Helping everyone sell more
018 May 2 No. 8 7 Vol. 3
Independently audited ABC circulation of 5,121
1 July 2016 to 30 June 2017
SISO Toys UK
CONTENTS Regular 5
018 May 2 No. 8 7 3 Vol.
TEAM TnP Group Editor
Leader – with Mirella Anstey
6 News – the latest toy industry headlines 10 Coffee Break – with Dennis Blackmore, Learning Resources MD 12 Media News – the multimedia rundown 13 M edia Charts – the latest kids’ TV viewing figures and toy TV advertising spend 14 Retail News – the latest round up of news from retailers
Mirella Anstey firstname.lastname@example.org
20 What’s New – new products that you need to get your hands on
46 Watch Out For… – a round up of toys you really don’t want to be without
Mairead Wilmot email@example.com
Acting Editor Rhys Thomas firstname.lastname@example.org
Group Advertisement Manager Ryan Horwood email@example.com
Publisher Mark Naish firstname.lastname@example.org
Production Director Paul Naish email@example.com
Design and Production Marian McNamara firstname.lastname@example.org
26 Spotlight on… Vivid – one new product, all the USPs explained
64 Licensing News – the latest on licensed products 66 Step Back in Time – a slice of toy history from the industry’s longest running magazine 67 Don’t Miss – unmissable products for all buyers and retailers
Features 30 Action vehicles – if it moves, it’s in our category guide 52 Tech toys - the latest innovations in interactive toys 64 Avengers Infinity War – we look at some of the leaders in this top license 60 Licensing Expo – a sneak peek at the Vegas Licensing show
Special Report 10 Nintendo LABO – a spotlight on Nintendo’s new arts and crafts toy 16 Retail Interview – A1 Toys give us insights to their exciting business 24 Cover Story – Simba Dickie’s COO Uwe Weiler gives us the lowdown on new UK venture – Siso Toys 28 Shopkins focus – TnP shines a spotlight on a big property 48 Bandai interview – outgoing MD Clive Smith and incumbent Nic Aldridge talk us through their plans 50 The Insights People – market intelligence specialists join Team TnP
Managing Director Malcolm Naish email@example.com
Columnists 19 Retail Opinion – John Ryan discusses consumer engagement
Circulation Manager Robert Thomas firstname.lastname@example.org
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22 The Independent and Secret Supplier – our dynamic duo talk Disney 27 Media Analysis – Generation Media’s Kate Moncur checks out Easter break TV advertising figures 58 TnP Ambassadors – our tiny testers give their verdict on Bandai’s new Crayola range and also Nintendo’s LABO Turn the magazine over for our Toymaster May Show special!
At the heart of retail A member of the Audit Bureau of Circulation
Independently audited ABC circulation of 5,125 1 July 2015 to 30 June 2016
Helping everyone sell more
Toys and Playthings Template.indd 1
A member of the Audit Bureau of Circulation
Independently audited ABC circulation of 5,121 1 July 2015 to 30 June 2017
At the heart of retail Also published by Lema Publishing
licensing T O D A Y
W O R L D W I D E
If you would like to subscribe to any of our other market leading titles please call Robert Thomas on 01442 289930 or email your request to robert@ lemapublishing.co.uk
uch a lot to squeeze in one magazine this month — retail is changing in a major way, some new brands are hitting shelves and some existing biggies are revamping and upping the ante! So, let me start with the news of the Sainbury's and Asda merger... big news indeed. Tesco will of course lose its overwhelming market share and for consumers it is a fantastic thing - but what for suppliers? One serious player in the toy industry tells me: "While Uwe Weiler, COO, Simba Dickie Group both companies are committed to the idea of toys being part of the family basket, there will be downward pressure on supplier margin". Never good news — and of course for independent retailers it menas getting creative and different becomes ever-more so important. Watch this space as we bring you more news on this rapidly changing story. To our cover star for this month, the newly launched Siso Toys UK — part of the enormous Simba Dickie Group. TnP catches up with COO Uwe Weiler to find out more about the plans, which they reveal will focus on a number of key brands and they are investing heavily to deepen and strengthen their relationships with the British buyers, retailers and also with the consumer. At the helm of Siso Toys is ex-Mattel man, Martin Whittaker who will be tasked with “launching and marketing new brands to the UK, extending our brand equity, and developing new licensed ranges” says Uwe. Also new this month is Nintendo Labo. While not traditionally a company many toy specialists can capitalise from, this ingenious product might well be a game changer in that respect. The toy is a cardboard construction meets arts and craft kit played with the
Bandai’s new MD Nic Aldridge and outgoing Clive Smith
Nintendo Switch. The guys at Nintendo tell me that already Smyths and most large retailers and grocers are super excited and behind the product. Turn to page 10 to find out more about this and see if it could be something to add into your mix. Bandai is a company with a superb pedigree and a great and very bright future – so it was with sadness that I learned that MD Clive Smith was standing down. I’ve been lucky enough to get to know him a bit and have always found his approach very clear, fair and warm. I am heartened that he is staying on for a while longer — and I know that he is handing over the mantle to a supremely capable Nic Aldridge! Nic’s drive and experience makes for a winning combination and the excitement and new brands he has brought to the portfolio is clear sign of his intention for Bandai. We enjoyed an exclusive chat to find out more about the direction and brands, p48. In terms of big brands, can there be many much bigger than Shopkins? Surely not, I am sure you’ll agree. In the past five years, Shopkins has really been the go-to brand for collectables and the new innovations in the range are really very exciting and will invigorate the brand further. Emanuelle Cadet and Verity Groom of Flair talk us through the freshness they are bringing to this much-loved property over on page 28. And lastly, flip this magazine over and enjoy our must-read preview to the fabulous Toymaster May Show!
