Today, at the 2007 American International Toy Fair in New York, Mattel Inc. launched its 2007 toy lineup celebrating all the moments and types of play in a kid’s day. This year’s introductions include new, on-the-carpet basic play toys and games that encourage creativity and social, cognitive and emotional development, as well as active-inspired toys that encourage kids to “get up and get active.” And, for today’s techno-savvy, screen-loving kids, Mattel unveils numerous technology-centric toys featuring interactive experiences, innovative features, life-like play and many technologies never before applied to toys.
“After a hugely successful holiday season with the must-have toy T.M.X. Elmo, and Barbie as the No. 1 requested toy by girls, Mattel’s new toy lineup for 2007 is even more fun, loaded with exciting features across many of its brands. Mattel has the perfect balance of classic toy play, hot technology-inspired toys and active-themed toys to really deliver against how today’s kids are playing,” said Chris Byrne, contributing editor to Toy Wishes magazine, aka the Toy Guy(R).
This year Mattel is introducing new brands that will break frame in the youth electronics category, along with new interactive features added to classic toy brands such as Barbie®, Hot Wheels® and Fisher-Price®, including:
Hot Wheels® Maniacs™ vehicles – Each handheld car features an animated driver in the LCD windshield. Kids can interact with their new virtual “friend” by feeding and playing games with him, but watch out – these guys are all about getting you to laugh! The character responds to buttons on the hood and knows when he’s upside down, spinning or crashing. Hot Wheels® Maniacs™ vehicles feature handheld games and more.
Funkeys™ – Funkeys™ are an interactive toy that combines collecting with connecting, each unlocking a new zone when connected to a computer. The more Funkeys™ players collect, the more zones they can explore and the more games they can play. Players can earn coins to buy items to decorate their “crib” and post their crib online for friends to see.
Easy Link™ Internet Launchpad – With the Easy-Link™ Internet Launchpad, kids can safely and easily visit preschool appropriate websites to play their favorite online games and activities. To get started, parents simply connect the Easy-Link™ product to their computer via a USB cord. Then kids can plug their favorite character figures into the launchpad, and be taken directly to the game section of that character’s website – no typing or reading required!
“T.M.X.™” Friends” – “T.M.X.™” Elmo's Friends from Sesame Street, Ernie and Cookie Monster join in on the fun. Ernie giggles and laughs as he kicks his legs in such great gales of laughter that he spins in a complete 360-degree circle, and then gets back up. Cookie Monster giggles and laughs so much, he rolls from side to side before he finally gets back up.
I Can Play™ Guitar System – It looks just like a real electric guitar, but features color-coded finger position buttons on the frets and abbreviated strings, perfect for small hands. Kids simply follow along with the fun games and visuals on their TV screens, matching color-coded images on the screen to the buttons to jam like rock stars in no time.
Digital Arts & Crafts Studio – For kids to create, save and print their very own arts and crafts projects on their home computer. Kids can use the stylus to draw masterpieces with numerous drawing tools, colors and stampers. They can also create and customize various craft projects such as coloring pages, greeting cards, stationary, paper crafts, party supplies and even their own book!
In 2007, Mattel Brands introduces several new twists on “basic play” toy favorites including new themes and features that are relevant to kids today while encouraging on-the-carpet and open-ended play. Toys include:
Easy For Me 1-2-3™ Doll – The Barbie® brand introduces Easy For Me 1-2-3™, a new category of Barbie® dolls designed specifically for the youngest of fans It’s all about easy to dress, easy to stand, and easy to comb.
Polly Pocket™ Polly Wheels™ Cars – These candy-colored mini Polly Wheels™ cars include a mini-sized doll for each car. Girls can collect and race lots of different unique cars.
Matchbox® Mega Rig® Shark Ship!™ Vehicle – Kids can disconnect and re-combine the Shark Ship™ vehicle to build 40 different boat or vehicle combinations. Each has wheels and floats so kids can take their Shark Ship adventures from the living room to the bathroom tub for a myriad of play scenarios.
Planet Heroes™ Figure Assortment – An assortment of chunky, easy-to-hold figures representing the planets in our solar system. Each comes with special tools and/or vehicles to help them in their adventures. Together the Planet Heroes™ figures have teamed up to protect the galaxy from the evil Black Hole “Professor of Darkness”™ character and his minions while at the same time teaching preschoolers about the solar system and all its wonders. The figures will each launch with a special DVD that introduces the characters and launches them into their first adventure
Go, Diego, Go! Mobile Rescue Unit – Kids can travel with Diego on an African Safari to help him on his animal rescue missions with the Mobile Rescue Unit featuring three toys in one -- a tough truck ready to roll to the rescue, a base of operations complete with mission post and veterinary center, and a launch pad with airstrip and airplane – everything kids need to help Diego save his African animal friends.
“Unstructured play is fun and enriching and an important ingredient for the wholesome development of children; it lets children use their imaginations and develop skills at their own pace and it is one of the best ways for children to learn about themselves and others,” said Kathleen Alfano, Director, Child Research, Fisher-Price®.