The toy industry’s highest circulation trade title Exclusive media partner
TOYMASTER 2009 PREVIEW Full run-down of what’s what at this year’s extended retail event
STATE OF INDEPENDENTS Why things may finally be looking up for the indie sector
LICENSING INTERNATIONAL The build up to next month’s big event taking place in Las Vegas
MINOR MIRACLES A look at the latest products in the busy pre-school sector
Ronnie Dungan Editor Ronnie.Dungan@intentmedia.co.uk
Samantha Loveday Licensing Editor Samantha.email@example.com
Exclusive NPD analysis
Marketing spend data
Campaign of the month
Katie Roberts Staff Writer firstname.lastname@example.org
Adrian Miles Advertising Manager Adrian.Miles@intentmedia.co.uk
Dan Bennett Design Dan.Bennett@intentmedia.co.uk
Jon Salisbury Editorial Consultant email@example.com
Lisa Foster Managing Editor
Stuart Dinsey Publisher
Editorial: 01992 535646 Advertising: 01992 535647
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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 NORDIC BUT NICE
I FEEL that the dress code for the Tuesday evening at the Toymaster show is a little vague this year. It’s viking/casual. Does that mean only the one horn or is it just a bit of mild pillaging but definitely no raping (does that require a guideline)? What’s the policy on longships? Other than that it’s hard to find fault with the event, which genuinely seems to get better every year. Even the fruity carpets and groundhog day feel of the Majestic Hotel cannot diminish enthusiasm for it. In fact, it’s not really a Toymaster show anymore in the sense that any retailer can attend and all independents should make an effort to be there.
Any retailer can attend, and all independents should make an effort to be there It’s difficult to believe they would come away from it with nothing at all. Even if it’s only a hangover. Many indies prefer it to the London Toy Fair because they know they will have access to the suppliers they want to meet, suppliers who are there because they want to do business with independents and that’s a hugely important factor when so many feel excluded from some of the closed stands at the big shows. More than just an order-taking show, it’s an opportunity to do some deals, share ideas, share a few drinks and put the toy trade to rights. While dressed as a viking. Don’t miss it. Ronnie Dungan firstname.lastname@example.org
Tough times for Mega Worries mount as group losses increase in latest results ● UK boss remains upbeat by Ronnie Dungan STORM CLOUDS are gathering over Mega Brands, with losses mounting in its latest quarterly results and some downsizing seemingly an inevitability. Its latest results showed a loss of $323.3 million for the quarter ended December 31st, 2008, compared with a loss of $66.2 million for the same period the year before. One-time charges totalled $234.4 million for the quarter. Quarterly sales fell 21.6 per cent to $101 million from $128.8 million during the same quarter of 2007. Mega Brands said goodwill charges also widened its 2008 net loss, which increased to $458.7 million from a loss of $97.1 million recorded in 2007. Charges totalling $404.5 million increased the loss by $11.05 per share. Net sales slid 14.6 per cent in 2008 to $447.7 million compared to $524.5 million the year before. “Instead of the turnaround we anticipated, the fourth quarter turned out to be a disappointment,” Mega Brands chief executive Marc Bertrand commented. Attempts to raise much-needed cash by selling the company’s RoseArt stationery and activities division have come to nothing, but the firm did
Hamleys ends concessions HAMLEYS HAS decided to end its involvement with in-store concessions to concentrate on expanding its brand with standalone store openings. The firm is pulling out of House of Fraser stores following the recent success of store openings in Dublin, Jordan and Dubai. “Such is the confidence in the success of the first three outlets that we have decided that our strategy going forward is to solely concentrate our business model on ‘big-box’ stores rather than concessions," said a spokesperson. "Therefore, strategically we have made the decision to close our small format concessions located in selected House of Fraser stores as they are not able to replicate the theatre and scale that Hamleys requires.”
Commitment to TV support remains high as we roll out new initiatives. - Dave Martin.
recently manage to secure an extended credit line. The company says it had cash and cash equivalents of about $46 million (US) at the end of last month. The UK division, however, is staying positive and is hoping that the firm’s focus on lower price points will boost sales further. “Mega UK is building from a solid foundation in 2009 with a renewed focus on enhanced value at key lower price points which we believe is the way forward in the current market climate,” said UK MD Dave Martin. “Commitment to TV support remains high for key brands as the company rolls out its new initiatives for this year based around supporting core brands, innovation and leveraging strong licenses such as In the Night Garden, WonderPets and Halo from Microsoft. “We have been delighted by the support of our retail partners and we have a strong listings for 2009. “We continue to show growth in our pre-school business and in Magnext for the first quarter of 2009 plus with the major launch of Battle Strikers still to come, we are excited by the opportunities we see ahead of us.” Mega Brands: 01844 350033
Upsurge in toy retailer interest
DATA FROM commercial property specialist Daltons has shown a significant upsurge in enquiries about toy retail businesses over the last 12 months. Both the number of toy businesses uploaded to the firm’s site and the number of search enquiries have seen an increase. The number of new businesses available saw a month on month increase of 366 per cent from January to February. The number of searches for toy businesses has also increased by 384 per cent from June 2008 to March “We have noticed a big increase in both the number of toy shops uploaded and in the number of searches for toy shops over the past two months,” said Daltons’ digital marketing executive Emilie Corbillé. www.daltonsbusiness.com
TOYMASTER READY TO WELCOME NEW FACES TOYMASTER MANAGING director Roger Dyson says this year’s Harrogate event will be the most open ever and expects an influx of new attendees. Once again this year’s show is open to all independent retailers as well as Toymaster members and has also been extended to include a dedicted Model and Hobby section for the first time. Dyson told ToyNews: “Toymaster’s challenge in 2009 will be to better last year’s 25th Anniversary May Show. The good news is not only is the May show still going strong it continues to go from strength to strength with many first time attendees expected in 2009.
“The importance of the Toymaster May show for Toymaster members and independent retailers cannot be
overstated and the fact that some members consider it more important for their business than the Toy Fair speaks volumes. The Toymaster May show remains the best opportunity for independent retailers to view the key ranges from the majority of their suppliers at a single venue over a three day period at the optimum time of the year for placing main season. “Once again there will be countless supplier offers available for members, do not miss those offers that support our catalogues or those that best suit your business.” The show takes place at the Majestic Hotel, Harrogate from May 19th-21st. Toymaster: 01604 674477
Upper Deck defiant after Yu-Gi-Oh loss European distribution deal scuppered by allegations of misconduct in the US. by Ronnie Dungan UPPER DECK has vowed to bounce back after losing its Yu-Gi-Oh trading card distribution deal, following a court victory for owner Konami. A Dutch court of appeal rejected Upper Deck International’s efforts to be reinstated as the distributor of YuGi-Oh in Europe and other international territories following a December 12th decision to terminate the contract. Konami is alleging that Upper Deck has been involved in the distribution of counterfeit Yu-Gi-Oh cards in the US. As a result Upper Deck’s European arm has distanced itself from the allegations directed at the US business. A California court in February issued a preliminary injunction against Upper Deck, halting its sales and marketing efforts for the Yu-GiOh trading card game in the US. “This is a terrific victory for the legions of Yu-Gi-Oh TCG Duelists worldwide,” said Kunio Neo, president of Konami Digital Entertainment. “Managing all aspects of the Yu-GiOh TCG business directly - not just in Asia and North America, but globally - will allow Konami Digital
Entertainment to strengthen and protect the integrity of the brand throughout the world.” The reaction from European arm Upper Deck International, however, points to its autonomy from the US division and says the ruling “does not contain any reference to Upper Deck International BV (UDI) being involved in any counterfeit activities as Konami has never filed any complaints against UDI regarding this matter.”
We have done an excellent job in expanding our business in the past few years, now it is time to move on. - Nico Blauw Nico Blauw, CEO of Upper Deck International, told ToyNews: “It is unfortunate that this matter had to be battled in court and likely we have not seen the end of it either. We were left with no other option than to go to court since Konami, totally
unexpected, terminated our agreement on December 12th. It had been Konami's goal, since a couple of years ago to run the Yu-Gi-Oh Trading Card Game business themselves. It is very unfortunate that a so-called ‘North America matter’ has caused this termination. “We have taken the initiative to arrange a smooth transfer with Konami for the sake of the brand, retail and end users. “We have enjoyed selling and marketing the Yu-Gi-Oh Trading Card Game over the years and we have been very good at it. We will continue to be linked to the Yu-GiOh brand and are interested in making it a success as we hold a distribution agreement for toys across several countries in Europe, South Africa and Israel.
“We have done an excellent job in expanding our business in the past few years; now it is time to move on. We will focus our resources on launching new brands and developing established ones to entertain and educate consumers while supporting the business and building stronger partnerships with retailers, licensors and suppliers.” Upper Deck: 0118 929 8520
Dominoes promises Express delivery LEICESTER INDIE, Dominoes, has promised to revamp its online offering following its acquisition of Mail Order Express. The deal sees the retailer take on the assets of the well-established online toy seller, which went under two weeks ago. A new-look Mail Order Express site with a Dominoes home page will go live today and there are further revamps planned as the firm looks to improve its presence in the online arena. There are plans to increase the range offered and a 12,000 sq ft area of Dominoes 30,000 sq ft warehouse will be devoted to packing and wrapping online orders. “It was a very slick organisation that Paul [Watts, MOE MD] was running and we aim to make it even better,” Dominoes chairman Steve Sansom told ToyNews.
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BOOKMARK US TODAY MAY 2009
INDUSTRY MOVES A sales and marketing promotion at GMTV, a departure from ITV Global, new faces at Chapman Entertainment’s licensing and legal teams and a boost for production at Spin Master’s new entertainment division… FROM LEFT: Amethyst’s Allan Fosbrook, ex-ITV Global commercial brands director, Gustavo Antonioni and new Chapman recruit, Natasha Dyson...
SPIN MASTER has boosted its newly formed entertainment division with the appointment of Jennifer Picherack. The entertainment division, launched in October 2008, has hired Picherack to work alongside EP Matt Wexler to develop and produce original content for the division. The pair are charged with the company’s television and feature film development, production and acquisition activities. Picherack will be based out of the Toronto headquarters and joins with over ten years experience in children’s television entertainment. Most recently the VP of distribution and sales operations at Cookie Jar Entertainment, the new recruit was also producer on the critically acclaimed series Johnny Test, as well as a creative executive on Chop Socky Chooks, Naturally Sadie and Radio Free Roscoe. Having been acting sales and marketing director at GMTV for the past 18 months, Simon Poole has
been officially appointed to the role, joining the board of directors with immediate effect. During his time in the role, Poole and his team have been responsible for increasing GMTV’s share of the total broadcast market. Across 2008, the channel’s advertising revenue increased against a backdrop of a market down circa four per cent. ITV Global Entertainment’s commercial brands director, Gustavo Antonioni has taken voluntary redundancy from the firm. Antonioni said that ITV had recently undergone a large scale efficiency review, with his just one of a number of roles across the company which were under consultation. He stated in a letter that the decision was a personal one and “in no way impacts or sets a precedent for those who are currently undergoing consultations within the Commercial Brands Group”. The merchandising and licensing group will continue to be headed up by Aysha Kidwai and the promotions
group will be overseen by Corine Pouvreau Miles. To coincide with the decision to bring licensing for Fifi and The Flowertots in-house, Chapman Entertainment has appointed Natasha Dyson to the newly created role of licensing manager. Dyson joined the company from 19 Entertainment where she worked independently within the commercial department to develop global licensing programmes for Claudia Schiffer, Brand Beckham, The David Beckham Academy, Spice Girls and the US TV show, So You Think You Can Dance. In addition Chapman has recruited Emma Way as part-time legal affairs manager alongside existing legal affairs manager, Katie Errington. Logistics specialist Amethyst Group has appointed a new business development manager to handle business development for toy clients. Allan Fosbrook has joined after 25 years in the electrical retail industry in order to bring his retail logistics
experience to the firm’s toy clientbase, which includes Vivid Imaginations, Bandai, Worlds Apart, Cesar, Ravensburger, Leapfrog and Character World. The new recruit joins from a role at LG Electronics, which he held for four years and previous employers include De Longhi, Canon and Samsung among others. The firm hopes that Fosbrook will be able to understand client’s needs and therefore tailor the services for the contracts offered, thus offering a better service. Fosbrook said of his appointment: “I have been bought in by Amethyst to work with prospective clients and by using my retail experience demonstrate to them that we understand their logistical needs clearly. Identifying from a retailer’s perspective that we recognise what the implications are if the goods are not delivered on time and in full…every time. I am looking forward to working with and growing the toy side of the business”
Retail Sales Trends
Hope springs eternal ACCORDING TO the British Retail Consortium UK sales fell 1.2 per cent on a like for like basis from March 2008 with some unseasonably warm weather this March benefiting clothing, footwear and outdoor leisure sales. Comparisons are difficult though with the differences between the warm sunny weather this year and snow and rain last year in the same month as well as the impact of Easter moving dates. With Easter falling in March in 2008 and in April this year, it comes with little surprise that the first quarter of 2009 looks behind last year for the toy industry. However, April should be a telling month for the industry to determine strength of sales for the Easter period versus last year. In the first quarter the average price, however, has continued to grow from £5.47 to £5.86 with a number of high priced items continuing to perform well especially kids’ cameras. Despite the economic conditions, some categories have managed the changing market better than others with Building Sets, Outdoor & Sports and All Other Toys performing better than the market. Building Sets has benefited from a range of new items since the start of the year with the new Lego Power Miners property continuing to show strong growth. Some dry, warmer weather than expected in March has helped the Outdoor category, with ride-on sales increasing six per cent in March (compared to March 2008) driven by Little Tikes and In The Night Garden properties. The
Sales (value, year to date)
March 2009 1. BEN 10 2. STAR WARS 3. IN THE NIGHT GARDEN 4. THOMAS AND FRIENDS 5. HIGH SCHOOL MUSICAL
All Other Toys category performance has been driven by Educational & Musical Toys up 11 per cent for the year to date. Infant and Pre-school remains the biggest category accounting for just under a quarter of the total toy market in March with the Infant
strongest performing new property across toys so far this year and is now within the top 25 properties. A number of properties continue to perform well within the toy market with Ben 10 and Star Wars in number one and two positions. Peppa Pig continues to make its way
Best Property Progression March 2009
MONSTERS VS ALIENS DreamWorks’ 3D animation has been one of the highlight movies of the Easter school holidays and this is reflected in its increased prominence as a toy brand.
Despite the economic conditions, some categories have managed the changing market better than others with Building Sets, Outdoor & Sport and All Other Toys performing better than the total market. category showing small growth for the year to date driven by walkers, rattles and mobiles as well the strong performance of Playskool and Playmobil. Action Figures is the third biggest category and the most heavily reliant on licenses, reflected in its strong performers such as the new Ben 10 Alien Force range and Bakugan. Bakugan is now the
up the rankings as does Barbie. Peppa growth, surprisingly, is not from Infant and Pre-school items, but from Plush, Arts & Crafts and Games & Puzzles items, while Barbie has benefited from heavy PR around the 50th birthday this year. With Easter falling in April this year and some spring weather already arriving there is optimism for the toy market in the next few months.
UK Toy Sales
Top Five Properties
Mar 08: £5.86
Mar 08: £5.47
Best Item Progression March 2009
Barbie Clean Up Pup (Mattel) A huge rise for Mattel’s Barbie line which is up a whopping 214 places in the chart from 254 to 40, thanks to some canny promotional activity.
Retail Sales Trends UK MARCH 2009 (£ SALES - VALUE)
UK MARCH 2009 (UNIT SALES - VOLUME)
BEN 10 ALIEN FORCE 10CM FIGS
HOT WHEELS BASIC CAR ASST
BEN 10 ULTIMATE OMNITRIX
BEN 10 ALIEN FORCE 10CM FIGS
POWER RANGERS JUNGLE FURY FIGS
POWER RANGERS JUNGLE FURY FIGS
CARS VEHICLE ASST
BEN 10 FIGS 10CM ASST
STAR WARS CLONE WARS BASIC FIG 3.75"
BEN 10 FIGS 10CM ASST
STAR WARS CLONE WARS BASIC FIG 3.75”
BEN 10 15CM ACTION
ITNG MINI PLUSH ASST
BEN 10 ALIEN FORCE 15CM DNA F
BEN 10 15CM ACTION
BEN 10 ALIEN FORCE OMNITRIX
BAKUGAN BOOSTER PACK
FIRST STEPS BABYWALKER
SPEED RACER DIECAST VEHICLE ASST
UK YEAR TO DATE (£ SALES - VALUE) 1
BEN 10 ALIEN FORCE 10CM FIGS
STAR WARS CLONE WARS BASIC FIG 3.75"
POWER RANGERS JUNGLE FURY FIGS
BANDAI SPIN MASTER MATTEL
UK YEAR TO DATE (UNIT SALES - VOLUME) BANDAI
HOT WHEELS BASIC CAR ASST
BEN 10 ALIEN FORCE 10CM FIGS
CARS VEHICLE ASST
POWER RANGERS JUNGLE FURY FIGS
BEN 10 15CM ACTION
BEN 10 FIGS 10CM ASST
BEN 10 FIGS 10CM ASST
STAR WARS CLONE WARS BASIC FIG 3.75"
CARS VEHICLE ASST
BEN 10 15CM ACTION
STAR WARS CLONE WALKER
SPEED RACER DIECAST VEHICLE ASST
BAKUGAN BOOSTER PACK
ITNG MINI PLUSH ASST
BEN 10 ULTIMATE OMNITRIX
BAKUGAN STARTER PACK
BANDAI HASBRO TOYS
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: Amazon, Argos, Asda, Boots, ELC, Firebox, Freemans, Grattan, Hamleys, HMV, Halfords Littlewoods, Mailorderexpress, Modelzone, Mothercare, M&S, Sainsbury’s, Shop Direct, Tesco, Toymaster, The Entertainer and WHSmith. The approximate coverage is of 60%
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
MARKETING SPEND ANALYSIS MONTHLY SECTOR SPEND MONTH SUB MARKETS
APR-08 SPEND* (£)
MAY-08 SPEND* (£)
JUN-08 SPEND* (£)
JUL-08 SPEND* (£)
AUG-08 SPEND* (£)
SEP-08 SPEND* (£)
COMPUTER/ELECTRONIC £5,799,068.00 GAMES
TOYS & GAMES/PRE£3,726,084.00 SCHOOL/LEARNING AIDS
YEAR ON YEAR DIFF %
MONTHLY ADVERTISING SPEND (12M TO MAR ‘09)
SHARE OF ADSPEND (12M TO MAR ‘09)
COMPUTER GAMES/ELECTRONIC GAMES TOYS & GAMES/PS TOYS & LEARNING AIDS
COMPUTER GAMES / ELECTRONIC GAMES
TOYS & GAMES / PRE-SCHOOL / LEARNING AIDS
COMPUTER GAMES/ELECTRONIC GAMES TOYS & GAMES/PS TOYS & LEARNING AIDS TOTAL (ALL)
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 OCT-08 SPEND* (£)
NOV-08 SPEND* (£)
JAN-09 SPEND* (£)
FEB-09 SPEND* (£)
MAR-09 SPEND* (£)
TOTAL SPEND* (£)
TOP 20 ADVERTISERS (12M TO MAR ‘09) COMPANIES
PERCENTAGE OF ALL SPEND NINTENDO 18.26% MATTEL 9.63% ACTIVISION 5.79% UBI SOFT 5.60% ELECTRONIC ARTS 4.34% HASBRO 4.06% CHARACTER OPTIONS 3.29% ROCKSTAR GAMES 2.92% SONY COMPUTER ENTERTAINMENT EUROPE 2.79% THQ 2.59% MICROSOFT GAME STUDIOS 2.34% SEGA ENTERPRISES 2.26% PLAYSKOOL 1.74% KONAMI 1.66% VIVID IMAGINATIONS 1.51% TOMY 1.47% BANDAI 1.41% FLAIR LEISURE PRODUCTS 1.17% DISNEY INTERACTIVE STUDIOS 1.05% ZAPF CREATION 1.02% TOTAL (TOP 20) 74.92% TOTAL (ALL) 100%
27.41% -18.96% 100.89% 82.50% -35.96% 8.46% -28.29% 1646.96% -6.45% 34.90% 1369.17% 43.53% 60.26% 156.38% -55.14% -37.79% 20.03% -2.76% 437.13% -31.24% 14.18% 7.92%
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 email@example.com
CAMPAIGN OF THE MONTH
Transformers Hasbro Hasbro’s extensive range of Transformers toys will be boosted next month by the release of the second film. Prior to that, Hasbro is cranking up demand with a number of marketing initiatives including print, PR and TV among other things. ToyNews has more details… MORE THAN two decades after its arrival and with countless toys sold through, Transformers has become one of the most successful entertainment franchises of all time and woven into the global pop culture. The June 24th release of Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen, from DreamWorks Pictures and Paramount Pictures, in association with Hasbro will create a new level of interest in the brand and the accompanying widespread licensing programme, spearheaded by the toy range. Licensing To give fans of all ages a fully immersive Transformers experience, Hasbro, together with its toy development team, Digitial Media, and Entertainment and Licensing groups, has pulled together a comprehensive program that will offer a wide range of products across all major lifestyle categories. More than 230 licensees worldwide are signed including Activision and Glu Mobile (video and mobile gaming), Harper Collins (publishing), Rubies (dress up), Smith & Brooks (apparel), GB Eye (posters) and Alpha (back-to-school) to name just a few. All of these licensees will be bringing their own marketing and PR campaigns to the table which will dovetail nicely into Hasbro’s own toy campaign centred around the film.
Marketing The franchise is the key focus within Hasbro’s boys toys range in 2009, with a full marketing campaign to reflect this. The onslaught started at the beginning of the year but the heavyweight media campaign kicks off on May 30th to celebrate the toy launch and continues through to Christmas Day. The media mix includes kids consumer print, PR, POS, collector/fan focused activity and TV. TV The TV campaign will focus on all key segments within the toy line which includes core action figures and role play. Special promotions are also planned including a tour of the Bumblebee Camaro seen in the film. Though the toys launch one month prior to the movie release, select retailers will pre-sell key items from May 1st. These are Optimus Prime (Leader), Bumblebee helmet, Bumblebee arm blaster along with a special Preview wave of Deluxe featuring Bumblebee and Soundwave. Although retailers can pre-order, the items will not ship until the May 30th on-shelf date. In addition to Hasbro and other licensee marketing campaigns, Paramount Pictures has a stellar line-up of promotional partners on-board to promote the film beginning in late-May, including General Motors and LG Mobile Phones.
The 6th 1-2-3 July 2009 Sheffield UK. The UK’s premier meeting place for the children’s media and entertainment industries
Register now for the 6th Showcomotion Children’s Media Keyno Conference at www.showcomotionconference.com. t e Annou Special delegates rate for LIMA members £190 + VAT n c e d Peter S Full corporate rate £235 + VAT. Direct almon or, BB C North It’s time we all got together – don’t miss it! For up-todate information visit www.showcomotionconference.com
Why attend? G Best place in the UK to get advance information on trends in the kids’ marketplace G Inform your business strategy in the face of economic pressures G Benefit from getting together with colleagues from TV, interactive, games, publishing, toys and licensing to collaborate and learn from each other G Great workshops, sessions, previews, research and fantastic speakers G The chance to network with EVERYONE from the kids’ content and play industries.
The UK’s only dedicated monthly licensing coverage
News • Media • Opinion
Las Vegas Turnaround News Pages 20-21 With the show rapidly approaching, ToyNews reports on how Licensing International’s move to the entertainment Mecca is winning over the critics…
Entertainment Rights snapped up by Boomerang, Fifi licensing heads back to Chapman, Disney Princess aiming for the top in China, WBCP’s superhero plans…
It’s only been on air a short time, but already Chuggington, and its owner Ludorum, is making an impact on the market. ToyNews finds out more…
Boomerang sweeps in to save troubled ER Former Classic Media owners snap up firm and its subsidiaries...
