The supply chain is playing with the soft golden dumpling everyone wants

Dart is one of a family of interactive dumplings from toy maker WowWee that hit stores in mid-July. They’re basically what the name suggests: squeezable but inedible dumplings big enough to fit in the palm of your hand.

And they are increasingly difficult to find. As with everything, blame the supply chain.

“It’s like ** tshow,” said Michael Yanofsky, the company’s managing director of sales. “It is not just the port robbery, it is the labor shortage and reinforcements along the transportation network that has been a struggle to get the toys to the retailers.”

“Our bet is made for Black Friday,” Yanofsky said. “Whatever meatball inventory is in it and we hope it all hits store shelves. There is no chance of getting more unless we put them on airplanes.”

WowWee is trying to get around serious supply chain problems to ensure it has enough overall inventory of its dumplings to meet strong demand through Christmas. Meatballs, like most toys sold in the United States, are made in China.


The first four in the lineup are called “Doe”, “Dip”, “Dee” and “Dot”. They each speak a strange “Squish-Pop” language and laugh and laugh. His cheeks change color and the top of his head is illuminated with a color code that matches his current “mood”: energetic, happy, silly. Then came “Mel the Marshamallow”, “Peace the Peach” and “Coco the Cotton Candy Cloud”.

Mel the Marshmallow from WowWee.
But it’s Dart, the golden dumpling that flaunts 24-karat gold glasses, which everyone desperately wants. It sold out in Amazon (AMZN) where WowWee released it in late September. Dart has been showing up in eBay (EBAY)twice the retail price.

Its popularity even caught the attention of, an offshore gaming site, which this month was taking bets on whether the little soft golden dumpling would sell out on Amazon before Black Friday.

Hitting all the trends

The $ 15 dumpling toy is popular because it’s affecting some mainstream trends in toys right now, said Marissa Silva, editor-in-chief of The Toy Insider, a toy news and reviews website.

She said kids are obsessed with collecting cute little toys that come in small packages, as evidenced by the Shopkins mania.

“The dumplings are a bit bigger but collectible,” Silva said. “They are also affordable and not too complicated for children to understand.”

Plus, the squishy, ​​squishy texture of the dumpling and the popping of its body also plays smartly in today’s bubble pop toy craze.

There is another attraction: gastronomic inspiration.

WowWee released their My Squishy Little Dumplings toys in July.

“Food-themed toys continue to be a very popular trend. We’ve seen this with Shopkins and Mini Brands,” said Jim Silver, a toy industry expert and CEO of Toys, Tots, Pets & More, a site industry review website. Mini Brands are small, scaled-down versions of popular consumer products like a can of Spam or a bottle of Dove Body Wash that come hidden in little pouches. “

“These food-inspired toys are also super easy for kids to have fun on social media,” Silver said.

The soft dumplings are the brainchild of Sydney Wiseman, vice president of brand development and creative strategy at WowWee. He came up with the idea 18 months ago. “I wanted to make a toy based on a dumpling for a long time,” he said. And I wanted the dumpling characters to be in a band. That look is infused into their looks and the accessories they wear.

More come

WowWee announced in August a partnership with Nickelodeon to produce animated digital music videos featuring the squishy characters of a band.

Wiseman is delighted with the popularity of meatballs in general, and especially Dart’s, of which WowWee only produced 100,000 pieces as a very limited character. He said Dart has a special meaning to the WowWee team. “It is named after a dear friend of ours on WowWee, Art Janis, who recently passed away,” he said.

There is still a chance to score Dart after Black Friday. WowWee will release a two-pack with the gold dumpling and a rose gold dumpling on November 30 on Amazon.

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