IMC Toys • The Book of Toys
Michael Pisors, Head of Marketing at IMC Toys, talks about challenges for toymakers and strategies for IMC Toys in the toy book Annual Questions and Answers on the State of the Industry
The Toy Book: What is one of the biggest challenges facing toymakers today, and how is IMC Toys tackling it?
Michael Pisors: One of the biggest challenges facing the toy industry today is fragmentation; particularly with the proliferation of content and content viewing platforms. We see this trend permeating not only the world of licensed entertainment brands, but also owned toy intellectual property. Everyone seems to have content, and while great content is paramount, so is a strategy for connecting with the right audiences on the right platforms. Creating this synergy is essential for IMC Toys and is reflected in our partnerships. For example, we are delighted to announce that our Magical tears of crying babies the content will launch on Netflix later this year.
Another challenge in the theme of fragmentation relates to retail. For many toy companies, there is continuous change and focus on the digital shelf. This is especially true as physical shelf space continues to shrink against the backdrop of countless new brand launches each season. An important aspect here is that for many parents, the search for toys begins online, even if they are ultimately purchased (or picked up) in stores. For IMC, this has led to a significant focus and investment in digital marketing. At a basic level, this means product detail pages should be best-in-class, starting with assets, optimized copy, and communication. It’s also essential that we build awareness and drive conversion through search and display campaigns, as well as a host of other touchpoints, including paid social networks, influencers and other off-site media. That’s the digital advantage: the ability to test, learn, and quickly implement campaign adjustments based on the desired outcome.
TB: How does IMC Toys deliver new and innovative versions of existing lines to keep them fresh and exciting for consumers?
deputy : Innovation is essential for a brand to remain relevant to consumers. This is especially true for evergreen properties like our Cry Babies brand. What started as a one-off product launched in the US market in 2018 has grown into a global content-driven franchise that now spans multiple game formats and models. In 2019, Cry Babies Magic Tears was the first expansion of significant line of the brand, which has integrated the key component of the “tears” narrative into a collection line. As we look forward to fall, IMC presents BFF, a newcomer to the fashion doll category. Cry Babies fans will quickly discover that their favorite characters have been reimagined as older fashionistas with new content to support the storyline. Finally, we’re thrilled to introduce the most advanced, lifelike, and interactive nursing doll on the market this holiday season: Cry Babies First Emotions Dreamy features a fully expressive, animated face and over 50 sounds and expressions. Four interactive accessories allow children to take care of her, like a real baby. She even blinks and cries real tears when kids take her pacifier out.
This article originally appeared in the February 2022 edition of the toy book. Click here to read the full issue!