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ISSUE 213-214

www.toynews-online.biz

Jan/Feb 2020

TOY NEWS

The leading independent specialist in media buying and marketing communications for Children, Young People and Families. JAN/FEB 2020

+44 (0)207 307 7900

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The leading independent specialist in media buying and marketing communications for Children, Young People and Families. +44 (0)207 307 7900

generationmedia.co.uk

No. 213/214 | Jan/Feb 2020

A mindset to propel us forward

Editor Robert Hutchins robert.hutchins@biz-media.co.uk

Sales Manager Sarah Norwood sara.norwood@biz-media.co.uk

Designer Nikki Hargreaves nikki.hargreaves@biz-media.co.uk

Follow us @toynews online

J

ust by accident, the theme of this month’s issue - outside of it being of the first ToyNews of the decade, and our Toy Fair Issue - began to shift into focus half way through the Christmas break (which, as I hope it was for you all, was very kind to me but not my waistline) as our in-depth features began to fall into place. The New Year, for all that it is similar to being slapped out of your Christmas slumber by a screaming howler monkey, is also always a moment of quiet optimism for me over the potential the coming 12 months. It was therefore with a helping of satisfaction and lashings of brandy cream that the narrative of this issue unfolded the way it did. Because this month you will find us looking forward to what this year will bring the toy industry - be it greater diversity, better inclusivity, or more mindfulness. And the best thing is, it is all of you who are setting that agenda. Whether you are, like The Entertainer, pushing for a better understanding of the challenges of autism, or Gibsons, and focusing product for people living with dementia, or the majority and playing your part in sustainability - here’s to you for propelling us all forward. I'll be getting stuck in myself this year, having - naively - signed up for the Toy Trust’s Vitality Big Half marathon this March. I’ll be getting the steps in this Toy Fair season, and likely breathing into a paper bag. Robert Hutchins, Editor Robert.Hutchins@biz-media.co.uk

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COVER STORY MATTEL P12

Contents Jan/Feb 2020 Features

Regulars

BIG INTERVIEW: MATTEL

Opinion 08 Dylan Collins 09 Joel Davis 10 Steve Pasierb 11 Trudi Bishop

12

We kick off the year in conversation with VP and country manager, Michael Hick about the coming year for Mattel

20

SENSORY TOYS Following The Entertainer's Quiet Hour, we look at what the industry is doing to ease challenges around autism

26

Market Data 70 Generation Media 72 K  ids Insights 71 Marketing Move 78 SnapDragon

HORNBY AT 100 Hornby is celebrating its centenary, so we talk with the team to find out how it will be celebrating

30

Back pages 177 Industry Moves 178 Bossing It...

COVER STARS: GENERATION MEDIA We get the latest from the media experts in our big interview with MD Lisa Morgan

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Let’s talk about We’ve got over 30 years experience as a specialist recruiter in the toys and licensing industry Although our search tools have advanced since 1989 our goal remains exactly the same - to help professionals and awesome companies find their perfect match. We’ve worked over

CV

7,800 days in the industry, making us the go-to people for toys and licensing recruitment.

We’ve placed over 6,000 perfect candidates We can find you your perfect candidate - whether you need a Key Account Manager in London, a Brand Manager in Berlin, or a Japanese speaking Marketing Manager! Our friendly consultants are dedicated to providing a personal, professional recruitment service wherever you are in the world.

To be precise, we’ve made placements in

21 countries from Australia to the United States!

Visit us at Toy Fair London on stand GH10! Meet us and discuss your vacancies, your hiring plans for 2020 or chat to us about your next move.

To arrange a meeting contact our Senior Toys & Licensing Consultant Chris Mellor. chris@aswift.com • + 44 (0) 1709 834777

www.aswift.com


COVER STORY 30 UNDER 30 P41

... more content Jan/Feb 2020 Features

34

THE ART OF THE TABLETOP As Mojo Nation and Asmodee UK challenge UK design students, we take a look at the inlfuence of board game art

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30 UNDER 30 This year's listing has been decided upon and revealed. Have you cracked it? Read on to find out.

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THE TOY FAIRS 74 New York Toy Fair Steve Pasierb talks us through New York Toy Fair 2020 81 Spring Fair Discover the latest developments, companies, and products and show at Birmingham's NEC this year

We ask our expert retailers, can retailers lead the sustainability movement from the front?

104 Nuremberg Dive into Europe's biggest Toy Fair.

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127 London Toy Fair Here's the big one

RETAIL ADVISORY PANEL

LICENSING AND TOYS We jump into the latest developments from the licensing space, including exclusive interviews and more

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Opinion

Changing channel: It’s time the toy industry looked at a Digital Future Beyond YouTube By Dylan Collins

If I'd suggested to you at the beginning of 2019 that YouTube would be pulling back from kids content, you’d have probably laughed. Yet here we are at the start of 2020, where exactly this scenario is happening. YouTube has announced its intention to reduce both advertising and community features for tens of thousands of kids content creators, many of which work with, or indeed are, toy companies themselves. Although this has come as a shock to many, it was inevitable. YouTube had a vast kids audience but as a platform (and marketing channel) was only ever designed for adults. The $170M COPPA fine which triggered this change was probably only the beginning (more fines will likely follow under GDPR-K). Much of the toy industry has been built on TV. I don’t say this unkindly; it’s a fantastic, platform. But as TV declines to a minority medium and YouTube becomes regulated out of the picture, we need to think about the Digital Future Beyond YouTube (DFBY). Many of you reading this will start to disagree at this point. YouTube has always been there, how could it not be in the future? But the people behind the platforms that we take for granted to power much of our industry simply aren’t thinking about our audience.

Big tech companies in general have woefully underinvested in kids. At a time when 40 per cent of new internet users are children, less than 1 per cent of all R&D investment goes into kidtech (and most of this comes from ‘independents’ outside of Silicon Valley). With big tech not thinking about our industry, the answer must come from elsewhere. Although there are exceptions, breakout platforms don’t come from mature companies. Look out for the startups. Should you be watching for ‘the new YouTube’? That may be the wrong question. In the adult space we’ve seen the emergence of a rich but fragmented video ecosystem (Snap, TikTok, Facebook, Instagram Stories). A reminder of how quickly this can happen: TikTok (now with over 500m active users) didn’t exist three years ago. None are as big as YouTube but they each provide a different type of user engagement. In the kids space, this trend is already beginning. There is YouTube Kids and Kidoodle for pre-school, Rukkaz for older kids and the emerging OTT ecosystem on Smart TVs. The DFBY will be multi-platform. What new platforms lack in scale, they can make up for in amplification. Early adopters on platforms have frequently had outsized success. Look at Talking Tom, Angry Birds and others. Investing in startup platforms pays off. Isn’t it time we started thinking a little more in investing in the platforms for our own ecosystem?

"Isn't it time we invested in platforms for our own ecosystem?" Dylan Collins is CEO of SuperAwesome, the digital kids engagement platform. He has led investments into a range of digital kids companies across the world including TotallyAwesome (Southeast Asia), Kids Corp (Latin America), Tankee (US) and Kids Insights (UK).

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Opinion

Listening to toy brands: Why voice is the next frontier for the industry By Joel Davis

Like every other sector, digital has disrupted and transformed the toy industry. Today, as family viewing attention shifts from TV to multi-screen consumption dominated by videos, thriving toy brands are those who deploy engaging content via social channels. And now we are on the cusp of further disruption as visual mediums are joined by voice to speed up how consumers search, discover, and share information. Google claims that voice searches are 30 times more likely to be action queries than text searches. In essence, people want to buy things through their digital assistant. Standard desktop searches, on the other hand, may indicate that people are simply looking at information, while mobile searches and voice searches are more likely to be from people wo are trying to do something specific. When you think about it, Voice makes complete sense. The average human can speak 150 words per minute, but only type 40 words during that time. Voice conveys emotion, tone, and subtleties that text can't. From a toy marketer’s perspective, voice enables consumers to re-frame their searches, make them more granular and readily share more context around their query. So, instead of typing in ‘trending toys’, a similar

voice query goes into more detail, such as; ‘What is the most popular educational toy for five year olds?’ As voice search continues to gain traction on traditional text queries, the toy sector is likely to see the boundaries between social media, entertainment, communication and marketing blur even further. Toy brands need to grab this golden opportunity to get in closer to their audiences. Enhancing the consumer experience means being more interactive, engaging and relevant and this requires a greater understanding of what parents and gift givers are searching for. Reframing all marketing platforms to capture voice as well as visual will enable toy brands to better identify what their consumers are really looking for. This will reduce media wastage and enhance the customer experience. While the top 10 toy companies in the world account for approximately one quarter of total toy sales, these companies are far less dominant in terms of market share compared with many other industries. This is likely due to an attachment to traditional marketing methods.It's those brands that recognise the need to embrace new models of engagement that are most likely going to lead the way. The toy sector is all about entertaining, educating and exploring - a perfect combination for this new era of interaction.

"Brands who recognise new models of engagement will thrive." Joel Davis is the CEO of the ad tech company Might Social. Davis is a multi award-winning entrepreneur and international speaker and an expert on emerging media and marketing platforms.

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Opinion

For the creator good: How the global toy industry is fostering talent and innovation By Steve Pasierb

Supporting global toy inventors and designers is so vital to the overall success and growth of the toy community. That’s why The US Toy Association is committed to expanding partnerships, collaborations, events, and yearround resources to support the creatives who have an undeniable impact on the future of play. The Toy Association’s Creative Factor programme launched at Toy Fair New York 17 years ago and has become a major initiative to get the community’s creative juices flowing while connecting inventors with those who can bring their concepts to life. Creative Factor has grown exponentially – it now has an advisory board, a major presence at Toy Fair New York, and supports up-and-coming design students, new talent, and established inventors beyond the confines of Toy Fair via educational tools and networking opportunities throughout the year. In autumn last year, Creative Factor was honoured to support Mojo Nation’s opening night party during Distoy as well as the outstanding Play Creators Festival in London. In addition to a conference, the festival hosted the Play Creators Awards and Mojo Pitch 2019, as well as a student-focused conference the following month to support the newest wave of design talent.

The Toy Association and Creative Factor look forward to continuing and deepening our collaboration with Mojo Nation in the years ahead. Looking to Toy Fair New York 2020, the Creative Factor will have a bigger presence than ever, with workshops, roundtables, a robot runway show, and tech demos covering the toy lifecycle from concept to consumer, design innovation, IP protection, VR character modeling, the connected play landscape, and more. All of this will be featured front and centre, prominently on Level 1 outside of Hall D at the Javits Center – a literal hub of excitement. Adding to this, CF@TF Inventor Day will once again be held prior to Toy Fair’s opening (February 21), providing inventors and designers the exclusive opportunity to directly pitch product concepts to potential toy manufacturing partners. The deadline to apply for Inventor Day has been extended to January 17; initial review and selection of submissions will be done by the Creative Factor Advisory Board led by Brett Klisch (Peru Meridian Studios); Robin Raskin (Living in Digital Times); Billy Langsworthy (Mojo Nation); and Matt Nuccio (Design Edge). Creative Factor embodies The Toy Association’s commitment to championing everyone in the global toy community who delivers fun and safe playthings to kids and the kids market.

"Supporting toy inventors is vital to the growth of the space." Steve Pasierb is the CEO and Chairman of the Toy Association. More information about the Toy Association's resources for toymakers, retailers, inventors, and more can be found at www.ToyAssociation.org.

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Opinion

Little voice: Why we should be shouting loud and proud about our sustainability efforts By Trudi Bishop

Sustainability is the hot topic of conversation, from what I can tell, by a number of different camps. First we have the committed companies - i.e. Ella’s Kitchen, Ben & Jerry’s, and Patagonia - who shout loudly about their efforts, and many of which, are BCorps-approved - businesses that are legally required to consider their impact on their workers, These are the real good guys. Then we have those who favour more of a ‘smoke and mirrors’ PR technique. Announcing a small product range being made from recycled bottles or signing up one product to a recycling program that relies on consumer action. All the while, continuing in the background not to adopt more sustainable business practices and crucially, not designing out waste. There is of course a third camp: the ones not making any changes. Thankfully, these are now the exception and no longer the rule. The fourth camp are the ones who have been working towards a more sustainable business practice, but have not gone public about their good work. Maybe they simply don’t feel a need to? Or maybe (as I have been hearing too frequently) it's because they fear negative PR if they cannot show they are 100 per cent sustainable across their whole business?

If the conversation had been five years ago, when it was easier to criticise companies for starting this journey, I'd tend to agree. But we are in a different age. Consumers want and have an affinity toward companies who are transparent about their policies and are making changes to how they do business, with minimal impact on the planet. Some companies don't feel they classify as sustainable as they're not offering mostly recycled products or only bamboo toys. However, many companies who have sensible waste management, logistics, and energy policies as well as looking after their employees and contributing heavily to charitable organisations are a long way along their sustainable and CSR journey simply by being good business people. Through these good practices they reduce their costs, increase employee engagement and retention, increase customer loyalty and inadvertently reduce their carbon footprint. While they work towards even better practice, I believe it’s time to be ‘out and proud’ about their good work. Show the wider business world it can be done, it should be done, and how it can be done. It’s not always about who shouts loudest, but it is time to shout – consumers are looking for transparency and good practice, they aren’t demanding perfection. So let’s hear your stories.

"Shoppers are after transparency, not demanding perfection." Trudi Bishop is a long time member of the toy and licensing community and founder of Bee Licensing. She is a firm advocate of the sustainability movement across toys and licensing and a reguar fixture of ToyNews with her leading opinion on the topic.

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Interview

"We came into the year with the intentions of helping to grow the toy category." Michael Hick, Mattel

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“WE’RE A POWERHOUSE OF FANTASTIC BRANDS AND A WHOLE NEW MIND-SET” Last year, Mattel reclaimed its postion as the world’s second biggest toymaker, growing share in what has been a challenging category for many. Robert Hutchins talks to Mattel's UK Vice President and Country Manager, Michael Hick about what 2020 has in store for the industry leader

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ike many within the UK toy industry, Mattel spent the tail end of the last decade learning how to re-learn and reconfigure the operations that had served the company so well for the best part of its 75 year history. A corporation of global magnitude with arms wrapped around the world, Mattel has - for much of the course of its recent history - enjoyed a status that has put it within the top three global toymakers with regular consistency. Operating at a scale like this, and with such success over such a length of time, it’s reasonable to expect that - when times for the industry become turbulent - eyes invariably turn towards the category leaders for answers. The truth is, 2019 may not have panned out quite how much of the industry would have liked, but while the close of the year was peppered with casualties (across retailers and suppliers) and the category didn’t see the kind of growth we’d become accustomed to in the first half of the 2010s, there remains a skip to the step of Mattel’s UK outfit, who truly believes it’s struck upon a means of riding out the choppy waters of the last year. In his Maidenhead office space of Mattel’s UK headquarters, Vice President and Country Manager, Michael Hick explains just how pleased the company is with its 2019 financials. Sure, like most

everyone else, it was a year that subverted expectations for Mattel. But Hick, and the team around him, aren’t ones to dwell on the negatives. “We came into the year with the intentions of helping to grow the toy category, and we thought it would grow by two to three per cent at the beginning of the year,” he tells ToyNews. “Obviously the category has had a very rough time, but we have performed extremely well within that. Of the top four, we are the only manufacturer in growth.”

"We were once probably not the most flexible of vendors - we're a big company. But that's since what we have changed. We want to react quickly and we really are now trying to be as flexible as we can." Michael Hick, Mattel

Taking a look at the leader table, Mattel managed to leafrog its way from number four in 2018 to number two last year, while growing its share in a category

that has witnesses somewhat of a decline - testament to the might of the Mattel portfolio all these years down the line. “It has been really exciting,” continues Hick. “We started the journey in January of last year, where we made some big changes in the UK organisation and some big changes to the team - some fairly high profile changes.” Among them, of course, is his own appointment to the current position of VP and Country Manager, a move implemented in March last year, having taken over from the toy industry lifer, Dominic Geddes some 18 months prior. “With those changes, we also trained and up-scaled our team significantly in some various key areas, and then we did a big piece around culture, with a big push on trying to reset the mentality and create a winning outlook,” Hick explains. “These changes became evident as we progressed through the back end of [2018] and picked up momentum through Q3 and Q4.” Ask Hick how he would describe the UK operation of this multi-national corporation today, and the word he most favours is ‘nimble.’ Key to his master plan in shaking up the Mattel culture the past two years has been to cast off the corporate mentality of that frustrating red tape. “We were once probably not the most flexible of vendors,” admits Hick. “We’re a big company and have in the past been Jan/Feb 2020 | toy news | 13

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slower to react than a middle tier vendor. But that’s what we have changed. We want to breed quick responsiveness; to be able to get back to a customer or an opportunity quickly, we really are now trying to be as nimble as we can.” Part and parcel of this, Mattel has switched on to ‘listening mode,’ when it comes to its retailers, licensing partners such as Disney, Universal, or WWE, as well as its shoppers. Essentially, Mattel wants to be the number one partner to all. “That’s quite a high ambition,” states Hick, "in some places we are there. Others, we are not there yet and we have got room to improve - but that is our ambition.” Brand central But lightfooted agility won’t drive sales

for 2020 alone, and luckily Mattel comes swinging into the New Year with a portfolio of heavyweight toy franchises behind it. Barbie grew an impressive 31 per cent last year and is about to unveil a major sports tie up for 2020, Hot Wheels is growing in the double digits, while the success of Pictionary Air has helped Mattel make its mark on the contemporary games space, having quickly found its place within the NPD’s top titles in the total games market listing. Even Fisher-Price is returning to its position of strength having undergone a reinvention to outrun the challenges to the pre-school sector of the past few years. “Of course Toy Story has been a really big year for us with Disney and our partners, and even looking at the rest of the portfolio: Jurassic World has been

performing really well - despite being a non-movie year - and we are starting to see other brands really picking up in Q4 like Minecraft and WWE,” comments Pauline De La Riviere, Mattel's UK Marketing Director. “The depth of the portfolio has been what’s helping to grow the business.” Take, for example, Mattel’s latest campaign for the Fisher-Price brand. Launched under the banner ‘Let’s Be Kids’, it’s a series of TV spots centring on the heritage and nostalgia of the Fisher-Price portfolio of products, as Hollywood legend John Goodman takes on the role of every parents’ inner child to walk us all down memory lane. And if you want to know a secret - a little insight into just how ahead of schedule the UK unit is performing for

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“In Nuremberg I get the needed momentum for the year ahead. The enormous offer gives inspiration for my product range and shows me where the market is going.� Cynthia Compton 4 Kids Books & Toys

w e n o t n i p a A le s a e d i s s e b u s in The Spirit of Play trends and new products

www.spielwarenmesse.de/uk market overview

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Mattel, the campaign wasn’t due to launch until Q1 this year. “However, because of where we are as a business in the UK, and actually ahead of our plan, we took the money and brought that forward into 2019. Actually, we have turned on more campaigns halfway through 2019 that weren’t in the original plan. That’s one of them,” explains Hick. The move underscores just how nimble Mattel has become. “It highlights our ability now to think ‘OK, what’s working, what’s not, and how do we shift our investment to make it work harder?’” says Hick with more than a hint of pride. “Fisher-Price was definitely an area where we knew we needed to invest more, and the brand campaign has been a great opportunity for us.” This year sees the Fisher-Price brand celebrate its 90th anniversary, so it stands to reason that the latest campaign is all about plugging into the heritage of a portfolio that has over the course of nine decades, thrown up some of the most iconic toys in the pre-school space. Including that classic telephone. It’s certainly going to be key to reviving a sector that has suffered a particularly tough year, missing, as it has been, a stand out property and not subject to pester power, but moreover considered purchasing made by parents and grandparents. Mattel now thinks it has found the right hook. But then again, why wouldn’ it? Mattel houses some of the most powerful brands in the toy space, from Thomas & Friends to Masters of the Universe, each of them boasting as much strength of heritage as the last. “The other thing our brands have got is purpose,” says Hick, “and we can really sell and market to that, and therefore it is not just about a product at a price but it’s about ‘what does that brand stand for?’, for mum, and for the child.” Animation and the re-animated 2019, as most of us know, was a big year for blockbuster movies. 2020 is offering a little more breathing space, and with it, the opportunity to witness a potential few standout titles light up the toy and merchandise space once more. Among the slate for the coming year is the latest instalment from the Despicable

Me franchise with Minions 2. And of course, Mattel has it covered. “We have a big movie with Minions 2 coming for next year,” says Hick, “and that is going to be a great opportunity for us. On top of that, we are very excited for Masters of the Universe - it’s the first big movie from the Mattel film division to have been confirmed alongside the likes of Barbie, Hot Wheels, and Magic Eight Ball that will start from 2021.” The re-introduction of the Masters of the Universe franchise - one that burst onto the scene back in 1987 - couldn’t be more timely. Some 30 years on, the franchise is tapping directly into the current retro revival that is sweeping the UK, as well as the cult following that the film and toy franchise amassed back in the yester-year.

“There is a huge cult following for Masters of the Universe anyway that has always been in the background,” says Hick. “So we are going to push out loads of content for it. There’s three different forms of content - the movie, and two different types of Netflix series for adults and kids, with a lot of content and toys on the way for 2021. In a way, streaming platforms like Netflix have been the source of this retro revival we are experiencing; giving power of selection to audiences, and this retro content that they remember from their youth, is what they are wanting to watch. It therefore makes perfect sense for Mattel to team with Netflix in this way.” In fact, 2020 will largely be about bringing Mattel’s slate of heritage IP into the modern market, be that

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through streaming content, app gaming or connected play experiences. It’s a poetic way in which the toymaker will be celebrating its 75th anniversary this year. “Taking our franchises into new categories and expanding the brands into new areas will be key to the continued success of Mattel,” states De La Riviere. “Take Hot Wheels that we have brought into video gaming, or Thomas and Friends which is now making its mark on the app

space; then there’s additional live events, gaming, content, consumer products, toys… “There are so many touch points for the consumer now, which is making marketing more complicated than ever before, but also a whole lot more fun. “All the while, we’ll not take our eye of the toy market. Games is going to be a big space for us next year in terms of expanding our presence, and we have some new launches coming with a new collectable

brand called Cloudees, for which we are finalising our launch plans. We haven’t had a product in the collectables space for a long time, so this is a really exciting space to be entering now. “Again it’s a move like that that highlights our new found agility. We are being flexible and a lot more reactive to the market, to the retailer, and to the consumer. And with that behind us, we’re looking forward to another great year.” Jan/Feb 2020 | toy news | 17

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Big Feature

SENSORY-FRIENDLY AND GOING ALL-INCLUSIVE Whether it’s at a retail level or in the development and marketing of its products, the toy industry made a number of big strides in the name of the inclusive movement last year. This year, ToyNews expects awareness around autism, autistic children and their families, and the role the toy industry has to play within it, will reach new heights. We catch up with those leading the conversation to take a look at the topic.

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any of the big retail predictions for the coming year are easy enough to make. Enhanced cashless technology, streamlined multi-channel retail amid the battle of the age of online shopping, and of course, more emphasis on delivering experiential shopping. But one influencing factor on what the retail scene will begin to look like as we make our first steps forwards and into the New Year, is perhaps harder to notice. Yet, it impacts a staggeringly large percentage of us today. We’re talking right now, about autism. More specifically, the growing influence that an increased awareness of autism and the challenges autistic people face in a retail environment will have on the very shape of our retail scene going forward. Around 700,000 people - children and adults - have autism in the UK. That’s more than one in 100 autistic people with a lifelong disabilty affecting how they communicate and interact with the world around them, including, something quite so seemingly simple, as visiting a toy shop. A rites of passage for any child, or family making those excited preparations for

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Christmas, is that first outing to the local toy shop. However, it’s a troubling fact that, according to the National Autistic Society, nearly 64 per cent of all autistic people in contact with the UK organisation - whose mission it is to promote awareness of autism in everyday life - have admitted to avoiding shopping at all costs. Worse still, ToyNews is told that 28 per cent have been asked to leave a public place for reasons of behaviour to do with autism, leaving a bitter note of irony for the matter that, when importance is being placed on the consumer’s shopping experience today, such a high percentage is having a bad one. Over the past two years, initiatives have been put in place, and awareness has been raised, among the UK’s High Street retailers, as to the challenges that autistic people face when visiting shops. It’s thanks in large to NAS and its Autism Awareness Week that we are now better understanding the attack on the senses - what’s called a sensory overload - shopping in public places makes upon autistic people. “I think that autistic people have been marginalised or misunderstood, or even ignored, probably for always,” Gary Grant, founder of the UK high street toy retailer,

The Entertainer, who has recently launched its own Quiet Hour as well as a successful Christmas Quiet Hour at the tail end of last year, tells ToyNews. “The key thing that makes shopping a challenge for autistic people is basically sensory overload. It’s lights, sounds, noises, glittering - the way it has been described to me is it’s like having 20 television stations on at the same time. "All of this stuff happening extraneously, it’s having a sensory impact, and as you can imagine will affect an autistic child’s reaction to being out.” The Entertainer has been an active participant in the success of Autistic Awareness Week, an initiative that this year saw thousands of high street retailers tot up around 35,000 Quiet Hours - a dedicated hour of trading in which shops accomodate autistic people by reducing the sensory overload that makes public outings the challenge they are. “It’s the first step in what we hope for the future of UK retail,” Tom Purser, head of campaigns at the National Autsitic Society tells ToyNews. “We want to be taking this further with staff training for the likes of Tesco, and Sainsbury’s and so on.”

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A major coup for the organisation arrived in the form of its partnership with The Entertainer who is in the midst of rolling out some form of autism awareness training or procedures across its 150 UK stores. Gary Grant describes its involvement with the initiative, working closely with the team at NAS to deliver training to staff, or implement measures to aid autistic people in the shop, as the “moment the penny dropped.” “When we started to scratch the issue, and the more we found out about it, we saw that this is a high percentage of autistic people being denied the joyful experience of toy shopping with their families,” Grant continues. “We are now recognising it, and we want to create a shopping environment for all of our customers to enjoy. “The difficulty is that you don’t have a badge saying ‘I am autistic,’ just like you don’t have a badge saying “I am partially sighted,’ or ‘I am deaf.’ And because autism, like these, is hidden, you can, in some cases, judge a situation incorrectly.” It’s why the process of putting staff training in places across The Entertainer’s fleet of UK stores is now underway. It’s also why across the retailer’s newer shops, its lighting has been put on a dimmer system,

to allow store managers to dim the lighting and keep the music off during the store’s Quiet Hours. “We have had the most amazing letters from parents who have found this so helpful,” says Grant, who explains that it is not just about enabling an autistic child to experience a toy shop in comfort, but improving the shopping experience for the whole family who may have previously found days out in public spaces limited. “Whether they buy any toys when they are experiencing these Quiet Hours or not, do you know what, it’s irrelevant. It’s absolutely irrelevant to us, this is about what is important to those families.” Of course, the primary objective of practices such as this, and the ongoing efforts of NAS and its Autism Awareness Week, is to raise the awareness of autism for those across the industries, whether that is in toys, or the wider retail landscape. Already, NAS is in talks with another ‘international toy brand,’ who has retail outlets across the US, Europe, and China, looking to implement similar initiatives as The Entertainer. According to Purser, that retailer is currently working with the team for light touch briefing material for staff, and looking to run its own Quiet Hour.

“We are talking about that long term picture and how that can develop,” says Purser, “and they seem to be very keen and ambitious about it.” At the same time, The Entertainer’s Grant has seen a knock-on effect of what has been implemented so far, in areas such as Westfield Shopping Centre, where the surrounding zone around The Entertainer’s shop has joined the Quiet Hour initiative, keeping music off, and lighting low between 9am and 10am. “People are seeing the benefit for families and children,” says Grant. “Now that the momentum is building, it may be that we have played a small part in raising awareness in bringing about something that will improve lives for families.” So, autism is steadily growing its profile among the UK’s retail space, but what if we were to ask the question more specifically about the toy industry? Is the conversation around autism picking up momentum among the manufacturers, and if so, what can they be doing to faciliate the development of the topic? Until the Fidget Spinner craze hit its maximum velocity in 2017, the sensory toy market had too often sat outside of the mainstream sphere, like the distant cousin Jan/Feb 2020 | toy news | 23

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at a wedding. Not only did the popularity of the fidget toy sector open the door - if only somewhat briefly - to this new market, but it marked a moment in time in which the specialist toy market and the mainstream converged on price points, too. Sensory toys themselves are those that have a way of engaging children with interesting sights, sounds, and textures, and are often very popular with children who enjoy sensory stiumulation and open ended play, including autistic children. However, just as Anna Taylor, researcher at Fundamentally Children explains, specialty toys such as these are considered a “niche market,” meaning that they often expensively priced and with limited online availability. While this is so often the case, Taylor adds that “there are actually many mainstream sensory products, such as bubbles and fidget toys, that are good value

and easily available, however, they aren’t specifically signposted for consumers.” It makes it a tricky field to navigate, and one that can be bettered, suggests Taylor, with a more proactive aproach from toy companies themselves. “To become more inclusive, I think toy companies need to be more proactive at identifying mainstream products that are suitable for autistic children (as well as children with other SENDs) and communicating this to consumers,” Taylor tells ToyNews. “Every child is different, so by providig information about how and why a toy might suit their child, we can help parents make a decision based on their child’s unique needs and interests.” Of the numerous companies operating within the sensory toy space, none other has had quite such an impactful past 12 months as Zimpli Kids, aided by the collossal momentum behind the slime

craze last year and the year prior, as well as the fact that - according to the firm’s head of marketing, Jessica Coy - “every major educational distributor in the UK has been tapping into its Gelli Baff and Slime Baff brands,” for use in sensory play and development. In fact, its popularity has sparked a whole new commitment to the sensory market from Zimpli Kids, whose alignment, until now, had been mostly anecdotal. “We are going to be developing and re-designng our educational range giving the user new ways to use our products in a sensory environment,” says Coy. “This will include the introduction of new colours and giving them numerous ways of using Gelli Play dependent on how much water/powder children add. “We have had a great response frm children with special needs usng our products. It’s so rewarding to see that our

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products not only provide fun, but help children who suffer from sensory issues, allowing them to experiment with the different textures of the products. “As you can imagine, educational bodies are phenomenally careful when choosing products to be used in schools, nurseries and sensory play centres. We have sent product to numerous special needs centres for them to use in their activities, which have all been really successful.” It's been over the course of a number of years that the team at Zimpli Kids has been better aligning itself with the sensory toy sector, forming relationships with numerous specialist centres across the globe, while utilising the power of social media to drive the message, and the sensory trend, to its millions of consumers. “When it comes to special needs, every child is different and each sensory activity has to be tailored,” continues Coy. “Zimpli

sent products to a specialist centre in Brazil called Neuroeducando Ludic Therapy. They now use Gelli Baff to develop children’s fine motor coordination, relating to the development of some of the smaller muscles in the body. “Meanwhile, the benefits of sensory play for autistic children is huge. It not only encourages kids to focus on something with their hands to improve coordination, it can stimulate the brain and provide a sense of calm. The texture, scent, and bright colours of our Gelli and Slime stimulates their senses and allows them to explore their likes and dislikes." Thanks to the enormity of Zimpli Kids’ social media reach - and let’s not forget that the number of views and fan engagement both the Gelli Baff and Slime Baff brands have hit thanks to YouTube is now in its tens of millions - sensory play is a trending topic among kids. Add to

this the growing awareness of the many challenges that autsitc people face in the shopping environment, and it would appear that 2020 could just be another big year for the promotion of inclusivity across the industry's spectrum. “Of course, there’s a balance to be had,” suggest NAS’ Purser, “and it’s not just about what are 'best toys' for autistic children, because any toy can be appropriate for any particular child. It is ultimately about how staff can approach children and families, and position their toys as someting positive. “Toy shops don’t want to regard themselves as therapy, because they are about having fun. But if a movement can have a positive impact, they’d certainly want to be able to support that. “Autistic children have been shut out of everyday experiences, so this is about helping an industry use toys to give them a bit of that experience back,” he concludes. Jan/Feb 2020 | toy news | 25

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Interview

"Both railway modelling and Hornby Hobbies are a part of the fabric of our society and our country." Simon Kohler, Hornby Hobbies 30 | toy news | Jan/Feb 2020

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THE RAILWAY CHILDREN In its 100th year, Hornby Hobbies is investing in its own future with the embrace of the digital age and its generation of digital natives. Robert Hutchins talks to marketing and development director, Simon Kohler about the continued strength of railway modelling in this day and age

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t is to be expected of a man who has spent much of his coming up 50year career within the toy industry surrounded by the hobby, that Simon Kohler, marketing and development director at Hornby Hobbies is more than a little into toy trains. What you might not expect to discover, however, is just how infectious his enthusiasm for the genre is. That not only does Simon Kohler believe it should be recognised as a form of therapy or adopted as a method of encouraging mental wellbeing, as well as brought into the National Curriculum, but that by the end, you’ll come away invested in his rhetoric just as much as he is, makes him ideally suited to his role with the iconic British firm. It’s on the subject of Hornby’s 100th anniversary this year that ToyNews gets a moment with the director in the midst of Hornby’s annual retailer showcase which, of course, this year includes a special product line-up reflective of each of the last ten decades of the business. However, it is on the topic of the impact of the Hornby brand and it’s place within society today, that conversation lingers.

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Hornby after all, according to the expert himself, and the model railway hobby, is simply “part of the fabric of this country.” “You name me another hobby or pasttime that teaches you topography, art, geography, logistics, electronics, etc, you’d be hard pressed,” he says. “What do people get out of modelling railways? Some people just like to watch trains going around… fine. “Some people like to create a moment in time, a snapshot, by creating a world to lose themselves in. It is a wonderful pasttime, and not because it pays my wages, but the reason it's lasted so long is it's fascinating.”

Listening to Kohler reel off the centenary celebration models - one for each of the ten decades that the Hornby business has spanned - alongside some of its recent developments for its brands like Barrett and Lowke and its embrace of the fantasydriven Steampunk genre, it’s hard to argue that railway modelling is anything but a fascinating thing. Most interesting of all, is its ability to divide opinion. Railway modelling certainly can’t claim to be everyone’s cup of tea, in much the same way that not everybody enjoys tea. There are those that find no

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Interview

better solace than in a mug of PG’s finest, and there are those that really, really like railway modelling. “Some people hate it, some people love it,” says Kohler, “but none can deny that it is in the fabric of our society. The [TV series] Great Model Railway opened a lot of eyes to it, showing that it’s not all about a train rolling around a field. You saw teams creating knights on horseback, or dinosaurs, or earthquakes and volcanoes… this is miniature enginering at its finest and it forces you to apply your mind." You may have a bad day at the office, goes Kohler's argument, you go up to your room and start making a fence, or a volcano, and time disappears. "I personally think it should be used for people’s mental health and part of the National Curriculum," he states. “You learn about physics, you learn about inertia… it has got so much going for it, and this is the magic as to why it has survived for such a long time.” And 100 years of Hornby is a long time. Putting it into context, it was in 1920 that the first model, the O-Gauge, was released by Hornby. It will be making its return this year in the form of a newly commissioned release landing in the 21st Century two times the size of its original format, and featuring the latest in modern day tooling. The same goes for the Hornby replica Stevenson’s Rocket, launched in the 1960s. “You get a feel for that, I have chosen, as we go through each decade, milestone product that will make you go, ‘Oh yes… of course!’ And actually we have been spoiled for choice with what to refresh… but listening to people, I think we have got the balance right,” Kohler explains. There’s no chance that a company about to enter its 100th year of business is going to do so without some kind of hurrah, and Hornby certainly won’t be an exception to the rule, opting for a ‘Willy Wonkastyle’ Golden Ticket competition that will offer prizes such as a £500 voucher, or a charmingly befitting seat on the Orient Express to join team members and key partners on a railway enthusiast’s journey of a lifetime. “There’s a huge amount going on to celebrate this 100 year milestone, as you can imagine,” continues Kohler, “and with Toy Fair coming up, you will see bits and

pieces on display. One of the major things we have - which isn’t really to do with the railway side - is in the Steampunk genre.” Now, for anyone uninitiated with the Steampunk concept, preapre to engage the imagination. Steampunk is a world-building concept that makes use of the ideaology and style of the Victorian period, from its emergence of steam engine and steel manufacture, but blends it with elements of fantasy and monsters, like if Warhammer was to put on a period drama production. “This is all about broadening our audience base,” says Kohler. “That whole fantasy genre really couldn’t be bigger than it is right now, and we have a brand called Bassett & Lowke, which goes back to the

turn of the last century. What we have done is mix in Steampunk with a bit of railway and figurines, so we are not looking specifically at the model railway market, but obviously the wider, fantasy market.” Really it all exemplifies Kohler’s outlook on the Hornby business. It’s a serious business, he tells ToyNews, but we are having a lot of fun being serious. This much is evident when you notice additional licensing collaborations across its portfolio of iconic hobby brands. Iron Maiden has found itself a licensing partner within the Airfix portfolio, while who but Hornby could have imagined an Only Fools and Horses three-wheeler hurtling around the Scalextric track?

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"Railway modelling should be used for mental health and should be on the National Curriculum." Simon Kohler, Hornby Hobbies

There’s a very particualr audience with which licenses like these will strike a chord. But the big question is, how is Hornby going to be drawing in the younger fans in order to enjoy the next 100 years of success? How can a company steeped in heritage such as it is, find a means of

leveraging innovation to attract the up and coming generation? “One of the tasks we now have before us is to make things relevant to a six year old. To start us off, this year we have introduced a new app control system where kids can use their phone to control the train,” Kohler tells us. “You know in the set you usually get an analogue controller? Well, forget that - here you have got a free app and a receiver with which you can control your layout. It will have sound, inertia, acceleration, and lots of play value. This is what kids want, something that is relevant to them for today.” It’s in keeping with the changing times, and the long-coming switch to the digital

track that today’s kids are hurtling along at spectacular speeds. A few years back, for instance, Hornby’s biggest concern was when it should begin advertising on children’s television on a Saturday morning. Those days, professes Kohler, are gone. “Some are still relevant,” he states, matter of factly. “But a lot of our customer base now are on YouTube. This is a world run by Facebook and Instagram. Social media is very srong, and we need to look at that and develop it. The whole world has changed when it comes to talking to your audience, and we are lucky that we have a young team savvy at this sort of thing. “Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying you’re going to throw the books out, but people these days want it instant. They want to look on a screen and they want to see snippets and snapshots.” So then, how does a brand like Hornby strike that balance? If this was a company bent on being at the forefront of technology, it would be in the nanotech game surely? Instead, there’s a truly iconic heritage that needs carefully preserving in an era when very little is. “We have what we call a broad church. We have just produced our largest Hornby catalogue, ever, at 244 pages - and there are people who want that. I am one of those, I like to turn pages,” Kohler goes on. “The thing with Hornby, is that we model history. It could be ancient, it could be recent, but that’s what we do; we are all about preservation in that sense, from Airfix, to Corgi. And of course, we have a wealth of licensing partners we work with.” Hornby was met, at the end of last year, with a positive set of financial results that saw revenues rise and losses narrow, for the company whose journey hasn’t been without its bumps in the tracks over the past few years. There certainly appears to now be a forward-thinking mentality within the team, striving for innovation and relevance within the changing world in order to keep the good news coming. “Obviously we are working towards moving the company forwards,” says Kohler. “It's always difficult to make predictions, and to be honest - I wouldn’t. I am too long in the tooth. But what I am saying is, we are all working hard to push the company forward, and back to where it should be and beyond.” Jan/Feb 2020 | toy news | 29

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Generation Media

A DECADE OF DEVELOPMENT Generation Media has been going from strength to strength this past year, with a headquarters move, a rebranding, and an onine relaunch all under its belt. Now, the media specialist is ready to take on the evolving media space for 2020 and beyond. Robert Hutchins talks with Generation Mediaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s managing director, Lisa Morgan, to ďŹ nd out more 30 | toy news | Jan/Feb 2020

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Generation Media

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t’s amazing to think that it’s been 12 months since last Toy Fair when, with the initial Brexit date fast approaching, we launched our ‘Europe is open for business’ marketing campaign,” muses Generation Media’s MD, Lisa Morgan. The campaign was unveiled within the pages of ToyNews’ January/February 2019 issue in time for the Toy Fair season, where the message was embraced by an industry that has had the very question of just what a post-Brexit Britain will look like, hanging over its head for the past four years. Needless to say, it’s 12 months on and for Morgan and the outfit of media specialists that surround her at Generation Media, “international and UK business continues to grow," as we all edge, slowly closer, to exiting the European Union. But Morgan wants to put politics to one side for now. 2019 won’t be defined by such nature; not when it’s been such a year of development and change for the business. “Within our own business, we have moved to our new home in Midford Place, rebranded, and relaunched out website,” says Morgan. “We continue to build scale and trading power through expansion into markets aligned with our core specialism in communication to children, young people and families. Our client base now spans sectors including publishing, music, gaming, food, and clothing.” Generation Media has also spent the past year developing and extending its services, most notably through its movement into content management and distribution, all the while it continues to expand and develop its portfolio of proprietary tools and insights. “One thing that has not changed however,” says Morgan, defiantly, “is our continued commitment to delivering our customers within the toys and games sector market leading value and service.” To say then, that Generation Media is now fully geared up for just what 2020 will bring, is somewhat of an understatement. To find out what that entails, ToyNews has a few questions for MD, Lisa Morgan. We’ve heard about how business has been for you guys this past year, so what have been the biggest changes you’ve had to adapt to over that time?

Morgan: We are continually reviewing the needs of our customers to evolve our service offer and while everything changes, there is a lot that remains consistent. Despite being in a third year of double digit commercial impact decline for Children, we continue to champion the use of TV to our customers as it remains the only way to deliver mass coverage effectively. Our scale means we can continue to deliver market leading rates and proactively manage campaign delivery to improve efficiencies and return at the point of sale. We have been navigating our clients through the evolving media landscape for over a decade now, and already have a lot of the insight, tools, partnerships, and processes in place to deliver this same best practice to the world of Digital Online that we have in TV.

