Collectibles hot for holidays
Mini collectibles and collectible trading cards are hot segments in the toy market. They are “on point with what kids want, aren’t expensive and keep kids coming back,” according to Adrienne Appell, a representative for the Toy Industry Association.
Spin Master’s Zoobles, Lego’s Ninjago trading cards and Spin Master’s Redakai trading cards are some of the hottest collectibles this season. Cepia’s Zhu Zhu franchise was a winner for the drug channel last year and continues to appeal to kids with the brand’s new Zhu Zhu Babies mini-collectibles line extension this season.
Apps are having a big influence on the toy category. Appell said that products that start out as apps and move to toys, such as Angry Birds, are having an impact on licensed products. Also gaining traction are “social” or interactive app toys. Products under $20 that can interact digitally with an iPad also will become more prevalent.
Board games, which have been updated with “all play” features and shorter play times, continue to be a strong toy segment. Think Fun and I Can Do That have fresh entries at price points that are under $20.
Arts and crafts have proven to be a recession-proof segment. Evergreen licensed products, from Dora and Disney Princesses to Cars, give the segment a lift. The segment does well in the drug channel when parents are looking for “self-contained toys for travel or on-the-go occasions” Appell said.
Getting some ‘Help’
NEW YORK — A consumer’s internal alarm bell usually is tripped when a company tries to sell him or her on a “less-is-more” proposition, because it usually really means “less-is-less.” That is until Help Remedies came along with its “less-is-less-but-that’s-better” proposition.
It’s a minimalist movement of single-ingredient OTCs — less drugs, less dyes, less coatings and less confusion because all products are named “Help I have …” followed by the one symptom treated.
Help Remedies plans to launch “Help I have chest congestion” (guaifenesin) in December at its standard $3.99 suggested retail price.
Continua members tout innovation in Japan
TOKYO — Drug Store News caught up with Continua Health Alliance’s executive director Chuck Parker following the CEATEC Japan conference, an IT and electronics trade show, to get a glimpse into what tomorrow’s self-care diagnostic devices might look like.
As many as 25 Continua members showcased new consumer healthcare services in early October at the show, some of which are slated to launch in November in Japan.
For example, NTT Resonant, a leading Japanese Internet service provider, showcased forthcoming functions of its health management services “goo Karada Log,” which works in concert with blood-pressure monitors by A&D. And Alive, a wireless solution provider, demonstrated Bluetooth-compatible data-exchange devices, connecting data from those monitors to personal laptops, for example.
“These are commercial products that will be marketed to … Japanese consumers,” Parker told DSN. The Japanese market, which benefits from a more robust healthcare IT infrastructure, may serve as a good indicator for future U.S. launches. “What they do in Japan tends to work fairly well in the [United States], as well,” Parker said, especially as Japanese consumers tend to rapidly adopt new technologies.
Parker suggested that the U.S. market is as much as two years behind the Japanese market, but mostly due to regulatory approval processes at the Food and Drug Administration.