A Penny For Your Thoughts

Consumers will get more than just toy commercials this holiday season; they will get toys based on commercials.
Li’l Penny, the wise-mouthed puppet alter ego of Orlando Magic point guard Anfernee “Penny” Hardaway, is about to make its retail debut.
Introduced two years ago in several spots directed by Spike Lee for Nike agency Wieden & Kennedy in Portland, Ore., Penny touted Nike’s Air Penny, Hardaway’s signature shoe.
The toy will come in three doll versions; the most prominent being a deluxe 14-inch Talking Li’l Penny (shown here). The voice of comedian Chris Rock will speak whenever a button on the back of the doll is pushed. The doll repeats phrases from its commercials, such as, “I know my spot, fool!” and “The Secret Service couldn’t guard me!”
Playmates Toys in Costa Mesa, Calif., has also created the House Party Li’l Penny, which comes with a smoking jacket and shades, and Pro Li’l Penny, complete with basketball and uniform. The dolls’ priice range is $15.99 to $34.99. -Teresa Buyikian