FAO opens door wider to toy inventors
In a bid to establish itself as the first port of call for unique toy concepts, specialty retailer FAO Schwarz has adopted a new ‘toy audition’ program for inventors and manufacturers/distributors. Once a month, a panel of senior managers headed up by FAO president and chief marketing officer David Niggli will throw the door open to pitches, giving inventors constructive feedback and advice on how to develop their concepts into shelf-worthy product lines. The program kicked off in March, and future auditions will be held on the second Thursday of each month from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at New York’s Center Stage Theater. FAO is accepting appointments by phone at 212-239-7363, extension 264.
Hasbro tunes up the toothbrush aisle
Getting kids to brush their teeth has never been easy, but a new Hasbro product called Tooth Tunes may change all that. This battery-operated toothbrush transmits sound vibrations through the teeth, up the jawbone and into the inner ear when it’s turned on. A song stored on a tiny microchip will play for two minutes, the amount of time most dentists say kids should spend brushing their teeth. Hasbro is in talks with record companies to pick up more music rights, but initially, Tooth Tunes will play a new rendition of ’60s hit ‘Do You Believe in Magic?’ by The Lovin’ Spoonful. Priced under US$10, the brushes will roll out this September in CVS drugstores before moving into mass. Tooth Tunes are powered by technology developed for a line of musical lollipops that came out in 1999.