THE ROAD TO MANDALAY IS THERE ANYTHING left to say about Licensing International’s move to Las Vegas which hasn’t already been said, both in this publication and in other media? Since the venue switch was officially confirmed early last year, many opinions have been expressed, taking in pretty much the entire gamut of emotions. If I was Advanstar I’d be sick of explaining all the benefits of the Mandalay Bay to a trade which, for the most part, seemed unwilling to listen. But that was at the beginning. Now that the expo is just over four weeks away, it seems to be a different story. For a start, there’s more information available now about what the showfloor will look like. Details are coming through of new features – such as the daily runway show for firms to display apparel and accessories, screening suites and the expansion of the interactive area – and fears of big company stayaways have been allayed (major names such as Disney, Hasbro, Mattel, Nickelodeon, Fox, Universal, Warner, Hit, Lego and Cartoon Network among others have all pledged support).
Now that the expo is just over four weeks away, there’s a sense of excitement about Vegas... On top of this, over 85 first time exhibitors will be rocking up, a tremendous achievement considering the current economic issues. In fact, it could be argued that the move to Vegas is happening at just the right time for the show. The extra interest it has generated may have convinced more people to make the trip; if it had remained in New York, how many people would have chosen to stay at home because they thought they’d seen it all before? Georgiann Decenzo and her team at Advanstar – including those based in London – seem to have answered every negative question that’s been thrown at them about the show with a positive answer. There will be things we miss about NY, but the Jacob Javits Center and its leaking ceiling won’t be one. And if Advanstar can make the expo a hit in Las Vegas in recession hit 2009, just imagine how good it’s going to be in 2010 when we’re starting to come out the other side, and beyond. Samantha Loveday Samantha.Loveday@intentmedia.co.uk
by Samantha Loveday AFTER MONTHS of speculation about its future, Entertainment Rights now has a new owner, after Boomerang Media acquired it last month along with subsidiaries Classic Media and Big Idea. Boomerang was formed to acquire and manage IP across all media by Eric Ellenbogen and John Engelman, in partnership with private equity firm GTCR. The duo founded Classic Media back in May 2000, before selling the company to ER in 2007. The acquisition is the first major transaction for the group, which in partnership with GTCR is planning to invest up to $200m in equity capital to build leading franchises. “John and Eric have exceptional track records in entertainment, not to mention a history with most of the
company’s leading brands,” said Deborah Dugan, CEO and president of ER. “Backed by GTCR’s successful history of building industry leaders, the company is poised for its next phase of growth.” Ellenbogen added: “We’re happy to be back again with our friends and former colleagues at Classic Media, Big Idea (Veggie Tales) and now Entertainment Rights. With the support of GTCR we have the opportunity to build upon what we started here nine years ago.” The ER team was attending MipTV in Cannes when the news broke, showcasing new property Tinga Tinga Tales, plus Guess with Jess, feature length animated film Kung Fu Magoo and new series Casper’s Scare School. ER: 020 8762 6200
Chapman takes back Fifi licensing THE LICENSING rights for hit pre-school show Fifi and the Flowertots will revert back to Chapman Entertainment from May. Target Entertainment Group had represented the property since 2004, signing over 50 licensing deals in the UK and selling the series to broadcasters in over 162 territories. TEG will continue to handle the brand in terms of international TV sales. “We have had tremendous success licensing Fifi and the Flowertots and have been instrumental in supporting Chapman to help build the brand,” commented Helen Howells, global brand director at TEG. “We’ll be sad to say goodbye to Fifi but appreciate now is a good time for Chapman to take over managing the property in-house.” Target is due to reveal details about its own in-house brands later this year at Mipcom Junior. TEG: 0870 164 7474
WBCP eyeing super 2009
Puzzle specialist Jumbo Games has inked a new licence with Warner Bros Consumer Products to produce Harry Potter puzzles and brainteaser games. The new range will be launched this summer to coincide with the cinema release of Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince. Jumbo: 01707 289289
by Samantha Loveday
VIVID READIES ICARLY LINE
Justice League and The Gotham Girls, to name a fine few, DC Comics offers the broadest portfolio of iconic characters appealing to all age groups and genders. The potential for product development across all categories is vast.” Superheroes, believes Schwobthaler, are more appealing in the current economic climate and historically they have always done well in difficult times as consumers look to brands with a heritage that they can trust. “It is a combination of multiple factors [superheroes’ timeless
appeal],” he said. “Firstly, the focus by the owners of superhero properties to deliver a more compelling consumer proposition. “Secondly, the increased segmentation that has taken superheroes outside of the usual ‘toys for boys’ strategy, but has added new demographics, partners and product categories. We have worked with D&G on Batman and Superman, Armani partnered with WB for The Dark Knight and we are working with Diane von Furstenberg on Wonder Woman,” Schwobthaler concluded. WBCP: 020 7984 5563
Disney Princess aiming for the top in China DISNEY CONSUMER Products is looking to make Disney Princess the number one franchise for young girls in China and has a number of plans already in place. Guenther Hake, head of DCP in Greater China, believes that Disney Princess offers a great opportunity for the firm in the territory because of the brand heritage and the rich back catalogue of stories. “We felt that little girls in China still had so much more to explore with our Princesses,” Hake explained to sister title Licensing.biz.
IN BRIEF JUMBO PIECES TOGETHER POTTER DEAL
After success of The Dark Knight, plans are now afoot to maximise the DC Comics portfolio... WARNER BROS Consumer Products is looking to build on the success it enjoyed last year with Batman, focusing its attention on maximising the commercial potential of the superheroes within the DC Comics Universe. The Dark Knight was a major property for WBCP in 2008, and this year new TV series The Brave and the Bold will be arriving to feed consumer demand further. On top of this, the firm will be working up to DC Comics’ 75th anniversary in 2010, with plans already underway. “Our goal is to assert DC Comics as the home of the greatest superheroes across the whole of the EMEA region,” Bruno Schwobthaler, senior VP of sales and business development at WBCP EMEA said. “Led by Batman and including Superman, Wonder Woman, Green Lantern, Plastic Man, Supergirl,
“There is immense heritage with the property; Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs was the first animated feature to be shown in Shanghai in
1937 and our Princesses were only officially introduced to audiences in 2002,” he continued. “Our home entertainment group has a vault of wonderful Princess Classics that will be released as part of a platinum release schedule to allow little girls all over China to experience the stories on the small screen.” DCP has launched the biggest integrated franchise campaign ever in China for Disney Princess, supported by TV, DVD, publishing, online, music, live entertainment and retail concepts. DCP: 020 8222 1000
Vivid Imaginations is planning to launch its range of iCarly products this summer. The initial collection will include four and a half inch vinyl figures of Carly and her friends, which come with interchangeable fashions and accessories; iDoll Micros which clip onto a backpack; an iMicrophone that plays two tunes from the show; and an iWebplanner which enables fans to set a password to access secret storage compartments for photos, letters and stationery. More products will be released in the run up to Christmas. Vivid: 01483 449944
EGMONT ROLLS OUT PLAYHOUSE DISNEY TITLE Boasting an initial print run of 100,000, Egmont has launched Playhouse Disney. Aimed at two to four year olds, the title will draw heavily on content from the channel’s four main properties – Mickey Mouse Clubhouse, My Friends Tigger & Pooh, Handy Manny and Little Einsteins. Each issue will have an educational theme. Egmont: 020 7761 3500
WIZARD CONJURES UP BEANO DEAL A selection of well-known characters from The Beano and The Dandy have been licensed to Wizard Toys, which will be creating a line of Shrinkles products on behalf of DC Thomson. The print sheets can be coloured in, baked in the oven and shrunk in size, allowing the user to make the likes of key fobs, badges, figurines and fridge magnets. www.dcthomson.co.uk
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Full steam ahead
Since launching on BBC2 last September, Ludorum’s Chuggington property has already built up a healthy fan base. Now, with a consumer products programme ready to roll out in earnest, the company is aiming to grow its existing success even further. Samantha Loveday reports... FOR A brand which has only been on air for just over six months, Chuggington has certainly made its mark. A bit like its owner, Ludorum, which was only formed in 2006. But both company and brand are flying at the moment. Shortly after Ludorum was set up, the creative team started work on developing what it wanted to be a major 21st Century train-based property that had the potential to become a global franchise. Cbeebies came on board in 2007, with Chuggington airing on September 29th 2008 on BBC2 in the UK, followed by a launch onto Cbeebies on January 5th 2009. “Audience ratings have reached over 550,000 individuals on some days and in February, Chuggington was the number one show on Cbeebies 16 out of 22 days,” Julian Day, Ludorum’s VP of UK licensing tells ToyNews. “The show is the third highest rating series on Cbeebies since the channel began.” Ludorum is now aiming to repeat this success across the globe. As of April 8th, Chuggington has launched in six countries – Germany, Australia, Canada, France and Ireland (as well as the UK) – however the series has sold to 145 territories worldwide and will arrive in almost all of them throughout the course of the year. Day continues: “The early ratings demonstrate that the show has been
as successful in the three foreign language markets which we are airing in, as it is in English speaking countries. We are looking forward to Chuggington’s launch into Japan following the multi-rights agreement we’ve just signed with Fuji Television Network. Chuggington is the first new western property that Fuji have acquired for over ten years, which is a great achievement and underlines the international appeal of the brand.”
DVD sales, with the first title notching up week one sales of 13,187 when it was launched at the end of March, making it the highest new entry for that week. Of course, getting Chuggington established as a property is only half the battle; Ludorum now has the task of keeping its profile high in what is a particularly challenging sector of the market. “We’re story arching and scripting series two, which will be another 26 x
2010 through to 2012 will see a significant roll out of product across all categories of toy and licensed rights including a major publishing programme. Julian Day, VP of UK Licensing, Ludorum Now it’s established on screen, the next step for Chuggington is, of course, the licensing programme. Ludorum has already got several key partners in place – RC2, Character World, Aykroyd & Sons, Halsall and Gemma International – while it has also been building a strong network of international agents to support and manage the brand globally. Ludorum is now eyeing up the interactive and live events areas. A good indicator of consumer reaction to Chuggington has been the
ten-minute episodes for delivery in early 2010,” says Day, “and we’re currently considering how the series can develop through to series three, which is posted for delivery in 2011. New character developments are underway and we will also be building out the Chuggington World. “2010 through to 2012 will see a significant roll out of product across all categories of toy and licensed rights including a major publishing programme. Crucially, we are committing in excess of $2.5 million
to a major online programme which will see the launch of a fully interactive Chuggington virtual world. This will be a very important companion piece to the television series and to the overall enjoyment of the Chuggington experience.” Plenty to keep the Ludorum team busy going forward, then, but Day is confident that all their hard work will pay off; in five years time he wants Chuggington to be seen as “a major global franchise that has successfully raised the bar in every aspect of the property and to have a show that will continue finding new audiences for a long period of time”. Day believes that Chuggington can go on to join that elite group of evergreen brands, but he knows there will be hard work on the way and that it needs considerable investment in the best creative people and commercial partners. “We hope the show can make a very strong connection with its audience and [it can be an evergreen] because it has been created to offer entertainment and social values that are universal, but above all very well executed. “Competition means we have to continue raising the bar on everything we are offering our audience through this property and our audience and parents must be able to recognise this,” Day concludes. MAY 2009
LICENSING US EXPO PREVIEW
The Vegas Years This year’s Licensing International Expo has been the subject of many column inches since the move to Las Vegas was revealed last year. But it’s more than just the venue which has changed. Samantha Loveday finds out more from Advanstar’s executive VP Georgiann Decenzo about the many new features which have been packed in... SINCE ADVANSTAR confirmed that Licensing International Expo would be moving from New York to Las Vegas, I’ve written countless words on the subject. Opinions have been mixed from the start, but, having seen the plans for the show when the Advanstar US team came to London recently, it’s evident they’ve gone all out to silence the doubters. Las Vegas is the trade show capital – indeed it hosts a number of the largest expos in the world – and, with the current economic situation on the minds of many, it could be argued that the intrigue over the new venue has made the show even more ‘must attend’ than usual this year. In 2008, approximately 25,000 visitors from more than 82 countries headed to the expo to see 600 exhibitors and over 6,000 properties. Advanstar Communication’s executive VP Georgiann Decenzo is confident the 2009 event will be just as successful. “[Registration numbers] change on a weekly basis, but right now we have over 85 new exhibitors who have signed on for the show and we are expecting over 500 exhibitors in total,” she tells ToyNews. “Our show floor will be made up of 20 per cent new exhibitors this year.” And these new firms come from a variety of sectors, too – Nintendo, FitzRoy Media, Liverpool Football Club, Electronic Arts and Konami to name just a few. Plus, many of the major exhibitors you would expect to see are also returning, including Fox Studios, Universal, Mattel, Hasbro, Nickelodeon and Disney. “We are delighted by the fact that so many of our top tier companies who are the face of Licensing Show are returning this year despite economic hard times,” says Decenzo. “And that fact that we have so many new exhibitors excites us as well. This year’s show promises to serve as a barometer of consumer sentiment MAY 2009
If you are involved in the licensing business, or considering getting into it, you have to be at Licensing International Expo. This market is worth $191 billion at retail globally. Georgiann Decenzo, Advanstar moving forward and we are encouraged by the buzz surrounding so many of the exhibitors going in.” The move to Vegas has also enabled Decenzo and her team to pack in a variety of new features – including daily runway shows, screening suites and an improved interactive area – by investing the money they’ve saved on costs back into the event. “Las Vegas is the trade show capital, they cater to the show and
the exhibitor’s needs,” Decenzo concludes. “New York is the capital for many things; trade shows is not one of them. “Nowhere else in the world can you find the hottest properties and brands of 2010 and beyond under one roof and we look forward to what this year’s show will uncover.” For further details on Licensing International 2009, head to the official website at www.licensingexpo.com.
BLE 2009 IN VEGAS This year, the Brand Licensing Europe team will be out in force at Licensing International Expo, supporting its US sister show as it makes its debut in Vegas and promoting the global marketing and exposure opportunities offered by both shows. Of course, the team will also be lavishing attention on its exhibitors and members of the newly-launched Global Partner Programme, including the likes of 4 Kids Entertainment, BBC Worldwide Licensing, The Beanstalk Group, Hit Entertainment, ITV Global Entertainment, Lego Group, MGL, Preziosi Group, Rainbow SpA, 20th Century Fox and Vicki Thomas Associates. The team will also be hosting its much-loved annual Brand Licensing Europe party. For more information about Brand Licensing Europe or to meet up with the team in Vegas, contact event manager Jon Gibson on +44 8956 2663.
US EXPO PREVIEW LICENSING
WHAT ARE YOU MOST LOOKING FORWARD TO ABOUT THIS YEAR’S SHOW?
“I’m looking forward to Licensing International because - if the fairs are anything to go by - the mood will be industrious and focused. We know we’re facing difficult times, but this serves to make licensors, licensees and retailers more creative and resourceful than ever before.” Clare Piggott, VP Consumer Products, Nickelodeon UK “I’m really looking forward to presenting latest developments on our key brands on the international licensing stage. The show provides us with a platform to communicate all our key messages, I’m confident it’s going to be great for the business.” Bruno Schwobthaler, SVP Sales & Business Development, WBCP EMEA “I’m looking forward to it; to creating a buzz with our very own Vegas-style brands such as the glamorous Strictly Come Dancing (known internationally as Dancing with the Stars) and the wild abandon and adventure of Lonely Planet. The expo is well respected and vital in terms of us securing innovative new global deals, but I hope we’re able to experience both the business and pleasure sides of the trip.” Neil Ross Russell, MD, Children’s & Licensing, BBC Worldwide “I’m most looking forward to what the new venue can bring to the show, attracting new visitors and potential opportunities for our brands. Timmy Time, Wallace & Gromit and Shaun the Sheep are the key focus, but we will also be introducing new characters and shows that the studio is working on.” Helen Neno, Aardman Animations
“From Rainbow’s point of view, we believe the show will be a good opportunity for the industry to re-group and move forward positively and, as a Las Vegas virgin, I’m looking forward to visiting this amazing place.” David Scott, Managing Director, Rainbow Productions “I’m looking forward to seeing the reaction of licensing partners to our new approaches to family favourites such as Coronation Street, Thunderbirds, Emmerdale, Carry On, I’m A Celebrity and Dancing on Ice. Plus, I can’t wait to share more good news on Bella Sara.” Aysha Kidwai, Director of Merchandising & Licensing Worldwide, ITV Global “Vegas is full of firsts for us, all of which we are very excited about; our first major outing as E1 Licensing, our first time exhibiting at the US show and, of course, our first opportunity to hit the Las Vegas strip.” Andrew Carley, Head of Licensing & Merchandising, E1 “Licensing International will offer us an opportunity to showcase our successful brands to an international audience. I expect the mood to be positive and forward looking.” Mark Hurry, Director of Legal and Commercial Affairs, PPC “We are looking forward to sharing the new developments on all our key properties – Mr Men and Little Miss, Noddy, Olivia, Paddington Bear and The World of Eric Carle – with trade partners from all over the world.” Bettina Kockeler, VP, Licensing Sales, UK & EMEA, Chorion
“This is an adventure in many ways with a very serious underlying purpose and, for the first time in many years, a level playing field is offered in terms of location logistical insight.” Stephen Gould, Senior Consultant, RDF Rights
“I’m really looking forward to meeting up with some of the key licensees who are currently hunting down a licence for Platinum Films’ hit show Planet Cook. As the TV series features a lot of magic ‘adventure dust’ being sprinkled, there is no better place than glitzy Planet Vegas to announce the appointment of Performance Brands as the worldwide licensing agent for Planet Cook.” Mike Clark, Performance Brands
“Licensing International Expo is important for us as a company in order to meet both new and existing international agents and distributors – a big focus for us at the show is on Latin America.” Valerie Fry, Director of Licensing, Chapman Entertainment
“I am looking forward to going to Las Vegas as I think the venue will create a new dynamic for the Expo. The show provides a great opportunity for the FME licensing team from around the globe to meet with current and prospective clients, and with each other.” Lucy McCredie, Interim VP Brand Licensing & Retail, FremantleMedia Enterprises
“In a nutshell, working with partners old and new on our top TV shows Dinosaur King, Chaotic and Yu Gi Oh, all successful shows with high performing trading card games and toys which target different demographics.” Sandra Vauthier-Cellier, Managing Director, 4Kids Entertainment “Having the show and a large number of attendees staying under one roof will make partying, sorry, I mean holding meetings so much easier and the joys of trying to find a NYC cab within a five mile radius of the Javits will not be missed.” Tim Juckes, Category Director, CPLG “I’m looking forward to seeing if the knowledgeable and courteous nature of New York cab drivers extends as far as Vegas.” Rob Corney, Managing Director, Bulldog Licensing
“I’m excited about the new venue despite the fact that the Javits is about five minutes from my office. It’s a great chance to meet current and new Thumb Wrestling Federation licensees in one location.” Larry Schwarz, TWF “I see it as a good opportunity to share experiences from around the world and how licensing is helping all those involved in this sector to, at least partially, hedge the economic downturn.” Hakan Durdag, ELC “Everyone being in one place during the day and in the bar at night.” Morten Geschwendtner, Kidz Ent/EEMC “I’m looking forward to seeing, first hand, the buzz and sense of great anticipation that the new location is undoubtedly creating manifest itself in what is an utterly reinvigorated show.” Keith Pashley, Managing Director, The Keith Pashley Project
#1 UK TOY PROPERTY! #1 SHOW ON CARTOON NETWORK 49 episodes created, additional episodes in development LIVE ACTION MOVIE BEN 10 ALIEN SWARM DUE NOVEMBER 2009 VISIT TURNER CN ENTERPRISES AT THE LICENSING SHOW, LAS VEGAS STAND #2426
For more information please contact: Jenny Brown firstname.lastname@example.org +44 (0) 207 693 0993 *NPD March 2009
Don’t miss your chance to win an in-store visit from Humungousaur – he will be ready for action, saving the world, oh and entertaining hoards of excited children… Win the chance to have a Humungousaur costume character meet and greet customers in your store! Go full force with Ben 10 Alien Force’s most powerful alien.
The mighty Humungousaur is a firm favourite with fans of the no. 1 show on Cartoon Network Ben 10 Alien Force. Kids will be making a beeline towards this massive alien on your shop floor if you can answer the following question:
Question: Which alien can increase in both body mass and size? Options: 1) Swampfire 2) Spidermonkey 3) Humungousaur The winning retailer will get to choose which lucky UK store will benefit from the increased footfall and consumer frenzy created by the entertaining appearance of a giant Humungousaur costume character handing out freebies for one day in-store between July and December.
The costume will be managed by specialist costume character company Rainbow Productions and will be handing out Ben 10 Alien Force stickers and tattoos to kids. Artwork can also be provided for posters and instore promotions - so enter now for your chance to win!
Answer the question correctly – send your answer, name, company name & address to email@example.com by May 31st 2009
TM & © 2009 CARTOON NETWORK. © Spin Master LTD/Sega Toys. BAKUGAN and BATTLE BRAWLERS and all related titles, logos, and characters are trademarks of Spin Master LTD. All Rights Reserved. Nelvana is a trademark of Nelvana Limited.
