Toys n Playthings January 2022

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2 ry 202 Janua No. 3 1 Vol. 4

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FRONT & REAR LIGHTS

PUNCTURE PROOF TYRES



CONTENTS Regulars 5

Leader - with Clare Turner

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6 News - the latest toy industry headlines

2 ry 202 Janua 3 . o 1N Vol. 4

13 R etail News - what’s happening across the retail landscape 14 People News - all the movers and shakers 16 Media News - the multimedia rundown 20 Ambassadors - our tiny testers put three Wilton Bradley products through their paces 24 What’s New - fresh launches that you need to get your hands on 46 Cover Story - with MV Sports joint managing director Phil Ratcliffe

Chairman Malcolm Naish malcolm@lemapublishing.co.uk

Managing Director Mark Naish mark@lemapublishing.co.uk

Editor Clare Turner clare@lemapublishing.co.uk

Assistant Editor

125 Don’t Miss - a sneak peek at unmissable products for buyers

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Features

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Toy Fair Focus 34 London Toy Fair 2022 - Majen Immink, director of fairs and special events at BTHA, gives the low down on the UK’s premier toy industry event 36 Toy Talk - retailers share their Toy Fair expectations 41 Trade Talk - Toy Fair exhibitors reveal what they are hoping to achieve at the show 50 Product Preview - plan your show diary with our in-depth exhibitor guide

Naomi MacKay naomi@lemapublishing.co.uk 30 Company Profile - Premier Decorations

Advertisement Manager Athee Waran athee@lemapublishing.co.uk

Production Director Paul Naish paul@lemapublishing.co.uk

Circulation Manager Robert Thomas robert@lemapublishing.co.uk

31 Company Profile - Edx Education 32 Company Profile - Elves Behavin’ Badly 118 Licensing Spotlight - properties to watch in 2022 119 Company Profile - Padgett Bros 122 Toy Fair New York 2022 - Kimberly Carcone at the U.S. Toy Association discusses what’s planned for the Big Apple show

Special Reports 26 Retail Interview - with Fred Prego, digital and marketing director of Menkind

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33 Retail Interview - with George at Asda senior sustainability manager Jade Snart 48 The Big Interview - with Malcolm Ottley, VP of sales EMEA at Funko 120 Retail Interview - with Cynthia Compton, owner of 4 Kids Books & Toys in the US state of Indiana 121 R etail Interview - with Peter Dobson, CEO of Geek Retreat 124 Retail Interview - with Kate Hateley, group toy buyer of British Garden Centres

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Columnists 11 Trends Column - the U.S. Toy Association puts safety first at Toy Fair New York

Lema Publishing Ltd 1 Churchgates, The Wilderness, Berkhamsted, Herts, HP4 2UB Telephone: 01442 289930

At the heart of retail

17 M edia Analysis - Generation Media looks at the viewing landscape in Germany 18 R etail Opinion - John Ryan pays a visit to US toy retailer Camp 19 C onsumer Insight - The Insights Family explores the rise in popularity of 3D printing 22 Indie Opinion - Diary of a Toy Shop by Amanda Alexander, owner of Giddy Goat Toys

Flip Cover Special! Turn over your copy of TnP for our guide to Nuremberg Toy Fair 2022 - Europe’s biggest toy trade event



LEADER Clare Turner

O At the heart of retail Also by Lema Publishing

ver the past months, the British Toy & Hobby Association (BTHA) has been continuously monitoring government regulations and industry guidance to best prepare and work towards delivering a safe and successful Toy Fair. At TnP went to press, the BTHA was pleased to confirm that, ‘given the government has not changed the conditions under which the Fair can take place’, it looks forward to delivering a great Toy Fair 2022 and to welcoming the industry back again. This news will be warmly welcomed by readers, who are no doubt counting the days until they can meet up again at the UK’s premier toy industry event, which takes place from January 25 to January 27 at Olympia in London. As the BTHA’s director of fairs and special events Majen Immink says in this issue, it will be the first big opportunity of the year for visitors to get hands-on with the hottest toys and games for 2022 and see all the exciting new trends. And, she adds, if anyone (like me!) has not attended before, Toy Fair provides a real overview and insight into this fun, innovative and exciting industry. It’s also, of course, a great setting to network with peers and make new contacts. Majen notes that this year, more than ever, it’s so important that all exhibitors and visitors have a very successful experience, especially after a tough couple of years during Covid and a year away – when the show was cancelled in 2021 due to the pandemic. There are some elements of Toy Fair that involve crowding and so are unable to take place this time round, such as the Influencer Day, Demo Zone and Toy Fair TV. But Toy Fair’s Hero Toys will be back, and exhibitors will still be allowed to hold events on their stands.

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This factor is one of several cited by retailers interviewed for this edition as a reason why they are so excited to go to the show again. Nouman Qureshi, the toys & hobbies category manager of eBay, is particularly keen to see the Asmodee stand “because their demonstrations are flawlessly executed and very engaging,” while Julia Wingate, owner of The Trading Post in Kingsbridge, loves playing a quick game with Big Potato Games and seeing the water toys at Tomy. But the first time she sees the life-size LEGO models and meets Peppa Pig, Ben and Holly walking about always brings a smile to her face. As Peter Allinson, director of the four-strong specialist chain Whirligig Toys in Kent and Sussex, points out: “Being trodden on by various furry characters is always fun!” The exhibitors we’ve spoken to are similarly keen to return to the show and share what they’ve been working on. Jack Probyn, UK marketing manager of Winning Moves, sums up the mood of many when he says: “More than anything else, having not seen one another for nearly two years, we’re excited to see our customers again. We can’t wait to hear what’s hot in their worlds, and to be able to show them what’s hot in ours. The connectivity within the show is second to none and we look forward to welcoming customers both old and new onto our stand.” As a first-time visitor, I can’t wait to meet you all. From the feedback I’ve received from regular visitors and exhibitors, I’m sure the atmosphere at the show will be nothing but upbeat and positive, as everyone is so keen to meet up in person and see products ‘in the flesh’ again. Finally, flip this issue over and you will find our preview to the world’s largest toy fair: the Spielwarenmesse, which will be held from February 2 to February 6 at the Nuremberg Exhibition Centre.

Toy Fair will be the first big opportunity of the year for visitors to get hands-on with the hottest toys and games for 2022 and see all the exciting new trends

Enjoy the issue, enjoy the shows - and see you there!


NEWS

Vivid Goliath to launch ‘world’s first collectable toy made from recycled plastic’ Recyclings is the name of a new toy range from Vivid Goliath, set to launch across the UK and Eire this month. The collectable Recyclings characters are made from 70% recycled plastic, and each one saves seven bottle caps (average based on weight) from landfill - which not only means guilt-free collecting but also educates kids on sustainability. In addition, the range includes ecofriendly packaging: each capsule that the characters come in is made from 100% recycled plastic. From Dumplings to Dragons, Hotdogs to Handbags, and Popcorn to Pandas, there are more than 90 Recyclings to collect in the first season, spanning eight categories including foodies, nature, under the sea, movie night and more. There are also limited edition Recyclings - Glittery Shooting Star, Golden Treasure Chest or Glowing Ghost - to make collections even more exciting. Recyclings double up as pencil toppers too, to bring style to study time.

Vivid Goliath senior brand manager Chloe Burrowes said: “We’re delighted to partner with Headstart to distribute Recyclings, and the range has been curated to meet all the key price points. From the entry-priced Collector Cap Pack through to storage and display cases and a Collection Truck Playset coming later in 2022, there is a price point for every occasion.” The range will be launched with an extensive marketing plan. Chloe explained: “We will be covering all channels where children are consuming content. YouTube and the all-important influencers’ network will help to show both parents and children the collectability, cute characters and environmentally-friendly ethos behind the brand.” A Recyclings game will be available to download to merge physical and digital worlds, and the brand will be supported with TV commercials.

Zimpli Kids

raises funds for charity Zimpli Kids is raising funds for NHS Charities Together - a network of more than 230 NHS charities across the UK that provide the extra support needed to care for NHS staff, patients and communities. The company said: ‘Due to the pandemic, the NHS struggled massively to keep up with demand and therefore we have decided to donate 100% of net profits from each Cloud Rainbow Baff Bomb sold. With the colourful, fizzing rainbow effect, these Cloud Baff Bombz are the perfect representation of the NHS and the perfect gift to brighten up any bath time experience.’

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Thames & Kosmos teams up with Spiral Games Thames & Kosmos has teamed up with Spiral Galaxy Games, who will be distributing part-box and single orders of its full board game range. Orders for full box games and all science kits will be filled by Thames and Kosmos as per usual. Three of the company’s games - Red Cathedral, EXIT: The Sacred Temple puzzle, and Polis - have been chosen as the Best Games of 2021 by Tabletop Gaming magazine. Meanwhile, The Exit Advent Calendar: The Mystery of the Ice Cave, completely sold out last year and Thames & Kosmos has announced that it will be adding to the range this year with its new Advent Calendar: The Hunt for the Golden Book. It expects to receive the calendars around August 2022 and advises retailers to reserve their allocation as soon as possible to avoid disappointment.

Plum Play partners with Born Free Plum Play has partnered with Born Free, a charity dedicated to protecting wild orangutans that are under threat from habitat loss due to logging, palm oil production, mining, and agricultural expansion. The partnership includes the Plum Play Born Free swing set range: for every swing set bought, Plum Play adopts an Orangutan on behalf of the customer. Customers who purchase the swing set receive a cuddly toy, animal story, species fact sheet, glossy photo, certificate of adoption, and the Born Free Adopt Magazine twice during the year.

toysnplaythings.media



NEWS Eduk8 Worldwide

celebrates 20th anniversary

Asmodee UK

launches its largest ever marketing campaign Game publisher and distributor Asmodee UK has partnered with Absolute Radio and its presenters Andy Bush and Richie Firth to launch its biggest-ever marketing campaign. The promotion, which runs until April, aims to raise awareness of Asmodee’s board games such as Dobble, Catan and Ticket to Ride, and encourage more people to play more games more often. The company said that in recognition of declining linear TV audiences, it had worked with media buyer Generation Media to identify a channel and opportunity to reach new audiences. The push marks the first time that Asmodee UK has advertised on the radio - and comes as figures from RAJAR [Radio Joint Audience Research: the official body in charge of measuring radio audiences in the UK] reveal that The Absolute Radio Network of 10 radio stations owned and operated by Bauer Radio reaches 5.2 million listeners. Plus, with recent research by Bauer Media finding that 25% of people are consuming more radio since restrictions have eased and 50% of people are claiming they have a closer relationship to their favourite radio station now compared with pre-pandemic times, the campaign will help Asmodee UK reach engaged scaled audiences across the country that have a strong affinity with their favourite presenters. The games will come to life on the ‘Hometime with Bush & Richie’ show, where the duo will ask listeners to take part in radio versions of a selection of Asmodee UK games. For example, for Dobble, the same words will be blocked out of two songs and callers will go head-tohead to see who can identify the most pairs. Winners will receive four tickets to Bush and Richie’s Board Game Bonanza, which will be held on February 15 at Cahoots in London: a 1940s-themed bar in the heart of Soho. Sixty game-lovers will experience ‘the ultimate board games night’, enjoying music, food, drink and spot prizes while playing a range of Asmodee UK’s games. In addition, Asmodee UK will become the official sponsor of Saturday nights on Absolute Radio across both the ‘Andy Bush’s Indie Disco’ show and the ‘Absolute Classic Rock Party with Claire Sturgess’ show. 40” trails will also drive listeners to an online creative page on Absolute Radio’s website where they can win a party food and drink package, sound system and a bundle of Asmodee UK games. 8

UK educational toy designer and distributor Eduk8 Worldwide will be celebrating 20 years in the business at London Toy Fair. Founded in 2001 with three people and a UK-only distribution network, it now operates in four continents with a global team and a range of more than 300 individual products. Director Christine Lawson (pictured) said: “From our firstever Toy Fair visit in 2014, we have seen huge shifts in the industry, including the important move to sustainable manufacturing. At the show this year we are collaborating with Incredible Husk: a biodegradable, carbon negative alternative to plastics and bioplastics. The market is ready for the shift to plastic alternatives, and this promises to be an exciting year for all involved in the industry.”

Name change for

H. Grossman

H. Grossman Ltd has been renamed One For Fun Ltd in a total rebrand that brings all of the company’s products under one unifying entity. CEO David Mordecai said: “This is the culmination of a lot of hard work, bringing together all of our team with one website, one set of email addresses, one sales force and one fantastic office and showroom. “As far as our customers and suppliers go, this will eliminate a lot of confusion. We had team members with differing company email addresses, different offices at different ends of the UK, and a feeling that the name did not represent the fusion of the companies. One for Fun Ltd is a company that sells brands - HGL, Ozbozz, Tobar, Kit for Kids and our distribution brands, Maisto and Bburago and Zuru.”

IMC Toys signs Retail Monster IMC Toys has signed Retail Monster as its licensing agent and will launch a licensing programme for Cry Babies Magic Tears in the UK. The toy company said the new partnership is ‘testament to the performance of the Cry Babies Magic Tears brand in the UK, which has seen phenomenal growth and success over the last 18 months’. Licensing is a huge part of IMC’s business in Spain, and other territories worldwide. In less than two years the company has entered into agreements with more than 65 licensees in 40 regions, launching more than 500 licensed products across publishing, apparel, educational games, personal care, and confectionery. IMC Toys hopes its licensing agreement with Retail Monster will translate into a similar success story for Cry Babies Magic Tears in the UK, where the licensing rollout will launch with apparel and publishing.

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NEWS Flair GP signs Messi! Flair GP and TigerHead Toys have announced the return of the Messi Training collection to the firm’s portfolio in S/S22. The range, which is endorsed by Argentine professional footballer Lionel Messi - who was presented with the Ballon d’Or award last year for best men’s footballer in the world for a record seventh time - comprises balls and accessories to hone football skills. With instantly recognisable branding and professional training methods and equipment at the heart of the brand, this collection is designed to inspire kids to train harder and smarter.

The collection includes the Soft Touch Training Ball, which is printed with an image of Messi and is designed for younger players, with the size-2 ball and the height-adjustable cord. For older kids there is the Pro Training Ball S3, which has the benefits of the Soft Touch Ball, but with a size-3 ball. Next, kids can brush up on fancy tricks with the Tricks & Effects Ball; its streamlined design allows kids to make the best plays and shoot like a pro. And, for a high-resistance ball with quality rebound, there is the Flexi Ball Pro, which is designed to support better control. There is also a range of accessories including the Messi Large Foldable Goal, which comes with a ball and pump, and the Small Pop-Up Goal, which folds down into a compact shoulder bag.

The Spring Fair team accepting the Award

Spring Fair wins AEO Trade Show of the Century Award Last month Spring Fair was presented with the prestigious Trade Show of the Century Award at The AEO (Association of Event Organisers) Centenary Party & Awards at the Vox in Birmingham. The annual exhibition was the first show to take place in the NEC Birmingham, which was officially opened by HM The Queen in February 1976. The next edition takes place from February 6 to February 9 and is expected to welcome tens of thousands of UK and international retailers and buyers. Spring Fair is designed around four buying destinations: Home, Gift, Fashion and Design & Source. Julie Driscoll, divisional managing director for retail, engineering and manufacturing at Hyve Group, which organises the Spring Fair, said: “Hyve Group is absolutely delighted to receive this industry recognition. I’d like to thank everyone who currently works on Spring Fair and everyone who has ever contributed to the show. This award goes to all employees and suppliers who have helped keep this brilliant exhibition delivering for its customers over the last 75 years.” AEO is a trade body representing companies which conceive, create, develop, or manage trade and consumer events.

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The Puppet Company signs soft toy

contract with WWF-UK

The Puppet Company has signed a contract with conservation organisation WWF-UK as the new supplier of the soft toys sent to supporters who take out a WWF-UK animal adoption. The wholesaler has also announced its accreditation with the German eco label Blue Angel, which has been leading the way for environmentally friendly product design over the past 40 years, helping customers select environmentally friendly “We’re delighted to be products by certifying that the environmental working with WWFimpacts usually associated with soft toy UK and are committed products have been minimised. to supporting them The Puppet Company owner and coas they continue their founder Sue Lockey said: “We’re delighted to mission through the be working with WWF-UK and are committed supply of our bespoke to supporting them as they continue their soft toys, used as mission through the supply of our bespoke optional extras in soft toys, used as optional extras in the animal the animal adoption adoption process to help raise vital funds process to help raise to support WWF’s work. As the only UK vital funds to support toy company with Blue Angel certification, WWF’s work” we are continuing to develop sustainable products and are really excited to introduce new ranges of eco puppets and soft toys made from recycled plastic over the coming months as we build on our commitment to supporting the environment.”


TOY FAIR NEW YORK PUTS SAFETY FIRST FOR 2022

Mattel launches Playback programmme A survey of 2,000 British parents conducted by OnePoll last month has revealed that children received an average of 10 new toys each this Christmas - with 57% of parents worrying what would happen to their kids’ pre-loved toys after the festive period. The study, which was commissioned by Mattel, also showed that 64% of parents wished they had more opportunities to recycle their kids’ toys. In addition, 75% planned to declutter their kids’ bedrooms during the festive break, while 50% have made a New Year’s Resolution to live more sustainably in 2022, with recycling the most popular option to achieve this. To help parents achieve these goals, Mattel has launched #TaptoRebox with Mattel Playback: a toy takeback programme that enables families to extend the life of their Mattel toys once they have finished playing with them. The scheme is designed to recover and reuse materials from old Mattel toys, and supports the company’s goal to achieve 100% recycled, recyclable or bio-based plastic materials across all products and packaging by 2030. Mattel is also teaming up with professional declutterer and life coach Kate Ibbotson, founder of organisational service A Tidy Mind, to provide decluttering, donating, and recycling tips to UK parents. To participate in the Mattel PlayBack programme, consumers can visit www2.mattel.com/en-gb/playback, print a free shipping label, and pack and mail their outgrown Mattel toys back to Mattel. The toys will be sorted and separated by material type and responsibly processed and recycled. For materials that cannot be repurposed as recycled content, Mattel will either downcycle those materials or convert them from waste to energy. The programme currently accepts Barbie, Matchbox and MEGA Last month Mattel toys, with more delivered a lorry-load brands to be added of toys to its local in the future. The #TapToRebox Salvation Army branch in campaign will also Slough for the charitable be launched in other organisation’s Christmas European countries to encourage Present Appeal. More parents to donate than 1,000 toys, including or recycle old toys, Barbie, Fisher-Price, Hot with influencers and parents signing up Wheels and Thomas & to the scheme in the Friends, were distributed UK, Germany and France. to families.

With Toy Fair New York just a month away, the show’s organiser the U.S. Toy Association is continuing to work in accordance with all city, state, and venue regulations to ensure a safe environment for attendees to explore and do business, says senior advisor, strategic communications Kristin Morency Goldman Toy Fair New York, which takes place from February 19 to February 22 at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center, will follow the city’s indoor activity guidelines and the venue’s own policy requiring proof of vaccination for admission to events. “We know how eager the global play community is to come back together live and in person at Toy Fair,” said Kimberly Carcone, senior vice president of global market events at the U.S. Toy Association, producer of Toy Fair New York. “And while we are focused on offering our guests even more opportunities to connect, engage, and learn, our number one priority continues to be the health, safety, and security of all Toy Fair participants.” In addition to adhering to all state and local guidelines and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommendations for masking and other safety protocols, the U.S. Toy Association is providing international guests with the following information to help plan ahead: ■ U pon entry to Toy Fair, all attendees will be required to show proof of vaccination, along with photo ID. Participants are highly encouraged to download the NYC COVID Safe app and complete the Photo ID and Vaccine Verification before arriving at Toy Fair New York to expediate the process. ■ G uests can feel confident in the precautions being taken by the Javits Center, which has received Global Biorisk Advisory Council (GBAC) accreditation for implementing the industry’s highest standards for cleaning and disinfection of infectious agents like the coronavirus. The Center has also installed hospital-grade High Efficiency Particulate Air (HEPA) filters to improve air filtration and ventilation. The entire volume of air within the building is completely changed five times per day.

“We know how eager the global play community is to come back together live and in person at Toy Fair”

■ W hen booking your hotel for Toy Fair New York, be sure to check the Covid requirements with the hotel of your choosing. Many New York City hotels, restaurants, and entertainment facilities have their own requirements regarding proof of vaccination. ■ T he New York Marriott Marquis, venue of the Toy of the Year Awards (TOTY), which take place on February 18, will require proof of vaccination (with a valid form of identification) for admission, in accordance with New York City policy. ■ T o stay informed about the latest news, programming, and safety protocols at Toy Fair, visit www.ToyFairNY.com. ■ Read our Special Report on Toy Fair New York on page 122.

JANUARY 2022

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NEWS Mookie Toys reunites with Ecoiffier

Orchard Toys scores top marks

with preschools Orchard Toys’ Learning Made Fun education campaign has proved a winner with preschools. The initiative saw preschools nationwide receive education resource packs designed to help teachers encourage children to engage with the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) education framework. According to postcampaign research, 83% of teachers reported that the packs really helped their classes to do that. The resources included Orchard Toys games and jigsaws, activity sheets, certificates and stickers. The contents centred around supporting a range of key early years development skills, including number, letter and shape recognition, sequencing, matching and memory, observation and social skills. All the preschools integrated the games and puzzles into everyday play in the classroom, with nearly two-thirds also creating dedicated Orchard Toys sessions. Asked to rank the products for their relevance to EYFS skills, teachers’ top five Orchard Toys are: Dinosaur Opposites (communication and language), Giant Road Jigsaw (understanding the world), Dotty Dinosaurs Game (mathematics), Big Number Jigsaw (counting), and Crazy Chef’s Game (understanding the world). Orchard Toys also provided take-home elements for the children, which were positively received by parents according to the campaign feedback. Orchard Toys managing director 12

Simon Newbery said: “Learning Made Fun is at the heart of everything we do, ensuring our games, jigsaws and activity books strike the perfect balance of education and fun. I’m not surprised that our education resource pack was a hit as the brand is loved by teachers, as well as parents and children - and we’re delighted that all participating teachers would recommend it to others.” Orchard Toys has confirmed a distribution agreement with Tomy to support its plans to expand the Orchard Toys brand in GAS (Germany, Austria, Switzerland), Belgium and France. Orchard Toys said partnering with Tomy will ‘ensure continued support of existing retail opportunities as well as the development of major businesses within the regions’. Through Tomy, Orchard Toys is looking to replicate the success it has seen in the UK with a company that can offer regional distribution and local infrastructure. Tomy will be featuring the Orchard Toys range at the Nuremberg trade show and will launch products into the markets by April.

Mookie Toys has announced the reinstatement of its long-standing partnership with Ecoiffier. Mookie Toys has been working with Ecoiffier for more than 30 years. However, in the past three years Mookie has had a limited collaboration with Ecoiffier, operating as a distributer for its summer and garden ranges. But Mookie Toys will once again represent the best-selling French brand’s entire collection. Ecoiffier has a strong focus on sustainability, from production to products and packaging. All its toys are made from four materials that are 100% recyclable, and 100% of energy created from production is reusable energy and used to heat its 6,000sq m factory. Julie Chaboud, who has succeeded her father Jacques Ecoiffier as the head of Jouets Ecoiffier, commented: “We are very happy that two generations are coming together to continue and drive the commercial relationship established by our two respective fathers over 30 years ago. We look forward to working together and developing our collaboration further towards new horizons, effective immediately: all S/S and A/W orders will be taken by Mookie Toys.” The Ecoiffier S/S and A/W ranges will be on show on Mookie’s stand (N10) at London Toy Fair.

MGA Entertainment launches new doll brand MGA Entertainment has revealed details of the latest brand to join MGA Entertainment’s growing portfolio. MGA’s Dream Ella is a range of fashion dolls and accessories aimed at children aged three to five. Billed as ‘bringing a sprinkle of magic to playtime,’ MGA’s Dream Ella is a hybrid between fantasy and reality - a career woman by day and a fairy by night. The dolls are designed to be young children’s ‘My First Fashion Doll’ and drive inspiration to #BeWhateverYouDream from an early age. The range includes MGA’s Dream Ella Colour Change Surprise Fairies, MGA’s Dream Ella I am Fashion Doll, MGA’s Dream Ella Unicorn, MGA’s Dream Ella Car Cruiser and MGA’s Dream Ella Majestic Castle.

toysnplaythings.media


RETAIL

NEWS

Pokémon pops up in Selfridges The Pokémon Company International has taken over part of the toy space in Selfridges’ three UK stores. The pop-up activation, which launched on December 13 and runs until the end of January, forms part of the final celebrations to mark the year-long commemoration of the brand’s 25th anniversary. Special branded areas have been created at Selfridges’ flagship store on London’s Oxford Street and its branches in Birmingham’s Bullring and the Trafford Centre in Manchester, to promote the Pokémon range and provide a fun and immersive experience for fans of all ages. In addition to a wide selection of Pokémon products, the activation also offers photo opportunities, including costume character visits at the Oxford Street store. The Pokémon spaces have a Pikachu motif - the iconic Pokémon that has been the face of the 25th anniversary. Its bright yellow image can be seen on displays and shelving, as well as digital screens that share promotional content from the different Pokémon brand pillars. Mathieu Galante, licensing director (EMEA) for The Pokémon Company International, said:

“We’re delighted to team up once more with Selfridges for this exciting activity. We’ve had an amazing year as we’ve celebrated our 25th anniversary and there could be no better way to conclude the festivities than with this takeover in such a prestigious store. We’re sure fans old and new will be thrilled with what’s on offer when they visit these fun and vibrant Pokémon pop-ups.” The takeover follows a successful collaboration with Selfridges in 2018 at its Oxford Street store, which featured a branded wall, exclusive merchandise, and a special event.

JANUARY 2022

The British Toy & Hobby Association (BTHA) has announced the finalists for the Toy Retailer of the Year Awards 2021. The shortlist is: Independent Toy Retailer of the Year (single store)

Build-A-Bear powers up Global retailer Build-A-Bear Workshop has teamed up with computing company Nutanix, 3D online shopping solutions provider Buzz3D and data centre and cloud services provider TierPoint to develop technology to power its new Bear Builder 3D Workshop: an interactive online shopping experience that virtually brings furry friends ‘to life’ during the purchasing process. Build-A-Bear began exploring opportunities to create an immersive and engaging online experience that builds on the familiar steps of its retail store experience yet creates something entirely new for the digital space. Build-A-Bear engaged key technology partners to help bring its concept to reality. The company says that with this first-of-its-kind experience, it can now provide consumers with a groundbreaking way to purchase a furry friend online that delivers real-world hugs to guests of all ages at buildabear.com. Mike Early, SVP and chief information officer at Build-A-Bear said: “Our guests’ in-store experience is highly interactive and emotional as they get to create a custom furry friend and bring it to life including our signature Heart Ceremony. Our goal with this project is to translate this connectivity and emotion to the digital world.

BTHA reveals Toy Retailer of the Year finalists

■ Toys & Games Of Worcester in Worcestershire ■ Giddy Goat Toys in Didsbury, Manchester ■ McGreevy’s Toys Direct in Co. Mayo, Ireland Independent Toy Retailer of the Year (multi store) ■ Toy Galaxy ■ Midco Toymaster ■ Howleys Toymaster

The Entertainer colours for charity Toy chain The Entertainer is encouraging families to learn more about the current landscape in Afghanistan by inviting them to pick up colouringin sheets from their local stores or online at www. thetoyshop.com/boredom-busting-hub. The sheets include child-friendly information about the ongoing efforts in Afghanistan to support displaced families. For every sheet submitted in-store or on The Entertainer’s Facebook page using the hashtag #TheEntertainerAppeal, £1 is donated to Christian Aid to support its Afghanistan Crisis Appeal. The initiative runs until January 23. Meanwhile, the toy chain’s Big Toy Appeal campaign, organised last month in partnership with The Salvation Army, received 12,000 donations by generous customers. For every toy donated by a customer, The Entertainer matched it, and added more toys, bringing the total number to over 33,000.

Omnichannel Toy Retailer of the Year ■ The Entertainer ■ Smyths Toys Superstores ■ Argos Multiple Toy Retailer of the Year ■ B&M Stores ■ Tesco ■ The Entertainer Online Excellence Award ■ Smyths Toys Superstores ■ Amazon ■ Very The winners of these prestigious awards, including Overall Toy Retailer of the Year, will be announced - along with other special BTHA awards - during Toy Fair 2022 with the Toy Retailers Association (TRA), who will also announce the Toy and Supplier Award winners for 2021.

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PEOPLE

NEWS MGA Entertainment names new marketing director

Brothers receive

Golden Teddy Awards The BTHA (British Toy & Hobby Association) recently presented two Golden Teddy Awards to brothers Paul and Mark Collinson, at a special ‘Northern Toy Boys’ event held in Harrogate, North Yorkshire, where they are based. Launched in 2001, the Golden Teddy Awards were created to reward individuals who have served the toy industry for more than 15 years. They are designed to ‘recognise ordinary people with extraordinary talents, who go over and above expectations’. Winners are announced by the BTHA at special events up to three times a year. Nominees need a proposer and a seconder, and all nominations are considered on their merits by a BTHA committee, which considers nominees who possess a degree of

‘niceness, honesty and integrity’. Nominees can work in any sector of the toy industry, in any capacity. Paul and Mark have worked in the toy industry for more than 40 years and have represented companies including Funko and VTech. They were described by their proposers and seconders as loyal, well principled, highly respected by all they work with and ‘true unsung heroes of the industry’. Mark said: “We are both truly humbled to receive our BTHA Golden Teddy Awards. It’s not like us to shout about our work, but we are at the end of our careers now and have been proud to work as part of this ever-changing but amazing industry over many years. Thank you to the BTHA for this special recognition.”

Toys R Us names first senior hire in UK Toys R Us has announced its first senior appointment in the UK. Mike Coogan has joined the retailer as marketing and e-commerce director. With 27 years of experience within the former Toys R Us UK operation, his role includes the development and management of ecommerce and marketing teams. Mike will be assisting Toys R Us and Babies R Us to establish UK operations over coming weeks. Dr Louis Mittard, CEO and managing director of Toys R Us ANZ, said: “Mike brings an intimate understanding of the Toys R Us and Babies R Us brands within the UK toy and baby retail context, and a track record for driving growth and maximising return on investment.” Recently, Dr Louis Mittard talked to TnP about plans for Toys R Us and Babies R Us to return to the UK in 2022, with dedicated websites in the first phase. The company is in discussions with a large number of existing and new employees, suppliers and service partners and has a dedicated ‘Supplier Expression of Interest’ page set up for potential partners to register their interest at http://eepurl.com/ hL38FL

14

MGA Entertainment (MGAE) has announced the promotion of Michelle Lilley to marketing director UK and Ireland. Michelle previously held the role of head of marketing for Little Tikes. As MGA UK’s marketing director, Michelle will lead all UK brand marketing teams, which include brands such as L.O.L. Surprise!, Little Tikes, Rainbow High, and Na! Na! Na! Surprise. Her primary objective will be to focus on building core business strategies and leading the charge to turn these strategies into compelling product lines, launches and business-building communications. Michelle’s passion for the industry began more than 20 years ago, when she worked for three years in a Toymaster [store] while balancing her studies. Since then, her experience has been rooted in consumer goods marketing, and the new role follows her time at Little Tikes, where she rose through the ranks from marketing manager to head of marketing. MGA Entertainment MD Neil Bandtock said: “We have no doubt that Michelle’s strategic, experienced approach will help us to build on the success of 2021 and deliver a record 2022.”

Fanattik appoints new creative director Pop culture brand Fanattik, a licensing partner for Hasbro, Universal Studios, Capcom, Bethesda, Studio Canal, Konami and many more leading video game and film studios, has appointed Melissa Tudor as creative director. Fanattik managing director Anthony Marks said: “Melissa has been with Fanattik for more than three years, helping to shape our creative team - which in turn has made Fanattik into a fanfavourite brand within the world of pop culture.” Her promotion comes at the end of a year which has seen phenomenal growth for the gift and collectable manufacturer and sees it in good stead for 2022, which is the company’s selfproclaimed ‘Year of Export’. The award-winning firm supplies retailers throughout the UK, Europe and beyond with products from SpongeBob SquarePants bottle openers to Jurassic Park playing cards.

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Halilit expands its team Halilit is starting off 2022 with the addition of two new members of staff, expanding its rapidly growing team. Marjo Cako joins the company as logistics and demand planner, while Damien Leahy bolsters the sales team as key account manager. These appointments follow the recent recruitment of Adam Wale as e-commerce manager. All roles are newly formed at a time of growth for the preschool specialist toy supplier. Halilit sales manager Amy Wildman commented: “Despite the challenges of the past couple of years, Halilit has experienced a fantastic trading period, partially due to the variety in nature of our customers, the acquisition of Dodo puzzles, and also the excellent reputation that our brands have with consumers. We’re thrilled to have such talent joining us, to help with our ambitious growth plans over the next few years.” The trio join Halilit at an exciting time for the firm. This month sees Halilit unveil refreshed branding, while development is under way for a new trade ordering platform, which will allow retailers to log in and see what’s new, what’s hot and to place reorders. Amy added: “Alongside revitalising our online access for trade customers, Adam will be busy ensuring that customers with their own web presence have access to the very best, optimised content, while Marjo brings a wealth of experience in planning and analysis - skills that have become all the more critical amidst longer shipping and lead times. Damien joins us with a fantastic reputation in the industry and is looking forward to getting in touch with his customers to see how he can help grow brands such as Halilit music and Taf Toys.’’

Queen recognises

CMC director Children’s Media Conference (CMC) editorial director Greg Childs has been awarded an OBE for Services to International Trade and the Children’s Media Sector in the Queen’s New Year’s Honours List. The award was presented to Greg in recognition of his considerable contribution to children’s media throughout his career, which started at the BBC where he worked for 27 years primarily as a director, producer and executive producer of children’s programmes including Play School and Record Breakers. Greg created the first Children’s BBC websites, and became Head of Children’s Digital and Deputy Commissioner for Children’s BBC. In 2004, Greg was invited by Kathy Loizou to join her in setting up a conference for children’s media professionals in Sheffield – the first of its kind in the UK. The Children’s Media Conference (CMC) now regularly welcomes 1,200 delegates to Sheffield. More than 200 speakers contribute to the event and all the content is produced by industry volunteers. As editorial director of CMC, Greg is responsible for the content it offers the industry. At the same time he provides behind-the-scenes support to companies and freelancers finding their way in the children’s content market.

JANUARY 2022

Adam Wale

Obituary: Margaret Goldie

Damien Leahy

Marjo Cako

Orchard Toys bids farewell to agent Peter Neate has retired after 40 years of service as Orchard Toys’ agent for the North of England. Peter commented: “Orchard have always been a pleasure to work for. They were the first agency I took on and the last one I still had. For me, the greatest asset working with Orchard was that the customers were always pleased to see me, as they invariably needed restocking! “I’m looking forward to playing golf again, volunteering for the local Woodland Trust, spending time with my family, and studying the form of horses more - which has been a passion of mine for many years. I wish Orchard Toys every success in the future.”

Midlands agent John Nicholas writes: “I am sad to report the passing of Margaret Goldie: one of the best independent retailers in the Midlands during the ‘70s, ‘80s, and ‘90s. In her prime Margaret had a large shop in the Coventry precinct and in the days when toy companies used to encourage shopkeepers to have window displays she always seemed to be a prize winner. I think it was her Care Bear window that won her a new Austin Mini car! She and her first assistant Carole used to come down to Toy Fair and stay in a nice flat close to Earl’s Court and on the Wednesday evening of the Fair had a super party with reps and agents, plus other retailer friends. It was a privilege to be invited. She was an excellent buyer of toys and backed her judgement with some really good orders. She was a really lovely lady who had been ill for over a year. Her husband Ben died earlier in 2021. Happy memories Margaret, R.I.P.’’

Fence Club update The festive season got into full swing last month with the return of the much-loved Fence Club Christmas Party at The Marriot Hotel in London’s Grosvenor Square. The Fence Club is a charity founded by members of the toy trade, which raises money for children’s charities. This key social event in the industry’s calendar proved to be a great success, with the evening enjoyed by more than 40 Fence Club members and their guests, and raising over £25,000 through a raffle and auction. The night also marked the start of David Bramford’s year as chair of the Fence Club. The entertainment included the Jersey Boys, who arrived from their West End show. The next Fence Club party will be held during Toy Fair on January 26 at the Sheraton Grand Park Lane Hotel. 15


MEDIA

NEWS

Oddbods finds new home at

Jakks Pacific goes Sonic with Sega

Sky Kids in the UK

Jakks Pacific has teamed up with Sega of America for the upcoming animated Sonic the Hedgehog series, Sonic Prime, maintaining Jakks as one of the franchise’s global merchandise partners. Under this partnership, Jakks will produce action figures, playsets, vehicles, plush and other collectables associated with the new show. Jakks has also named Disguise as its official costume and costume accessory partner with distribution rights across the globe. Jakks and Disguise will design, manufacture, market and sell Sonic Prime-branded product lines worldwide in 2023. The Sonic Prime series, produced in partnership with WildBrain, is set to launch worldwide on Netflix in 2022. It will feature the Blue Blur of video game fame in a high-octane adventure where the fate of a strange new metaverse rests in his gloved hands. Craig Drobis, senior vice president of marketing at Jakks Pacific, said: “Sega has done a tremendous job telling the story of Sonic through a multitude of medium forums. In addition to the high-octane video games they continue to release, and the Sonic Movie 2 coming this year, Sonic Prime’s premiere on Netflix in 2022 will keep fans engaged and give Jakks a whole new Sonic multiverse to explore through toys and costumes. Our customers are not just kids, but also collectors, and this brand consistently hits the mark with retailers and fans.” Michael Cisneros, senior manager of licensing at Sega of America, commented: “Jakks has consistently captured Sonic’s signature persona, and we’re thrilled to have them on board for another partnership.’’

