Excerpt taken from Plastics News, February 22, 2012 issue. To read full article, visit http://www.plasticsnews.com/headlines2.html?id=24575&q=K%27NEX
K’Nex, a maker of innovative toy construction sets, has teamed up with Hasbro Inc. to reinvent the Tinkertoy, known for providing generations of children with hours of building fun.
“We realized how much people through the years have loved Tinkertoy and how it fosters open-ended, imaginative play,” said Michael Araten, president of K’Nex Brands LP and its sister company, Rodon Group, a custom injection molder.
For years, K’Nex has created construction sets, including roller coasters and many others, for children 6 and older. But a few years ago, the company recognized that younger children might want to build similar items but would need fewer pieces and bigger parts. “Tinkertoy was appealing to us for this reason,” Araten said in a phone interview.
In the same way that K’Nex partnered with Hasbro in 1999 to market the classic wood toy Lincoln Logs, the two companies recently announced the licensing partnership for K’Nex to produce the modern-day, primarily polypropylene Tinkertoy.
“We thought this was a nice combination — to now offer two nostalgic toys,” he said.
K’Nex presented the new Tinkertoy at the American International Toy Fair, held Feb. 12-15 in New York.
“We had a ton of favorable reaction,” he said, noting that it is pleasing to children and to adults who played with the Tinkertoy themselves as children. “When you take classic toys and put a fresh spin on them, you get the best of both worlds.”
Joe Keane, Hasbro’s vice president of global brand licensing and publishing, also said he believes the revitalized Tinkertoy will be a hit with adults and children.
“Since its introduction in 1913, the Tinkertoy brand has driven the imaginations of children for generations, proving that fun and stimulating toys never lose their appeal,” Keane said.
“The Tinkertoy brand has continued to evolve to keep with consumer expectations, and we believe that K’Nex is the right licensee to evolve that brand further.”
The licensing agreement with Hasbro gives K’Nex the right to develop the product, Araten said, explaining that “we can design, build, market and distribute it.”
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