THE SECRET SATURDAYS™
FOCUS INDEPENDENT RETAIL
Staying alive It was only just over a year ago when the independent retail sector was in disarray following the closure of Youngsters. For many, the future was looking decidedly bleak. Fast forward 12 months, however, and things are starting to look a lot more positive. Optimistic even. Ronnie Dungan talked to retailers and suppliers to find out the current state of play for independent stores… WHO COULD have foretold that in these most difficult of times, when jobs are under threat, banks are being propped up by tax-payers’ money and even TV chefs are on their uppers, that it would be independent toy retailers that would be thriving? Even allowing for the fact that toys tend to weather the rough seas of a recession better than many luxury products, at a time when consumers are more price-driven than ever, who would have given the indies much of a chance against the majors who were keen to discount toys to drive footfall and sales of grocery items? In a recession that even seasoned analysts are struggling to make sense of, few would have forecast a positive result for any independent retail sector, let alone toys. But the disappearance of Woolies has transformed the toy retail landscape and with it, the fortunes of many independents that had hitherto struggled. Supermarkets are not devoting more space to toys so the indies are picking up the business. All of a sudden, a sector that has been in decline for some years, has a real chance to thrive again. TRA chairman Gary Grant believes it is the product profile that was particular to Woolworths that the indies have been able to capitalise on. “For the average low-priced Woolies purchase, people are not going to Toys R Us for that amount of spend,” he says. “Sure, TRU is primed to pick up the Christmas and gift shop and as for Argos, well they can’t cope with the collectible business, but they’re great if you want a Fisher-Price garage. “There are elements of the business where the independents are best-placed to achieve sales. Batman, Ben 10, Crazy Bones and so on, that’s where the indies pick up business.” MAY 2009
There are elements of the business where the independents are bestplaced to achieve sales. Batman, Ben 10, Crazy Bones and so on, that’s where the indies pick up business. Gary Grant, The Entertainer Duncan Conner MD of Bus Stop Toy Shop in Larg, Scotland has seen a noticeable upswing in sales since the demise of the retail chain. “We’re only in year three and prior to the closure of our local Woolworths, we were running at around a 30 per cent improvement on year two. That’s increased to around 60 per cent in the first three months
of the year, so it would be fair to say that Woolworths’ closure has added around 30 per cent to our turnover, so far. I should point out that we’re a very small business and that this doesn’t represent any vast sum of money in January and February. “The school Easter holiday will provide a good yardstick as to whether the growth will be
maintained. It’s hard to imagine that the growth won’t continue in the medium to long-term – the loss of Woolworths has left us with a 20-mile radius with no other shop selling a significant amount of toys.” Alan Caswell from The Arcade Toy Shops in Dudley, adds: “We are slightly ahead of last year and are getting asked for lots of items that we no longer stock because of the likes of Woolworths, perhaps it’s time to restock certain items again.” On the supplier side, the positivity towards the indies is echoed by Jumbo MD Gray Richmond, who says: “We have had a very strong start to the year with the indies, the best we have seen for many years. Without doubt they are benefitting
FOCUS INDEPENDENT RETAIL
I believe the independent sector needs to maximise its locations on the High Street and be perceived to offer the ‘value’ that Woolies offered. Michael Halpern, Mega Brands
from Woolies demise and it seems as though they are really gaining some momentum. Toymaster, in particular seems to be really taking advantage of the current climate.” Graham Canning, sales director at VTech, has seen a rise in sales of between 10 and 15 per cent with his indie accounts. But is all this a mere blip or can the independents really hold the ground they have taken this year? What do the specialists need to do to reinforce their position and ensure they keep this extra business? “Make sure their presence is known to consumers in the towns and areas that had Woolworths stores. Make sure they are in stock on key lines and there is depth of range in their stores,” says Canning. “I believe the independent sector need to maximise their locations on the High Street and be perceived to offer the ‘value’ that Woolies offered,” says Michael Halpern, national accounts controller at Mega Brands. “This needs to be coordinated if possible through the buying groups. I am sure many suppliers would be willing to help.” For Mike Walls, sales director at Halsall, it’s in-store where the battle is won or lost for the indies: “We would wish to see the Indies being more proactive in marketing and driving their business. Visiting their stores needs to be habitual for families. They need to reinforce this as a good thing. The store needs to be exciting for a kid and offer value for money to the parent.” This shift in the balance of toy retailing has proved to be good news for certain suppliers which are seeing
their products exposed to a range of new customers. “Flair, Galt, Trends, Ravensburger and DKL are all doing well,” says Gary Grant. “And in many cases the Woolies customers are being exposed to their products for the first time. “The ranges that Woolies were strongest at, are the ones the indies will pick up. The indies have got great product knowledge.” And the other thing the majority of indies now have is terrific buying group support from Toymaster and AIS: Extremely efficient organisations which make it possible for many indies to survive when they might not have otherwise. A lot of retailers find it impossible to run their business without them. But it is horses for courses and not all retailers are fans. Some prefer being able to run their businesses totally autonomously. “A group makes you lazy,” says Arcade’s Alan Caswell, a former Youngsters member. “I have enjoyed getting back to the basic skills of negotiations and choosing carefully what to buy and who to deal with.” “We are proudly, totally, independent,” echoes Bus Stop’s Duncan Conner. “As times gets tougher, the simple principles of running small retail businesses are amplified. Those indies that survive will be the ones that control outgoings and buy smart.” It was ever the case. But the upheavals of the last few months have given many toy independents the opportunity to do more than more than merely hang on. For the first time in a long time they now have the opportunity to thrive. MAY 2009
Hit the North The trade is off to Harrogate’s Majestic Hotel again for the Toymaster gathering, open to all independent retailers and this year extended to include a model and hobby section. ToyNews has the low-down. Oh, and don’t forget your Viking helmet… MATTEL 01628 500000 Mattel will showcase its new autumn/winter ranges at this year’s show including the new Waybuloo line based on the forthcoming CBeebies show. Barbie will introduce a range of feature character dolls and plush from the upcoming animated action movie Barbie & The Musketeers. Also available will be a new version of Barbie’s Camper and the Shower & Show Horse and Doggie Park. Plus the Polly Pocket Rollercoaster Hotel , a new range of High School Musical mini character dolls, the Baby Sneezes doll from My Baby and the new Disney Princess doll line. In boys, a popular theme returns to Hot Wheels with the Shark Bite Bay track set, and this will feature alongside the Colour Shifters Garage. From Matchbox. There is also big news in the form of Rocky the Robot Truck. Fisher-Price introduces the colourful Pink Bounce n Spin Zebra presenting a new take on the item and new infant block range, Stack n Surprise as well as revealing news from electronics range Kid Tough. From Radica, U-Create enables kids to be their own music producer, while a raft of new games launches including Pictionary Man and My First Mr Men Scrabble will also be showcased.
follow on from last year’s Clone Trooper Helmet. Marvel’s fan-favourites Wolverine, Super Hero Squad, Iron Man and Spider-man – will also get brand support as the new animation launches. Centre stage for games is taken by Hasbro’s Family Games Night In initiative, scheduled for mid-September to midOctober. For Hasbro’s pre-school brands, Playskool, Clipo and Play-Doh will be revealing new lines. The company will also feature the introduction of Time to Sleep Iggle Piggle from the In the Night Garden series. Biscuit My Lovin’ Pup, will be back with a host of FurReal friends, and joining them in the girls portfolio will be new products from My Little Pony, Littlest Pet Shop and Baby Alive. At the show, Hasbro will be launching Orders Direct, a new initiative for UK Toymaster members. Following its launch in Ireland, the dedicated personal telephone service will be developed to support and enhance the work of the UK key account managers.
BANDAI 01489 790944 Bandai will be showing a full range of products across its key brands including Power Rangers, Pokémon, Tamagotchi, and Ben 10. Also on show are three new brands aimed at different sectors of the girls market. Star Friends is a large multi-function doll with virtual pet interaction. Key Tweens is a new mini doll range with play-sets and Harumika is the latest fashion, arts and craft toy.
The full range of products will be exhibited including the extended ranges of Moon Sand and Tech Deck, and the new art and craft additions of Paperoni, Bendaroos and Glo Doodle.
LEGO 01753 495000
Wonder Pets and Cars), construction brand Pro Builder, transforming Neo Machines, TV-advertised Streetz and Magnext as well as Battle Strikers. The company’s Mattel DI offering encompasses brands such as Toy Story, Hot Wheels, Dora and Fisher-Price – Infant, Laugh n Learn, Pre-School and Little People. The Hasbro FOB selection will offer Transformers, Star Wars, Play Skool and MB Games. There will also be opportunities on Tomy’s FOB range across Teletubbies, Thomas and Tomy’s preschool items. The new Digital Blue range of digital cameras and MP3 players includes licences such as High School Musical, Hannah Montana, Disney Princess, Cars and, launching at the show, Lego. The Grosvenor collection offers licensed toys with bubble bath, shower gel and body glitter. Licences include ITNG, Toy Story, Transformers, High School Musical and Hannah Montana. Grosvenor also offers Tooth Tunes. AMAV creative arts and crafts merchandise will include the new range of Eco-Craft Kits, a comprehensive range of Funbricks and other craft items.
SPIN MASTER 08708 508408
HASBRO 020 8569 1234 The Hasbro stand can be found on the stage in the Ballroom. The boys ranges will feature new offerings from Star Wars, Marvel, GI Joe and Transformers. Hasbro has worked with Toymaster to create window kits for 250 stores on June 22nd, to support the launch of the Transformers movie range in time for the release of Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen on June 26th. The firm will also be focusing on the launch of the new GI Joe toy range, based on the new movie set for release on August 14th. The Star Wars brand is this year being driven by the Star Wars: Clone Wars animated series. The new range of figures, vehicles and role-play sets will
HALSALL 01253 778888 Halsall will once again have many of the industry’s biggest brands on its stand this year, as well as some top-selling everyday lines. Special product and price promotions will also be available. With distribution rights on a portfolio of branded merchandise, the company will be showing a new selection of Mega Brands products, including Mega Bloks, licensed Mega Bloks (Dora the Explorer,
Spin Master will use Bakugan as its main showcase at the Toymaster show. Following a start to the year which has seen both TV show ratings and consumer sales rising, Bakugan also became the UK top toy of 2009. Triple winner in the US of the prestigious Toy Of The Year, Boys TOTY and Property of the Year, Bakugan has now been confirmed in the UK as the number one new property of the year to date (NPD) and entered the Top 20 properties list for 2009 for the UK (NPD).
Power Miners is a new IP from Lego, created to combine fantasy role-play with Lego building. Each of the six vehicle sets is packed with action features including the opportunity to create different models within the larger sets. Lego Star Wars has become the second biggest franchise for Lego UK. 2009 celebrates its tenth anniversary with special edition sets including the Darth Vadar TIE Fighter. The universe has expanded with the introduction of new models based on the Star Wars: The Clone Wars CGI series.
Lego Indiana Jones showcases a range of play-sets in 2009 depicting scenes taken from the three classic original movies and sets based on more recent film The Kingdom of The Crystal Skull. Fight on the Flying Wing and Shanghai Chase sets are available at launch, with further products, including Temple of Doom Play-set, introduced from August. Bionicle enters its ninth year in 2009 and the new storyline introduces new characters, the Glatorians. The Bionicle action figures offer a unique building experience, distinct character and design, high-tech features and weapons featuring firing ammunition. Lego City continues to offer boys aged five-plus classic themes. Offering multiple details, the new Construction and Farm themes introduce children to a realistic role-play experience. New to the Lego Technic range are the Bulldozer, Tractor, Go-Cart, Rally Truck, Hauler and Quad Bike. Each has instructions for secondary models and can be powered by the range’s power functions, including gears, cross-axles, motor, battery box and cable.
VIVID IMAGINATIONS 01483 449944
MEGA BRANDS 01253 775629 Mega Brands will take a section of the Halsall stand at the Toymaster event. Not only will Mega have a large range on show, it will also be offering retailers promotions on both the MagNext range and Battle Strikers – the new take on the classic spinning top toy. Battle Strikers was first unveiled at London Toy Fair in January aided by Britain’s Got Talent winner and street dancer, George Sampson. Not only did George spin and move like a Battle Striker, he also played with the magnetic, controllable and customisable toys during his three-hour stint on Mega’s stand – admitting ‘I’m lovin’ it’ in a TV interview. Special collectible packs and tournament sets will be on offer within the range, will it is anticipated that the collectability, customisation and tournament-play features will further drive the interest of boys aged from eight to 12. A heavyweight TV campaign and PR activity will surround the launch.
CHARACTER OPTIONS 0161 633 9800 The HM Armed Forces collection will be joined by Peppa Pig and Postman Pat for pre-schoolers, Hannah Montana and High School Musical for tweens and the Let’s Cook Range for girls and boys aged five and over. After months of preparation, by the time members arrive at the show, the HM Forces range will be on sale and the consumer marketing underway. This collection represents Character’s largest-ever undertaking and there is extensive product development in the pipeline. Joining the action figures and vehicles will be role-play and outdoor equipment. Alternatively, a range of pre-school licensed toys are also available with the Postman Pat Special Delivery Service collection and Peppa Pig’s Princess Peppa’s Palace and Sir George and the Dragon play-set. Continuing the licensed theme, Hannah Montana and High School Musical see new musically inspired lines. New to the HSM range is the Stage Star Amplifier Microphone, while the Hannah Montana range will include electric key boards, guitars and more. The Let’s Cook Collection allows kids to make smoothies and ice-lollies with the Fruit Factory, mini cakes with the Fondant Cake Bakery and sweets with the new Sweet Boutique range.
Vivid’s new boys brand Dinosaur King has enjoyed a strong start to the year and with GMTV and Jetix programming until December, this looks set to continue. The Card Swiper and two-pack figures continue to be the key volume drivers. In October, Disney’s 3D release of Toy Story hits cinemas and members will be able to buy Vivid’s toy range at the show. Toymaster’s Star Trek movie toy promotion should be in-store while the show is on. The key item is the Starship Enterprise and the Bridge Play-set. Animagic’s big success from last Christmas, Honey My Baby Pony, is joined by Peanut the Puppy and Smudge the Kitten in a TV-advertising push in autumn. Also new for autumn is the CBeebies show, Timmy Time, which will have a full toy line supporting, in-store from July the range will have TV support on key lines Night-Night Timmy and Timmy’s Nursery Play-set. Key Crayola items at the show will be new autumn TVadvertised 3-in1 Sticker Studio, Design-A-Bag and Glow Station while perennials Illumination Station, Spinaroo and Doodle Daisy will continue to be supported.
MARTIN YAFFE 01706 717800 Born to Play will exhibit products from its spring/summer and autumn/winter ranges at the show, with the main focus on the autumn/winter lines. Spring/summer products include the Thomas & Friends Sand and Water Depot, Ben 10 Inflatable Chair and the In the Night Garden Boat Rocker, which is a replica of Igglepiggle’s boat. Key autumn/winter products include the Bob the Builder Splasher Play-set with figures, the TV-advertised Fireman Sam Activity Fire Station, Fireman Sam JupiterRide-on with sound helmet and Friction Jupiter with Lights and Sounds, and the HSM Hairdryer and Popcorn Maker. Products from new master toy licences Pinky and Perky and Harry and Toto will also be on display along with key plush, plastic and inflatable lines from existing licences Bob the Builder, Fireman Sam, Little Princess, Thomas and In the Night Garden. Furniture including the new Character Stools will also be on display from a range of licences including Disney Princess, In the Night Garden, Dora the Explorer and Thomas and Friends.
VTECH 01235 555545 VTech’s stand will be three times as large as last year. The firm is expanding V.Smile with V.Smile Motion, the educational games console with wireless motion controller. V.Smile Motion teaches spelling, languages and maths.
The gaming system features properties like Dora the Explorer and Thomas & Friends. Kidizoom Pro builds upon Kidizoom to offer ages five-plus a Multimedia Digital Camera with a two mega pixel camera with 2x zoom and storage for 500 images. Features video function, MP3 player, games, SD card-slot for memory expansion, dual viewfinder, durable design, changeable face-plates and instant mode selector. View your pictures on-the-go with new Kidilook. Transfer photos from Kidizoom or connect it to a PC via USB to upload pictures. Motion sensor activates random picture mode. Stores up to 100 pictures. Animal Fun is new to VTech Baby.
Five products are being launched including Baby Bounce Time Turtle, a motion sensitive turtle. This character asks toddlers to find colours, numbers and shapes by bouncing. Baby Bounce and Ride Giraffe is an LCD screen with light-up animal buttons, introducing letters, numbers, animals and objects. Featuring melodies that increase in tempo as they pedal faster, rewarding phrases, interactive activities and singalong songs. My First Light Up Camera is a pretend camera with viewfinder window and lightup LED display teaching numbers and objects through two modes of play.
MECCANO 01844 278888 The most recent robot in the Spykee family is Mini Vox, a voice controlled robot, with eight voice orders including movement, dance and attack. Mini Vox makes multicolour facial expressions and is suitable for age seven and over. New to the UK are Meccano’s Micro Kits. Four models – a bi-plane, racer, helicopter and F1 car – are offered as a 12-piece assortment together with counter display unit. Suitable for eight years plus. Also new is the Metal Robot Assortment, sets to build mini and large robots. Packed in a tin, these robots are suitable for children aged eight-plus. Meccano’s Design vehicle construction sets are suitable for boys aged eight-plus. The new Design RC Concept Car contains parts to build three vehicles and is set for release this year. The pack includes a remote control with all functions. Meccano’s Tuning RC Carbon Style Car uses a nuts and bolts construction system based on new parts in flexible metal for children eight and over. Features R/C system and parts for three
models. Feature light and sound systems with special effects and a choice of rock or R ‘n’ B music. Encouraging dexterity and problem solving in kids aged four-plus, the Build and Play range features flexible and rigid parts. Latest editions include a Tractor, Helicopter and Bug Car, which each make multiple vehicles and characters.
LEAPFROG 01702 200244 My Pal Scout is a plush puppy fusing learning and playtime for kids aged 12 months plus. The puppy uses technology to become a child’s personal customisable learning friend. By connecting the toy to the internet, parents can download their child’s name, favourite colour, animal, foods, songs and activities. Four active paw triggers allow the variety of experiences to be played back introducing babies to numbers, letters, emotional skills and daily routines. My Pal Scout will help develop social and communication skills. Available in green, My Pal Scout, and violet, My Pal Violet, the products link to the LeapFrog Learning Path and are the first products on the learning journey that continues with Tag Junior, Tag Reading System and Leapster2 Learning Game System.
RE:CREATION 0118 9736 222 Re:creation’s range of eco friendly toys Sprig is designed for the pre-school child and harnesses the natural kinetic energy of push and pump action play to generate lights and sounds – all without batteries. Made from Sprigwood, a child-safe biocomposite of recycled wood and reclaimed plastic, the Sprig range gets kids engaged in active, imaginative play. Suitable for age three-plus. Re:creation will be expanding its Horrid Henry toy range to include updated best sellers from 2008 plus new products including the TV-advertised Purple Hand Gang play set and a new range of Horrid Henry 5” action figures. Say it. Play it. Warp it. The Yada Yada Yada voice recorder can morph your voice with the warp dial. Record and play your voice, music or just about anything. Yada Yada Yada will be TV-advertised regularly throughout the year. Age seven plus. Zeebeez are explosive pocket sized toys. Another full year of TV ads in 2009, along with the launch of line extensions is hoped to continue its success.
WORLDS APART 0800 389 8591 Worlds Apart will have the Dream Town collection on show. With four role-play structures for autumn, including Crystal Castle, which has already been awarded a Best New Girls Toy accolade from the BTHA at Toy Fair, plus a new concept for boys called Gaskett’s Garage. Both structures have a range of accessories including a ride-on vehicle made of decorated MDF. Dream Town presents a safe yet innovative choice for the large priced items. Plus the range of accessories gives other friends and family the opportunity to contribute to the gift. Also on show will be the ReadyRoom range of bedroom furniture and accessories, which sees the introduction of Toy Story characters for autumn. Both ranges are to be supported by autumn TV-advertising and a PR campaign in the pre-Christmas selling period.
wings. There is a range of Sun Elves and Shadow Elves with two dwellings. The World of Knights includes knights on horseback, soldiers with axes, princesses and damsels in distress. There are battering rams, catapults and a Knights Castle. New for 2009, is Xarok, a knight on horseback with dagger raised
and waiting in the shadows, his latest opponent Zahor. Schleich also has a range of real life themes including Farm Life, Wild Life, Forest Life, Dinosaurs and the World of American Frontier. The company is also offering a time limited marketing initiative to new and existing retailers which includes subsidised shelving systems, a vendor managed inventory tool and point of sale marketing materials.
RC2 01271 336155 ESDEVIUM 01420 593 500 Chaotic integrates face-to-face gameplay with an online experience. With a series on Jetix, the TCG is being further supported with a TV campaign through Esdevium Games. Print activity running across older kids print media will feature alongside targeted PR. March also saw the launch of a UK localized version of ChaoticGame.com which allows players to play the game conventionally, and upload cards to virtual decks and battle online. Pokémon TCG saw a strong upward sales trend in early 2009. The second Platinum release, Rising Rivals, will be released in May in conjunction with a video game of the same name scheduled for May 22nd. Historically, video game tie-ins have driven strong performance for TCG, and Platinum has already performed well in territories it has been released in. Speciality board games continue in 2009, led by titles such as Carcassonne, Ticket To Ride, and The Settlers of Catan. Driven by word of mouth, the portfolio is experiencing sustained sales across a broad market. In addition, the Rocket heritage board game brands continues.
SCHLEICH 01279 870000 Schleich’s figures are modelled true-tonature and hand-painted. With three launches each year, there is a constant feed of characters and creatures to keep up with collector demand. The World of Elves with its fantasy figures sees the arrival three new Sun Elves; Sura on horseback, Yasira floating on a lily pad and Nimsay with golden
In 2009 Learning Curve launches the Thomas Wooden Railway System Talking Railway Series, which uses new Engine Recognition Technology to activate over 200 personalised phrases (when used with Talking Railway engines) from the Fat Controller at Talking Railway Series destinations. Each engine features a gold magnet connector to differentiate it from regular engines. They also include personalised gold name plates and Engine Recognition icons on their base and interact with the traditional engines by triggering non-personalised messages to enhance the play experience.
Disney’s Mickey Mouse Clubhouse. The company is also working on puzzles and games for Ice Age 3 and Toy Story. Amongst new Puzzleball designs will be the Historical World 540-piece and the 960-piece design The World, which won an award as one of the Best New Toys at Toy Fair 2009. Also, on show will be the Christmas themed 2D and 3D puzzles. Santa’s Christmas Supper 1000-piece Limited Edition puzzle is a richly illustrated design. The company hopes this will echo the success of its predecessors. Also on show will be the 60-piece Christmas Puzzleball and new for 2009, a children’s 200-piece puzzle entitled Santa’s Christmas Wonderland.
FLAIR 020 8643 0320 The latest addition to Sylvanian Families is the Sylvanian Caravan, designed to be towed by the Family Saloon Car. The retro styled holiday home has everything needed for a holiday. Also for autumn is the Marita May Pleasure Boat, an oldfashioned wooden boat which unfolds to create different decks and play areas. Gormiti Series 2, with the release of 35 new figures and play-sets, has raised enthusiasm for Gormiti again with record sales predicted for 2009, aided by TV series Atomic due for launch in summer. Flair’s creative play range sees the addition of the Disney Princess collection. Sparkling Tiaras and an Enchanted Jewellery Box are simple, mess-free kits requiring minimal adult. GX Racers are 1:64 scale cars, which achieve extreme speeds and perform unique stunts. The Tight Rope Terror Stunt Set, has a unique ability of travelling between tracks along a tight rope. New play-sets will be available from autumn, all with TV support.
RC2 will be launching two major Talking Railway launch deals at the show, offering over £180 and £100 of free stock respectively with three shelf strips and an interactive POS unit.
RAVENSBURGER 01869 363800 Ravensburger will showcase its range of puzzles, games and Christmas gift ideas at Toymaster. With sales thriving in the independent sector, the firm is confident that new introductions and existing ranges will maintain demand throughout 2009. Joining the children’s puzzle range will be new product designs based on TV series Wonder Pets, 3rd & Bird and
Plasticine has recently seen the launch of four new pocket money playsets for younger children to sculpt animals and vehicles. In addition, visit Flair’s stand for a special promotional offer.
HORNBY 01843 233500 The Cornish Pullman set recreates those days when travelling in the Pullman Cars was reserved for rich and famous. The locomotive and cars are in the traditional colours and the set includes an oval track with siding and a MidiMat. The City Industrial set includes a 4wheel locomotive, a selection of wagons plus a small coach. The oval of track with siding means wagons have to be shunted to and fro allowing them to be dropped off and picked up. The layout of both tracks can be extended by adding Hornby Track and Accessory Packs, available separately. The Digital Overdrive Scalextric system enables multi-car racing with lane changing, allowing multiple cars to race on any lane with the ability to block and overtake opponents. Digital Overdrive comes complete with two Ferrari F430 Super Resistant supercars, lane change track section, two hand throttles and digital powerbase. Street Mayhem is for the younger driver. At 1/64 scale, Micro Scalextric is an introduction to Scalextric. Street Mayhem offers two-car racing and comes with three street cars - Audi TT, Porsche Boxster and Nissan 350Z, Chicane and crossover crash zone track sections, two hand throttles and powerbase.
MV SPORTS 0121 748 8000 The In the Night Garden range is complemented by a My First multicharacter range. Also in pre-school are Thomas & Friends, Bob The Builder and Fireman Sam. Each wheeled range has something distinct and is backed with marketing and promotional support. An expanded Ben 10 range is offered for 2009 with the Alien Force line, including the Omnitrix Scooter, and a 3D effect Skateboard. Look out for TV campaigns on the Ben 10 Monster Scooter and Omnitrix Scooter. Transformers: The Revenge Of The Fallen launches this year and MV has developed a wheeled range, some of which feature lenticular graphics. The Barbie Beauty Secrets Range of wheeled toys and cosmetics will also be TV-advertised this summer and autumn. The firm will also expand its plush portfolio with Gogo’s Crazy Bones. The four-inch characters feature zipped pocket with two collectables. Six and eight-inch plush are also available in counter display units. The Goochicoo licence is a new concept in interactive dolls, combining nurturing play with a sense of fun. Each 16-inch doll has seven interactive features, and comes with a bright outfit and accessories.