Award-winning content creation, distribution and licensing studio One Animation has secured a new deal with Sky Kids in the UK for its hit CG-animated series Oddbods. Under the deal, Sky Kids has acquired rights for season three of Oddbods’ longform series (60 x 8’) and the seasonal special ‘The Festive Menace’ (1 x 23’). The Oddbods content launched at the end of 2021. In the UK, previous seasons of Oddbods have been licensed by Turner (now WarnerMedia) as part of an EMEA wide deal, as well as ITV. Michele Schofield, SVP, content distribution at One Animation, said: “This deal marks the first time we’re teaming up with Sky Kids and we’re confident Sky Kids will make the perfect new UK home for Oddbods’ latest season. Oddbods fills a need for kids and their family to be entertained and laugh together at the funny events arising from everyday situations. We can’t wait to see Sky Kids’ audience enjoy adventures with the Oddbods gang.’’ Oddbods is a globally loved, three-time Emmy Award-nominated, non-dialogue comedy featuring seven adorable, highly unique pals. Together, despite their differences, they survive the perils of everyday life, unintentionally turning ordinary situations into unexpected, extraordinary, and always humorous events. The quirky, but totally charming, Oddbods celebrate individuality in a funny, warm, and unexpected way. After all, there’s a little odd in everyone!

Did you know?

Sonic the Hedgehog 2 is due for release in April

Angry Birds set for launch

Ahead of this month’s global debut of Angry Birds: Summer Madness on Netflix, Rovio Entertainment is working with IMG to build a consumer products programme for fans of the popular franchise. Angry Birds: Summer Madness will see sparks and feathers fly when a teenage Red, Chuck, Bomb and Stella spend a wild summer together with other Angry Birds at Camp Splinterwood. Explosive antics, improbable pranks and crazy adventures will see the birds pushing boundaries and breaking all the rules while fending off the brash, obnoxious Pigs on the other side of the lake. IMG has signed deals across core categories including apparel, QSR, confectionery and promotions in location-based experiences in the US and Europe and is now targeting other licensees in key categories including plush. 16

Koya reveals Far Cry 6 products Entertainment merchandise specialist Koyo and video game publisher Ubisoft have expanded their partnership to launch officially licensed Far Cry 6 collectables. These new products build on Koyo’s existing Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six offering, which encompasses a range of pin badge collectables based on popular characters and items from the Ubisoft franchise. Koyo’s latest range of ‘must have’ items for Far Cry 6 fans includes: logo keyring; pin badges, patch set, steel mug and a water bottle. “We’re thrilled to have expanded our longstanding partnership with Ubisoft to include Far Cry 6 collectables for the very first time,” said Koyo COO Helen Garlick. “We know fans will love the items and we’ll be adding more from Far Cry 6 over the coming months.”

toysnplaythings.media


MEDIA

ANALYSIS

UK vs. Germany: a children’s linear TV snapshot W

e have been regularly reporting on how 2021 territories were released from lockdown. Germany shaped up in terms of children’s viewing, as only experienced a nominal -5% decline in toys TV well as comparing the situation with 2020’s advertising across the children’s commercial channels fluctuations. When we recapped 2020, we highlighted (YTD January-November) and this was largely that children’s impacts to children’s commercial channels driven by the +146% increase seen in toys and games had fallen by -22% for CH4-15 [children aged 4-15] yearadvertising in May 2021. July, August, and September on-year. With the challenges that 2021 also saw increases from advertisers, leading the threw at us, do we think the year saw overall year-on-year demand for children’s linear TV an improvement, or was the initial to end with a very stable market in Germany. NPD lockdown period (and unlimited In the UK, year-on-year investments from toy reported access to a TV set) a novelty that advertisers to children’s linear TV saw declines of -21% quickly wore off? for the year-to-date (BARB, 2021). The only month that UK Let’s take this a step further and look where the UK saw an increase was April (+15%), and consumers at how the children’s linear market in the the largest declines were seen in June (-53%) and UK compares with Germany - another July (-63%). This, of course, is heavily impacted by were clearly fundamental market in Europe, and a the lower costs of linear TV in the previous year, as leaving their territory of interest for most marketers. TV stations reacted to loss of revenue caused by the In Q1 2021, despite both territories pandemic with incentivized rates. shopping being in lockdown, we didn’t see any While we can’t draw a direct comparison, it’s to the last of the increases in viewings that we interesting to note that for Germany, The NPD experienced in the prior year. In fact, [NPD] reported a +5% increase in toys minute, as we Group both markets saw double digital declines sales value versus 2020. If we compare that to saw a boost to the children’s commercial channels in at a ‘normal year’ such as 2019, this equates these months. to an +18% increase in toys sales value (NPD, during the As the two territories came out of January-November 2021). Meanwhile, the UK Black Friday lockdown (March for the UK, and the is reportingly tracking behind Germany, with end of April for Germany), this only reports of a -5% decrease in value versus 2020, sales pushed viewing to the commercial and a marginal 4% increase versus 2019 (NPD, channels into a further decline, as January-November 2021). children and parents undoubtedly spent more time Moving towards Q4 2021, the UK saw minimal taking advantage of being together at home and declines to the supply of children’s viewing of the investing in activities for the whole family. children’s commercial channels in October (-6% However, this didn’t deter toys and games advertisers year-on-year), a result which supported advertisers from returning to make linear investments when these as they launched their Christmas campaigns. Yet those advertisers who were more affected by supply chain shortages and had to start their campaigns in November, were met with a -23% decline year-on-year in children’s viewing. In addition, at the time of writing, NPD reported that UK consumers were clearly leaving their shopping to the last minute, as we saw a boost during the Black Friday sales. But as the UK consumer moves gradually to buying online, this is negatively impacting the level of footfall in-store - so impulse buys of toys priced £20 or less have suffered, which explains the decline in sales for brands priced at this level. We’ll be sure to keep a close eye on how December sales perform across Europe, with the prediction that the UK will bounce back in line with other markets.

Generation Media is the UK and Ireland’s largest independent media buyer of toys and games advertising. Visit generationmedia.co.uk or call 0207 307 7900 or email contact@generationmedia.co.uk to learn more

Kate Moncur, associate director of Generation Media, looks at the viewing landscape in Germany: a fundamental market in Europe outside UK and a territory of interest for most marketers


RETAIL

OPINION

Being different pays dividends John Ryan pays a visit to Camp, a US toy retailer that bills itself as ‘a totally unique shop/ play hybrid experience’, and asks if this is a feasible model for a UK audience

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ummer camps are a distinctly North American phenomenon. The idea is simple: kids are shipped off by parents under siege, as a result of the long school holiday period, to places with recreational and sporting facilities where there are lakes, trees and suchlike and made to do outdoorsy things. Some like it, apparently, but whether this is the case or not, this is something that looms large in the memories of many adults as they look back at their childhood in this part of the world. With this in mind, Ben Kaufman, the former CMO of US digital media company BuzzFeed, set up Camp in 2018. Camp pays a large nod, in theory at least, to the summer camp, and consists of shops (there are nine Camp locations with the majority in New York, which is where the company is based) selling kidswear, toys and games. The clue that things may be a little different, however, can be found online where Camp describes itself as ‘A Family Experience Company’. Practically, these are places that are divided into two parts. Looking in at the entrance, the visitor is confronted by a standard store in which excited children are running around, watched by their dutiful parents. Props play a large part in this area of the ‘store’, with the Columbus Circle and Hudson Yards (both in New York) branches both featuring vintage pickup trucks that children can climb into and pretend they are heading off to a midwestern corn field. The merchandise is arranged around these props and to an extent this looks like a standard retail unit, albeit the midshop elements are rather more interesting than might normally be the case. The real point about Camp lies beyond all of this. Parents forking out a fistful of dollars can gain access to a workshop for themselves and their children. Here, there are summer camp-like activities, ranging from ‘Cookie Decorating’ to a ‘Slime Bootcamp’. It’s not cheap with prices ranging from $30-$40 per child, depending on the activity involved (all of which can be pre-booked and last for 30-45 minutes). ‘Accompanying Adults’ are free and in spite of the requirement to dig deep, a weekend Camp activity visit seems to be a crowded affair. You’d be hard-pushed not to admire what’s been done, and standing close to the door of the Hudson Yards branch, parents were being more or less marched in by their offspring. There is, of course, only a passing resemblance to Summer Camp, as the great outdoors is in pretty limited supply in Manhattan and other urban locations, but it does deliver exactly what is advertised: an experience. Camp is a youthful company and appears to be expanding

at pace in high-profile locations where well-heeled types are almost the norm. The question is, what lesson can be learned from what has been done? The activity area in a Camp store is far bigger than the ‘shop’ part and is normally accessed through a door – shoppers can’t see what’s going on in the workshops. This then is a kids experience theme park that happens to have a shop attached, a little like a museum in this respect. But perhaps what needs to be asked is how much space you would be prepared to devote to a paid-for experience, rather than selling toys. Selling space in toy shops tends to be at something of a premium, and setting aside a large part of it on the promise of parents prepared to pay for activities for their loved ones might look like something of a gamble. There is also the matter of staff who are prepared to ‘play’ and to make things interesting for children. This is probably a rather different mindset from the relatively straightforward matter of selling toys, even when demonstrations are involved. Yet we are regularly informed that adults and children alike respond to experience and that the way forward is to provide environments in which this can be a reality. In the battle for shoppers, Camp perhaps shows that being different does pay dividends, but it would be interesting to know the revenue split between the workshops and the space that functions as a shop. It is also worth noting the Camp website which, as might be expected given that the founder is a former chief marketing officer, is a well-crafted affair. A quick skim through www.camp.com reveals the fact that not only can you peruse the activities on offer in each branch, but that the range of toys is, of course, much greater than can be found in the stores. This being a proposition that is based on North American wholesome ideals, there is only a small amount of electronic stock for sale on the website, and gaming is notable by its absence – which will probably be a major selling point for parents. But would it work on this side of the Pond? Allowing for the fact that retail space is rather more freely available than might have been the case a couple of years ago, the answer would seem to be almost certainly. Children are the same on both sides of the Atlantic and the eternal problem of how to keep them busy during the summer holidays (and at lots of other points during the year) remains largely unresolved. A retail Summer Camp in Birmingham’s Bullring or London’s Westfield? Could be.

Perhaps what needs to be asked is how much space you would be prepared to devote to a paid-for experience, rather than selling toys?

John Ryan is Stores Editor of business magazine Retail Week. He has worked for the title for more than a decade covering store design, visual merchandising and what makes things sell instore. In a previous life, he was a buyer.


CONSUMER

INSIGHT

3D printing makes it personal

approximately $13.7 billion in 2020, and toy market. In 2021, Warner Bros. collaborated it’s expected to surpass $63.46 billion by with Toybox to give fans the opportunity to 2026 - an annual growth rate of 29%. This print licensed toys based on their IP, including technology brings with it the possibility Batman - a top five character globally among to provide families with boys aged six to nine. the ultimate level of These foundations will only Brands need to personalisation. be enhanced in this space, integrate this Globally, the average offering a new way for kids to technology into their tween (six to nine yearsconnect with their favourite manufacturing, as old) considers the ability toy brands. Globally, Barbie the personalisation to personalise a product is already the favourite toy of important to their girls aged six to nine, providing of toys will allow purchase decision. opportunities for customisation kids not only to love In the UK, this number them but also to feel of their toys through attire rises to 20%, and it’s choices. However, if 3D printing involved in their increased by 37% since means that there is no additional creation September 2021. Kids in production time, why not allow Germany, Poland, Italy and customisation of the product at France also rank this factor considerably its core - a Barbie built around the appearance higher than average, while those in China of the doll’s owner? and especially Japan do not especially value this in their purchase decision. In What does this mean to you? countries where the ability to customise As 3D printing gets cheaper, faster and better, products and experiences is highly valued, the number of opportunities increases - and integrating 3D printing into the customer brands should experiment to stay ahead of the journey has the potential to offer product curve. We could well see a 3D printer at the top manufacturers a significant advantage of Christmas wish lists this time next year. over their competitors. Therefore, brands need to integrate this In fact, there are already many examples technology into their manufacturing, as of the application of 3D printing in the the personalisation of toys will allow kids not only to love them but also to feel involved in their creation. To find out what other trends will be popular next year, check out The Insights Family’s Future Forecast 2022 report. For the first time, the company is exploring not only kids and parents, but family ecosystems trends, based on Kids Insights and Parents Insights data. The report contains 10 predictions and trends that will impact advertising, content, licensing, marketing, product and retail strategies for brand owners. To download the full complimentary Future Forecast 2022 report, visit https:// try.theinsightsfamily.com/toysnplaythings.

E

very year The Insights Family speaks to more than half a million family members across 18 countries, to understand their current and future attitudes, behaviours, and consumptions. After almost two years of uncertainty and constantly changing reality, brands must almost start again to understand the attitudes, behaviours and consumption patterns affecting kids, parents, and families alike, and think of new, inventive and immersive ways of (re)connecting with them. Therefore, at The Insights Family, we’ve launched the Future Forecast 2022 report, which predicts some of the key trends to watch out for next year, such as 3D printing. This trend has long been heralded for its potential applications. But with the relentless march of tech innovation, it’s only a matter of time before the devices become affordable, accessible and adapted by the average consumer. Until now, 3D printing has been too expensive or inaccessible for the average person to harness. However, investment surrounding the industry continues to grow. The market was valued at

The Insights Family specialises in kids, parents, and family market intelligence. Providing real-time data on their attitudes, behaviour, and consumption patterns, every year the company surveys more than 383,760 kids and 187,200 parents.

The rise in popularity of 3D printing could change the customer journey, allowing the ultimate in personalised product, says The Insights Family founder and CEO Nick Richardson


L A I C E P S S R O D A S S A B stir! AM

d n a e d a n e r e s , t o o c s s ’ t Le pt were ke m a e t s assador f products in b m A y TnP To a trio o r h u it o w f o k a embers tive bre Three m d over the fes e o entertain adley’s portfoli r Wilton B

Bake and create Wilton Bradley has partnered with chef, best-selling author and TV presenter Nadiya Hussain MBE (who rose to fame after being crowned champion of the sixth series of BBC's The Great British Bake Off in 2015), for a licensed kids cooking collection.

cookie cutters with silicone edges, five measuring spoons, six recipe cards and an apron. Mum Amber says: "I often watch TV cookery programmes with my daughters - Junior Bake Off is their favourite - and we The Bake Me A Story range comprises three boxed kits - the try to recreate some of the dishes, but their little True says: Simple Baking Set, Deluxe Baking Set, and the Savoury Set. hands struggle to hold the weight of my rolling All contain recipe cards written by Nadiya and a selection of pin and other utensils. “It makes baki ng cooking and baking tools and accessories tailored to smaller “So I was particularly impressed with this fun - and we g hands, helping to spark curiosity in kids and give them et kit because of its child-friendly design. The to lick the bow everything they need to create their own treats in the kitchen. l!” utensils are not only well made and sturdy but Our two testers small enough for kids to handle. And I especially - sisters True (aged appreciate the silicone coating on one side of the seven) and Tamba metal cookie cutters, which protects their hands (aged five) - put the when they push the cutters down. I love the bright Deluxe Baking Set through colours too. Plus, I can reuse the silicone cupcake cases, so I its paces. It comprises a never have to buy paper ones again. Bonus! silicone rolling pin with “We’ve used the set many times plastic handle, silicone whisk and have followed all the supplied with metal handle, silicone recipes (the rock cakes recipe is a spatula, 2.5l mixing bowl big winner in our household) and “It’s amazing! I like (which is microwave-safe), made some biscuits and cookies wearing the little sieve, 12 reusable silicone too. This is the perfect purchase for apron!” cupcake cases, three metal budding bakers!”

Tamba says:

Sing like a pro! Tamba (aged five) is a disco diva in the making, so she was delighted to take her turn on the mic with the Mi-Mic Disco Cube This portable Bluetooth karaoke speaker allows you to play any song direct from your device. You can even get extra creative by adding an echo effect and distortion to your vocals. All great musical artists know that vocals are only a part of the complete performance, and with seven colour beat matching LED lights, the MiMic lets you really put on a show. The mic also features FF/RW/pause/ play buttons and volume controls so you can make the track as loud or quiet as required. Turn up to full volume to use as a conventional Bluetooth speaker or lower the volume and let your voice take centre stage, with up to five hours of play time from one charge. Mum Amber says: “I can’t recommend this toy highly enough. My four children , aged from five to 15, haven’t stopped playing with it since it arrived. The battery lasts for ages and it’s fun for everyone. Plus, as it’s portable you don’t need to keep it plugged in, so they carry it around the house and belt out all their favourite tunes. My 20

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Riding high One of the key values of Wilton Bradley’s Xootz brand is ‘without boundaries’ and the Xootz Decoy Dirt Scooter is the epitome of this, ensuring no terrain is off limits Designed for kids aged six to adults (up to a 100kg weight limit), this scooter - which comes in black or silver - lets the rider adventure away from smooth surfaces and conquer a whole host of new terrain thanks to the pneumatic 200mm X 50mm wheels. Combining a super wide heat-treated aluminium deck with a strong steel handlebar, the scooter maintains lightness while being able to withstand hard off-road impacts. A threaded headset and triple bolt clamp provide direct and precise steering for a reliable ride. Other features include full printed griptape and a wide rear aluminium brake. Tag, aged 13, took the Xootz Decoy Dirt Scooter for a test ride. He says: “This scooter feels good quality and well made. The wheels are chunky and bouncy, but light enough to do jumps, while the stripes on the deck are non-slip so my trainers gripped well. The rear brake is nice and big too, so it’s easy to find with your foot behind you. And I like the cool colours!” Mum Amber adds: “This is the off-roader of the scooter world! The chunky tyres provide a softer ride off the beaten track. It’s light enough to manoeuvre, yet sturdy enough to cut through rough terrain. Tag rode on the pavement to the park and then explored local woodland, tackling those trails with no problem. He had loads of fun getting muddy and came home tired but happy.”

youngest daughter Tamba is the star of the show though: she regularly entertains us with her renditions, so I put her favourite tracks on, and she loves to perform. “The disco ball on the top has surprisingly bright lights considering its compact size and the kids adore the colours, which project brilliantly all around the room, on the ceiling and walls. The sound quality is great too, again considering the product’s size: it makes your voice sound really ‘professional’ and loud. This will be perfect for our parties! It’s a toy they will never grow bored of. After all, what child (or adult) doesn’t love singing their favourite songs?''

Tag says: “This scooter feels good quality and well made”

Tamba says: “I sound like a pop star!”

Wilton Bradley 01626 835400 www.wiltonbradley.com

JANUARY 2022


THE INDEPENDENT

OPINION

Diary of a toy shop Amanda Alexander, owner of Giddy Goat Toys in Didsbury, Manchester, reflects on how small businesses have risen to the challenge of the past couple of months, looks forward to Toy Fair and explains why she can’t be trusted with soft fruit!

B

y the time this is published, the craziness of Christmas will be behind us all and I hope you will have had a few days off to recoup your energy and spend time with friends and family. I’m looking forward to having my eldest son home from uni (his bedroom having been cleared of stock!) and getting my boys to play a few board games while I eat my bodyweight in cheese and work my way through a delivery of goodies from Naked Wines. And, like everyone else in the toy industry, I’ll be hoping that 2022 will be a bit more normal and predictable. Plus, I’m looking forward to catching up with the lovely sales reps and agents at Toy Fair (and viewing new lines). December kicked in with a whizz and a bang and, I’m pleased to say, fantastic footfall and sales. We were chosen as one of 100 small businesses to mark the official 100day countdown to this year’s Small Business Saturday UK. The day itself takes place on the first Saturday in December each year, but the 2021 campaign kicked off in late August and our day was December 2, so there have been lots of lovely posts about us online and my social media guru Jo has been merrily bragging and tagging on Instagram and Facebook. As I write this, we’re planning some things for Small Business Saturday and I’m on a high from attending a Small Biz 100 meet-and-greet event at the House of Lords. It’s not somewhere I ever

I’ve never had any supplier make me feel insignificant or that I’m wasting their time. They’re all unfailingly friendly, helpful and fabulous

22

envisaged going and I was really quite nervous beforehand. I’m super confident in my little shop and will chat away to anyone and everyone but outside my little domain I’m quite shy. In the end it was fine. I didn’t trip up, spill tea on anyone, or say anything outlandishly stupid. I did drop a raspberry on the floor, but I think I got away with it and picked it up before anyone could stand on it and ruin the fancy carpet. The other attendees were all small business owners and we discussed lots of shared issues and challenges, not merely with importing and exporting, which everyone has faced, but on how to promote our businesses and not end up working every hour god sends. Anyway, it was a fabulous thing to do, and there were uplifting speeches by Small Business Britain founder Michelle Ovens, the Minister for Small Business Paul Scully, and Dan Edelman from American Express, who helped found and support The Small Business Saturday campaign. I left feeling energised, positive and proud to be part of not just the toy industry, but also the collection of small businesses that are so important to the local and national UK economy. This seems a timely point to raise a glass to all the other small toy shops and hope they got through 2021 intact and had busy Decembers - and also to the many suppliers and sales reps that look after us. In my previous column I mentioned that while Amazon is just about always every supplier’s biggest

customer, collectively the indies can be their second. But that’s collectively and though I did express some concerns about how forward orders are organised, I genuinely appreciate the support I get from individual salespeople and also admin staff. Some of the orders I place must be like a drop in the ocean to many suppliers - when I’m asking what their carriage paid levels are and knowing that some of the bigger boys probably take in a week what I buy in a year - yet I’ve never had any supplier make me feel insignificant or that I’m wasting their time. They’re all unfailingly friendly, helpful and fabulous, allowing me to send frenzied email lists from my phone at 10pm requesting specific lines (instead of completing order forms), as they appreciate that in December, between the hours of nine to five I’m on the shop floor, serving or unpacking deliveries. Thank you all for being such a marvellous bunch of people. So, onwards and upwards for 2022, I hope. I’m looking forward to catching up with people at Toy Fair and seeing not just the new lines, but also existing lines that I may have missed, because no matter how great a catalogue or website you have, there’s no beating seeing something ‘in the flesh’ – which is why I think there’ll always be a place for shops like mine on the high street. And sales people: get t’kettle on and, if you have cakes or chocolates ready to hand out to keep our energy levels up, just don’t give me a strawberry tart - because I really can’t be trusted with soft fruit...

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WHAT’S N Swing and scoot MV Sports & Leisure info@mvsports.com www.mvsports.com Swing into action with the Spiderman 6v Quad with lights, sounds and an integrated disc slinger for added play value. This rideon comes with four slinging web discs and push-button action to target any opponent, bold colours with character graphics, and a web-shaped rear. Other features include a footoperated pedal control with forward and reverse gears, moulded handlebar grips for extra comfort, and chunky, deep-tread tyres for stability and optimal grip. Plus, the Li-Fe 350-HC takes electric scooters to the next level. The 350W motor pushes you up to 25kmh, but the real showstopper is its highquality maple wood deck, which adds a level of comfort and reassuring build quality underfoot. Meanwhile, Stunted has seen a slick, new refresh for 2022 incorporating the idea of precious metals, which will be showcased at Toy Fair.

Soak up some learning

Water play

Zimpli Kids

Wilton Bradley

0845 459 1818 www.ZimpliKIds.com

01626 835400 www.wiltonbradley.com Billed as a must-have for households with imaginative toddlers, Waterwall is a new product in Wilton Bradley’s Playhouse brand portfolio. Teaching kids about gravity, angles and water flow, the wall is packed with limitless combinations for them to enjoy a different creation every time they move the pieces. With a range of modular accessories included, children can have fun creating their own water flows and seeing their problem-solving skills come to life as they pour water from the top. Made from quality sustainably sourced wood, the weatherresistant wall can be used outdoors or indoors thanks to the included bucket, which catches the water when it reaches the bottom. This design and concept are currently under Design Registration and is Patent Pending ref. GB 2105957.1.

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Zimpli Kids has launched its first educational bath bomb product. Solar System Baff Bombz are a great way for kids to learn about the wonders of outer space, while having a fizzing bath time adventure. The pack features nine coloured bath bombs, representing the eight planets plus the sun, along with nine educational planetary fact cards.

Adventure time Spin Master 01628 535 000 | www.spinmastertoys.co.uk New for preschoolers is the Paw Patrol Rescue Knights range. A baddie pup named Claw, riding a dragon, has descended upon Barkingburg, and it’s up to the Paw Patrol pups to protect the kingdom. With new Dragon Knight Vehicles and suits of Dragon Knight Armour, the team takes to land, air, and moat to stop Claw and his mischievous Dragon. The Rescue Knights Hero Pup & Dragon Assortment and the Knight Themed Deluxe Vehicles are suitable for kids aged three-plus. Also available is the Sparks the Dragon & Claw set. These action figures come with an exclusive figure of Claw and a large-scale Sparks the Dragon figure, featuring his super wings, two projectiles and a saddle for Claw to ride in. Spin Master has also launched the Rescue Knights Castle HQ Playset: a 50.8cm tall fortress, which looks like the castle from the hit tv show. The set features a mini dragon, throne, ladder, table, and a rising tower transformation.


NEW

The incredible Husk! Eduk8 Worldwide 01661 831 080| www.eduk8worldwide.com

Incredible Husk, a World Green Apple Environment award-winning material, will be on show across a selection of products on Eduk8 Worldwide’s stand at Toy Fair. The company is the UK distributor for educational toys made using this naturally biodegradable and chemicalfree rice husk material, which is a negative carbon alternative to plastics and bioplastics and marks a significant step in delivering sustainability within the educational toy sector. The team on the stand welcomes visits from toy distributors and retailers to talk about the possibilities that Incredible Husk can bring to the green manufacturing process.

Motoring ahead Thames & Kosmos UK 01580 713000 www.thamesandkosmos.co.uk Thames & Kosmos has launched a range of STEM robots: ReBotz. The four funky robots are fast and easy to build. They demonstrate wheels, cams and motors in action and are powered by an electric motor. Collect the full set of Halfpipe, Pogo, Knox and Scootz and combine parts to build your own creations.

More cuddles Wilberry Toys 01462 446040 www.wilberrytoys.com Made from 100% recycled plastic bottles, the Wilberry Cuddlies Eco Collection of soft toys features a dragon and a unicorn alongside some of the most popular pets and wildlife. It follows the launch of sister company The Puppet Company’s Eco Walking Puppets, which are also made from 100% recycled plastic bottles. Plus, new for 2022 are giant versions of Wilberry Knitted Dinosaurs: a T-Rex, Stegosaurus and Triceratops. The small sizes in this collection proved to be one of the success stories of last season and Wilberry Toys has now introduced larger styles, in both double and triple the size. They are part of the Wilberry Knitted collection, which features an eclectic mix of animal favourites including dragons, teddies, rabbits and popular wildlife.

JANUARY 2022

Fresh additions Coiledspring Games 0203 011160 coiledspring.co.uk The latest instalment from Wrebbit3D is the 130-piece Mini Knight bus, joining the Harry Potter mini collection alongside the Flying Ford Anglia and Mini Hogwarts Express. Meanwhile, new to the popular Kingdomino family is Kingdomino Origins. Blue Orange takes you back to a prehistoric era of Kingdomino, which sees you building your tribe as strong as you can. Use erupted lava to bring fire to your regions, gather resources and recruit cavemen to rule over all kingdoms. And in the Schmidt jigsaw department, the Thomas Kinkade line has been extended with Dumbo and Donald Duck 1,000-piece puzzles.

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RETAIL INTERVIEW MENKIND

Menkind

comes of age Fred Prego, digital and marketing director of Menkind, talks to Clare Turner about the gift and gadget retailer’s toys and games offering Tell us about Menkind. Menkind opened its first store in 2001 in Uxbridge. The idea was simple - to create a space that was unequivocally, unapologetically for men. It would make gifting for men easy, and would be a place for men to escape, let their hair down and give in to their inner kids. In those early days, the proposition was based on traditional gifts for men. But Menkind has never been ordinary. And over the years the company has developed to offer a huge range of quirky, unusual, exciting, and sometimes sentimental gifts We now and gadgets. offer a diverse 20 years later, we have 53 range of gifts stores (with an average size for kids with of 1,500sq ft) in main cities across the UK, a thriving online almost 700 offering, an eclectic team, lines on our and a proposition that caters website to a huge variety of people, spanning a wide range of ages and interests. But our core proposition still remains that of ‘Making Men Happy’! We do this through a carefully mixed cocktail of originality, humour, and a strong sense

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of identity. When men walk into our stores or visit our site, we want them to feel like kids in sweet shops – absolutely enthralled by all the unique and exciting products. By the same token, we want anyone shopping for a man to feel fully satisfied that the perfect gift exists and is easy to find in our range.

What are your core categories? Menkind is famous for gifts and gadgets for men. With our new brand positioning of ‘Making Men Happy’, the focus is back to key gifting categories for men, such as food and drink, gadgets, gaming, fun stuff, massage and health, and experiences.

How has trading been for you? The past 18 months have been challenging with stores closed due to lockdown for long periods. During that time, our website sales increased three-fold, well ahead of the national shift to online shopping, which we attribute to the strength of the Menkind brand awareness due to our physical store presence. On a bricks-and-mortar level,

customer confidence seems to have returned recently and our sales in store are ahead of 2019, while our website sales are similar to 2020 when we were in lockdown, placing us in a very good position for 2022. During lockdown, our team was quick to identify developing trends and to create the personal experience that so many customers were searching for. This shows a resilience and creativity that I’m sure has helped to keep Menkind at the forefront of the gifting industry and will continue to do so in the future.

How have toys and games been performing? During the first lockdown we saw a huge increase in sales of games, as people looked for entertainment at home, and we increased our range accordingly. As a result, we now offer a diverse range of gifts for kids with almost 700 lines on our website. These include key categories such as puzzles and board games, which are always in high demand, and were even more sought-after in the beginning of the lockdown period, as families were looking for ways to keep

toysnplaythings.media


The Tickly Tapir team Menkind expands gifting proposition In November Menkind announced its acquisition of Hawkin’s Bazaar and Stocking Fillers, previously owned by H Grossman. Menkind said the deal, which was made for an undisclosed sum, will provide customers with ‘a significantly larger range to choose from and the benefit of a more seamless customer experience journey, thanks to our 20 years of expertise in the gifting industry’.

Hawkin’s Bazaar was created in 1973 as the place for all types of gifts for boys and girls of all ages. Stocking Fillers was established in 2007 and, as the name suggests, was set up to make shopping for Christmas stockings and presents easier. The acquisition will see Menkind taking over the websites, customer data and stock. For now, customers will have access to the existing websites but in due course they will be redirected to www.Menkind.co.uk. Hawkin's Bazaar CEO David Mordecai commented: kids entertained indoors. Some great examples from our range are party games such as Incohearent and Cards Against Humanity 2.0 and the Jumanji board game. Post-lockdown, outdoor games have been another of our most successful categories of gifts for kids, with star products including Duel Battle, Body Bubble Ball, and Beat That! The Bonkers Battle of Wacky Challenges. Furthermore, our own range of educational toys under the brand Construct and Create was particularly successful in 2021.

What’s proving popular at the moment? In-store the remote control Road Rage Speed Bumper Cars have been very successful, as has our own exclusive RED5 Laser Tag shooting game. In fact, our RED5 brand range -

which offers cutting-edge technology at affordable prices - is always doing well, providing exciting drones, novelty lights, remote control cars, and more.

Any stand-out successes? Our own Hydraulic Cyborg Hand (a STEM construction toy that doesn’t use batteries, promoting clean energy) was so successful that we ran out of stock in mid-November: six weeks before Christmas! This line was awarded STEM Toy of the Year at the 2021 Toy Awards, while another line - the Hasbro The Child Animatronic Toy - received the overall Toy of the Year laurel.

“We are delighted to have been acquired by Menkind. They are market leaders in the gifting industry and bring a world of experience, which makes it truly exciting for this deal to take place. We are so thankful to our loyal customers for their support over the years and feel confident that they are in the best hands possible with Menkind.” Paul Kraftman, CEO at Menkind, added:

“We are proud to continue the growth of our business through the acquisitions of these great brands. Reflecting back to 10 years ago, we were among the three main independent gifting retailers alongside Red5 and Hawkin’s Bazaar, and thanks to our dedicated team and expertise we’ve gone from strength to strength, enabling us to acquire these businesses and offer an unrivalled proposition to our customers.”

How do you source products? We attend all the main toy fairs Nuremberg, Hong Kong, and Canton but we also have strong relationships

Our Hydraulic Cyborg Hand was so successful that we ran out of stock in midNovember!

with domestic and Far East suppliers built over 20 years. Currently we arrange regular Zoom calls to discuss and develop new products but hopefully we’ll be back to face-to-face meetings this year.

What's your selection criteria? Quality is paramount but, obviously, we are fundamentally an entertainment company - so it’s also important to us that there’s a large element of fun. We are also pushing all our suppliers to reduce their impact on the environment, particularly in terms of packaging.

In the last year, have you expanded into new categories? We have seen an enormous demand for anything related to gaming. We

JANUARY 2022

27


RETAIL INTERVIEW MENKIND

now offer an exclusive range of gaming chairs for example, and even a range of gaming beds.

What factors influenced your decision to acquire Hawkin’s Bazaar? Following the acquisition of our main competitor Red5 in 2015 and of Qwerkity in 2019, we were interested in expanding our online credibility further to complement our existing proposition and customer base. With its extensive range of toys and Christmas gifts, Hawkin’s Bazaar seemed the perfect fit for Menkind.

We are fundamentally an entertainment company - so it’s also important to us that there’s a large element of fun

How will your product mix change following the acquisition?

The range will stay broadly the same but we are adding more toys, novelty gifts, and stocking fillers to our range to retain Hawkin’s Bazaar customers, such as filled Christmas stockings. We’re also looking at expanding our arcade games range with products like the Arcade Duck Shoot Game, as well as our remote control cars and drones lines, with the addition of items such as the Red5 Eagle Drone and the Robo Kombat Balloon Puncher, and many other quirky items like the Road Rage Speed Bumper Cars.

What’s your favourite toy or game? It might sound cynical, but in Christmas 2020 I bought the board game Pandemic in one of our stores as a present for my family. It was a great success as the game is about teaming together to win - something which has become increasingly significant over the past couple of years. It’s a great game to play with friends and family. 28

Another area we're looking to grow is licensed toys and collectables, with the addition of fan-favourite products such as the Marvel Avengers Legends Endgame Power Gauntlet and the Star Wars Black Series Mandalorian Death Watch Helmet.

time on social networks, paying attention to what customers are talking about or craving. Through this insight, we aim to meet customers’ demands, whether that means creating products ourselves or improving what already exists.

How do you set yourself apart from the competition?

Are you looking at new categories for 2022?

A lot of the products we offer are exclusive to Menkind. Furthermore, our employees are passionate about the products we sell and usually use them themselves, so our product descriptions and our videos reflect a true sense of authenticity.

We are continuously looking at expanding our range within existing categories - but also expanding into new categories that are relevant to our customer base. For example, working from home essentials or novelty lights to personalise your rooms are new and growing opportunities for us.

What do you offer that other gifts & gadgets retailers don’t? We aim to create a complete experience for our customers as opposed to a simple transaction. A good example of this is our Menkind Wonderland campaign, in which we created a virtual Christmas market that online users could explore during lockdown. This expanded out to stores and returned last year, helping bring a sense of fun and imagination to Christmas shopping. The desire to offer this experience is at the core of everything we do.

What are you most excited about for S/S22?

Have you introduced any in-store initiatives recently?

Understanding customer needs and being able to talk to them about products that meet their needs. I’m a mathematician at heart, and I spend hours every week looking at numbers and stats to come up with the marketing strategies that will drive sales. I know that my counterpart in Menkind - buying and merchandising director Gary Wakeman - is also having enormous fun building on these customer insights to find the right products for our audience.

Post-lockdown, we started having events again. As exclusive retailer for the Boglins [hand puppets] comeback in the UK, we organised a launch party in September at our London Westfield store and our Southampton store, where customers could have their Boglins signed by their creator, who came especially from the US. We are keen to do more launch and discovery activities in-store in 2022.

How do you ‘stay ahead of the curve’ when adjusting your product offer to meet customers’ needs? We have adapted to modern behaviour and now spend a lot of

With people able to meet more indoors and outdoors, I’m excited about our range of party and family games, and our range of BBQ essentials and outdoor games for Father’s Day. But before that I think Valentine’s Day will be big for us and, in particular, our range of health and massage products!

