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The Hottest Toy of the Holiday Season, Right Out of the Oven!

Every year, almost every toy manufacturer takes their best shot at creating the hottest toy of the holiday season, leveraging strategies that capitalize on the most popular industry trends, latest technologies and the innovative prowess of their brand, marketing and product development teams. But, there’s no true way to predict what will resonate with kids and parents enough to start a retail frenzy… or generate such a demand that products would sell for over double the retail price on reseller sites.

If this holiday season teaches us anything, it’s that the key to creating the hottest selling toy is to be a little bit strange and quirky. You know, like taking the old “no idea is a bad idea” approach to innovation. And, Moose Toys has done just that with the Cookeez Makery oven, which “magically” turns a ball of dough into a warm, cuddly, scented plush toy. Yes. With the Cookeez Makery oven, kids can now essentially bake their own toy pet.

How to bake your own pet:

As shown in this YouTube video, the play pattern involves mixing two brightly-colored powders together along with some water until it turns into “dough.” You then press the dough into a plastic mold to turn it into an animal-shaped cookie, which you place into the oven. You then set the timer and wait 90 seconds. When the timer ends, you open the oven door to reveal the plush toy. When you take it out of the oven, it’s warm to the touch and it smells like cinnamon.

The “magic” is actually quite simple. While the dough is “baking,” a hidden shelf containing the plush toy drops down to the oven rack level, while the dough drops down to the lower part of the oven. The toy contains scented pellets and batteries. When squeezed for a few seconds, the toy warms up, squeaks in delight, and begins to smell like a freshly-baked cinnamon cookie.

Lots of hype leads to high demand and empty retail shelves

Upon its launch in August of this year, Cookeez Makery has become a huge hit with kids and adults alike. Countless videos appeared on TikTok, Instagram and YouTube showing the magical baking sequence and cuteness that results. Parents are struggling to find the product at retail and have had to resort to reselling sites to get their hands on them for the Holidays. It’s currently going for about twice its suggested retail price on Amazon and almost ten times that price on eBay.

Why is this product such a big hit with consumers? Sure, it’s a little weird to “bake” a pet in an oven. But, it’s the simple “magic” of the baking process that’s fascinating to kids. Moose Toys has also leveraged the “blind box” strategy to drive purchase. Consumers can choose between pink and teal ovens, and the plush toy that it contains – either a cat, dog or rabbit – isn’t revealed until you “bake” it. You can also reset the sequence and store the dough in a plastic bag so that the magic can happen all over again.

Questions:

  • What are your thoughts on the Cookeez Makery? Is it too strange or even creepy? Or does that somehow add to the fun of the play pattern?
  • If you’re in the toy business or not, what do you think is the reason that it’s such a hit with kids and their parents?

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