New to the magazine this month is our partnership with The Insights People
Vegas Licensing Expo is on the horizon
Siso Toys UK MD Martin Whittaker
New faces at Bandai
Character optimistic after earnings dip Character’s half yearly financial results have been released and while the company posted figures slightly down on 2017 its leading in-house ranges include Peppa Pig, Stretch, Teletubbies and Scooby Doo and our exclusive, third-party lines include Little Live Pets and Mashems continue to trade well. In the statement the company said: “Although trading in the first half was lower when compared to 2017, we believe that in view of the sector disruption and upheaval, Character delivered a very solid performance in what has been a very turbulent time at the retail level. We continue to have great strength and depth across our brands and a wide range of long-
Bandai UK is delighted to announce two new appointments to the sales team with John Carlaw joining as National Account Manager and Joanne Airey taking the role as Key Account Manager. John will join the team this month, also bringing with him 17 years of knowledge, with his most recent role at HTI of Senior National Account Manager and previous roles in retail. John will be focussing on growing existing accounts and taking them forward into autumn 2018 and beyond. Joanne also comes with 17 years industry experience, previously working as a National Account Manager at Plum Products and Key Account Manager at Rainbow Designs.
term customers and suppliers; potential concentration risk is well diversified. “Listings and support from our customers for our 2018 ranges have been very positive and many share our optimism for the prospects for our lines and sales in the coming Christmas season. “Therefore, we are confident that the performance of our core ranges, together with new introductions, will result in further growth in demand for our products, in the calendar year ahead.” The Half Yearly Financial Report for the six months ended 28 February 2018 and is available for viewing and download on the website: www.thecharacter.com
Amy Saunders, Head of Sales, Bandai UK, said:
“We are thrilled to have John and Joanne join the company at this busy and exciting time. With our portfolio growing year on year, it’s essential to have a strong team helping to drive the business forward and the experience that both of them can bring to the company is the perfect way to achieve this.”
Trends - Back to the future Millennial parents love classic toys and retro brands. Kristin Morency Goldman of The Toy Association looks at the hottest brands of the 80s and 90s making a come back in 2018 Millennial mums and dads – born between 1981-1997 – make up the majority of young parents in the US today. A generation defined by its obsession with technology, millennials are increasingly seeking out classic toys and retro brands for their own children. “Traditional toys and beloved characters from the 1980s and 1990s are popular picks for parents who want to relive some of their favorite childhood memories with their kids,” said Adrienne Appell, trend expert at The Toy Association in the United 6
Many of these toys are ‘unplugged’ – giving kids a break from screens and fostering social play
States. “As an added bonus, many of these toys are ‘unplugged’ – giving kids a break from screens and fostering social play with friends and family.” This trend is supported by the fact that classic toy categories continue to perform very well. In 2017, U.S. plush sales grew 8 percent and doll sales were up 4 percent, according to The NPD Group. Millennial Nostalgia was named one of the hottest trends of the year by The Toy Association at the 115th North American International
Rollplay launches Children’s ride-on manufacturer Rollplay launches under its own brand in the UK this month. Firm in its commitment to the UK market, Rollplay has appointed Kingsley Li as Business Development Manager UK, Now, UK car enthusiasts of all ages can look forward to enjoying Rollplay’s innovations for themselves, as Kingsley and the Rollplay team focus on building the business with domestic distribution.
Hasbro promotes Foye Pascoe Hasbro has promoted long-serving Foye Pascoe to President, European Sales and Marketing, overseeing all sales and marketing activities throughout the region.She replaces Mark Hoijtink, who has decided to leave Hasbro to pursue other opportunities after 11 years with the company. Beginning her career at Hasbro in 1990 as a Brand Manager in the UK, Foye has since held various leadership positions in the region, including Sales and Marketing Director for the UK and Ireland, the head of European Marketing Services, and the UK and Ireland’s General Manager. More recently she has been leading the services and distribution teams across multiple European markets.
Toy Fair in New York City this past February. The trend is being seen across every category – here are just a few examples of the many toys hitting shelves this year that capitalise on the trend: Hydro Strike (Goliath Games): Players hit their flippers and send the ball speeding down the alley toward their opponent’s goal. If the target is hit, the opponent gets sprayed with water! A throwback to the 20-year-old original. Tamagotchi (Bandai): Thirteen new mini Tamagotchi devices will be released this spring. The pocketsized pets feature the familiar mini, egg-shaped, pixelated LCD screens that made the devices a hit more than 20 years ago.
Voltron (Playmates Toys): A toy line tied to the all-new Netflix series, Voltron, based on the 1984 animated series of the same name. The line features figures with both new and classic. My Very Own Nursery (American Plastic Toys): An affordable, classic role-play toy that will prepare little ones for a new addition to the family. Plasticine Tool Kit (Kahootz): The original no-dry modeling material is back with a carry case, tools and an
Grossman sells to Tobar Tobar International has acquired H. Grossman Ltd. for an undisclosed amount. HGL is Scotland’s largest toy company and will continue to operate in its home of Glasgow, with Martin Grossman staying on as Managing Director. Martin, who has worked for the company for 47 of its 72-year history, said: “I want the business to continue, allowing my staff to carry on and my customers to also benefit from the continuity. I have no family who want to run the business hence my decision to sell once again. I will say though, that I think this is a great fit for the company and I am really excited about it. This is a truly amazing match and I believe that both companies will prosper.”David Mordecai, CEO of Tobar International, said: “We are delighted to be acquiring H. Grossman Ltd, and we see a great complementary relationship between the two companies. The key for us in acquiring the company was for Martin to continue to be involved in the business. Customers will see no difference in service levels, product innovation or anything else. Product wise too, we think this is a great fit. Grossman’s are renowned for product innovation and for being first to market and this will be an exciting complement to what we do.”
The trend is being seen across every category
idea guide. Big Wheel (Alex Brands): Inducted into the National Toy Hall of Fame in 2009, the Big Wheel has been called a safer alternative to the traditional tricycle or bicycle. Great, active fun that kids have been loving for generations. Giant Piano Mat (Rainbow Colours Music Ltd.): Helps little ones enjoy music in a fun way, with colored keys corresponding to different notes that kids can jump on to play a song.
Mark your calendar now for the 116th North American International Toy Fair, taking place Saturday, February 16 to Tuesday, February 19 in New York City, and count yourself among the 30,000 global guests who will preview the hottest new toys and games.
