OMG, it's Richard Simmons! Yes, it was, right down to the White-Boy afro, nylon shorts and tank top. The uber fitness guru, known for "Deal A Meal," "Sweatin' to the Oldies" and getting your grandma to kick box around her Hummel figures in paroxysms of fitness was the first celebrity sighting as Toy Fair opened unofficially this morning.
Simmons was in the ultra glam Mattel digs on 23rd Street in Manhattan to promote a knock out new toy from Fisher-Price--the Smart Cycle. It's a stationary bike that connects to the TV and lets kids play all kinds of games as they peddle along.
It's an amazing item that's perfectly designed for little kids physically and games are appropriate for the cognitive skills of a preschooler. Coming out later this fall, this is the perfect accessory for the family room where mom and dad keep their exercise equipment in front of the TV. Kudos to Fisher-Price. Kids can race, play by pedaling and interact with adorable onscreen games.
The bike is part of a whole initiative of active play that's being seen throughout the whole Mattel line-up. (More on that later this week!)
But Richard Simmons? Well, as it turns out, Simmons is advocating for the return of P.E. to schools and getting kids active, so it makes a lot of sense. Simmons is a passionate, outspoken proponent of getting kids off their butts. And the F-P product does just that--turning what might be passive TV gaming into an active, engaging adventure.
Maybe tomorrow we'll run into Bea Arthur in the Barbie room, or "gallery" as they call it.
- C. Byrne