A few months ago, Target got a lot of publicity when they decided to remove gender labels from their toys, bedding, and electronics sections. In practical terms, this didn’t change very much: toy marketing didn’t instantly change, so you can tell who each display was “for” even without a sign. However, the rest of the toy industry is slowly changing, realizing that kids don’t like being stuffed in boxes and told what to play with. [More]
IKEA Creates Stuffed Animals Based On Kids’ Drawings Because What Do Adults Know About Toys, Anyway?
While we’re sure there are a lot of very experienced, bright and imaginative adults out there designing toys, who knows what a kid wants better than a kid (see: Big)? That’s why IKEA is straying from the traditional, realistic stuffed animal and instead, offering plush toys straight out of the imaginations of a few lucky children.
Because there aren’t enough Lego bricks out there waiting for you to step on them, yesterday the Internet flipped out over news that the toy company wouldn’t have enough of the plastic pieces to meet demand this holiday season. “Nooooooo!” the masses wailed, “How can anyone be expected to take such an injustice?” Settle down, guys. LEGO says there’s no reason to freak out — at least, if you live in the U.S.
Shoppers noticed something amazing on Sears.com yesterday: kids’ accessories, toys, and play sets that cost hundreds of dollars were available for only $11.95 for no obvious reason. Parents, deal-hunters, and people who are both flocked to the website to fill up their carts with deeply discounted goodies. What happened next should be familiar to Consumerist readers: the amazing deal was a website glitch, and the orders were canceled. [More]
Even if you’re not aware of a group of folks called “Bronies” — mostly male* adult fans who really love My Little Pony — Hasbro is totally clued into the potentially lucrative market. As such, it’s releasing a new line of My Little Pony toys designed specifically to appeal to Bronies, with a price to match. [More]
Toys ‘R’ Us is planning ahead, and wants you to think of them when you shop for toys this holiday season. Specifically, they want you to think, “Hey, I can get free shipping from Toys ‘R’ Us if I spend more than $19, and I don’t have to buy a membership, unlike at Walmart or Amazon!” [More]
Thinking about getting a jump on your holiday shopping? So is Walmart, apparently. The company announced today that it will open its seasonal layaway program early and lower the price for eligible items. [More]
While every kid has preferences, there’s no reason why little boys can’t play with dollhouses or why little girls can’t play with plastic dinosaurs. Some parents, kids, and other activists have started to ask retailers why store sections for anything marketed to kids is always separated into strict “girls” and “boys” sections with signage to match. One retailer announced today that they’ll be changing that. [More]
You might remember Hello Barbie, a wifi-enabled smart doll that lets children hold conversations with their Barbie dolls…after that speech is recorded, transmitted to product creator ToyTalk, converted to text, and the answer is sent back to Barbie. While the idea of a doll that can hold a conversation is interesting, there are a lot of other products out there that want to chat with your kids. [More]
Bratz, a line of noseless fashion dolls whose owner has spent the last decade in litigation with Barbie-maker Mattel, have returned to store shelves. Is this a good thing? Maybe. The company is certainly making a big deal out of its relaunch, with ad campaigns, a “brand anthem,” and a big event in Times Square. [More]
The doors will close, the giant piano keyboard will fall silent and all those giant stuffed animals will lose the attention of adoring crowds when FAO Schwarz’s New York City flagship closes today. Will there be a clearance sale on ginormous tigers, or an auction of oversized musical instruments? It’s unclear, though Toys “R” Us, the owners of FAO Schwarz, says it’s looking for a new home to sell toys and bring in tourists again.
Probably the only person to ever have actually gotten rich off Beanie Babies isn’t exactly relaxing on piles of money or swimming in his vault of gold coins anytime soon, but Ty Warner, the billionaire of the plush toys did get to escape jail time after a U.S. Court of Appeals upheld the probation sentence handed down to him after he was convicted of tax evasion.
Anyone who’s familiar with Jurassic Park knows that all the dinosaurs in the park were engineered to be female — this, to control the animals from making their own dino babies and overwhelming the humans. So then why did Hasbro rewrite the Jurassic Park canon by rebranding its Jurassic World dinosaur toys as males in product descriptions for its raptor toys?
Last year, LEGO made 60 million blocks out of the same plastic material the Danish company has been using since 1963. But the bricks of our childhood could one day be of a different substance, as LEGO has plans to spend a bunch of money figuring out how to develop new sustainable materials to replace plastic.
In yet another example of a company offending a whole lot of people in just a few words, LEGO is apologizing for branding a toy in their online store as a “back-of-the-bus window-licker.” “Window licker” is known as a derogatory term for people diagnosed with learning disabilities.
Barbie has spent her entire life standing on her tiptoes and boy, she must be tired. Too long has she toiled for hours in dream mansions and in ice cream shoppes without the benefit of having her feet flat on the ground, encased comfortably in flat shoes. Her time has come: Mattel’s newest line of dolls have adjustable ankles, and a line of flat footwear to go with that new flexibility.
By now we all know that McDonald’s is trying to appeal to a younger audience, but a commercial the company aired last fall geared toward its youngest customers apparently didn’t sit well with an ad review board. And now that group is warning the fast food giant to stick to its food and not to use toys to appeal to youngsters.
Toys ‘R’ Us has a problem: they’re a specialty store that people love, but they must compete with mega-discounters like Walmart and online vendors like Amazon on price. When they can’t do that and still make money, how are they to survive? The company’s new idea: get kids in the door by creating an experience, not just a place to buy toys. [More]