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Townley Enters Bath Category With Play-Doh License

Bath category sales are bubbling once again, posting double-digit gains.

Mr. Bubbles has new competition in the bath tub.

Townley Cosmetics, which built its business with glitter makeup for young customers and hot licenses such as Disney Princesses and Minions, is rolling out a Play-Doh bath line.

The bath products made an official debut in the MTV Gifting Suite presented by Secret Room Events, according to Gloria Safdieh, Townley’s marketing coordinator.

“We built a Play-Doh Bath backdrop and gave out tons of samples. Celebrities were really excited to share our Play-Doh Bath products with the kids in their lives,” she said.

Among those getting their hands on the bath and hair-care items were Instagram stars The Royal Twins (Bella and Chloe Abir), actor Bryce Gheisar, actress Ashley Dulaney, actor Steven Bauer and actress and America’s Next Top Model contestant Paige Mobley.

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2017 MTV Gifting Suite presented by Secret Room Events held at SLS Hotel on April 07, 2017 in Los Angeles, California, United States (Photo by Jose Limongi)
The Royal Twins © Jose Limongi

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Wal-Mart and Toys ‘R’ Us are the first to market with a bath soap that resembles the beloved modeling compound and a three-in-one hair-care item. By the end of April Play-Doh is expected to be in 8,000 doors, en route to 25,000 stores by year-end.

After several years of tepid growth, the bath category is bubbling again with IRI data showing double-digit expansion for the first time in 10 years.

“We thought it was a good time to get into the bath business,” said Abie Safdieh, Townley’s chief executive officer. After surveying the competitive environment, he got the idea for a Play-Doh theme.

Safdieh’s team devoted more than a year to formulating a soap that mimicked the consistency of Play-Doh. “Once we had something we liked, we approached Play-Doh,” he explained. “I took a clump, placed in on the table and said ‘We want to be your licensee for bath.’” The Hasbro-owned Play-Doh, unlike many popular kid’s properties, currently has limited licensed products.

The Play-Doh soap comes packaged with five colors of soap. The combination shampoo, conditioner and body wash resembles stacked Play-Doh containers. Retailers are pricing the item from $3 to $5. Gifts sets will be added for holiday.

Beyond bringing a new face to the juvenile bath business, Townley’s executives said entry into bath with Play-Doh expands Townley’s reach beyond its girl-dominated business while also helping build year-round sales.