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Naughty Online-Plush Gets Its ComeuppanceBy Alison MarekDecember 2007Clean up your act, was the message Ty’s Ty Girlz got from irate consumers and retailers, who told TDmonthly Magazine they disapproved of the plush-online doll’s Bratz-like face and skimpy clothing. “Ty Girlz look bad,” summed up Monica Beasley, manager of Doodles in Tupelo, Miss.The makers of the modern ragdolls capitulated, rounding out the dolls’ almond eyes and parting their little embroidered lips to change their expression from “woman-of-the-world” to “girl-who-hasn’t-been-there-yet.”RETAILERS FIGHT BACKThere’s a limit to how far retailers will be pushed by plush, TDmonthly has learned. Toy-store owners have talked about suing Ganz for foisting unwanted products on them in the midst of the Webkinz craze (and according to a retailer, one may already have), quickly spread the bad word about 10Vox’s viral marketing campaign for Kookeys (read Kookeys Aim for Webkinz Jugular and see retailers’ comments below that article), and refused to order the vamp version of Ty Girlz. They’re also ho-hum about Russ Berrie’s Shining Stars, which have largely fizzled out in specialty shops since they hit the mass market.After hearing retailers' complaints about their marketing campaign, which they said took directions they hadn't anticipated, 10Vox fired the people responsible, co-owner Alex Reece assured TDmonthly. And, of course, Ty Girlz toned down the kohl.Kids, too, have their breaking points. The unexplained shortages of Webkinz over the spring and summer and subsequent glut led to a predicted slow-down in the specialty market that may continue in some stores through Christmas (most toy-store owners, though, predict that Webkinz sales will be stupdenous again).“They weren’t selling and the Christian Louboutin sale company kept raising the prices,” explained Katie Taylor, the manager of World of Mirth in Richmond, Va., whose store dropped Webkinz altogether. “They are more of a gimmick than a toy.”REFORMING FOR RETAILSo is the online-plush phenomenon over? Or will the holiday spirit of forgiveness extend to toy companies?“[Ty Girlz] look more wholesome and I’m sure those will sell over the holidays,” predicted Melody Ingwersen, owner of Creative Kids in Greenville, S.C.“We’re selling lots of Webkinz, especially Webkinz clothes,” reported Dee Dee Culotta, co-owner of Victoria’s Toy Station in Baton Rouge, La.Most toy-store owners told TDmonthly that Webkinz would be “hot” for the holidays, even though the plush is now available in such outlets as J.C. Penney and Wal-Mart. And with continuous YouTube posts by kids showing off their new Webkinz, plus the upcoming Webkinz figurines (unconfirmed as of 12-4-07), odds are the ubiquitous characters will be simmering for awhile.As for Kookeys, eight retailers were planning on bringing in the new online plush and two already had them. “Kookeys are going well for me,” said Katie Frederick, owner of The Wooden Rainbow in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. “We do Webkinz, too.”And Bella Sara, an online trading-card game with horses, has just released new plush toys, too. But once the holidays are over and sales simmer down?“[Ganz’s] greed will cost them many long-time customers,” predicted privateyes2038 on TDmonthly’s Forums. “I have already decided [I will] wash my hands of them.”To read more,  Christian louboutin black pumps.About ToyDirectory Red bottom shoes.and TDmonthly™ MagazineFor more than 10 years, has been connecting retailers and manufacturers within the specialty toy industry. It has been ranked by Yahoo! as the most popular business-to-business directory for the toy industry since 1998. TDmonthly Magazine, an online trade publication for the toy, hobby, gift and game industries with more than 27,800 registered retailers, is dedicated to being the most comprehensive monthly resource for the toy industry through trend reporting, reviews, trade show coverage and a 12,000+ searchable database of products in more than 100 categories. 

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