Issuu on Google+

01 TN88_final

14/11/08

13:24

Page 1

Issue 88

The toy industry’s highest circulation trade title Exclusive media partner

INSIDE…

THE GOGO TEAM GoGo’s Crazy Bones supplier Magic Box talks to ToyNews

POCKET MONEY PICKS Products that could soon be the talk of the playground

UNOPPOSABLE THUMB Animation Collective’s Thumb Wrestling brand launches

NEWS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .4 EXCLUSIVE NPD DATA . . .10 EDITORIAL PLANNER . . . .14 LICENSING . . . . . . . . . . . . .27 RETAIL . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .49 HIGH STREET . . . . . . . . . . .52 NEW PRODUCTS . . . . . . . .54 TOYTALK . . . . . . . . . . . . . .66

www.toynewsmag.com

December 2008


02 TN88_final

11/11/08

16:10

Page 1


03 TN88_final

14/11/08

17:40

Page 1

Contents Ronnie Dungan Editor

REGULARS

Ronnie.Dungan@intentmedia.co.uk

4

News

7

Online

8

Campaign of the month

10

Exclusive NPD analysis

12

TV ad spend

14

Editorial planner

15

Samantha Loveday Licensing Editor Samantha.loveday@intentmedia.co.uk

Katie Roberts Staff Writer katie.roberts@intentmedia.co.uk

RECESSION PROOF?

Adrian Miles Advertising Manager

Events

Adrian.Miles@intentmedia.co.uk

16

Appointments Dan Bennett Design

LICENSING

Dan.Bennett@intentmedia.co.uk

28

News

30

Thumb Wrestling Federation

Jon Salisbury Editorial Consultant jon@wotkidzwant.com

Lisa Foster Managing Editor

FEATURES

Lisa.Foster@intentmedia.co.uk

19

GoGo’s Crazy Bones

21

Toyzeria show review

23

Growing in the Greenhouse

33

Playground crazes

42

Industry services

Stuart Dinsey Publisher Stuart.Dinsey@intentmedia.co.uk

Editorial: 01992 535646 Advertising: 01992 535647

RETAIL 49

Retail News

50

Lutz Muller

52

High Street

53

Retail charts

54

New products

55

Hero Product

66

Toy Talk

COMMENT

Intent Media is a member of the Periodical Publishers Associations

AUDITED CIRCULATION: Average Net Circulation: 6,069 July 1st 2007 to June 30th 2008. www.toynewsmag.com â–  ToyNews circulation is 25.5% higher than its closest competitor. â–  ToyNews requested or paid for circulation is 52.3% higher than its closest competitor. â–  ToyNews has 100% named circulation and 0% duplication.

-::>? D:@= (

.3=4>?8,> B4?3

I GUESS we will find out after Christmas whether the toy industry is as recession proof as it has often been billed. I dare say the industry will fare better than some other sectors as the recession bites harder but it’s precisely this reputation as a recessionbeating product that could be detrimental to the market. Some of the major retailers have already started using toys as a loss-leader to try and increase footfall. Nothing entirely new in that, as it has always been the case with certain lines, but when some are selling toys below cost it doesn’t do anyone in the sector any favours. And it does show that perhaps no-one is fireproof when consumers are forced into tightening their purse strings.

Selling toys below cost doesn’t do anyone any favours. Elsewhere, the trade is continuing to think hard about where (and even if) it spends its trade show budget. Tomy has pulled out of Toy Fair, likewise Drumond Park, while Halsall has stayed but has taken a showroom at Nuremberg. But in a year when the ridiculously tight show calendar has played havoc with its plans, recession and tough competition from Nuremberg and Spring Fair it is still a remarkably strong show line-up that will be at ExCeL in January. There are still some hard decisions to come for Toy Fair, but if it can marry the level of affection many have for the event with a practical trade solution it can continue to be a vital event for the UK trade. Ronnie Dungan ronnie.dungan@intentmedia.co.uk

8[cQ^ /<@_ `TMZ

4UST [Z ^QMOT

`QXQbU_U[Z ÂŻ [R`QZ

ÂŻ #  ^QMPQ^_

XQ__ `TMZ TMXR `TQ \^UOQ QbQ^e cQQW

(

(

8[c [Z OXa``Q^ ÂŻ

2[Oa_ [Z N[e_

a_aMX MPbQ^`U_UZS ÂŻ [bQ^ " [R

QPU`[^UMX ^M`U[ [R !$! ^QMPQ^_ MSQP #

(

1:= 8:=0 491: .:9?,.?%

?30 9:  1::?-,77 8,2,E490

PMbQQXXU[``,NMaQ^YQPUMO[aW [^ `QXQ\T[ZQ& # "$!$


04-05 TN88_final

4

14/11/08

18:15

Page 1

NEWS

Hasbro Ireland bolsters business ● Games manufacturer modernises facility ● Marketing spend increased ● Website set to be relaunched in 2009... by Katie Roberts

Suppliers shuffle their show plans

HASBRO IRELAND has invested in new equipment and automation in its factories in Waterford, improving the services it offers to the toy industry. The firm, which has manufactured for non-Hasbro companies for over ten years, is also increasing its marketing budget and re-launching its website, www.hasbro.ie, to raise awareness of the business.

We are the biggest games manufacturer in Europe with 30 years in the business. Aside from manufacturing, the company also offers shipping and logistics services and partners with its customers on development, providing a ‘one-stop-shop’ for clients. Business development manager, Stephen Lennon explained: “We are the biggest games manufacturer in Europe with over 30 years in the business. We work with small and large publishers within the industry, who can leverage all the advantages

of working with a large company, together with a team that pays close

attention to their business needs.” Hasbro Ireland: +353 51 331100

MEGA BRANDS BOOSTS TV PLANS MEGA BRANDS has announced a TV sponsorship deal to promote its Mega Bloks Christmas range with new digital channel, kiX! The new channel targets boys aged seven to 11 with an interest in action, music and extreme sports. Mega Brands will sponsor the core viewing hours of breakfast, after-school and weekends. 1,120 TV spots will broadcast throughout November including cross promotion on other CSC Media Group channels. The campaign will feature 70 and 30-second trailers, plus five

DECEMBER 2008

and ten-second break bumpers. Alongside this there are three week-long competitions, each focused on key brands. The kiX! sponsorship and competitions will promote iCoaster, the MagNext range and Struxx. Grant Timms, marketing controller for Mega Bloks, commented: “This is an exciting opportunity for the firm and an excellent chance for us to showcase our growing boy’s portfolio. We know that the kiX! Sponsorship will build brand awareness with our key demographic.” Mega Brands: 01844 350033

TOMY AND Halsall have both announced that they are taking permanent showrooms at the Nuremburg Messe exhibition centre, as many suppliers re-align their trade show plans. The spaces will be used for presentations and previews and will host the firms’ presence at the Nuremburg Toy Fair 2009. As part of its new preview strategy, Tomy has taken the decision not to exhibit at the January 2009 Toy Fair in London, although Halsall will still attend. Drumond Park has also announced it will not attend in 2009. Robert Mann, CEO of Tomy, said: “Tomy has a strong product line-up for 2009 and is committed to showcasing the range to its best advantage. We believe this is better achieved on a one to one basis with our customers. We are focussing on the 2009 preview season with showroom presentations in Sutton through November and December.” Halsall MD John Hutt commented: “Strategically this is a significant move for the company as we continue to expand international business. Halsall’s investment into this fantastic, permanent showroom space in the Nuremberg Messe affirms the company’s commitment to its international growth strategy.”


04-05 TN88_final

14/11/08

18:15

Page 2

NEWS

www.toynewsmag.com

Trade mulls over Chinese changes

5

All change at Upper Deck

Toy firms may be forced to source new manufacturers as the economic situation worsens in China… by Katie Roberts OVER THE last two months the country once know as ‘the world’s factory floor’ has reported a decreasing export growth and a growing number of businesses closing their doors. The pressures faced in China include rising labour costs, increasing prices of raw materials and the appreciation of the Chinese currency, combined with a downturn in demand from countries hit by the economic crisis. Mattel’s general manager, David Allmark, said: “The environment for costing has changed dramatically over the last 18 months. [Factory] closures in general have not singularly impacted the cost structure, but it is a component of an ever changing status.” Others are also seeing increased costs and Nick Austin, MD of Vivid Imaginations, commented: “There is a real possibility that reduced competition between Chinese vendors could lead to another round of cost increases or even worse, capacity shortage.” If further price increases materialise, many firms are preparing themselves to source alternative

ALLMARK (LEFT): “The environment for costing has changed dramatically.”; BROWN: “Retailers will have to brace themselves for significant price changes.”

manufacturing services. Imagination Games is already utilising European and other Asian countries for its manufacturing and sales and marketing director, David Snow commented: “We are continually looking at new sourcing opportunities to maximise our ability to offer competitive prices. If the Chinese situation worsens, then other countries will need to be used for manufacturing.” Austin agrees: “We are always reviewing alternatives, but China remains our best option for the

foreseeable future. However, we are seriously looking at Shanghai manufacturing as an option.” Flair’s managing director Peter Brown is forecasting a challenging future for the toy business: “Retailers will have to brace themselves for significant price rises as products go up to new price points. At the same time, it is inevitable that marketing budgets will be cut as companies look to cut costs and general overheads. We are already seeing a significant consumer switch to lower priced toys.”

UPPER DECK Europe has streamlined its organisation, becoming Upper Deck International in line with the company’s strategy of being a globally local business. In addition to EMEA, Upper Deck International is also responsible for Oceania, Japan and Latin America. Offices are based in Berlin, Paris, London, Milan, Tokyo, Sydney and Sao Paolo, meaning the firm is optimally organised for distribution across the globe. Louis Pinto, formerly MD for Southern Europe, will now head up the Latin American business and recent recruit Rachel Clement will manage the UK operation as UK commercial manager. Nico Blauw, CEO of Upper Deck International, said: “To reach our goals, we have to be a peoplecentric company to the core. We are passionate about what we do, we are ‘smart working’ and the new organisation is a reflection of our commitment and philosophy.” Clement added: “This new organisation is reinforcing the fact that Upper Deck International puts its customers in first place and that it is relentlessly pursuing improvements within its organisation to be able to better serve the local market.” Upper Deck: 0118 929822

Lego trademark rejected LEGO HAS lost a court battle to protect its iconic plastic brick as the EU’s Court of First Instance upheld a 2004 EU decision to cancel the brick’s trademark status. The trademark was registered in the EU in 1999, but rival firm Mega Brands successfully challenged it. The EU’s trademarks agency said the brick was a functional, technical shape that was not just one company’s property.

The ruling rejected Lego’s claims that its bricks have special characteristics that set them apart and ruled that Lego’s two rows of studs on top of the brick performed a utilitarian function and were not ‘for identification purposes in the trademark sense.’ EU trademark law ‘precludes registration of any shape’ that is ‘sufficient to obtain the intended technical result.’

ALL THE LATEST NEWS & VIEWS DIRECT TO YOUR MOBILE PHONE WHEREVER YOU ARE

mobile.toynewsmag.co.uk Lego: 01753 495000

BOOKMARK US TODAY DECEMBER 2008


boys toys!

great

ipe

s s e c c u for S

c e R e

th

e se r d ai an F 9 e Toy M0 S om at C us and st

Crea tin g

Page 1 13:02 13/11/08 06 TN88_final

www.john-crane.co.uk

e se ir d Fa 39 an ng A e pri nd om S ta C at 5 s us all H


07 TN88_final

13/11/08

16:49

Page 1

ONLINE NEWS

www.toynewsmag.com

7

SUBSCRIBE

SIGN UP FOR THE

FIVE NEW STORIES DELIVERED TO YOUR INBOX EVERY DAY www.toynewsmag.com TO REGISTER

mobile.toynewsmag.com

This month’s news from the wires… PopCo seeks distribution

Bratz/Barbie battle goes on

PopCo has announced plans to appoint distribution partners in UK and Europe for forthcoming lines.

Mattel is seeking to follow up its victory with a court order to seize all Bratz dolls and ban them being made again. The company will have to counter MGA’s argument that a jury found only the first generation of dolls, which are no longer manufactured, infringed copyright. Mattel was recently awarded $100 million in damages, equivalent to five per cent of the $2 billion it originally sought. MGA says in court papers that the jury’s copyright verdict “found no infringement beyond the first generation'” dolls and contends the jury also said Mattel shouldn’t get anything from future Bratz profits. The firm had $777.9 million in Bratz profits through June of this year on sales of $3.1 billion, according to a Mattel expert's testimony. MGA’s expert said it was no more than $405.4 million.

The firm closed its European operation recently but will continue to operate from the US and Hong Kong. The product lines, which will be available to be viewed in Hong Kong in January will include Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince, Sonic the Hedgehog and Sonic X, Nintendo, Beatles, H2Go and Star Trek products. Darren Epstein, EVP global business development, said: “As the trade would have read PopCo has decided to close its European operations and move to handling all business from our USA and HK offices. “To this end all future products in Europe will be handled by appointed distribution partners. We are in discussions with a number of potential distribution partners and will be announcing these agreements shortly.”

RC2 profits dip RC2 has posted a lower than expected profit for the third quarter, hurt by a decline in sales. The firm reported net income for Q3 of $11.11 million or 64 cents per share, compared to $10.77 million or 52 cents per share in the same quarter last year. On average, analysts expected the company to earn 79 cents per share for the quarter. Net sales for the period were $132.86 million, down eight per cent from $144.84 million in Q3 2007.

Excluding net sales of discontinued product lines and recall-related items, net sales decreased six per cent to $132.45 million from $146.53 million in the same quarter last year. Gross profit declined to $62.10 million from $63.88 million in Q3 2007. Gross profit margin, expressed as percentage of sales, increased to 46.7 per cent from 44.1 per cent in the prior-year quarter. Selling, general and administrative expenses decreased to $41.03m from $42.68m in the same quarter in 2007.

Leapfrog on the up Leapfrog has reported net sales of $194.6 million and net income of $24 million, or 38 cents per share for its third quarter ending September 30th 2008. This compares to net sales of $144 million and a net loss of $10.3 million, or 16 cents per share, for the third quarter 2007.

Gross profit improved to $85.3 million for the quarter compared to $60.7 million for the same period in 2007. Operating expenses fell to $56 million for the period compared to $71.3 million year-on-year. Research and development costs also fell by 18 per cent to $11.7 million.

Hornby down at half-time Hornby has posted a 33 per cent fall in half-year profit. Pre-tax profits for the first half were £1.8 million, compared to £2.7 million for the same period last year. The fall is attributed to the firm’s recent acquisition of Corgi in May and a £1.3m increase in overheads associated with it. The company reported more difficult trading conditions than previous years in some of its markets, which, coupled

with supply constraints in its model railway business, outlined in July, resulted in sales dropping to £24.2m, from £24.5m in the previous year. The firm is expecting James Bond Quantum of Solace licensed Scalextric products to perform well over Christmas, along with the proposed launch of an Airfix kit featuring McLaren and F1 world champ Lewis Hamilton.


08 TN88_final

8

13/11/08

16:50

Page 1

CAMPAIGN OF THE MONTH

Vivid Imaginations iTeddy The award winning iTeddy hit the market in 2007, after its creator Imran Hakim was given £140,000 of investment from Dragon’s Den’s Peter Jones and Theo Paphitis. iTeddy is now distributed in 45 countries by Vivid, which is backing it with a hefty campaign... BILLED AS a teddy bear for the 21st century, iTeddy targets children aged three and upwards. It features video play and audio storytelling capability, coupled with a music player and photo storage – all embedded within the toy’s tummy. Additional content can be downloaded from the iTeddy website, including characters such as The Owl and Little Princess. Further licensing deals are currently in the works. TV An iTeddy TV advert was created to demonstrate the toy’s USPs and incorporates a catchy jingle. A TV campaign with 520 TVRs airing on Five, Nickelodeon, Jetix, Cartoon Network and CITV4 is also planned for autumn/winter 2008. PR A nationwide media relations campaign was rolled out by Vivid’s PR agency, Norton & Co,

A TV campaign with 520 TVRs airing on Five, Nickelodeon, Jetix, Cartoon Network and CITV4 is planned for A/W 2008.

DECEMBER 2008

to communicate iTeddy across national, regional and parenting titles, both print and online. The drive kicked off back in January at Toy Fair, with Hakim appearing with Peter Jones, generating a large amount of press interest. Following this was its selection in the TRA’s Techzone Top 12 and The Entertainer’s online top ten toys for Christmas. It has also won a Toy Wishes All Star Award for innovation and technology in the US among other accolades. WEBSITE A consumer friendly website – www.iteddy.com – was launched in the summer, including free downloadable content, an online shop, tutorials and various ways of customising the product.


47 TN88_final

7/11/08

10:22

Page 1

1-5 February 2009 NEC Birmingham UK www.springfair.com

Make a date for Spring Fair International 2009 â&#x20AC;&#x201C; the UK's largest toy show offering traditional toys, toys for gift shops, costume and dress up Over 200 toy exhibitors including: BBC Worldwide Character World Golden Bear Products John Adams Trading Co Keel Toys Margarete Steiff Moulin Rotty Mumbo Jumbo Toys Paul Lamond Games Rainbow Designs Ravensburger Ravensden Rubies Masquerade Russ Berrie Starcase Smiffy's Tobar Zap Zeon Tech

Book your place now at www.springfair.com For visitor enquiries phone +44 (0)870 3146 200 or email visit@springfair.com For exhibitor enquiries phone +44 (0)20 7728 4267 or email sales@springfair.com

The worldâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s brands and buyers in one space

Register using priority code

See the full list of exhibitors at springfair.com

038


10-11 TN88_final

10

14/11/08

17:23

Page 1

NPD RESEARCH

Retail Sales Trends

Properties

Blustery weather for autumn market ACCORDING TO the British Retail Consortium, UK retail sales values fell 2.2 per cent on a like-forlike basis, from October 2007, when they had risen one per cent. While total sales were lower than a year ago for the first time since April 2005, food and drink was the only sector to show sales significantly up on a year ago. Clothing and footwear remained poor and often discount-driven, despite colder and much wetter weather than last October. Furthermore, according to the report, despite an increase in discounts and promotions, Furniture and Homewares fell further below year-earlier levels. The worrying state of the market is even more so when strategies such as discounting and promotions have failed to tempt customers unless they perceived value or the purchases filled a need. The toy market has gone through a tough October as well, despite the expectation surrounding half-term week where sales in this period generally give some form of indication towards Christmas sales performance. October was down four per cent in value and three per cent in units. This is the first month when volumes actually declined year on year. For week 43 2008, the toy tills had cashed in £44 million, registering a decline of five per cent versus week 43 last year (NPD Epos Weekly Data 2008). This decline was driven by a number of

Sales (value, year to date)

Sept 2007

Sept 2008

DECEMBER 2008

Week 43 2008 1. Star Wars 2. In The Night Garden 3. Thomas and Friends 4. High School Musical 5. Ben 10

number two; it was ousted this year by Vtech’s Kidizoom Camera. On the licence front, things have been going as strong as usual. NPD weekly data has been tracking the rise of Star Wars, currently the number one property for week 42 and 43 consecutively, with the new Star Wars Clone Wars range launched in July/August as a prelude to the movie performing well. The big question is will Star Wars push Ben 10 out of the number one spot which the latter has secured since June 2008. In line with past trends, the second half of the year is always deemed the time when prices in toys increase and the indication

The toy market has gone through a tough October, despite the expectation surrounding half-term. The month was down four per cent in value and three per cent in units. The first month where volumes actually declined year-on-year. week 42, including the aforementioned categories, plus Vehicles and Action Figures and Accessories categories. Interestingly, however, comparing against last year in week 43 Hasbro’s Huggle Snuggle Iggle Piggle is still very much at the top of its game. Last year the product was the number one item for week 43, and a year later ranked at

from recent weeks suggests this year will be no different. In week 42 to week 43 average prices went from £7.84 to £8.55, increasing by nine per cent over the two weeks. Will the current economic climate impact on this trend in a time when shoppers have been seeking out the best deals on the market? Some suggest the toy market will ride the economical storm.

