Toy manufacturer Hasbro is planning a significant revamp of its iconic My Little Pony brand and launching a major new brand, TJ Bearytales.
The company is planning to put significant marketing investment behind TJ Bearytales, an animatronic toy bear aimed at pre-school children. A television campaign to support the launch will break next month. Hasbro spent &£20m on advertising last year.
The bear is designed to help children improve their reading and communications skills. It will guide children through a story, reading aloud while also adding comments, an interactive element designed to hold their interest. The bear is fully animated, moving his eyes, ears, nose and arms.
A range of storybooks and cartridges cover life-stage issues, such as the first day at school and growing up, will also be available. The books feature hints and tips for parents on how to help children through the life changes.
Hasbro is also ramping up support for My Little Pony, which is 20 years old this year. A new range of pony characters, accessories and extensions are being introduced. These include the Breezies – tiny winged ponies – and the Twist and Style Petal parlour.
A Hasbro spokeswoman says the company hopes to reinvigorate the brand and develop it as an “evergreen” brand with new products and marketing every year.
The company is also launching a new range of Transformers, to coincide with the release of a Transformers movie next year.