March 18, 2013

Dueling Plush Lights

Flashlight Friends

Description: A plush toy and flashlight
Main Pitch: "Kids love flashlights, and kids love soft animals: Now they're together in one fun toy"
Main Offer: $19.99 for one
Bonus: None
Marketer: IdeaVillage
Producer: Infomercials Inc.
Website: www.FlashlightFriends.com
Prediction: On the fence

Tummy Lites


Description: A plush toy and lantern
Main Pitch: "The cuddly pet that's a lantern, too"
Main Offer: $19.99 for one
Bonus: None
Marketer: Telebrands
Website: www.TummyLites.com
Prediction: On the fence

Although my predictions are the same, I give IdeaVillage the edge in this contest. They used 'Plush Master' Doug Fowkes for their commercial and are also several months ahead, having heavily promoted their product at the International Home + Housewares Show in Chicago earlier this month.

That said, no one should ever underestimate Telebrands, especially in a head-to-head competition. Whether it's one competitor (pans) or two (hoses), Telebrands always seem to come out on top at retail.

In any case, the plush craze in our industry has clearly gotten out of hand -- and that was well underway before Telebrands joined the fray. Ontel's Pillow Pets was followed IdeaVillage's Dreamy Time Turtle which flopped but was successfully followed by Ontel's Dream Lites which was followed by IdeaVillage's Bright Light Pillow which has been followed by Ontel's Glow Pets which has now been followed by the IdeaVillage/Telebrands items above.

That short list doesn't even including tangential plush items from companies outside of the family, and non-plush follower items such as Telebrands' Starry Nite Clock, which I review in the upcoming April issue of Response. (I have come up with a new name for this phenomenon, but you'll have to wait for the magazine to find out what it is.)

So, can the marketplace possibly sustain so many, multi-SKU plush items at once? I'm not sure. But between this and the direct competition that is now on the rise, DR is becoming the Wild West once again.

2 comments:

  1. Telebrands has no class left they are nothing more than spot poachers I hope one day they get what they deserve.. Look at "there" big hits all knock offs orgreenic (believe it or not a knock off) sticky buddy, pocket hose and how this.. Someone should give AJ a class on business ethics

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  2. agreed, first hand experience

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