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Issue 92

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

INSIDE…

RISE OF THE ROBOTS WowWee’s new UK chief talks to ToyNews about its plans

RISE OF THE ROBERT Bob the Builder celebrates ten years at the top of his game

GAME ON FOR LEGO Building block giant’s unlikely excursion into the games market

PRINT IMPRESSES Why the toy industry needs the children’s mag sector

April 2009


WBCP LOGO: TM & Š Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. BATMAN and all related characters and elements are trademarks of and Š DC Comics. (s09)


Contents REGULARS

Ronnie Dungan Editor Ronnie.Dungan@intentmedia.co.uk

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

4

News

8

Campaign of the month

10

Exclusive NPD analysis

12

Marketing spend data

14

Appointments

LICENSING 22

News

FEATURES 17

WowWee’s new UK operation

18

Lego plays the game

25

Ten years of Bob the Builder

26

Waybuloo: The next big thing?

29

Boys market special

45

Kids’ magazines

49

Games and Puzzles

67

Track and Trains

RETAIL 74

Counter Insurgent

74

Price Check

75

Retail Charts

76

New Products

77

Hero Product

88

Toy Talk

90

Events/Features

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

Adrian Miles Advertising Manager Adrian.Miles@intentmedia.co.uk

Dan Bennett Design Dan.Bennett@intentmedia.co.uk

Jon Salisbury Editorial Consultant jon@wotkidzwant.com

Lisa Foster Managing Editor Lisa.Foster@intentmedia.co.uk

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

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. www.toynewsmag.com ■ ToyNews circulation is 25.5% higher than its closest competitor. ■ ToyNews requested or paid for circulation is 52.3% higher than its closest competitor. ■ ToyNews has 100% named circulation and 0% duplication.

COMMENT

AREA OF HIGH PRESSURE

I’M NOT A GREAT watcher of the pine cones and I don’t have any bunions, itchy or otherwise, but apropos of nothing, I have a hunch that this summer will be a bit of a scorcher. Now, don’t blame me when your summer holiday in Devon is ruined by floods. It’s just a gut feeling. Or maybe wishful thinking. But, fingers crossed, we’re in for a good one. And whilst £200-plus trampolines may be off the agenda for a lot of families at the moment, good weather usually means an upswing in outdoor toy sales. God knows, it’s something we’ve missed for the last couple of years.

With no Woolies, just for once, it isn’t simply about the weather. But first we have the crucial Easter period coming up. The second Christmas. And never was there a more interesting and potentially defining Easter as this year. There are many questions to answer about the state of the market post-Woolies and in the middle of the recession, so the coming weeks may give us a clearer picture of what the trade can expect going forward. Toys has always thrown up opportunities for those that can recognise them for what they are and that’s particularly the case now for the independent sector. With no Woolies, just for once is isn’t simply about the weather. But, hey, a heatwave really wouldn’t hurt. Ronnie Dungan ronnie.dungan@intentmedia.co.uk


4

NEWS

Tag craze targets toy market New licensed collectable shoe and trainer add-on pinpoints toy trade as crucial channel for pocket money sales by Ronnie Dungan NEW KIDS accessory Tag-Em is aiming to become the new playground craze among kids this summer and is pinning its hopes on the toy market. The product is the brainchild of Daniel Keating and his business partner who both have a background in the footwear and fashion industries, but see the toy retail channel as crucial to the success of the product. Tag-Ems are aimed at a broad market from 6-18 years old and feature well-known characters and brands that attach to laces. Already the line is stocked in Tesco, Smyths and footwear specialist Russell and Bromley. The In-Thing is handling toy distribution. There are a number of different themes including Marvel Villains, which is the most popular line, Pirates, Monsters, Outer Space, Body Parts, Animals, Graffiti and Flowers, among others. “What we’ve identified is that the business is not about fitting into one area,” said Tag-Em MD Daniel Keating. “We’re looking at all forms of distribution – vending machines, clothes shops, supermarkets.”

Keating says he aims to sell the entire product range at below £5. Tag-Ems are currently sold individually but will also be launched in a pack with coloured laces too. The range is also being backed with TV later in the year. www.tag-em.co.uk

What we’ve identified is that the business is not about fitting into one area.

Double signing for The Sales Partnership A SUDDEN burst of activity from The Sales Partnership has seen it add two new ranges to its growing roster, signing up both Kids@play and Inspiration Works. TSP has already been supplying selected retailers since Autumn 2008 with Inspiration Works product, but will now manage all domestic business for 2009 and beyond. Dave Martin, Inspiration Works’ Commercial Director commented: "Whilst we will continue to supply the majors directly on FOB terms, Sales Partnership will further develop the IW business through their tremendous network of independent and domestic customers.

APRIL 2009

"This partnership makes perfect commercial and financial sense - we have managed to re-align logistical costs and offer domestic customers good margins on key licenses in key electronic categories.” Inspiration Works 2009 licenses now include Peppa Pig, Postman Pat SDS, Thomas & Friends, and Dora the Explorer in Pre-school Electronic, and Puppy in my Pocket & Friends and Disney Princess & Fairies in Girls Electronic. Meanwhile, Kids@Play has appointed The Sales Partnership to distribute its products to the independent retail sector. The link-up will be officially launched at this year’s Toymaster

show in Harrogate, where The Sales Partnership will be exhibiting a number of products from the Kids@Play range including the new 6v battery operated Police Patrol Bike with siren and working lights and the new motorized 6v scooter with engine sounds, electric horn, stabilizers and working lights. Malcolm Evans, managing director of Kids@Play said: “I am very pleased that James Triptree of The Sales Partnership has agreed to distribute our products to the independent sector; the independent retailers are so important and paramount to the success of our industry.” TSP: 01491 412415

Figures underline boys dominance LATEST FIGURES from NPD underline the importance of the boys sector, valuing the market in the UK at £1.58bn, with Ben 10 the dominant boys property. Just under half of the top 15 items sold last year were boys and a Ben 10 item has topped the charts for more than half of the last 15 months. This year will be another key year for boys’ properties with Character’s MOD-licensed Armed Forces range launching in May backed by one of the year’s biggest product launches and key film drivers such as X-Men Wolverine, Terminator Salvation and Star Trek all coming. NPD: 01932 355580


NEWS

www.toynewsmag.com

5

Trade crosses its fingers for crucial Easter sales upsurge First chance for industry to take stock of its position post-Woolies and since recession tightened its grip by Ronnie Dungan WITH THE crucial Easter sales period looming, the trade is readying itself for the first test of its durability since the demise of Woolies and the deepening of the economic crisis. According to NPD’s Consumer Panel, last year’s Easter purchases totalled £48m. With Easter falling later this year the trade would normally expect an increase year on year, but few are forecasting an overall upward trend. “If we can match last year’s industry figures we will have done extremely well,” said Entertainer MD and TRA chairman Gary Grant. “But anything north of £45m and we’ll all be very pleased. For the first time in ten years the independents have an opportunity to capture new customers and they can be captured on range, not price.”

Most of our members have benefited immensely from the closure of Woolworths.

Toymaster product selector Paul Reader added: “The Easter pick up for independents is not usually as good as it is for the majors. They have other categories that they can promote and sell a few toys on the back of it. We have a much better time if the weather is kind to us. Members tend to fill the stores with lower price points and try to keep in stock some of the key selling brands and ranges whenever a school holiday occurs. We tend to find that if you’re ready you can take advantage of the extra footfall. “This Easter is sure to be different as most of our members UK-side have benefited immensely from the closure of Woolworths, it would appear that the majors are still attempting to put in place a strategy to take some of Woolies £385m toy sales.” Grant is optimistic that the later Easter will also benefit sales, adding: “I think it’s a year of opportunity, not just to see how recession-proof the industry is. We are low ticket retailers with most product under a tenner but the other opportunities are that Easter is later than last year so it’s likely to kick start summer a little better. But it will also be the first time we’ve had a school holiday without Woolworths, so it’s a real chance to see what the industry is like post-Woolies.” Suppliers will also be watching how the market performs with extra interest, and expectations have been tailored accordingly. David Allmark, Mattel’s UK MD, said: “As an industry it is true to say that we have been going through a period of re-setting the retail landscape following macro-economic challenges and local retailer changes. I am not too sure that we are yet at a point to say we now see the shape of the graph for the future, but for sure post-Easter is an opportunity for everyone to take a breath and compare where the consumer spending pattern is emerging, outside

Post-Easter is an opportunity for everyone to take a breath and compare where the consumer spending pattern is emerging. of the Woolworths disruption from the Christmas season of 2008. “Ultimately the strength of the brand and the marketing programmes suppliers invest in will determine the robustness of the industry. To ‘toot our horn’, the Barbie 50th celebration is a great example of committing to a year-long programme of excellence and scale in times of uncertainty and securing retail aligning with our partners, resulting in driving consumer demand. The uptake of the integrated activity is fantastic and proves that we are still a vibrant industry if we continue to innovate.” Jerry Healy, marketing director of Character Options, says retailers are looking more carefully at the support available for products.

“Easter has always been a key selling point in the first half of the year and is a real barometer of just how well the industry is doing,” he said. “Everyone is a little more cautious. But where the marketing plans stack up the commitment is there. I doubt if we will see the same number of campaigns on TV as last year though. It’s a case of hedging bets I think. “Without doubt this is the first opportunity to see where we really are. My gut feeling is that we’ll be Okay. Everyone was a little nervous and unsure before Christmas, but the toy industry is not going to disappear and retail sell-through is still strong.” Hasbro’s marketing director, Mark Foster, added: “Easter is the first real test of the market since the downturn. It’s clear that the toy market is not recession-proof – we are all just wrestling with how recession-resistant it will be. “The recession and the Woolies effect are inter-twined in the UK. The market in other European countries is not being affected by the downturn to anything like the same degree. So while we are not seeing a spontaneous surge of former Woolworths customers taking their custom elsewhere, how suppliers and retailers reshape their ranges and plans for the spring will make all the difference in how we turn this situation around.”

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mobile.toynewsmag.co.uk

BOOKMARK US TODAY APRIL 2009


6

NEWS

Crazee Thingz adds brands Household names set to enhance puzzle profiles in licensing drive ● Carbon Cube adds to green credentials by Ronnie Dungan

In addition, the firm now boasts of having the toy with the lowest carbon footprint with its new Carbon Cube. The cube is manufactured in Plymouth and then shipped less than a mile from the factory to the firm’s HQ. The claim is currently being measured by the Carbon Trust and another independent auditor. “We can do drop shipping on the product, which means that if it is ordered online from, say, Hamleys, it gets shipped to the consumer direct from our warehouse. I don’t think there’s anyone else doing that sort of thing. And it won’t be just the Carbon Cube we do it with,” added Bamping. Crazee: 0845 230 2329

PUZZLE SPECIALIST Crazee Thingz (formerly Bedlam Puzzles) has put licensing at the forefront of its product development signing up a number of household names. The idea is to create puzzles with familiar brand designs on them. To this end, the firm has recently signed the Tate and Lyle Golden Syrup brand for its Crazee Tin puzzle. Deals are also in place to use Marmite and Barr’s Irn Bru plus rugby ball manufacturer Gilbert. The move means the firm can also open up the promotion items market as well as selling at retail. “It’s a cheap way of doing licensing and because we have the exclusive rights to the mechanism we can turn any brand into a 3D rotational puzzle,” said boss Danny Bamping.

Share issue steadies Brio A SHARE issue worth in excess of £24.5m has strengthened Brio’s position, following its recent cash difficulties. The firm had previously announced that it was experiencing liquidity difficulties and would be looking to refinance. The issue of shares worth more than SK300m (£25.4m) has been made to secure the firm’s long term future. In addition, Brio is now divided into two new business areas, Brio Toy and Brio Baby. The firm is looking to make additional cost savings through an internal reshuffle and a renewed focus on core activities. Brio: 01509 231 874

HALSALL TO DISTRIBUTE TOMY RANGES TOMY’S NEW distribution deal with Halsall will operate alongside its existing network, extending into new channels of distribution. The Tomy line-up will be prominently displayed in Halsall International’s showroom in Fleetwood, which will also feature products from Gacha International, the international vending and gift company which was recently acquired by Tomy Europe. Paul Fogarty, European commercial director for Tomy, said: “Tomy is pleased to have the opportunity to work with the experienced team at Halsall International. We have a fantastic line-up of popular toys and

nursery products available which we are delighted to be able to offer to their customers. “The agreement will help drive penetration of the Tomy brand and range to a wider consumer audience.” John Hutt (pictured), managing director, Halsall said: “Tomy is a company admired by both industry members and parents worldwide. I know our team are looking forward to working with them. We are delighted to be able to offer our customer base such fantastic brands as Aquadraw, Teletubbies, Cella and of course Thomas the Tank Engine.” Halsall: 01253 775533


08

CAMPAIGN OF THE MONTH

Let’s Cook and Girl Gourmet Character Options Following the success of its Girl Gourmet Cup Cake Maker, Character Options now has a whole collection of children’s cooking products under the Let’s Cook and Girl Gourmet brands…

THERE ARE four distinct sections to the range: Cakes and baking with the Cup Cake Maker and new Fondant Cake Bakery; dessert in the form of the Ice Cream Parlour; drinks and smoothies with the Fruit Factory and Sweet Boutique which enables girls to make edible jewellery and accessories for themselves and friends. Character’s marketing drive includes the ubiquitous TV schedule and also a blanket girls’ press campaign for late autumn. Other marketing activities include PR with youth, parental and food press and a new dedicated website. TV The key TV driver will be the Fruit Factory and Ice Cream Maker beginning at Easter, then throughout summer and once again during the important pre-Christmas months. The TVCs are designed not only to show the products at their best, but also to drive the audience to the website where coverage of the entire brand can be seen. In excess of 800 TVRs have been planned initially to support the brands. Online An online advertising strategy is also planned for autumn, which again will all be directed to the website where girls can download cake decorating and other creative ideas. Press Character’s largest-ever print advertorial campaign is planned specifically for Cake Bakery, Cup Cake Maker and Sweet Boutique and will

APRIL 2009

result in over six million opportunities to see by all girls aged five to11. As with all activities, the creative will drive the audience to log on for more sweet treats. PR PR has already begun with the Fruit Factory and Ice Cream Parlour. Not only is the youth press targeted with product placement and over 40 youth competitions planned, producing millions more opportunities to see, but food and parental press are also highly important to the campaign.

Character’s marketing drive includes the ubiquitous TV schedule and a blanket girls’ press campaign.


10

NPD RESEARCH

Retail Sales Trends

Properties

Snow joke for toy sales RETAIL SALES fell 1.8 per cent in February according to the British Retail Consortium showing the January rise in sales as a short term blip rather than an ongoing trend. The snowy beginning of the month as well as the end of the traditional sales season contributed to keeping consumers away from many stores. And while internet, mail-order and phone sales have increased, this has slowed compared to December growth. The toy industry is starting to feel the lack of Woolworths in the market with both value and volume sales down. However, excluding Woolworths from 2008, the industry is up 0.5 per cent on a like-for-like basis. This is helped by an average price increase from £5.54 to £5.76 – the highest February price in the last three years. This average price increase was repeated across all categories with the notable exception of plush and outdoor. In current economic conditions it is positive to see price increases coming through. All other toys, building sets and youth electronics had significant average price increases compared to the same month a year ago with building sets increasing by 19 per cent and youth electronics by 21 per cent. All the super-categories have suffered from the loss of Woolworths, but building sets, infant and pre-school and all other toys have fared the best. Building sets sales have increased eight per cent in value compared to the same period last year, driven by standard building sets with both Lego Power

Sales (value, year to date)

Feb 2008

Source: NPD

APRIL 2009

Feb 2009

-15%

February 2009 1. BEN 10 2. STAR WARS 3. IN THE NIGHT GARDEN 4. THOMAS AND FRIENDS 5. HIGH SCHOOL MUSICAL

Miners and Lego Pirates new ranges in the top new properties so far this year. Infant and pre-school continues to be the largest supercategory with sales approaching £15m in February. Infant toy sales have grown seven per cent for the year-to-date, driven

Licences continue to help drive the toy market and account for 32 per cent of all toy sales. During February Ben 10 managed to reach the top spot helped by the new Alien Force ranges now available. However, a number of other properties have also performed well

In current economic conditions it is positive to see price increases coming through. All other toys, building sets and youth electronics each had significant average price increases compared to the same month a year ago. particularly by walkers and rattles. All other toys’ stability has been driven by educational/musical toys with High School Musical and Hannah Montana licences particularly influencing the market. Action figures has also had some strong sellers in the past month with the new Power Rangers Jungle Fury line, which has made it the number two selling licence in this category.

in the last couple of months with Sylvanian Families and Bakugan now in the top 25 property lists and looking set to continue growing. As the weather now starts to improve, we look forward to the summer and hopefully the good weather will improve consumer confidence and encourage them to purchase toys to make 2009 summer a strong one for the toy industry.

Average Price

UK Toy Sales

Top 5 Properties

Feb 08:

£5.54

Feb 09: £5.76

Best Property Progression February 2009

Bolt Flair’s licensed range from the Disney film bolted up the charts from number 731 to a respectable 151 in February.

Best Item Progression February 2009

Ben 10 Action Figure Creation Figure Set Moving up from number 617 to number 36, the play-set from the new series, Alien Force, allows kids to swap parts of Ben’s alien counterparts to produce their own creations.


NPD RESEARCH

www.toynewsmag.com

Retail Sales Trends UK FEBRUARY 2009 (£ SALES - VALUE)

UK FEBRUARY 2009 (UNIT SALES - VOLUME)

1

BEN 10 10CM BATTLE FIGURE

BANDAI

1

HOT WHEELS BASIC CAR ASSORTMENT

MATTEL

2

POWER RANGERS JUNGLE FURY FIGURES

BANDAI

2

BEN 10 - 10CM BATTLE FIGURE

BANDAI

3

STAR WARS CLONE WARS BASIC FIGURES 3.75""

HASBRO

3

PR JUNGLE FURY FIGURES

BANDAI

4

STAR WARS CLONE WALKER

LEGO

4

CARS VEHICLE ASSORTMENT

MATTEL

5

KIDIZOOM CAMERA

6

BEN 10 15CM ACTION FIGURES

7 8 9 10

VTECH

5

BEN 10 FIGURES 10CM ASSORTMENT

BANDAI

6

STAR WARS CLONE WARS BASIC FIGURES 3.75

BEN 10 FIGURES 10CM ASSORTMENT

BANDAI

7

BEN 10 15CM ACTION FIGURES

BEN 10 ALIEN FORCE OMNITRIX

BANDAI

8

BAKUGAN BOOSTER PACK

BEN 10 ULTIMATE OMNITRIX

BANDAI

9

STAR WARS CLONE WALKER

CARS VEHICLE ASSORTMENT

MATTEL

10

ITNG MINI PLUSH ASSORTMENT

UK YEAR TO DATE (£ SALES - VALUE) 1

STAR WARS CLONE WARS BASIC FIGURE 3.75""

2

KIDIZOOM CAMERA

3 4

BANDAI HASBRO BANDAI SPIN MASTER LEGO HASBRO

UK YEAR TO DATE (UNIT SALES - VOLUME) HASBRO

1

HOT WHEELS BASIC CAR ASSORTMENT

MATTEL

VTECH

2

CARS VEHICLE ASSORTMENT

MATTEL

BEN 10 15CM ACTION FIGURES

BANDAI

3

POWER RANGER JUNGLE FURY FIGURES

BANDAI

POWER RANGER JUNGLE FURY FIGURES

BANDAI

4

BEN 10 FIGURES 10CM ASSORTMENT

BANDAI

5

BEN 10 - 10CM BATTLE FIGURE

BANDAI

5

BEN 10 - 10CM BATTLE FIGURE

6

BEN 10 FIGURES 10CM ASSORTMENT

BANDAI

6

STAR WARS CLONE WARS BASIC FIGURES 3.75"

7

STAR WARS CLONE WALKER

8

CARS VEHICLE ASSORTMENT

9

DR WHO 5" FIGURES ASSORTMENT

10

BAKUGAN STARTER PACK

BANDAI HASBRO

LEGO

7

BEN 10 15CM ACTION FIGURES

BANDAI

MATTEL

8

SPEED RACER DIECAST VEHICLE ASSORTMENT

MATTEL

CHARACTER OPTIONS

9

BAKUGAN BOOSTER PACK

10

DR WHO 5" FIGURES ASSORTMENT

SPIN MASTER

SPIN MASTER CHARACTER OPTIONS

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

ADVERTISING TRENDS

MARKETING SPEND ANALYSIS MONTHLY SECTOR SPEND MONTH SUB MARKETS

MAR-08 SPEND* (£)

APR-08 SPEND* (£)

MAY-08 SPEND* (£)

JUN-08 SPEND* (£)

JUL-08 SPEND* (£)

AUG-08 SPEND* (£)

COMPUTER/ELECTRONIC GAMES

£3,205,423

£5,799,068.00

£4,400,716.00

£4,998,549.00

£5,130,915.00

£3,296,304.00

TOYS & GAMES/PRESCHOOL/LEARNING AIDS

£4,142,170

£3,726,084.00

£3,294,410.00

£2,507,804.00

£1,466,612.00

£2,291,366.00

£7,347,593.00

£9,525,152.00

£7,695,125.00

£7,483,557.00

£6,597,527.00

£5,587,670.00

-37.74%

30.82%

42.79%

93.96%

78.42%

4.62%

TOTAL (ALL) YEAR ON YEAR DIFF %

MONTHLY ADVERTISING SPEND (12M TO FEB ‘09)

SHARE OF ADSPEND (12M TO FEB ‘09)

COMPUTER GAMES/ELECTRONIC GAMES TOYS & GAMES/PS TOYS & LEARNING AIDS

SECTOR

SHARE

COMPUTER GAMES / ELECTRONIC GAMES

59%

TOYS & GAMES / PRE-SCHOOL / LEARNING AIDS

41%

COMPUTER GAMES/ELECTRONIC GAMES TOYS & GAMES/PS TOYS & LEARNING AIDS TOTAL (ALL)

100%


ADVERTISING TRENDS

www.toynewsmag.com

13

Our monthly marketing analysis page looks at TV and press advertising spend. The information from Billetts (formerly Thomson Intermedia) accurately monitors actual discounted spend across the media,as opposed to quoted ratecard figures and offers comparisons with rival sectors as well…

*Discounted SEP-08 SPEND* (£)

OCT-08 SPEND* (£)

NOV-08 SPEND*(£)

DEC-08 SPEND* (£)

JAN-09 SPEND* (£)

FEB-09 SPEND* (£)

TOTAL SPEND* (£)

£2,914,853.00

£6,809,902.00

£16,364,029.00

£12,198,039.00

£1,668,673.00

£3,438,480.00

£70,224,953.00

£4,747,943.00

£10,419,021.00

£10,598,686.00

£3,327,662.00

£643,419.00

£1,451,574.00

£48,616,750.00

£7,662,796.00

£17,228,924.00

£26,954,760.00

£15,525,702.00

£2,266,651.00

£4,890,054

£119,189,076.00

-44.81%

2.96%

14.25%

6.76%

8.53%

-5.14%

4.77%

TOP 20 ADVERTISERS (12M TO FEB ‘09) COMPANIES

PERCENTAGE OF ALL SPEND NINTENDO 17.5% MATTEL 10.1% ACTIVISION 6.2% UBI SOFT 5.6% HASBRO 4.3% ELECTRONIC ARTS 4.2% CHARACTER OPTIONS 3.3% SONY COMPUTER ENTERTAINMENT EUROPE 3.1% ROCKSTAR GAMES 2.6% THQ 2.6% MICROSOFT GAME STUDIOS 2.3% SEGA ENTERPRISES 2.2% PLAYSKOOL 1.9% KONAMI 1.8% VIVID IMAGINATIONS 1.7% TOMY 1.5% BANDAI 1.4% FLAIR LEISURE 1.1% DISNEY INTERACTIVE STUDIOS 1.0% ZAPF CREATION 1.0% TOTAL (TOP 20) 75.3% TOTAL (ALL) 100%

CHANGE (YEAR-ON-YEAR)

20.5% -29.0% 178.6% 75.6% 10.0% -39.5% -30.7% -3.0% 6667.5% 37.0% 1527.7% 49.5% 109.0% 311.2% -53.3% -40.6% -12.7% -8.9% 377.7% -29.6% 10.2% 4.8%

The spend data supplied to ToyNews is limited to press and TV (excluding all other media). This is because 90 per cent of advertising spend in the toys, games and computer games category is in these two media and the monitoring process is quicker so that the data provided is more current than previously supplied (only one month in arrears). The press spend data is discounted rather than ratecard. Billetts captures approximately 20,000 advertisements every day and its total database currently contains some 70 million ads. It works with 180

advertisers spending over £3 billion. This enables it to predict, with a great degree of accuracy, the cost of each piece of creative captured. Its TV coverage monitors ITV London, Channel 4 and Channel 5 (24/7) all ITV regional terrestrial and 25 cable and satellite channels on rotation. Press monitoring includes national dailies, national Sundays, 28 key regional titles and around 350 consumer and business magazines plus supplements, inserts, scratch cards, cover wraps and promotions.

