Lego has created a theme park
Posted: May 09, 2018
One of the biggest trades shows in the country is the New York Toy Fair. Toy makers along with their designers flock there to gauge potential success of new designs and try to make inroad on new product ideas. Incredible amounts of time and money are spent at this fair in trying to procure the next "big thing". Product association seems to be a key motive for producers of kids' toys. Movie producers partner with fast food restaurants to offer toys associated with a new film inside meals packaged for children. These toys are produced and contracts are created with the fast food restaurants way ahead of the film's release. Museums, zoos, aquariums and science centers all contain gift shops that offer a wide selection of kids' toys stamped boldly with the appropriate logo.
Lego has created a theme park, with plans to open another, around their toys. Once simple blocks that fit snugly together, Lego now offers models that have thousands of pieces and cost hundreds of dollars. Many of their designs, coincidentally follow movie themes, such as Star Wars, that have proven effective in reaching a market similar to the one their product is designed to reach. Fortunes have been made marketing toys to parents of infants that are supposed to raise IQ levels. Regardless of proven results this market seems especially eager to bite. Sometimes producers of kids' toys will combine engineering with market development and profit. A day care provided to employees is a perfect way for designers of toys to observe with which toys children are more apt to play.
While product association seems to be many a toy makers motive, product durability seems to no longer be a consideration. Like many manufacturers toy makers primarily have switched production to areas with lower labor costs. This is an indication that profit margins are slight and the lower costs are needed to be competitive. However this is not the only motivation behind the lower production cost. The materials used to make kids' toys today are normally plastic, and much cheaper to make than the steel toys popular in the mid 20th century but also much less durable. This may be a yet another strategy designed to encourage repeat purchases. A shorter product life means a higher rate of replacement.
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