Visit: www.ToyFairNY.com for more information. 7
BTHA Briefing The BTHA’s Public Relations Manager Rebecca Deeming shares an update on the trade association’s latest work to benefit the industry This month, as part of the ongoing work the BTHA do to promote the value of play, specifically through the Make Time 2 Play campaign, we are launching a ‘Toys as the Tools of Play’ benefits framework, with Fundamentally Children. The purpose of this is to help companies identify the play benefits their products can contribute towards children’s development and so promote their efforts regarding the importance of play. For simplicity, the benefits of play have been broken down into six; Physical, Social, Creative, Emotional, Behavioural and Inquisitive, to match the benefits we promote through Make Time 2 Play. Members are able to download this chart from our website and are encouraged to use these in marketing material, promotions or on packaging, to help consumers identify the benefits the toys may bring. To learn more about the Make Time 2 Play campaign please visit our website www.maketime2play.co.uk, or e-mail me (Rebecca@btha.co.uk). Elsewhere last month, we hosted two training sessions. The first on the new Code of Practice (PAS 7100) for product safety recalls and other corrective actions, provided members with an unrivalled opportunity to learn about the latest guidelines and gain advice from experts on how to adopt them. With the new General Data Protection Regulation coming into effect this month, we also hosted a training session on GDPR, outlining the actions companies should have taken in preparation. BTHA guidance on GDPR can be found on our website. We’re very much looking forward to next month when the BTHA AGM and Industry Day will take place, on Wednesday 27th June where Dame Stella Rimington DCBMA, former Director General of MI5 will share insights on her life and career in a presentation. Attendees will hear from Don Williams, Partner – Retail Sector at KPMG UK, who will deliver a presentation on current retail trends and trading environment. Ticket availability is limited, so make sure you secure yours by contacting Majen@ btha.co.uk. For information on BTHA membership, contact Tracey@btha. co.uk.
Alan Smith new Posh Paws MD Posh Paws International is delighted to welcome Alan Smith to the role of Managing Director. Alan joins from his own company, Maad Toys, bringing with him a wealth of experience and expertise to the role. From past senior management positions at Tomy, Ideal/Playmates and SEGA, Alan’s knowledge of the toy industry, licensing and international markets will be invaluable in ensuring Posh Paws delivers on its multimarket and multi-channel objectives. Alan added, “I could not be more pleased to be joining a management team so full of drive and ambition for the future of Posh Paws and am excited by the opportunities the business has planned over the coming months/years”. For more information call Posh Paws International on 01268 567317.
Toy Fair 2019 fills up fast Toy Fair 2019 has already secured an 81 per cent rebooking rate of returning exhibitors (excluding the Greenhouse Area), less than three months since the end of the 2018 show. Following a successful and vibrant 2018 event and the many emerging trends and high-profile stories, returnees include Character Options, Spin Master, H. Grossman, Ravensburger, Golden Bear, Flair, Orchard Toys, Amerang, Halilit, and Rainbow Designs, to name just a few. Toy Fair will return to Olympia, London from 22-24 January 2019, welcoming a range of toys, games and hobbies manufacturers and distributors to the show from large renowned brands right through to start-ups. With 190 applications already submitted for exhibition space, it promsies to b another busy occassion.
Kidults The trend for adults buying games and puzzles, building sets, action figures and other collectables for themselves is continuing to grow, with £1 in every £9 now spent on toys
for and by adults.Last year The NPD Group revealed that British adults (18-plus) were powering growth in the toy sector by buying toys for themselves. The latest figures show that in 2017 even more money was spent on toys by ‘kidults’, a staggering 11 per cent of the overall sector. This marks an increase of 8 per cent year-onyear, and a rise of £30 million in value terms since 2016, with adult toy sales now a whopping £383m business.Millennials (18-34 years old) account for almost half (48 per cent) of the spend among grown-ups buying toys for themselves,
New venture for ex John Crane MD Industry veteran and former MD of John Crane Ltd, Jonathan Thorpe has launched a new business to distribute the very popular, award winning, Battat brands. With immediate effect, Our Generation Dolls, B Toys, Baby B, Bristle Blocks, Drive and Woodzies will be sold through the newly formed Jonathan’s Toys Ltd. Jonathan ran Playmobil in the UK and the US for many years, he also spent several years at International Greetings and was one of the founders of eToys. After overseeing the sale of the John Crane properties he now relishes his new role. “Of course it is sad when a long established business decides to close but I am thrilled to announce that Jonathan’s Toys already has stock arriving and more
importantly, orders for that stock. Not a bad start when we hadn’t even officially opened our doors for business. We know the demand is there and we are especially encouraged by the reaction to the new Glitter Girls products. We will be showing at London Toy Fair 2019 and are planning to have a well established presence in the market by then.” For more information contact Jonathan on 07939 575869 or jonathan@ jonathanstoys.com.
Mattel CEO steps down Mattel CEO Margo Georgiadis is to step down after just 14 months in the job.The company said she is leaving to pursue a “new opportunity in the technology sector”, with Ancestry.com separately confirming she would be joining the family history site. She will remain with Mattel in an advisory capacity until 10 May, and participated in the company’s Q1 conference call last month. The outgoing chief executive will be replaced by Ynon Kreiz, who joins the toy company from Disney’s Maker Studios.
Vickie Elmer strikes out alone Industry Marketer Vicki Marler-Hausen has launched her own specialist agency, Elmer Marketing. The former Bandai and Bladez Toyz Marketing Manager is setting up on her own to help support Toy Companies with their product launches, trade show planning and media campaigns. Vicki comments: “I feel the time is right to embark on a fresh challenge in the
Industry I love and I am very excited to see how Elmer Marketing evolves over the coming months. I am looking forward to welcoming Clients on-board so we can work on fun projects together and really make a difference. I’m counting down the days to the Toymaster Show later this month, where I will be available if anyone would like to chat about opportunities.” Vicki can be contacted on 07733 336971 and via email
Retail success for juratoys
uratoys has seen success with a bespoke display in Daniels of Windsor, where sales of its Janod brand have doubled. Since installing the beautiful “stay and play’ display, which aims to keep kids and parents engaged as they try out the products in-store, sales of the Janod range have skyrocketed.”We had a great opportunity this year to launch a bespoke Janod display in Daniels of Windsor, and since launch, sales have doubled,” said Michelle Probert, Sales and Marketing Manager, Juratoys. “We feel that the display really emphasises the beautiful Janod products and is a great in-store solution for retailers.”Customers love to shop in an environment which is fun and engaging for children. We adapted a stay and play scenario in which we wanted children to be excited by the in-store display and to spend longer looking at the products, taking pictures and playing. We hope to work with other retailers to role this bespoke display out across the country as part of our plan to grow and build the Janod brand.”To leane how Juratoys can help you sell more, contact the team on 020 8878 2133.