Billetts Media Monitoring is the fastest and most sophisticated advertising monitoring service in the UK that provides both spend data and latest creative treatments. To find out how BMM could benefit your business visit: www.ebiquity.com/uk/bmm or email us at enquiries@billetts.com


14

APPOINTMENTS

INDUSTRY MOVES New chief for John Crane, fresh faces at Rainbow Designs and key marketing departures from Hamleys and Jumbo Games…

FROM LEFT: Rowann Blair from Rainbow Designs, John Crane’s new MD, Simon Pilkington and former head of marketing at Hamleys, Matt Webb…

FORMER JOHN Adams and Toy Brokers MD, Simon Pilkington, is taking over as managing director of John Crane. Pilkington will take up the new post at the Northampton-based company from April 1st. Commenting on the new appointment John Crane said: “Simon is clearly highly respected in the industry and will undoubtedly add significant value to our business and this appointment is in accordance with the company’s succession planning strategy.” John Crane will remain at the firm as a full time director and will assist Pilkington in the delivery of the company’s growth plans. Commenting on his appointment, Pilkington said: “I am delighted to be joining John Crane, which is known for its quality wooden and pre-school

APRIL 2009

toys and strength of distribution. It provides an exciting and well established base from which to grow the business well into the future.” Character specialist Rainbow Designs has continued to expand with a number of new recruits. The firm has made three new appointments as its continues its current growth spurt. Rowann Blair has joined as marketing assistant. Blair will oversee the firm’s growing brand and trade marketing requirements including advertising, PR, catalogues and licensing agent liaison. She has formerly worked for Mosaic Fashions under the Oasis brand and will be based at the Hammersmith office. “The last few years have seen Rainbow go from strength to strength and we are delighted to be

welcoming Rowann to the team,” said managing director Anthony Temple.“Rowann will play a key role in ensuring the Rainbow brand remains strong and consistent in order to prepare it for further expansion in 2009.” Hamleys’ head of marketing Matt Webb has recently parted company with the store. Webb, who joined the company five months ago, had helped put together a number of high profile window promotions and in-store events with brands including Nickelodeon, Cartoon Network and Warner Bros. Hamleys’ debut TV campaign is due to launch this autumn, to mark the store’s 250th anniversary. Jumbo Games has announced the departure of its marketing manager, Jon Burcham.

In a statement, the firm said Burcham’s departure was the result of a decision to restructure the business as a response to tough trading conditions and the further impact of the sterling exchange rate. The statement went on to say: “Jon has proved a valuable part of the UK business over the past three years and has been instrumental in helping grow Jumbo into a strong games company with effective marketing campaigns. “During this time he has also worked closely with product development in building a strong portfolio. We would like to take this opportunity to thank Jon for his time with Jumbo and wish him well for the future.” Former Sainsburys own-brand manager Julia Frost has joined Wow Toys as marketing manager.


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SUPPLIER FOCUS WOWWEE

17

Rise of the robots Now master of its own destiny in the UK and Europe, WowWee is looking to recreate the magic that, not so long ago, saw it flying the flag for toy market innovation with its robotics range. Graham Spark is the man charged with that task in the UK and, as he tells Ronnie Dungan, he’s confident that the category has plenty left to give… IT SEEMED at one point that no toy event was complete without a product from WowWee stealing the limelight. The press seemed to love nothing more than a dancing robot. Especially if it was demonstrated by a man in an interesting hat. It was easy copy for a journo on a deadline, looking for an easy angle and, let’s face it, much more visually interesting than a board game after all. And sales-wise, of course, Robosapien, Roboraptor and Dragonfly were no slouches either, the former doing more than any other product to help create the category and making WowWee a £120m brand at its peak. Now, however, it is a brand in transition, and has taken over its own distribution in Europe and the UK, ending its relationship with Character Options here. The challenge for the new WowWee Europe, headed up in the UK by sales and marketing director Graham Spark, formerly of Feva (now Spin Master), is to show people it still has products that can excite its audience and is still able to innovate. “Character Options has supported the category well, but on the downside, there was no hit in 2008,” explains Spark. WowWee lost its wow at a time when the video games category was enjoying a boost from sales of the similarly-priced Nintendo Wii and, of course, the economic downturn has not done any favours to high ticket leisure items. “We all got a bit blasé about it. And with the UK retail climate the brand has been devalued. Roboraptor was in the channel at £40 and this made the new robots seem expensive. “One thing that WowWee has got is an army of designers and developers and they plough a huge amount of investment into finding the next wow product.”

One thing that WowWee has got is an army of designers and developers and they plough a huge amount of investment into finding the next wow product. Graham Spark, Sales and Marketing Director

The new robotics range will be lead by Roborover and Joebot and new Flytech lines. At the higher end of the market is Rovio, a mobile WiFi webcam, which can be controlled remotely by any web-enabled device and retails at £299. But WowWee is as much about electronic plush these days as it is about robots. Its Alive range of feature plush has sold over a million worldwide, says Spark. The range will also be a major focus for the firm this year with an expanded lineup featuring three price points – £20, £30 and £40. The feature plush sector is, of course, dominated by Hasbro’s FurReal line, but Spark believes WowWee can compete and actually has the superior product. “It’s a very buoyant market. We feel there is room for a good strong number two,” adds Spark. “We’re probably more expensive but the quality of the plush is better and there’s the whole tactile side to it. FurReal can be like cuddling a battery box sometimes.” The plan is to link the brand up with a conservation group to lend an endangered species theme to the range. A TV campaign will run from August through to November. The Flytech range will also be on TV and Spark is confident that its line-up will give a fair account of itself in a competitive arena. “Airhogs, Silverlit and WowWee are probably the three brands in flying toys and Silverlit is probably the leader there, but we can give them a good run,” says Spark. But first, WowWee has to rebuild the confidence and interest of the trade and once again position itself at the cutting edge of toy design. Greater control over its European territories is only the start. APRIL 2009


18

SUPPLIER FOCUS LEGO

An unexpected turn Lego is making a bold move into the board game space with a new range incorporating a new ‘Build, Play, Change’ concept. But Lego? Games? It is one of the firm’s boldest ever moves and Kirstin Bates, commercial manager of Lego UK explained to ToyNews how it’s all going to work…. Firstly, and rather obviously, why the move into games? This has come out of a strategic company objective – to actively look for platforms to proactively grow the business. The platform needed to adhere to the mantra of ‘obviously Lego, but never seen before.’ Following an 18-month process of concept screening over 80 different ideas, games was identified as the first of these platforms to be developed. Through concept research, it transpired that games is a hugely popular category with parents and the values of sociability, creativity and traditional gameplay fitted the Lego values perfectly. Consumers, however, were disillusioned with the category, seeing it as massively re-worked, devalued and lacking newness and innovation. That was our challenge. Will people really understand the notion of Lego as a board game? This will be the challenge for our communication, both above the line as well as in-store and on packaging. This will be our biggest new launch of the year, and for some years, and we will ensure consumers are signposted to the games section of stores, so it will be easier for them to understand the concept. The product is very simple to understand and consumers inherently get the concept – Build-Play-Change. You first build the game (it is Lego, and there will be a set of building instructions as there is with any other Lego set), then you play the game (there is a simple set of rules included in each game) and then you can change the game (either by changing the layout, the rules or how you use the unique Lego buildable dice). Kids will be able to log onto www.games.lego.com to share their change ideas or their ‘house rules’ with other kids. Children can also include pieces from their other Lego APRIL 2009

media and PR. Position in-store will also make a clear distinction from other Lego products. What’s the pricing strategy? There are products from £7.99 to £19.99. Research strongly pointed towards the lower sub £9.99 pricepoints being key for birthday party gifting and use when travelling, the upper end being more considered purchases for birthday gifts, Christmas gifts for kids or families.

We are in this for the long-haul and year one is about establishing our position. sets to embellish or develop their games, should they so desire. How will the range be sold, alongside existing ranges or next to other board games? They will be in games. It was clear from our consumer research that games are bought on a category basis and mums especially go to the games section of a store to look for inspiration and make their selection. This will also minimise any confusion that this is a game. Who is it aimed at? Our core target is kids seven to ten years-old and their families. In home tests it was clear that the games break down barriers between younger and older kids as well as boys and girls. Mums love them because they feel like this is a safe entry for them into Lego play. From a

communications point of view, we cannot ignore parents and gifters due to how these products are selected and purchased. The importance of kids is still paramount due to their influence through wish-lists. Can you expand a little more on what the range consists of? There are eight games, offering a range of different play types – luck, logic or strategy. They are all constructible games and once built, can be safely stored back in their boxes so they can be played with over and over again. The games offer a range of gameplay lengths from quick 10-15 minute games through to 3040 minute play. Individual games can also be tailored to make them longer or shorter, using the flexible change rules. How are you getting across the message about the range, that this is something different from Lego? The packaging is completely different to the traditional Lego packaging – white, robust boxes with lids to be used as permanent storage and each product is shrink wrapped. The range will also have a very clear and distinctive logo – the unique Lego buildable dice. We will be working hard to differentiate our communication style as well as our

What constitutes success for the games range? To enter the children's games category, securing a solid market share position with national distribution for Lego games in all major outlets. We are in this for the long haul and year one is about establishing our position with a view to bring continued novelty and innovation to this much-loved but tired category. And what about marketing support, what does that entail? Our communication will clearly signpost the consumer. We will be upweighing above the line exposure, particularly with housewife with kids TV and using a tailored and phased approach to the communication to ensure we secure kids’ wish-lists as well as communicating to mums where to buy the product. The TV campaign will be supported with radio, video, ondemand, online and a huge PR campaign targeting both kids and parents with media promotions, competitions and editorial content. We will also be using our own media such as the massive Lego Club Magazine and www.games.lego.com to recruit ambassadors for Lego games and continue to spread the word. Huge in-store campaigns will ensure there is significant impact and stand-out at launch.


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The UK’s only dedicated monthly licensing coverage

News • Media • Opinion

Bob’s ten years of Page 25 fixing it

The new Way News Pages 26-27

Pages 22-23

Hit Entertainment is celebrating a decade of Bob the Builder this year. ToyNews finds out how important the toy line has been to its success and what the future holds…

With RDF’s eagerly awaited preschool show Waybuloo debuting on Cbeebies in May, we spoke to master toy partner Fisher-Price about its plans for the property…

Hi-5 signs up to The Fluffy Club, Bulldog Licensing strengthens portfolio, Hit reveals movie division and Titan tells us why the future of the kids’ mag market is licensed…


22

LICENSINGNEWS

COMMENT A PRE-SCHOOL MASTERCLASS THE LICENSING SECTION of ToyNews is a mixture of the old and the new this month. On the one hand, Hit Entertainment is celebrating ten years of success with Bob the Builder. The figures surrounding the character licence speak for themselves – the show can be seen in over 250 territories worldwide and is translated into 45 languages, over ten million videos/DVDs have been shifted across 26 home entertainment titles, over 27 million books have been sold to date globally and there are around 60 active licensees at any one time. Through clever management of the licence, a consistent stream of new programming – not to mention a brilliant performance from Martin Yaffe as the master toy licensee – Bob the Builder is that rarest of creatures: an evergreen pre-school property. And, here’s the truly impressive thing, after ten years, Bob is still growing. Later this year, the character makes the move into CGI, creating a whole host of new opportunities for the licensees. He could even be heading to Hollywood as part of Hit’s new movie plan.

The truly impressive thing about Bob the Builder is that, even after ten years, he’s still growing... On the other hand, RDF’s eagerly awaited new preschool offering, Waybuloo, also has something special about it. That ‘something’ has ensured it has been one of the most talked about new programmes for at least the past six months, if not longer. And, up until recently, no one had seen any artwork or imagery. Having been invited up to the set earlier this year, it was fantastic to see the amount of detail and time being lavished on the making of the show from every department. RDF truly deserves for this to be a hit. The involvement of Fisher-Price as master toy partner is a huge bonus, of course. Its proven expertise in the pre-school sector is just one of the many plus points it brings to the table. The window for pre-school properties is notoriously short lived, but as Bob the Builder, and the Teletubbies before it, have proved, if you have the right brand, with the right team, it is possible to build a long-term proposition which will be a success on a number of levels for many years. Samantha Loveday Samantha.Loveday@intentmedia.co.uk APRIL 2009

GMTV’s Fluffy Club says hello to Hi-5 British version of hit show to make terrestrial debut on channel... by Samantha Loveday INTERNATIONAL hit show Hi-5 will be airing on terrestrial screens for the first time this month, after GMTV Kids secured the programme for The Fluffy Club. First created in 1998 in Australia, Hi-5 has broadcast in 118 countries and is one of the top rating TV shows for two to six year olds in the world. The British format will welcome a brand new cast and will begin airing from April 4th, every Saturday at 7am and Sunday at 6.35am (on ITV1) and will be simulcast on the CITV Channel. Hi-5 is the latest international brand to make its terrestrial debut on GMTV. Previously, GMTV’s pre-school programming strand has formed a launch pad for programmes such as Barney the Dinosaur and Fun Song Factory. “We’re thrilled to bring the UK version of Hi-5 to The Fluffy Club,” said Sue Bowyer, executive producer, pre-school. “With our continuing commitment to focus on homegrown programming on The Fluffy Club, Hi-5 will be a welcome addition to our catalogue

of exciting shows. It will also serve as a great complement to our Toonattik and Action Stations brands.” Martin Hersov and Cathy Payne, director of Hi-5 Operations, added: “We’re extremely proud of the Hi-5 brand and it’s wonderful to know children are being entertained and educated by Hi-5 throughout the world.” This year has got off to a good start for The Fluffy Club. Averaging a 20.1 per cent share for kids aged four to 15, it attracts around 17,000 kid viewers across the time slot. For kids aged four to six, it averages a 28.5 per cent share, almost a third of the viewing audience. GMTV: 020 7827 7000

Now Bulldog signs up Super Why

ALREADY ENJOYING major success with Gogo’s Crazy Bones and Thumb Wrestling Federation, Bulldog Licensing has again added to its portfolio, this time with Nick Jr pre-school hit Super Why. The brand is a hit with licensees in the US already, appearing on dress-up, books, t-shirts and toys. RC2 is on board to bring toys into the UK.

“The show is already phenomenally popular over here, pre-schoolers love it and parents are happy for them to watch it as it helps them understand words and reading,” explained Rob Corney, MD of Bulldog. “The licensing potential for this property is absolutely huge and we are expecting great things from Super Why.” Samantha Freeman, co-creator of the series and president of consumer products for Out of the Blue, added: “We are thrilled that Bulldog is joining us to bring their expertise and creativity to Super Why in the UK. We know that this is the right partner to help us broaden the learning and fun of the series far beyond the TV screen.” Bulldog Licensing: 020 8325 5455


LICENSINGNEWS

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Licences are way forward for kids’ mag market, says Titan by Samantha Loveday PUBLISHERS are becoming increasingly reluctant to risk launching a new magazine that doesn’t have the familiarity of a popular licence attached, according to Titan Publishing. Titan boasts a packed portfolio of top selling licensed titles including The Simpsons Comic (ABC, 112,393), Simpsons Comics Presents (ABC, 71,582), Spongebob Squarepants Comic (34,800) and LazyTown Comic (31,131). It also has licences for Transformers, Star Wars Clone Wars, Timmy Time, Noddy, Roary the Racing Car and Fifi and the Flowertots. “The overall market has experienced a decrease period-onperiod, which isn’t exactly great news,” explained the firm’s James Willmott, “but within the licensed publishing market the trend is that if a property is popular enough, or is supported by an external event like a

movie release, new TV series or live tour, then sales will at least be maintained even in the harshest of economic conditions.” Other licensed titles performing well currently include In The Night Garden, Doctor Who and Cbeebies magazines (BBC), Disney & Me (Egmont), Fun to Learn Peppa Pig and Fun to Learn Friends (Redan Publishing) among others.

Hit brands heading to Hollywood HIT HAS revealed its latest brand extension – Hit Movies – a new division dedicated to making familyoriented movies out of its library of children’s properties, as well as developing new stories and characters for future films. The launch is part of Hit’s efforts to expand the reach of its properties across a variety of platforms. The division will initially focus on developing family film franchises based on properties including Thomas & Friends, Barney, Bob the Builder, Angelina Ballerina and Rainbow Magic.

Based in LA, Hit Movies will be headed up by Julia Pistor, who most recently served as Nickelodeon’s EVP of movies. “I am delighted to help launch new family movie franchises, based off of Hit’s characters and worlds,” said Pistor. “At the heart of all of Hit’s properties is rich storytelling, and in the case of Thomas, Angelina and Rainbow Magic, a robust publishing history. Hit Movies will expand the essence of these properties and build on their long-term franchises.” Hit: 020 7554 2500

“Children still want their fill of their favourite characters and the price point makes the official magazine an easy buy for parents that want to provide something else for their children than TV,” Willmott carried on. “Despite the fact that there is clearly less overall money in the kids market, magazines, especially those carrying strong licences will continue to thrive. “The future is definitely with licensed titles. Strong licences will thrive and weak ones will quickly fall by the wayside. “By the time the economy eventually picks up again, the landscape will look quite different, but children’s print media is here to stay,” he concluded. Turn to pages 45-47 for our special focus on the children’s magazine sector in the UK.

Parthenon Pockets Flair FLAIR HAS become the latest licensee to the In My Pocket programme after striking a deal with Parthenon. The company will be producing a range of creative play products across all three IMP brands including Puppy, Jungle and Pony In My Pocket. The licence covers the following brands: Magazine Maker, Shaker Maker, Jigsaw Book, Stencil Craft and Sticker Scratcherz. Parthenon: 020 7580 3099

23

IN BRIEF 4KIDS PINS HOPES ON CHAOTIC LINE 4Kids Entertainment revealed what it described as “disappointing” results for 2008, however its Chaotic trading card game performed in line with its expectations. Blaming the economic climate, the firm reported FY net sales of $63.7 million, compared to $55.6 million for the same period in 2007. Profit for the year included approximately $15.3 million from the sale of Chaotic trading cards. The firm believes that Chaotic offers it a “tremendous” opportunity going forward, with various licensed products due to be rolled out this year, including lines from master toy partner Spin Master. 4Kids: 020 7297 5980

NEW GOGO’S LINE ARRIVES AT RETAIL Bulldog Licensing and Magic Box are aiming to continue the success story for Gogo’s Crazy Bones with the roll out of the new Explorer collection. The addition of the range means that there are now 240 Gogo’s to collect in five different colours, as well as five rare figures. Bulldog: 020 8325 5455

E1 ENTERTAINMENT EMERGES Contender Entertainment Group is now known as E1 Entertainment, following a rebranding exercise after it was acquired by Entertainment One last year. The new-look business is made up of home entertainment, film distribution, TV production and TV distribution divisions, as well as licensing. Lead by Andrew Carley – who was formerly head of Contender Merchandising – the licensing arm will continue to work on its existing properties (Peppa Pig and new shows Ben & Holly’s Little Kingdom and Humf), as well as looking at opportunities for licensing from within the rest of the E1 group where relevant. It will also have a booth at Licensing International in June. E1 Entertainment: 020 7907 3797

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TEN YEARS OF BOB THE BUILDER LICENSING

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Built to last

Bob the Builder is one of the most successful pre-school characters of all time, with even US President Barack Obama adopting his catchphrase for his recent election campaign. Samantha Loveday talks to Hit’s Jon Owen and Ronnie Yaffe from Martin Yaffe about the key role the toy line has played in the success...

“WE COINED the phrase recently that Bob has become part of preschool culture,” states Jon Owen, vice president of consumer products EMEA at Hit Entertainment. Indeed, not many pre-school properties can lay claim to what Bob the Builder has achieved since its debut on the BBC on September 9th 1999. To run through just a few stats: the show can now be seen in over 250 territories worldwide and is translated into 45 languages; there are 209 x ten-minute episodes, plus two 50-minute specials; over ten million videos/DVDs have been shifted across 26 home entertainment titles; Bob has had two number one music singles; over $4 billion in global retail sales life to date; and, of course, there’s the BAFTA. “In many ways, Bob is timeless,” Owen continues. “It’s a combination of a lot of things, not only in what Keith [Chapman] has done in generating the format, the

BOB’S BUILDING BLOCKS TO SUCCESS 1998 Hit Entertainment acquires the rights, with production beginning on the stopframe animated series at Hot Animation studios. Martin Yaffe is named as the master toy licensee in the UK.

1999 The show makes its debut on the BBC – on September 9th – with the consumer products and website following.

2000 The show’s theme song – Can We Fix It? Yes, We Can – hits the top of the charts in the UK. The series airs on Super RTL in Germany, while it is also honoured with Best International Licence of the Year by LIMA.

