It’s no secret that Mattel’s Fisher-Price division has hit some bumps in recent years. The iconic brand’s sales have slumped quarter after quarter as the company seemingly failed to connect with millennial parents. This year’s recall of inclined sleepers was another blow, but Mattel Chairman and CEO Ynon Kreiz has reinforced confidence in the brand throughout the year. “In the long-term, we believe the brand will remain trusted with parents … we remain confident in the leadership, brand management and the product lineup to roll out later this year,” Kreiz told investors and analysts on an April earnings call.
As the holiday season approaches, that new product lineup is hitting stores with a strong mix of new toys and updates to some timeless classics. The challenge, of course, is getting back in front of the public to connect with new parents and gift-givers, and a major new marketing campaign aims to do just that. A series of seven TV spots led by an extended clip starring John Goodman will formally launch the new brand messaging during the 71st Annual Primetime Emmy Awards with a simple, yet powerful message: “Let’s Be Kids.”
The commercials hit all the nostalgia buttons as they highlight the open-ended imaginative play that millions of kids have experienced through the decades. In the extended spot, Goodman plays a farmer who leads the audience through the world of Fisher-Price Little People and beyond.
Mattel partnered with Walmart for a series of Fisher-Price Let’s Be Kids Pop-Up Playdate events taking place at select stores this fall. The events begin this weekend, and feature activities for the entire family, including the opportunity to ride a giant puppy, dance with a sloth, and be Batman through virtual reality. The companies are inviting adults to “take a break from adulting and come play like a kid.”
Several items from the Fisher-Price fall product lineup are included in the Toy Insider‘s 14th annual Holiday Gift Guide. Among them, the Fisher-Price Bounce & Spin Puppy and Imaginext DC Super Friends Transforming Batmobile R/C vehicle secured spots on the legendary Hot 20. Other items on the list include the Code ‘N Learn Kinderbot, Rescue Heroes Fire Truck, and the Wonder Makers Design System Build Around Town Starter Kit. The Toy Insider is published by Adventure Media and Events, the parent company of the Toy Book.