Coffee break Dennis Blackmore, MD, Learning Resources grabs a cuppa and gives TnP the lowdown on Botley, best-sellers retailers can’t be without and more.
What’s a Switch? The Nintendo Switch is the Card might not be the first thing that springs to company’s most recent mind upon the mention of gaming console. The main Nintendo. More likely are the system is a high-powered, moustachioed Mario Bros., Mario and Luigi, or the great touchscreen tablet with two ape Donkey Kong. wireless control units that With the release of Nintendo Labo, the Japanese can be attached to the sides video game firm is going back of the screen, or detached. to where it all began - but with a 21st century twist. TnP The two control units have was able to go hands on with “HD rumble” to provide the full Labo Variety Kit at a recent press event, and here’s unique play experiences. what we found. There are two modes of Pitched very much as a play: in handheld mode like a make and play toy rather than a video game, Labo gives kids tablet, or on a TV by docking various pre-cut kits of card it in a station attached to the to create their very own toys, known in Nintendo-speak as big screen. Toy Con. Customisation is encouraged, and when the models are finished they can be used to play special games on the Nintendo Switch console. Each has its own interactive on-screen instructions to help kids as they grapple with the card, carefully folding and slotting each Toy Con together. The kits include a set of motorbike handlebars, which has a twisting throttle, pull brake and full steering to control a bike racing game. Or there’s a pair of RC cars, the most rudimentary project in the set, which uses the Switch controllers’ built-in rumble to move across a hard surface. That takes around 10 minutes to construct from start to finish. A piano, fun house and fishing rod, complete with angling mini game, round out the Variety Kit. A second set, the Robot Kit, is a bigger project. It involves folding together a central backpack before connecting feet, hand and head pieces together through a pulley system. Using the Switch game and some strategically placed controllers, kids can wear it and have a towering on-screen robot copy their actions. Head to page 58 for TnP Ambassador special to see how Poppy, 8, and Herbie, 6, got on. 10
We’re a few months into the year now, so how has trading been so far in 2018 and what’s your outlook for the year ahead? The first quarter is always unpredictable and of course Easter being (literally) a moveable feast does make year on year comparisons challenging. It feels like nowadays that we must expect the unexpected and assume that everything out there in the market will be constantly changing. We try to accept this state of affairs as a company and look to the future rather than to the past. Given the disruption in the market I would say we are content with trading so far this year. Botley has undoubtedly been a star for you this year - tell us about how that’s going. I am pleased to say that like our Code and Go Robot Mouse, Botley the Coding Robot is fulfilling our expectations and is diligently moving forwards into retail and educational markets both in the UK and internationally. Thanks to the fact that Botley is truly hands-on requiring no screen time, even for programming, Botley does stand out in a crowd of other robots. I confidently forecast that Botley will be our best-seller this year. What three Learning Resources hero products can retailers not miss out on? A new product that will run a close second to Botley is our new line of science-themed collectibles called Beaker Creatures. Based on real science Beaker Creatures combine the thrill of collecting with hands-on experiments. Children use the liquid reactor super lab to dissolve their Beaker Creatures’ reactor pods to reveal their hidden creature. Your readers are doubtless aware of recent success of our Playfoam range. Now the Playfoam brand has been extended to include an exciting new range of collectables called Playfoam Pals. Hidden inside each of the 12 different pods, and encased in Playfoam, is a unique animal character. Children will love opening the pods to reveal their surprise collectible Pal. Our third hero must be our Geosafari Junior Talking Globe; which was such a big hit in London and Nuremberg. This big (32cm) bright globe has thousands of fun facts about the world to share with young learners. Voiced by wildlife warrior Bindi Irwin the globe uses smart pen technology to delivery fascinating information and fun quizzes.
Poonicorn TNP ad.indd 1
Screen stealer Creative bead brand Hama has had a fantastic start to 2018, with the recent launch of a TV advert already pulling in rave reactions from both retailers and customers. To support the TV campaign, Hama has now launched a YouTube channel, which contains unique and fresh design ideas for Hama fans to follow and learn design tips from. David Allan, Marketing and Sales Director at DKL, said: “Hama have had a great start to 2018, with the latest YouTube launch being just another element of the consumer marketing push we have planned for 2018.” Alongside the new YouTube channel, there is also a new in-store promo video for retailers to enhance their merchandising opportunities.
Grand episode The 1000th episode of Pokémon aired on CITV last month, marking a major milestone for the hit animated series that premiered in the UK almost 20 years ago. Called The Professors’ New Adventure, the landmark episode is part of the latest season of Pokémon the Series: Sun & Moon — Ultra Adventures, set in the tropical Alola region. The memorable episode featured something not yet seen in the beloved series — a wedding.
Barbie comes to Tiny Pop New content for Mattel’s Barbie Dreamtopia is now airing each weekend on Tiny Pop. The first of eight brand new episodes debuted on the channel 21 April, with a new installment coming exclusively to the free-to-air channel every weekend. Dreamed up for a younger girl, Barbie Dreamtopia is a make-believe world imagined by Barbie’s youngest sister Chelsea, empowering girls to be heroes of their own stories.
A range of exciting new toys inspired by the content will be introduced in the dreamy new SS18 toy range, including the Barbie Dreamtopia Flying Wings Fairy Doll and the Brush ‘N Sparkle Princess Doll.
