The Season's 15 Hottest Toys: Watch the TV Ads Toys'R'Us picks them, you stampede for them
It's early November, which is practically last minute if you're a parent hoping to track down one or more of the holiday season's most popular toys. To help, Toys"R"Us just released its Fabulous 15, a list of this year's most prized kiddie goodies. Let's take a look at the ads for the most coveted of the coveted, also known as the quickest ways to reach "cool parent" status:
Air Swimmers are remote controlled, helium-filled flying balloons that come in two models: shark and clown fish. They look awesome, especially when they were flying around the Toys"R"Us that I went into the other day. However, this poorly shot video is its actual marketing video. It takes center stage on the website (tagline: "Air Swimmers swim through the air!"). I thought it was a fan-created spot that some Air Swimmers enthusiast had uploaded to YouTube—unnecessarily epic music and all. I was wrong.
This interactive dancing robot was actually designed in Japan to study social development by interacting with children. Since 2003, it's been used in research, but a 2007 YouTube video by a Carnegie Mellon student who programed the thing to dance to Spoon sent this little bot to Internet stardom and the made it obvious that it had toy potential. A real Keepon costs $30,000, but the My Keepon toy, which looks the same and still dances, is only $39.99. It also has far worse advertising than the original single-shot YouTube video that made it popular.
Fisher-Price hasn't put out an official commercial for the Power Wheels Dune Racer yet, but that hasn't stopped Toys"R"Us from picking it for the list. Bonus: According to the one review on the Fisher-Price site, the Dune Racer stops operating if you attempt to drive it in sand. Oops.
Love watching your kid wipe snot all over your iPad, but don't want them to find your porn folder? Give 'em a LeapPad! It's like an iPad, but with no access to the Internet and none of your stuff on it. The only fun they can have with it is educational. Credit to the hyper-excited voiceover and reminder to order today "to avoid disappointment."
Do you miss the Garbage Pail Kids? Well, worry not. Children now have a suitably trashy alternative with the Trash Pack: little icky figurines packed in tiny, toxic-looking trash cans. With hundreds to collect, trade and play with, they're the gross gang that lives in your garbage. Above is the spot for the whole Trash Pack, not the Garbage Truck specifically. Catchy jingle? Check. CGI? Check. Annoying rhyming V.O.? Double check.
Air Hogs are fast, little, remote-controlled cars that are designed to smash into things and keep going. New Hyper Actives have a roll bar on top that lets you hit even more things! Nice high-speed camera work and monster-truck style V.O.
Adopt a monster, play along online, and collect them all. One recent trend in kids toys is crazy, cute monsters. Moshi Monsters have stampeded to the forefront of kids collectable MMO (mass marketing orgasm) games, sliding in comfortably after Pokémon, Digimon, and Tamagotchis. But the way they differ from those Japanese collector/caretaker games is that Moshi, despite its Japanese name ("Moshi Moshi" means hello in Japanese), is British and doubles as a social networking site. Big in the U.K., it's now exploding in the U.S., and the many games, figurines, and other purchasable stuff has been given a bucket slot on the Toys"R"Us list.
There's no stoppin' the fun with the Elefun Busy Ball Popper! Less creepy and more stationary than Mr. Bucket, the Elefun might be your toddler's ball-chasing dream come true. Points to Playskool for knowing when to employ a catchy jingle. Now say, "Poppin' Park Elefun Busy Ball Popper" five times fast to the tired Toys"R"Us employee while 30 kids nearby are screaming.
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AdFreak is your daily blog of the best and worst of creativity in advertising, media, marketing and design. Follow us as we celebrate (and skewer) the latest, greatest, quirkiest and freakiest commercials, promos, trailers, posters, billboards, logos and package designs around. Edited by Adweek's Tim Nudd. Updated every weekday, with a weekly recap on Saturdays.