2001 US premiere and another award, this time for LIMA’s Entertainment Property of the Year.

“The programming has been very good because it has always created lots of new vehicles; they are a staple part of Bob’s world and that has helped us to develop new product. In fact, each year we have supported Bob with new products. Some of which, like the tool bench for example, have been massive investments. We try to develop things that are ‘Bob’, like the tool bench and the vehicles. All of the

As a company we are investing very heavily in our core properties and Bob is absolutely one of these. We’re very proud of the spot he has. I think he’s going to be here for some time yet. Jon Owen, Hit Entertainment programme, the character, but also what Hit has done in supporting it and taking it forward.” At any one time, the licensing programme is made up of around 60 licensees across the usual categories. Martin Yaffe has been on board since the very beginning as the master toy partner, as MD Ronnie Yaffe explains: “I was originally approached by Katie Foster, who I’d previously worked with on Teletubbies. I saw the play patterns, I liked the programming, it was fresh and new; Bob just seemed to hit the spot for me.

25

characters and vehicles are great to work with and people like them. Many people have tried to imitate it, but Bob is still there because Hit continues to work at it and Martin Yaffe continues to work at it.” Owen continues: “I think we’ve taken Bob beyond just the television programme and put him out there on so many more levels. Of course, there’s a commitment to new programming, but it is also a huge DVD franchise and we now also have a live action version of Bob where he narrates and explains the

construction elements to various building projects [Bob On Site – Skyscrapers and Green Builds are planned for 2009]. Beyond that, we’ve got a never been seen before special – Legend of the Golden Hammer – which will be the first entry into CGI.” On top of all this, the live events programme remains strong – a 4D movie is airing at Legoland, plus Bob will be in residence at Butlins through the summer before the live tour returns to the UK in October. For both Yaffe and Owen, one of the keys to Bob’s longevity is always looking to move the brand forward. Yaffe says: “We’re always trying to find something new and different. We’re looking forward to the new CGI, which will probably give us more opportunities and see things from a different angle.” Owen agrees: “CGI for us is a natural progression. I think it will provide some dynamic, if you like, for the licensing programme.” And after the tenth anniversary – what happens then? “I’d like to think the success can go on,” says Owen. “As a company we are investing very heavily in our core properties and Bob is absolutely one of these. We’re very proud of the spot he has; we’ve got that product innovation coming through and we’re preparing the tools to do the job, and for our licensees to do the job, I think he’s going to be here for some time yet.”

2002 Live show and tours begin in the UK and Australia.

2003 First DVD special – A Christmas to Remember – picks up the Best Animation Award at BAFTA.

2005 Bob the Builder - Project: Build It, the first serialised show for pre-schoolers, launches on PBS Kids. RC2 Learning Curve is named master toy licensee in the US, while in the UK the character stars in the Cbeebies Live show.

2006 The series is now airing in nearly 250 countries and in 45 languages. Various activity sees the first Project: Build It travelling exhibit debuting at The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis, plus an invite to join the Queen at Buckingham Palace for her 80th birthday.

2007 Bob finishes the year as the fastest growing pre-school toy brand and is ranked number two in the pre-school category (Source: NPD Report, Jan-Dec 2006). The first fully interactive live show runs at The Science Museum, while Project Renovate, to educate kids about the importance of energy efficiency and the environment, launches.

2008 Project Renovate 2008 launches in partnership with Knauf Insulation and Travis Perkins. Bob achieves over $4 billion in global retail sales to date. A new website is launched.

2009 The character officially celebrates ten years in the business.

APRIL 2009


26

LICENSING WAYBULOO

The next big thing The show isn’t on air until May, but the hype and interest surrounding RDF’s flagship pre-school series, Waybuloo, has been building for a long time. And for master toy partner Fisher-Price it represents a significant investment and the chance to show the business how it continues to tread new ground when it comes to product development. Samantha Loveday reports… WHAT IS WAYBULOO?

IN SUCH a crowded sector as preschool, it’s a very rare property that breaks through and truly captures the imagination of its audience. Sure, over the last ten years, there have been a handful which have become (or are on their way to becoming) evergreens: Teletubbies, Bob the Builder and, most recently, In The Night Garden to name three. Now RDF is aiming to add another name to that list: Waybuloo. The company’s first foray into pre-school programming, it has been developed in conjunction with The Foundation, one of the UK’s leading children’s television production groups. And it was causing a stir in the industry even before any images had been released, or much was known about it; usually the sign of a sure-fire winner. For Fisher-Price – the master toy licensee – Waybuloo is a significant investment and, Phil Hooper, senior marketing manager, explains to ToyNews “an incredible opportunity”. “We recognised early on that RDF

WAYBULOO IS RDF’s flagship preschool programme and represents a significant investment for the firm. Major support is coming from Cbeebies, with an initial run of 100 episodes planned. According to RDF, Waybuloo is not just a series, it’s a philosophy for a happy life. It transports children into the land of Nara, which is inhabited by animated characters called Piplings. The unique thing about Waybuloo, however, is that it focuses on children’s feelings, with the Piplings embodying a range of emotions including love, wisdom, happiness and harmony. When a Pipling is truly happy, does something good or makes someone feel better, they achieve ‘buloo’, which is a warm feeling of emotional harmony that is experienced by the characters as floating. There are four Piplings: Yojojo, who has the characteristics of a monkey and represents happiness, kitten-like De Li who represents love, the bearlike Nok Tok (wisdom) and rabbit-like Lau Lau (imagination). In each episode, six children visit Nara (the set of which is truly impressive and the largest of its kind) to play with the Piplings to show reallife interacting with the animated world. Children will be able to play with the Piplings, learn yoga with their parents and experience Waybuloo moments for themselves, both through the show and the Cbeebies website.

Waybuloo provides an incredible opportunity for us as a toy manufacturer to develop an exciting toy range. We firmly believe it will become a long-term evergreen property. Phil Hooper, Fisher-Price had established a very strong kids division, built around a team of experienced people – such as Nigel Pickard, who has an unrivalled track APRIL 2009

record in the field of kids programming, along with respected figures Stephen Gould and Angeles Blanco, who carry with them a

combined experience of over 20 years in youth licensing,” Hooper says. “Waybuloo provides an incredible opportunity for us as a toy manufacturer to develop an exciting toy range. The show has a cast of instantly engaging characters, a rich and impactful environment and unique themes that we can weave into our range development. “With 100 episodes already commissioned, we firmly believe that Waybuloo will become a long-term evergreen property, which would be


WAYBULOO LICENSING

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SECOND TIER OF LICENSEES REVEALED WITH FISHER-PRICE, Egmont, 2entertain and BBC Magazines already signed up, RDF Rights has been working towards broadening the licensing programme for Waybuloo, adding a further nine partners. The company has secured deals with Samuel Eden & Son (socks), C&M Licensing (nightwear/underwear), Zap (soft furnishings), Kinnerton (confectionery), The Creative Cake Company (celebration cakes), Spearmark International (melamine and lighting) and Martin Yaffe (wheeled toys, Jane Kennedy, furniture and balls). Also on board are Portico Designs and Gemma International (greetings cards and gift wrap) and Trademark Collections (bags, umbrellas and aprons). With the show beginning on Cbeebies from May, the first product to market will be the Waybuloo Magazine from BBC.

Fisher-Price, Egmont and 2entertain lines will follow in autumn/winter, while the new signings will be rolling out their collections from spring/summer 2010. “There has been a tremendous buzz surrounding Waybuloo and we have been overwhelmed and thrilled by the response from the industry,” comments RDF’s senior UK licensing manager, Jane Kennedy. “Waybuloo is a uniquely exciting preschool property and we are delighted to be working with this enormously creative group of licensees. RDF Rights “Waybuloo offers them a visually stunning platform from which to develop and deliver some exceptional product ranges. With Waybuloo toys, magazines, books and DVDs rolling out from autumn this year, we are now looking forward to seeing our new licensees joining them on shelves with their ranges from spring 2010.”

We have been overwhelmed and thrilled by the response from the industry to Waybuloo.

in keeping with its status as a Cbeebies landmark property.” The first products from FisherPrice will be available from October and will deliver against a range of price points across plush, collector packs, play-sets and puzzles. The launch will be backed by a significant marketing programme including TV advertising and PR. Work on the 2010 collection is also underway, with Fisher-Price aiming to move into new categories. “Fisher-Price was the clear choice for us,” offers Maria Sze, brand director at RDF. “As a market leader in pre-school, they are a trusted brand with proven success in this area.” Other early supporters for Waybuloo include Egmont, 2entertain and BBC Magazines, while a raft of other licensees have recently been revealed including Martin Yaffe in the toy sector, plus Zap, Kinnerton, Spearmark, Gemma International and Portico among others (see separate box out).

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“Given the state of the market and the fact that we haven’t officially launched, we have had unprecedented interest in the property,” Sze continues. “The main challenges have been to say no when we don’t think the association or opportunity is right. Our goal is to become an evergreen property. The editorial subject matter and unique nature of Waybuloo lends itself to becoming an evergreen programme – the timeless themes and engaging characters will sustain over time.” Meanwhile, for Fisher-Price’s Hooper, the addition of Waybuloo can only enhance the firm’s existing portfolio. “Fisher-Price is an established leader in the pre-school category and as a brand we seek to innovate and tread new ground through both product development and an association with exciting and innovative kids programming. RDF are clearly demonstrating a groundbreaking approach in Waybuloo,” he concludes. APRIL 2009


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Boy wonders The very heart of the toy offering, the boys sector is dominated by licensed properties, with the all-conquering Ben 10 topping the charts for over a year now and showing no signs of abating. This year sees yet more strong movie offerings with the new Transformers, Wolverine and Terminator films arriving in the summer. ToyNews views what’s on offer…

BOY’S TOYS HAVE been dominating the traditional toy market for much of the last year with sales – excluding video games – reaching £1.58 billion in 2008 (Source: NPD Consumer Panel). Out of the top 15 items sold last year seven were aimed specifically at boys (compared to one for girls and four for infant and pre-school). Boy’s toy sales reach a high at ages two to five before video games start to take over by ages ten and 11. Licences are particularly important to the boys market, with blockbuster films such as Star Wars and Indiana Jones having a massive impact on the market in the last year. In addition, strong TV licences like Ben 10 also

have ongoing appeal for boys. A Ben 10 item has been the best selling item in Total Toys for seven of the last 12 months. Indeed, looking ahead to the rest of 2009 there seems to be the potential for another strong licensed year for Boys with the Transformers sequel, X-Men Wolverine, Dragon Ball, Terminator Salvation and Star Trek all still to be released. Action figures are without doubt the biggest boys category and also the most heavily licensed; 83 per cent of the category is licensed. While the action figures themselves make up most of the market, the biggest growth throughout 2008 came from the accessories and role-play. Items such as Ben 10’s Omnitrix watch,

Top 10 Action Figures & Accessories YTD February 2009, ranked by value 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

Ben 10 Figures 10cm Ben 10 15cm Action Figures Ben 10 Omnitrix FX Watch Dr Who 5-inch Figures PR Operation Overdrive 12.5cm Figures Ben 10 Deluxe Omnitrix Transformers Movie Legends WWE Ruthless Aggression SW Clone Wars Voice Changer SW Clone Wars Basic Figure 3.75"

Indiana Jones’s Whip and Star Wars Clone Wars Voice changers were incredibly popular. One of the biggest launches in action figures for years will be Character’s MOD Armed Forces action figures and accessories this summer. It will be interesting to see how successful this range is and whether it could challenge Ben 10’s dominance of the market.

All Lego ranges grew last year, with Lego Star Wars and Lego Indiana Jones faring particularly well thanks to added support from film releases.

(source: NPD) Bandai Bandai Bandai Character Options Bandai Bandai Hasbro Vivid Hasbro Hasbro

Vehicles (the number two boys category) has had a tough year with powered vehicles and play-sets and accessories declining. Mini vehicles have grown, driven by Disney/Pixar’s Cars, the top property in total vehicles, outselling all other vehicle properties. With Cars, Matchbox and Hot Wheels, Mattel dominates the vehicles category.

One of the fastest growing categories in the last year has been Building sets. Of all spend on traditional toys, 14 per cent of sales with five to nine and ten to 14 yearold boys was spent on this category. Lego has dominated this sector with all top 20 best selling items belonging to the firm. The highest non-Lego item reaches number 27 in the best selling list. All Lego ranges grew last year with Lego Star Wars and Lego Indiana Jones faring particularly well with added support from both the film releases and individual Legobased video games. Lego growth also looks set to continue in 2009, with the new Power Miners range one of the fastest growing new properties and the purchase of additional licences from Disney to come later in the year. In addition, Meccano has also had a strong year with the added play value driving many of its items to perform well. Boys look set to continue dominance of the toy market throughout 2009 with larger ranges and more excitement in terms of licences, skus and variety, but also additional competition and turnover. APRIL 2009


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SECTOR GUIDE BOYS

BANDAI 08456 028782 With the new Ben 10 Alien Force series now on Cartoon Network, Bandai has launched a range of collectable action figures and accessories. New for this year is the Ultimate Omnitrix and the Alien Creation Chamber. Power Rangers is now in its 16th year and the launch of the Jungle Fury range consists of 12.5cm Sound Fury Figures. The Jungle Pride and Master DX Megazords are also new. Each Megazord is fully poseable and features savage spin and thunder punch actions. The Solar Morpher allows kids to be their favourite Ranger, with the interchangeable shields activating different sounds. Pokémon continues to thrive, with Diamond and Pearl Basic Figure Sets and the 6-in-1 Collectible Figure Sets. There are also new assortments of the Pokéball with Spinning Figures. The Pokédex has a double-screen electronic unit, which holds info of all the 151 Diamond and Pearl Pokémon, plus seven mini games.

SCHLEICH 01279 870000

Schleichs’ collection of dinosaurs has been created in cooperation with the National History Museum and Humboldt University in Berlin, ensuring authentic features. The company’s collection consists of 21 different models including all of the favourites, with 13 of the replicas to scale. All the well-known dinosaurs are available, such as Tyrannosaurus with his upright stance and sharp teeth and new this year, Apatosaurus, one of the largest land animals that ever existed. There are many ranges to choose from, including animals of the world, fantasy figures and much more. To enhance its collectible ranges, Schleich is offering a time limited marketing initiative to new and existing retailers. This includes subsidised shelving systems, a vendor managed inventory tool and point of sale marketing materials.

APRIL 2009

HASBRO

In honour of its 25th anniversary, Hasbro is introducing Transformers toys to showcase the innovation and depth synonymous with the brand. The range includes new characters from the most recent Transformers series, as well as classic robots. Figures in the Transformers Animated Deluxe and Voyager assortment will feature characters from the Animated series. Both will include a variety of characters with battle weapons and firing projectiles. Eleven characters, including Blurr and Waspinator, will feature in the Deluxe line (the entry level line), while eight characters will arrive in the Voyager line (larger scale). The Entertainment Pack includes two Deluxe figures, twin brothers Jetfire and Jetstorm, which combine to create Safeguard. The brothers are the only

TOMY

Battle Deck is a collectable battle racing system. Each pull-back car consists of three separate decks with a chassis, an engine and a bumper, which can be clicked together to make a custom car. The decks can be interchanged to fit all cars. There are eight Battle Deck cars (£4.99) with different racing abilities to choose from. Boys can collect components to make the ultimate battle vehicle and challenge others on the Crash ‘n’ Run Dodge Lane Changer Set (£19.99) or the Radical Run Deluxe Set. Both track sets comes with two unique Battle Deck cars (£29.99). The AI Deluxe Racing Set (£59.99) has the only artificially intelligent racing cars, which can avoid hazards. Unique

020 8569 1234

flying Autobots and will feature in the new Animated series. Transformers Robot Powered Machines (RPM) Mini-Vehicles Single Packs are non-converting die-cast mini vehicles of characters to get kids racing cars across the floor, as well as on playsets and tracks. The robot version is featured on the underside of each vehicle. Eighteen mini vehicles will be available in single packs. Created specifically for the new RPMs, the Transformers Movie Performace Track Set (£39.99) provides fast minivehicle play within a track set based on the new movie. Vinyl collectables are also planned, with Mighty Muggs (£9.99) versions of some popular Transformers characters. Characters available include Optimus Prime, Megatron, Bumblebee and Soundwave.

020 8722 7300

technology allows the cars to swerve around obstacles and continue on their way. It takes skill and wit to know when to use the speed boost and hit the brakes to make it around the track and win the game. The set comes complete with a large customisable racing track, two remote controlled cars and obstacles. With Q Steer Mario Kart Wii (£17.99) you can race Yoshi and Mario across your desk. Just like the best selling game, the vehicles have slick tyres, dash button for extra speed and banana and shell obstacles. The Q Steer Micro Buggies (£17.99) are micro scale replicas of classic remote control cars with a fully functioning remote control and a quick rechargeable battery.

CHARACTER OPTIONS 0161 633 9800

The military endorsed range of HM Armed Forces toys will be launched on May 8th. The line includes articulated figures, three each from the Royal Navy, Army and Royal Air Force. Military machines also feature in the form of a Vector Thrust Fast Jet, Fast Pursuit Battle Tank and Hovercraft plus. An array of role-play toys including a Utility Belt, Compass, Night Vision Infrared Stealth Goggles and Personal Role Radios will also be available. Doctor Who has four specials in 2009 and the most recent Time Squad range includes 15 detailed figures. With recent airings of new TV series’ for Dork Hunters and Gladiators, collectable characters from each programme will also be available. Finally, products to complement Terminator Salvation include 3.75 inch, seven inch and ten inch action figures of all the main characters from the film.

LEAPFROG 01702 200244

Leapfrog has launched new boys games for the Leapster2 this year including Star Wars and X-Men Wolverine. The Leapster2 handheld for four to eight-year olds expands the gameplay online with activities and rewards to encourage continued play, while parents can see what skills their child is exploring and share in their accomplishments with the LeapFrog Learning Path. Parents can connect their child’s Leapster2 handheld online to access new content and rewards including certificates, printables, playable new game demos and bonus games.


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SPIN MASTER 08708 508408

Spin Master’s Bakugan became the winner of Toy of the Year, Boys Toy of the Year and Property of the Year at the US Toy Fair earlier this year. The property also secured over seven per cent share of the UK action figure category in January. As well as regular refreshes of the Bakugan Brawlers and ability cards, a strategic move for the brand is to introduce new accessories and convert collectors into gamers. An extended range will include Deka Bakugan, card boosters, collector’s case, BakuTin and Hand Launcher. Tech Deck will see new assortments of skateboards and skate parks throughout the year. A new range for extreme sports fans will be Flick Trix, miniature, authentic replicas of BMX bikes with working parts for riding and performing jumps, spins and tricks. Storm Hawks range of action figures and vehicles continues to be driven by the action adventure series.

FIESTA CRAFTS 020 8804 0563

The wooden Fire Station and Castle are part of the Paint Make and Play series. The finished Fire Station is complete with swinging doors, working bell, fireman’s pole and a fire engine. The Castle features battlements, draw bridge and both sets come with hand painted wooden characters. The Doowell Magnetic Football Table helps young fans chart all the latest league positions, from Premiership through to League 2, by moving the magnetic team names around the board. The Magnetic Football Table also features a cover, which can be personalised with information on a team or players and includes a full set of conference teams and blanks to cover future promotions. The cotton Football Leagues Table wall hanging has 92 pieces with every team in the four leagues represented and can be updated as newly promoted teams can be ordered from the website.

MATTEL

Hot Wheels launches Formula Hot Wheels, a major marketing campaign celebrating the essence of the brand with a programme of speed, power and performance. It includes a kids TV partnership and online, PR and in-store activations. New products include the decotransforming Colour Shifters, with spring and Christmas TV-driver track sets. Colour Shifters are 1:64 scale vehicles, which change colour in warm and cold water. Unique memory paint ensures the paint job stays true even when dry. The Trick Tracks line, featuring interconnectible stunts and vehicle tricks, can be joined in any way. For Christmas 2009, one theme is set to make a comeback in a track set, providing a slice of Great White Shark action. The Brave and Bold will engage younger fans in the Batman brand. Mattel’s supporting line-up will

LEGO

Power Miners features six vehicle sets, each packed with action features including the opportunity to create different models within the larger sets to expand on the build experience. The Lego Star Wars property has become the second biggest franchise for Lego UK. 2009 celebrates the tenth anniversary of the collaboration with special edition sets being introduced including the Darth Vadar TIE Fighter at launch. The universe has expanded with the introduction of new models based on Star Wars: The Clone Wars. Lego Indiana Jones showcases a range of play-sets this year depicting scenes from the three original movies and the more recent film, The Kingdom of The Crystal Skull. Fight on the Flying Wing and Shanghai Chase sets are available at launch, with further

01628 500000

incorporate figures and vehicles including the Batmobile. Mattel will launch its new Toy Story collection this summer, featuring a range of figures and vehicles, while Disney Pixar’s Cars sees spring introductions, the Tractor Tippin track set and Minis Race n Rescue Play-set, with a new track set also ahead. Matchbox delivers more from Mega Rigs in 2009 with the Mega Rigs Pirate Ship. Major Matchbox news is also on its way in the form of Rocky The Robot Truck. Boys can now interact with the robot, as Rocky features interactive sensors and motorised movement. The Imaginext line from Fisher-Price sees a varied range of spring introductions including the Ocean Submarine. Autumn arrivals include TV driver the Imaginext Space Shuttle.

01753 495000

products, including Temple of Doom Playset, introduced from August. The new Bionicle storyline introduces the Glatorians, based on the Earth’s elements. The constructable action figures offer high-tech features and weapons with firing ammunition. Lego City continues to offer boys aged five plus and their parents classic themes and easily recognised models. The new Construction and Farm themes introduce children to a realistic role-play experience. The Lego Technic brand features stand-alone models for a challenging build, authenticity and functionality, the range has been enhanced with the Bulldozer, Tractor, Go-Cart, Rally Truck, Hauler and Quad Bike. Each have instructions for secondary models and can be powered by the range’s power functions.

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VIVID IMAGINATIONS 01483 449944

Vivid continues its movie-based properties with the Star Trek toy line. In autumn the range will grow to include a role-play Utility Belt, £27.99 and a deluxe Enterprise play-set complete with figure at £99.99. Additional lines will include Kirk with motorcycle, transporter shuttle and Kirk’s space helmet with voice changer. The Dinosaur King phenomenon continues to grow in 2009. Vivid’s toy line will include a deluxe figure collection featuring key characters and their dino partners from the show and an electronic, construction dinosaur. WWE Ruthless Aggression and Deluxe Aggression figures are consistently ranked in the top toy NPD data. New additions will be the Money In The Bank Deluxe Play-set and the Punjabi Prison Match with dual bamboo cages.

MECCANO 01844 278888

New for autumn/winter is the Design RC Concept Car. This will be the first radio/controlled car in the range and will retail at £39.99. The new Design Starter kits feature six sets and each builds one model: beach buggy, tractor, digger, plane, motorbike or helicopter. Meccano’s Tuning RC Carbon Style Car contains all the Tuning spirit condensed in one vehicle set. There are three vehicles to build and kids can choose a music style to play along with sounds effects. The Tuning RC Red Hot Racer is a new vehicle with two different RC models to build – a racing car and a roadster. The Tuning RC Sound System sets allow kids to connect an MP3 player, turn on the lights and take control of the race-car. The latest bright blue RC Sound System set will complete the range this autumn/winter. The Design and Tuning ranges are suitable for eight years plus and all come with tools and instructions.