Thumbs (and fingers) up! A hilarious campaign for Zuru’s Original Fidget Cube is bringing laughs to video streaming site YouTube. The Fingers Love to Fidget digital campaign showcases how the hit fidget toy can help relieve stress with four tongue-in-cheek videos targeted at millenials. The light-hearted campaign ran on social and digital platforms, including YouTube, Facebook
Smooshy Mushy heads to YouTube WildBrain has been appointed to produce a short-form video series inspired by the hit Smooshy Mushy toy range, distributed in the UK by Bandai. The digital kids’ network and studio will produce short-form content based on the Smooshy Mushy brand. WildBrain will also distribute the series on YouTube, handling channel management and audience development. 12
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Girls 4-9 TVRs March 17 vs March 18
elcome to the Media Report for March 2018. We are reporting on Girls and Boys 4-9 years and Housewives with Children. Good news: all the target markets are showing increases against March 2017. One of the highest increases for the Girls is Nick Jr. Too, which is a massive 100 per cent up. ITVB is even higher with 114 per cent up, marking another massive increase albeit from a smaller base. You will notice a massive increase in viewing for Cartoonito, which is linked with a relaunch of the stations that has had the desired effect. We will see in the months to come if this level of viewing can be maintained in this very competitive marketplace. Good news for the Boys, up overall by 5.7 per cent, with Cartoonitio showing an increase of 166 per cent, Channel 5 is up by : 70 per cent and Cartoon news Good get Network by 63 per cent. tar The battle between Pop ll the s are a and Cartoon Network es et mark ing increas017 continues, with Cartoon show st March 2 Network slightly ahead. It is encouraging to see again the Girls and the Boys markets showing increases for this period, however the good news does not stop here, as the Housewives with Children are also showing an overall increase of 7.5 per cent. Again, we see a massive increase for Cartoonito of 318 per cent, Tiny Pop is up by 102 per cent and Nicktoons by 50 per cent. As mentioned earlier, the increase for Cartoonito stems from a relaunch of the station, which as we can see is working very well across demographics. We see a small decrease from ITVB of 10 per cent, Pop is also down by 36 per cent — has the bubble finally burst for Pop? The reported expenditure figures for the top 10 spenders is up by 6.4 per cent, and the chart shows the usual suspects are all there. Overall market is up by 24 per cent. It’s interesting to see that Spin Master is in the number one position with a massive increase in reported expenditure compared to March 2017. In the next issue we will look at the older Kids market and Housewives with Children Pre-School.
March 2017 Toy Company TV Expenditure
March 2018 Toy Company TV Expenditure
Playmobil UK Ltd Bandai UK Ltd Vivid Imaginations Ltd MGA Entertainment VTech Electronics Ltd Flair Leisure Prod Ltd Spin Master Toys Ltd LEGO UK Ltd Hasbro (UK) Ltd Mattel UK Ltd
218,037 197,820 237,772 259,813 439,427 592,727 590,207 633,320 1,372,492 1,563,519
LEGO UK Ltd Epoch UK Character Options Ltd Pokemon Co. International MGA Entertainment Mattel UK Ltd Playmobil UK Ltd Flair Leisure Prod Ltd Hasbro (UK) Ltd Spin Master Toys Ltd
293,681 315,229 336,022 341,939 651,193 656,699 679,865 734,686 892,552 1,546,925
For more information on viewing levels please contact Mike Penfold. email@example.com Tel: 07774 713182. All graphs and information supplied by Global Media Services
Tesco profits rise Sales and profits at Tesco have risen in the first quarter as the supermarket’s turn around plan continues to bear fruit. Group sales climbed 2.3 per cent to £51bn, with UK like-for-likes up 2.2 per cent. Chief Executive Dave Lewis said: “This has been another year of strong progress, with the ninth consecutive quarter of growth. More people are choosing to shop at Tesco and our brand is stronger, as customers recognise improvements in both quality and value.” He said the group was on track to deliver medium-term goals, pointing to the recent merger with wholesaler Booker as key to “access new growth”.
Stable mates Hasbro and Tesco joined forces for the launch of a new My Little Pony infant and toddler range under the toy company’s Playskool Baby brand. The licensed range launched exclusively at Tesco, with 23 products across toys, apparel and more featuring the much-loved MLP characters. “Hasbro are excited to partner with Tesco and licensees to bring the first My Little Pony infant and toddler range to market,” said Holly Oldham, Consumer Products Director at Hasbro. “My Little Pony has 35 years of heritage and multigenerational reach so we know this range will appeal to both parents and grandparents who have fond memories of My Little Pony”.
All change at Mothercare
Hamleys owner eyes House of Fraser The Chinese owner of Hamleys is said to be eyeing a stake in House of Fraser. According to the Press Association, C Banner International Holdings (CBIH), which purchased the toy retailer in October 2015, has entered into a memorandum of understanding with House of Fraser’s majority stakeholder. Nanjing Xinjiekou acquired an 89 per cent share in the department store chain in 2014 and has been looking to divest itself of a tranche of that stake since March. CBIH is understood to be interested in a 51 per cent share of the department store. 14
In for a pound Poundworld is eyeing a Company Voluntary Agreement, and is expected to announce terms next month. Hit by falling consumer confidence and growing overheads, the value retailer reported a pre-tax loss of £17.1m in the first three months of the year. Sky News said sources indicated around 100 stores would be axed, a little under a third of its 355 store estate. The company employs about 5500 people.
Mothercare has had a busy month, appointing a new CEO and proposing a CVA with lenders as in-store sales fell 2.8 per cent for the first quarter. David Wood, a former Kmart and Tesco executive, was parachuted in to replace ex-boss Mark NewtonJones earlier this month, whose turn around plans failed to produce the results the board expected in a timely manner. The new chief executive said in a statement: “The UK retail trading environment remained relatively muted in the quarter, with a continuing trend of lower footfall in stores.” He stressed the urgency to “ensure Mothercare is put back on a sound financial footing and to improve its financial performance”. If the CVA is voted through by lenders, a third of the infant and baby goods retailer’s 143 stores could close and landlords would be asked to renegotiate payment terms on remaining locations.
In the zone Fundamentally Children is set to open a new play zone to give kids the chance to get hands-on with toys tested and approved by the Good Toy Guide. The Good Toy Zone will open at Under 1 Roof Kids in London. The new venture will focus on the play experience but will also include ecommerce purchase points to allow parents who see their children enjoying a particular product to purchase it conveniently through the Good Toy Zone eportal. “The age of the experimental toy zone is well and truly on its way and everyone, especially the children, will benefit,” said Dr Amanda Gummer, founder and CEO of Fundamentally Children.
Co-op-Nisa takeover greenlit The Co-operative Group’s acquisition of Nisa has been approved by the Competition and Markets Authority. The competition watchdog gave the £143m deal the go ahead after an initial probe found no detriment to consumer choice. The CMA’s Senior Director of Mergers, Sheldon Mills, said: “We’ve found that there is sufficient competition in both the wholesale and retail sectors to ensure that shoppers are not worse off.” The deal will see Co-op nearly double the number of stores it supplies from 3800 to 7000, while Nisa will retain independence as a brand and business.
