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Real Stuff: Action Products Find Inspiration in Today’s Heroes
By Julie Duffy
May 1, 2003
Name: Action Products International Inc,
Company Location: 390 North Orange Ave. #2185
Orlando, FL 32801
Company Web Address: www.apii.com
Founded: 1977 by Judith Kaplan (current company
CEO & Chairman of the Board: Ronald S. Kaplan
Products Inc. got its start in the educational toy market
in 1977 as a distributor to museums and took the leap into manufacturing
soon afterwards. Being familiar with the needs of specialty stores,
API decided to make use of its experience with educational toys
to create a unique line of products appealing to both kids and parents.
Products created the Space Voyager™ toys
based on America’s history-making space program and recently
earned the endorsement of one of its best-known pioneers, Buzz Aldrin,
whose Apollo mission was the first spacecraft to land on the moon.
Aldrin's signature and image grace boxes of the Buzz Aldrin
Signature Series, which recreates the imposing Saturn
V Rocket that carried the Apollo crew into space at 1/144th
the DropZone Extreme™ line of imaginative
real-world action figures, the company proves that action does not
have to equal violence. The line features parachuting heroes like
forest firefighter Hot Seat Harry and the adventurous
Free Fallin' Fiona, a female medic.
the Needs of Retailers
all types of retail outlets carry Action Products’ educational
toys, the company takes pride in meeting the needs of the specialty
market. API Marketing Director Greg Zesinger points out that most
action figures are based on fantasy or violence, two categories
that don't fit with educational or specialty markets.
Space Voyagers line has always been based on the real-life heroic
role models of the space program,” Zesinger said. “Our
Space Voyagers action figures help specialty stores enter the billion
dollar action figure market, but with a theme their customers can
feel good about."
Products is making plans for increased development of in-store,
point of purchase and shelf displays, as well as mobiles and in-store
demonstrators, to be augmented with Internet chats and personal
appearances by celebrity endorsers.
Jay the Jet Plane
Jay Takes Off
off from Action Products' base in Florida is the Jay Jay
the Jet Plane line, based on the PBS series of the same
name. Launched in late 2002, the line features wooden planes and
buildings similar to popular wooden railroad sets, but in an airport
environment. The toys are aimed at the pre-school market and are
already doing so well that Zesinger says he expects Jay Jay to be
the company's most successful line yet.
26 years in the business as a distributor and now a manufacturer,
Action Products proves that toys can be educational, non-violent
and still hold an action-craving kid’s attention.
Bio: Julie Duffy is a freelance writer and new mother to
a future toy connoisseur.