APRIL 2009


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SCALEXTRIC 01843 233500

Scalextric’s Vodafone McLaren Mercedes Set is a new analogue version of the Vodafone McLaren Mercedes Lewis Hamilton set. Scalextric is launching the Micro Scalextric Disney Cars set (£50) in July, while the firm is paying homage to the first ever Mini to roll off the production line with a 1959 Morris Mini Minor in August. The Top Gear Powerlaps set made its Scalextric debut last year. This year fans will be able to set the lap timer and power around the circuit with three more cars being added. A black Aston Martin DBS car will be on shelves in April with a silver Mercedes-Benz SLR McLaren and blue Ford GT arriving in October. The Classic Collection: Monaco 1992 is a limited edition line to celebrate the duel between Nigel Mansell and Aryton Senna that took place during the sixth round of the 1992 Formula One season at Monaco.

FLAIR 0208 643 0320

Gormiti includes a range of 3D action figures, trading cards and play sets with each character belonging to a tribe linked to an element of nature. Earth, Sea, Air and Forest are the goodies, while the Volcano tribe are the baddies. As well as collecting all of the characters, there is a strategic game to play. Each figure has a power value printed under its foot and each trading card has its own power strength. The player with the highest combination between figure and card is the winner. In series two, The Great Eclipse, the story continues as the Island of Gorm continues to be devastated by the battles. With the new Atomic series launching in the summer this will ensure the action continues. Gormiti benefits from marketing support, which has already seen covermounts, advertorials and inserts in the boys press this year with further print advertorials planned throughout the year. A licensing programme is also underway that has introduced further Gormiti products.

APRIL 2009

MEGA BRANDS

Mega Brands is launching two new boys toys. The first is Battle Strikers, launched at Toy Fair with the help of teen sensation George Sampson, and the second is Streetz. MagNext Battle Strikers are designed to appeal to boys looking for fast action, collectible and customizable gameplay. Using the force of magnetism, kids can build and personalize the turbo launcher using one of 16 different magnetically charged strikers. The striker is then sent into battle, spinning as fast as 7500 RPM. Competitors can feel the magnetic

MARTIN YAFFE Born to Play launches its new Ben 10 products this spring/summer. The range comprises a variety of play balls including a PVC Ball, 4-inch Foam Balls available in two designs, an 8.5-inch play ball and the Playground Ball. Also available is the Ben 10 Inflatable Chair. The first products from Pinky and Perky launch in autumn/winter. The range includes a Sing-a-long Microphone featuring songs from the show and character phrases; a Joke Set with 15 jokes and a Remote Control Car complete with working radio, removable characters and two-wheel cornering feature. Also in the range is a Voice Changing Megaphone, Pinky and Perky Beanies with Sound, an Inflatable Chair and Walkie Talkie Headsets. The new LazyTown line is available in

GETRETRO The first wave of Torchwood figures included detailed, articulated 5-inch figures of characters from the top-rated BBC TV show. The Captain Jack Harkness, Gwen Cooper, Cyberwoman and a Weevil are among the initial collection. Each figure

01844 350033

power as the controller is used to knock their opponents right out of the game. Streetz is a new adrenaline-filled construction toy packed with technology and gadgets. Combining micro-scale vehicles and big building thrills, kids use the blocks to build up city environments and blast through them in super fast vehicles. Using the new touch command technology, kids will be able to use their hands to bring micro sized vehicles to life. Suitable for ages six and over, and launched late summer 2009, both products will be supported by TV and online activities.

01706 717800 two colourways – pink for Stephanie fans and blue for Sportacus fans. Items available in the Sportacus range include Plush, Beanies, an Inflatable Chair, an Action Play-Set, Figures, outdoor play items including Balls, Boom Bats and Hoppers and wheeled toys including a Bike, Skateboard and Scooter. New products from Bob the Builder and Fireman Sam include Dancing Bob and Wind Up Floating Neptune, from the new CGI programming, which comes with a figure of Penny. New Power Rangers products under the new Jungle Fury theme include a Folding Chair, Folding Scooter, Inline Trainer Skates and a Two Wheel Scooter. Odd Bodz, Born to Play’s own brand of characters and vehicles, can all be mixed and matched.

0800 975 4571 comes with clothing appropriate to their character or species and a detachable collector’s plinth. Some figures are supplied with accessories. A second set of figures is in final development and will be available in the coming months.

VTECH 01235-555545

The Kidizoom Pro offers children aged five and over a 1.3 mega pixel camera with 2x digital zoom and a built-in flash. It features a video facility, MP3 player and five games, with 512 MB of storage plus an SD card slot for memory expansion. It allows connection to the TV to view photos and play games or edit and view photos linked to a PC. The VTech Thomas & Friends Alphabet Train is packed with age-appropriate curriculum-based activities. The train includes 26 interactive letter buttons, music button and four modes of play. Children drive and learn with the Lightning McQueen Learning Phone. It features light-up wheel buttons, turning phone book pages and Lightning McQueen styled role-play. The enhanced VTech Knowledge Notebook is black and now comes with a free backpack. The Notebook has 80 activities and features a Qwerty keyboard, a mouse and pad.

GROSSMAN 0141 613 2525

With summer just around the corner, Grossman is unveiling its outdoor toy range for boys. The £9.99 Nebulus Scooter has enjoyed a revamp in colours for 2009. The new Ben 10 range has surpassed the firm’s expectations with repeat orders flooding in. The range includes the Ben 10 Pogo Stick and the Ben 10 Outdoor Tent. Another hero line within the range is the Ben 10 Flying Disc with a retail price of around £2.99. The Bakugan range, which is launching mid-year, has had a positive response in the trade and includes the Bakugan PoP Up Tent with a new patented design and a retail guide price of around £15.


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CASDON TOYS 01253 766 411

Casdon toys’ new Postman Pat Steering Wheel simulates driving Pat’s new van. As part of Pat’s Special Delivery Service (SDS), kids can race around the new town of Pencaster dropping off parcels. The wheel features Pat’s voice and many well-known phrases from the show. It also includes sounds of the horn, a revving engine, gear changes and braking, flashing indicators and the unforgettable SDS theme tune. It can be used at home or in the back of the car.

GREAT GIZMOS 01293 543221

RE:CREATION

The new Harry Potter toys and figurines will be launched to coincide with the film in July. The range includes 3¾ inch Action Figures in single, twin and five packs. There are three Action Figure double packs featuring a Harry Potter and Ron Weasley Quidditch set; a Serverus Snape and Tom Riddle set and the Death Eater two-pack. The five-pack of action figures come in a choice of the Dark Arts or the Anti Voldermort. The Wizard Wand Battle Set is an electronic interactive play-set. The prophecy orb is also compatible with any of the four interactive wands, while the Mad-Eye Moody role-play set is a strap on mad-eye which rotates. The latest incarnation of Nintendo’s video game characters comes in the

SAMBRO

Great Gizmos new ranges include Power Lights and Power Circuits. Each kit in these collections introduces children to the basic principles of electronics through a range of projects. All the kits use Tech Card Technology, a system that takes pre-cut cards, rivets and motorised parts to make innovative tech-projects that really work. From the Power Lights collection there are three brushed silver effect LED light kits: the Light Tube, designed to look like a lava lamp, a fibre optic Light Fountain and the flashing disco ball style Light Crystal. All three kits create different lighting effects using a colour changing LED lamp. The Power Circuit collection has three further kits, a multi positional Desk Lamp, a Desk Fan and a Door Bell, great for older kids who think they’re too cool for toys. The new Kidzlabs mechanics kits also include seven different kits to collect and each one shows children how to combine simple mechanisms to form working mechanical devices whilst discovering principles such as friction, forces and mechanics.

Sambro is launching TWF: Thumb Wrestling Federation in the UK. Based on the hit TV show on BBC One every weekday evening, this is a fresh take on the classic game, thumb wars. Following a similar style to professional wrestling, there are the Mighty Dexteras, constantly fighting for good against the Evil Sinistras. Children can take on their favourite characters from the show by putting the character faces over their thumbs. They then fight it out in the purpose built Thumb Wrestling Ring, which is placed over their thumbs.

REBEL TOYS The Maisto range sees the launch of The Need for Speed – Undercover diecast collection this spring. This new collection features a range of die-cast model cars from the video game, with each car having an unlock code for exclusive in-game vehicle

0118 973 6222

form of range of figurines and toys. Also new for 2009 is the Razor range. Spark Scooter has a unique mechanism at the rear wheel, which uses a flint cassette to shoot a stream of bright sparks out up to 15 feet. PowerWing Scooter is a new way to ride. The Ripstik Caster Board brings the style and control of the slopes to dry land. The Ripstik Air is the third evolution of this board and has antigravity construction for big air tricks. Skeleflex will see the Warriors, Battle packs and Micro bones arrive. The Horrid Henry line has a new range of toys and collectable figurines. The toy line has been extended to include a range of Horrid Henry Action Figures and Play-sets.

0161 707 5555

To start a match, you lock hands and chant, ‘four, three, two, one, who will be the strongest thumb?’ Whoever pins down their opponents thumb first for five seconds, wins. Most of the characters from season one of the show are available including the head of the Mighty Dexteras, Vini Vidi Victory. Backing him up are his allies; Hometown Huck, Wasabi, and Danny Kaboom. Leading the Evil Sinstras is Senator skull with his angry mob that includes The Big Time, Itsy Bitsy and N Fuego. Other characters are also available.

01482 887917 designs. Models include Audi R8, Lamborghini Murceilago LP640 and Nissan GT-R to name just three. All are available in a range of different scales from 1:64th, 1:24th and 1:18th. Prices start from £3.99 for 1:64th scale.

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HY PRO 01582 670100

The traditional off-pitch game of choice for football fans, table football has proven to be a game of skill capturing the competitive spirit of football. Hy-Pro’s table football range is the official range of many of the premiership’s leading teams including Manchester United, Chelsea, Liverpool and Arsenal and are crafted to high specifications. Each design recreates the scope and scale of each team’s home ground with detailed designs and are branded with each team’s emblem. First patented by the English in 1923 – though both the French and Germans lay claim to inventing it – the International Tabletop Federation aims to have table football recognised as an Olympic sport by 2012. Its appeal across the ages is unrivalled. Hy-Pro’s Table Football range retails from at £59.99.

HIVE ENTERTAINMENT 0845 224 3842

First released in 1998, the SEGA Mega Drive (or Genesis as it was known in the US) went on to sell 29 million units globally. Now the console that defined a generation is back. Following on from the Mega Drive portable LCD system, which was launched in November 2008 and already sold in excess of 30,000 units, Hive has announced the arrival of the SEGA Mega Drive Console System. Complete with 15 built-in games including Sonic & Knuckles, Golden Axe, Alex Kidd and Columns, this replica console also comes packaged with two six-button controllers facilitating two-player action. It will also take all old Mega Drive and SEGA Genesis cartridges. With a price of £39.99, the SEGA Mega Drive Console System is due to launch at the end of April.

APRIL 2009


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SECTOR GUIDE BOYS

DKL 01604 678780

Suitable from two years onwards, the latest additions to Wonderworld fleet includes the Mini Garage and the Mini Taxi and Mini Sporty Car among others. All vehicles are made of its trademark chunky smooth-to-touch wood, have durable rubber tyres and are painted in eye-catching colours. The Ride On Fire engine is a classic sit and ride toy and the wooden cab and body are painted bright red with white detailing. A friendly cartoon face, sounds and under-seat storage add to the play appeal. The fire engine can be steered and its all terrain tyres make it ideal for outdoors. The Mini Taxi and Mini Sporty are new additions to the vehicle range. The larger Heavy Duty Truck is big enough to pick up and drop off any loads. Wonderworld’s new Mini Garage can house the mini cars collection. Find a space to park by going up and down the ramp or using the elevator provided to get the cars serviced and washed. Suitable for age 24 months and over.

DANBAR 01707 260111

Early this summer, Danbar Toys, known for its R/C ranges, will be expanding its brand offering and adding additional house brands to its existing portfolio. In the R/C and boys toys categories, the company is expanding its range with new items expected to retail at £4.99 to £19.99. This new range will cater for the current economic climate and provide consumers with Danbar Toys’ quality and customer service at more affordable prices.

MOOKIE The New Thomas Swingball, in partnership with Hit Entertainment, will feature brand relevant design and unique features, including Thomas and Percy moving around the track as the ball swings. Swingball’s patented lightweight checkerbats and all-

APRIL 2009

HALSALL

01253 778888

Halsall’s new battery operated JCB tools and accessories are based on the brand’s real life products such as the JCB Pneumatic Drill complete with break-apart cement blocks and the Circular Saw and Power Chain-Saw. An assortment of three robust, Battery Operated JCB Power Tools with interchangeable power packs and goggles provides the choice of a drill with three drill heads, a jigsaw or a torch. Also new is a range of five motorised 1:16 scale-replica JCB vehicles with light, sound and motion and movable parts. New wheeled lines include a battery operated Digger Ride-On featuring different engine sounds, as well as a control dash to jib the front arm up and down and move the bucket in and out. Also new is a Convertible JCB Lawn Mower Sit n Ride, three Wheel Scooter and Trike with rear bucket.

GOLDEN BEAR

Halsall also distributes a range of Ben 10 and Bakugan illumination toys. The Movie Motion handheld film projectors turn a bedroom into a cinema. The Project-a-Sketch transforms from a torch to a light projector and includes six changeable image caps. The firm also provides a range of Ben 10 summer inflatables, outdoor toys and furniture. The wheeled toy ranges span a range of boys brands, while the firm is also presenting new Bart micro scooters and protection gear, plus Micro Radio Control Bart and Homer vehicles and the Radio Control Car, featuring all family members, horn and flashing headlights. The firm also has WWE feature vehicles and wheeled toys. For preschoolers, Halsall has developed Diego wooden puzzles and games, while for boys outdoor, it offers an extensive collection of Spider-man wheeled, outdoor toys and inflatables.

01952 608308

The award-winning My 1st Talking JCB range has been extended to include the Freddie Fastrac. Freddie has his own phrases including ‘Ready Freddie Go.’ The rest of the collection continues with Joey JCB, Larry Loadall, Doug Dumptruck, Rex Roller and Roxy Robot. The My 1st JCB Mini Pullbacks are made from chunky, bright plastic and are designed for small hands to hold. Just pull them back and watch them go. Five JCB vehicles are brought to life and given their own personality. Characters

01525 722722 surface base system enable play almost anywhere. The lid and base construction allows all components to be stored inside. The soft, safe foam ball allows children from three years of age to develop hand-eye co-ordination.

available are Joey JCB, Rex Roller, Doug Dumptruck, Larry Loadall and Freddie Fastrack. Each character has five unique phrases, their own sounds, moveable features and a flashing light. The range will be extended further in autumn with the arrival of Talking Elvis Excavator. He features ten phrases, action sounds, lights and a pull lever scoop. This year also sees the introduction of Talking Max – the fastest diesel in the world. With flashing lights and five phrases including ‘I don’t do slow old chum.’ The Thomas & Friends range sees the introduction of Victor for 2009. Each engine in the collection has seven different phrases unique to its character, which children can activate with the button on top of the engine. They can also hear the engine’s own noise and see its eyes move as they push it along.

WORLDS APART 0800 389 8591

Following the Dream Town selection of cottages, tea sets and village stores, Worlds Apart has expanded the range to give boys a role-play scenario. It is hoped the new Gaskett’s Garage will help reinforce the firm’s recent achievement of number one in role-play toys (NPD November ’08). Gaskett’s Garage is a double-sided role-play structure with a garage forecourt on one side and a workshop on the other. The forecourt has an air pump for making sure tyres are at full pressure and the workshop includes a drop down workbench for storing tools and projects on the go. Add to this the Dream Racer ride-in car and a Petrol Pump accessory for forecourt service. The sturdy MDF Dream Racer has a lift-up bonnet which reveals a realistic engine packed with role-play opportunities.

MV SPORTS 0121 748 8000 Hot on the heels of the success of MV’s Ben 10 range comes an expanded offer with the Ben 10 Alien Force line, which consists of older, cooler and more innovative products such as the interactive Omnitrix In-line scooter and 3D effect graphic Skateboard. Look out also for two new film ranges featuring Transformers 2 and G.I Joe, released in the summer. The Transformers range will include a battle in-line scooter, moving graphics skateboard, helmet and a 16in bike. The GI Joe range will consist of a skateboard and an in-line scooter. For pre-schoolers the trio of Thomas, Bob and Fireman Sam will continue to grow the category, with new ranges such as the Thomas Full Steam Ahead range with sound effects and the new Bob The Builder Toolbox range complete with a toolbox and tools.


THE CLONE WARS

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l to r: Destroyer Droid™, C-3PO™, Plo Koon™, Count Dooku™, Asajj Ventress™, IG-86™ Assassin Droid™ Product and colors may vary. Each sold separately. © 2009 Lucasfilm Ltd. & ® or TM where indicated. All rights reserved. ®* and/or ™* & © 2009 Hasbro. All Rights Reserved. TM & ® denote U.S. Trademarks.


SECTOR GUIDE BOYS

www.toynewsmag.com

INTERPLAY 01628 488944

Technokits are a range of technology projects designed to promote a practical knowledge of how machines work. The latest Powered Hovercraft Technokit was designed with the world’s leading model hovercraft inventor and the object is to build a battery operated, real working model of a hovercraft. Dangerous Books for Boys are disguised as traditional boys’ books, but are in fact cleverly designed boxes with a hidden compartment containing a science kit. There are ten books in each science kit, including an Anti-Gravity Kit, Pocket Science Lab and Make Rocketballs. Voted Best New Toy of the Year 2009 (Hobby Category) by the British Toy and Hobby Association, the range also includes the Ancient Fighting Machines. The line-up includes Onager (a Roman war catapult) and the Trebuchet (replica of War Wolf Edward 1’s siege machine).

REVELL 01442 250130

The Revell Racing Car Set contains not one but two models, as well as all the basic paints, glue and brushes with the Corvette C6-R and Audi R10 TDI. For the less experienced modellers, the increased ranges of the Star Wars Easy Kit and Easy Kit Pocket make good gifts. With the 40th anniversary of the first Moon mission landing later on this year, Revell has a collection including the Apollo Saturn V Rockets, Apollo Astronaut on the Moon and Apollo Lunar Module ‘Eagle’. Revell Control is a new line of remotecontrolled models featuring modern infra-red, MHz or GHz technology. All are easy to operate and suitable for newcomers or experienced pilots.

BRAINSTORM Brainstorm is introducing a new line of Star Wars Science toys for late summer. The Force Trainer allows you to control a Jedi Training Remote with your mind, by tapping into cutting-edge brainwave technology. It includes 15 levels of training. The Optical Command Unit is a reconnaissance device that can be assembled into binoculars, microscope or a mini-projector. The Darth Vader Electronic Arm Kit shows you how to build a robotic arm and lets you grip and move objects with interactive controls. The Naboo Sea Creature Habit is a detailed environment to raise creatures. The Jedi Telescope can be used to scan the skies, or dial up images of iconic Star Wars planets. The Jedi Projector displays projections of starships from The Clone Wars and comes with a CD audio tour. The Mustafar Volcano Kit allows you to create volcanic eruptions in a reproduction of the planet Mustafar. Includes a figurine of Anakin and Obi-Wan. Each Smartlab science kit includes a book that ties into the science behind it. The Voice Changer kit offers a range of voices; The Double Security Safe allows kids to build a safe with their own secret code; The Remote Control Rocket comes complete with launch pad and remote launcher; The Shark Model features a snap-together Shark Model and the Human Body kit includes a human body model.

CORINTHIAN

2009 will see the return of Stink Blasters, the line of ‘d-stinktive’ characters. Corinthian is the new distribution partner in the UK, and this summer it will launch a new collection. When the soft head of a Stink Blaster is squeezed, it releases an odour.

SANTORO Drop720 from Santoro London includes Nysh, Deck, Fly and Tank – skateboards, snowboards, skates and basketball. And some bugs. Drop720 is a boys property with street cred, according to the company, bringing users a range of accessories that include a Sticker Tin with a selection of ten stickers. Also available is a set of three badges, an embroidered patch and a

01200 445113

The Natural History Museum Tyrannosaurus Rex Scan is a scanner that gives kids a look at a the dinosaur’s skeleton. Meanwhile, the Natural History Museum Glow 3D Dinosaurs are huge and glow in the dark, with three styles to choose from. Zipbin is a toy chest that is also a toy. Each themed bin comes with a toy or toys and has four zips allowing the chest to open up into a playmat and when playtime is over, it just zips back up into a storage box. Zipbins include Small Town, Dinosaur, Train Depot and Wheelie. New Playpacks are backpacks that fold out into playmats and include Street Racer, Dino and Digger.

01494 462640 There will be 24 figures to collect from six different crews – B.O Boys, Breathers, Gasser Guys, Nature Crew, Veggies and Stench Brothers. Each figure will be sold individually in a sachet for £3.99. Supported with TV on all major boys’ channels, Corinthian expects Stink Blasters to become a playground hit with boys across the country. A Stink Blasters Containment Truck play-set with three figures will also be available from August, priced at £14.99. Other highlights in Corinthian’s boys’ offering for this year include the introduction of a range of MicroWorld collectable Classics and Pixar Disney characters, a second collection of Ben 10 Micros and an 18th series of MicroStars football figures.

01709 518100 pin badge. A collection of keychains also come in four styles. All of these items retail at around £5.00-£5.50. Santoro says we should ‘Get on board with Drop 720, a high octane shot of fresh, fast and fearless style’, but it is strictly for those who work hard, play hard but never have to try too hard. Live fast. No regrets. And remember… it’s just a ride.

41

MANHATTAN TOY 020 8944 3160

Automoblox combines classic car and truck toys with a mix-and-match wooden building block construction system. Manhattan Toy is introducing 11 new lines including six full size cars, four minis and a minis three-car pack. The C9-R rides lower to the ground than the original C9 sportscar and has a deep red colour palette ideal for a performance car. A souped-up version of the S9 sedan, the S9-R rides lower to the ground on larger wheels and is deep blue. With increased ride height and rugged charcoal wheels, and featuring front and rear skid plates, a roof rack and spare tyre, the X9X embodies adventure play. The limited edition C9-S berlinetta, has simulated aluminum wheels, metallic roof and pearl textured connectors. The A9-S features compact proportions, bright white moulded parts and high-gloss black wheels. The Automoblox Minis line is designed to fit in the palm of the hand.

JOHN HORNBY SKEWES 0113 286 5381

The SpongeBob SquarePants threepiece drum kit from PP Drums features full colour drum shell graphics. The kit features a 12" x 10" bass drum, an 8" x 6" mounted tom tom, a 8" x 4" snare drum and a 9.5" cymbal plus snare stand and bass drum pedal, with drum stool and drum key. The SpongeBob SquarePants Electric Guitar with built-in speaker outfit features punk graphics on this 3/4-size twin cutaway body. A maple neck and fretboard, with single coil pickup and single rotary volume control are all included. The guitar features its own inbuilt amp and speaker, powered by an onboard 9v battery and can also be played through a regular amp as well via the output jack socket, and there’s a minijack input for headphones. There’s also a guitar carry bag, signal lead, strap, plectrum and SpongeBob tutorial DVD.

