New York-based Up, Up and Away toy company is hoping its new Rainbow Brite dolls will shine with consumers this fall. The 15-inch toysÑRainbow Brite and her pal Sparkle BriteÑas well as nine-inch versions of her Color Crew (five dolls representing different ethnic groups), come complete with Color Glo paints. Girls can paint the dolls and their clothing, and the colors are designed to glow in the dark.
‘The paints are both safe and washable,’ says Jenny Gentile, senior vice president of licensing at Abrams/Gentile Entertainment, the parent of Up, Up and Away. ‘We wanted to improve upon a product that was somewhat familiar to parents and kids, but that would stand out just the same.’ Gentile believes that a doll that comes with glow-in-the-dark paints is a first in the market.
In addition to the Color Glo paints, the dolls have undergone a redesign from the version put out by Mattel more than a decade ago. The original was a rag doll, while the new version is plastic. Synthetic hair, for example, replaces the original yarn. The hair routing is vertical instead of the commonly used circular pattern so that girls can easily paint the strands of hair.
Abrams/Gentile Entertainment is launching a strong promotional campaign, including television ads that will begin in early October on Nickelodeon. The dolls are being sold at toy and department stores across the U.S. at a US$25 suggested retail price for the 15-inch dolls and US$20 for the nine-inch versions.
The company is also in the process of deciding on several cross-promotion campaigns for the Christmas shopping season.
Rainbow Brite is a Hallmark-owned property that was originally created for a line of greeting cards. Mattel developed the original line of dolls that was popular in the 1980s.