HOW BABY FACE WAS BORN...
33. Galoob Soils Their Diapers

In Europe Magic Diaper Babies were sold as impulse collectibles, sort of like baseball cards are sold here. They were well under a dollar each, and if the closed package turned out to contain a "duplicate", one could trade it with a friend. Magic Diaper Babies appeared everywhere, including next to cash registers where lottery tickets were sold. For us it was like winning the lottery!

And for Gary Niles it was his ticket out of "Toy Boys" [the international division] to one, of the two, top positions at Galoob. They really were "His" Babies, in every sense of the word! And he felt he could, not only, bring them with him to Galoob, But, for his "First Trick", Introduce them to the American market! Where they would fill Baby Face's, soon to be vacated, "shoes".

He, then, made two marketing decisions, that would determine the destiny of the Magic Diaper Babies! : First, he replaced the secret individual packaging and instead sold them in pre-collected groups, fully disclosed on blister cards. The mystery of weather they were boys or girls remained, but the chance element of who they were, was gone. The thinking was, that, retailers in the US prefer higher ticket items, and there are less outlets here for low price impulse items. I can't fault the logic here, perhaps this was a good decision.

It is Gary's second decision, that I feel was so Naive, it managed to "Snatch Defeat from the Very Jaws of Success"! Because Galoob had invested so much capital in gaining recognition for the name "Baby Face", Gary decided to use that name on the Magic Diaper Babies packages!



 

In my opinion the "Obituary Notices" are not a great place to "borrow" a name for a new product "Introduction"!Think about it! (I wish Galoob had) ...Even as much as you like Baby Face, you and the other collectors assumed she "died" because sales slowed down, or there was something wrong with her, somehow. What is the Retailer supposed to think?

"You've stopped running ads. Why? The assumption is, because sales are slowing down! What happens when you stop running ads? Sales do slow down! Now you want us to buy "More Baby Face merchandise? Forget it! She's Dead!"

Thus, "Baby Face Magic Diaper Babies" (triumphant Conquest of the New World) like it's namesake; Died Before It Began!! Toys-R-Us (ever enamored with Baby Face) tried a few pieces, but that was it!


Next Page: 34. The Legacy of Baby Face

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