APRIL 2009


42

SECTOR GUIDE BOYS

JOHN CRANE 01604 774949

The Branching Out Collection from John Crane will see over 50 new items added to the range this year. One of which is specifically designed for the boys – the Acorn Garage has three tiers, on-site petrol pumps and a car wash. Alternatively, from the Pintoy Collection, the Pick Up Trike is available in red, blue and natural rubber wood. Rubber types also ensure a firm grip on any surface so a safe ride is guaranteed. The front scoop is big enough to hold a variety of books and toys, and the Cargo Truck’s stocky design means it’s a stable ride for even the most inexperienced of riders. The use of chunky rubber wood makes for robust ride-ons.

PYRAMID POSTERS 0116 264 2642

Pyramid International has begun the roll-out of its new Ben 10 Alien Force range with the launch of new poster and badge pack selections. The products will retail at £3.99 and £2.99 respectively, giving retailers the chance to target the increasingly important pocket money sector coupled with the strong boys property.

MARBEL

Eitech is a large and varied range of metal construction kits, which start with the more basic kits priced at £4.99 for six years plus. The more intricate designs have older age recommendations according to the skill needed. The bestsellers are the midrange vehicles, as they have the multiple designs to construct. These kits help with the development of motor functions, creativity and imagination skills. Within the collection there is a selection of educational solar

PLAYMOBIL

Visit the pyramids, the Sphinx and the Pharaoh’s Temple all in one day with the new Playmobil Egyptian range. There are nine different scenes to recreate, available from July. The new Underwater Expedition includes an Expedition Ship, the Captain and Cabin Boy, a Mini Submarine, a Motorised Research Submarine, a Deep Sea Diver, a shark and a Floating Cage. The Playmobil crime-fighters range includes a police officer line.

BERG MOOV kits need no tools and use only provided timber pieces, shaped plastic rings, steel parts and pneumatic tyres, to build a variety of different models. True to the product’s tag line, Make it – Move it, MOOV presents children with a challenge: before they can play with

APRIL 2009

01208 873123

power sets with helicopters, planes and windmills, plus a remote controlled cross country jeep that covers the bumpiest ground efficiently. Each kit comes with its own tool kit and full instructions, while all the components are inter-connectable and can be assembled to any size with any of the ranges. The Eitech range has been completely revamped for 2009, with new models, new packaging and lower price points.

01268 548 111

The new collection is more realistic, says the firm, with flashing lights on the Car and Motorcycle and an alarm which sets off when the Jewel Thieves strike. The range includes Copter, Headquarters and Interrogation Room and Cells. The new Pirate Island Carry Case includes Cannon, Glowing Skeleton in Floating Row Boat, a Pirate Gunboat or the Red Corsair, complete with Firing Cannons and Skull and Cross bones.

0161 247 8377 the vehicle, they have to build it. Three kits are available: the 3-in-1 Starter Kit (£129) with bike, crane and a snow mobile; the 7-in-1 Advanced Kit (£179) for helicopter, scooter, trike and four other models. Budding engineers can build ten different models.

HABA 0161 304 9555

The Terra Kids collection from Haba will encourage kids to learn about the creatures and plants around them. The Terra Kids Microscope will magnify up to 30 times. It comes with tweezers, glass vials and sample slides to get boys started. An essential accessory for microscope owners is the Terra Pocket box with its Neoprene pocket, hook and loop fastener and snap link provides the perfect container for boys to collect samples to study – be it feathers and shells or acorns and bugs. The rest of the line includes telescopes, discovery belts, compasses and a sundial. The Terra Kids Key Rings each have their own function, from a retractable key ring to the magnifier, whistle and hour glass.

BIGJIGS 01303 250400

The Powertools Bench is suitable for children aged three years and over. The sturdy, colourful toy comes flatpacked for ease of carriage. Available to retailers this month, the Big Work Bench features a selection of wooden power tools, including a working saw, a drill that moves up and down, an adjustable vice and various bolts, a spanner and hammer. As with all products from Bigjigs Toys, the Big Work Bench and its accessories are finished to a very high specification and conform to current safety standards. When assembled, the bench stands 45cm tall, 39cm wide and 20cm deep. The Big Work Bench is the latest addition to the boys toy collection, which already contains junior tool boxes, a carpenter’s belt and a wide selection of wooden vehicles including a dumper truck, crane and wrecking ball.


16th

consecutive year of this evergreen boys’ brand

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Bandai UK Limited t: 01489-790944 e: general@bandai.co.uk


PRINT MAGAZINES KIDS MEDIA

www.toynewsmag.com

45

Print power The only media which is actively purchased by children and their parents, print magazines have many factors working in their favour. And if you’re not already using them to complement your TV and online messages, you need to think again, as Samantha Loveday discovers...

“PRINT MEDIA IS definitely undervalued by toy companies,” states Julie Jones, publishing director of Redan Publishing. “I understand that most of their budget has to go to TV advertising for retail purposes, but they’re really missing out by not using magazines more.” Jones’ view is one which is, perhaps not unsurprisingly, shared by her peers. But, used alongside the traditional TV advertising, print is a very effective medium when it comes to getting your brand in front of not only kids, but their parents, too. And, while the magazine market as a whole decreased slightly in retail sales value in 2008 over 2007, the children’s sector actually grew and was worth around £127 million in 2008. “The children’s magazine market is the third biggest magazine category by volume behind women’s magazines and TV listings and 61 million children’s magazines are sold a year,”

states Sam Vernon, group ad sales manager at Egmont Magazines. Despite the sheer size of the sector, however, it hasn’t remained untouched by the wider global economic issues.

Luckily, print media has many factors working in its favour. It is the only actively purchased medium for one. Back to Jones again: “Parents with young children know and trust print media.

To ensure their message reaches kids, advertisers need to communicate with them on many different levels, in the same way grown up brands do with companies spanning TV, print and outdoor. Sam Vernon, Group Ad Sales Manager, Egmont “Sales since September 2008 have been quite erratic – I think this is the economic climate where parents are making cut backs,” admits Jones. “Rather than two or three magazines, they’re buying just one, so competition is fierce. Parents are also taking more notice of titles that offer the best value for money.”

“They were brought up reading print themselves and know that there are no hidden dangers or complicated instructions that they themselves aren’t sure about. “Magazines are interactive, tactile, affordable and disposable, so parents don’t mind if they get scribbled all over or ripped up.”

Egmont’s Vernon adds: “Magazines complement TV advertising and do a different job – TV is all about impact and mass awareness and magazines allow longer to dwell through the activities and interactive content. 56 per cent of parents also keep children’s magazines and refer back to them, meaning that any advertising works really hard for potential advertisers. The advertising/editorial ratio is small – we carry a max of three ad pages in our pre-school magazines and four to five in our own brand titles – so adverts in kids’ magazines have tremendous stand out. “Children today are sophisticated mini-consumers, so access many different types of media including TV, print, online and radio. To ensure the message reaches them, advertisers need to communicate to them on many different levels in the same way that grown up brands do with companies spanning TV, print and outdoor.” APRIL 2009


46

PRINT MAGAZINES KIDS MEDIA

LESSONS IN LEARNING The educational aspects of print media are also a big plus point where parents are concerned. “Parents have understood the importance of using pre-school titles to help teach their children the core skills they are going to need for school for some time now, and the educational element is a clear factor in their purchasing decision,” says James Willmott from Titan Publishing, which boasts a packed portfolio of licensed titles including The Simpsons Comic, Spongebob Squarepants Comic and LazyTown.

Chris Dicey, group account director at John Brown Media, which publishes Sky Kids – the largest circulating kids’ magazine in the UK with an ABC of 762,254 – believes that there is still a real desire among parents to give their children magazines. “Parents are reassured that their children are actively engaging with the product, putting pen to paper, encouraging reluctant readers and working out puzzles, and the children love to find all of their favourite stuff in a format that isn’t too daunting,” Dicey offers.

“Where TV and online can be media that is regulated by parents, print is definitely a medium that parents are happy to see their children with.” Education is also a key selling point for Redan Publishing’s Jones: “For our pre-school titles, our brand is Fun to Learn and we pride ourselves on the fact that our titles follow the National Curriculum’s Early Years Foundation Stages,” she comments. “Parents recognise this, and we get lots of feedback telling is how our magazines help children to get a head

KEY PLAYERS AT A GLANCE Bauer Media 01733 468000 www.bauermedia.co.uk Part of the Bauer Publishing Group, Bauer Media spans over 80 brand names covering a diverse range of interests, but probably the most relevant for toy companies is boys’ football weekly Match. Indeed, the magazine revealed to ToyNews last year that it is actively trying to lure toy advertisers into the title. Around 740,000 readers are picking up Match every week, according to the firm.

BBC Magazines 020 8433 2000 www.bbcmagazines.com Good performers in the latest round of ABCs include In The Night Garden (77,358), Cbeebies Weekly (53,740), Doctor Who Adventures Magazine (82,205) and Toybox (48,429). Both In The Night Garden and Doctor Who changed frequency during the ABC period; ITNG going from being a threeweekly magazine to fortnightly and Doctor Who going from a fortnightly run to weekly.

DC Thomson 01382 223 131 www.dcthomson.co.uk DC Thomson produces more than 200 million magazines, newspapers and

APRIL 2009

comics each year, but in the children’s market it is probably best known for The Beano. The title is still going strong, with the last ABC coming in at 61,890 (Jul-Dec 2008). The BeanoMax (41,476, Jul-Dec 2008) and The Dandy (26,694, Jul-Dec 2008) are also included in the portfolio, along with a Bratz magazine.

Egmont Magazines 020 7761 3500 www.egmont.co.uk Egmont is the UK’s number one publisher of children’s books and magazines, selling over 12 million mags a year. It currently publishes over 15 magazines for children aged between three to 12, both under licence and its own brand, while it has two websites for Go Girl and Toxic. On the licensing side of the business, Egmont works with Disney, Mattel, Hit, Nickelodeon and Cartoon Network, with flagship brands including Disney Princess, Barbie and Thomas the Tank Engine, plus new titles like Ben 10 magazine and Playhouse Disney (launching in April). The latest set of ABCs saw Egmont titles perform well: highlights were Disney & Me up 20.9 per cent periodon-period, the Egmont Disney Group up three per cent POP, Disney Fairies Tinkerbell up 13.9 per cent POP and good debut ABCs for Numberjacks and Disney World of Cars.

John Brown Media 020 7565 3386 www.johnbrownmedia.com John Brown is the only customer publisher with a dedicated kids’ division, working with clients such as BSkyB, Emirates Airlines, Chelsea FC and Plan UK to produce children’s magazines. Flagship title is Sky Kids, which is the largest circulating kids’ magazine in the UK with an ABC of 762,254, mailed out directly to homes. It is currently the only one which carries third party advertising, although the firm is looking to extend that offering to Bridge Kids, the magazine it produces for Chelsea FC.

Panini UK 01892 500100 www.paninionline.com Panini is probably best recognised for its sticker collections, but it also has about 25 regular comic and magazine titles. Strong sellers include Scooby-Doo (40,695, Jul-Dec 2008), Disney High School Musical (148,514, Jul-Dec 2008) and Hannah Montana Magazine (62,615, Jul-Dec 2008).

Redan Publishing 01743 364433 www.redan.com Top sellers include Fun to Learn Friends (79,400, ABC July-Dec 2008, number

one in the UK pre-school listing) and Fun to Learn Favourites (48,687, JulyDec 2008), while the firm’s three-weekly Fun to Learn Peppa Pig title is also a strong seller (64,425, July-Dec 2008 – making it number three in the UK preschool chart). Other titles include Fun to Learn Barney, Fun to Learn Discovery, Fun to Learn Bag-O-Fun and Sparkle World. A new launch is also being planned for July, although no further details were available at press time.

Titan Magazines 020 7803 1922 www.titanmagazines.co.uk Titan has a healthy portfolio of titles from pre-school through to teenage. It is particularly strong in the boys market, claiming both the number one title (The Simpsons Comic, ABC 112,393) and the number three (Simpsons Comics Presents, ABC 71,582). It also produces the Star Wars Clone Wars, Transformers and Spongebob Squarepants comics, while it is continuing to grow its pre-school portfolio; it now has four titles (Noddy, LazyTown, Roary the Racing Car and Fifi and the Flowertots) with at least one more planned for this year (Timmy Time). Titan already had a good relationship with toy firms in both the UK and US markets, having worked with the likes of Bandai, Hasbro, Spin Master, Esdevium, Vivid, Top Trumps and Grossman among others.


PRINT MAGAZINES KIDS MEDIA

www.toynewsmag.com

start in early learning skills such as reading, writing, counting and matching.” FINDING THE RIGHT TITLE So what advice can the publishers give to potential toy advertisers on where best to place their budget? “If it’s straightforward ads you’re after you just need to go for the highest selling titles that specifically target your audience,” continues Jones. “If you’re looking for a campaign to run over a period of time that appears in several, different titles, you need to look at which publishers offer the best range and most support in conceptualising your ideas and converting them into print.” Titan’s Willmott recommends communicating with the customer in the same language that is presented to them in the magazine. “So if a reader has bought a comic book to read a comic strip, present your message to them in a comic strip. If a product is complicated or has several USPs then take time to present it in an engaging advertorial creative solution.” Added value in the form of covermounts, competitions, product placement, reviews and giveaways are also recommended as part of an overall campaign. “A high quality cover gift is integral to the overall package; good gifts

We talk to toy companies all the time to demonstrate that we can offer something complementary to TV. Not instead of; we’d never try and replace it because it’s a very attractive medium for them. Toni Round, MD, BBC Children’s Magazines must always be safe to use, relevant, on brand and age appropriate,” chips in Egmont’s Vernon.

Toni Round, MD of BBC Children’s Magazines – which boasts the In The Night Garden, Doctor Who

47

and Cbeebies Weekly titles in its wellstocked portfolio – adds: “We talk to toy companies all the time to demonstrate that we can offer something complementary to TV. Not instead of, we’d never try to replace it because it’s a very attractive and a very good medium for them. I think the overriding challenge for the whole of the magazine industry is the short-term economic climate and making sure that we can be the best product and continue to make the magazines high value for money and attractive. “Also to identify which are the brands that will have real cutthrough, seeing that early and committing to doing a magazine. You have to be as sure as one can be that when you do a standalone title it’s going to have real resonance and it’s going to work. “That’s harder nowadays because there are so many magazines being published and I think it will just continue to get more and more competitive.” It seems that there will always be a place for magazines in kids’ lives though. “Print media continues to be exceptionally flexible and perceived as a safe and trusted medium for kids,” concludes John Brown’s Dicey. “Solutions can be tailored to fit the publications involved for individual advertisers.”

APRIL 2009


With generously thick cards and easy rules for even the youngest of players.

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Bob the Builder memory® ©2009 HIT Entertainment Limited and Keith Chapman. pman. pma n.. All rights reserved.

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SECTOR GUIDE GAMES & PUZZLES

www.toynewsmag.com

49

Game on Despite new pressure from the video games sector, which has moved into social gaming in a big way, a recent Reuters poll showed many consumers are returning to board games and puzzles, as staying in becomes the new going out. ToyNews finds out what is new in a market where pedigree brands sit alongside quirky one-off creations… TOMY 020 8722 7300

Flex (£9.99) puts kids and adults’ flexibility to the test. Set up the Flex tower, spin the spinner and use the sucker on the wrap-around band to pick up the piece at the top of the tower with the body part indicated on the spinner – will it be elbow (easy), knee (harder) or forehead (not for the feint hearted). Po’s Matching Game aims to bring the character to life. Push down Po’s aerial and watch her tummy spin to find out which favourite things will be shown in the tummy screen and find it on the matching playing cards. Po’s Matching Game (£17.99) offers three different ways to play.

GREEN BOARD GAMES 01494 538999

The BrainBox range from Green Board Games is set to expand well into 2009 and beyond. The latest addition is BrainBox Maths, where maths concepts are approached using child-friendly illustrations. For instance, venn diagrams are shown using pirates and fractions explained using a pizza. The BrainBox game is simple. A player has ten seconds to study the card and is then asked a question from the back of the card, chosen by the roll of a die. If the card is answered correctly, it is kept, if not it is returned to the box. The most cards held after ten minutes decides the winner. The game retails for under £10.

MATTEL

Adding to the Scrabble portfolio, a new Mr Men addition joins the kids line-up. Deluxe Scrabble also has a new look for autumn and will feature a pegged board system to keep tiles in place and new contemporary styling. Another busy year for UNO is also on the cards with the introduction of UNO Moo. Designed to engage pre-schoolers, the game uses chunky animal characters instead of cards. My First Mr Men UNO cards are also new for autumn. It’s also 20 years of The Simpsons with a Sceneit? DVD board game due for the autumn.

WINNING MOVES 020 7298 9500 From musicians to famous places, foods to film stars, Summit Showdown tests players’ general knowledge and creativity against the clock. Players must try to come up with unique answers that score the most points to five questions within two minutes. The key to Summit Showdown is the Summit scoring system, where the letter A is worth one, B is worth two, Y is 25 and Z is 26. So for example Abba is worth six and Zoo is worth 56. If a player thinks their unique answer is the highest scoring, they can go into the Showdown and see who wins the game. You don’t have to be great with numbers to play this game. From the free online Summit calculator to traditional pen and paper there are different ways to work out who wins the Showdown. There’s even a special text message service where players can send off their answers and the scores come back within ten seconds.

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Pictionary Man is also set for an electronic interactive makeover. Players discover the object or word they need to draw through the digital screen on Pictionary Man’s foot. New titles are set to join Mattel’s kids’ game portfolio including new acquisition Whac A Mole. Building on Piranha Panic and Rhino Rampage, Saucer Scramble introduces space age to games time for little ones. From Radica, 20Q continues to be a focus and collectible PC gaming concept UB Funkeys benefits from two rafts of new characters.

JUMBO

Peppa Pig has new products including a Giant 24-piece Floor Puzzle shaped with the Spaceship Rocket. There is also a new electronic game called Tumble & Spin, which won Children’s Game of the Year at Toy Fair 2009. Jumbo has been busy signing new children’s properties Mr Men, Teletubbies, Fireman Sam and Big & Small. Puzzle Extra turns 2D jigsaws into a magical 3D image once it is placed into the display stand. New for 2009 is the tiny version of Puzzle Extra featuring 300 pieces which, when laid flat, form two A3 size jigsaws, but then stacked up in the frame, form a 3D model five cm high. Also new this year is an educational range called I Learn. It has educational

JOHN CRANE 01604 774949

New from the Branching Out Collection are the Touch and Feel puzzles, with fur and fleece hidden below animal characters. There are two to handle – Touch and Feel Safari features a Cheetah, Monkey, Zebra and Lion, while the Touch and Feel Farmyard has a Sheep, Duck, Pig and Cow. Continuing along the same theme is the Texture Puzzle Bugs, with a Ladybird, Frog, Butterfly and Snail. Each bug features a host of crinkly, fluffy and spiky add-ons.

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contents attuned to the basic knowledge children should be able to attain, developed in collaboration with teachers and educational theorists. Wasgij gets new packaging and another 500-piece puzzle, while Falcon Deluxe has also undergone a makeover with new pack colours, brand messages, images and additional piece counts. A new brand of decade puzzles are being introduced featuring the best from the 50s, 60s and 70s, too. Jumbo will also produce a range of puzzles based on Big & Small, due out this summer, followed later in the year with games. There are also developments for Stratego including a new version based on Star Wars Clone Wars.

APRIL 2009


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SECTOR GUIDE GAMES & PUZZLES

PAUL LAMOND 020 7254 0100 2009 marks the 25th birthday of the Paul Lamond brand. The firm is launching a pre-school educational range under the Chimp and Zee Games name, consisting of six games and four puzzles. In the existing pre-school area Postman Pat has been updated to Postman Pat SDS and there are three Gruffalo products – two puzzles and a snakes and ladders. The children’s range has six new Rainbow Magic puzzles, an updated Famous 5 range and the Fundex skill and action game When Pigs Fly. The family area sees the addition of Cacophony, a game of charades and In a Pickle and Luck of the Draw, two successful American games. There is also Revelations, the game where the sins are revealed, but not the sinner. Family puzzle additions include Where’s Wally, Alex Baird’s Impossible Puzzles and three dragon puzzles from The Dragon Chronicles. The Murder Mystery Dinner Party range sees the return of Inspector McClue in A Vintage Murder and the McNaughty range is extended with Sexual Secrets and Legless.

GREAT GIZMOS 01293 543221

Cross Three is a concept featuring triangular shaped pieces with complicated images of animals, space scenes and more. Place the nine triangular pieces together to form one large triangle, making sure all the pictures match across the joins. With hundreds of possibilities and only two solutions, puzzlers will be kept busy for hours. The IQ Block puzzle has 60 possible solutions. Once a coloured block has been chosen and placed in the top left hand corner of the accompanying case, the additional nine blocks can be arranged around it to form a square. Young puzzlers can get in on the action too, with a new range of wooden pin puzzles that comprises six themes. Each puzzle is designed with a handle making it easier for small hands to get to grips with and features familiar images, encouraging conversation and language skills.

APRIL 2009

UPPER DECK

Upper Deck’s new Trading Card Game, Huntik is based on the boy’s property and animated TV series, Huntik Secrets and Seekers, on Jetix. The show will also be broadcast on CiTV from June. Aimed at six to 12 year olds, the TCG will consist of themed decks featuring Huntik missions and adventures as seen in the show. Cards also feature characters and Titans and will be fully interactive and contain rare cards as well as cards containing passwords to unlock content on the website. The Starter Deck also contains one Huntik episode and a learn-to-play guide. Further sets will launch in summer and autumn. The marketing campaign will launch in the UK this month across TV, print and online media, including targeted cover-mounts, sampling and promotions. An organised play and retail support program started last month.

HASBRO

Connect 4 is a classic game of strategy and now has three ways to play – Original, PopOut and Pop10. PopOut allows you to pop out your rival’s checkers from the bottom row. With Pop10, you start the game with a grid full of checkers and when you’re ready, start popping. The first player to get ten four-in-a-rows wins the game. This allnew Connect 4 is portable and the design means the checkers are locked in the grid and the base is used as a handle. Suitable for age six plus, retails at £9.99, available spring/summer. Maintaining the strategy of the original Battleship game, the new version takes the game to another level with a dynamic hexagonal battlefield and new ships. To win, the victor has to sink his rival’s ships and rescue the crew from his fleet. The new design also

0118 929 8520

Dinosaur King TCG is another new game based on a TV show. Following the launch of the first set, the firm has launched new lines including a new booster set, Colossal Team Battle, containing eight cards plus a rare foil card in every pack, and a Collector’s Box, hit shelves last month. There is also an educational aspect with dinosaur facts on each card plus rare cards to collect including Silver, Gold and ‘Colossal Rare’ cards. The firm is also branching into preschool products with a moving puzzle called Scrolly. It is designed for small hands with wheels on each corner that move the images on a puzzle screen. This self-contained puzzle is aimed at children aged three-years plus with seven different puzzles. Scrolly was launched last month featuring Disney Princess, My Friends Tigger and Pooh and Mickey Mouse Clubhouse.

