Mattel And Hasbro Terrified Of Tablets Moving In On Their Turf

    December 26, 2012
    Zach Walton
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Mattel and Hasbro are household names when it comes to toys. I grew up playing with action figures made by the companies, and I’m sure any person born in the 80s or early 90s has fond memories of G.I. Joe, My Little Pony, He-Man and others. Despite being giants in the toy industry, these companies are now facing a new kind of challenger in the form of tablets.

An analyst with Needham and Company are saying that toy companies are starting to get a little scared for their futures. Kids are becoming increasingly interested in tablets and other technologies instead of the toys that generations past were so invested in. In fact, a recent survey of children found that many wanted iPads, iPhones and other devices for Christmas. Of course, the survey only asked about interest in technology-related gifts, but it could be inferred that kids really do want tablets instead of toys.

For their part, Mattel and Hasbro are putting on a brave face. The companies say that nothing is wrong, but you can see the signs of change in their core business. The biggest toys retailer in the U.S., Toys-R-Us, unveiled its own tablet for kids in September called the Tabeo. It’s pretty obvious that what’s considered fun and entertaining for children is changing when even the toy stores are starting to give premium exposure to tablets.

So what can these companies do to stave off their own demise? Get with the times and offer more technology related toys and products. There are ways to tie toys into tablets and video games. Activision proved that last year with the amazingly successful Skylanders that makes kids buy toys to unlock more characters in the game. Mattel could start up a new He-Man toy line and tie it into the latest mobile title for additional unlocks or bonuses. There are plenty of ways for traditional companies to embrace technology while staying true to their core focus. It’s just a matter of finding a solution.

[h/t: BGR]
  • Toyfriend

    I’m in the industry and don’t believe that to be the case at all. Toy makers are certainly adapting and working with technology to ensure kids are still asking for (and playing with) fun innovative toys. The tablet are definitely huge right now but many traditional toymakers (LeapFrog, Vtech, etc) have come up with their own. And kids may use tablets but are always going to ask for traditional toys as well like games, puzzles, dolls, bicycles, action figures and more. It’s just another way to play.

  • http://mediasportandotherrantings.blogspot.co.nz/ Brett Dale

    Mattel has just doen a prop replica Hoverboard. A.K.A back to the future.

    Now if they do a real one, that would outsell any tablet, ipad thingy.

  • http://www.impastatrice.org Impastatrice

    My kids (3 and 5 years old) are still playing with Lego and other traditional toys but this year they started asking about Nintendo. I think I will get one next year. :(

  • dosguy

    The time for toy makers to be terrified is when the kids start asking for guns – real ones, and their idiot parents oblige.

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