Friday, December 26, 2008

Triceratops could go extinct again


Hasbro’s Kota the Triceratops got great reviews from toy critics when it debuted earlier this year. Unfortunately the pricey product launched during one of the worst retail periods in decades.
Hasbro bowed Kota at New York’s annual American International Toy Fair in February 2008, after announcing it a year earlier. Kota is an animatronic baby dinosaur big enough for little tots to sit on.
The Playskool-branded toy is a life-size baby dinosaur with sophisticated electronics. Measuring 40-inches long, Kota reacts to touch and sound with realistic dinosaur noises and movements. It features sensors in 11 areas on its body and reacts to touch by moving its head, tail and horns. Kota even comes with leafy greens that the dinosaur can munch when fed. Priced at $300, Kota wasn’t cheap.
And based on price cuts necessary to move the toy off store shelves, it looks like this one might go the way of the dinosaurs.
Kota was made available to the public on Oct. 1 for $299.99. The price soon dipped to $239.99, then $199.99. Target had it on sale for $99 a week before Christmas. Today Sam’s Club was offering it for $75.41.
The price has cratered – like Earth being hit by an asteroid.
Hasbro also has seen price drops for its expensive FurReal Friends products, such as ponies named S’mores and Butterscotch that are big enough for kids to ride. They boast realistic animation, movement and pony sounds and come with a toy carrot, brush and halter.
Take the 3-foot-tall animatronic brown and white pony S’mores. It had sold for $299.99 this fall, but now is available from Sam’s Club and Amazon.com for $150.
Kids now can pretend they’re riding their pony to the glue factory.

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