In the Toy Book‘s annual State of the Industry Q&A, Moose Toys USA‘s President and General Manager Glenn Abell spoke with the Toy Book about shifting marketing strategies and how the company keeps up with demand for some of the most sought-after products.

Kindi Kids was the No. 1 new toy property launched in the U.S. in July for the three months ending September 2019, according to The NPD Group. How do you keep up with the high demand at retail?
The feedback we received at Toy Fair [New York] last year was overwhelmingly positive, so we launched big. We made a significant investment in marketing and original content, and our retail partners gave us strong support. Knowing that, we planned with our buyers and established a substantial inventory position to keep up with demand in the market, so we didn’t experience many out-of-stocks. From our launch through today, we’ve seen unmatched demand for Kindi Kids. We couldn’t be more thrilled that our first entry in the preschool aisle was the No. 1 U.S. property launch last fall.

We are continuing the momentum for Kindi Kids this year with a strong lineup, more original content, and licensed product.

Moose Toys teamed up with several celebrities this year. How do these initiatives play into your marketing strategy?
We looked to partner with celebrities whose values align with those of our brands. From our collaboration with Nicole Richie and our partnership with Bethenny Frankel to our integration with The Ellen Degeneres Show, each celebrity gave us an opportunity to cut through the busy, fragmented landscape and reach parents and gift-givers in a new way. These partnerships armed us with press-worthy content to engage media and augmented awareness for our product in a positive way. When you collaborate with a like-minded celebrity and activate during a culturally relevant moment in time, it makes for impactful results.

Toys that embrace classic play are continuing to edge out products that incorporate technology. How does this affect your product design plans?
At Moose Toys, we exist to make kids happy. That’s our north star when we’re developing toys. As a dad, I always prefer that my two daughters are physically playing versus being glued to a screen. Play is essential to kids’ development, and classic play will always be at the heart of that. With that said, technology is certainly becoming a bigger part of our industry and is not going away. The key for Moose is balance. We focus our product development on a diverse portfolio ranging from robotics all the way through to tactile compound play. This year, we are super proud to bring a new collectible to the market. Oh My Gif! is a perfect example of combining a fantastic physical toy play pattern [with] a digital and social experience that is highly relevant to kids — and adults — in today’s world.

This State of the Industry Q&A response originally appeared in the February 2020 issue of the Toy Book. Click here to read more!