Your Childhoood is Alive and Well Online.

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Feeling sadly nostalgic for your childhood?  Well, put down your Carebear and stop crying. Social media marketing and online marketing are keeping your kiddie memories alive online with 70s and 80s toys represented in a whole new way.

The Etch A Sketch from Ohio Art is just one of those darn things that thankfully will never go away. I recently watched kids who own Wii and Nintendo DS systems literally fight over an Etch A Sketch. The classic little red square with white knobs has reinvented itself over the last few years using online marketing. The Etch A Sketch is of course available as an app for your iPhone, but I really dig the online version of the toy. It allows users to fiddle away their time making endless skyscrapers or odd square shaped words.

Hot Wheels, those little metal cars that will surely outlast most man-built structures, are using online marketing in every way possible. From a YouTube channel to an interactive Facebook page, the company’s marketing is as durable as the product they build. Clearly, Hot Wheels is targeting young men who loved the brand and now ready to pass it on to the next generation.

The treasure trove of all things retro, though, is GI Joe, My Little Pony, Transformers and even Colonel Mustard from Clue all call Hasbro home. Hasbro has zeroed in adults with a smartphone app of their hit board game Scrabble, an online version of Lite Brite-which p.s. now comes in a flatscreen model”¦ with down-loadable refills, and the Easy Bake Oven cake decorating game.  My fav here is easily the online version of Connect Four. It is a lot of fun and surprisingly difficult but without the annoying kids from the old commercials. The company also scores big with taking their Family Game Night campaign to Twitter where board-gamers can tweet about their latest victories.

Wham-O, inventor of the Frisbee, Slip ‘n’ Slide, Water Wiggle and other fun yet potentially lethal toys, has kept itself afloat  with fun online videos. Starting with a video contest in 2007 on Youtube, Wham-O’s site has how to videos on playing Frisbee golf and tips on professional Frisbee techniques-who knew!

With big screen versions of the Smurfs and A Team coming soon, the 70’s and 80’s revival is in full swing using new media marketing.  What toy from your past would you like to see make a comeback?

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