Hasbro skips the middle man and launches its own virtual shopping hub
In a rather unprecedented move for a major toyco, Hasbro is going live with its very own on-line shopping universe later this month, meaning that it will essentially be competing for sales with e-tailers it used to supply with product. But Edward Kriete, senior VP of marketing services, says the site will largely be used as a research tool to find out who is buying Hasbro product. In addition, HasbroToyShop.com won’t sell products for less than their suggested retail prices, and it may even support links to Hasbro’s on-line retail partners.
Products based around top brands including My Little Pony, Weebles and VideoNow will initially occupy HasbroToyShop.com‘s virtual shelf space, but the company is looking to expand its on-line stock with other Hasbro games and toys once the site picks up steam. The web shop should get a significant boost in traffic after July 1, when Hasbro plans to reintroduce its 3.75-inch G.I. Joe figures and vehicles to the marketplace. And the launch of a new G.I. Joe TV series on the 4Kids.TV block this fall will more than likely help drive sales as well.
Nick tickles the bellies of China’s kids with its HAHA blocks
Nickelodeon’s programming rollout in China continues this month with the May 1 launch of HAHA Nick blocks on SMG’s Oriental Children’s Channel. Nick will initially contribute 25 hours of locally produced programming to air across three dayparts for preschoolers, kids and tweens. The package includes tween-focused variety show HAHA Nick Weekend Play and SoNick, a lifestyle magazine series about real kids living in Shanghai. Preschoolers will be treated to Magic Castle and a localized version of Little Airplane’s puppet series Oobie.
Nick anticipates doubling its output of local fare for SMG to 50 hours by year’s end. Meanwhile, classic toons such as CatDog and The Wild Thornberrys are thriving on CCTV’s dedicated children’s channel, holding steady as the top two shows in China with four- to nine-year-olds, according to Nielsen’s ratings.