Hit the refresh I will keep all Nerf updates here as they come and start a new post to avoid a spam of text. You will have to excuse the typos. I'm doing this all on the fly.
Please also take a minute to leave your feedback and comments on the new ranges. I will be passing this on to Hasbro Nerf. Modders please feel free to discuss what potential mods you can see/would do if it was in your hands right now!
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Hasbro is hoping to hit the mark with its next high-profile launch — a new brand of Nerf toys aimed specifically at girls.
The line, is called Nerf Rebelle, will feature projectiles that have the same power as the top items in the brand’s Nerf Elite line — but come wrapped in a prettier package and designed to encourage the collaborative play Hasbro has found girls prefer.
Princesses can own the first Rebelle product — called the Heartbreaker bow — this fall.
Rebelle immediately brings to mind Lego Friends, a new line of female-driven products that helped to increase Lego's profits by 36% last year — even as critics accused the toy company of promoting gender stereotypes. May I remind them to look at the male toy oven set?
I asked John Frascotti, Global Chief Marketing Officer of Hasbro if the aim is to increase outreach to females in the popular Nerf range aimed predominantly at boys, he told me
"Hasbro isn’t worried that Rebelle pigeonholes girls or reinforces the ideology of separate spheres."
|Nerf Rebelle - Heartbreaker bow|
“Just to be clear, we could have taken some of our Nerf blasters and just made them pink and put them in pink packages — but that’s not what we did,”Frascotti explained. Trying to encourage girls to buy existing Nerf toys or easing up the gendered overtones of those products was never really on the table:
“This is an entirely ground-up effort.”Thanks to all that research, Rebelle differs from other Nerf lines in several key ways. The Heartbreaker bow comes with collectable darts bearing different colors and designs; there’s a Rebelle app that allows girls to play collaboratively and encourages teamwork; the bow’s size and ergonomics have been tweaked so that girls as young as 6 can activate it easily.
The product’s main philosophy, though, is in line with that of the Nerf toys that came before it.
“Nothing is really addressing this big opportunity for girls to be active and play,”Frascotti said.
“Parents are concerned about the amount of time kids are spending in sedentary activities, in front of a screen of some sort.”By contrast you can see how Rebelle promotes exercise and socialization in a way that will hopefully appeal to girls who have no interest in sports as well as budding athletes.
But what about that name, “Heartbreaker” — which seems to inject an element of romance that wouldn’t be there if the bow were designed for boys, or even made to be gender neutral?
“I think sometimes maybe adults are more concerned with these things than girls are,” Frascotti said. “I think the girls we tested it with just thought it was a cool name and they loved playing the role of a power princess standing shoulder to shoulder with a white knight.”
- Fans actively helping create next gen - thank you all bloggers for spreading the word of brand love
- Franchises (outsourcing of accessories) will be empowered to create RESPECTABLE and QUALITY fans expect from Hasbro blasters. Franchises will do Nerf accessories and handle demand with Hasbro guidance and support.
- Parts brokerage. Specific stock. scope, etc you don't have to buy a whole blaster for just that stock. (Note there is a "missing" tile on Parts&Refill section - was not made clear if Hasbro or partners will handle)
- Franchises help reducing operation cost - note 10% work force cut at Hasbro
Asia > EU > US. Asia is a massive emerging market, more spending power as time goes on. This is something that will be pushed in a big way. Sounded like Asia MAY have monopoly of hot products and future exclusives (they make more babies, more kids, growing GDP - they want Nerf more!).
- US market is slowing - in negative growth: sales -0.3%. Electronics are not an excuse (Tablets, etc)
- There will be a Renewal drive, regen love for Nerf in US. Dart Tag in hands of fans/TRU. (Note: Nerf has a very special place for Hasbro in the US, and they have plans to revamp this, and do a resurge of marketing/exclusives).
|Ranges set for expansion. Intense expansion.|
- Girls want to play with blasters, so they have done intense research.
- Rebelle is the answer. Girls love it up to late teens.
|Rebelle Wildshot - 6 dart sidearm, complete new Smart mechanics - "girls can kick butt"|
MyLastDart: Love this blaster, and what you are doing here, you are opening up the range cross genders here complexly! My Q is which blaster is this likened to?
Asswer: Great Q, You have never seen this before in anything. Ever. <Insert NDA stuff> Really? Seriously? <SCREAM>
- Older girls say unhappy there are no toys for them in toy section. They wanted blasters they have been in process for 3 years.
- Love sports, but no way to do it like boys, so we developed outdoor active toys like boys Nerf blasters.
- Expect BLASTERS not just Bows for girls. Customisable accessories, coluor darts and more in a sek
|Complete with Collectible darts, Start up Pack, accessories, full customisation of your blaster!|
- Girls demanded Elite range and performance, were not happy with dumbed down range, power. What a girl wants, a girl gets!
|Nerf Rebelle Xcross Shot and Wish Shot|
MyLastDart: Who is the inspiration taken from? I assume the protagonist like Hunger Games?
Answer: correct, they have inspired the range. Girls don't want male archtypes. They have their own heroes. Fashion, Music, Acting, Movies etc.
MyLastDart: Hi, I want to touch on Tournaments and release - will they be exclusive? the launch will it be global?
Answer: The launch will indeed be global, <insert NDA>
MyLastDart: Can we touch on the accessories part and what we can expect further from what we have - or rather as fans cry a LACK of? Customisation sounds amazing - can boys lines expect the same ?
Answer: <insert NDA>
MyLastDart: (I need to be excused I think I just wet myself.)
- Fall of 2014 Rebelle range will get performance they want, and expect massive advances.
- They are working mad at developing the range right now.
- This will be a major product line for them. Major untapped market.
Any Qs please ask now, I am still here with them for quite a while. Hit the refresh I will keep all updates here as they come.
Further information I can release, this is a round-up of 2012, and what we can expect for 2013+:
|Expect some love for 'Light It Up'. More after NDA break.|
|Koosh did fantastically well in promoting Active Play, Fire Vision can expect love.|
|Lazer Tag is taking a whole new world of it's own.|
|Engadget have had extensive game-play and were blown away.|
The plans for Lazer tag to incorporate todays Smartphone technology is a major market. Electronics were the only thing above Toy sales, and the two are fiercely in competition for the #1 spot. Hasbro has encompassed both of these technologies and advances in toys to bring us a complete new Era in Social Media meets Active Play. The app is free to download, and will allow you to create an avatar (wii mii), link to your Social Media - Facebook account, YouTube account, Twitter, and let you:
- Upload pics/video from your iPhone (IOS to come - the phones are difficult ie Galaxy Phablet) to Fb, YT and Twitter.
- The app has a whole editing feature in it, take stills, edit length, cut to scenes, etc. when it uploads it will be like a professional video layout with your name, Nerf brand in corner. People can then share your videos and pics as you wish or not at all.
- Anyone else playing a game near you - just send them a nudge, and add them to your game!
- There will be integration with your territory Nerf website (ie Basic Nerf can upload his battles straight to the site, after approval all fans can enjoy the fun!). This is why there has been a slow down or as Nerf Wikia noted - a dead stop on the official Nerf site.
- RIP GoPro? Perhaps. Perhaps not.
More updates to come. Stay tuned.
- Previous Exclusive coverage from the London January 2013 Toy Fair
- NYC 2013 Toy Fair Exclusive pics and info on new blasters