Hasbro gets in the consumer catalog game

Hasbro, the 83-year-old manufacturer of toys and games ranging from Scrabble to Nerf Hoops, dropped its first direct-to-consumer print catalog in late March.

Part of the reason for the catalog, says Ed Kriete, senior vice president of marketing for Pawtucket, RI-based Hasbro, is to raise awareness of the products and brands owned by the toymaker. “One of the things we hear from consumers is that they didn’t know we owned Littlest Pet Shop or Monopoly,” he says. “This catalog lets consumers see every product we carry at one time in one place.”

Another reason for the print catalog is to drive sales back to resellers such as Toys ‘R’ Us, Wal-Mart, and Amazon.com, as well as to Hasbro’s own e-commerce site, www.hasbrotoyshop.com.

“The goal for all merchants is to go multichannel, and this is part of a long-term strategy that began last year,” Kriete says. “Catalogs are the next logical step for us, and we feel consumers will use them to make purchases at the channel they are most familiar with, whether it’s brick and mortar, online, or direct through the catalog.”

Kriete will not disclose the number of catalogs distributed, but he says it mailed to online requesters and customers nationwide. The 68-page full-color book is broken into four merchandise sections — preschool, girls, boys, and electronics and games — and features Glow Worm, Monopoly, My Little Pony, and Star Wars toys on the front cover.

Hasbro’s plan as of now is to drop a second catalog in the fall for the holiday season and to continue mailing the book twice a year.

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