Average Price

UK Toy Sales

Source: NPD

categories amongst which was the Dolls category, losing £1m versus week 43 last year, and the Games and Puzzles category, down 15 per cent. That said, of the categories that registered a decline in week 43, many had actually seen growth in

Top 5 Properties

1%

Week 42: £7.84

Week 43: £8.55

Best Property Progression Week 43 2008

Scalextric analogue Clearly the Lewis Hamilton halo effect is having an impact on sales of the slot-car racing favourite as it moved up on the grid from 65 to 49.

Best Item Progression Week 43 2008

V.Smile VTech is continuing to back the pre-school console with TV advertising and it continues to pay off handsomely.


10-11 TN88_final

14/11/08

17:23

Page 2

NPD RESEARCH

www.toynewsmag.com

Retail Sales Trends: TOP SELLERS WEEK 43 2008

(£ SALES - VALUE)

TOP SELLERS WEEK 43 2008

(UNIT SALES - VOLUME)

1

KIDIZOOM CAMERA

VTECH

1

HOT WHEELS BASIC CAR ASSORTMENT

MATTEL

2

ITNG HUGGLE SNUGGLE IGGLE PIGGLE

HASBRO

2

BEN 10 FIGURES 10CM ASSORTMENT

BANDAI

3

ITNG 12" TALKING PLUSH

HASBRO

3

CARS VEHICLE ASSORTMENT

MATTEL

4

BOUNCE N SPIN ZEBRA

MATTEL

4

BEN 10 15CM ACTION FIGURES

BANDAI

5

FUR REAL BISCUIT MY LOVIN

HASBRO

5

ITNG MINI PLUSH

6

MUSIC & MOTION CHOO CHOO

MATTEL

6

HSM SINGALONG MICROPHONE

7

V SMILE TV LEARNING SYSTEM

8

BEN 10 FIGURES 10CM ASSORTMENT

9

BEN 10 15CM ACTION FIGURES

10

MONOPOLY H&N WORLD ELECTRONIC

VTECH

7

COAST GUARD QUAD BIKE

8

ITNG 12" TALKING PLUSH

BANDAI

9

STAR WARS 08 LPP

LEGO

HASBRO

10

BIONICLE MISTIKA

LEGO

STAR WARS CLONE WARS VOICE CHANGER

2

BEN 10 FIGURES 10CM ASSORTMENT

3

BEN 10 15CM ACTION FIGURES

4

CLONE WARS ULTIMATE LIGHTSABER

5

BEN 10 DLX OMNITRIX

6

CLONE WARS ELECTRONIC SABER

LEGO HASBRO

YOUTH ELECTRONICS

(£ SALES - VALUE)

1

VIVID

BANDAI

ACTION FIGURES & ACCESSORIES TOP SELLERS WEEK 43 2008

HASBRO

TOP SELLERS WEEK 43 2008

HASBRO

1

KIDIZOOM CAMERA

BANDAI

2

KID TOUGH DIGITAL CAMERA

BANDAI

3

HSM SINGALONG MICROPHONE

HASBRO

4

TAMAGOTCHI

BANDAI

5

HSM MUSICAL JOURNAL

HASBRO

6

ROBORAPTOR

7

WWE THE CELL RING

VIVID

7

ADVANCE XTRA

8

CLONE WARS AT TE

HASBRO

8

MY LIFE VIRTUAL LIFE

9

CLONE WARS BASIC FIGURES

HASBRO

9

LAPTOP SLIM PAD

10

BEN 10 ALIEN LAB

BANDAI

10

MY MEEBAS

(£ SALES - VALUE) VTECH FISHER PRICE VIVID BANDAI VIVID CHARACTER OPTIONS VTECH FLAIR VTECH MATTEL

NOTES: All participating NPD retail data suppliers provide weekly data via EPOS systems. NPD figures are not projected to represent non-participating retailers but provide 100 per cent of the sales from participating stores. EPoS sample includes the following retailers: Argos, Boots, ELC, Freemans, Gamleys, Grattan, Hamleys, Littlewoods, Mothercare, Shop Direct, Tesco, The Entertainer, Woolworths, WHSmith, Sainsbury's, Toymaster, Asda, Mailorderexpress. The approximate coverage is of 71%.

NPD Eurotoys is the Number 1 information provider for Market Research to the Toy Industry in Europe Contact: NPD Eurotoys UK, Rosemount House, Rosemount Avenue West Byfleet, Surrey, KT14 6LB. _ 01 932 355 580

11


12-13 TN88_final

12

14/11/08

17:25

Page 1

TV TRENDS ANALYSIS

Christmas momentum builds PRODUCT SPEND Advertiser

Product

October ‘08

Estimated Spend Share

1

MATTEL

BOUNCE & SPRING ZEBRA

3.37%

2

RAVENSBURGER

PUZZLEBALL

3.03%

3

MATTEL

WINNIE THE POOH MAGIC RATTLE

3.00%

4

HASBRO

CLUEDO

2.67%

5

HASBRO

MONOPOLY

2.60%

6

VTECH ELECTRONICS

VSMILE

2.20%

7

SMYTHS TOYS

SMYTHS TOYS STORE

1.62%

8

HASBRO

PICTUREKA

1.50%

9

MATTEL

DORA SUDS & SURPRISE

1.32%

10

SPIN MASTER

MOONSAND ADVENTURE ISLAND

1.21%

11

HASBRO

PLAYSKOOL HELMET HEROES

1.20%

12

HASBRO

SIT & SPIN

1.11%

13

HASBRO

BOP IT

1.03%

14

MATTEL

HANNAH MONTANA DOLLS

<1%

15

MATTEL

PUPPY GROWS

<1%

16

MATTEL

POLLY POCKET POP N SWAP

<1%

17

MATTEL

CARS MEGA MACK PLAYTOWN

<1%

18

HASBRO

TONKA WHEEL PALS

<1%

19

ZAPF CREATION

BABY BORN MAGIC POTTY

<1%

20

CHARACTER OPTIONS

MILLIONAIRE LCD GAME

<1%

21

BANDAI

BEN 10

<1%

22

MAGIC BOX

CRAZY BONES

<1%

23

MATTEL

HOT WHEELS SLAMMERS BIG RIG

<1%

24

MATTEL

MY BABY

<1%

25

MATTEL

IMAGINEXT OCEAN & FIRE RESCUE

<1%

26

MATTEL

20Q CHALLENGE

<1%

27

TOMY

TELETUBBIES DANCE WITH ME

<1%

28

DRUMOND PARK

BRITAIN’S GOT TALENT GAME

<1%

29

HASBRO

LITTLEST PET SHOP VIPS

<1%

30

TOMY

THOMAS TUMBLING BRIDGE SET

<1%

31

MATTEL

BABY KNOWS DOLLS

<1%

312

MATTEL

LAZY TOWN STEPHANIE DOLL

<1%

33

HASBRO

MY LITTLE PONY PONYVILLE

<1%

34

RC2

THOMAS THE TANK MORGAN’S MINE

<1%

35

HASBRO

DANCE CAM

<1%

SPENDING MADE A healthy leap in the right direction this month as the trade entered the home straight for Christmas. Total estimated spend is up to £6.5m from last month’s figure of just under £5m and the number of campaigns has also shot up dramatically from 166 last month to 243 this. And you should expect that number to creep nearer to the 300 mark next month as advertising expenditure rises to around the level of £10m. Mattel’s big spending has arrived, with the firm taking a share of just under 25 per cent of the total estimated expenditure this month. Leading the way are its campaigns for pre-school lines such as Bounce and Spring Zebra and Dora Suds and Surprise, with infant toy Winnie the Pooh Magic Rattle also heavily backed. Moving up through the age groups there’s campaigns for Hannah Montana Dolls, Puppy Grows and Knows Your Name and Cars Mega Mack Playtown. Hasbro’s board game mainstays get the TV treatment as part of its 20 per cent estimated spend share this month with campaigns for Cluedo


12-13 TN88_final

14/11/08

17:25

Page 2

TV TRENDS ANALYSIS

www.toynewsmag.com

and Monopoly. Of its new ranges, Helmet Heroes has the best support, according to data from Billets. Breaking up the domination of the top two are campaigns from Ravensburger for its Puzzleball range and Vtech, which continues to back its V.Smile console. Spin Master is also in the mix with its Moon Sand activity and Irish toy retailer Smyths has continued its efforts to maintain its foothold in the UK mainland. In all, there are nearly 40 companies on TV this month with companies such as Interplay, Grossman, GoGo’s distributor Magic Box, Corinthian, Worlds Apart, Topps, MV Sports and Golden Bear all committing spend.

Total estimated spend is up to £6.5m from last month’s total of under £5m.

So no slackening off of supplier airtime purchasing at this crucial time of year and if next month’s figures hit the £10m mark we will at least know that even if it’s not an entirely reliable barometer of supplier or retailer confidence then it’s certainly an indication that the toy trade is prepared to make its money work hard to pull in those punters. Ronnie Dungan

TOP SPEND BY ADVERTISER

SPEND BY ADVERTISER

13

October ‘08

Estimated Spend Share 1

MATTEL UK

2

HASBRO UK

3

CHARACTER OPTIONS

4

TOMY UK

5.64%

5

VIVID IMAGINATIONS

5.67%

6

RAVENSBURGER

4.31%

4. Hannah Montana Dolls

7

ZAPF CREATION

3.30%

5. Puppy Grows

8

BANDAI

3.32%

9

VTECH ELECTRONICS

2.49%

10

MGA ENTERTAINMENT

2.23%

11

LEGO

1.78%

12

FLAIR

1.67%

13

SMYTHS TOYS

1.62%

3. Pictureka

14

MARTIN YAFFE

1.50%

4. Helmet Heroes

15

DRUMOND PARK

1.46%

5. Sit and Spin

16

SPIN MASTER

1.21%

17

MAGIC BOX

<1%

18

CORINTHIAN MARKETING

<1%

19

RC2

<1%

20

GOLDEN BEAR

<1%

1. Bounce and Spring Zebra 2. Winnie the Pooh Magic Rattle 3. Dora Suds and Surprise

1. Cluedo 2. Monopoly

24.32% 20.7% 14.76%

1. Millionaire LCD game 2. Scooby Doo Mystery Mansion 3. Craft range 4. Wowwee Alive Cubs 5. Hoppin Honeypots game

1. Oddbodz 2. Bob the Builder Snap Trax 3. Fireman Sam Activity Station 4. Bob the Builder Electronic Bench

STATION SPLIT TV Network 1. Ben 10 2. Power Rangers 3. Catcha Beast 4. Tamagotchi 5. Pokemon

MULTI CHANNEL FIVE ITV GMTV CHANNEL 4

October ‘08

Share of Advertiser Spend 63.36% 17.83% 9.74% 8.54% 0.54%


14 TN88_final

14

11/11/08

12:15

Page 1

FEATURE PLANNER

2009 FEATURE PLANNER JANUARY 2008 Planning for Toy Fair Spring Fair

• •

CALL N O FOR DE W TAILS OF THE S VITAL IS E SUES

Editorial Deadline: October 24th Advertising Deadline: November 28th

FEBRUARY 2009

Toy Fair Show issue • EXCEL Show issue • Nuremberg • American International Toy Fair Preview Editorial Deadline: November 27th Advertising Deadline: December 12th

10,000 circulation

MARCH 2009

Show reviews • Outdoor toys • Toy of the year award winners •Editorial Deadline: January 9th Advertising Deadline: February 13th

APRIL 2009

Boys market special • Games & Puzzles • Track racing and trains • Kids magazines •Editorial Deadline: February 6th Advertising Deadline: March 13th

ToyNews Contacts Editorial: Ronnie Dungan, +44 (0) 1992 535646, Ronnie.Dungan@intentmedia.co.uk Advertising: Adrian Miles, +44 (0) 1992 535647, Adrian.Miles@intentmedia.co.uk Fax: +44 (0) 1992 535648, Web: www.toynewsmag.com

DECEMBER 2008


15 TN88_final

12/11/08

17:50

Page 1

EVENTS

www.toynewsmag.com

15

Hong Kong Toys and Games Fair The Hong Kong show is very much the destination event for the trade and the starting gun for the show season...

WHERE AND WHEN? January 5th-8th 2009 Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre http://hktoyfair.hktdc.com

A TRULY international show, more than 50 per cent of the nearly 30,000 visitors are from overseas. Last year’s event saw a total of 3,283 visitors from Europe accounting for 21.75 per cent of the total international attendance. Categories include baby toys and products; electronic toys; candy toys; diecast/mechanical toys and action figures; educational toys and game; hobby goods;

magic; multiple products/general merchandise; outdoor and sport; paper products and toy packaging; party items, toy parts and accessories, soft toys and dolls. There’s also a seminar entitled Latest Product Safety Directives of Toy Industry & Good Practice in Achieving Safety Standards. Speakers include Carter Keithley, president of US trade body the

TIA; Christian Ewert, president of the ICTI Care Foundation, and Richard O’Brien from the US Consumer Product Safety Commission. Cathay Pacific is Official Carrier for the fair, offering exclusive airfares to registered delegates. For online airfares enquiries and reservations, delegates are required to register via http://hktoyfair.hktdc.com/vis _preg/pre_form.htm

FORTHCOMING EVENTS HONG KONG TOY AND GAMES FAIR January 5th – 8th Hong Kong Convention Centre http://hktoyfair.hktdc.com/index.htm

TOY FAIR January 28th – 31st 2009 ExCeL, London www.toyfair.co.uk

American International Toy Fair February 15th – 18th 2009 Javits Centre, New York www.toyassociation.org

ABRIN (Brazilian Toy Fair) April 14th – 17th 2009 Expo Center Norte Blue & White Pavilions, São Paulo, Brazil www.abrin.com.br

CANADIAN TOY AND HOBBY FAIR January 24th – 26th 2009 Metropolitan Toronto Convention Centre, Toronto www.cdntoyassn.com

SPRING FAIR February 1st – 5th 2009 Birmingham NEC www.springfair.com

TOY RUSSIA March 11th – 14th 2009 Crocus Expo, Moscow www.toy-russia.com

Toymaster May 19th – 21st 2009 Majestic Hotel, Harrogate www.toymaster.co.uk

UNIVERS D’ENFANTS January 25th – 28th 2009 Grand Hall de Villette, Paris www.univers-enfants.com

SPIELWARENMESSE February 5th – 10th 2009 Nuremberg www.spielwarenmesse.de

MIDDLE EAST TOY FAIR March 23-25th 2009 Dubai International Convention and Exhibition Centre www.toyfairdubai.com

Got any events you would like to see added to the calendar? Email ronnie.dungan@intentmedia.co.uk DECEMBER 2008


16 TN88_final

16

14/11/08

17:42

Page 1

APPOINTMENTS & MAIL

You’ve got mail FROM LEFT: Halsall’s Nat Southworth; Smoby national account manager, Pasquale Cappetta; TEG’s new head of licensing Sam Kelly; Sandra Vauthier-Cellier, the new MD of 4Kids

APPOINTMENTS A busy month with new hires at Vtech, Halsall, Upper Deck and Target… VTech has announced the appointment of Key Account Manager, Sarah Bullock. Bullock joins from Prince Lionheart and has extensive experience within the industry, having spent seven years working in sales for companies including Flair, Smoby, Little Tikes and Berchet. At VTech, Bullock will be working across the entire range from VTech Baby through to pre-school, which includes V.Smile and Kidizoom and Electronic Learning Aids. Former Vivid marketing manager Nat Southworth has joined Halsall as FOB Business Development Manager. He will be tasked with developing strategic partnerships to expand the firm’s European FOB distribution business. Southworth joins the company following six months consulting for Ugobe, the manufacturers of Pleo. Prior to this, he worked in marketing with Vivid Imaginations and in buying for Asda. Halsall MD, John Hutt, said: “We are delighted to welcome Nat to the company. The team at Halsall have really moved the business on in the last three years. To continue our success, we need to recruit the best talent in the industry and with Nat that is what we have achieved.” Smoby Toys is boosting its team with two new additions. Pasquale Cappetta joins as national account manager and Joe Weber is a key account manager. Cappetta brings with him a wealth of toy industry experience having previously worked for Character Options and, most recently, VTech. He will be responsible for national accounts such as Mothercare and the Early Learning Centre, while Weber will focus on independent retailers. Gary Wood, sales director at Smoby, said: “We’re delighted to welcome on board Pasquale and Joe, their broad range of expertise will undoubtedly be an asset to the company.” Upper Deck has announced that Hedley Barnes has been promoted to VP of sales, effective this month. DECEMBER 2008

Barnes started his career with the firm as the branch manager UK and then moved to the position of managing director NEO. The new role includes responsibility for implementing and executing international sales strategies working closely with local branches across Europe. Rachel Clement has been appointed to fill the UK commercial manager role. Clement joins Upper Deck with a host of experience from roles with Coca Cola, Paramount Pictures, Disney and most recently, Activision Blizzard. Clement has previously worked on delivering key brands into the UK and Irish markets ranging from Coca Cola, Star Wars, Indiana Jones, Guitar Hero and Bond, through to children’s brands like Shrek, Dora the Explorer, Barbie, SpongeBob and Kung Fu Panda. She said: “I’m really excited to be joining Upper Deck at such an exciting time. We have a fantastic portfolio of brands and products lined up for 2009 and beyond; with evergreen brands such as Yu-Gi-Oh and World of Warcraft, through to new brands like Dinosaur King and Huntik, there really is something for everyone.” Target Entertainment has appointed Sam Kelly as its new head of licensing. Reporting to global brand director, Helen Howells, Kelly will head up Target Entertainment Group’s licensing operations. Her role will include managing the licensing team, implementing the UK and international licensing and merchandising strategies across all properties, managing key categories in the UK market, overseeing UK retail relationships and all agent relationships. 4Kids Entertainment has promoted Sandra Vauthier-Cellier to the role of MD. In addition, Olivia Mellett becomes executive director of finance and operations. She will focus on all financial, legal and operational activity for the EMEA region, reporting to Peter Bloom, VP of finance at 4Kids in New York.

