Alcone Marketing Group – Consumer Lab

The Consumer Lab is the consumer insights and brand strategy group at Alcone Marketing Group, a consumer activation company.

More Than Two In Five Toy Purchasers Spending Less on Toys This Holiday Season

Harris Interactive | The Harris Poll – More Than Two In Five Toy Purchasers Spending Less on Toys This Holiday Season

Just under half of Americans (47%) say they will purchase toys as gifts
this holiday season while 41% say they will not. Among households with
children, seven in ten (71%) will purchase toys this holiday season, but one
in five (21%) say they will not;

Filed under: economy, kids, Toys

Beloved Characters as Reimagined for the 21st Century

An unusually large number of classic characters for children are being
freshened up and reintroduced — on store shelves, on the Internet and
on television screens — as their corporate owners try to cater to
parents’ nostalgia and children’s YouTube-era sensibilities.

~A

Fictional Stars Get a 21st Century Facelift – NYTimes.com
LOS ANGELES — Strawberry Shortcake was having an identity crisis. The “it” doll and cartoon star of the 1980s was just not connecting with modern girls. Too candy-obsessed. Too ditzy. Too fond of wearing bloomers.

Filed under: Consumer, Gen Y, kids, Toys

Kiddies’ Wired Wish Lists

Forget dolls and toy trains; The younger set wants high-tech gadgets.

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Kiddies’ Wired Wish Lists – WSJ.com
For the toy industry, the recent spate of recall-related headlines isn’t the only thing to fear this holiday season. A more fundamental concern is the iPhone on six-year-old Hilary Roberts’s wish list.

“She’s not after a doll,” says her father, Scott Roberts, an Internet executive from San Francisco. “There’s not one traditional gift she’s asking for this year. She’s asking: ‘Can I have an iPhone?'”

Filed under: Consumer, digital, early adopters, gadgets, Games, Gen Y, holidays, kids, technology, Toys

Report: Shoppers Losing Their Appetite For High-End Toys

A more stable selling environment and rational pricing bodes well for store
profitability. “We also saw a significant change in the composition of what was
selling-there were a lot more lower-dollar-value items than we’ve seen in
previous years, and a lot of accessories,” says an NPD analyst, “and those tend
to be a little more profitable.”

~A

MediaPost Publications – Report: Shoppers Losing Their Appetite For High-End Toys – 12/06/2007
BASED ON THE FIRST READING of holiday sales of consumer electronics, consumers seem to be losing some of their tech enthusiasm.

Total spending on electronics gained just 6%–to $2.2 billion–in the first week of the holiday season, compared to a gain of 12% in the same period a year ago, reports The NPD Group. And it’s the first time in the six years that NPD has tracked this point-of-sale data that dollar-sales growth has dipped below double digits.

Filed under: Consumer, kids, luxury, Toys

For Toddlers, Toy of Choice Is Tech Device

Toy makers and retailers are filling shelves with new tech devices for children
ages 3 and up, and sometimes even down. They say they are catering to junior
consumers who want to emulate their parents and are not satisfied with fake
gadgets. Jim Silver, editor of Toy Wishes magazine, says there has been
“a huge jump in the last 12 months” in toys that involve looking at a
screen.

Six of the nine best-selling toys for 5- to 7-year-olds on
Amazon.com yesterday were tech gadgets. For all of 2006, three of the top nine
toys for that age group were tech-related. The so-called youth electronics
category now accounts for more than 5% of all toy sales.


~A

For Toddlers, Toy of Choice Is Tech Device – New York Times
SAN FRANCISCO, Nov. 28 — Cellphones, laptops, digital cameras and MP3 music players are among the hottest gift items this year. For preschoolers.

Toy makers and retailers are filling shelves with new tech devices for
children ages 3 and up, and sometimes even down. They say they are
catering to junior consumers who want to emulate their parents and are
not satisfied with fake gadgets.

