How A Cardboard Slide Is Steering This Toy Company In A New Direction
Forbes | October 24, 2021
The WowWee toy company’s roots are in robotics, but for its newest toy, it decided to reinvent something low-tech - cardboard. WowWee used reinforced cardboard and a “Strongfold Technology” technique to create Pop2Play slides and playsets that are strong enough to withstand being climbed on by kids, fold flat and can be stored away under a couch.
The company realized “this can solve so many problems we were trying to crack, the biggest one being how do you eliminate or reimagine the big, bulky, plastic playset.” For parents being able to stash away a large toy out of sight when a child isn’t playing with it seems to be the biggest selling point, with sustainability as an added benefit.
The first Pop2Play slide, released this spring, sold out on Amazon within 24 hours, and sold out three more times in the spring and summer. That success landed WowWee a licensing deal with Mattel for a foldable, cardboard version of a Barbie dreamhouse, which will launch in November, and a Barbie slide, to be released in the spring.
A series of hit products over the past five years have placed WowWee among the toy companies in the tier below the three biggest players, Mattel, Hasbro, and Lego. The company says its sales grew 50% from 2020 to 2021. “We are expecting at least the same results going into 2022,” said Sydney Wiseman, vice president of brand development and creative strategy at WowWee.