Subject: Gray Richmond, Sales and Marketing Director, Jumbo > Firstly, congratulations on the promotion. How are you finding life at the top? Far too busy! But in all seriousness I am really loving it. We all know how tough it is out there, but it’s very enjoyable to get involved in so many more areas of our business. The fact that we have great teams both here in the UK and in our Head Office in Holland does make my life a lot easier. On occasions they even make me look good. > But you look far too young for such responsibility. Do you have a painting in the attic or have you had some work done? Well the clue is in the name – it’s actually Dorian Gray Richmond but that’s far too much to put on a business card. > I knew it. You must be one of youngest execs in the toy business? Is it a networking disadvantage not being allowed in pubs and other licensed premises? Well, when I do visit a pub I have to make sure I am eating and leave by 6pm. Seriously though I think I am in good company as we are all young at heart in the toy industry. > Indeed. And how different is Jumbo as a company now since the changes? I guess you’re a much leaner operation? The structure of the company had to change in line with the needs of the business and the market. We are in fact increasing our sales force with the recruitment of an additional national account manager and we are currently de-centralising our finance operation by bringing in a new manager to that department. Jumbo are in an exciting position as we are launching some wonderful new products for 2009. We are also delighted to be supplying new retailers next year and strengthening our sales force will enable us to work closer than ever before with our accounts. Given the current economic climate, I believe this is vital if we are all to have a successful 2009. > And what products will be leading the line for you next year? First we will be re-launching our Wasgij adult puzzle range in March with new packaging and a very extensive marketing campaign. For the kids we have increased our range of Peppa Pig games and puzzles, as well as signing new licences such as Mr Men (puzzles and games) and Fireman Sam and we are adding Ben 10 and Clone Wars to our new Puzzle Extra concept which we launched this year and has sold so well to date. On the games side we have new Hannah Montana, Clone Wars and Power Rangers games coming onto the scene too. > A lot of licences there. Is Jumbo looking to broaden itself into the wider toys and games market? Very much so, although it’s important we stay focused on staying true to our core puzzle business. In fact as well as the efforts we are putting behind Wasgij we are also re-launching our very traditional Falcon Deluxe adult puzzle range. We are currently the number one in adult puzzles according to NPD and we are working hard to stay there. We are, however, developing with our sister company Diset in Spain concepts that can bring something innovative to new categories. I think the best example of that this year has been our move into arts and crafts with our Hannah range. Next year we will launch our New I Learn range of non-electronic learning games which have been developed under the guidance of UK teachers.


17 TN88_final

14/11/08

16:39

Page 1


10 TN87_final

15/10/08

12:20

Page 1


19 TN88_final

14/11/08

13:23

www.toynewsmag.com

Page 1

GOGO’S CRAZY BONES SUPPLIER FOCUS

19

Big bones Magic Box’s GoGo’s Crazy Bones has been one of the collectable success stories of the year, but where did it come from and how long is it likely to continue being the talk of the playground? Ronnie Dungan spoke to director, Ben Harper, about dem Bones… THE GOGO’S Crazy Bones success story is pure toy industry. A product that came out of nowhere, quickly built up momentum and became a moneyspinner for indie retailers at a time when they really needed it. Now it has become a bona fide brand with a licensing programme handled by Bulldog, including deals with Halsall’s wheeled toys, Portico’s greetings cards, Pyramid’s posters, Roy Lowe and Sons’ socks, Infocado’s calendars, Poetic Gem’s apparel and Zap’s bedding, with Random House to produce the official handbook and other titles from Penguin publishing. Magic Box International supplies the product and has just launched a second wave, Evolution. Director Ben Harper sees the brand as more than a fad: “With a collectable the question is more to do with how you can create the momentum in the first place. We certainly invested a considerable amount of marketing budget into our launch phase and this was successful in both raising awareness in the product and in getting free product into the hands of our target market. “These efforts, combined with the qualities of the product have been successful in creating the craze. We have been fortunate to generate an enormous amount of press and TV coverage for the craze and this has certainly helped to continually broaden awareness and desirability.” But what was the magic ingredient that turned it into this year’s toy craze? A range of components were behind the success, says Harper. “I don’t think there is one individual element we could point to. The craze seems to have grown on an

almost daily basis since we launched in March. Ultimately it’s the strength of the product that has persuaded kids to really embrace it. We are very proud of improvements made in design, quality and characterisation

It’s not the first time the firm has launched a product craze. “Magic Box is one of Europe’s leading manufacturers of children’s collectables,” says Harper. “We produce sticker collections, trading

We certainly invested a considerable amount of marketing budget into our launch phase and this was successful in both raising awareness and in getting free product into the hands of our target market. and we knew from previous successes that kids really do love to play and collect Crazy Bones. We are also in the fortunate but unusual position of having a product that appeals to boys and girls across a large age range.” The launch of the second series is set to keep the craze hot for longer. “Gogo’s Crazy Bones Evolution launched mid-September. This is a collection of 80 ‘Evolved’ characters and includes a sticker album/comic and storage bags. An extensive campaign of TV advertising and sampling commenced at the end of September. The licensing programme is also underway and we have had tremendous interest in the brand. A broad range of products from high quality licensees will be coming to market in the next few months.”

cards, trading card games and collectable toys. Our biggest success story before was Shoot Out – The Official F.A. Trading Card Game.” The real triumph for Crazy Bones is in breaking into the multiples. Woolies does particularly well and the raised awareness from licensing deals will only accelerate the process. “It is not exclusively independents, but they are certainly doing well with the product.” Products like Crazy Bones can only happen where that indefinable unknown quantity can see some lines takeoff while more big budget attempts can fall flat. DECEMBER 2008


20 TN88_final

7/11/08

10:25

Page 1


21 TN88_final

13/11/08

16:54

Page 1

www.toynewsmag.com

TOYZERIA SHOW REPORT

21

The Turk ethic ToyNews crossed the Bosphorous to Istanbul’s Toyzeria trade show to check out the gateway to the Middle East and Asia. Ronnie Dungan sent back this report…. WHILE NOT one of the major toy territories, Turkey is seen by many as a significant international market because of its geographical position and its potential as a gateway to other markets, particularly the Middle-East. Aside from some local variations, the product is fairly similar to the UK and rest of Europe, although it’s noticeable that certain brands are only now emerging in the territory (Speed Stackers anyone?) and others which have done well here have yet to make an impact. So no sign of Ben 10, for instance. Nearly every company exhibiting at the show was from Turkey, and more specifically Istanbul. There were one or two international exhibitors from India, Germany, Austria, France, Korea and Spain. Visitors numbers were very slow at first, but picked up slightly during the first two days of the event. Big numbers were expected over the last two days of the show. There is little or no manufacturing in the region and much of what is on offer is sourced from the same Chinese factories which dominate the rest of the toy market with one or two local items such as belly dancing dolls for instance. But there are some large distributors with some familiar brands. Among the biggest is Sunman, which handles Fisher-Price and Mattel products including Barbie and Littlest Pet Shop, plus lines from New Bright, Thinkway and plush items from Russ. Vardem offered own-brand 1:32 die-cast cars and Motor Max 1:24 lines plus Majorette and pre-school ranges including licensed Dora, Spongebob and Hot Wheels desks and chairs, plus Disney pop-up tents. Pilsan is another major player and specialises in outdoor products such as electric ride-ons, playhouses and slides, occupying a major presence at the show. Necotoys handles Mega Brands’ Blok ranges as well as Maisto cars, Bratz dolls, Disney plush and Playmates’ Strawberry Shortcake.

Turkey offers a sizeable distribution base with the ability to reach several lucrative territories.

Samatli boasts one of the strongest ranges distributing Spin Master lines in the region including Moon Sand, Storm Hawks and Air Hogs. It also handles Tomy lines such as Guitar Rockstar and games such as Pop Up Pirate and Shhh! Don’t Wake Dad. There’s also strong Hasbro brands including MB Games, Puppy in My Pocket, Play Doh and Transformers. Top Trumps and National Geographic were also in the line-up. The BranDeal licensing show, which ran parallel to the toy event offered little in the way of international opportunities and again, tended to be localised, with a strong presence from two of Turkey’s leading football teams Galatasaray and Trabzonspor among the larger stands. But again, familiar brands such as Sindy, Winx Club, Barbie, Action Man, and Hasbro’s Transformers and G.I Joe were all in evidence, the latter through the presence of Hasbro’s Intertoy off-shoot. In short, Turkey remains a very localised market with no real shocks in terms of product, but it does offer a sizeable distribution base with the ability to reach a number of potentially lucrative territories. DECEMBER 2008


22 TN88_final

12/11/08

17:21

Page 1


23 TN88_final

13/11/08

16:56

Page 1

THE GREENHOUSE TOY FAIR 2009

www.toynewsmag.com

23

The Greenhouse effect Toy Fair’s Greenhouse area has become a fertile plain for a variety of companies looking for retail or distribution deals. The key to success, however, lies within… THE GREENHOUSE area of Toy Fair can be a thing of marvellous extremes. You can go for the full-on approach, cover your stand in fur and try to make as much noise as possible, like the i-Teddy guys did a couple of years ago. Or you can bring nothing but a football goal with you and sit there and do nothing for the entire show, getting little gain from it, as others have done. In short, you get out what you put in and over the years it has provided a useful and cost effective launch pad for start-ups and growing firms. Liz Ireland from Big Jig toys says: “As a company we have exhibited in the greenhouse area at Toy Fair for a number of years. Toy Fair is a great showcase for the trade but for the independent retailer, the Greenhouse area is perhaps the most interesting. “In a small area, a wide range of product is on offer, many new to the market and at that stage of development, up and coming companies are pleased to have the exposure in the marketplace through the independent sector. This area is a must for all small retailers to walk, as it is here that they may well find product not available in multiple retail stores.” This year Big Jigs will be exhibiting outside the Greenhouse, having outgrown the area. Testament perhaps to the effectiveness of an appearance in the zone. And there are numerous other examples of firms going on to bigger and better things after an appearance in the Greenhouse. The aforementioned i-Teddy secured itself an exclusive deal with Argos and then went on to form its existing distribution partnership with Vivid Imaginations Circa Circa used the show as a platform to launch its game, About

Who goes in the Greenhouse? There are three types of companies who exhibit in the Greenhouse area….

In a small area, a wide range of product is on offer, many new to the market and at that stage of development, up and coming companies are pleased to have the exposure in the market place through the independent sector. Time. Since then the firm has signed licensing and publishing deals and has improved its online presence as well as its reach into retail. Demonstrating the varied nature of Greenhouse exhibitors is recent exhibitor, Pyramid Posters. Pyramid is not strictly a toy company, but with a strong portfolio of licensed brands including Spider-Man, WWE and High School Musical, it offers added value income for toy retailers. Even though the firm is well established at retail in other channels, the Greenhouse area provided a strong, cost effective way for it to introduce itself to the toy trade. And plenty of other companies find that the kind of retailers the Greenhouse attracts, often those looking for products different from

that stocked by the majors, suit them just fine. Which means there are plenty of well-established niche suppliers among the start-ups. The Greenhouse will always be all things to all men, but the real key to its making it work lies with the individual exhibitors, who write their own success stories.

1. Start up businesses who attend Toy Fair to feel out the market and may subsequently grow and move to the main floor. 2. Companies who have a toy to sell on, but aren’t interested in forging a space for themselves in the toy industry – iTeddy is a good example of this with the Vivid deal, though that was only licensed and not sold 3. Small toy companies who like the Greenhouse and stay there – Artisana, Get Retro and Just Pals, for example

Growing in the Greenhouse Making the most of exhibiting… • Know what you’re there for: is it to

establish yourself as a toy company? To sell your idea? If it’s to sell, what deal to do you want? A lump sum or royalties? • Establish your proposition: what is

your pitch to a retailer, manufacturer, distributor, the media? • Plan your stand: avoid being too

cluttered or too bare. Be creative. Dress your stand appropriately for your product. Try and see it as visitor would and walk past at visitor-speed to see if it’s eye catching. • Set up meetings in advance: even the

biggest exhibitors plan ahead. The Toy Fair 2008 Sourcebook can provide useful contact details. Contact BTHA on 020 7701 7127. • PR: if you think you can cope with

media attention, make the most of the PR opportunities open to you. • Smile. Look like you’re enjoying the

The Greenhouse area was set up at the UK Toy Fair to nurture small companies or those new to the toy industry. It has steadily increased in size and is a popular area with both exhibitors and visitors alike.

experience and having fun. It is the toy industry we’re in, after all!

For more information on the Greenhouse area, visit www.toyfair.co.uk or call the Toy Fair Team on 020 7701 7127

For more general exhibiting tips, please visit: http://www.toyfair.co.uk/ exhibitors/top10_tips.php

DECEMBER 2008


24-25 TN88_final

12/11/08

16:57

Page 1


24-25 TN88_final

12/11/08

16:58

Page 2


95 TN86_final

4/9/08

11:18

Page 1


27 TN87_final

11/11/08

11:53

Page 1

The UK’s only dedicated monthly licensing coverage

News • Media • Opinion

Thumbs Up

Opinion

News

Page 30

Page 28

Pages 28-29

ToyNews speaks to the men - Bulldog’s Rob Corney and Animation Collective’s Larry Schwarz - behind the Thumb Wrestling Federation phenomenon…

Why it’s not just the credit crunch that will be a major challenge for the licensing industry in 2009…

Peppa Pig’s brother George in licensing push, Mattel’s Hot Wheels campaign, Wow Stuff signs with Aardman, Doctor Who update…


28-29 TN88_final

28

13/11/08

14:49

Page 1

LICENSINGNEWS

COMMENT CREDIT WHERE IT’S DUE VARIOUS REPORTS have been released over recent weeks suggesting that consumers will ignore thoughts of the credit crunch this Christmas and continue spending as normal. If this is true, it almost certainly means that the licensing industry will be protected from the worst of the belt-tightening for a little while longer. But there will be some tough times to come. However optimistic a person you are, it’s difficult to remain so when the BBC’s Robert Peston keeps telling us we’re all doomed every night. When I asked the Licensing.biz Executive Advisory Board what they thought the main challenges would be for our market going forward, their responses made interesting reading. Some worries were raised about the length of time it takes the licensing business model to react to a change in market conditions, meaning it may already be too late for some contingency measures. At the heart of their comments though was the relationship between licensees, licensors and retail, and how the strength and flexibility in these unions is going to be more important than ever.

The important thing here is to be proactive; even in good times we can always improve... Licences can add value to the retail and supply chain, particularly in tough times. As one member of the panel pointed out, using someone’s brand equity to help sell product in a slow economy is a smart move. The important thing is to be proactive; even in good times we can always improve. And, as another board member said, if 2009 turns out to be an easier ride than expected, we shouldn’t use that as an excuse to avoid innovating or improving. Samantha Loveday Samantha.Loveday@intentmedia.co.uk

Peppa bolstered by George success Several licensees enjoying strong sales with product based on Peppa’s brother, but no separate licensing programme planned… by Samantha Loveday AS THE popularity of Peppa Pig continues to soar – with the latest news being that the characters are to star in their own Nintendo video game – a number of the licensees are now also enjoying success with product based on Peppa’s brother, George. While toys with a boy’s bias, such as the campervan, the car and the successful spaceship, have always been available, it was apparel licensees including Misirli, Cooneen and Blues, which were the first to start offering George specific product. “Where product has gone in-store we’ve been surprised at how successfully it’s sold through,” commented Andrew Carley, head of licensing and merchandising at Contender Entertainment Group. Indeed, the next style guide will now include George material for

licensees to work with. George’s success has also encouraged other licensees to follow suit including VMC (accessories), Trademark (bags), W Lamb (footwear), Roy Lowe & Sons (socks), Spearmark (housewares), Character World (bedding) and George toys from Character Options. However, while George is obviously a major opportunity for licensees, Contender is not planning spin-offs or a separate licensing programme and it will be careful to not disrupt the still-growing Peppa business. “We’ll let it build at its own pace,” said Carley, “and potentially I think it could be worth about 30 per cent of the Peppa programme in a couple of years’ time.” Contender: 020 7907 3797

Wow Stuff bags W&G deal AMBITIOUS Wow Stuff continues to add to its licensed portfolio, inking a deal with Aardman Rights to produce a variety of ‘cracking contraptions’ based on the Wallace & Gromit brand. Items will be designed to create complex solutions to simple problems. The gadgets and gizmos will be supported at retail through video and real-life demonstrations. Richard North, Wow Stuff’s MD, said: “The reaction from our test market was crazy. Both adults and children loved the product concepts and all agreed there was nothing quite like them. One of the test audiences described the products as huge fun and

hugely endearing and we feel that sums them up well.” Sean Clarke, head of Aardman Rights, added: “Wow Stuff’s ability to create innovative gizmos and gadgets is second to none, so they were a natural partner to discuss developing an everyday range of Cracking Contraptions.” Wow Stuff: 08700 546000


28-29 TN88_final

13/11/08

14:49

Page 2

LICENSINGNEWS

www.licensing.biz

BBC’s Doctor drive continues

IN BRIEF

David Tennant stepping down as Dr Who ensured more column inches for the brand, and BBC is confident that its 2009 consumer products range will keep interest high…

ER OUTLINES OPTIONS

by Samantha Loveday INTEREST IN BBC Worldwide’s licensing programme for Doctor Who just keeps on growing, with almost 70 licensees now working within the brand portfolio. Character Options is continuing to invest strongly in the property, with the firm now entering its fifth year of production. One of highlights for spring/summer 2009 will be the launch of a new mini action figure range called Time Squad, available for pre-sale in the New Year. Role-play also continues to be a key element, with the popularity of the Sonic Screwdriver and the five-

inch figure ranges showing that boys appreciate attention to detail as much as adult collectors.

