Oh, the things you find in the Valentine’s Day section of the local Rite Aid while waiting for a prescription refill... Burning questions: * When did Rite-Aid break into the “naughty” novelties business?
* And when, exactly, did bondage become all the rage among the preschooler set?
What with folks all worried about lead paint in their kids toys, we’re surprised this site didn’t come online sooner. It’s explained quite clearly by its name: American Made Toys Only.com. The proprietors carry only American and European toys in their inventory; or, to put it another way, NO Chinese-made toys. They’re gonna make a bundle.
What with lead-paint scares and other hot-button issues on the minds of concerned parents this season, a new toy has hit the market that might please everyone this year. It’s called the Toobee, billed as “The Amazing Flying Can.” Looking for all the world like an empty can with both the top and bottom removed (but no sharp edges, they’re quick to tell us), the Toobee flies like a combination Frisbee and football. A 60-second video at their site has an earnest little girl demonstrating the device. Could this be the beginning of toy companies getting back to basics? Stay tuned.
Yeah, for normal folks this is a ho-hum item, but for those who live and breathe the Star Wars brand, it’s like taking Princess Leia to your senior prom. The son of the prop maker from the groundbreaking film is selling off Luke’s original lightsaber via U.K. auction house Specialist Auctions.com (Click on “Film Props”). The press release goes on (and on) about how this particular lightsaber came into being (Speaking of geeks. Ahem.), but we’re pretty certain this is the real deal. And the site also has a “Snap It Up” price (Much like eBay’s “Buy it now” option) where one lucky buyer can take it home today for 30,000 pounds—which is about $55,000! We hope they understand this isn’t a REAL lightsaber. It’s a prop, folks.
We wrote about CelebriDucks some time ago; they make rubber duckies that look like famous people and characters. We have no idea why anyone would actually want one, but that’s just us. Now they’re marketing a new offering, the PMS Duck (for Christmas, no less!), described as “Wearing a pink shirt with a circle/slash PMS logo, a chocolate bar in one hand, a bottle of aspirin in her robe, and holding a printed cup of coffee that says, ‘I Don't Do Mornings.’” The picture of the PMS Duck at their site (and below) is scary enough. But we wonder who’d be brave (or foolish) enough to actually buy one and then give it to someone?
A company called Talking Presidents, which makes 11-inch tall Ken-like dolls (Oh, excuse us, “Action Figures”), has announced its newest product, the “Dr. Laura Talking Action Figure.” Based on the conservative radio host, the figure utters 23 recognizable sayings in her own voice including "Now, go do the right thing," "I am the proud mother of an American Soldier," "Don't argue with me, it makes me testy," and "I am my kid's mom." If you want one, hurry over the TalkingPresidents.com. The loquacious Laura is going for a relatively cheap $29.99, but they’re only making 40,000 of ‘em. (40,000? Good luck with that.)
Hasbro, makers of iconic modeling compound Play-Doh, is trying to boost sales this year by jumping on the Halloween bandwagon. The company is pushing both the Play-Doh Halloween Trick-or-Treat Bag and the Play-Doh Halloween Bowl. The former contains 20 one-ounce cans of black, orange, red, yellow, green and purple compound. The latter “is a festive orange color and is filled with 45 one-ounce cans.” The idea is apparently to give them away to trick-or-treaters instead of candy. One problem, as we see it through the misty recall of our youth: We used to EAT Play-Doh when Mom wasn’t looking. (It’s salty.) Didn’t anyone in Hasbro’s sales department ever remember doing this? That’s what happens when you decide not to seek the counsel of seasoned marketing veterans. Just wait for the news reports next week. Heh.