Get baby’s motor running
RC2 Corporation has expanded its line of Little Dreams Harley-Davidson preschool toys, with new additions that will be retail-ready in Q4 2003. Little Driver comes complete with flashing lights and motorcycle handlebars, while Wheel Walkin’ Harley is a motorcycle-shaped soft-sculpture toy that shakes and moves forward with the pull of a string. Also available are push-toy Rumble Riders, Soft Siders motorcycle pillows and a radio-controlled motorcycle and rider.
Jay Leno pens meaty kids book
Move over Harry Potter, the king of late-night TV has arrived on the kid-lit scene. Jay Leno’s If Roast Beef Could Fly, a story about a backyard barbeque gone a bit nutty, is scheduled for release in summer 2004. Byron Preiss Visual Publications is producing the picture book for Simon & Schuster Children’s Publishing, and Entertainment Weekly illustrator S.B. Whitehead will supply the art.
Going, going, Götz
Citing the continued worldwide drop in demand for high-end collectible dolls, 53-year-old doll maker Götz Puppenfabrik has announced plans to close up shop by March 31, 2004. While collector-doll sales have never made up more than 15% of total doll sales in the U.S., the market is tougher than ever as it continues to be plagued by poor general economic performance and an aging female fan base. Götz says it will continue with business as usual until its closure in March.
Just for the smell of it
Toronto, Canada’s Spin Master Toys has been named the exclusive North American distributor for Manhattan Beach, California-based MEG’s Stink Blasters. The line of 24 different squeeze-and-smell figurines that includes Dog-Breath Danny and Barfin’ Ben is currently being test-marketed in Chicago-area Toys ‘R’ Us stores. A spring 2004 national rollout is planned for the figurines and their coordinating vehicles, playsets and trading cards.