Additionally, to support the clothing and paper-based licensees, a new Monsters style guide for artwork has just been launched to enable new products to hit stores in 2009. In addition to the merchandise lines, there will also be a varied portfolio of publishing. While the existing book and magazine lines will continue, there are a number of new initiatives including a unique book and online publishing range for kids, and a DVD to appeal to collectors. There will also be several new DVD collections to support this. BBCW: 020 8433 2000

Mattel revs up Hot Wheels push

AFTER 40 years, Hot Wheels is still one of the major brands for boys, and Mattel is now looking to extend this further with a new line of licensed apparel and sporting goods.

An extensive licensing programme has already kicked off, targeting four to eight year-old boys and including a range of product that reflects the latest trends.

The latest launches include a collection of leisurewear in George at Asda. Hoodies and t-shirts are already available, while a full line of exclusive clothing will roll out next year. Licensees currently include Aykroyds & TDP (nightwear/underwear), Carta Mundi (Trumps game), Wesco (gifts and accessories), Worlds Apart (Ready Bed), MV Sports (wheeled toys), Klein (toys) and Gemma (stationery) among others. “Hot Wheels is unique in that consumers maintain a strong affinity with the brand long after they stop playing with the cars and track sets,” said Claire Atherton, licensing director at Mattel Brands Consumer Products. “As boys grow older, they continue to relate to the brand’s core positioning – speed, power, performance and attitude.” Mattel: 01628 500000

29

Entertainment Rights has posted turnover for the eight months to August 31st of £20.3m (compared with £17.3m for the six months to June 30th 2007), but impairment of assets was £83.0m resulting in a loss before tax of £105.0m. A minimum of £5m of fixed cost savings have been identified and will be implemented by year-end for full benefit in 2009 and beyond. ER: 020 8762 6200

COOLABI ACQUIRES LBD Coolabi has swooped for indie agency Licensing by Design, meaning it now has the licensing and merchandising rights for Bagpuss, Ivor the Engine and The Clangers among others. Coolabi: 020 7258 7080

CP STARS FOR DISNEY Disney’s consumer products division saw revenues for the full-year increase 26 per cent to $2.9bn, with segment operating income rising 14 per cent to $718m. Meanwhile, revenues for Q4 jumped a healthy 41 per cent to $812m, with operating income growing to $176m. DCP: 020 8222 1318

TEAM CHANGES AT 4KIDS Sandra Vauthier-Cellier has been made MD at 4Kids Entertainment International. In addition, Olivia Mellett becomes executive director of finance and operations. 4Kids: 020 7297 5980

ER SIGNS UP PENGUIN ER is continuing to build the licensing programme for new property Tinga Tinga Tales, signing a global publishing deal with Penguin Group. ER: 020 8762 6200

STRONG Q3 FOR MARVEL Marvel Entertainment has posted net sales of $182.5m for its third quarter, while net income hit $50.6m. However, despite this, licensing segment net sales declined to $58.1m, compared to $82.2m in Q3 2007, reflecting the decreases from Spider-man LP. Marvel: 020 7858 2000


30 TN88_final

30

13/11/08

16:58

Page 1

LICENSING THUMB WRESTLING FEDERATION

The rule of thumb Thumb wrestling has been present in playgrounds for years, but it wasn’t until recently that anyone tapped into the play pattern with a toy line. Animation Collective launched the range into the UK last year and Samantha Loveday speaks to CEO Larry Schwarz and Bulldog Licensing’s Rob Corney to see how it has been received… “I’M NOT at all surprised that it has been a hit, but I have been taken aback by just how phenomenally popular it is,” muses Bulldog Licensing MD Rob Corney, when asked about the charm of Thumb Wrestling Federation: TWF. TWF has struck a nerve since its arrival in the UK last year. Created by Animation Collective, it is stripped across BBC1 and BBC2 children’s and daily on the CBBC channel. The short-form segments – including one-minute wrestler bios, 45-second gags and three and a half minute thumb wrestling matches – have been snapped up in Spain, the Far East and Canada, while Cartoon Network has recently come on board as broadcast partner in the US. “I think to a certain extent much of its success does come from its simplicity,” says Larry Schwarz, CEO of Animation Collective. “Kids seem to love the humour and the slapstick action. There are now 52 separate wrestlers, each with their own uniquely wacky personality.

I think to a certain extent, its success does come from its simplicity. “It is fun to watch the wrestlers take on foes in the same way that traditional wrestlers do, with special moves and amazing special effects.” “Thumb wrestling is a classic play pattern, which TWF taps directly into – kids are able to watch the program and then re-enact the scenes in the playground the next day,” adds Corney. There are nine licensees in total: Pyramid (calendars), Danilo (greetings cards), Aykroyds TDP (apparel), Panini (sticker books), Sambro (toys), Roy Lowe & Sons (socks), PMS (plush), Delta (DVDs) and Random House (publishing).

“We are looking to get interactive and confectionery licences set up soon,” Corney continues. “The response to the Sambro toys has been phenomenal, which is driving demand for both of these.”

Sambro’s toy line launched into Asda, Toys R Us and The Entertainer in November and includes special TWF thumb masks, available in single or double blister packs and a TWF wrestling ring. A fully interactive wrestling ring will follow in the New Year. So can TWF sustain its popularity? “The beauty of TWF is that it hasn’t created anything new, it is merely tapping into an existing play pattern kids have always been thumb wrestling and always will,” Corney states. “TWF makes it more exciting and enables kids to extend their games using the TWF characters.” And Schwarz agrees: “The brand will be hugely enduring because thumb wrestling itself is. In five year’s time, the brand promises to be absolutely massive.”

THUMB WRESTLING: THE HISTORY ANIMATION COLLECTIVE CEO, LARRY SCHWARZ, EXPLAINS THE STORY BEHIND TWF… “A long time ago, when wrestlers wore speedos and had slicked back hair, the thumb wrestling ring was a place of heroic deeds, of fair competition, of honour. The bells were polished, the matches were set and the scores were kept, all by the wise thumbs of the Thumb Wrestling Federation. All was well... until a young upstart named Senator Skull arrived on the scene. “Skull was a young wrestler with a

diabolical plan. He didn’t read the rule books and he didn’t respect the old-timers. He wanted control of the TWF, and he wanted it now. So Skull led a revolt, and split the Thumb Wrestling Federation in two. Those with respect and honour joined the Mighty Dexteras. Those with less than a thimble full of decency joined the evil Sinistras. “Now, Senator Skull and the Sinistras will stop at nothing to defeat the Mighty Dexteras, take over the Thumb Wrestling Federation and perhaps the world.”

Visit www.licensing.biz to register for the Daily News Digest and Newsflash services ALL THE LATEST NEWS & VIEWS DIRECT TO YOUR MOBILE PHONE WHEREVER YOU ARE

FOR EVERYONE IN THE BUSINESS OF LICENSING mobile.licensing.biz

APPAREL • ART & DESIGN • ENTERTAINMENT • FOOD & BEVERAGES • PUBLISHING • SPORTS • TOYS & GIFTS

BOOKMARK US TODAY


39 TN88_final

7/11/08

14:51

Page 1


32 TN88_final

11/11/08

16:18

Page 1


33 TN88_final

14/11/08

12:36

Page 1

SECTOR GUIDE PLAYGROUND CRAZES

www.toynewsmag.com

33

Pocket money picks Playground Crazes and collectables are often the lifeblood of independent toy retail. They burn very hot but can cool down very quickly. The best ones, however, such as Bandai’s Tamagotchi, can have genuine longevity if they’re managed correctly. ToyNews takes a look at where the pocket money might be going next…

PLAYGROUND CRAZES are most common with children between the ages of seven and 12 and strongest where children are traditionally free to ‘play out’ for long periods without supervision: in courtyards, at school, in the playground, and everywhere where children meet and interact. They have come a long way since the humble days of marbles; so much so that the opportunity has developed into a multi-million pound industry. As at year to date September 2008, playground crazes consists of a wide array of toys – mostly boy driven. On the boys’ front, the choice is vast: from Strategic Trading Card games to Action Figures and Accessories through the Vehicles category – boys have so much to choose from, for so little money. High on the list for this year is the very hot Crazy Bones which have raked in sales of nearly £500,000 for the year to date September 2008. The Action Figures market can also be considered as a playground craze. With the likes of Ben 10 and Star Wars, the category just keeps growing. A new player in the market is tipped to shuffle things around in the next few months. Spinmaster’s Bakugan collectibles has come in backed by a TV series on Cartoon Network every Saturday. Another hot craze category is the Strategic Card Games sector, driven over the years by the likes of Yu-GiOh and Pokémon. New themes and boosters keep renewing kids interests even long after the spotlight has gone from the licences they carry. On the Electronic front, girls have been more interested by the robotic pet category. The success of Tamagotchi over the last few years has been totally overwhelming and not just in the UK but all across Europe. With more than £30m sold at retail in this country, Tamagotchi has made others envious and there

are now a plethora of youth electronics products trying to capture girls’ and boys’ imagination. In fact, Bandai is now hoping to duplicate this success with boys with the launch of Catcha Beast. The success of the playground craze is a combination of exposure to characters (through TV), affordability (usually pocket-money range of £0-£5), the collectability factor, as well as a ‘cool’ storyline.

The success of a playground craze is measured by TV exposure of the characters, affordability, collectability and a cool storyline.

The future of the playground craze is safe – as children will constantly need a toy as prop in the playground – the uncertainty, however, lies with the fact that these are, after all, ‘crazes’ and once pacified, they lose their ground as quickly as they initially gain it. The key to keep on top of the game, therefore, is the constant need for company’s to refresh and reinvent the property. DECEMBER 2008


34-36,38-39 TN88_final

34

13/11/08

17:00

Page 2

SECTOR GUIDE PLAYGROUND CRAZES

MAGIC BOX 01403 251286

Gogo’s Crazy Bones is a range of collectable figures produced by Magic Box, which has proved to be something of a phenomenon since March this year. There are currently two series: the original and the recently launched Evolution. Each range features 80 different characters and can be found in five different colours. Each series also includes a sticker album with character and game information, plus storage bags and boxes. The latest addition to the range is the Advance Special Edition Metal Tin. The tin includes ten exclusive new characters and is priced at £6.99. Bulldog Licensing has secured deals with Penguin for publishing, Halsall for wheeled toys, Portico for greeting cards, Pyramid for posters, Roy Lowe and Sons for socks, Infocado for calendars, Poetic Gem for apparel and Zap for bedding, with Random House producing the official GoGo’s handbook.

MATTEL 01628 500000 A collection of virtual belching, battling monsters, Woogies are pets for boys who love all things gross. Kids can train and nurture their Woogie by making rude noises and battle against other Woogies. Three characters are currently available featuring spiky, rubberised removable skins. A marketing campaign including TV sponsorship, press partnerships and PR supports the launch. Collectible PC gaming concept, UB Funkeys sees new introductions and added features this autumn. The Dream State Collection features both the light and dark side of the Funkeys’ world with 14 new characters including innovative functionality enabling players to use the products to live chat online, as well as play multi-player games on the web. A marketing campaign including events, TV, online and PR will support the range.

GROSSMAN

Squooshy Multi Light Up Balls from HGL come in a choice of bright colours. Shake them, squeeze them, toss them or tease them to make them light up and flash. Also available are the Squooshy Wrigglers and Squooshy Giant Wrigglers, which are available in a choice of neon colours and also light up and flash. Retailing at around 99p for the Squooshy Wrigglers and around £4.99 for the large Multi Light Up Ball. Following the success of Dino Magic, Grossman is introducing a new addition in the Fizz n Surprise range – Dragon Magic. There are 15 different eggs to collect, each containing a dragon, which has a removeable head that can

SAMBRO 0161 707 5555 The response to Sambro’s toy line for Thumb Wrestling Federation: TWF has been “phenomenal”, according to the brand's agent in the UK, Bulldog. Sambro is producing special TWF thumb masks, which will be available in single or double blister packs at £1.99 and £2.99 respectively, along with a TWF wrestling ring for £4.99. A fully interactive wrestling ring is due to follow in the New Year. The company is planning a number of major promotions in Toys R Us and The Entertainer, with store managers at the toy chain having received a special instruction day to make sure they were up to speed with how to thumb wrestle in time for the launch.

0141 613 2525

be swapped and changed to make new dragon species and hybrids. In water, the egg will fizz to reveal the hidden dragon inside. The new line retails from £2.99 and is available alongside Mermaid Magic, Dino Magic and Fairy Magic. The Fizz n Surprise range features in the company’s 2008 TV advertising campaign. The firm is also re-launching the Alien Cosmolight line, which lights up and flashes with a nudge and is part of the Alien Egg range, which also includes Alien Birth Pods, Good & Evil Aliens, Glow in the Dark Aliens and new for 2008 Alien Fizz pods. The product retails at around £2.99 and is also included in the 2008 television ad campaign.

HIVE ENTERTAINMENT 0845 224 3842

Like many playground crazes, Gacha, or Gashapon as it is known there, began life in Japan, with the streets of Tokyo lined with machines delivering over one billion capsules each year. In Europe, a sales mechanic works more effectively than machines and Tomy Yujin Europe has introduced the Gacha Box CDU concept. There are now over 20 different Gacha collections, each one delivering toys based on a popular licenced. Strong collections currently include High School Musical, Hannah Montana, Pokémon, Hello Kitty and Super Mario. Each range features up to ten different products, which are purchased blindly, in Kinder Egg style and retail at around £1.99 to £2.99. Repeat purchases are key to the product’s success so far and Hive estimates sales of around three million in the UK in 2008, expecting that range to double in 2009 as new licences are introduced.

HASBRO 020 8569 1234

Hasbro’s Hero Figures are two inches tall and feature three ranges - Star Wars Galactic Heroes, Transformers Robot Heroes and Marvel Super Hero Squad. The figures portray all characters in a cartoon style with exaggerated hand and feet sizes. The Star Wars range includes Jedi and Sith Lords, Ewoks, Jawas, Wookiees and Tauntauns. The Transformers collection features Autobots and Deceptions in good versus evil two packs, plus the Marvel Squad includes heroes and villains including Spidey or Venom, Wolverine or Sabertooth.

ESDEVIUM 01420 593500 Following the introduction of the Ben 10 Trading Cards range to Esdevium's expanding portfolio, the company is launching a range of four collectible Ben 10 Tins. Containing four boosters – two each from series one and two – each tin also features one of four foil promo cards, which can be seen through a window on the face of each tin. This will be the first appearance of Ben 10 Series Two in the UK and tins will be featured in stores in displays of 12 – three of each variant. January 2009 also sees the introduction of Ben 10 Series Two Booster Sets featuring 84 all-new collector cards. The Pokémon range of trading card games continues on an upswing, with the momentum experienced in 2007 building. The company is experiencing strong retail support, with a further wave of holiday tins having hit stores nationwide in September. Esdevium is supporting the range with SKUs in new formats, which to date have proved hugely popular at retail in the US, including a boxed set that features a starter, four boosters and a promo card in a windowed box.


34-36,38-39 TN88_final

13/11/08

17:00

Page 3

SECTOR GUIDE PLAYGROUND CRAZES

www.toynewsmag.com

WOW STUFF 0870 054 6000

MECCANO

01844 278888

The latest offering from Wow Stuff’s Science Museum range is My Mystery UFO. The company is predicting that the new product will be the UK’s best selling toy at £10, with orders for over a million pieces already booked for 2009. The UFO hovers and floats around you, yet does not use battery power, remote control or static electricity. The secret to its use is inside, so that only the user knows how to operate the UFO and friends and family are left mystified.

Meccano’s Micro Kits range includes four metal models – a bi-plane, racer, helicopter and an F1 car – and are offered to retail as a 12-piece assortment with a counter display unit. Suitable for eight years plus, retailing at £3.99. Flexible metal and metallic paint feature in Meccano’s design vehicle construction sets, suitable for boys aged eight and up. The Design Starter Kits retail at £4.99 each and are available in a display of 12 units.

BANDAI

01489 790944

Each set builds one model – a sidecar, an all-terrain vehicle, helicopter, excavator, snowmobile or speedboat. Each pack contains additional parts to collect to build the bonus model of a catamaran. The Multi-Models range features sets containing mechanisms to build movable vehicles – either a buggy and plane or a helicopter and crane. Each two-model set retails at £4.99. All items are available now and each set contains tools and assembly booklet.

SPIN MASTER 08708 508408 With 288 characters and over 120 cards to collect in year one, Spin Master is hoping Bakugan will be popular in the playground. Bakugan are small spheres that pop open into warrior action figures when rolled onto the magnetic gate cards. Players need to strategically select warriors and gate or ability cards to beat opponents. The toy range centres around the starter pack including three spheres, three gate cards and three ability cards. The booster pack contains one of each piece. The range also includes the official battle arena of the Bakugan Tournament, the Battle Pack, with six of each piece and a launcher. Kids can learn gaming strategies by going to the website (www.bakugan.com), which features tips and tricks. The toy range is backed by an animated TV series on Cartoon Network and a TV advertising and PR campaign.

Tamagotchi’s latest incarnation is Tamagotchi Familitchi, allowing users to raise and nurture a whole family of virtual friends. A house-shaped antennae and clipon character charms complete the new look and there are new games and game play options to keep Tama fans entertained. The characters can also be ‘married’ to create new generations of Tamababies. A range of accessories are

available, including charm sets, lanyards and plush holders. Meanwhile, Catchabeast has enjoyed success in Asia and is now on the UK’s shelves. The handheld electronic device allows users to detect beasts on an LCD screen and they have to use the fishing reel style handle to catch it, reel it in and train the beast for battle. With over 100 beasts available, Catchabeast can be connected to each other for two-way battles.

35

HALSALL 01253 778888

Halsall provides many craze lines within its portfolio, offering over 1,000 everyday toys from the Jokes and Gags range, Teamsters die-cast vehicles, Combat Force Military toys, My Playhouse roleplay, Evo Extreme Water Pistols, Dream Creations dolls, Razzle Dazzle dress-up, Wood Works and Koochie plush. One of the best selling pocket money items from the firm this year is Centipede Cyril. Part of the Jokes and Gags range, the stretchy creature is available in an assortment of colours in a branded counter display unit of 24. Sales manager Phil Ashby says: “This is a mega line with retailers up and down the country and although there are similar lines in the market, our customers tell us that Centipede Cyril is far superior in terms of quality, tactile feel and most importantly, the boggley eyes.”

