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Classic toys get a tech makeover

Friday, February 11, 2011 - 02:07

Feb 11 - Toy makers are busy at work, focusing on the big hits for next Christmas by updating old favorites like Elmo, Monopoly, and Cabbage Patch Kids dolls. Jill Bennett reports.

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NAT SOUND "It's music time, let's rock out." Meet "Let's Rock Elmo." He can play the drums, which sync up with accompanying instruments. Hasbro is banking on the $69.99 toy to be a hot seller for the holidays. All kinds of interactive toys, including the $49.99 Monopoly Live, with infrared motion play technology, seem to be making a lot of noise. NAT SOUND "You have 1,500 dollars, cover the yes or no icon with your hand." John Frascotti is the Chief Marketing Officer at Hasbro: SOUNDBITE: JOHN FRASCOTTI, CHIEF MARKETING OFFICE, HASBRO (ENGLISH) SAYING: "While the frame of reference is still there that Mom and Dad grew up with - the joy of playing Monopoly or playing Battleship - they can now share that with their children in a whole new way that energizes the whole family and gets the children totally immersed in the game." The multi-colored Fijit Friends from Mattel are also interactive: NAT SOUND They retail for $49.99. There are even new printable hair extensions for Mattel's Barbie. Tim Kilpin is the Executive Vice President of Mattel Brands: SOUNDBITE: TIM KILPIN, EXECUTIVE VICE PRESIDENT, MATTEL BRANDS (ENGLISH) SAYING: "We are seeing that our brands are being interacted with by our audiences across a lot of different platforms today. It's not just television commercials that we are using to reach them it's social media, it's iPhone and iPad apps, all these different ways that consumers are reacting to these brands." There are other twists on the classics as well: Hot Wheels tracks that scale the wall, and Cabbage Patch Kids with new styles and sizes for the new generation. Prices range from $19.99 to $34.99. Genna Rosenberg is a Senior VP with JAKKS Pacific. SOUNDBITE: GENNA ROSENBERG, SENIOR V.P., JAKKS PACIFIC (ENGLISH) SAYING: "Classic brands are really strong, as young parents today played with some of these toys when they were kids." Fisher-Price is banking on one of the newer classics: with a Thomas the Tank Engine set that talks. And it also has high hopes for Regurgitating Rico, from the Madagascar movie line-up. After all, toys are all about fun. Jill Bennett, Reuters.

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Classic toys get a tech makeover

Friday, February 11, 2011 - 02:07