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NEW YORK — Social networking is going to the dogs.
In its first-ever toy created for the canine community, Mattel is introducing a product called “Puppy Tweets” that meshes the hugely popular Twitter with consumers’ love of pets.
Puppy Tweets is a plastic tag with a sound and motion sensor that you attach to your pet’s dog collar and connect its USB receiver to your computer. Then you create a Twitter account for your dog and enjoy updates all day from Sparky or whatever its name is on your computer or smartphone.
The tag is set with several pre-recorded tweets that are triggered by the dog’s activities. So if he’s running around, you might get a tweet that says “I finally caught that tail I’ve been chasing and…OOUUUCHH!”
If Sparky is napping, he’ll tweet “Somedays it feels like my paw is permanently on the snooze button!” If he’s making a ruckus, his tweet will let you know that as well, saying”YAHOOOOOOO! Somedays you just gotta get your bark on.”
“Puppy Tweets capitalizes on two popular trends – the use of social media and real time communication, as well as peoples’ extreme love for their dogs,” said Susan Russo, Mattel’s director of marketing.
Puppy Tweets is part of the No. 1 toymaker’s line-up of new products for 2010 that it showcased to members of the media Thursday ahead of the industry’s annual Toy Fair in New York next month.
Jim Silver, a toy industry analyst and editor-in-chief of TimetoPlayMag.com, said he was “curious” about Puppy Tweets when he first saw it.
“I thought that a 5-year-old doesn’t know about Twitter,” he said. But he said that Mattel is going after an entirely different market and “expanding beyond kids” with Puppy Tweets. “This is a product for adults.”
Does it make sense?
Said Silver,”It’s a good thing to try especially since no one else has come up with a pet product quite like this.”
Puppy Tweets will be available at retailers in the fall, and will carry a suggested retail price of $29.99.