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March 2007 | Vol. VI - No. 3




Tools:

Micro Blow Revitalizes Plush

New Technology Breathes Life Into Sagging Market


“The drug, mass and specialty retailers stateside and at the recent Hong Kong Toy Fair have been very excited and supportive.” Rod Smith, Nova World
The introduction of first-generation motion-sensing toys more than 10 years ago created market demand for more intelligent, less expensive and easier-to-operate animated products. California-based Nova World is addressing that demand with exclusive next-generation technologies that could bolster plush sales.

Air Activation

The first is referred to as Micro Blow Technology because of its barometric-pressure triggering mechanism. The line of plush toys that uses this technology doesn’t require "on-or-off" switches. And instead of squeezing to locate an activation point, customers simply blow on the product, and it comes to life. Micro Blow products will work on store shelves and can be implemented into various product lines.

Animated Conversation

In conjunction with Micro Blow Technology, Nova World is releasing another patented, animated technology — “I Know You’re There.” It differs from other motion-sensing lines because it also uses light. It actually “sees” when a person is in its presence and has numerous interactive phrases children will enjoy.

“I Know You’re There” products seem to almost converse with customers. Four phrases confirm that someone is walking past, six phrases interact with the customer, and upon a person’s departure, the product bids farewell with up to four phrases.

Tech Support

“Both technologies are completely new to the plush industry, and the drugstore, mass and specialty retailers stateside and at the Hong Kong Toy Fair were very excited and supportive,” said Rod A. Smith, Nova World’s vice president of marketing and sales. 

The company has exclusive U.S. licenses on both Micro Blow and “I Know You’re There” technologies, and will incorporate them into its fall line, shipping July 2007. Specific product details were not available at publication because of the confidentially of the technology and product designs.

This next generation of animated products promises to engage customers at levels never before achieved, and the low opening retail price point of $9.99 should encourage widespread adoption.



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Writer's Bio: Bridget White is a freelance writer based in Chicago. She has been writing about retail and retail trends for more than six years and recently won an achievement award for editorial excellence from Folio: magazine. Read more articles by this author

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