Few parents (or children) will be aware that Play-Doh, which has become one of the most popular arts and crafts materials for very young children was the first market in Cincinnati, Ohio as a product for cleaning wallpaper in the 1950s. The work initially developed by a Cincinnati based soap manufacturer to clean coal residue from wallpapers. However, that market almost wholly disappeared after World War II when natural gas heating systems replaced those powered by coal. It was apparent that Play Doh would have to find a Newmarket niche if it was to remain a profitable product. Fortuitously a relative of the inventor of Play-Doh, Noah McVicker had noticed a newspaper article about art projects which make use of wallpaper cleaning putty. The rest is arts and crafts history.
The product was the first present at an educational convention in Washington in 1956 – and it became a huge hit. It was reformulate to reduce the salt content (to prevent drying out) and was soon available in some colours (red, yellow and blue were the first colours to developed), each separately packed.
Today the Play-Doh brand is own by global toy and game manufacturer Hasbro -and it remains one of the company’s best sellers. It is sold in over 80 countries ross the world – and over 3 billion can purchase during its long history. The number of Play-Doh colours available is today staggering – a far cry from those first three offerings.
However, another reason that Play-doh remains one of the world’s best marketing kids arts and crafts products is that parent company Hasbro is well aware of the brand’s value – it remains a foundation of the company’s success – and as such HASBRO keeps a close eye on trends that influence add to the already astonishing success of the product.
It has launched some playsets (the Fun Factory playset has sold over 7 million units) that aimed at continuing to excite the imaginations of a younger audience in terms of the product that enhances open-ended play. The company has also aimed at a slightly older audience through the launch of figurines and real-world based playsets. The ‘Dohvinci’ division now markets arts and crafts to children older than six. He wants to expand the appeal of the products.
Hasbro has also been quick to jump on the opportunities provided by Silver Screen hits such as the Marvel Universe and the Frozen franchise. It licensing agreement with Disney will almost definitely ensure that the products remain in their current position as one of the most popular festive season gifts available anywhere.
For Parents & Family:
For parents and family who want to provide products that will not only excite a child’s imagination – but also foster creativity, Play-Doh will continue to be a popular choice. It also doesn’t hurt that play Doh products are entirely non-toxic. The mixture of water, salt and flour (although the exact recipe is a secret) is edible (in a pinch). It also doesn’t contain dairy or peanuts. Play-Doh is simply an almost perfect toy.
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