While this holiday season lacks headlines about super-hot holiday toysthat have them tussling in the aisles, there are a number of products that are doing very well.
Among them are the Trash Pack, a line of miniature collectible characters and playsets based on items that you might find in the trash can.
Moose Toys, the Australian toy company that was behind the Mighty Beanz craze several years ago, invented the Trash Pack and has sold more than 15 million “trashies” worldwide since the product hit the shelves in September.
Paul Solomon, director of Moose Toys, said he expects Trash Packs to eventually be a larger brand than Mighty Beanz, and suspects it will have greater longevity than that the Beanz brand, which has sold more than 100 million Beanz worldwide to date.
“I think what is really appealing to the kids is the gross,” said Solomon.
Not only do the collectible characters have a sticky, squishy feel they have names such as Putrid Pizza, King Rat, Soggy Tomato, and Mucky Maggot.
What has been interesting is that the toy has achieved its popularity despite being sold only at one retailer: Toys ‘R Us.
Solomon said the partnership with Toys ‘R Us has been very helpful to the brand. The toy retailer has featured Trash Pack in its television advertising, included it in its “hot toys list,”featured it prominently in its in-store displays, holiday circulars, and has done sampling and social media outreach.
But the result appears to be worth it. Trash Pack is the No. 1 toy in the boys’ collectible category at the store, according to Richard Barry, vice president and general merchandise manager at Toys ‘R Us.
Solomon expects certain items to be sold out by Christmas, including the garbage truck playset, which is already very difficult to find and is selling on Ebay for double its price. (The Trash Pack toys are priced between $2.99 and $19.99.)
The field for boys’ collectibles had been wide open, but this year the category became significantly more crowded.
“Boys have had a history of collecting,” said Jim Silver, editor-in-chief of TimetoPlayMag.com, “but it usually had focused on trading cards and action figures.”
Squinkies, a line of small squishy characters packaged in gumball-machine-style containers that are popular with girls, came out with a line of Marvel-licensed characters that would be more appealing to boys. There also was another product called Ickee Stickeez, from Zing Toys, that entered the category.
But it also seems that Trash Pack has found fans among girls as well, according to Solomon.
And awareness of the brand is likely to continue to grow. Solomon said there are plans for new products at the start of next year that will keep the brand fresh. There also has been a lot of interest from companies that license characters and a cartoon series also is in the works, he said.
As for the partnership between Moose and Toys 'R Us, neither Solomon nor Barry would disclose how that will evolve over the coming year as plans are still being discussed.