Retailers, consumers and prices
Meet Bernie Madoff at the 2009 Toy Fair
Modelworks, a company that makes models of anything from planes to action figures is expected to unveil its version of Madoff, an accused perpetrator of a $50 billion investment scam, at the 2009 Toy Fair in New York’s Jacob Javits Center, the Toy Industry Association said on its website.
Mr. Madoff will not be alone. The 2009 American International Toy Fair from Feb. 15-18 will host toy makers from Mattel to Lego and hundreds of retailers who will carefully pick toys to put on store shelves in 2009.
Gone are the days where lead and safety issues took center stage. Its all about the price of toys and their value, analysts told us this week. That means no more toys for hundreds of dollars, as even the most free-handed parents sacrifice buying costly toys for their children to save money.
Mattel, for instance is selling Elmo again this year with a twist – you can wear gloves modeled after the character’s fuzzy red fur and use it to tickle your friend. All for about half the price of the Elmo Live doll Mattel sold last year.
Or there is Hasbro, which is seeking to attract kids with a $28 puppy, whereas last year, one of its star toys was the nearly $180 Biscuit, a bigger animated pup.
The Madoff action figure, however, was born as a way to help his friend, an irate Madoff victim, feel a little better, said creator Graeme Warring. The figure, which is made to look like a devil, also comes with a hammer that can be used to “pulverize Bernie,” the website says. Warring eventually ended up making a couple more such figures for others and is unveiling it widely at the Toy Fair.
(Photo from Mini-Me by Modelworks website)