DRUMOND PARK 01506 855577 Like the Rubik’s Cube, the new Rubik’s 360 requires skill, dexterity and logic. The object is to get the six coloured balls through two inner spheres to the matching coloured domes on the outer sphere where each is locked into place. Like the Cube, there is a knack, but it can take any number of tries and perseverance. Suitable for age eight-plus, launching July. Logo is a new family game for age 12plus, launching September. The game harnesses the corporate identities and brand images of many UK and international blue chip companies. The game features 500 question cards, ranging from full and part logo and product recognition, to questions about fictional brands featuring on soaps and questions under such headings as animals and relatives. Pig Goes Pop is for age four and over, and launches in September. The game requires kids to feed the pig with the requisite number of hamburgers on the throw of a dice. Eventually, the everexpanding pig will explode. His tail is then rewound and the next round commences.
GOLDEN BEAR 01952 671 338 The My 1st JCB collection will be extended to include lines based on the construction vehicles including the Mini JCB Pull Backs and sees the introduction of Freddie Fastrac also new to the talking range. New vehicles also include Elvis Excavator and Talking Max. The Peppa Pig range has grown to include new wooden products. The range will reflect themes from the series such as Grandpa Pig’s boat and train. Existing items continue including the Peppa Pig Bath Set, Step and Learn and the Peppa Pig Draw and Drive. The Thomas and Friends range continues and new character Victor will be introduced from summer. The Talking Thomas & Friends range remains. Golden Bear is also launching Shaun the Sheep gifts to complement the toy range. The collection will feature plush with message t-shirts and other gifts. Bouncing Lola is the new addition to the Charlie and Lola range. Bouncing Lola sees the character playing on a space hopper. Squeeze her foot and she moves around saying four phrases. The dolls and wooden ranges continue.
CORINTHIAN 01494 462640 Corinthian is the stand to visit if you’re looking for sub £10 ranges of collectables this year. The mainstay of the portfolio continues to be In My Pocket, with Puppy, Jungle and Pony figures. The Disney MicroWorld collection sees many of Disney’s favourite characters appear in miniature form across a number of figure packs, including Winnie the Pooh, Mickey
Mouse and WALL-E. Also on show will be the new Ben 10 Micros series, the interactive plush line SnugglePets, and a new collection of Stink Blasters figures.
plus In a Pickle and luck of the Draw, two American games. There is also Revelations, the game where the sins are revealed, but not the sinner.
ORCHARD TOYS 01953 859525 Orchard Toys manufactures all of its products in Britain using 100 per cent recycled board. The firm’s latest game Lucky Ducky is aimed at children four years and over. The youngest player starts by spinning the spinner, which shows numbers between one and ten. They then have to say whether they think the number on the face down duck will be higher or lower than the number indicated on the spinner. If they guess correctly, they get to keep that lucky ducky, if they don’t, it is returned to the pile. There are 40 ducks depicting brain surgeons, pirates, aviators and city gent ducks. This game will help develop early maths skills; colour and pattern matching skills and speaking and listening skills. The recently launched Great Britain and Ireland Map and Poster is for ages five to 11. As kids assemble the 150 pieces in this puzzle (88 x 61 cm) they will uncover lots of places, features, foods, animals and more. The puzzle comes with an even bigger poster (96 x 68 cm).
GREEN BOARD GAMES 01494 538999 Green Board Games will be showing its range of BrainBox games among others at the Toymaster Show. The BrainBox range has something for everyone with subjects like football, dinosaurs, the world and even a fun-filled maths version. Also the firm will launching a new product, Green Cards. These are playing cards manufactured using 50 per cent recycled pulp, printed using vegetable based inks and wearing the FSC mark. There will be a special offer for Toymaster customers who place an order at the show, details of which will be sent with invitations prior to the show, and Toymaster customers already receive a discount on all orders.
PAUL LAMOND 020 7254 0100 2009 marks the 25th anniversary of the Paul Lamond brand and to celebrate this, the company has launched a pre-school educational range under the Chimp and Zee brand 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 Cavophony, a game of noisy charades,
and has three new additions. Kits include the Weather Station, Potato Clock and Water Filter. There are many new items featuring in Great Gizmos’ portfolio this year including new additions to Pink Poppy, the accessories collection. This year at Toymaster, retailers will be supported by many offers across the portfolio.
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Family puzzle additions include Where’s Wally, Ale 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, while the McNaughty range is extended with Sexual Secrets and Legless joining the Paul Lamond veteran, Pass-Out.
The Toymaster show presents many retailers with their first opportunity to see what’s new from Treasure Trove in 2009. Aside from line extensions, this is the first time the firm will be exhibiting major brands Breyer and Safari at this show.
CASDON TOYS 01253 766411 New for 2009 will be a number of Casdon Classic creations. The Postman Pat Steering Wheel simulates driving Pat’s new modernised van. The toy features Pat’s voice and many sounds including horn, revving engine, gear change and braking, flashing indicators and the Special Delivery Service theme tune. Can be used at home or in the back of the car. Continuing its reputation of replicating the adult world, Casdon will also be revealing, The George Foreman Toy Grill. This includes an imitation side hot plate and comes with sizzling sounds and various pieces of play food. The real Foreman grills are known for draining fat from the food as it cooks. This functionality is simulated by the child pressing a large button and water dripping into the tray below, which is a patented feature. The firm’s new play food includes miniaturised food items, which allow children to simulate shopping and cooking experiences. They include recognisable Birds Eye and Baxters branded boxes and tins.
GREAT GIZMOS 01293 543221 The Power collection has two new themes joining the range, Power Lights and Power Circuits. Each kit introduces children to the principles of electronics through a range of projects. The new Kidzlabs Fun Mechanics kits include seven different projects and each shows children how to combine mechanisms to form working mechanical devices while discovering principles such as friction, forces and mechanics. The Green Science range in the Kidzlabs collection launched in 2008
The outdoor brand Explore and the activity brand Grow-a-Heads are also being shown for the first time. The new packaging look for the Quercetti brand will also be on show, along with seven new additions to the Sticky Mosaics line. The firm’s business director Elizabeth Nield points out: “We have products retailing below £5 in all areas of our range, ensuring a variety of year round sales options.” In addition, there is a five per cent discount on all orders placed at the show and discounts as high as 26 per cent on selected Breyer Horses, Sticky Mosaics and Bamboo Games products. Nield continues: “Treasure Trove is going all out this year to ensure retailers and consumers alike can get quality products they can afford from us. Sticky Mosaics is the must-have line from us this year. We have seen sales double in the last 12 months and this is sure to be a major category for us this autumn.”
JOHN CRANE 01604 774949 Ten new building blocks will tower at John Crane’s stand as the firm introduces Stack Up from Branching Out. The colourful stacking toy includes ten blocks, each featuring a number from one to ten and an image of a jungle character. The animals include a zebra, giraffe, dolphin, penguin, elephant, monkey, hippo, frog, lion and bear. The amount of animal characters on each block also denotes the number not only allowing for counting and ordering games, but ensuring mathematical vocabulary too. Any retailers who drop by the stand can also see some TOLO new additions, including the Silly Shapes Shape Sorter. This first shape sorter has alien-like cuddlies made from plush fabric.
BRAINSTORM 01200 445113 Brainstorm is the UK distributor of Smartlab. All kits include books to tie into the science behind each toy. Remote Control Rocket; Voice Changer Kit and The Double Security Sage are included in the range.
Three boxed sets join The Original Glowstars Company brand. Glow Superstars feature over 500 stars and shapes, the Glow Solar System Kit includes hundreds of stars and Glow Creations Draw and Glow Projector allow kids to create stickers and add glow in the dark highlights. The Glow 3D range adds new licences, Disney Tinkerbell and Barbie. Natural History Museum Earth Globe contains a modern globe and poster. Animal Detective is an animal spotting game with inflatable animal globe and 68 clue cards. The Tyrannosaurus Rex Scan looks at a dinosaur skeleton. Glow 3D Dinosaurs feature three styles. Each Zipbin comes with a toy and has zips allowing the chest to open into a playmat. Zipbins are available in three sizes and a variety of themes and shapes. The new line of Uncle Milton Star Wars science toys distributed in the UK and Republic of Ireland by Brainstorm includes The Force Trainer; The Optical Command Unit; The Darth Vader Robotic Arm kit; Naboo Sea Creatures Habitat; Jedi Telescope; Jedi Projector and The Mustafar Volcano Kit.
with images entitled War Time. Also new is a 1,000-piece puzzle called Seaside Antics from postcard artist Donald McGill. Jumbo has expanded its Peppa Pig range to include Peppa Pig Story Puzzle, Peppa Pig Bumper Pack and Peppa Pig electronic game. The portfolio of children’s licensed properties includes Mr Men, Fireman Sam, Teletubbies and Big and Small. Jumbo is distributing plush for the pre-school property, as well as puzzles and games. Puzzle Extra launched last year and new licences include Ben 10, Clone Wars and High School Musical and a new concept Puzzle Extra Mini’s. Jumbo has signed the licence for Harry Potter puzzles and games and will be launching the first products in July. It will be launching products for the next three movies. There will be three brainteaser games and three puzzle images. Meanwhile, the contents of I Learn has been developed in collaboration with teachers and educational theorists and has three ranges aimed at different ages.
JUMBO GAMES 01707 289289 Jumbo is launching six new adult puzzles. New puzzles from the vintage Ladybird books and illustrations including a 1,000piece puzzle and two 500-piece products
IMC Toys will have on show a crosssection of its licensed product range which is split into four main categories including action toys, pre-school, games and arts and crafts Action toys feature Ben 10 Walkie Talkies and Laser sets, Power Rangers Jungle Fury Mega Laser Set and the TVadvertised Intercom Mask, plus Spiderman and Toy Story R/C vehicles. The pre-school category includes Winnie the Pooh and Mickey Clubhouse electronic musical items all with easy to use learning. The games offering includes Ben 10 and Clone Wars licensed items including Guessing Games, Clone Wars Cruiser Attack and the popular electronic RepaiR2 D2. Arts and Crafts includes Ben 10 and Clone Wars licensed Drawing Projectors, while Magnetic Boards will be on show alongside the new Tattoo and Sticker machines in both licences.
MAPS TOYS 01483 776006 Following on from the success of the Build-it with Bob and Squashblox construction sets, Maps Toys continues its theme of construction, educational and craft toys with the launch of five new ranges at the Toymaster show. Yummy Dough is a baking mix which can be moulded and eaten cooked or raw. The dough feels just like regular modelling clay and is easily shaped and moulded. With a cookie mixture taste, Yummy Dough combines creativity and cooking. Safe and made from high quality ingredients. Magic Fish kits let you hatch and then care for a family of ornamental fish. My Little Sandbox are themed play-sets
INTERPLAY 01628 488944 Girls’ science, Technokits and a collection for boys will all be high on the agenda for visitors to the Interplay stand. The Girls’ Wild Science kits will be supported with new ads for Luxury Soap Science. The range delivers educational play to girls aged seven to 12 mixing aroma science with creativity as they learn how to make fizzy bath bombs, designer soaps, scents and Pot Pourri. Another TV line will be the new Technokits for Girls which introduce them to light refraction and simple motorised mechanics whilst creating something to decorate a bedroom. There are two to choose from, the Solar Powered Rainbow Maker and the Solar Powered Butterfly Technokit. The Technokit Flight Command Powered Hovercraft is new for boys alongside a new licensed collection of science hobby kits with the introduction of the Dangerous Books for Boys Science Discovery Kits.
IMC TOYS 01904 720908
based around sand pits containing real sand. Toobeez are giant construction kits for creating life-size structures in the home or garden. Finally, Christmas Village is a seasonal craft set that enables you to make your own card light up Christmas Village.
BRIO 01509 643850 The Brio range has expanded on all fronts, with the Disney Mickey Mouse Clubhouse and My Friends Tigger & Pooh ranges expanding the market by bringing new consumers into the wooden preschool sector, Brio Stacking and Pullalong toys, across both animal and vehicle themes, and baby toys combining plush and wood for 0-12 months.
The Sensory Ball range sees the addition of a Glow in the Dark version and new bath games and a Spaceship within Floating 3Ds enhance the bath range. Featuring at the show will be Interstar, which is enjoying a renaissance. This line is also in the Toymaster catalogue.
GIBSONS GAMES 020 8661 8866 Gibsons will be showing a selection of games and puzzles, including two lines in the Toymaster catalogue: the Gibsons Limited Edition Christmas jigsaw puzzle, and the My World children’s puzzles. Members placing orders will be able to take advantage of special offers. The My World puzzles are made on recycled board in Britain. They have been created with child psychologist, Dr Amanda Gummer, linking them to the Early Learning Goals and National Curriculum. The My World range consists of eight puzzles and each box features a slot within the lid allowing children to post pieces back into it. The range of adult puzzles sees the launch of six new titles in spring, as well as the 60+ jigsaws launched in January.
Additional items featured will be a range of Barbie electronic musical instruments and the R/C TV-advertised Baxter the Dog. In total for 2009 IMC Toys will have products supported by 15 toy licences and will have four items included in this year’s Toymaster catalogue.
This includes National Trust puzzles, Beautiful Britain jigsaws and Sweet Memories – four new puzzles showing confectionary brands of the 1940s, 50s 60s and 70s.
MARBEL 01208 873123
BROOKITE 01837 53315
Marbel will be returning to the Toymaster show for the third year. The firm added over 80 new products in January, including lines from the Plan Toys and I’M Toy ranges. All the wooden toys featured on the stand are produced from sustainable wood sources and finished with non-toxic, preservative free paint. New products will also be featured from the K’s Kids, L’Atitude Enfant, Musical instrument and Eitech Metal Construction ranges.
2009 sees the arrival of licensed products – Ben 10, Star Wars and Disney feature on a range of items including kites, frisbees, flying gizmos, umbrellas and windmills. The core range of kites continues to have new products added: the Mini Butterfly range and the quirky Ladybird Assortment are selling well. The Funtrix range of Diabolos, Juggling Balls, Pois and Devil Sticks are available on a display stand featuring a screen with in-built DVD.
HALILIT 01254 872454
MOOKIE 01525 722722
Halilit offers a wide range of musical toys and instruments and 2009 sees the introduction of fresh new packaging. All instruments use professional quality components such as real drum skins and xylophones and glockenspiels are electronically tuned for accuracy. Bathtime toys, infant and pre-school ranges have grown extensively with the addition of Blue Box and Talentoy products. Key classic lines include the Wind-Up Musical TV, shape sorters and stacking cups.
Thomas the Tank Engine is the latest branded Swingball from the firm, while the range of Smart trikes will be on show. Mookie will be hosting a new range of spring/summer garden lines from Ecoiffier including lawnmowers, tractors, bucket sets and sand and water play. The firm is launching Peppa Pig pocket money items, while a ten-inch wheeled bike, all-surface playground balls, trike with canopy, sit n bounce hopper and the five in one rock n ride on are also in the range.
THE PUPPET COMPANY 01462 446040 The Puppet Company has designed over 800 different puppets including finger, glove and body puppets. Many of the puppets have full working mouths and hands and some like the Large Birds and Socketts include sound, but never with batteries. The company supplies a range of point of sale stands with small footprints, but can hold up to 35 glove puppets in the space of a carpet tile. New puppets for 2009 include a Tree Stump House containing six finger puppets of European animals, walking finger puppet dogs in kennels and a range of large full bodied African animals. Priced to allow a 2.3 retail margin.
TOBAR 0844 573 4299 Tobar has been supplying toys and gifts to a wide range of retailers since 1973. With over 1,000 products in the current range, including pocket-money toys, games, puzzles, books, crafts, stationary and jokes, there is plenty to appeal to most toy and gift traders. Tobar sends out regular new product updates throughout the year to highlight new ranges and seasonal products, and the website can be used for ordering 24 hours a day.
GB EYE 0114 276 7454 From GB Eye’s core product of posters, there features a range of licences from Ben 10, Hello Kitty, Bakugan, Peppa Pig, Dora the Explorer, Cars, Princess, Fairies, Transformers, Thomas and Friends, High School Musical 3, Hannah Montana, In the Night Garden, Mr Men & Little Miss, Winnie the Pooh, Power Rangers, The Simpsons, Spongebob Squarepants and Pokémon to all the latest football stars. There is also a wide choice of educational poster titles with counting, times tables, alphabets, colours and foreign languages and other formats to choose from including the 3D posters. The firm also has a full range of badge packs and button badges. These range from the top brands to quirky designs like I Love Pink and It’s All About Me. There are also framed mini posters, classic Disney prints, 30x30 canvas and postcard packs – all for less than £10. GB offers a full range of display solutions for every format listed, all available free on loan when taken fully stocked.
Killers, artificially intelligent autonomous war machines. They feature six-way directional control, a combat laser function, Terminator sound effects and aerial searchlights. The Terminator Hell is a skull shaped two-channel Micro Terminator with LED eyes and combat function for up to three players. The Resistance Hell is also available. To recreate the ultimate battle, Bladez will be launching the Terminator vs Resistance Combat Pack. The Combat Pack can be sold as individual items or as part of a combat battle set. Each pack includes a Terminator Skulled helicopter and resistance helicopter, equipped with onboard laser function. The accompanying handsets feature battle sounds and a trigger to fire the infra-red laser.
Resistance Hell is a three-channel Micro Terminator featuring LED searchlights and combat function for up to three players. Finally, Bladez has produced the Terminator Target Set. Boys can fire infra-red lasers at a revolving Terminator target with flashing lights.
WOW TOYS 020 7471 0980 Wow Toys will be showcasing a number of new additions to its pre-school lines. Best Buddies are a new concept to the range – brightly coloured, detailed figure and animal play friend sets, girl and boy themed, which can also be used with other toys from the range. Ideal for impulse buying, treats and party bags there are currently six Best Buddies available, with a further six sets available from September.
New vehicles include Robin’s Medical Rescue, a friction powered ambulance that comes with a fully working X-ray, stretcher, wheel chair, paramedic and mother with injured boy. The firm is also introducing Mix ‘n’ Fix Mike, a cement truck with an automatic revolving mixer, operated by a removable construction figurine that comes with a detachable bollard. Wow’s Rock ‘n’ Ride Ralph, a push-along quad bike set, comes with a safari man and elephant companion.
BLADEZ TOYZ 023 92 658 255
DKL 01604 678780
Bladez Toyz is making its debut into the world of licensing with the launch of the Terminator Salvation range of R/C flying toys. Kicking off the range are the Hunter
DKL is UK distributor of Corolle Dolls, Wonderworld Wooden Toys, Hama Beads, Viking Plastic Toys and Sigikid nursery toys.
This year Corolle has expanded its collection. New to Babicorolle are rag dolls. There are also additions to the Mon Premier range, new Calin Dolls and fresh Les Classiques dolls, while Miss Corolle has a revamped Vanilla Blonde Doll.
Wonderworld’s eco range will see additions including the Eco Town Game complete with houses, trees, bicycle, recycle bin and rain water tank. The new two-storey, Modern House is equipped with furniture with a set of three family dolls. This year, the Mini Vehicles Range will see the new Mini Taxi and Mini Sport and the new Mini Garage. Hama offers a range of bead craft kits. It has a range of accessories, assortments of beads, pegboards and design booklets. New to large gift sets are Disney Cars and Woodland Friends. Also available now are the new Lacing sets. Viking Toys has expanded its Chubbies plastic vehicle line. 2009 also sees the introduction of Flexi Cars.
INSPIRATION WORKS 01727 735071 InspirationWorks will show a plethora of products on the newly appointed Sales Partnership stand.
With a wealth of licences already, the firm is adding to its portfolio with Disney Princess and Disney Fairies, In My Pocket and Postman Pat. “The independent sector are still extremely important to us,” says Dave Martin, commercial director. “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. This partnership enables us to offer the independents good margins on key licenses in key electronic categories.” Products include Disney Princess’ My Favourite Friends and Magical Secret Book; Disney Fairies Friends Connect; In My Pocket Mega Quiz and Postman Pat Adventure World and First Laptop. There are also some new additions to the Peppa Pig range.
LE TOY VAN 020 8979 2036 Le Toy Van will be exhibiting many new products at the Toymaster show, including the Budkins, a collection of 10cm high, wooden fully poseable characters that are scaled to fit Le Toy Van painted wooden play sets. Budkins are sold individually and selected lines are also packaged in sets of three. Detailed fire engine and fire station sets, along with a hospital and ambulance, are just some of the new Le Toy Van play-sets. The Honeybake range will be bolstered by a new wok set. The garage range features a new garage and a car play mat. Tutti Frutti House is one of three new painted wooden doll’s houses, in addition to seven new furniture sets complemented by the doll’s house play mat and a new family of dolls.
With 12 houses and 15 furniture sets, Le Toy Van’s selection of doll’s houses and furniture includes a range of sizes and options, from fully furnished cottages up to large manor houses ready to furnish.
UNIVERSITY GAMES 01359 243900 The company will have a variety of products on its stand. These will include Splatter Mat, an activity mat for children that instantly changes colour with heat; three Very Hungry Caterpillar Colorforms Stick-On items, a 3D Deluxe Play-set, a Colorfelts Play Board and a Fun Pocket; Totally Gross, where children learn things from all areas of science by answering questions, doing activities and performing labs; plus Sort it Out, a game where you put things in order. Murder Mystery Mansion and trivia game Smart Ass will also be displayed.
LEARNING RESOURCES 01553 762276 New to Pretend & Play is Sliceable Fruits & Veggies, while the Bakery Set brings educational play to cooking, introducing maths, measurement and fine motor skills, encouraging shape recognition. A number of other games will also be showcased by the firm. These include two new Smart Games – Road Block and maze game Subways. The Smart Games collection offers 12 themed challenges, ranging from puzzling positioning with pirates to maze mysteries with mummies. Each self-checking game demands logic and concentration. Games are meant for one player and feature a booklet or cards with up to 60 challenges.
Products are not to scale Peppa Pig - Astley Baker Davies/E1 Entertainment 2003. THE MR MEN SHOW™ DILLYDALE™ Copyright © 2009 THOIP (a Chorion company). All rights reserved. Fireman Sam © 2009 Prism Art & Design Limited © 2009 HIT Entertainment Limited. Teletubbies TM Ragdoll Worldwide Ltd.
Jumbo Games Limited, 2 Carters Row, Hatfield Park, Hatfield, AL9 5NB T: 01707 289289 E: firstname.lastname@example.org W: www.jumbo.eu
SECTOR GUIDE PRE-SCHOOL
Little wonders The £260m pre-school sector is the toy market’s most fiercelycontested battleground, dominated by licences and TV properties and notoriously difficult to second guess. Certain perennials still sell strongly but there’s continual development of characters and play patterns, which make for a lively and vibrant market segment. NPD offers some analysis on its current condition…
THE PRE-SCHOOL market was worth around £260m in 2008 with sales flat year on year, while the average price declined marginally from £9.56 in 2007 to £9.23. Woolworths’ demise will impact the pre-school category significantly in 2009 as it was the number two retailer with over ten per cent share of the category in 2008 (NPD Consumer Panel). In particular, the loss of Woolworths will impact the pre-school boys markets that were more reliant than girls on the retailer.
So far this year, pre-school sales have continued to grow in the grocers’ channel. Licences are important to the preschool market with licensed items on average more expensive than unlicensed. Top licences are Thomas and Friends and In The Night Garden, which ranked number one and number two respectively. However, the fastest growing licences so far in 2009 include Roary the Racing Car with five per cent growth, and Postman Pat, making a resurgence
Pre-school Toys Product Category Performance 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11.
