TFE/TFE Licensing, October 2021

Page 26


Q&A: Adam Woods, ZURU Creative Director Adam Woods, creative director at ZURU, has helped develop brands for the company including Rainbocorns, Smashers, Robo Alive, and Pets Alive. He is also the inventor of the TikTok-favorite, collectible 5 Surprise Mini Brands line. In this Q&A, Woods talks about the biggest trends in the toy industry, the social media success of Mini Brands, the creative process behind the latest Rainbocorns extensions — and more.

To start, can you give us an overview of your role at ZURU? Adam Woods: I joined ZURU five years ago to head up the company’s creative department as their global creative director. Working closely with co-founder Mat Mowbray, my responsibilities range from launching new brands, growing existing product lines and solidifying the ZURU’s collectibles portfolio. Our goal: establish ubiquitous pillar brands across value, trend, and innovation categories that disrupt and succeed. From the growing award-winning Rainbocorns plush range, the top-selling 5 Surprise Mini Brands brand, to the consistently top-ranked Bunch O Balloons, I’m thrilled to be a part of a team that has taken multiple brands to the top of the U.S. NPD rankings and ingrained them in the hearts and homes of millions.

When you boil it down, one of the most exciting and most fun parts of working in toys is creating ideas for new brands and toys that we think kids will LOVE! That’s what it is all about, right? The play! The excitement! We manufacture over 600,000 toys every day and distribute to over 121 countries! It’s a great feeling to bring joy and happiness to kids worldwide. What do you see as the biggest trends in the toy industry right now and how is ZURU putting its own spin on those trends? AW: Ironically, one of the BIGGEST trends is small. Great toys are often a reflection of the things we see in our everyday lives. Our 5 Surprise Mini Brands and Toy Mini Brands line harnessed this observation! Since we launched 5 Surprise Mini Brands in 2019, millions worldwide have chased and collected the tiny exact replicas of the world’s most iconic, beloved brands. The idea itself — combining blind surprise reveals, miniature collectibles and the fun of shopping — has been a huge success! Today it is one of the #1 selling items in the States with

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