Toy retromania not due to 9/11

Toy retromania not due to 9/11

I enjoyed your article ‘Toy biz plays on retromania’ (Strategy, Sept. 23/02, p. 1). However, Angela Scardillo from KidThink might reconsider her comment that these kinds of commercial initiatives from toy companies and licensors are ‘because of the desire for a sense of security after Sept. 11.’

With all due respect for Ms. Scardillo’s opinion, historically there are numerous examples of licensors working with toy companies in order to relaunch a previously successful line as a classic property, or to run parallel licensing and marketing programs with a classic line alongside a new animated or movie-supported range. Examples are the Flintstones movie in the early ’90s or Marvel, who has been doing this for years with classic characters such as Spider-Man and X-Msen, as well as Scooby Doo – a successful worldwide classic licensing program for ages.

To my mind, these are innovative strategies by toy companies to market previously successful lines to a new generation rather than a response to a fundamental shift in demand from consumers after the tragic events of last year.

Simon Crowther

Managing Director

Alias Youth Marketing


Tabu to you

I was surprised to see Tabu vodka being given such praise for its ‘trendy’ packaging and product (‘Bottling primal instinct,’ Strategy, Oct. 7/02, p. 24). We at Republik launched a Mosaiq Spirits Vodka-based ready-to-drink in May 2001 in Toronto and Montreal, one full year before Tabu. It was also on the shelves in Alberta that same year.

The name: Grüv.

The packaging: aluminum can with black ink only.

The logo: a swirling ‘G’ recalling the yin and yang, since it contained energizing ingredients.

I felt I had to set the record straight and mention that even if Tabu is apparently selling well, it is far from being innovative. Hard to believe that nobody at Strategies International or Atlas Wine Merchants were aware of Grüv. The strategy, the design, the positioning all seem too close for comfort for us.

Daniel Charron

CD, Republik advertising + design