“We’re not a company that goes in and out of brands,” notes TOMY International spokesperson Scott Goldberg, referring to the toy supplier’s venerable John Deere line in particular.
He’s standing in front of a display stand at Toy Fair featuring John Deere farm and construction play product, an entire wall of which is merchandised just a few feet behind him. It includes a new addition to the line in Gear Force-tagged toy vehicles offering both farm and off-road play for preschoolers.
Meanwhile, TOMY senior VP Willie Wilkov lauds the Gear Force collection’s heightened sound, movement and overall play value.
"There’s just more to it,” he says. “There are different characters, so it’s a play set all in one.”
The Gear Force set does in fact bring articulated and poseable character figures and animals, along with themed accessories, to an assortment of vehicles led by the biggest, the Combine Harvester, which features sound and lights, the ability to pick up bales and pop them out of the hopper, two figures, a bull and numerous accessories.
The other Gear Force earth-moving and heavy hauling vehicles follow the “adventure story in a box” form in including figures, accessories and animals. Other entries in the new group include Gator off-road and utility vehicles; new non-Gear Force John Deere product includes various ride-ons, a radio-control Monster Treads Gator and Monster Treads tractor and wagon. There's also a Raging Bull Roundup set and Monster Treads Shake N Sounds off-road vehicles, as well as various preschool-targeted farm-related sets.
TOMY has marketed John Deere product since the early 1950s.
Subscribe to my examiner.com pages and follow me on Twitter @JimBessman!