Jay Foreman (JF): I think everyone would agree on Marvel’s The Avengers, Frozen, Cinderella, Minions, and Star Wars, along with Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles; however, there are a few nontraditional brands emerging from toy companies, like Shopkins, that should be considered.
TTB: Which toy categories do you expect to expand in 2015? Which do you expect to contract?
JF: Certainly boys’ action will be hot and probably as hot as dolls was in 2015. Without anything new seeming to emerge to displace Frozen, I’d expect that category to slow a bit, as it won’t be easy to keep the volume up in that category.
TTB: How have you seen consumer expectations change over the past decade?
JF: I think access is the biggest way their expectations have changed. The Internet has allowed greater access to more product, broader distribution, pricing transparency, and free or low-cost at home delivery. On top of that, the consumer is looking for value, more so than ever, and knows how to find it.
TTB: What’s the oddest or most creative product request you’ve received from a consumer?
JF: When I was still making Britney Spears dolls, consumers were asking us to make bald dolls to replicate her look when she shaved her head. I guess it’s not always about “hair play!”
TTB: In what new way are you using social media to correspond directly with consumers?
JF: We are doing all we can to stay on top of social media and all the emerging ways and concepts hitting the market. It’s a full-time job just trying to stay one step ahead. YouTube and Facebook are still our biggest ways to reach consumers directly, but what do I know… I still carry a flip phone!