On Saturday I had the pleasure of going to New York City with Sarah, and Shannon from Chester County Moms and Jennifer from But wait, it gets better. We woke up bright and early, around 4:30am, and were in New York City by 8:30am. A long haul for sure, but well worth it. We were invited by Litzky PR to attend a Blogger’s Breakfast with Hasbro, and tour their showroom, which is so large it had to be hosted separately from Toy Fair.
We arrived and were greeted by a young boy’s dream, a huge replica of Bumblebee (from the Transformers, for those of you with only little princesses at home). After schmoozing with other bloggers, and execs from Playskool, Hasbro, and CEO Brian Goldner, we were treated to a short talk. Brian spoke to use first, and really used our language. He talked about how social media is something Hasbro embraces, and they are constantly trying to improve on some of their timeless products.
Next, Jane Ritson-Parsons took the stage and shared her thoughts on being a mom and executive. I was impressed by both her knowledge, and trust in social media, and her humorous and down to Earth demeanor. She touched on the fact that bloggers bring authenticity, and honesty to everything they do, and this has encouraged Hasbro to embrace social media. My favorite moment was when she recognized that she is CEO of her house, juggling both work and family as so many of us do. She discussed the revolution that social media brings to brands. In Hasbro’s case they are using consumer feedback to reimagine, reinvent, and revolutionize their products. Jane played a part in creating some new versions of Monopoly, and creating new innovations with Trivial Pursuit.
Finally Jerry Perez from Playskool took the stage. He shared some insights about his family, which were endearing, and then talked about improving the Playskool brand through social media. As any twitter or Facebook savvy mom (or Dad) knows social media has changed the way we communicate. Brands no longer seek feedback through focus groups solely, Playskool reads and learn from the instantaneous feedback that is social media. Some of the changes coming to Playskool are Sesame Street licensed products, a new line of Play-doh products called Expressions, and the reinvention of their classic Fun Factory.
We were escorted in small groups around the showroom, and I was amazed by the sheer amount of stuff that is part of the Hasbro brand. We started with the Playskool line where some of my favorites from the preschool area were included:
• Fun Factory (review coming soon!): reinvented so the mold is attached and flips up for easy clean out.
• Play-Doh Expressions: Think the Play-doh brand reimagined as markers, crayons, and art kits. All washable.
• Weebles: I am so excited about this, as we still have an old set at home, and I adore them.
Next we toured the game area. There was so much here, but the stand outs were:
• Buzz Lightyear Operation game: Instead of the traditional buzzing Operation game, players will fix Buzz, and hear laser sounds when they touch the sides.
• Guess Who? game with full paper cards (no more painstaking assembly!), and the ability to print out more cards online! A great bargain, and a family favorite.
• Scrabble Flash: This LED tile game with various levels, and letters you have to turn into words is a fun way to pass time when you are waiting on dinner to be served, or keeping your 10 year old busy without a video game!
• U-Build games: Build your own board game. Using the tiles you can create your own board game! I’m sure my 12 year old (who loves to change the rules) will enjoy putting together this game. Includes Monopoly, Sorry!, Connect 4, and others.
Next came the family room (nicer than mine!) where we talked about Family Fun Night. Some of the games included:
• Scrabble Slam: There were a ton of card games all reasonably priced at $5.99.
• Funglish: Use magnets to tell what your word is “Not”, “Definitely”, or “Sort of” like.
• Wii games: There was a great variety for all ages.
Then we toured some “boy” toys, my favorites (and when I say boy favorites I am not saying they are gender specific, but boys tend to like them
• General Grievous lightsaber
• RC Walking Iron Man
• Beyblades stadium (only $9.99!)
• Flying Millennium Falcon
Next up were the “girl” toys, my favorites included:
• Mermaid My Little Ponys
• Littlest Pet Shop is introducing dolls to go with pets. Super cute pairings.
• Fondant and microwaveable Easy Bake Oven sets.
My top 5 picks were:
- Play Doh fun factory
- Littlest Pet Shop pets plus dolls
- Flying Millennium Falcon
- Mega At-At
Honorable Mention: Alphie
Remember Alphie? He was huge in the 80′s. Hasbro is brining him back! He’s a talking robot that helps preschoolers learn. Can’t wait to show this to my robot crazy 4 year old.
Video of the AT-AT
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