Filed under: Consumer, digital, gift giving, holidays, interactive, Toys, trends

Children are ready to play music, that is – USATODAY.com

What hot in toys these days? Well – its not just toys that make a lot of noise, but this year its toys that encourage children to let out their inner musician. Perhaps its due to all the musical media like Hannah Montana and High School Musical, or maybe there is really a growth in interest in expressive play. Either way, music is where its at when it comes to hot toys this year.

C.

Children are ready to play music, that is – USATODAY.com

In Toyland, this may literally be the holiday season that sings.And plays guitar. And rocks out.

When Toys R Us Wednesday releases its annual toy trends list for the holidays, rock star kids are at the top of its 2007 list. Or, at least, wannabe rock stars.

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Filed under: music, Toys, trends, Tweens

Toy Makers Make It Hard To Miss What’s U.S.-Made

With the recent lead paint scares due to overseas manufacturing pitfalls, Americans are looking for the Made in the USA logo on toys.
C.

Toy Makers Make It Hard To Miss What’s U.S.-Made – WSJ.com

With foreign supply-chain problems continuing to wear away at the reputations of such toy makers as Mattel Inc. and RC2 Corp., some domestic toy manufacturers are mounting marketing campaigns aimed at showcasing home-grown goods to retailers and potential customers. American flags have appeared on some corporate Web sites, companies are rushing to reissue toy packaging with patriotic colors, and toys are being slapped with big labels that say Made in the USA.

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Filed under: Consumer, Games, Moms, Toys

Report: Toy Sales Strong In First Half Of Year

The NPD Group says toy sales are being driven by innovations, with more stimulating
toys piquing parents’ interest as much as kids.

~A

MediaPost Publications – Report: Toy Sales Strong In First Half Of Year – 08/06/2007
RETAIL TOY SALES HAVE INCREASED nearly 3% in the first half of the year, according to market research firm The NPD Group.

The group says retail sales in the U.S. toy industry generated $8 billion in the first half of 2007, compared to $7.8 billion generated during the same time period in 2006.

The group credits seven super-categories for pushing growth in the sector: vehicles saw the most growth, increasing 17%. Infant/Preschool, Youth Electronics, Plush, Arts & Crafts, Building Sets and Games/Puzzles posted sales increases of 4%, 8%, 9%, 6%, 4% and 3%, respectively, over year-to-date 2006. Combined, these seven super-categories comprised over $4.5 billion in retail sales.

Filed under: Consumer, families, Gen Y, Moms, Toys

Mattel Targets Would-Be Garage Band Members With New Product

I’ve never heard anyone say – You’re too young to be a rock star – in fact, the younger you start, the more time you’ll have to master the riffs and solos. Mattel is doing just that – they are releasing a new product that is for kids too old for the push-button guitars and too young for Guitar Hero. It a toy, but provides serious instruction for the future superstar. The ad campaign will be integrated with Nickelodeon’s “Drake & Josh”.

MediaPost Publications – Mattel Targets Would-Be Garage Band Members With New Product – 08/02/2007

MATTEL IS TARGETING KIDS WHO want to play guitar but are too young to play a real one, with a new product that bridges the gap between push-button toy guitars for very young kids and products like the PlayStation 2 “Guitar Hero” game for older kids.

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Filed under: interactive, kids, music, Teens, Toys, Tweens

NPD Reports Kids Buy On Impulse with Gift Cards

A new report says kids buy on impulse using gift cards. And, the survey concludes – by talking to moms – that kids are getting gift cards as gifts often.

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NPD Reports Kids Buy On Impulse with Gift Cards
Nearly 60% of children using gift cards make impulse purchases, with toys and board games their most popular choices.

In addition, 60% of mothers reported that their children received a gift card within the past few months, according to an online survey of mothers with children ages two to 14 conducted by the NPD Group.

Filed under: Consumer, CPG, Games, Gen Y, kids, Teens, Toys, Tweens

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