Tiger founder launches toy store The Danish entrepreneur who found success bringing Tiger to UK high streets is looking to emulate the success with a new toy and kids’ clothing chain. Philip Bier has finalised a franchise deal with French kids’ clothes and toys store ÏD Kids. He’s set to open the first location in Southside Shopping Centre in Wandsworth, London later this month. Much like Tiger, ÏD Kids will begin selling brands little known to the British public, such as Okaïdi and Oxybul. “If people say I’m mad I have some sympathy for that statement,” said Philip. “But if you take Toys R Us…they just expected customers to turn up with a basket and fill it. That doesn’t happen anymore.”
End of an era As the final Toys R Us store closes in the UK, TnP follows the retailer’s story overseas
In numbers $1bn the bids for TRU Asia arm
The doors to final Toys R Us stores in Larian’s rejected offer for the UK closed for the final time last TRU US and Canada month. The toy retailer’s remaining 12 locations turned out the lights on 24 April 24 April – marking the end of an era the date the last UK TRU for UK toy retail. store closed Toys R Us stores in Belfast CastleCourt, Brent Cross, Chester, Coventry, Croydon, Derby, Dundee, Norwich, Nottingham, Sheffield, Southampton, Swindon and Warrington were the last to turn out the lights. But in the rest of the world, the Toys R Us story continues to be written. Another big player in UK toy retail is set to revitalise Toys R Us stores in Europe. Smyths Toys Superstores has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Toys R Us’ operations in Germany, Austria and Switzerland, creating the largest toy chain in Europe with a headquarters in Cologne. “We are convinced about the future of multi-channel specialist toy retail and are confident that we can successfully introduce and grow our brand in Continental Europe,” said Smyths Director Tony Smyth. “The Toys R Us business is profitable, has a strong leadership team and already has many loyal customers. It provides a great starting point for our expansion.” Meanwhile in the Far East, the Asian arm of Toys R Us has attracted bids in excess of $1bn. A US bankruptcy court heard from Joshua Sussberg, Toys R Us’ lawyer from Kirkland & Ellis, that several suitors were interested in purchasing 85 per cent of the firm’s Asian unit. He said that divestment of the toy retailer’s real estate and stock liquidation was proceeding “better than expected”. In the states, MGA founder and CEO Isaac Larian shut down his #SaveToysRUs crowdfunding campaign and wrote a cheque for the US and Canadian branches of Toys R Us. A $890m bid of combined money from his own purse, bank financing and a group of investors was put forward – brokered but was ultimately rejected. The toy retailer said the offer was “considerably below” what it expects to earn through auctioning property and liquidating stock, according to the Financial Times. “It is our hope and expectation that we can continue to participate in the bid process, so we can keep fighting to save Toys ‘R Us,” said Isaac. “We feel confident that we submitted a fair valuation of the company’s US assets in an effort to save the business and over 130,000 domestic jobs.”
retail A1 Toys
A1 and only Glasgow-based A1 Toys is a Toymaster member that has built broad appeal and financial success from listening to both its customers and suppliers, giving each store freedom to best serve customers, and by being big pop culture fans themselves — as Area Manager James Neil tells TnP... James, what’s your business background and how did you come to work for A1 Toys? I’ve worked for A1 for four years now, but before that I worked for HMV for 15 years. A friend from there suffered a heart attack and left his stressful job at HMV to come to A1, and then he in turn offered me a job.
Tell us about the A1 Toys store estate?
As an independent toy retailer we rely on word of mouth about new products from our customers – it’s not all about the big commercial lines
We have three branches, one in Glasgow City Centre and two shopping centrebased stores, as well as our sister gaming store Static Games. I started in our Silverburn branch but now as Area Manager I cover all of them. I still cover shifts and have that contact with customers which I think is really important, as well as all the rest the job entails. For us as an independent toy retailer we
rely on word of mouth about new products from our customers — it’s not all about the big commercial lines. We have to be very margindriven so we need to keep up with the trends.
With that in mind then, what toy hits have come from customer recommendations?
off recently, and all things slime are very popular right now.
Well Crazy Aaron’s Thinking Putty has been huge, and that started off with customers coming in and asking for it. We did an initial small carriage order and the flow of demand never stopped. We still shift a lot of it. Learning Resources’ Playfoam is another example of something that’s taken
New figures from NPD show that the growth of the ‘kidult’ customer is massive now — accounting for 11 per cent of total sales in the toy sector last year alone. Is this an important area for A1? We are known for our collectable ranges, cult action figures and
Did you know… Independent retailer A1 is beating the majors at their own game. Recently the team joined forces with Bandai on Power Rangers and Hasbro on My Little Pony to secure a number of exclusive lines.
trading card and board games — so yes, it is important. I totally understand it as I’m a huge movie fan and have cupboards full of collectables at home! I got really excited when the new Stranger Things figures were released recently, although my wife Lorinda isn’t a huge fan because of the space they take up! I think the kidult trend has something to do with adults now being able to afford toys that perhaps they weren’t able to as a child, and retro ranges being updated with new technology. We have a great relationship with Bandai and their Power Rangers Legacy products are a great example of this.
What about the on-going trend for board games and gaming clubs — has your Static Games store benefitted? Recently we’ve seen a couple of stores open in Glasgow where they have gaming tables, and customers can stay and play for as long as they like. While we don’t have the room for that as yet it is something we’re looking at, and gaming in general is now something that people take very seriously. Our company’s Accounts Manager travels all over the world playing Magic: The Gathering, which is a trading card game. In the past two years our Static store has seen a crazy amount of growth — we’ve
at least doubled our turnover in that time.
What makes A1 stand out from the crowd?
The Toymaster May Show is always an important event for A1… it’s great to have the opportunity to bounce ideas off other independents
Across the board, LOL items have been our most popular this year, but we literally can’t get enough stock. But a really good rep I know managed to source some for us from South Africa of all places, which is one of the very few spots in the world where LOL apparently isn’t selling as well as here. So we were able to get some boxes sent back from there to us. To me, that says a lot about how we work as an independently owned toy business. Our company is quite simply built on great working relationships and keeping our ears to the ground, whether with customers or suppliers and sales reps.