020 8569 1234

features a reveal feature that allows the battlefield positions to be shown at the end of the game. Suitable for age seven and upwards, retailing at £12.99 and available spring/summer. The new Bop It! has 1,000 levels and four commands – Twist, Pull, Bop It and the new Shout It – Bop It. Players can go solo and try to beat their highest score or get sociable with the party bop mode. Suitable for age eight plus, retailing at £19.99, available autumn/winter. Find it fast, find it first just got more frantic as Flipper – Pictureka’s penguin – now has his own game. Flipper spins around and flips out of pictures and mission tiles in every direction and to win this game, you have to race to find a picture that matches a mission. Suitable for age six plus, retailing at £24.99 and available in autumn/winter.

CHARACTER OPTIONS 0161 633 9800

Character Options’ games portfolio has two new additions. The Mad Mouse Game challenges players to capture the most cheese from the motorised mouse. Players must watch the rodent randomly run around with the cheese between his teeth, then try to capture him with their cat’s paw hook. The first to do so wins the token and the game starts again. Scooby Doo’s Pirate Peril Game is a ball bearing-based adventure set on the high seas. The aim of the game is to steer the ball around the many obstacles on the pirate ship just as Scooby has to avoid hidden dangers. Players must avoid traps, such as the sweeping pirate and the gang plank, to reach the buccaneer in the crows nest against the clock. Characters’ new games, both available from May, join a line-up including Splashy the Whale and Cars Piston Cup Race Game and are supported with TV advertising.

UNIVERSITY GAMES 01359 243900 Guess What? sees players create a mixed up creature using a head, body and legs from different animals. The first to guess their opponent’s creature wins. In Murder Mystery Mansion, players work in teams to solve the mystery using simple deductive reasoning. On each turn state a suspect, motive, method and place, and the faster you guess, the faster you win. Sort it Out! is the game of putting things in order. Can you sort out which is faster – a cheetah, helicopter or steam train? How about which animal’s brain weighs more – a cat, giraffe, baboon, kangaroo or cow? University Games also offers a wide range of puzzles with a plus. The Impossibles line has no borders, tricky recurring images and five extra pieces making for a different puzzle experience every time. Raining Cats and Dogs has been added for 2009. The Classic Mystery Jigsaw Puzzles line allows puzzlers to read the mystery booklet, put the puzzle together and find clues in the image to solve the mystery. Grounds for Murder and Foul Play and Cabernet expand the range.


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ORCHARD TOYS 01953 423422

2008 proved to be Orchard Toys’ best year ever. The company has launched 15 of its best selling games and puzzles, fully translated into French, which were also well received by international buyers at the Nuremberg Toy Fair. “We are bowled over at how the company is performing, with potential new customers coming from all our market sectors. “Our French games are breaking new ground for us, and we are pleased to see that they are creating a lot of interest,” said managing director Simon Newbery. “We are thrilled that our games and puzzles are now reaching a much wider audience through our many varied outlets, and happy that so many children are being started off on an Orchard Toys learning journey, that we hope will continue until they reach their teens.” The company’s latest products will be launched in time for Easter.

GIBSONS 020 8661 8866

Gibsons has a number of new puzzles including a range of jigsaws entitled My World. These planet friendly puzzles are made in Britain on recycled board. Created in conjunction with child psychologist, Dr Amanda Gummer, the jigsaws are developmentally appropriate at every stage, linking to the Early Learning Goals and National Curriculum. The range consists of eight puzzles aimed at pre-school children. Gibsons’ adult range sees the launch of eight National Trust jigsaw puzzles. Reflecting the diversity of the work of the National Trust, these 250 and 1,000piece jigsaws include imagery of the vast collection of property, landscape, wildlife and coastline the National Trust is responsible for. More than 50 other puzzles in varying piece counts are also being launched. New games include a complete range of classics such as Backgammon, Chess, Mah Jongg and Dominoes.

APRIL 2009

DRUMOND PARK

The Drumond Park team is in the final stages of developing a new family game entitled Logo (for children aged 12 and upwards, £25.99). The game consists of 500 (mostly pictorial) question cards, ranging from full and part logo and product recognition through to, for example, questions about fictional brands all featuring on the soaps and themed questions under such headings as animals and relatives. Pig Goes Pop is a new game for age four plus (£15.99). On the roll of the dice, children feed the pig with the requisite number of hamburgers, pushing his head down to make sure he swallows every mouthful. Quite a few

IMAGINATION GAMES

Imagination will be TV advertising the Top Gear Board game for the first time in 2009. Adverts will screen throughout November and December. The firm has increased its offering in the children’s category. The first new game is Mr Men Celebrity Head, which pits children against each other to guess which Mr Men character they are by asking questions. The second is Scabs and Guts, a ‘meducational’ board game teaching children about healthy living and eating and how the body works. Imagination’s travel Games on the Go range has been building for two years. Flexible merchandising solutions are available to promote a range across card games, audio games and bag games. The firm expects Bag Games to change the way travel games are bought and played.

01506 855577

throws later, the ever-expanding pig will have reached max in the digestion stakes and explodes. His curly tail is then rewound and the next round commences. Like the Rubik’s Cube, the new Rubik’s 360 (eight years plus, £15.99) requires skill, dexterity and logic. The object is to shake, rattle and roll, or otherwise carefully manipulate the Rubik’s 360, so that the six coloured balls pass through two inner spheres to the matching coloured dome on the outer sphere, then each one is locked into place. Like the Cube, there is knack to solving the 360, but it can take any number of tries and a lot of perseverance to get there.

01483 206955

Bag Games are travel-sized, but played on a full sized board with full sized playing pieces. The attached board folds out of the bag allowing for contents to slide out for playing. The launch in April will see traditional classics Bag Gammon and Bag Chess hit retail with further launches coming closer to Christmas and a whole new range ready for preview prior to the key 2010 summer buying season. Imagination has also introduced a number of express game formats based on both its licensed portfolio and its own IP. Battle of the Sexes, Beat The Parents and Planet Earth all have a new £9.99 version. The firm has also repositioned its DVD offering and now has seven titles, again at the reduced price of £9.99.

RICHARD EDWARD 020 8311 8888

Richard Edward, the UK’s only remaining manufacturer of playing cards, games cards and trading cards, says it has been overwhelmed by the response from environmentally aware consumers following the recent launch of GreenCards, its range of eco friendly playing cards. Available through the company’s new retail sales arm, RedWood Cards, GreenCards is already attracting orders from the US, Europe and South America, as well as from UK firms. The cards are manufactured entirely in the UK using sustainable and recycled materials. They use a green manufacturing process that includes vegetable-based inks and have a carbon footprint that is some 90 per cent lower than cards produced in the Far East. GreenCards also feature court card character designs based on original illustrations. With a suggested retail price of £3.99 per pack, GreenCards give retailers a mark-up of around 40 per cent, while also enabling them to show customers they are concerned about the environment. Richard Edward is also offering its green card technology to games and puzzle brands wanting to make existing products more eco-friendly. The company produces card-based products for brands such as Winning Moves, De Agostini and Hasbro. In addition, Richard Edward is offering its bespoke card manufacturing services to retail groups for the production of own brand cards.

GINGER FOX 01242 821 320 Ginger Fox is launching two celebrity hosted audio quizzes as part of the 26 new products in its 2009 catalogue. Actor Brian Blessed hosts A Very British Quiz, a general knowledge quiz celebrating the culture of our home nations, while Sir David Frost hosts Remember When, a quiz that will take you back on a trip down memory lane to when Betamax was the latest in high technology and even further.


WASGIJ THE NUMBER 1 ADULT PUZZLE BRAND! (according to NPD) All of our fantastic Wasgij puzzle concepts will be refreshed from the 1st March 2009 with a completely new packaging design. This new design will build on the challenging and mysterious elements that form the core of the Wasgij brand, where our puzzlers have to use their imagination to solve the puzzle. The new modern packaging will still contain the classic clues, but in addition there will also be further hints if required, to help our puzzlers on their way! Remember, only the puzzle holds the answer!

Jumbo Games Limited, 2 Carters Row, Hatfield Park, Hatfield, AL9 5NB T: 01707 289289 E: uk.saleshotline@jumbo.eu W: www.jumbo.eu


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SECTOR GUIDE GAMES & PUZZLES

RAVENSBURGER 01869 363800

Sales of Ravensburger’s childrens range grew last year and boasts a number of top selling toy licences. The adult puzzle sales also continue to grow and new titles include Cat Conundrums, where puzzle images contain hidden messages, codes and riddles. Also new are specially commissioned nostalgic and scenic images, cartoons and a broad range of internationally themed designs. Puzzleball dominates the 3D puzzling market and new designs include Hello Kitty, Pokémon, Ben 10, Clone Wars, Spongebob Squarepants, High School Musical 3 and Disney Princess. There are new generic designs aimed at children and adults including the 960-piece world. Memory celebrates its 50th year with a strong range of titles. Also new is a range of teaching games featuring Thomas & Friends and Bob the Builder, 3D action game Log Jam, Make & Break Extreme and the return of Snail’s Pace Race and Enchanted Forest.

MARBEL 01208 873123

Tipp-Kick Table Top Football is coming to England. In the game of Tipp-Kick, two teams of miniature metal football players face off on a tabletop playing field. The players take turns to use a button on the outfield kickers to pass, lob and shoot the ball towards their opponent’s goal. Play is determined by a coloured dice. Marbel currently stocks two sets of Tipp Kick. The Classic Tipp Kick Set contains everything necessary to set up an epic football match. Included in the set are two hand painted outfield kickers, two diving goalkeepers, two goal posts and nets, two footballs and an 80cm by 47cm fleece playing pitch. It retails at £19.95. The Junior Tipp Kick Set includes all the items in the Classic Tipp Kick game, as well as sponsorship boards, which are connected and placed around the edge of the pitch. The playing pitch is also slightly bigger at 80cm by 57cm. The Junior Tipp Kick Set retails at £29.95. Also available in the Tipp Kick range is the Tipp Kick Display Stadium.

APRIL 2009

HALSALL

The Official X Factor Board Game is designed for two to six players and captures the journey the contestants go through on their way to the final, replicating the show’s highs and lows, with themed event cards and soundalike judges’ comments. Players must first select their choice of character from six hopefuls. With the use of the electronic central spinner that features lights, the theme tune and sound-alike judges voices, contestants make their way around the board passing through auditions, boot camp, the judges houses and all the way to the final. As they progress, players collect votes, get comments from the electronic judges and are tested on their X Factor knowledge or can opt to show off performance skills. Collecting as many votes as they can, players can trade them to upgrade their character’s hairstyle and outfit to achieve a new

RE:CREATION In 2005, Re:creation launched poker sets into the UK market, today it offers a comprehensive poker range through exclusive access to the largest global manufacturer of poker and home gaming products. A range of price points and poker chips are available: The Aluminium Case 500 includes 500 x 11.5g poker chips in an aluminium case, two decks of poker cards, a dealer chip and instructions for Texas Hold ‘Em. £49.99. Aluminium Case 300 retails at £39.99 and the Aluminium Case 200 version costs £19.99. The Professional Poker Table-top transforms any table into a poker table. With a four-fold construction for storage, the table top has a surface area of 118 x 118cm. It features a casino quality surface, eight drinks trays and poker chip racks for £59.99. Texas Hold’em Poker set: 200 x 7.2g Poker chips in rack with deck of cards, dealer button and casino green felt layout all stored inside a tin. £14.99. The Electronic Wooden Card Shuffler has a deluxe mahogany effect finish. Batteries required. Cards not included. £14.99. Some of the other products available

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look ready for the grand final and their shot at the recording contract. Halsall’s Wood Works range of traditionally crafted wooden toys includes pre-school wooden puzzles for 12 and 18 months upwards, such as chunky shape sorters, learning blocks, matching cards and jigsaws, as well as educational puzzles to teach about the mind and body, alphabet and numbers. The Traditional Games collection provides a range from board games, bingo, towering blocks, educational games and 3D puzzles to travel games and magnetic compendiums. Halsall also provides a pre-school range of Dora the Explorer wooden puzzles, including double sided and circular puzzles, dominoes, a 4-in-1 wooden jigsaw box, a 48-piece jumbo jigsaw and floor puzzle, a textured character puzzle, plus a clock and numbers puzzle.

0118 973 6222

FIESTA CRAFTS 020 8804 0563

The wooden Match It board game compendium features eight family activities. With variations of classic favourites such as solitaire, bingo and dominoes alongside a range of pairs games, Match It enhances cognitive and memory skills. Centred around the wooden board, there are 28 carved pieces with brightly printed designs. Multiplay, meanwhile, is a mathematical game that helps children improve numeric skills. The game has three versions with mathematical variations on the classic pastimes with Times Table Bingo and Go Fish; plus the fast moving test of Quickfire Multiplay. All require quick thinking and a grasp of the times tables, but if kids find maths difficult, there’s a times table square to help. Unlike other times tables resources, Multiplay aims to teach children the building blocks of maths through the medium of play.

BANANAGRAMS 020 8876 3013

from Cardinal include a metal bingo cage set, a bingo cage with automatic random ball selector. It includes 34 different bingo cards, combinations and markers for £12.99. Double 12 dominoes features 12 colour dot dominos in a collectors tin at £12.99. It is also available as double six dominos for £4.99. Folding cribbage (£7.99), Jumbling Tower (£6.99), Chess (£9.99) and Brain Benders (£9.99) are also available. The Are You Smarter Than a 10 yearold Games Tin is a card game based around the show. Gameplay allows you to peek, cheat and copy just to prove you are smarter than a ten year-old. Includes over 500 questions, scoreboard and die. Suitable for age seven and upwards (£9.99).

This year, Bananagrams won the TOTY award for Game of the Year at New York Toy Fair. The firm launched its flagship product Bananagrams at the New York Toy Fair just two years ago. Earlier this year at Spring Fair, Bananagrams was also short-listed for Gift of the Year and was the only Highly Commended award. The game, invented by three generations of one family, continues to grow beyond all expectations. Also new, Bananagrams has joined forces with gaming software company, Majesco Entertainment, and has launched on Facebook, already attracting many thousands of users. Bebo also run the application and Bananagrams has been voted one of the top five games. The application is also set to launch on the iPhone, with the iPod Touch, DS and Wii to follow. The game’s foray into other languages has also begun with a Spanish version available and a Norwegian product in production and set to launch this month.


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BIGJIGS TOYS 01303 250400

Bigjigs Toys is expanding its collection with a new selection of 24-piece tray jigsaws. Suitable for developing the analytical skills and hand-to-eye coordination of children from three years and over, the new tray puzzles feature five designs: Tractor, Train, Teddy’s Picnic, Fire Engine and Digger. Contained within a 10mm deep wooden tray, the puzzles have interlocking pieces and when complete, each design measures 430mm x 320mm. Brightly coloured and depicting complex, lively scenes, each jigsaw in the range is designed to hold attention and provide lengthy play/learning sessions. The new 24-piece puzzles are part of an ever-increasing offering of jigsaws from Bigjigs Toys. Other existing products include chunky puzzles for children under three years-old and much larger floor puzzles for children aged three to eight years.

BRAINSTORM 01200 445113

2009 sees the Brainstorm launch of products developed in conjunction with the Natural History Museum. Products have been developed to reflect the inspirational approach to science promoted by the Museum and the brand. What is the national animal of Sweden or the world’s largest lizard? Check out the clues and race around the world with Animal Detective, an animal spotting game. It includes a 50cm inflatable globe with 270 illustrations of animals, plus 68 clue cards packed with information. Each player can choose a different skill level meaning players of all ages can play together. A fast moving, educational game.

APRIL 2009

VIVID IMAGINATIONS

New from Vivid for autumn/winter 2009 is Wogan’s Perfect Recall (£19.99). Based on the Channel 4 show, the answers never change but the questions do as you battle to become the master of memory. Based on the ITV show hosted by Jasper Carrott, Golden Balls Electronic Game (£19.99) is a game of luck, intuition and bluff. Grab the cash and avoid Killer Balls that turn millions into pennies. Electronic Fib Finder (£16.99) talks, with new questions to answer. You may have to reveal a secret, act, sing or dance and it’s up to you whether to fib or not. The first player to be ‘totally truthful’ wins. New to Cbeebies from Aardman Animations, Timmy is a little lamb with a lot to learn. In the Timmy Time Pop Up Game (£9.99), players carefully load Timmy up with all his toys, but watch

LEGO Games are a new venture for the Lego Group, with a range developed for 2009. The games are intended for two to four players aged from six years plus and usually taking around ten minutes to half an hour playing time. The Lego Games project has been developed behind closed doors for the past 18 months and incorporates products based on the classic board game developed specially for tomorrow’s market. Initially, there will be eight games ranging from £7.99 to £19.99 and launching in Germany and the UK later this year. The games will be marketed globally during the second half of 2010. “Our brief was to create a product range which could help to generate growth in 2009 and subsequent years,” comments Cephas Howard, creative lead on the Lego Games project. “The range had to appeal to core Lego users and be based on the Lego concept, but should also supplement our existing range. The challenge was to come up with

01483 449944

out he may pop. The Timmy Time range is supported with PR and TV advertising throughout autumn/winter 2009. Fifi’s Stack a Cake and Roary’s Pitstop Panic (both £9.99) are designed for preschoolers. Take it in turns to build Fifi’s cake as high as you can without it toppling over in Fifi’s Stack a Cake game. The race is on for the boys in Pitstop Panic where you need to construct Roary the Racing car as quickly as you can before the timer runs out. If you are too slow, all the pieces pop off. All pre-school games are for up to four players and are suitable for ages three years and over. Vivid also offers pre-school jigsaws, including Fifi Jigsaws, which come in four or ten-in-a-box variety. Roary Jigsaws are available as two, four or ten unique jigsaws in a box. The pre-school puzzle range starts at £4.99 and is suitable for two years plus.

01753 495000 something which was ‘Obviously Lego – but never seen before’. At the same time, the intention was to give our products a more social dimension.” The classic Lego concept has been retained at the heart of the range. Children have to build the games with classic bricks on the principle: Build-PlayChange. Users begin by building the actual game, playing it as set out in the game rules, but then introducing their own personal house rules to adapt the game play and evolve the game as they see fit. Boxes are designed so games can be stored for repeated use. Players have to build every element of the games, down to the special Lego dice which feature studs on each face so kids can adapt any of the sides to change their rules and consequently the way they play the game. Reflecting the in-depth research into the development of the LGS range, the aim at retail is to have Lego Games displayed in games aisles, not the traditional Lego home sites.

ESDEVIUM GAMES 01420 593509

Chaotic is a new trading card game (TCG) integrating traditional face-to-face gameplay with an online experience. Currently showing on Jetix, the Chaotic series has ranked as the fourth most watched programme on the channel for kids aged four to 15. The show has also ranked as the top-performing programme on the channel amongst the older boys aged ten to 15 demographic (Source: BARB MCH Homes). The Chaotic brand will be further supported throughout the year with a major TV campaign from Esdevium Games, which began last month. Print activity running across older kids print media will feature alongside targeted PR. Last month also saw the launch of a UK localised version of ChaoticGame.com which allows players to upload cards to their virtual decks and battle against online opponents. The Pokémon trading card game continues to perform year-on-year for the company, with early 2009 seeing a strong upward trend in sales. The latest release, Platinum, launched in conjunction with a new Pokémon video game of the same name. Historically, video game tie-ins have always driven strong performance for TCG and Platinum has performed well across territories in which the game has been released.

COILEDSPRING GAMES 0870 446 1515 Coiledspring Games is bringing a new jigsaw range to the UK from Ceaco including Walter Wick’s Can You See What I See? and the One Hundred And One series. New from Gigamic is Eclipse, a wooden abstract featuring solar systems and comets. The Tactic range of games is now also available from Coiledspring. This includes the Mexican Train and Flags Of The World games.


REDESIGNED GAMEPLAY Redesigned with new ships, men to rescue and innovative ‘reveal’ feature

Connect 4 has been reinvented with additional gameplay a twist on a true favourite

TV t suppor

TV support

BIGGEST

GAME BRAND

ENTERS NEW CATEGORY TV, ONLINE and SAMPLING marketing support planned All the best things about Monopoly now in a fast paced card game where a single card can change the whole outcome Also available in Counter Display Unit

www.hasbro.com GAMES

© 2009 Hasbro. Parker, MB and associated names/logos are trademarks of Hasbro. All rights reserved.


Redwood are delighted to announce the launch of their new brand of environmentally friendly playing cards. Call Louisa Moger on 020 8311 8888 to place your order.

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A Better Way to Play


SECTOR GUIDE GAMES & PUZZLES

www.toynewsmag.com

POINT ZERO GAMES 07905 367390

Army Of Zero is the first game produced by Point Zero Games. The company was set up in 2008 by Steve Mainprize and the game was showcased for the first time at Toy Fair 2009. Army Of Zero is based on 84 warrior characters, each with ratings for skill categories: Speed, Combat, Weapon and Armour. Each player is dealt ten cards to make up their warrior army. Then, to wipe out the opponent’s army, players pit warriors against each other, either defending or attacking, by rolling a dice and adding the number on the dice to the relevant skill category rating on the cards. The overall winner is the first player to knock out the opposing army. Players must solve a series of puzzles hidden within the cards to work out the solution and crack the riddle brainteaser. Point Zero Games is running a competition to win £1,000 cash for the most elegant way of unravelling the riddle. Army Of Zero is a two-player card game suitable for ages from seven years and upwards, and is based on two warrior armies in combat against each other. Army Of Zero is available now from www.pointzerogames.com retailing for an introductory offer price of £10. The closing date for entries is April 30th 2010.

LEARNING RESOURCES 01553 762276 Learning Resources launches Road Block, where players stop the thief by trapping him in with police cars. Subways is a maze game and the challenge is to untangle the worlds train tracks. Nine pieces of track must be placed so the tracks stop at each station in the correct order. The Smart Games range offers 12 themed challenges. The games are designed for one player and each features an activity booklet or cards with up to 60 challenges.

INSPIRED GIFTS AND TOYS

Wordinoes is a major new game launch this year from Inspired Gifts & Toys. Wordinoes is a word game using tiles played similarly to Dominoes, with two words on each tile. Players must try to find a link between words to justify a match. Wordinoes was invented in the UK by Dawn Fletcher, a novice in the business, but has had the input of a number of industry veterans to produce the finished product. Commenting on the game Inspired Gifts & Toys’ Lee Crocker says: “The game makes sense for us as we can see

DKL

Children from three years-old can enjoy Wonderworld’s range of boxed games for two or more players. Included in the games portfolio are Eco Town Game, Chicky Memo Game and Traffic Domino Game. Firstly, the new Eco Town Game is a dice game for children to learn how to save the environment. A town can be created with houses, trees, bicycle, recycle bin and a rain water tank. The towns on each playing board can be joined together in many different ways for more creative play. The Chicky Memo, meanwhile, is a memory game where children need to remember the exact location and colour of eggs hidden by chicks sitting on them in nests. Chicky Memo has two levels of difficulty – beginner and advanced – and

01344 989624

the appeal of the product to the core word game player and to the broader family market. Our strategy in launch year is to focus on reaching the word gamers market through the leading retailers of this type of game. In following years we will be able to broaden out to the mass family market.” The UK & Ireland are the first markets in which Wordinoes is being sold, although it has attracted interest worldwide during the recent trade shows. The Wordinoes launch is being supported with a PR campaign, retails for £20 and will be available from mid-year.

