Catching Up With...

Catching Up With Kelly Anderson

Manhattan Toy signed a license with Meredith Corp.’s Parents Magazine earlier this year. The toy co. is introducing a preschool-focused line for specialty retailers this holiday season. While a branded Parents line has been in the marketplace before, Manhattan Toy’s interpretation brings a fresh approach to imaginative play.

Nancy Lombardi: What products will make up the line?

Kelly Anderson: The Parents line is a collection of developmental toys geared towards preschoolers. It focuses on encouraging roleplay, musical interests, and stimulating the imagination. Manhattan Toy signed the license with Meredith Corp.’s Parents Magazine in February 2010. We have always had a positive and long-standing relationship with Parents Magazine and when the license became available we jumped at the chance to relaunch the brand into specialty channels.

N.L.: With the rise of mommy bloggers and the demise of the parenting publications, what does a name like Parents Magazine mean to today’s moms?

K.A.: Mommy bloggers represent a growing portion of the media directed at moms. However, Parents Magazine has actually experienced growth in their subscription base over the years and continues to be a leader, which is counter to other traditional print publications. In addition, they have a strong online community with There is also a strong following on their social networking sites including Facebook and Twitter. Parents was a pioneer in the parenthood category and it continues to have a strong following both in print and online with new and existing moms.

N.L.: How will this line compete with or complement some of the other baby lines that Manhattan Toy currently offers?

K.A.: Our Parents collection complements our other lines perfectly, while distinctly reflecting Manhattan Toy’s design aesthetic and creativity. Although we do plan on introducing developmental infant, baby, and toddler toys, the Parents collection is a stepping-stone for Manhattan Toy into new categories where we currently do not offer product.

N.L.: Where will these products be sold: mass, specialty, or a mix of the two? When will the products be in stores and what is the price range?

K.A.: We are staying true to our roots and launching the Parents collection into the specialty market—our consumers and specialty retailers match up perfectly with the core values and needs of Parents’ readers. Look for products to be in-store starting this fourth quarter. Timed for the holiday season, the retail prices are expected to range from $12–$150 for our large, wooden, activity toys.