What’s the most rewarding aspect of your job?

What’s the most challenging aspect of your job? Over the last six months, supply chain has been a challenge - and witnessing some sought-after products go out of stock is very difficult.

toysnplaythings.media



PROFILE PREMIER HALLOWEEN

Premier Halloween

Halloween 2021 was amazing! Many children as well as adults dressed up and were out, trick or treating. Premier has plenty more surprises for 2022

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variety of astonishing products hat a joy that has and utilised to their utmost and more surprises. The sales been. Laughter efficiency. team would be glad to make an as well as Premier Decorations has appointment for you to visit and screams were not been an exception, with Showrooms are ready to go around with you heard up and down the its updated and improved are already in case you need them. streets of the UK. online ordering portal, new open and Alternatively you can always Even houses were all and improved DD services, place your order online by dressed up to the very new packaging with the packed with registering for an account last detail. Long gone are environment in mind, and a variety of at www.premierdec.com or the days when one basic much much more. astonishing email sales@premierdec. cobweb and a lantern were For 2022 Premier products and com or simply pick up the most you would see. Decorations’ Halloween the phone and call It was obvious how much range has a lot of surprises, more Premier on 0208 planning, care and effort from new fun inflatables surprises 6245555. everybody put into their to innovation in outdoor Halloween decorations and lighting, animation and costumes. Lights and lit figures, even whole new categories animation, inflatables… all out! such as Halloween gonks, In the past couple of years, trees and pet costumes we have faced challenges in and toys. almost all aspects of life but we The showrooms are already have also learned and grown, open and packed with a developed at the same time. We have seen more technology Premier Halloween developments, systems and procedures being brought in 020 8624 5555 | sales@premierdec.com

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toysnplaythings.media


COMPANY PROFILE EDX EDUCATION

Learning

through play Edx Education toys allow a child to explore and experiment with many different learning concepts through play. International brand manager Heather Welch talks about the company’s new ranges, which have been designed to develop key early skills, focusing on the main areas of STEAM education

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022 is going to be an exciting year for Edx Education, with the introduction of many new educational toys to the range. We will be increasing our STEAM offering with new construction sets, extending the award-winning Rainbow Pebbles collections, and bringing the Junior Geostix ranges to life with more retail choices. Importantly, there will be a big focus on new sustainable options, including using recycled plastics, certified sustainable packaging and so much more. Green-n-Play and Green-n-Learn is the beginning of our journey to becoming fully sustainable at Edx Education. The Green-n-Play range is made from recycled plastics and comes in sustainably resourced packaging (FSC certified). Decreasing waste, using greener materials, and embracing circular economy practices is the future outlook for Edx Education. We value and are continuously improving our eco-friendly practices through our commitment to sustainability. One of our favourites is the whale counters story set, which tell the stories of the ocean and the whale’s life through story puzzles in the activity cards. One of the many exciting additions to our product line is the new My Gears collection, which has been inspired by our play philosophy: Play, Learn, Create. The My Gears construction kits provide hours of engaging hands-on learning, and are

“willThere be a big focus on new sustainable options

JANUARY 2022

perfect for developing early engineering skills, encouraging creative thinking, curiosity and problem solving, while also developing fine motor skills. As with all our collections, the new ranges have been designed to support both classroom and home learning play. The new Monster Counters activity sets are perfect for teaching essential maths basics and are great for little hands to learn to count, while also learning about addition, subtraction, sorting, patterning, matching, and measuring. Our award-winning extensive home learning ranges aim to support parents and caregivers in all aspects of play-based learning and development. From early years active play to maths, the ranges are built for children to be creative, learn, and have fun with interactive counters,

outdoor play collections, award-winning Rainbow Pebbles, construction sets and STEAM sets. Our home learning sets are packed with activities to keep children engaged, encouraging creative play, problem solving, the development of fine motor skills and critical thinking. We now provide expert advice on our play blog and podcast, with advice from educational experts and downloadable resources for the extension of our educational toys, including activities for parents, caregivers, and teachers. Head over to edxeducation.com and sign up for our monthly newsletter for all the latest news, advice, and information on Edx Education’s educational toy collections. Let’s work together to create lifelong learners. We would love to share all the new educational toy ranges with you; contact us for a virtual appointment.

CONTACT: Edx education | 020 7097 5173 | www.edxeducation.com 31


PROFILE

Pranksmas unwrapped

Last month saw the return of the popular Christmas pranking tradition when Elves Behavin’ Badly dolls visit homes up and down the country to play practical jokes on children in the run-up to Christmas

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n November, Elves Behavin’ Badly announced that reality TV star Sam Thompson had been appointed Chief Prankster for their 2021 Christmas campaign. Known for his banter and continuous pranking on long-suffering girlfriend Zara McDermott, practical joker Sam joined the Elf Dolls - Elfie and Elvie - in a Pranksmas campaign to inspire the nation to get pranking. His first instructional video, Pranksmas 101, proved popular with his followers, with more than 140,000 views on Instagram. In it, Sam and the Elves Behavin’ Badly duo covered a bathroom in festive wrapping paper, naughtily ate all the chocolates from an advent calendar on the first day, filled a kitchen cupboard to bursting with cereal, and played a risky game of

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We saw our Elves appear in the new Home Alone movie, as well as all the fun playful family moments shared by our followers on social media using #pranksmas

Chilli Roulette with Zara, which did not go down well! Other famous faces joined Sam along the way, including fellow Made in Chelsea star Binky Felstead and former cast member of The Only Way Is Essex Ferne McCann, to encourage people to get pranking and embrace a little mayhem, by sharing their antics on social media using #pranksmas. In the week running up to Christmas, the Elves got their own back on Sam by luring him into a Christmas grotto, before tying him up in fairy lights, covering him in tinsel and leaving him as a present under the tree. Paul Beverley, a director PMS International - the worldwide distributor for the Elves Behavin’ Badly dolls - said: “Christmas is always the best time of year and our

Elves have grown in popularity over the years. We saw our Elves appear in the new Home Alone movie, as well as all the fun playful family moments shared by our followers on social media using #pranksmas.” He added that Sam and his celebrity friends have upped the ante for the next Christmas campaign. “Seeing the lengths that Sam goes to when pranking Zara and our Elves is nothing short of inspirational though I wonder how long he’ll be on Santa’s naughty list after all this?” he said. As for 2022, “we will just have to wait and see if Santa allows Elfie and Elvie to come back!” To look back at the 2021 Pranksmas campaign, visit instagram.com/ elvesbehavinbadly and www. elvesbehavinbadly.com

PMS International 01268 505050 | www.elvesbehavinbadly.com toysnplaythings.media


RETAIL INTERVIEW

ASDA

George

goes green Eco options are top of the agenda for George at Asda, as senior sustainability manager Jade Snart explains

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s a value volume retailer, it’s We have launched many circular important that we play our part initiatives over the past few years, to minimise the environmental including the launch of our George impact of what we produce. Take Back scheme where we offer an Sustainability has always been incentive for our customers to recycle a part of our business but in 2019 their unwanted clothing and home we shared our five-pillar ‘George textiles with us. We’ve also partnered for Good’ strategy. This primarily with Preloved [a vintage wholesaler focuses on responsibly sourced fibres, that sells bespoke vintage clothing sustainable manufacturing, from well-known brands] and people in our supply chain, now offer second-hand clothing reduction of packaging and in 50 of our stores. Sustainability circularity. It covers clothing We try to have a constant is absolutely at the and general merchandise drumbeat of the journey we forefront of our including toys. are currently on, explaining to We are pleased to say that customers why we are doing what criteria when we over 80% of our products are we are doing, and also offering onboard new now sourced with responsible recycling solutions in our stores for suppliers fibres and we publicly those hard-to-recycle items. We disclose our first and second actively encourage our customers tier supply base. to care for their products to ensure they have the maximum longevity where possible and promote our ‘Wear me, Care for me, and Share me’ culture with our 100-day guarantee. Asda buying manager of fashion dolls, playsets & We actively listen to our customers collectables, arts & crafts, and areas of preschool via listening groups and insight and toys Natalie Leather says: customer feedback. We “Investigating, trialling, and introducing new ways also run user/wearer of being sustainable is something we remain focused trials to ensure our on. In recent years we have moved to ensure all our products meet our highGeorge Home wooden toys are FSC-accredited. quality standards and We have also been on a journey with our suppliers, last the test of time. working with them to reduce the amount of plastic Sustainability is packaging in our toys, with the aim of making them absolutely at completely plastic-free. the forefront “We feature a range of sustainable toys in our of our criteria Middleton sustainability store [in Leeds, which when we opened in October 2020], and we are always on the onboard new lookout with suppliers and manufacturers for new suppliers, and materials that are more sustainable. we run vigorous “We also use many suppliers that work with audits that all our TerraCycle [an innovative recycling company that suppliers must specialises in recycling hard-to-recycle material], comply with ahead giving customers the opportunity to recycle some of of the partnership their toys.” commencing.

Buyer’s eye

JANUARY 2022

Peppa Pig partnership

George at Asda has partnered with Peppa Pig and Ecologi to offer a range of clothing made from responsibly sourced cotton through the Better Cotton Initiative (BCI) as well footwear, accessories and wooden toys and playsets made with FSC-certified wood from responsibly managed forests, as part of Hasbro’s Plant with Peppa campaign. Plant with Peppa aims to teach children about the importance of trees to the world, and Peppa Pig’s reforestation programme pledges to plant 10,000 trees at projects based in England, Wales and Scotland. A variety of trees including oak, maple, crab apple, cherry, silver birch and Scots pine will be planted, and families will be able to check their progress at the virtual Peppa Forest on the Ecologi website, where they can click on each tree to find out where it has been planted and how well it is growing. Catrina O’Brien, retail development director for Hasbro, said: “We’re so pleased to be partnering with George on our Plant with Peppa campaign, and proud to be showcasing a range of products made with the planet in mind. By planting 10,000 trees, Peppa is helping to show that our actions can have a positive impact on future generations. We hope that it gives families an engaging way to learn about the vital role that trees play in the earth’s eco system.”

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Toy Fair is back

with a bang! As we look forward to London’s Toy Fair, Majen Immink, director of fairs and special events at show organiser the BTHA, talks to TnP about what’s in the pipeline This is the first Toy Fair since 2020 - what changes can we expect to see? Well, the most important thing is that Toy Fair is back! After unfortunately having to take a break in 2021 we are so excited to be returning to Olympia London. We’re set to be as big as ever, with more than 260 exhibitors, from the biggest brands in the business including LEGO and Bandai, right through to the newest companies exhibiting for the very first time. It will be the first big opportunity of the year for visitors to get hands-on with the hottest toys and games for 2022 and see all the exciting new trends. If anyone has not been before, Toy Fair provides visitors with a real overview and insight into a fun, innovative and exciting industry! It’s a great setting in which to meet the toy 34

There are some elements of Toy Fair which involve crowding that are unable to take place this year such as the Influencer Day, Demo Zone and, sadly, Toy Fair TV

industry, network with peers, and make new contacts.

How will you make this the best show yet? This year, more than ever, it’s so important for us that all exhibitors and visitors have a very successful show on behalf of all of their companies, especially after a tough couple of years during Covid and a year away from the show.

There are some elements of Toy Fair which involve crowding that are unable to take place this year such as the Influencer Day, Demo Zone and sadly Toy Fair TV. Fortunately, our exhibitors will still be allowed to hold their own events on their stands, and we will also see the return of Toy Fair’s Hero Toys, which will be very exciting. We have no doubt that the atmosphere at the show will be

toysnplaythings.media


260+ Number of exhibitors expected at Toy Fair 2022

Toy Fair Hero Toys These toys will be on display at the front of the Press Office (Gallery Stand 160) What’s new for this year’s show? As I mentioned, things will be different this year. The most important part of Toy Fair is for everyone to be able to get together and see what will be on offer in 2022. This is where our exhibitors’ own events will come into play. These are still being created and will be the best place onsite to see all the latest products.

In the Greenhouse Area, you will discover exciting new toys and products that could end up being the smash hits of 2022

nothing but vibrant and positive as everyone is looking forward to being back at Toy Fair in person. How many exhibitors can we expect to see? We have had a great booking response from exhibitors for Toy Fair 2022 and have more than 260 exhibiting companies. We are still getting exhibitor enquiries every day, which is great as it really shows how keen and positive the industry is to get back to meeting in person. Press day will be taking place as normal, and we expect media representatives from the biggest publications and outlets to attend and check out what’s new in our industry for 2022. What Covid-safe procedures will be in place? The health and safety of our exhibitors and visitors is our number one priority for this year. Our current guidelines are that everyone at the show will have to provide proof of either double vaccination or a negative lateral flow or PCR test within 48 hours of attending the show. Those opting to provide a

JANUARY 2022

negative test will have to make sure the test is valid throughout their duration at the show. Therefore, if an exhibitor is on site a few days prior to the show opening, they will need to take a test every two days to prove their Covid status is up to date throughout their time at the show. We will also be providing plenty of hand sanitiser stations around the halls. This year we are using two entrances at the show, via the Grand Hall and a new entrance via the National Hall, so we can ensure visitors will be guided safely into Toy Fair to prevent crowding or bottlenecking. How will you make the Toy Fair accessible for those who can’t travel due to Covid or travel restrictions? As with previous years, we will release all the latest news and updates from Toy Fair throughout the show. If you are unable to visit, the best place to see all the latest news will be on our Twitter account @ToyFairUK. Our exhibiting companies will also reveal their latest products and we will promote that via our Toy Fair Twitter. We also have a detailed online exhibitor list on the Toy Fair website at www.toyfair.co.uk.

What is a must-see at the show? Apart from our exhibitors in general, the Toy Fair’s Hero Toys display is a must to see all the top toys and games that we predict will drive business and generate headlines in 2022 and beyond. Toy Fair’s Hero Toys will be on display at the front of our Press Office (Gallery Stand 160), so make sure it’s on your list of places to visit.

Any advice for new visitors? Make sure you plan your trip; with so many exhibitors, it’s easy to get overwhelmed. The onsite map is available on our website at www. toyfair.co.uk/visit/#floorPlan and is a useful tool to plan your way around Olympia London. For new visitors I always advise taking a trip around the Greenhouse Area. This is our dedicated area for new exhibiting companies. In the Greenhouse Area you will discover exciting new toys and products that could end up being the smash hits of 2022. I can confirm that we have a fully booked Greenhouse Area once again, so head on over to see the next generation of household names.

Is there anything else you’d like to share with us? Just that I’m so excited to see everyone once again! It’s been such a long time that I can’t wait to see some familiar and some new faces. It’s always exciting to take a lap around Toy Fair and see the toys that are going to be making waves over the next year. I look forward to seeing everyone in January to start 2022 with a bang! 35


RETAIL

OPINION

Talking retail

TnP loves to hear your views. In this issue, we ask retailers about their Toy Fair hopes and expectations

If you wo uld like t o take pa in Toy Ta rt lk, we’d lo ve to hea from you r . Please e mail clare@lem apublishin g.co.uk

Debbie Maloney Senior Manager Austins Department Store Newton Abbot What are your favourite things about this show? Seeing new products in person, the atmosphere, and it’s always good to be able to put faces to new names, as a lot of contact is via email nowadays. Will you be looking for any products in particular? More gift products and sustainable products.

“I'll be on the lookout for what's happening in the educational toy space”

Is there any stand you especially want to see? LEGO, Hasbro and so on. Will you be looking for sustainable/eco-friendly products?

Nouman Qureshi

Yes, we are always on the lookout for new sustainable products that are eco-friendly and ethically sourced.

Toys & Hobbies Category Manager, eBay What’s your favourite things about this show? The freebies, the demos and the mascots of course! More importantly, though, my favourite thing is getting closer to the products, the manufacturers, and the stories behind some of the great innovations you see at Toy Fair - this insight has benefitted my role here at eBay immensely.

Will you be looking for any category in particular? I'll be on the lookout for what's happening in the educational toy space since we saw significant demand and growth in that category last year on eBay UK.

What about the Greenhouse Area? It’s a good place to find new, innovative products. Previously, we came across some poster puzzles by Cloudberries. Any tips for retailers visiting the show for the first time? Make a limited number of appointments and allow yourself time to see all of the stands, to find new suppliers and new products.

Is there any stand you especially want to see? The Funko stand because I'm a massive fan of their range, and the Asmodee stand because their demonstrations are flawlessly executed and very engaging!

Will you be looking for sustainable/eco-friendly products? Yes definitely! Preschool toys are being dominated by more environmentally-conscious parents with 'wooden toys' being the second most searched term in the preschool category last year. Scandinavian companies such as Brio and German-based Grimms are attracting much demand on our platform, ranking third and fourth in this category's 2021 searches. In 2020 we saw 42% of wooden toy sales come through in Q4, suggesting that gifting wood is back in style! Being a marketplace, there is also the option to buy pre-loved toys on eBay, which we are seeing more and more of, as parents look for ways to purchase that are better for the wallet but also the planet.

What’s your earliest Toy Fair memory? The first stand I ever visited was LEGO and it was definitely a magical experience. I loved that I was shown products that hadn't even launched yet - it’s such an exciting feeling and it all felt very exclusive!

Any tips for retailers visiting the show for the first time? As we still try to navigate out of this pandemic, it's incredibly important to stay safe. LinkedIn has this really cool feature where you can share your profile as a QR code, which makes networking both safer and easier. So I’d urge others to find creative solutions in doing their bit to make this a safer place for everyone attending. 36

Aamir Yusef Owner, Totally Awesome Three stores in Hebden Bridge, Halifax, York Will you be looking for any category in particular?

We normally attend Toy Fair to discover new trends and new products that are a bit quirky and innovative. Will you be looking for sustainable/eco-friendly products?

Yes, we have been active in encouraging some of our suppliers to drop plastic from packaging. Any tips for retailers visiting the show for the first time?

Plan meetings ahead of time. Have a quick walk round first, make a list of the suppliers you really want to see and note down suppliers of interest, then visit them properly. Mop up the remainder if and when you have time.

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Julia Wingate

heavily pregnant (not recommended) and pushed small babies around in prams (slightly easier). But the first time I see the life-size LEGO models and meet Peppa Pig, Ben and Holly walking about always brings a smile to my face. As we get older, we must try harder to remember what it's like to be a child again and see toys through their eyes - not our analytical brains of margins and profit.

Owner, The Trading Post Kingsbridge, Devon What’s your favourite things about this show? It's great to see so many different suppliers, big and small, all under one roof. I find I can compare products and actually seeing them for ‘real’ helps make buying and ranging decisions much easier. I get to meet up with friends and colleagues too and discuss what works well for them. It’s an ideal networking opportunity.

Any tips for retailers visiting the show for the first time?

I check out the Toy Fair guides in the trade magazines before my trip and make a shortlist of new products to see. But I find the best way to get the Will you be looking for any product/ most out of Toy Fair is to eat your way category in particular? through it. My day starts very early: 5am With no show last year, it will just be great depart house, 6am catch train… so food is to look at everything. essential to sustain me through the day. I like to book only two appointments each Is there any stand you especially day with key suppliers, and then visit every want to see? “The best way to get the most aisle. That way I can be sure I’ve not missed I love several. LEGO, obviously, and Playmobil something new and exciting. out of Toy Fair is to eat your where the products are all set up. I love a I’m a Toymaster member, so a cuppa quick game with Big Potato Games and way through it” in their lounge is a great reviver, and it’s seeing the water toys at Tomy. an ideal place to network. I also like the Will you be looking for sustainable products? coffee stop on the upper floor as it’s usually quieter upstairs. Yes, eco toys are a growing range, so I hope the big guys have And make dinner reservations with colleagues near your something to offer as well as the Greenhouse folk. Sustainable wooden accommodation (I can't walk far in the evening) to discuss what you’ve toys and eco plastics from Bigjigs Toys are a winner for us. seen and what you’ve missed.

Have you found a really great product or supplier in the Greenhouse Area in the past? I love this area. Last time we took on two or three new Greenhouse suppliers, which have been a great success. The Seekers treasure hunt kits were a big hit, especially in Lockdown 1. Everyone was out for family walks, and these are perfect to inspire children along.

What’s your earliest Toy Fair memory? I’ve been attending the show for over 20 years now. Gosh, that makes me feel old! I have trudged around

Joseph Pulfrey Senior Buyer Hobbycraft, 100-plus stores across the UK

Emma Holland Buying Manager - Kids (non book) Toys and Games The Works 500-plus stores across the UK

What’s your favourite things about this show? Simply to meet everyone in one place and spot opportunities that have not come to mind. The prospect of seeing a whole range in front of your eyes can send ideas bouncing around your head. That can prompt a change of strategy - whether that be an old supplier, current supplier or a new one.

Will you be looking for any particular category?

What’s your favourite things about this show?

“I’ll be keen to find some good promotional opportunities”

Our categories remain very arts & craft focused, and while ranges are very settled in stores.I’ll be keen to find some good promotional opportunities and peak trading stacks of value kits.”

Any tips for retailers visiting the show for the first time? To get the best out of it, you need two days: one day to see any existing suppliers that you’ve yet to sit down with to discuss the next year, and another day to look around for something new.

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It’s amazing to see all the brands and suppliers under one roof and there is always a real buzz in the room. There is something really special about seeing the latest innovation to market, so the show gets me full of optimism and really excited for the year to come.

“There is always a real buzz in the room”

Will you be looking for any product/category in particular this year? For us, this year will be about new relationships and looking at the potential of 2022 and beyond. It’s very exciting to get back to a show and see what we could and should be doing, and meeting with a broad range of new and existing suppliers. 37


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OPINION

Talking retail Vicky Brown Owner, Just Williams 2 stores in East Dulwich, London & Beckenham, Kent What’s your favourite things about this show? It’s a great place to network, gain product information, get an idea of toy trends for the new year - and to find some new and exciting products!

Will you be looking for any product/category in particular this year?

Jade Oliver-Deacon Owner, The Toy Shop, Okehampton

For me, the show is always about looking for new products to keep our offering fresh across all categories. However, I will be looking for new arts & crafts, science kits and some baby items/gifts.

What’s your favourite things about this show?

Is there any stand you especially want to see?

I enjoy catching up with our suppliers, and friends and colleagues who have shops - finding out what’s selling well or popular and what their customers are asking for. I like being able to see products ‘in the flesh’ and deciding whether we will bring them into the shop and whether our customers will like the toys/craft products that will be coming out.

This is a hard one... Basic Fun! as they always have something new, and LEGO as I love seeing the new ranges and the items build, and how they work.

Will you be looking for any particular products?

More environmentallyfriendly toys and craft products, new products that are due to launch, and different toys and products that we don't have in the shop already.

There is a definite trend and demand from customers wanting eco-friendly and sustainable products, so for me anything that fits this description and has the price point I want to see. At the moment most of our eco-friendly toys are vehicles, so I’m particularly looking for products that are more gender neutral or aimed at girls to balance out our offering.

What about the Greenhouse Area - have you found a great supplier there in the past? I’ve found loads of new suppliers, from 1 Two Kids and Scootaheadz to ZooBooKoo. So yes, I will definitely be visiting the Area.

What’s your earliest Toy Fair memory?

Yes, definitely. But I will have to wait and see what’s coming out. I would love to find another supplier of environmentally-friendly bath toys.

My first Toy Fair, despite being 12 years ago, was a bit overwhelming. I wanted to see and remember everything and take every brochure home, which I soon regretted after being weighed down by 11am! The first stands I went to were Ravensburger, James Galt and BigJigs, and I remember thinking that their ranges were vast and how was I ever going to decide what to order? The reps were all very helpful and provided great advice.

What about the Greenhouse Area - have you found a really great product or supplier there in the past?

Any tips for retailers visiting the show for the first time?

Will you be seeking sustainable products?

Yes, I’ve found several suppliers there and will be making a point of visiting this section. Any tips for retailers visiting the show for the first time?

Don't book too many appointments. I find I enjoy walking around the fair and then noting down suppliers I want to meet with or talk to. Leave plenty of time between appointments, and find a comfy seat to enjoy a cuppa and take the weight off your feet!

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Will you be looking for sustainable/ eco-friendly products?

“I take loads of photos to help me remember the products I like”

I soon learned to bring a rucksack to carry any brochures that I really wanted to take home - but to get as many as possible sent to me! I take loads of photos to help me remember the products I like. I try to go for two days: one when I can go around the show in a systematic way looking at all the stands, and the other to spend on appointments (running around like a mad thing going from one side of the Fair to the other trying to find various stands). My main bit of advice is to wear comfy shoes, take some water, take your time and enjoy the day!

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Peter Allinson Director, Whirligig Toys 4 stores in Kent and Sussex: Brighton, Canterbury, Chichester, Tunbridge Wells What are your favourite things about this show? It’s quite a buzz – there’s lots to see, and the anticipation of a new discovery to add to our range. We love the opportunity to play with games and talk to the people who invented them.

As we don't really do much from the licensed world, we also spend most of our time with the smaller companies upstairs and around the edges - they are always pleased to see us. Will you be seeking sustainable products?

We specialise in 'things to make and do', so we are always interested in products that have an activity at the heart of them. There’s "We love the been a great deal of innovation in the opportunity to paper crafting and wooden modelmaking areas recently, so that’s play with games something we will be looking out for.

We are always on the lookout for sustainable products. But in particular, we look for toys with really high play value, based on the principle that if you are going to use it over and over again, it’s a much more friendly product than something that will be played with once and then discarded. Most importantly, we look for boxes that are not just full of air - transporting these around the world, to then disappoint children with sub-standard products, is one of the key issues for our industry.

Is there any stand you especially want to see?

Do you have any amusing stories about your Toy Fair experiences?

Will you be looking for any particular products?

and talk to the people who invented them”

Our favourite part of the show is the Greenhouse Area, so we always head there first and start with the new and emerging suppliers. They have so many interesting ideas and are always keen to meet and discuss them. We often place orders here and try out new products that suit our range. A few years ago, we met Paper Engine: they had really innovative products just arriving on the market, which we snapped up straight away. They have now become a regular stockist in our shops.

Zac Chapman Toys Buyer, Downtown, Boston and Grantham What’s your favourite things about this show? It’s wonderful to have everyone together at Toy Fair, especially as a buyer because you can see a lot in a short period. All the suppliers do a fantastic job showcasing their product and it really gets you excited for what is to come this year.

Is there any stand you especially want to see? I wouldn’t say there’s one stand in particular, as I

One of our team had a very starstruck experience of meeting [TV presenter, broadcaster and artist] Timmy Mallett at the show - a childhood icon for him - so that made a huge impact. Being trodden on by various furry characters is always fun. Any tips for retailers visiting the show for the first time? Start at the edges and work towards the middle - the middle is full of the more obvious brands that you would expect to see, but the edges are full of innovation.

“All the suppliers do a fantastic job showcasing their product” enjoy seeing everyone - although a lunchtime appointment with Character Options is top of most people’s lists I imagine! It’s also a great opportunity to see LEGO; it’s always nice to see their product in person.

What’s your earliest Toy Fair memory? Visiting Toy Fair was actually my first ever day as a toy buyer for my company, so it was certainly a baptism of fire. My first appointment was with Hasbro, and I must have looked like a rabbit in the headlights that day! There are worst places to spend your first day as a toy buyer that’s for sure - so going back to the show holds a special place for me personally. I like to think I’m a bit more organised and chilled out now though!

Any tips for retailers visiting the show for the first time? Comfy shoes and staying hydrated are the top tips from me. Check the floor plans and book appointments on stands nearby if you can. There’s nothing worse than having five minutes to get from the bottom to the top for your next appointment. I like to head out of the venue at lunchtime for a bit of fresh air for 30 minutes or so, and there are plenty of places to grab food in the locality. Enjoy yourself too - it will be great to have the show back, and everyone in the industry is so friendly that you’ll hardly notice the walking and how busy you are!

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OPINION

Talking retail Julia Lowe Owner, Farm Toys Online www.farmtoysonline.co.uk What’s your favourite things about this show?

Amanda Alexander

Finding exciting new products to share with our customers, and catching up with suppliers and getting a real sense of what is happening in the toy industry. I also love the Greenhouse Area: start-up companies play such an important role in keeping the toy industry fresh!

Owner, Giddy Goat Toys, Didsbury

Will you be looking for any categories in particular?

What’s your favourite things about this show?

High-quality farm toys - everything from soft toys to ride-on tractors. I’m looking for well-made farm toys; the kind that can be handed down from generation to generation. There's an overwhelming amount of tat out there which we refuse to stock.

It’s quite small compared with, for example, Spring Fair - and it’s purely toys, so you can focus on your main suppliers and get round everyone. And for me, the timing is great: you’ve had a couple of weeks to recover from the madness of Christmas and you’re ready to think about new lines and the year ahead.

“Enjoy being the customer, not the retailer, for a day”

Will you be looking for any particular product/category? We need a new kids jewellery supplier. We used to have Pink Poppy and we need something similar: cute little necklaces, bracelets and hairclips. Other than that, it’s just a chance to check out new and existing lines. It’s not just all about new things; it’s seeing the products in the flesh. Often you’ll see something that you might have flicked past in a catalogue or online, but when you see it at the show you realise how lovely it is.

Will you be seeking sustainable products? I want to look at the Keel Toys plush range, as I’ve read a lot of positive comments about them in the trade press.

Any tips for retailers visiting the show for the first time? Research which suppliers will be there beforehand and make appointments with the suppliers you really want to see, otherwise you find yourself awkwardly lingering around stands but leave time for mooching between appointments. Accept brews from the suppliers that offer them, as the café prices can be steep - and I’ll probably bring my own lunch too in case the veggie options are limited. When placing orders, space them out - otherwise you end up with eight deliveries arriving on the same day. So book a few in for asap and then a few in for mid-February. Take business cards. And enjoy being the customer, not the retailer, for a day.

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Is there any stand you especially want to see?

“I love the Greenhouse Area: startup companies play such an important role in keeping the toy industry fresh!”

Our suppliers put a lot of effort into their stands, I really can’t wait to see them all and catch up with our contacts in person. Will you be looking for sustainable/eco-friendly products? We know our customers want to buy British-made products, especially farms, so we’re always on the lookout for British toy manufacturers. When our customers purchase a British product, they are more confident that it’s well made to ethical standards, and better for the environment. Have you found a great supplier in the Greenhouse Area in the past? Oh yes, we found a fantastic British company called The Den Kit Company. We ordered a range of den kits from them, which sold well over the summer. What’s your earliest Toy Fair memory? Being a woman, and not in a suit, I was ignored on several of the stands! How things have changed. Any tips for retailers visiting the show for the first time? If you already know which companies you’d like to talk to, it’s a good idea to set up meetings with sales representatives beforehand. Hanging around the larger stands, trying to catch someone, can really eat into your day.

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TRADE

OPINION

Trade talk

Calling all suppliers and distributors! We’d love to hear your views. Get in touch with Clare@lemapublishing.co.uk to have your say!

With The Toy Fair round the corner, we ask a selection of exhibitors what products they are most excited about launching at the London event and what they are hoping to achieve at the show

SCOTT EDEN Product Director Wilton Bradley

Which product are you most excited about showcasing at Toy Fair?

SARAH DAYUS Sales Director Great Gizmos

Which products are you most excited about launching at the show and why? We’re really excited to be expanding our Mould & Paint range again with new 3D kits. Mould & Paint 3D Dragons has everything included to mould and decorate two impressive dragon statues. The range allows kids to express themselves creatively and end up with something they can be proud to display.

What are you hoping to achieve at the show? We’re really looking forward to seeing our customers face-to-face again and hoping to meet some new faces too. It will be great to have a physical space to showcase our new products and ranges.

What makes this show special for you?

“We’ve been exhibiting at Toy Fair for as long as we can remember, so it will always be a show that’s close to our hearts”

We’ve been exhibiting at Toy Fair for as long as we can remember, so it will always be a show that’s close to our hearts. It’s particularly special as it’s purely focused on toys and our fantastic industry.

Any top tips for visitors? My biggest advice would be to book appointments rather than just ‘walk’ the show. Exhibitors get really busy, so it would be a shame for no one to be available to show you around the stand.

We are excited to showcase our new product in our Playhouse brand: Waterwall. This water flow, gravity game is packed with limitless combinations for children to enjoy, with a different creation every time the pieces are moved. With a range of modular accessories included, kids can have fun creating their own water flows and seeing their problem-solving skills come to life as they pour water from the top. Made from quality sustainably sourced wood, this weather-resistant product can be used outdoors or indoors, thanks to the bucket, which catches the water when it reaches the bottom.

What are you hoping to achieve at the show? We value the importance of retailers visiting our stand as “We are we will have lots of new, never-seen-before products launching being launched, as well as strong selling current 30 toy SKUs ranges, which may be new to some retailers. this year” Product development is continually important for us here at Wilton Bradley. We are launching 30 toy SKUs this year, including new categories, new developments within ranges, and innovation. We have so many new products for 2022 that we have taken an additional stand to sit alongside our main stand. This will be dedicated to our Xootz wheeled toys, so it will have all of the new scooters and the new electric vehicles, plus the award-winning Xootz officially licensed ride-ons.

SAM IRELAND Operations Director Bigjigs Toys

Which product are you most excited about displaying at Toy Fair?

“I’m super excited to be relaunching the Schylling range in the UK”

While we have some super items in the Bigjigs range this year, I’m super excited to be relaunching the Schylling range in the UK from 2022. Schylling has an amazing range called Nee Doh, which will be awesome for us this year.

What are you hoping to achieve at the show? To see customers that we have not seen for so long and talk to them face-toface about new ranges.

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TRADE

OPINION

Trade talk

STEVE ASBEY UK Sales Manager Cheatwell Games

Which products are you most excited about launching at Toy Fair? As many readers will know, we have gone from having a moderate profile in the games category to becoming a major supplier in just a few years. Many of our games are now top-selling items around the globe, and we believe our new game launches for 2022 will only enhance that growing reputation “We for quality and full innovation.

inventor will be demonstrating. As a psychotherapist, the demonstrator will guide players in a group discussion about their dreams via large myriorama cards, culminating in a decision about which player is genuinely insane. Our other demonstrator at the show will be playing the brilliant new children’s card game Snap Fit, so please don’t get the two muddled up…

have big boxes of captivating content, and the most important ingredient: fun”

Our new titles include Sleuth, Zensu, Brain Ache and the brilliantly named PyschoBabble: a game of dreams, paranoia and insanity, which the

Calling all suppliers and distributors! We’d love to hear your views. Get in touch with Clare@lemapublishing.co.uk to have your say!

What are you hoping to achieve at the show?

Apart from trying not to be too hung over, we would like to engage more hitherto reluctant buyers and show them that we have something for everyone, while proving to our existing customers that they are partnering with an innovative growing supplier. We have kids’ games, family games, party games, card games and puzzles… we have big boxes full of captivating content, and the most important ingredient: fun.

KERRIE CORRIGAN General Manager, Coiledspring Games

Which products are you most excited about showcasing at Toy Fair?

JO DRAGE Sales Director Thames & Kosmos

Which product are you most excited about launching at Toy Fair? We always launch our new catalogue at Toy Fair, and so it’s the general unveiling of what we will be releasing over the course of the whole year. We have a new robotic glove that launches missiles, which I’m very keen to show.

What are you hoping to achieve at the show? I’m really looking forward to seeing our existing customers and meeting some new ones, but we are also looking for some good reviewers for our science kits. 42

We’re proud to carry an exclusive portfolio of games, puzzles and jigsaws from key partners including IELLO, Blue Orange, MindWare, NSV and more. The Coiledspring Heroes range will be front and centre at Toy Fair. These are fantastic lead titles that represent a snippet of our range. Wrebbit3D, which produces the sturdiest 3D puzzles “We missed on the market will be celebrating its 30th birthday in 2022, and our stand will be jam packed with display not being models including the popular Harry Potter collection, able to with a new launch for 2022 in the Diagon Alley exhibit in Collection: Gringotts Bank. 2021 and are From Schmidt Spiele, the leading German puzzle delighted to manufacturer, we have an extensive portfolio of be back” premium, six-star quality jigsaws that we are proud to be showcasing. Coming in 2022, we’ll be expanding our Schmidt Thomas Kinkade Disney range with two new puzzles, as well as adding exciting new licences such as Star Wars!

What are you hoping to achieve at the show? We are looking forward to connecting with our retailers and industry colleagues. We missed not being able to exhibit in 2021 and are delighted to be back showcasing our products and talking customers through our range face-to-face. We traditionally launch our catalogue at Toy Fair, and we will be exhibiting on a brandnew, eye-catching stand that complements our brand and range of board games, jigsaws and puzzles. We’re looking forward to seeing you all there!