"2019 brought a lot of changes, but our commitment to our customers remains." Lisa Morgan, MD

Generation Media Three years ago we launched The Media Aggregator which uses marketing and market variables to output recommended media splits unique to each and every brief. We continue to refine this tool each year with the latest in consumer insight and market conditions to provide optimal recommendations. Fast forward to 2019 and during our conference called KidsCon19 we launched an extension of this tool “Jigsaw”. This predicts the combined coverage across our two most popular AV channels TV and YouTube. In addition, as we continue to focus on our key pillars of performance and transparency, we launched our Digital Dashboard to provide real time delivery, integrating results across the various platforms that all goes to contribute to our online efforts. Then, of course, we have also been working tirelessly and closely with our research partner Giraffe Insights to

continue to evolve our industry funded stakeholder study, Kids and the Screen. As well as desktop access through an interactive dashboard, the study has been extended to include a bi-monthly poll, Little Voices: Big Impact, to assist investors in keeping a breadth in the latest behavior, thoughts, feelings and trends for Children aged two to 12. So, a great deal of activity there, then. How have these changes influenced the way you guys work? Trading management, both in TV and Digital Online, has become increasingly complex so we have brought on additional resource and experienced specialists to continue to deliver best in class results to our customers. We have focused our efforts on our GM Checkout programme to support the continued and accelerated movement of sales from bricks and mortar to eCommerce. As well as a dedicated Digital Online resource all of our team undergoes ongoing training and qualifications to keep a breadth of new developments, opportunities and challenges. Specialists also sit within each account team to ensure we deliver an integrated and fluid approach. So, as we look to the year ahead, what do you think the coming 12 months will bring to the children’s media landscape? Much of the change centres around Content, increased restrictions on targeting Children on YouTube, new launches in the subscription VOD arena and a focus from toy clients into content production, distribution, and management. Can we explore those three areas with you in more detail? Of course, and starting with YouTube, the changes enforced by the FTC and COPPA will potentially have major implications for creators on the platform. YouTube must stop collecting data on videos that are targeted towards children, with creators clearly identifying their content as designed for kids (a somewhat grey area in itself). This will affect many Jan/Feb 2020 | toy news | 31

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The complete Generation Media team at its new HQ in Midford Place

advertisers' plans who rely on personal data to drive their targeting strategy, and in effect reduce monetisation opportunities for the creators themselves. The short and long term effects of these will become clearer once the changes are implemented, but it is not hard to imagine a future where the number of creators is reduced as they struggle to maintain profitability. These fluctuations in supply and demand will mean that the cost of advertising on YouTube will likely deviate as the auction site adjusts to the new realities of the market. Regarding subscription VOD to date Netflix and Amazon have dominated, fragmentation will be the order of 2020 as households invest in the newer entrants. Disney+ launches in the UK at the end of March, and the vast catalogue of properties they own will have UK households considering their subscription choices. This will sit alongside a plethora of alternative options, including Apple+ and HBO Max while we start to ponder whether there will be an announcement on the horizon from the newly formed Viacom CBS corporation. This new level of competition will likely result in a slow-down in subscription numbers for the “traditional” players, creating a requirement to adapt strategies. This could positively impact the children’s market in three ways:

T Increased investment in children’s content – households with children have a higher lifetime value as younger audiences enjoy navigating the pictorial based guides, meaning it is harder for parents to press that cancel button. T Platforms will adopt ad-funded models – much like Spotify, it is easy to foresee a future where Netlfix et al offers tiered subscriptions levels where reduced

"We are continually reviewing the needs of our customers to evolve our service offer, and while everything changes - there is a lot that remains consistent." Lisa Morgan, Generation Media monthly costs will result in a higher level of advertising. Especially as the currently non-commercial SVOD channels have been stealing viewing share from traditional linear TV, the current main source of children’s advertising in the UK. Amazon is arguably likely to be first to market in this regard with its Freedive service. T Subscription VOD platforms will consolidate further – mergers have been

rife in the industry to date as traditional content creators combine forces (see ITV and BBC in the creation of Britbox) in an attempt to convince viewers to open their wallets. However as more services pop up, consumers will search for convenience to manage multiple subscriptions. Operators such as Sky, who already houses Netflix on Sky Q could be a potential home for new services like Disney+ and is in pole position to offer this to consumers. And finally, we continue to see content leading the way to support and launch existing and new IP to the market. Toy companies are increasingly focussing on content strategies. This is set to continue particularly with Hasbro’s purchase of eOne. We have invested heavily in our own content offer to support clients in the process, from content production to distribution and ongoing management. So a fair bit for us all to adapt to there, then? What's the next big step for you guys for 2020? Consolidation and strengthening of our content management and distribution services is a must to build on the success we have had in 2019. Our GM Checkout programme will be going through a relaunch to meet the growing requirements of our customers in the ecommerce sector. We continue to build scale, both in and out of the toy category to further cement

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Tabletop feature

THE ART OF THE BOARD GAME The 2010s marked a decade in which board gaming really did come into its own, and in no place was it more evident than the evolution of the artwork and calibre of the artists now famed within the sector. Just as Mojo Nation partners with Asmodee UK and UK Games Expo to launch a new board game artwork initiative, ToyNews takes a look at how a game’s art and design is finding itself the new centre of attention for audiences

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omeone get us the number for Charles Saatchi, we’ve just cooked up an exhbition he is going to want to jump on. Looking back at a decade’s worth of tabletop gaming titles to have taken home the Spiel des Jahres win from 2010 to the close of the decade last year makes for not only some compelling research into the diversity of the board gaming sector, but a visual feast of the artwork and talent that perpetuates its success. Board gaming isn’t just a genre-spanning sector covering every interest, from the minutae of pyrotechnics, to the gestation period of a Common Tit, but, in the last ten years alone, it has become a platform for some of the most striking artwork and design, that has only helped to advance the diversity of the industry it serves, and broaden its widely reaching appeal to audiences around the globe. Take a look at the likes of Azul, Architects of the West Kingdom, Everdell or Mark Swanson’s Feudum, and you’re looking at just a snapshot of the kind of vivid and compelling storytelling that is taking place all through the art of tabletop gaming. So, if someone’s paying $120k for a banana gaffer taped to a wall - I implore you: get us Saatchi on the phone right now. Now, it might be a statement of the obvious to suggest how integral to a game’s

perception by its audience its artwork is, but would you believe that it really is within the last decade that the creativity that details the look of some of our favourite games of the time came to the fore? We’re not ones for throwing stones, but if you’ve seen the style of some of the titles to have come out of Europe of the ‘90s and early '00s...it’s little wonder indeed that board gaming flew under the radar for so long. Artwork today is not only a game’s most valuable marketing tool for the discerning shopper, but so too is it a way of conveying a game’s tone or enhancing its method of storytelling through compelling visuals. In short, its artwork is a game’s connection with its audience. “And today, the overriding trend is the diversity of the artwork that is being produced,” explains Ben Hogg, head of marketing at Asmodee UK. “There was a time where the expectation was that every hobby game would either look like the inside of a Dungeons & Dragons artbook, or feature bland interpretations of themes like farming and cultivation. “These days, there are so many different art styles available, and the very best fit the design of the game like a glove. Most games tell a story, and the artwork is the visual representation of that story, and ultimately, a player's glimpse into that world. It's an added method of transportation.

“I can think of examples of fine games that have sold poorly because the artwork didn’t work and, on the other hand, I have seen average games overachieve thanks to great artwork that resonates with its generations of audiences." For Hogg the step in creativity of board game artwork is one of the key factors that has helped expand the audience reach of tabletop games. The cultural significance of the artwork used for a tabletop title doesn’t end there either. In fact, artwork has been at the forefront of a movement towards better inclusivity and representation among a community that, for a long time, had a reputation for being geared towards to the middle class white male. Enhance the diversity and representation of a game’s artwork, and suddenly this is a community of multiculturalism that hits a tone of inclusivity for all audiences to enjoy. It’s indeed why this has become such a looming topic within the community itself over the past three or four years. It could also, therefore, be the reason that Asmodee UK has just struck up a partnership with Mojo Nation to fuel a new tabletop gaming art initiative that will challenge a selection of UK university students to re-imagine and re-design the artwork to some of the board game Jan/Feb 2020 | toy news | 35

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Tabletop feature

giant’s biggest hits, including Libellud’s Mysterium, Czech Games Edition’s Codenames, Repos Productions’ Concept, and Space Cowboys’ Splendor. The move, Hogg suggests, is to open up the world of board game artwork to the designers and illustrators of tomorrow. It’s a mutually beneficial scenario, too: keep the board game scene fresh with new perspectives, and encourage the designers of tomorrow to fuel the popularity of board games among the coming generations. “This project is all about showing illustration, art and design students the depth of artwork in the board gaming

world,” continues Hogg. “We have approached four universities for this project, giving one game to each, and set a brief for students to redesign their own versions of the artwork of these games. “The students are from a mixture of illustration and graphic design courses, so we’re excited to see the variety of artwork they’ll produce. After two months, we will then return to judge the artwork and select a few to be exhibited at UK Games Expo in May as part of a wider spotlight on new designer talent. It’s a great way for us to highlight some of our games and see how they can be reimagined with new

perspectives from people fresh to the scene, or with new ideas about keeping it current.” For Asmodee, the initiative is about banging the drum for tabletop games and getting more eyes and ears seeing and hearing the message that games are the new entertainment platform. “Not just that,” says Hogg,” but because of the social interaction and break from digital, they are also one of the best activities to do with your family and friends. We want that conversation to be happening and if we can unearth some new talent in the process, and further our experience of working with universities, that's also great.”

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Tabletop feature

ARTWORK IN ALL ITS SPLENDOR Among the studios taking part in the Mojo Nation Art of the Tabletop initiative this February is French studio Space Cowboys, a current working partner of the Asmodee Group. Created in 2014 by Asmodee founders Marc Nunes, Phillippe Mouret, and Croc, the studio is perhaps best known for its over one million bestselling title, Splendor. Since the game’s launch in 2014, Space Cowboys has gone on to develop a portfolio of universally popular titles including the 2017 Game of the Year Unlock!, as well as T.I.M.E Stories, Sherlock Holmes Consulting Detective, and more. With such a vast success within the industry in just five short years, it goes without saying that Space Cowboys knows a thing or two about the artwork that sells a game. Julien André, project manager at Space Cowboys takes some time out of a busy schedule to chat with us... What makes for a successful tabletop title in today’s market? How big a role does a game’s artwork actually play? A success is indeed a mix of different things: a trendy theme, trendy game mechanisms, nice illustrations, easy to understand rules, and importantly, timing. For a long time in board games, the artwork was not so important (a lot of successful German games from the late ‘90s and early '00s focused more on game mechanisms than artwork). In the last decade, illustrations have become much more important. Space Cowboys has always taken great care over the look of our games, not just the illustrations, but also their layout. We have a team of three graphic designers working full time on how the games look, which is not so common in board game studios. The layout is one of the most important things in the ‘flow of the game’, so it’s all

"Our games are sold around the world, so we must take care over how they're received by other cultures." Julien André, Space Cowboys

about finding the right balance between the nice and the useful. A good layout has to help the players when they play, to make the game easier, and to be a logical, good companion to understanding the rules. What's the process like at Space Cowboys? How do you decide upon a tone of a game and its artwork? One of the first things we do is find a theme fitting the mechanisms of the game. Depending on the rules of the game, we define if the game will be light (a party game) or heavier (realistic, dark etc). Once we have a theme, we will start looking for the proper illustrator for the project. We try to stay aware of the artistic trend in the board game industry. For the game Caylus, a ‘remake’ of a 14 year old game,

we modernised the rules and wanted to modernise the look of the game, too. I really like the art of Andrew Bosley, so I contacted him and he agreed to work on Caylus. We try to keep in touch with other visual media, especially the video game industry. This is why, for Unlock!, several illustrators came from the video game world. How much of today’s rise in popularity of tabletop gaming can be attributed to artists and the artwork of the games themselves? Or how is the gaming scene affected by trends in artwork? Well, we will always think that the most important thing in a game is its gameplay, before its artwork. A good game can be ugly, and it will still be a good game. A bad game, however, with nice artwork, will still be a bad game. Illustration trends in the board game scene do exist (as in the video game industry), and some illustrators become famous in the board game world for their work - the likes of Pascal Quidault and Andrew Bosley being firm examples of this.

What are some of the biggest topics being discussed in board game artwork at the moment? How big a role do questions over wider cultural shifts play in your own art and design processes? Our games are sold around the world, so we have to take care on how our games will be received not only in France, but also the rest of the world. This mostly comes from the illustrations: finding a good mix between male and female characters, avoiding a detail in the scenery that will not be accepted in some countries (i.e. a flag), avoiding nudity and violence unless it has a real value for the game… This was all something that was not so present a few years ago when you worked on a game’s artwork, but more and more it is today. Jan/Feb 2020 | toy news | 37

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IT’S ALL ABOUT CONCEPT

Also taking part in the Student Design challenge is Repos Production, a game publisher that, having been founded in 2004 by Cedrick Caumont and Thomas Provost, has enjoyed a successful 15 years in the board gaming space, to date. Its first game took the form of Time’s Up, which quickly became an international success, but the studio’s biggest critical success by far is 7 Wonders, which remains the most awarded game in the word with more than 50 international prizes.

Other successes include Cash and Guns, Just One, and of course, Concept. ToyNews catches up with Repos Production’s development and publishing director, Tanguy Gréban for an insight into the team's own approach to artwork. From your perspective, what makes for a successful tabletop title in today’s market? If there was a recipe for success, there would only be successes. Game publishing

is a risky business where every choice, idea, and decision at every level will influence the possible success of the game. For us, the design of a game is essential in terms of its mechanics and readbility. For us, having a design that helps the fluidity of the game will always take precedence over a ‘beautiful’ game. The very essence of a board game as a media is to offer a good time, not to be a work of art. But having said that - it’s better if the game can be good looking.

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Tabletop feature

In recent years, the artwork of games has grown considerably and the games are becoming more and more beautiful. It has become a necessity to survive on increasingly overloaded shelves. But it will never be enough on its own. There are good, very ugly games that are very successful, but there are no bad, very beautiful games that are successful for more than a year or two. How much of today’s rise in popularity of gaming can be attributed to artists and the artwork of the games themselves? A game is a set of very closely related factors. The artwork helps above all to sell a board game, but it is the gameplay that helps make boardgames popular. Children can have hours of fun with two pieces of wood and leave a beautiful piece of plastic with lots of colours at the bottom of the closet. What matters to them is pleasure, not beauty. At Repos Productions, we are simply passionate game players, therefore, we will always prefer a good, solid game to a beautiful game with no substance. The reason being that a game without substance is ultimately a game with limited lifespan.

How much is the gaming scene affected by trends in artwork? Styles evolve very quickly and trends happen and settle or pass just as quickly. It is quite recent that the board game industry is opening up to the need to perfect its appearance, and it does so mainly to match or exceed its competition. For a very long time, the board games were just rudimentary boxes with medium quality equipment. It is really the competition that pushes you to surpass yourself, or, at least, to stay in the race. What are some of the biggest topics being faced for board game artwork right now? What impact do they have on your own processes? Everything depends on the publishers and their openness to major social issues. For us, now, we put these subjects at the heart of our research and choices. In terms of feminism, respect for minorities, openness to the world and ecology, this is a major challenge for the entire industry, and I am convinced things here will change and evolve very quickly. For example, since Last Bastion, our last game, we systematically take into account colourblindness (now ten per cent of the world’s population). One of our developers

is colour blind and since then, we have taken this into account for all of our games and for each development track. We have created the Colourblind friendly label and we try to make sure that every game we develop can wear it. On the other hand, when you look at representation, and everything there is to be representative of - it’s a difficult question that really depends not only on the games, but on our authors, our distributors, and ultimately our players and their will to be openminded. If we make games that follow all of our aspirations but are not distributed, our work will have been useless. Then, what if we manage to convince our distributors, but no one wants to buy it at retail…? It’s important to know that we publish games for the whole world, and that the sensitivities are totally different. In the US, weapons in games don’t cause concern, but a character’s bare back will cause big problems. And while weapons will be a concern in many other countries, the back will never be bare enough! But essentially, we want to create games, not play politics, but so much the better if our publishing choices can help society evolve towards more openness, tolerance, and respect for dsiveristy. What do you think the biggest changes will be for board gaming going forward? Our biggest challenges are to create more environmentally friendly games (even if a game is not a disposable product, and the game material is intended to be used and kept for many, many years) but also to make our games exist longer in an overloaded market. Since it is impossible to predict success, to be sure to have ‘runners’ (games that last over time to become classics), some publishers release a lot of games. On the mass, they hope that one or two gold nuggets will stand out and make them prosper in the long term. Our method is different, however. We prefer to play less games, but games that, in our opinion, are as successful as possible. It takes up a lot of our time and a lot of our energy, and therefore resources, but so far, it has been quite a successful model for us of the past 15 years. Jan/Feb 2020 | toy news | 39

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RECRUITING MANAGERS IN A DIGITAL WORLD By Andrew Dobbie Gameplan Europe has been recruiting top managers for the toy industry since 1988, from Tokyo to Los Angeles and right across Europe. We have placed presidents into the US subsidiaries of four multinational toy manufacturers, as well as countless managers at lower levels.

The Internet has revolutionised many aspects of business through emailing, ecommerce, social media, targeted advertising based on a consumer’s unique shopping profile and in many other ways. Some traditional businesses have disappeared as a result, or have been radically reduced in scale. Examples are travel agencies, publishers of encyclopaedias and recorded music, and also bricks and mortar retailers. Services such as physical mail and teaching have clearly been impacted. Nowadays if you want to know how to make Bearnaise sauce, replace piston rings, or learn to swim butterfly stroke, a few seconds search on YouTube will deliver you the required instruction, thereby putting some teachers or instructors out of work. Recruitment of managers has not been spared the consequences of the Internet and of other digital resources. Here are some ways in which management recruitment has embraced digital techniques and changed as a result: - Emailing combined with digital databases facilitates networking with hundreds or thousands of prospective candidates, who can rapidly respond. A digital database can be easily interrogated by selective search criteria to select candidates whose profiles match a company’s needs. - Services such as Skype and WhatsApp permit video interviewing of candidates anywhere in the world, making huge savings of interview travel time and cost. Skype also enables a client to personally brief an executive search consultant without having to travel to meet up. - Recruitment companies build huge digital databases of cvs and other candidate information, and services like LinkedIn and Xing can be used as a tool for identifying prospective candidates as well as communicating with them. These services also enable companies to check up on the career backgrounds of applicants or prospective candidates. - The capabilities of the Internet work equally well for the benefit of job seekers, who can post applications to job seekers’ websites or to company recruitment websites. A newly launched tool called Google for Jobs is an international jobs forum. Job seekers can also check online the reputation of a company, to assess if the company has a suitably attractive culture. Managing directors are well advised to check what disaffected former employees are openly saying about the company on the Internet. They may get a shock. - There are of course negative aspects of the digital revolution. Many naïve employees have inadvertently released a hostage to fortune by posting critical comments about their employer, only to be confronted by their managing director on Monday morning with the offending post, followed by an abrupt change in their career progress. Dismissed employees often vent their spleen in florid language online about individual managers whom they blame for their being fired, or they wreak vengeance in blogs on the company by trying to warn prospective candidates. Bearing in mind the facilitation of recruitment through the digital revolution, it is an obvious question as to how the role of professional executive search consultancies has changed, or even if they are still necessary. With all these new techniques and modes of communication, it might be thought that the demand for classical executive search would decline. In fact the reverse is happening. The reason is that the Internet tools are available to all, catalysing the speed and the number of interactions between employers and prospective employees, but there remains a need to identify, sort and evaluate the most suitable applicants. So those companies which invest in specialist recruiters continue to have a competitive advantage in recruiting the best talent available in the marketplace. An analogy may help to explain why: In theory buyers can buy everything they need online. But in practice a company which pays salespeople to knock on buyer doors will always have a big advantage in gaining orders. In addition and most importantly, only a human being can reach those managers who are not looking for a job, and who need to be persuaded by human intervention that there are greener pastures elsewhere. Because it is now so easy to filter applicants online with questionnaires, companies which process large numbers of applications often miss those quirky and distinctively different candidates who are unlikely to match a job profile but who are more likely to effect change in a company. Such candidates sometimes so impress in interview that the company decides to subordinate the usual recruitment criteria to the outstandingly gifted personality of a candidate who can benefit the company in ways which a ‘normal’ candidate would not. Such ‘misfits’ (to borrow a term from Dominic Cummings) would never survive a digital selection process. Another crucial value of human involvement in recruiting is in reference checking. Employment laws have tightened so much that it becomes increasingly difficult to write or say anything negative about a candidate, however appallingly he or she may have behaved or performed. An executive searcher who has been known and trusted for many years by the referee can safely elicit a response such as ‘don’t touch him with a bargepole’. As in every other area of business, there is a continuous evolution, with feedback loops which change candidate behaviour in response to changes in employer approaches and in the general business and societal environment. So although it would be foolish to predict that executive search would not radically change in the next decade, the probability is high that specialised recruiters who engage personally with prospective candidates will continue to give their clients a competitive edge in recruiting the top talent most likely to drive their businesses forward in a competitive marketplace.

Andrew Dobbie, founder and managing director of Gameplan Europe Ltd, would be pleased to have an informal discussion with toy company directors who wish to talk about the changing face of recruitment. andrew@gameplaneurope.com - tel: +44 1442 870100


30 Under 30

The industy has had its say and has once again nominated for the ToyNews and Gameplan Europe 30 Under 30; a listing of the young talent and rising stars of the toy industry. Read on to find out if you’ve cracked the list...

I

t’s always a cheering sight here at ToyNews Towers, watching the nominations come pouring in yearin, year-out for our annual 30 Under 30 listing sponsored by Gameplan Europe, no less - of rising stars among the industry. This year, more so than in any other of those gone by, the email inbox was almost audibly straining under the weight of the nominations as they came flying in throughout the month of December, from all corners of the industry. ToyNews is proud to say that this year, the 30 Under 30 listing presents quite possibly the most diverse celebration of young talent in the toy space to date, spanning the toy design community, the licensing space, the tabletop gaming sector, IP protection, research and development, marketing, and retail, to showcase once again not only

how wonderfully talented and nurturing the toy industry is, but just how far-reaching and encompassing the parameters of the industry is today. Of course, the popularity of such a listing of industry rising stars is also a great reflection of the cut and calibre of the industry’s more established and longer-serving members. So it is a great kudos to you who have nurtured and continue to nurture, passed on learnings, and helped develop those on the first rung of their career ladder within the toy industry. A company that looks after its youth, is a company that is safeguarding its future, after all, and it is cheering to see such a healthy relationship across the generations. So, without further ado - simply turn to page and discover who made it on the ToyNews and Gameplan Europe 30 Under 30 listing for 2020. Jan/Feb 2020 | toy news | 41

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Sonia Amrar, Chartered Trade Mark Attorney, Wynne Jones IP Kicking us off this year by making her debut, and highlighting the scope and breadth of the UK toy scene (and the readership of ToyNews, no less) Sonia Amrar joins the 30 Under 30 listing from the world of trade mark law. Amrar joined Wynne Jones IP in autumn last year, and within weeks of taking up her role presented alongside director, Victor Caddy at Mojo Nation’s 2019 Student Conference. Originally from France, Amrar works with Caddy on advising toy and game creators, both corporate and individual, on matters relating to trade marks, brands, and design rights, and has a bright future ahead.

Lauren Archer, Marketing and Events, Fundamentally Children Largely responsible for the success of Fundamentally Children’s Good Play Zone that toured Car Fest as well as a schedule of UK family destinations last year, Lauren Archer also played a pivotal role in the success of the organisation’s annual Christmas Good Toy Guide. With a talent for marketing, Archer managed to smash the company’s predicted reach of 1.6 million, and continues to provide vital marketing support to the team and ensures clients get maximum ROI on their involvement with the Good Toy Guide. Archer has truly proved herself to be a vital element to an organisation celebrating one big 2019.

Gemma Briant, Marketing Manager, Coiledspring Games Gemma Briant joined Coiledspring Games in 2018 as marketing executive but quickly expanded her role with a promotion to marketing manager in July '19. Over the past 14 months at the firm, she's organised successful London Toy Fair and Spring Fair showcases, grown social media presence exponentially, and organised consumer shows including Rezzed, UKGE, EGX, and Tabletop Gaming Live. She also redesigned Coiledspring’s catalogue, localised both on time and under budget 14 Coiledspring products, and delivered promotional programmes for the firm’s bestselling title, The Mind. That's an achievement.

Jack Allen, Licensing Manager, Winning Moves Previously at the licensing agency, The Point.1888, Allen climbed the ranks from Brand Executive to Brand Manager while working with IP such as LOL Surprise, Battersea Dogs & Cats Home and Barratt sweets. It was here that Allen played a critical role on the team that won the best children's licensed property at The Licensing Awards 2018, for the LOL Surprise licensing programme. In 2019, Allen joined Winning Moves as Licensing Manager where he now heads up sport and publishing brands, while managing its key partnerships including agencies and entertainment properties.

Christina Brasier, National Accounts Manager, Asmodee UK A popular choice for this year’s 30 Under 30 listing, having received a flurry of nominations from across the sector, Christina Brasier continues to thrive and improve at Asmodee UK. Throughout 2019 she worked closely with key suppliers such as Pokémon to help deliver sales and off fixture events at both new and current accounts. Brasier has continued to expand and work with her sales support team to the huge benefit of Asmodee. Her nominating party went on to state: “We believe Christina will continue to hone her skills in the coming year and will meet new challenges eagerly.” Congrats to Christina!

Abbie Burrows, Licensing Coordinator, NBC Universal Abbie Burrows is a central part of the UK and Eire team at Universal Brand Development and the go-to guru for all aspects across softlines, hardlines, retail and marketing, while actively managing the retained PR agency and trade advertising output. In just 18 months with the firm, Burrows has been promoted from Licensing Assistant to her current position as Licensing Coordinator. She is a creative thinker with a passion for fashion, and is starting to make her mark with new highend and pre-school apparel deals for 2020. Energetic and motivated, Burrows doesn’t like to hear no.

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30 Under 30

Will Burton, Amazon Account Executive, Asmodee UK There’s clearly a wealth of young talent at Asmodee UK right now, as the firm lands another 30 Under 30 entry with Will Burton. According to the firm, Burton continues to grow into his role at Asmodee, while delivering improvements and strong growth on the Amazon account. His management of the account has seen him working with other companies in group internationally, as he is considered an expert at Asmodee UK. Burton has been described as a friendly and likeable member of the team who now expects to continue to see great things from him in years to come.

Oliver Dall, Entreprenuer and Owner, Oliver’s Brighton Oliver Dall graced the pages of ToyNews back in October, when he was celebrated for his award-winning entrepreneurship and innovation in the world of retail. Dall is the owner of the Brighton-based Harry Potter-inspired Oliver’s Brighton, a store that offers all things Harry Potter to locals and tourists alike. The young business owner has been recognised by numerous awards, including Best Small Shop in the UK and has been championed for his commitment to customer service and experiential shopping on the UK High Street. A business owner and entrepreneur all under the age of 30, a magical future brews here.

Luke Garden, Account Manager, Generation Media From the realms of the media platform specialists, and with a real passion for delivering digital excellence to its clients, Luke Garden joined Generation Media as an account manager only 12 months ago. Since then, he has quickly become an integral part of the team. Full of ways to improve digital performance for his client base, Garden works closely within Generation Media’s Digital Specialist team to provide digital transparancy in this ever-changing and evolving landscape. It's no easy task, but Garden's adept ability and positivity certainly makes it appear so. Congratulations go to Garden for his listing this year.

Olivia Cudworth, Digital Marketing Executive, Halilit Olivia Cudworth is but a newcomer to the toy industry, having only started at Halilit in September 2019, but has, nevertheless, in such a short time made her presence truly felt at the toy maker. Having recently achieved a distinction in the CIM Level 4 in Professional Marketing, Cudworth has already notably increased Halilit’s reach and engagement on social media. She has strengthened brand awareness for Halilit, Edushape and Taf Toys, while raising Halilit’s profile as a leader in baby and pre-school toys with marketing activities such as the Aw Factor reaching audiences of over 3 million.

Robyn Dessoy, Moderator, Horsham Gamers Flying the flag for the tabletop gaming community and the growth of gaming events up and down the UK, comes Robyn Dessoy who helps moderate and run Horsham Gamers - a group based in the South East of England. From playing digital games to board and card games, Dessoy helps run and maintain the group on its various platforms, including Facebook and Discord, as well as run its regular events throughout the year. Dessoy has been deemed as ‘more than worthy of a placement’ in this year’s 30 Under 30 for her efforts in promoting the joy of the tabletop gaming hobby and community far and wide.

Sophia Hutchinson, PR Consultant, Playtime PR Flying the flag for the industry’s PR sector, Sophia joined Playtime in April 2019 and has delivered phenomenal results across a number of key accounts. Always keen to be frontline, she has flexed her muscles running a British Gymnastics event partnership for Moose’s Team Gem launch, robbed a bank for John Adams’ Bank Attack launch and landed national ITV hits for multiple client products including Asmodee’s Harry Potter Dobble. Her enthusiasm and passion for her client brands means she’s right at home at Playtime, where her colleagues have nothing but praise for her work and brilliantly happy personality.

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30 Under 30

Liza Jaeger, Sales Team Leader, Coiledspring Games Described as conscientious and hard working by her nominating party, Liza Jaeger comes with a glowing show of support for her placement in this year’s 30 Under 30 listing. 'Unlike the salespeople who talk a good game,' reads her nomination, 'Liza has a steely, quiet confidence that delivers.' She "embodies the values Coiledspring Games brings to the industry, has a love of boardgames, and is an enthusiastic advocate for the joy they bring. Her confidence in her abilities and determination means that when she takes on a task, you know it will be successfully completed.” What a beaming account!

Sam Kraftman, Business Development, The Source Following in his father’s footsteps, the Menkind mogul’s son, 26 year old Sam, joined the wholesale arm of Gift Universe, The Source Wholesale, back in 2015. He started out making (excellent) tea, before progressing rapidly through the ranks. Now as Business Development Manager, Sam is working on bringing new products to market, and expanding opportunities, to cement The Source as a destination for gifting and toy products. With big licensing partnerships secured and amazing proprietary product in the pipeline for 2020, Sam is the driving force in what's to be The Source’s biggest year to date.

Shaun Loveridge, Account Manager, Generation Media Since joining Generation Media, Shaun Loveridge has been fundamental to the launches of some of this year’s biggest toy brands. In his role, Loveridge uses the latest market, consumer, competitive insight to advise clients on making the best strategic decisions. As his passion and enthusiasm continues, and as Generation Media continues to go from strength to strength, his nominating party towards this year's 30 Under 30 listing goes on to suggest that Shaun has a truly properous career ahead of him. Well done to Shaun for his spot in the list this year, we're we'll all be seeing plenty more to come.

Sam Jones, Senior Account Executive, Bastion For the past two years, Sam Jones has worked on the UK’s biggest toy events, DreamToys and Toy Fair, as part of the Bastion team. Over the last year, Jones has played an instrumental role in the organisation of DreamToys, securing coverage across TV, radio, print and online and always does so with a smile. Outside of these events, Jones and Bastion have worked to launch products and provide consultancy in the video games and youth entertainment markets. One nomination read: “Sam is a delight to work with – fun, enthusiastic and the main provider of Hula-Hoops to his fellow colleagues.”

Billy Langsworthy, Co-Founder, Mojo Nation Always keen to get his name and face back inToyNews, Langsworthy joins the 30 Under 30 listing for his achievements in the toy and game inventor and design community. Hard working, passionate, and, crucially, with a necessary sense of humour, the young company owner has helped put the UK toy inventor scene on the map this year thanks to a run of successful events and initiatives, including the highly praised Play Creators Festival. “While his folecular mass may be making a swift exit,” said one nomination, “Langsworthy will remain a key part of the UK’s toy and game inventor space for years to come.”

Robert Lyon, Account Manager, Generation Media Having joined Generation Media as a graduate, Robert Lyon has established himself as a key member of the account management team in just a short time with the organisation. His experience spans the video games market as well as toys, which he has already utilised to help toy clients navigate the evolving Digital Media landscape of today. Lyon’s strong background in traditional media ensures clients not only receive campaigns designed to deliver maximum ROI in these uncertain times, but top-notch service that has made Lyon an invaluable member of Generation Media today.

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30 Under 30

Emma May, Founder, Emmerse Studios With a passion for design and illustration, Emma May founded her creative company Emmerse Studios three years ago and is the proud inventor of the family card game Quirk! Launched in late 2017, May has seen Quirk’s following of fans grow quickly within the table-top gaming community. Her time in the industry has seen her become a staple figure of the design and inventor scene and will this year be joining the line-up of speakers at London Toy Fair’s Design Student Seminar. Her drive and enthusiasm for her business has been rewarded with increased retailer listings this past year.

Antonia Munday, Marketing Assistant, Orchard Toys Described by her nominating party as “fun, confident, and a real asset to the Orchard Toys team,” Antonia Munday has made a large impact on the business in just a short 12 months. Having taken up the role of Markting Assistant in January 2019, Munday hit the ground running at Toy Fair last year, and has continued to bring the company’s products to life across its social media channels and in her support of the marketing and product development teams. Munday has been key to the growth of Orchard Toys’ online following and engagement through her eloquence of both social media and copy writing.

Nav Snotra, Senior Insight Executive, Giraffe Insights Nav Snotra joined Giraffe Insights as an intern two years ago and has quickly progressed. Promoted again this year to Senior Insight Executive, this quick progression is illustrative of her hard work and dedication to research within the industry. Snotra is instrumental in the development, implementation, and the delivery of revolutionary research study; Kids and the Screen, while also leading in other areas such as GDPR compliance. She has been described as a central member of the team and pivotal in conducting research and insight that has business impact for clients, including global toys and games brands.

TJ Morrison, Design/Invention Lead, So Sound TJ Morrison leads So Sound's design and invention team, and over the last few years has built it into one of the most exciting invention houses on the scene. 2019 saw So Sound win the Design Agency/ Invention Studio of the Year award at Mojo Nation’s Play Creators Awards as well as get a nomination for Emerging Innovator at Hasbro’s own Innovator awards. Other highlights include winning the W.I.T.T.Y prize at the 2019 Toy Inventors Dinner to launching So Sound's newest venture, a video content production arm. ‘With TJ's leadership, So Sound has secured itself as one of the toy industry's leading design agencies,' stated one nomination.

Louisa Skevington, Licensing Coordinator, Rocket Licensing As Licensing Coordinator for Rocket Licensing, Louisa Skevington has overseen numerous licensing deals over the last year, including establishing a publishing programme for The Elf on the Shelf including activity publishing from Hachette, annuals from Little Brother Books and a We Love The Elf on the Shelf magazine from Signature Publishing. Beyond her role at Rocket, she was selected for the 2019 Licensing International Young Professionals Network Committee, where she was involved in organising successful networking events. She was also a Licensing International 2019 UK Rising Stars Award finalist.

Harry Stacey, Entrepreneur and Owner, Harry’s Toy Chest Harry Stacey made local headlines across Cornwall late last year, when the 20 year old entrepreneur and toy shop owner moved into the city’s centre to open the first bricks and mortar location for his now thriving toys and collectable’s business, Harry’s Toy Chest. At the age of 18, Stacey began his career in the industry, selling pre-loved toys via his online platform. Two years later, and the shop owner has been credited with ‘bringing a buzz back to his local Truro High Street.’ All this, and he is still studying for his degree in Business and Entrepreneurship.

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30 Under 30

Anna Taylor, Researcher, Fundamentally Children Anna Taylor holds a BSc in Psychology and is the principle in-house researcher at the children’s and parenting experts Fundamentally Children. Taylor boasts an impressive and ever growng list of projects within her personal portfolio, from the First Steppers research she carried out for WildBrain DHX, to Ricky Zoom parent and child focus groups, and McDonald’s Happy Studio App user testing. Taylor’s straight forward, solution-focussed approach helps clients get exactly what they need from the research projects they commission, reads one nomination. Taylor has become an integral part of the organisation.

Bryce Vernon, Marketing Assistant, Jumbo Games Colleagues have described Bryce Vernon, marketing assistant at Jumbo Games, as a “key part of the Jumbo team and an invaluable asset to the marketing department, in a glowing nomination towards this year’s 30 Under 30 listing. Managing and driving growth across Jumbo’s digital platforms such as all its social media pages and platforms, websites and the Amazon Brand Store, Vernon’s day to day responsiblities also include providing assistance to Steven Russell, to ensure that the sales team is supported while marketing plans and strategies are executed to achieve the goals and targets set.

Alex Whiting, In-House Toy Designer, Le Toy Van Alex Whiting has been a key part of the Le Toy Van family for three and a half years now, and in that time he has worked relentlessly within the firm’s creative department as its in-house, all-round toy designer. Such a vital role to the success of Le Toy Van’s ever-increasing and award-winning product line-up that Whiting has even had a wooden toy named after him in the company’s best-selling Alex’s Tool Bench. The fact that Le Toy Van has emerged with another strong year under its belt is testament to the work Whiting carries out behind the scenes, pouring his creative energy into the company.

Hayley Ticehurst, Junior 30 Under 30 Account Manager, License to PR A PR graduate and previous Character Events Intern at The Walt Disney Company, Hayley Ticehurst has been involved in the promotion of licensed brands for just two years, and yet has developed an impressive record for delivering tangible results that have impacted not only License to PR’s client base, but also the agency’s service offering and company culture. She has an energy and determination that's seen her through her many achievements. Ticehurst is an integral force in driving national press campaigns, loves collaborating with celebrities and charities and never misses an opportunity.

Jonathan Watson, Chief Product Officer, Kids Insights Jonathan Watson was part of the founding team at the innovative market intelligence company, Kids Insights, a company who, since its launch, has been working to expand its reach across the UK, the US, Europe, and Asia. As Kids Insights has continued to build its international business, the firm has picked up a portfolio of esteemed clients that includes the likes of the BBC, Disney, Hasbro, Mattel, and Warner Bros. Now working as chief product officer, Watson leads the global products team, who provides some of the biggest brands in the toy industry with data and insights to help them with their strategies.

Bradley Wilson, Marketing and PR Executive, John Adams Four years into his role at John Adams, and Marketing and PR Executive, Bradley Wilson, hasn’t only proved himself to be a key part of the company’s marketing team across a wide range of disciplines, but a credit to the industry thanks to his natural warm, funny, and approachable demeanour. His nominating party said that Wilson is at his best when putting together creative marketing and PR plans that he brings to life alongside the company’s agencies. Wilson is responsible for building and managing multiple social channels, significantly growing consumer reach over the past year.

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Retail Panel

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Retail Panel THE RETAIL PANNEL...

IAN EDMUNDS

BHAV PATEL

AMANDA GUMMER

PETER ALLINSON

STUART GRANT

ROB TRUP

MILES PENHALLOW

CHARLOTTE KHAN

CAN TOY RETAILERS LEAD THE SUSTAINABILITY MOVEMENT FROM THE FRONT? This month, ToyNews puts the pressing topic of sustainability to the Retail Advisory Panel’s board of High Street experts to find out what - if anything - this industry's shopping landscape can do to facilitate today's eco-conscious movement

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f we could summarise 2019 with any one word that isn’t the hideous portmanteau of the already heinous mash-up itself - Brexitshambles - then most likely it would be the word: sustainability. Yes, in a year in which the teenage activist Greta Thunberg became TIME's Person of the Year, sustainability was surely one of the most uttered words of the past 12 months. And while by their nature, New Year’s resolutions means we often endeavour to leave the hang-ups of the previous year at the door... well, that just isn’t going to happen here. As we gear up for another Toy Fair season, the question of eco-consciousness will hang, ever present, over the heads of an industry that - over the course of the last 12 months alone - has made such great and determined headway in the effort for better sustainability. The halls of London Toy Fair itself will be filled with companies striving to do their bit for the initiative, and so many have already adapted their practices to better serve the environment and help reduce the plastic waste levels, nearing critical the world over. While it’s true that the efforts of the most conscientious among us, from Gibsons and its 100 per cent sustainable packaging pledge, to Keel Toys’ own initiaitive to launch ecofriendly plush toys to the market this Toy Fair, it is still but a drop in the ocean compared to the global scene. Ultimately, it is encouraging to see Hasbro move for sustainable packaging across its portfolio by 2021, and to see Mattel join the fight with its own pledge too, but the questions stands ever present - Will this be enough? This month, ToyNews puts the question to its curated expert Retail Advisory Panel: Can the UK’s toy shops help pave a path for real sustainability at retail? Jan/Feb 2020 | toy news | 49

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“THE WORLD WILL GET THERE. THE QUESTION IS, DO WE NEED BETTER REGULATION FROM THE GOVERNMENT?” Stuart Grant, buying director, The Entertainer In short, we think the toy industry has the ability to become more sustainable in the way that it views its packaging. Now, when you open a typical toy, there is a lot of single use plastic in the packaging, and I think much of it could be replaced with more sustainable materials. There hasn’t really been a consumer shift to doing that in the past. It is only really now that consumers are starting to demand it, and everyone’s eyes are being opened to wanting to make product more sustainable for the environment. There are a lot of things that the industry can do to improve its carbon footprint in the world, and I think this was only ever going to be a change that was driven by consumers. In Europe, there’s been a huge consumer mind shift in being more conscious of the carbon footprint. The challenge is that a large percentage of the world’s toys - about half - are sold in America, and because the vast majority are global spec toys - i.e. from Mattel, Hasbro, and Spin Master - and half of their business is the US, they won't develop a European packaging. It all comes in global packaging. Hasbro has been very vocal in its belief in becoming more sustainable, and even against the fact that the US isn’t demanding this sustainability change yet, has said that by the end of 2021, all of its packaging will have no single use plastic. With our own brand, the product that we source from China through some of our smaller vendors, where we have much more say in the packaging and the type of packaging used, we are absolutely pushing and working closely with them to get to a place of no single use packaging as fast as humanly possible. But what we really need is a social trend to kick off in the US for the big manufacturers to say, ‘OK this is a global thing now, and we need to make this standard in our packaging specs." I think the world will get there, and I think it will happen. I am championing the move in every single meeting from top to top, including the VPs. The big question is, does there need to be something

from the Government on the regulation they have around drop tests and the demands they have on packaging to protect the product. There are a lot of demands on drop testing and making sure product doesn’t get damaged in transport. They’re all good things, but all require more plastic ties, more blister packaging, etc. There should be something in place for manufacturers to work with governments to look at their regulations to achieve what the consumers are wanting, and what we should be doing. For us, this is going to be slow; a 24 month process because there are things that just aren’t possible to do overnight. It’s a journey but every time we make a change, we’re making a change for the better. ••• “IF LARGER TOY RETAILER FLEXED THEIR MUSCLES, POSITIVE CHANGES WOULD BE BOUND TO HAPPEN.” Charlotte Khan, owner, Moo Like A Monkey There is so much room for improvement in the toy industry when it comes to eco-conscious manufacturing. There has already been a huge shift in consumer awareness of environmental impact, we all know it’s not a passing trend. There is a growing number of parents actively seeking out eco-friendly alternatives and don’t mind spending a little more on products with a lower environmental impact. If the retailers which are big enough to have the power to force these changes make a stand, the shift will have to begin. Packaging is a good place to start. If I was a manufacturer and my largest stockist said they would no longer stock anything with plastic packaging, I'm pretty sure I'd redesign my packaging and look for alternatives, it's a no brainer. I've stopped stocking companies who use what I believe to be unnecessary single use plastic in their packaging. For example product boxes individually wrapped in plastic. I’m sure they couldn’t care less, if they lose business from a little indie shop like mine, but if their largest stockist refused to stock them I'm sure they would scrap the plastic cellophane pretty soon, and find alternative packing materials to bubble wrap etc when transporting the products to retailers.

