Hasbro is introducing a line of collectible sports figures and cards based on its adult-targeted Starting Lineup brand to a younger audience at Toy Fair. The ProAction line, aimed at kids ages five to 10, will include 12 baseball figures, 11 hockey figures and 13 football figures in 1999. Like the Starting Lineup products, each figure will be sculpted in the likeness of a well-known sports athlete, and will be bundled with a collector card, but the five-inch figures will be articulated and will have a built-in play feature, such as shooting a slapshot. The Major League Baseball (MLB) figures will be available at retail at the end of this month, the NHL figures in mid-March and the NFL figures in July. The estimated street price ranges from US$7 for basic figures to US$10 for deluxe figures.
As the master toy licensee for the NHL and the NFL, Hasbro receives cooperation from the leagues in partnering with their other licensees and participating in major promotions. Hasbro will be part of an NHL promotion with Wendy’s running from February 15 to March 26, and is planning a national consumer promotion and retail efforts for the NFL line in the fall. The company will also be teaming up with MLB to promote the line through its youth marketing initiatives. TV advertising from Hasbro will also support ProAction. Lisa MacEachen, director of marketing at Cincinnati, Ohio-based Hasbro Toy Group, estimates the total value of TV ads and promotions behind the line in 1999 will be between US$5 million and US$7 million.