David Cywinski with the Electric Blues Box Slide Guitar at Toy Fair
Music print publisher Hal Leonard was happy to highlight its new product release and distribution partnership with Hinkler Books at last week's Toy Fair, giving prominent space in its exhibition hall booth to Hinkler's Electric Blues Box Slide Guitar Kit.
The kit contains a cigar box-style guitar, instruction book (by Nick Bryant, and including history of the cigar box guitar as well as how to assemble and play it using strumming, picking and slide techniques) and DVD.
"We had a lot of success with it in the fourth quarter," said Hal Leonard's senior key accounts manager David Cywinski, who put one together at the show.
"It has there strings, no frets, and comes with a glass slide—and you can plug it into any amp and have fun with it."
And it retails for only $34.99.
"Because we did so well with it, we're making an electric ukulele, to be released soon after the show," said Cywinski. "It's a high-quality four-string instrument, with a maple neck through the body, for $44.99. Go out and buy and electric uke and you start at a $100 pricepoint."
As for the venerable Hal Leonard publishing brand, Cywinski cited its Moana and La La Land soundtrack songbooks, the latter issued "very quickly—to go with our Hamilton [songbook]."
He also singled out The Beatles--Super Easy Songbook, which joins the Super Easy series also including Hit Songs, Hymns, Disney and Kids' Songs, with more such titles "in the pipeline."
"It's a new format, written and arranged to be a super-easy entry point for youngsters, that we're really excited about: If you buy a keyboard, they can sit down and play almost without trying."