In order to max1m1se the Palitoy range, OBM has evolved the concept of 'Little Villagers' rather than 'The Family' or 'Happy Families'. It is felt to have more potential for both imaginative and creative play situations and for future range development. They have also designed new backs for the packs which can be included as part of the play material. The copy statement planned to define the difference between Playpeople, Busybodies and Little Villagers is 'wind them up and watch them go'. The objectives of the research reported here were therefore to examine:
1. Responses to the name ' Little Villagers' by comparison with ' Happy Families' and 'The Walkers';
2. Responses to the Villagers concept in terms of both current play and future development range;
3. Responses to the figures in terms of their manipulability; play advantages and disadvantages; interest in the whole range or parts of the range; involvement with the pack as well as the figures; comparisons between Little Villagers and Playpeople and Busybodies, both for play potential and value for money, etc.