VEHICLES FIGURES & PLAY-SETS KITCHEN & FOOD ELECTRONIC LEARNING ALL OTHER ROLE PLAY ALL OTHER PRE-SCHOOL TOYS LEARNING TOYS BATH TOYS MUSICAL INSTRUMENTS TALKING & SOUND PUSH & PULL
with three per cent growth for the year to date. Pre-school licences are very competitive with many around for
Woolworths’ demise will impact the pre-school category significantly in 2009 - it was the number two retailer in 2008.
(source: NPD) YTD Mar ‘08 24.5 20.2 7.8 10.7 9.0 11.3 4.5 5.2 2.4 3.1 1.3
YTD Mar ‘09 23.1 20.4 10.7 9.5 9.5 9.4 5.8 5.3 2.9 2.5 1.0
years, as well as new ones introduced. Compared to other European countries, the UK counts a wider variety of pre-school licences, all wanting a piece of the pie. The largest new property in pre-school over the last year was Little Einsteins, with the Little Einsteins Rocket performing well. For the year to date March 2009, the top seller in total pre-school is
Vtech’s V.Smile Learning System followed by LeapFrog’s Leapster showing how important the Preschool Electronic Learning sector has become. There is only one new item in the top ten for the year to date – Hasbro’s In The Night Garden Upsy Daisy and Bed at ten. Within the pre-school market, figures and play-sets have seen the strongest growth, with characters such as Peppa Pig and new Playmobil ranges driving sales. In addition, the kitchen and food role play category has also seen a rise and now accounts for over ten per cent of all pre-school sales, driven through own label and Fifi and the Flowertots items. However, this is balanced out by some traditionally strong growth areas such as electronic learning and vehicles (the largest sub-category) declining. Looking at the total preschool market, Mattel is the number one manufacturer, but Playmobil has seen some strong growth in the last year with its Recycling Truck being the best selling item so far in 2009. MAY 2009
SECTOR GUIDE PRE-SCHOOL
The Fisher-Price Stack n Surprise range includes blocks featuring motorisation and rewards. A key item, Song and Smiles Silly Town, comes with eight blocks, which tumble down to activate music and light. Fisher-Price has recreated Bounce ‘n’ Spin Zebra in pink for the Go, Baby, Go collection in autumn. Other new pink items including a Laugh & Learn Pink Chair, the Brilliant Basics Activity Centre and the Soothe & Glow Seahorse are also supported. 3-in-1 Smart Sports and Smart Playground deliver active learning in a plug n play format. Smart Playground features ten learning activities using an interactive activity mat. 3-in-1 Smart Sports connects directly to the TV and comes with three interchangeable pieces of wireless sports equipment. Little People continues its 50th anniversary celebrations with special edition play-sets in autumn, showcasing the farm and school-house
in retro take-along boxes. Fisher-Price is partnering with a parenting title to mark the occasion with a sponsorship programme and extensive PR. Imaginext also remains in the spotlight with Ocean, City and Lost Creatures themes engaging boys with chunky play-sets and accessories. Autumn sees the arrival of space themed items including TV driver, Space Shuttle. Kid Tough Camera sees a new introduction for autumn supported by marketing including TV and a primetime Milkshake sponsorship. The Fisher-Price character brand portfolio benefits from the addition of new licences this year including Waybuloo. The launch collection will feature plush, play-sets and puzzles. The character brand line-up also includes Disney and Nickelodeon licences ranging from Handy Manny, Mickey Mouse Clubhouse and Little Einsteins to Dora the Explorer and Go Diego Go.
HASBRO The Clipo Hippo is a new addition to the Clipo range, which encourages children to get creative with play. The hippo is perfect for stackable, moveable building and toddlers can attach their Clipo creations to the head, back or freerolling wheels of the hippo and a dropslot in the hippo’s mouth encourages put-and-take play. 20 tactile Clipo pieces are included and stored inside. Also in the range for 2009 is the colourful Clipo Creativity Table play-set with 25 pieces. The table features textured surfaces for anchoring creations, moving platforms, a shape sorter, a drop slot and built-in storage. It is a base for toddlers to create and discover, and is also compatible with all Clipo creativity sets (each sold separately).
MEGA BRANDS Mega Bloks, a leading brand in preschool construction, is driving category growth with innovation this year. The 3in-1 Play n Go Table is the flagship line for Christmas. The all-in-one set includes 20 blocks, building plates, decorated wall-plates, a car and a figure. It is also easy to fold for storage and portability. The Scoop & Dump Truck is designed for combining role-play and building with a sturdy, freewheeling truck that provides easy loading and
Meccano has introduced new models into its Kids Play range created to deliver robust construction play for children aged two years-old and above. With an assembly system specifically designed for younger children, the range features big bolts, large screws and flexible and strong pieces for easy and quick construction. Two new characters, a caterpillar and a ladybird (£6.99 each), join the range, both with seven to 14 parts to build one model and will be available from spring/summer. A new Kids Play Large Assortment will also be available. Featuring the snake, butterfly and penguin, each set builds three models and retails at £7.99.
Sue Barratt, country manager, Meccano Toys UK, comments: “All the core values of Meccano are present in the Kids Play range, which offers high quality components and innovative construction sets that challenge children as young as two years to create something for themselves. “Kids Play is a great introduction to Meccano for both toddlers and parents and the carefully considered price points offer excellent value for the consumer and retailer too.” All of the sets in the range contain flexible and strong parts, a set of eyes to give personality to the characters and a step-by-step coloured assembly instruction leaflet and tools.
020 8569 1234 A Clipo collection is easily expandable and can be topped up with the Clipo Mini Bucket or Clipo Big Bucket. Featuring 30 shapes, the Clipo Mini Bucket comes in vehicle or farm assortments. The Big Bucket consists of 50 coloured Clipo blocks Little boys can get to grips with hands-on action with Helmet Heroes. Each set features a helmet and a microphone so they can hear themselves broadcast their adventures. Whether they are chasing after the bad guys with the police set or zooming around an F1 circuit with the racing set, each collection comes complete with over 30 phrases and an interactive handheld device. Motorbike Cop and Race Car Driver will be joined by new Police Cruiser and Motocross sets later in the year.
01844 350033 unloading. Tots can role-play with the included construction worker figurine, while parents can enjoy the scooping action when its time to tidy up. Play n Go Rescue Truck and Play n Go Recycle Truck are sturdy, easy to use vehicles, ideal for teaching tots to press, push and pull and guaranteed to build on hand-eye co-ordination skills. Kids can transform the fire engine into a fire station and the recycle truck into a recycling centre. Each play-set comes with a figurine.
SECTOR GUIDE PRE-SCHOOL
BANDAI 08456 028782 Bandai’s newest licence acquisition, aimed at the preschool market, sees the return of Noddy to screens and shelves up and down the country. As official distributor, Bandai will supply a new range of plush characters, vehicles and playsets, to tie in with the new Noddy in Toyland TV show which began airing last month. The 15 and 30cm plush characters, Noddy in Toyland Friends and My Friend Assortment, each contain a range of characters from the new TV show, and are sure to prove popular among infants. The new Noddy Motor Mix vehicles feature a combination of plane, helicopter and monster truck, each complete with a Noddy figure. The remote control Noddy Car drives forward and backwards and plays Noddy’s favourite tune and has lights for safe driving in Toyland. 2009 sees Noddy celebrating his 60th anniversary, with celebrations taking place across the year culminating in November.
The Tomy Discovery range has toys for babies through to toddlers, which are interactive and engaging for children, encouraging learning through play. With the launch of a new product, the support of a dedicated website and a TV and online advertising campaign, this range is now set to grow further. Launching in autumn/winter, the Magical Melody Maker (£29.99), for children aged 18 months plus, is an interactive and watch-me musical toy that brings music to life in a new and different way. There are five musical instruments, each with their own tune. By placing each instrument on to the magical stage, the orchestra will begin and the instruments will dance. Each time a new character is introduced to the stage the music will change to incorporate the
SPIN MASTER 08708 508408
VTech has expanded the V.Smile brand with V.Smile Motion. Targeted at ages three to seven, the motion activated educational gaming system will encourage children to get active as they interact with TV and film characters including Dora the Explorer. VTech Bugsby Reading System features the Bugsby magic sensor pen, which reads the stories aloud and interacts with different elements on the book pages. Each book comes with its own story cartridge. There will be five additional book titles available autumn/winter for three to six year olds. Kids aged three-plus can view pictures on-the-go with new Kidilook. Transfer photos from Kidizoom or connect it to a PC via USB to upload
pictures using the supplied photo managing software. It also features a clock mode and motion sensor activates random picture mode and triggers other fun effects. There is a new line of pre-school products which feature characters from In the Night Garden. There are four products including the Explore & Play Learning Table and Sort & Learn Pinky Ponk. The Spin & Discover Gazebo is for children aged six months plus. 3D character buttons introduce colours, numbers and characters through phrases, sounds and questions. VTech Baby Puppy is for 18-36 month olds. Use the bone shaped infra red controller to direct his movements and he will follow you around the room.
Yo Gabba Gabba is based on interactive music and dance which not only appeal to kids, but has established a cult following with DJs, celebrities (Jack Black) and adults. The property includes simple yet important life lessons, while encouraging kids and parents to dance and sing along. Soft plush characters, collectable figures and a Groovin’ Guitar round up this colourful range from Spin Master. Showing on Nick Jr. every day, Yo Gabba Gabba, season 2 will be on air from May.
020 8722 7300
new instruments. There are five different melodies to choose from – each instrument will play its own melody. Still available in the Tomy Discovery range is the Forget-Me-Not Photo Album (£19.99) – a butterfly shaped album that holds eight pictures of baby’s loved ones, and allows family and friends to record a message to accompany their photo. Also available is the Discovery Dome Deluxe (£39.99) – a colourful and interactive playhouse packed with developmental activities for toddlers to discover. The Tomy bath time range – Aqua Fun will also be broadening with the launch of Aquachangers – a racing car that transforms when submerged in water. For children aged two years and older there are two cars to collect which will retail from £7.99.
RE:CREATION Sprig toys are moulded using Sprigwood, a durable, child-safe, biocomposite material made from recycled wood and reclaimed plastic. Sprigs Discover Rig (£49.99) comes with adventure guide Cap Faraday and can seat up to three adventure guides. When the Discover Rig is pushed using the handle, it triggers the generator to fuel the lights and sounds. The Side Kick Rally Racer has guide Rudi Tootin on board to help drive
0118 973 6222 imaginative play. Side Kick vehicles are pump powered, the revving action brings Rudi’s headlight to life. The Eco-truck Dump Truck (£12.99) has a realistic mechanical dumping action and a locking truck bed, push and grab handle and flip open cab. The Eco-truck Excavator comes equipped with mechanical scoop and rotating chassis, easy push handle and a flip open cab, while Eco-truck Loader has a mechanical scoop with lift action.
SECTOR GUIDE PRE-SCHOOL
SAMBRO The Thomas Jumbo Roll & Go Art Desk is a ten metre Activity Roll packed with Thomas images for children to colour in. With a jumbo art desk that rolls up for easy storage, the pack also comes complete with eight crayons and six big tip marker pens. The Bob the Builder Travel Art Easel features a whiteboard, chalkboard and slide out tray to keep everything tidy. The set also includes crayons, marker pens, and chalks. There is a stamp pad with two stamps, as well as 12 activity sheets with pictures of Bob and friends. The easel can be folded away and stored in the carry case. The Little Princess I Want My Picnic Felt Fun set includes a board and picnicthemed felt shapes.
Upper Deck is now branching into preschool products for the first time. As part of an expansion strategy, Upper Deck will launch the first in a line of pre-school products with a moving puzzle. Scrolly Puzzle is designed for the littlest of hands with easy to scroll wheels on each corner that move the images on a puzzle screen. This unique and self-contained puzzle with no
Halsall presents a new range of Peppa Pig role-play sets and wheeled toys for autumn/winter, in addition to existing Dolls Prams, Pushchairs and Patio Set. The Kitchen Play-set is a kitchen unit featuring interactive sound effects. The kitchen includes pancakes and invites kids to cook. Junior cooks can wash-up in the sink with running water. The Peppa Pig Supermarket Play-set includes trolley, moving conveyor belt, weighing scales, cash register and groceries to bring a role-play pattern to life. The Princess Peppa Dressing Table with light-up mirror features sounds and the theme tune and includes a hair dryer and accessories. Peppa’s Medical Set, meanwhile, features Nurse Peppa and includes a stethoscope, blood pressure
0161 707 5333 Also available in the range is the I Want My Scribble and Sketch for girls who can colour in the Little Princess pictures on the art desk with the crayons and markers included. New World Toys has a range of Mr Potato Head products to get little ones creative with the changeable characters. The chunky Wooden Jigsaw puzzles see Mr Potato Head take on new roles as a policeman, a spaceman, and a surgeon. The Chunky Wooden Inset Puzzles allow kids to pull out the shapes, and then figure out where they fit, while learning about the world around them. Available as letters or numbers to help develop basic skills, there are also the Body Parts and the Professions puzzles.
pieces to lose will feature pre-school licences. The product is a safe, strong and wipe-clean puzzle for children aged three years plus with seven different puzzles to create. Scrolly Puzzle was launched across Europe in March featuring Disney licences Disney Princess, My Friends Tigger and Pooh, and Mickey Mouse Clubhouse.
01253 778888 monitor, syringe, medicine, spoon, scissors and tweezers. Also new for autumn/winter is a range of Wonder Pets musical and wooden toys. The firm has developed a line featuring the three central characters. Many designs are relevant to objects and play patterns in the series. The Wonder Pets Activity Cube provides five pre-school activities in one, while the wooden Track Set includes the three characters and four locations with the Sky Boat for adventures. The Five Pad Drum Set, Guitar, Keyboard with Microphone and Wooden Musical Centre features five different instruments in one. For boys, the battery operated Roary the Racing Car single-seater ride-on provides sounds and phrases. The inflatable line includes the Big Chris Pool featuring petrol pump shower, a Slip n Slide Race Track Water Slide with racing car play mats, a three-piece pool set, ball pool and bouncy castle. The Fifi and the Flowertots rangeis growing. All featuring the famous floral character that pre-school fans will instantly recognise, new items include the musical Beauty Parlour Dressing Table and the Garden Party Musical Ride-On, which features a scene of moving 3D characters, as well as musical sounds and phrases. The firm also provides a range of Dora the Explorer musical and wooden toys and dolls prams.
CHARACTER OPTIONS Princess Peppa’s Palace folds out to reveal a banqueting hall, other rooms and accessories. It features King and Queen thrones, beds, table, chairs, an oven and cauldron and an exclusive guardsman to protect the family. The Sir George and the Dragon Playset – also new – includes moving figures and a treasure chest.
JUMBO The Jumbo portfolio includes Peppa Pig, Mr Men, Fireman Sam, Teletubbies and the new pre-school show Big and Small, for which it is distributing plush toys, as well as puzzles and games. Wiz Around is a new puzzle range which sees a floor puzzle become a musical activity. Wind up the figure, place it on the track and watch it whiz around as the music plays. It includes 18 to 48 pieces depending on the licence and age range.
0161 633 9800 Elsewhere, the Postman Pat Deluxe SDS Sorting Office Play-set includes a handle operated parcel conveyor, a hand operated lift to the heliport, trolley, parcels, x-ray machines and sorter unit, plus Postman Pat, Jess and Ben Taylor figures. The set also features real machinery sound effects.
01707 289289 Peppa Pig is the star of the show in Jumbo’s new game, Peppa Pig Tumble & Spin. Up to four players can join in. The range of games Jumbo produces include Dominoes, Peekaboo and Jumbolino. Earlier this year, it launched a line of educational games called I Learn developed in collaboration with teachers. The range is characterised by extensive, educational contents attuned to the basic knowledge children need to master. There are three ranges.
SECTOR GUIDE PRE-SCHOOL
Crayola Beginnings will launch three new items from July. Color Me A Song, the first ever TV-advertised Beginnings line (250 TVRs from July), enables toddlers to create music with scribbles. They can interchange up to four instruments and the music tempo will change based on the speed of colouring. Beginnings will also see the launch of two Winnie the Pooh colouring books. The Fifi and the Flowertots toys line continues to grow. Available from July and TV-advertised Tickle ‘n’ Giggle Fifi giggles and wiggles when you tickle her tummy and toes. Also available from July is Fifi’s Cook ‘n’ Clean playset. Role-play baking with Fifi and Poppy in the kitchen and watch the cakes rise in the oven before washing up the pans in the sink. Roary also sees new additions. TVadvertised and available from July, Crazy Stunt Roary uses new technology. Wave the flag over Roary to
rev him up and the faster you wave, the further he goes. Set up the stunt ramp and watch Roary race up and over the ramp and smash through the crash wall. Also available and TVadvertised this autumn/winter is Deluxe Silver Hatch Race Track. This autumn/winter the firm is also launching a range of toys based on Aardman’s Timmy Time. Available from July and TV-advertised is the Nursery School Playset, including Timmy and Yabba poseable figures, a water-reveal easel and lots of other toys. Also TVadvertised is Night Night Timmy. The plush collection also includes Timmy & Friends eight-inch soft toys; the Talking Timmy & Yabba who baa and quack when their tummies are squeezed; giant talking and nontalking Timmy plush; Backpack Pals and the Timmy Backpack. Also included are Jigsaws, Timmy’s Pop-Up Game, Timmy’s Click Camera and Poseable Figure triple pack.
PAUL LAMOND GAMES After over 18 months development including focus groups and parent testing, Paul Lamond launched its preschool range of educational games and puzzles at the London Toy Fair. Under the brand name Chimp and Zee, there are six games and four puzzles. The gameplay of all the products has been thoroughly tested. The strap-line ‘Have fun with Chimp and Learn with Zee’ shows the approach the firm is adopting. This is a range which aims to help children develop skills through play.
The Tag Reading System is an interactive learn-to-read system for children aged four to eight years. Since its introduction, the Tag reader and books have won more than 35 awards worldwide. Following on its heels is the new toddler-sized book explorer, the Tag Junior book pal, available this summer. The Tag Junior system, specifically designed for little hands, helps youngsters who are discovering books to build a lasting interest in reading. Classic books, favourite characters and original titles make up the seven-book library. Tag Junior pal is a character-based handheld device that interacts with specially printed board books. By touching the base of the book pal anywhere on any page, children can hear each page read aloud, hear sound effects and listen to music. Children get to set the pace as they discover reading and gain confidence. Leapfrog and Disney Consumer Products have announced their first codeveloped product, the start of a
planned line that expands the existing relationship. Zippity leads kids through eight learning games using an interactive mat for lower-body movement and a tummy-high giant joystick, or bopper, for upper body action. The system comes with a foldable mat and bopper, which interacts wirelessly with the console. The onboard learning games feature Playhouse Disney characters in animated sequences. Each game features two levels of play: Mickey Says focuses on maths skills; Super Sleuths on the Case focuses on problem-solving with Tigger and Pooh; Tool Box Beat focuses on music and phonics; and Rocket’s Musical Mission focuses on music, art and culture with the Little Einsteins. The range can be expanded with three additional options also featuring Disney characters, Disney Princess and DisneyPixar Cars and a game based on the film, The Princess and the Frog. As with all LeapFrog products, the Zippity system is on the LeapFrog Learning Path.
The colourful Pet Chase Pullalong sees dog chasing cat, cat chasing mouse and mouse wanting the cheese. The sky blue mouse, custard yellow cat and bright pink, patch-eyed dog are made from soft plush fabric and run on wooden wheels. The cords connecting the animals have connectors which can be taken apart and reconnected with the animals in any order. The Bunny Family Holiday Pullalong features a family of rabbits embarking on adventures with the family car and caravan in tow.
020 7254 0100 The products feature thick pieces, glitter on the print and the firm reports that the reaction at Toy Fair, and since, has been above expectations with orders placed from indies by mid-March. The firm has also licensed the range to Pressman Toy in US, which showed it at New York Toy Fair with considerable success. Paul Lamond believed 18 months ago that there was a gap in the market for a fresher, more up-to-date pre-school educational range and it says that the reaction to the Chimp and Zee range proves it right.
020 8804 0563 Made from soft bright fabrics with wooden wheels, the caravan includes beds, kitchen and lounge area which can be accessed through the pull down side and will stimulate a child’s imagination and language skills. Older pre-school children are also catered for with two new voice recording talking puppets – Lippy Lion and Snappy Shark, that allow children to dictate what they have to say. Squeeze a paw or fin to record your message and then operate the puppet’s mouth to hear it speak for itself.
SECTOR GUIDE PRE-SCHOOL MARBEL 01208 873123
GOLDEN BEAR The new My 1st JCB collection includes more lines like Freddie Fastrac with unique phrases including ‘Ready Freddie Go.’ The rest of the range continues with Joey JCB, Larry Loadall, Doug Dumptruck, Rex Roller and Roxy Robot. The characters also feature as new mini JCB pullbacks. Later this year will see Talking Elvis Excavator. As King of the Quarry he features phrases, sounds, lights and pull lever scoop. Also new is the Max. With flashing lights and five phrases such as ‘I don’t do slow old chum’, just pull Max back and watch him go. The Peppa Pig range has been extended to include new wooden products. The range will reflect story themes from the animation such as Grandpa Pig’s Boat and his train. Timmy is a character from the Shaun the Sheep programme, and Cry Baby Timmy cries and shakes when you remove his dummy. Place his dummy back in his mouth and he will suck away.
Extending the company’s Take Along Thomas collection, RC2 has introduced a range of limited production die-cast metallic engines under the Learning Curve brand. On track are single engines Rosie and Oliver, with Molly and Neville sets featuring additional detachable tender available from June. The new Thomas Face Carry Case includes storage space for up to 20 engines in this colourful hold-all with chunky carry handle. Bringing Thomas and his friends to life, the Talking Railway System uses new Engine Recognition Technology to activate over 200 possible personalised phrases when used with Talking Railway engines from the Fat Controller at Talking Railway Series destinations. Launching in September, the Thomas Wooden Talking Railway Series will include familiar characters Thomas, Edward, Toby, Rosie, Emily, Gordon James and Percy; each of which are greeted by name by Sir Topham Hatt as
01952 608308 Both Shaun the Sheep and Timmy are available in different styles. Charlie and Lola will continue on screens in 2009, and Golden Bear has added new products to the range. Bouncing Lola is new to the plush collection and won Best Toy in the plush category for 2009 at Toy Fair. Bouncing Lola sees the character playing on her orange Space Hopper. The Charlie and Lola dolls continue and 2009 sees the introduction of Sizzles the Dog. The Talking Thomas & Friends collection has many play opportunities. Each engine has seven phrases unique to their character, which are activated with a button on the engine. They can also hear the engine’s own noise and see their eyes move as they push them along the floor. Victor is new for 2009 in the smaller range. Many of the other products including the Deluxe Drive Away Activity set, and Crash 'n' Bang Thomas continue for 2009.
Marbel stocks a range of products with substantial emphasis on education. K’s Kids was relaunched in October 2008. Originality of product concepts is an area the range focuses on, with a strong emphasis on product development with a team including psychologists, child development experts and parents. Concepts originated by K’s Kids have won a number of awards. The Hungry Pelican provides children with a friendly play mate who teaches mental and physical skills. The Plan Toys pre-school range continues to expand and in 2009 Marbel is releasing 20 new products. The line is developed to improve the child’s basic skills including dexterity, motor skills, spatial perception and hand-eye co-ordination amongst others. The range features thought provoking products using preservative-free, replenishable rubberwood and painted with nontoxic lacquers and finishes. The new Build ‘n’ Roll and Construction Sets have been introduced. The Plan Build Imagination features ten products, which are interchangeable and can be used to create an all-round learning experience.
