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Saturday, January 06, 2007

Cool Shoes – Hot Wheels

News of more licensing partnerships. Mattel makers of My Scene™, Hot Wheels® and Fisher-Price® Brands announced recently they were going into a comprehensive licensing partnership with adidas® to produce a new collection of footwear for these brands. They intention is adidas® will introduce signature sports footwear and accessories for Mattel's toys. The partnership was launched with Hot Wheels™ Blings™ athletic style shoes and there are matching collectible Hot Wheels® car – Basketball Blings™ K (hightops) and Rally Racer Blings™ K (lace up).The second phase of the launch, this autumn (Fall) and will include shoes for boys with the Hot Wheels™ Ice Packs. Of course there is a matching collectible Hot Wheels® car. (sic, I cannot buy shoes with out them, now). The Mattel/adidas® partnership will extend the range for for girls in the Spring 2007 with the launch of the My Scene™ Sporty Style™ dolls (Kennedy®, Madison® and Chelsea®) featuring sporty glam adidas® branded fashions. Each doll features their individual sport activity i.e. tennis, yoga or skateboarding, and includes sports accessories, a purse and a water bottle. Coordinating adidas®/My Scene™ branded girls apparel, accessories and shoes inspired by the Sporty Style™ dolls will also be available. Brats™ and Barbie®® , may need to look to their feet! Seems too Fisher-Price® and adidas® have formed an allegiance and unveiled a new line of footwear and apparel for infants and toddlers just in time for Christmas. This was a first-ever co-branded partnership for Fisher-Price® footwear. Each pair comes with two Roll-a-Rounds™ toys.

Reminds me of how children’s shoes started in the first place. Until the turn of the 20th century kids shoes were sized down adults. (rather like female sports shoes until relatively recently). Shoe manufacturers, like Clarks in the UK, realized there was a window of commercial opportunity making shoes for children’s feet. Ostensibly the market was directed at middle class families who desired a future for their offspring and quality footwear was considered a shrewd investment. In reality there was no existing evidence that shoes made to accommodate growing feet aided natural development. Pure quasi logic which even today has no supporting evidence, odd as that may seem. In any event the association children’s shoes and growing feet became a sales myth which continues to this day. Now that sports shoes have been introduced into toddler attire maybe by the end of the century the foot police will wonder why humans could ever walk without them.

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