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CHRISTINA AIKMAN International Marketing Manager Mookie Toys Which products are you most excited about launching at Toy Fair? We have lots of exciting new products, from our own brands to the brands we work with. Silverlit’s evergreen brand, Robo Kombat, continues to sell well and will be expanding into 2022 with the release of Robo Kombat Mega: all the fun of the original Robo Kombat with interchangeable fists! We look forward to displaying the next phase of Biopod, with Biopod Battle, with new packaging and new creatures to collect. Tybo continues to excite the inner fashion designer in all of us. We will launch the Tybo Dip & Dye - a bold marbling concept, which is the perfect way to elevate any accessories. Yulu has seen the successful launch of Happy Hamsters, a modular track game; and “Tybo continues to Jelly Sand, sand play to create excite the inner fashion colourful characters. designer in all of us” We will also be exhibiting Monkey See Monkey Poo and Taco Smash. Monkey See Monkey Poo is a humorous action game for players with exclusive poo-throwing abilities (and a bit of luck!). Taco Smash is a speedy action game that tests your reflexes and your competitive attitude. At our stand you will also be able to practice your sporting skills with Zing: a fun bow and arrows that now come with a Velcro target! TP Toys will be displaying Active-Tots, our new range of indoor toys perfect for independent play designed on the principles and theories of pediatrician Emmi Pikler. Our TP Toys stand will also host our new Potting Benches: a space to give children their very own garden station where they can experience the joy of taking a seed and turning it into something beautiful.

What are you hoping to achieve at the show? After spending so long behind our screens, it will be a great opportunity to meet retailers, buyers and customers face-to-face after not meeting for so long. The Toy Fair will be an important occasion for people to see our products in person rather than virtually.

ALEXANDER SMITH Managing Director Wotch Creations

Which product are you most excited about launching at Toy Fair? Our Hexa-Plex puzzles - the perfect collectable item or gift. We’ve reinvented and reimagined traditional 2D puzzles for the 21st century. Unparalleled in its design, Hexa-Plex is an internationally patented system to transform the puzzle experience and “We’ve reinvented level up your love of puzzles. These vibrant and elegant individually and reimagined tailored puzzles enhance any room or traditional 2D desktop, becoming a truly treasured puzzles for the item that takes pride of place when put 21st century” on display.

What are you hoping to achieve at the show? We are hoping to engage with buyers to create a strong retailer network for our product ranges.

JANUARY 2022

KATE GIBSON Managing Director Gibsons

Which product are you most excited about launching at Toy Fair? We are launching a very exciting new licence with Stormtrooper. Troopers on Tour is our new 1,000-piece jigsaw puzzle, which features cheeky Stormtroopers on holiday, posing in weird and wonderful locations around the world! It’s fun and quirky and should appeal to Stormtrooper and puzzles fans alike.

What are you hoping to achieve at the show? We’ve very much missed Toy Fair, so our main objective is to catch up with customers and see them in person. But it’s also important for us to network and see industry contacts. Toy Fair is always the first opportunity of the year for customers to see our new puzzles, games and gifts - and with a new stand location this year, we’re excited to share what we’ve been working on. We hope to meet new customers and continue to build strong relationships for the future. We urge all to swing by our stand to say hello!

“We are launching a very exciting new licence with Stormtrooper”

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TRADE

OPINION

Trade talk

Calling all suppliers and distributors! We’d love to hear your views. Get in touch with Clare@lemapublishing.co.uk to have your say!

EEJAY ENYI Sales Director Zimpli Kids

Which products are you most excited about displaying at Toy Fair? Our Galaxy Slime play and Solar System Baff Bombz. Galaxy Slime play is brilliant for sensory play, aiding the development of three of the five senses: hearing, touch, and vision. Kids can get super creative and experimental with this product, adding different magical powders to create and change the colour of their slime while also enjoying a popping sensation. Our Solar System Baff Bombz are a great way to learn through play. Kids can have a colourful, fizzing bathtime adventure while learning about the wonders of outer space, with fact cards included.

What are you hoping to achieve at the show? We’re hoping to reconnect with existing customers, after what has been an extremely difficult 18 months - both personally and, in some cases, for businesses. We’re also excited to show customers, old and new, all the new products that the team spent lockdown working on.

“We’re really Managing Director, Plum Play looking forward to connecting with Which product are you most excited customers that we’ve about displaying at Toy Fair? not had the pleasure We will be displaying a trampoline from of meeting yet or our new junior print, lights and sounds have not seen since collection. We are really excited to finally show off this innovation to our before the pandemic”

PAUL SCHAFFER

customers, after its launch last year. In true Plum Play fashion, it’s a really fun product and we’re sure this whole collection will be a winner with our customers.

What are you hoping to achieve at the show? One of the most rewarding aspects of the show is being able to meet our customers in person. With the lockdowns, this has become even more of a rarity. We’re really looking forward to connecting with customers that we’ve not had the pleasure of meeting yet or have not seen since before the pandemic. And, as always, we will be looking for new and exciting opportunities for both Plum Play and our distribution brands.

JACK PROBYN UK Marketing Manager, Winning Moves

Which product are you most excited about launching at Toy Fair?

“The connectivity within the show is second to none and we look forward to welcoming customers both old and new onto our stand”

Over the past 12 months, we’ve taken a look at our WHOT! card game brand and have been working hard to ensure the best licences fit the product. Well, now we think we’ve got it, and we can’t wait to share it at Toy Fair. The game we’re excited to display is Super Mario WHOT! This partnership not only combines analogue and digital gaming, but will also look fantastic on analogue and digital shelves. We can’t wait!

What are you hoping to achieve at the show? More than anything else, having not seen one another for nearly two years, we’re excited to see our customers again. We can’t wait to hear what’s hot in their worlds, and to be able to show them what’s hot in ours. The connectivity within the show is second to none and we look forward to welcoming customers both old and new onto our stand. 4

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At the heart of retail Leading publisher in B2B and Digital ANTHONY MARKS Managing Director Fanattik

Which product are you most excited about launching at Toy Fair?

“Our brands are iconic and multigenerational, with an army of fans already out there hungry for product”

We are super excited about launching our Magic the Gathering range - the brand is so hot now - and that’s before the Netflix series has even aired! We see this collection being as successful with retailers as our Yu-Gi-Oh! range, which was one of our biggest hits of 2021. Fanattik ranges will be available from Bliss Distribution (stand E100).

What are you hoping to achieve at the show? Raising awareness of what Fanattik is all about. With the rise of kidult and collectables, we are hoping that toy retailers will realise that they don’t have to risk shelf space on the latest film release as our brands are iconic and multi-generational, with an army of fans already out there hungry for product. With our pre-order procedures, retailers only have to order what they have sold, so no risk for them.

STEVE FINCH Director Boppi

Which products are you most excited about displaying at Toy Fair? The eco versions of our Halftoys. Everyone loves them but if we can produce a version made from a bamboo fibre or recycled plastic it would be fantastic. They are one of the most tactile toys I have ever felt and even adults use them as desk fidget toys. They tick so many boxes.

What are you hoping to achieve at the show? To build a life away from online selling. We hope the trade shows in 2022 will be a springboard to that. From my point of view, it makes me so proud to see our products in a physical store. The buyers for independent stores have such a good eye for detail, so there is no greater compliment than when they choose to stock a Boppi product!

JANUARY 2022

45


COVER STORY MV SPORTS

Making

electric!

MV Sports joint managing director Phil Ratcliffe explains how the company is using its own brand Li-Fe to achieve its vision of getting people out of cars and making travel both green and fun

Trading has held up well across all categories. The pandemic has shown how families have made the most of spending valuable time together through play, and disposable income seems to have been diverted away from other recreational activities into the outdoor play and wheeled sectors.

Tell us a little about Li-Fe.

We’ve had an amazing year of sales through Li-Fe - it’s been very well received by retailers and consumers alike, and there’s plenty more to come

Li-Fe is our in-house e-mobility brand - dedicated exclusively to products such as electric scooters and electric bikes. Our vision is to change the way people travel by getting them out of cars and onto electric bikes and scooters for short or medium journeys. At the same time, we want to make those

Fact! The first Li-Fe electric bike will be a stylish folding design due to launch early this year 46

How has trading been over the past 12 months?

journeys fun and, so far, everyone we’ve seen trying our electric scooters has had a massive smile on their face! We’ve had an amazing year of sales through Li-Fe – it’s been very well received by retailers and consumers alike, and there’s plenty more to come.

What made you decide to focus on electric product? It’s hard to hide from the electric car revolution and that is creating wider demand for electric products. Scooters provide the most affordable step into electric


What do you love most about Toy Fair? Meeting customers and licensors, evenings with the team, and showing our entire range including our latest new products. It’s a culmination and a celebration of all our efforts over the past few months.

Tell us more about the products within the range. At present we have six electric scooters in the range: one for kids and five for adults. Our kids scooter, the Li-Fe 120 Pro, is designed to be affordable, lightweight and fun, with a short recharge time for maximum usage. With our adult scooters we take a very logical, functional and safetyconscious approach across the board. They all have a minimum 17km range and 25km/h top speed, which is aligned to the maximum support speed of an electric bike. We use various tyre types - solid tyres to remove the risk of inconvenient punctures or airfilled for a more comfortable ride. They have easy-to-use folding mechanisms for compact storage or carrying onto trains, integrated lights for safety, and at least IP54 water-resistance rating for UK weather conditions. They all deliver their power in a smooth and controlled way for a great riding experience. At the top of our range is

JANUARY 2022

the Li-Fe 350HC, which has a skateboard-inspired maple wooden deck. It’s very competitively priced and customers seem to love it - it’s certainly an office favourite! The first Li-Fe electric bike will be a stylish folding design due to launch early this year. Watch this space!

Which products will you be launching at Toy Fair? We will be unveiling a range of ride-ons, battery-powered vehicles, scooters, trikes, bikes, helmets and accessories across all current ranges. We will also be launching a number of new and refreshed ranges for 2022, including Bluey, Lightyear, CoComelon, Hey Duggee, Peppa, Paw Patrol, Disney Princess and Batman, to name a few. More exciting licences are set to join the impressive MV portfolio, with a couple more yet to be released. Come and see us at Toy Fair to enjoy the launch of these stunning new products and brands.

What can buyers hope to get from visiting your stand? There will be an opportunity to see our latest launches in the ‘flesh’ for the first time, to meet the team, and to discuss bespoke opportunities. We are most excited to see

Just being able to meet again. To talk business face-to-face in a convivial setting is a real incentive and something that we are all looking forward to. We are absolutely delighted to be back at Toy Fair.

Finally, is there anything else you’d like to add? From all at MV Sports, we would like to wish everyone a very happy, healthy and prosperous new year!

The Li-Fe “350HC has a skateboardinspired maple wooden deck. It’s very competitively priced and customers seem to love it - it’s certainly an office favourite!

micromobility that a customer can take, so we’ve focused our initial energy there. It’s an extremely popular and eco-friendly category in Europe, and we are excited to see this mirrored in the UK. We have also seen incredible demand for electric bikes through our other in-group brands - Dawes and Claud Butler - so expanding the Li-Fe range to include eBikes was an easy decision for us to make. It makes it a more allencompassing cross-category brand and allows our customers to continue their electrified journey with Li-Fe, for life.

Is there any particular aspect of Toy Fair that you are most looking forward to?

faces old and new in-person we’ve almost forgotten what that feels like! - and to showcase our exciting array of new products and licences. We also have some new faces attending Toy Fair for the first time as we further expand our amazing team. Come and say hello!

How will you be helping retailers drive sales? By giving them flexible ways to buy and get involved, either via DD, stocked in or FOB. We are also striving to improve our online content and packaging for key ranges such as Hedstrom.

Can you reveal any more plans for 2022? We will have lots of exciting newness off the back of a strong year. Many new, hot licences and innovative products are in the works for further 2022 development. At Toy Fair, we have a new stand and a new location right at the centre of the Main Hall - very exciting!

MV Sports 0121 7488000 | www.mvsports.com 47


THE BIG INTERVIEW FUNKO

Something for every fan

With its broad range of appeal, Funko is in a solid position despite the pandemic and global uncertainty, as Malcolm Ottley, VP of Sales EMEA, explains What’s your career background? After 10 years in the toy industry with Hasbro, within a number of senior roles in both the UK and Germany, I was given the opportunity to join Funko in Sept 2020 at an incredibly exciting time; to help lead the EMEA sales team into the next phase of their growth journey.

Tell us a little bit about Funko. Everyone is a fan of something, and at Funko we have something for every fan. Whether you are eight or 80, our USP as a business is our wide product offering, newness rolling in monthly across a multiple of genres, and our products spread

Funko isn’t like other ‘toy’ companies. The average age of our fans is mid30s, and our products are largely sold to be collected

Fact! Over the course of the pandemic, Funko launched its own direct to consumer business - www.funkoeurope. com - to extend its reach to its current consumer base

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across several categories. We are a ‘one-stop’ shop for all your crosscategory needs.

How has trading been in the past 12 months? The biggest plus for me since joining Funko is the incredible demand for our products from consumers and fans.

What opportunities has the pandemic created? While it was a difficult time for all, the pandemic presented an opportunity to step back and assess the business and make some changes in a number of key areas, which should ultimately benefit our partners and consumers in the longer term. We launched our own direct to consumer [DTC] business - www. funkoeurope.com - during this time, which has extended our reach to our current consumer base. From a fan engagement perspective, company-wide, we leveraged virtual platforms to create fun and immersive fan experiences when in-person events weren’t possible. You’ll continue to see those virtual elements going forward, as they’ve been tremendously popular with our fans - and successful for the company.

Covid put paid to movie releases for some time - how did you handle this with such a large part of your business being related to film licences? Our business thrives on evergreen content, meaning that about two-thirds of our product assortment is not tied to big theatrical releases. For 2022, we have a fantastic opportunity to support big tentpole programmes with a now-packed movie release calendar, but that will be incremental to that core strength in fanfavourite evergreen content.

Apart from Covid, what’s the biggest challenge and opportunity facing toy retailers? It’s worth reminding readers that Funko isn’t like other ‘toy’ companies. The average age of our fans is mid-30s, and our products are largely sold to be collected. We have a DTC channel and extensive wholesale partnerships across a broad set of channels and product categories. We’re not immune to global uncertainty, but we feel pretty good about the business we’ve built, both in the UK and as a global brand.

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What is your earliest memory of your toy career?

How do you see the company developing over the next 12 months?

Is there anything that visitors shouldn’t miss?

Product diversification into new areas such as games and softlines is one of our key priorities, as well as continued investment in our core Pop! Vinyl business and expansion of our DTC platforms.

We’re excited to welcome everyone to the Funko booths at both Nuremberg and London and have folk learn more about the brand and what makes us so unique.

How will you support your retail partners in 2022? We look forward to working closely with our retail partners in 2022 and give them greater visibility of our tremendous product portfolios, enabling us to plan better for events and key launches.

What can visitors look forward to from Funko at the upcoming trade shows? Toy Fairs are always a great opportunity for us to showcase the innovation that is happening at Funko and celebrate what makes our company unique. We’re working with new IP in some highly popular and growing genres. This is specifically to bring in new audiences, who are not necessarily familiar with our product line - we’re excited to be showcasing new product in music, sports and anime.

A couple of years ago you had a Funko one-armed bandit on your stand. Are you planning any other ways to add interest to exhibition displays? We’re always looking to ensure our presence at toy fairs is one of the most exciting aspect for visitors attending. We’re well known for making everyone feel welcome and not only excited about the incredible array of product on display, but about the future and the exciting new directions we’re taking the brand. This year’s fairs will be no different.

I remember my very first day with Hasbro was a product preview with a prominent UK retailer. I recall we had a very tense meeting and it did not go well. I remember thinking ‘what have I done? – I thought this was a fun industry where we just played with toys all day!’ Thankfully, things quickly sorted themselves out and I went on to experience much more of the brighter side of the industry, including meeting many of its unique characters over the following years.

We’re working with new IP in some highly popular and growing genres. This is specifically to bring in new audiences, who are not necessarily familiar with our product line

What do you miss from your early days in the toy industry? What don’t you miss? Well, since Covid, I miss the international toy fairs where you met everyone in person. There were long days, and often even longer nights - but great experiences and a chance to really align your plans with retailers for the coming year. I don’t miss some of the hangovers at those fairs though!

What change would you like to see in the toy industry? Not so much a change, but I think we all want the industry to settle down again once more after the past few years.

something from conversations I have with employees or with retail partners, and I thrive on that constant learning. It’s also a friendly industry and people often make me smile - that’s important in everyone’s life, and I’m lucky I get to experience that often at work.

What’s the most challenging aspect of your job? The number of virtual meetings I attend every day can be mentally draining. I think many of us are finding this dynamic challenging. Fortunately, we are balancing office and home working effectively to counter this Teams fatigue.

What advice would you give to someone starting out in the toy industry? Go in with a positive attitude to learning, listen to the advice of those around you, and don’t be afraid to challenge the status quo. It’s a great industry.

Which is your favourite Funko Pop! figure? The classic Iron Man in movie pose.

What’s the most rewarding aspect of your job? Without doubt, the people I deal with both internally and externally. There is not a day that goes by where I don’t learn

JANUARY 2022

FUNKO eventseu@funko.com | funkoeurope.com 49


2022 preview

Purveyor of pop culture products FUNKO eventseu@funko.com funkoeurope.com

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Funko Europe will once again take its place at Toy Fair, with its fourth attendance. Funko is the global purveyor of pop culture products, most well-known for its collectable Pop! vinyl figures, and carries more than 1,000 licences across its range of lines and brands. Anime remains a chief focus for Funko with new lines landing for Attack on Titan, Demon Slayer and My Hero Academia, among a growing collection of notable sports and entertainment heroes. With further new lines for The Batman, Jurassic World: Dominion and Pixar’s Lightyear, there’is something for everyone. Funko’s portfolio continues to grow this year with a strengthening collaboration with streaming platform Netflix, and 2022 sees the arrival of product ranges aligned with the Korean hit Squid Game and long-time favourite Stranger Things. New to the family is a line named Popsies! Dropping in 2022 in the European marketplace, this new direction sees Funko branch out into a line of collectable, interactive greeting displays featuring celebratory messages of excitement and love. Another addition to the range sees a selection of premium new vinyl figures. The first wave of the latest range – Gold - will feature both 5in and 12in figures of some of the world’s most beloved music, NBA and NFL icons, with many more to follow across the entertainment, music and sporting landscape. Having launched in 2021, sales have shown promising results, and are set to continue with this range extension. Funko Games continues to deliver incredible products with top licences across a range of

Fact! 2022 sees the arrival of product ranges aligned with the Korean hit Squid Game and long-time favourite Stranger Things 50

categories. Strategy games also continue to impress with Funkoverse: a strategy game where you combine your favourite characters and go headto-head in exciting game scenarios. Funkoverse joins a growing catalogue alongside other titles such as Pan Am, The Goonies: Never Say Die, Fast and Furious: Highway Heist and Disney Hidden Mickeys. Fan-favourite card game Something Wild also plays its hand to the next level in 2022 with more cross-property opportunities than ever before, including new lines with Marvel and Star Wars. Pop! Albums continue to rock, bringing to life masterpieces including AC/DC’s Back in Black and Queen’s Greatest Hits, while Pop! Comic Covers soar high with historic Superman and Batman issues restaged in all their glory. Meanwhile, Mini Moments dives deeper into its showstopping collection of unforgettable TV and film moments with new offerings from WandaVision and always popular, Harry Potter. Funko’s fashion brand Loungefly has a largerthan-ever collection of products under its belt - expanding into the European marketplace continues to be hot news as more consumers discover these must-have bags and accessories. Further apparel from Funko celebrates an array of incredible designs within its extensive ranges of wearable and decorative Pop! Pins, and unique Pop! & Tees featuring stylised bespoke artwork. Funko’s dedicated stand at the London Toy Fair reaches new heights in 2022 with a larger space than ever before, centred around an island design with an additional space for customers to immerse themselves in everything Funko! To schedule an appointment please contact the events team at eventseu@funko.com.

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2022 preview

Right on

track VTECH 01235 555545 www.vtech.co.uk

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VTech is excited to be able to meet with customers again at Toy Fair. There will be lots of anticipated additions to current ranges and innovation in new categories to see. The stand will be in a new location of N19, which is on the Ground Level in the National Hall. To keep the VTech Baby range refreshed for 2022 and help maintain VTech’s position of number one infant and toddler manufacturer (NPD January-October 2021 Sterling) there are new introductions planned for both S/S and A/W. The Kick & Score Play Gym Kick, available in S/S, will get those little feet active. Little ones can start with lay-down play, kicking at the ball and patting at the giraffe mobile, or enjoy tummy time with colourful characters, a dumbbell rattle, a twist-and-click kettlebell and textured red and yellow cards. The detachable, interactive learning panel teaches colours, shapes and animals. We all know how precious new arrivals are, and what better way to celebrate them with a gift set that is suitable from birth. Joining the popular My 1st Gift Set in the VTech Baby range will be the Fox and Friends Gift Set. This includes a soothing snuggle and cuddle fabric fox with squeaker, which stimulates tactile development with crinkle ears, embroidered tail and ribbon tags and a cute, interactive koala rattle with twisting, textured soft ears (perfect for teething), as well as flash cards to develop visual stimulation, 52

Guess what… VTech’s well known and loved Toot-Toot Drivers brand is having a refresh for 2022

attached to a c-ring for on-the-go play. VTech’s well known and loved Toot-Toot Drivers brand is having a refresh for 2022. Keeping the classic signature Toot-Toot DNA, the new vehicles and garage will still have the manipulative features, light up buttons, sing-along songs and effects, but will have more detailed features, more dynamic expressions, and a new colour palette. The garage will still have gravity track play and integrate motor skill play. Both the cars and the garage are compatible with previous cars and tracks. Marble Rush, which launched in A/W 2021, has three exciting new additions to the range in 2022. These colour-coded, modular play sets are easy to construct, so the included marbles can be launched over stunts and jumps, and dropped or spiralled down, keeping children engaged without interrupting the fun. The electronic play pieces play cool music, trigger sound effects or have other cause and effects that enhance the play experience. All Marble Rush play sets are compatible with each other so the fun is never ending! VTech says it has so many new products to see at Toy Fair across all the different ranges ‘that it’s best for retailers to visit our stand to see for themselves’.

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2022 preview

A raft of

new ranges RAVENSBURGER 01869 363 830 www.ravensburger.co.uk

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Ravensburger will showcase more than 200 new products across the breadth of its portfolio as well as detailed extensive marketing plans and PR support for 2022. New additions to the award-winning GraviTrax interactive track system continue to provide a multitude of ways to challenge GraviTraxers, enhance construction and STEM learning skills. Launching in A/W, GraviTrax C (working name) will introduce coding to construction, connecting electronic elements to the tracks. The adult puzzle portfolio rockets forward, with the company maintaining the number one spot (October YTD - £ Value). New launches commissioned by the UK-based product development team include a debut piece by Yorkshire-based artist Sven Shaw: 1,000-piece Around the UK and Ireland, showcasing famous buildings and sites of interest from 5,000 years of history. Other introductions include Happy Days No.5 Royal Residences, which is a nod to the Queen who will be celebrating her Platinum Jubilee this year, and special commissions from Steve Cummins with A Fisherman’s Life. January will also see a strong focus on the #positivelypuzzling campaign in time for national puzzle month in the UK. Strong momentum in the games category continues, with Ravensburger set to continue growth with a solid portfolio across licensed, children’s, family and immersive games coming through throughout the year with extensive marketing campaigns planned for Immersive games. 2022 will see the relaunch of the Memory games with refreshed designs of the bestsellers. ThinkFun Gravity Maze remains popular in this category and will be supported with marketing campaigns. 54

Fact! Ravensburger will showcase more than 200 new products across its portfolio Zingo has received a packaging refresh and will have high-profile marketing support. Extensive marketing campaigns are planned across titles including Bugs in the Kitchen and Labyrinth. Leading the way in children’s licensed 2D puzzles with 68% of the market share (October YTD - £ Value), a raft of new puzzles joins the children’s jigsaw puzzle portfolio, many of which were commissioned by the company’s UK-based product development team. There is an extensive range of 2D puzzles with numerous leading licenses and a host of generic puzzles. Ravensburger’s 3D puzzle range expands further and benefits from new additions during 2022 with the likes of a Harry Potter Astronomy Tower, an impressive Dodge Challenger, as well as some striking licensed 3D puzzles. A range of Painting by Number products under the name CreArt have been recently launched, with Paint by Numbers for children aged sevenplus featuring traditional and modern designs, supported by PR and marketing activity, including a TV advertising campaign. New launch CreArt Adult offers a mix of 11 colourful designs in pop art and gift card styles. A/W will see further additions to the range, including landscape designs. Brio raises the bar in 2022 for wooden railways with an adorable and impressive My First Light Up Rainbow Set - an early age sequencing toy, using colours and simple sequencing to understand cause and effect. Brio Smart Tech Sound innovation delivers exciting new products for 2022 including an Adventure Set and, in time for Halloween, a spooky station addition. Finally, in time for the festivities, a new Christmas Steaming Train set will launch in A/W.

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2022 preview

New

arrivals SIMBA SMOBY TOYS UK 01620 674 778 sales@simbasmoby.com

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There will be a host of new arrivals across the Simba Smoby Toys UK portfolio in 2022. Smoby will be adding innovations in playhouses, ride-ons and more, while Steffi and Evi Love will be strengthening their hold on the doll aisle. Plus, expect to see a whole lot more from Disney Cars, Toy Story, and Jada. The company’s trusted Smoby brand is a one-stop shop for tots, with its large collection of playhouses, ride-ons, outdoor activity toys, and more. New for 2022 is Smoby’s Sweet Corner Playhouse. This themed set looks just like an ice cream parlour and comes packed with fun features to make roleplay as realistic as possible, such as a Sweety Corner sign with sprinkles, and a sliding exterior sign to draw up the menu. Customers are invited to place orders at the window and then kids can pretend play at preparing and serving treats. Then there is the Garden Kitchen. Kids can host their own barbecue summer parties with this outdoor kitchen set-up. Featuring a grill, fryer, and sink with water pump, children have all the tools and accessories needed to pretend play at cooking up a treat. Smoby’s 2022 roleplay range will also include some licensed lines from the worlds of Disney Frozen and Disney Princess, from a Frozen Playhouse, Tea Trolley and Dressing Table to a Disney Princess Porcelain Tea Set and Tea Trolley. Meanwhile, Smoby’s 2022 spring launches offer an introduction to the wheeled-toy category. The Rookie Ride-On is ideal for kids aged 12 months-plus, with a carefully adapted design and limited steering angle that helps maximise safety and stability. Little ones will develop motor skills, agility, and confidence, as they use their feet to push themselves along. For those aged two-plus, there is the threewheeled Rookie Tricycle, which has a sleek, retro design. Also going from strength to strength will be Jada Toys’ Hollywood Rides range, which celebrates the best in action film merchandising

with scaled replicas of the most memorable wheels. With The Batman movie scheduled for release in March, fans can look forward to 1:32 and 1:24 scale replicas to add to their collections in S/S. Plus, there’s plenty of newness in the Fast & Furious diecast collection. With a fleet of popular cars from the eight-film, multi-billion-dollar franchise already available to collect, fans will be keen to add 2022’s fresh additions to their collections, which include the new RC 1:16 scale lines. Next, zooming off the big screen and onto the toy shelf is the Disney Cars RC collection from Dickie Toys. There’s the 1:14 Turbo Lightning McQueen Off Road RC, which comes with full drive function and a Turbo Speed Feature. Charge him up via his USB port and off he goes! Also new is the 1:24 Mack Truck RC, which has a detachable trailer and light and sound features. The RC Turbo Racer Lightning McQueen, which is already available in the range, fits inside the trailer. And, from this month, there’s the 1:16 scale RC Lightening McQueen. Another brand going from strength to strength in 2022 is Steffi Love. Look out for the Steffi Love Flamingo Fashion set, which comes with a pretty in pink doll, with pink hair strand, a skirt decorated with silver flamingos, a pink faux fur coat, and accessories. There’s also the new Steffi Love Chi Chi Walk - a set that comes with a fashionably dressed Steffi and her dog Chi Chi. For cat lovers, there’s the Steffi Love Kitty Love: Steffi wears a kitty themed outfit to complement her pet kitten figurine, which has a colour-change feature.

Guess what… Young movie buffs can recreate the on-screen action from Toy Story with RC Forky and RC Buggy Buzz Lightyear. Kids can help Buzz get to where he needs to be by taking control of his buggy ride - just like in Toy Story 4. Kids can also collect RC Buggy Woody for the ultimate battle of the buggies! Or, add some smash, crash action with the Crash Buggy Buzz Lightyear 56

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2022 preview

A catalogue of brands

with character CHARACTER OPTIONS 0161 633 9800 www.character-online.com

The Character Options portfolio presents buyers with a wealth of brands to discover in 2022 covering all core categories including active play, preschool toys, fashion dolls, electronic pets, action figures and more. With ever-increasing demand for family-friendly activities and toys, Character Options will launch Stay Active: a range of family-inclusive toys that can be played inside and

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outside while having active fun. For S/S22, the Stay Active line will include some new items, as well as last year’s hit toys - Moon Shoes, Jump It and KickerBall - which will be rebranded to sit within the Stay Active range. A fun addition to the portfolio is Splash Out, which requires players to throw the ball to another person to avoid getting splashed out! The core of Splash Out features a ball

With everincreasing demand for familyfriendly activities and toys, Character Options will launch Stay Active

Guess what… 2022 is going to be a big year for ChillFactor, following the firm’s acquisition of the property last year. Expect new lines, refreshed packaging and a huge marketing campaign

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that contains a water balloon, as well as a wind-up timer. When the timer runs out, the water balloon is punctured and whoever is left holding the ball gets splashed with water. Other sure-fire hits include the Hip Hoppa - a jumping ball toy with a handle and tether that packs the fun of a pogo stick into a smaller format - and the Sling Ball, which lets kids hook the ball and launch it up to 60ft for a friend to catch. Plus, be sure to check out the Electronic Jump-It Wipeout game, billed as the greatest jump skip challenge yet. Choose from three modes of play; tension builds with each level of increasing difficulty as the music and lights change with the speed and height of the skip bar. The skip bar is made of foam, and is designed to easily detach to avoid tripping, making this game both fun and safe to play. A classic returns in 2022 with Peppa Weebles! Characters Options is reintroducing this much-loved toy, supported with TV, PR, and a digital campaign. The S/S22 product range will feature new refreshed styling and exclusive decoration. There will be eight wobbly characters to collect in series one, as well as two-figure packs, a four-figure pack that comes with Peppa and Friends, and the feature-packed Cute

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Fact! A classic toy returns in 2022 when Characters Options reintroduces the much-loved Peppa Weebles, supported with TV, PR, and a digital campaign

Wobbly House Playset, where the Weebles can wobble up the stairs, across the wobbly floor and down the slide, before spinning around on the roundabout and swinging on the swing. There are also some vehicle sets: the Push-along Wobbly Car and the Pull-Along Wobbly Train. Plus, expect some range extensions for the second half, as the firm readies itself for the addition of some of the hottest and most on-trend licences in the preschool market. From the hugely successful world of Jiggly Pets comes Jiggly Pets Elephant. This walking, trunk-lifting pink/blue elephant features full body movement, music, and sound effects - watch him move and jiggle to the beat of his tunes. He also features head and rear sensors, so he can react to the touch of his new friend. He joins the portfolio following the introduction of TanTan the Orangutan, who featured on multiple Top Toys for Christmas retail lists, the Jiggly Pets Koala, and the Jiggly Pets Pups - which, from A/W, will be available in a pearlescent finish, with matching packaging. And there is more newness to come from the brand in the second half, including the palm-sized Jiggly Pets Lovables, which are available at an entry price point, ensuring there is something for every budget. There are four characters to collect: puppy, kitten, piglet, and bear cub. Each Lovable jiggles and glows when tapped. Plus, look out for Rex the Dino and Gigi the Disco Giraffe. These new additions to the collection come in packaging that is designed to look like their habitats, enabling them to be incorporated into the play pattern. Rex the Dino dances, and shakes his arms and spikey, stretchy red hair to the beat of a tune, while Gigi the Disco Giraffe shakes his booty to the beat of his three jungle tunes while his bobble head wiggles about in a comical manner! 2022 is going to be a big year for ChillFactor, following

JANUARY 2022

the firm’s acquisition of the property last year. Expect new lines, refreshed packaging and a huge marketing campaign. Remaining central to the range is the Neon ChillFactor Slushy Maker, which turns drinks into slushy treats in under a minute. Meanwhile, new for spring, is the Poppin Dots Frozen Dot Maker, which lets kids make edible frozen Dots by simply filling the trays and freezing them. Children can use their imagination to create different flavours using juice, milk or yoghurt. There are also significant extensions planned for the second half. New additions include the ChillFactor Smoothie Maker which makes milkshakes and smoothies, and the ChillFactor 3-in-1 Fruit Factory, which allows kids to make a variety of drinks as well as ice lollies. Plus, keep an eye out for the ChillFactor Ice Cream Maker, which makes spaghetti ice cream something that is really trending on social media. Heroes of Goo Jit Zu remains a top priority for Character Options, with the brand now available globally in more than 50 territories. In 2022, the firm will continue to invest in extensive marketing support as it continues to release new themes to drive collectability. Launching in 2022 is a Dino X-Ray theme, which sees the existing Heroes go X-Ray following the

From the hugely successful world of Jiggly Pets comes Jiggly Pets Elephant. This walking, trunklifting pink/ blue elephant features full body movement, music, and sound effects - watch him move and jiggle to the beat of his tunes.

discovery of a new meteor. These Dino Heroes are super-gooey and feature a cool X-Ray bone filling you can see. Then, for A/W comes innovation in the form of the Ultra Goo Heroes of Goo Jit Zu. The line-up of heroes each come with a concealed Ultra Goo Orb to crush and power-up the Heroes and activate their Ultra Goo transformation. There are seven characters to collect in the series. Every figure has a unique Ultra Goo Orb and the limited-edition Corruptagon even has a light-up core. The line-up continues with the Ultra Goo Primal Packs. These large-scale figures feature chomp attack jaws and Ultra Goo Orbs to unleash and power-up the primal hero. Also available to collect from the summer is an Ultra Goo Versus Pack: Shadow Orbs Scorpius VS Liquid Gold Pantaro. And that’s not all: set to be a lead focus in the next instalment of the Goo Jit Zu webisode series, the Ultra Goo Stretch & Strike Thrash Mobile is coming from A/W. This set of wheels transforms from Cruise Mode to Shark Attack Mode. It includes a Race Suit Thrash and three projectiles to blast at opponents. And, with 2022 set to be a monster movie year, there will be a host of licensed on-screen characters to collect in Heroes of Goo Jit Zu form. From licensed collaborations across the DC, Marvel, Jurassic and Lightyear universes, there’s something for everyone. 59


2022 preview

Fun without

boundaries WILTON BRADLEY 01626 835400 www.wiltonbradley.com

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E89 This year at London Toy E98 Fair, Wilton Bradley will be showcasing its ranges in its usual stand position, with an additional stand to display its Xootz Wheeled toys. Sales director Ross Bradley says: “Our customers will be able to discover all of our new product lines, many of which extend the offer in our existing successful brands. Plus there will be a chance for a first look at our exciting new product developments. We are looking forward to Toy Fair 2022, giving us the opportunity to meet again with our existing partners, and introduce Wilton Bradley to new retailers.’’ Visitors can admire the new Venom Go Kart, the Comet Electric Go Kart, as well as new additions in the licensed Electric RideOns categories, such as the new BMW Z4, which is pegged to be as successful as the award-winning BMW X5 launched this year. In the music categories, Wilton Bradley has added new lines in the successful Mi-Mic and Academy of Music brands. The company will also unveil some exciting innovations within the outdoor category under the Playhouse brand including Waterwall, which will be supported with a media campaign, and the Ice Cream Van. Both will have additional designs for 2023 and beyond. Wheeled toys have long been a specialism of the Wilton Bradley team with many years of experience in developing premium products. The company’s wheeled toys are now making a statement in 20 countries around the world. A real buzz has been created around the new Xootz Ride-On toy range. Wilton Bradley is working with the best factories to create officially licensed products that are exclusive to them in the UK, working closely with their customers to provide them with a competitive advantage. Since 2014, Xootz’s mission has been to encourage kids to get out exploring and spend less time cooped up indoors and to do it in style! Xootz has developed a multiaward-winning range of ride-ons to offer hours of thrills for kids. 60

Did you know? Parents can use the included remote to have full control of the Xootz BMW Z4 Roadster

Xootz BMW Z4 Roadster The Xootz BMW Z4 Roadster Electric Ride-On makes a powerful statement. This officially licensed BMW ride-on features all the details of the full-scale powerhouse. With a kidney grille, sculptured bonnet and working front lights, it has a real presence. And, with a slow start function, three-speed drive and reverse gear, little ones can practise their driving in the ultimate driving machine. If they are too young to take the wheel parents don’t need to worry, because the included carry handle under the car head, training wheels under the rear bumper and the remote control allows them to take control. Open the doors and climb on board and notice the MP3 player with AUX input. Beneath the bonnet is a rechargeable 12V battery. Great for indoors or outdoors, the Xootz BMW Z4 Roadster Electric Ride-On will make light work of carpet, garden terrain or smooth tarmac, thanks to its front wheel suspension.