01604 678780

builds on concentration skills. Traffic 3D Dominos offers a version of the traditional dominos game with a modern twist. The aim of the game is to make up a road network by matching up the coloured vehicle parts in front and rear sections on chunky wooden squares. The winner is the first to get rid of their pieces. Children will have to think strategically whilst completing a different roadway each time they play. New for 2009 is the 3D Creativity Blocks, with the firm promising that endless imagination and creativity is possible with these uniquely designed blocks. Kids can practice puzzle skills on one side and creative skills on the other. Colourful and educational, the game is suitable for children aged 36 months and over.

63

IMC TOYS 01904 720908

IMC Toys has launched a games line related to Ben 10 and Clone Wars. The broadcasting of Ben 10: Alien Force will be followed by the launch of the Alien Force Guessing Game. A game of investigation and intrigue, kids need to discover the identity of the Ben 10 secret character from Ben, Kevin or any of the monsters or DNA aliens. With Clone Wars, IMC introduces several table games inspired by the cartoon’s characters. R2D2 repair is a 20cm figure with the addition of an extra play value: using the stellar tweezers, it will be a challenge to try to save the R2D2, sounds and light effects add to the game. In the Star Cruiser Attack, two trooper helmets hide the galactic play board and starships. Clone 4 and the Guessing Game Clone complete the line, mixing a classic game to a current licence.

ASOBI 01628 200077 Asobi has been set up to focus on supplying eco friendly products and GeoPuzzles is the latest in a list of offerings now featuring in the company’s eco portfolio. GeoPuzzles are jigsaw puzzles of continents and each piece represents a country. This simple idea makes it educational in teaching children the shapes of different countries and where they all sit in relation to one another. GeoPuzzles were developed in the US and was launched to the education market by Education Essentials in 2008, now Asobi is looking to replicate that at retail. Asobi is launching the Europe GeoPuzzle first, but other continents can be ordered in if required. The puzzles retail for £14.99. Asobi is also distributing for Bioviva – a French company with a focus on games centred on green living. Key titles include Bioviva (The Game), the Enchanted Forest and the latest game Pinturlu. Bioviva games have won numerous awards in France, Canada and the US. All products are produced from 100 per cent biodegradable materials. The packaging is made without glue and/or staples.

APRIL 2009


64

SECTOR GUIDE GAMES & PUZZLES

JC GAMES 01323 647886

Manufactured in the UK, Qb was launched at this year’s London Toy Fair and has been well received nationally and internationally. Hamleys will be launching the game in store this spring. Qb is both a word game and a puzzle. The inclusion of two-letter combinations (e.g. st, ch, ed) on the 48 moulded cubes makes playing Qb different from other word games based on letter tiles. The demonstration page on www.qbgame.co.uk shows how two, three and even four-letter words can be used as links to the word grid. Players form words easily from the choice of 41 letters on their five cubes (compared with a choice of seven letters in many word games). Qb can also be played solo. With no need for a board, Qb can be played on any surface, even as small as the pull-down tray on an aeroplane. It retails at £12.99. European versions of Qb will be launched at the Essen Toy Fair in October.

MANHATTAN TOY

Featuring a flexible and hexagonal interlocking puzzle piece design, Puzzibits by Manhattan Toy is a hybrid between a traditional puzzle and a construction kit. The flexible and colourful Puzzibits pieces encourage children aged six plus to create endless artful creations from flat puzzles, to three-dimensional objects. The firm worked closely with independent child development experts and mothers of school-age children, to assess the product and its developmental potential. They found Puzzibits develops problem-solving, planning and systematic thinking skills and improved pattern recognition and sequencing at the same time. Connecting the pieces refines fine motor

THUMBS UP

020 8944 3160

skills, vital when learning how to write and as there is no limit to the things a child can make with Puzzibits pieces, they also help develop attention to detail, creativity and inventiveness. Available in sets containing 150 (£8.75), 300 (£12.75) and 450 (£18.50) pieces and a Megamix bucket with 1,250 pieces (£38.99), Puzzibits offers artistic possibilities that children can enjoy on their own or as a family. Thanks to product durability, children can interact with the masterpieces they build. New for 2009 are six sets with themes including the circus, the jungle and bugs galore. Each set offers different design projects from simple to complex kids can also uncover additional designs at www.Puzzibits.com.

0845 466 8880

APRIL 2009

Flair’s licensed Uno range is simple to learn for all ages, and is fast paced and travel sized. New for 2009 is Star Wars Clone Wars Uno. The fully moulded Clone Commander Rex card case to store the 112 playing cards will really fire their imaginations. Uno is a game that can be played by two to ten people. Hello Kitty is one of Flair’s top licences this year and Hello Kitty Uno continues to appeal to girls of all ages. The character features on every playing card, plus the moulded Hello Kitty shaped card case. Dr Who Uno is a firm favourite for fans of the TV series, with a Dalek-shaped card case and cards featuring favourite villains and heroes, while Simpsons Uno with its Homer Simpson moulded case and characters from the show will add a touch of humour to the game.

JAMES HAMILTON GROVELY PUZZLES 01747 440093

HABA 0161 304 9555 With the game starting with the player pulling the coolest face, Casino Hot Dog sees golden bones, precious jewels and poker chips piling up on the table in front of the animal gamblers – Suzy the Pedigree Poodle and Bruno the Bulky Boxer. Each player has nine betting chips in the bag and pulls out a chip to get a high score. Players can voluntarily opt out, but there is one chip, which features a picture of doggie doo doo. If a player pulls it out, he drops out of the round. The two players with the highest scores can move their figures on the game board – the aim of the game to reach the kennel first. A game for two to four players, Casino Hot Dog is suitable for age seven plus. Haba has a range of puzzles including Fire Brigade and On the Farm both with chunky, wooden pieces and three suggestions for playing, assigning, puzzling and observing closely.

FLAIR 0208 643 0320

When does anyone have time to do puzzles these days? An obvious answer to this question is the inspiration behind a new range of puzzle-based toilet rolls from Thumbs Up. Following on from the success of the Sudoku Toilet Roll and the Mind Trainer Toilet Roll are three new puzzle based toilet rolls, this time aimed at making the bathroom a more interesting place for a younger audience. First up is the Maze Toilet Roll, featuring a maze printed directly onto

the sheets you can use a pen, pencil or just your finger to trace a path through the maze. Another simple puzzle is the Spot The Difference Toilet Roll. This traditional puzzle involves spotting the difference between the two pictures printed on the toilet paper sheets and finding as many changes as possible. Also joining the range of new novelty puzzle toilet rolls is the Dot-to-Dot Roll. Follow the numbers and join the dots to make a picture.

James Hamilton Grovely Puzzles has completed the purchase of the puzzle cutting division from Handleys Print Solutions. The ranges have now been merged, and incorporate James Hamilton, Grovely, Classic Deluxe and JR. The combined collection now offers over 350 puzzles with sizes from 1,500-piece luxury puzzles, 1,000 and 500-piece puzzles to children’s floor puzzles and a preschool range. Images featured cover both the luxury nature and wildlife puzzles, which have been the mainstay of James Hamilton Grovely, and also the traditional photographic scenes and bespoke artwork from Classic Deluxe and JR. Brian and Julie Wilkins, the directors of the company, will now be cutting the full portfolio at their new premises in Dorset and are able to offer puzzle manufacturing services. The premises house a wide range of cutters and boxes and the firm can arrange to make both large and small quantities of bespoke puzzles to individual requirements.


SECTOR GUIDE TRACK & TRAINS

www.toynewsmag.com

67

Full steam ahead Although model trains are largely collector products, there are still many train and track products designed for children and a number of strong licences that drive the market. ToyNews looks at what is new in the sector… TOMY

Tomy’s product launches for Thomas in 2009 will be supported by TV advertising campaigns. Thomas and Cranky Coal Loader (£34.99) is an action play-set. Thomas loads the coal and carries it up the quarry lift and drops it into the hopper, where it falls down the chute ready for Cranky to lift it up and tip it into the loading bay. Thomas hands over to Lor1 who scoops up the coal ready to start again. There’s major expansion on the horizon for Thomas Track Master.

BRIO

Brio’s wooden toy range in 2009 will expand with the addition of a selection of engines, trains and wagons. The company has introduced an equipment level for its railway accessories, starting with basic for products with standard features and play value, medium for items with more features and longer vehicles to interact with and, finally, deluxe products, which have multiple special features and vehicle sizing.

020 8722 7300

With new sets, destinations and action features, Track Master is going full speed ahead to excite Thomas fans. Thomas at Boulder Mountain Set (£29.99) is a new distinctive track with a boulder rushing after Thomas down the mountain. Points, buffer and a sign to a new Sodor destination encourage collectability. More new engines are being added to the range and Thomas, James and Percy will be introduced as remote controlled engines. They also play the Thomas theme tune and have sound effects (£19.99 each).

01509 643854

These equipment levels are developed to guide each consumer to the right toy for their child. The firm offers a large selection of track packs. Each pack has track to add to any Brio Railway Set and is a simple way of expanding layouts. Each is competitively priced. The range of wooden toys are now available for immediate delivery. Each product offers consumers play value with unique, stylish design.

JOHN CRANE

John Crane has added a number of new additions to its Branching Out train collection. Now in the second year, the wooden trains and accessories are proving popular with retailers. New items joining the collection are a Freight Train, a Passenger Train, two

LEARNING RESOURCES

Learning Resources has introduced Melody Express, the building set offering children a modern and musical version of the traditional train set. The locomotive and coal tender of Melody Express pulls itself around the

01604 774949

Engine Sheds, a Viaduct, Water Tower and a Turntable, plus an extra track to keep things moving. Play-mats are also available to bring all of the products together. John Crane’s Branching Out trains and track are compatible with all other major wooden train sets.

01553 762276

train track system, but also has a tune to deliver. Children work their way through the songbook, arranging the 44 note tiles in the correct order to create seven familiar tunes.

APRIL 2009


68

SECTOR GUIDE TRACK & TRAINS

FLAIR

GX Racers are extreme performance 1:64 scale cars. Designed around the power of the gyroscope and ripcord, these cars have patented technology, achieving extreme speeds and performing unique stunts. Running over tightropes, performing spins, flips and drifts, defying gravity and jumping up to 10’ in the air, GX Racers offer entertainment on-track or offroad. Interchangeable, stylised speed and stunt gyros and a multitude of different car paint designs unique to each set will drive collectability. A range of tracks each present a new challenge, with the Max Air Jump showcasing jumping performance with

RC2 Learning Curve’s Thomas Wooden Railway System range is fully compatible and includes reversible tracks with roadside markings. New packaging designs across the range incorporating windows will communicate what is contained inside. New collectible characters include Stanley, Rheneas, Smudger, Duncan and Proteus, complete with working headlamp. Add to the wooden collection with new two-pack vehicle sets: Flora and Tram, Hank and Tender, Isobella and Cargo Cart. Get interactive with the Zoo Cars two-pack set with moving features and sounds or celebrate a birthday with the Happy Birthday Thomas & Boxcar gift set. The new Thomas & Rosie Set is a value starter set, with 17 pieces of connectable wooden track, Thomas and Rosie engines plus truck. Complete with accessories including free-standing tree, Fat Controller figure, signal and stop sign, the set will be TV promoted at Easter for three weeks. Later on in the year, Learning Curve will launch the Thomas Wooden Railway System Talking Railway Series, which uses new Engine Recognition Technology to activate over 200 phrases when it is used with Talking

APRIL 2009

0208 643 0320

adjustable height and distance, while the Tight Rope Terror demonstrates the tightrope walking stunt – an expansive set-up, high off the ground and covering long distances.

GOLDEN BEAR

The Thomas & Friends range grows further this year as the character celebrates its 65th anniversary. Victor is new for 2009 and is set to become a must-have for fans. The Talking Thomas & Friends features a range of engines, each with seven different phrases which are unique to their character, which children can activate with the easy to

01952 608 308

find button on top of the engine. They can also hear the engine’s own noise and see their eyes move as they push them along the floor. The Thomas and Friends collection continues to offer products including The Drive Away Talking Thomas and Friends, Crash ‘n’ Bang Talking Thomas Playset, Step n learn Playmat and Talking Thomas Draw and Drive.

01271 336155 Railway engines from the Fat Controller at Talking Railway Series destinations. Each engine features a gold magnet connector in order to differentiate them from regular engines. They also include gold names and Engine Recognition icons on their base and can interact with the traditional engines by triggering non-personalised messages to enhance the Thomas play experience. Thomas Lights and Sounds engines have been added to the collectable Take Along Thomas range for 2009, alongside a portable Thomas Face Carry Case with room for up to 20 vehicles. Trundle Thomas and his Mail Flip Car around the new Knapford Mail Express track and Knapford Station model or the Water Tower Figure of 8 Play-set. With 26 pieces of track, water tower and bridge accessories and including Thomas character with detachable truck, for children aged three plus. Finally, Thomas and Annie steam into the 36-piece Wellsworth Station Electronic Playset. Featuring Thomas, Annie, railroad crossing, water tower and an electronic passenger station, which plays the theme tune.


www.hornby.com

www.scalextric.com

Manufactured under license from McLaren Racing Limited. “McLaren” and the McLaren logo are registered trademarks of McLaren Racing Limited.

Disney/Pixar elements ©Disney/Pixar

The Ultimate Partnership Choice Hornby Hobbies Ltd., Westwood, Margate, Kent CT9 4JX. UK. +44 (0) 1843 233525


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SECTOR GUIDE TRACK & TRAINS

BACHMANN This year celebrates the 20th anniversary of the Bachmann Branchline brand, with further models made available in new packaging, allowing easy viewing and access to the contents. Brand new steam locomotive models for 2009 include the LNER Class O4 2-8-0 and the British Railways Standard Class 3 2-62 tank engine. Other new steam locomotives in development are the A1 and A2 Class locomotives, which will include two famous models. The first, the A1 Class locomotive Tornado is the first mainline steam locomotive to be built in the UK for over 40 years and has been the star of several recent television programmes and press reports worldwide. The second, A2 Class locomotive Blue Peter was restored and saved for the nation in the late 1960s and 1970s by the campaigning and hard work of a handful of dedicated volunteers and

0870 751 9990

BIGJIGS TOYS

With over 80 products already in the Bigjigs Rail range, the firm has introduced a further 25 new pieces in 2009 so far and has many more additions planned for later in the year. Watch out for the Services Train Set and Table, which will be released to retailers this month. Flat packed in one box, the new product is quick and easy to assemble and contains everything needed including track, a bridge, a tunnel, a train, people, houses, a helicopter and pad, a petrol

HORNBY When does a train set turn into a model railway? Is it when the first piece of extra track is purchased or when the signal box is added to the set? Whenever that moment happens, is when something that was probably bought as a toy starts to become a model and the great adventure begins. Starting with a train set is the first step most people take when they begin this journey and as the pages are turned in the 2009 Hornby catalogue, all manner of train sets to suit a range of budgets are revealed. All the sets in the Hornby range can be extended in simple and straightforward stages with the addition of the track and building packs. From the Devon Flyer to the large digitally controlled Venice Simplon Orient Express, there is very little limit to what can be done. Model railways have no target demographics – from postman to music moguls, model railways can appeal to all. As proof of this wide appeal, a selection of specially endorsed model locomotives by train enthusiast Pete Waterman take centre stage this year. From highly detailed models for the ardent enthusiast to the not so heavily adorned RailRoad range of locomotives and accessories, the Hornby selection caters for all. Coupled with these superb models there is the unique and miniature world of Skaledale, which brings life to any layout. The village includes pieces such as an engine shed, water tower and Skaledale cottages. And with a continued eye for detail, SkaleScenics and SkaleAutos add a final touch.

APRIL 2009

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the thousands of viewers of the BBC television programme bearing the same name. The Southern Region electric commuter services into London were often overlooked as being rather routine, not only by modellers but also by those who travelled to work on them. Bachmann has announced the Class 416 2 car EPB will also be added to the Branchline OO range, which worked the high density London suburban services everyday from 1953 until the mid 1990s. Another new introduction is the Class 03 Diesel shunter, which was a stalwart during the early days of the Branchline OO range. The Scenecraft range of OO and N scale buildings, vehicles and line-side accessories will continue to provide new items, aiding the creation of beautiful and realistic settings for the layouts of both adults and children. station, various vehicles and a preprinted base with roads, a pond and roundabout. Standing on a low, wooden table, the train set is easily accessible to young children. With innovative design and good use of colour, all Bigjigs Rail products offer great value for money and are also compatible with other leading brands. The Bigjigs Rail range is one of the largest and most comprehensive available in the UK offering something to everyone, regardless of price point.

01843 233500


SPH EUROPE PLC IS A COMPANY STRATEGICALLY PLACED IN NORTHWEST ENGLAND We service UK, mainland European and International markets. Since 1981 we have specialised in the provision of warehousing and distribution services for third parties, together with complimentary, specialist support services for retailers and importers. Over this period we have provided a whole range of services for many developing companies that are now very successful international brands. We operate from a modern warehouse with a capacity to store up to 8,000 pallets in a heated, fully secure environment and have a dedicated support services workforce. Our support services extend from general problem solving to stock processing, pre-retailing, bar coding, labelling, rectification and electrical rework services. In terms of warehousing and distribution services, our clients range from newly incorporated companies, keen on reducing their start-up costs, to larger concerns looking for ways to cut costs and increase profits by outsourcing. Companies taking advantage of our specialist support services tend to be suppliers into mail order companies, department stores and independent retailers. They use SPH because we have the expertise and the resources to process large volumes of product, quickly and efficiently. Clients taking advantage of our specialist rework capabilities include those with overseas manufacturing facilities who prefer to have minor product issues rectified locally, rather than returning the goods to source.


Dedicated monthly retail coverage

Retail Only News • Data • Opinion

AIS show opens its doors

High Street Page 74

Charts Page 75 Debut show for the new toy buying group at its own exhibition centre • All retailers welcome to visit

This month’s retail charts feature: Hamleys, Asda, The Entertainer and W.H Smith.co.uk...

by Ronnie Dungan THE AIS toy buying division, Play-Room, is holding its first trade exhibition at its Cranmore Park showroom. Play-Room at the Park is the first major Toy Show to be held at AIS, Cranmore Park, for 16 years and will run from April 21st to 22nd and is open to all independents, including members of other buying groups. Nine months after its launch the AIS toy division now boasts 42 members, with more than 100 stores and 92 suppliers now signed upto its central payment system Cenpac. Following two successful FOB programmes, the group’s autumn/winter 2009 import offer is nearing completion. A website for members has been launched and there are weekly newsletter updates about products, discounts, marketing and services.

Cranmore Park includes a 2,445 square metre exhibition centre. Exhibitors include Casdon Toys, Flair, Mattel, Hasbro, RC2, Tomy, Spin Master, Wow Toys, Character Options, Mega Brands, VTech and Golden Bear among others. “There is a real opportunity for independent toy retailers to benefit from the demise of Woolworths,” said Play-Room manager, Miles Penhallow. “So there is no better time to be holding our first Play-Room at the Park show and registrations from department stores, garden centres and specialist toy retailers have reflected this.” All visiting buyers will be offered complimentary refreshments and lunch. Visitors can register by logging onto www.cranmorepark.co.uk and then clicking on the Play-Room at the Park link.

New products Page 76 On their way this month are offerings from Leapfrog, Mattel, Atomic Sports and Danbar...

Events Page 90


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RETAIL ONLY

HIGHSTREET COUNTER INSURGENT Dispatches from the retail front line... IT SEEMS a long while ago now and I should have written this last month, but I didn’t want to tempt fate. Was it me or did returns seem to be less of a problem this year? Traditionally we would open the doors after Christmas and have a stampede of returns, both faulty and duplicate. I was dreading this year, with no Woolworths on the High Street I could see us getting a share of their returns, but it just didn’t happen. This is the first year in many that we haven’t seen a Chad Valley toy come back as a duplicate present. Normally we have several members of staff on hand to cope with this, but there was never more than one person required and even then, there were many times when there was no one for them to see to.

I was only called upon once when a clearly destructive child was hell-bent on breaking the head off every action figure he could get his hands on. Only after the third came out of the pack and he displayed strength beyond his means to snap the neck of yet another Power Ranger, did I manage to convince his mother to buy some Duplo so he could at least put his handiwork back together. Even the normal surge in refunds around the middle of January as the credit card bills drop didn’t seem as bad. The best thing about the lack of so many returns, is not having to try and prise a credit note from the suppliers So why the lack of returns? Is it possible that for once, the public, watching their expenditure, didn’t get caught up in the buying frenzy of previous years? Is it possible they looked at the endless list

and actually said: ‘Enough is enough’? When couples were shopping maybe even the

Britney/Zack’s third cousin twice removed, you haven’t seen him for years and he never says thank you,’ etc.

I was dreading this year. With no Woolworths, I could see us getting a share of their returns as well. silent one found their voice (I’ll leave you to decide which sex) and spoke up as to why they had to buy more than necessary or ‘Why the heck are you buying that for little

So is all this a bad thing? Well, let me put it like this, certainly retail sales seem to be holding up well considering the current climate. With less ‘swapsies’ (if the Government

can invent words so can I) there was more money going into the till than going out and sales of product that was exchanged for hard, cold cash instead of a swapsie product for little Britney/Zack’s unwanted duplicate. It has been said that toys always sell. Maybe with less expectance on Christmas sales where a higher proportion than we dare to think of comes back into circulation, wouldn’t it be great to keep it sold and to take that hard, cold cash. You never know, it might even make those credit insurers happy.