UNIVERSITY GAMES 01359 243900 The Splatter Mat is an activity mat for young children that instantly changes colour with heat. Warm water will do the trick but warm hands and feet and sunlight work. The Splatter Mat is composed of seven foam Splatter Pieces that fit together like a puzzle, so children can create a different shaped, giant splatter every time they play. The firm is also joining The Very Hungry Caterpillar 40th anniversary celebration by introducing three new Colorforms Stick-Ons items to its range of products based on the World of Eric Carle – a 3D Deluxe Play-set, a Colorfelts Play Board and a Fun Pocket. These activity sets allow children to create their own scenes and tell their own stories, encouraging creativity and imagination. Each of the five games in the World of Eric Carle range redefines play through learning with the Ugames Play’n Learn System. Each game focuses on at least two different areas of educational development including pre-reading skills, imagination, numbers, social skills and coordination. The system helps parents choose games that are appropriate for their child’s level of development and prepares children for school and playgroups. POS material is available for both the Splatter Mat and The World of Eric Carle Ugames Play’n Learn System.
they pass through various destinations. Travelling through the Stop & Go Signal, Engine Recognition technology enables each engine to be greeted by the Fat Controller with phrases and instructions. Each engine features a gold magnet connector and also include personalised gold name and Engine Recognition icons on their base. They can interact with the traditional engines by triggering nonpersonalised messages. The new Cranky The Crane destination includes car and cargo, raise and lower winch mechanism and an attached office where engines are greeted by the Fat Controller as they pass by. Based on The Great Discovery DVD adventure, The Great Discovery Set is an interactive play-set including exclusive Talking Railway Series Morgan’s Mine destination and Great Waterton Station to encourage role-play. In addition, two Talking Railway Series engines, Thomas and Stanley, travel around the 34-piece wooden track.
JOHN CRANE Branching Out from John Crane has a range of new additions. Firstly there is the Little Cottage. The attached garden features a comfy bench to rest upon and an apple tree. The Acorn Garage has three storeys, petrol pumps on-site and a car wash. Also for boys, as they get to grips with walking and balancing skills is a new Car Walker with stacking bricks. Following on from the push-along bikes in 2008, there is a blue model
01604 774949 planned. The addition of a Monkey Trike completes the sector for the firm. John Crane has also added new tray puzzles. There are alphabet puzzles, teaching children about upper and lower case letters, and vehicle tray puzzles with chunky pieces that can be played with independently of the puzzle and also be used as templates to draw around. A new texture puzzle features fabric related to different animals’ fleeces beneath each piece.
SECTOR GUIDE PRE-SCHOOL
MV SPORTS 0121 748 8000 MV has a wide range of pre-school character wheeled toys. The In the Night Garden collection of ride-ons and wheeled toys includes sit and rides, trikes, bikes and scooters incorporating 3D moving characters, music and features from the show. Boys’ trio of Thomas, Bob and Fireman Sam will welcome new concepts like the Thomas Full Steam Ahead range incorporating sound sensors whereby the faster the child travels, the faster Thomas’ engine sounds become. And not forgetting Bob the Builder, who for 2009 sees a new range complete with on-board toolbox and tools. The Fireman Sam range complements the new CGI series. Barbie wheeled toys will also be TVadvertised in summer and autumn.
LEGO Offering big Lego bricks for small hands, Lego continues to deliver the original building experience for pre-schoolers through its Duplo ranges. With educational and developmental benefits, Lego Duplo continues with its successful formula of providing preschoolers aged two to five with strong iconic models from everyday life. Duplo encourages children to use their imagination and explore the world around them through engaging themed play-sets. Research shows that mums already trust the Duplo brand and appreciate the high quality and appeal of the range. 2009 sees a strong above-the-line communication strategy and brand PR
Born to Play began 2009 with new preschool licences including Harry and Toto. The first master toy products hit shelves in autumn/winter and include a fast/slow car, melamine, beanies and a feature plush. Also new is master toy licence Pinky and Perky. Products available include an R/C car with radio, walkie talkie headset, joke set, voice changing megaphone, inflatable chair and beanies with sound. The new LazyTown range includes plush with sound, beanies, wheeled toys including scooters and bikes and outdoor play items including Go Go discs, foam balls, hoppers and tennis racquets. There are also new products from existing master toy licences Bob the Builder, Fireman Sam and Little Princess. New for spring/summer is Dancing Bob, who moves and shakes to music. There is also a new melamine range and patio set. Autumn/winter will see the introduction of a Wrist Intercom set, new additions to Snap Trax and a new collection of vehicles and figures. The DanJam range for Bob is refreshed with new mini wooden vehicles Scrambler and Packer.
01753 495000 campaign including the launch of an online campaign targeting mums and gift-givers, designed to directly drive purchases. The Lego Duplo brand has expanded its range with a collection of colourful zoothemed sets including Polar Zoo and Feeding Zoo. Designed to encourage both role and repetitive play, the penguins in the Polar Zoo can be pushed down the chute, while the polar bear and its cub can be fed fish by the zookeeper. Driving around in his off-roader, the zookeeper in the Feeding Zoo makes sure the elephant, giraffe, crocodile, lions and lion cub get just what they need while visitors enjoy a day out watching the animals. All of the new sets are compatible with existing Lego Duplo ranges.
New build it products include workbenches and characters Scoop and Scrambler. With 40 assorted tool pieces and a reversible base, Bob’s Tumbling Tool Tower has six activities. New CGI Fireman Sam programming has inspired Wind-Up Floating Neptune, new for spring/summer and comes with a Penny figure. Autumn/winter sees the arrival of a Dress Up Set. Little Princess begins the year with a Greenhouse Playset; three pack of beanies; four-inch foam balls and new melamine-ware. In autumn/winter there are extensions to the plush range; Topsy/Turvey Little Princess; Dress Me Little Princess; Gilbert Backpack; Pram with Gilbert and character stool. The range includes a wooden Pull-a-long Scruff with moving legs and ears; a Tea Set and a Theatre Play-set. The first Fisher-Price wheeled toys launch this year and include the Grow With Me 3-to-2 Wheel Scooter and Brite Rider Scooter for spring/summer and the Grow With Me Trike for autumn/winter. Products from Wonder Pets are available from autumn/winter, including My First Bike, three wheel scooter, trike with parent pole and fun rider.
There are extensions to the In the Night Garden outdoor range with the Boat Rocker, the crazy golf set and an inflatable sand and water play centre. New additions to the DanJam range include the 2D Stacking Ninky Nonk; pull and play wooden toys; 2D wooden stacking toys; a xylophone and a popout playset. Also new is the Spinning Gazebo and Tombliboo Collapsible. A range of furniture is available this year including Mr Bump and Little Miss Sunshine fold-up chairs, desk and stool, toy box, and storage, from new licence Mr Men. Character stools are available in a range of designs including Mr Men, Bob the Builder, Cars, Disney Princess and Little Princess. There is also new furniture available from In the Night Garden, Disney Princess, Disney Fairies and Thomas and Friends. The wooden range from DanJam features Mr Bump’s Domino Run; wooden characters with sound and the 2D character play-sets and wobblers in various characters. In the Thomas and Friends range DanJam has added a large chunky Stacking Thomas, Stacking James and the Stack ‘n’ Turn Fat Controller.
LEARNING RESOURCES 01553 819382 Learning Resources’ new Pretend & Play Bakery Set brings education to cooking with perfect results guaranteed. This set introduces early maths and strengthens fine motor skills, stirring up imaginative play, encouraging shape recognition and also introducing measurement. The firm also welcomes two new additions to the Pretend & Play range for 2009. The Birthday Set delivers a ready-made party. Everything for the special occasion is included. The Fishing Set is packed full of fishing tools including a fishing jacket, plenty of bait and the opportunity to catch three different fish. Children can reel in hand-eye coordination and size and colour attributes skills.
WORLDS APART 0800 389 8591
Worlds Apart experienced growth in sales of its licensed ReadyBeds last year, with like-for-like figures up 33 per cent. And with the addition this year of the popular Mr Men licence to the My First ReadyBed range, the range is growing further this year. Suitable from two years, the My First ReadyBed is designed as a transition from a travel cot. The all-inone solution comprises mattress and cosy duvet in one package. Safety features include a built-in inflatable headboard and air bumpers down the side for added security and so little ones can’t roll out. The bed inflates in minutes with the easy to use pump and the carry case makes it convenient to carry about. The built in cover can simply be removed for washing. Also available in pre-school licences such as In the Night Garden, Thomas the Tank Engine and Peppa Pig, Worlds Apart will support its My First ReadyBed range with ongoing PR and marketing activity throughout the year.
SECTOR GUIDE PRE-SCHOOL
SCHLEICH 01279 870000
Pre-school children can collect and create their own farmyard with the Farm Life characters from Schleich. The hand-painted livestock include cows, horses, pigs, sheep and goats, while no farmyard would be complete without the farm cat, chickens and cockerel. None of the farm animals need ever get cold and wet, with a stable for the cows and sheep and a spacious stable with top and bottom opening doors for the horses. A barn will provide storage for hay and straw, while the family pet rabbit has its own hutch and run. A 4x4 vehicle complete with driver and horse box will be essential for moving the animals around the farm and taking the horses to market – or for a more traditional farm a horsedrawn transporter provides a vehicle for the farmer to move his stock from A to B. Schleich has also introduced a new POS programme with shelving solutions and new sales materials.
IMC Toys has developed products under the Story Teller and Pre-school Musical Instrument categories for the Winnie the Pooh licence. All products are exclusively designed for the brand and bring learning features to children with products such as The Keyboard with Stand and Stool, which helps children to learn music through multiple functions. The keyboard also converts into a desk top. The Musical Mat features ten different pre-recorded melodies, six sound instruments and an easy-to-clean surface. Under the Story Teller category, IMC Toys offers Winnie Story Teller Stories and Songs with eight songs and eight adventures, with the original voice of Winnie and popular songs adapted to each character. Under the Mickey Mouse Club House licence, IMC Toys also has a
PLAYMOBIL 01268 548111
The Original Glowstars Company’s extra-large, daylight visible Glow 3D room decorations are suitable for children of all ages, making reassuring bed-time companions. Sweet Dreams Glow 3D Sun and Moon feature a smiling face by day and a glowing decoration by night. Disney Princess and Winnie the Pooh decorations are bright and colourful by day, but at night-time, when the lights go out, they produce a glowing display. Brainstorm’s Glow 3D range benefits from the addition of three
new licences for 2009 including Disney Tinkerbell, Hello Kitty and Barbie. Also new is Zipbin, the toy chest that doubles up as a toy. Each themed bin has four zips allowing the chest to open up into a playmat and when playtime is over, it zips back up into a storage box. Zipbins are available in three sizes – mini, small and medium – and in a variety of themes including dinosaur, cars, dolls house and fairy castle. Shaped Zipbins include Country Stable, Train Depot and Wheelie.
The Playmobil 1.2.3 range of products is aimed at younger age groups and the pieces are less articulated, making them ideal for little hands to hold. The new range enhances the current offering, with variations on existing products. There is a new puzzle introduced to the range: Wild Animals. The puzzle (around £12.99) has eight large pieces and the sun can be turned around to show the moon once night falls. The Playground (around £9.99) comes with mother watching over her two children enjoying the rides in the playground. The little boy whooshes down the slide, while the little girl rocks back and forth on the large friendly dinosaur. Finally, the mother is out enjoying some fresh air with her baby, wrapped up in the pram (around £4.99).
01904 720908 range of musical instruments with sounds taken from the show, including the Electric Guitar with lights and sounds and the electronic keyboard. Under the Story Teller category, the firm offers Mickey Story Teller Sings & Dances that moves while it sings or when it tells eight adventures about the Mickey Mouse Club House. 2009 will also see the launch of Soft R/C Cars, a range of simple function radio controlled soft-to-touch cars, developed for children from two years old. The range is made up of four different items with a cartoon-style design. Characters include a fire engine, a police car, a taxi and Speedy the racer. Each vehicle has lights and sounds, there are no sharp points and all vehicles are rounded, smooth and flexible.
DKL Wonderworld is a designer and manufacturer of wooden toys, combining classic and contemporary designed toys made using its trademark smooth textured wood with bright colours and tactile fabrics. The firm has created toys to stimulate a child’s developmental needs from birth to six years. For instance the bead frames will improve motor skills, cognitive development and hand-eye coordination and the vehicles collection with help stimulate imagination and independent play. For children aged three plus, the firm offers a range of wooden workbenches
01604 678780 and tools. The Work Bench n Box is a compact workbench complete with accessories, which can be flipped over then turned into a carry-along tool-box. Viking Toys also offers a host of vehicles and trucks for young children. The product portfolio is ideal for playgroups, nurseries and pre-schools. They come in a variety of sizes and colours, from Super Trucks to Mini Chubbies. All suitable for indoor and outdoor play and dishwasher proof. New this year, the Fire Engine Sorter will stimulate role-play scenarios and their new Flexi Cars range which brings new colours and vehicles.
new Clipo Hippo SRP £22.99 Creativity Table SRP £24.99
Mini Buckets SRP £9.99
Big Buckets SRP £14.99
Stack, clip and create with Clipo! Clipo is a sensational creation system for little hands and big imaginations! From simple stacking to their own designs, Clipo’s possibilities grow with your child.
• Heavyweight TVR campaign beginning in the Summer Holidays • Strategic TV and online partnerships • New packaging A/W 2009
© Hasbro 2009. All rights reserved
SECTOR GUIDE PRE-SCHOOL
LE TOY VAN 020 8979 2036
Le Toy Van has launched Budkins, friendly, bendy wooden characters for small hands and big imaginations. With over 60 different types, each fully poseable 10cm character comes wearing its own fabric outfit. These characters are scaled to fit Le Toy Van painted wooden play-sets, making them ideal as collectables. From the working world to the realms of fantasy, the Budkins will inspire children’s imaginations. With footballers, fire fighters, farmers and construction workers through to knights, cowboys, monsters and princesses being just a few of the characters available, the Budkins range has something for every child. Budkins play-sets include fire engine and fire station sets, hospital and ambulance sets, construction and farm vehicles among many others. All Le Toy Van painted wooden toys are designed in the UK and manufactured in Indonesia.
HABA 0161 304 9555
01278 434 440
The Wheelybugs from Hippychick feature simple lines and vibrant designs with sturdy wooden frames and a padded layer of sponge covered with tough polyurethane for the seat. The Wheelybugs use multi-directional castors to offer easy manoeuvrability and limitless mobility. This sustains the child’s interest for longer, helps develop spatial awareness and encourages them to use a greater variety of lower limb muscles.
An easy grip handle bar also means the Wheelybug can be used as a push along toy when toddlers are taking their first steps. Unlike many ride-ons, the large Wheelybug lasts from toddler to school age. The product has a great unisex appeal, making them ideal toys for nurseries and playgroups, especially as they always look as good as new. Available in two sizes, there are five styles; the ladybird, bee, cow mouse and tiger designs. Suitable for one to five year olds.
The new Coloured Building Blocks Maxi from Haba are solid beech wood blocks in primary colours. The set features 54 blocks, containing triangles, spires, bridges and slats and comes in a two-handle fabric bag for storage and transport. Suitable from one to eight years, the construction blocks are designed to last. As pre-school specialists, Haba knows that babies and toddlers are fascinated by wheels and its new range of Pushing Vehicles is made from beech wood, the brightly coloured Locolino has a trailer transporting a spinning drum with a peephole and a kaleidoscope. Also in the Pushing Vehicle range is Tony Tractor – robust and perfect for small hands with eccentric placement of wheels causing it to jiggle along and Terry Train with two wagons, squeakers and bells.
BEST YEARS 01327 262189 Sales of Best Years knitted toys combine tactile and machine washable fabric and funky retro designs making them popular both with parents and their children. Retail prices are around £12.99. Now with the introduction of the owls, mice and crocodile, sales are set to climb even further. The owls, with their velour beaks and feet and their coordinating mice arrived in April, and the addition of a knitted crocodile to sit with the existing T-Rex and Stegosaurus is sure to make a big impact. Best Years has no minimum order quantity and welcomes all enquiries.
Italian Toy Manufacturer Quercetti appointed Treasure Trove as its distributor for the UK & Ireland in 2000. Classics such as Saxoflute, Magnetic Letters, Georello Gears and Marble Runs, continue to be mainstays of many retailers ranges. Following the global economic pressures of the last year, suddenly ‘Made in Europe’ is back in vogue and Treasure Trove and Quercetti are really capitalising on this. New packaging has also improved product presentation at point of sale emphasizing the Italian flag. With the KGOY (Kids Getting Older Younger) effect still as strong as ever Treasure Trove sees the pre-school
sector as critical to both its ongoing success. The Scrunch-bucket concept, launched in 2004, continues and there is now a Scrunch-ball and, new for 2009, the Scrunch-Double Digger, a pair of compact, light, robust and brightly coloured sand diggers. All products in the Scrunch line retail below £7. Didicar was introduced in 2007 and is the powered ride-on with no power. Children sway from side to side while wiggling the steering and off they go. Didicar comes with colourful stickers enabling children to customise their vehicle such as Pretty Princess or Storming Racer.
Treasure Trove’s new musical toy Rainbow Bells comes in large and mini size. The eight tuned, numbered and coloured metal bells have perfect pitch. They come with a music sheet and additional music can be downloaded from Treasure Trove’s website. Rainbow Bells can be played solo or in groups. Grow-a-Heads are based on the classic seed in a potato head, and are available with various accessories to customise them. In addition, Treasure Trove has recently taken on the Safari line of replica animals which is in stock already with new display material available later in the year.
SECTOR GUIDE PRE-SCHOOL
The new Thomas & Friends Fold and Go Easel from Flair is a versatile easel featuring a chalkboard or use the pens provided on the wipe-clean board or clip a colouring sheet to the easel. The Easel has sliding drawers to store the marker pens, crayons, chalks and sponge included and folds flat for storage. The Fold and Go Easel is also
020 8643 0320
available in Peppa Pig and In The Night Garden versions. The Thomas 123 Dough Play-set comes with its own Thomas-shaped storage case and moulding tools. Young children can learn to count with the number moulds and tubs of colourful dough and use stamps featuring Thomas, James and Percy.
KIDDIMOTO 01934 733 654
Kiddimoto has launched the new Scooter, designed around the retro looks of the iconic sixties ‘Mod’ Lambretta and Vespa scooters. Aimed at two to six year olds, all Kiddimoto wooden balance bikes are a proven learning platform designed to teach children the art of balance and co-ordination at an early age, bypassing the necessity for stabilisers that can often hold back motor skills development. All Kiddimoto bikes are constructed from recyclable natural birch plywood and are safe as a form of supervised educational play. The bikes have no pedals or brakes, are decorated with child safe paint, are CE approved and made to a British design. The new Scooter is priced at around £89.99.
MOOKIE 01525 722722 Mookie is launching new Peppa Pig pocket money items including 20Oz rocket bubbles, 12cm soft ball, kaleidoscope, spinning tops, flying discs, windmill, bat & ball sets and a xylophone. The pocket money range will run alongside the existing Peppa line of Vinyl playballs, trike with foot rest, ride on, scooter and deluxe sit n ride on, which will be boosted by several new items including a ten-inch wheeled bike, large and small all surface playground balls, trike with canopy, sit n bounce hopper and a 5 in 1 rock n ride on – a chunky walker for small children that combines as a sit-on toy for toddlers. Mookie’s core range is now listed in all major retailers and the firm continues to support its line-up with an ongoing PR and marketing campaign.
Suitable for 18 months up, Great Gizmos’ traditional wooden puzzles come in six different designs to improve dexterity, hand-eye coordination and shape recognition. Each puzzle has between nine and 15 chunky pieces themed around Farm Animals, Transport, On the Farm, Fruits and Vegetables and two additional puzzles with pictures from everyday life to encourage interaction and conversation. The creepy, crawly Clacking Caterpillar and Squeaky Train is a pull-along toy,
Wow has extended its range with the introduction of Best Buddies figure and animal sets. There are six different sets to collect, each containing a figure and an animal which can be combined with other toys from the Wow range.
while for a more educational angle the A-Z Alphabet Blocks feature letters and pictures. Also to challenge young children’s knowledge and awareness is a range of colourful wooden shape sorters and stackers. Appealing to older pre-school children is the Wooden Dollshouse with its range of wooden accessories. The Dolls house family and furniture for the kitchen, lounge, bedroom and bathroom can be purchased separately or as a complete special offer set.
020 7471 0980
Whether it’s a fireman rescuing a cat, an alien on a space mission, or a fairy and her unicorn pet, they are designed as treats for pre-school boys and girls. Wow will be launching a further six Best Buddies later this year.
Schleich believes in the power of imagination and puts the emphasis on creative, natural play which can be seen across its entire portfolio
Each range Schleich offers inspires children of all ages, inviting them with its detailed figures of characters and nature, to immerse themselves in worlds that can be created over and over again. Children use the figures to learn about the world around them in the most natural way â€“ with their own imagination!
For more information call 01279 870000 or email email@example.com
ONE OF SCHLEICH’S MOST POPULAR RANGES WHICH IS ADORED BY CHILDREN, IS THE EXQUISITE AND INTRICATE WORLD OF ELVES.
As in all fairytales, there is a fine line between good and evil and each character from the World of Elves collection represents either Sun Elves or Shadow Elves – equally awesome with their friendly or fearsome façades. Spring sees the arrival of three new Sun Elves; the beautiful Sura on horseback, Yasira floating on a lily pad and the adorable Nimsay, with her beautiful golden wings. With a Summergreen Elf House, Shadow Rock Elf House and Oracle plus a host of accessories, the World of Elves provides the perfect gift that will be collected and added too for many years to come.
WIN SUN ELVES, THEIR HABITATS AND BOOKS FROM THIS BEAUTIFUL COLLECTION WORTH £500 RRP.
Question: What is the name of the book which tells the story of the World of Elves? Answer can be found at www.schleich-s.com Answer the question correctly – send your answer, name, company name & address to firstname.lastname@example.org by May 31st 2009
SECTOR GUIDE ACTION VEHICLES
Action stations The action vehicle market continues to grow, with micro-technology allowing for enhanced features in R/C models and flying toys in particular, while licences continue to lead the way in the die-cast sector. ToyNews finds out about the latest releases… CORGI
Corgi’s James Bond range is a selection of the most popular vehicles featured in the films. For Daniel Craig fans, both the Casino Royale and Quantum of Solace DBS are available in a Showcase Fit the Box Scale (£4.99). The new Daniel Craig Era set is available from May (£30). The Pierce Brosnan Era set is also available (£30). For those who are more interested in the specific cars, the Aston Martin Vanquish and the BMW 750i are available in 1:36 scale (£13.99), along with the Showcase Fit the Box Scale Aston Martin Vanquish (£4.99). For fans of the classic films, the Bond Lotus Turbo is available in a 1:36 scale, (£13.99); the Roger Moore Era set and the Sean Connery Era are both priced at £30, while Little Nellie is also available as a Showcase Fit the Box Scale (£4.99). The Gyrocopter and Rolls Royce are
available in 1:36 Scale (£13.99). The Colin McRae Tribute Collection will feature 14 of the most important competition cars of his career. Eleven of the bespoke cars created for the range will require new tooling with an investment of nearly £250,000. Highlights from the range include the 707 LHT Mini Cooper and the Talbot Sunbeam TI, a reproduction of Colin’s first ever rally car from the 1986 Scottish Rally championships (due in November). In 2010 and 2011 the range will continue its progression through McRae’s career, creating models including the Subaru Legacy 2000cc Turbo, a replica of the Subaru Impreza which took him to glory in the 1995 World Rally Championship and the Colin McRae R4, designed and tested by the man himself.