Wilton Bradley Continues

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Xootz Ducati Panigale 1299RR Building on the success of the BMW K1300S and Police Motorbike, Wilton Bradley has secured the licence for this eye-catching Ducati. Youngsters can make their dads jealous with the Xootz Ducati Panigale 1299RR Electric Ride-On Motorbike. This is the closest kids will get to the real deal, with official Panigale branding and all the premium features that go into a full-sized bike. Safe, fast and exciting, this ride-on will quickly become a child’s prized possession. With a rechargeable 12V battery, realistic engine sound and working front light, this ride-on has real presence. It has a slow start function, three-speed drive and reverse gear so little ones can practise their driving in the ultimate driving machine. But parents don’t need to worry, as this bike has stabilisers for balance. Climb on board and you’ll see the dashboard displayer and MP3 player. Beneath the bonnet is a rechargeable 12V battery.


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2022 preview WILTON BRADLEY

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01626 835400 www.wiltonbradley.com

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Did you know?

Xootz Kids 3 Wheeled Bubble Scooter Kids can leave a blizzard of bubbles as they zoom along on the Xootz Tri-Scooter. Suitable for kids aged three-plus, this bubble scooter in Pink or Blue is a three-wheeled affair, with bubbles that magically appear. Simply add bubble solution to the front-mounted bubble machine and watch as hundreds of bubbles blow away in the wind behind. Easy to control and steer, making it ideal for youngsters, the scooter has an adjustable handlebar and is lightweight, yet strong and robust, with easy-grip handles and an anti-slip footplate for safety.

Did you know? The Tri-Scooter has won a MadeforMums award

Xootz Stunt Scooters Older kids will love the Phantom and Shred - two new additions to the Xootz stunt scooter line-up which share the same outstanding features as the best sellers within the current range, but with some fresh graphics and colourways. With a contemporary asymmetric design and perfectly co-ordinated performance, the Xootz Phantom & Shred features precision quality ABEC7 bearings, black and white 100mm PVC wheels, and solid

The Phantom and Shred stunt scooters have non-collapsible T-Bar handlebars, which offer the rigidity needed for skatepark tricks T-Bar stunt handlebars secured with a three-bolt tube clamp - offering all the essentials for taking on some new tricks. The strong non-collapsible T-Bar handles with steel clamp and deck provide the rigidity required for the knocks and impacts it will receive, while the integrated aluminium brake provides the stopping power needed to ensure a safe and controllable ride, inside and outside the skate park.

Xootz Lamborghini Aventador SV Electric Ride-On New for Toy Fair is a hyper car thoroughbred: the Official Licensed Lamborghini Aventador Ride-On. With its aggressive lines, iconic shape and fierce-looking headlights, this ride-on is perfect for kids who want to join the exclusive Lamborghini owners’ club. As you would expect on any Lambo, this ride-on has an array of unique features which make it extra special. With opening scissor doors, independent four-wheel suspension and working front and rear LED lights, kids will feel and look like they are in the small version of this iconic car. Powered by twin motors, it has an impressive run time of up to two hours. It even features two speeds and a reverse gear, so junior drivers can have fun practising manoeuvres as they drive round the garden or park. This micro hyper car also comes fully equipped with a working MP3 player, so they can listen to some of their favourite tracks, while the Bluetooth controller lets mum or dad take control if needed. 62

Little Roots Tool Kit & Stool Get those little green fingers outdoors and exploring nature with Little Roots. Perfect for teaching children as young as three-yearsold how to garden and maintain plants and flowers, Little Roots tools are specifically designed to cater to smaller hands. An ideal choice for learning through exploration, Little Roots encourages kids into the garden and away from the screen while helping them to begin to understand the way different ecosystems interact. The folding seat features a The garden tools in detachable tool bag, which the Little Roots range includes wooden-handled have wooden handles garden toys made especially for little hands.

Fact!

Wilton Bradley Continues

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2022 preview WILTON BRADLEY

STAND

01626 835400 www.wiltonbradley.com

E89 E98

Guess what… The Xootz Venom GoKart has staying power - it’s suitable for kids aged five to 10 and comes with adjustable seat positions

Xootz Bumper Car Electric Ride-on Look out for this fun Bumper Car Show at London Toy Fair - it will have pride of place on its own plinth, and you’ll be able to watch video footage of it in action. Aimed at kids aged three-plus, the Car allows little ones to spin a full 360 degrees and, with its simplified joystick controls, they can zoom around of speeds up to 0.75m/ph. And the good news for your customers is that there is no assembly required. Simply connect the battery wire and it’s ready to go… straight out of the box.

Fact! The Xootz Bumper Car Electric Rideon is ready to go straight out of the box

Xootz Venom Go-Kart The Venom Go-Kart is a new development based on the award-winning Viper Go-Kart. It has a distinctive look, with front ‘Pincer’ mouldings, and features a tough steel frame, ERVA tyres, and forward, reverse and freewheel (coasting) gears. Suitable for kids aged five to 10, it has a weight limit of 50kg and two adjustable seat positions. This new Xootz range delivers the full package with superb specification and features, competitive pricing and highly-rated consumer reviews.

Playhouse: Waterwall Teaching kids about gravity, angles and water flow, this wall is packed with limitless combinations for them to enjoy a different creation every time they move the pieces. With a range of modular accessories included, kids can have fun creating their own water flows and seeing their problemsolving skills come to life as they pour water from the top. Between the ages of three and eight, children see a whole host of developmental landmarks such as the emergence of language, motor, cognitive, social, and emotional skills. As new skills develop, children can participate in more complex activities, and Playhouse toys can assist in developing this essential range of skills. Made from quality sustainably sourced wood, Waterwall also blends perfectly into the garden. This weather-resistant Waterwall can be used outdoors or indoors thanks to the included bucket, which catches the water when it reaches the bottom. Wilton Bradley believes that the innovative design is a totally new concept and fills a real gap in the market. This unique design “It’s no secret that when it comes to outdoor play, kids need and concept are currently under no help in creating their own imaginary worlds. Waterwall is a Design Registration and is Patent Pending ref. GB 2105957.1 must-have for households with imaginative toddlers”

Scott Eden, design director, Wilton Bradley 64

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2022 preview

Bath time

delights GREAT GIZMOS 01293 543221 www.ggtrade.co.uk

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G20

Great Gizmos will unveil a new bath toy range from Buddy & Barney. The collection features several innovative toys that are designed to encourage active learning through play. Bath Time Stickers are available in various designs such as Weird and Wonderful Dinosaurs, Silly Faces, Counting and more. Kids will have loads of fun mixing and matching the themed EVA foam stickers at bath time. The chunky stickers float in water and can also be stuck to the side of the bath tub. Each set comes with a handy mesh bag with suction pads for easy drying and storage. Bath Time Stickers are also available in smaller packs at a lower price point, so there really is something for everyone. Bath Time Squirters are new to the range and come in two designs: Dinosaurs and Unicorns. Each set contains includes two themed squirters and one light up LED character that flashes in different colours when it comes into contact with water. Kids absolutely love disco bath time! For musical fun at bath time, there is the Bath Time Xylophone. Children will enjoy playing tunes in the tub with this floating brightly coloured xylophone, which comes with four sheets of music to learn and play along to. Bath Time Hoops is sensory play in the tub! The set includes three sensory balls and a hoop that easily attaches to the side of the bath tub or wall. Kids will enjoy dunking some hoops while in the water. Bath Time Waterfall guarantees hours of bath time enjoyment too. The parts can be put together in different ways and children will enjoy watching where the water ends up. The different taps can be turned on and off for extra experimental fun. Bath Time Construct and Build is ideal for bath time and vehicle lovers. This 29-piece kit includes a floating play scene that fits together like a jigsaw, bath stickers including road signs, two construction truck bath squirters and a handy storage bag with suction cups. Kids will love zooming the squirters around the play scene. Bath Time Unicorn World is a dream come true for unicorn fans! This 27-piece set includes a floating play scene that fits together like a jigsaw, bath stickers including a fantasy castle, two unicorn bath squirters and a handy storage bag with suction cups. Kids will have fun creating a magical wonderland in the bath. The Buddy & Barney range has lots more to offer, including a new craft range.

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Guess what… Bath Time Hoops is sensory play in the tub! The set includes three sensory balls and a hoop that easily attaches to the side of the bath tub or wall. Kids will enjoy dunking some hoops while in the water

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01626 835400


2022 preview

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The TP Explorer climbing frame celebrates its 25th anniversary in 2022

More fun

from Mookie MOOKIE TOYS help@mookie.co.uk www.mookie.co.uk

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N10

Toy Fair is always a big event in the Mookie calendar, with the stand including the latest newness across best-selling brands and evergreen ranges. Yulu Games will highlight Monkey See Monkey Poo: a humorous action game that involves both skill and luck. Wish Fairies brings magic to life - as a child sleeps, an interactive fairy ball reveals a magical fairy for a child to wake up to. Brain Busters is another exciting launch from Yulu Games, featuring characters with heads that explode over and over again. And, after a successful launch in 2021, Happy Hamsters will be highlighted on the stand - where you can race hamsters down the slides you make. Big Big Baby is an exciting new product for Mookie Toys. This is a walking, talking plush baby toy that grows up to 18in with a magical unboxing experience. Tybo had another successful year and 2022 will see the release of Dip & Dye, where children can create marbling accessories, each as unique as the last. Pixicade will also feature on the stand: an interactive video game that kids can create in three simple steps, allowing them to express their creativity while having an educational experience. Mookie Toys will also be showcasing all of Silverlits’ newness including the evergreen range Robo Kombat, which is expanding in 2022 with Robo

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Kombat Mega! Extreme fighting robots with interchangeable fists. Recently released is Active-Tots by TP Toys. Active-Tots brings the magic of TP indoors with a preschool wooden range that encourages active play, while helping little ones to develop gross motor skills. Mookie Toys is proud to represent Ecoiffier after a longstanding relationship. Produced and sourced in France, Mookie will showcase the new ranges from a variety of sectors including nursery, roleplay, and sustainable plastic. TP Toys has gone from strength to strength, demonstrated by an exciting product line-up that moves into new categories including nursery and STEM, as well its traditional outdoor offering. In addition to the launch of Active-Tots, TP Toys will launch the Explore range with a focus on educational outdoor play that gets children excited about science and nature. Innovation continues to drive TP’s success, which is clear with the launch of its TP UFO Metal range, which adds a visually striking new play concept to its popular metal portfolio. This will complement the TP Explorer climbing frame, which celebrates its 25th anniversary in 2022. Mookie’s heritage lines will also be on display, with the new and improved Swingball range being shown in full for the first time, along with the best-selling ride-ons from The Bug Family including Scuttlebug, Scramblebug and Scootiebug. Tybo will also be a focus, as the full range of tie-dye products will be on show, with some of Mookie’s other indoor lines. Mookie has been bursting at the seams with innovation and is excited to greet customers again to showcase its new products in person.

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2022 preview Bandai UK is celebrating the 25th anniversary of the launch of Tamagotchi to the UK market and will unveil a limited edition 25th anniversary version of the virtual pets

Bandai brings a bundle of fun BANDAI UK 020 8324 6160 www.bandai.co.uk

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N17

Continuing some of its most successful long-term partnerships, Bandai will be unveiling new product lines and planned marketing activities across its Miraculous, CoComelon, National Geographic, and Vlad & Niki ranges. As a top-three preschool property, extensions to the CoComelon range come following a successful year with award-winning products across multiple international territories. Innovative design has been injected into new lines including musical vehicles - such as the Musical Family Car - character figures, dolls, and playsets. All SKUs include fun features, and many enjoy phrases, sounds, and songs from the show. New hero items include the My Friend Cody plush doll, JJ’s best friend, creating the perfect opportunity to celebrate friendships this spring. Last year’s number one kids show on Netflix and the current number one kids TV show in the UK, European, and Americas markets, Miraculous continues an upwards trajectory for the business. With a new animated series and feature film planned for 2022, and a follow-up movie in the pipeline for 2023/24, Bandai UK will introduce a new crosscategory collection of fashion dolls, collectables, playsets, plush, and roleplay accessories, offering a wide choice of product and play patterns at varying price points. Refreshed packaging and display for in-store executions also enhance the overall brand experience. New styles to the sell-out collectable 70

Kwami Surprise figures, character additions to the Fashion Flip Dolls, and a new Transforming Scooter compatible with the 26cm Fashion Dolls, will be a focus for the show. With the growth of its own IPs core to the business, Bandai has invested heavily in its latest Tamagotchi and Dragon Ball ranges. Bandai UK is celebrating the 25th anniversary of the launch of Tamagotchi to the UK market. New styles continue to be introduced to the Original Tamagotchi, ensuring renewed interest and collectability. The latest Tamagotchi - Tamagotchi Pix - sees new colourways, games, and characters planned throughout 2022 with the Tamagotchi Pix Party. New licences for the Tamagotchi Nano series will also be revealed, starting with a Star Wars version, and followed by releases throughout the year in both collector and mass toy. Bridging the collector and mass toy markets, Bandai’s Dragon Ball range expands throughout 2022. With an increasing presence across digital and TV channels, plus a theatrical movie planned for 2023, the business has invested in extensive marketing support for the brand to include TV, Pop sponsorship, CrunchyRoll and YouTube pre-rolls, alongside PR, social, and retail activations. The company introduces popular roleplay to the range with a new Super Saiyan Goku Head Gear, allowing children - and adult cos-play fans - to perform as their favourite Dragon Ball character. A new collection of 4in figures will be available, while new character refreshes have been applied across both the collectable Dragon Stars series, and highly durable Limit Breakers.

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sales@wiltonbradley.co.uk

01626 835400


2022 preview

Trends UK gets into gear TRENDS UK 01295 768078 www.trendsuk.co.uk

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H42

Trends UK has an exciting line-up of launches on show at Toy Fair, including new and well-established brands. The development and production of a host of learning toys is ramping up for 2022. Trends UK’s top-selling Peppa Pig portfolio will be expanded with a new shopping-themed learning toy. Shop With Peppa encourages learning about numbers, colours and objects, with special interactive keys to pay the right amount at the till in this delightful shop! The Hey Duggee learning toys are joined in the spring by the Hey Duggee Sing & Learn Microphone, with four songs and an interactive quiz mode, and the Hey Duggee Gameshow next autumn. This new format follows a popular TV episode where a child answers questions to win five different topics of Squirrel badges - get them all right to earn a ‘Gameshow badge’! In the award-winning Paw Patrol ELAs range, Chase’s Flip Up Learning Pad will delight fans with its neat little interactive keypad under the cover. The Numberblocks Number Fun & Alphablocks Phonic Fun learning toys will launch in late spring. Packed with interactive activities to develop numeracy and literacy, the Numberblocks and Alphablocks award-winning learning programmes are popular in schools and at home, with a huge following on social media - and fans can now continue learning off-screen with these new preschool ELAs. Trends UK has also launched its proprietary range of Colour Pop Paint Sticks. The perfect introduction to painting and doodling, creative kids can paint in a mess-free way with these bright and colourful sticks. The chunky shape is easy for little hands to hold, and the smooth, glide-on paint works without needing water or

brushes. Twist the stick and get ready to paint, whether at home or on the go. The range includes a wide variety of colours and finishes, plus practical storage solutions, which parents will appreciate. The Colour Pop Fun Tub (20 paint sticks) has a handy carry handle and lid, while the Colour Pop Giant Storage Tube has 30 paint sticks in all the available colours - and there are several supplementary packs to keep the creative fun going. Trends UK is introducing the range with major 360 marketing plans, which will support the range with yearround activity. Meanwhile, the Nerf BUNKR range is expanding with new storage and transport solutions. These parent-approved tactical Nerf accessories help to store Blasters, Bunkers and ammo. The range of bags and cases offer useful and stylish solutions with a price point for every budget. The Gear-2-Go-Pouch has an integral carry handle and belt loop, which also helps it attach to other storage items in the range. The Ready Reload Bag has a mesh side pocket and integrated flip-up target for skills development. The Lock & Load Case has room for Blasters, Ammo and more, making it easy to transport from place to place - plus extra storage on the outside enabling quick access to the ammo. Finally, Trends UK is introducing Moonlite this year. Turning bedtime stories into a magical light show, Moonlite projects vivid images onto a wall. It also features sound effects - all by using the torch function on a smartphone, plus an app. The parent reads the storyline and together, parent and child enjoy a light show. Gift packs include the projector (which clips onto the phone) and five showreels (further individual showreels can be purchased separately). Titles include classic fairytales, Eric Carle’s The Very Hungry Caterpillar, and a Ryan’s World gift pack featuring games and activities.

Guess what… New for 2022, Moonlite turns bedtime stories into a magical light show, by projecting vivid images onto a wall. It also has sound effects, all by using the torch function on a smartphone, plus an app 72

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2022 preview

Creative

play GREAT GIZMOS 01293 543221 www.ggtrade.co.uk

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KidAntics will launch new craft products at Toy Fair. The range provides different materials, tools, concepts, and projects to challenge and stimulate children’s imaginations. Design and Dress Up is available in two themes: Fantastic Unicorn and Magic Dragon. Each set includes two activity projects, and everything needed to create fancy dress costumes. Children can make and decorate their own wings and crown with the Unicorn kit, and a head piece and wings with the Dragon kit. Everything is included to make stunning costumes. New to the range is Origami, which is available in two themes: Create My Own Airport and Create My Own Zoo. Each kit includes 40 doublesided decorated folding sheets, so children can learn the art of origami and create their own play scenes with characters. The kits encourage children to express themselves in creative and imaginative ways. The 4 in 1 Unicorn Craft Kit is perfect for any unicorn fan. It includes nine projects such as DIY sewing, string art, scratch art, and loads more. Kids will have endless fun creating unicorn-themed masterpieces with this bumper creative kit. The Stamp & Match range is available in four different designs: Dinosaurs, Little Bugs, Vehicles and Pets. Each set includes wooden stamps, and different coloured ink pads and cards to experiment with. Children can use the cards to create and experiment with the varied designs. The popular Scratch range is expanding again, with the addition of Scratch Bouquets: Flower and Butterfly. Kids will love creating a themed bouquet by scratching the pre-cut sheets, attaching the fuzzy sticks, and decorating with wrapping paper and ribbon. Nail Stickers & Tattoos are set to be a big hit for 2022, available in Flower and Unicorn. Each set includes hundreds of themed temporary nail stickers and tattoos. Simply choose your design and let your imagination run wild. The nail stickers are easy peel so are no trouble to get on and off, and the tattoos wash off with water and soap.

Magic Water Painting is every parent’s dream - it’s painting without the mess!

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Magic Water Painting is every parent’s dream - it’s painting without the mess! Available in two designs - Dinosaurs and Underwater each book includes reusable colouring surfaces, themed stickers, a refillable water pen and loads of activities. Kids can fill the pen with water and draw on the decorated pages to reveal vibrant colours. As the water dries, the colours disappear, so it can be used time and time again, just like magic! Blocks ‘n’ Crayons are available in Space and Dinosaur designs. These eco-crayons are made from natural beeswax and non-toxic ingredients. Each kit contains 12 coloured blocks and three colouring sheets. Kids can also combine the crayons, like puzzles, to add even more fun to colouring time. The range from Avenir has really grown after the past year and is going from strength to strength.


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2022 preview

Dolu delivers new delights DOLU TOY FACTORY sales@sjr-associates.co.uk www.dolu.com.tr

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This is the 10th year that Dolu Toy Factory has been supplying the UK. Steve Richardson of SJR Associates, which represents all sales and marketing in the UK and Ireland for Dolu, said: “As with all suppliers, we have had issues with transport this year and would like to thank all our customers for their understanding to enable us to have our best ever year in the UK and Ireland. “As a company, Dolu manufactures more than 260 items and is one of the leading companies for outdoor toys such as play houses, slides, sand and water tables, play gyms, tractors, and trike ride-ons. It also offers preschool toys including shape sorters, building bricks, garages, kitchen play sets, construction sets, study desks, and easels. “Dolu’s purpose-built 65,000sq m factory (the size of six or seven Manchester United footbal pitches) has been fully operational for the past three months, enabling the company to build its highest ever stockholding ready for S/S22. “Going forward, Dolu is now able to increase its capacity by 500% so we are hoping to be able to have any orders received ready within 28 days and, fingers crossed, loaded and shipped to the UK 21 days later. “Over the past two years, due to demand, we have had to reduce our ranges to keep up with demand. In 2022 we intend to reintroduce them back into our ranges, which is equivalent to more than 25 new products. “For Toy Fair in Olympia, our stand is more than three times bigger. In 2020 we

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had 30sq m and this year the size is 108sq m, so we will be able to present a much bigger range than previously. And at Spielwarenmesse in Nuremberg our stand (Hall 5 B76) is even bigger at 160sq m. “We are hoping in 2022, as in previous years, to offer the best quality of product with the most competitive prices in the UK. We look forward to presenting our 2022 range to all our existing customers at Olympia and with follow-up if needed at Nuremberg. “We anticipate Olympia will be busy and as there is only myself and Ria on the stand, hopefully we can make as many appointments as possible with old and new customers. So, for those who we have not yet booked appointments, please contact us.”

Fact! Dolu’s stand is more than three times bigger than in 2020, measuring 108sqm toysnplaythings.media


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2022 preview

Mark Makers hits the mark EDUK8 WORLDWIDE 01661 831 080 www.eduk8worldwide.com

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Eduk8 is celebrating 20 years in educational toy supply with a host of awardwinning ranges at London Toy Fair. The UK educational toy designer and distributor will be showcasing a number of toys and product launches. Christine Lawson, director at Eduk8, said: “We are so excited to be able to show such a wealth of innovation and quality in educational toy products. It’s especially poignant for us as we are commemorating 20 years of success in this sector, and we are finally able to celebrate with both existing and new customers at this long-awaited return to Toy Fair.” As exclusive UK distributor for The Mark Makers range, visitors to the company’s stand will be able to view the full range of activity and story books, which are an introduction to a fun pre-writing programme featuring characters Lionel, Archie, Ziggy and Swirlo, who help children develop writing skills through making basic marks. Educationalist Rachel Fay created this award-winning programme, where children aged five months to five years are encouraged to make their mark through play, and she will be popping onto the stand throughout the fair to answer queries. Her ethos is that the more fun children have mark-making and developing their motor skills, the more prepared and confident they will be when it comes to writing at school. Eduk8 is also the exclusive distributor for the full Tangles collection within the UK educational toys sector and will be exhibiting a selection of Tangle products. An ever-popular fidget toy range, the latest addition is Tangle Palm, which fits perfectly in the palm. Using the toy can help to calm and relax those with sensory issues and is also useful for hand and wrist therapy. Larger than the Tangle Junior, it can also help to improve fine motor skills and form healthy fidget habits. Users can mould, Eduk8 Worldwide will be turn, and twist this offering 10% off all orders Tangle into a variety of shapes. It is made placed at the show

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of durable material and built for long-lasting use. Two new product designs - Threading Shapes and Fitness Dice will be available to view. Threading Shapes aids colour and shape recognition and is available in a range of new colours and packaging, while Fitness Dice is a new family game, which encourages parents and children to enjoy a fast and furious session of fun and physical activity together. The award-winning Playmats range will also feature on the stand, available in a range of sizes and designs including Farm, Zoo, City and Under the Sea. Also fresh to the stand will be Eduk8’s collaboration with Incredible Husk International - inventor of a fibre-based, negative carbon alternative to plastics and bioplastics. CEO Keith Ridgeway will be available throughout the show to answer questions on this World Green Apple Environment award-winning material, which provides a plastic-free durable alternative for toys and other products. Eduk8 is the UK distributor for educational toys made using the naturally biodegradable and chemical-free rice husk material and will be displaying initial product ranges on the stand. Christine Lawson said: “The Incredible Husk biodegradable toy material marks a significant step in delivering sustainability within the educational toy sector. We are proud to be collaborating on this innovation into the market and look forward to talking to educational toy distributors and retailers about the exciting possibilities that the use of rice husk can bring to the green manufacturing process.”

toysnplaythings.media


25 - 27 Jan 2022

LONDON

Toy Fair Olympia Grand Ground BOOTH B-100

2 - 6 Feb 2022

NUREMBERG Toy Fair HALL 5 BOOTH B-76

Steve Richardson +44 7850 779797

Ria Richardson +44 7877 443733


2022 preview

A gamut

of gizmos GREAT GIZMOS 01293 543221 www.ggtrade.co.uk

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STEAM Powered Kids has some new items: Earth Science, Knitting & Crochet and Space Exploration. Each bumper kit includes multiple projects for children to follow at home

The popular 4M range from Great Gizmos is expanding once again with new additions to both its Science and Craft categories. Mould & Paint continues to be one of its most popular craft ranges. New for 2022 is the 3D range, available in Dinosaurs, Unicorns and Dragons. Each kit contains everything needed to mould and paint two impressive 3D statues. The junior range, Thinking Kits, continues to grow with the addition of Light’n Sound Art Pad: a featurepacked doodle kit with flashing eyes, sound effects and colouring pens so children can create their own designs. Kids will have loads of fun building the Paper Cup Robot. It performs like an acrobat and moves around a table without falling off! Vibrating Doodler takes drawing to the next level. The kit includes a 16-page activity booklet ready to be doodled in. KidzMaker has new introductions for 2022, including Paint Your Own Glitter Unicorn Bank, Paint Your Own Terracotta Garden Frog and Paint Your Own Terracotta Flower Pot. Each kit has everything included for kids to get creative and decorate their own masterpiece. There are new additions to the KidzLabs range, which children will be excited to get their hands on. KidzLabs Colour Mixer is all about water science and experimenting with colours and lights to create cool effects. With 18 scientific projects included, it’s bound to be a popular choice. KidzLabs Creepy Crawly Digging Kit is brilliant for bug lovers. Dig through the plaster rock to unearth a bunch of creepy crawly bugs. Children can mount the bugs on the included specimen cards and learn some facts about them. KidzLabs Roaring T-Rex Skull is set to be a big hit too. Kids will love building this skull display and watching it roar ferociously. The KidzLabs Gamemaker series is growing with the additions of Dig & Play Treasure Island, Chess Designer Kit and Magic Circuit Games. Each kit is designed so children can create their own boards and game play pieces, and then have fun playing each of the games. The Green Science range expands again with the addition of Paper Making. Children can learn to master the traditional technique of paper making. They can also find out how to recycle paper to make environmentally friendly science craft projects, and kids will be fascinated by the Hybrid Crabot. Once constructed this clever hybrid robot crawls along using solar power - and can also take batteries when there is no sunlight.

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2022 preview

A powerhouse

portfolio JAZWARES

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driver for A/W is the Squishville Ski Chalet. With brand engagement at an all-time high Jazwares is excited to showcase its Pokémon master toy line. The company Jazwares is celebrating its 25th anniversary this promises a phenomenal line for 2022 with year with a powerhouse portfolio of brands. The refresh to the 8in, 12in and 24in plush, new company is poised to continue the momentum styles of the 18in sleeping plush, refreshed in this milestone year, with new product 2in and 3in Battle Figures, 4.5in Battle introductions from some of the hottest brands Feature Figures and 12in Epic Figures - and starting with Jazwares-owned Squishmallows. new lines within the electronics, roleplay In 2022, the plush brand commemorates its fifth and seasonal segments. Jazwares is also anniversary. In a mere five years, Squishmallows adding extensions to the Pokémon Select has grown into a global phenomenon, selling line for collectors, with Environmental more than 100 million units. With multiFigure Packs and Select Evolution generational appeal, the brand has inspired Multipacks. Key drivers for 2022 comprise millions to collect and share their squad of 6in Interactive Fly & Fire Charizard, Squishmallows across TikTok, with more than Electric Charge Pikachu and the Desert 5 billion organic brand posts to date. Carry Case Playset. At Toy Fair, expect to see original and licensed Expanding digital gaming beyond the characters from 5in to 24in. The popular screen into physical play, Jazwares will collectable will be supported by robust digital be presenting the new Micro Legendary and social campaigns, while expanding into Fortnite series of 2.5in highly-articulated a full-fledged lifestyle brand across an array action figures and accompanying Micro of consumer products categories, including Feature Vehicles, including the Durr metaverse gaming, film, television, publishing, Burger Food Truck and Micro POI (Point of live touring and more. Interest) Sets. Alongside refreshes to the Fans can build out their world of Solo Mode 4in action figure line are further Squishmallows with new additions to the additions to the successful Fortnite vehicle Squishville line. At the show, you will see segment with refreshed Joyride Vehicles. refreshments to the 2in Squishmallows with The ever-expanding Roblox metaverse is fashion, vehicles, multipacks and new playsets brought to life by Jazwares’ line, inspired including the Squishville Academy, Darling Diner, by the hottest games on the platform. Rock & Roller Disco and Sweet Shop. The key Expect refreshed offerings to the bestuksales@jazwares.com www.jazwares.com

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Guess what… As the global master toy manufacturer for The Smurfs, Jazwares will showcase a line inspired by the new animation. Reviving the franchise for today’s generation of children, the range includes collectable figures, plush, vehicles, action sets, and Papa Smurf’s Lab Playset selling Mystery Figures, Deluxe Mystery Packs, and Game Packs. New feature vehicles include the Jailbreak: Drone and Legends of Speed: Velocity Phantom. New playsets for 2022 include Welcome to Bloxburg and the Brookhaven Bank. Connecting physical play to the digital platform, every Roblox toy includes an exclusive redeemable item code. Following the successful launch of Jazwares’ line of Marvel’s Spidey and his Amazing Friends plush and vehicles, exciting innovation will be showcased at Toy Fair. The exhibition will see Spidey team up with his friends to defeat villains and learn about the value of teamwork. More of Spidey’s friends, including Iron Man, Black Panther, Ant-Man, Elektra and

Jazwares Continues

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2022 preview Jazwares

uksales@jazwares.com www.jazwares.com

Sandman, will be introduced to the line of Blind Vehicles and Disc Dasher Vehicles, while Miles Morales will join the assortment of transforming vehicles with the Quick shot 2-in-1 vehicle. The innovative Web Spinning Hauler spins to reveal three favourite heroes with web dart shooters, while the Hulk Demolition Hauler Track Set transforms into a racetrack with lights and sounds. New items in the plush segment include 4in mini plush, new characters in the 8in scale, a 9in Web Slinger assortment with projecting light effects, a 16in Miles Morales Feature Plush with sounds, and a 20in Spidey Super Plush. Preschool continues to be a key growth area in 2022, as Jazwares joins the Dino Ranch round-up with the ultimate prehistoric-meets-Wild-West master toy line. The range expands on the dino-themed world of play from the popular animated children’s series with Dino-Mite Blinds, Plush, Dino Ranchers Figure Packs, Feature Vehicles, Dino Action Packs, Deluxe Dino Packs and playsets including the Hatchery Playset and the Clubhouse Playset.

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The Jazwares-owned plush brand Squishmallows celebrates its fifth anniversary in 2022

And Blippi’s little fans will be delighted with the product innovations for 2022 reflecting new content from the popular entertainer. Alongside refreshed figures, vehicles and playsets, are new introductions inspired by the animation Blippi Wonders. Hero items include the Spinning Go Kart, The Blippi Mobile and the Monster Truck Mechanic: a 6in vehicle with removable covers to activate unique sounds. As the global master toy manufacturer for The Smurfs, Jazwares will showcase a line inspired by the new animation. Reviving the franchise for today’s generation of children, the range Expanding digital gaming includes collectable figures, plush, vehicles, action sets, and Papa beyond the screen into Smurf’s Lab Playset. physical play, Jazwares Further brands will be will be presenting the new showcased at the Fair. The AEW Unrivaled Collection brings the Micro Legendary Fortnite action of All Elite Wrestling to series of 2.5in highlyretail, with more wrestlers brought articulated action figures to life as 6.5in articulated action and accompanying Micro figures. The Nerf Nation will be back to battle with the Jazwares Feature Vehicles range of Nerf eyewear, vests and targets, including the Target Range Challenge with five multi-function targets. Halo, billed as the most iconic sci-fi series in video game history, returns with new World of Halo figures, game packs, vehicles, environment sets and roleplay items, reflecting the new Halo Infinite release. More brand and product announcements will be revealed soon. The Jazwares product portfolio will be supported by TV, digital, influencer, PR, experiential and retail campaigns throughout the year.

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THE ORIGINAL BRAINTEASING JIGSAWS!

Olympia • Stand E9 | Nuremberg • Hall 4 • Stand E51- F50 James Galt & Co. Ltd. • Sovereign House • Stockport Road • Cheadle • Cheshire • SK8 2EA tel: +44 (0)161 428 9111 • eFax: 0161 601 0208 • www.galttoys.com/jumbo • Jumbodiset Group


2022 preview

Leap into

learning LEAPFROG 01235 555545 www.leapfrog.co.uk

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Guess what…

That Go interactive book. Hear 100-plus words about modes of transportation, from dog sleighs and dumper trucks to skates and school buses. Six double-sided, LeapFrog will be returning to Toy Fair to touch-sensitive pages feature vocabulary in English New to LeapFrog’s muchshowcase its new toy range, which is sure and French. Simply flip the language switch to hear to help the company continue to build on loved roleplay range, kids words, phrases, and descriptions in either language. its success. can press into learning Triple the fun with three play modes, so you can learn The range will see 18 new LeapFrog Learning about shapes, colours about Words, Sounds and Fun Facts on every page of Toys released throughout 2022, with four this bilingual book. The light-up star plays two learning released in S/S and a further 14 released in A/W. and counting with the songs in English and French. Suitable for children aged These will help to boost the LeapFrog Baby motion-activated Ironing from 18 months, this portable book gives little ones a range, which is the number three brand in the Time Learning Set window into ways to move in the world around them. early electronic learning subclass, and growing at In addition, S/S will also see the release of the Colourful 1.4% (NPD, Units, YTD January-October 2021). Counting Red Panda. This colourful and soft red panda S/S will see the launch of the Ironing Time teaches colours and counting with songs and dance beats. Learning Set, 100 Things That Go Book, Colourful Counting Finally, the A to Z Learn With Me Dictionary will also be launched, Red Panda, and the A-to-Z Learn with Me Dictionary. which encourages children to explore 200-plus words through touchNew to LeapFrog’s much-loved roleplay range, sensitive pictures, sounds and music while building vocabulary and early kids aged from 18 months can press into learning dictionary skills. about shapes, colours and counting with the A/W will see another new roleplay toy and an expansion to the Magic motion-activated Ironing Time Learning Set. This Adventures range, alongside more items. interactive iron plays songs, silly phrases and sound effects when youngsters move the iron back and forth. Join the iron in 10-plus learning activities, and count to five or sing along to the alphabet song as you iron the included play clothes. Turn the temperature dial to hear about colours, fabrics, and low, medium and high heat. Three buttons show numbers, colours and shapes. Press them to hear interactive phrases and questions. Can you find the red shirt? Now iron something with three circles! Watch the iron light up with the colour that it names to help kids learn colour vocabulary. LeapFrog will also expand the popular 100 Words Book range with the 100 Things

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Inspire creativity and self-expression with these quality art and craft kits New range for 2022

STEAM craft kits with full- colour project books included!

Let their imaginations run wild with our fun Creative Cases

Encourage hands-on creativity with our Activity Packs

Olympia • Stand E9 | Nuremberg • Hall 4 • Stand E51- F50 James Galt & Co. Ltd. • Sovereign House • Stockport Road • Cheadle • Cheshire • SK8 2EA tel: +44 (0)161 428 9111 • eFax: 0161 601 0208 • www.galttoys.com • Jumbodiset Group


2022 preview

Come out

to play! MV SPORTS 01217 488000 www.mvsports.com

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E75

MV Sports will showcase plenty of new products and licences on a new stand with a different layout and a feature wall, situated in a prime location easily accessible from all sides of the hall. As well as unveiling numerous new licences, the company has also revitalised several existing ranges with completely refreshed looks, ensuring the product ranges stay relevant to each successive generation of fans. This includes Thomas, Peppa, Batman, Paw Patrol, Disney Princess and Barbie. More newness for 2022 includes the popular, colourful Rainbow High, where a bunch of high school girls learn to flaunt their colours and let their talents shine. MV Sports has certainly got things Wired into Li-Fe with two e-scooter ranges. Taking on a new e-scooter initiative with bestin-class product, increased marketing and dedicated resources and knowledge, 2022 is set to be the year of the e-scooter. The Li-Fe 350-HC takes electric scooters to the next level. The reliable and powerful 350W motor takes care of pushing you along up to 25km/h, but the real showstopper on the 350-HC is its high-quality maple wood deck.

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“2022 is set to be the year of the e-scooter”

Not only does this look fantastic, but underfoot it adds a level of comfort and reassuring build quality. For younger enthusiasts, there’s the 120 Pro Kids E-Scooter. Available in a variety of colours, it features a 120W motor, thumb throttle with push start, along with an LED display. Or ‘come out to play’ with Hedstrom swings, slides and multiplays. With a fresh new look for 2022, Hedstrom has been revitalised, from the logo through to new packaging. Products added to the extensive range include Triton multiplay, which is a swing, goal, and basketball hoop combo; Musical Toddler swing, which comes complete with 20 pre-set lullabies and phone connectivity; and the 3 in 1 swing, which grows with your child, converting easily from toddler to child to junior mode. Further expanding MV Sports’ ownbrand ranges, Stunted has seen a slick, new refresh incorporating the idea of precious metals, while E-moto incorporates real-world style battery ops into the range such as a big green recycling truck, an ice cream trike complete with sidecar, and a bright red bumper car.



