TRU and 4Kids join forces to create tech toys
Toys ‘R’ Us is getting in on the tech toy ground floor with an exclusive deal that will see the retailer manufacture and sell a product line developed and designed by 4Kids Technology. The toys will fall into several categories (including science, games and communication devices) and will start hitting shelves by the end of the year. 4Kids Entertainment chairman and CEO Al Kahn says TRU may use some of the licenses owned by its private label, but 4Kids licenses will be off limits unless the retailer buys the rights.
4Kids and TRU worked together under a similar deal that resulted in the rebirth of Cabbage Patch Kids at retail in November 2001.
Zany Brainy clears out all video games
Video games will no longer have a place at upscale toy retailer Zany Brainy, which has announced that it will remove all consoles and related game titles from its 169 stores because the majority are too violent for the store’s target demographic of kids up to age 10. Zany Brainy carried consoles and tamer games like Nintendo’s Yoshi’s Island and Monsters Inc. for PS2, but company spokesperson Renee Hollinger says these types of titles are simply not the gaming industry’s focus. ‘We’d carried games for 18 months with the hope that there’d be more of a selection within the E-rated category, and it just didn’t happen,’ says Hollinger.
The chain will continue to sell educational PC games like The Learning Company/Mattel’s Reader Rabbit series, as well as other electronic learning toys.