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The big supermarkets have shown what great publicity can come from making these changes when fruit and vegetable packaging make the headlines. Plan Toys is doing everything right when it comes to reducing their carbon footprint with manufacturing and packaging, and I notice a fierce customer loyalty to the brand for this reason. It's started recycling unused packaging by turning it into the card inserts in the new packaging. They prioritise eco-friendly manufacturing and it is a huge selling point for the brand. Changing manufacturing methods is not only great for the environment but it can be great marketing for a brand and generate some real consumer loyalty. I used to work in the film industry. There was a time when a certain large supermarket had the power to demand a DVD cover design had to be completely to their liking as a condition of them selling it. Film Distributors would give them what they asked for because it was vital to be stocked in there. If the larger toy retailers flexed their influence, positive change is bound to happen. ••• “THE TOY INDUSTRY IS FAR, FAR BEHIND WHAT OTHER INDUSTRIES HAVE ALREADY SET OUT ON DELIVERING FOR SUSTAINABILITY.” Bhav Patel, owner, Toy Galaxy The toy industry will by no means pave the path, as other industries have already made leaps and bounds in eco-sustainability with the toy industry far, far behind. What we can do however is take notes on these changes and begin adapting them into our industry so that going forward we begin to progress collectively, thus making a difference for the future. We are in an industry where plastic and paper make up almost 99 per cent of what is on our shelves, therefore a lot of work needs to take place from much higher above to begin making these changes. LEGO has made great progress and commitments to change by 2030. We are still a little way off but once desirable goods start being made more sustainable the impact these few companies can have across the entire toy market globally is enormous.

“RETAILERS CAN ENCOURAGE MANUFACTURERS TO REVIEW THEIR OWN ECO-CREDENTIALS.” Amanda Gummer, founder, Dr Gummer's Good Play Guide Retailers can promote sustainable toys more proactively in store and use eco-credentials as a factor in making buying decisions which will encourage manufacturers to review their own eco credentials. Manufacturers and retailers can also consider the longer term play value of a toy -per play, toys that are played with over and over again, or handed down from sibling to sibling, or parent to child have a lot smaller impact on the environment than quick crazes or single use items. ••• “ECO-SUSTAINABILITY IS IMPORTANT TO US ALL, AND IT IS GOOD TO SEE THE TOY INDUSTRY TAKING A VIEW ON THIS.” Peter Allinson, owner, Whirligig Eco-sustainability is important to us all, and it is good to see the toy industry taking a view on this. There are of course the basics we have recycling contracts for our cardboard and waste, offer paper bags to our customers who have not brought their own and ensure that we are saving power etc. However, we as a group can be doing a lot more. Firstly, we look for games and toys that will give children a meaningful play experience for a long time - we hate toys that you take out of the box and then throw away. Children should be able to play with a toy more than once, it should have scope to grow with you and be memorable. Also, we hate an empty box full of air - we can buy great toys that are carefully packaged without using massive amounts of waste. Lastly, we don't outlaw plastic as it makes for some great toys, but do look out for other sustainable materials. The Tenderleaf Toys range of rubber wood and sustainable plywood are a great example of this - top quality design and manufacture but with a product that doesn't chip and will really last.

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PIECING IT ALL TOGETHER It’s finally happened - jigsaw puzzling has found a new lease of life and struck a chord with the final piece of its bigger picture, tapping into a generation of formerly dismissive youths. But beyond this, the real allure of jigsaw puzzling is only now coming to light. Robert Hutchins takes a look at the sector's latest developments

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t’s indisputable that jigsaw puzzles today aren’t what they used to be. And we can all breathe a sigh of relief for that, because if there was ever a sector in need of a real shot in the arm, it was one such as this. A sector formerly soaked in cliché, it’s only really over the course of the last decade that jigsaw puzzling has managed to shake off the stereotype of its appearance of being all rather twee. Today, and with thanks to an injection of fresh blood and a reconfigured way of looking at the sector, jigsaw puzzling really has become the new rock ‘n’ roll. Just look at what the likes of Gibsons, Jumbo, or Kidicraft have achieved in the space in the last few years, bringing in innovation and a wealth of accessible, popular, and ultimately powerful licenses, combined with innovative new slants on the puzzling hobby - be that 3D puzzling, or mystery images - that has brought the sector roaring into a new lease of life. If further proof was needed, observe the partnership that Gibsons itself embarked upon when it partnered with the electropop band Metronomy in October last year to supply a licensed puzzle range as part of the group’s merchandise offering. Puzzling has learned how to be cool, and we’ve

Photo by drew-gilliam on Unsplash

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suddenly got an audience of youths keen on tapping their contactless cards on a sector that is now doing all it can to offer them what they want. Even the old school rockers have been getting in on the act. 2019, afterall, witnessed the music merchandise specialists Plastic Head launch into the heavy metal album cover puzzle space

"We're aware of the importance of mindfulness among the younger age groups, so we've focused on developing innovative puzzles that tap into this audience, with upand-coming artists." Kim Garrod, Gibsons

under its Rocksaws arm, bringing artwork from the likes of Iron Maiden (among plenty others) into the category. Yes, 2019 was the year in which jigsaw puzzling finally became appealing. So what can the sector achieve in 2020? Well, with

its rise in popularity, so too has come an increase in research into the positive effects that the hobby can have on the individuals most partial to piecing them together. And it turns out, there’s a great deal more depth to the adult puzzling market than bringing in a few of those more off-the-wall licenses. The UK independent puzzle company, Gibsons - now in its 101st year of business in the games and puzzles space - suggests that with the recent wave of young adults looking for a ‘digital detox’ and respite from their constant encounter with digital devices today, puzzling has been highlighted as an ‘excellent way to relieve stress and focus on the present moment.’ On top of this, research is now showing the assessable benefits of puzzling for adults, and studies have shown that keeping the mind active with jigsaw puzzles can lead to a better quality of life and reduce the chances of developing certain types of mental illnesses, including memory loss and dementia. According to Professor Zoe Wyrko of University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust, a consultant geriatrician, and a member of the expert team on Channel 4’s award winning TV show, Old People’s Home for 4 Year Olds, it is the stmulation of multiple points of the brain Jan/Feb 2020 | toy news | 53

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Puzzles feature

that jigsaw puzzling engages that enhance an individual’s ability to focus. “Jigsaw puzzles are an activity that can be enjoyed by all ages,” she states. “They give a person something to focus and concentrate on, both of which can improve wellbeing. “Jigsaws provoke memories in different ways - the sound of pieces rattling in a box, the smell of a newly opened puzzle, and remembering the act of doing jigsaws with friends or family when younger. The pictures can spark conversations, reminding people of topics that may be long forgotten.” The mental benefits of jigsaw puzzling is no new revelation, of course. Not really. There’s a reason that puzzling features so heavily among the play diet of children, for its encouragement and development of motor skills and co-ordination. But it is perhaps because of the surge in popularity of puzzling among adult audiences that it has been thrown back into the light today. Research from 2017, carried out by the health and wellbeing platform Dr Newton, has detailed much of the science behind it, suggesting that ‘succesfully placing a puzzle piece to create the wider picture encourages the production of dopamine the neurotransmitter that regulates mood and affects concentration, motivation, memory, and motor control.' Meanwhile, it’s an inescapable truth that approximately one in four people in the UK will exprience a mental health problem each year, and in England, one in six people report experiencing a common mental health problem in any given week. It’s a subject that Gibsons has been active in addressing, not only through a partnership with the charity MIND that saw the firm donate a portion of £10,000 to the organisation last year, but in the development and marketing of a new range of puzzles in its portfolio. Kim Garrod, product development manager at Gibsons, tells ToyNews: “Our classic jigsaws are some of the best on the

market and are loved by all traditional puzzlers. However, we’re well aware of the importance of mindfulness among a younger age group and wanted to launch a range of striking, design-led puzzles that don’t conform to jigsaw puzzle traditions. “So, we’ve also focused on creating innovative puzzle boxes that stand out on shelf and jigsaw designs created by up-andcoming artists.” The range is Gibsons’ White Logo Collection, a wave of 13 puzzles each featuring alternative imagery for the modern day puzzler, with seven new designs launched this year, including Punimals, a new launch illustrated by the celebrated artist, Katie Abey. But Gibsons’ movement in the field of mental wellness doesn’t end there. In fact its new The Piecing Together Collection was created to provide those living with dementia, limited fine motor skills, or visual impairments with “a fun activity that can be enjoyed with a loved one,” tapping into the research that puzzling can aid cognitive dexterity in those suffering memory loss.

The launch was orchestrated following the recent statistic that some 850,000 people are estimated to be living with dementia in the UK. Gibsons’ Garrod, adds: “The large, easy to handle pieces and beautiful images have been carefully designed to be ageappropriate for adults, yet accessible for all. There are ten designs available ranging

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from 12-24 pieces, and the puzzles can be completed inside the box, which provides a frame to work within. “Gibsons’ goal was to create a puzzle that brings people together during these difficult times. We undertook the research to design this collection. This included care home visits, liasing with Age UK Centres and teaming up with Dr Zoe Wyrko.”

If Gibsons is now operating on two ends of the same scale - providing the youth of today with the mindfulness of puzzling with alternative launches by way of digital detox, as well as those living with dementia with specially curated images and puzzle pieces to evoke memories, then it is the entire spectrum that jigsaw puzzling as a hobby now spans.

From heavyweight licenses - such as the vibrant new DC Comics lines from Kidicraft, or the staggering design of the Harry Potter Wrebbit 3D puzzle range from Coiledspring - to launches from the elite of rock music’s Hall of Fame, the puzzles sector is certainly in a state of evolution, and it looks like 2020 will be delivering some big innovation for its future, too. Jan/Feb 2020 | toy news | 55

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Licensing news

Hasbro on World Tour with Trolls The global toymaker has revealed the first wave of movie tie-in toys for Universal’s upcoming sequel, Trolls World Tour featuring fashion dolls, feature dolls and more

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asbro has revealed the first wave of its movie tie-in toy line for the DreamWorks and Universal animated adventure, Trolls World Tour. The global toymaker joins the movie’s growing portfolio of licensing partners as it prepares for the film's cinematic release this April. In the toy sector, Hasbro is joined by LEGO, Just Play, and Wow! Stuff who have each developed their own collections in time for the launch. This year will see Hasbro release a line of small dolls, fashion dolls, feature dolls and more, all inspired by characters and settings from the upcoming sequel to DreamWorks’ blockbusting Trolls. The range will include Pop to Rock Poppy, a Bobble Set Assortment, Fashion Trolls Assortment, Rockin’ Shades, a

Superstar Poppy, Poppy’s Microphone, Tiny Dancers Friends Pack, Tiny Dancers

Greatest Hits, and Tiny Dancers Series One, marking a veritable line-up for the brand. “We are excited by the response for DreamWorks Animation’s Trolls World Tour,” said Hannah Mungo, country director, UK and Ireland, Universal Brand Development. “The feel-good versatility of the brand means that it appeals to a wide range of licensees. We’re untapping potential in new categories and continue to build and refresh the categories that we successfully established for the first movie. There is already so much going on and so much more in the pipeline; it’s fair to say that the licensing programme is ready to rock.” New categories joining the programme include fashion, food and beverage, book publishing and more.

Spin Master and Rubik’s Cube partner to Perplexus The might of Spin Master has joined forces with one of the world’s most iconic toy brands to launch a new challenging take on the Rubik’s Cube… as if it needed to make it harder...

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pin Master is teaming up with the world-famous Rubik’s Cube to launch a new range of Perplexus Puzzles with a twist, in a new deal brokered by The Smiley Company, the master licensee for the Rubik’s brand. Together the pair will develop a cobranded Rubik’s x Perplexus range, which will feature a 3D ball-in-a-maze puzzle and labyrinth toy. By twisting and turning the cube, players must attempt to manoeuvre a small steel ball through an intricate maze made up of a number of challenging steps along narrow tracks. The result – according to Spin Master – creates the ultimate Rubik’s Cube puzzle and maze, ‘adding in another level of fun and making the Cube even more challenging than ever before.’ “Collaborating with such an iconic toy like Rubik’s Cube is a unique opportunity to expand the fun and challenge of the

Perplexus play experience,” said Elizabeth LoVecchio, vice president of marketing for Spin Master Games. “Perplexus is already captivating minds, both young and old, and we are excited to work together with The Smiley Company

to expand the popular line and further push the boundaries of fun and innovation.” Lori Heiss-Tiplady, vice president of brand strategy at The Smiley Company, added: “Perplexus has become famous for its ingenious sculptural designs and various levels of challenge. These values are perfectly aligned with those that have made the Rubik’s Cube the best-selling toy in history. “We are committed to extending the brain-boosting credentials of the Rubik’s brand by partnering with world-class companies, like Spin Master, who share our goal of nurturing smarter future generations through products that help learning, boost intelligence and evolve Rubik’s STEM accreditation status.” The range of new games is currently in development with the first product set for launch in summer 2020, and additional toys earmarked to roll out soon after. Jan/Feb 2020 | toy news | 57

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Licensing news

Cartamundi is building a house of cards with USPC acquisition The playing card and game specialist is strengthening its international grasp on the market with the acquisition of iconic brand The United States Playing Card Company

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artamundi is getting in on the New Year’s acquisition action, having completed of its incorporation of The United States Playing Card Company. The latest move from the Belgian playing card and game specialist is in line with its ongoing strategy to strengthen its role as a key player in the global entertainment industry. Cartamundi’s acquisition sees the Bicycle, Bee, Hoyle and Fournier brands join its portfolio. “It's an exciting time for Cartamundi,” said Stefaan Merckx, CEO of Cartamundi. “The addition of USPC immediately allows us to take advantage of growing playing

card sales in the US. USPC’s leading position in Spain is highly complementary with Cartamundi’s European footprint and fits perfectly in our plans for strategic growth.” The acquisition arrives as Cartamundi celebrates its 50th anniversary this year, while the iconic Fournier brand marks its 150th. On top of this, 2020 will see the much-loved Bicycle brand celebrate 135 years on the market. “Our commitment to delighting our consumers, cardists, magicians, and casino players with world-class quality remains our mission,” said Michael Slaughter, CEO of United States Playing Card Company.

Hasbro brings home the bacon with eOne Following scrutiny from the competitions watchdog, Hasbro has now completed its $3.8billion acquisition of Entertainment One, strengthening the toymaker’s grasp on the pre-school sector as Peppa Pig, PJ Masks, and Ricky Zoom join its stable

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asbro has officially closed its $3.8bn deal to acquire Entertainment One. The all-cash acquisition of the Canadian independent studio was first announced in August last year but was subject to approval by competition watchdogs owing to the strength that the now completed deal offers Hasbro in the pre-school market. Hasbro has now been officially handed the keys to animated series such as Peppa Pig, PJ Masks, and Nickelodeon’s newest Ricky Zoom. The toymaker will also be able to team with eOne on its more recent expansions into feature films, including the likes of Clifford the Big Red Dog and Monster Problems. Outlined by Brian Goldner, Hasbro’s chairman and CEO, last year, the goal is to combine Hasbro’s IP with eOne’s international studio power in order to

better reach target audiences across a range of platforms. Entertainment One’s content library includes $2bn worth of movies and TV series. It’s been speculated that this has the potential for Hasbro to enter the streaming

service space, or license its now some 80,000 hours of content to the likes of Netflix, Amazon, Disney, or Apple. “We're excited about what we can do together and see great opportunity for shareholder value creation," said Goldner.

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Licensing news

British Bake Off star Nadiya Hussain whips up toy deal with Wilton Bradley In a deal brokered by Start Licensing, the TV personality, chef, and author has secured her first toy line to encourage kids into the kitchen

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he Great British Bake Off winner, author, and TV presenter, Nadiya Hussain, has made her move on the toy space, via a new partnership with Wilton Bradley. The pair will release a range of kids' cooking and baking sets under the Nadiya brand, all of which is due to land at retail in autumn/winter 2020. It will feature baking and cooking utensils and easy to follow recipe cards created by Nadiya.

Working with Wilton Bradley, the GBBO winner has been closely involved in all stages of product development from concept creation to final designs. “Nadiya’s involvement in this project has been very hands on. Wilton Bradley have been able to tap into her knowledge of the sector and the category. She has made a number of valuable contributions to the product development process to make this product line more authentic,” said Ian Downes of Start

Licensing, the licensing agency that brokered the deal. “This has included adjusting the size of the accessories the style of the recipes and choosing recipes that suit the kids' consumer market.” “It's great to see brands like Wilton Bradley recognise that a well chosen license can add value and a point of difference in the market. It's also good to see a toy company using a personality brand in a proactive way. Toy companies are recognising that different kinds of licensing and licenses can work for them but also that appropriate product development is important. This is a really exciting development for Nadiya."

Posh Paws is another plush deal for BBC Earth BBC Studios has renewed its licensing partnership with Posh Paws to develop a new range of eco-conscious plush toys under the BBC Earth license

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BC Studios and Posh Paws International have renewed their current partnership to continue to develop and distribute plush products under the BBC Earth license. The deal brokered by European Licensing Agent WildBrain CPLG, will be effective in the UK, EMEA, Australia, and New Zealand from this month. After the successful launch of the BBC Earth inspired toy plush range in 2019, Posh Paws will be adding a new range of soft baby animals to the collection, including a giraffe, penguin, seal pup, lion cub, baby leopard and a baby monkey. The new range will include 100 per cent recycled post-consumer waste PET plastic (plastic bottles) filling to demonstrate a commitment to the environment, along with packaging made from 100 per cent recycled FSC certified craft paper and soy-based inks.

“The development team at Posh Paws International is aware of how important environmental issues are,” said Lauren Shipman, group marketing director at Posh Paws. “This new BBC Earth product range is just a first step on our journey to make more environmentally friendly soft toys.”

Of the renewed partnership with the plush specialist, Julie Kekwick, senior licensing manager at BBC Studios, added: “We are pleased to continue our partnership with Posh Paws and are looking forward to rolling out further toys inspired by the BBC Earth brand this year.” Jan/Feb 2020 | toy news | 59

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BRAND’S HATCHED: FORMULA ONE’S RACE FOR THE TOY AISLE That’s right, with a new model car for 2021, and revamped regulations to the sport promising more adrenaline fuelled action, Formula One has set its sights on the toy space with the best-in-class partners. Robert Hutchins talks to F1’s Joan Carrera López

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f there something not many of us were expecting for 2020, it surely has to be that Formula One is looking to speed into the toy aisle with its first official toy line for kids and collectors alike. Upon momentary reflection, however, it actually makes perfect sense. The F1 brand isn’t exactly new to the industry, having previously sat within its parametres, most notably via a successful partnership with the Scalextric brand in years gone by, while Formula One has been growing its presence in the consumer products space steadily. Most recently, the racing franchise may have appeared to have put its foot on the brakes, maintaining only a couple of longlasting licensing partnerships in the video games market and in partworks. It wasn’t until 2018 that it decided to refocus. A partnership with the licensing agency, CAA-GBG in tow, Formula One has been systemtically extending its brand into a new consumer product categories such as merchandise, health and beauty, digital gaming, streetwear collaborations, and more, with a portfolio of new products and collaborations lined up for the year ahead. Most interesting is that the brand now has its sights firmly locked on toys.

“Our licensing programme focuses on the F1 brand, and after doing a very thorough research and analysis, we believe there is a demand from our fans all over the world for a wide range of Formula One toys,” Joan Carrera López, senior manager,

"Our new F1 fans are younger than before, and we want the sport to be closer to them. Toys is definitely a great platform to let them share a passion." Joan Carrera, Formula One

retail and CPG licensing at Formula One, tells ToyNews. “In terms of assets, we have very recently announced the 2021 regulations and have an amazing 3D model of the 2021 car that can be fully customised and adapted to a number of categories and opportunities some 15 months before the teams actually unveil their cars.”

A recent history of the Formula One brand saw it acquired by Liberty Media at the start of 2017 and soon after announced the re-launch of its brand transformation with a fresh new-look logo hitting the world stage by 2018. It was a move that seems to have fuelled a drive for brand extension ever since. “We are an entertainment and lifestyle brand whose DNA is all about innovation, technology, and performance,” continues López. “New and exciting licensing partnerships will be announced in the upcoming months, and we expect to keep growing the brand and serving our fans. “We already have a successful educational programme called F1 in Schools that works with a significant number of schools and students worldwide. Formula One is therefore a very aspirational brand that is synonymous with technology, and our ambition is to extend our brand into new and innovative products that will allow kids to learn, play, and have fun.” It will come as little surprise then that of the categories Formula One is targetting for its toy debut, include ride-ons, models, remote controlled toys and slot cars,

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construction toys, and of course the growing STEM toy sector. Actually, it all couldn’t be better timing for the F1 brand. The coming years will mark the onset of a number of changes that will certainly reposition the brand, including big changes in 2021 to the rules that govern the sport itself; technical rules that will “create closer wheel to wheel racing and reduce the gap between the front and back of the grid,” states López. Presumably, Formula One is looking to inject yet more adrenaline into the sport. And with these rules, come new look cars. “As part of the creation of the rules, Formula One has designed a car that is both futuristic and more akin to the look of a traditional F1 car,” explains López. “The fan feedback so far has been very positive and we think it will really excite the fans.” It’s also expected that among those fans, will be a new

generation of youngsters looking to experience the Formula One brand through new consumer products, including a portfolio of toy products. López adds: “Our data shows that F1 has a broad audience in terms of age and gender, and since the Liberty Media acquisition, it is not a surprise that the majority of our new F1 fans are younger than before. We want the sport to be closer to our fans, and toys is definitely a great platform to do so, allowing parents and kids to share their passion. “That’s why we're looking for leading and established toy brands that we can collaborate with, as well as best-in-class manufacturers to develop innovative and quality F1 mono-branded toys. For the time being,

we're not looking to develop products inhouse, but we'll obviously guide licensees to create true to brand toys." When it comes to distribution, Formula One comes with its own tailored and curated retail platforms, underscoring the benefits of a brand that already has its own footprint and franchise model in the global marketing space. “Being part of the F1 family comes with important benefits such as distribution through our owned trackside and online stores,” adds López, “as well as access to our digital channels and advertising.” And at a time when franchising has become a core component to the success of a toy line and brand, it’s surely a rather appetising prospect.

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VISIT US AT BIRMINGHAM SPRING FAIR! HALL 4 C72, D73 THE LARGEST LICENSE PORTFOLIO IN THE INDUSTRY! For any queries please contact us via email at orderseu@funko.com FunkoEurope

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Licensing

THE SPOILS OF WAR(HAMMER) Games Workshopâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Warhammer is massively successful. Seriously. Over the past three years - since the onset of Brexit fell upon us - Warhammer has doubled the size of its business. Last year, it ended ÂŁ81million in profit. Robert Hutchins talks to senior licensing manager, Zoe Smith about how the franchise is building on this success for 2020

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f ever there was a Great British success story, Games Workshop is it. A company that can’t seem to keep out of the press year in year out, the Nottingham-based unit has truly bucked the trend of the UK’s retail narrative over the last few years. At the end of 2019, Games Workshop yes, the retailer-come-licensor of the world spanning and vastly popular Warhammer franchise - broke all of its own records when it closed the year by announcing its £257 million in sales, marking an £81 million profit for the organisation that has built its business on fantasy miniatures and orc warfare. And they tell you playing games won’t get you anywhere…

"We have had some really exciting announcements including our first live action TV series and a new partnership with Marvel to develop Marvel Warhammer comic books."

Zoe Smith, Warhammer Licensing In fact, Zoe Smith, senior licensing manager at Warhammer Licensing, the consumer product licensing unit of the Games Workshop enterprise, tells ToyNews that its business has doubled in the last three years. Let’s put that into some context - that’s a business that has seen continual growth and profit since the on-set of Brexit. Perhaps there really is more than a hint of magic to the fantastical franchise that has the world so gripped. ToyNews catches up with Zoe Smith to talk about the ongoing success of the retailer, its brand portfolio, and its franchise model. Hi Zoe, so wow, not a bad few years for you. What's business been like for Games Workshop and Warhammer over the year? We had a really, really successful 2019 for Games Workshop, infact it was a record breaking year. Year on year we have been

seeing record-breaking results and really strong growth. Our full year results for 2019 came in at £257m in sales, marking an £81m profit. Our business has doubled in just three years, which is amazing, especially in a climate where retail is particularly challenging at the moment. We are currently one of the top five best performing investments on the London stock exchange over the last decade (+2630 per cent). It’s also been our biggest ever year for Warhammer Licensed products with Retail Sales of £104m. We signed 21 new partners

bringing our number of licensees to 94. A big part of our business at the moment is video gaming, from a licensed product point of view, but there is a massive focus from us - from since I started in May last year - on growing our presence at retail. We are really focusing on our retail relationships, meeting with lots of them, to get that face to face relationship. We had some really exciting announcements, including that we are in development with a live action TV series. Then we secured our partnership with Marvel for Warhammer Comics, which

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We continue to develop stronger relationships at retail. Barnes & Noble are a good example where we have seen strong success, having launched three boardgames with them. Very soon after, these games appeared in their best sellers list for that category. For the following season B&N increased their buy significantly and we have been able to recognise their support of the brand by directing our fans to B&N via our marketing channels.

will be coming later this year. Talking about Marvel and Warhammer in the same sentence is really cool, and I think - talking to retailers - it’s a great hook and breaks a few barriers. What have been some of the biggest successes for the brand in the licensing space? We had some great launches with our first range of Warhammer Funko Pops, which actually went on to win the Community Choice Award at the International Licensing Awards in Las

Vegas, and we launched our first ever action figure from Bandai, which sold out in just 48 hours. It goes to show that when we get the product right, and it’s something that the customers want, they really invest. We are looking at how we can now broaden this out for the future. We also had our first ever nomination in the Licensing Awards for Best Licensed Gaming property, up against some very tough competition like Fortnite or Minecraft. The nomination went to demonstrate how we are engaging with the licensing industry now more than ever.

We saw reports at the end of the year of another successful run for Games Workshop - why do you think it is resonating so well with audiences at the moment - be that through its retail operations, Warhammer gaming, or overall licensing business? One of the great things behind our success is that the core business is still a vertically integrated business, meaning that everything still happens here in our Nottingham HQ. We manage every stage apart from the actual printing of the packaging. Over the past three years we have established incredibly strong marketing channels including a Warhammer Community site. We have an extremely dedicated fan base and they are highly engaged via these channels. We see much engagement and response from our fans. We are not just about sales, we host videos on how to paint your miniatures, gaming demonstration videos; it’s a real community that focuses on the hobby. We are not driven by the next big film or TV series release, but we are driven by our own product release cycle and therefore our customers keep coming back for the products they want and love. It means that we can be an evergreen brand, and our customers are never restricted - there’s always something new for them to sink their teeth into. Even though the gaming space is getting crowded with a lot of succesful gaming properties, there is still nothing quite like Warhammer. People love the uniqueness of this franchise, and look at it, it is unique. We are now seeing growth coming from international markets, with America being our biggest single market, while Japan and China are our two fastest-growing Jan/Feb 2020 | toy news | 67

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territories with still lots of untapped potentia out there for usl. Warhammer caters for different types of audience with our core pillars of collect, build, paint, play. We also have an extremely successful publishing division (the Black Library) where we have over 2000 individual titles including multiple NY Times Best sellers, an extensive video game portfolio and various other consumer products such as board games, card games and so on. The thing is, however you like to indulge in the hobby of Warhammer, there is something for everyone. The IP has a real strength and depth and it is all so cohesive, so whether you are playing the videogames or reading one of the books, it is all connected. How does Games Workshop tap into a current consumer demand for hobby gaming and pop culture? We have really benefited from the growth in gaming and pop culture globally, which is a really growing trend at the moment. As a brand with more

than 40 years in the gaming space, we are seeing fans introduce their children and grandchildren to Warhammer. We have managed to remain really relevant, and we are seeing new generations getting into Warhammer now - this is a brand that still resonates as something cool, edgy, and timeless with audiences. How has the success of the last year set you up for 2020? What will be some of the biggest moves to come from you guys this year? A big thing for us will be to keep building on the successful partnerships that we have in place, those with Funko, Bandai, the upcoming Marvel partnership that will introduce Marvel Warhammer comics in Q4 this year.. At the same time, we will continue to develop and release all new examples of the finest plastic model kits in the world and the accessories used to build/paint and play games with them. With all of this behind us, we hope that 2020 will see us doing even more with

retailers. With have had some really good conversations with retail at various shows, and I would like to see some of that coming through this year and increasing our presence within retail for the brand. How are you adapting to the changing demands of the licensing space today, and how is this helping you maintain your position as leaders in the field? We are one of the most prolific video game licensors at the moment, and you will definitely see us building on the success of some of the recent AAA releases such as Warhammer Total War 2 and Vermintide 2 with some more big budget, high quality titles on the way in the next couple of years. If thereâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s one thing weve learned Warhammer fans are driven by quality rather than price. This applies across the whole licensing space. As weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve already mentioned Funko, Bandai, Marvel, we will be focussing on working with best in class category leaders across a broad range of consumer products. Jan/Feb 2020 | toy news | 69

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Generation Media

ARE YOU CONTENTED? This Month, Generation Entertainment, the content distribution division of Generation Media spotlights the role of content when building a toy IP. Associate director of partnerships and content distribution, Greta Bisetto-Donelan takes the floor

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he importance of having compelling content to leverage when building or sustaining a brand is a critical component. However, challenges around how to window content, what platform to use and how to monetise it, are still up for debate and require serious strategic input. In view of London Toy Fair, where we historically have seen significant volumes of content showcased as an extension of many IPs, we want to share our top recommendations to guide brands on how to make content one of the most powerful allies of their marketing and, ultimately, commercial success. First of all, why should an organisation consider content and where should it be placed? If the content is designed to complement an IP’s existing physical product, then choices of platforms can be flexible. Short-form content can be placed on YouTube for instance and, providing that the right editorial strategy is in place, this platform is known to be able to generate the optimum levels of awareness. On the other hand, if the ambition is to launch a new IP on a content-first basis, then TV will be the best platform to start with. In fact, a partnership with an established broadcaster, will help quickly achieve massawareness and validation. Cinema is also an extremely valuable platform to leverage on, if brand awareness levels have already achieved critical mass. Thanks to alternative content formats, it is now possible to take aggregated episodic content to cinemas.

This makes it possible for brands to benefit from outstanding marketing exposure and to be showcased in a quality environment to a dedicated audience. Our organisation works in partnership with Vue International and other key exhibitors, to roll out alternative content in multiple territories. When to put content in front of audiences is also critical. Brands really need to ask themselves at what stage of their franchise cycle they wish their content to have a presence. Ah, but no content? That's no problem. We’re seeing more and more brands bypassing “classic” animation and live action formats, to embrace new creative solutions to engage with their audiences in different ways. From YouTube dedicated channels featuring presenters, to stop-motion animation short forms, ways to integrate products into a compelling narrative are many. Some of the results are truly outstanding both in terms of viewership and sales conversion. We believe that content is paramount to build engagement around a brand and to create an emotive link with the target audience. Generation Entertainment is the content distribution division of Generation Media. Our core mission and key area of expertise, is to bring engaging content to the right audience, wherever they are. To discuss all your content solution and distribution needs, please email: greta.bisetto-donelan@ generationmedia.co.uk

ToyNews PlayTime is provided by Generation Media 0207 307 7900 | www.generationmedia.co.uk

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Marketing Move

FUNDAMENTALLY CHILDREN REBRANDS

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t’s becoming a year for re-branding, as Fundamentally Children – the home of The Good Toy Guide – has revealed its new identity for 2020 and beyond as Dr Gummer’s Good Play Guide. The new, simplified messaging of the organisation has been created to highlight the focus of the group’s founder and MD Dr Amanda Gummer and her mission to ‘make the world a more playful place.’ Following what it reports as an “incredibly successful year in 2019”, culminating in its fifth birthday celebration, the business now has its sights set firmly on the US, and as such is rebranding to streamline and align the business to its core and long term objectives. Now known as Dr Gummer’s Good Play Guide, the independent, expert advice provided by the business retains the same three pillars, these being Child Development expertise, Quality assurance, and Brand support and experiential marketing - a must for today's scene. Across all three of the areas, the expert team will continue to offer guidance to businesses including manufacturers, licensees, licensors, PRs, parents, educators and more, through the eyes of children to better understand play and its importance in healthy childhoods. Doctor Amanda Gummer has already been working in the US for several years, witnessing her profile grow apace. This, coupled with her established status as the go-to expert in toys, play and child development in the UK, means that highlighting her involvement in the organisation within the new branding is key to international consumers.

The US team will be at CES in Vegas from January 7th to 10th, and for the third year, Gummer is a judge for the KAPi awards, as well as moderating a panel on raising digital savvy kids. Dr Gummer’s Good Play Guide will then head to New York Toy Fair in February where the team is looking forward to the further development of relationships with US-based toy companies there. Towards the end of the year, the successful Christmas Good Toy Guide will make its debut in the US. The key team members in the US operation include Frances Cain, international business development; Nikki Jeffery, US sales and marketing, and Morgan Russo, child development and education specialist.

The newly rebranded business will continue to produce it’s Good Toy Guide and Good App Guide for consumers and the expansion of the business into the US hopes to make the endorsement more valuable for companies who pass the independent accreditation. Dr Gummer said: “We wanted to make sure the brand fully embodies and clearly communicates our values and work so we’re delighted to announce the new name and branding as we move into the next exciting phase of growth. “Any companies interested in discussing the Good Play Guide’s plans for 2020 and US expansion should get in touch to book in a meeting for CES, London or New York Toy Fair.” Book your time in with Dr Gummer's Good Play Guide now. Jan/Feb 2020 | toy news | 71

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Kids Insights

Consoled down the river? Mobile and tablet device ownership is on the increase for kids aged three to nine, growing from 20 per cent to 25 per cent in the last two years, and presenting, according to Kids Insights, a much greater problem for console makers than the toy industry

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ids Insights, the global leader in kids’ market intelligence, has been at it again, surveying more than 2,000 children each week across three continents and seven countries to present the industry with data from more than 105,000 children a year. The company’s quarterly reports are predominantly based on the results of surveying 5,000 children over the

preceding 12 weeks, and by collecting its data, Kids Insights can uncover current, emerging and flash trends in the children’s market, as well as help provide a better understanding of the attitudes, behaviours, and consumption patterns of children. This month, it’s gaming that has caught the market intelligence group’s eye. According to its latest study, kids’ landscapes are now more fragmented than

ever, with technological advances meaning they are now more connected and invested in more ecosystems than any generation before them. Levels of access and ownership of personal mobile and tablet devices are increasing, even among the youngest of age groups. Kids Insights’ latest data shows that mobile ownership among three to nine year olds has increased from 20 per

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cent to 25 per cent over the last two years, equivalent to an additional 357,200 children owning mobiles than in 2018. This increased ownership presents problems for console makers. While gaming is taking an increasing share of their time, kids are gaming less on consoles and more on mobiles. PlayStation 4 is the most owned console, having a place in just over a fifth of kids’ homes. However, there has been a 21 per cent reduction in 13 to 15 year olds owning them last quarter. The decline could be the result of children and parents waiting for the newest edition of this popular console, which is due out in Christmas 2020, but conversely, this could reflect the wider, structural shift in gaming as it moves further towards cloud and mobile options. This shift follows a year of huge success for free-to-play, access anywhere games such as Fortnite, Roblox, and Minecraft,

with Apple, Google, and Snapchat’s latest announcements regarding new gaming platforms also contributing. Google has positioned itself to take a share of gaming, introducing its Stadia device; a cloud-based gaming platform that allows children to play games anywhere, and without an expensive console. While this changing landscape may be cause for concern among parents, regulators, and brands alike, there are positive changes and opportunities coming out of this era of gaming. Not only do we see a physical shift in the way this generation of ‘digital natives’ are gaming, but we are also seeing them acquire a new set of specific skills. Educators are using popular games, including Minecraft to assist in coding lessons, helping kids to engage with learning and problem-solving on the kind of entertainment platforms that they enjoy.

Learning this way is clearly influencing kids, with three of the top six career aspirations among tweens including computers, YouTube and game design. Generation Z (born between the mid-1990s and 2010) and Generation Alpha (born post 2010) are the future of the workforce and while STEM toys do not currently sit inside children’s top 10 favourite types of toys, several popular toys on the market are also introducing preschool kids to coding. The majority (15 per cent) are learning in school, whereas six per cent are learning via apps, and four per cent say they taught themselves. Consoles must remain relevant in this environment by providing increased opportunities where children can not only be entertained but also by becoming a platform where kids can co-create, code, learn and even build their own creations.

Our methodology enables us to track the entire, inter-connected kid’s ecosystem from the toys and games they play with, to their favourite brands and devices. We specialise in helping clients identify new products before the masses do, understand the true performance of a product and how to maximise their investment from a sales and marketing perspective. To download a complimentary Kids Insights report please visit www.kidsinsights.com/toynews

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Toy Fair New York

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Toy Fair New York

COMING TO AMERICA... It’s been an eventful past 12 months Stateside, to say the least, bullet-pointed by the Toy Association’s battle against tariffs, its pursuit of toy safety legislation for rogue traders and, of course, the large-scale organisation of another New York Toy Fair. Robert Hutchins catches up with The Toy Association’s CEO and Chairman, Steve Pasierb

TOYNEWS: Hi Steve, and a Happy New Year to you. You guys haven’t had a quiet month all last year, battling tariffs and the ongoing effort for toy safety in the US… How was 2019 for the Toy Association? STEVE PASIERB: Yes, as an industry linked to 700,000 high quality US jobs and $110 billion USD in positive economic impact, tariffs are damaging to the entire toy and play community and can prove potentially disastrous for the survival of many of our smaller member companies. We spent the last year aggressively advocating against toy tariffs on Capitol Hill and to key members of the administration, helped lead the Americans for Free Trade Coalition, educated legislators and the public on the impact of toy tariffs at DontTaxToys. com and represented industry concerns in the media. We are pleased to report that the US and China have announced a “phase one trade deal” that removes the tariffs that were set to go into effect on December 15 last year, including those on toys. The president also declared that tariffs on list 4(a) products will be reduced from

Photo by drew-gilliam on Unsplash

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15 to 7.5 per cent while list 1-3 tariffs will remain at 25 per cent. That the toy industry and the families we serve will not be impacted by tariffs on Sunday is a welcome relief. We applaud the administration for coming to an agreement with China that begins to roll back these regressive taxes. With uncertainty removed, toy companies can move forward and focus on planning, product development, and providing joy for kids through the toys and games they make. We urge the administration to seize this opportune point in time to also eliminate tariffs that remain in effect.

"There is so much anticipation building for Toy Fair New York it's a natural reflection of the global toy industry today." Steve Pasierb, Toy Association

Elsewhere, through 2019 we collaborated closely with members to tackle the issue of IP protection and

unsafe counterfeits that proliferate on online marketplaces. We spoke at highlevel government agency and White House meetings, developed a white paper on the threat of fake toys, and worked with leading e-commerce platforms to combat this dangerous problem. We also stepped up our public education efforts to ensure parents and caregivers know how to identify and avoid unverified sellers on major online marketplaces. All responsible retailers that sell in the US are governed by over 100 safety and regulatory standards – rogue sellers and makers must abide by these laws and be held accountable for their actions. Our children’s health and safety depend on it. So, what's the outlook for the US toy industry as we head into 2020 - how have you seen the industry adapt to changes/hurdles thrown at it? Super-categories like action figures, dolls, and games are expected to fare well in 2019 (final holiday results are not yet in as of this writing), driven primarily by hot brands and properties like Toy Story, Fortnite, Frozen II, Barbie, and L.O.L. Surprise. It amazes me to see

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Toy Fair New York

how adaptable companies are to evolving consumer habits, wider cultural trends, and kids’ tastes. The mood entering 2020 is upbeat as the global toy community prepares for the 117th annual Toy Fair New York in February. All exhibit space has sold out at the largest toy show in the Western Hemisphere, and global professionals are gearing up for the unveiling of countless innovations and play trends. You guys were in the UK for the Play Creators Festival - and you've outlined the latest initiatives for supporting the inventor community in the US in your latest column for us... What do you make of the health of the toy inventor space at the moment, both in the US and the UK? The inventor community’s importance is undeniable and growing, and we are proud to have answered the call for more resources and support. Our Creative Factor program at Toy Fair New York, now in its 17th year, will have a bigger presence than ever, with workshops, roundtables, tech demos, and more, all of which will be featured prominently on Level 1 outside of Hall D at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center. Our CF@TF Inventor Day will once again be held prior to Toy Fair’s opening (February 21), providing inventors and designers the exclusive opportunity to directly pitch product concepts to potential toy manufacturing partners. In collaborating with Mojo Nation, we proudly supported its opening night party during Distoy and the outstanding Play Creators Festival in London. Our global activities for inventors, entrepreneurs, creative professionals, and design students will deepen in the months ahead as we look for new ways to support this passionate group as they navigate the evolving retail landscape, new technologies, and trends. Our long-standing commitment to the community will last well into the future. What do you make of the health of innovation coming through in products at the moment? Is enough innovation making it onto shelves? We saw great innovations and exciting new trends in development at our Toy

Fair Dallas long-lead show in October and via member meetings this fall. In particular, digital-first brands (originating from streaming platforms, social media, esports, and so on) are having an impact on toys and it will be interesting to see how it all unfolds next year. We’re also seeing renewed interest in multi-generational play, as well as active toys and games that engage kids in physical challenges and friendly competition. These products and innovations will all come to light at Toy Fair New York in February. Retail had a bit of a tough ride here in the UK last year. How is the landscape in the US looking? The entire US retail sector continues to swiftly evolve and become more omnichannel. Mass retailers led by Walmart and Target, mid-mass, all forms of e-commerce, and specialty retail have stepped up to offer consumers great incentives to shop, from low prices to personal service to fun in-store experiences for families.