TOY

PRICE CHECK: APRIL 2009

STORE

APRIL 2009

Hot Wheels Volcano Shoot-out Mattel

Crayola Illumination Station Vivid Imaginations

Thomas and Friends Tri Scooter MV Sports

Learn and Groove Activity Station Leapfrog

Remote Control Roary Vivid Imaginations

£27.33

£23.99

£19.55

£63.99

£19.83

£44.99

£22.99

n/a

n/a

£26.99

£22.48

£14.99

£19.97

£79.78

£24.97

£21.99

n/a

n/a

£89.29

£29.39

n/a

£19.99

£29.99

£79.99

£29.39


RETAIL ONLY

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75

RETAILCHARTS WHSmith.co.uk

CHART DATE 16/3/09

The Entertainer

CHART DATE 16/3/09

1

Games compendium

WHS

1

Speed Stacks

2

Wooden Pirate Ship

WHS

2

Ben 10 Alien Force 10cm Alien Collection Echo Echo

Bandai

3

Snowman Puzzle Susan

Prescott Games

3

ITNG Musical Popping Pontipines

Hasbro

4

USB Roll-up Drum Kit

Dream Cheeky

4

Baby Born Walking Horse

5

Radio Controlled Range Rover Sport

New Bright

5

Polly Pocket Mega Mall

6

Articulate

Drumond Park

6

Cars Dinoco Stage

7

Absolute Balderdash 20th Anniversary Edition

Drumond Park

7

Ben 10 Alien Force – Kevin Levin’s Action Cruiser

Bandai

8

Risk – The World Conquest Game

Hasbro

8

Fisher-Price Smart Cyble Physical Learning Game System

Mattel

9

Total X-Stream Air Tech Ring

Lanard

9

L’il Luvables Fluffy Factory

Mattel

10 Moon Sand Bumper Pack A

10 Scrabble Deluxe

Amazon

CHART DATE 16/3/09

Character

Zapf Creation Mattel Mega Bloks

Spin Master Spin Master

CHART DATE 16/3/09

Mail Order Express

1

20Q Version 2

Radica Games

1

Fisher-Price Lazy Town Super Sportacus Set

2

Original Rubik’s Cube

Drumond Park

2

Bob the Builder Mega Play Set

Martin Yaffe

3

Ben 10 Puzzle

Pressman Toy

3

In The Night Garden Furniture Set

Martin Yaffe

4

Gogo’s Crazy Bones Advance Special Edition Metal Tin

Magic Box

4

Winnie the Pooh Three Wheel Scooter

Martin Yaffe

5

Ben 10 Deluxe Omnitrix

Bandai

5

Baby Born Magic Eyes

Zapf Creation

6

Beginnings 24 Jumbo Crayons

Crayola

6

Bakugan Booster Pack

Spin Master

7

Gigantic Colouring Book

Crayola

7

Fire Rescue Set

8

Top Trumps – Ben 10

Winning Moves

8

Disney Fairies Wooden Mirror

9

Gogo’s Crazy Bones Sticker Album and Game Rules

Magic Box

9

Baby Born with Magic Eyes

Magic Box

10 Iggle Piggle 10” Bike

10 Gogo’s Crazy Bones Evolution Gogo Bag

Hamleys

CHART DATE 16/3/09

Asda

Mattel

Playmobil Born To Play Zapf Creation MV Sports

CHART DATE 16/3/09

1

Ziggles

Hamleys

1

Hot Wheels Basic Car

2

Infinite Bubble Gun

Hamleys

2

Turbo Cars

Asda

3

50 Greatest Magic Tricks

Marvins Magic

3

Mini Vehicles

Asda

4

UFO Mini RDM

Creations

4

Mini Lying Animals

Asda

5

Four-pack AA batteries

Energizer

5

KC Carry Pet Small

Asda

6

Sticker Scrather

Hamleys

6

Ben 10 Alien Force 10cm figures

Bandai

7

Nail Jazz Metallic

Silverfern

7

Transformers Universe Legends

Hasbro

8

Magic Drawing Board

Hamleys

8

Magic Writer

Asda

9

Squiddy

Hamleys

9

Bean Bag Baby

Asda

10 Mystery UFO

Wow Stuff

10 Disney Cars Character Assortment

Mattel

Mattel

APRIL 2009


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PRODUCTNEWS

Pedal power from Atomic Firm rolls out first bike for children as young as 18 months… ATOMIC SPORTS is readying for the launch of Y Bike into the UK and Ireland – in response to parents’ search for a first bike for their toddlers. The bike has been designed in conjunction with university professors and design experts to offer toddlers a safe introduction to learning to balance on a bike as they imitate older children. Kids as young as 18 months can begin using the product up until the time they are ready for a stabiliser supported bicycle. The bike’s front

wheel is considerably further forward than ordinary bikes, reducing the risk of falling over the front when turning. The Y Bike body is also designed for better clearance of obstacles and the larger wheels produce a safer ride on uneven surfaces. The Y Bike will soon be available from all major toy and bicycle retailers for about £40. Atomic Sports: 00353 1 807 1504

Leapfrog launches baby Blackberry THE TEXT AND Learn product from Leapfrog is being dubbed the Baby Blackberry. It provides a blend of fun and learning as it lets children mimic their parents. The toy features a variety of preschool learning activities including letter matching, shape identification and Qwerty keyboard navigation. It

also has a number of games focusing on basic computer skills, such as a pretend calendar. When designing new products, LeapFrog first decides what it wants to teach, and then determines the best way to deliver the learning in a way which will engage kids. Leapfrog: 01702 200244

DCP and Flair Bolt into stores BOLT FEATURES THE voices of John Travolta and Miley Cyrus and Disney Consumer Products is supporting the film with a range of products in conjunction with Flair, which let kids recreate the action and adventure in their own homes. With the Animal Rescue Play-set, you can have your own adventure with Bolt and his brave sidekick when Rhino the hamster is released from his cage. It is available for £8.99. APRIL 2009

Motorised Rhino in Hamster Ball (£9.99) searches for his next mission as he shoots across the floor. Talking Bolt (£14.99) features three different Super Barks, while Super Hero Bolt (£22.99) saves the day with his light up laser vision eyes, leaping action, sonic bark and wagging tail. Finally, the mini Collectable Figures (£5.99) set contains two characters and a backdrop display. Flair: 020 8643 0320

Danbar does experiments with science AS PART OF the company’s growth strategy, Danbar is introducing a new brand to its stable in early summer. Smart Fun is targeted to ages five to 12 and will include toys, games and kits each dedicated to a scientific field with an educational booklet explaining the scientific effect. The price will initially range from £4.99 to £24.99 and will include visual illusion kits, solar toy sets and aerodynamic toys. The Smart Fun brand will come with display solutions and promotional videos to help maximise retailers’ sales. Danbar: 01707 260111

Barbie goes back to nature DISNEY’S NEW DVD, Barbie Thumbelina, is an adaptation of the original fairytale set in the modern day and Mattel is introducing a range of dolls and accessories to accompany it. The Barbie Thumbelina doll comes with her own flower home, while her best friends Shareena, Amarylla and Lola come with three sets of wings that can be mixed and matched. The Twillerbabies live in flowers that girls can also wear as a bracelet. There are six to collect. Mattel: 01628 500303


HERO PRODUCT

www.toynewsmag.com

77

Re:creation Horrid Henry Re:creation signed as master toy licensee for kids property, Horrid Henry a year ago and is hoping to build on its success in 2008 by expanding the range... WITH OVER 13.5 million books sold in the UK to date, Horrid Henry is the second most popular kids book character behind Harry Potter, and is the number one selling annual. A staggering two out of three kids aged between five and nine in the UK own, or have read, a Horrid Henry book. The brand also translated well to TV and is now rated the most successful series since CITV began. Some 104 episodes will be airing on ITV1 and CITV including 13 episodes per quarter throughout 2009. Re:creation is planning to expand the Horrid Henry toy range to include articulated action figures and an interactive play-set for autumn/winter 2009.

The TV-advertised Purple Hand Gang Play-set allows the user to create new Henry adventures. As kids walk the five-inch Henry character into the tent, it collapses and Henry transforms into the roaring 7.5-inch T-Rex. The set also plays numerous phrases from the TV show. As well as furniture accessories, the set will be equipped with a fully working water blaster, small enough to be held by the five-inch Henry. To accompany the play-set, there are five TVadvertised Horrid Henry five-inch action figures to choose from including Pirate Horrid Henry, Perfect Peter & Fluffy, Mischief Horrid Henry, Horrid Henry Skateboard, and Rude Ralph. All figures have articulated joints and each one will come equipped with a set of accessories. Perfect Peter & Fluffy feature a slime-filled rubbish bin and the Mischief Horrid Henry figurine pack will be complete with Fangs the hamster and a jumping spider. Prices range from ÂŁ3.99 to ÂŁ34.99.

MARKETING Re:creation will support the licence with a fully integrated marketing campaign including TV, print, PR and online activity. TV advertising will commence in August, running periodically through to December and totalling 300 TVRS.

Horrid Henry on his skateboard is just one of a collection of action figures to be rolled out...

Two out of three kids aged between five and nine in the UK own, or have read, a Horrid Henry book.

Release dates: The range will launch in autumn/winter 2009. Contact details: Phone: 0118 973 6222 Website: www.recreationplc.com

APRIL 2009


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MAPS TOYS

■ Character Costumes & P.O.S.

01483 776006

JellyHead 3D

0208 441 2158

Rainbow Productions

0208 254 5300

STILL THE new kids on the block after 20 years in the business, Maps Toys (no they don’t sell maps – the full name of the company is Marketing and Promotional Services) promises more new launches throughout the year. Probably best known for its Build-it with Bob range of real brick building sets and the awardwinning construction cushions, Squashblox, Maps has established itself as a leading supplier and manufacturer of innovative and educational toys. 2009 will see further marketing activity to tie in with Bob the Builder’s tenth birthday celebrations, plus the preview of several new ranges at the Toymaster show in May. With a new national network of

■ Licensing Big & Small

0208 337 7958

■ Point of Purchase Manufacturers Daytona Visual Marketing

01827 54551

■ Safety Testing SGS

0208 991 3410

STR

0118 939 8700

■ Suppliers/Manufacturers Bachmann Europe

0870 751 9990

Cambridge Brainbox

01279 821 333

Creativity International

01323 485 550

Danbar International Ltd.

01707 260 111

Esdevium Games

01420 593 593

Flying Toys

01702 295 110

Fun Collectables

01494 562 727

Games Workshop Ideal Software

08700 134 411

SUPPLIER/MANUFACTURER

experienced sales agents and a new deal in place with the UK’s leading toy wholesaler AB Gee, head of sales, Will Sharman intends to further grow distribution into the independent retail trade with products combining saleability and margin.

+44 (0)1767 689 720

JC Games

01323 647 886

Logiblocs

01727 763 700

Maps Toys

01483 776 006

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01728 745 300

SUPPLIER/MANUFACTURER

Point Zero Games

01625 540 493

01473 735 346

Ravensburger

01869 363 800

Revell

01442 250 130

SandPlay

0115 937 5147

The Puppet Company

01462 446 040

Thumbs Up

0845 466 8880

Voila (Agenta Marketing)

01536 401 128

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0207 381 2302

■ Toy Suppliers Carta Mundi

01268 511 522

Plastics for Games

01728 745 300

Richard Edward

0208 311 8888

Sambro International

For more information on Maps Toys please contact Customer Services on: 01483 776 006 or email will@mapsww.com

+44 (0) 161 707 5555

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

ZOOBOOKOO THE ANNOUNCEMENT of the Channel 4 toy inventors’ competition means Simon Deacon just missed his opportunity for reality TV fame. Deacon, a maths tutor and former naval engineer, comments: “I noticed that many children struggle with learning their times tables and I wanted to give them something they could actually hold and play with.” There have been many roadtests between prototype creation in his garden shed to the production of the iPod-sized Maths Wrap gadget (£6.35) launched at Spring Fair. With the answers to the one to 12 times tables held within the Maths Wrap and a checking mechanism on the flip side, it has won gold-star endorsements from

teachers. “Maths Wrap will transform the learning of multiplication tables for children,” says Claire Davies, Warrington; from parents: “Every kid should have one,” says Susan Walls, Yorkshire; and from children: “It’s well good,” says Susan Walls’ son, Sam. Deacon chose ZooBooKoo to distribute Maths Wrap. The firm has a track record in supplying the trade with imaginative learning gifts and its brands are popular with parents. If you missed ZooBooKoo at Spring Fair, there is still a limited number of sample boxes left

including best sellers at minimal cost on a first-comefirst-served basis. To order or for more information, please ring 01473 735346 or visit the website www.zoobookoo.com where you can view a video clip of Maths Wrap. For further information contact: Karen Wattleworth 07753-613100


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 cleaning in the UK and abroad. Not forgetting what we do 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.

Danny Smith

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

■ Licensing

■ Point of Purchase Manufacturers


Marketplace ■ Safety Testing

■ Suppliers/Manufacturers

amily f d n a ends r travels i r f h t i Play w e or on you .co.uk e m a g m b at ho www.q ■ Safety Testing

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Marketplace

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

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Marketplace â–  Suppliers/Manufacturers

â–  Suppliers/Manufacturers

â–  Suppliers/Manufacturers

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Marketplace

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

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Marketplace ■ Suppliers/Manufacturers

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Marketplace

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Marketplace ■ Toy Suppliers

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■ Toy Suppliers


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

0208 337 7958

ian@startlicensing.co.uk

01827 54551

info@daytonavisual.com

www.daytonavisual.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

0870 751 9990

sales@bachmann.co.uk

www.bachmann.co.uk

Cambridge Brainbox

01279 821333

sales@cambridgebrainbox.co.uk

www.cambridgebrainbox.co.uk

Creativity International

01323 485550

sales@cilimited.co.uk

■ Licensing Big & Small

■ Point of Purchase Manufacturers Daytona Visual Marketing

■ Safety Testing

■ Suppliers/Manufacturers Bachmann Europe

Danbar International Ltd.

01707 260 111

sales@danbartoys.com

www.danbartoys.com

Esdevium Games

01420 593 593

sales@esdeviumgames.com

www.esdeviumgames.com

Flying Toys

01702 295110

sales@flyingtoys.com

Fun Collectables

01494 562 727

info@fun-collectables.co.uk

www.fun-collectables.co.uk

Games Workshop

08700 134 411

uktradesales@games-workshop.co.uk

www.games-workshop.com

+44 (0)1767 689 720

enquiries@idealsoftware.net

www.idealsoftware.net

Ideal Software JC Games

01323 647886

Logiblocs

01727 763700

sales@logiblocs.com

www.logiblocs.com

Maps Toys

01483 776 006

info@mapsww.com

www.mapsww.com

Plastics for Games

01728 745300

sales@plasticsforgames.co.uk

www.p4g.co.uk

Point Zero Games

01625 540 493

info@pointzerogames.com

www.@pointzerogames.com

01869 363800

sales@ravensburger.com

www.ravensburger.com

Ravensburger Revell

www.qbgame.co.uk

01442 250130

ukbranch@revell.de

www.revell.com

0115 937 5147

info@sandcastlemoat.co.uk

www.sandcastlemoat.co.uk

The Puppet Company

01462 446 040

info@thepuppetcompany.com

www.thepuppetcompany.com

Thumbs Up

0845 466 8880

sales@thumbsupuk.com

www.thumbsupuk.com

01536 401128

sales@agentamarketing.com

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

0207 471 0980

enquiries@wowtoys.com

www.wowtoys.com

www.cartamundi.com

SandPlay

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

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88

MY No.1s Ken Goodisson,

TOY TALK

TOY TALK The first victim of our Kidizoom fit-up is revealed; there’s a plea to all the toy inventors out there; a new baby and some domain names for £1m…

Senior Brand Manager, Boys Toys. Hasbro Number one album: The Joshua Tree by U2. -----------------------------------------------------Film: Any Robert De Niro film. -----------------------------------------------------Website: “Simples”, comparethemeerket.com -----------------------------------------------------Hero: No real life hero. However, working on Boys brands, its got to be Iron Man. -----------------------------------------------------Book: Currently reading Jack Welch, Straight from the Gut -----------------------------------------------------TV programme: 24 -----------------------------------------------------Number one single when you were born: The Boys are Back in Town by Thin Lizzy -----------------------------------------------------Food: The hottest Indian you can find. Try me. -----------------------------------------------------Thing to do on a Saturday night: Saturdays (generally all weekend) is now spent with my three-month-old baby girl. Kids are life changing. What an understatement! -----------------------------------------------------Gadget: Bottle opener -----------------------------------------------------Tipple: Bottle of red -----------------------------------------------------Piece of advice: Smile… and the world will smile back at you. ------------------------------------------------------

FRAME YOUR COLLEAGUE We didn’t really need to do a lot to this picture of Ian Cuthbert, distribution buyer at Halsall but, in keeping with our Kidizoom theme, we’ve given him the necessary makeover. Our thanks to his colleague

James Clayton, who sent in the picture and receives a Kidizoom camera (courtesy of the good people at VTech), in return for stitching up his work-mate, so he can do it again and again and again.

If you fancy seeing your colleague or even yourself here and winning a camera into the bargain, send your snaps to ronnie.dungan@intentmedia.co.uk and we will do the rest.

INVENTORS NEEDED FOR CHANNEL 4 TV production company, Renegade, wants to hear from the UK's best amateur inventors. The programme will follow the shortlisted inventors from concept to prototype through to the big pitch. The series will be broadcast on Channel 4 and partner with a major retailer. The firm is in contact with a number of stores to be part of the judging panel. Once the winner has been decided, the programme will continue to follow the product’s journey as it is designed and manufactured and hits shelves in time for Christmas. The series will be filmed this spring. If you think you have got what it takes to create the toy of 2009 please send some information about yourself and your product and your contact details to beki.wood@renegadepictures.co.uk.

FLYING DOMAINS UP FOR GRABS R/C flying specialist Flying Toys is looking to sell its handful of web domain names. The firm currently owns the rights to www.flyingtoys.com, www.flyingtoys.co.uk and www.flyingtoys.eu and would consider selling all three if it received a genuine offer, according to Flying Toys boss David Rawlings. “All these Flying Toys domain names are currently linked to the Flying Toys Ltd website. As we have no plans to discontinue selling ‘Flying Toys’ in the foreseeable future, we would only consider a really serious offer of around £1m. “It just seems remarkable that in light of Toys R Us recent purchase, selling a company's domain name can be more profitable than selling products in the present climate.”

Sponsored by

APRIL 2009


TOY TALK

DO YOU KNOW STEVEN SPIELB ERG’S DUSTM Eagles Sales M AN? ark Collinson ha s issued a plea able to help hi to anyone who s son gain a fo othold in the fil thinks they mig Collinson Junior m or TV busin ht be , Alastair, is ab ess. up’ by getting out to leave W any job (tea bo estminster Un ive y, rsity and need hand-grip etc) “Now, working s a ‘leg in a film/TV re on the theory lated business. that we are all anybody (i.e I know somebod ‘three handsh akes’ away fro y who knows so USA etc), do yo m meeting mebody who kn u know anybod ows the presid y who might kn ‘leg up’?,” asks ent of the ow somebody Mark. who may give “I promise Alas Alastair a tair will mentio n you in ‘dispat So if you have ches’ at the 20 George Lucas’ 20 Oscars,” he mobile on spee him the phone, added. d-dial, or you contact Mark at know the blok success@eagl e who sold esales.co.uk.

89

You’ve got mail Subject: Darrell Jones, Marketing director, Bandai

CRAZEE BABY Congratulations are in order for Crazee’s Danny Bamping, who is now the proud father of a new baby girl, Scarlett Gala Geraldine. And here she is…

> Ben 10 has made Bandai very much the toy company of the moment, Power Rangers always doing well, Tamagotchi still strong. It’s easy this toy lark isn’t it? I wish I could say that! With the current economical problems everyone is facing we are very lucky that we have still have some strong brands that consumers want to buy. Last year was a fantastic year for our 10 year old friend – this year its gotten off to even better start, in February we achieved our highest market share to date (30 per cent). > I believe you’ve even had time for a holiday? Skiing wasn’t it? You made it back in one piece I take it? Yes, just back from the un-crowded slopes of Whistler – plenty of snow but mighty cold – had a few days where it was minus 25! > And how are you at the skiing? Franz Klammer or Eddie the Eagle? You look like a Power Ranger, actually. Ha, neither. I’m somewhere in between. I’ve been going for a few years and after a bit of one to one tuition on this trip I’m making good improvements (my ski instructor’s words – not mine. But they are paid to say that!).

> It’s all about the après-ski anyway isn’t it? What’s it like skiing with a hangover? If I was in Europe yes, but in Canada they’re much more civilised. Call it old age but I was very sensible and didn’t drink excessively!

HIGH FIVES ALL ROUND Tomato ketchup, mayon naise, roastings, late nig hts on the WKD at Zeroes in Her tford. All of the above hav e been banned, as the ToyNew s Five-a-side team begins its rigorous training regime which will almost certain ly culminate in it lifting the ToyNews Fives Trophy on July 10th. Unless of course you think can field five finer freescoring athletes? I mean, it’s unlikely isn ’t it? But you could give it a go. At the very least you’ll help fill the coffers of the Toy Trust. Which is a good thing. So, take a long hard loo k around your office and if you think you’ve got the coj ones to take on the five world-class footballers that ToyNew s will be fielding on July 10th go to www.topcorner.co.uk/t oynewsfives and sign up. It’s easy.

> Yeah, I can correctly identify that as old age. You’re obviously still hung over from the Toy Awards. And getting back to toys, how’s that dress-making line doing? Oh you mean Harumika. (You should try pronouncing after you’ve had a few!!) We’re just finishing off the packaging and it will be ready to go into production in May. Its nice to know my next few months will be filled with something other than fighting evil space aliens and transforming into a super hero – should be fun!

APRIL 2009


90

FEATURE PLANNER

2009 FEATURE PLANNER MAY 2009 Toymaster Show Special Pre-school Action Vehicles (inc. R/C & Die-cast) Large Dolls

• • •

Editorial Deadline: Call for details Advertising Deadline: April 10th

JUNE 2009

Market Special • Girls Dolls • Fashion • Magnetic • Summer Movies

Editorial Deadline: April 10th Advertising Deadline: May 8th

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

PLAYROOM AT THE PARK April 21st-22nd Cranmore Park, Solihull www.cranmorepark.co.uk

TOY CON 09 May 6th - 8th Wigwam Golf Resort, Phoenix, AZ www.toyassociation.org

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

LICENSING INTERNATIONAL 2009 June 2nd - 4th Mandalay Bay Convention Centre, Vegas www.licensingshow.com

SHOWCOMOTION July 1st - 3rd Sheffield Media and Exhibition Centre www.showcomotionconference.com

BRAND LICENSING EUROPE 09 September 30th - October 1st Grand Hall, Olympia, London www.brandlicensingexpo.com

AUTUMN FAIR 09 September 6th - 9th NEC, Birmingham www.autumnfair.com

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

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

APRIL 2009

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 2009 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

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FRIDAY JULY 10 TOYNEWS FIVES RAISING MONEY FOR THE TOY TRUST

EIR FAMILIES H T D N A N E R D IL CH ISADVANTAGED D G IN T R O P P U S T O THE TOY TRUS T S E O G Y R T N E Y £100 FROM EVER

GET YOUR KIT ON FOR THE 2009 TOYNEWS FIVES TEAMS FROM ACROSS THE INDUSTRY WILL GATHER FOR A CRACKING DAY OF FIVE-A-SIDE FOOTBALL ACTION

# AT LEAST SIX GAMES PER TEAM # GOURMET BARBEQUE # TEAM AND INDIVIDUAL TROPHY PRESENTATIONS

TO ENTER NOW PLEASE CALL 020 7700 1888 OR VISIT WWW.TOPCORNER.CO.UK/TOYNEWSFIVES


www.bobthebuilder.com For licensing sales contact licensing@hitentertainment.com Š 2009 HIT Entertainment Limited and Keith Chapman


ToyNews Issue 92 April 2009