Squinkies Maker Savors Demand for Holiday’s Hot Toy
Midway through last year, as analysts tried to predict where the economy was going, the toy maker Bill Nichols decided he had the answer. He bet that the economy would still be so shaky this holiday season that a bargain-priced plastic toy would take off.
With the help of “mommy bloggers” and a tepid economy, Mr. Nichols turned the squishy toys, named Squinkies, into a fad. walmart.com has been sold out of them for more than a week, and stores nationwide are sold out or limiting how many Squinkies each person can buy. Like Beanie Babies or Zhu Zhu Pets, the toys are collectible — the hundreds of characters include a Lhasa apso dog and a tiny bride — but they are much cheaper, selling for $10 for a 16-pack.
“Demand is tight,” said Laura Phillips, senior vice president for toys and seasonal merchandising at Wal-Mart. “Mom doesn’t feel bad — ‘I can get into it and my child can really enjoy it,’ ” she said. “Absolutely that matters in this economy.”
Comment: This years hot toy.