The Transformers hit the road this year with new Robot Powered Machines (RPMs). These non-converting vehicles will allow kids to recreate classic chases between the Autobots and Decepticons on the Construction Devastator Showdown Track Set. TV ads will be screened this autumn and www.transformers.com will be launched later in the year. When the Transformers characters are in disguise they take on the form of some iconic vehicles, like the Chevrolet Camaro Concept, Ford Mustang and GMC Topkick. For the first time ever, Hasbro offers Mini Vehicles of some of Transformers models. Collect all Mini Vehicles and re-enact some of the scenes from the new film either on the floor or on the new Track Set. The Mini Vehicles robot version of the character is featured on the
MATTEL Hot Wheels will launch Formula Hot Wheels this year, a major marketing campaign celebrating the essence of the brand with a programme of speed, power and performance tapping into boys’ love of competition. The marketing programme includes a kids TV partnership, online, PR and in-store activations to bring Hot Wheels to life. Product launches add momentum to the campaign including the decotransforming Colour Shifters, with spring and Christmas TV-driver track sets. Colour Shifters are 1:64 scale vehicles, which change colours in warm and cold water. Unique memory paint ensures the paint job stays true, even when dry. TV-drivers feature customisation stations. There are additions for the collectible Trick Tracks line, which features interconnectible stunts and vehicle tricks that can be joined any way. And, for Christmas, a popular theme makes a comeback in a track set, providing a slice of Great White Shark action. Animated series, The Brave and Bold, will engage younger Batman fans. The new collection delivers vehicle play in
020 8569 1234
underside of each vehicle so kids can identify what it would look like transformed. There will be 12 mini vehicles including Optimus Prime/Semi Truck, Bumblebee/Camaro and Barricade/Mustang. The Mini Vehicles Battle Packs include two Mini Vehicles allowing you to play out battle scenes from the movies. There are eight different battle packs to collect. Created for the new Transformers RPM’s line of Mini Vehicles, the Transformers RPMs Constructicon Devastator Showdown Track Set provides fast, Mini Vehicle play within a Track Set by leveraging the battle and drama featured in the new movie. The track will bring Devastator to life and enable fans to re-enact the climactic movie battle between the Autobots and Constructicon Devastator.
the form of the Sky Shift Batmobile, which transforms to crime-fighting jet in seconds. The product will be supported by a marketing programme.
Now in its third year, Disney Pixar’s Cars latest introductions, the Tractor Tippin track set and Minis Race n Rescue Playset, will be joined by a new track set.
New to the Matchbox Mega Rigs line will be the Mega Rigs Pirate Ship. This chunky ship, complete with accessories, can be constructed and deconstructed to create around 30 different ships and is suitable for land and water play. Rocky the Robot Truck now comes to life with interactive sensors and motorized movement. The vehicle speaks over 100 phrases and tells jokes, he can dance, light up his headlights and he snores. Rocky is supported with a TV campaign, sponsorship activity and extensive PR. The Imaginext line from Fisher-Price also continues to grow. Spring introductions include the Ocean Submarine featuring roll-along wheels and figure activated torpedoes and the Imaginext Helicopter. Autumn sees the introduction of space-themed items including TV driver, the Imaginext Space Shuttle. Including lights and sounds, the figure activation points extend the solar panels, lift the shuttle on to the launch pad and open the cockpit to find the moon vehicle. The shuttle detaches from the space dock for role-play action.
SECTOR GUIDE ACTION VEHICLES
BLADEZ TOYZ 02392 658 255
Bladez Toyz Salvation range is set to continue with the recent Terminator Salvation movie licence. Two new editions are the Salvation Micro and Salvation PRO. The Salvation Micro is a micro helicopter featuring six-way directional control and a tri-band function enabling three pilots to fly simultaneously. The copter features flexible foldable rotor blades, stability bar with self-righting system, durable body and comes with both spare tail and main rotor blades. The Salvation Micro has a quick charge system (15 mins) and extended flight time of ten minutes using the Li-Po battery. The Salvation PRO helicopter is the Top Gun of the range. Featuring a triband switch, it allows up to three pilots to fly in formation as a squadron with LED strobe lighting.
Britains’ spring range sees another new selection in 1:32 scale. Five tractor models are launching, including additions to the Massey Ferguson, JCB, Ford and Case IH stables. A highlight of this season’s launch is the New Holland T6070 (£14.99). With the latest electronic conveniences and push-button simplicity, the T6070 was launched in 2007 with a list of standard features, including 360 degree Horizon cab and semi-powershift transmission. In 1:32 scale agricultural vehicles, Britains extends its choice with two new offerings – the JCB 416 Farmaster (£24.99) with an additional silage fork and the Bobcat S300 Skidsteer (£9.99). The compact Bobcat with heavy duty tyres and vertical path lift arms is the
Flying Toys is offering over 60 new action vehicles from major manufacturers this year. An exclusive collection from Jamara includes the Jamara 3 channel coaxial indoor micro choppers and larger, more sophisticated outdoor helicopters, high performance motorised gliders, classic monoplanes and aerobatic biplanes. Online video demonstrations for the full range are now available on the Flying Toys website. Flying Toys’ fully functional Heli Mission Swat Truck incorporates LED hazard lights, a siren, automatic opening roof doors and a rising launch platform allowing the three channel chopper to take off from the truck. The Silverlit Skybot Attack flying robot set, features twin rotors on their shoulders for vertical take off, combined with a third rear rotor to turn
answer to every loading requirement where space is at a premium, proving agility is no issue for this four wheel driver in agricultural or construction arenas. Britains’ reproduction delivers all the detail of the original. As Europe’s leading specialist in agricultural collectibles, Britains retains the unique position of being at the forefront of innovation in model design whilst remaining true to its eighty-year plus heritage. With a constantly refreshed and updated collection, which now also includes Britains’ first 1:32 Radio Control model, the John Deere 7930 (£69.99), there are choices for enthusiasts, as well as play value for children from three years and upwards.
them left or right. Two Skybots will chase each other around a room, whilst using Infra Red Lasers to temporarily disable their opponent. Flying Toys’ Infra Red Jupiter Flying Saucer is tiny, yet flies for ten minutes and features colour changing LED lights. The triggeroperated launcher incorporates an adjustable launch platform and allows the Jupiter to be charged and stored between missions. Finally Flying Toys’ Classic Series Sopwith Camel captures the nostalgia of a bygone age of aviation with a prefabricated biplane. For 21st century flying enthusiasts, the latest Turbo Express ducted fan-jet has been designed to resemble a futuristic jet fighter. View Flying Toys’ new product preview, together with all its current top sellers, online at www.flyingtoys.com.
Meccano is offering new additions to its Tuning range, which uses a nuts and bolts construction system based upon new and innovative parts in flexible metal for children from eight years old. The Tuning R/C Carbon Style Car (£44.99) will be the latest introduction and contains all the Tuning spirit condensed in one vehicle set. There are three different remote controlled vehicles to build. Kids can choose from rock or hip-hop and will hear the sound effects of screeching tyres and a roaring engine. Neon lighting under the frame of the car and flashing headlights as well as flaming stickers, back fin, chromed looking parts and chrome rims are also included.
CHARACTER OPTIONS 0161 633 9800
Part of the newly launched HM Armed Forces range, the Royal Air Force Fast Attack V.T.O.L Jet features a retractable landing gear and firing missiles. The RAF Fast Jet Pilot is available separately. The Army Tank has a rotating turret, rugged rubber tank tracks and opening equipment storage boxes. An opening turret reveals hatches for two action figures – the Army Infantryman and Army Mortarman, also available separately. Sticker decals are included with both Tank and Jet for livery adding authenticity to the action. HM Armed Forces is the first Ministry of Defence range of licensed toys and includes ten inch articulated action figures from the Royal Navy, Army and Royal Air Force, action vehicles and a range of role-play toys and accessories.
The Tuning R/C Red Hot Racer (£29.99) is a vehicle with two different R/C models to build – a racing car and a roadster. The set includes tuning accessories such as stickers, back fin and chrome rims. Both sets are available from autumn/winter. The Tuning RC Sound System (£59.99) can be connected to an MP3 player. There are three R/C vehicles to build and high quality speakers to hear their music. The car also features neon lighting under the frame, flashing headlights and flashing lights around the speaker. The latest bright blue R/C Sound System set will complete the range this autumn/winter.
SECTOR GUIDE ACTION VEHICLES
SPIN MASTER 08708 508408
Tech Deck are the only miniature skateboards on the market with authentic licensed graphics. A selection of new parks, boards and accessories are being introduced for 2009, which will be updated continually throughout the year with the hottest graphics from the world of skateboarding. A new introduction is the Starter Sk8 set – four pocket-sized ramps to collect for finger-boarding. The mini-ramps double as a storage box and obstacle, and come with two complete boards and there’s also a new deck-shaped storage/display case, which holds 16 boards and comes with one bonus board included. To round up the range, there is a selection of new skate-parks to collect including the classic Half Pipe, complete with board, which measures an impressive 65cm in length.
New to The Simpsons action vehicles range for autumn/winter are the Bart and Homer Simpson Micro Infra Red Vehicles with full function control. Halsall will also provide the Radio Control Skateboarding Bart, inspired by the Bart skateboarding sequence in The Simpsons Movie in 2007, with an articulated Bart figure that allows players to alter his position into different boarding poses. The R/C handset controls Bart’s direction and speed and even performs spinning tricks. The Simpsons full function Radio Control Car features all the family members as well as a real sounding horn and flashing headlights.
It was designed as an exact replica of the family’s pink car. Based on Europe’s number one construction brand and inspired by the distinctive yellow and black livery of the real life machines, Halsall also provides a selection of JCB batteryoperated construction vehicles combining functional and detailed styling with lights, sound and motion. Halsall also has a selection of WWE vehicles. 1:30 and 1:20 scale replica WWE Road Hog vehicles feature the John Cena track The Time Is Now as well as wrestler phrases, light effects and motion. The scale replica Dirt Racer Buggy and Monster Truck vehicles provide action-packed play.
Four new vehicles have joined Born to Play’s range for 2009. The Pinky & Perky Car features a two-wheel cornering feature, real working radio and removable vinyl figures of the two characters. Fireman Sam and Penny’s lifeboat, Neptune whizzes across water, with Penny in the driving seat. The Maisto-Tech range of radio control vehicles continues to expand its offering with the inclusion of an OffRoad collection in 1:14 and 1:16 scale featuring Hummer, Ford Raptor and Jeep. The 1:14 scale offers ready-to-run full-function R/C with steering alignment, tri-band controller, fourwheel suspension and chunky off-road tyres. These new models will be available from June onwards. The R/C Street Troopers range is also expanding to include the Shadow-2X and Menace. The Shadow-2X is a motorcycle, which transforms into a vehicle. The Menace consists of two pieces of radio control, a hauler and scout vehicle, the hauler having the ability to fire disks from the front.
New colour graphics are also available for the Project 66 attack vehicle and PT-808 Robot versions. The Maisto die-cast also boasts a selection of new models in both 1:18 and 1:24 scales. Notable new releases include the Mercedes-Benz CL63 AMG, Nissan GTR ’09, Ford Mustang GT ’67 Fastback and 2010 GT convertible. There is also the new Dirt Riders collection in 1:18 and 1:24 scale. This consists of a collection of fourwheel drive vehicles, designed to look as though the models have been taken off-road, complete with mud and dust markings. There are also extensions to the Old Friends to include the Ford Mustang GT ’67 in 1:24 scale.
IMC TOYS IMC Toys has a history of developing and distributing action vehicles and one of its bestsellers is the 1/16 R/C Spider-man Car, designed to look like a concept car of the future. The car has full functions for turning and forward and reverse drive and comes with a Spider-man model built into the car. Under the Toy Story licence, IMC offers the R/C Space Ship, a radio controlled space ship with full functions for turning, forward and
TOMY 020 8722 7300
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 individual Battle Deck cars (£4.99) with different racing abilities to choose from. Boys can collect components to make the ultimate battle vehicle and challenge their mates on the Crash ‘n’ Run Dodge Lane Changer Set (£19.99) or the Radical Run Deluxe Set. Both track sets come with two unique Battle Deck cars (£29.99).
Splasher can help little Bob’s ‘Fix-It’ whatever the terrain – push him on land and watch his friction powered motor get to work or twist his propeller launcher and watch him take to the task like a duck to water. Finally, Harry and Toto are in the driving seat of Born to Play’s new PullBack Car.
01904 720908 reverse drive. The space ship includes a hidden arrow shooter in the front of the ship, a button to fold and unfold the wings, and removable poseable figures of Buzz and Woody.
SECTOR GUIDE DOLLS
Doll Domination Large dolls are becoming increasingly interactive and features including talking, feeding, drinking, lighting up and many more are keeping this traditional sector up-to-date and appealing. ToyNews finds out what’s new… MATTEL
Mattel is continuing to support the large doll category with product introductions to the Fisher-Price My Baby range. This will be backed with a targeted marketing campaign including TV support and a mum’s web/press campaign, together with supporting content on the Fisher Price website targeting girls aged two and over.
After being unveiled to retailers at this year’s Toy Fair in London, Bandai’s new range of Star Friends dolls are set to hit the shelves this summer. Each Star Friend doll features many functions and has its own star-shaped virtual pet that can be used to interact
The new autumn launch, meanwhile, is My Baby Sneezes. The doll is all stuffed up and needs girls to squeeze her tummy to make her sneeze. They then need to help her get better with the interactive thermometer that checks her temperature, plus medicine, measuring spoon and a box of tissues.
with the dolls, play games and music and send messages. There are two Star Friends to collect, while additional clothes sets are also available. The dolls will be supported with a marketing and PR programme and in-store activity.
The most recent addition to the Baby Alive range is Better Now Baby. Insert the thermometer into her mouth to see if she has a fever, then hold the medicine spoon to her mouth and tilt it downward to see it disappear. Give the doll drinks from her sippy cup and she will wet her nappy. Later in the year Hasbro will relaunch the Original Baby Alive, the doll that eats and poos. Following its success two years ago, this doll has been refreshed for 2009 with the new name Baby Alive Real Surprises.
Vivid has expanded its range of large dolls for autumn/winter 2009. Kids can now look after Baby Sweet Touch or have a pyjama party with PJ Sparkles. Vivid is supporting the whole range with a TV and PR campaign starting in July. Too Cute Twins (£39.99) respond to each other as well as the girl, with over 100 combined phrases. Their heads and arms move and they respond to being hugged and fed.
020 8569 1234
Feed her or give her a bottle and then change her nappy. When Baby Alive is hungry you can mix up some of her special doll food. She eats and tells you if she likes it with phrases like, ‘Mmm…good.’ She’ll even tell you when it’s time to change her nappy. After a busy day, the Baby Alive doll will start to get tired. These dolls will be featuring a TVadvertising campaign. Look out for Better Now Baby in spring and Baby Alive Real Surprises this autumn.
Baby Sweet Touch (£24.99) holds your hand and snuggles into your shoulder. Place your finger in her hand and she'll give it a squeeze. Place her bottle of milk in her hand and she will hold it while you hear her drink. PJ Sparkles’ (£22.99) Heart, Tiara and Bracelet light up. Her party dress changes from day to night, from party dress into a pair of pyjamas. PJ Sparkles also comes with a bracelet, teddy and brush.
SECTOR GUIDE DOLLS
HALSALL Halsall is launching new lines across its Mamas & Papas and Silver Cross Junior collections. The new Mamas & Papas Herbie Pram’s frame design is an exact replica of the Mamas & Papas nursery pram with the same fabric colourway Hot ‘n’ Bothered. Featuring swivel front wheels, an under-seat basket and 74cm height Eva handle, the pram is intended for ages four to seven. The Mamas & Papas autumn/winter junior collection includes new models supplied with Bubble fabric. Designs include the Nipi Buggy with double front swivel wheels, the super stream-lined three wheel 03 Sports Stroller and the replica Luna Twin Pushchair with elevated tandem seats and quick release swivel front wheels. The X-Cel Pram is for girls aged five to ten. On a folding sprung frame with 6587cm adjustable handle height, it comes equipped with a coordinating parasol, shoulder bag, PVC rain-hood and under seat shopping basket. The Skate pram features a tilt and reverse mechanism, which allows the flexibility to switch from pram to pushchair. Features include swivel front wheels, an under-
01253 778888 seat storage net and adjustable handle height ensuring suitability for girls five to ten. The Silver Cross Dazzle Stroller has a silver frame design, inspired by the nursery model, with Fuschia fabric colour. Featuring a trigger style folding mechanism, looped handles and a Dazzle motif on the hood. It is aimed at girls aged three to seven. The X4 Stroller has twin front swivel wheels and rear wheel suspension providing allterrain styling for girls four to eight years old. Features include an under-seat basket, integral foot-muff and adjustable seat back and hood, while a triggerstyle folding mechanism enables compact storage. Apart from the Dazzle, all junior models are available in the new Techno Fuschia fabric. Halsall also offers the traditional Silver Cross Oberon pram. The coachbuilt toy pram features a hand-sprung chassis, spoke wheels, polished enamel hand-painted body and waterproof hood and apron. Supplied in a navy colourway, the pram is for girls aged five to 11 years.
Goochicoo is a new large doll range that is unique and cheeky. The brand injects vitality into the sector with baby characters designed to appeal to children and adults alike. Each Goochicoo character is soft and cuddly making it ideal as a bedtime doll for girls aged two to six. Each doll has innovative features with its own changeable outfit and accessories. There are four dolls to choose from, each one in a bright and contemporary outfit with the ability to play peek-aboo and giggle when tickled.
DKL The Corolle dolls range encompasses traditional and modern dolls for babies and pre-schoolers through to pre-teens. The best-selling dolls from Corolle in the UK are from their Mon Premier range. These 12” dolls are suitable for children aged 18months plus and emit a vanilla fragrance. The Calin and Tidoo babies feature a bead-filled flexible body for easy positioning. Tidoo dolls can also be bathed. For role-play, Calin and Tidoo can be paired with a range of accessories including a bed, stroller, highchair, meal time sets and a fashion range. The Corolle Les Classiques family has an array of large dolls suitable for children aged two years and upwards. The dolls range from 14-20”, both with hair and without. They come complete with accessories for role-play possibilities. In total, there are seven feature dolls: Emma and Paul are drink and wet bath babies; Julia has four features, she giggles, cries, babbles and drinks her bottle and comes with four accessories; while Lia Interactive has 16 features, she speaks different languages and comes with potty, bottle and baby food. Also part of the range is Corolle’s Bébé Chéri doll. She is the size of a three monthold baby and can be dressed in clothing for babies of that age.
0121 748 8000
When bottle-fed, the dolls slurp, hiccup and burp before going to sleep, accompanied by baby snoring sounds. Every individual also comes complete with his/her own unique feature: for example Little Star fancies herself as a pop singer, Beauty Queen can’t stop admiring herself in the mirror, while Kitty Cat and Little Rascal interact with their pets. The dolls will be displayed in colour presentation boxes. The Goochicoo dolls will be TV advertised this winter. See the Goochicoo characters at www.goochicoo.com.
Finally, new to Corolle is Bébé Tresor and Marie. Bébé Tresor is dressed in a white and pink grow, with a dummy. She has three features so she can interact. Marie is an interactive, multi-lingual, 42 cm baby doll whose functions offer greater role-play appeal. Marie can speak six languages, she has long hair and a feature that enables children to record messages and play them back. She comes with a hairbrush and notepad. Marie has a sculpted face, soft body and authentic skin colouring. The modern technology is combined with a traditional doll and Marie has a variety of outfits, available for all Les Classique dolls, as well as accessories such as a floral canopy bed, a floral print stroller and a baby nursery set.
The Miss Corolle range is aimed at children from three to five years-old. This collection features vanilla scented skin. Vanilla Blonde, Redhead and Brunette have long shiny hair for grooming and styling. Another part of the Miss Corolle range is the Les Cherie dolls. Suitable for ages five and upwards, the Chloe and Camille ballerina dolls bear the Corolle stamp of French style and attention to detail. Corolle has designed clothes to replicate those worn by young girls including cropped trousers, jeans, dresses and tunic and wrap tops. All ranges are supported by a comprehensive sales and marketing campaign and POS is available.
HABA 0161 304 9555 Finja has long rose-coloured hair and a basket of flowers. She wears a dress with leaf design, hairband with a flower and cape. The 38cm soft feature dolls have cheerful faces, colourful clothes and chubby bodies for cuddling. Each doll has chenille hair and comes with cotton or polyester clothing and shoes. With ten dolls to collect, there is a range of characters from Lilli with her pink hair, Amelie with yellow hair and outfit, to Souri with her colourful sari, headdress and bead necklace. There are also boy dolls in the collection from Lukas complete with toy mouse, to Phil with his rucksack. Suitable for children of 18 months upwards, all of the dolls are hand-washable. Also in the Haba dolls range is the Dolls Carry Cot with canopy, blanket, pillow and carrying handles.
SECTOR GUIDE DOLLS
020 8643 0320
JOHN CRANE The classic Doll’s High Chair features a deep blue seat and tray, complemented by blue, sturdy feet that ensure the seat remains stable. Natural wood legs add extra style. The Doll’s High Chair joins a growing range of dolls accessories which include a pink Doll’s Swinging Crib, a Rocking Cradle complete with pink bedding and Already Italy’s top feature doll and a retail success in France and Spain, the Cicciobello large feature dolls will now be available in the UK market courtesy of Flair. Cicciobello Love ‘n’ Care will cry and his cheeks glow red – but it is up to his ‘mummy’ to discover what is wrong and find the solution. Find the right remedy to make him feel better – it
ZAPF CREATION Baby Annabell responds to voices, turning her head towards you as you speak and babbles, gurgles and sucks her dummy. The doll is suitable for age three plus and is priced at £39.99. My First Baby Annabell is a cuddly doll for younger children. She has eyes that open and close, and moveable limbs and head and a brown-eyed baby brother, My first Baby Annabell Brother. Both come with baby grow and hat and are suitable for age one plus. Each are priced at £14.99. Another addition is My First Baby Annabell with Tender Kisses (£24.99). She responds to touch, delivering kissing, babbling and baby sounds when touched on the lips, and giggles and says Mama when held by the hand. Baby Born dolls (£39.99) have nine features without the need for batteries. Baby Born can eat special food, drink and wet her nappies.
01604 774949 a Doll’s Buggy featuring rose pink and natural styling. Also in the collection is the Doll’s Bunk Bed. At over half a metre high, these natural wood and pink bunk beds are suitable for most standard dolls. The beds can be parted and placed side by side, while there is white and coloured bedding to match.
could be milk, juice, or he may need some medicine. If all else fails, he may need an injection. Once he is better, Cicciobello stops crying, so give him his dummy and he’ll fall asleep. However, little girls can’t be too complacent because the secret of making Cicciobello better is different every time.
01536 462 800 She has a Magic Potty with flashing lights and tune. She cries and is fully moveable. Available in three versions – Girl, Boy or Ethnic Girl – Baby Born is suitable for children aged three years and over. My Little Baby Born (£14.99) is for younger children with a soft body, made from quick drying material. Suitable for age one plus. My Little Baby Born Magic Bubbles (£29.99) performs swimming strokes when placed in water. New for 2009, she now blows bubbles and can wear a snorkel and mask. For children aged three plus. Sally theToddler doll (£24.99) is soft bodied and life-sized. Standing at 63cm in height, she has blonde hair and hair accessories. Sally also has a twin brother, Sam. He has brown hair and sporty clothes. Both are suitable for children aged three and upwards.
BEST YEARS Best Years has announced the arrival of its new, ethically sourced dolls. Each doll is hand-made and individually signed by the lady who makes it in a
01327 262189 South African factory, which seeks to improve conditions of the community, which surrounds it. Each doll is decorated with glitter and ribbons.
