 trending toy searches this year:

  1. Pokémon
  2. Play-Doh
  3. Digimon Fusion
  4. Minecraft Toys
  5. Minions
  6. Palace Pets
  7. Paw Patrol
  8. Pacific Rim Toys
  9. My Little Pony
  10. Disney Planes

The 2013 Zeitgeist site provides more than 1000 top-10 lists of popular and trending searches from 72 countries, making it the most comprehensive and global list to date.

Play-Doh Celebrates A Year in Play-Doh Moments

PlayDoh.RedsoxTo celebrate an eventful year, Hasbro Inc. and Play-Doh have created 10 sculptures out of Play-Doh compound as part of A Year in Play-Doh Moments. Some of the sculptures include the Boston Red Sox’s big World Series win—and unique players’ beards—this past October, the new foodie phenomenon cronuts, baby George joining the royal family, and the Super Bowl power outage in February. All 10 sculpts can be viewed at Play-Doh’s Facebook page.

Play-Doh Celebrates National Play-Doh Day

National Play-Doh DayHasbro Inc. and the Play-Doh brand have sculpted the six Emmy Drama Series nominees in celebration of National Play-Doh Day. Made out of 100-percent Play-Doh compound, the sculptures include scenes and characters from this year’s most dramatic television shows, such as Carrie, Brody, and Saul from Showtime’s Emmy Award-winning series, Homeland. After more than 40 hours of work, the creations are available to admire and inspire on the Play-Doh Facebook page.

COMMENTARY: Dough Play: Letting Kids Be Gross

Spending time with my niece (age 8) and nephew (age 4) has taught me many things: patience, kindness, compassion, etc. However, one particular lesson has stood out to me as of late: kids are gross. They are adorable and awesome and hilariously uninhibited, which, in turn, often makes them gross. They just want to stomp in the mud, pick their noses, and enjoy all the luxuries of gooey, mushy substances. However, this grossness can easily be turned into something productive, cute, and brightly colored through dough play.

Play-Doh PlusPlay-Doh, from Hasbro, has been around for decades. I loved molding the clay-like substance when I was young, spending hours at the kitchen table with multiple containers worth spilling out onto sheets of wax paper. I loved squishing a big ball of Play-Doh in my hands and feeling the smushy compound ooze between my fingers. It was gross, awesome, and most importantly, wildly entertaining. In addition to Play-Doh and the new Play-Doh Plus compound, which is a fluffier version that allows for easier molding, there are other great new options on the shelves that allow kids to be creative while channeling their passion for mush and grossness.

[Read more...]

Silver Dolphin Teams Up with Play-Doh for Two New Board Books

playdohanimalsSilver Dolphin unveils two new board books, My First 100 Words and My First 100 Words: Animals, both featuring illustrations made by clay artists using the Play-Doh brand. Each title features 100 words that help kids to develop early vocabulary and sets them on the path to literacy. My First 100 Words covers a large cross-section of commonly used and seen objects, ranging from animals to nature, vehicles, and food. My First 100 Words: Animals features everything from bugs and butterflies to lemurs and lions. Both titles are specially designed so that each item is pictured within a scene, and as a solo picture with a word label next to it.

Hasbro Showcases Its Franchise Brands at the International Licensing Expo

Hasbro-logo-jpgHasbro, Inc. showcased its global franchise brands, including Transformers, Nerf, My Little Pony, Littlest Pet Shop, Play-Doh, Magic: The Gathering, and Monopoly, at the International Licensing Expo on June 18. This year’s lineup highlights the company’s effort to market brand extensions across licensing categories such as publishing, digital gaming, apparel and plush, homewares, food, health, and beauty.

Hasbro’s Transformers brand  features the Autobots and Decepticons engaged in battle on multiple storytelling platforms, including film, TV, digital gaming, publishing, and theme parks. Hasbro and its licensees provide the  Transformers fan base with merchandise including digital gaming, toys, apparel, sporting goods, and more. DeNA and Hasbro recently announced the launch of Transformers: Legends, an action card battle game based on the Transformers franchise, which is now available on the App Store for iPhone, iPad and iPod touch, and on Google Play for Android devices. Transformers: The Ride – 3D is open in Singapore and Hollywood, and will officially open on June 20 at Universal Studios Orlando. [Read more...]

ThinkGeek Extrudes the Play-Doh 3D Printer to the World

Update

Oh no! We sure hope you weren’t as excited for this as we were, since it has turned out to be an April Fool’s Day hoax! ThinkGeek: 1, The Toy Book: 0.

ThinkGeek has announced an innovative new toy to fulfill every wee maker’s dream: the Play-Doh 3D Printer!

GEEKNET, INC. PLAY-DOH 3D PRINTERExpensive “at-home” versions of 3-D printers have been on the market for years, and for decades children have grown up with Play-Doh‘s extruder toys to shape colorful clay. The technology to blend those two realities has only recently become available and ThinkGeek is the exclusive retailer for this fantasy turned real.

Users of the Play-Doh 3-D Printer need only insert three cans of their favorite color, load up the free app on their tablet of choice, and get creative. Once a 3-D model is rendered in the app, users manipulate the device’s dials to create the solid piece. [Read more...]

COMMENTARY: Toys Are More Fun Than Candy

Mattel’s North American team recently kicked off an Easter program called Save the Bunny, which launched with a clever celebrity PSA. The concept is to promote giving toys, rather than copious amounts of candy, for Easter. As part of the promotion, consumers who visit www.savechocolatebunnies.com will have a chance to win a Mattel toy every day this month, download exclusive coupons on toys from Mattel brands like Barbie, Hot Wheels, Fisher-Price, and Thomas & Friends, and win grand prize money.

As a parent and someone who loves toys, I whole-hardheartedly agree with this idea. Not only does my 3 year old not need a giant chocolate bunny, gallons of jelly beans, and piles of fluffy marshmallow chicks (OK, I’ll admit this is making me hungry), but I know from experience that I won’t actually let her eat it all, and I’ll end up eating it, which isn’t exactly part of my summer bikini plan (though I’m pregnant, so what’s the difference, right?). Anyway, she will have a lot more fun if I limit the candy to a few of her favorites, and fill that basket—er, strongly suggest the Easter Bunny fill that basket—with toys!

For retailers, signage suggesting spring/summer toys to fill Easter baskets should already be up, but it’s not too late! Many consumers wait until the last-minute to shop, especially with the holiday coming earlier this year. A special display of spring-like, small, basket-sized items makes shopping easy and promotes quick sales. The pharmacies already do this, toy stores should too! [Read more...]

Play-Doh Brand Introduces New Compound and Color Sticks


Play-Doh Perfect Twist Ice Cream Parlor Playset

Big things are taking shape this year for the Play-Doh brand from Hasbro Inc. as the company introduces a new compound: Play-Doh Plus, a soft and fluffy compound that allows for a new level of creative detail. The Play-Doh brand will also launch Color Sticks, a new collection of individually wrapped Play-Doh compound. [Read more...]