What else sells well for A1 and what do you predict is going to be big in the second half? We really do sell an eclectic mix of product, and each of our stores has its own balance of stock. Our city centre store sells a lot of collectables and imported items and a smaller range of mainstream toys, while the shopping centre toys I’d say are 80 per cent brands with a smaller amount of American imported comics, ‘geeky’ action figures etc. In terms of visual merchandising, each of our managers has their own creative license, as what works well in one shop doesn’t necessarily work well in another. Board games sell well in all stores, as do Playfoam, slime, Slime Baff and Gelli Baff from Zimpli Kids and collectables. In the last two quarters of the year there is going to be some really cool launches from LEGO, especially the new Harry Potter range.
Top suppliers The A1 team loves working with: ■■ Bandai ■■ Hasbro ■■ Learning Resources ■■ MGA ■■ Flair
retail A1 Toys
How important is your website and social media presence to the business?
What suppliers do you particularly enjoy working with?
We revamped the website about a year ago. It is important because it provides the highest margins. We now have a dedicated person working on it, and we’ve also invested in our social media channels. We want to be reaching the right audience with new products coming out, be that mums or adult collectors. We’ve also just started making our own videos for YouTube.
We have a great relationship with Bandai, and we’ve even had a couple of exclusive lines from them with their high-end Legacy products. We also had an exclusive My Little Pony line through Hasbro. In addition to this we have great working relationships with MGA and Flair, and plenty others.
A1 is a member of the Toymaster buying group — how important is the annual Toymaster event for you in Harrogate? Being part of the Toymaster buying group is great because strength in numbers gives you more power. The Toymaster May Show is always an important event for A1, because suppliers understand they are talking to people who are margin driven and you’ll get a few exclusives. Plus it is great to have the opportunity to bounce ideas off other independents as well. Similarly, the Toymaster website has some really useful forums where you can go for advice, and there will always be someone on hand who has been through it all before that can help.
In the last two years our Static store has seen a crazy amount of growth — we’ve at least doubled our turnover
Finally, what was your favourite toy growing up? I loved Transformers. I remember going into John Menzies as a child and if I’d been good I might get a new character. I love the fact that brands like this have now been reinvented for a new generation, but then that’s a brilliant aspect of working in the toy industry in general — it’s always evolving.
Are you emotionally engaging? T
he single strand that ran through the many talks and a toy shop that has been visited, then they will select it presentations at the World Retail Congress in Madrid ahead of others. recently was about the need for shoppers to be At this point, it is worth observing that while this may ‘emotionally engaged’. be the case, there are different degrees of engagement. In Ask yourself the question do you emotionally engage with The Entertainer’s Westfield flagship, you can play games the shoppers who cross the threshold into your toy shop and with images projected onto the floor, by jumping on them, if so what are you actually doing? you can have your face digitally imposed on a character The first thing that might be worth noting is that if you wearing an interesting costume or you can watch a are doing anything right then children will be playing with picture stretch across three screens in the window. the toys that you have in your shop, or at least straining ‘Emotional engagement’ for toy shops might boil at the leash in order to do so. This is normal, but for those down, therefore, to stuff that makes you stop and stare in consultancy world, these are small customers who are and having done so, it makes you want to take part in an ‘emotionally engaged’. On this level, it has to be activity. Not all toyshops are actually said that emotional engagement is little more that good at this, as the downfall of than the right thing in the right place – desired Toys R Us demonstrates. A sterile The first toys in a toy shop. in which endless numbers thing that might be environment Perhaps equally important is the matter of of toys sit on shelves in long aisles is, worth noting is that in fact, the negation of engagement. whether the adult who holds the purse strings is sufficiently engaged to shell out. The chances if you are doing The message is ‘don’t touch’ if you are good that the combination of pester power anything right then don’t intend to buy and that is about as and the desire to see a happy child will win out emotionally unengaging as it gets. children will be and that emotional engagement in this instance Step back from the business of playing with the will equate to nothing more than some money stocking the shelves and adjusting toys that you have the displays and ask yourself being handed over. Looked at in this manner, in your shop the process is what a cynical observer might be whether children and adults inclined to label ‘shopping’. actually enjoy being in your But is there more to it all? Emotional shop. Have you given engagement with a purveyor of toys must mean that an adult them sufficient reasons to come back, has chosen a particular store in preference to another. This supposing that they exit your store is ‘loyalty’ and if that is what the folk in Madrid were actually clutching a new toy? Say yes to this talking about, then they have a point. and your bottom line probably looks As things stand, the retail economy in the UK is on the pretty healthy, in spite of the current ropes and retailers, whether they’re selling toys or garden high street woes. tools, are having to scramble for every pound. And it’s If, however, the answer is ‘I not about single-hit gratification. Loyalty, aka emotional think so’, then that lack of total engagement, means getting shoppers to consistently choose commitment will be apparent to your shop ahead of others. your shoppers and others may For toy shop owners, customer loyalty should be more benefit from your attitude, to your straightforward than it is for many others. Whether it’s The commercial detriment. Emotional Entertainer, which recently branched out into in-store digital engagement is absolutely something entertainment in its store in the Westfield London shopping that should be part of the experience centre, the LEGO store or an indie, once you’ve managed to and toy retailers should be making it get a child into your store and they have played, you’ve got a priority. If it’s not in place, there are ‘em. Children are enormously brand loyal and if the brand is always other places to go…
TnP’s retail expert John Ryan deals with the question of emotional engaging your consumer how valuable is it and how do you do it and do it well?
John Ryan is Stores Editor at Retail Week. He has worked for the magazine for more than a decade covering store design, visual merchandising and what makes things sell in-store. In a previous life he was a buyer.
what’s n Brand spanking new launches from top toy companies to help you sell more!
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Did you know…
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All 5” Transforming Vehicles (sold separately) are compatible with Jett’s Super Robot Suit.
