They may be a toy from a bygone era, but Toy Biz is hoping the juice of a Pokémon license can help ignite kid interest in marbles once again. Starting this month, the New York toyco will begin rolling out its line of Pokémon Collector Marbles and accessories to retailers.
For US$7.99, kids can get a Pokémon pouch containing 10 marbles, each featuring a Pokémon character. Of the 10 marbles, eight will be crystal and the other two will be power marbles. The goal for kids will be to try and collect the power marbles, which are the equivalent of the foil card in Wizards of the Coast Pokémon trading cards, says Joanne McLaughlin, senior VP of product development at Toy Biz. The toyco will release 150 of the crystal marbles this month, but plans to stagger the release of the power marbles in quarterly installments of 50.
Also this month, Toy Biz will release a Pokémon Marble Shooter (US$14.99), which kids can use to fire their marbles onto an accompanying Pokémon Battle Mat. Other accessories in the pipeline include Pokémon Collector Marble Cases (US$7.99) and the Poké Ball Carry Case (US$29.99), which kids can hitch to their belts when they’re on the go. Both items will hit stores in April.
Toy Biz is shipping the Pokémon marbles in clamshell packaging, which McLaughlin says should reduce pilferage and give retailers the option of positioning the product in the toy aisle or near the front of the store.
So far, the company has signed on to do marble promotions with all five major chains, including Toys `R’ Us, for whom TB is creating an exclusive Mew marble.