By Lisa Johnston
New products on display at the American International Toy Fair, held in N
Car Toys will begin selling the Microsoft Xbox and Zune portable audio players this Thanksgiving, making the 52-store chain one of the few car stereo specialists to offer iPod-type portables and video game products.
Both the Xbox and Zune will be promoted as devices for the car. The Xbox will be offered with a 10-inch drop-down video monitor without DVD, as the Xbox includes its own DVD player. It will also come with an AC/DC converter in a kit called the Microsoft Mobile Theater (MMT).
"Think about the Xbox. You've got gaming, you've got hard drive storage, and you have a DVD," said senior merchandising VP Dan Jeancola, noting the unit becomes a complete video/gaming delivery device, well suited to the car, when a screen is added.
The Microsoft Zune is a 30GB wearable audio player at $249, which Microsoft has positioned to compete head to head with the iPod. The player is due in stores on Nov. 14. Car Toys said it has no plans to sell the iPod.
Jeancola added, "People are replacing the [aftermarket] CD player as their source of music with a portable format. Your $200 in-dash CD sale is now a $200 connectivity sale. If you don't embrace that, you are just going to lose share."
Car Toys joined the Progressive Retailers Organization in May.
This TWICE webinar, hosted by senior editor Alan Wolf, will take a look at what may be the hottest CE products at retail that will be sold during the all-important fourth quarter. Top technologies, market strategies and industry trends will be discussed with industry analysts and executives.