CHARACTER OPTIONS 0161 633 9800

Character Options has introduced a High School Musical-themed Rainbow Lights range. The High School Musical Rainbow Skipper creates a colourful 3D light bubble around the user as they skip with the illuminated rope. Rainbow Hop-It will also undergo a High School Musical makeover, with stickers available to personalise the light-up skipping ball. The product creates spectacular rainbow coloured light patterns around the user’s feet. Completing the light-up line up is the High School Musical Rainbow Hoola Hoop, which creates a rainbow circle around the user as they swing their hips.


34-36,38-39 TN88_final

36

13/11/08

17:00

Page 4

SECTOR GUIDE PLAYGROUND CRAZES

WINNING MOVES 020 7298 9500 The Top Trumps Disney Pixar: The Collection is the hall of fame from the Pixar films. The most popular characters are featured, including Woody, Buzz Lightyear, Lightning McQueen, Sulley, Wall-E, Heroes and more. The statistics include details on each character’s first appearance in a Pixar film, a hero rating and how they fit into the Pride of Pixar hall of fame. Top Trumps is also launching a High School Musical 3 collection. All the popular characters come together and fans can find out information on their voice, ambition, moves, wisdom, style and team spirit. Finally, The X Factor game has also hit shelves. Featuring the 12 finalists from the 2008 show, plus stars from previous years, including Leona, Shayne, Rhydian, G4 and many more, along with a few of the oddballs who have auditioned on the show over the years. Each retail at around £3.99.

CORINTHIAN

UPPER DECK

0118 929 8520

Upper Deck has added another licensed Trading Card Game (TCG) to its product portfolio in October with the launch of the Dinosaur King Trading Card Game. The new TCG is based on the Dinosaur King TV show, which airs on Jetix and is due to air on GMTV. Designed for children aged from six to 12, the product contains the same cards as those played by key characters on the show.

01494 462640

The card art features dinosaurs in recognisable world locations, blending CGI with traditional animation. There is also an educational aspect to the product with dinosaur facts on each card. As with all the firm’s TCG products, there will be rare cards to collect including Silver, Gold and ‘Colossal Rare’ cards, featuring unique patterned foil art. The first products to launch include a 40-card Starter Deck (£2.49) complete with Battle Mat, a beginner’s guide, an over-sized character card and a free nine-card booster. Boosters are also available to build a deck and complete the 159 card set. Each booster contains eight cards plus a rare foil card and retails at £2.49. Further booster releases and a new starter deck will follow. A print advertising and sampling campaign with media partners such as Jetix are supporting the launch. A website features information on the product and how to play. A new marketing campaign is being planned for spring 2009 to build on the initial activity with TV and print advertising, online activity, sampling with kids’ press and promotions with selected retail partners and other licensees.

SCHLEICH

RE:CREATION 0118 973 6222

Flip, twist and drop Zeebeez onto any hard surface. On impact the toy will launch itself skyward as it snaps back into shape. There are three recent line extensions from Re:creation. Baldeez turn inside out to reveal a funny or sad bald man with arms and hands. Frobro’s are medium-sized ZeeBeez that come with different hair-dos and Globeez have multi-coloured LED lights that slowly change colour during play. Both are £2.99 and available from Tesco. Re:creation also offers licensed key chains featuring characters from Pokémon, Ben 10 and Transformers.

01279 870000 A range of 22 different models of pocket-sized dinosaurs have been launched by Schleich. There are smaller toy dinosaurs for pocket money purchases, including all of the popular breeds such as Tyrannosaurus and Triceratops. Also on offer are to-scale dinosaur replicas, which are hand-painted and modelled to 1:40 dimensions. Each figure has been researched and reproduced in close co-operation with the Natural History Museum, Berlin. Each model comes with a booklet containing the scientific data on each of the saurians and a figure of a human in the same scale.

THE IN THING With the Premier League nearing its half-way point, Corinthian has introduced a new series of MicroStar, featuring 39 players who are impressing during the current campaign. Prem 08/09 includes more stars from each of the big four clubs than ever before to reflect the growing fanbase for Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool and Manchester United, including Adebayor, Anelka, Gerrard, Giggs, Owen, Lescott and Richards. MicroStars are sold blind in single or triple boxes with jelly bean sweets.

Prices start at £1.29 and they continue to be a repeat purchase line. The firm’s dedication to providing its customers with low level entry price point into brands is demonstrated by its refreshes of confectionery lines. Highlights for early 2009 will be glow in the dark figures in the Ben 10 Micros collection, as well as the launch of Pony in my Pocket to complement the new toy range. In addition, a third series of Puppy in My Pocket and a second series of Jungle in My Pocket will also launch throughout the year.

Following from the success of Magic Box’s GoGo’s Crazy Bones and Flair’s Gormiti, The In Thing has launched a new product that it believes will be a hit in the playground.

0845 365 3030 TagEm comes from the concept of customising your feet with laces and tags. The firm has developed a range of tags for girls and boys aged from six to 16 years old. The product can be attached to shoes, hats, clothing, bags, etc and comprises a wide range of licensed and non-licensed designs. All Marvel brands are already on board and the company is in talks with five premiership football clubs about licensing deals. TV advertisement, licensing and new products are already in production. The In Thing is the sole UK distributor for toy retailers.


32 TN88_final

11/11/08

10:21

Page 1


34-36,38-39 TN88_final

38

13/11/08

17:00

Page 5

SECTOR GUIDE PLAYGROUND CRAZES

UNIVERSITY GAMES 01473 834444

University Games’ gift travel tins include products for pre-schoolers to parents. The tin packaging is ideal for travel or as a gift item and each one contains a fully playable version of a board game, but can also be used as a booster pack to the original game. Titles currently include Charades, Kids on Stage, Scavenger Hunt for Kids, Totally Gross, Big Brain Academy and Smart Ass. The Dangerous Book for Boys sets are also packaged in tins. University Games also has a range of glow in the dark items at pocket money prices featuring stars, planets and galactic Astros. The Wonder Stars Super Kit and the Colourful Twinkle Stars Super Kit, with 150 stars per package, provide the best value.

PLAYMOBIL

FLAIR

020 8643 0320

Flair’s Gormiti series two is imminent and will launch a new range of detailed, 3D characters that are collected, battled and swapped. Since the series one launch in spring, sales figures have been consistently increasing, both in the majors and independents. Driving the sales and promoting the playground craze is the foil bag. Priced within the pocket money range, each contains one Gormiti character, a trading card and a collectors’ leaflet. The card has a description of a different character and its numeric power and the figure has a separate value printed on its foot. When a card is matched up with its corresponding figure and the values combined, that true battle value is assessed and can be traded. The highest value wins of course, but with so many combinations available, the collecting opportunities continue.

01706 717 800

With series two coming up, a new ad campaign is about to begin. Another playground collectable from Flair is Dinofroz, which will be supported by an advertising campaign targeting boys aged five to nine years. Dinofroz includes 24 of the most popular miniature dinosaurs in two different colourways, concealed within a ‘frozen’ egg. Each item includes a collector’s leaflet and a printed spinning top giving scientific details, characteristics and trading value of the creature. This spinning top can be used in gameplay pitching one dinosaur against another.

MARTIN YAFFE Odd Bodz is a range of characters from Born to Play, which can be mixed and matched to create new personalities and combinations. The figures include Mad Dog McSkully, Commander Cosmos, PC Lawly and Farmer Bales. All Odd Bodz body parts fit universally, meaning children can swap pieces between the ranges to create unusual characters. The same can be done with the Odd Bodz vehicles, which range from galleons to space shuttles and feature lights and sounds.

MARBEL Playmobil has added four new characters to its Specials range. The Fireman includes an axe, hose and flashlight; the fairy comes with wings and a magic wand; Barbarian Chief features a shield and spear; and the Musketer is complete with a chest of gold and a sword. Each character is suitable for four years and over and retails at around £1.99. The firm has also launched a range of toys that are easily transportable in carrying cases. The new concept includes the Knight, Shopper, Farmer and Fireman ranges.

The Knight Carry Case features 56 pieces including a knight and horse, two sets of armour and a full set of weaponry. The Shopper Carry Case contains 69 pieces including a shopper and trolley, storage boxes and lots of groceries. The Farmer Carry Case includes 40 pieces with a farmer and wheelbarrow, lots of tools and a selection of crops. Finally, the Fireman Carry Case features 65 pieces including the fireman, fire fighting equipment such as water pump, steel cutters ad protective equipment. The Carry Cases retail at around £7.99 each.

Eitech Metal Construction Kits start from £4.99 for a Starter Kit, making them ideal pocket money purchases. The pick up and play products teach children about construction and physics. As children improve their skills, sets are available with increasing difficulty levels. The Eitech range is constantly expanding and Marbel will introduce new lines at Toy Fair 2009.

FIESTA CRAFTS 020 8804 0563

A selection of new animal inspired Top Nobs has been introduced by Fiesta Crafts. The collection of character pencils, collectively known as Top Nobs, will have a host of new creatures. Whether it’s a fox with a bushy tail, a black and white penguin with bright yellow feet and beak or a pink or grey big-eared elephant, there’s an animal Top Nob to suit all tastes. Finger Puppets range is also set to be bolstered with new characters. Each hand produced wooden head finger puppet is highly detailed with a fabric body and furry and feathered features. New designs include animals from the farm, forest and zoo. Top Nobs and Finger Puppets come with practical and attractive point of sale display units.

01706 717800

There are four ranges to collect: Pirates, Emergency Services, Space Adventure and Farmyard, all providing an educational element.

01208 873123


34-36,38-39 TN88_final

13/11/08

17:01

Page 6

SECTOR GUIDE PLAYGROUND CRAZES

www.toynewsmag.com

GREAT GIZMOS 01293 543221

Great Gizmos’ Mini Squeezies are available in 17 animal designs and are suitable for boys and girls providing lots of opportunity for playground swapping. There are even glow-in-the-dark versions which add a new dimension. Alternatively, there is a choice of Pencil Toppers, including pirates, ponies or dinosaurs. Each pencil topper can be used as an eraser and comes with a coordinating pencil.

RUSSIMCO 01278 723 450

Russimco’s range of ecotronic torches continues with new characters including pigs, dogs and stripy tigers and, at £4.99, they sit firmly within the pocket money toy category. The torch requires no batteries, just a squeeze will get it going, lighting up its face and producing a bright beam. The range is also packaged in Gekopak boxes, which are totally recycled and biodegradable.

LE TOY VAN

The London Car Set from Le Toy Van is a boxed set of seven iconic vehicles including the London bus and black cab. The painted wooden toys are scaled to fit Le Toy Van’s garages and train tracks. Designed in the UK and manufactured using high quality wood from replenishable sources, the set is packaged in a colour box with view windows. It retails at £12.49.

DRUMOND PARK 01506 855577

The Rubik’s Cube has recently seen something of a resurgence and Drumond Park have reported a rise in sales for four years running. Marketing director Claire McCool says: “The cube’s fascination and fun is undiminished because being obsessively good at something is now really cool. We have always TV advertised the Rubik’s Cube.” The product has its own multi-media PR and promotions programme, creating exposure on the web and across other media. New social networking opportunities have evolved from online competitions, spawning a new generation of ‘Cubers’, in both the real and virtual worlds.

020 8979 2036

The Pochette Dolls line, meanwhile, is a selection of poseable wooden dolls with fabric outfits, which each come in a handbag. There are six dolls to choose from, each priced at around £12.99. Finally, Le Toy Van is the UK distributor of the range of PAPO painted figures. Lines include knights, fairytale, pirates, fantasy, domestic, wild and woodland animals.

WESCO 01565 650117

Wesco has combined a remote control toy with a digital watch to create the new Whizz Watch. Featuring Roary the Racing Car, Thomas the Tank Engine and Star Wars, the characters can be raced against each other. The watch, designed to match each character, contains infrared controls and the miniature vehicle clips onto the watch strap when not in use. The characters have forward and backward functionality. Available online at amazon.com, the watches are priced at around £14.99.

39

HORNBY/CORGI 01843 233502

The Warbirds range includes six aircraft from World War II and includes a 1:72 scale Spitfire, Hurricane, Messerschmitt and P51 Mustang and a 1:144 scale Lancaster and Boeing B-17. Each model is packaged in a window box style and is liveried in war time schemes. 2008 saw the introduction of Wing Commander Eagle, which is present on all packs and is the Warbirds hero. The tools used for the range are old Aviation Archive pieces modified to cater for a younger audience. The models retail at around £9.99 each.

VIVID IMAGINATIONS 01483 449944

The new plush range from Vivid is based on TV-Loonland’s The Owl. There are three styles to collect in the beanie range, which retail at around £6.99 each and every one plays the series theme tune when the toy is squeezed. Also in the range is a backpack with adjustable straps at £14.99 and a 9-inch feature plush with sound. Vivid will be supporting the range with a PR campaign in quarter four.


40-41 TN88_v1

12/11/08

16:55

Page 1


40-41 TN88_v1

12/11/08

16:55

Page 2


42-46 TN88_final

42

13/11/08

17:05

Page 2

SECTOR GUIDE INDUSTRY SERVICES

Solid at the back There is a network of service providers behind most companies to oil the wheels of the business. PR, marketing, safety testing, design, recruitment and logistics are all areas which can be outsourced to the experts. ToyNews takes a look at the services on offer… IMPORT SERVICES

Logistics provider, Import Services has strengthened its market position recently with a number of new business wins, as well as the launch of a unique service and a port-based approach to distribution helping toy clients to cut time, money and carbon emissions from their supply chain. Earlier this year, the firm launched an accounting service to help toy companies identify ways to save money in their supply chain in order to maintain profit margins. Managing director John Eynon (above) developed the new system to allow clients to easily identify the precise logistics cost per order. The new digital statements combine four key elements into one report and replace individual paper reports on transport, pre-retail services, pallet and warehouse pick and pack costs.

RAINBOW PRODUCTIONS

Founded in 1983, Rainbow Productions replicates artwork, transforming it into high quality costume characters, puppets and props. The firm merged with Character Productions in 1996 to offer a wider range of services. The company represents a number of international television networks and studios including Warner Bros, Twentieth Century Fox and the BBC.

01489 799500 The data can be uploaded into a client’s own systems to easily analyse margins. The reports also provide information to facilitate decisions on pricing, pack formats and minimum order quantities. The Tech Group and Noah’s Ark Factory have outsourced their logistics function to Import Services, which offers a high-quality service for new and wellestablished clients such as Flair and Carte Blanche Greetings. The company has over 20 years experience working for the toy industry and its port-based approach can cut up to a week out of the supply chain, save up to 20 per cent from logistics costs and eliminate between 200 and 400 road miles per consignment, thus reducing carbon emissions. This approach removes unnecessary handling via inland distribution centres and delivers product direct from the port of entry to the end point. Import Services manages clients’ supply chains from factory – usually in the Far East – to the final recipient in the UK. Offering a door to door logistics service, it provides accounting, purchase order tracking, storage, sales order processing, high volume pick and pack, pre-retail services and distribution.

020 8254 5300 The portfolio currently contains 90 licensed cartoon characters. The characters are available for personal appearances and character appearances take place at a range of venues, including in-store, shopping centres and trade exhibitions. These appearances play a role in the promotion of associated licensed toy merchandise. Examples include the appearance of Peppa Pig at this year’s Dream Toys event, and ahead of Toy Fair, Rainbow Productions works with licensors to ensure a number of licensed characters are represented within the halls and at photo calls. The firm can also create bespoke promotional costume characters, bringing brands to life by creating them into costume characters used at shows, launches and brand experience campaigns. This summer, Pinky and Robo, characters from EA’s Zubo game, were created to coincide with the release on Nintendo DS and were present at the launch at the 2008 Games Convention in Leipzig in August.

KILOGRAMMEDIA 01279 778919

Licensing specialist PR agency, Kilogrammedia was founded in 2001 and aims to meet the communication needs – both trade and consumer – of licensors, licensees, agents, production companies and others involved in the licensing industry. The agency’s main priority is to provide for the needs of both clients and media, with all press releases and features written by professional journalists. The firm has grown considerably since its establishment but remains compact in terms of staffing in order to ensure a hands-on approach, offering clients continuity in its work. Kilogram’s staff are highly involved with the industry on a daily basis both on a social and corporate level, meaning staff are well-known throughout the licensing world.

AARDVARK SWIFT

Aardvark Swift is a specialist toy and nursery industry recruitment agency. The firm is currently recruiting for companies such as Disney, Vivid Imaginations and Lego, handling career opportunities across the industry from product design and development through to sales and marketing. Opportunities range from graduate entry to board level. The company offers a variety of recruitment methods depending on the vacancy, including database search, advertised search and selection and headhunting.

SHOUT!PR 01623 651 555

Shout PR is a full-service communications agency with 17 years experience in marketing strategy, graphic design and public relations. Over the past four years, the agency has played an integral part in the development of the Breyer brand in the UK – handling all PR, design and advertising activity and working closely with the sales side of the operation to ensure the 60 year-old company’s values were transferred to the equestrian and toy consumer in the UK. The firm claims to have helped Breyer open more than 400 doors in less than three years. Shout PR’s services include advertising design, conception and delivery, from one-offs to full campaigns; branding; publications – from writing copy to delivering the final product; coordinating and targeting promotions; exhibition organisation and management and web design and build.

01709 876 877

Database searching is an effective method to source candidates and fees are payable only when a candidate has been successfully placed. Using advertised search and selection, Aardvark Swift takes care of the entire advertising process, producing and placing the advert and handling the response, creating a concise list for the client. Headhunting takes a direct approach to candidates in similar roles at competitor companies, which is a useful for companies filling vacancies where candidates are very scarce.


42-46 TN88_final

13/11/08

17:05

Page 3

SECTOR GUIDE INDUSTRY SERVICES

www.toynewsmag.com

EUROFINS

Global life science company, Eurofins serves industries including toys, food, pharma, environment and many more. With a unique network of 7,000 employees and 150 laboratories and test centres in 30 countries, the firm is a provider of analytical services. The services offered to the toy sector include testing to all parts of EN71 from the basic mechanical and physical requirements of Part 1 to the organic requirements of Parts 9, 10 and 11. The company regularly test for phthalates, cadmium and azo dyes which can be an issue in children’s articles. Total lead can also be analysed

COW PR 020 7234 9150

Cow is a full service brand communications agency and was awarded Consumer PR Agency of the Year in 2008. From ideas and news generation, communications strategy, media relations and brand experiences, the firm offers a range of services for clients across the consumer sector. Additionally, Cow can offer expertise in emerging medias and broadcast content.