2022 preview

Play away! VIVID GOLIATH 01483 449944 vividtoysandgames.co.uk

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Vivid Goliath had a bumper 2021 and, despite the logistic challenges faced by the industry, Crayola, games, and toy categories all enjoyed growth. The group expects to grow a further 8% in 2022, fuelled by new product innovations across all key categories. Sustainability is at the forefront for Recyclings - a new launch to the collectables sector that sees a range made from 70% recycled plastic (stopping seven bottle caps going into landfill for each character made). Collectable characters vary from Dumplings to Dragons, Hotdogs to Handbags and Popcorn to Pandas, with more than 100 to collect. The range is supported by digital marketing and TV advertising. Continuing in the collectable aisle, YouTube sensation Love Diana saw a strong launch at retail in 2021. Building on the success of the 2.5in and 3.5in mini figures and playsets, there will be a Series 2 refresh and a new Mermaid Magic theme supported by content on the Love Diana channel, cementing her as the number two most popular YouTuber behind Ryan’s World. Animagic aims to delight young children by offering lifelike pets and play patterns. Mum and baby gorilla duo Tiki and Toko enjoyed a celebrity press event last September that delivered high levels of national press coverage, generating more than 338 million impressions. Adding to the Gorillas and the pup Waggles, Goliath is launching Let’s Go Gecko, a scurrying palm-sized best friend that offers endless character, sounds, and lights. 90

“Although the weather isn’t warm yet, Goliath will be bringing the sun to Toy Fair’’ Goliath is also proud to unveil a historically successful brand in the form of Skydancers. Reimagined from the ’90s classic and featuring the same magical play, the Skydancer characters will captivate the imagination of a new generation when they take flight. The marketing campaign includes PR and a celebrity launch event, along with TV and digital campaigns. In the preschool aisle, one in three kids in the UK now own a Ryan’s World toy and 2021 saw the strongest year yet, with sales up 20% year-on-year. Moving into Series 9 for A/W, there will be more newness across the core range along with a new theme - Titan Universe which includes a limitededition collection of heroic Ryan’s World figures and those all-important Eggs as well as a Titronic Treasure Chest. On the back of the fidget toy and TikTok craze, the Science4You range will launch a DIY Fidget Toy Kit, allowing children to make their own fidgets and learn about the science behind them. Other introductions for A/W are the Super Rocket Launch and Ocean Rescue Set. Although the weather isn’t warm yet, Goliath will be bringing the sun to Toy Fair with the Australian outdoor range Wahu. From the Phlat Ball through to Wingblade,

Vivid Continues

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2022 preview VIVID GOLIATH 01483 449944 vividtoysandgames.co.uk

Zoom Ball, Super Wubble, Wubble Rumblers and a new range of wet and wild garden fun, there’s something for everyone. And if you think you only have one job coming to Toy Fair, think again! The new party game You Had One Job is one of four introductions to the party category, along with Say Less, Don’t Draw the Short Straw and Rainbow Pirates (which has already sold out in the US and enjoys 4.7-star reviews online). And, on the back of the success of the true crime genre on TV and podcasts, as well as strong sales of new games Unsolved Case Files and There’s Been a Murder, Goliath is extending its dedicated range for A/W to include four new games, including Casefile and the murder-solving game The Night Terror! The range will also include puzzles, where the mystery is unveiled as the puzzle is put together. Meanwhile, The Floor is Lava game continues to garner celebrity endorsements on social channels and will be joined this year by The Floor is Lava Family Edition, where players will find more obstacles, more challenges, and more

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ways to play together as a family. In the kids’ skill & action category, Chompin’ Charlie - a determined Squirrel gathering up all his nuts for the winter - was a sell-out success last year in the US and will be added to the UK line-up for A/W. Chompin’ Charlie, along with One Trick Pony, Chicken Poo Bingo and Trash Stash will all be at Toy Fair ready to play. Finally, Crayola’s Colours of the World range, which launched in 2021, will continue into 2022 with crayons, pencils and markers bolstered by a new colouring book. Colour Wonder introduces the muchanticipated licence Bluey to an already strong portfolio of preschool character favourites, as well as the new Adventure Pups theme for Paw Patrol. Making a splash in 2022, Colour ‘n’ Style Friends will dive under the sea with a range of magical mermaids that allows kids to enjoy even more hair play and mermaid-themed creations that can be redesigned again and again including a holiday driver playset. Washimals sees the introduction of a super salon with five different ways to customise the pets, including new pearlescent paint, washable stickers, and scented spray within a large-scale salon playset. The gravitydefying Paint-sation range sees the introduction of a new Flip ‘n’ Spin Artists

Guess what… The Floor is Lava game continues to garner celebrity endorsements on social channels and will be joined this year by The Floor is Lava Family Edition Pallet and Paint ‘n’ Stamp studio, which gives budding artists the opportunity to paint anytime and anywhere thanks to its spill-proof painting system. And the Crayola Super Glow Art Studio gives kids the power to create art that glows in the dark. An illuminating way to create using just rays of light (no ink or paint is required), the reusable surface provides hours of non-stop creative fun. Use the light wand to create glowing artwork that comes to life in the dark - turn out the lights and watch your drawings glow.

toysnplaythings.media



2022 preview

Major

moves WINNING MOVES 020 3920 8164

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F40

www.winningmoves.co.uk Winning Moves UK marketing manager Jack Probyn says: “We would like to start by saying how excited we all are to see you at Toy Fair. We can’t believe that what feels like only a few months, has turned out to be two years. And, oh boy, a lot has happened since then. “Global logistic problems and puzzle booms aside, Winning Moves has adapted to the ebb and flow that the pandemic has thrown at us. We’ve launched a multitude of board games and card games across several brands and even more licences; we’ve split up and restructured our Top Trumps brand to better fit it into the markets; and we’ve partnered with some of the world’s biggest organisations. Where to begin? “Let’s start with what we’ve been up to. In short, we’ve been busy. To keep up with the increased demand that surged during lockdowns, Winning Moves has increased its puzzle offering four-fold, from less than 10 SKUs to more than 50, featuring some of the latest and hottest licences and old favourites, as well as some seasonal editions. Puzzles such as our Elf 1,000 piece, Only Fools and Horses 1,000 piece, and our Among Us range (of which we’re its chosen puzzle supplier), are a few that spring to mind. “When we’re not busying ourselves with puzzles, we’re finding new and innovative ways to develop and diversify our brands. During the summer of 2020 we launched Pass the Pugs: an exciting update to our popular and much-loved Pass the Pigs. And for 2022, we’re releasing a giant inflatable version, perfect for summer holidays and pool parties. “And we’ve been teaming up with some of the biggest companies in the world.

At the beginning of 2021, using the Top Trumps brand, we partnered with McDonald’s in a nationwide campaign to spread awareness about the brand and the product. Millions of packs were produced and placed into Happy Meals up and down the country. We did it again in the summer, focusing on a licensed edition of Top Trumps with Minions 2: The Rise of Gru going into several million Happy Meals. “And now, we’ve done it again, this time diversifying and innovating by using some of our other brands: WHOT!, Pass the Pigs, LexGo!, and Top Trumps Quiz. Several variations of these games have been turned into playable card games and are also appearing in Happy Meals during the spring. “Plus, in preparation for COP26 in Glasgow, we partnered with Natwest to run a promotion for schoolchildren featuring COP26 Top Trumps made by kids for world leaders to sit up and take note of climate change issues! “Now we’ve turned our attention to 2022, and the next range of games for families and children and games lovers to enjoy. We have a whole host of games we’re excited to announce, but we won’t share them here - you’ll have to visit our stand at F40. (All right, we’ll give you a sneak preview: one of the products we’re most excited about is the new Super Mario WHOT!, arriving in the summer). We can’t wait to see you, hear your stories, and show you what we’ve got in store.”

Did you know? Winning Moves is releasing a giant inflatable version of Pass the Pigs, perfect for summer

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2022 preview

Time to get

crafty! GALT TOYS 0161 428 9111 www.galttoys.com

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E9

To begin the new year with a bang, Galt Toys is launching two new ranges - Create and Discover and Classic Galt - as well as adding new products across ranges and redesigning many existing favourites. There’s plenty of hands-on creative fun to be had with the Create and Discover range. With these bumper sets, children can explore a world of knowledge as they craft. These fun kits for creative thinkers include a fullcolour project book with themed activities around roarsome Dino Craft, cosmic Space Craft, and nautical Ocean Craft. Create and Discover Craft Kits for children aged five to eight will encourage early STEAM learning, problem-solving, and creativity. Meanwhile, inspired by vintage Galt Toys products, the Classic Galt range gives a new lease of life to traditional games adored by generations, including Picture Dominoes, Remember, Remember, Find It and Picture Lotto. Featuring bold colours and charming illustrations, this collection of family favourites is suitable for children aged four to five, but is sure to continue to bring joy to all ages. With the new additions to the Activity Packs range, little ones have plenty of choices for crafting activities. Fluffy Friends, Lucky Laces and Monster Magnets provide rainy day fun for kids aged five to six-plus, while confident crafters can enjoy the expanded Creative Cases range with Creative Cards, Fun Felting and Creative Templates - Safari Animals, which are all new for 2022. Aspiring artists will also love the latest products in the Stationery range. The Colour by Numbers book includes 24 cheerful

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Guess what… The fiendishly fun Horrible Science range is growing in 2022. The Sneaky Spies kit for children aged six-plus will hone their sleuthing skills as they discover how to lift fingerprints and memorise freaky facial features pictures, while the Reusable Sticker Book-Sports provides mess-free fun with 150 stickers that can be used across eight scenes. The fiendishly fun Horrible Science range, based on the bestselling books written by Nick Arnold and illustrated by Tony De Saulles, is also growing in 2022. The Sneaky Spies kit for children aged six-plus will hone their sleuthing skills as they discover how to lift fingerprints and memorise freaky facial features. And for the perfect introduction to puzzling, look no further than the latest jigsaws in the colourful Puzzles range. New Giant Floor Puzzles now include a Space theme, which also contains a Solar System frieze to go on the wall, while Fruit and Veg Puzzles feature 22 two-piece puzzles designed to encourage word recognition and matching skills. Younger children will enjoy the new releases in the First Years range, with the colourful Fill & Spill Fruit Basket, Post and Play Barn and Shape Sorter Train launching in 2022. Not only will they provide hours of fun, but they also encourage imaginative play, hand-eye coordination and manual dexterity for little ones aged nine to 12 months-plus. The Play and Learn range continues to grow and provide fun new ways to inspire early development. The Magnetic Reward Chart encourages good behaviour in children by creating a system of tasks and rewards adaptable for up to three children aged three-plus. Finally, the Construction range is getting an exciting redesign and repack for 2022. The Octons and Marble Run sets have received allnew box designs that feature bright colours and a uniform look across the range.

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A host of

introductions FLAIR GP 0208 643 0320 sales@flairplc.co.uk

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E39

Flair GP’s stand will be a hive of excitement, with the team set to unveil a host of introductions for 2022 including two doll brands, a collection of minifigures, and an outdoor range endorsed by a football legend! First, there’s a new action figures brand: Action Heroes. These interchangeable mini figures have double-sided faces showing different expressions. The range launches with a variety of characters, from which collectors can pop and swap heads and body pieces to create new combinations. One example is the Police Officer on the Segway, who comes with a dog and weapon. There are larger sets to collect too, including the Police Truck and the Police Station. There are also other themes to collect, including the dinosaur range. There is a figure and small accessories pack, which comes with one explorer and two dinosaurs, as well as special vehicle packs, which come with explorer and dinosaur figures - collect both the Quad and the Pickup! And don’t miss the Dinosaur Attack Camp playset, which is the hero item of the range. Next up is a new electronic baby doll brand designed to inspire girls to help protect the planet: Super Cute Little Babies. Sisi, Gabi, Sofi and Kala are four lovable babies who have been chosen to help save the planet with their superpowers. When the Super Cutes drink

from their magic milk bottles, their powers activate, their medallions light up, and they become unstoppable forces for good. Each comes dressed in reversible clothing - so everyday outfits can be turned inside out to reveal super ensembles. Girls will have fun helping the Super Cutes fictionally save the planet, picking up tips along the way to save the planet in real life. Also great for promoting nurturing and imaginative play, kids will love brushing the dolls’ hair and settling them with a dummy. Each baby has multiple points of articulation and sound and light effects. Another must-see is the Messi Training collection. Endorsed by Argentine professional footballer Lionel Messi, the range aims to inspire kids to improve their skills with a professional training method and equipment. Essential to the range is the Soft Touch Training Ball. Printed with an image of Messi, this size-2 ball is ideal for younger players, thanks to the height-adjustable cord. For older kids, there is the Pro Training Ball size-3, which has the benefits of the Soft Touch Ball but with a larger size. Kids can also brush up on fancy tricks with the Tricks & Effects Ball. Its streamlined design allows them to make the best plays and shoot like a pro! And, for a high-resistance ball with quality rebound, there’s the Flexi Ball Pro, which is designed to support better control. The collection also features accessories including the Messi Large Foldable Goal, which comes with a ball and pump, and the Small Pop-Up Goal. Plus, it’s big news for the dolls’ aisle, with the launch of Unique Eyes. These dolls have magical eyes, which follow the gaze of those observing them! There are three core characters - Amy, Sophia and Rebecca - and kids will love their soft, brushable hair, and articulated bodies that will stand alone. Each character is available to purchase individually, styled in one removable outfit. Alternatively, the characters can be bought as ‘Total Look’ sets, which come with an additional outfit option. And new for A/W is the the Beauty Day Playset and Fun Ride Scooter with Exclusive Doll.

Did You Know? The new Messi Training collection is endorsed by Argentine professional footballer Lionel Messi. The range aims to inspire kids to improve their skills with a professional training method and equipment

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2022 preview

Phen-elf-menal

success PMS INTERNATIONAL 01268 505050 www.elvesbehavinbadly.com

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F50

Following another successful festive campaign, the pranking but lovable Elves Behavin’ Badly range has exceeded all previous year’s sales. Many retailers reported a complete sellout of Elf dolls well before December 1, with Elf accessories - to assist the pranking - flying off the shelves throughout November and December. By far one of the greatest growth areas in 2021 was in dress-up clothing for the Elves. The collection of more than 20 outfits comprises nightwear, long and short length jackets and coats, and festive sweaters, through to Reindeer, Santa and even a Chef’s outfit. PMS International, the creator and innovator behind the hugely successful Elves Behavin’ Badly brand, advises stockists to place their orders for 2022 as early as possible to ensure another successful ‘pranking season’. The company is very excited to announce that 2022 will see the introduction of multicultural themed Elf dolls into the range. The brand is committed to the desire of children to engage with dolls that reflect their race and colour and that ‘look more like them’. PMS International has had an increasing number of serious requests from Elves Behavin’ Badly stockists and distributors from Europe, US, Canada, Australia and South Africa, to introduce Elves with darker skin tones to appeal to an even wider international market. After extensive development to ensure the correct tones of hair and eye colour, the company is proud to release new additions to its portfolio.

The Elves Behavin’ Badly packaging has also had a revamp to incorporate the shift in consumer attitude and appetite for more inclusion in our consumer society. As a matter of interest, Ruth and Elliot Handler formed the multinational doll and toy company Mattel Inc. in 1945. Their first Barbie doll was put on the market in 1959. The first appearance of an Afro-American Barbie type doll was ‘Christie’: an English cousin of Barbie introduced in 1965. An Afro-American ‘Barbie’ doll wasn’t marketed until 1980 but has been an ever-increasing success since her introduction. The Trademark and Registered Design associated with the Elves Behavin’ Badly collection are heavily protected by IP rights, which PMS vigorously enforce on all occasions.

Did you know? 2022 will see the introduction of multicultural themed Elf dolls into the range. The brand is committed to the desire of children to engage with dolls that reflect their race and colour and that ‘look more like them’ 98

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All set for

active play PLUM PLAY Enquiries@plumproducts.com www.plumplay.co.uk

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F20

With more than 30 years’ experience in designing and developing toys, and more than two million trampolines sold worldwide, Plum Play continues to bring new ideas to the trampoline category. S/S will see the introduction of print, sounds and lights, with a focus on the junior range. New products include the Plum 4.5 Junior Jungle Trampoline and Enclosure with Sounds. Designed for young children, this 4.5ft trampoline has four jungle sounds, and bouncing on the character printed mat activates one of the animal noises. Then there’s the Minions 4.5ft Trampoline and Enclosure with Sounds, which has eight Minion sounds that play when kids bounce. Also new is the Plum 4.5ft Interactive Lights Junior Trampoline and Enclosure. The LED lights around the top rim can be set to sounds activation. So, when kids play their favourite songs, the lights flash to match the beats using a built-in audio sensor. Plum Play is also the official UK distributor of Globber scooters, Injusa ride-ons, Happy Hop inflatables and Lil’ Monkey climbing frames. The company has been Globber’s UK distributor for more than five years now, and stocks an extensive range, from a child’s first scooting experience to an adult’s daily commute. 2022 introductions include the Globber Explorer Trike 2-in-1, which is designed to help children develop all the essential skills including balance before transitioning to their first pedal bike. Next up is the Globber Junior Foldable Scooter. Featuring a three-wheel structure and low-ride foot deck, its five-height adjustable T-bar can be changed as children grow - and a simple-to-use side push button sets the scooter into trolley mode for simple storage.

© P&Co.Ltd./SC 2022

As seen on an nd

4 Figures

Multi Figure Pack

Small Soft Toy

Collectible Figures With

2

Exciting new lines for Autumn 2022! Visit us at London Toy Fair, Stand B21

Rescue Set With

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Phrases!

Removable coat!

Figures!

Talking Paddington

Deluxe Paddington

Play Bus

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2022 preview

Puzzles and

games galore UNIVERSITY GAMES 020 7254 0100 www.university-games.co.uk

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The puzzles, games and gift specialists University Games and The Lagoon Group will launch more than 80 lines, celebrate a 75th anniversary, introduce a new STEAM range, and unveil a major brand release at Toy Fair. Star Wars, The Mandalorian, Marvel and Disney will be joining its best-selling 3D Puzzle offering in 2022. These hugely detailed models of some of the most iconic buildings and characters in movie history offer incredible collectability for fans of these epic blockbusters. With outstanding detail and realistic features, the range includes a 50cm x 40cm Millennium Falcon, an 80cm x 40cm Imperial Star Destroyer and a 45cm x 50cm Arendelle Castle, to name just a few. The 20 new 3D Puzzles join the popular Harry Potter 3D Puzzle series, the Game of Thrones series and best-selling range of football stadiums. Visit the stand to see the complete, assembled 3D puzzle portfolio in its full glory! Meanwhile, the Subbuteo brand celebrates its 75th anniversary this year and with both the World Cup and Women’s World Cup tournaments scheduled for 2022, it’s going to be goal-tastic year for football. The evergreen Subbuteo range sports both the Official England and Official England Lionesses Main Games alongside the Original Main Game, as well as a host of teams and accessories including the new VAR Set. There are also product launches set for the anniversary year, all

The Subbuteo brand celebrates its 75th anniversary this year and with both the World Cup and Women’s World Cup tournaments scheduled for 2022, it’s going to be goal-tastic year for football

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supported by a a multi-layered and heavyweight media campaign in the second half. 2022 will also see the launch of an educational science range, a new range of tins from Lagoon, and a collection of new gifts and travel games. This year will see further growth in the Murder Mystery range too, as well as fun additions to the puzzles portfolio with some iconic photography and two additions to the Puzzle Plus category. These will join the successful autumn launches of Five Star Review and Anti-Monopoly. There is also Judge Your Friends - a party game full of questions that you might just not want to know the answer to - and a new series of strategy games, perfect for testing the grey matter: Pathagon, Quadefy and Eternas. The 700-strong product range from University Games and The Lagoon Group brings fun and entertainment for the entire family, from preschool and children through to family and adult.

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Ready for some

big reveals TOYNAMICS 0116 478 5230 www.toynamics.com

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E46

Toynamics UK & Ireland will be unveiling launches for its brands Hape, Skip Hop, Nebulous Stars, DinosArt, TIMIO, Beleduc, and Nanoblock, at Toy Fair. For Hape, Toynamics will be showcasing the breadth of the range, including its sustainable wooden toys. Categories include baby toys, music, educational, walkers, puzzles, railway, kitchen, outdoor toys, arts & crafts and more. There will be new balance bikes - first balance bikes and new explorer balance bikes; 11 new products and playsets in its expanding and best-selling railway category, including the new City Train Bucket Set; additions to its popular musical learning toys with the launch of the Learning & Lights Piano; plus, an addition to its Baby Einstein collective. For lifestyle brand Skip Hop, the focus will be on Explore & More Pop N Play with surprise peek-a-boo characters and sounds; a four-stage activity walker that grows with the child, from

JANUARY 2022

seated play to cruising, walking and roleplay as it converts to a fabric doll and shopping trolley; and a colourful mealtime set in the Skip Hop signature Zoo characters. From arts & crafts brand Nebulous Stars there will be a Best Friends Bracelets jewellery craft set (the friendship bracelet-making kit is expected to fly); bamboo wind chimes to decorate and

assemble; and additions to its range of stationery products including a diamond pen assortment – four colourful pens to collect, each filled with gems and topped with charms and a big ‘diamond’. As the new exclusive distributor for TIMIO, 2022 will be the first time that Toynamics shows this screen-free interactive and educational audio player - and the new TIMIO foldable kids’ headphones - at Toy Fair. Toynamics will be joined on the stand by retail entrepreneur and investor Touker Suleyman, who stars on BBC One’s Dragons’ Den and is newly appointed to the board of advisors for TIMIO. After a hugely successful first year distributing DinosArt, it’s also a first at Toy Fair for the brand, which will be debuting its expanded range of dinosaur-themed stationery and creative activities.

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2022 preview

Bath time

adventures ZIMPLI KIDS 0845 459 1818 www.zimplikids.com

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D2

Zimpli Kids has spent the past two years developing and manufacturing a range of new products at its UK-based ISO 9001, ISO 14001 and SMETA accredited factory and can’t wait to get back to Toy Fair to show them off! Bath Bombs are becoming increasingly popular in Zimpli Kids’ portfolio and, as part of this development, the company will be featuring its first educational bath bomb product. Solar System Baff Bombz are a great way for kids to learn about the wonders of outer space, while having a colourful, fizzing, bath time adventure. The Solar System Pack features nine realistically coloured bath bombs (representing the eight planets plus the sun), along with nine educational planetary cards, giving facts about each planet. The Baff Bombz are UK-made, cruelty-free and will be available to view and order at the Fair. Zimpli Kids will also be launching £1 RRP versions of its best-selling Gelli Baff, Slime Baff and Baff Bombz products, giving retailers a 40% margin. The £1 RRP foil bags make up to four litres of Slime or Gelli and come packed in a compact 12 count CDU. The vibrantly coloured Baff Bombz come packed in a 16 count CDU, perfect for till point or Euro hooked impulse buying. Both ranges are also UK-made and cruelty-free, and will be available to view and order at the Fair. Meanwhile, in keeping with Zimpli’s ‘Just Add Water’ slogan, the company will be launching Floating Baff Putty. You can create different shapes using the mould provided, float your putty in water for creative bath time fun - and watch as the putty changes colour on contact with heat. Floating Baff Putty is available to view and pre-order at the Fair. Finally, Zimpli Kids will be running Toy Fair exclusive offers on its Gelli Baff and Slime Baff products (billed as the first toys to be accredited by the British Skin foundation as skin-safe), along with a host of new bath time, play time and multi-sensory products.

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Show offers Zimpli Kids has made its show offers this year ultra Zimple, reducing the suggested RRP of some of its best-selling products and offering a 40% margin on the reduced sell prices: £4 RRP lines reduced to a suggested £3 RRP with a 40% margin ■ £10 RRP lines reduced to a suggested £6 RRP with a 40% margin ■ £15 RRP lines reduced to a suggested £10 RRP with a 40% margin ■

The reduced products will be available to order during the Toy Fair show period

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Craft

and create FIESTA CRAFTS 020 8804 0563 www.fiestacrafts.co.uk

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G25

Fiesta Crafts will showcasing new additions to its card craft ranges. Make a Vintage Car Card Craft is sure to be popular with children of all ages. Kids can build their own car by connecting each of the sections together. The large-scale card car creation makes an ideal accessory for roleplay, as children make-believe driving their own vehicle. New to the 3D Construction Craft range is the Build a Police Station Model. Combining crafting, puzzling and imaginative play, this kit - like others in the range - features pop-out foam board parts that stay rigid when connected. Children simply connect numbered parts to construct the 3D police station with no need for glue, scissors, or additional tools. Other products in the range include a Build a Fire Station Model, Build a Train Station Model, Build a Hospital Model and Build a Princess Castle Model. Fiesta’s 3D Card Craft Mask collection has really captured children’s imagination, with kidfluencers sharing their creations on social channels. The current range comprises 15 masks including Clown Fish, Zebra, Elephant, a festive Santa, two colouryour-own 3D Masks featuring a Unicorn and a T-Rex - and a Pirate 3D Mask will be added in 2022. Once constructed, the giant head shapes can be worn as fancy dress options or as centrepieces for roleplaying fun. The Pop Up Theatre Production Set was launched in A/W and will be shown to a wider audience at Olympia.

JANUARY 2022

Guess what… The 3D Card Craft Mask collection has really captured children’s imagination, with kidfluencers sharing their creations on social channels. A Pirate 3D Mask will be added to the 15-strong range in 2022

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2022 preview

Sparking

imaginations RAINBOW DESIGNS www.rainbowdesigns.co.uk 01329 227300

STAND

B21

Inspiring preschool toys coupled with much-loved evergreen characters can be found at Rainbow Designs, and the company is kicking off 2022 with the launch of 50 new lines into its bestselling product range. The Home of Classic Characters, which celebrated its 50th anniversary in 2021, will be adding even more fun to its character collections this year, with additions to the Beatrix Potter’s Peter Rabbit, Paddington Bear and Disney’s Winnie the Pooh ranges, to help spark imaginations and encourage little minds. The extremely popular Paddington preschool toy range, based on the award-winning TV series The Adventures of Paddington, features a series of soft toys including a Talking Paddington that says five of Paddington’s phrases, and a Deluxe Paddington Soft Toy with a removable coat for extra play value. The range also features the best-selling Play Bus Set with two Paddington figures including Paddington as a bus conductor, the new Rescue Set with Dr Paddington and Pigeonton, and the Multi Figure Set that contains the stars of the show Paddington and Jonathan. This autumn, three play sets will also be added to the range: Paddington’s Campervan, Football Set and Treehouse. Beatrix Potter’s Peter Rabbit 104

120th anniversary

This year sees Beatrix Potter’s Peter Rabbit turn 120! commemorates a momentous 120th anniversary this year and in celebration, Rainbow Designs is adding a wooden toy collection to its best-selling Once Upon a Time range. New to the range will be a Peter Rabbit and Flopsy Bunny Pull Along, a colourful Wooden Building Blocks Set, a fivepiece Wooden Shape Puzzle and a 28-piece Domino Set - all featuring illustrations of Peter Rabbit and his friends. There will also be colourful new wooden toys joining the ever-popular Very Hungry Caterpillar and Elmer ranges, with Wooden Building Blocks, Domino Sets and Wooden Shape Puzzles joining these educational brand ranges. There will also be a Wooden Balance Toy added to the Elmer range. Little ones will have fun trying to balance Elmer the Patchwork Elephant and his animal friends on the wooden moon and giggling when they all come tumbling down! Now available is the new Classic Pooh Always and Forever collection. This range features Winnie the Pooh heirloom toys for babies that can be treasured for years, and includes soft toys, a comforter, and a ring rattle. All have been designed to last a lifetime, with a focus on sustainable materials, FSC and reusable packaging, with stuffing made from recycled plastic bottles and recycled plush fabric.

toysnplaythings.media


Wasgij

turns 25 JUMBO

Contemporary range, such as The Tour, Carnival Culture and The 0161 428 9111 Coffee Shop. These 1,000-piece E9 www.galttoys.com puzzles shine a spotlight on the finest in modern artwork and To begin 2022 on an exciting note, Jumbo is designs, featuring carefully selected releasing a new series of board games sure to test artists representing a wide range of the wits of even the most daring players. Jonathan styles. In addition, the range uses Eaton’s Houses of Treasure is a series of escape only 100% recycled cardboard, has quests based on the challenges of popular escape been developed with smaller, more rooms, which are brimming with brain teasers. compact boxes, and is free from Start the quest to discover Jonathan Eaton’s plastic shrink wrap to create a more business empire’s inheritance with The Beginning: sustainable way to puzzle. Ascalon’s Fury, and then continue the journey with The exquisitely illustrated Falcon de the thrilling Itzamna’s Eye. Luxe range is expanding in January For fans of tabletop gaming, Jumbo has plenty with new releases including the more in store throughout the year, including charming 500-piece Moving Day Stratego, the strategy game where stealth and and The Wedding, and the delightful secrecy are critical. In the special edition Stratego Assassin’s Creed, 1,000-piece Knitting Club, The Drawing Room, and The Queen’s players are transported back in time to 12th century Jerusalem Platinum Jubilee, plus many more. to commence battle between the legendary Assassins and their The Disney Pix Collection is spreading magic throughout the nemesis, the Templars. adult puzzling world in January with a charming 1,000-piece There will also be many new additions to the vibrant Falcon jigsaw featuring Winnie the Pooh. Wasgij is the original brainteasing jigsaw that challenges puzzlers to use humorous illustrations and imagination to piece together the ‘solution’ to what’s on the box. In 2022, Jumbo is celebrating the 25th anniversary of the Wasgij brand, so make sure to keep an eye out for a very special puzzle release later this year to mark the occasion. In January, however, Jumbo is releasing three new 1,000-piece Wasgij puzzles: Wasgij Original 39 – Chinese New Year!, Wasgij Mystery 22 – Wasgij Winter Games!, and Wasgij Destiny 24 – Business as Usual! Wasgij is also adding three 1000-piece puzzles to its Retro range, releasing Original 6 – Blooming Marvellous!, Destiny 6 – Child’s Play! and Mystery 6 – Camping Commotion! Jan van Haasteren [JVH] is the leading puzzle brand in The Netherlands with a growing UK fanbase, and in 2022 puzzle enthusiasts won’t be disappointed with some fantastic JVH news coming later this year. Watch this space! With many new puzzle releases scheduled throughout the year, puzzle fans will want to keep their progress safe and secure with some all-important Jumbo accessories. The Portapuzzle and Puzzle and Roll ranges provide tidy storage solutions that conveniently allow puzzlers to store and transport their favourite jigsaws.

STAND

Guess what... Jumbo is celebrating the 25th anniversary of the Wasgij brand with a very special puzzle release later this year to mark the occasion

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2022 preview

Science, crafts, puzzles,

games and more THAMES & KOSMOS 01580 713000 www.thamesandkosmos.co.uk

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F15

Thames & Kosmos enjoyed a great 2021 and is bursting with new games and science kits for 2022. The company is excited to launch its new range of STEM robots. ReBotz is a fun way to introduce children to the world of engineering; this range of four funky robots are fast and easy to build. They demonstrate wheels, cams, and motors in action, and are powered by an electric motor. Collect the full set of Halfpipe, Pogo, Knox and Scootz and combine parts to build your own creations. Plus, the Creatto range is growing. There are now 10 sets for budding artists to piece together into light-up animals and structures. With a range of sizes and step-by-step video tutorials, Creatto is aimed at kids aged 10 years-plus. Thames & Kosmos is also adding two more titles to its best-selling Exit escape room range in 2022. Exit: Shadows over Middle-earth is a Lord

Did you know? Thames & Kosmos is launching a new range of STEM robots. ReBotz is a fun way to introduce children to the world of engineering. The four funky robots are fast and easy to build. They demonstrate wheels, cams, and motors in action, and are powered by an electric motor 106

of the Rings-inspired game and Exit: Return to the Abandoned Cabin celebrates the five-year anniversary of the company’s first title in the Exit range. What’s more, in autumn Thames & Kosmos will be distributing a new Exit Advent Calendar game. This year’s calendar, The Mystery of the Ice Cave, sold out in October and the company anticipates that The Hunt for the Golden Book will enjoy similar success. Meanwhile, the Lost Spells jigsaw puzzle was a huge hit in Q4 2021 and features the awardwinning artwork of Jackie Morris and words by poet and author Robert Macfarlane. This is a surefire winner for puzzlers and nature lovers alike.


A dozen

debuts

ORCHARD TOYS 01953 859 539 www.orchardtoys.com

STAND

E10

Orchard Toys will be adding 12 products to its award-winning range, along with a refresh of its jigsaws collection at Toy Fair. From elephants and bears to slimy monsters and spaceships, the new additions offer something for all ages and interests, with ‘Learning Made Fun’ at the heart of each product. Goose on the Loose headlines the range this year as Orchard’s fun family game, followed by two core educational heroes: Number Bears and Slimy Rhymes. Dress Up Nelly secures the spot in the line-up for best in preschool, supported by two staples: Shape Aliens and Rainforest Match. To round up the new games launches, following high demand for seasonal items, the company is launching three seasonal lines: Egg Surprise, Snowman Snap, and a new edition of Christmas Eve Box. No Orchard Toys collection would be complete without a jigsaw and this year is no different, with four additions featuring two beautifully illustrated 150-piece jigsaws - At the Museum and Animal World - as well as redesigns to Orchard classics. All jigsaws in the Orchard Toys range include posters and learning guides to offer added value and extend learning. Dress Up Nelly is a first colour matching game, designed to be played as a fun and simple activity to introduce children to colours, with the option of a shorter or longer game to suit different abilities. It features 30 bright, colourful, chunky, wipe clean cards, which are perfect for little hands. Slimy Rhymes is guaranteed to have children laughing as they match rhyming pairs to make silly sentences while holding their nose with their teeth together or in a squeaky voice, before feeding their cards to the slimy

alien in this hilarious rhyming game. Number Bears is a perfect introduction to addition and subtraction, which helps teach number bonds in a fun way. Players must race their bear safely home to its cubs by turning over number cards and solving mathematical problems. It can be played as a game or teaching aid to help develop addition and subtraction skills. Blast off with Shape Aliens is a fun 3D board game. Players take turns to match their shape cards to aliens, before launching them onboard the 3D spaceship ready for blast off. Shape Aliens helps to develop colour matching skills, encourages shape recognition, and promotes observational skills. Goose on the Loose! Is a fun family game that features 3D geese to collect. Players shout ‘Honk’ when collecting their geese as they make their way around the board - but if they lose a goose, they must shout ‘Goose on the loose!’. This is guaranteed to be a firm favourite for young families. When it comes to the seasonal lines, Egg Surprise is an Easter-themed counting game, Snowman Snap is a festive favourite featuring fun snowmen, and - following huge success over the past two Christmas seasons – the new edition of Christmas Eve Box features a game, jigsaw, and colouring book. Finally, At the Museum is an amazingly detailed 150-piece jigsaw featuring different museum exhibits from the Romans to the Vikings, dinosaurs to space, human biology and more - while Animal World is a 150-piece jigsaw featuring more than 117 animals and their habitats around the world.

Fact! Orchard Toys designs all its products with support from educational advisors including teachers, nursery practitioners, Early Years professionals and children themselves. An eco-friendly company, all games and puzzle boards are made from recycled board and paper from sustainable sources

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2022 preview

Style and

play EPOCH MAKING TOYS 0208 049 1377 sales@epochmakingtoys.com

STAND

N7

EPOCH making toys is upping the style at Toy Fair with the launch of Sylvanian Families ‘Style & Play’ - the first time this play pattern has featured in the history of the 37-year-old evergreen collectable. Alongside this launch, a raft of other ranges will be revealed across both Sylvanian Families and arts & crafts brand Aquabeads. And, for the first time, the company will be showcasing its third toy brand - EPOCH Games – which consists of a range of Super Mario tabletop board games. The Sylvanian Families Style & Play theme offers fans the chance to brush and style the characters’ hair, using a mix of accessories such as clips and hair extensions included in various playsets within the new range. The launch also introduces pony figures to the Sylvanian Village. These additions aim to broaden the appeal and target audience of its flagship brand. Launching in S/S, the first product in the new range is the Pony’s Hair Stylist Set, which introduces Serafina: a mobile hairdresser and make-up artist whose hair can be styled in multiple ways. The Pony’s Stylish Hair Salon follows in A/W, introducing another new character: Sally, the Pony Girl. To support the Pony’s Stylish Hair Salon, the Pony Friends Set also launches in A/W. This set comprises two more pony figures with interchangeable hair styling accessories and additional clothing accessories. To allow fans to enjoy hair, make-up and fashion play all under one roof, EPOCH has designed the Pony’s Stylish Hair Salon to be connectable with the

Guess what… EPOCH Games will be displayed on EPOCH’s stand for the first time. Featuring Super Mario, the seven SKUs in the range will support activities surrounding the release of the Super Mario movie in December 108

Pony’s Hair Stylist Set and the Princess Dress Up Set. After a day of pampering at the salon, the Sylvanians can get dressed up to party! Two dress-up sets are launching in the ready to play range: the Princess Dress Up Set, which includes the Persian Cat with two dress options and glamorous accessories; and the Party Time Playset – Tuxedo Cat Girl. Four new families are moving into Sylvanian Village in 2022. The Husky Family will be released to reward Sylvanian Families’ fans from across the globe who voted the father of this family, Vincent, as the new Mayor of Sylvanian Village. Following on from the success of the Elephant Family, the launch of the Highbranch Giraffe Family brings another new exotic animal family to the village. The Sheep Family and Goat Family will also be introduced. To extend the Amusement Park theme from 2021, two concession stands are launching in A/W - The Ice Cream Van and the Popcorn Delivery Trike. Meanwhile, Aquabeads will unveil a range of carry cases that offer a fun personalised feature: fans can decorate the outside of the cases with their own creations. The Beginners Carry Case launches in S/S and has everything someone needs to start their Aquabeads collection, while the Deluxe Carry Case follows in A/W. Finally, EPOCH Games will be displayed for the first time. Featuring Super Mario, the seven SKUs in the range will be carried into 2022 given their strong sales to date, as well as to support activities surrounding the Super Mario movie in December. On the stand will be Mariokart Racing DX, and the best-selling Shaky Tower.