Shelf space has impacted not only on a number of toy companies, but also continues to impact upon the licensing space. From your perspective, how is that relationship sitting and how is it likely to change in the coming year? Licensing can be linked to up to a third of annual US toy sales, while today and into the future both consumers and toy companies alike are giving closer scrutiny to the products they buy and properties with which they ink deals. While licensing agreements need sustainable hot properties to warrant the financial investment and risk associated with bringing products to market, likewise we must be cautious not to drive consumer fatigue expecting them to come back to the well time and again to purchase licensed products from any one property. We're now looking at another New York Toy Fair. How do you guys continue to evolve the show?

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There is so much anticipation building for Toy Fair New York (February, 22 to 25, 2020) where toymakers will enthusiastically showcase their lines to some 30,000 global play professionals hailing from about 100 countries. A marketplace unlike any other, Toy Fair New York is a natural reflection of the global toy industry and all the changes, innovations, and trends coming to market. The show’s exhibitors display their creativity and passion for play throughout the aisles of the Javits Center, and the show itself tailors its educational programming and networking activities to the business needs of all attendees. New for this year is an expanded Creative Factor program – including “Robots on the Runway,” a fashion show format displaying the latest service robots, as well as robots we play with. We’re hosting an inaugural Student Congress to support the more than 250 university-level that attend Toy Fair each year – it will include a day of networking, education, and access to exhibits. We will again host a hospitality lounge for members of The

"We remain deeply commited to one of the cornerstones of our mission, that is to be a unifying force. These are times of risk and opportunity, and we must deal with these points together." Steve Pasierb, Toy Association

Toy Association, ASTRA (the American Specialty Toy Retailing Association), and Licensing International. Our trends team will unveil the hottest trends of 2020 at the annual Toy Trends Briefing (February 22 at 1:30 p.m. in Room 1E09 of Hall 1E). We will also continue our popular programming for the entertainment and licensing community, safety and compliance experts, independent retailers, trend-spotters, and other play professionals.

What's the next big move for Toy Association for 2020? In a swiftly evolving retail space, focusing on helping our members sell their products while making certain we are protecting their business and rights to sell must be paramount. This also demands that as an organization and professional staff we must continue to swiftly adapt to unforeseen forces and demonstrate strategic agility. If we are not seen as beneficial, valuable partners and a force multiplier to our member companies then we’ve failed. Refining our focus on those programs and services most beneficial and needed by the toy community while being willing to stop others no matter their legacy is the emphasis of our present evaluation of our strategic blueprint. We remain deeply committed to one of the cornerstones of our mission, that is to be a unifying force. These are times of great risk and opportunity and we and our colleagues in other organisations frequently must deal with these inflection points together. Jan/Feb 2020 | toy news | 77

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Toy safety

DON’T LET COUNTERFEITERS TOY WITH THE SAFETY OF OUR KIDS Counterfeiting within the toy industry has become a serious issue, one which led the likes of both the BTHA and the Toy Association, back in 2019, to launch seperate, yet unified, campaigns to address and look to stamp it out for good. Mary Kernohan, head of business development at SnapDragon, the firm whose business it is to shut down the knock-off business, talks to ToyNews about the problems and solutions

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ounterfeiting in the toy industry, like many others, is sadly rife. In the run up to the recent festive season, parents were warned to look out for tell-tale signs of counterfeit and unsafe products following a spike in seizures of harmful toys (including the increasingly popular L.O.L Surprise! Dolls). According to industry figures, more than 4.2 million counterfeit products worth £21 million were seized in the UK in 2018/19 Copycat products can be extremely dangerous. Criminals producing counterfeit

toys ignore the rigorous standards upheld by industry regulators, and often resort to using unsafe, harmful and even toxic materials to produce fake imitation toys that can put children at serious risk. Yet counterfeiting doesn’t just impact the consumer. They cause devastating effects to brand reputation and diverted revenue streams. Unlike large companies with brand protection teams, small businesses often lack the resources and know-how to defend their IP. As a result, SMEs manufacturing and selling products

online often find themselves struggling to combat counterfeits. SO WHAT ARE THE COMMON TRICKS OF THE TRADE THAT TOY BRANDS SHOULD BE AWARE OF? In truth, the list is long and varied but the most frequently used tricks used by fakers include: T Using genuine images to promote copycat products.This is a common occurrence and probably the easier way for

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Toy safety

take to protect themselves from becoming the target of counterfeiters:

a brand with good knowledge of all their online sellers to spot their images being misrepresented by unknown sellers. T Misuse of trademarks, design rights and patents.This is most usually done through blatant copying of the product and its packaging. T Slightly lower than usual RRPs, which imply ‘a bargain not to be missed’ and making it easier to dupe consumers into purchasing. T Implied low stock levels, which look like ‘end of line’ or ‘stock clearance’ offers. T Replicating genuine sites in terms of the domain name used as well as the look and feel of the site. This is a complex but thorough way to lure unsuspecting buyers into believing they are on a trusted vendor’s site. T Concentrating fake promotions around ‘sale days’, such as Black Friday, Cyber Monday and Prime Day where shoppers are in a rush and under pressure to get the best deal. Unsurprisingly, the number of fakes on sale during these days skyrockets every year. WHERE DO THE PROFITS GO? According to a joint IP crime assessment conducted by the EUIPO and Europol, a clear relationship exists between counterfeiting and organised crime,

"Copycat products are dangerous. Yet there more than 4.2m fakes were seized in 2019. The problem is rife." Mary Kernohan, SnapDragon

with the latter becoming an increasingly sophisticated operation. Benefitting from the perception as a ‘victimless crime’, counterfeiters ignore the standards of industry regulators and what’s left is poor conditions, poor wages and unsafe components which threaten workers, consumers and the environment. The economic hardship induced by widespread fakes is often deadly, destroying profits, innovation and livelihoods. For the EU alone this economic cost reaches a staggering €85 billion annually. HOW TOY BRANDS CAN STAY ONE STEP AHEAD? There are several simple and straightforward measures that brands can

T Monitor e-commerce sites diligently in languages other than English and certainly in Chinese. Look frequently and often for your trademarks, misspellings of your trademark and product descriptions, and straplines. T Know your distribution chain and resellers. If you lose sight of who is selling what where, it’s easier for the fakers to go unnoticed. T Report infringing items and sellers for removal. Most online marketplaces have procedures in place to report cases of infringement. It’s a relatively simple process and with proof of originality the offending link should be removed. [If you’re stuck, ask us for help!]. T If you find a fake buy a sample. Get to know it intimately so you can tell the difference between genuine and fake, and share this information with your trusted distribution chain. Better the devil you know … T Register products with the EUIPO Enforcement Database, a free service that helps to prevent the movement of infringing goods throughout Europe. T When creating products, wherever possible, build in quirks, which just ‘happen to be part of the manufacturing brief’ and that a counterfeiter will most likely to miss when copying. Also consider holograms, security labels and block chain solutions. T Finally, be honest. If your brand is targeted then encourage purchases from genuine sources and highlight dangerous issues with fakes. Doing so is the best way to keep your consumers – and ultimately your brand - safe. At SnapDragon, we believe there’s a better way to protect brands against counterfeiting – a way that fuels innovation and drives real results. That means we wear our “Leading Brand Protection” badge with pride – well known and respected throughout the industry, we stand ready to defend. Our founder successfully battled counterfeits of her own brand before creating the SnapDragon team to do the same for others – so with us, it’s personal. We’re driven to protect because we’ve been there ourselves. SnapDragon can be contacted via SnapDragon-ip.com. Jan/Feb 2020 | toy news | 79

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Inspire Tap into the newest trends and source beautiful handcrafted toys, brain-teasing puzzles and must-have high-tech gadgets at this Februaryâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Spring Fair. springfair.com


IN WITH THE NEW...

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WELCOME TO THE RE-EDIT Spring Fair isn’t just back for another year, no. For 2020, the five day show is looking to put its stamp on the toy fair season with a revamped offering that brings it roaring into the new decade. ToyNews takes a look at what Spring Fair 2020 has up its sleeves for visitors and exhibitors alike

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hey’re calling it a re-edit. Hyve’s Spring Fair 2020 is not just another year of the same show that has been homed in Birmingham’s NEC over the past ten years. No, Hyve is embracing the coming of the new decade by “taking it up a notch” for 2020, with a wealth of new experiences for this key destination of the UK’s far-reaching retail scene. One thing that will remain the same is Spring Fair will once again run for a full five days, kicking off on February 2nd this year and running until February 6th. Across that week, the show will house some 2,500 new, exciting and unique brands and suppliers. “Fresh. Welcoming, Inspiring. We have kicked it up a notch for 2020 with a brand new experience designed around two sourcing destinations - gifts and home & living,” says the show’s organisers. “We are the most important marketplace for home and gift retail, and it’s about to get even better as we reset the stage for more new opportunities, leads, and connections.” Visitors to the show this year will first and foremost be met with a new show layout for 2020, developed by Hyve and Spring Fair to create a “seamless shopping experience that will encourage visitors to explore opportunities that diversify their offering,"a Spring Fair spokesperson tells ToyNews. “We have simplified sector names and introduced new product categories to freshen up the offering; opening up more ways to inspire and delight all who walk through our doors.” It will now focus on 16 re-edited show sectors, including the likes of Beauty & Wellbeing, Christmas with Floral, Cook & Dine, Everyday Fashion, Gift, Greetings & Stationery, Play & Tech, Party, Sourcing, and Retail Solutions. For returning visitors, it’s common knowledge that Spring Fair has always been about diversification at retail level, offering the best products from leading companies across a spectrum of categories. However, until now, the vastness of that offering was for many, overwhelming. For 2020, that’s about to change, insists Spring Fair. “We have brought together all gifting categories into one sourcing destination in the Piazza of the NEC,” says the company,

“creating the most dedicated gathering of gift inspiration under one roof.” Focus for the toy category, understandably, will fall on the newly curated Play & Tech show sector, where, according to Hyve, ‘musthave toys, gadgets, and big imaginations will come together for the show’s duration.’ There will of course be a wealth of familiar faces lining the aisles of Hall 5 this year, including show veterans such as Asmodee UK, Aurora World, BigJigs, H. Grossman, and more. On top of this, the show will also host a selection of relative newcomers to the UK toy scene, including the likes of Boxine, the tech toy and entertainment development business behind the popular Tonies Box, the storytelling device. Also showcasing at this year’s Spring Fair will be Rachel Lowe Games and Puzzles, founded by the renowned and award-winning board game designer, famed for her success in the licensed board games space, with hits including the Jumanji Board Game, and her latest release, a WWE licensed collection of board games and card games. “Spring Fair is an important date in my year and I am really looking forward to attending again and showing people the range of products, I have for 2020. From elves to comic book icons to

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wrestling, there will be something for all ages,” Lowe tells ToyNews in anticipation of the big event. On top of its high calibre list of exhibitors this year, Spring Fair is highlighting its new Sourcing track, an element of the show through which it aims to showcase the potential of markets outside of the UK for retailers to be tapping into. “Sourcing is a new, trend-driven buying destination to meet home décor, contract textiles, and gift manufacturers from international countries, including Europe, Asia, Africa, and South America,” says Hyve. The platform is marketed as an easier, cheaper and more effective sourcing platform for visitors by cutting out the hassle of travelling overseas, and a way to meet the UK and European retail market for manufacturers and suppliers. And it doesn’t end there, not for Spring Fair. The show will look to maintain its reputation for delivering on a high calibre educational aspect by hosting three theatre and workshop spaces, each developed to deliver dedicated retail insight and trend information for show visitors this year.

“Whether you’re an independent or pureplay retailer, or from a multiple brand, there’s something for everyone at Spring Fair,” continues Hyve's spokesperson. The seminar line-up this year features the Inspiring Retail Stage, featuring talks surrounding the latest developments at retail including those on how retailers can help fix the plastic waste problem, embed their business as part of the community, navigate fake reviews and the damage they cause to a retailer’s reputation, and how to maintain customer loyalties, and how and why the independents are getting it right. Next to this, there will be the Retail Skills Theatre, an educational track covering sustainability, social media, digital marketing, and more. Completing the trio of seminar programmes will be the Design and Source Stage, taking a look at the international scene and bringing it all closer to the UK. With so much being delivered through Spring Fair’s re-edit for 2020, it’s little wonder that there’s a palpable excitment rising for this year’s show. So read on to take a look at some of those highcalibre toy and game companies exhibiting at the show for 2020. Jan/Feb 2020 | toy news | 83

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London Toy Fair 21-23 Jan 2020 Stand E10, London Olympia

Spring Fair 2-6 Feb 2020 Stand 6J30 Birmingham NEC

Paris Maison & Objet 17-21 Jan 2020 Hall 2 - Stand K84 / L83 Parc des Expos Paris Villepinte

Nuremberg Spielwarenmesse 29 Jan - 02 Feb 2020 Hall 3, Stand D38 C51 Nuremberg Messe

New York Toy Fair 22-25 Feb 2020 Level 1 Exhibit Hall Stand 6380 New York Javits Center


EXHIBITOR LIST

1 Two Kids

5K61

Elf on the Shelf

5M29

Keycraft

5J28 - K29

8th Wonder

5K49

Funtime Gifts

5M51

Kidicraft

5K28

Alpha Toys

5G43

Gibsons

5F30 - G31

K-Play

5L50 5F02

Asmodee UK

5J50 - K51

Great Gizmos

5F20 - G21

Lanka Kade

Aurora World

5E10 - F11

H Grossman

5G30 - H31

Marbel Ltd

Believe You Can

4L90

Berg Toys - 5K30

L31

Bertoy

Halilit

5G39

5M33

Melissa and Doug

5F50 - G51

Henbrandt

5J66 - K67

Orange Tree Toys

5H44

5L28

Hippychick

5F60

Posh Paws

5F24

BigJigs Toys

5G02

Hornby Hobbies

5K40 - L41

Rachel Lowe Games and Puzzles

5J60

Blue Alligator Company

5M63

House of Marbles

5E40 - F41

Rainbow Designs

5H10 - J11

Bounce Sales + Marketing

5L36

HTI Toys

5H20 - J21

Smart Toys and Games

5K50 - L51

Boxine UK

5L32

Insect Lore

5G58

Thames + Kosmos

Brainstorm Ltd

5M61

Inside Out Toys

5K38

The Puppet Company

Cartamundi

5J46

Intelex Group

Casdon

5L29

Jiminy Eco Toys

Coiledspring Games

5J48

John Adams

Cole

5K58

Jumbo Games

Craft Buddy

5F36

Kayes of Cardiff

5H60 - J51

Keel Toys

5E30 - F31

Depesche

5J40 - K41

5H67 5E20 - F21

5F40 - G41

Tobar

5G20 - H21

5M43

Ty UK

5G10 - H11

5J58 - K59

Wilton Bradley

5L10 - M11

5F38

Winnig Moves

5F42

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FANATTIK:

“THE POP CULTURE COLLECTABLES MARKET IS SHOWING CONSISTENT GROWTH”

STAND: 4B73 CONTACT: 4B73 For Fanattik, the pop culture scene isn’t just a favoured topic among its team of genre-loving specialists, but an ever expanding business that, over the past year alone, has seen the group continue to be the go-to experts on the subject. This year, bolstered by a portfolio brimming with some of the hottest, most in-demand, and ultimately iconic properties from the deep caverns of the pop culture scene, Fanattik is making its Spring Fair

debut to bring it all to the masses. ToyNews catches up with Fanattik’s managing director, Anthony Marks. How was business for you guys through 2019? It was a big year for pop culture licensing, how did this impact on your success over the past 12 months? 2019 was strong for us, most of the film and video game licenses in our portfolio are

retro titles with multi-generational appeal so retailers who want to stock pop culture product but without the risk surrounding new releases, came to us. What can we expect from Fanattik for 2020? Can you talk us through some of the new licenses you've secured, and the product lines that you will be launching at Spring Fair this year?

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What do you think 2020 holds for the pop culture licensing scene and its presence at retail? We are currently working with two major High Street gift retailers, and they are particularly switched on and can see that the market for pop culture collectables is one of the few areas that is showing consistent growth. They will show the way in the UK and then the rest of the market will follow. The growth in pop culture products in 2020, as well as benefiting the licensing scene, will particularly benefit Fanattik as our ranges of affordable, limitededition gifts appeal to a wide spectrum of fandom from the casual to the super fan.

We are super excited for 2020, new licensed ranges we will be launching at the Fair include Texas Chainsaw Massacre, a title that is consistently voted the number one horror film of all time, Cuphead - the massive video game phenomena with five million games sold and a really passionate global fan base, Yu-Gi-Oh! which was a hit for us and our retailers towards the end of 2019, and we will be launching new products at the show. We all know that 2020 is the 35th anniversary of Back to the Future and the 45th anniversary of Jaws, so we have anniversary product ready to go to celebrate these iconic films as well. In 2019 we focused on physically smaller product, easy to display and very affordable, 2020 will see us introduce larger product that will reach the higher price points buyers have asked us for.

replicas because we want to create items that fans will want to show off to one another. In the past, creating these sorts of product would have been judged as too niche by traditional retailers but with the rise of online retailers, this has all changed. How are we seeing the pop culture audience evolve? Did influence your decision to exhibit at Spring Fair? The pop culture fans from the ‘70s and ‘80s are now parents, and they are introducing their children to those iconic films and video games they grew up with. The market is growing year on year so we felt the timing was perfect for Fanattik to exhibit for the first time at Spring Fair.

What will be fuelling the space for 2020 and beyond? In one word, NETFLIX. Whether it was a new title such as Stanger Things or a retro one like Friends it had a huge impact on related gift sales. There are three big series starting on NETFLIX in 2020 and we are a gift licensee for all of them, Cuphead, Resident Evil and Jurassic Park. As a relatively new brand, we really do appreciate the support we receive from every single toy and gift retailer we work with. It’s not a cliché to say that we do give each and every one of them 100 per cent, and I think it’s having this kind of mindset which is going to result in a very successful 2020 for Fanattik. Make sure you visit Fanattik this Spring Fair for more.

What will the product and license line up be bringing to the gifting/ merch scene for 2020? How are you guys continuing to push for innovation in the pop culture sector? We are fans of every title we work with, this is really important because the adult fans out there will not appreciate label slapping at any cost. We commission exclusive artwork by recognised artists to create in-game/film Jan/Feb 2020 | toy news | 89

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UNIVERSITY GAMES STAND NUMBER: HALL 4, STAND C60 – D61 CONTACT: 0207 254 0100 Over the last 12 months University Games has merged with Paul Lamond Games and together the games and puzzle experts will be delivering over 70 new lines during 2020 including a number of very exciting new, and even magical, licenses. New for 2020 will be a series of intricate 3D jigsaw puzzles under the new National Geographic license. The highly detailed 3D puzzles, with easy to follow instructions, create replicas of famous pieces of British architecture including Big Ben, Tower Bridge and Buckingham Palace. Continuing on the theme of 3D puzzles and following in the footsteps of the highly successful Game of Thrones puzzles range, University Games is launching a new 3D puzzle range of the iconic buildings from one of the most magical licenses of all time. However, you will have to visit the Spring

Fair stand to discover the stars of the next range of 3D Puzzles. A fun addition to the family games portfolio will be Dart Face. This super funny but slightly crazy game brings the whole family together for some indoor or outdoor fun. This is darts with a twist… and a move, and a dodge. Dart Face will see the

dart throwers aiming their darts a moving target, whilst the target or ‘Dart Face’ will see the world with slightly impaired vision, making dodging the darts hilariously tricky. As football fever sweeps the nation this summer for the return of the Euros, University Games, with its biggest campaign for 2020, will relaunch the new England Subbuteo Game. The media campaign will see TV spots targeting the football throughout the 2020 Euros as well as TV and social media in autumn/ winter. All generations will love the new reenergised Subbuteo range with improved detail including players with different colour football boots and hairstyles. There will be new pre-school lines from two new licenses: memory games and puzzles from First 100 Words and board games and puzzles for In the Night Garden.

TOBAR CONTACT: WWW.TOBAR.CO.UK STAND NUMBER: HALL 5 – 5G20 – H21 There are lots of gift items to choose from on the Tobar stand this year, so be sure to look out for the new take on the traditional, a delightful selection of new wooden toys with traditional push puppets, squeaky cars, pullback and go unicorn and dragon, squeaky rolypolys, noisy farm animals, puzzle blocks and a rainmaker. Traditional with a twist continues with the award winning Animigos plush range. These animated toys add an extra dimension to plush and this year Tobar are adding a limited edition Magical Rainbow Bunny which will be available in time for Easter. Other additions are a Mischevious moggy, a sheepdog, lion, giraffe and lamb.

Pocket money toys abound this year and Tobar is set to be bang on trend with its new Squiggle Bandz, these multi coloured bands can be worn as bracelets or knotted together, when they are not stretched they form a squiggly animal shape. Available in an assorted CDU and available in neon, glitter and glow in the dark, Squiggle bandz are destined to be a playground favourite. The Rainbow range is another pocket money ‘must have’ featuring rainbows on pens, rings, hairclips, snap bands and putty – all in great packaging. All manner of creatures will also include… ATMOSFEAR The fabulous, scary and best selling game of the nineties is

back, updated and fully interactive with the famous Gatekeeper more lifelike than ever – fast and frightening fun, the new version is linked to an app, and can be played on the TV, tablet or mobile. Finally, there has never been a cooler pet than the Pets Alive Fifi the Flossing Sloth from ZURU’s Pets Alive range.

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T BES ER SELL

NEW GAMES

01242 241765

sales@gingerfox.co.uk

www.gingerfox.co.uk

@gingerfox_uk

GingerFoxUK


PYRAMID INTERNATIONAL STAND: 5A30 CONTACT: 0116 284 3640

If there’s one thing Pyramid International - part of The Art Group - know how to do well, it’s licensed giftware, an attribute that has carried the firm well over the past 12 months, and helped it maintain its position of strength throughout the choppy waters of 2019. It’s possibly the breadth of Pyramid International’s portfolio that has helped it achieve the success it enjoys today, tapping into a spectrum of audiences, from the Netflix-watching pop culture fans of things like Stranger Things, to those in search of the more niche animé brands like My Hero Academia, all the way through to the mainstream and the audience for DreamWorks’ Trolls World Tour. It’s true that there really is something for everyone among the Pyramid portfolio, and 2020 will be no different. ToyNews catches up with Pyramid International’s marketing executive Robert Ling to find out what the company is bringing to Spring Fair this year.

How was business for you guys through 2019? It was a big year for pop culture licensing, how did this impact on your success over the past 12 months? 2019 was a good year for Pyramid, despite the tough retail landscape. When looking at releases in 2020 we saw success with Stranger Things in the summer and Frozen 2 at the end of the year. As well as these we also had continued success with Harry Potter and Nintendo. We also saw good success with Steven Rhodes, a new license to our license portfolio, whose dark humour style of art is very on trend and a perfect pop culture fit. What can we expect from Pyramid for 2020? Can you talk us through some of the new licenses you've secured and the product lines that you will be launching at Spring Fair? 2020 will see Pyramid keep adding to our already impressive catalogue of product ranges. Visitors to our stand at Spring Fair

will be able to enjoy our new collection for the upcoming Trolls World Tour, including our Sequin Flip notebook and Pencil case which we think is going to be hugely popular for consumers. Our super cute The Child (Baby Yoda) range for the Mandalorian will also be on display. We'll also have some of our Anime products on show, Including Dragon Ball, and My Hero Academia as we expand into this hugely popular area of entertainment. Of course, our line of classics will be available across Harry Potter, Nintendo, Disney, Star Wars, and Music, to name just a few. What will the product and license line-up be bringing to the gifting/ merch scene for 2020? How are you guys continuing to push for innovation in the pop culture sector? We're always looking for ways innovate our products. We are examining a host of new avenues to add the wow factor at retail… but I can't say too much - you will have to wait and see.

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What makes Spring Fair an important date in the calendar for you guys? It's the first UK show we attend, so it provides us a good opportunity to connect with our customers, showing them what we have coming through and strengthening relationships. Ultimately It kicks off the new year positively for our UK operations. It also provides a good opportunity to show off our portfolio to new prospects. What do you think 2020 holds for the pop culture licensing scene and its presence at retail? I think pop culture licensees will continue to be a popular choice at retail,

â&#x20AC;&#x153;Pop culture licenses will continue to be a popular choice at retail, especially as fans look for new ways to express their love for a brand.â&#x20AC;? Robert Ling, Pyramid Int. especially as people look for different ways to express themselves and the things they are fans off; and as we are spoilt with more and more content from the VOD services, I think people are going to be actively searching to show off their fandom, because there is a lot of it out there now.

What will be fuelling the space for 2020 and beyond? At the moment, Baby Yoda looks to be one of the stand out characters coming into 2020, dominating internet searches. I also think Nostalgia will continue to be popular, especially with uncertainty still in the air and people looking for the comfort of yesteryear. Anything you would like to add? Pyramid International is able to offer a one stop solution across retail for the biggest licenses around, so be sure to come and visit our stand to see the depth of license and products for yourself, and talk to us about how we can support you through 2020. Jan/Feb 2020 | toy news | 93

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RAINBOW DESIGNS STAND NUMBER: HALL 5. STAND H10-J11 CONTACT: 01329 227300 Alongside the ever-popular Paddington Bear and Disney’s Classic Winnie the Pooh ranges there will be new collections from Peter Rabbit, Guess How Much I Love You, Miffy and Snoopy from Rainbow this year. The nostalgic Peter Rabbit Signature Collection has been created to help parents and grandparents share memories of their own childhood. These keepsake ring rattle, comforter and soft toys show Peter Rabbit and Flopsy Bunny in traditional form, creating lovely heirlooms. Rainbow Designs welcomes Snoopy back to the family as 2020 marks the 70th anniversary of Peanuts. In celebration, Rainbow will launch two collections. The ‘Everyone Loves Snoopy’ range features classic soft toys of Charles Schulz’ iconic characters including a Cuddly Snoopy and Woodstock and a Cuddly

lying down Snoopy. The ‘My First Snoopy’ collection features Snoopy and Woodstock rattle toys, ring rattles, My First toys and a comfort blanket. Both will launch in autumn 2020. This year will see the 65th anniversary of Dick Bruna’s Miffy and to celebrate this milestone, Rainbow Designs is launching

a Miffy Baby collection in a contemporary navy blue striped patterned. The collection features plush infant toys that are all suitable from birth including a Comforter, Ring Rattle, Activity Book and Musical Pull Down Toy. Rainbow Designs will launch a new collection, as part of the ever-popular Guess How Much I Love You range, based on characters and sentiment from the classic children’s tale. The new sentimental gift collection includes Large Nutbrown Hare holding a red heart with the message ‘I Love You to the Moon and Back’, as well as two Little Nutbrown Hare gifts, both presented in an illustrate plinth boxes. All are completed with a gift tag ready for personalisation. This gift collection is the perfect way to express love and ideal for special occasions.

POSH PAWS STAND NUMBER: HALL 5 STAND 5F24 CONTACT: 01268 567317 Posh Paws is taking further steps into the gift industry in 2020 with plenty of new ranges not to be missed at Spring Fair. Visitors to the show can meet Bailey Bear, a premium teddy bear from Posh Paws’ brand new Chic & Love collection. Bailey Bear has been lovingly made from head to paw from the highest quality materials and presented in a quality hand finished gift box. Adorned with Swarovski Crystals, this Bailey Bear offers a unique gift giving opportunity for those wishing to spread a special message. Complete with an exclusive Swarovski hologram, lucky recipients are able to register its authenticity online.

Another collection that’s sure to raise a smile is Posh Paws’ new ranges of Love Hearts, including two brand new themes! Full of fun, with sentimental and cheeky messages they make the perfect present for friends, family or loved ones, there really is one for everyone. Why not take a traditional trip to the era of rag dolls with the brand new Ragtales

collection; a beautiful collection of British designed toys. Each product is made with gorgeous hand-picked fabrics, the softest velour, hand knitted clothing and all presented in distinctive quality packaging. The Ragtales collection offers a variety of toys from baby ranges to ragdolls, teddy bears to wooden toys; all centred on the cutest animal characters that are all good friends and would love to tell you a story.

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H GROSSMAN STAND NUMBER: HALL 5 – 5G30-H31 CONTACT: 0141 613 2525 The famous Ozbozz brand is renowned for outdoor toys and 2020 sees some great new items that are aimed at the younger market coming into the fore. There are two brand new balance bikes with adjustable handles. Perfect for pre-schoolers, the bikes come in two themes, dinosaur and unicorn. Sturdy and safe these colourful balance bikes will be popular with parents and kids. The Poop Scoot has images of, you guessed it, poo. The colourful scooter has wheels which light up when moving. Toilet themed toys have been really popular especially in pocket money items and this is a creative extension on the theme that is sure to cause a stir. Also new for 2020 are remote control cars, with great play value these chunky vehicles are again designed to retail at a

great price point – a brilliant gift to buy and for under £10 it nearly qualifies as pocket money prices. Of course, pocket money toys have been the great success for HGL and this year the firm is investing even further in new pocket money lines. Go Flo Bucket is a combination of the latest flowing foam, this magical foam has a life of its own.Flowing through fingers and moving slowly along. It really looks like it’s alive. Multi coloured putty in a mega pot is also on offer – retailing at under a fiver this great play putty will be a great pocket money find. Unless you were on another planet for the last decade you won’t have forgotten the phenomenally successful Loom Bands. Now HGL are bringing them back for a new generation to stretch them, knot them and knit them.

Loom band gift sets will be available from the incredible retail price of £2.99 up and large sets will be available as a larger gift item.

HALILIT

STAND NUMBER: HALL 5 – 5M33 CONTACT: 01254 872454 Halilit is proud to distribute Taf Toys, this stylish design-led brand has won many consumer and industry awards during the past year. For 2020 Halilit introduces the Taf Hunny Bunny Stacker. This stylish take on stacking rings includes handles for easy grip, flat profile sides for rolling and added bead features, not to mention the cute bunny on top who will quickly become baby’s favourite friend. With a cleverly designed base to reduce the risk of tumbling over the Hunny Bunny Stacker makes a great gift at £12.99. The Koala Car Wheel Toy is designed to entertain your little ones while travelling in a forward-facing car seat, giving parents

an easier drive. Features include a clicking steering wheel, ratcheting gear lever, a baby-safe mirror and buttons to press with car sounds, lights and melodies.

For 2020 Halilit Music introduces a fantastic new packaging design. The striking new look showcases these premium musical products perfectly. Demand for children’s musical instruments is consistently high and Halilit’s blend of innovative design and musical quality make this global brand the go-to choice for parents, preschools, nurseries and specialist toddler music groups. As an addition, the company is introducing the new Hi-Lo range aimed at older children and teens, a new professional standard of percussion at a fraction of the price of the usual instruments. Great for budding bands. Jan/Feb 2020 | toy news | 95

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CASDON

STAND NUMBER: 5L29 CONTACT: 01253 608428 Following a successful year, Casdon will continue its international expansion in 2020 with its role-play toys and gifts for children having multilingual packaging plus features to keep kids busy in the playroom. Casdon combines pretend play with household names to bring replica role play accessories to the playroom. Whether children are Little Helpers, Little Cooks or even Little Shoppers, there’s something in the Casdon collection for retailers across multiple categories. The Little Helper collection is the home of the Dyson replica vacuums. The Dyson Cord-free Vac is a direct replica of the life size Dyson and has been specifically designed to be true to life, right down to the last detail. The model features working suction, spinning beads, realistic sounds and a twist and turn action just

like the real thing. The spinning beads will mesmerise children and will be an instantly recognisable favourite at home. Designed with the same bright colours as the real-life vacuum, kids will be able to feel all grown up by pretending to clean the house just like mummy and daddy, as well as developing essential life skills. A further addition to the Little Helpers collection is the Hetty and Henry Vacuums. These robust multi-purpose vacuums have everything little ones need to help with day to day chores. Each vacuum really works and will pick up small bits of paper from the floor, storing them in a removable drawer that is quick and simple to empty. Supplied with a ‘T’ shaped nozzle, the accessories pack away neatly at the back of the vacuum. Make sure you drop by the Casdon stand at Spring Fair to see more.

KIDICRAFT

STAND NUMBER: HALL 5, STAND K28 CONTACT: 01285 505988 Kidicraft has added a bit of muscle to its children’s and collectors puzzle range this season with the addition of a new DC Comic Batman and Superman range, bursting onto the scene in Super 3D. The new 500 piece jigsaw puzzles are created using the latest Prime 3D lenses to give great depth of movement to the action-packed images. The new launch follows the firm’s wildly successful Harry Potter range launched last year. Striking images and packaging are complimented by a new branded DC Comic Batman and Superman floor display unit. This display is available free with an order of 48 puzzles or more from the range.

On the heels of its DC Comics Superman and Batman puzzle range, Kidicraft is continuing to bolster its licensed products output for 2020, this time detailing a raft

of new Animal Planet puzzles for kids, or adults who are children at heart. The Animal Planet range will initially launch in just the 63-piece puzzle size, with eight new designs including a Dolphin, African Lions and a Pink Flamingo. There will also be 150-piece puzzles which feature Elephants and a Hummingbird, adding to the popular pocket money puzzle size. Kidicraft will be using what it describes as ‘a new and improved Prime 3D lens’ to give even greater depth and movement to the array of images on their 3D puzzles, and the new Prime 3D will debut on the Animal Planet range from February 2020. Check out the range at its stand K28.

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ASMODEE UK STAND NUMBER: 5J50 - K51 CONTACT: 01420 593593 Asmodee UK will be showing off the future of Dobble this Spring Fair. With the game of speedy observation now a household name, an exciting new title promises to mix up the format and provide a new way to enjoy Dobble. Dobble 360 is a mechanised spin on the game in which two cards constantly rotate, making it impossible to see both at once – players must use their powers of memory to work out which image has been repeated. Receiving a full launch at Toy Fair, this game-changing variant will provide the next level of competition for Dobble veterans and new players alike and is set to receive huge marketing support. 2020 promises to be a huge year for the Pokémon Trading Card Game (TCG), with the newly released mainline video games Pokémon Sword & Shield stirring

up renewed excitement for the perennially popular franchise.

Pokémon fans can look forward to cards depicting Galarian forms of existing favourites plus new characters native to the UK-inspired region, while a new Pokémon V mechanic will allow for cards that represent enormous ‘VMAX’ forms of iconic Pokémon including Snorlax, Lapras and Meowth. The new set will be accompanied by Theme Decks that offer new players an easy way to pick up the game with preconstructed decks featuring the evolutions of Sword & Shield’s adorable new starter Pokémon. A spotlight will be placed upon the BrainBox range of educational games, now under the Asmodee umbrella following the acquisition of Green Board Games in 2019. Asmodee is excited to offer this successful range and follow up on the great work done by Green Board Games.

BRAINSTORM STAND NUMBER: HALL 5 - M61 CONTACT: 01200 445113 Amongst its new products is a new addition to the popular StikBots range; StikBots Megabots are the latest incarnation of the innovative social sharing toy. There will be three StikBot Megabot sets showcased this year: Avalanche, Knockout and Turbo, each including an original StikBot figure in exclusive colourways that can be accessorised with moving parts to transform the character. 2020 will focus even more on sustainability in the toy sector and EUGY - which was a best-seller in 2019 - will be added to with more characters to create as well as unique eco-friendly POS available for all retailers this year.

The 100 per cent recyclable craft toy allows children to create a collection of different creatures and animals with an impulse price point and collectability element, it makes it a popular choice for parents. New for 2020 are Sloth, Humpback Whale, Mermaid, Tricera, Turtle, Tiger and Zebra. The Original Glowstars Company brand which is owned by Brainstorm features three brand new lines for 2020 giving children more chance to enjoy the glow in the dark products. The new products include Glow Pens, Glow Mermaid and Glow Dino Skeletons which allow kids to assemble three dinosaurs creating a T-Rex, Tricera-

tops and Stegosaurus that stand at 115mm tall and of course glow in the dark. Brainstorm is renowned for its educational products that inspire children to discover more about the world in a fun and engaging way. New to Brainstorm’s Outdoor Adventure range for 2020 are the Monocular and Monocular Mini, for little hands to hold and ideal for exploring. Jan/Feb 2020 | toy news |97

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BIG POTATO

STAND NUMBER: 4G105 CONTACT: EMILY@BIGPOTATO.CO.UK Big Potato is back, equipped with its brightly coloured stand and bundle of new party games for the testing this Spring Fair. Two games in particular will be in the spotlight as the crowds make way for the smash-hit party game: Top of the Pops. Just like Blockbuster, this is a party game where players assemble a superstar team for a two-round showdown. Kick things off with a quick-fire buzzer battle, then race to collect an artist from all eight categories by describing, humming and kazooing them for your teammates to guess. From Blink-182 to Blondie, this game has something for absolutely everyone, and the best part is, you don’t have to be a pop culture know-it-all to play. You just need to have heard a couple of songs, be aware of a few famous bands, and be willing to test your ka- zoo skills.

The next party game on the list is Herd Mentality, another new arrival for 2020. This is a family party game with one simple, black and white mission: write down the same answer as everyone else. The game begins with a random prompt, such as “Name the largest fruit you could

fit in your mouth”, “Write down a noise an animal makes” or “Name a food with a hole in it”. You can see this coming as near to the mark as you're willing to take it. Next, everyone secretly writes down an answer. If your answer is part of the majority, you can take a friendly cow from the pen in the middle of the table and add it to your herd. But beware – not all cows are good news. If your answer is the odd one out, you'll need to pick up the Pink Cow and your herd will be worthless – until you manage to pass it on to another player. It’s an all-out race to collect eight cows and declare yourself the farmyard champion. Easy to learn and quick to play, it works great with children and adults alike. Just be prepared – some of the answers your loved ones write down might not be what you expected.

COILEDSPRING GAMES STAND NUMBER: 5J48 CONTACT: 020 3301 1160

The bestselling battle for Tokyo is taking a turn to the dark side in 2020, with a

Q2 release of King of Tokyo Dark. In this limited-edition print run, expect new mechanics, upgraded components and a truly wicked setting for the fight to become king. This collector’s edition is not to be missed. After The Mind took the gaming industry by storm selling over one million copies, the telepathic experience continues with the launch of The Mind Extreme. Next level telepathy is required as you navigate new rules and missions. With two stacks to complete, one ascending and one descending, and some levels need to be played blind, this is a true test of telepathy. The latest to join the Wrebbit 3D Harry Potter range is Hogsmeade: Three Broom-

sticks. Head inside the cosy, snow-capped inn to enjoy a taste of the sweet wizarding drink, Butterbeer. The Three Broomsticks is the place to go for good times and has welcomed countless students over the years. Recreate the magical tavern in the comfort of your own home with this 395 piece puzzle. The popular Thomas Kinkade Disney range has expanded with three new additions: Peter Pan, Mickey Mouse and Alice in Wonderland. These 1000-piece puzzles join the top selling Beauty and the Beast and Cinderella to form a 15 strong Disney range. All jigsaws are manufactured to Schmidt’s Premium six-Star Quality. Jan/Feb 2020 | toy news |99

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GIBSONS

STAND NUMBER: 5F30 - G31 CONTACT: 0208 661 8866 Piecing Together is a special collection of large piece puzzles that will be available for the first time throughout Fair season. The Collection was created to provide those living with dementia, limited fine motor skills or visual impairments with a fun activity that can be enjoyed alone or with a loved one. The large, easy to handle pieces and images have been carefully designed to be age-appropriate for adults, yet accessible for all. The images are great for reminiscence and sparking conversation, making them suitable as a rehabilitation activity and can be enjoyed by those living with Dementia. There are 10 designs available ranging from 12-24 pieces, and the puzzles can be completed inside the box which provides a frame to work within and makes it easy to store and keep tidy.

Gibsons is adding seven new designs to its White Logo Collection in January. With the recent wave of young adults wanting to take a ‘digital-detox’ and refrain from using their digital devices that can sometimes take over everyday life, puzzling is becoming a popular pastime as it is an

excellent way to relieve stress and focus on the present moment. The White Logo Collection is a range of design-led jigsaw puzzles for adults which have all been specifically selected for their striking and unconventional scenes. All the puzzles have been designed and manufactured in the UK, are presented in smaller boxes and the shrink-wrap has been lost to be more environmentally friendly. Among the new releases is Written in the Stars, a celestial design with 500 pieces, Paper Flowers, a beautiful floral image created entirely from paper, and Floating Market, a spectacular site and a "must-do" on many people’s travel bucket list. Gibsons will also be expanding its Pass the Bomb range with Pass the Bomb - The Big One, a fast-paced, frantic-fun game for nimble fingered know-it-alls.

JOHN ADAMS STAND NUMBER: 5J58 - K59 CONTACT: WWW.JOHNADAMS.CO.UK Kicking off John Adams’ Spring Fair fodder, we have Foodie Roos – the plush characters that look, feel and smell just like their favourite foods. And they’re back for Series 2, with all new flavours and Food Trucks. Series 2 Foodie Roos are each contained in a cute Food Truck Playset which you can decorate with stickers. You better believe that the Tweet Beats are here to rock your world. Tweet Beats love music and they all have their own style and sound. Place a Tweet Beat in the tree on one of the four branches and right away you’ll hear music. Each Tweet Beat has its own beat, bass, melody and vocal in their own music style.