43

0161 8687 600

for the ASTM requirements. Eurofins has a microbiology laboratory that can analyse the microbial quality of children’s products and has the expertise to carry out a full EC type examination for prototypes and unusual articles not covered by EN71. Finally, to complete its scope for toys, the firm can carry out electrical testing for both safety and EMC. Alongside the toy testing, the firm can test children’s clothing and costumes, pen caps and pen ends and baby products and carry out assessment to the General Product Safety Regulations.

JAMMY RASCALS Jammy Rascals believes growing up should be fun and working with this ethos allows the successful delivery of brands to children. The company works for licensors and manufacturers, as well as its own brands, creating, developing and delivering products for children and families in the UK and European market. Each property is entirely unique and has its own raison d’être. Jammy Rascals uses its experience in the children and family marketplace to ideate commercially. The firm conceptualises relevant product to match its clients objectives, which includes creating new toy products, games and concepts as well as

DAYTONA VISUAL MARKETING

01827 54551

Daytona Visual has over 25 years of experience in the design and production of point of sale for the retail sector and operates from a purpose built factory in the Midlands. Within this factory, the firm is able to control all stages of production in-house, from concept, design, artwork and repro, to printing production, packaging and despatch. A continual investment programme allows the company to use the latest printing, cut and creasing technology,

meaning its clients benefit economically, aesthetically and structurally. The firm also offers production of a one off, fully printed prototype prior to going on to a full production run, allowing clients to generate feedback before committing the spend. The sales team at Daytona offers a personal and knowledgeable service and talks clients through all the options available with the aim of making every campaign successful.

01628 484727 delivering marketing strategies. Fleshing out the gameplay, finding the fun, examining the trends, maximizing the licences and researching the competition are all part of the firm’s services. Once an idea sticks, the sales strategy is developed. For licensors, concepts are developed and retailed directly or positioned with existing licensees. For others, it develops the strategy in preparation for retail Jammy Rascals develops the prototype, positions the product and strategises the sales and marketing plan. The company then manages the brand locally (UK and EMEA) and appoints sales agents or distributors and integrates the media strategy.

SUBLEVEL STUDIOS 01630 647118

Sublevel Studios specialises in illustration, graphic design, character and product concepts, packaging, large scale format print, cartoons, point of sale and identities. The company can also provide mockups, sketches and exhibition design at competitive rates. Sublevel has many years of experience in publishing, illustrating children’s books and comics, plus packaging and print, exhibitions and large scale graphics, character and product design, sponsorship packages to clothing design.


42-46 TN88_final

44

13/11/08

17:05

Page 4

SECTOR GUIDE INDUSTRY SERVICES

ENERGY PR 01993 823011

Energy PR is a specialist in the toy, licensing and youth markets. Its services range from product launches, events, internal communications, copywriting and complete campaign planning to the utilisation of its media contacts. The agency also has a US affiliate company allowing it to support clients in the UK, Europe and North America. Staff at Energy are all senior professionals drawn from the worlds of TV, journalism and in-house roles. The firm has delivered successful campaigns for established names such as 20th Century Fox, The Copyrights Group, Brandmaster, Advanstar, NPD, Wesco, James Galt and the Toy Industry Association of North America. The client list also includes start-up firms like Raring2go and Jo Jingles.

HPS GROUP

Industry veteran Ray Hodges heads up the HPS Group’s consumer leisure PR Division, specialising in toys, games, electronics and gadgets, brain training and craft. The team has around three decades of experience between them in the industry and has worked with a range of large companies including Hasbro, Mattel, Bandai, Tomy and Flair. The team works across a range of media, including press, online, TV and radio and work with all sizes of company from newcomers to major players. Each PR programme, whether it’s

ORIGAMI FILMS

Origami Films has been supplying TV and now internet commercials to the toy industry since 1992, when Bill Clark was first approached by Ideal Toys to work on the original Super Soaker campaign. The Super Soaker advert was designed to sell 50,000 pieces in the UK as the American advert was considered to be too anti-social for children in the UK. The campaign featured the first water pistol advert where nobody got wet and the warehouse was empty within a month.

01628 894700

long-term or project based, is carefully designed using every appropriate communication method including events, previews, roadshows, product placement, interviews, sampling, awards and championships. The current client list includes Drumond Park Games, Tony Buzan (Mind Maps for children and study skills handbooks), the UK Schools Memory Championship, Seven Towns (Rubiks European Speedcubing Championship), Spycatcher Online and The Game Factory.

020 8960 8892

Since then, Origami has created in excess of a thousand clocks including every Power Rangers commercial ever seen in the UK. Other companies the firm has worked with include Bandai, Playmates, Toybrokers, Brio and Toymaster. In 2005, Clark also produced a children’s feature film The Christmas Miracle of Jonathan Toomey. In addition to its creative and production services, Origami handles Clearcast clearance and station traffic management, providing the bridge between the client, media and contractors.

DATASOURCE

Datasource is a multi-services translation agency specialising in toys and edutainment. With five years of experience in the industry, the firm provides a wide range of services. Founded in 2002 to meet the increasing linguistic needs of companies looking to expand their reach in the global market, the firm works with over 400 native professional translators and voice talents, offering services to clients in more than 20 countries. Translations can be made into 40 different languages and the firm will

EVOLUTION 01327 701702

Whether as a retained agency, event organisers for press previews or as consultants to an in-house PR team, Evolution can offer affordable communications strategies. The firm’s summer press event, Christmas in July, is one such example. Each year over 20 companies come together in a central London location where press can view Christmas ranges. The event delivers all journalists in one day without the hassle of contacting each publication individually. Christmas in July is designed for a range of companies, whether they employ a PR agency or not and can be a cost effective method of building a media database. Evolution is already taking bookings for 2009. Alternatively, for a year-round approach, Evolution can tailor a package to suit individual companies. From organising a trade schedule right through to consumer PR and advertising planning, the team’s adaptable style ensures most needs can be met within budget.

0870 440375

work with all documents including instructions, packaging text and software content and ensures each translation is adapted to the product and target country. Voice recording is also offered for products such as laptops, talking books, dolls and robots. The firm uses actors who can deliver lively, animated voices for each product. DVD voice-over and dubbing; software debugging and language testing, creation of content, using age relevant vocabulary and graphic design are also among the services offered.


42-46 TN88_final

13/11/08

17:05

Page 5

SECTOR GUIDE INDUSTRY SERVICES

www.toynewsmag.com

4T2 MULTIMEDIA 01202 767 300

Website development and games for brands wanting to engage children online are the services offered by 4T2 multimedia. The firm works with kids to ensure everything it creates is interactive and keeps them coming back for more. Children played games created by 4T2 more than 80 million times last year. The firm has worked for Lego, delivering online games including Bionicle Mistika, Mars Mission, Mahri, City and more. The Bionicle game was played 21 million times in 2007.

NORTON AND COMPANY

Married couple and industry veterans, Tony and Michele Norton, set up Norton and Company in 1991. The firm specialises in toys and at 17 years old, boasts an impressive client history including brands and names like Vivid Imaginations, Lego, RC2, VTech, JCB, Warner Bros Consumer Products, Esdevium Games, Halsall and Redan Publishing. The company also has a list of achievements including driving Bratz to be crowned Doll of the Year for three years, establishing Thunderbirds Tracy Island as the hottest toy in 1993 and 2001, Teksta the Cyber Dog becoming Toy of the Year in 2000, Lego being the first and only product ever to be

SGS UK

0151 350 6666

SGS UK is a division of the global SGS Group and is a toy testing and quality assurance provider. The firm is a UKAS accredited laboratory to ISO 17025 and a European Notified Body to the Toy Safety Directive. Expert advice is offered on toy safety, nursery products, general product safety, risk assessment and quality and performace issues. The firm offers the following services: lToy and toy packaging: EN71, Parts 1-3: Physical, Mechanical, Flammability and Chemical Tests. lChemistry sets, toys and finger paints: EN71, Parts 4, 5 & 7.

ASTM physical and mechanical tests for toy and toy packaging. lBanned Azo dye analysis for textiles and textile components of toys. lPhthalates and Cadmium content in plastics. lNickel Release on metal objects in contact with skin. lEU packaging directive. lElectrical toy safety and approvals: EN62115. lEMC compotent body. lRoHS screening by XRF and analytical tests. lMACF chemical and physical tests for plastics, ceramic ware, glassware. lTextiles: Chemical, Physical and Flammability Tests.

lUKAS accreditated service for

45

CLOVERLEAF MARKETING 07703 481909

Cloverleaf aims to provide affordable communication services for trade and consumer marketing to SME businesses. With experience of managing tighter budgets, the firm aims to provide clients with a cost effective solution to promoting products and services. Suzie Warner heads up the business and has a decade of marketing communications experience, most recently in the toy industry and now specialises in the children’s sector. Cloverleaf’s services can be engaged on either a project or retainer basis and range from press release services and copywriting to planning and implementing complete marketing campaigns.

01608 812830

immortalised on the Google homepage and establishing Care Bears and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles as retro icons for the Noughties. New business gains and shifting demands on PR consultancies have led Norton and Co to expand its areas of influence to include sales promotion, licensing and marketing consultancy experience, design, stand building, event management and new media. Staff experience ranges from fashion, food, homes, technology, motoring and the arts and as such, the company aims to expand its influence on the industry by moving into alternative markets while retaining its established expertise in toy and youth marketing.

RICHARD EDWARD Established for 30 years, Richard Edward has the capacity to produce in excess of 40 million decks of cards per annum using its fully integrated inhouse facilities. From card components for board games, stand alone card games, trading card sets and cards for promotional use, the company delivers its products worldwide. The London-based plant benefited from a £4.5 million investment in 2006 and can now offer a range of specialist printing and finishing processes to meet the most demanding briefs, from glow in the dark to temperature reactive inks. With diminishing global trading

020 8311 8888 barriers, the firm recognises it is often very easy for companies to source products from overseas. Richard Edward offers a service with scope to reduce the carbon footprint by purchasing British products. Corporate social responsibility is also at the forefront of most agendas and increasing consumer awareness means every buyer is trying to source ethically. Richard Edward offers environmental credentials including FSC and Green Mark and is audited to Global Sourcing Principles and the ETI base code and holds both Investors in People and ISO 9001 accreditations.


42-46 TN88_final

46

13/11/08

17:05

Page 6

SECTOR GUIDE INDUSTRY SERVICES

JASON PACKAGING 0161 763 8000

Lancashire-based Jason Packaging is utilising Symphony’s d2w additive in the production process converting polythene bags to a 100 per cent oxydegradable version. The additive enables the company to continue to manufacture its polythene carriers from its plant near Bury meaning it will not affect lead times. Some 60 per cent of the firm’s existing clients have already opted for the degradable version and the product is available at the same cost as the original polythene version.

ISOTRON

FCL UK

0121 454 8181

FCL UK is a logistics solutions provider to the international toy industry. The West Midlands-based company celebrates five years in business this year. Founded in 2003 as a direct response to low service levels being offered in the industry, in particular the sea freight sector, the company now employs 16 full time staff and boasts a range of international clients. The company deliberately targets the organisations it feels are not receiving levels of service, pricing and

0800 0186 196 Sterilisation and decontamination specialist, Isotron has announced an extension of its current DaRT service. The new 24 hour rapid turnaround service will introduce electron beam processing in addition to the existing gamma technology. The improved service is aimed at products requiring urgent processing to meet delivery or shipment deadlines. The rapid processing service offers guaranteed 24-hour turnaround on volumes up to a single pallet. The new service complements the existing sterilisation and decontamination services offered by Isotron to customers in the medical device, pharmaceuticals, packaging, cosmetics and technical applications markets. The sterilisation and decontamination services via ethylene oxide, electron beam and gamma irradiation processing with technical support, testing and consultancy provided by its laboratory services.

individual treatment they needed from larger firms. FCL offers a range of services encompassing air, sea, road and rail freight transport, storage, warehousing, pick and pack operations and strategic solutions including documentation, customs clearance and special projects such as abnormal cargo transport. Starting with the customer, the firm tailors its offering to what is needed for a bespoke service.

CLIVE SHELTON

ASPEN PR 01604 774945

Aspen PR is a new agency, which focuses its attention on the toy and nursery arena. Previous experience for the company has included work with 20Q, GirlTech and Street Gliders brands. Aspen’s services include website development, event organisation and all areas of PR. Account Director, Helen Davis, has a background of over ten years in the toys and games industry as a PR professional. Aspen PR is a small company, but is part of a larger group, meaning it can draw on the services and resources available from a wider organisation.

020 8249 6524 Clive Shelton Associates offers a bespoke range of services to provide assistance with most categories of consumer products from toys and food to stationery and cosmetics. Some companies that operate a regular regime of testing and certification can use the company to liaise with test laboratories to ensure they are acting in the clients’ best interests, providing the correct interpretation of results and ensure the firm is covered for the main safety issues. Many clients enlist Clive Shelton for a regular range review, whereby the firm advises on specific issues for some products or may simply point out changes expected in the future which might affect other products. Some clients request a visit from a specialist several times a year as a means of training inhouse quality staff and sales team on the latest trends in product compliance. When this service is chosen the company can provide certification for staff.


09 TN88_final

7/11/08

15:49

Page 1

Hasbro Ireland Contract Manufacturing

• • • • • •

Boardgames - Toys - Puzzles 'One-Stop Shop' manufacturing and logistics service More than 30 years experience producing games, toys and puzzles Modern 22,500 sq m world class manufacturing facility Dedicated team to develop and deliver your product within the shortest lead-time Experienced, flexible and motivated workforce Combine the critical mass advantage of Europe’s largest games manufacturer with the flexibility of a dedicated team serving a growing number of companies within the Industry

For further information and to request a quotation please visit our website www.hasbro.ie or call 00353 51 321256


74 TN85_final

13/8/08

17:20

Page 1


49 TN88_final

14/11/08

18:11

Page 1

Dedicated monthly retail coverage

Retail Only News • Data • Opinion

Entertainer buoyed by web sales

Online sales “on fire” says firm, as it reveals its top ten toy tips

THE ENTERTAINER is ready to grasp the specialist online toy retailing space as web sales continue to improve for the firm. As it reveals its top ten Christmas product tips from its www.toyshop.com site, the firm says online sales are proving to be surprisingly robust and has plans to continue improving its online offering with new delivery options. The full list reads: ■ FurReal Biscuit My Best Friend (Hasbro) ■ Ben 10 Deluxe Omnitrix (Bandai) ■ Elmo Live! (Mattel) ■ Moon Sand Adventure Island (Spin Master) ■ Catcha Beast (Bandai) ■ Dream Town Cherry Blossom Store (Worlds Apart)

■ Upsy Daisy in her Bed (Hasbro) ■ Fisher-Price Smart Cycle (Mattel) ■ Butterscotch Pony – (Hasbro) ■ iTeddy (Vivid Imaginations) Buying director, Stuart Grant, commented: “We all know the high street is having a tough time at the moment, but our online sales have been absolutely on fire. “We are now putting plans in place for a 24-hour pick pack service,

which is something we weren’t expecting to do this year.” With such positive sales, the firm is focussing internally on the internet and maximising this side of the business, while still retaining a focus on store sales. “The big toy retailers on the high street are offering some crazy promotions at the moment while everyone is struggling to remain competitive – it’s going to be a tough Christmas for us all,” Grant offers. “However, the online sales have exceeded all of our expectations and this boosts overall sales for the company – online is an easy win with a little less effort. And regardless of the channel, a pound in the till is a pound in the till,” Grant explains. Entertainer: 01494 737000

Hamleys opens Dubai doors HAMLEYS has unveiled its 32,000 square foot concept store in the Dubai Mall. Brought to Dubai by Retail Arabia, which holds the exclusive franchise for Hamleys in the region, the store is located on the second floor of the newly opened mall. Visitors enter a replica of London’s Regent Street complete with street performers. Inside the shop is a carracing dome; a camel caravan; a Ferrari bike racing track; a gaming area and life-sized doll’s houses. Retail Arabia MD and CEO Nabil Daud, said: “Everyone loves Hamleys; it’s the toy store kids dream about. Children come to the store and are able to play with those toys they’ve always wanted. To be responsible for bringing that dream to the Middle

East is an honour for us at Retail Arabia. We have spent months preparing for the special day, getting ready to bring Hamleys spirit to the children of Dubai.” The mall’s general manager, Yousif Al Ali, has said that he expects to see

around 30 million visitors in the centre’s first year of operation. The Dubai launch is just one in a wider opening schedule for the retailer, which has also seen the first standalone store outside Regent Street in Dundrum Town Centre, Dublin. The new Irish Hamleys store occupies 37,000 sq ft and is spread over three floors in the centre’s Pembroke Avenue area. Paul Currie, Hamleys trading director, said: “We are extremely excited to be coming to Dundrum Town Centre, a premium location for fabulous shopping and days out. A considerable portion of our overseas customers are Irish and we are looking forward to growing this customer base.” Hamleys: 0844 855 2424

High Street Page 52 In-store promotions, price watch and Counter Insurgent…

Charts Page 53 This month’s retail charts feature: Amazon, Mail Order Express, W.H Smith, Woolworths, The Entertainer and Hamleys...