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Inspiring the wonder

of childhood MATTEL 01628 500000 www.mattel.com

STAND

12.2/P15

Mattel continues to create play experiences for generations of kids with a portfolio that aims to innovate, excite and delight in 2022. Barbie continues to drive momentum in 2022, by continuing its mission to show girls: ‘You Can Be Anything’. Barbie will kick off Q1 with more unboxing fun with the new Color Reveal Mermaid series for Barbie & Chelsea. Barbie Extra continues to expand with three new dolls added to the range in Q1 and the first-ever Barbie Extra Car. New in the Careers segment is the Barbie Bakery Playset and Doll, and adding magic is the Dreamtopia Twinkle Lights Mermaid doll. Join Malibu Barbie and Brooklyn Barbie Camping dolls on their biggest adventure yet, with a new camping doll playset inspired by the upcoming Barbie series, It Takes Two, following from the 2021 movie Barbie: Big City Big Dreams. Mattel’s doll portfolio continues to expand. Polly Pocket, the original micro doll, adds the Teddy Bear Purse to the large wearable compact assortment, along with new themed compacts in the Pocket World Assortment. Mattel’s Spirit range continues to grow with the new Lucky’s Nursery Playset, and the Spirit Core Doll & Horse Assortment moves to rooted manes and tails in 2022. My Garden Baby continues to encourage kids to cultivate an appreciation for the world around them, with the new My Garden Baby Brush & Smile Little Bunny Baby Doll range, offering classic baby doll play in a fantastical way. Finally, new characters are being added to Mattel’s Harry Potter doll assortment, including Bellatrix Lestrange and Sirius Black. For preschoolers, Fisher-Price continues to delight parents with fresh solutions in Baby Gear, including the 2-in-1 Travel Potty. The newborn range introduces new sleep solutions with the Rainbow Showers Bassinet to Bedside Mobile, and the 3-in-1 Music, Glow & Grow Gym. New to the Infant range is the 123 Crawl with Me Puppy, plus the new Let’s Connect Laptop, while Little People introduces the Little People Big ABC Animal Train. In addition, Fisher-Price Imaginext introduces the Bat-Tech Bat-Signal Multipack and Gotham City Jail: Recharged to its DC Super Friends range for even more epic adventures. For Thomas & Friends, new products include the Race for the Sodor Cup Playset, inspired by the movie and new-look content. Thomas fans can also create more of their own adventures with the interactive Fix’em Up Friends Playset. MEGA continues to expand the range in 2022 in both MEGA Bloks and MEGA Construx for parents, kids and fans! The Mega Bloks Paw Patrol Chase’s Patrol Car will be added to the MEGA Bloks range in 2022, alongside the new Green Town line, including the Sort & Recycle Squad and Grow & Protect Farm. This range will help little builders learn green behaviours like waste sorting and recycling, buying local produce and protecting honey bees. Plus, MEGA Construx is introducing Pokémon Build & Show Eevee into the range, poseable in different battle-ready positions. Hot Wheels drives ‘Challenge Accepted’ further than ever in 2022. The new Hot Wheels City range will feature a new backwards compatible system of play, allowing kids to connect the new tile pieces and track together to create their own personal Hot Wheels City. The new products will feature QR codes on packs which will illustrate the Hot Wheels City in digital format. New to the City range is the Hot Wheels

JANUARY 2022

City Nemesis Lab Assortment, Hot Wheels City Super Twist Tire Shop and Hot Wheels City Dragon Drive Firefight. New to the Track Builder segment is the Fuel Can Stunt box, which lets kids build, stunt and boost. The Hot Wheels Monster Trucks range continues to expand too, with the Hot Wheels Monster Trucks Blast Station Playset and the Glow in the Dark range, which includes 1:64 assortment and the Epic Loop Playset. With the release of kids’ content He-Man and The Masters of the Universe on Netflix, The Masters of The Universe franchise is passing the sword from adults to kids with its new line of kidtargeted product in 2022. Highlights include the He-Man and The Masters of the Universe Action Figure Assortment, Battle Cat Action Figure and Power Sword. The Mattel WWE toy range continues to grow with the Bend n Bash Figures. And the refreshed Wrekkin’ segment has everything you need for a superstar battle, with the Wrekkin ATV with Big E. Minecraft toy range continues to grow with new Minecraft core figures: the Minecraft Transforming Turtle Habitat and Minecraft Fireball Ghast. And in 2022 Mattel’s Disney Pixar Toy Story range continues to expand with Large Scale Figures, Karate Chop Buzz and Pull String Woody. Meanwhile, fans of Disney Pixar Cars will love the new Radiator Springs Race & Carry Playset. And for Mattel Plush, the Marvel City Swinging Spider-man Plush is coming soon. Finally, Mattel continues to strengthen its games portfolio in 2022 with an extensive offering, expanding iconic favourites. Mattel Games continues to leverage the success of the Uno brand, growing the range in 2022 with Uno All Wild! It plays just like normal Uno, except every card is wild! There are also some great Uno licences coming in 2022, with properties including Lightyear and Jurassic World: Dominion, both tied to movie launches coming next year.

Did You Know? With the release of kids’ content He-Man and The Masters of the Universe on Netflix, The Masters of The Universe franchise is passing the sword from adults to kids with its new line of kid-targeted product in 2022. Highlights include the He-Man and The Masters of the Universe Action Figure Assortment, Battle Cat Action Figure and Power Sword 109


2022 preview

Animal

attractions SCHLEICH

STAND

Upper Gallery, Stand 175

01279 870000 www.schleich-s.com/en

Following eight consecutive years of growth, Schleich is excited to introduce its 2022 offering across its six key franchises. The company’s preschool Farm World range welcomes a host of popular animals plus three Western riding themed products, while Schleich’s Wild Life offering expands with a number of exotic species and five new National Geographic Kids playsets. As well as several new breeds sure to delight keen collectors, the Horse Club franchise sees its first-ever modular offering and an exciting extension! And, in this stellar dinosaur movie year, Schleich’s popular Dinosaurs range adds five new dinos plus two new playsets. Finally, Eldrador Creatures and bayala are enriched with new figures, and an extension to the collectable offering including two Mini Creatures series, seven collectable foals, and Schleich’s first mystery collectable eggs. The full portfolio will be supported by the company’s biggest-ever marketing investment. Schleich’s full portfolio will

Fact!

be supported by the company’s biggest-ever marketing investment

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Focus on franchises EXPLODING KITTENS +31 646 437 146 www.explodingkittens.com

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110

Tabletop game creator Exploding Kittens will showcase its best-selling ranges and newest launches at Toy Fair. The brand’s three most popular franchises are a major focus for development in 2022, including the Exploding Kittens core game, Throw Throw Burrito and Throw Throw Avocado, and Poetry for Neanderthals. Arriving in February comes Exploding Kittens: Cat Burglar Edition, the brand’s first-ever UK-only product launch. Cat Burglar is the latest extension of the Exploding Kittens core game, the brand’s biggest IP franchise. The new Cat Burglar edition features an adorably sinister (and very squishy) Cat Burglar figure, which adds a new level of thievery, strategy and hilarity to the original game. And launching in Spring is Mantis: a colourful, cut-throat card game of rainbows and revenge based on The Oatmeal’s viral comic strip: Why The Mantis Shrimp Is My New Favourite Animal.

toysnplaythings.media


A one-stop

fun shop

ONE FOR FUN 0141 613 2525 www.oneforfun.com

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E49

It’s been a big year for One for Fun (formerly H Grossman Ltd) and its main brands of Tobar, Ozbozz, and HGL - not forgetting its distribution brands, which include Maisto, Bburago and Zuru. Of course 2021 was all about fidget toys, with Pushpoppers leading the way, and 2022 sees even more lines added to this pocket money bonanza. Toy Fair will see the introduction of the Squishy Cute Animal Tub of adorable, squeezable and unputdownable squishy friends. Each tub contains 18 cute animals. Tubs are the order of the day with the range of Dinosaur head tubs (large or small), which open to reveal a collection of mini dinosaurs. The heads are available in T- Rex or Triceratops form. Tobar is adding even more fidget lines with its Squish Ball range proving to be a massive hit. More than 100 non-fidget pocket money lines will also be introduced across the brands. Tobar’s Animigos range continues to grow with the addition of the Flipping Panda (he literally does a flip!), the Walking Cockapoo with lead, the Walking Maltese dog, and the Walking Elephant. The Animigos World of Nature range will see the introduction of a koala and her cub, a hanging lemur, a hanging sloth, and a hanging chimpanzee. Other additions will be a non-animated Cockapoo puppy, a Westie, a rat with a squeak, a budgie, a rare red panda, and a black and white guinea pig. With an eye to all things eco, Tobar is now looking to work on its wooden range. Keep an eye out for its FSC update within its wooden pocket money and classic collections. For outdoor range Ozbozz, 2022 sees new lines including bigger-wheeled scooters, pogo sticks and generic skateboard designs, plus a soccer goal with a ball, cricket set, badminton set and set of sky fliers. Meanwhile, Poppy the Booty Shakin’ Pug from Zuru’s Pets Alive range is bound to cause a stir at Toy Fair. Also new is the Paw Patrol version of Bubble Wow - creating bubbles with a wave of the hand! And watch out for a new line from Robo Alive: Dino Fossil Find. Find your inner dino hunter and take a look at these large Dino eggs, which include dinosaur bone dig kits, a digging tool, prehistoric slime, rock and sand. Find the bones and fit

them together, then watch them come to life with light and sound. Robo Alive’s other additions include new colours in the Robo Alive Lurking Lizard, and the new Crawling Cockroach and Spider. Zuru will also be introducing new colourways in the Robo Fish range. And there will also be an exciting new addition to the Zuru line-up that will be launched at Toy Fair and is strictly under wraps until then! The BB Junior Range will make its Toy Fair debut. Key lines for this year are the Junior Drive & Rock collection, combining chunky robust colourful vehicles with a removable musical component. Choose from the BB Junior Drive & Rock Fire Truck with Keyboard, the Cement Mixer with Drum, or the Tow Truck with Guitar. Moving up the age scale, Bburago is extending its farm vehicle range. Massey Ferguson is the brand that everyone knows and loves, and additions include a new Massey R/C Tractor and trailer. Finally, Maisto really does control R/C, and this year sees additions to its Cyklone range: the Cyklone Buggy and the Cyklone Monster. Both vehicles have a forward and back movement and can drift at the same time. Last is Lewis Hamilton (not something that happens often!) - Maisto is introducing an R/C version of his latest Formula One vehicle in the 2021 colours.

Fact! There will be an exciting new addition to the Zuru line-up that will be launched at Toy Fair - and is strictly under wraps until then! JANUARY 2022

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2022 preview

Prepare for more

pretend play! CASDON 01253 766411 www.casdon.com

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E30

In attendance for its 67th year at Toy Fair, Casdon is a third-generation, family-focused business that specialises in manufacturing roleplay toys for preschoolers. Continuing to build its successful heritage in this category, Casdon will welcome a completely new licence and unveil new products across its portfolio at the show. Celebrating the 25th anniversary of its exclusive licence partnership with Dyson, Casdon will add three new Dyson SKUs to its range of vacuum cleaner toys. One addition, which brings together Dyson Hair and roleplay, is the Dyson Supersonic and Corrale Deluxe Styling Set. This duo includes miniature versions of the Dyson Supersonic Hairdryer and Dyson Corrale Straighteners - perfect for mini-me styling sessions. Incorporating a range of features to keep little ones occupied for hours, the set comes with two interchangeable nozzles, a barrel brush and a detangling comb. There will also be a fresh licence joining the Casdon portfolio. Joseph Joseph is one of the world’s leading housewares brands with a global presence spanning more than 100 countries, and Casdon will launch six

products in the range, including the Joseph Joseph Extend, which takes water play to a whole new level. Designed and officially licensed to look just like the real thing, the Joseph Joseph Extend set comes with a wash bowl and tray to capture small spills, while water can be pumped from the bowl through the dispenser and back again for endless play. The set includes a cleantech brush, dish rack, cutlery, plates, and bowls, which change colour when added to water, for added play value. Another product to make its debut at the show is the Joseph Joseph Bake. This colourful set features four interlocking measuring cups, a large mixing bowl, twist whisk, egg spatula and ergonomic rolling pin. Following a period of growth, Casdon - which celebrated its 75th anniversary last year - will also be showcasing a new corporate look with a refreshed colour palette, logo and tagline, which reflects the company’s ethos for children’s toys to always capture a sense of fun and excitement while exploring new ways to live playfully. Attendees will be treated to a first look at the company’s launches and will have the opportunity to meet new team members who have been part of the brand’s expansion plans. In addition to developing and manufacturing its own intellectual property of roleplay toys, the Casdon portfolio includes licences for household names such as Morphy Richards, Kenwood and Henry.

Did you know? A fresh licence is joining the Casdon portfolio: Joseph Joseph is one of the world’s leading housewares brands with a global presence spanning 100-plus countries, and Casdon will be launching six products in this new range 112

toysnplaythings.media


Birthdays and

big reveals BASIC FUN! UK Tim.Ives@basicfun.com 0118 925 3270

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D11

Basic Fun! UK is inviting buyers and retailers to visit its stand, where the team will be celebrating a host of big birthdays, including Care Bears’ 40th year, Tonka’s 75th and 30 years of K’Nex. Plus there will be some big reveals too, with new IPs unveiled, including Candy Pop! and Misfittens. There’s a truckload of fun to be had with Basic Fun! UK’s Tonka collection. With the brand celebrating its 75th anniversary, the firm is launching two Special Edition Mighty Tonka Trucks for 2022. Both trucks feature a 75th anniversary logo. Plus, the monster fun continues into the summer, with the launch of the Mighty Monster RC - Tonka’s first RC made with steel and four-in-one monster action. To mark the brand’s

40-year milestone, Care Bears is launching a special commemorative bear: Care-a-Lot. This sparkly character was the first bear to exist in the kingdom of Care-a-Lot. It comes with an authenticity certificate and digital content that is only available with her. And get ready to greet three other new Care Bears. Dream Bright encourages all to follow their dreams her belly badge depicts a heart taking flight, powered by a rainbow. There is also I Care Bear, who is made from recyclable materials. It’s a year of anniversaries, with K’Nex celebrating 30 years of success. This ever-popular construction range offers a project for all to enjoy, which will always build bigger than the box! New for 2022 is the new sub-category CyberX: a unique build and battle range offering kids a nextlevel building challenge. At Toy Fair, Basic Fun! UK is also set to introduce some new IPs, too, with the likes of Candy Pop! and Misfittens. Candy Pop! is a cool, candy-themed collectable range that promises fun, interactive play and a sweet surprise reveal with each pop! Wrapped up in these sweet-inspired capsules is an adorable,

Guess what… Misfittens is the next soft, plush collectable craze to come from Basic Fun! UK. Launching for A/W, this surprise reveal range of misfitting kittens is based on the internet sensation #IfitsIsits

For little

learners HALILIT

01254 872454 www.halilit.co.uk

STAND

E16

After two years of restrictions, Halilit is eager to get back to Toy Fair. Having grown its Taf Toys range over the past 18 months, added a new brand in Dodo craft and puzzles, moved offices and undergone an entire company rebrand, it certainly has a lot to shout about! At the show Halilit will unveil its new look, which reflects the company’s preschool focus, with fun, playful colours. The rebrand coincides with the start of a major digital push to offer retailers the ability to order through its trade website at any time of the day or night. Halilit music will take centre stage on the stand, with the brand now available in vivid, refreshed packaging. New additions include animal-themed tactile shakers called the Savannah Rhythm Pals, and the Melody Tubes, which are perfect for schools and music classes to practice their notes. Having brought Dodo to market amid lockdowns, Halilit is excited to reveal its expansive puzzle and craft range. Offering both impulse

JANUARY 2022

collectable character, stickers and a mini colouring sheet. With 14 initial styles to collect, and more to come, this is a brand where longevity is assured. Misfittens is the next soft, plush collectable craze to come from Basic Fun! UK. Launching for A/W, this hilarious, surprise reveal range of misfitting kittens is based on the internet sensation #IfitsIsits. Misfittens come squished inside an assortment of packs, including a cereal box, crisp tube and more. Rescue the misfitting Misfittens and these fluffy friends will double in size!

purchase and gifting price points, the collection starts with puzzles designed for children aged 18 monthsplus and encompasses a wide variety of puzzles for every age and developmental stage. The range not only features adorable designs, but also offers learning opportunities and additional play value, wrapped up in delightful gift packaging. Adding craft lines into the portfolio, Halilit is also looking forward to highlighting Dodo scratch cards, wall stickers and colouring posters, which make great pick-up purchases for till points. The Taf Toys nursery range continues to go from strength to strength, with on-trend product development supported by an extensive marketing and PR campaign. The collections were enhanced in 2021 with more than 20 new items such as the Savannah Adventures Activity Toys, Foam Playmat, and Sort & Stack, while the Koala Daydream Tissue Wonder Box has captured the imaginations of babies and parents with its innovation and tactile nature. New for 2022 is Taf Toys’ My First Magnetic Fishing Set - an early learning toy that aids motor development, an infant Domino Rally, and My First Tummy Time Cards.

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2022 preview Guess what… Tapping into the reversible trend is the addition of Reversibles. These 6in new two-in-one collectable plushies can be flipped from Cat to Pickle by turning them inside out - perfect for fans struggling to pick a side!

Cepia launches a Versus World CEPIA 0767004585 www.Cepia.com

STAND

Upper Level 110

This year Cepia will build on its brand portfolio of ‘in real life’ (IRL) character match-ups, which are core to the firm’s Versus World concept. Expect more from the world of Cats vs Pickles (CvP), where Cats are afraid of Pickles, but Pickles just want to be friends. And get ready for the all-new Dogs vs Squirls universe, where silly dog characters defend their property against mischievous Squirls. Plus, there’s more to come in the future. Each property is supported with short-form animated content to run on YouTube, streaming and social media. As CvP enters its second year, the brand continues to win the hearts of collectors, with its message of love and friendship resonating with fans on social media. The CvP soft, bean-filled plushies now have more than 365 designs in the range, offering collectors a host of characters to hunt and trade. This year, core to the excitement is the addition of Reversibles. Perfect for fans struggling to pick a side, the 6in Reversibles offer the best of both. Tapping into the reversible trend, these two-in-one collectable plushies can be flipped from Cat to Pickle by turning them inside out. Meanwhile, the CvP Chonks 6in Collectable Plushies deliver the fun of the original plushies on a larger, chunkier scale. Two inches taller, and that extra bit plumper, these lovable Chonks come in a vibrant choice of styles. They are available as an open assortment or as mystery blind bags. These lines will be added to a growing range of 8in Jumbos and Blind Bag Singles - look out for the all-new Gold Wave coming in Q3. Plus, there are more customisable, stackable Kitty Condo Habitat playsets for kids to build their own kitty city, with exclusive CvP beans and even mini food. And there’s more fun to come from CvP with the A/W22 launch of Dogs vs. Squirls. This battleground brings two entirely new teams to

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the fore: The Dogs and The Squirls. The adorable pups have their own personality traits and issues, but their main job is to guard their house from intruders. Introducing The Squirls - they may look innocent with their fluffy tails, but don’t be fooled! These mischievous marauders cause mayhem wherever they go. And their one mission in life is to destroy the houses that the dogs are trying to defend. Kids will love the Mystery Bags that contain one bean-filled character; there are a variety of different characters, as well as sizes, to collect - 4in Beans, 6in Chonks and 8in Jumbos. And be sure not to miss the wild world of Pop Art Soft, featuring elephants in vibrant pop art designs and super-soft plush. These Versus Worlds and new collectables from Cepia are brought to you by Two-In-One Direct. For more information, contact Paul Fogarty from Two in 1 Direct at Paul@allin1products.com.

toysnplaythings.media


From heroes

to Hogwarts COILEDSPRING GAMES 02033011160 coiledspring.co.uk

STAND

E35

Toy Fair promises to be a great event for Coiledspring Games. The company is looking forward to connecting with people once again face-to-face to showcase its range of games, puzzles, and jigsaws. Its new stand design for 2022 features a wall entirely dedicated to its range of Schmidt jigsaws, and a revolving model of the Wrebbit3D Hogwarts masterpiece. The show will also see the launch of the Coiledspring Games’ 2022 catalogue, described as ‘the ultimate guidebook for the entire range, highlighting our heroes range and products from top suppliers such as Blue Orange, IELLO, Schmidt and Wrebbit3D’.

Ready, set,

stomp! TKC SALES 01380 872950 tkcsales.co.uk

STAND

E90

Check out the next generation of STEM-inspired toys from Stomp Rocket, the brand behind compressed-air-powered rockets. Aimed at kids aged five-plus, Stomp Racers are easy to assemble and do not require any technology, batteries or fuel. It’s the perfect opportunity to take a break from screens and enjoy hours of play while learning scientific concepts. Jump and land on the pressure pad and the Stomp Racer will whizz through the air, whether indoors on a rainy day or outdoors in the fresh air. Hit the ramp at full speed and lift off the racers to witness sensational jumps, stunts and tricks. Race to the finish with 100% kid-powered race cars. Harmless fun is guaranteed, as the soft plastic shell prevents crash calamities. Each set includes a Stomp Launcher, race car and ramp, plus stickers for customising your car. And enjoy pumped-up kicks against friends and family with Stomp Racers Duelling, as two cars jump the ramp and race to the finish line. Each set includes two Stomp Launchers, two race cars, a ramp, finish line and decals.

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2022 preview

New kid on

the block A brainstorming

bundle of fun BRAINSTORM 01200 445 113 www.brainstormltd.co.uk

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E79

Brainstorm will introduce an array of products for 2022 that underpins the company’s core educational toy values, while incorporating new lines. My Bedtime Story Projector aims to make bedtime storytelling more enjoyable for children and parents. Featuring six different stories, 16 large-scale images per story can be projected onto bedroom walls. Using the QR code in the box, unlock on the Brainstorm Toys website with the secret code and listen to a soothing voiceover reading each story, while you flick through the images. Children (and adults) will have endless fun with the new My Super-fun Voice Changer. The chunky handheld device looks like a megaphone and allows users to hear their voices like never before. It includes eight different voice effects, and kids can record their funny-sounding voices and play them back. A great product for fans of all things unicorn, the Amazing Balancing Unicorn defies gravity. Balance the cute unicorn on the end of your finger or on the tip of a pencil - and watch how people wonder how you do it. Zoetropes are animation toys that have entertained people for years and Brainstorm’s own version will fascinate a new generation. See images come to life by placing an animation strip into the Zoetrope and spinning it. There are 18 different animation strips to watch, and children will love creating their own version thanks to six draw-your-own strips that are included in the set. Fun facts about the toys and the science behind them can be unlocked on the Brainstorm website using the secret code. The EUGY range has been a phenomenal success for Brainstorm. The eco-friendly arts and crafts collectable has captured the imagination of children who continue to grow their EUGY collections. New for 2022 are Hedgehog, Rhino, Bumblebee, Chameleon, Unicorn Sky, Raptor, and more!

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DKB TOYS & DISTRIBUTION 0207 432 7101 info@dkbtoys.com

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128

It’s been a whirlwind year for new kid on the block DKB Toys & Distribution, and the company is looking forward to 2022 as it announces new distribution partners and range developments going forward. Continuing to strengthen its recently announced partnership with Melissa & Doug, DKB will be showcasing some of the company’s key product lines, with customers of both DKB and Melissa & Doug welcome to come and experience the new ranges on the stand. Uncanny Brands has proved incredibly successful for DKB in the UK. Of 10,500 pcs brought in to test the UK market, DKB announced a sell-through of 92% - with ranges not even in the country yet. The licensed portfolio promises to be even bigger with the launch of a new line based around popular Pokémon characters. The full range will be available to view, with orders being taken for the A/W22 range. As the exclusive distributor of NMR in the UK for 2022, DKB will be featuring key lines ranging from its popular crazy puzzles in a tube, to puzzles from franchises such as Friends, Harry Potter, Lord of the Rings, Rock & Roll and more.

toysnplaythings.media


Packed with licensing appeal LISCIANI Paul@allin1products.com www.liscianigiochi.com

STAND

Upper Level 123

Family-owned Italian toy company Lisciani will make its UK debut at Toy Fair with a showcase of licensed toys, creative sets, games, and puzzles, as well as some own-brand lines. Discover the world of Barbie on

Lisciani’s stand and check out the Barbie Dough collection. Kids can collect colourful and glittery play doughs, and each heartshaped tub of dough comes with a Barbie mould. Barbie Dough also comes in multi-packs, playsets, and creative kits. The Barbie Glitter Dough Fashion Show is must-see: the packaging is shaped like Barbie’s wardrobe, which opens up to reveal stencils and glittery play doughs to create clothes and accessories for the models. The Barbie Tattoo Dough balls are also great for compound play. The Barbie compounds line-up continues with the Barbie Magic Glitter Sand range. The hero line in the

collection is Barbie Sand & Surf, which comes with several colours of glittery play sand. The playset can be sculpted with the tools supplied for hours of sensory play. Also included with the set is a play tray for kids to create their luxury Malibu Beach set-up, as well as beach-side accessories, and a Barbie doll. The Lisciani portfolio is also packed with preschool appeal. Its range of licensed and unlicensed games and puzzles for little ones aged 12-monthsplus includes fun games with an educational slant, such as double-sided puzzles that can be pieced together and then flipped over to reveal a black-andwhite picture for kids to paint or colour in, plus much more.

Step into the pet shop… SKYROCKET TOYS 01489 668442 salesuk@skyrockettoys.com Skyrocket Toys is inviting Toy Fair visitors to step onto its stand to meet the latest characters in its interactive pet portfolio. From true-to-life fluffy friends to a hilariously revolting potted plant species, this is a showcase not to be missed! Having successfully introduced the My Fuzzy Friends brand to the UK market in A/W21 with the launch of My Fuzzy Friends Koala, the company is set to add a second pet to the mix. Get ready to welcome Winks the Sleepy Kitty. Super lifelike, with lots of sounds and reactions, children can scratch and pet their feline friend to help him drift off to sleep. He features multiple touch sensors for plenty of interactive fun. Super soft and fluffy, this cat is asking to be cuddled and cared for. With weighted paws, he flops and rests anywhere he’s placed. This interactive friend joins My Fuzzy Friends Moji The

JANUARY 2022

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Upper Level 140

Lovable Labradoodle. Billed as the first true-to-life dog on the market, Moji not only responds to voice and touch, with 150-plus unique reactions, but can be understood too! Moji’s smart collar features a colour screen that displays animated emojis to communicate his thoughts, so children will always know what he is feeling. He behaves just like a real dog; he wags his tail, tilts his head, and loves learning new tricks and playing games, including Tug of War. For a fun brand that’s rooted in success, look no further than Beastie Buds - plants with attitude! Evolved from a warming world of environmental strife, this exotic, electronic species will arise from the dirt of their potted habitat for a delectable treat of bugs and slugs! These ultimate grossout toys will delight kids as they chew and swallow meals, washing them down with cans of toxic waste!

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Licensing spotlight

We focus on some of the latest licences that will be flying off your shelves in 2022

Creating a buzz WILTON BRADLEY

“We’ve made it our duty to get kids out exploring and spending less time cooped up indoors watching other people have fun on YouTube. Breaking the mould and setting new standards is what we do“

01626 835400 | sales@wiltonbradley.com www.wiltonbradley.com

Scott Eden, Design Director, Wilton Bradley

Wheeled toys have long been a specialism of the Wilton Bradley team, which has many years of experience in developing premium products, and is a credible contender in the wheeled toy market in 20 countries around the world. Wilton Bradley has been creating a real buzz around its new Xootz RideOn toy range. The team is working with the best factories to create officially licensed products that are exclusive to Wilton Bradley in the UK, working closely with customers to provide them with a competitive advantage. Since 2014, Xootz’ mission has been to encourage kids to get out exploring and spend less time cooped up indoors - and to do it in style! Xootz has developed a multi-award-winning range of ride-ons to offer hours of thrills for kids. A new breed of grandeur, the Xootz BMW Z4 Roadster Electric Ride-On makes a powerful statement. This officially licensed BMW ride-on features all the details of the full-scale powerhouse. With kidney grille, sculpted bonnet and unmistakable working front lights, this ride-on has presence. With a slow start function, three-speed drive and reverse gear, little ones

can practise their driving in this machine. If they are too young to take the wheel, parents don’t need to worry because there’s an included carry handle under the car head, training wheels under the rear bumper, and a remote control, which allows them to take control. Open the doors and climb on board and notice the MP3 player with AUX input. Beneath the bonnet is a rechargeable 12V battery. Great for indoors or outdoors, the Xootz BMW Z4 Roadster Electric RideOn is designed for kids aged three to six and will make light work of carpet, garden terrain or smooth tarmac thanks to its front wheel suspension. “We’ve made it our duty to get kids out exploring and spending less time cooped up indoors watching other people have fun on YouTube,’’ says Wilton Bradley design director Scott Eden. “Breaking the mould and setting new standards is what we do.”

Buzz and Bluey MV SPORTS & LEISURE

The next generation

BRUDER

00353 6763800 | www.bruder.de Distributor in UK: Alpha Toys Ltd

01217488000 www.mvsports.com Ready, set, goanna! Scoot into play on a life-size version of Bluey’s scooter with multicoloured lights and character graphics. Or have just as much fun on the Switch-it Tri-Scooter, which includes four different character plaques for added play value, a fully printed anti-slip footplate for stability, adjustable handlebar height and moulded handlebar grips for extra comfort while riding. For younger fans, the Bobble is the ideal first rideon, developing co-ordination and core balance. It comes complete with colourful character graphics, a sturdy steel frame, a double rear wheel design providing anti-tip stability, puncture-proof EVA tyres and a moulded ergonomic seat, suitable for all floor types. Or blast off with BuzzLightyear in his newest, most exciting adventure yet. Complete with bold colours and ultra-cool graphics, The Lightyear range certainly goes to infinity and beyond, featuring a 6v lithium scooter, lights and sound scooter, Star Command skateboard and more. Most notably, the 6v spaceship ride-on with integrated flashing lights, forward gear foot pedal control and chunky, deep tread tyres for optimal grip and stability is perfect for any Lightyear fan.

The latest Sprinter generation continues to be the versatile and popular transport professional that Bruder fans have to come to know and love. Bruder’s range now includes the latest Sprinters in a wide range of designs. The company gave its existing series a facelift and made some changes - and this is how the latest Sprinter generation came about! Another six designs will appear in the spring: a car transporter with Bruder Roadster; an ambulance vehicle with paramedic; a fire engine with turntable ladder and water pump; a municipal vehicle with lots of accessories; a UPS vehicle with driver; and an animal transporter with a horse. With numerous functions that are true to the original, these 1:16 scale toys are suitable for ages four-plus.

Did you know? Bluey is a Blue Heeler puppy who lives in Australia and is the star of a popular animated series for preschoolers 118

toysnplaythings.media


Let the

Funtime roll

PROFILE

PADGETT BROS

“Quite simply, the range sells through for the retailer, while achieving an excellent margin in eye-catching packaging. The Funtime range is strengthening year on year” Alex Kenyon, Director

The Funtime range of preschool toys continues to get bigger and better, and another year brings an increase in turnover and another gain in market share.  Several of the Funtime items now appear on Amazon’s best-selling Learning & Activity Toys. The Funtime range gives customers a choice of an excellentquality product for the preschool market, that should sell all-year round. Items include the Unicorn Rainmaker, Unicorn Spin & Roll Bubble Balls, Poppy the Unicorn Pile Up & the Spinning Unicorn Merry-Go-Round. Found in many of the country’s leading retailers in Funtime packaging as well as customer’s own brand, there are more than 150 items in the range, with plenty to cover a variety of price points.  Funtime products can be purchased through a UK warehouse or from Hong Kong on an FOB basis, either in Funtime artwork or customer-specific packaging. Thier eyecatching packaging, high margin and high turnover make a winning combination.

Padgett Bros 01226 381 188 www.padgettatoz.co.uk

JANUARY 2022

119


RETAIL INTERVIEW 4 KIDS BOOKS & TOYS

‘It's a pretty

great gig’ Cynthia Compton, owner of 4 Kids Books & Toys in Indiana, shares her experience of the Stateside toy retail scene

I

own 4 Kids Books & Toys, a 2,800sq ft independent brick-and-mortar children's store in Zionsville, located just outside Indianapolis: that's in the middle of Indiana, about 180 miles southwest of Chicago. The name references my four children who, when I opened in 2003, were aged one, five, seven and nine. I previously had a corporate job ■ Simpl Dimpl from that required lots of travel, and after Fat Brain Toys the birth of my youngest daughter, I began to look for a business that ■ FinGears from Blue I could open and run while my kids Orange Games were in school. ■ Super Mario As a lifelong book lover, I thought Adventures with a children's bookstore would be Luigi Starter perfect. As I developed my business Course from LEGO plan and began attending trade ■ Story Time Chess shows and touring shops around board game from the country, I determined that what Story Time Chess was more practical, profitable, and

Top 5 Best Sellers

needed in our community was a ■ Sensory Bin book and specialty toy store - and so Dinosaur Dig from 4 Kids was created. Faber-Castell Our shop employs nine staff. We maintain a website, sell on social media platforms and also do quite a bit of business with local schools and childcare centres, offering book fairs, author events, Christmas bazaars and fundraisers, and a growing gift basket business. I can I’ve always been fortunate to learn hardly from industry colleagues through trade association involvement. I’ve believe that served on the board of directors of I get to do ASTRA (American Specialty Toy this every Retailing Association), and currently serve on the board of ABA (American single day Booksellers Association). Along the way, we've been privileged to receive the Pannell National Award for Best Children's Bookstore, local awards for ‘best

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toy store’ and ‘best bookstore’ and have presented on retail topics at events including Toy Fair and ASTRA Marketplace.

Learning curve The pandemic presented a huge learning curve and a growth opportunity, and we’ve been on an explosive growth track since the first shutdown. Fortunately, our doors were only closed for about three weeks, during which time we took orders over the phone, via text, social media and website, and provided free local delivery. Then we were able to offer curbside pickup and, after about six weeks, we reopened with plastic shields in place at the checkout, masks required for everyone, and limiting store occupancy. We cut our hours slightly to allow for more cleaning time and to accommodate all the deliveries, but after a few months were back to our regular seven days per week schedule, although we do close one hour earlier now (at 6pm) and open an hour later (at 10am) to provide time and space for receiving deliveries. All the services we put in place during Covid stayed and will be part of our business operations for a long time, I think.

‘Imagination-based’ play So, let's talk a bit about product mix. It’s exactly half books (for babies through to teens, with a small adult section) and toys. We focus on ‘imagination-based play’ for kids and teens: open-ended toys, kits, crafts, games, puzzles, dolls, building sets, trains, vehicles, outdoor and active play and, right now, fidgets. Our key brands are HABA, Hape, Brio, LEGO, Playmobil, Thames & Kosmos, Creativity for Kids (Faber-Castell), Floss

and Rock, Epoch, Spin Master, Madam Alexander, Djeco, Fat Brain, Mindware, Klutz, Ravensburger, and a zillion or two game companies. We also stock about 10,000 book titles and yes, it's a bit crowded in here! Before the pandemic, we had a dedicated room for birthday parties and daily storytime/art class/music events. When events weren’t possible because of Covid, we reworked that area and made it part of the retail space, allowing us to increase section sizes and spread out a bit for safety. As much as it hurts my heart not to welcome 30 to 40 preschoolers and their moms into my shop every morning for an event, I simply can't imagine when we can safely return to that level of programming. What's ahead? I wish I knew. Most weeks, it feels like we are just barely paddling fast enough to keep our heads above water. Business is up, supply chain issues are terrifying, and I’m much more concerned about getting enough toys than I am about finding customers to sell them to. Even with all the challenges of the past year and a half or so (time is irrelevant now, isn't it?) I can't imagine a better job. The ability to be part of so many childhoods, to directly influence and impact parents' choices for their children, and to bring new and exciting items to the local market, are constant motivators. The hours are long, but the days and seasons are incredibly short, and as we celebrated the beginning of our 19th year last October, I can hardly believe that I get to do this every single day. Better still are the passionate, smart, playful people who work in our industry, who are some of my best friends in the world. It's a pretty great gig. Even with a mask on.

toysnplaythings.media


RETAIL INTERVIEW

GEEK RETREAT

Game on

Geek Retreat CEO Peter Dobson talks about his ambitious plans for the nationwide chain of franchised shops that specialises in ‘all manner of geeky merchandise’

G

eek Retreat is a ‘geek culture’ retailer, gaming cafe, and events hub rolled into one. In 2013, our founder Stephen Walsh opened the doors of our first store in Glasgow. It was only supposed to be a fun place to play ‘geeky’ games and grab a milkshake, but it quickly turned into something far more meaningful than we had ever imagined. Our customers became We’re communities that thrived in the freedom to be themselves, looking revelled in the enjoyment of forward to playing games, and built longLondon Toy lasting friendships. It occurred Fair to us that really, we are a home. A place where, perhaps for the first time, people feel like they belong. And so, the idea that has become the heartbeat of our business was born. We provide an inclusive, welcoming, and social environment for everyone - especially for our more vulnerable communities, like those on the autistic spectrum, or those with mental health issues. We have made sure all of our stores are welcoming and accessible to gamers whatever their interests, providing a place for our loyal customers to get out of the house and play safely. We pride ourselves on being familyfriendly, catering for children and beginners with ‘learn to play’ sessions, through to casual tournaments for more experienced players of games

JANUARY 2022

including Magic: The Gathering, Pokémon, Dungeons and Dragons, Warhammer and Yu-Gi-Oh! I love receiving feedback from customers telling us that Geek Retreat is somewhere they feel that they really belong. We get a lot of messages thanking us for making a safe space with a focus on inclusivity.