By combining the Tweet Beats you can create your own songs, or switch birds to make the most beautiful Tweet Beat

combinations and listen to the coolest music on the playlist. Following the success of brands such as Soggy Doggy and Bank Attack, John Adams’ range of Ideal games continues to grow in strength and volume with new additions such as the hilariously titled, and even funnier to play Windy Knickers. Finally, the hugely successful Blopens range; one of the market leaders in colouring kits, is being extended to feature new Fashion Designer, Activity Workshops, Unicorn and Fantasy themes at key price points. Blow into the Blopens and watch your drawings appear with amazing airbrush effects.

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JUMBO GAMES STAND NUMBER: HALL 10 F-15 CONTACT: 01707 260436 Jumbo’s pre-school puzzle offering of Moon & Me has proven very popular with parents and children who keep the show at the top of the TV charts and with its four Shaped Puzzles, Shaped Floor Puzzle and 4in1 Puzzle Pack, Jumbo have a format and price-point to cover selections. Meanwhile, with sustainability still featuring heavily on consumer buying habits, Jumbo’s range of pre-school games that are made from 100 per cent recycled materials are available to fulfill this demand. With four games in the range, featuring Catch the Mouse, Colour Chameleon, Peek-A-Boo and Honey Yummy, they are ideal for retailers starting their own ‘eco offerings’. Of course, the main event for Jumbo this year is the ever-popular adult puzzles market, a sector that has found a new

lease of life thanks to the current trend of 'digital detox'and the ongoing emphasis on mindfulness. In Q4 last year, Jumbo invested in its largest digital marketing campaigns, focusing on increasing brand awareness and loyalty of its Falcon de luxe puzzles range, as well as targeting existing puzzlers and new audiences, to try its leading puzzle brand Wasgij and ensure continued growth for the UK’s leading Puzzle Brand. Having seen the growth and increase in awareness during the festive period, Jumbo is continuing to heavily invest in its Falcon de luxe and Wasgij brands for SS20. Available now are 10 brand new Falcon puzzles that continue to focus on the

quintessentially British illustrations that Falcon is renowned for, while in April it will be releasing a further 10 brand-new puzzles to ensure that retailers have fresh new selections quarterly and consumers are given the perfect choice when looking for their next puzzle. New releases that will be on show at the London Toy Fair include; Looking Across the River in a 500-piece format, The Quilt Shop, The Florist, The Car Show, and Country House Retreat, all of which will arrive in the most popular 1,000-piece puzzle formats.

SMART TOYS AND GAMES STAND NUMBER: 3A H-06 CONTACT: 01903 885 669

With an award-winning portfolio expanding yet again, Smart will be offering even more products to engage the minds of children and adults alike. Fans across the country will be delighted to learn that the bestselling IQ range is expanding once again with the launch of IQ-Arrows, offering players a whole new direction in puzzle games. Can you place all the puzzle pieces on the gameboard and point the arrows as indicated in your challenge? Watch out, because when you rotate a puzzle piece, the direction of the arrows will change. IQ Arrows is a unique travel game featuring 120 challenges, from easy to expert.

The 2020 launch from the awardwinning magnetic construction brand, SmartMax is equally exciting, as new

lines are added to the bestselling My First collection. New for 2020 is My First Animals. With four new animals to collect, including a Bear, Elephant, Seal and Horse, these enchanting toys offer little ones from one years of age a creative approach to the basics of magnetism. These extra-large animals are soft to touch, easy to grab and connect using the signature magnetic bars. Best of all, like all SmartMax products, all parts are 100 per cent compatible with all other sets, so little ones can ‘mix and match’ animals to create weird and wonderful combinations from sets. There's all of this and more from Smart Toys and Games this toy fair season. Jan/Feb 2020 | toy news | 101

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TOYNAMICS STAND NUMBER: B50 CONTACT: 0116 4785230

As of January, 1 2020, Marbel Ltd has rebranded to become Toynamics UK & Ireland. The rebrand follows the decision by the operation to relocate from Cornwall to Leicestershire as well as bringing in a brand-new team to propel it forward for 2020 and beyond. Toynamics is a multi-brand distributor which is a wholly owned subsidiary of Hape Holding and becomes the distribution arm of the group. The newly formed company provides retailers with all their business needs under one roof. Toynamics UK & Ireland is the exclusive distributor of brands including Hape whose range has over 15 different lines of toys which features railway, music and preschool toys. Toynamics is also the exclusive distributor of Nebulous Stars, which offers tween girls a large range of

arts and crafts, Nanoblock, which has added the Pokémon collection to their Sights to See, Animals and Mini Collection series and Baby Einstein, developed by Kids II and Hape to create educational toys including the highly popular, and ever tuneful Magic Touch Piano product. On top of this, Toynamics also distributes PolyM and Kathe Kruse including Kruselings. The company will be exhibiting at the London Toy Fair on Stand B50 in January before heading to Birmingham for Springfair on Stand 5G39 in February. On the stands, visitors will get to see the full range of products that Toynamics UK & Ireland has to offer his year. For any more information regarding Toynamics please contact sales@ toynamics.co.uk or call 0116 478 5230

BOXINE LTD STAND NUMBER: HALL 5 5L32 CONTACT: WWW.TONIES.COM The European smash hit Tonies has launched in the UK and Ireland, changing the way children listen to stories and music. The intuitive design and combination of figurines, known as Tonies, and a speaker, known as a Toniebox, makes it a unique interactive audio system that children can operate with ease. Available in several stylish colours, the eye-catching cube allows children to take control of how and where they listen to things – place a chosen Tonie on top of the Toniebox and the audio content will start playing; remove the Tonie and it will stop. Playful ears on top of the Toniebox can be used to turn the volume up and down.

Each Tonie has its own content so that children can operate the Toniebox themselves for hours of fun listening to stories or music that can transport them to whole new worlds. There are two types of Tonies available; Pre-recorded Tonies play treasured classics such as The Gruffalo and Little Red Riding Hood, that allow children to follow the adventures of these well-known characters in a playful and exciting way.

Alternatively you can introduce some musical magic with Tonies that include popular bedtime songs and lullabies such as Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star and Rock-abye Baby, as well as playtime songs like Old MacDonald Had a Farm and Ring a Ring o’ Roses for little ones. Swing by the stand at Spring Fair to learn more.

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RACHEL LOWE STAND NUMBER: 5J60 CONTACT: WWW.RACHELLOWE.CO.UK

The award-winning board game designer Rachel Lowe is delighted to bring her full portfolio to Spring Fair this year, where visitors will find a line-up complete with elves, comic book icons, and wrestling. 2019 was a great year for Rachel Lowe. Sales of the Call the Midwife range continued to rise, and she released WWE: Road to WrestleMania, allowing WWE fans across the UK to become part of the electrifying global pop-cultural event. She was also jointly awarded the Game of the Year Award by the Toy Retailers Association (TRA) for her Jumanji board game, after achieving number one ranking on Amazon for the game when she launched in 2017. Rachel Lowe will showcase last year’s titles alongside her exciting new offering for 2020, which will include the launch of

advent products for well-known brand Elf on the Shelf and a board game and puzzle for the iconic, Beano. Lowe said: “Spring Fair is an important date in my year and I am really looking forward to attending again and showing people the range of products, I have for 2020. From elves to comic book icons to wrestling, there will certainly be something for all ages.” Speaking about this year’s new products, Lowe added: “I am delighted to be working with Elf on The Shelf to create a range of products that any child will love to have in the run up to Christmas and help to give parents alternative ideas for their elves. It will make the advent month of December a very exciting one indeed. “Beano is a classic which has a dedicated fan base and I am thrilled to be working

with the Beano team creating these new products.” Rachel Lowe’s latest release, WWE: Road to WrestleMania, has already been a huge hit with fans across the UK. The game was launched alongside a 500-piece puzzle featuring fan favourites Sasha Banks, Randy Orton and Charlotte Flair, plus a deck of playing cards. Lowe concluded: “I am thrilled to be working with WWE and bring this game to life so that thousands of fans across the UK have the opportunity to become part of this exciting and deeply engaging and ultimately entertaining world.” Rachel Lowe has already showcased her entire new range at the Toy Fair in London, and Speilwarenmesse's own Toy Fair in Nuremburg this year. Be sure to check out the offering at her Spring Fair stand. toy news | Jan/Feb 2020 | 103

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WELCOME TO SPIELWARENMESSE...

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GOOD BEER, GOOD MEAT, AND GOOD GRAVY… THAT’S A LOT OF TOYS! Around one million new toys will be lining the halls of this year’s Spielwarenmesse, a show that covers the length of 2.5km and is poised to welcome close to 70,000 visitors this year. A show that size certainly takes some organising, and ToyNews take the opportunity to talk to Spielwarenmesse CEO, Ernst Kick, the man responsible for it all How have the past 12 months been for you guys? How have you been adapting to changes in the European and German toy market? And what are the biggest changes in the marketplace at the moment? Ernst Kick: It has been a productive and intense year for the whole team who have been buoyed and spurred on by the positive results of the 70th anniversary of Spielwarenmesse. Despite our past successes, we certainly aren’t resting on our laurels. We’re keeping a close eye on the international toy market and are responding to changes early on. At the last event, for example, we launched the new product group Electronic Toys in response to the rapid rise of technological and digital toys. In 2020, we aim to enhance the existing product groups and special areas and to set their course for the years to come. So, we're now heading into another Spielwarenmesse - what can visitors expect from the show this year? What makes it the must attend Toy Fair of the year? Ernst Kick: The Spielwarenmesse is the world’s leading fair in our industry and should be a firm fixture in everyone’s diary every year. Retailers and buyers are presented with a comprehensive market overview – all in one location. 29 per cent of exhibitors appear only at the Spielwarenmesse show in Nuremberg. Besides the truly diverse selection of products, the event has great appeal with its varied supporting programme, e.g. the talks at the Toy Business Forum, and its many services.

You guys run plenty of activations at the show to showcase trends, innovation etc. How do you select your trends, how do you spot what's emerging on the toy scene?

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Ernst Kick: Our international TrendCommittee studies the toy markets very closely to identify the three trends for the coming year. Changes and developments in society are reflected in the trends. This mechanism is demonstrated very well by the “Toys for Future” trend. Products that fall within this group help to raise environmental awareness and/or are sustainably produced from ecological materials. The “Digital goes Physical” trend brings two worlds together. In this group, children meet the stars and content they already know from the digital world – these are predominantly licences from video games and e-sports. Finally, “Be You!” revolves around the topic of inclusion. Toys in this category promote the individual skills of people with disabilities or illnesses and encourage tolerance.

What do you think of the state of innovation in the toy space at the moment? Do you think it's healthy? Ernst Kick: Of the one million products on show at Spielwarenmesse, 120,000 of them alone are innovations. The products competing for the ToyAwards – one of the most coveted of the industry accolades – display high levels of innovation and creativity. On the one hand, they include purely classical toys. On the other hand, toy manufacturers are discovering new opportunities in the realm of digitalisation. As a result, I think we’ll see an even wider selection of products and innovations in the years to come. How does Spielwarenmesse facilitate the development of innovation in the toy space?

Ernst Kick: In the long term, it’s not the quantity, but the quality of innovation that really counts. We encourage this by playing a kind of scouting role in the industry. At the Innovation made in Germany pavilion in Hall 3A, German start-ups present their latest and most promising products to a wide audience. Right next door, we have the New Exhibitor Center, whose exhibitors likewise bring a breath of fresh air to the overall range of products on show. You guys have partnered again with Licensing International to put licensing in the spotlight at the show. What do you make of the current licensing space? How is the relationship between licensing and toys fairing at the moment?

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Ernst Kick: Toys and licensing are closely entwined. Licensed articles already have a firm place in children’s playrooms all over the world and they are popular all year round. This is why we’re strengthening the licensing segment at the Spielwarenmesse. At the LicensePreview, members of Licensing International have the opportunity to present their highlights to an exclusive circle of visitors. At the same time, knowledge transfer is at the heart of the LicenseTalks. The talks will be extended to four days for the first time. You ask why should we be excited for 2020 in terms of the licences coming through? The answer is that the big players such as Walt Disney and NBC Universal will continue to dominate the licensing business in the future. Currently, the ‘Frozen’ and ‘Star Wars’ movies are fuelling demand for the leading global licences for girls and boys. Besides on-trend licensed products such as ‘LOL Surprise’ and ‘PAW Patrol‘, I think there’ll also be one or two surprises in store. For those who haven’t visited before, let’s talk about the show itself. How big is the Spielwarenmesse show? Ernst Kick: The Spielwarenmesse fills the entire exhibition centre which covers an area of 170,000m² and is operated by NürnbergMesse. To get a better idea of scale, the distance from east to west totals 2.5km. The diversity of this industry is reflected in twelve product groups which are logically set out for the trade. You could say we have lots of little fairs within one huge one. It's a famously big show, so how many visitors can we expect in 2020? Ernst Kick: In 2019, we welcomed 66,876 visitors to the Spielwarenmesse from 132 countries, with a large proportion of them travelling to Nuremberg from abroad. Almost half of all attendees only ever go to the Spielwarenmesse. The visitors include buyers from all the leading chains as well as wholesalers and retailers. This reflects the importance of

the Spielwarenmesse as a central platform for placing orders and networking. We expect roughly the same impressive levels of visitors at the 71st edition. And just how many exhibiting companies have you guys got this year? Ernst Kick: All the leading manufacturers and brands are appearing at the next edition of the Spielwarenmesse. We’re expecting 2,800 manufacturers from 70 countries. The high proportion of international toy exhibitors underlines the standing of our fair. Besides all the leading brands, promising young start-ups and newcomers with great potential will be shining a light on their innovations for this year and beyond.

OK, let's talk about the notorious networking element to Nuremberg. Where's the best place to unwind and network of an evening? Ernst Kick: At the Spielwarenmesse, we not only reflect the market and share relevant knowledge, but we also create memorable experiences for our thousands of annual visitors. We organise our own events, such as the Opening Ceremony and the presentation of the ToyAwards, whilst exhibitors likewise stage their own parties. After business hours, there’s plenty going on in Nuremberg, the ToyCity. You can meet other industry participants in the relaxed atmosphere of the Irish Pub or the many other bars. In fact, and learned

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through experience, this is where some of the best conversations take place. In your experience then, where does the best beer and meat? Ernst Kick: Nuremberg is well worth a visit if you like good food. Besides Franconian specialities such as Schäufele (tender pork shoulder), “Drei im Weckla“ (three sausages in a roll) have a firm

place on the menus of local restaurants. Thanks to the high density of breweries in Franconia, beer drinkers will definitely get their money’s worth. Another tip is this year’s ToyCocktail, the “Fairytoyl” from Gelbes Haus, which will be served at all participating bars during the Spielwarenmesse. I would warmly recommend all visitors to explore Nuremberg’s culinary side.

Looking ahead, what's the next big step for Spielwarenmesse? Ernst Kick: For us, every Spielwarenmesse is special. We spend 18 months working on every event. I’m very much looking forward to joining my highly motivated team in reaping the fruits of our labour and to enjoying the many highlights in store at the 71st Spielwarenmesse. It promises to be another successful show. Jan/Feb 2020 | toy news | 109

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Schulbedarf, Schreibwaren, Kreatives Gestalten

Technisches Spielzeug, edukatives08/01/2020 13:35 Spielzeug, Aktionsspielwaren


MGA ENTERTAINMENT STAND NUMBER: HALL 12 P-08 CONTACT: WWW.MGAE.COM MGA Entertainment is returning to Nuremburg Toy Fair to showcase its portfolio of hot properties in the UK toy market. MGA Entertainment will be unveiling a variety of new brands ahead of launch, including the highly anticipated Na!Na!Na! Surprise. The new collectable doll brand takes the unboxing experience up a notch as fans can now pop for a confetti surprise that reveals a collectable clip on pom with the first ever soft articulated fashion doll inside. Visitors will also see a first look at the new characters, ranges and playsets coming later in the year. The number one toy property L.O.L. Surprise! continues to go from strength-to-strength heading into 2020 supported by a host of new ranges, including additions to the L.O.L. Surprise! O.M.G. Fashion dolls and core collectable lines. Poopsie Slime Surprise will be under the spotlight in spring driven by product innovation to its slime and fashion toys. The brand has an ever-growing celebrity following and has captured the imaginations of children nationwide. Next up, the iconic Little Tikes brand will be a key point of interest with a focus on the baby, toddler and pre-school markets,

with the launch of Little Baby Bum licenced toys bringing the popular characters to life in an exciting range of plush and role play toys. Little Tikes, celebrating its 50th anniversary this year, is extremely excited to be launching the brand at the Nuremberg toy show and to the wider market in spring 2020. Samantha Wilson, Marketing Director at MGA Entertainment, says, “We are looking forward to returning to Nuremburg following another successful year for our market leading properties – ranging from huge, sell-out lines to heritage brands. We are looking forward to also revealing our newest toy properties including Na!Na!Na! Surprise as it launches to the UK market.”

WILTON BRADLEY STAND NUMBER: CONTACT: Witlon Bradley is jetting out to Nuremberg’s toy fair this year where it will showcase its latest portfolio line-up, including new launches in partnership with the Great British Bake Off star, Nadiya Hussain, as well as some cutting edge new products in the wheeled toys and ride-on sector. An exciting new product line for Wilton Bradley this year is its newly announced partnership with Nadiya Hussain through which the pairing will develop a range of baking and cooking sets created just for kids who gt excited in the kitchen.

From the kitchen to the great outdoors and a whole host of evolving best-selling launches from Xootz, this year sees the addition of the awardwinning Typhoon Power Drift Trike. The Typhoon Power Drift Trike was created using in house tooling and 3D design, evolving the Viper design and colourway. With an impressive run time of 60 minutes and max speed of 16km/h this impressive, unique ride on provides endless outdoor fun. Add to this the firm’s award-winning Xootz bubble scooter - a unique concept and has seen great success so far this season, especially after winning gold in the scooter category for this year’s Made for Mum’s awards and you’ve got a real recipe for success. Add bubble solution to the rear mounted bubble machine and watch hundreds of bubbles blow away.

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JUNKO STAND NUMBER: 3A D24 CONTACT: 0203 195 3831 Having spotted an opportunity for European expansion over the course of the past year and into 2020, JUNKO is making its Spielwarenmesse debut this February where it will be showcasing its collection of eco-friendly construction toys. JUNKO has earned quite a name for itself since last Toy Fair season, having picked up traction at both retail and across the media for its commitment to sustainability by encouraging children to re-use household items as components to its collection of construction toy parts. Make original, working toy cars, boats, and buildings from junk with the firm’s range of JUNKO kits, each created and developed by an eco-conscious father who thought it was time to act on the issue around wasteful, throwaway plastic. JUNKO is therefore a fully reusable STEM/STEAM toy made from recycled plastic. The range consists of four different kits - JUNKO Zoomer, JUNKO Build, JUNKO Water, and JUNKO Core Zoomer kits. Sales of the range has certainly been picking up for JUNKO who took the chance to broadcast the portfolio to the nation by

POSH PAWS

appearing on Channel 4’s Buy It now for Christmas in 2019, a real coup for the firm. The firm’s goal for 2020 is to expand into the European market, starting with Nuremberg Toy Fair, as well as tapping into the US and Australian markets. On top of this, JUNKO is tapping into the education sector, where the line has been strongly received. With manufacturing operations now established in Poland, JUNKO is confident that the European market presents large opportunities for the firm.

STAND NUMBER: C39, HALL 6

CONTACT: 01268 567317 Visitors to Nuremberg should not miss out on stopping by the Posh Paws stand with a whole host of exciting new collections to see, offering even more choice for the toy retailer. From the record-breaking wildlife programmes of Planet Earth and Blue Planet, this is BBC Earth. This collection has been carefully handcrafted to bring each beautiful toy animal to life. From the plains of Africa to the freezing temperatures of the Artic, there is an animal for everyone in the stunning range of soft toys.

Brand new to the BBC Earth range, meet the Babies. This adorable range of animal babies is beautifully made and perfect for imaginary play and cuddles. Another new collection to consider comes from the YouTube and TV sensation, Sunny Bunnies; the brightest of characters that spread fun and laughter wherever they go. This mischievous collection of soft and fluffy toys includes a variety of different sizes and features including small slammers that when thrown give out their infectious laugh, medium sized which giggle and wiggle, and the large bunnies which giggle and hop. The collection includes all five fluffy Sunny Bunnies, Turbo, Big Boo, Shiny, Iris and Hopper. Other collections on display include; Pirata & Capitano, How to Train Your Dragon, Jurassic World and brand new Ragtales. Make sure you pay Posh Paws a visit on your trip to Nuremberg's Spielwarenmesse to find out what more the plush specialist has planned for 2020 and beyond. Jan/Feb 2020 | toy news | 113

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MATTEL STAND NUMBER: 12.2 P15 CONTACT: 01628 500 000 Mattel’s iconic portfolio will look to innovate, excite and delight in 2020 as Fisher-Price turns 90, Thomas & Friends turns 75, and Mattel celebrates 75 years of creating world-class play experience for generations of kids. Barbie is flying after a bumper year celebrating its 60th Anniversary, and will drive momentum in 2020 with its mission to show girls “You Can Be Anything”. Barbie will kick off an exciting Q1 with new Barbie and Chelsea Sports Dolls and playsets, featuring: Football Boxing, Swimming and more. New diversity is being brought to the Fashionistas range, along with a new ‘Wellness’ theme, and a new Barbie Colour Reveal that sees the doll enter the surprise unboxing space as it is transformed by water. The dolls come with surprise elements to unbox ,with seven to discover and on-trend fashion accessories and themes, while each doll's look remains a mystery. 2020 marks the 90th anniversary of Fisher-Price, who celebrates childhood with a new brand campaign “Let’s Be Kids”, encouraging parents to see the world as a kid sees it. Fisher-Price is putting the fun back in functional baby gear and the play back in playtime. An innovative range sees new products across the portfolio, from items suited to support baby at birth, to toys designed to entertain toddlers. New Baby Gear and Newborn, including the Twinkle & Cuddle Cloud Soother plus the Signature Style Bouncer and Infant-To-Toddler Rocker, comes in an on trend new print from the new Terrazzo collection. Meanwhile the Giant Rock-a-Stack, Laugh & Learn Time to Learn Smart Watch, and Click and Learn Instant Camera, join the Infant line up, as Little People introduces the Babies segment, bringing nurturing play to toddlers. Thomas & Friends will celebrate its 75th anniversary in 2020 by introducing kids to the bigger world around them through dynamic new content and products. Through inclusivity, gender equality and a global outlook on life, the brand continues to resonate with children as they create friendships to explore the world. Thomas will be creating break-frame moments throughout the year that spotlights Thomas as the beloved British heritage brand. To celebrate the 75th Anniversary fans can also collect the new Limited Edition Metallic Motorised Engines and the Small Push Along 75th Anniversary Diamond Thomas. New characters will also be available in Trackmaster Push Along and Motorised Engines. Hot Wheels drives ‘Challenge Accepted’ further than ever in 2020 with the Hot Wheels City Robo Shark and introducing a variety of Track Builder packs with innovative new components and the Triple Loop kit to build, stunt and boost. New in January is the immersive live experience; The Hot Wheels Monster Trucks tour by Live Nation, calling at venues in

Manchester, Birmingham and Glasgow. The tour is set to bring the thrills of Hot Wheels Monster Trucks to life, combining jumps, stunts and epic crashing and smashing in true Hot Wheels style. The Hot Wheels Monster Trucks toy range expands with diecast trucks and the first Hot Wheels Monster Trucks Loop Playset. The world of Polly Pocket continues to expand, inspiring children that ‘Tiny is Mighty’. 2020 is time for ‘tiny fun in the sun’ a new theme which includes Popsicle Cruise, Ladybug Garden, Owl Camping and Cactus Ranch. The brand is bringing Large Wearable Compact Assortments, purse compacts that open to reveal a fun theme, two micro dolls, eight fun features and two accessories. In January 2020 Mattel will launch Cloudees, a new collectable that lets kids discover a surprise pet in a soft cloud they create for a magical play experience. Just add water to the large cloud case and shake to create a cloud substance that reveals the Cloudees character and six surprises inside. Cloudees are all weather themed and will launch two different scales – core and a small pet friend with 28 to collect in series one wave one. Mattel is proud to offer a dynamic portfolio of own brands that include Scrabble, Uno, Pictionary, and Creatable World as well as partner with some of the most well now licensed brands. In 2020 our partners include; Pixar, Universal and Nickelodeon. The Pixar range which will incorporate Toy Story and Cars plus the exciting Pixar classics including the much-loved Incredibles, and Monsters inc, the range will include action figures, minis and role play items. Minions is another new brand to Mattel for 2020, with an exciting range of action figures that will support the film release in the summer. Mattel also continues to add excitement and new toy ranges to its Jurassic World and Shimmer & Shine portfolio. Jan/Feb 2020 | toy news |115

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TOBAR STAND NUMBER: HALL 4 F-95 CONTACT: 01603 397105

It’s pocket money toys abound this year as Tobar prepares to be ahead of the collectable craze with its new Squiggle Bandz. These multi coloured bands can be worn as bracelets or knotted together. When they are not stretched they form a squiggly animal shape, making either a Unicorn, Llama, Flamingo, Dino, Under the Sea or other Wild Animals. Available in an assorted CDU and arriving in neon, glitter and glow in the dark, Squiggle Bandz are destined to a be a playground favourite for 2020. The Rainbow range is another pocket money ‘must have’ featuring rainbows on pens, rings, hairclips, snap bands and putty – all in great packaging, while you are urged to watch out for Embryonics this year, too - a brand new collectable fusion of alien and slime. There are six coloured eggs to collect, each with one of six named aliens in three different colours; so 18 permutations in all. The enticing packaging has a ‘heat reveal’ sticker on the front. Each Alien has its own story and the Embryonics family will grow throughout the year. For a more traditional and delightful pocket money offering look at the brand new wooden toy range, this brilliantly designed range includes traditional push puppets, squeaky cars, pullback and

go unicorn and dragon, delightful squeaky rolypolys, noisy farm animals, puzzle blocks, and a rainmaker. All in primary colours and with a naïve, scandi style design that has real eye and play appeal. Traditional with a twist continues with the ever popular award winning Animigos animated plush range. This now covers all sorts of domestic animals and last year moved into wildlife with the World of Nature range. These animated toys add an extra dimension to plush, and this year Tobar is adding a limited edition Magical Rainbow Bunny which will be available in time for Easter. Other additions are a Mischevious moggy, a sheepdog, lion, giraffe and lamb. Finally, model car collectors and motor enthusiasts will be delighted with the 2020 range from Maisto and Bburago, a classic Ford Capri 2.8 Injection will appeal to petrol heads young and old whilst the fabulous new Radio Control X Ranger will be a brilliant gift item retailing at under £15. Celebrating 110 years of the Bugatti the Bugatti Chiron Sport special edition celebrates the famous Bugatti blend of sophistication and sportiness. Celebrating Italian motor vehicle design would be incomplete without mention of the iconic Vespa and Tobar’s classic model Vespa Primavera 150 is available in red, white or blue.

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CASDON STAND NUMBER: HALL 12 C-04 CONTACT: GABY@CASDON.CO.UK Casdon combines pretend play with household names to bring replica appliances and role play accessories to the playroom, with 2020 marking a special occasion for Casdon celebrating 50 years of attending the Spielwarenmesse Toy Fair. The Little Helper collection is home of the Dyson replica vacuums. The Dyson Cord-free Vac is a direct replica of the life size Dyson and has been speciďŹ cally designed to be true to life, right down to the last detail. The model features working suction, spinning beads, realistic sounds and a twist and turn action just like the real thing. The spinning beads will mesmerise children and will be an instantly recognisable favourite at home. Designed with the same bright colours as the real-life vacuum, kids will be able to feel all grown up by pretending to clean the house just like mummy and daddy, as well as developing essential life skills.

For summertime, kids can help mum and dad have that garden looking ship shape with the Flymo Lawn Mower; another exciting replica from Casdon Toys. The Flymo features a foldable handle for easy storage and a mechanical click when the mower is on the move. It also features the iconic orange base. Each collection comes with a heritage that parents trust, making Casdon the role play toy brand of choice. Casdon will also be increasing its marketing support for retailers with a year-round online campaign to increase awareness of all the companyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s much-loved toys.

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DIAMANT TOYS CONTACT: JONATHAN@AMAV.COM

While there are many different collectable products out there today, the Keypsees line launched by Diamant Toys promises to be a different story altogether, bringing ‘real originality,’ to market. Boasting new levels of unboxing mystery, kids will be clamouring to discover what pet is being kept inside, and what accessories will be coming with it. Then there’s putting together all the different pieces, before finally using the magic key to open the pet’s new

STAND NUMBER: 12A A-10, B05 home. It all comes together, says Diamant, to create the most magical unboxing experience. Keypsees is a series of cute furry pets (from unicorns to owls) who hide in their colourful houses. Look closely and you can see a small nose peeking out at you. Each box contains a pet and nine surprises. Kids can take the soother tool out of the attic (it’s actually a magnet) and via the hole they will be able to fish out the pet and all the surprises kept within. It could be a comb, a bow, a food dish or even a bone, depending on the animal they have fished out with their magic magnet. Each comes with a key accessory that is used to open the magic box, inside of which the cute pet can sit. There are over 15 different pets to collect in the series, each of which can be personlised and decorated by their caring keeper. Diamant Toys has further developed the line to include a Mermaid series (complete with mermaid accessories and special effects), an aquarium with fish and a fish bowl, and even a collection of racing cars surprises. The ranges build on Diamant Toys' reputation as one of the highest quality, innovative companies in arts and crafts, taking the firm into a whole new direction. To do so, the company brought in the talent of worldclass product designers to help shape the look of Keypsees range over the course of the last two years. Diamant is confident that it has one of the best collectables to hit the market in 2020, with international distributors now competing for the line.

BRAINSTORM STAND NUMBER: HALL 12 B-03 - 2 CONTACT: 01200 445113 Kicking us off for Brainstorm and 2020 will focus even more on sustainability in the toy sector and EUGY, which was a best-seller in 2019, will be added to with more characters to create as well as unique eco-friendly POS available for retailers. The 100 per cent recyclable craft toy allows children to create a collection of different creatures and animals with an impulse price point and collectability element, it makes it a popular choice for parents. New for 2020 are Sloth, Humpback Whale, Mermaid, Tricera, Turtle, Tiger and Zebra. Also among Brainstorm’s new products is a brand new addition to the ever-popular StikBots range; StikBots Megabots are the latest incarnation of the innovative social sharing toy and are unlike any character added to the range previously. Meanwhile, the Original Glowstars Company brand - which is owned by Brainstorm - features three new lines for 2020 giving children more chance to enjoy the glow in the dark products.

Every year, the brains behind Brainstorm Toys introduce more unique products to its portfolio and 2020 is no exception with the addition of Light- Up & Glow Astronaut, a cute nightlight that can be hung on a door on placed on a bedside table.

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EOLO STAND: HALL 12 H-03-6 CONTACT: UKSALES@EOLOHK.COM For more than 40 years, EOLO Toys has been providing outdoor fun to children and families around the world thanks to its talent in innovating classic play patterns for new generations of kids. This year will be no different. Spring/summer 2020 will see EOLO continue to offer that trademark fun with the introduction of its new patent pending Slider Disc. Billed as a new innovation in the flying disc category, this new launch is all about amping up the outdoor play this year. “Flying discs have been around for ages, without any real alterations. So we thought it was high time we added some fun and play value to the classically recognised toy, and bring it back as a household essential,” says Alex Prieto, EOLO’s own director of fun. Slider Disc is the first transforming flying disc that fits into your pocket. Catch, reset, and throw it back before it transforms, or you are going to lose. The built-in timer converts your flying disc into a time game experience for endless fun, whether you’re at the beach, down the park, or in the back garden. Slider Disc comes with three play modes, including Compact Mode in which the disc is pocket size and easy to carry, Free Flight Mode, in which is can be locked and used as a regular flying disc

any time, and Game Mode, throughout which the timer can be set. While it’s a new launch, EOLO has already seen a strong, positive response to the brand, with more than ten countries already on board for spring/summer 2020 and strong TV and digital marketing campaigns, as well as “lots of interest in the new line in North America for the following season.” EOLO now aims to bring retailers exclusive products. Slider Disc will be on display at Nuremberg and New York Toy Fair, and international distributors or retailers visiting the shows can make an appointment with the sales team.

FIESTA CRAFTS STAND: HALL 1 B-09 CONTACT: 0208 804 0563 Fiesta Crafts is ringing in its 30th anniversary and building on its very name, as it expands its crafts offering with a choice of kits to attract and intrigue buyers. Heading up the new sets are its 3D Masks. The colourful card pieces slot together to make huge full three-dimensional head masks or helmets. These will be joined by new Unicorn, Crocodile and Lion additions to its wood and craft kits range. If you do one thing this Nuremberg Fair, you should look out for the Lighthouse and the other original Felt Crafts kits, including the Sailing Boat, Flamingo, and Bunch of Flowers. Fiesta will chalk up another win with the brand new Chalkboard Books. Open the fabric cover of the Dinosaur or Fairy Chalkboard books to reveal eight pages for drawing and writing with chalks. Cleverly hidden inside is an integrated pocket that holds six liquid chalk pens. Children will adore drawing and writing throughout this book and have a choice of different coloured pages; yellow, blue and black. Jan/Feb 2020 | toy news |119

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RAZOR STAND: HALL 7 C-27 CONTACT: 01884 254110

Razor is proud to present its new Wild Ones kick scooter range at Spielwarenmesse 2020. Designed to help new riders learn to balance and build the skills they need to safely and confidently ride a two-wheeled scooter, these awesome scooters are made for children aged 30 months and upwards, and arrive with three cute character designs to choose from – Shark, Dinosaur, and Unicorn – each with a fun 3D eye and colourful deck. Razor's unique wide-wheeled design with low deck keeps kids closer to the ground, helping them learn to balance safely. Two extra-wide, slow-rolling wheels made for indoor or outdoor use eliminate the need for a third wheel, reducing the hesitation of transitioning from a three-wheeled to a two-wheeled scooter. The extra-wide low deck features character-inspired grip tape graphics, and teaches kids appropriate foot placement, making it fun to ride just like the big kids. Wild Ones was the winner of the Best Toys & Games (Outdoor Fun) category at the National Parenting Products Awards, and have been nominated for both the Toy Awards’ ‘Toy of the Year’ and the Spielwarenmesse ‘Toy Award’.

Razor USA EMEA Sales Director James Dobson, said: “We are delighted to have Wild Ones on show at Spielwarenmesse Toy Fair. We're sure that little ones will love the designs and parents will love the design and safety features intended to keep kids riding safely and happily.” Furthermore, Razor will be exhibiting new 2020 product releases including the Crazy Cart Shift 2.0, a new iteration of Razor’s classic Crazy Cart designed for younger kids to drive, spin, and drift like never before. Fun for riders of all skill-levels, the Crazy Cart Shift starts as a fun spin session and grows into an unparalleled drifting experience as riders become more familiar with the controls. With an incredible range of kick scooters, electric scooters, micro bikes, electric dirt bikes and electric ride-ons suitable for children and adults, Razor is looking to 2020 with great enthusiasm. 2020 is also Razor’s 20th Anniversary and the firm plans to celebrate 20 years of innovation in style. Make sure you swing by the stand to check out all of the action this year.

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ORCHARD TOYS STAND: HALL 10 H-13 CONTACT: 01953 423422 From unicorns and sloths to woolly mammoths and llamas, the new additions offer something for all ages and interests, with ‘Learning Made Fun’ at the heart of each Orchard Toys product. First Sounds Lotto is a sound game for children from the age of two years old. Designed to encourage sound recognition and observation skills, players match sounds to pictures in this colourful lotto game. First Sounds Lotto also includes a colourful six piece puzzle to encourage discussion with young children. Sleepy Sloths is a simple sound and action game in which players take turns to identify familiar items and make the correct noise. Loopy Llamas is guaranteed to have children laughing as they race around the swimming pool playing board collecting patterned rings to loop onto their 3D llama characters. Players will need a keen eye to collect each of their five patterned rings. Prehistoric mammoths make a magnificent return in Mammoth Maths. Players race around the board solving addition and subtraction problems in a bid to be the first back to the cave, using the magic viewer to check their answers along the way. Children solve maths problems on the stone printed cards.

LEARNING RESOURCES STAND: HALL 5 B-06, C-05 CONTACT: 01553 762276

Learning Resources has become the go-to brand for screenfree and unplugged coding toys. Building on the success of the award-winning Botley the Coding Robot and Artie 3000, Learning Resources launched Coding Critters in Q3 2019. The Coding Critters range has since won several consumer awards and the company now launches new characters in the range to offer children more play options. It’s the firm’s aim to put the fun in coding fundamentals. Coding Critters Bopper Bunny and her pals Hip & Hop, and new Pair-a-Pets teach children early coding and critical thinking skills through play. For children aged five and up, Learning Resources will be launching Botley 2.0. The next generation of award-winning Botley the Coding Robot delivers more screen-free coding fun. New Botley 2.0 can be programmed to complete a sequence of up to 150 steps including 45-degree left and right turns, put on a light show, play games and more. Meanwhile, the new 24-Hour Number Line Clock is an interactive teaching clock that helps children learn how to tell the time through hands-on learning. Developed by education experts, it lets students explore time and see for themselves how telling time on a clock is just like using a number line. Jan/Feb 2020 | toy news | 121

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FUNKO STAND: HALL 12 – B-08-1, C-05-1 CONTACT: WWW.FUNKO.COM

2020 is set to be another phenomenal year for Funko across EMEA, as the purveyor of popular culture look to extend its wellknown Pop! category as well as expand sub-brands, like Loungefly, and launch new exciting IPs that are guaranteed to take the toy world by storm for this year and beyond. Funko is world-renowned for keeping its finger on the pulse of trends and the ever-expanding choice of Pop! is evident of this. Launching this month in Europe, Paka Paka will be making a huge debut at both Nuremberg and London Toy Fair, paying homage to Japanese gashapon culture (toys best known as small figures available through coin operated machines in East Asia). Paka Paka is inspired by this trend and ups the ante in order to disrupt the blind bag category. Paka Paka will initially have three product lines – Soda Kats, Kawaii Village and Munchies (encapsulated in innovative dispensers) and the machines will showcase captivating digital elements, created by Funko’s in-house animation team. While Pop! remains to be Funko’s most well-known form factor, 2020 will see a larger spotlight on other categories in the portfolio.

This includes softlines such as Loungefly and its growing apparel line (new items will be unveiled at both fairs) and of course, its newest category extension Funko Games which debuted with the popular Funkoverse light strategy game during the run-up to Christmas 2019, with DC, Harry Potter, Rick & Morty and Golden Girl offerings among the included licenses. Both London Toy Fair and Nuremberg will also be showcasing highly anticipated Funkoverse boardgame licenses, which will come as a delight to all gaming fanatics who have enjoyed the previous iterations, as well as the introduction of new unannounced signature games including; card games, other board games and more. Lastly, Funko Home & Gift is dialling up its collection by marking the 70th Anniversary of Cinderella with a nod to the classic Disney princess, Mickey Mouse gets a revamp with a Mickey Rainbow range and there’s Star Wars must-haves on the horizon too, plus more. To find out more, and experience the next chapter of Funko, please book appointments in advance.

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LE TOY VAN STAND: HALL 3 C-51, D-58 CONTACT: MARIE@LETOYVAN.COM It’s no ordinary year for Le Toy Van, as the wooden pre-school toy specialists prepares to descend upon Nuremberg ready to celebrate its 25th anniversary. To celebrate this major milestone, Le Toy Van has designed - with love - bespoke pieces and elevated its traditional wooden toys while keeping them true to its own tone. One product release the firm is particularly excited about is the Royal Express, a 180-piece wooden train set complete with an extensive array of features including a Ferris wheel, buildings, bridges, boats, a train station and various outdoor elements. The wooden set is complete with two connectable trains and tracks. At Le Toy Van, the team is strong advocates of creative, imaginative play; and a product it believes really inspires this is its Showtime Puppet Theatre. The wooden puppet theatre has many features little ones will love to discover including a live and interval sign, a stage door, three different scenario windows, three different stage curtains and two chalkboards. To complete the performing package is the Hollywood Film Camera. This unique camera perfectly complements the Showtime Puppet Theatre, with matching styles and gold patterned detailing.

Le Toy Van wants its toys to be truly treasured and one day passed down to future generations. The Pull Along Wagon is made from robust sustainable wood with a charming vintage design that caters to a range of heights. This toy grows with your child while remaining a timeless traditional toy. Le Toy Van also believes its toys reflect the direction it is heading towards as a company. This year, many of its new products are 100 per cent plastic free, including the Pull Along Wagon, Star Beauty Bag, Africa Stacker, Market Crates, Sweets & Candy Set, Building Blocks & Showtime Puppet Theatre.

