SKY DANCERS' SUCCESS SPINS INTO NEW BOY TOY:LEWIS GALOOB'SDRAGON FLYZ LAUNCHED WITH $20 MIL IN ADS

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Hoping to reprise last year's hit-status Sky Dancers flying toy for girls, Lewis Galoob Toys this week rolls out a boys' version called Dragon Flyz.

Backed by an estimated $20 million spot TV campaign from Towne, Silverstein, Rotter, New York, Galoob hopes Dragon Flyz will eclipse the Sky Dancers phenomenon with a more extensive lineup of fully poseable characters, heavier advertising and a 26-episode animated Dragon Flyz TV program airing this fall.

EXPECTING BIG IMPACT

"We're introducing the first poseable boys' toys that fly, bringing a new play pattern and non-violent action and adventure to the boys category that we think will have a big impact," said Jack Beuttell, senior VP-male action toys, who joined Galoob recently from exec VP-international at Yes! Entertainment.

Unlike Sky Dancers, which allow girls to launch molded dolls spinning into the air by tugging on the toy's base, Dragon Flyz sends its characters flying by pulling on the tail of a special dragon launching device. The characters' collar spins independently, and the actual figure remains static.

One of the most compelling features about Dragon Flyz is what it shares with Sky Dancers: It's low-price, low-tech and portable in an age when kids are spending more time and money on costly, home-based electronic entertainment.

Z'NETH VS. DREAD WING

Dragon Flyz characters include Z'neth, the leader; his brothers Summit and Peak, and a sister named Apex; plus a host of cohorts and enemies including an evil character named Dread Wing. Each unit costs less than $10; a special Riptor launching device, coming this fall, will retail for $25.

Thanks to its Sky Dancers success, Galoob is resurging after languishing for several years.

The marketer is expected to spend an estimated $40 million to $45 million on advertising this year for all its products. It recently snared several key licensing agreements including a deal with Sony Signatures to produce action figures for upcoming films.

New versions of Sky Dancers are also rolling out this year, backed by TV spots, while Galoob simultaneously prepares for the summer rollout of action figures based on "The Real Adventures of Jonny Quest," theTV series airing this fall from Turner Broadcasting System's Hanna-Barbera Productions.

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