Vintage Pin Play figures and the modern Mattel redesign.
“What made Pin Play™ toys different from every other product at market was that these toys had their very own Play Pattern. What’s a Play Pattern, you ask...”
Do you remember Pin Play™?
It was big… really big. As in the biggest type of open-ended creative play in the entire world for almost 50 years!
Yeah, that’s right. And all without electronics, batteries, assembly, or one single screen-based app. Kids played with Pin Play™ toys. Real imaginative play. Play that inspired creative young minds to develop and understand their complex world.
What? You’ve never heard of this amazing toy? Maybe this picture helps:
Aha! Now you know what I’m talking about, right?
One of the breakout hits was the “Happy Family Bus.” Small pin-shaped mini-figures that fit snuggly into vehicles (and later, playsets) became THE staple of every toy chest and playroom across the planet for decades and decades. (SPOILER ALERT: And we’re bringing them back for today’s kids, parents, and collectors!)
Classic playsets like the Barn, Family House, and massive Airport Runway were toys of legend. And for those lucky children who owned the incredible Castle Adventure set – complete with Royal Family, Knight, Coach, secret passages, and a DRAGON – this was the set to have!
What made Pin Play™ toys different from every other product at market was that these toys had their very own Play Pattern. What’s a Play Pattern, you ask? That’s an industry term for the type of interaction kids (and adult collectors, too) have with toy product. Let me give some quick examples:
Hair Play – This is the industry term for playing with dolls and combing hair.Wheel Play – Industry lingo for (you guessed it) rolling cars and trucks and vehicles.Construction Play – Building blocks, etc.Doinky Doink Play – Bear with me on this one, because this is the industry term for smashing two action figures into each other!
Of course, there are tons of other examples, from Nurturing Play to Science Play.While some may argue these terms are oversimplified, after spending 15 years in the toy industry I can definitely vouch that overarching Play Pattern labels like these become essential for both selling product into retails and likewise to parents. For example, toy stores have items divided by play type: a “wheels” aisle, a “dress-up” aisle, etc.
Okay, so what does all this have to do with Pin Play™ and these classic toys? Well, these toys making use of the pin-shaped bodies of the mini-figures created a Play Pattern that’s completely unique to this toy. And that, toy fans, is HUGE.
It’s extremely rare for a toy to have its own Play Pattern, a type of product engagement that no other product can replicate.
For example, only Pin Play™ figures had the ability to:
Fall down trap doors.Or plug into spinners.And even the way they go down slides.
No other toy can do what Pin Play™ toys can do.
Take a look at the new style of mini-figures compared to vintage ones:
The simple round pin-shaped bodies, happy faces, bright colors, and tactile interaction all added up to a completely original toy with a completely original Play Pattern. Only Pin Play™-shaped mini-figures worked with the playsets, and these playsets brought the world to life!
Each set was chock-full of action features and accessories, and best of all, all the sets could fold up and go for easy clean-up. Not a single set had electronics, batteries, or apps of any kind. All the sounds, payoffs, and surprises were good old-fashioned bells and whistles. (Hey, maybe that’s where we got the phrase!)
Children learned to understand their complex world through these Pin Play™ toys. For many, Pin Play™ playsets were their very first action figure, a toy that opened young minds to an entirely new way of discovering fun.
Sadly, Pin Play™ went away in the late 1980s as companies modernized the classic line and updated it for a new generation.
But you know what? If it ain’t broke…
This is why Entertainment Earth is going back to the basics, bringing Pin Play™ to a whole new generation with our all-wood Pin Mates™ collectible toy line!
And for the first time, in addition to timeless classics like Luckee the dog, Pin Mates™include licensed superheroes from the worlds of Marvel Comics and DC, letting kids and collectors truly play with all their favorite characters together in one world.
Firefighters, princesses, ninjas, and superheroes – Pin Mates™ has them all. The entire line is ready to play with no batteries, electronics, or apps of any kind needed, and it’s proudly DESIGNED BY PARENTS.
We’re not only collectors here at Entertainment Earth. We’re parents, too. So, when we make cool toys, we want to ensure that kids of all ages can play, imagine, and create.
Pin Play™ is back, and it’s better than ever! The Pin Mates™ wooden collectibles line from Entertainment Earth features collectible pin-shaped characters, vehicles, and playsets.
We’ll have our entire line to show off at San Diego Comic-Con 2018, so check ’em out. In the meantime, take a look at some of our amazing Pin Mate™ SDCC exclusives and premiers.
Pin Play™ is about to make a huge comeback. Collectors will always collect, but kids need something to actually play with. Apps are not the answer, so here at Entertainment Earth, we’re here to save the play!
Look for Pin Mates™ wood toys wherever awesome collectibles are sold, or go directly to entertainmentearth.com/Pinmates to order online today!