Dedicated monthly retail coverage
Retail Only News • Data • Opinion
New format planned for BTHA Awards
High Street Page 66 Counter Insurgent and Price Check…
Regional categories ditched in favour of new format based on store type and size... by Ronnie Dungan THE BTHA has altered the format of its Toy Retailer awards, creating new nationwide categories. From next year, entrants to the Toy Retailer of the Year Awards will compete nationally in like-for-like categories. Previously the competition has been divided into regional sections.
Charts Page 67
The new categories will be as follows: This month’s retail charts feature: Hamleys, Asda, WH Smith.co.uk, The Entertainer, Amazon and Mail Order Express…
■ Best small independent toy retailer (less than five stores) ■ Best large independent toy retailer (more than five stores) ■ Best national multiple toy retailer
■ Best toy department (grocer)
■ Best toy department (catalogue retailer)
On their way this month are offerings from Hasbro, Re:creation, MV Sports, RC2 and Wow Toys…
■ Best online toy retailer ■ Best overall toy retailer for UK and Ireland The entry process has been further refined to allow self-nominations in addition to nominations from BTHA members and agents. The opening date for entries is May 11th 2009. Any store that wishes to nominate itself for entry in any one of the categories should email full contact details to Natasha Crookes who will be sending out application forms from this month. Nominated retailers will be required to complete a detailed entry form and submit a series of images to reach the next stage. The finalists will be announced before Christmas,
Roger Dyson with one of this year’s retail category winners...
with the winners being unveiled alongside the Toy of the Year Award winners at the industry’s annual gala evening in January 2010. “The changes we are introducing to the Toy Retailer Awards will make for a fairer competition all round. No longer will we have instances of, for
Events example, a small independent going head to head with Tesco, or a branch of The Entertainer battling against Argos: everyone will be competing on a level playing field,” commented Natasha Crookes, director of communications for the BTHA. BTHA: 020 7701 7271
Page 82 Find out what networking events are coming up in the toy trade…
HIGHSTREET COUNTER INSURGENT Dispatches from the retail front line... Just recently the increase in cold calling has started to drive me mad. People coming off the street or phoning somewhere from far reaches of the globe. These people think we have so much time to waste, electricity, phones, mobile phones, legal help, business rate reductions, and don’t get me started on internet search engine performance. All of these people are so (mock) surprised when you say you don’t have time to talk right now. “Don’t you want to save money sir?” is the stock answer. Yes I would love to but they just can’t equate that every minute talking to them costs me money and more importantly, time. The time I waste trying to be polite to these people... But some deserve the short
answer I give them when they go on and on and on…. For years I’ve had the PRS Society bug me. They claim to collect money in royalties for singers and songwriters. They have never proved to me, even after years of asking whether anyone actually gets this money, but never mind. However, one of the staff decided to put the call through to me after telling the person on the end of the phone the music he could hear in the background was a radio. You know how the conversation started don’t you? “How many people can hear that radio sir?” I knew what was coming so I said “one” and it was her radio. I was then told that if I walked past the person and could hear the radio I needed a licence to do so. I told him she was locked away in the stockroom and that no one else went in there
All of these people are (mock) surprised when you say you don’t have time to talk to them right now. and anyway my hearing isn’t that good. We argued for several minutes about several scenarios, did you know if you are in a work van with the
window down and a passer-by hears the radio in the cab you have to pay for a licence? Or if you listen to Talksport, Radio 4 or a station with no music, you need a licence to hear the
jingles in adverts? And the most stupid? Did you know if your phone rings and someone else hears it you need a licence? Bloody madness. I was so pissed off with this one that I didn’t give up without a fight and after 45 minutes we reached an agreement where I paid a fraction of what he wanted and he had a very useful recorded telephone conversation for ‘training purposes.’
PRICE CHECK: MAY 2009
Golden Balls Board Game Vivid Imaginations
Transformers Animated Leader – Megatron Hasbro
20Q Version 2 Radica Games
My Living World Triop World Interplay
Barbie Thumbelina Blooming Doll Mattel
RETAILCHARTS WHSmith.co.uk 1
CHART DATE 14/4/09
CHART DATE 14/4/09
Susan Prescott Games
Ben 10 Alien Force 10cm Alien Collection Jetray
Wooden Pirate Ship
TP Forest Climber Set
Risk: The World Conquest Game
Mixed Goods Digital Set
Gormiti Volcano Play-set
Absolute Balderdash 20th Anniversary edition
Nerf N-Strike Switch Shot EX-3
Bop It! Extreme 2
12ft Emperor Trampoline
TP Activity Toys
Bop It! Extreme 2 Pink
TP Crazy Wavy Slide Set
TP Activity Toys
10 Ben 10 Alien Force Kevin Levin’s Action Cruiser
10 Trivial Pursuit Deluxe
CHART DATE 14/4/09
White Baby Born Boy Doll with Magic Potty
ClickStart My First Computer Pink
Ben 10 Deluxe Omnitrix
Crayola Gigantic Colouring Book
Original Rubik’s Cube
Bandai Character Options TP Activity Toys Hornby Besteam Flair Hasbro
Mail Order Express
CHART DATE 14/4/09
Republic Attack Gunship
Take Along Pirates Treasure Island
Star Wars Clone Wars AT-TE Walker
Mission 6: Mobile Command Centre
Crayola Beginnings Farmyard Friends book
Vet with Car
Hot Wheels 12” Rev It Up Bike
Gogo’s Crazy Bones Advance Special Edition Metal Tin
Bionicle Toa Undersea Attack
10 Duplo Gravel Pit
10 Butterfly Garden
CHART DATE 14/4/09
CHART DATE March 2009
Matt Nail Jazz
Hot Wheels basic car
UFO Mini Infrared
Power Rangers Jungle Fury figures
Metallic Nail Jazz
50 Greatest Magic Tricks
Mini Lying Animals
Ben 10 Action Force 10cm Figures
Lights from Anywhere Junior
Transformers Universe Legends
AA battery four pack
Bean Bag Baby
10 Disney Cars Character Assortment
10 Drawing Board
Mattel Asda Bandai
Bandai Asda Hasbro Asda Mattel
Re:creation jogs into the games market RE:CREATION is entering the games market with a unique new product for the Nintendo Wii. Using unique lower body motion sensor technology, Re:creation’s jOG for Wii means when a player runs, it simultaneously makes the in-game character run for an enhanced level of game immersion. jOG utilises lower body motion sensor technology to measure steps and translate them to movement in game, not only making gaming a
more immersive experience, but also giving a gentle workout, contributing to the recommended 10,000 steps per day. New Concept Gaming’s MD, Brendan Ludden, commented: “We are pleased to be able to offer the trade an opportunity to see – and experience – jOG in action for themselves.
“As well as clear health benefits backed up by independent research, jOG is great fun to play with, and Toy Fair gave us a great opportunity to demonstrate this.” jOG for Nintendo Wii is priced around £24.99. Re:creation: 0118 973 6222
Hasbro gets its claws out HASBRO’S latest movie licence is XMen Origins: Wolverine, with the toy range arriving this month to coincide with the film’s UK premiere. Wolverine was born with the mutant ability to extend claws from his wrists, and now kids can become the hero with the new Wolverine Electronic Battle Claw. Simply slide your hand inside the moulded plastic glove and with a flick of the wrist the claws extend with
electronic claw-clashing sounds. Also new from Hasbro are the
All aboard for new Thomas lines THOMAS & FRIENDS continues to be a strong pre-school licence for RC2 and the firm has added further new products this year. The Learning Curve Take Along Thomas range is an open-ended play system, bringing sets, destinations and characters from the animated series to life. The new Thomas Face Carry Case is a colourful hold-all complete with chunky carry MAY 2009
handle, which holds up to 20 characters. Suitable for children aged from two and a half years, all Take Along Thomas sets and vehicles are fully compatible with the Take Along Thomas range. RC2: 01392 281900
Wolverine Action Figures. These three 3/4” figures include Logan, armed with a sword and serious sideburns; Gambit is complete with staff and a hand of cards; while Deadpool has an arsenal of weapons. The new Wolverine Animated Figures are poseable three 3/4” figures with accessories such as Wolverine’s snap-on claws, Iceman’s ice board and Cyclops’ special eye blast. Hasbro: 020 8569 1234
Wow launches Best Buddies WOW TOYS has extended its range with the introduction of Best Buddies figure and animal sets. The line features six different sets, each containing a figure and an animal, which can be combined with other toys from the Wow Toys range. The firm will launch a further six Best Buddies later in the year. Designed for impulse buying, treats and party bags, the product can be presented in trays or are suitable for hook display. Wow Toys: 020 7471 0980
MV joins the Gogo’s craze MV SPORTS is expanding its plush range with playground craze Gogo’s Crazy Bones. The characters have a secret compartment inside containing the highly collectable bones. This month, the four-inch Clipper characters hit shelves, with a zipped pocket containing two Gogo’s collectables and a clip to hang it up. There are eight characters to collect, available in an assortment of 32 packed in shelf-friendly CDUs. There will also be a range of sixinch reversible plush characters, each containing two authentic crazy bones; turn them inside out to reveal the highly prized, ultrarare characters. There are five to collect within an assortment of 30 inside a CDU. Lastly there are eight-inch plush shakers, each containing three collectables. There are four characters containing an inner plastic shaker that can be used in gameplay, or as a storage container. These are packed in a counter display unit with an assortment of 20 characters. MV Sports: 0121 748 8000
Bandai Harumika Bandai’s new arts and crafts concept, Harumika is a simple to use fashion play-set which allows girls to use special mannequins to create an endless variety of new looks…
AIMED AT girls aged six plus, Harumika is simple to use. There’s no need for a needle and thread or scissors and glue, all you need are some pieces of fabric which fix on to the the silicon strip on the back of the mannequins. Users simply tuck the fabric inside and they’re fixed. The Harumika Starter Set will retail at £19.99 and will include two mannequins (one white, one pastel pink) and a wide variety of fabrics, accessories and stickers. The fabric collection features a range of designs including polka dots, bright colours and patterns; buckled, ruffled and velvet
belts; stickers of hearts, bows and flowers, and even little charms. Everything in the sets are reusable, meaning possibilities of customisation are endless, enabling the user to experiment with layering, folding and twisting. Once users are ready to show off their designs, they’ll be able to upload them at the dedicated Harumika website, www.harumika.eu. MARKETING Bandai will be fully supporting the brand with TV advertising totalling 300 TVRs, consumer print, online activity and PR.
Release date: July 2009 CONTACT DETAILS: Phone: 01489 790944 Website: www.bandai.co.uk
The place for business
1/4 page: Annual charge £1,395 (minimum twelve months booking) Get your company featured: email@example.com T: 01992 535 647
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Brookite has been manufacturing kites for over one hundred years and during that time customer service and quality workmanship have always been of prime importance. Over the years, many things have changed both in the kite industry and for Brookite but it has always been able to respond quickly to market trends using the latest materials and employing modern innovations and technology. Operating from an old corn mill in the heart of rural Devon, Brookite has remained a family business throughout its long history with the business passing down through four generations so far. For 2009 Brookite continue to produce and import quality items at sensible prices. This year sees the arrival of licensed products –
■ Licensing Big & Small
0208 337 7958
■ Point of Purchase Manufacturers Daytona Visual Marketing
■ Safety Testing SGS
0208 991 3410
0118 939 8700
■ Suppliers/Manufacturers Bachmann Europe
0870 751 9990
01279 821 333
01323 485 550
Danbar International Ltd.
01707 260 111
01420 593 593
01702 295 110
01494 562 727
Games Workshop Ideal Software
08700 134 411
Ben 10, Star Wars and Disney feature on a whole range of items including kites, Frisbees, flying gizmos, umbrellas and windmills. The core range of Brookite kites continue to delight with new products added all the time – new for 2009 is the Mini Butterfly range and the quirky Ladybird Assortment.
+44 (0)1767 689 720
01323 647 886
01727 763 700
01483 776 006
Plastics for Games
01728 745 300
Point Zero Games
01625 540 493
01869 363 800
01442 250 130
0115 937 5147
The Puppet Company
01462 446 040
0845 466 8880
Voila (Agenta Marketing)
01536 401 128
0207 381 2302
■ Toy Suppliers Carta Mundi
01268 511 522
Plastics for Games
01728 745 300
Richard Edward Sambro International
The Funtrix range of attractively packaged Diabolos, Juggling Balls, Pois and Devil Sticks are available on an exciting display stand featuring a screen with a built-in DVD. For further details or to obtain a current catalogue please call the kiteline on 01837 53315 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
0208 311 8888 +44 (0) 161 707 5555
Adrian Miles: +44 (0)1992 535 647 email@example.com
RAVENSBURGER LTD Ravensburger has given Marketplace a sneak preview of some of its plans for autumn/winter 2009. It remains leaders of the licensed puzzle market with a portfolio that includes Star Wars, High School Musical 3, In the Night Garden (wooden puzzles), Thomas & Friends, Bob the Builder, Lazytown, Hello Kitty, Disney Princess and Power Rangers. However, other strong characters are to join this impressive stable for autumn/winter 2009. “We continue to lead the way in the category of licensed puzzles”, says Tim Hall, Managing Director of Ravensburger, “and are delighted to be able to offer such a strong range of merchandise. Puzzles is a category that continues to deliver a very good
profit level to all retailers who devote sufficient shelf space and keep in stock throughout the year”. Amongst new autumn/winter introductions are products based on Ice Age 3. This licence grew with the second film, so Ravensburger see it as a growing phenomenon and its puzzles will be launched in plenty of time to benefit from the film’s pre-
publicity in the summer. In anticipation of the relaunch of Disney’s Toy Story, Ravensburger has developed a range of puzzles and games featuring favourite characters from the first two movies. Also in the pipeline is a 1,000 piece puzzle based on gift market favourite Me to You (Tatty Teddy). The licence is already hugely popular with women and girls aged 12-plus, so Ravensburger is confident it will prove to be a popular addition to their already buoyant adult puzzle range. For further information on Ravensburger products contact 01869 363800
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.
Contact - Kelli Bromley, Sales Manager T: 0208 441 2158 M: 07760270209 www.jellyhead3d.co.uk firstname.lastname@example.org
■ Point of Purchase Manufacturers
Marketplace ■ Safety Testing
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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www.toynewsmag.com | Advertising: +44 (0)1992 535 647 ■ Suppliers/Manufacturers
Marketplace ■ Suppliers/Manufacturers
www.toynewsmag.com | Advertising: +44 (0)1992 535 647 ■ Suppliers/Manufacturers
Marketplace ■ Toy Suppliers
■ Toy Suppliers
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■ Toy Suppliers
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Advertisers Index ■ Character Costumes & P.O.S. JellyHead 3D
0208 441 2158
0208 254 5300
0208 337 7958
0208 991 3410
0118 939 8700
0870 751 9990
■ Licensing Big & Small
■ Point of Purchase Manufacturers Daytona Visual Marketing
■ Safety Testing
■ Suppliers/Manufacturers Bachmann Europe Brookite Cambridge Brainbox Danbar International Ltd.
01707 260 111
01420 593 593
01494 562 727
08700 134 411
+44 (0)1767 689 720
Ideal Software JC Games
01483 776 006
Plastics for Games
Point Zero Games
01625 540 493
0115 937 5147
The Puppet Company
01462 446 040
0845 466 8880
0207 471 0980
Voila (Agenta Marketing) WOW Toys
■ Toy Suppliers Carta Mundi
Plastics for Games
0208 311 8888
+44 (0)161 707 5555
Richard Edward Sambro International
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TOY TALK Lost parents, hero shopkeepers and yet more photo-based mischief....
Peter Burcham, Senior business account manager, Hasbro Number one album: Kings of Leon - Only the Night -----------------------------------------------------Film: Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels -----------------------------------------------------Book: Bravo Two Zero -----------------------------------------------------TV programme: Top Gear -----------------------------------------------------Number one single when you were born: Silver Lady by David Soul -----------------------------------------------------Hero: Richard Branson -----------------------------------------------------Thing to do at the weekend: Have a blast on my motorbike or watch rugby -----------------------------------------------------Gadget: Sky + -----------------------------------------------------Tipple: Guinness
FIT UP YOUR BOSS The latest entry for our Kidizoom Frame a Colleague is from Katie Kenworthy at Re:Creation who has sent in a pic of Lee Anne Neale for us to desecrate. So a Kidizoom on its way to her.
But, who amongst you has really got the bottle to send in one of their boss? Who is going to bring us the head of one of the industry’s high-flyers? Come on, who’s feeling brave/foolish?
If you fancy seeing yourself, your colleague or better still your boss here and winning a Kidizoom camera while you’re at it, send your snaps to firstname.lastname@example.org and we will give it the makeover it requires.
WOW COULD BE HEROES Eagle-eyed fans of cult show Heroes might have noticed a great bit of product placement for Wow Toys in a recent episode. The firm’s Jonny Jungle plane is seen here with ‘Baby Matt Parkman’ who has the special ability to make electrical items start up just by touching them. Or stop, if he’s in a bad mood. “They contacted us a few months ago, keen to feature some of our toys in a few scenes of episode 20,” said Wow’s Tanya Laperouse.
-----------------------------------------------------Piece of advice: Never insult anyone by accident ------------------------------------------------------
TIGER FEAT Clearly, the tale of the wo man that climbed into a polar bear enclosure recently and narrowly escaped with her life, wa s not noticed by the guys at Tru nki (kids’ suitcases with wh eels on) who somehow managed to get Longleat’s three year old Tiger called Soundari to unw ittingly do some PR for the firm’s lim ited edition Tipu. You’ll see Trunki boss Rob Law at variou s trade fairs. He’s the one with one arm.
TOY TALK FLAIR DOES ITS BIT
CAN YOU HELP FIND RAINBOW BABY FIND HIS MUM AND DAD?
Flair is getting into the fundraising spirit, entering teams for all three of the Toy Trust’s sporting moneyraising events. A Flair team will be doing a parachute jump on May 13th; the Big Kids Bike Ride on May 14th and thirdly, during June a team will be swimming 34km – the width of the English Channel – which equates to 1,700 lengths of the pool. Flair boss Peter Brown said: “Flair has always been keen to support the Toy Trust but this year we feel we have embraced the event whole heartedly. Not only will this be profitable for the charity but we also view it as a positive team building experience.” Oh and this is a pic of Flair’s Mark Hyndman in a Zorro Suit for Red Nose day for some reason.
TOYNEWS HAS had an unusual request for info about a sales agent called Rudi Cross, as part of an ongoing paternity search. In a letter to ToyNews, the partner of David Stevenson has appealed for help in his ongoing search to find his real parents and believes a former toy industry sales agent called Rudi Cross, linked to a London toy wholesaler called Hereward Trading, may hold some answers. The letter, from Julia Howell, reads: “I'm hoping that you or your readers may be able to help my partner David Stevenson. “David was found on a doorstep in a block of flats in Golders Green, London in December 1960 when he was just a few hours old. The police rescued him in response to a 999 call. There was lots of media attention at the time, the press having dubbed David 'The Rainbow Baby' as he was dressed in clothes of many different colours.
BIG 20 FOR DKL
DKL is celebrating 20 yea rs in the toy trade. Moving from Denmark in 1986, Kai and Dorte Hawaleschka saw opportunities to develo p a distribution company. In 1989 DKL wa s launched and introduced the world to Hama Beads and the now infamous Trolls. “Who can forget those Troll characters it was a wonderful craze that helped us develop the company fur ther,” said Kai Hawaleschka. DKL’s current portfolio includes leading brands, Hama, Corolle, Wonderworld, Sigikid and Viking Toys. Dorte added: “I have enj oyed my 20 years and seen many cha nges and we both look forward to gro wing the business into the future” .
HAVE A GO HERO If you’re at a trade show and Monika Piotrowska from Fun Toys and Games in Portsmouth wants to come on your stand, best let her on. She has just fought off a man armed with a gun who tried to rob her day’s takings. He walked into the shop and started asking about Spiderman Monopoly, then suddenly pulled out a gun from his bag, pointed it at her and said ‘open the till, love’. So you would hand over the cash, right? Not Monika. Instead of giving him the cash she pushed him away as she quickly tried to get out of the shop. She told her local paper: “I could not believe it when he pulled out the gun. I said ‘What? I'm not opening my till. If you want money go to work’.” “I grabbed the mobile phone and tried to dial 999. He tried to get into the till but I pulled out the key, pushed him into the shelves and walked quickly to the door, but he grabbed my arm and we got into a struggle and I kicked him. There was no way I was going to give him my money. We work so hard here I wasn’t just about to give it away. My instinct wasn’t to be scared, it was to protect my business.” Forget Golden Teddies, she definitely deserves some sort of award for that. No word on whether the guy got his Spiderman Monopoly though.
CHOCKS AWAY Nope it’s not an award from the Adam and the Ants appreciation society. Licensing industry favourite Stephen Gould is seen here being awarded the Memorial Trophy by the RAF, following his work on the brand’s merchandising and licensing programme during his time at 4Kids Entertainment. The Memorial Trophy is named after the former director of Air Ministry PR and is awarded for the best interpretation of the Royal Air Force to the public, either during the previous 12 months or through constant effort over a number of years. Previous recipients include James May in 2007 after he flew in an RAF Typhoon on Top Gear. Air Commodore Mark Roberts said: “The Royal Air Force has gained an immense public relations boost from Stephen's insight and vision and is now positioned to take full advantage of licensing opportunities through the Royal Air Force Museum at Hendon and the Ministry of Defence at Whitehall. “In all, Stephen has displayed in abundance the characteristics that the RAF looks for in its own people. His dedication and tenacity has translated history and tradition into a modern and desirable premier brand and in so doing has clearly delivered the best interpretation of the RAF to the wider public over recent years.”
Can you help David Stevenson in his search?
“No-one ever came forward to claim him and he was eventually adopted by a loving family. David is now 48 and earlier this year the Daily Mail ran a fresh appeal for his parents to come forward and I've been helping David follow up the leads. “It's a very long story, but over the past three months we've come an incredibly long way, having found witnesses who have been able to tell us that David wasn't left where the police found him and this new information has given us a very strong lead as to who David's father was. “As a result, we are now very urgently wishing to speak to anyone who worked at Hereward Trading Co. Ltd, who were based on the Euston Road in London in the 1940s1960s. Hereward Trading was a toy wholesale distributor. “We are particularly hoping to hear from anyone who remembers a sales agent by the name of Rudi Cross. Rudi was an AustrianJewish refugee who came to the UK in the late 1930s and became a naturalised British citizen. After leaving Hereward Trading, Rudi worked for Angel Toys (1962 onwards) - we have spoken to his former colleagues but feel we do need to speak to anyone who worked with Rudi at Hereward. “We understand that Rudi was very well known in the wholesale toy industry in the 1960s and 1970s. He was a close acquaintance of the famous Ally Gee of Timpo Toys (in fact Ally was a witness at Rudi's wedding). “If you can help us get this message out to toy industry professionals we would be so very grateful.” Anyone with any information can visit a website at: www.therainbowbaby.blogspot.com or email at email@example.com
2009 FEATURE PLANNER JUNE 2009 Girls Market Special Fashion Dolls Magnetic Summer Movies
• • •
Editorial Deadline: Call for details Advertising Deadline: May 8th
JULY 2009 learning • Electronic Up & Halloween • Dress • Creative Play Editorial Deadline: May 8th Advertising Deadline: June 17th
FORTHCOMING EVENTS 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
SHOWCOMOTION July 1st - 3rd Sheffield Media and Exhibition Centre www.showcomotionconference.com
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
AUTUMN FAIR 09 September 6th - 9th NEC, Birmingham www.autumnfair.com
BRAND LICENSING EUROPE 09 September 30th - October 1st Grand Hall, Olympia, London www.brandlicensingexpo.com
TOYNEWS FIVES July 10th Powerleague, Barnet www.topcorner.co.uk/ toynewsfives
Got any events you would like to see added to the calendar? Email firstname.lastname@example.org
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