Welcome to Sti­keez­ma­nia

CityPress - - News - ATHANDIWE SABA athandiwe.saba@city­press.co.za

Hoody, Puffy, Sharky, Froggy and Dol­phy. These are the names guar­an­teed to make par­ents hide their wal­lets and take cover. In just over a month, Sti­keez – col­lectable minia­ture plas­tic toy char­ac­ters – have taken the coun­try by storm, with nu­mer­ous online plat­forms ded­i­cated to swap­ping, buy­ing and selling them.

The toys are part of a pro­mo­tion run by Pick n Pay, which gives one toy for ev­ery R150 spent by a cus­tomer.

Pick n Pay has also in­tro­duced a free mo­bile game for phones and tablets. If par­ents are al­ready in­censed by the char­ac­ters, the game – Rise of the Sti­keez – may just push them over the edge.

But many par­ents are bending to their lit­tle ones’ de­mands, says mum-of-two An­nika Larsen. Her first ex­pe­ri­ence with the toys started badly. “Drowsy, I stum­bled down­stairs to find the tod­dler and the preschoole­r squab­bling and Bat­man, the dog, chok­ing.

“The chil­dren were fight­ing over who had made Bat­man choke on a Sti­keez. And no one was do­ing any­thing to save the dog. I broke up the fight and pulled a tiny pur­ple thing out of Bat­man’s mouth,” she said. “Sti­keez had landed.”

Luck­ily, her two kids are al­ready over the craze. But there’s bad news for other un­lucky par­ents. Ru­mours are that Pick n Pay may be com­ing out with sea­son 2.

Andy Rice, brand­ing and advertisin­g ex­pert, thinks this kind of mar­ket­ing strat­egy doesn’t last long.

“These pro­mo­tions are ef­fec­tive as long as they last. This is a short-term of­fer where Pick n Pay says ‘we’ll give you this if you give us that’, which is R150 or more,” he said.

“The prob­lem with this is that the shop­ping is driven by the chil­dren, not the par­ents.”

Par­ents’ in­volve­ment in some cases has gone be­yond sim­ply cough­ing up the bucks at Pick n Pay for their chil­dren to com­plete the col­lec­tion of 24 char­ac­ters.

“I was at a gath­er­ing where my niece and nephew were talk­ing about Sti­keez. One asked if the other was col­lect­ing them. The re­sponse was hi­lar­i­ous. ‘No, but my mother is.’”

PHOTO: EL­IZ­A­BETH SE­JAKE

TINY TER­RORS Shop­ping is now driven by the chil­dren, not the par­ents

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from South Africa

© PressReader. All rights reserved.