JOHN ADAMS STAND: HALL 5 B69 CONTACT: 01480 414361

Frozen II fans will be spoilt for choice with John Adams’ selection of craft kits based on the blockbuster film. Make a magical My Light-Up Glitter Globe; keep your secrets safe in

the Frozen II Secret Diary; make your very own Frozen themed accessories with the My Light-Up Jewellery kit and create fantastic pictures with airbrush effects using the Frozen II Blopens Activity set. Glowpad also returns with a special Frozen II version. Draw onto your Glowpad using the two neon marker pens to create your favourite Frozen II characters. Switch on to see your pictures glow and transform. Foodie Roos – the plush characters that look, feel and smell just like their favourite foods are back for Series 2, with all new flavours and Food Trucks, while you’d better believe that the Tweet Beats are here to rock your world. Tweet Beats love music, so place them on their tree and listen to them as they each come together to sing. Meanwhile, the family favourite Rummikub is back and is celebrating its 70th anniversary this year. With a whole host of celebrity fans and photos all over social media, it’s no surprise that Rummikub has stood the test of time. Finally, the world’s number one puzzle, Rubik’s has reason to celebrate – it’s 40 years since Rubik’s was named ‘Toy of the Year’ and went on sale mass market. A new 3x3 Metallic Anniversary Cube is being introduced. The Anniversary Cube is just as mind boggling as the Classic 3x3, with a magnificent metallic finish. Jan/Feb 2020 | toy news | 123

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HORNBY HOBBIES STAND: HALL 7A - B37 CONTACT: 0184 323 3500 It might be hard to believe that Hornby has been gracing the hobby scene for 100 years this year, given the revamp the company has undergone in recent times to bring in some big name licenses across its portfolio, but the team is adamant that you’ll know about it sure enough for 2020. This year will see Hornby reach a key milestone as the business gears up towards Hornby celebrating its 100th anniversary. The well-known model railway brand which has been producing model locomotives for almost 100 years is set and ready to celebrate the anniversary with a bang. Having manufactured thousands of model railway products for a century and to celebrate the occasion, there will be a whole host of exciting marketing activities, including a golden ticket campaign, a Hornby ‘Memories’ blog, including interviews with some of Hornby’s dedicated customers, as well as a ‘Trip Down Memory Lane’ with some of Hornby’s most long-standing staff members. And the excitement does not end there. Pulling the anniversary together and the whole 100 year anniversary campaign will be the ‘Lifetime’s Journey’, a short film, showing a boy turning into a man and the various stages that he goes through in his life, all linking back to the love he has for his Hornby trains. Meanwhile, Scalextric is also delighted to announce the next generation of Scalextric Spark Plug, in a completely new app reskin featuring the characters from DC Comics Batman. This will feature in the Batman vs Joker set that is controllable by IOS or Android smart device. The set will include two Spark Plug dongles, a Joker Car, a Batman Car plus and an exciting track layout including a jump, crossroads and side swipe, creating your very own superhero must have Scalextric set for 2020. Enhance your gameplay even more by restricting your opponent or supercharging your car in Versus Mode, and personalise your race by playing as your favourite hero or villain from the Batman franchise, or become your favourite character by adding filters to your own profile photo. For the younger fans there is a series of new Micro Scalextric sets including: YouTube sensation Ryan’s World, James Bond and Batman vs Joker. Each of these sets feature over four metres of track with nine layout options, including a loop-the-loop and half pipe. As well as this, new and exciting track pack’s have been added so you can build on your 1:64 Micro Scalextric layout and create some wacky new racing tracks. To mark the 35th Anniversary of the first Back to the Future Film, Scalextric will be releasing a brand-new DeLorean, which comes complete with a working Flux capacitor light. Corgi will also be releasing a die-cast version of the famous time travelling vehicle

in 1:36 scale so that fans of the original movie can relive all of those iconic moments. Next up and the movie offering just keeps on coming as Airfix will be releasing a range of licensed Tog Gun products in time for the launch of the new film. These include the famous Tomcat, ‘Mig’ and Skyhawk aircraft from the original film, and the P-51D Mustang and F-18 Hornet, both flown by Maverick, played by Tom Cruise. The new Airfix Beginners Set is designed to allow youngsters from eight years up to be able to build their first kit. With fewer parts and less complication, the beginner can create a perfect replica of the iconic Spitfire or Red Arrows Hawk, and after having fun painting it can place it on the specially designed stand to make it fly. The models are also suitable for free play once built. The range also includes two tanks, and these come with rotating turrets and easy build tracks. A great way to start their lifetime Airfix modelling career. Airfix Quickbuild is expanding fast and appears with a new look this year. The Jaguar I Pace is the first release and is available in January, with other exciting cars and aircraft arriving this year. The choice of Corgi Chunkies expands early in 2020. This superb pre-school range, with its high level of diecast, makes for supertough and long-lasting play, plus the Corgi range as a whole has some fantastic additions to satisfy any fans of James Bond, Mr Bean, Back-to-the-Future and the many other Pop Culture icons that Hornby has under its portfolio this year. Be sure to swing by the Hornby Hobbies stand to check it all out this year.

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GIBSONS STAND: 10.1 E-05 CONTACT: 0208 661 8866 Piecing Together is a collection of large piece puzzles available for the first time at the show, and created to provide those living with dementia, limited fine motor skills or visual impairments with an activity that can be enjoyed alone or in company. The easy to handle pieces and beautiful images have been designed to be age-appropriate for adults, yet accessible for all. The images spark reminiscence and conversation, making them suitable a rehabilitation activity for those living with Dementia. There are 10 designs available ranging from 12-24 pieces, and the puzzles can be completed inside the box which provides a frame to work within and makes it easy to store. Gibsons is adding seven new designs to its White Logo Collection in January, tapping into the recent wave of young adults wanting to take a ‘digital-detox’. The White Logo Collection is a range of design-led jigsaw puzzles for adults which have all been specifically selected for their striking and unconventional scenes. All the puzzles have been designed and manufactured in the UK, are presented in smaller boxes and the shrink-wrap has been lost in order to be more environmentally friendly.

Among the new releases is Written in the Stars, a celestial design with 500 pieces, Paper Flowers, a beautiful floral image created entirely from paper, and Floating Market, a spectacular site and a "must-do" on many people’s travel bucket list. Gibsons is expanding its Pass the Bomb range with Pass the Bomb - The Big One, a fast-paced, frantic-fun game for nimble fingered know-it-alls. Players harness their brain power and skills as they take on weird and wonderful challenges. This action-packed version of the classic game Pass the Bomb provides family fun for all ages. Make sure you come along and test play the game.

GALT TOYS STAND: HALL 4 - E-51, F-50 CONTACT: 0161 428 9111

All Galt Toys puzzle packaging has been redesigned for 2020 and six new products join the range for children from 18 months covering topics such as size grading, colour matching, shape recognition and counting. The Construction and Active Play categories include Marble Run Reactions, where you build chain reactions for your marbles promoting early STEM learning and a new Active Play game – Hop, Skip & Jump Game where any floor turns into a giant game board. The 3 Little Pigs Game and Antarctica Game join the Play and Learn category with chunky wooden playing pieces – ideal first games for two year olds. Galt Toys has a strong reputation in the Arts and Crafts category and is launching new craft kits in 2020 to inspire creativity and imagination. From making cute ribbon weaved bracelets to baking cookies and cupcakes, Galt Toys offers everything you need for a rainy day activity and school holiday fun. For 2020, Galt Toys will also be showcasing the Learn to Draw and Travel Learn to Draw – two sets with simple step by step templates and a light projector to introduce early drawing skills. Galt Toys is looking forward to an exciting year ahead for development as a new member of the Jumbodiset Group. Jan/Feb 2020 | toy news | 125

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“WE CAN’T WAIT TO OPEN THE DOORS TO LONDON TOY FAIR 2020” It’s that time again, when the industry floods into the halls of London’s Olympia to take on the three day experience that is London Toy Fair 2020. With plenty of changes and new innovations abound for the show ahead, ToyNews catches up with Toy Fair director, Majen Immink to find out just what this year has in store for us all

A

sk Majen Immink, head of operations at the BTHA and the director of London’s Toy Fair, what the show’s organisers are bringing to the table for the UK’s largest toy trade show this year, and she wouldn’t know where to begin. It’s because this year will mark yet another evolution for the London Olympia event that has, throughout its almost 70 year history, found itself in a state of constant adatptation and expansion; and Toy Fair 2020, according to Immink, is to be absolutely no exception. This year, London’s Olympia will play host to some more than 260 exhibiting companies, with thousands of new toys making their debut at the show where there will be everything from extensions to already successful toy lines, as well as all those new trendsetters for the coming year. “We are delighted to be welcoming a range of new first-time exhibitors as well, who will be bringing some fantastic undiscovered surprises,” says Immink. “Last but not least, we will be hosting our first ever Influencer Day on the second day of Toy Fair to accomodate the growing number of content creators and help our exhibitors to reach the wider family market.” It’s a move that perhaps underpins the biggest point of change amid the contemporary toy scene. Try telling toy companies ten years ago that sales would soon be largely dictated by video bloggers and unboxers, you’d most likely have been laughed halfway down the District Line. 2020 however will see the BTHA host a full day dedicated to content creation and facilitating the Influencer scene live at the show. “The toy industry itself is continually evolving, so any additions or changes to Toy Fair are direct results of industry and consumer trends,” Immink tells ToyNews. “So, for example, the Greenhouse Area was created to meet the demand for up and coming small businesses, and the need for a platform to showcase their products.

“Equally, influencers are hugely important to the toy industry, so we have been working hard to include them in Toy Fair 2020. As they are a direct route to the industry’s audience, to families, and to kids, they are well worth investing your time and energy in. “The world of influencers is so fast-moving, it’s hard to predict what 2020 will bring; but for the toy industry, I believe we’ll see

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even more micro-influencers taking centre stage in brand campaigns. I expect to see more brands partnering with them in 2020. “Therefore, it’s vitaly important that we work alongside the industry to ensure that we’re providing the best experience we can, at Toy Fair and beyond. We are in constant communication with exhibitors and our Toy Fair committee who are our sounding board for new ideas.” To this end, Toy Fair is reflective not only of the latest trends to be emerging from the kids’ and entertainment space, but of the thoughts and feelings of the industry, from manufacturing to the retail landscape at the time. Given just what kind of a year 2019 was for many, bullet-pointed with those big name retailers entering administration while the fight for shelf space intensified further, the kind of mood that 2020’s Toy Fair will host when its doors open on January 21st, is anyone’s guess. “2019 was a difficult year for many industries, so it is difficult to say right now what the outlook may be for the year ahead,” says Immink. “But we are delighted to have sold-out Toy Fair yet again, back in October last year, and the continued success of this show is a real testament to the passion of the toy industry and the commitment of every single exhibitor who takes part.” It’s testament to the strong hold that this London toy show has within the UK toy industry, deemed by much of it as the must attend event of the year, and while Immink - despite our best efforts to weedle it out can’t confirm or deny exactly what retailers will be walking the show floor this year, it's a list peppered with big names that we can all expect to find browsing the wares for the coming years. And to give you a hint, London Toy Fair 2019 welcomed representatives from the likes of Hamleys’ Waitrose & Partners, and more. And what will they be looking for? Immink is ready to hazard a guess: “Licensed toys continue to be a huge hit, from IPs such as Frozen through to the recent rise in nostalgic products. Toys such as Playmobil’s Back to the Future transport you back to the ‘80s, when licensed toys

first started making a significant impact on the industry,” she explains. “Collectables also continue to have a strong presence in the market, and this is looking to continue through to 2020. “For us though, we’re fans of Fifi the flossing sloth in the office. This is the perfect combination of trends that kids will love - the ever popular sloth, twinned with the dance made popular by Fortnite - so what’s not to love?

“That said, we are incredibly privileged to see all the surprises and innovations that are coming to Toy Fair ahead of time, with each year never ceasing to amaze.” And if there was a favourite moment of London Toy Fair each year for the show’s director, it would be the annual, and traditional, Trolley Dash with which the show’s proceedings are drawn to a close. “It is incredibly moving to see the generosity of our exhibitors, as the industry

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MAJEN’S HOT TIPS FOR TOY FAIR 2020 C  OMFORTABLE SHOES Seriously guys, you’re going to be doing a lot of walking and a lot of standing… You’ve got to do it in as much comfort as possible. Does society still hold a question mark over Crocs? SUSTENANCE - You’ve got to keep your energy up for writing all those order forms, negotiating all those deals and presenting your products to all those media types somehow. KEEPING IT LEVEL - It’s a three day show. And three long days at that. Burning out on the first night and spending the week with a hangover is a rookie move. But we’ve all learned that from experience. M  AKE TIME FOR YOURSELF - Every year, everyone wants a piece of that action. Your action! But remember, there’s so much to see and do, try and make some time to walk the show and explore a little and fit in the things you want to achieve. WHERE TO SINK A PINT - Whetting your whistle is easy to do when in good company, and the Toy Awards at Pizza Express will be filled with it. Then it’s on to the Hand & Flower...

comes together to support our charity partner KidsOut, by donating all of the toys they don’t need,” says Immink. “KidsOut works tirelessly throughout the year to bring joy to children who have escaped domestic abuse. It is fantastic that Toy Fair gets to play a part in that crucial form of outreach.” As far as hints and tips go for how to enjoy your London Toy Fair 2020, it doesn’t really stray from the usual.

“There’s all the obvious tips,” chimes Immink. “Wear comfortable shoes, make sure you remember to eat, and try not to get carried away in the evenings… these are my annual go-to hints. “But I’ll also recommend scheduling time to just wander the show floor. It’s so easy to get caught up in meetings and running from one end of the hall to the other. So make sure you have time to go for a real wander, as you never know what gems you

might find when you're doing so, and you may just uncover the next big thing.” Of course, when it comes to pints of an evening, smiles Immink, “you can’t beat the Toy Awards at Pizza Express on Tuesday evening (the opening evening of the show, and venue of the industry's awards ceremony once again this year). But that said, there’s also the Hand & Flower, opposite the Olympia, to which most of the industry tends to migrate.”

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ORGANISED BY: THE TOY FAIR British Toy & Hobby Association BTHA House 142-144 Long Lane London SE1 4BS United Kingdom Tel: +44 (0) 20 7701 7127 E-mail: Majen@btha.co.uk Web: http://www.toyfair.co.uk

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218

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STAIRS TO/FROM Cartoon GROUND FLOOR Network 1.1 Café

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220

FIRE EXIT

ROOF

4 7

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Disabled Persons Refuge Point

142-144 Long Lane London SE1 4BS United Kingdom Tel: +44 (0) 20 7701 7127 E-mail: Majen@btha.co.uk Web: http://www.toyfair.c

6.5

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21 Persons LIFT 32

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2

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FIRE EXIT STAIRS TO/FROM GROUND FLOOR

21 Person LIFT 33

21 - 23rd January 2020 THE TOY FAIR Hall Upper Level Grand British Toy & Hobby Association BTHAOlympia House ORGANISED BY:

2 GH03

5

GH04


21 - 23rd January 2020 Grand Hall Upper Level Olympia

://www.toyfair.co.uk

FIRE EXIT STAIRS TO/FROM GROUND FLOOR

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110

FIRE EQUIPMENT 93

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STAIRS TO GROUND FLOOR

FIRE EXIT

STAIRS TO GROUND FLOOR

FP HR R CO2 H20 FACP

WATER POINT Fire Point WASTE POINT Hose Reel Riser Fire Extinguisher - Carbon Dioxide Fire Extinguisher - Water Fire Alarm Call Point

W

D

Gents toilet (available only when Olympia National is in use and for events using both Grand & National) ROLLER SHUTTER DOORS BETWEEN HALLS Headroom 3.48m

Issue Number: Issue Date: Updated by: Scale:

225 19 Dec 2019 Phil N.T.S.

Unset

Feature 2

Shell

Green House

Hours allowance: 20 Hours used: 25 hrs 19 mins Hours remaining: -5 hrs 19 mins

Space

Catering

© Global Experience Specialists (GES) Floorplan subject to change

Feature

Store

Venue column

ORGANISED BY: THE TOY FAIR British Toy & Hobby Association BTHA House 142-144 Long Lane London SE1 4BS United Kingdom Tel: +44 (0) 20 7701 7127 E-mail: Majen@btha.co.uk Web: http://www.toyfair.co.uk

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Eighteen86

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Jan/Feb 2020 | toy news | 133

FIRE EXIT

ACCESS REQUIRED TO LIFT MACHINERY ROOM

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Ltd

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Coe's Bakery

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20

VENUE MANAGEMENT OFFICES DISABLED PERSONS EVACUATION POINT

FIRE EQUIPMENT

GRAND GALLERY

93 STAIRS TO GROUND FLOOR

0.5

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Kids@Play Ltd

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155

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110

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156

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FP HR R CO2 H20 FACP

W

D

Gents toilet (available only when Olympia National is in use and for events using both Grand & National)

GRAND GALLERY

ROLLER SHUTTER DOORS BETWEEN HALLS Headroom 3.48m

Unset

Feature 2

Shell

Green House

Space

Catering

Feature

Store

Venue column

21 - 23rd January 2020 Grand Hall Ground Level Olympia

22

4

B

3 7

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B70

9.5 FIRE EXIT B75

FIRE EXIT

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28.5

31.5

2.5

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6

LINK ENTRANCE ROLLER SHUTTER DOOR HEADROOM 4.20m WIDTH 5.00m

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WEST GROUND FIRE EXIT

Legler OHG small foot company C2

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Width 3.08m Headroom 2.25m

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ToyNews

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Greenhouse Stand Names GH20 GH21 GH23 GH24 GH26 GH28 GH30 GH31 GH32 GH34 GH36 GH37 GH39 GH41

Ann Williams Group, LLC Map Marketing Eurofins International Compliance Workshop Limited jumini Little Athlete Games DYNIT SRL Progressive Pre-School Magazine Source Wholesale Limited PORTRAIT card games Ltd Bureau Veritas CPS Toy World Paper Engine Limited UGears Mechanical Model

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Feature

Venue col

134 | toy news | Jan/Feb 2020

132-135 TNJanFeb 2020 ToyFair Map 1-2_FINAL.indd 116

50

5

7.04 (Ø2.99m)

15

11

42.25

215

6.5 2.5 5.5

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G66 Intertek

5

H39 G100

G

H30

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2

C4

4 16

4

7.5

2.5 2.5 5.35 GH71 GH79 FIRE EXIT 2 STAIRS TO 5 4 GALLERY ATM GH72 temp 2

3.5

E

3 22

E100

74.83

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2 30

10.5

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Coiledspring Games

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59.09

3.5

11

E120

C1

2.5 2.5 GH58 GH41

5 E140

E

1.5

2

2 6 GH06

45.21

G65

2

Depesche UK Ltd.11 8 8 G125 Big Tree Toys UK Ltd

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3.5 5

2

Lanka Kade

4

2.5

Hippychick

4 198.5

Canal Toys

42

2.5

GH28 GH18

2 53 5 GH30 GH17 2 20 5 4 GH16

2

10 Ravensburger 4 GH57

6 F90

GOODS ENTRANCE HEADROOM 4.60m WIDTH 4.70m

Winning Moves

2

5

2

6.5

8.5

10

10.5

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Bliss Distribution

6

Rainbow Designs Ltd

7

C3

80

10

GH42

5

6 GH05 3

Meeting 6 2 Room

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Petron 4

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8

119.87

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Marvin's Magic

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Gibsons

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Professor Puzzle

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10

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GreenHouse 2.5 2.5

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4

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8.5

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F101

59.83

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3.5 GH20 2.5

5

H46

6.5

4 7

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6

10

GH55 GH44

Funrise International Ltd

30

8

2.5

2.5 2.5 GH54 GH45

3

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5

13.5

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10

G101 Dolu Toy Factory

2.5

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4

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2.5

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G G122 GH04

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24.5

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GH26 GH21 0.5

Catering Services

Hall Lounge

12.5

2

2

Trends UK Ltd

Big Potato Games

3

3

H2

4

John Adams Leisure Limited

14

West Hall 11 Lounge C3 H50

7

H65

5.5

10

GH74 GH78

5

2

Lift No. 4

30

7.5

13.5

5

GH48

5

2.42

4

2

2 2 GH03 GH01

H52

0.5

49

2

5

3

2.5 2.5 GH24 GH23

Wind Designs Ltd

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20

8

2.5 2.5 GH50 GH49

5.35

Eighteen86

GH65

10

4

ACCESS REQUIRED TO LIFT MACHINERY ROOM

STAIRS UP TO GALLERY & HENLEY SUITE

8.

GH72

GH67

3.25

2.5

2

2.5 2.5 GH71 GH79

2 10.5

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2.5

4

2.5

2.5

H

GH69 7.5

2.5

3 2

John Adams Leisure Limited

14

GH70

2.5

0.5

2.5

4

STAIRS UP TO GALLERY & HENLEY SUITE

2.5

2.5

STAIRS TO GALLERY

3

LIFT 33

0.5

10.5

4

ROLLER SHUTTER DOOR HEADROOM 4.7m WIDTH 4.04m

FIRE EXIT

Extract Points Height - 4.8m

CAGE

STAIRS TO GALLERY

3

FIRE EXIT

3.5

ROLLER SHUTTER DOOR HEADROOM 4.70m WIDTH 4.38m

L GATE

BABY CHANGE

LIFT 33

FIRE EXIT

Extract Points Height - 4.8m

CAGE

10.5

0.5

K GATE

Orange Tree Toy Ltd

FIRE EXIT FIRE EXIT

11

ROLLER SHUTTER DOOR HEADROOM 4.70m WIDTH 4.38m

LIFT 32

LIFT 32

G125 Big Tree Toys UK Ltd

THE TOY FAIR British Toy & Hobby Association BTHA House K GATE FIRE 142-144 Long Lane EXIT FIRE London SE1 4BS EXIT United Kingdom Tel: +44 (0) 20 7701 7127 Eighteen86 Wind GH70 GH67 GH65 4 GH69 E-mail: Majen@btha.co.uk Web: http://www.toyfair.co.uk 2 FIRE EXIT

6.5

ry 2020 und Level

ORGANISED BY:

08/01/2020 20:00


Kids@Play Ltd

5

2

9.5

5

15

30

10

7

0.5

2

5.5

Bontempi

12

9

the Shelf

21

Spillage Kit

20

Toy Trust Coffee Lounge

4.54

2

VENUE MANAGEMENT OFFICES DISABLED PERSONS EVACUATION POINT

110

FIRE EQUIPMENT 93

UE MANAGEMENT OFFICES

FIRE EXIT

STAIRS TO GROUND FLOOR

FIRE EXIT

ED PERSONS ATION POINT

STAIRS TO GROUND FLOOR

EQUIPMENT

WATER POINT Fire Point WASTE POINT Hose Reel Riser Fire Extinguisher - Carbon Dioxide Fire Extinguisher - Water P Fire Alarm Call Point

WATER POINT Fire Point WASTE POINT Hose Reel Riser Fire Extinguisher - Carbon Dioxide Fire Extinguisher - Water Fire Alarm Call Point

FP HR R CO2 H20 FACP

W

D

Issue Number: Issue Date: Updated by: Scale:

Gents toilet (available only when Olympia National is in use and for events using both Grand & National)

W

D

ROLLER SHUTTER DOORS BETWEEN HALLS Headroom 3.48m

Issue Number: Issue Date: Updated by: Scale:

le only when n use and for nd & National)

eature 2

225 19 Dec 2019 Phil N.T.S.

reen House

Hours allowance: 20 Hours used: 25 hrs 19 mins Hours remaining: -5 hrs 19 mins

atering

© Global Experience Specialists (GES) Floorplan subject to change

225 19 Dec 2019 Phil N.T.S.

Unset

Feature 2

Shell

Green House

Hours allowance: 20 Hours used: 25 hrs 19 mins Hours remaining: -5 hrs 19 mins

Space

Catering

© Global Experience Specialists (GES) Floorplan subject to change

Feature

Store

Venue column

tore

ORGANISED BY: THE TOY FAIR British Toy & Hobby Association BTHA House 142-144 Long Lane London SE1 4BS United Kingdom Tel: +44 (0) 20 7701 7127 E-mail: Majen@btha.co.uk Web: http://www.toyfair.co.uk

BY:

FIRE EXIT

Smart Toys & Games 4

F44

F36

72

9

16

4

University Games / Paul Lamond Games

E50 16

Jumbo Games Ltd

7

E46

91

13

4

E49

3

16 16

150

ATM

D

5.5

Toys 'n' Playthings Magazine

2

30

2

2

E39

303

7.5

10

C42

18

2.5

6 LONDON ROOM

PIPES

Marbel Ltd

4.90

B50

B56 B53 3 Bassett-Lowke Zimpli Kids Ltd

3.5

B49

UL VS LTD 12.25

5

3

55

D

WATER POINT

W

WASTE POINT

D

19

108

ATM

SHADED AREAS ABOVE BASEMENTS

69.74

7

3

VISITORS ENTRANCE

E

E9

Galt

Maximum uniform load : 3.2 tonnes per square metre Maximum axle load : 12 tonnes per axle

Maximum uniform load : 0.73 tonnes per square metre Maximum axle load : 4 tonnes per axle ATM

E1

12

Maximum uniform load : 2.15 tonnes per square metre Maximum axle load : 8 tonnes per axle

GRAND & WEST HALL FLOOR LOADING INFORMATION

16.5

Melissa & Doug

8

32 40

3

4

10

8

3

36

3

143.74

12 11

5

D

3. POINT LOADING NB.41.74 This doesB40 not apply to loads over floor service or the use B35 ducts B25 35 of 119.74

2 2 10on the floor. See Notes 7 crane outriggers anywhere 3 4 & 5. 5 Maximum: 6 tonnes at2.17 a minimum of 2.0m centres between loads, 9.5 6.5 supported on a base of mild2.69 steel plate -

2

4

10

Orchard Toys Limited

5 44.74

B20

500mm x 500mm x 20mm thick.

3

5

75

6.5

B30

4. CRANE OUTRIGGERS : IMPOSED LOADING 6 Less than 9 tonnes on each outrigger, a base plate of 450mm will suffice.

5.5

35.5

15

2

55

2

LEXIBOOK 42.25

b) Vehicle wheel loading as per Note 2. c) Point loadings anywhere on duct covers should be avoided. MV Sports & Leisure Ltd If this is absolutly unavoidable, the ducts must be fully bridged using a mild steel plate of 500mm x 500mm x 20mm thick. 2.73 For loads up to 6 tonnes FIRE (13,220lbs) the point loadmust be EXITof the plate. imposed on the centre Where the point load is not centred over the duct, the 215 17 inSHUTTER bridging plate must additionally extend to at least 250mm length ROLLER DOORS BETWEEN HALLS Headroom 4.1m beyond the load point, to cross the nearest duct cover edge and so protect the floor surface.

Eat Street W14

PIPES

CABLE TRAYS

LIGHTS

LIGHTS

BUS-BAR

TYPICAL CROSS SECTION THROUGH GRAND HALL SECTION A - A

5

B FIRE EQUIPMENT

2.01

STAIRS TO GALLERY

Cloakroom

FIRE EXIT

GATE B

Ann Williams Group, LLC Map Marketing Eurofins nternational Compliance Workshop Limited umini d ittle Athlete Games DYNIT SRL Progressive Pre-School Magazine Source Wholesale Limited Production PORTRAIT card games Unset Ltd Feature 2 Bureau Veritas CPS Toy World Shell Green House Paper Engine Limited UGears Mechanical Model Catering Space

GH42 Jiminy Eco Toys GH44 K-Toyz / Educational Board Games GH45 Strategia Games GH46Issue Tianchang Number: Yihe 225 Import & Export Co., Ltd. GH48Issue Mojo Nation 19 Dec 2019 Date: Phil Board Games GH49Updated Risk by: & Rewards GH50Scale: BB Designs N.T.S. GH53Hours Miss Nella allowance: 20 GH54Hours MURO used: 25 hrs 19 mins remaining: -5 hrs Hong 19 minsKong Ltd GH55Hours Lissi Dolls & Toys GH57© Global The Toy ProjectSpecialists (GES) Experience GH58Floorplan LaQ subject to change GH62 Getretro.co.uk GH65 Ridley's Games / Petit Collage

GH67 GH69 GH70 GH71 GH72 GH74 GH78 GH79

1. UNIFORMLY DISTRIBUTED LOADING (UDL) Maximum: 32Kn per square metre 3.2 tonnes per square metre 672lbs per square foot 2. VEHICLE WHEEL LOADING Maximum: 6.0 tonnes Based on: Minimum track (axle length) of 1.8m Minimum distance between axles of 1.0m at wheel centres 3. POINT LOADING NB. This does not apply to loads over floor service ducts or the use of crane outriggers anywhere on the floor. See Notes 4 & 5. Maximum: 6 tonnes at a minimum of 2.0m centres between loads, supported on a base of mild steel plate 500mm x 500mm x 20mm thick. 4. CRANE OUTRIGGERS : IMPOSED LOADING Less than 9 tonnes on each outrigger, a base plate of 450mm will suffice.

B12

11

B18

1

THE TOY MASTER MEMBERS LOUNGE LONDON ROOM

109.71

B22

2.9

2.5

D11

Melissa & Doug

10

Hornby Hobbies

LOCATIONS APART FROM SHADED AREAS

D2

D20

8LOCATIONS APART FROM 11 SHADED AREAS 2 10

C

E2

3

8

LEGO

OLYMPIA ROOM

3

E10 12

E15

15

3

2

DISABLED ACCESS

FP HR R C02 H20 FACP

Fire Point Hose Reel Riser Fire Extinguisher - Carbon Dioxide Fire Extinguisher - Water Fire Alarm Call Point

WATER POINT

W

WASTE POINT

D

Sixteen12 Collectibles Ltd My Little World Limited OTL TECHNOLOGIES Build & Grow Co Sunipa Pictures Content Production S-c Brands Carat Shop Schaefer Toy Company

5. FLOOR SERVICE DUCTS : LOADINGS a) Uniformly distributed loading as per Note 1. b) Vehicle wheel loading as per Note 2. c) Point loadings anywhere on duct covers should be avoided. If this is absolutly unavoidable, the ducts must be fully bridged using a mild steel plate of 500mm x 500mm x 20mm thick. For loads up to 6 tonnes (13,220lbs) the point loadmust be imposed on the centre of the plate. Where the point load is not centred over the duct, the bridging plate must additionally extend to at least 250mm in length beyond the load point, to cross the nearest duct cover edge and so protect the floor surface. 6. ALL PROPOSED LOADS IN EXCESS OF THE ABOVE LIMITS All such proposals must be individually accessed by Olympia's Consulting Engineers and approved by the Local Authority Engineer before written approval can be given. Ther will be a charge for these services, to be payable by th Event Licensee.

DATUM POINTS 30m grid

6. ALL PROPOSED LOADS IN EXCESS OF THE ABOVE LIMITS All such proposals must be individually accessed by Olympia's Consulting Engineers and approved by the Local Authority Engineer before written approval can be given. Ther will be a charge for these services, to be payable by th Event Licensee.

DATUM POINTS 30m grid

Feature

48

8

3

Width 3.08m Headroom 2.25m

Fire Point Hose Reel Riser Fire Extinguisher - Carbon Dioxide Fire Extinguisher - Water Fire Alarm Call Point

F 7

3

D35

13

EQUIPMENT

FP HR R C02 H20 FACP

F1

2

7

padgett bros (a to z) ltd

12 36

4 Learning Resources

165

Maximum uniform load : 2.15 tonnes per square metre D36 Maximum axle load : 8 tonnes per axle

Artisan Espresso 5. FLOOR SERVICE DUCTS : LOADINGS Bar distributed loading as per Note 1. a) Uniformly

FIRE ROLLER SHUTTER DOOR HEADROOM 3.8m WIDTH 6.0m

FIRE EXIT

9

The Sales Partnership Ltd

20.74

B45

5

63.74

8

F15 Thames and Kosmos

E16

E21

42 Limited 2. VEHICLE 12 WHEEL LOADING 12 GALLERY LINE Maximum: 6.0 tonnes Based on: Minimum track (axle length) of 1.8m 7 Klein Ltd 7 Minimum distance between axles of 1.0m at wheel centres 6 Micro Scooters 6

2 TYPICAL 10 CROSS SECTION THROUGH GRAND HALL SECTION A - A

28.5

C GATE

LIGHTS

3

13.5

Maximum uniform load : 0.73 tonnes per square metre Maximum axle load : 4 tonnes per axle

BUS-BAR

72 119.71

9.5

12

GALLERY LINE

LIGHTS

30

8

Le Toy Van Ltd 10

90

4.5

Maximum uniform load : 3.2 tonnes per square metre

7

F10

10

9

1. UNIFORMLY DISTRIBUTED LOADING (UDL) 8 Aurora World Ltd 8 Maximum: 32Kn per square metre 6 Skyrocket 6 per square metre Toys 3.2 tonnes 672lbs per square foot 15 COBI 64 A.B.Gee of Ripley CABLE TRAYS

5.12 4.93 4.60

THE 2.06 12 Magic Box TOY MASTER MEMBERS LOUNGE B60 B70

Eat Street W14

CCESS

6

2

E35

load : 12 tonnes 11 Flair Maximum Leisureaxle Products Plc per axle

84

2.53

4.5

Fiesta Crafts Ltd

5.5

16

2

100

E20

Hippychick

C

Cheatwell Games

GRAND & WEST HALL FLOOR LOADING D34 INFORMATION

5.00 5.15

3

D2

10 10

10

8

256

56

7 8

6

E30

Tactic Games UK

16.5

35.5

Orange Tree Toy Ltd

H. Grossman Ltd

16 3

Keel Toys Ltd

32

CASDON

10 10

15

E45

VISITORS ENTRANCE

10

E1

2.5

9 4

E40

K-Play International Ltd F16

72

9

Star-Images

10

130

13

ATM E69

n Bear E

p2.9

F20

F25 24

10

SHADED AREAS ABOVE BASEMENTS

5

6

3

8

G

2

5.00 5.15

F40

8

8

4.90

56

13

Plum Play

8

7

5.12 4.93 4.60

7

16

Cartamundi UK Ltd

Room Copenhagen 4 A/S

8

10

101.45

15

9

EDUK8 Worldwide Ltd

RED ROBIN TOYS LTD

The G22 Happy 4 Puzzle Company 24

G10

95.71

12 2

ToyNews

House of Marbles

3

6

G25

H1 2.85

G20

G23 15

Interplay UK Ltd

8

8

2.53

19

3

50

5

9

5.5

E66

STAIRS DOWN TO CLOAKROOM

H

GALLERY LINE

Keycraft Global

47.74

6

4

6.5

ToyNews

E2

G30

Great Gizmos Limited

Coiledspring Games

2.5

Insect Lore

39

LEGO

OLYMPIA ROOM

7.04 (Ø2.99m)

5

9

F46

104

13

10 DKL-Beysal

E70

7

7

4 8

3

15

2 STAIRS TO/FROM GALLERY

4

8

8

127.48

16

8

13

5

EDUK8 Worldwide Ltd

87.74

11

5

3

12

H23

ATM temp

1 Wildcard 2 Games 2

Max Mindpower

Bigjigs Toys Limited

8

13

GH10

F

3

3.5

Toys 'n' Playthings Magazine

F50

27.5

9.5

3.5

4.5

5

2

H20

23.75

Fiesta Crafts Ltd

F66 30

F12

6

2

Kidicraft Ltd

GALLERY LINE

Skip Hop

10

5

4

H39

H30

Width 3.05m Headroom 3.50m

GH08

2

2.5

STAIRS TO GALLERY

4 16

Asmodee 2

8

TOBAR Group Trading Ltd

2.5

10

5

4

H36

6.5

2.5

G66 Intertek

5.5

2.5

littleCONCEPTS

1

GH07

2 2

Lanka Kade

4

H4010

Gibsons

2.5 2.5 2.5

GH06

5

8 16

2

Depesche UK Ltd.

10.5

7

4

5

10

G 4

Cartamundi UK Ltd

2.85 2

G65

2

H1 2

2

Petron 4 32

9

Marvin's Magic

6.5 1.5

6

2

H42

13.5

45.21

3

2

4.5

11

H50

10

5

GH05

1

7

H65

Trends UK Ltd

Big Potato Games

H46

49

3

2 5

3

8.

5

GH04

STAIRS DOWN TO CLOAKROOM

Lift No. 4

30

7.5

FIRE EXIT

ACCESS REQUIRED TO LIFT MACHINERY ROOM

Hunter Price International Ltd

2 2 GH03 GH01

2 2

H52

Coe's Bakery

ROLLER SHUTTER DOOR HEADROOM 4.7m WIDTH 4.04m

STAIRS UP TO GALLERY & HENLEY SUITE

ATM temp

L GATE

BABY CHANGE

GALLERY LINE

IR Association e Lane BS om 1 7127 Eighteen86 Wind Designs 4 http://www.toyfair.co.uk Ltd

Issue Number: Issue Date: Updated by: Scale:

225 19 Dec 2019 Phil N.T.S.

Unset

Feature 2

Hours allowance: 20 Hours used: 25 hrs 19 mins Hours remaining: -5 hrs 19 mins

Shell

Green House

© Global Experience Specialists (GES) Floorplan subject to change

Space

Catering

Feature

Store

Venue column

Store

Venue column

Jan/Feb 2020 | toy news | 135

132-135 TNJanFeb 2020 ToyFair Map 1-2_FINAL.indd 117

08/01/2020 20:00


8th Wonder Ltd

F110

Content Creation Zone

300

International Compliance Workshop Ltd GH24

A.B.Gee of Ripley Limited

B40

CRYSTAL ART

144

Interplay UK Ltd

Aardvark Swift Recruitment Limited GH10

The Carat Shop

GH78

Alley Cat Games

162

Alpha Group UK

B90

Andiamo! Language Services Ltd Ann Williams Group, LLC

126 GH20

Arcade1Up 430

Depesche UK Ltd. DIRECT WORLDWIDE LTD DKL - Beysal Dolu Toy Factory EasyRead Time Teacher

Aurora World Ltd

D35

EDUK8 Worldwide Ltd

Bachmann Europe

147

Epoch Making Toys

Intertek G66 The Imagination Tree & The Kindness Elves

B100

GH7

E66

Jazwares E125

G101

DYNIT SRL

E109

Asmodee UK

H50

G10

GH30 GH5 F1

jiminy eco toys

GH42

John Adams Leisure Limited

G100

Jonathan's Toys Ltd

B80

Jumbo Games Ltd

E46

B130

Jumini GH26 JURATOYS B121

Bandai UK Ltd

600

Eurofins GH23

Basic Fun K'NEX

510

The Elf on The Shelf

155

kambo handicrafts

Fiesta Crafts Ltd

D2

KAPLA 143

Bassett-Lowke B53 BB Designs

GH50

Flair Leisure Products Plc

E39

Bburago International Ltd

420

FOCO UK

GH13

Big Potato Games

H46

Funko E130

Big Tree Toys UK Ltd

G125

Funrise International Ltd

Bigjigs Toys Limited

H39

G90

Games Workshop

D109

149

Keel Toys Ltd

F10

Keycraft Global

F46

Kidicraft Ltd

H30

Kids@Play Ltd

180

KidsOut 197

Bird B99

Geomagworld 501

K-Play International Ltd

123

getretro.co.uk GH62

K-Toyz / Educational Board Games

F100

Gibsons E40

Theo Klein Ltd.

B25

Lanka Kade

H36

Bladez Toyz Bliss Distribution

Bontempi 156

E69

Golden Bear

Brainstorm Ltd

E79

Gosh Designs part(PMS Int Group plc) 654

BTHA Exhibiting Members' Lounge

205

Great Gizmos Limited

G20

Build & Grow .Co

GH71

Green Board Games

Bureau Veritas CPS

GH36

Green Elephant Trading

Button and Squirt

GH3

The Brexit Game

B95

H. Grossman Ltd

Canal Toys

F90

Halilit E90

Cartamundi UK Ltd

H1

E15 F120

James Galt

Hasbro

E9 E49 Gallery Suites

F16 GH44

LaQ GH58 GH6

Laurence King Publishing Le Toy Van Ltd

E10

Learning Resources

D36

Legler OHG small foot company

B125

LEGO B98 LEGO

Olympia Room

LEXIBOOK B18

CASDON E30

heo B75

Lissi Dolls & Toys Hong Kong Ltd

GH55

Character Options

E119

Hippychick B35

Little Athlete Games

GH28

Cheatwell Games

E20

Hornby Hobbies

B20

littleCONCEPTS G65

House Of Marbles

F40

Magformers 530

G23

Magic Box

B60

Make Time 2 Play Cafe

656

CLEMENTONI 140 Click Distribution UK Ltd

120

Hunter Price International Ltd

Cloud b

122

Ideas International Ltd

COBI B22 Coiledspring Games

E35

165

IMC Toys

E129

Map Marketing

Insect Lore

G30

Marbel Ltd

GH21 B50

136 | toy news | Jan/Feb 2020

138-139 TNJanFeb20 toyfair exhibit list_FINAL.indd 127

08/01/2020 20:01


Marvin's Magic

H65

RED ROBIN TOYS LTD

G25

Max Mindpower

H23

Redlands Distribution Ltd

GH1

Melissa & Doug

D11

Relaxation Garden

220

Melissa & Doug

D20

Revell GmbH

110

Micro Scooters

B45

Rex London

152

The Toymaster Members Lounge London Room Tianchang Yihe Import & Export Co., Ltd GH46 158

Time For Machine

MISS NELLA

GH53

RICCO TOYS

G120

TKC Sales Ltd

E99

Mojo Nation

GH48

Ridley's Games

GH65

Tobar Group Trading Ltd

F50

Mookie Toys

E131

Risk & Rewards Board Games

GH49

TOMY 520

Roma E98

Tonies B85

Moose Toys Ltd MTS Sport

210 GH4

MURO GH54 MV Sports & Leisure Ltd

B30

My Little World Limited

GH69

myFirst GH17 N Smith Packaging & Display

124

Ningbo Zuodeng Arts&Crafts Co.,Ltd. 159

Room Copenhagen A/S

F36

Toy World

Sambro International Ltd

400

ToyNews E2

S-c Brands

GH74

Toys 'n' Playthings Magazine

Schaefer Toy Company

GH79

Trends UK Ltd

Schleich UK Seekers Games Limited SES Nederland B.V.

100 GH18 102

The NPD Group

146

Siso Toys UK

Orange Tree Toy Ltd

E45

Sixteen12 Collectibles Ltd

Orchard Toys Limited

B12

Skip Hop

F66

Skyrocket Toys

C42

Smart Toys & Games

F25

OTL TECHNOLOGIES

GH70

Oxford 195 padgett bros (a to z) ltd

E16

GH37

E135 GH67

SnapDragon 200

E1 H42

Turner Media Innovations Lounge

130

TUV Rheinland

218

Ty UK Ltd

119

UGears Mechanical Model

GH41 B49

UL VS Ltd

University Games / Paul Lamond Games E50 Vivid Toy Group

B70

VR Distribution (UK) Limited

D131

Spin Master

E149

VTech/LeapFrog 500

Spin Master Cafe

B149

Warcradle Studios

145

PAPO 128

Star-Images F44

West Hall Lounge

G122

Petron H40

STC - Testing, Inspection and Certification

Wicked Vision Ltd

E100

Playmobil (UK) Ltd.