New products Page 54 On their way this month are offerings from Vivid, Grossman, DKL, Mattel and Esdevium…


50-51 TN88_final

50

13/11/08

17:07

Page 1

RETAIL SCENE LUTZ MULLER

The home stretch In his latest column Lutz Muller examines how the US retail scene is shaping up as it turns into the home straight for Christmas… THE UPCOMING fourth quarter is set to be the make-or-break period for the retail industry. The November and December shopping period typically accounts for over 70 per cent of toy shipments to retailers. Given the current climate – undoubtedly the worst since the depression – how are toy sales likely to fare this year? The first metric is the Consumer Confidence index. Adam York, a noted economic analyst, commented on the latest figures to come out: “Consumers certainly appear to think the sky is falling.” In short, the index showed some of the worst reading and the highest monthly drop ever (see figure 1). The second metric I looked at was consumer blogs, which denote

showed a sharp uptick in late October (undoubtedly as a result of the release of interesting new titles) and the iPhone was very dynamic (see figure 2). I also looked at the web traffic of Toys R Us, GameStop and Apple, with very similar results. Basically, this tells us the consumer is not particularly motivated to think about toys right now. Given that these figures were taken from the end of October, at a time when toy sales should begin their steep ascent to the mid December peak, this is not particularly good news. EBay has recently released its sales numbers for the third quarter and its forecast for the fourth quarter. According to the numbers, sales of toys fell 11 per cent compared to the

Figure 1

Figure 2

Last year, Wal-Mart’s strategy to drive traffic used toy specials as the main attraction. Toys R Us and Target will emulate Wal-Mart this year and we can look forward to a pretty interesting time. consumer interest in the category. I compared toys with video games and used the iPhone as a control group, which is widely known to be a particularly exciting product and one unlikely to suffer from the current economic malaise. Toys in this comparison were as flat as a pancake, whereas video games

DECEMBER 2008

same time last year. The retailer forecasts a major sales decline for all categories, including toys, for the fourth quarter. The buyers at the large toy retailers are reacting to this. They can see from their own sales figures that things are not going well on the sell-through front. Two things appear

to be happening. One is that the inexpensive toys, mainly private label brands and the very strong branded toys continue to do reasonably well and the remainder of the market is hurting financially. The second is that only two categories were still growing in October – board games and pre-

school. Buyers believe the board game category is growing because it represents the best entertainment value for families. They are attributing the steady and continued growth in the pre-school category to simple fact that 4.5 million babies are born every year into the US.


50-51 TN88_final

13/11/08

17:07

Page 2

LUTZ MULLER RETAIL SCENE

www.toynewsmag.com

At this point in time, the buyers count on a dismal fourth quarter and the best-case scenario today, at the end of October, is down five per cent for the quarter. This can still change and one of the key drivers for such a change will be the price of petrol. If it does drop down to $2 per gallon, as it seems may be possible at the moment, then things can turn around and we could have a flat quarter rather than a down quarter. In recognition of this negative outlook, the three major retailers have decided on their strategies for the remainder of the year. Firstly, maintain a very sharp eye on inventory. The buyers have been told that their bonuses will depend on the skill at which they manage to strike the balance between shelves and warehouses. In practice, they continue to cut full POs in line with sales expectations for the strong brands and for the cheap ones, but reduce this to 65 per cent of expectation for the non-promoted brands. In this latter instance, they look to the retailers to be able to ship the difference in case things go better than anticipated. Secondly, expand the space allocated to toys. Figure 3 shows how the toy space allocation has progressed so far this year. Thirdly, begin expanding the number of end-caps and aisle caps devoted to the toy category. Figure 4 shows how end caps and aisle caps have progressed so far in 2008. Finally, allocate endcaps and aisle caps in proportion to success potential. Figure 5 shows how the various key vendors have participated in endcap/aisle cap allocation so far. What this tells us is that Mattel and Hasbro, with 35 slots each, are approximately on par in terms of their sales potentials (with Mattel now catching up with its competitor, having lost pre-eminence since the middle of the year).

Figure 3

Figure 4

51

of special prices numbering hundreds of SKUs each. Also, you can expect very heavy media activity to accompany these price cuts. For instance, Toys ‘R’ Us begun to roll out a holiday shopping television and radio marketing campaign in late October. The advertising promotes the retailer’s stores and e-commerce sites as places ‘Where kids are a big deal.’ Television spots began to air on more than 20 major television and cable networks on October 22nd and will continue through the holiday season. As for Wal-Mart, it has also already begun its holiday shopping push by putting the focus in its TV spots on the positive impact of its discount prices: More cash in its customers’ pockets to make their Christmas giving go further. The ‘Save money. Live better’ concept is the for the first time being used in the context of a holiday campaign and you can expect very strong exposure particularly beginning just prior black Friday to Christmas day. Target has not yet unveiled its advertising program for Christmas 2008 but we can take it as read that it too will take a very aggressive stance towards toy advertising this year, unlike last year when it basically wrote toys off and paid the price in same-store sales in the fourth quarter. Also, given the economic climate right now, I expect it to emphasise the pay less part of its ‘Expect More, Pay Less’ advertising slogan.

Figure 5

Jakks and Lego are proving to be the distant runners-up with around ten slots each. Given the fact that an end-cap generates as much business as an aisle and an aisle cap as much as four end-caps, who they are allocated to will be a major indicator for success or failure during the fourth quarter. Last year Wal-Mart’s strategy to drive traffic to its stores used toy

specials as the main attraction, in the hope that consumers would then stay to buy other products as well. Toys R Us and Target will emulate Wal-Mart this year and we can look forward to a pretty interesting time. The main tool for all three will be promotional prices. Toys R Us, for instance, will be slashing prices on more than 300 of its toy items. WalMart and Target have their own list

Lutz Muller is a Swiss who has lived on five continents. In the US, he was the CEO for four manufacturing companies, including two in the toy industry. Since 2002, he has provided competitive intelligence on the toy and video games market to manufacturers and financial institutions coast-to-coast. www.klosterstrading.com DECEMBER 2008


52 TN88_final

52

14/11/08

12:40

Page 1

RETAIL ONLY

HIGHSTREET

Dispatches from the retail front line... By the time you read this, we should have a good idea how Christmas trade has been. Our media is scaring the crap out of the consumer. It has always been said that fireworks are a good indicator to how Christmas will be, well the general opinion was that it was as busy after Nov 5th than it was before. So looks like post Christmas sales it will be then. Constant interruptions are the bane of my bloody life, a simple five minute job takes two hours. Trouble is it’s easy to ask the boss. We all have certain members of staff who will ask a question instead of looking for themselves. I eventually resorted to telling the interrupter- in–chief to bugger off, she complained that she couldn’t find something on the shelf and can I help look for it. So if Playmobil could make their boxes even bigger for a bloody great big circus arena I would appreciate it. Also, reps and agents who don’t go out because buyers aren’t buying apparently. So they phone. Out of the blue. Normally when you are in the middle of something. They are all bemoaning that they are only getting carriage paid orders instead of big main season orders. Well, guess what guys? If there isn’t much being delivered then you need to keep calling on your customers, you are far more likely to pick up an order now than in previous years. I am sure you all get the ‘one game companies’ call you. If I’ve had one phone call I’ve had a hundred. Very often the calls are because of a visit by a staff member cruising death valley at Toy Fair and telling the said company to contact the buyer. We do try to support these guys but please, if a buyer says no, don’t phone him up and run the same five-minute sales patter as you did last week, or even the day before as I had in one case. I certainly don’t have the time to keep being polite and indeed I wasn’t the other day. Anyway I’ve just been interrupted again and I’ve got to go. So all that is left is to wish everyone a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year and hope to see you at what is left of Toy Fair.

DECEMBER 2008

IN STORE PROMOTIONS To celebrate the arrival of Disney’s High School Musical 3: Senior Year, Amazon is offering a 20 per cent discount on a selection of its High School Musical games, gadgets, figures of the cast and more. The retailer is also offering Elmo Live for £55, down from £59.99. Selected Hornby Train Sets and Scalextric Racing Sets are also being offered at 25 per cent off. Amazon is also slashing 20 per cent off selected quality LeapFrog products, including Learn & Groove musical toys, ClickStart consoles and games, plus a range of fridge play items.

Customers who spend £10 on selected Playskool items at Mail Order Express will receive a Tubby Turtle free. The online retailer is also offering 25 per cent off Worlds Apart Go Glow clocks and 20 per cent off Baby Annabel dolls. Also celebrating the release of the new movie, Woolworths is offering chance to win one of ten HSM 3 goodie bags worth over £100 with every order over £10 on HSM products. Woolies is also offering an online competition to win Tag reading system and complete software library.

Customers can save 25 per cent on all board games at Argos. The catalogue giant is also taking 25 per cent off toy brands including Playskool, In the Night Garden, Bindeez, Transformers, Littlest Pet Shop, Hannah Montana, Cars and Thomas and Friends. There’s an online competition on www.argos.co.uk to win a trip worth £4,000 to meet Santa in Lapland. The three-night prize is for two adults and two children.

Toys R Us is offering a free easel when customers spend £50 on Thomas and Friends products, plus a free vanity case with Disney Princess orders over £40 and a free Iggle Piggle Blanket toy on In the Night Garden orders over £40. A Barbie colouring competition is also being offered to Toys R Us customers. Children can colour in a picture of Barbie in her Hot Tub Party Bus for the chance to win a weekend break for a family at Center Parcs or runners up prizes of a Barbie Dream House.

From left: Mattel’s Elmo Live, Worlds Apart Go Glow clock, Disney Princess and Littlest Pet Shop…

PRICE CHECK: DECEMBER TOY

COUNTER INSURGENT

STORE

Bakugan Starter Pack Spin Master

Monopoly Here and Now: The World Edition Hasbro

Dream Town Cherry Blossom Stores Worlds Apart

My Life Flair

Camp Rock Mitchie and Shane Set Mattel

£11.99

£28.99

£49.99

£43.75

£29.99

£14.00

£24.99

£59.99

£46.99

£29.99

£12.99

£24.99

£59.99

N/A

£32.99

£12.97

£24.97

£59.97

£49.97

N/A

£12.97

£18.74

£49.99

£49.99

£32.99


53 TN88_v3

13/11/08

10:49

Page 1

RETAIL ONLY

www.toynewsmag.com

53

RETAILCHARTS CHART DATE 21/10/08

Woolworths 1

Famosa Ferrari 430 6V

2

The Entertainer

CHART DATE 21/10/08

Feber

1

Baby Born Doll with Magic Eyes

Furreal Biscuit My Fun Lovin’ Pup

Hasbro

2

Power Tour Electric Guitar

Hasbro

3

Midland Flyer Train Set

Hornby

3

Elmo Live!

Mattel

4

Star Wars Clone Wars Millenium Falcon

Hasbro

4

Bakugan Starter Pack

5

Star Wars Republic Attack Gunship

Lego

5

Whiz Kid Learning System

6

Chad Valley Wooden Dolls House

Woolworths

6

Bratz Life TV Game

7

Barbie Plane and Doll Set

Mattel

7

Unicorn Fantasy Land

8

Black and Decker Toy Workbench

Smoby

8

Cube World Places – Global Getaway

9

Lifestyle Custom Kitchen

Step2

9

Cranium Balloon Lagoon

10 Bratz Girls Really Rock Tour Bus

Amazon

MGA

Zapf Creation

Spin Master VTech Vivid Playmobil Mattel Re:creation

10 Operation: The Simpsons Edition

CHART DATE 21/10/08

Mail Order Express

Hasbro

CHART DATE 21/10/08

1

PicooZ MX1 Extreme Micro Helicopter

Silverlit

1

Fireman Sam Firestation Play-set

Martin Yaffe

2

PicooZ Insecta Helicopter

Silverlit

2

Kindergarten Group Set 100-piece

Mobilo

3

Ben 10 Puzzle (100 pieces)

Pressman Toy

3

Baby Annabell Happy Holiday Set

Zapf Creation

4

PicooZ Helicopter

Silverlit

4

Baby Annabell Buggy

Zapf Creation

5

20Q Version 2

Radica Games

5

Baby Annabell 4 Doll

Zapf Creation

6

GoGo’s Crazy Bones Evolution Gogo Bag

Magic

6

Baby Born Mini Car

Zapf Creation

7

Fisher-Price Elmo Live

Mattel

7

Winnie the Pooh My First Scooter

Martin Yaffe

8

Ben 10 Deluxe Omnitrix

Bandai

8

Noddy Sound Board Scooter

Martin Yaffe

9

PicooZ MX1 Supreme Micro Helicopter

Silverlit

9

Baby Born Sweet Dreams Set

Zapf Creation

10 Original Rubik’s Cube

Toys R Us

Drumond Park

10 Baby Born Horse and Carriage

CHART DATE 23/09/08

Hamleys

Zapf Creation

CHART DATE 22/10/08

1

Matchbox Mega Rig Construction

Mattel

1

50 Greatest Magic Tricks

2

Barbie My Scene Radio Control Roller Girl

Mattel

2

Magic Drawing Board

Hamleys

3

Darla 18” Touch Sensor Doll

You and Me

3

PiccoZ Helicopter

Silverlet

4

My First Drum Set

Fun Years

4

AA battery four pack

5

Sit n Draw Creativity Desk – Red and Blue

Imaginarium

5

Nail Jazz Kit (Matt)

RDM

6

Wooden Multi-Activity Cube

East Coast Nursery

6

Rainbow Art Sticker Scratcherz

Flair

7

Tandem-Z Copter

Silverlit

7

UFO Mini Infra Red

8

Atomic Fury Trike with Parent Handle

TRU Exclusive

8

Nail Jazz Kit (Metalllic)

9

Thomas the Tank Engine Ultimate Set

Tomy

9

Infinite Bubbles

10 20” Sparkler Full Suspension Bike

Magna

10 Rainbow Art

Marvin’s Magic

Energizer

Silver Fern RDM Hamleys Hamleys

mobile.toynewsmag.com The latest news straight to your phone

BOOKMARK US TODAY DECEMBER 2008


54 TN88_final

54

13/11/08

17:09

Page 1

RETAIL ONLY

PRODUCTNEWS

Fisher Price introduces Mr Men range THE MR Men Show has been proving a ratings success for Five and now master toy licensee, Fisher-Price has launched its supporting toy range. Key TV driver, Somebody Needs a Tickle feature plush, will be one of the range’s key products. As kids press his tummy, he starts a tickling and features character phrases from the show. Also in the collection, is a range of four feature plush toys including Mr. Strong, Mr. Bump, Little Miss Chatterbox and Little Miss Sunshine. Each one brings to life the on screen

antics of the Dillydale cast with its own phrases. Fans of the Mr Men characters can also collect the selection of 12 mini soft plushes and figure sets. A high

profile celebrity press event launched the collection, while PR and television will continue throughout the coming months. Mattel: 01628 500000

DKL continues green theme DKL’S NEW Eco House from Wonderworld is currently selling well. The first Wooden Two Storey Doll House to teach children how to save energy in their own home features recycling containers, a water butt, solar panels, wind turbine, trees and a bicycle. Furniture and family is also included and the house retails for around £100. The firm only uses rubberwood from replenishable sources and this year launched ‘Tree Plus’. This scheme ensures every tree used (each tree is at least 25 years old and

has no commercial use) is replaced with two more. The firm also works with environmental charities and packaging is made from at least 70 per cent recycled paper. In 2009, Wonderworld will be growing this initiative further, while Eco Games will also expand. DKL: 01604 678780

Esdevium targets connoisseurs SYBARIT, the latest offering from Esdevium Games, is not one for the kids: this is strictly for the connoisseur. Sybarit is an afterdinner game about food, wine and etiquette. This version is specifically designed for the UK & Irish market, although the game has been a hit in Sweden,

DECEMBER 2008

where it launched four years ago and is available in German-speaking markets. It is being launched this year in North America. Even before its first exhibition (at Autumn Fair), 33 per cent of stock has been allocated to Lakeland. Sybarit retails at £29.99. Esdevium: 01420 593500

Vivid swoops for Owl plush

BASED ON TV Loonland’s new top rating BBC One and CBBC short animated comedy, The Owl, Vivid Imaginations has created a range of plush. With three styles to collect, The Owl Beanies (£6.99) even play the Owl theme tune when you squeeze them. At around nine-inches tall and complete with a three episode Owl DVD, the Owl Feature Plush (£16.99) is the hero product in the range. The Owl Backpack (£14.99) with adjustable straps has lots of storage room. The Owl plush range is being supported by Vivid in Q4 with an extensive PR blitz. Vivid: 01483 449944

Flash move from Grossman THE NEWLY launched Cosmic Flashing See Saw lights up any play area for younger kids. It has been designed with a unique flashing light up system, which flashes in a multi coloured light sequence with the up and down motion of the see saw.

The Cosmic Flashing See Saw rotates 360 degrees and is available in pink and purple (targeting the girls sector) and blue and green (which is targeting boys). Each is priced around £29.99. Grossman: 0141 613 2525


55 TN88_final

13/11/08

17:11

Page 1

HERO PRODUCT

www.toynewsmag.com

55

Upper Deck Yu-Gi-Oh! Trading Card Game The Yu-Gi-Oh TCG is currently seeing a resurgence in the market since new monsters and gaming concepts were introduced to all products in August….. THE NEW PRODUCT Aimed at boys aged six to 14 years, the new card content is based on new TV series Yu-Gi-Oh! 5Ds (the 5Ds stands for five dragons), which will be broadcast in the UK from early 2009. The extension to the evergreen property will feature new monsters, new characters and a new adventure for children to follow. Upper Deck is using a tried and tested method of taking it to market, distributing the product for children to experience the 5Ds concept before the cards are shown on the series. In January, the company will be taking the product a step closer to the TV series, by introducing one of the new characters, Yusei, the hero of the new series. In addition to the TCG, a Yu-Gi-Oh! toy line is planned for launch in spring 2009 featuring role-play items and vehicles. DISTRIBUTION The Konami licensed Yu-Gi-Oh! TCG is produced in seven languages in 51 countries and over 18.1billion cards have been sold worldwide. In the UK, the product is sold in Argos, Woolworths, WH Smith, Toys R Us, Borders, Gamestation, Game and Smyths, as well as a number of supermarkets, independent toy stores, specialist stores, hobby stores and newsagents.

MARKETING A PR campaign is targeting print media via advertising, features and competitions. A three-week TV campaign will deliver 300 TVRs over November and December on Nickelodeon platforms. The game will be supported with Upper Deck’s Organised Play program, with Sneak Previews and Championship events taking place in 2009 in various venues. Monthly retail support will provide Hobby Kits to stores free of charge. The kits will include all the materials needed to run tournaments and mini events including exclusive reward cards, prize support and marketing materials to help promote the events at store level. Upper Deck will also be continuing its successful Duelist League events with Woolworths. The events involve a week of game demonstrations and tournaments run by game experts in over 40 stores across the UK.

© 1996 KAZUKI TAKAHASHI © 2008 NAS ▪ TV TOKYO

Release dates: YU-GI-OH 5Ds 2008 Starter Deck and the Annual Collectible Tins were released in August. Subsequent releases will be issued monthly from January as follows: JANUARY 2009 – Duelist Pack Yusei (first product to feature Yusei and Champion Pack) FEBRUARY 2009 – Retro Pack, Crimson Crisis Booster and Duelist Pack Yugi MARCH 2009 – Hobby Exclusive, Crimson Crisis Special Edition and 5D Duelist Pack Tin PRICE RANGE: Starting at £1.79 for Duelist packs, up to £14.99 for the collectible tin products TVRS: 300 in November and December CONTACT DETAILS: Phone: 0118 929 8520 Email: enquiries@upperdeck.nl

DECEMBER 2008


56-65 TN88_final

14/11/08

11:58

Page 2

The place for business

RATES:

1/4 page: Annual charge £1,395 (minimum twelve months booking) Get your company featured: adrian.miles@intentmedia.co.uk T: 01992 535 647

Advertisers

LOGIBLOCS

■ Character Costumes & P.O.S.

