In years gone by, children begged for novelty toys such as Tickle Me Elmo, Beanie Babies and Zhu Zhu Pets. This holiday season, Squinkies are the toy of choice. These bargain-priced plastic toys have become a huge fad and major business success for Blip Toys.
What are Squinkies?
Squinkies were created by toy maker Bill Nichols and his tiny toy company, Blip Toys. Nichols founded Blip Toys just eight years ago, finding success with novelty items marketed to Walmart, Target and ToysRUs.
Nichols introduced Squinkies at a price of $10 for 16. His little toy company can't keep up with the orders from Walmart, Target and ToysRUs for these collectible plastic figures featuring a menagerie of animals and even a small bride.
The New York Times reports Walmart has been sold out of Squinkies for over a week. Nationwide stores are sold out or limiting the number of Squinkies people can buy.
Laura Phillips, senior vice president for toys and seasons merchandising at Walmart, said, â€œDemand is tight. Mom doesn't feel bad - 'I can get into it and my child can really enjoy it.' Absolutely that matters in this economy.â€
Squinkies come in a plastic bubble, just like the toys dispensed from supermarket vending machines. Nichols' brain child is proof businesses can thrive during a difficult economy by meeting the financial and emotional needs of their target market.
Who is Blip Toys?
Blip Toys operates in Minnetonka, Minnesota with just 16 employees. With the creation of Squinkies, Blip Toys is now competing with major players such as Hasbro and Mattel. At an affordable price, Squinkies are attainable for all holidays shoppers.
An market analyst commented Squinkies were hot for girls. Now Nichols is expanding the line to appeal to boys with characters such as Spiderman. The toys are about the size of a knuckle.Â They are recommended for children ages 4 and up because of possible choking hazards.
Nichols did his research before marketing Squinkies. He walked through store aisles, checking out the aisles with small dolls such as My Little Pony. He commented, â€œAll of those brands have been there for a long time, and there's not a lot of innovation.â€
Blip Toys creation of Squinkies proves innovative ideas are the key to business success.