540

GH15

Wildcard Games

H20

Plum Play

F20

Strategia Games

GH45

Wilton Bradley

E89

Sunipa Pictures TOYS

GH72

Wind Designs Ltd

H52

The Source Wholesale Limited

GH32

Winning Moves

E115

Paladone 175 Paper Engine Limited

PORTRAIT card games Ltd Posh Paws International

GH39

GH34 D90

Press Office Lounge & Toy Fair's Hero Toys

Tactic Games UK

D34

320

TFTV Demo Zone

312

Professor Puzzle Progressive Pre-School Magazine The Quarto Group/SmartLab Toys Rachel Lowe Games & Puzzles

F101 GH31 150 GH16

TG0 - touch sensing plastics

D105

Wow Stuff

190

WOW TOYS

GH11

You Star Studio Kit

D100

Thames and Kosmos

F15

Zappies 105

The Happy Puzzle Company

G22

Zimpli Kids Ltd

The Insights People

202 E21

Rainbow Designs Ltd

E120

The Sales Partnership Ltd

Rainbow Eco Products Ltd

GH8

The toy project

B56

GH57

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THIS MUST BE THE PLACE… Before we leap into the thick of all the action of the London Toy Fair 2020, ToyNews takes a quick moment for some insight from the show floor to find out what this year’s exhibitors are most looking forward to…

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KAREN CLARKE, BRAND DIRECTOR, SMART TOYS AND GAMES “This will be our sixth year exhibiting at London Toy Fair and each year it becomes an even more important fixture in our strategic planning, providing the perfect kickstart to the year. We look forward to showcasing our new lines to the industry and engaging with all of the long-standing retailers that we work with, as well as meeting potential new ones. “Whether you want to magnetise the mind, or keep brains engaged – Smart Toys and Games have something on show for everyone in 2020.”

DENNIS BLACKMORE, MD AND FOUNDER, LEARNING RESOURCES “Learning Resources has exhibited at London Toy Fair for over 20 years. It’s a fantastic way to kick off the New Year. It brings together everything we love about the toy industry: the buzz, the innovation, and the chance to showcase our new toys and games to retailers, buyers and of course the media. “This year our team will present over 100 innovative products in the Early Years, Creative Play, Science, Maths, Reading, Home Learning, Coding and STEM categories.”

RENEE LEE, GLOBAL MARKETING DIRECOR, ZURU “We’re really excited to bring our newest category redefining product to market, especially following on from the phenomenal success of Boppi. What sets So Soft by Pets Alive apart from anything else on the market is the-new technology which allows for new levels of interactivity and emotional connection between the child and their robotic pet. “Robotic toys have historically lacked the true cuddle factor due to their hard, mechanical insides – we’re shaking up the sector with a truly ‘So-Soft’ pet. “I am also really excited about our partnership with One Tree Planted, as this gives us and our customers the opportunity to support sloths in a more meaningful way. The Amazon is under threat and is home to over 6 species of sloths – some of which are critically endangered – so through this new initiative we can make a difference while also informing kids and families about the need to support the Amazon rainforest.”

KATE GIBSON, MD, GIBSONS “We have attended Toy Fair almost every year since it began in 1954 and our Chairman has many fond memories of travelling down to Brighton to attend the show. Toy Fair is always the first chance for us to showcase our newest products and this year we will have brand new additions our Little Gibsons children’s range and our new game Pass the Bomb The Big One. “Having been a British company for 101 years, we feel a sense of pride when exhibiting in our capital, especially as we were once based in the West End’s Barrett Street, just a stone’s throw away from London Olympia. “Our main objective is to catch up with our customers as Toy Fair is the first opportunity for them to see our brand new puzzles, games and gifts. It is also important for us to network and we hope to meet new contacts and continue to build strong relationships for the future. We urge all to swing by our stand E40 to say hello!”

BEN HOGG, MARKETING MANAGER, ASMODEE UK “Toy Fair 2019 came at almost the exact same moment as did confirmation that Dobble had become the UK's biggestselling game, so we've grown even more fond of the show than we were already. This year, we're excited to treat it as a showcase of how we've built on that success and how we'll continue to build on it in 2020. “It's an opportunity for us to introduce the BrainBox range of educational games as a new part of our portfolio following the acquisition of Green Board Games. This makes Asmodee an even more complete one-stop shop for everything board games and sees us expand into two stands (E109 and E15) for the first time.”

BILLY LANGSWORTHY, COFOUNDER, MOJO NATION “Mojo Nation is looking forward to Toy Fair this year, where we will be meeting with designers, inventors, R&D execs, and inventor relations folks to talk about getting them involved with our array of events; be it conferences, pitching days, or networking nights. All in all, we want to ensure the best ideas don’t just stay ideas.” Jan/Feb 2020 | toy news | 139

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WHY 2020 HAS SPIN MASTER WRITTEN ALL OVER IT Its portfolio is frankly brimming with the hottest licensed and non licensed toys and games this year, as Spin Master looks to take no prisoners in its bid to stamp its presence all across 2020. Discover what the global toymaker has in store for us all this year…

SPIN MASTER

01628 535000

STAND NUMBER: E149

There’s plenty of reasons why Spin Master is looking forward to 2020, starting with the excitement of this year’s Toy Fair season. So let’s get the action started as Batman prepares to make his mark on the year giving visitors to Spin Master’s stand the chance to get up close to the real-life Batmobile used in the blockbuster movies – and don’t be surprised if the caped Crusader puts in an appearance to keep an eye on his pride and joy. The show-stopping display will take over the café area at the back of the hall for the duration of the show, all to celebrate the standout toys from Spin Master this year, including the two in one Batmobile and Batboat, deluxe 12-inch Batman Figure with Rapid Change Utility Belt, plus the new four-inch figures line which

features unique Secret Mission packaging, bringing the chance for fans to get fully immersed in the world of the Dark Knight. While at the stand, Spin Master will be sharing its plans for a full year of Caped Crusader marketing support which will include exciting events and activities to create excitement around this timeless and ever-popular superhero. Staying with the movie theme – PAW Patrol continues on its unstoppable roll with a new cinematic release. PAW Fans will step into Toy Fair fresh from the world of Adventure Bay’s latest action and adventure story and theme – Ready Race Rescue, landing in cinemas January 24th 2020. Spin Master will be supporting the release with a range of toys straight from the entertainment,

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including a new team vehicle which sees the PAW Patrol ready to race and rescue with their Mobile Pit Stop Team Vehicle. This new vehicle is equipped with everything that the pups need to race to the rescue, without stopping. That’s not all, because fans can also double the rescues with PAW Patrol’s Chase and Marshall’s Split-Second Vehicles which features two characters. These two-in-one vehicles transform into two rescue vehicles with the push of a button. Don’t miss other introductions to the toy range including Chase’s Charged up Vehicle. This deluxe transforming vehicle is packed with features like translucent light-up details, sound effects, a projectile launcher and rescue net, and it can even drive in vehicle or hover mode. The latest instalment of Mighty Pups; Charged Up will air on Nick Jr. during Easter 2020 giving further focus to the new toy range. Visitors to Toy Fair should also look out for visits by the PAW Patrol Pups on the first day of the show. Another big spring/summer launch for Spin Master can be found in the world of Uni-Verse! Set to be a hit with collectable fans, there’s a fun new way to unbox these surprise collectible unicorns hidden inside every Uni-Verse cloud. Dunk the emoji-inspired cloud in warm water and watch as it magically dissolves, changing the water’s colour, hinting at the world your Uni-Verse unicorn is from. Once the cloud dissolves, the water will even turn into a fun, slimy texture. Unwrap each bag to reveal your fabulous unicorn figure and all of its surprises and accessories, and be prepared to roll up your sleeves and get stuck in when you visit. Hatchimals fans will not be disappointed with the spring/ summer introductions. In fact, there’s so much love to go around with the beautifully designed new theme for spring. Hatchimals are Pet-Obsessed which means there’s double the hatch on offer

as each Hatchimal CollEGGtible comes with its own pet that you hatch from the printed heart alongside its Hatchimal owner. The spring/summer range will include single packs, doubles and a new Limmy Edish Glamfetti 12 pack egg Carton with six cute characters with translucent confetti-filled tummies, that every Hatchi-fan will want to get their hands on. There will also be a new series of the popular Pixies characters who - with a new theme look forward to their Summer Vacay this year. Following the successful Week of WOW in October '19, there are more Hatchimals fans than ever who will want to get their hands on this latest season. Spin Master will be supporting the launch with a full marketing campaign and influencer outreach and PR. The pet theme carries over into the newly launched Candylocks range. The sweet-scented cotton candy-haired dolls will each be packed with their very own pet that also has hair you can style in the new Doll and Pet Assortment as well as the all-new Candylocks Pet Assortment with over 20 to collect including one ultra-rare. Giving a boost to Spin Master’s arts and crafts range, Kinetic Sand enjoys two new introductions for spring, with Kinetic Sands Scents and Kinetic Sand Rainbow Mix sets. The different Kinetic Sand scented range includes Cherry Fizz, Sour Apple, Vanilla Cupcake and Chocolate Swirl which can be mixed together to create unique scent and colour combinations. At entry-level price points, these fun new introductions will give retailers a new opportunity in this popular category. Monster Jam will have another big year in 2020 with live shows in both the UK and around Europe, while new introductions to the range will include Spin Rippers and all-new colour-changing Diecast Vehicles to Reveal the Steel. Support plans will include more chances for fans to get their hands on the vehicles through experiential activities throughout the summer. Taking Bakugan gameplay to a whole other level, fans can also expect to see some early year launches including a full line of trading cards to help boost and power up battles to defeat opponents. April also brings an all-new Bakugan season: Armoured Alliance, where new BakuGear products will be featured in the Ultra and Battle Gear packs. Clappy the Monkey joins Flappy the Elephant and Flora the Bunny in GUND’s interactive plush range. Clappy is an enthusiastic monkey with two play modes. Press his left foot to play an interactive clapping game, and the right to hear the song ‘If You’re Happy and You Know It’. Clappy will be supported with TV and digital activity at key selling points across the year. Finally, with an ever-growing game and puzzle collection, a spring standout at Spin Master is the exciting new Rubik’s Perplexus. This fantastic new introduction combines the classic Rubik’s Cube and Perplexus in one amazing puzzle. With Rubik’s enjoying its 40th anniversary year, retailers can expect a robust support programme which will see a combination of Digital and Influencer marketing as Spin Master embraces the opportunity that this innovative new item delivers. There you are. Be sure to drop by the Spin Master stand this Toy Fair to catch it all in action. Jan/Feb 2020 | toy news | 141

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JOHN ADAMS: HERITAGE AND INNOVATION WILL BE COLLIDING TO GREAT EFFECT Whether you’re looking for the best performing licenses or some of the most tried, tested, and best-loved heritage brands on the games space, John Adams has a portfolio bursting with innovation this year. Swing by stand G100 to see it all

JOHN ADAMS WWW.JOHNADAMS.CO.UK

STAND NUMBER: G100

Kicking it all off for John Adams comes Gemex which magically sets from gel to gems so you can create cool, one of a kind accessories. Decorate, shine the magic light and then wear your Gemex creation in minutes. The magic formula is non-toxic and allows you to create something extra special. Next the successful Blopens range is being extended to feature new Fashion Designer, Activity Workshops, Unicorn and Fantasy themes at key price points. Blow into the Blopens and watch your drawings appear with amazing airbrush effects. Love rainbows? Try creating a world of colour with Rainbow Brush – the world’s first patented rainbow maker. The Rainbow Brush markers deliver vivid colours, which blend together. Pop open the cap of your favourite colours, snap together and draw. Alternatively, you could go dotty with Pixelo. Create colourful artwork with dotted effects. This unique electronic pen is simple to use. Just choose the marker you wish to use and insert it in your Pixelo pen, turn it on and create dot-filled pictures. Frozen II fans will be spoilt for choice with John Adams’ selection of craft kits. Make a magical My Light-Up Glitter Globe; keep your secrets safe in the Frozen II Secret Diary; make your very own Frozen themed accessories with the My Light-Up Jewellery kit and create fantastic pictures using the Frozen II Blopens Activity set. Glowpad returns with a Frozen II, starring characters from the blockbusters alongside an array of neon pens for drawing. Switch it on to

see your pictures glow and transform, with seven light settings including a colour change light show. Foodie Roos is back for Series 2, with new flavours and Food Trucks, each held in a cute Food Truck Playset, while Tweet Beats are here to rock your world. Tweet Beats love music and all have their own style and sound. Place a Tweet Beat in the tree on one of the four branches and you’ll hear music. Each Tweet Beat has its own beat, bass, melody and vocal in its own music style. By combining the Tweet Beats you can create your own songs. Following Soggy Doggy and Bank Attack, John Adams introduces the hilarious Windy Knickers, in which players help granny put her washing out in the midst of a storm. It's joined by the World Series Stare Off Official Game, the family classic Rummikub, and a 40th anniversary take on the Rubik's Cube. There's also a new brainteaser puzzle from Erno Rubik himself all at stand G100. Jan/Feb 2020 | toy news | 143

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GALT TOYS CONTACT: 0161 428 9111

STAND NUMBER: E9

Galt Toys has a fresh new look for its First Years range, while new wooden toys and classic products will be revealed, including Soft Dominoes, wooden Magnetic Farm Puzzles and Linkies. New products will sit alongside Good Toy Guide endorsed products like the Playnest, as well as the classic Ambi Toys range. The Explore and Discover range snapped up the award for Best Preschool Stem Range for 2019, proving the science kits are perfect introductions to STEM. The Giant Science Lab joins the range for 2020 – a bumper science kit that includes a lab coat and 30 experiments covering chemistry, biology and physics. For 2020, Galt Toys is revealing a range of new Horrible Science licensed kits including Mighty Magnets and Ugly Bugs plus a brand new Horrible Science Game – Germ Attack! where Germs and Scientists battle it out around the body to be the first to the heart. All Galt Toys puzzle packaging has been redesigned for 2020 and six new products join the range for children from 18 months covering sizes, colour matching, shape recognition and counting. The Construction and Active Play categories include Marble Run Reactions, where you build chain reactions for your marbles, and a new Active Play game – Hop, Skip & Jump Game where any floor turns into a giant game board. The 3 Little Pigs Game and

JUMBO GAMES

CONTACT: 01707 260436

Jumbo Games is capitalizing on the growing demand for Adult Puzzles and mindfulness with over 30 puzzles for spring/summer. In Q4 last year, Jumbo invested in its largest digital marketing campaigns to grow brand awareness and loyalty of its Falcon de

Antarctica Game join the Play and Learn category with chunky wooden playing pieces – ideal first games for two year olds. Galt Toys has a reputation in the Arts and Crafts category and is launching new kits in 2020 from ribbon weaved bracelets to baking cookies and cupcakes, and all you need for rainy day activities.

STRAND NUMBER: E46 luxe puzzles, as well as target existing puzzlers and new audiences, to try its leading puzzle brand Wasgij. Having achieved that growth during the festive period, Jumbo continues to invest in its brands with over 25 new releases for this spring/summer. New titles for Falcon include The Toy Shop, Another Day on the Farm, Owls in the Woods, and The Viaduct all in 1,000pc formats. In April, Jumbo will release a further 10 puzzles; Looking Across the River (500pc), The Quilt Shop, The Florist, and The Car Show. New for Wasgij are Calm on the Canal!, Destiny Highway Hold Up!, and Mystery 18 Grabbing a Quick Bite!, while in April you can get your hands on the new Original 34 A Piece of the Parade! and the Retro Destiny 4 The Wasgij Games! that is focused on the upcoming Olympic Games later this year. For Jumbo’s popular Jan van Haasteren puzzle brand, a leading brand in The Netherlands with a growing fanbase in the UK, Jumbo has two new 1,000pc puzzles: Cruise Ship and The Art Market both featuring van Haasteren's distinctive style and collectability.

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FIESTA CRAFTS CONTACT: 0208 804 0563

Fiesta Crafts has an array of new toys to usher in its 30th year, and building on its name, it is heavily expanding its crafts offering with a choice of kits to attract and intrigue buyers. Leading the new crafts sets are the 3D Masks. The colourful card pieces slot together to make 3D head masks or helmets for some innovative dress up. There are six masks to collect: Helmet, Soldier, T-Rex, Triceratops, Shark, and Unicorn. Fiesta has also added Unicorn, Crocodile and Lion to its hit wood and craft kits range. Children adore slotting the wooden skeleton together then squashing and moulding the coloured clays to make the body. Once set, kids can play with their own homemade toys. Look out for the Lighthouse among Fiesta Crafts' Felt Crafts kits. It’s easy to make a gorgeous room ornament with the wood and fabrics supplied in the set. There are four sets, Lighthouse, Sailing Boat, Flamingo, and Bunch of Flowers. You don’t even need glue or scissors. Supplied in a colourful gift pack the Felt Craft sets provide loads of creative fun to make and keep or even give the finished item as a gift.

SCHLEICH CONTACT: 01279 870 000

STAND: D2 Fiesta will chalk up another win with the brand new Chalkboard Books. Open the fabric cover of the Dinosaur or Fairy Chalkboard books to reveal eight pages for drawing and writing. Hidden inside is an integrated pocket that holds six liquid chalk pens. Children adore drawing and writing throughout this book and have a choice of different coloured pages. The beauty of using water-based liquid chalk pens means even with lots of energetic scribbling will generate very little dust and mess. Super easy to wipe pages (or other surfaces) clean with a damp cloth ,making it perfect for home and travel. The Maze Kraze is a total reimagining of the classic marble run toy. By using ingenious magnetic track pieces the Maze Kraze opens up so many play possibilities; solve puzzles, create loops to race against the clock or make your own marble runs on the board or on the fridge. The pieces feature clear covers so the marbles stay on course as you watch them whizz through your track. Check it out and more at Fiesta Crafts.

STAND NUMBER: BALCONY, STAND 100

Schleich’s 85th anniversary celebrations kick off with a showcase of imagination and opportunity across all collections, coming with the brand’s strongest UK marketing calendar to date. After another record breaking year, Schleich has seen impressive growth in the UK with more ambitious growth targets in sight. High profile installations are now in place in prestigious retail spaces including FAO Schwarz in Selfridges, London and Arnotts, Dublin together with Hamleys and Fenwicks. In-store presence has been echoed with a TV and digital campaign for Horse Club. Add to this impactful experiential events such as the Dublin Horse Show and it is without doubt that Schleich is entering the new decade with purpose. Big news for 2020 is that Schleich’s Dinosaurs World is also to be TV advertised; a significant move to support the introduction of the first ever playsets in this range. The Large Dino Research Station boasts a mobile crane, trapdoor, movable fencing, cannon with tranquilizer darts, and a lance for catching dinosaurs.The play

sets allow prehistory researchers to create new dinosaur scenarios with Maxx, Luis, and Flynn. Make sure you check out the fun and engaging product on Schleich’s stand at this year’s Toy Fair.

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JAZWARES

CONTACT: 0203 598 0272

STAND NUMBER: B100

Jazwares will take a lead role in YouTuber based toys at London Toy Fair with a global reveal of the brand new toy line from CKN Toys, as well as toy lines for Blippi, FGTeeV and Baby Shark. Inspired by the Australian brothers Calvin (seven) and Kaison’s (four) YouTube channel which has 13 million YouTube subscribers and over 16 million monthly UK views, Jazwares will reveal the toy line for CKN Toys, hitting shelves in March 2020. These mohawk rocking, superhero smashing content creators have a contagious enthusiasm that inspired the toy line. The range, says Jazwares, looks amazing, and is a uniquely collaborative effort between Jazwares and CKN Toys. Authenticity and imagination reign supreme across the line featuring collectable figures, vehicles, playsets, a recognisable “Smasher” and more. The toys will appear in upcoming YouTube content and the Nickelodeon series. Additionally, Jazwares will showcase the Blippi toy line which hits shelves in January 2020. Blippi

has become one of the most popular Kids Entertainment entities with over 18 million subscribers globally and over 267 million UK views in the past 12 months. The toys bring Blippi to life and amplify the humour as collectable blinds, figures, vehicles, playsets, plush, and novelties all feature. Following a strong start in the US, FGTeeV is expected to be a huge hit, with incredible early sales reads in the UK. The range hit the shelves in November '19 and the mass market in January 2020. The line is based on the popular YouTube channel, which has more than 18 million subscribers and 17 billion views to date. At the heart of the FGTeeV brand is the FV Family’s energy and enthusiasm. Video games and original characters come to life as Duddy and the kids perform skits and entertain with custom music videos. Finally, exciting developments in the Pinkfong Baby Shark portfolio come from WowWee with plush, bath toys, electronic learning toys and more.

RAVENSBURGER

CONTACT: 01869 363800

Ravensburger is going from strength to strength with over 200 new products at Toy Fair, with extensive marketing plans for 2020. Recent data demonstrated a 17 per cent growth for Ravensburger in adult puzzling and new launches for the year include items from artists such as Colin Thompson among some new names. Among those is Stuart Cox, whose contemporary style is featured in both 500 and 1000 piece formats. With 59 per cent share of the licensed puzzle market, Ravensburger’s children’s puzzle portfolio will be in the spotlight. Elmer, Ricky Zoom, Hey Duggee, The Adventures of Paddington and 44 Cats all join the company’s line-up as well as further introductions to the Julia Donaldson range. Much anticipated movies such as Trolls World Tour, Minions – The Rise of Gru along with Disney’s Raya and the Last Dragon and Disney Pixar's Soul and Onward are also among the firm's new properties. Ravensburger is delivering outstanding performance in the Games category, up 24 per cent YTD, and popular classic,

STAND NUMBER: E140

Labyrinth is reaching new heights thanks to 3D Labyrinth. This edition of the game sees players navigate the maze at different levels as they seek their treasures. Wannabe mini money moguls should look out for Big Money, while Slimy Joe challenges kids to rescue flutterbies from a carnivorous plant filled with slime. Further tabletop titles iclude the Disney Villainous collection and recent launch JAWS. Ravensburger will present Horrified, featuring Universal Studio’s classic monsters, and Minecraft: Builders & Biomes among new launches set to cement the company’s position in the category.

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VIVID

STAND NUMBER: B70 CONTACT: 01483 449944

Launching for spring 2020 and based on a series of action discs, Power Pux takes collectability and gameplay to the next level. Collect 50 different discs, which all have a unique popping action, prime them manually in your hand or use some of the dedicated launchers within the range to send your discs flying and popping in the air. Meanwhile, Vet Squad is a new introduction into the mini dolls and collectables space, building on proven play patterns of caring for animals, role-playing adventures and vehicles. The story centres around four hero vet characters who go on adventures, rescuing and caring for animals. The brand will be brought to life through a programme of content including an animated mini-series, influencer videos, toy play videos and more. The product range revolves around these characters in figure form, their collectable pets and a range of unique vehicles and playsets designed for immersion.

The Goliath Games portfolio undergoes further development in 2020. Building on a strong first year in 2019, a selection of new games will come into the range across Pre-School, Kids Action and Family Games categories. New introductions the greedy, gross hippo feeding game, Burping Bobby; the nerve rattling Rattlesnake Jake, both launch alongside Shark Bite, Gator Golf and more. Within Family Games, proven winners Wordsearch, On Your Marks, Escape Room and Sequence will be joined by new BBC Planet Earth interactive game and Unsolved Case Files for all the budding super sleuths. True to Crayola’s mess free ethos, 2020 sees the launch of an innovative solution to highly popular but highly messy glitter play. With a unique compound, Glitter Dots deliver all the sparkle, but with less of the mess, making them the perfect sparkly solution for both mums and kids. Provided in a unique packaging format, each dot is sealed to prevent drying out and with an exciting sensory appeal, just squish to create.

RAINBOW DESIGNS

CONTACT: 01329 227 300

One of Rainbow Designs’ major launches this year is the new pre-school toy range for the Paddington TV series The Adventures of Paddington designed for a whole new generation of fans, who will discover Paddington for the first time. The series is aimed at pre-schoolers and will air on Nickelodeon in the spring. The Adventures of Paddington Toy Range will launch in Autumn 2020. In anticipation of the highly-awaited Peter Rabbit 2 Movie, Rainbow Designs is launching toy formats to its successful Peter Rabbit Movie Collection. New lines will include a Peter Rabbit Clip and Go, a super soft Giant Peter Rabbit and the 18cm soft toy trio: Benjamin Bunny, Mopsy, and Peter. A further exciting new range that Rainbow will be launching at Toy Fair is the Dreamworks’ Animation TV Spirit Riding Free Collection. This fun-loving

STAND NUMBER: E120

plush range features the lead characters Spirit and his companion Lucky as well as his fellow equines Boomerang and Chica Lynda. Also on display for the first time will be a soft toy range showcasing Universal’s cult classics ET, Jaws, Jurassic Park and Back to the Future, plus family favourites Rupert, Noddy and Where’s Wally. Along with the 2019 released Dreamworks Shrek, Madagascar and Kung Fu Panda, Rainbow’s Universal collections reflect the current popularity of pop culture brands. 2020 see’s the launch of Peanuts Snoopy collections My First Snoopy and Everybody Loves Snoopy. Celebrating Snoopy’s 75th anniversary. These new ranges include infant toys and soft toys. Rainbow will also be celebrating the 40th anniversary of Spot the Dog, Usbourne's That's Not My... collection, as well as heritage licenses Winniethe-Pooh, Guess How Much I Love You, Miffy, and the Very Hungry Caterpillar, and a lot more. Jan/Feb 2020 | toy news | 149

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Join the MAZE KRAZE!! Since 1990

New

3Ways to Play

Over 20 new toys for 2020

Tel: 020 8804 0563 - sales@fiestacrafts.co.uk ®

See us at the shows: Toy Fair, D2 | Nuremburg, 1-B09 www.fiestacrafts.co.uk

Fiesta Crafts Ltd - 121 Brooker Road, Waltham Abbey. EN9 1JH 12:10


SMART TOYS AND GAMES CONTACT: 01903 885 669 - STAND NUMBER: F25

As the worldwide leader in creating multi-level logic games, Smart Games has become known for designing unique games with innovative and engaging mechanics. Jumping onto the game scene for 2020 is Froggit, Smart Toys and Games' hero toy at this year’s show. Suitable for ages six and upwards, the aim of the game is to guide your frogs across the pond and block other players from doing the same. The first player to get their frog family to the other side wins. But watch out, the fish will scare your frogs back to their starting edge. Flexible thinking, clever planning and ability to annoy your opponent required. Shooting Stars encourages players to discover the magic of logic. Can you stack the blocks to recreate the image shown? Just watch out for shooting stars. The colour of the stars change when you turn the blocks in this unique puzzle game with 80 challenges. Zigzag Puzzler is a 3D puzzle game with two playing modes. Build a pyramid on the blue side of the board or a zigzag on the white side. Contains a transparent lid for easy storage, so you can solve any of the 80 challenges on the go. Fans across the country will be delighted to learn that the bestselling IQ range is expanding again with the launch of IQArrows, offering players a whole new direction in puzzle games.

Can you place all the puzzle pieces on the gameboard and point the arrows as indicated? Watch out, because when you rotate a puzzle piece, the direction of the arrows will change. IQ Arrows is a unique travel game featuring 120 challenges, from easy to expert.

LEARNING RESOURCES

CONTACT: WWW.LEARNINGRESOURCES.CO.UK - STAND NUMBER: D36 The leading UK educational toy company Learning Resources will launch over 100 new products in January at the 2020 London Toy Fair, spanning Early Years, Creative Play, Science, Maths, Reading, Home Learning, Coding and STEM categories. The firm has become the go-to brand for screen-free and unplugged coding toys. Building on the success of the awardwinning Botley the Coding Robot (2018) and Artie 3000 (2019), Learning Resources launched Coding Critters in Q3 2019. The Coding Critters range has since won several consumer awards and received extensive coverage in high-profile UK media. In 2020, the company will launch cute new characters in the range to offer children more play options. “We offer toys that introduce coding to children as young as four through hands-on play. The new line extensions mean a wider product offering for retailers and consolidates Learning Resources’ position as a leader in coding toys,” said Learnng Resources’ head of marketing, Simon Tomlinson. Jan/Feb 2020 | toy news | 151

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FLAIR: ACTION FIGURES AND PLAYSETS A-PLENTY FOR 2020 Whether it’s the newest animated series to hit Cartoon Network for 2020, or the continued popularity of DreamWorks’ Spirit Riding Free, and of course, everything in between, Flair has a burgeoning portfolio for Toy Fair season this year

FLAIR

STAND NUMBER: E39 CONTACT: 0208 643 0320

Kicking off Flair's line-up this year, Power Players is a new action-comedy animation created by Zag which shifts between the full-scale world of lead character, Axel and his friends and family. Debuting on Cartoon Network in February, the visuals take hold when Axel crosses into the world of his toy teammates and transforms into a living action figure. Teaming up with master toy partner, Playmates Toys, Flair will launch a range inspired by the animated series including action figures at the same scale as the heroes of the series. The full range will be joined by Super Feature figures with detailed articulation and electronic elements that will bring the toys to life. The T-Force group vehicle will resemble the cartoon's jeep while Axel’s Power Bandz and Sword will encourage roleplay. The Gormiti TV series’ 2nd season, The Meka Era, comes to CITV in spring 2020 and the toy line will echo the new storylines with all new playsets, figures and accessories. The Meka are the new tribe of the island of Gorm and will be central to the new collection. Alongside additional characters to collect, playsets will depict keys locations from the episodes. The Heralds will appear in the new Ultra outfit and new Hyperbeasts will complete the set.

For roleplay, kids will be keen to embrace the Ultra Bracer; an accurate replica of the series’ accessory, and from which the Heralds summon the new Ultra Gormiti. From the Just Play portfolio comes Hairdorables and Spirit Riding Free. This spring comes the Hairmazing collection inspired by Instagram fans. Bella, Harmony, DeeDee, Noah, Willow and Kali are now available as 27cm fashion dolls with fully posable limbs and on-trend clothing. Keeping with the peel and reveal element, there are six surprises also to be found inside each pack which transforms into a catwalk after opening. The core brand will refresh with the Hairdorables Scentables collection with three themes of style to discover: Garden Party, Beach Party and Carnival Fun. Each Pack comes with 11 surprises inside and-Scented Hair to match their style. The Spirit Riding Free collection will take its adventure to the Riding Academy with the main launch this autumn. The range will reflect the story lines of the new season that sees Lucky and her friends enroll in Palomino Bluffs Riding Academy. This new theme will open up a wealth of development for the master toy collection and the roll out of all new packaging.

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UNIVERSITY GAMES

CONTACT: 0207 254 0100

From Subbuteo and Euro 2020 to magical new licenses, it is going to be a very big year for University Games, who, thanks to its merger with Paul Lamond Games over the last 12 months, lands at London Toy Fair this year with a portfolio doubled in strength. The games and puzzle experts will be launching over 70 new lines during 2020 including a number of high profile licenses. As football fever sweeps the nation this summer, University Games will relaunch the new England Subbuteo Game. The supporting media campaign will see TV spots throughout the 2020 Euros as well as TV and social media in autumn/winter. All generations will love the new re-energised Subbuteo range with greatly improved detail including players with different colour football boots and hairstyles. Following in the footsteps of the successful Game of Thrones 3D puzzles, University Games is launching a new 3D puzzle range of the buildings from one of the most magical licenses of all time, but you will have to visit the Toy Fair stand to see who will be featured. In addition, the team will introduce a series of 3D jigsaw puzzles under the National Geographic license. The highly detailed 3D puzzles, with easy to follow instructions, create beautiful replicas of famous pieces of British architecture including Big Ben, Tower Bridge and Buckingham Palace. There are also a number of fun-packed games joining the children’s portfolio this year and Yes Chef! is one that is certain to

POSH PAWS CONTACT: 01268 567317

Posh Paws is landing upon London Toy Fair this year with a wealth of new brands for retailers to explore including new Minions plush in celebration of this year’s upcoming Minions 2 movie release. 2020 marks 10 years since everyone's favourite yellow henchmen first graced our screens and now the Minions are back in Minions 2 – The Rise of Gru. Prepare to pick up where Minions left off, and watch how Gru rises through the ranks of villainy with his faithful followers. In line with the film, Posh Paws has created cute, soft and cuddly

STAND NUMBER: E50

have the whole family racing to Ding the bell. A fast, fun, unique skill and action game with the family racing to use the fun Yes Chef Turner to place the food in the correct order. There are also exciting new launches to come for the preschool sector including everyone’s favourite bedtime brand, In the Night Garden. In 2020, University Games will release product lines specifically designed for ages two years and over as a first introduction to games and puzzles, and to enhance learning through play for children.

STAND NUMBER: D90 renditions of the three main minion characters, Kevin, Bob and new to the crew, Otto. As the cuddliest and softest Minions yet, every Minions fan should have at least one. Posh Paws’ stand at the show this year (D90) will be a wealth of information on all of the firm’s upcoming launches, including lines from Universal DreamWorks’ Trolls, BBC Earth, and Pirata & Capitano. On top of this, you’ll be able to find the cool and trendy Love Hearts collection. There's plenty to see on the Posh Paws stand this Toy Fair, so visit D90 for more information or call 01268 567317 to book a stand tour at the show, and make sure you don't miss any of it.

154 | toy news | Jan/Feb 2020

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BANDAI UK: AN EVOLVING PORTFOLIO AND NEW LICENSES GALORE In late 2019, Bandai UK took on the UK distribution of the Mcfarlane Toys portfolio, tapping into the current love of pop culture and collectibles. ToyNews takes a look at just what else this staple of the toy industry has in store for us

BANDAI

STAND NUMBER: UPPER LEVEL 600 CONTACT: SALES@BANDAI.CO.UK

Bandai UK continues to evolve its portfolio and Toy Fair 2020 will see the unveiling of new licensed product, extensions to its hottest brands and some exciting new distribution ranges. A major focal point of London Toy Fair will be the showcasing of action figure brands from McFarlane Toys. With an exciting range of classic and current properties - including DC Universe, Harry Potter, and Stranger Things - McFarlane Toys enjoys strong partnerships with some of the world’s leading Gaming, TV, and Anime businesses to offer premium lines from the best of today’s pop culture scene. More film and TV ranges also feature heavily at the show, including product lines for ZAG Entertainment favourite, Miraculous, and the popular anime brand, Dragon Ball which brings mass appeal to its new range of collectable figures. Bringing a new dimension to the Saiyans and Earthlings, Bandai’s collection ranges from super-collectible figures in blind foil-bags, to poseable 6.5” Dragon Stars figures. New Action Figures, and Spin Battlers will also be introduced to further widen appeal to both adult collectors and new fans of the Dragon Ball story. The Timber Tots pre-school range brings younger children a host of outdoor scenarios and play themes through animal families and their woodland surroundings. A comprehensive range consisting of animal figures to collect and interactive playsets, hero sku is the classic Treehouse playset which boasts a retro heritage. Bringing innovation to playground crazes, Toy Fair 2020 sees Bandai UK reveal the latest Foodie Surprise expansion with the new Yolkies line. Combining edible slime with collectable surprise toys encased in mystery eggs, Yolkies captures many of the current popular trends while bringing a delicious extra and additional play value. New themed food carts and takeout boxes will be added to

the core Foodie Surprise DIY Sweet making kits to continue with the bridging of collectability and craft play. Popular with noughties children, the award-winning fashion toy Harumika gets a fresh new-look with Bandai UK. The fashion design Arts & Crafts kits include mannequin torsos, fabric, and accessories to inspire creativity and appeal to budding fashionistas. One of Bandai’s best-selling properties, Bananas, continues to grow with a wave of new series launches showcased during Toy Fair. The peelable, collectable fruits include Bananas bunches and singles with new ‘mummy’ Crushie collectible characters which correspond with ‘baby’ Crushies that can be collected from the brand-new line of Baby Bananas. There will also be new editions to the Bananas family – with all new crushies and categories. New interactive pet range, Nuzzy Luvs brings 65 unique responses of sound and movement combinations to offer a collection of cute plush characters which fit in the palm of a child’s hand. With eight styles to collect, Nuzzy Luvs respond to one

156 | toy news | Jan/Feb 2020

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another and their ‘owners’, letting you know when they feel happy, frightened, tired or simply wanting attention. Tiny Tukkins are cute, collectable, plush animal characters and families, and promote traditional play patterns of nurture, learning, and collectability. Encouraging imaginative play, packaging opens to become playsets which can be added to for creating an entire Tiny Tukkins world. Mini blind packaged play cribs include 12 animal babies to collect to expand the range and further drive their own collectability. World of Zombies is a new Bandai IP to join the company’s portfolio of collectable ranges. Humorous, collectable Zombie characters are blind packed in ‘coffins’ - available in both single and dual packs - which can be reused for storage or when in play. The figures come with swappable heads and gripping hands to hold on to objects or fellow zombies. A collector’s card and simple game are included with each of the 12 creepy characters from around the world for enhanced play. Themed playsets in the range focus on the Zombie Olympics with interactive features for children to pit their Zombies against one another across a spectrum of sports. New to the boys’ collectable and action figure categories is Pocket Titans. The Battlebot playsets have been designed to connect, collect, and combine. Each blind packaged in a Cube which doubles as a buildable battle base for extended play and to minimise waste, and contains one of the 12 collectable robots in Series 1 to construct and comes with water decals, stickers, weapon, and bio card.

Freak Lab is a brand-new addition to the Bandai portfolio. Children pour water into a chamber and then watch it fizz and bubble, revealing the bones of a freaky alien. There are six different monsters and a rare character to collect, each in a variety of colourways. Each monster collected can be combined to create a giant ‘freak’ character. There are over 24 to collect in Series 1 each with an RRP of £9.99. Meanwhile the award-winning educational line, National Geographic, is establishing its position as an evergreen, goto science range within the company’s portfolio. Bandai UK introduces a new Crystal Garden kit for S/S 2020 and new “Super Kits” will also be added to the collection later in the year with great price points for Christmas. Then comes the Squishimals/Smooshy Mushy/Froggy Party, in which six new collectible characters have been added to the squishy plush range, Squishimals, and are available at either 10cm, 20cm or 32cm. Continuing the squishy theme, Smooshy Mushy enters its seventh series for Q1 2020 with a new series of minis including a miniature Smooshy and housed in packaging that becomes a shop or role play scene. Finally, the interactive family game, Froggy Party will continue to feature heavily within the company’s games ranges, with focus on getting children up and enjoying physical activities. Everything needed to play the game is included and even has Froggy telling children what they need to do.

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FUNKO

STAND NUMBER: E130 CONTACT: WWW.FUNKO.COM

2020 is set to be another phenomenal year for Funko across EMEA, as the purveyor of popular culture looks to extend its wellknown Pop! category, as well as expand sub-brands, like Loungefly, and launch new, exciting IPs that are guaranteed to take the toy world by storm. Funko is world-renowned for keeping its finger on the pulse of trends and the ever-expanding choice of Pop! is evident of this. Launching this month in Europe, Paka Paka will be making a huge debut at both London Toy Fair and Nuremberg, paying homage to Japanese gashapon culture (toys best known as small figures available through coin operated machines in East Asia). Paka Paka is inspired by this trend and ups the ante in order to disrupt the blind bag category. Paka Paka will initially have three product lines – Soda Kats, Kawaii Village and Munchies (encapsulated in innovative dispensers) and the machines will showcase captivating digital elements, created by Funko’s in-house animation team, so watch out for these lines, they're sure to cause a stir.

While Pop! remains to be Funko’s most well-known form factor, 2020 will see a larger spotlight on other categories in the portfolio. This includes softlines such as Loungefly and its growing apparel line (new items will be unveiled at both fairs) and of course, its newest category extension, Funko Games, which debuted with the popular Funkoverse light strategy game during the run-up to Christmas 2019, with DC, Harry Potter, Rick & Morty and Golden Girl offerings all included. Both fairs will also be showcasing highly anticipated Funkoverse boardgame licenses, a delight to all gaming fanatics who have enjoyed the previous iterations, as well as the new, unannounced signature games; card games, other board games and more. Lastly, Funko Home & Gift is marking the 70th Anniversary of Cinderella with a nod to the classic Disney princess, Mickey Mouse gets a revamp with a Mickey Rainbow range and there’s Star Wars must-haves on the horizon too, plus more. To find out more, and experience the next chapter of Funko, please book appointments in advance.

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The best-selling battle is taking a turn to the darksideâ&#x20AC;Ś

Limited Edition King of Tokyo Dark Launching April 2020 To order, please email sales@coiledspring.co.uk or call 020 3301 1160


ZURU

STAND NUMBER: TOBAR F50 CONTACT: FOB GEEMAC - 01604 401 719 / DOMESTIC TOBAR - 01603 397 105 Zuru is landing at London Toy Fair with a broad portfolio of innovative launches for the year ahead, and hot off the hooves of the global phenomenon that is Pets Alive Boppi, ‘The Booty Shakin’ Llama, comes the pioneering So Soft Sloth called Cuddles. Zuru’s So Soft range from Pets Alive brings to market the world’s first soft animatronic pets. The debut plush, Cuddles, is an interactive sloth like you’ve never seen before, being soft and cuddly while boasting over 100 lifelike sounds and movements. Utilizing patented Air-Mazing technology, Zuru’s So Soft Sloth uses pressurised air to create a moving, lifelike sloth with no hard robotics. Engaging and fully interactive, Cuddles holds hands and attaches with his toes, speaks, sneezes, sings, shouts and characteristically spends time sleeping. On top of this, as part of Zuru’s ongoing commitment to creating more environmentally friendly products, the company has partnered with One Tree Planted to enable every family who purchases Cuddles to plant a tree in the Amazon rainforest. Consumers will visit sosoftpets.com and insert a “Do Good Code” found within the So Soft Sloth packaging to plant a tree. “We’re really excited to bring this category redefining product to market, especially following on from the phenomenal success of Boppi”, said Renee Lee, Zuru Global Marketing Director “What sets So Soft by Pets Alive apart from anything else on the market is the brand-new Air-mazing technology which allows for

new levels of interactivity and emotional connection between the child and their robotic pet. Robotic toys have historically lacked the true cuddle factor due to their hard, mechanical insides – we’re shaking up the sector with a truly ‘So-Soft’ pet. “I am also really excited about our partnership with One Tree Planted, as this gives us and our customers the opportunity to support sloths in a more meaningful way. The Amazon is under threat and is home to over six species of sloths – some of which are critically endangered – so through this new initiative we can make a difference while also informing kids and families."

