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Return of the Toy 2: Walmart and Mattel Ensure That The Empire Strikes Back


Not content to let Target and Toys R Us have all the fun this holiday season, a new toy titanship has emerged:

Walmart and Mattel have teamed up for KidHQ, a giant, digital catalog. I appreciate that the website is unlike other things in the marketing sphere, openly pointing out that this is advertising. We are here to sell to you. All for brand engagement, of course. When you make people think a brand is their friend, they're likely to buy.

After all:

Marketers receive aggregated, anonymized data on purchases through KidHQ and how visitors interact with different toys, [Ivy] Sheibar said

And data is worth more than gold.

Time to talk about Mattel's past few years.

 In 2015, they lost a very lucrative contract - The right to make Disney Princess dolls.


“We took Disney for granted. We weren’t focusing on them,” [Chris] Sinclair says. “Shame on us.” [source]

Also, Mattel had made its own fairy tale heroine line with "Ever After High", a spin-off of Monster High. The dolls emphasized detail and commanded a higher price than Monster High right out of the gate with less of the creativity.

The story was a meandering, well-intentioned mess - Exert free will and possibly die or not? Eventually, it lost steam when it gave a half-hearted conclusion, and now that franchise is defunct.

Monster High is also (sadly) defunct - The rebranding that, in my opinion, lost 90% of what made the line special, didn't hit with audiences, despite trying to appeal to those parents who were unsure or had misogynistic things to say about them.

Walmart? Well, Walmart is Walmart - Employees do can drives for each other during the holiday because the pay is crummy.

This certainly seems more interactive than Target/Toys R Us, with kids selling to kids.


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