Radio Shack Takes a Flyer
By William Makely
Holiday toys and games can suck up battery power as quickly as their young owners consume candy. That is, if the gift-giver remembers to supply batteries to power the presents in the first place.
Most retailers push batteries heavily in the run-up to Christmas. But, this past holiday season, Radio Shack went one better by putting a combo of batteries in a promotional package that qualifies as a gift in itself.
The batteries—a dozen each of AAs and AAAs—came in a tiny version of the classic Radio Flyer “little red wagon,” a gift Radio Shack originally gave to attendees at a company holiday party.
“We got lots of positive comments on the package,” says Radio Shack’s director of media relations, Charles Hodges, “so we decided to sell it throughout the holiday season.”
The batteries were nested in a custom-molded clear polyvinyl chloride (PVC) base and cover that sat in the bed of a 6.25-inch Model 901 mini Radio Flyer wagon, a replica of the iconic red wagon kids have enjoyed for more than 85 years.
SCA Packaging Consumer Products (formerly the Alloyd Company), which makes much of Radio Shack’s blister packaging, knew that Radio Shack wanted an attractive way to display the batteries and “juice up” the package.  They designed a base and cover that showed off the batteries at a dramatic angle and, at the same time, held them securely in place. In-store, the wagon was held in a chipboard display and, for easy stacking, the entire display was placed in a transparent carton.
The promotional battery pack offered dual appeal to consumers: the toy wagon, which has a life beyond its immediate use, and the batteries, a necessity for the receiver of battery-powered holiday gifts. BP
The author, Williams Makely, has written extensively on packaging and technology. Contact him at
Where to go for more information...
Blister packaging. At SCA Packaging, Consumer Products, contact Ken Sullivan at 815.787.5862 or