TOBAR

STAND NUMBER: F50 CONTACT: 01603 397 105

Tobar will be bang on trend with its new Squiggle Bandz, these multi coloured bands can be worn as bracelets or knotted together, when they're not stretched they're squiggley animal shaped. Available in an assorted CDU and in neon, glitter and glow in the dark, Squiggle bandz are destined to be a playground favourite. The Rainbow range is another pocket money ‘must have’ featuring rainbows on pens, rings, hairclips, snap bands and putty – all in great packaging. Be sure to watch out for Embryonics, the new collectable fusion of alien and slime. There are six coloured eggs to collect each with one of six named aliens in three different colours. The enticing packaging has a ‘heat reveal’ sticker on the front. Each Alien has its own story and the Embryonics family will grow throughout the year, making for a great pocket money pick-up.

Atmosfear, the best selling game of the ‘90s is back, updated and fully interactive with the famous Gatekeeper more lifelike than ever. The new version is linked to an app, and can be played on the TV, tablet or mobile. For those more daring in nature, the Gatekeeper will even be joining Tobar on the stand at toy fair.

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BASIC FUN

STAND NUMBER: STAND 510 UPPER LEVEL CONTACT: TIM.IVES@BASICFUN.COM

This year’s stand is 20 per cent bigger than in 2019, allowing for additional space to showcase the company’s established brands such as K’NEX, Cutetitos and Fisher Price Classic, and to shine a light on brand new product lines that will be making their European debut at the show. Best-selling plush collectable Cutetitos has enjoyed a stellar 12 months since launch, and Basic Fun will be showcasing further iterations and new product development within the range. Launches for 2020 include the forthcoming Series 4 scented Fruititos, Series 5 Pizzitos, Babitos Ice Creamitos, and a whole lot moreitos to get a taste of on the stand. Following the announcement of Basic Fun!’s Hasbro licensing agreement in early 2019, classic toy brand Tonka returns in 2020 with new models and new ways to play. Tonka is all about tough play and the new range shows real evolution of play while building on the brand’s heritage; so metal, steel and sturdiness are all central to the toys’ designs. The range also offers exciting innovative play patterns. Hot for 2020 is the anticipated brand new Care Bears range, with the new TV show that started on Tiny Pop in April the collection offers play patterns relevant to today’s girls and nostalgic mums.

2020 sees a number of new multi-build launches added to the K'NEX portfolio and a new category perfect for the K’NEXpert kid or dads. Visit the Basic Fun! stand to see all the key launches for the coming year under this popular brand.

HALILIT

STAND NUMBER: E90 CONTACT: 01254 872454 Halilit Music introduces new packaging designs for London Toy Fair 2020, as demand for children’s musical instruments maintains its strength. Halilit’s blend of innovative design and musical quality make this global brand the go-to choice for parents, pre-schools, nurseries and specialist toddler music groups. The Halilit Baby’s 1st Birthday Band Gift Set provides an introduction to music making for little ones through a brightly coloured set that contains a selection of age appropriate instruments, including an Ocean Drum, Baby Maraca, Ring My Bell, Rainboshaker and Clip Clap. Each instrument has been specially designed for young children with easy-to-grip handles and rounded edges, with jingles and visual effects as littles ones watch the beads cascade through the Rainboshaker and Ocean Drum. The fantastic rich sounds that are produced by each instrument in this set will help baby to become more musically aware and able to recognise rhymes and songs more easily. Comes in a sturdy gift box with plastic carry handle. Jan/Feb 2020 | toy news | 161

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MARVIN’S MAGIC CONTACT: 01582849000

For over 30 years, Marvin Berglas the creator of Marvin’s Magic has been passionate about inspiring the next generation of magicians through innovative and award-winning sets. Not only does a Marvin's Magic set contain high quality props and instructions, each trick has been selected to be age appropriate, guaranteed to amaze and build confidence. Marvin’s Magic Made Easy range (six to eight years) has been updated with a new look and enhanced content, making it the best start for any budding magician. A delightful addition is ‘Marvin’s Treasured Magic Tricks’, a colourful collection of wooden props in a beautiful keepsake wooden box, while for older children (eight to adult), Marvin’s Magic presents the Ultimate Magic Collection. And it's a bold and exciting collection of its very best magic tricks. Combining a rich magical heritage with cutting edge technology, these impressive sets are beyond mind-blowing. To celebrate the 40th anniversary of the Rubik’s Cube, Marvin’s Magic has worked in collaboration with Rubik to produce an exciting new magic set based on the world-famous puzzle cube. This very special set allows you to shrink a Rubik‘s Cube, make one apparently float or melt, and even predict which colour a spectator will choose.

H GROSSMAN

CONTACT: 0141 613 2525

STAND NUMBER: H65

Along with the great magic inside each set, Marvin’s Magic introduces the second-generation Marvin’s Magic app. Available free, the app brings video instructions to every set plus a host of bonus tricks and AR illusions. You can also use the app to gain access to the Marvin’s Magic Academy, an incredible online archive of exclusive magic lessons featuring hundreds of tricks and tips from professional magicians, including Marvin himself.

STAND NUMBER: E49

Grossmans is investing further in pocket money lines for Toy Fair 2020 and beyond, as it introduces the Go Flo Bucket. A combination of the latest flowing foam, the product has a life of its own. Flowing through fingers and moving slowly, it really looks like it’s alive. The melting texture makes it irresistible to touch. Multi coloured putty in a mega pot is also on offer – retailing at under a fiver this play putty will be a great pocket money find.

Unless you were on another planet for the last decade you won’t have forgotten the phenomenally successful Loom Bands. Now HGL is bringing them back for a new generation to stretch them, knot them and knit them. Loom band gift sets will be available from £2.99 up and large sets will be available as a larger gift item. The Ozbozz brand is renowned for outdoor toys and this year the new items are aimed at the younger market. There are two new balance bikes with adjustable handles. Perfect for pre-schoolers the bikes come in two themes, dinosaur and unicorn. Sturdy and safe these balance bikes will be popular with parents and kids. Scooters have always been the mainstay of the Ozbozz range and this year sees a brand new light up scooter. The Poop Scoot has images of, you guessed it, poo, as well as wheels which light up. New for 2020 are remote control cars, with great play value these chunky vehicles are again designed to retail at a great price point – a brilliant gift to buy and for under £10 it nearly qualifies as pocket money prices. Jan/Feb 2020 | toy news | 163

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COILEDSPRING GAMES CONTACT: 020 3301 1160 - STAND NUMBER: E35 The bestselling battle for Tokyo is taking a turn to the dark side in 2020, with a Q2 release of King of Tokyo Dark. In this limitededition print run, expect new mechanics, upgraded components and a truly wicked setting for the fight to become king. This collector’s edition is not to be missed. After The Mind took the gaming industry by storm selling over one million copies, the telepathic experience continues with the launch of The Mind Extreme. Next level telepathy is required as you navigate new rules and missions in a true test of telepathy. The latest to join the Wrebbit 3D Harry Potter range is Hogsmeade: Three Broomsticks. Head inside the cosy, snowcapped inn to enjoy a taste of the sweet wizarding drink, Butterbeer. The Three Broomsticks is the place to go for good times and has welcomed countless students over the years. The popular Thomas Kinkade Disney range has expanded with three new additions: Peter Pan, Mickey Mouse and Alice in Wonderland. These 1000-piece puzzles join the top selling Beauty and the Beast and Cinderella to form a 15 strong Disney range. All jigsaws are manufactured to Schmidt’s Premium six-Star Quality. A Q4 release in 2019 saw Wolfgang Warsch produce another top seller, Taverns of Tiefenthal. Take the role of tavern host to attract

GIBSONS CONTACT: 0208 661 8866

new and wealthy guests. Which tavern expansion is best? Do you need more tables? A larger beer warehouse? Pair this with multiaward winning Quacks of Quedlinburg, the push your luck brewing game where you must brew the best concoction to prove you’re the finest miracle doctor in the land.

STAND NUMBER: E40

Gibsons has been attending London Toy Fair for over 50 years and is back to show its latest range of jigsaw puzzles and board games. Enter the lucky dip and be in with the chance of winning a discount off your order, or a cash prize when a £450 order is placed.

Piecing Together is a special collection of large piece puzzles that will be available for the first time at the show. The collection was created to provide those living with dementia, limited fine motor skills or visual impairments with a fun activity that can be enjoyed alone or with a loved one. There are 10 designs available ranging from 12-24 pieces, and the puzzles can be completed inside the box which provides a frame to work within. Gibsons is adding seven new designs to its White Logo Collection in January. With the recent wave of young adults wanting to take a ‘digital-detox’, the White Logo Collection is a range of design-led jigsaw puzzles for adults. Gibsons will also be expanding its Pass the Bomb range with Pass the Bomb - The Big One, a fast-paced, frantic-fun game for nimble fingered know-it-alls. Players must use brain power and test their skills as they take on weird and wonderful challenges. This version of the classic game Pass the Bomb provides family fun for all ages. Make sure you come along and test play the game at Toy Fair.

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ASMODEE UK CONTACT: 01420 593 593

STAND NUMBER: E109

Asmodee UK will be showing off the future of Dobble, the UK’s biggest-selling game, with a major presence at Toy Fair 2020. With the game of speedy observation now a household name, an exciting new title promises to mix up the format and provide a new way to enjoy Dobble. Dobble 360 is a mechanised spin on the game in which two cards constantly rotate, making it impossible to see both at once – players must use their powers of memory to work out which image has been repeated. Receiving a full launch at Toy Fair, this game-changing variant will provide the next level of competition for Dobble veterans and new players alike and is set to receive huge marketing support. 2020 promises to be a huge year for the Pokémon Trading Card Game (TCG), with the newly released mainline video games Pokémon Sword & Shield stirring up renewed excitement for the perennially popular franchise. At Toy Fair, visitors to the Asmodee stand will be able to preview the first TCG products to introduce the new Galar region into the card game, including the first Sword & Shield expansion set, which is to release in February, so make sure you plan in time at the show to catch that one.

Pokémon fans can look forward to cards depicting Galarian forms of existing favourites plus new characters native to the UK-inspired region, while a new Pokémon V mechanic will allow for cards that represent enormous ‘VMAX’ forms of iconic Pokémon including Snorlax, Lapras and Meowth. The new set will be accompanied by Theme Decks that offer new players an easy way to pick up the game with preconstructed decks featuring the evolutions of Sword & Shield’s adorable new starter Pokémon. Meanwhile, a spotlight will be placed upon the BrainBox range of educational games, now under the Asmodee umbrella following the acquisition of Green Board Games in 2019. Asmodee is excited to offer this successful range and follow up on the great work done by Green Board Games to establish BrainBox as one of the market’s leading sellers. It’s an opportunity to rediscover this selection of learning challenges that the whole family can enjoy together. Asmodee will also be taking the opportunity to share its revamped Party Games and Family Games ranges for 2020, which alongside the perennial Modern Classics and Quick Play titles offer best-in-class selections of the modern board-games market for different audiences. Jan/Feb 2020 | toy news | 165

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ZIMPLI KIDS CONTACT: 0845 459 1818

STAND NUMBER: B56

Zimpli Kids is back at London Toy Fair for its fourth year, bringing with it exciting new products and a raft of new licenses. Having signed with Pinkfong; creators of the viral kids' song that has taken the world by storm, Zimpli is bringing ”Baby Shark” to new waters. Not only does the product include Zimpli’s famous Gelli powder; turning bath water into a gooey underwater adventure, it will also have a 3D Baby Shark bath sticker, that floats and sticks to the surface when wet. There will be 10 3D Baby Shark stickers to collect. Zimpli Kids has also signed a worldwide deal with Pocket.Watch, to introduce new lines to the popular Ryan’s World range. Zimpli will be launching Ryan’s World Gelli Baff (Glitter Purple and Aqua Blue), Slime Baff (Green and Glitter Orange) plus some £1 foil bags. It will also launch Ryan’s World Gelli Worlds - five sachets of Gelli, an Inflatable Tray and six popular Ryan’s world figures. Of course, the hero products will be on show, and Zimpli has created a sensory corner with Gelli Baff, Slime Baff and SnoPlay tubs for visitors to explore the unique textures. In addition to this, Zimpli will be giving visitors a first look at its new Rainbow and Rocket Baff Bombz. The Rainbow Baff Bombz, in the shape of a cloud, drops into your bath to reveal a colourful

KIDICRAFT

CONTACT: 01282 505 988

rainbow effect and of course the well known bath bomb fizz. Kids can simply place the Rocket Baff Bombz into their bath and watch it take off with orange and yellow coloured flames. Now that's a piece of innovation for the bath tub.

STAND NUMBER: H30 Kidicraft has beefed up its portfolio and added a bit of muscle to its children’s and collectors puzzle range this season with the addition of a new DC Comic Batman and Superman range, bursting onto the scene in spctacular form, in Super 3D. The new 500 piece jigsaw puzzles are created using the latest Prime 3D lenses to give great depth of movement to the actionpacked images. The new launch follows the firm’s wildly successful Harry Potter range launched last year and is followed up with a complete range of Animal Planet licensed lines, too. Striking images and packaging are complimented by a new branded DC Comic Batman and Superman floor display unit. This display is available free for retailers with an order of 48 puzzles or more from the range. Kidicraft’s new puzzle collection will be on display at London Toy Fair, stand H30, and Spring Fair International Hall 5, Stand K28, so make sure you swing by while you're at the show and check out the new collections. Jan/Feb 2020 | toy news | 167

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08/01/2020 13:42


BIG POTATO

STAND NUMBER: H46 CONTACT: EMILY@BIGPOTATO.CO.UK Big Potato is back for another year at London Toy Fair, fully equipped with its brightly coloured stand and bundle of brand new party games for you to test out. This year, two games in particular will be in the spotlight — one with another well-known license, and one featuring some lovely farmyard friends. Last year, Big Potato’s blast from the past was The Blockbuster Game. This year, however, they’ve moved from movies to music with a smash-hit party game: Top of the Pops. Just like Blockbuster, this is a party game where players assemble a superstar team for a two-round showdown. Kick things off with a quick-fire buzzer battle, then race to collect an artist from all eight categories by describing, humming and kazooing them for your teammates to guess. From Blink-182 to Blondie, this game has something for absolutely everyone, and the best part is, you don’t have to be a pop culture know-it-all to play. You just need to have heard a couple of songs, be aware of a few famous bands, and be willing to test your kazoo skills in front of your friends and family. The next party game on the list is Herd Mentality, another new arrival for 2020. This is a family party game with one simple, black and white mission: write down the same answer as everyone else. The game begins with a random prompt, such as “Name the largest fruit you could fit in your mouth”, “Write down a noise an animal makes” or “Name a food with a hole in it”.

Next, everyone secretly writes down an answer. If your answer is part of the majority, you can take a friendly cow from the pen in the middle of the table and add it to your herd. But beware – not all cows are good news. If your answer is the odd one out, you'll need to pick up the Pink Cow and your herd will be worthless – until you manage to pass it on to another player. It’s a race to collect eight cows and declare yourself the farmyard champion. Easy to learn and quick to play, it works great with children and adults alike. Just be prepared – some of the answers your loved ones write down might not be what you expected.

CML

CONTACT: NARESH.PATEL@CMLPLC.COM CML is an award-winning 3PL with approved customs warehousing, specialising in multi-site, multi-channel (B2B, B2C and D2C) solutions for the UK and international markets. The firm is ideally located within the golden triangle of Magna Park Lutterworth, Leicestershire, with quick and easy access to all main transport links and major retailers’ DCs and parcel carrier networks. In fact, its location allows it to manage later cut offs and direct shipments into DCs, maximising the delivery window and reducing the order lead time – a must to meet the demands and challenges of the changing retail and consumer landscape. CML manages a full end to end supply chain solution on behalf of many high street and online retail brands, including inbound freight, custom bonded, storage, picking, pre-retailing, VAS, packing, bookings, deliveries and PODs. The business is fully supported by an integrated IT system

offering a live track and trace for all retail, wholesale and E-com orders. Don’t forget to check out the back cover of this issue, “Because every business is different." The CML team, lead by Naresh Patel, will be at Toy Fair catching up with clients and prospective partners. If you’re on the lookout for a new logistics partner, get in touch with the team today. For information or a free custom bonded review from its experts call +44 7939 234977 or email Naresh.Patel@cmlplc.com

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09/01/2020 21:54


TOMY

STAND NUMBER: UPPER LEVEL 520 CONTACT: SARAH.HENDERSON@TOMY.COM

The global toy manufacturer, TOMY will be bringing its trusted brands including Lamaze, Aquadoodle, Britains, Toomies and Drumond Park Games to Toy Fair this year with new toys being launched across the board, as well as several new brand extensions. Across the pre-school toys category, Lamaze will launch the 3-in1 Airtivity Centre, extending the life of an activity table from the time a baby starts sitting until they can stand independently, and encouraging both floor and table play. It'll also showcase the 2-in-1 Eggventure Train from Toomies, designed to grow with the child. Aquadoodle will launch the Grab n Mark Mat & Pen – designed to inspire two styles of play, while to celebrate 25 years of doodles, TOMY is bringing the original doodle bear back from the '90s and launching the 25th Anniversary Doodle Bear in the plush toys category. Reimagined for a new generation, with the compatible app, Doodle Bear Studio, encourages kids to decorate, animate and share their Doodle Bear creations. There are three new additions to the games section with Fill Your Pants, the comical game where players must race to stuff random things into their giant pants as they go, Greedy Granny in a Spin, a game of snap where players race each other to win biscuits from Granny, and a revamp of the classic Screwball Scramble 2.

CASDON

CONTACT: 01253 608428

TOMY is partnering with Peppa Pig and Entertainment One, as master toy licensee, to bring the new and popular animated show, Ricky Zoom to life with three new licensed toys from Ricky Zoom and Peppa. Lights and Sound Ricky includes an articulated front wheel for multi-directional movement, superior stability so he can stand unaided and an etched light up visor and sounds. The other toy from the show is the Ricky Zoom Speed and Stunt Playset, featuring three different ways to play. TOMY’s partnership with Peppa Pig sees the launch of the Peppa Pull & Go Pedalo, with Peppa Pig and Daddy Pig peddling across the boating bath lake.

STAND NUMBER: E30

Casdon will host a world of roleplay this Toy Fair, with continuing classic lines and favourite licenses across its portfolio of role play toys. Casdon combines pretend play with renowned household names to bring replica appliances and role play accessories to the playroom. Whether children are Little Helpers, Little Cooks or even Little Shoppers, there’s something in the Casdon collection for retailers across multiple categories. For springtime, kids can help mum and dad have that garden looking ship shape with the Flymo Lawn Mower; another exciting

replica from Casdon Toys. The Flymo features a foldable handle for easy storage and a mechanical click when the mower is on the move. It also features the iconic orange base. Continuing into 2020 is the collection of Dyson replica vacuums. The toy Dyson Cord-free Vacuum makes pretend play more realistic as the working suction picks up small bits while there's a debris compartment to empty it all out. The simulated cyclone action has moving balls in a clear cylinder, so it looks and sounds like the real thing. There are also different ways to play: short nozzle or long handled 'twist & turn' cleaning - and the attachments have an easy release removal system. This may look like the real thing, but it's perfect for Little Helper’s hands. Another classic in the range is the Hetty and Henry Household Cleaning Sets. Henry’s set in striking red and Hetty’s in pale pink feature a dustpan and brush, mop, sweeping brush and more. The line-up is completed with the Little Cooks collections, featuring a Mr Kipling Cake Stand and Morphy Richards sets. Jan/Feb 2020 | toy news | 169

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08/01/2020 13:44


ORCHARD TOYS

CONTACT: 01953 423422

Orchard Toys will be adding seven new products to its awardwinning range at Toy Fair 2020. From unicorns and sloths to woolly mammoths and llamas, the new additions offer something for all ages and interests. First Sounds Lotto is a sound game for children, designed to encourage sound recognition and observation skills. Players match sounds to pictures in this colourful lotto game and can choose whether to make the sounds themselves or to use the free Orchard Toys App to generate them. Meanwhile, Sleepy Sloths is a simple sound and action game, in which players take turns to identify familiar items and make the correct noise loud enough to wake up their sleepy sloths. Loopy Llamas is guaranteed to have children laughing as they race around the swimming pool playing board collecting patterned rings to loop onto their 3D llama characters. Prehistoric mammoths make a magnificent return in Mammoth Maths. Players race around the board solving addition and subtraction problems in a bid to be the first back to the cave, using the magic viewer to check their answers along the way. Meanwhile, First Times Tables is a fun introduction to two, five, and 10 times tables. Not only can it be used as a learning resource to introduce young children to multiplication, but it also gives

STAND NUMBER: B12

parents the tools to help teach their child. Once children have become familiar with the concept of multiplication they can play the flippin’ fun pancake themed game to put their new skills to the test. It's joined by the Times Tables Heroes and Unicorn Friends, a 50 piece jigsaw that shows a unicorn and its friends.

MAGIC BOX TOYS

CONTACT: 01403 251286

Magic Box Toys, the team behind Star Monsters, Zomlings, has announced its plans for a fifth series of SuperZings, plus the launch of new series for MojiPops. Hitting shelves on January, 24, 2020 following four successful series launches previously, SuperZings

STAND NUMBER: B60

continues to evolve for Series 5 with new additions to the lineup. SuperZings Series 5 maintains the popular ‘hero vs villain’ format of the previous series using everyday objects and food as collectable characters. SuperZings have been given Flying Powers for the new series so not only are there 80 new characters to collect as well as rare and ultra-rare finds. The great value £5 starter pack continues for Series 5 including exclusive items and a collectable keyring and the £5 Megapack is a great money saver offering four characters plus an Aerowagon. Following in the footsteps of previous series, the 2020 launch will also see an exciting toy offering as part of the line-up. Bank Assault includes a fun ‘detonating’ safe and two vehicles which can shoot weapons at any enemies. Fire Strike is a firefighter playset including vehicles, ‘fire ‘and ‘water’. The ever popular fourpack and 10-pack blister formats continue. Don't forget MojiPops! Make sure you visit the Magic Box Toys stand to discover the latest developments with this popular brand.

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09/01/2020 22:02


BRAINSTORM TOYS

CONTACT: 01200 445113

Brainstorm has not only extended its product ranges for 2020 but also its Toy Fair stand with a new larger area, allowing the cognitive-focused toy company to showcase more of its products in a more interactive environment for visitors. Among the new products on show this year is a brand new addition to the ever-popular StikBots range; StikBots MegaBots are the latest incarnation of the innovative social sharing toy, and are truly unlike any character added to the range previously. There will be three StikBot MegaBot sets showcased at Olympia: Avalanche, Knockout and Turbo. Each set includes an original StikBot figure in exclusive colourways that can be accessorised with moving parts to transform the character in four different, yet highly entertaining ways. 2020 will focus even more on sustainability in the toy sector and EUGY - which was a confirmed best-seller in 2019 - will be added to with more characters to create, as well as unique eco-friendly Point Of Sale available for retailers. The 100 per cent recyclable craft toy allows children to create a collection of different creatures and animals, and with an impulse price point and collectability element, it makes it a popular choice for parents. New for 2020 are the Sloth, Humpback Whale, Mermaid, Tricera, Turtle, Tiger, and Zebra. Next up, the Original Glowstars Company brand, which is owned by Brainstorm, features three brand new lines for 2020 giving children more chance to enjoy the glow in the dark products. The new products include Glow Pens, Glow Mermaid and Glow Dino Skeletons which allow kids to assemble three dinosaurs creating a T-Rex, Triceratops and Stegosaurus that stand at 115mm tall and of course glow in the dark. Every year, the brains behind Brainstorm Toys introduce more unique products to its portfolio and 2020 is no exception, this time with the addition of the Light- Up & Glow Astronaut, a cute nightlight that can be hung on a door on placed on a bedside table. The cool astronaut stands at 150mm tall with realistic styling making it the perfect addition to a space fan's bedroom. With a 60 minute auto-shut off, the astronaut also glows in the dark once the light goes off, leaving a comforting glow. Fairies are always in fashion and My Very Own Fairy Jar is a beautiful interactive toy that brings a fairyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s world to life with light and sound. Place the enchanted forest background in your jar and decorate with pretty flowers and accessories including a toadstool, acorn and of course an adorable fairy. Sprinkle with eco-fairy dust and make a magic wish. The set includes a letter to your fairy and five charming mini notes and envelopes. At bedtime, the colour changing LED turns the fairy jar into a magical nightlight. It also features a secret sparkling sound key which can be used to unlock fun fairy activities online.

STAND NUMBER: E79

Brainstorm is renowned for its educational products that inspire children to discover more about the world around them in a fun and engaging way. New to Brainstormâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Outdoor Adventure range for 2020 are the compact Monocular and Monocular Mini, perfect for little hands to hold and ideal for exploring and encouraging a sense of wonder in children.. A brand new Microscope is also added alongside My First Telescope, designed to engage little ones with easy to use featureswhile having all the benefits of a telescope. Jan/Feb 2020 | toy news | 171

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08/01/2020 13:45


HORNBY HOBBIES CONTACT: 01843 233500

2020 will see Hornby reach a milestone as it celebrates its 100th anniversary, and it is ready to do so with a bang. To mark the occasion, there will be a whole host of exciting marketing activities, including a golden ticket campaign, a Hornby ‘Memories’ blog, including interviews with some of Hornby’s most dedicated customers, as well as a ‘Trip Down Memory Lane’ with some of Hornby’s longest-standing staff members. The excitement does not end there. Pulling the anniversary together and the whole 100 year anniversary campaign will be the ‘Lifetime’s Journey’, a short film, showing a boy turning into a man and the various stages that he goes through in his life, all linking back to the love he has for his Hornby trains. Meanwhile, Scalextric has gone and announced the next generation of Scalextric Spark Plug, in a completely new app reskin featuring the characters from DC Comics Batman. This will feature in the Batman vs Joker set that is controllable by IOS or Android smart device. The set will include two Spark Plug dongles, a Joker Car, a Batman Car plus and an exciting track layout including a jump, crossroads and side swipe, creating your very own superhero must have Scalextric set for 2020. Enhance your gameplay even more by restricting your opponent or supercharging your car in Versus Mode, and personalise your race by playing as your favourite hero or villain from the Batman franchise, or become your favourite character by adding a series of filters to your photo. For the younger fans there are a series of new Micro Scalextric sets including: YouTube sensation Ryan’s World, James Bond and Batman vs Joker. Each set features over four metres of track with nine layouts, including a loop-the-loop and half pipe, plus, new track packs so kids can build on their 1:64 Micro Scalextric layout.

STAND NUMBER: B20

To mark the 35th anniversary of the first Back to the Future Film, Scalextric will be releasing a brand-new DeLorean, which comes complete with a working Flux capacitor light. Corgi will also be releasing a die-cast version of the vehicle in 1:36 scale. Next up, Airfix will be releasing a range of licensed Tog Gun products in time for the launch of the new film. These include the famous Tomcat, ‘Mig’ and Skyhawk aircraft from the original film, and the P-51D Mustang and F-18 Hornet, both flown by Maverick, played by Tom Cruise. Meanwhile, the new Airfix Beginners Set is designed to allow youngsters from eight years up to be able to build their first kit. With fewer parts and less complication, the beginner can create a perfect replica of the iconic Spitfire or Red Arrows Hawk, and after having fun painting it, can place it on the specially designed stand where it can be posed mid-flight and proudly displayed for all to see and admire the handy-work. The models are also suitable for free play once built, while the range also includes two tanks, each of which come with rotating turrets and easy build tracks. The kits are billed as a great way for young fans to start their lifetime Airfix modelling career. Airfix Quickbuild is expanding fast and appears with a new look this year. The Jaguar I Pace is the first release and is available in January, with other exciting cars and aircraft arriving throughout the whole year. Finally, the choice of Corgi Chunkies expands early in 2020. This superb pre-school range, arriving with its high level of diecast, makes for super-tough and long-lasting play, plus the Corgi range as a whole has some fantastic additions to satisfy any fans of James Bond, Mr Bean, Back-to-the-Future and many other of those most revered pop culture icons.

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08/01/2020 13:46


WILTON BRADLEY CONTACT: 01626 835400

Wilton Bradley is excited to be showcasing its newest toy releases at both the Nuremberg and London Toy Fairs, as well as Spring Fair this year. An exciting product for the team for 2020 is its newly announced partnership with Nadiya Hussain, creating a range of baking and cooking sets created for kids who enjoy the kitchen. Evolving best-selling launches from Xootz this year sees the addition of the award-winning Typhoon Power Drift Trike. The Typhoon Power Drift Trike was created using in house tooling and 3D design, evolving the Viper design and colourway. With an impressive run time of 60 minutes and max speed of 16km/h this impressive, unique ride on provides endless outdoor fun. Wilton Bradley’s award-winning Xootz bubble scooter is a unique concept and has seen great success so far, especially after winning Gold in the the Made for Mum’s awards. Add bubble solution to the bubble machine and watch the bubbles blast. Another range being showcased throughout this year’s Toy Fair season will be the electric ride-on brand, Vroom featuring a host of new electric ride-on releases for the year.

STAND NUMBER: E89

The Mi-Mic range has attracted lots of attention at previous Nuremberg shows, and this year these innovative karaoke microphones allow users to connect to a phone or tablet via Bluetooth and sing along. The Mi Mic range has something for all singing enthusiasts. The award-winning Mi Mic Karaoke Disco Cube Speaker allows kids to create their own karaoke disco in their own home, this year sees a mini edition added to the range. Crafts is a recent category addition to the Wilton Bradley portfolio, and this year will see the introduction of the sub-brand Made It, which includes the collection of craft Yarn Animals that encourage kids to express their imaginative and creative side. New to Made It for 2020 is the range of marbling kits. Three kits including a photo frame, a canvas and a paint kit give kids complete control to create their own unique designs. Finally, Wilton Bradley’s licensed products with Volkswagen will also be showcased at the Nuremburg Toy Fair including the Kids Pop Up Play Tent which is based on the original T1 camper van, the most iconic van of all time. Check all of this out and more at the Wilton Bradley stand this year. Jan/Feb 2020 | toy news | 173

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09/01/2020 22:04


LE TOY VAN

CONTACT: 0208 9792036

STAND NUMBER: E10

2020 is a special year for the team at Le Toy Van, as it will be celebrating its 25th anniversary. Georges Le Van founded Le Toy Van back in 1995 in Surrey. Today his son Steven is at the helm, keeping it a friendly family company. To celebrate this major milestone, Le Toy Van has designed with love - bespoke pieces and elevated its traditional wooden toys whilst keeping them quintessentially Le Toy Van. One product release the firm is particularly excited about is the Royal Express, a 180-piece wooden train set complete with an extensive array of features including a Ferris wheel, buildings, bridges, boats, a train station and various outdoor elements. The wooden set is complete with two connectable trains, tracks and a whole host of accessories. At Le Toy Van, the team is a collective of strong advocates of creative, imaginative play; and a product it believes really inspires this is its Showtime Puppet Theatre. The wooden puppet theatre has many features little ones will love to discover including a live and interval sign, a stage door, three different scenario windows, three different stage curtains and two chalkboards. To complete the performing package is the Hollywood Film Camera. This unique camera perfectly complements the Showtime Puppet Theatre, with matching styles and gold patterned detailing. The camera has enough play factor to stand alone as an engaging toy - not only does it encourage fun, social play, it will also stimulate senses with the moving kaleidoscope lens and improve dexterity with spinning cogs feature.

Le Toy Van wants its toys to be truly treasured and one day passed down to future generations. The Pull Along Wagon is made from robust sustainable wood with a charming vintage design that caters to a range of heights. This product is designed to grow with your child while remaining a timeless traditional toy. Le Toy Van also believes its toys reflect the direction it is heading towards as a company. This year, many of its new products are 100 per cent plastic free, including the Pull Along Wagon, Star Beauty Bag, Africa Stacker, Market Crates, Sweets & Candy Set, Building Blocks & Showtime Puppet Theatre. “We’ve challenged ourselves to continue striving towards our plastic free ambition through sustainable practices, whilst producing toys of a quality and design more luxurious than ever before with flourishes of gold paint throughout,” said the firm. “To achieve our plastic free ambition, we’ve been targeting single use plastic as a priority and have already removed a large number of plastic inserts from our packaging, moving towards recyclable and compostable cardboard boxes. We aim to have 100 per cent plastic free packaging by 2021.” It can take 18 months for the company’s in-house big kids to develop a Le Toy Van toy, so it goes without saying that the team is excited to share its new products and help you discover what else it has in store for the future. If you're visiting London's Olympia this year, then make sure you explore Le Toy Van’s 2020 release of traditional wooden toys at London Toy Fair - Stand E10.

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08/01/2020 13:48


TRENDS UK

CONTACT: 01295 768078

STAND NUMBER: H42

Trends UK and Wind Designs are looking at an exciting 2020 introducing new licensed ELAs and brands at UK Toy Fair. To start us off, Trends UK is expanding its popular ELA range with pre-school licences Hey Duggee, PAW Patrol, and Paddington. In early spring the new Hey Duggee Flip & Learn Phone (£10.99) and Smart Tablet (£17.99), invite young learners to develop skills, while for autumn PAW Patrol ELAs will launch with a PAW Patrol Smart Phone (£10.99), Ryder’s Alphabet Pad (£17.99), and Count with Marshall (£19.99). Then The Adventures of Paddington will introduce the lovable bear to a new generation, just as Trends introduces a range of ELAs starting with a paw-shaped Paddington Paw Pad (£12.99) in autumn with further items to follow. Following the success of Count With Peppa the new Peppa’s Phonic Alphabet (£19.99 AW20), introduces interactive learning about letters, spelling early words phonetically plus numbers and colours, while a Mr Tumble Flip Up Phone (£10.99 AW20) is also joining the Something Special line-up. Elsewhere, Paint Sticks Paint-A-Puzzle (£14.99 SS20) is a new way to get creative with the award-winning Paint Sticks, while young artists can unleash creativity anywhere with the doublesided Paint Sticks Mini Art Station (£19.99 SS20).

INTERPLAY

CONTACT: 01628 488944

Kids can battle it out in street style with the new Nerf X BUNKR Competition Pack (£39.99 SS20) and create a Battle Zone with four pieces of inflatable urban obstacles: Road Barrier, Tyre Stack, Wood Crate and Waste Barrel. Large enough to take cover behind, the inflatables have ammo caches and a stability system for outdoor play. They also include BUNKR Game Cards to extend game play.

STAND NUMBER: G10

There's predicted growth for Interplay UK, fuelled by new product developments and introductions, taking the company into new categories for 2020. Interplay will be promoting the best-selling My Fairy Garden range with fresh new marketing approach designed to enhance

year-round business potential. Introducing new 3D animation for TVC, an influencer programme to build awareness, sponsorship programmes and YouTube advertising, combined with high-level PR activity and strong retail presence, Interplay will be executing extensive plans to promote the popular brand to consumers. The evergreen My Fairy Garden brand will deliver new grow and play patterns as well as new price points that appeal to the collectable pocket money and impulse purchase market. It will be led by the Flower Bed Babies, an innovative way of growing plants. They have flower petals made out of plantable seed papers and baby fairies, enclosed in a flower petal bed. A Fairy Teacup Garden will also appeal to the collectable market. For AW, a new Fairy Nursery alongside a refreshed Unicorn Garden play-set with a detailed caravan. Elsewhere, Interplay has announced the FabLab brand, featuring on-trend products, sustainable components and re-styled products alongside new lines from Fuzzikins and Face Paintoos. Jan/Feb 2020 | toy news | 175

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08/01/2020 13:50


REVELL

STAND NUMBER: GALLERY 10 CONTACT: 01296 660 291

A new year and new decade will see Revell at London Toy Fair 2020, showcasing all that’s best in pre-school, toy, hobby, 3D puzzle, RC and advent calendars, with something for all ages. Pre-school RC brand Revellino introduces its first license with The Family Car and characters from Peppa Pig. Revell 3D Puzzle offers a wide assortment of buildings, vehicles and ships, with the introduction in 2020 of licensed Tour Trucks. The Revell plastic model kit range is arranged into five different skill levels from preschool to enthusiast, and features leading licenses including Super Wings, Top Gun, Star Wars™, Star Trek, plus many more. Revell Control offers a wide selection of radio controlled vehicles, helicopters, drones and boats suitable for all age groups. Junior Kit and Radio Control format Advent Calendars combine easy building in the run up to Christmas with play on the day. The award-winning Revell Junior Kit range includes vehicles and concepts to inspire young minds. These easy-to-assemble toys combine vehicles, articulated figures, playset buildings with accessories and characters from the pre-school TV show Super Wings to stimulate kids' imaginations. Parts are connected using plastic screws and a patented child-friendly screwdriver that prevents overtightening. Stickers are provided for decoration. 2020 sees the expansion of Radio Control and Pull Back Action cars into the range.

Staying with buildable toys and requiring no glue to assemble or paint to finish, the Build & Play range for ages six and upwards include popular cars, aircraft, and even Star Wars subjects with included light and sound. For those interested in building their first display models, the Easy-Click range for ages 10 up require no glue or paint to complete, and include self-adhesive stickers and waterslide decals, enabling the builder to decide on the complexity of their finished display piece. The Revell plastic model kit brand continues to offer a multitude of subjects in all genres for established modellers and newcomers to the hobby alike, plus the glues, paints and other accessories to complete them. 2020 will see subjects from hotly anticipated movie Top Gun: Maverick and a brand new tool in 1:24 scale of the E-Type Jaguar Coupe, referred to by Enzo Ferrari as ‘the most beautiful car in the world’. For Star Wars fans, we’ll also be celebrating the 40th anniversary of The Empire Strikes Back. The Revell Technik range will grow to include the iconic Spitfire and R.M.S. Titanic. Designed for more experienced modellers, these combine classic Revell kit releases with state-of-the-art electronics, including working lights and sound, for unparalleled scale realism.

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09/01/2020 21:57


Appointments

Industry moves This month, The Insights People has taken in a suite of five new experts, Ravensburger means business with a makes a triple hire, LEGO looks for a new chief digital officer, and Rainbow Designs bids a fond farewell to an industry stalwart THE LEGO GROUP

THE INSIGHTS PEOPLE The kids, parents and family market intelligence unit has expanded its team yet again, with the appointment of five members to its research and technical departments. SARAH RIDING will join as trend and research director, and will lead the company’s research and development strategy and direction. The company has also brought in HANNAH CARLEY as research manager, who will sit in their expanding research and trends team, supporting bespoke techniques to meet defined client’s business objectives; and BETHANY BLEATHMAN as research executive, who will be assisting in writing in-depth insightled reports. ANNE KELLY, who previously held account management roles in Venn and MediaCom, joins as account director. MARK ARMSTRONG joins as principal developer after playing an instrumental role in the development of the new portal which launched late last year.

LEGO’s chief digital officer, JEANJACQUES VAN OOSTEN has left his role with the Danish toymaker to take up a new position with the retail group, Kingfisher. Van Oosten joined as the company’s chief digital officer in April last year. Eight months into the role, he has now made the decision to return to Kingfisher, having previously held positions with the group between 2005 and 2008. Van Oosten will take on a new role at Kingfisher – the retail group that owns B&Q and Screwfix – as chief customer and digital officer. RAINBOW DESIGNS

Rainbow Designs is bidding a fond farewell to its longest serving team member, RICHARD LONGMATE, who has announced his departure, after nearly four decades with the company. Longmate joined Rainbow Designs on TN-NOV19-AARDVARK STRIP.qxp_Layout 1 19/11/2019July 14:39 Page 1 has spent nearly 40 1 1980 and

years supporting independent retailers in the East Anglia area. Starting under the leadership of the firm’s former owner, Mike Mutters, he has been part of the fabric of the business. Described as a dedicated sales agent, Longmate has always been a strong and reliable member of the sales team, and his passion for Rainbow, cricket and red wine, will be greatly missed. RAVENSBURGER UK

Ravensburger has bolstered both its sales and marketing units with a slate of new appointments. ANNE KIDGELL has joined the sales team as National Account Manager, re-joining the toy industry after an 11 year hiatus spent in the confectionery industry. Reinforcing the marketing team, HAYLEY HOLLAND joins Ravensburger as marketing and product development assistant, while PAULA HADDY takes on the role of customer services advisor in time for the New Year.

Toys & Licensing Recruitment

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09/01/2020 21:59


Bossing it

Bossing it… with Rachel Lowe Each month, ToyNews picks on an industry personality to put through the ringer with often too personal questions. This month, we chat with board game designer, Rachel Lowe MBE

H

ello Rachel, welcome to Bossing It. Where did your board game journey all begin? It started when I was working as a part time taxi driver to pay my way through university in 2002. I was on a shift one night when I stopped at some traffic lights thought; “Red light – Miss a turn.” That is where it all began. I imagined my taxi being a miniature playing piece on a board and the aim of the game would be to collect as many fares as possible. This game became known as Destination. I started with Destination London and Destination Portsmouth which I launched in 2004 and went on to create over 30 editions including games for Harry Potter, Disney Pixar, London 2012 Olympic Games and Downton Abbey.

work with their style guides to create product in keeping with their branding and it is exciting to see the finished product with my company logo on it for such big brands.

OK then, what’s your secret - how do you tap into your creativity? Well, I love watching TV so that helps! So a good TV series or movie that can translate into a board game is a good place to start. I have to admit to binge watching to get familiar with story lines. Then I sketch out ideas and board layouts. I have certain elements that I will always try and include to make a game work. I then work with designers to take it through the next stage of the creative process.

What has been the proudest moment of your career so far? My proudest moment will always be achieving the Number One position in Hamley’s of London with my first board game Destination London. It was my first big achievement in the Toy Industry and will always be a magical memory.

What’s more rewarding, the development of licensed titles, or cooking up your own? Having your own IP is definitely rewarding but working with huge corporations such as Sony Consumer Products and WWE to develop products for them is massively exciting. We

Was there a moment that put you on course for this life in the games industry? A strong memory of mine was in my art class at school when I was 15 years old. Our teacher Mr Wylie gave us a board game project to do and I remember creating a board game about gardening which I loved working on. Mr Wylie told me a story about someone who created a game and it got manufactured. I think it had a castle in it. I thought it was the coolest thing ever but never imagined I would one day be creating and retailing my own board games.

Being where you are now, what piece of advice would you give to your younger self? Oh my, there are so many things I would tell my younger self. But hindsight is something that doesn’t actually change anything and I am proud of everything I have achieved, even my mistakes because I learned so much from all of it. Everything I do now is based on all of my years of experience and learning which is a priceless thing to keep a hold of.

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