Product mix Our core product categories are toys, games, and collectables, but our selection criteria is anything we think our customers are going to love! We find out about products through various manufacturers - we deal with many suppliers across the globe. Key names include Asmodee and Big Potato Games. We haven't attended trade shows much in the past, but we plan to visit as many as possible this year. In particular, we’re looking forward to London Toy Fair. We are mainly known for trading card games. However, we stock all manner of geeky merchandise. But trading card games will always be one of our most popular categories. There has been an enormous rise in the popularity of all Pokémon lines over the past year, which will hopefully continue. Collectables and social games are at an all-time high. Board games were not as big last year, possibly due to the wider variety and more competition from online platforms such as Amazon. We have moved towards more party games including the range from Big Potato Games. Despite supplier issues, plush and other toys are still going strong.

On a mission Driven by our purpose and led by our values, we’re on a (not so) secret mission to build a different sort of business based on one big idea. We are the friendliest place to meet, eat, shop and game, with 50 stores in the UK, and plans to open 200 stores throughout the UK and Europe in the next couple of years. Such is the belief and ambition of this business, that when retail and hospitality went into hibernation during the pandemic, Geek Retreat invested heavily in innovation, technology, operations, menus, marketing, brand, PR, and franchisee recruitment. Last year, Geek Retreat emerged stronger than ever, backed up by continuous, record-breaking performance KPIs. Game stores have traditionally been independent stores. There's never really been a nationwide brand like Geek Retreat before, so there is no blueprint for scaling up this kind of business. However, we have an amazing team, passionate franchisees and customers who really value the Geek Retreat experience, so we've been able to meet any challenges we've faced head-on. We are building a different type of business that brings enjoyment to our customers and people. At the centre of the Geek Retreat franchise, there is a team of experts across every business discipline including operations, finance, marketing, products, events, procurement, retail, and a dedicated store opening team. Widely recognised for their individual skills and collective experience, this team is absolutely committed to making every Geek Retreat franchise best in class.

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RETAIL INTERVIEW

BRITISH GARDEN CENTRES

Always looking ahead TnP talks to British Garden Centres group toy buyer Kate Hateley about her thoughts on sourcing, selecting, and showing products on the shopfloor What’s your background?

What are your key categories?

I’ve been in retail buying for over 20 years now and most of that has been within the garden centre industry. I started working on the shop floor in the gift department at Webbs of Wychbold when I was 19, progressing onto buying for that category. I then moved onto Blooms of Bressingham, Associated Independent Stores (AIS), Hillview Garden Centres and have been with the British Garden Centres team for two years.

Preschool, traditional, craft, educational, and pocket money toys. We also stock an extensive range of jigsaws and games for all ages.

Tell us a bit about British Garden Centres.

How many suppliers do you deal with?

Trade shows are imperative and London Toy Fair is key for toy retailers

British Garden Centres is the second-largest garden centre group in the UK, with 58 centres across the country. Our largest is our flagship Brigg Garden Centre in Lincolnshire with 267,600sq ft retail space. Our smallest is Coventry Garden Centre with 40,000sq ft retail space. A total of 36 centres stock toys and games. In September 2021 our buying team won the ‘Overall Multiple Garden Retailer Buying Team of the Year six stores or more’ category of the Buyers Power List Awards, organised by garden and outdoor living trade show Glee.

How would you describe your range? It’s a great range of all the top brands and key categories to cater for our wide customer base. It’s important that we keep on top of what the ‘next big thing’ is in the toy world - but also remember that we are garden centres and have a more traditional customer, buying for their children and grandchildren.

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We work with around 35 to 40 suppliers including Mattel, LEGO, Playmobil, Spin Master, Golden Bear Toys, Character Options, WOW Toys, TY and Orchard, and we stock about 20 brands including Barbie, Thomas, and Paw Patrol, to name a few.

How do you find products? It's vital to build credible relationships with suppliers and uphold the values of the organisation and the British Garden Centres brand across the industry. Trade shows are imperative and include London Toy Fair - which is key for toy retailers - Spring Fair and AIS shows, as well as showroom visits to the main suppliers for seasonal ranging. We are a member of Toymaster [a buying group that supports independent toy retailers in the UK and Ireland], and they are invaluable in providing information and early indicators from suppliers on what’s going to be a key focus, as well as offering advice on range selection. They also host trade shows and regional meetings throughout the year with top suppliers. Toymaster is a platform to access NPD data, which is collected nationally, providing toy retailers with industry data and analytics. We then determine what ranges and products will sit where, based on demographics and department footprint.

What’s proving popular? Anything relating to movie releases including Jurassic World and Paw

Patrol. Games saw a massive increase in demand during lockdown and that doesn’t seem to be slowing down. It highlights that family time is more important than ever.

What are your best sellers? Hot Wheels cars are always one of the best sellers each year. Then there’s TY Mini Boos, which are very collectable; Hurricane Bubbles from Teleview Marketing; and Paw Patrol True Metal vehicles.

What lines have you started stocking recently? CoComelon, and retro toys including Tamagotchi, Pound Puppies and My Little Pony. Fireman Sam is a relatively new line for us, which is going very well, along with new releases from the top brands like Barbie.

Are you expanding into new categories? We are looking at putting a range together for early 2022 for more ethical toys to cater for an increasing demand for sustainable toys including recycled plastics and eco wood, which will tie in with the company’s corporate social responsibility.

What’s next? We are always looking ahead. We recently announced that we are refurbishing Tarporley Garden Centre in Cheshire, which is an exciting project.

What’s the most rewarding aspect of your job? The whole process, from seeing exciting new launches to then it selling on the shop floor. The teams work hard to merchandise the different categories and create a toy shop feel within the garden centres. It makes all the planning and ordering in-between worthwhile.

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DON’T MISS… Here’s a quick peek at some of the hottest and newest products. Buyers and retailers, get in touch with your sales contact now!

Product: Living Forest from Ludonaute Company: Coiledspring Games Tel: 0203 3011160 Web: coiledspring.co.uk

Product: LEGO Technic BMW M 1000 RR Set Company: LEGO Tel: 00800 5346 5555 Web: www.lego.com/en-gb

Product: Nerf Go Kart with Blasters and Darts Company: MV Sports & Leisure Email: info@mvsports.com Web: www.mvsports.com

Product: Wooden Threading Shapes Company: Eduk8 Worldwide Tel: 01661 831 080 Web: www.eduk8worldwide.com

Product: Woolly Mammoth Company: Living Nature Tel: 01779 478078 Web: uk.livingnatureworld.com

Product: Switch and Signal co-operative family board game Company: Thames & Kosmos Tel: 01580 713000 Web: www.thamesandkosmos.co.uk

Product: Paint Your Own Unicorn Bank Company: Great Gizmos Tel: 01293 543221 Web: www.ggtrade.co.uk

Product: Stick-O Preschool Deluxe 96-Piece Set Company: Magformers UK Tel: 01270 446250 Web: www.magformers.co.uk

Product: Frozen 2 Tonie Company: Tonies Email: sales@tonies.com Web: www.tonies.com


toysnplaythings.media

2 ry 202 a u n a J 1 No. 3 Vol. 4

Helping everyone sell more


#FXGTV KPFF


LEADER Clare Turner

F At the heart of retail Also by Lema Publishing

TableWare INTERNATIONAL

TableWare

ollowing a hiatus in 2021 due to the pandemic, Spielwarenmesse is back! For toy retailers from around the world, this exhibition is the key event of the year, and from February 2 to February 6 visitors will once again have a live opportunity to discover a wealth of new products, licences, trends, and ideas at the Nuremberg Exhibition Centre. To ensure a relaxed visit in these Covid times, show organiser Spielwarenmesse eG has advised international visitors to make sure they are up to date with the current requirements for trade fair participants entering Germany. At the time of going to press, the latest news is that all ‘areas of virus variants of concern’ including the UK - have been downgraded to ‘high risk areas’, meaning that individuals who have been fully vaccinated or have recovered from Covid are now allowed to enter the country without the need to quarantine. In addition, there are exceptions for unvaccinated trade fair participants from high-risk areas. Such visitors are permitted to enter with a negative test result and to stay for up to five days. Christian Ulrich, spokesperson of the executive board of Spielwarenmesse eG, said he is “pleased with this development, which gives interested buyers from the UK the opportunity to visit the Spielwarenmesse”. An overview of the latest changes is available on the website of AUMA (Association of the German Trade Fair Industry) at www.auma.de/ en/exhibit/legal-matters/entry-requirements.

2022 marks the 72nd edition of Spielwarenmesse, which is unquestionably the largest international trade fair for toys, hobbies, and leisure. Its presentation of innovations represents a valuable pool of information for retailers, guiding them through the market every year. The attraction of the show is that it offers visitors the chance to meet with the biggest names in the toy sphere, yet still catch up with niche and small players that offer something no one else does. This year, visitors can expect to see more than 1,800 companies from 64 countries. In the words of Christian Ulrich: “We are bringing together in Nuremberg all the market leaders, along with innovative startups, so retailers will find a uniquely diverse range of products all in one place. In addition, we are showing them tomorrow’s innovations and trends, while the Special Areas provide new ideas for designing their own range. What’s more, they can gain useful knowledge about the industry from the various forms of information that we provide. This combination - a wide range of products, a great source of inspiration and dissemination of current knowledge - makes Spielwarenmesse the leading industry event.” In recognition of its importance, we have once again created our signature TnP flip cover, so you can focus on the companies and products you want to see in Nuremberg and keep them entirely separate from the information for the London Toy Fair, to help you easily navigate both exhibitions.

Enjoy our previews and see you there!

Contents

INTERNATIONAL

AWARDS OF EXCELLENCE

J i

8

4

Trade Talk A selection of suppliers exhibiting at the Nuremberg Toy Fair share their plans for the show

6

Spielwarenmesse 2022 Christian Ulrich, spokesperson of the executive board at Spielwarenmesse eG, gives TnP readers a preview of what will be happening at this year’s event

8

Cover Story As show exhibitor Jazwares celebrates its silver anniversary, TnP catches up with SVP Europe Jonny Taylor, MD UK & Nordics Holly Oldham, and MD gmbH Marcus Abt to talk about the company’s European expansion plans - and the next 25 years!

10 Product Preview A round-up of some of the show’s key product launches


TRADE

OPINION

Trade talk

Calling all suppliers and distributors! We’d love to hear your views. Get in touch with Clare@lemapublishing.co.uk to have your say!

This month we ask suppliers exhibiting at Spielwarenmesse about their plans for the show PHIL RATCLIFFE Sales & Marketing Director

MV Sports Which product are you most excited about launching at the show? We’ve got lots to show: new e-scooters, new stunt scooters, new licences, and new innovation.

What are you hoping to achieve at the show? We want new distributors, new retail relationships and new business.

What makes this show special for you? It offers the opportunity for significant expansion and helps us pick up on any new trends in different countries.

Any top tips for visitors? Just do the halls that are relevant to your business. For lunch, have the Nuremberg Sausages with Potato Salad and Sauerkraut. In the evenings, always find time to eat at the Heilig Geist (an atmospheric taste of old Nuremberg). Or the Irish bar if you’re brave/foolish!

EMMA HANLON International Account Manager

Thames & Kosmos

Which product are you most excited about launching at the show? We are very excited to launch our new ReBotz range. This is a range of four STEM kits aimed at teaching children basic engineering principles in a fun and accessible way. We will also be displaying our evergrowing range of award-winning board games including the best-selling EXIT range, which now spans 23 titles.

“Nuremberg is always a highlight What are you hoping to achieve at in my show the show? calendar, as it’s the We are looking forward to meeting old friends and meeting point for making new contacts. our International What makes this show special for you? customers”

We are always thrilled to see valued customers and catch up on how everyone is getting on, especially as we haven’t seen many of them face-to-face since before the pandemic. Nuremberg is always a highlight in my show calendar, as it’s the meeting point for our International customers, who we don’t get the opportunity to meet very often.

Any top tips for visitors? Book your flights and hotel rooms in advance, take lots of business cards, and wear comfy shoes - or better still, trainers.

4

LAETITIA WESTERMAN Head of International Sales

Wilton Bradley

Which products are you most excited about launching at the show? We will be unveiling some very exciting innovations within the outdoor category under our Playhouse brand including Waterwall, which will be supported with a media campaign, and the Ice Cream Van. Both will have additional designs for 2023 and beyond. “We are most We are most excited about the grand launch of excited about Waterwall, a gravity-fed the grand learning wall that teaches launch of kids about gravity, angles Waterwall” and water flow. It is packed with limitless combinations for them to enjoy a different creation every time they move the pieces. With a range of modular accessories included, kids can have fun creating their own water flows and seeing their problem-solving skills come to life as they pour water from the top. It’s made from quality sustainably-sourced wood, so it blends perfectly into the garden. This weatherresistant Waterwall can be used outdoors or indoors, thanks to the bucket, which catches the water when it reaches the bottom. It’s no secret that when it comes to outdoor play, kids need no help in creating their own imaginary worlds. Waterwall is a must-have for households with imaginative toddlers.

What are you hoping to achieve at the show? Our customers will be able to discover all our new product lines, many of which extend the offer in our existing successful brands. Plus, there will be a chance for a first look at our exciting new product developments.

What makes this show special for you? We’re looking forward to finally returning to Nuremberg for the 2022 edition of Spielwarenmesse, giving us the opportunity to meet again with our existing partners, and introduce Wilton Bradley to new retailers and distributors. This is our main international trade show and our first chance to show off new products - in the flesh.

toysnplaythings.media


TONY LEWIS

RICHARD NORTH CEO Wow! Stuff

Sales Director

Disguise

Which products are you most excited about launching at Spielwarenmesse? At Spielwarenmesse and Toy Fair New York we are revealing three toys that we internally class as ‘Blockbusters’ (with lots of fingers crossed of course). All three are in licensed brands and have movie releases tied to them.

What are you hoping to achieve at the show? Lots of PR! Our business is geared around creating products that are on brand and very “We are revealing unique. When we get this right, the result is a real three toys that we hero line for the licensed internally class as brands. This gets their ‘Blockbusters’” brand the ‘wow’ that we look for and a warm glow across their consumer base. It moves the needle for everyone and even draws attention to the overall broader merchandise within the brand. I’m sounding like a licensee now!

Which products are you most excited about displaying at the show? All of them - we have a fantastic portfolio of licences and properties. From our already best-selling Mario, Minecraft, My Little Pony and Power Ranger costumes, to our all-new Disney portfolio. We also have an innovative range of Funko Collectable masks, which had everybody talking at the Deauville trade show in France. We’re really excited to get the reaction from our partners on the “We’re going quality and design of our new styles.

all out with our stand and supporting promotion for this show”

What are you hoping to achieve at the show?

To introduce Disguise to the wider Euro market and work with our distributors and retailers to develop the best range fit for the relevant markets. We’re going all out with our stand and supporting promotion for this show.

What makes this show special for you? This will be the first time Disguise has a dedicated stand. The stand will showcase our ranges in a 100-plus sq m area. We can’t wait to welcome everyone in Hall 9. It’s a fantastic opportunity to showcase our phenomenal offer.

Any top tips for visitors? Seriously, plan your visit meticulously and pre-book appointments. Network in advance and set up meetings outside show hours. Breakfast and dinner should not be wasted!

STEVE FINCH Director

Boppi Which product are you most excited about displaying? We’re very excited to be displaying our Boppi Bamboo Marble Runs for the first time at Spielwarenmesse. They were a very popular choice in the run-up to Christmas, so that tells us that we’re on the right track with a great family toy that also allows for adult participation in the construction, and in the play too.

What are you hoping to achieve? Our main goal for the show will be to find wholesale and retail partners to help bring our toys, puzzles and games to kids around Europe and across the globe. This marks the first time that Click Europe Ltd have showcased our entire product range at the world’s leading toy fair.

CHRISTINE LAWSON

Eduk8 Worldwide Which product are you most excited about launching at the show? We’ve been visiting Spielwarenmesse since 2002 but this is an extraspecial year for us, as we are showcasing our new Alertz Noise Management System: a unique innovation in the nois e management segment. We are all aware of environments such as classroo ms, libraries, offices, and sensory spaces whe re noise needs to be controlled. This traffi c light noise warning system is accurate and so simple with its light and audible warning alerts that it’s easily understood by a wide range of audiences, including those with additional needs or auditory/visual impairm ent. We can already see the huge range of applications in which it could work, so we are hugely excited to be launching it to market at the fair.

What are you hoping to achieve at the show? It will just be wonderful to be able to meet peers and networks that we have not been

JANUARY 2022

able to see face-to-face for such a long time. Seeing our customers and havi ng the chance to meet new ones in person mak es all the difference to long-term relation ship building. It’s also a long-awaited opportu nity to physically show new products to target audiences, which is a very imp ortant part of the sales journey.

Director

What makes this show special for you?

Spielwarenmesse is a truly international affair. This is our chance to network with custome rs on a global scale. Its sheer size also allows us to absorb trends and innovations in the industry in real life, whic h makes a huge difference.

Any top tips for visitors?

Try to know what your objective s are in advance and stick to one or two , otherwise it can become overwhelming. Wherever possible, try to schedule importa nt meetings, as exhibitors often fill their cale ndars quite quickly and you don’t want to waste time waiting about. If something inte rests you, maybe think of different location s where you could have deeper conversation s, such as the bar or over a meal in the old town. Often the show environment can be so hectic that you don’t get all the details you need to make decisions further down the line.

5


PREVIEW

‘Tomorrow’s innova t Christian Ulrich, spokesperson of the executive board at Spielwarenmesse eG, gives TnP a preview of what will be happening at this year’s Spielwarenmesse in Nuremberg Exhibitors Visitors can expect to see more than 1,800 companies from 64 countries exhibiting at the show

What makes Spielwarenmesse Is there anything new this year so special? that visitors should look out for? We are bringing together in Highlights of this year’s fair Nuremberg all the market leaders programme include new Special along with innovative startups, so Areas with some valuable new retailers will find a uniquely diverse ideas for retailers. range of products all in one place. In Hall 3A, buyers can take In addition, we are showing them advantage of our major theme, Christian Ulrich tomorrow’s innovations and trends, sustainability, with the Toys go while the Special Areas provide Green megatrend and the latest new ideas for designing their developments in the industry. own range. For those interested in new Sustainability What’s more, they can gain products, Hall 8 will be the first useful knowledge about the port of call. The TrendGallery is a new industry from the various forms brings stimulating innovations category in the of information that we provide. together in a compact space. ToyAwards - our This combination - a wide range Right next door, in the new prizes for new of products, a great source of StartupArea, young German inspiration and dissemination and international companies products - which of current knowledge - makes will be presenting their creative will now be Spielwarenmesse the leading product ideas. awarded in six industry event. High-volume stationery categories products, particularly those from the back-to-school

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sector, are in the spotlight at the Insights-X Area in Hall 4A. In Hall 3A, trade visitors will also find the new Service Providers’ Area, where suppliers from the fields of packaging, marketing, and cash and commerce systems will be presenting their products and services. Test institutes are also to be found here. One further highlight is the ‘Internationale Spieleerfindermesse – Game Inventors Convention’, which moves to Nuremberg and takes place on the Friday of the fair. This one-day event provides a relaxed atmosphere in which international games authors have the opportunity to present their prototypes to editors from games publishing companies and open up new international markets. Have you made any changes with Covid in mind? The pandemic has increased the pace of the digitalisation process in our business. This will become apparent from mid-January onwards, even before the Spielwarenmesse itself. Spielwarenmesse Digital will, for the first time, join up the online and offline worlds, providing participants with an innovative business platform to enrich the personal experience of the fair with new digital functions. At the show itself, visitors can also be reassured that the familiar structures will still be there: the product groups will

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tions and trends’ Essentials What: Spielwarenmesse 2022 (Nuremberg Toy Fair) When: Wednesday February 2 to Sunday February 6 Where: Nuremberg Exhibition Centre be largely arranged as they have been previously. After this long break, they will therefore still find things consistent with what they have come to expect from previous years. What are you expecting in terms of exhibitor and visitor numbers? On the exhibitor side, we’ve had a really good response: at the moment more than 1,800 companies from 64 countries have registered for the coming Spielwarenmesse. These include all the key players in the industry. We’re also getting positive feedback from retail, where a survey of our trade visitors has shown that 77% want to come to Nuremberg. This gives us enormous confidence and underlines the terrific reputation that the Spielwarenmesse enjoys in the sector internationally as a networking and ordering platform. How important is sustainability at the show? Sustainability is a major theme of Spielwarenmesse 2022. Our Toys go Green megatrend will contribute to this. It has so many facets and it’s here for the long term, I’m sure of that. In Hall 3A, buyers can experience relevant products on four topic islands: ‘Made by Nature’, ‘Inspired by Nature’ and ‘Recycle & Create’ each focus on specific materials, while in ‘Discover Sustainability’ the topics of environment and climate are

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present situation. That’s why we’ve created Spielwarenmesse Digital. For the live event, our sound and workable safety and hygiene policy is what’s most important.

portrayed through toys We’re aware - so this one is all about the value of play. that not all those The trend will be who would like complemented by to visit or exhibit daily Toys go Green presentations in the will be able to Toy Business Forum. do so, given the In parallel we have present situation. commissioned an That’s why international consumer study on the topic of we’ve created sustainability from Spielwarenmesse the Spanish market Digital research agency AIJU. The findings of ‘Toys and Sustainability’ will be presented for the first time at the main press conference on January 27. Last but not least, sustainability is also a new category in the ToyAwards - our prizes for new products - which will now be awarded in six categories.

How will you make it accessible for those who can’t travel due to Covid or travel restrictions? With the mix of familiar and new themes, our aim is to make sure all participants have a good experience at the fair again, after such a long time. The steps we are taking that I’ve just outlined should help with that. What drives us is the desire to have a successful trade fair but we’re also aware that regrettably not all those who would like to visit or exhibit will be able to do so, given the

Will the Toy Cocktail competition return this year? In the past, the Toy Cocktail competition has always been held in advance of the Spielwarenmesse. In 2022 we’re integrating it for the first time as a live event into the PressPreview: the show for new introductions, which takes place the day before the fair. Local bars will have the opportunity to create the 2022 Toy Cocktail, which will be judged by a jury of three experts. We’re excited to see all the creative ideas - and, of course, the winning entry.


COVER STORY JAZWARES

25 years

of playtime innovation As Jazwares celebrates its silver anniversary, TnP catches up with SVP Europe Jonny Taylor, MD UK & Nordics Holly Oldham, and MD GmbH Marcus Abt to talk about European expansion plans - and the next 25 years!

Jonny: When our CEO Judd Zebersky launched Jazwares 25 years ago, his dream was to make amazing toys that would delight kids and collectors alike. Still, today, making great toys is intrinsic to the DNA of the company. Judd and his wife Laura Zerbersky [Jazwares president] are the driving force behind the business, making better and better products, constantly pushing new boundaries, and taking us to the next level. Our 25th anniversary is an opportunity to celebrate the remarkable

the “pastOver 12 months we have built a division within Jazwares called Blue J, focused solely on delivering innovation into our product lines, along with private IP creation

Did you know? Jazwares opened a new sales office in France in December 2021 8

This is a special year for Jazwares, as you celebrate your jubilee. What does this milestone year represent for you?

Jonny Taylor

Holly Oldham

journey that Jazwares has been on, and there is definitely a sense of anticipation and excitement about what the next 25 years will bring.

How have the past 12 months been for Jazwares? Holly: It’s been a crazy year. Consumer demand in the toy industry has been exceptionally high. However, navigating the global supply chain has been extremely challenging. Despite these challenges, we have achieved solid growth globally, in every region. We have a superb team to thank for these results.

Marcus Abt

You have ambitious growth plans for the European market. Can you tell us more about your aims? Marcus: One of the most exciting developments is our new sales office, which opened in France in the middle of December 2021. Over the past nine years, we have built successful operations across Europe, servicing retail customers directly in the UK, Ireland, Germany, Switzerland, Austria and Benelux. Despite the challenges the industry has been facing with the global supply chain, we have been

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Fact! Over 100 million Squishmallows have been sold worldwide

You have an incredible portfolio of brands. Squishmallows is a hot brand globally - can you tell us more about your strategy for owned IP? Jonny Squishmallows is one of the hottest girls’ brands globally right now. We feel there is something very special and truly unique about it. One of the reasons Squishmallows performs so well is that it strikes an emotional response among fans young and old, who

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feel compelled to collect the evergrowing range of cute characters. Squishmallows is a Jazwares private IP brand and we are committed to developing more of our own brands in-house. Over the past 12 When our months we have built a division CEO Judd within Jazwares called Blue J, Zebersky focused solely on delivering innovation into our product lines, launched along with private IP creation. Expect to see new Jazwares brand Jazwares 25 launches developed by Blue J from years ago, 2023 and beyond. his dream

Licensed toys are at the heart of what you do. Tell us about your licensed brand portfolio. Holly: We’ve got such a broad portfolio. In boys, Roblox and Fortnite are incredibly strong and adding Pokémon to our direct distribution retail portfolio for the UK and Germany takes things to another level. In preschool, Spidey and his Amazing Friends has had an

was to make amazing toys that would delight kids and collectors alike

experiencing decent levels of growth over the past few years. During this period we have worked directly with French customers but without the support of a local French sales force. By opening a sales branch in Paris and adding local sales professionals to work with our strong portfolio of brands and products, we have the opportunity to scale the business in this market significantly. Outside of direct-to-retail distribution, our growth is also being driven by our best-in-class partnerships with our in-market distributors, who are delivering excellent results.

incredible start. The content on Dino Ranch looks exceptional and the TV placement across Europe is robust. One of our favourite brands, CoComelon, looks on track to join the select club of preschool powerhouse brands across the globe. In girls, we have Squishmallows and, my personal favourite, Squishville: the collectable miniature version of Squishmallows that comes with vehicles and playsets. We have a thriving product portfolio and the team is working hard to strengthen things even further. We also have some very exciting new brand launches to be announced.

What are you most looking forward to as we move into the Toy Fair season? Marcus: Seeing products and showcasing all the opportunities. Spending time with our customers and partners energises our team, so hopefully there will be plenty more of this to come in 2022 and onwards.

JAZWARES uksales@jazwares.com | www.jazwares.com 9


2022 preview

Wheely exciting! MV SPORTS & LEISURE 01217488000 www.mvsports.com

Stand

A-29. Hall 7

As a market leader in character wheeled toys, MV Sports & Leisure’s portfolio of licences is being further strengthened with the addition of several new properties such as the latest preschool phenomena CoComelon and Bluey. The company says these collections have been very well received by retailers and meet the growing demand from consumers for successful new preschool wheeled toys. The new line-up of ride-ons, tri-scooters, bikes and pop-up tents accentuates the cute and quirky nature of both increasingly popular properties. The new Lightyear range is certain to blast off, bringing to life this all-new movie through an array of scooters, skateboards, and bikes. With vibrant colourways and superb graphics, the distinctive Lightyear artwork will shout loudly off-shelf or off-page.

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Did you know? MV Sports’ new Lightyear range will bring to life the new movie of the same name, which tells the origin story of Toy Story’s Buzz Lightyear. The film is due for release in June

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2022 preview

Bigger and better

STAND

12 B-08

FUNKO eventseu@funko.com funkoeurope.com while Something Wild - a unique Funko Europe will again and thrilling attend the Nuremberg card game - is International Toy Fair, set to continue its bringing its selection of licensor expansion with new and original products beloved lines in fan-favourite the world over. The creator of properties Star Wars and Pop! collectables continues Marvel. There are also strategic, to innovate and evolve party and card games sure its line, which now to keep the whole family includes more new and entertained, including Pan exciting products than Am, The Goonies, Fast ever before. and Furious: Highway Pop! Albums take centre Heist, Never Say Die, and stage this year with a Disney Hidden Mickeys. placement spot in the Trend If fashion is more your Gallery. Masterpieces include customers’ bag and they’re Queen’s Greatest Hits, Metallica’s The Black Album and keen to show their fandom Notorious B.I.G’s Ready to Die. Many more have also through style, Loungefly received the Pop! Album treatment, which features artists in continues to push the envelope with high-concept, quality Pop! form in their iconic album poses. made bags and wallets sure to get everyone talking. Among the numerous categories on display, the Funko Loungefly’s rapid expansion into the European marketplace team is especially excited to present its line of premium new has been one to watch as it continues to vinyl figures. The first combine a love of fashion and fandom with wave of the latest range inventive and fresh - Gold - will feature design. Further both 5in and 12in apparel from the figures of some of the Funko’s space in Hall 12 features a Funko team celebrates world’s most beloved new business zone for scheduled its extensive ranges of music, NBA and NFL meetings as well as a display exclusive and unique icons - with many more showcase featuring the entire Pop! & Tees featuring to follow across the stylised artwork entertainment, music array of Funko products on offer alongside Pop! Pins, and sporting landscape. both wearable and Funko’s other lines decorative. continue to deliver, year Never to be outshone, the Pop! in and year out. Expect immersive gameplay for fans young collectables continue to evolve and old when Marvel’s Battleworld flies in with its next wave, with new sizing formats, with the 6in Super Pop!, the 10in Jumbo Pop! and the 18in Mega Pop! stretching further than ever into specialised fandom zones with extensive selections of genres now available within sports, anime and gaming. Funko’s space in Hall 12 is now larger and better than ever, featuring a new business zone for scheduled meetings as well as a display showcase featuring the entire array of Funko products on offer. To schedule an appointment, contact the events team at eventseu@funko.com.

Fact!

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Giving noise the red light EDUK8 WORLDWIDE 01661 831 080 www2.eduk8worldwide.com

STAND

F09. Hall activities at school, at work, at home and Educational 1H12 during leisure time. It can disturb sleep, toy designer cause cardiovascular and psychophysioand distributor logical effects, reduce performance and Worldwide is Alertz is a traffic light Eduk8 provoke annoyance responses launching its Electronic and changes in social noise warning system, Noise Management System at behaviour.’ Spielwarenmesse. designed to be An easy-to-understand traffic light noise warning used in classrooms, system, Alertz can be used libraries, hospitals in a variety of applications such as classrooms, libraries, and special needs hospitals and special needs settings. With seven different sound level settings, adjustable from as low as 50 decibels, the product has been years in development and is launching at the 2022 fair. The flexible design allows use of both audible and/or visual warnings and it can be used across indoor and outdoor settings in mounted and free-standing positions. Christine Lawson, director of Eduk8, said: “This represents real innovation in the noise management segment to help teachers in classrooms and managers in noise-controlled settings regulate their sound levels. Thanks to the simple traffic-light and audible warning alerts, it is easily understood by a wide range of audiences, including those with additional needs.” According to the World Health Organization: ‘Excessive noise seriously harms human health and interferes with people’s daily

Fact!

Soft sells THE PUPPET COMPANY

STAND

F09. Hall 1

01462 446040 info@thepuppetcompany.com www.thepuppetcompany.com The Puppet Company will be showcasing a range of new puppets and new soft toys from its sister company Wilberry Toys. Eco Walking Puppets are made from 100% recycled plastic bottles. These incredibly functional puppets for both adults and children come with access to the arms and legs so you can make them walk, run, dance and more! And Wilberry Eco Cuddlies are beautiful soft toys, also made from 100% recycled plastic bottles, which are super soft and extra cuddly. Then there’s new Wilberry Mini - the latest addition to this incredibly popular collection - which the company says is one of the most appealing ranges it has ever designed. Finally, look out for Golf Club Covers. These new additions not only look great but work well too! They are fully lined and provide a secure fit, keeping your driver safe while looking great.

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2022 preview

Toys that don’t cost the earth KEEL TOYS

Dinosaurs come in four different styles and two sizes, featuring 01233 506363 innovative fabrics and finishes, www.keeltoys.com making them a must-have product. Since the launch of Keeleco in 2020, Keel Toys has used Keeleco Nursery launched the equivalent of more than 14 million water bottles in the in 2021 and has been an manufacture of the range! instant success with a new Just two years after launching Keeleco. Keel Toys can now Unicorn character to be offer a complete sustainable soft toy added in 2022 to the collection, including traditional Wild, FSDU collection of Fact! Farm, Dinosaurs, Teddy Bears, Nursery Lamb, Koala, Giraffe Stand Keel Toys has and a new Fashion range. The company and Zebra. The nursery C09 reused the says this reconfirms its position as the range also features Hall 1 equivalent of number one recycled soft toy supplier a cute teddy bear and 14 million water in the market today. bunny in variations of pink, bottles in the The Keeleco range has been extended to blue and white. making of its more than 120 products including new larger size Dougie is a traditional-style teddy bear Keeleco range toys (up to 70cm) in Wildlife, and extensions into brought up to date using recycled polyester materials to make it more British Wildlife and Farm designs. Keeleco the best of both worlds. There’s also a new sentiment bear range featuring Graduation, Happy Birthday, Thank You & Get Well Soon bears to complete the collection. Finally, Keeleco Adoptable World is the newest part of the sustainable soft range and is billed as the first fashion eco soft toy collection. With happy expressions and wide, expressive, adorable eyes, the collection of 12 characters simply beg to be picked up and adopted by a loving new owner. The luggage label featured on the toy and supporting point of sale depicts sustainable world travel by sailing boat, hot air balloon and bicycle. Keel Toys says people buy traditionally for the following three reasons: emotional - each toy is a beautiful soft toy that begs to be picked up and hugged; functionality - Keeleco soft toys feel exactly how they should feel; the only difference is that they are made from a recycled not virgin source of polyester; and money - Keeleco soft toys do not cost the earth. But now there’s a new dimension: sustainability - people feel better when the product ticks the sustainability box! As well as Spielwarenmesse, Keel Toys’ latest ranges will be on display at the Harrogate Christmas & Gift Fair, London Toy Fair and Spring Fair.

Aquarius makes show debut AQUARIUS 01737 550837 www.nmrbrands.com/aquarius/

Stand

D23, Hall 10

Creator of licensed products for the kidult and family markets, Aquarius will showcase its range of puzzles, board games, playing cards and more for the first time in Europe at Nuremberg Toy Fair. The company will use the show to unveil licences that are new to the European market, including Dr Seuss, Peanuts, and special licensed products for Halloween and Christmas, alongside firm favourites such as Harry Potter, Friends and SpongeBob SquarePants. Joining the line-up will be Aquarius’s exclusive range of licensed Grinch products, including The Grinch 1,000-Piece Puzzle. Featuring residents of Whoville and the most beloved villain of the holidays, this 1,000-piece puzzle will have families feeling merry long after Grinchmas is over.

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New stand will deliver WILTON BRADLEY 01626 835400 sales@wiltonbradley.com www.wiltonbradley.com

Did you know? New wheeled toys include the Venom Go Kart, the Comet Electric Go Kart, plus new additions in the licensed electric ride-ons categories

Visitors can admire the new offerings from Wilton Bradley on a new 120sq m stand in a new central position - and discover all of the new product lines on offer. Many items are extending existing offers in successful brands, plus there are some exciting new developments. Look out for the new Venom Go Kart, the Comet Electric Go Kart, as well as new additions in the licensed electric ride-ons categories. In the music categories, new lines have been added in the successful Mi-Mic and Academy of Music brands. Wilton Bradley will also unveil some innovations within the outdoor category under its Playhouse brand including Waterwall, which will be supported with a media campaign, and the Ice Cream Van. Both will have additional designs for 2023 and beyond. Laetitia Westerman, head of international sales, said: “We are looking forward to finally returning to Nuremberg for the Spielwarenmesse 2022 edition, giving us the opportunity to meet again with our existing partners, and introduce Wilton Bradley to new retailers and distributors. “As Wilton Bradley continues to develop and grow, we are very much looking forward to many years of fun and innovative new products.”

STAND

B11-C10. Hall 7

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