01727 763700

JellyHead 3D

0208 441 2158

Rainbow Productions

0208 254 5300

■ Media Dolphin TV

0207 420 8294

■ Point of Purchase Manufacturers Daytona Visual Marketing

01827 54551

■ Safety Testing CMA Testing

(852) 2698 8198

SGS

0208 991 3410

STR

0118 939 8700

■ Suppliers/Manufacturers Applepie Toys

0207 490 7694

Bachmann Europe

0870 751 9990

Cambridge Brainbox

01279 821333

Danbar International Ltd.

01707 260 111

Debut Sport

0117 966 8889

Esdevium Games

01420 593 593

Flying Toys Games Workshop

01702 295110 08700 134 411

Gowi (Earlybird Educational Toys) 01536 200925 Great Gizmos

01293 543221

Logiblocs

01727 763700

Marvin’s Magic

01582 849 000

Plastics for Games

01728 745300

Ravensburger

01869 363800

Revell The Puppet Company Thumbs Up Toy Revolution Voila (Agenta Marketing) WOW Toys

01442 250130 01462 446 040 0845 466 8880 01299 253 665 01536 401128 0207 381 2302

■ Toy Suppliers Carta Mundi

01268 511522

Plastics for Games

01728 745300

Richard Edward

0208 311 8888

Sambro

0161 707 5555

Adrian Miles: +44 (0)1992 535 647 adrian.miles@intentmedia.co.uk

SUPPLIER/MANUFACTURER

Logiblocs made a leap into a totally new direction with the introduction of the LogiMen range last year. Although the LogiMen have not hit the TV schedules yet, they have captured the imagination of young kids (5+) with their flashing eyes and magnetic feet – not to mention the fact that they actually interact with each other. This year the LogiMen soldiers (with heads that fly off at the press of a button) have been launched to join the Civilian, Criminal, Police and Secret Agent characters. The electronic robotic men have their own stories to tell and their own individual functions offering kids a new world for imaginative play with very attractive price points. (£4.99 - £9.99)

particular, the versatile LogiRobot was introduced in 2003 adding a new dimension to the range. This can work autonomously using onboard sensors to control it or be controlled remotely by kids themselves using the Infrared remote. This year, Logiblocs has introduced the Electric City kit. This encourages older kids (7+) to engage with the concepts of logic, feed-back and automation as they build and design their own gadgets and systems to surprise their friends. For newcomers there are special Starter Packs of both Logiblocs and LogiMen at preferential prices. Why not give Logiblocs a go and accept the challenge? Logiblocs is now in its 12th year. Every year Logiblocs has extended the product, often driven by customer requests for new functions and gadgets. In

For further information, please visit www.logiblocs.com, call us on 01727 763700 or e-mail us at sales@logiblocs.com

THUMBS UP SUPPLIER/MANUFACTURER

0845 466 8880 Committed to developing and distributing the latest cool and innovative toys and gadgets, Thumbs Up (UK) Ltd is bursting into 2009 by expanding its lines with even more exciting products. Thumbs Up has established a great reputation for providing toys and novelties of all kinds, as well as the fashionable and exciting range of Elektro light-up t-shirts. It has also created products featuring popular licenses including Transformers, Batman and some top secret new licenses that are just on the verge of being tied up at the moment. The company has also had great success with its hero toy product, Gupi the Robot Guinea Pig, and this is set to continue when the very latest version of Gupi is introduced later in the year. In addition to the great products from partner companies, Thumbs Up also designs and develops its own range of products in-house, that can’t be found anywhere else and has

several exciting projects in the pipeline. One example of this is the ‘Micro-Bladez’ three-channel RC helicopter, which is set to be the most stable and controllable flying toy available and brings the kind of flight experience only before available with much larger and more expensive RC helicopters into the mini-

helicopter marketplace. If you’d like to know more about Thumbs Up, there’s plenty of news and information on its website at www.thumbsupuk.com, or for more specific enquires you can contact sales@thumbupuk.com or call 0845 466 8880


56-65 TN88_final

13/11/08

17:26

Page 3

Marketplace

www.toynewsmag.com | Advertising: +44 (0)1992 535 647 ■ Character Costumes & P.O.S.

■ Character Costumes & P.O.S.

WHAT GETS SEEN GETS BOUGHT Costume Characters  Point Of Sale  Props  Giant Promotional Plush Event Management  Storage and Maintenance  Costume Hire Constantly striving to offer more services to our clients, we recently began working with some high profile Clients such as Warner Brothersand Disney Consumer Products to provide lifesize plush toys made in the UK by our own skilled production team. This has proved a great success offering our clients much shorter lead times and first class products. As well as this, the launch of our Event Management Department will offer clients the opportunity to have us maintain and store your costumes plus organise character appearances, arrange staff and chaperones, storage and Millennium cleaning in the UK and FX is the Award abroad. Winning Special FX Company behind the Doctor Who monsters Not and Jellyhead 3d are an officially forgetting what we do approved agent to provide public best and that's to produce high quality, long lasting character costumes for hire, events, trade fairs and promotions. Our clients include Procter and Gamble, 4 Kids Entertainment , Tesco, Asda, and Motorola.

appearances for these iconic characters!

Danny Smith Doctor Who logo © BBC 2004. Cyberman image © BBC/Kit Pedlar/Gerry Davis 1966. Licensed by BBC Worldwide Limited.

Contact - Kelli Bromley, Sales Manager T: 0208 441 2158 M: 07760270209 www.jellyhead3d.co.uk sales@jellyhead3d.co.uk

■ Media

■ Point of Purchase Manufacturers


56-65 TN88_final

13/11/08

17:27

Page 4

Marketplace ■ Safety Testing

■ Safety Testing

■ Safety Testing

■ Suppliers/Manufacturers


56-65 TN88_final

13/11/08

17:27

Page 5

Marketplace

www.toynewsmag.com | Advertising: +44 (0)1992 535 647 ■ Suppliers/Manufacturers

■ Suppliers/Manufacturers

■ Suppliers/Manufacturers

■ Suppliers/Manufacturers

Lunar Pool Table

Innovation in modern table design

Built-in MP3 System

LED Under Cloth Illumination

Ball Storage Bays

From the UK’s No 1 games table supplier, Debut introduces the Lunar Pool Table. ‡,QQRYDWLYHVWFHQWXU\GHVLJQ ‡%XLOWLQ03V\VWHP ‡/('XQGHUFORWKLOOXPLQDWLRQ ‡%DOOVWRUDJHED\V

Contact Debut on T: 0117 966 8889 E: info@debutsport.co.uk or visit www.debutsport.co.uk

© Copyright Debut 2008


56-65 TN88_final

13/11/08

17:27

Page 6

Marketplace ■ Suppliers/Manufacturers

■ Suppliers/Manufacturers

■ Suppliers/Manufacturers

■ Suppliers/Manufacturers


56-65 TN88_final

13/11/08

17:28

Page 7

Marketplace

www.toynewsmag.com | Advertising: +44 (0)1992 535 647 ■ Suppliers/Manufacturers

■ Suppliers/Manufacturers

■ Suppliers/Manufacturers

■ Suppliers/Manufacturers


56-65 TN88_final

13/11/08

17:28

Page 8

Marketplace ■ Suppliers/Manufacturers

■ Suppliers/Manufacturers

■ Suppliers/Manufacturers

■ Suppliers/Manufacturers

No. 1 in the UK for model kits and accessories

Fax Order Hotline: 01442 245619 Revell GmbH & Co. KG, 64-66 Queensway, Hemel Hempstead, Herts HP2 5HA. Tel: 01442 250130. Email: ukbranch@revell.de


56-65 TN88_final

13/11/08

17:28

Page 9

Marketplace

www.toynewsmag.com | Advertising: +44 (0)1992 535 647 ■ Suppliers/Manufacturers

■ Suppliers/Manufacturers

■ Suppliers/Manufacturers

■ Suppliers/Manufacturers


56-65 TN88_final

13/11/08

17:29

Page 10

Marketplace â&#x2013;  Toy Suppliers

â&#x2013;  Toy Suppliers

3FUBJMÂ&#x2026;8IPMFTBMFÂ&#x2026;1SJWBUF-BCFMÂ&#x2026;$PMMFDUJCMFTÂ&#x2026;1SFNJVNTÂ&#x2026;(BNFT$BSET

$BSETGPS(BNFT´#PYFE#PBSE(BNFT´1MBZJOH$BSET´$PMMFDUBCMF$BSET

$BSUBNVOEJ :PVS1BSUOFSJO -JDFOTFE$BSET

$BSUBNVOEJ :PVS1BSUOFSJO$BSETBOE(BNFT .BLF$BSUBNVOEJ6,-UE QBSUPGZPVSXJOOJOHUFBNÂŚ PVSHBNFTDPOTVMUBOUJTIFSF UPIFMQ$"--/08

*ODPSQPSBUJOH

$BSUBNVOEJ6,-UEÂ&#x2026;5FM   Â&#x2026;JOGP!DBSUBNVOEJDPVLÂ&#x2026;XXXDBSUBNVOEJDPN

â&#x2013;  Toy Suppliers

5IF8PSMET/ QBSUOFSJOUIFQSPEVDUJPOPG$BSE(BNFT´1MBZJOH$BSET´#PBSE(BNFT´$PMMFDUBCMF$BSE(BNFT $BSUBNVOEJ6,-UE´5FM   ´JOGP!DBSUBNVOEJDPVL´XXXDBSUBNVOEJDPN

â&#x2013;  Toy Suppliers

r TM & Š 20 0 8 T h e L a r

Company chwarz yS

Sambro International Limited Unit L1-3 Lyntown Trading Estate, Lynwell Road, Eccles, Manchester, England, M30 9QG. T: +44 (0)161 707 5555 Contact Nikki Samuels on E: Nikki@sambro.co.uk T: +44 (0)7802517303 Contact Paul Cook on E: paul@sambro.co.uk T: +44 (0)7769900901


56-65 TN88_final

13/11/08

17:29

Page 11

Marketplace

www.toynewsmag.com | Advertising: +44 (0)1992 535 647

Advertisers Index ■ Character Costumes & P.O.S. JellyHead 3D

0208 441 2158

sales@jellyhead3d.co.uk

www.jellyhead3d.co.uk

Rainbow Productions

0208 254 5300

info@rainbowproductions.co.uk

www.rainbowproductions.co.uk

0207 420 8294

candida.jackson@dolphintv.com

www.kids-advertising.tv

01827 54551

info@daytonavisual.com

www.daytonavisual.com

■ Media Dolphin TV

■ Point of Purchase Manufacturers Daytona Visual Marketing

■ Safety Testing CMA Testing

(852) 2698 8198

info@cmatcl.com

www.cmatcl.com

SGS

0208 991 3410

gb.cts.sales@sgs.com

www.uk.sgs.com

STR

0118 939 8700

toys@struk.co.uk

www.struk.co.uk

www.applepietoys.com

■ Suppliers/Manufacturers Applepie Toys

0207 490 7694

info@applepietoys.com

Bachmann Europe

0870 751 9990

sales@bachmann.co.uk

www.bachmann.co.uk

01279 821333

sales@cambridgebrainbox.co.uk

www.cambridgebrainbox.co.uk

01707 260 111

Cambridge Brainbox Danbar International Ltd. Debut Sport

0117 966 8889

sales@danbartoys.com info@debutsport.co.uk

www.debutsport.co.uk

Esdevium Games

01420 593 593

sales@esdeviumgames.com

www.esdeviumgames.com

01702 295110

sales@flyingtoys.com

08700 134 411

uktradesales@games-workshop.co.uk

www.games-workshop.com

Flying Toys Games Workshop

www.danbartoys.com

Gowi (Earlybird Educational Toys)

01536 200925

sales@earlybirdtoys.co.uk

www.agenta.demon.co.uk/sand_water.html

Great Gizmos

01293 543221

enquiries@greatgizmos.co.uk

www.greatgizmos.co.uk

Logiblocs

01727 763700

sales@logiblocs.com

www.logiblocs.com

01582 849 000

magic@marvinsmagic.com

www.marvinsmagic.com

Plastics for Games

01728 745300

sales@plasticsforgames.co.uk

www.p4g.co.uk

Ravensburger

01869 363800

sales@ravensburger.com

www.ravensburger.com

Marvin’s Magic

Revell The Puppet Company

01442 250130

ukbranch@revell.de

www.revell.com

01462 446 040

info@thepuppetcompany.com

www.thepuppetcompany.com

Thumbs Up

0845 466 8880

sales@thumbsupuk.com

www.thumbsupuk.com

Toy Revolution

01299 253 665

admin@toyrevolution.com

www.toyrevolution.com

01536 401128

sales@agentamarketing.com

www.agenta.demon.co.uk/voila.html

0207 381 2302

enquiries@wowtoys.com

www.wowtoys.com

www.cartamundi.com

Voila (Agenta Marketing) WOW Toys

■ Toy Suppliers Carta Mundi

01268 511522

info@cartamundi.co.uk

Plastics for Games

01728 745300

sales@plasticsforgames.co.uk

www.p4g.co.uk

0208 311 8888

enquiries@richard-edward.com

www.richard-edward.com

+44 (0) 161 707 5555

sales@sambro.co.uk

www.sambro.co.uk

Richard Edward Sambro International

Marketplace RATES:

1/4 page: Annual charge £1,395 (minimum twelve months booking) Get your company featured: adrian.miles@intentmedia.co.uk T: 01992 535 647


66 TN88_final

66

14/11/08

17:38

Page 1

TOY TALK

TOY TALK

A bit of arty farty stuff in Toy Talk this month as Mega Brands opens its first exhibition and we solve the mystery of the Brighton Beach Lego man… BUT IS IT ART? Mega Brands entered the art world with a major solo show entitled “50 Robots” at the EXHIBIT gallery in London. Created by British artist James Johnson-Perkins, 50 pieces of robot sculptures and furniture were on display in the ground gallery space at Golden Lane Estate. The furniture is composed of 2,800 Mega Bloks. Speaking about the installation, Dave Martin, Mega Brand’s UK General Manager (pictured) said: “We are delighted to be involved in such an exciting and colourful exhibition that we believe will appeal to both adults and kids alike. We hope that children who see this exhibition will be inspired to look at their toys in a new light, and it is already giving us ideas on how we might be able to work further with James to encourage the kids who enjoy playing with our Bloks to have their own creations recognised.” OR IS THIS? Could have been a mob hit, except you’re not allowed to whack a ‘made man’ are you? Could have been suicide. There has certainly been much speculation surrounding the appearance of an 8ft Lego man which mysteriously washed up on Brighton beach. Some believe the character floated from Legoland in Denmark, others think he fell off a ship. Or perhaps, it was part of a Lego publicity stunt. A spokesman for Brighton and Hove City Council said it had no idea where the Lego man had come from, but added they saw no reason it couldn’t stay on the beach, saying: “There's no problem at all. It will be interesting to see how long the Lego man stays there for. We'll keep an eye on it.” ToyNews, however, believes the man is part of a stunt by a Dutch art collective group called Du Fois. The wording on the man’s front says, “No real than you are” which is linked to a Dutch website called Egoleonard.nl. The site is registered to, and maintained by, the Dutch art collective. So, mystery solved. MARVIN’S GOT TALENT Britain’s Got Talent winner George Sampson was given a helping hand by Marvin Berglas from Marvin’s Magic backstage at the recent Nickelodeon Kids Choice Awards. After being mesmerised by a personal demonstration of Marvin’s sleight of hand George is apparently hoping to have more personal coaching from Marvin.

Circulation & Subscriptions

www.toynewsmag.com Editorial: 01992 535646 Advertising: 01992 535647 Intent Media is a member of the Periodical Publishers Associations

AUDITED CIRCULATION Average Net Circulation: 6,069 July 1st 2007 to June 30th 2008, ToyNews is published 12 times a year by Intent Media ~ Saxon House, 6a St. Andrew Street, Hertford, Hertfordshire SG14 1JA Fax: +44 (0)1992 535648 © Intent Media 2008 No part of this publication may be reproduced in any form or by any means without prior permission of the copyright owners. ISSN: 1740-3308

SUBSCRIPTIONS UK: £50 Europe: £60 Rest of World: £90 The international cost applies per subscription and covers airmail dispatch of 12 issues To order your subscription via Visa, MasterCard, Amex Switch or Delta contact toy.subscriptions@c-cms.com or call 01580 883 848. Alternatively visit our website www.toynewsmag.com Subscriptions Manager - Hannah Short Hannah.Short@intentmedia.co.uk

DECEMBER 2008

MY No.1s Father Christmas Number one album: I’m a big drum and bass man, really. But it’s nearly Christmas so let’s say Nat King Cole’s Christmas Album. -------------------------------------------------Film: The Nightmare Before Christmas. Story of my life. -------------------------------------------------Website: www.lapland.com Nothing to do with the Finns. If you know what I mean :-) -------------------------------------------------Hero: Chuck D -------------------------------------------------Book: Argos catalogue -------------------------------------------------Number one single when you were born: Who knows? Probably something on a lute. -------------------------------------------------Pet: Reindeer -------------------------------------------------Magazine: Nuts -------------------------------------------------Holiday: Are you having a laugh? Contrary to popular belief I don’t just work one night a year. -------------------------------------------------Game/toy: Can’t stand ‘em. I have to deliver several million so last thing I want to do is play with ‘em. -------------------------------------------------Food: It ain’t mince pies, that’s for sure. --------------------------------------------------

Sponsored by


toy news house advert

17/9/08

11:56

Page 1

Toy Fair 10,000 Circulation Hits retail desks two weeks before show G Full booth-by-booth exhibitor guide G

G

Nuremberg Detailed coverage G Key exhibitor previews G Exclusive Interviews G Venue Information G

To maximise your presence in our February 2009 edition contact: Adrian Miles on 01992 535 646 or email Adrian.Miles@intentmedia.co.uk


92 TN87_final

14/10/08

10:27

Page 1


ToyNews Issue 88, December 2008