10 out of 10 GP Flair 020 8643 0320 www.flairplc.co.uk GP Flair’s Ben 10 master toy line will see exciting additions for summer 2018, all inspired by the latest adventures of Ben Tennyson and his Alien counterparts. The summer collection includes the all new Omni-enhanced action figures along with the highly articulated and detailed Alien Vehicles. The introduction of Ben-to-Alien Transforming Figures will further boost the line in July, along with the introduction of the foil-bagged mini figures. Also launching is the awesome Ben 10 Alien Creation Chamber. Previously a top Seller for Ben 10, the Creation Chamber is where fans can create their very own aliens.
new To the max! Bandai 0208 324 6160 www.bandai.co.uk Fresh to Bandai’s licensed line-up for 2018 is Baymax, a hero like no other, as the firm prepares to launch the master toy collection for Disney’s Big Hero 6 TV series. Big Hero 6, The Series launched in February and soon fans will be able to collect all the characters. Central to the range are collectables and action figures, including the Micro Chibi Figure Assortment of blind boxes and the 12.5cm action figures with nine points of articulation for dynamic poseability.
Adding a unique twist for Baymax fans and bang on trend with the current squishy craze is the Squish to Fit Baymax line. Also new is Mini Max, a brand new character that comes in deluxe action figure format. Alternatively, Armour-Up Baymax 2.0 is the iconic toy from the original movie range now with two new weapons and 20 assorted pieces. And don’t miss the TV-advertised, featurepacked Flying and Flame Baymax.
Bon appetite Casdon 01253 608248 www.casdon.co.uk Casdon’s Little Cook role-play range has expanded with the Mr Kipling Cake Stand & Tea Set, allowing little ones to treat friends and family to afternoon tea without the added calories! This brightly coloured shape sorting cake stand includes a host of cakes plus plates and cutlery to help with serving. Casdon is continuing to build on the Little Cook collection for this year with further additions to tempt retailers, with enhanced consumer marketing and social media to ensure shoppers are equally inspired.
Molecular magic Character Options 0161 633 9800 www.character-online.com July sees a fun addition to the creative play aisle from Character Options with Orb Molecules. This atom and electron-inspired compound pushes the envelope and lets kids’ imaginations run wild with the wacky world of DNA. Each Molecules kit contains thousands of pieces that stick together in a colourful creative substance that never dries out and will hold the shape it’s moulded into Theme dk until the maker is include its ready to recreate! Octob east Kits are available Merkit and ty with different themes and colourways, but with the ability to reshape and remould at will, the themes are mere suggestions and the possibilities are limitless.
Not so magic kingdom The Independent gets stuck into the world’s biggest and most successful licensor - but is he right?
o you ever have malicious thoughts about something that, although you want to grab it by the scruff and squeeze the life out of it with a huge smile on your face, they isn't physically present in a way that would allow you to do this? To explain what I mean, some examples would be
Best sellers VOLUME: 1) Soft ‘n Slo Squishies – Character Options 2) Ty Mini Figures – Ty 3) L.O.L Surprise! Charm Fizz Ball - MGA VALUE: 1) Soft ‘n Slo Squishies – Character Options 2) Pikmi Pops Singles – Flair 3) Smooshy Mushy - Bandai
things like traffic jams, taxes and my mother-in-law. In relation to the toy industry, this intangible yet ever present pain in my rear is a certain large and well-known licensor, but as the bosses won't like me naming them I will use cunning code. I hate something that starts with D and ends with isney. So, any ideas who I might be referring to? It isn't fair for me to single them out, as there are many licensors out there who do the same, but D - isney is definitely the biggest culprit of why I am not a happy chappy. Don't get me wrong, I love their creativity, their movies (the old stuff anyway) and their magical way of improving the lives and imaginations of children in ways that as a parent, I simply couldn't have achieved no matter how hard I worked at it. There is something amazing that goes on in a child's mind, and I get to see it every day
The thing that makes me want to strangle Disney is that they have fundamentally ruined this signature staple of my sales - how dare they?!
as they come into my stores and look in pure wonder at their heroes, and want to emulate them in every way. This could be like my son, who had a Hulkish side to him and still seems to smash everything around him with a smile on his face, or my daughter who used to twirl and dance all day like a true princess. So, yes, they are very good — great even. The thing that makes me want to strangle Disney is that they have fundamentally ruined this signature
The Secret Supplier
Disney delivers Our clandestine toy maker reminds his foe of the importance of a giant creative engine to drive toy sales
s a “secret” supplier I can, hidden behind my veil of covertness, sympathise with the Independent's comments about that well known licensing powerhouse Disney. However, we would be both wrong! Managing a huge and creative business like Disney is an awesome responsibility
It takes a
huge investment to create great intellectual property which we in the toy industry urgently need!
and it takes a huge investment to create great intellectual property, which we in the toy industry urgently need! The toy industry is driven by new product and we suppliers are battling with each other as we try to acquire the next “big thing”. In many cases we are prepared to outbid our competitors in order to acquire that musthave license, so it must come as no surprise that
Disney leverage such competitive demand by hiking up guarantees, advances and royalty rates, which quickly turn into higher retail prices as the Independent angrily observes. So it is the pressure from us suppliers on Disney that encourage them to get the best return they can on their investment. The supplier who can identify the license winner from the licensing 'dog' stands to earn
staple of my sales - how dare they?! Ever since prices (or license fees) have been pushed up and all because someone in their infinite wisdom decided that Disney action figures were worth more than £10, or that a doll with no accessories was worth more than £15. This has created a gap in my ranges — where kids once would come in and collect action figures or dolls and now they don't. The good news for me is that at the same time this was all going on, smartphones and app related toys were coming to the fore at prices well under £10. In a blink of an eye the entire industry has changed from having your superhero and princesses as your bread and butter to now having ranges like Minecraft, Roblox or Slither.io coming in waves of huge sales before they drop off a cliff and you can't give them away. Retailing has been so difficult for years in terms of just securing sales, stocks and margin. I am in a worse position now as I am an out of touch old codger with no real concept of apps and technology, but I still love the fact that, even though I am totally out of my comfort zone buying toys like this, it gives me such a warm fuzzy feeling knowing that these over-priced products aren't selling and it is causing mayhem with the licensors. If you didn't get
so greedy, this wouldn't have happened, or at least not to the extent that it has. The industry is now so heavily weighted towards trends like LOLs, Fingerlings and from previous years the like of Loom Bands and Fidget Spinners, it is making it difficult for suppliers to keep up with the strength that a good product range and programming used to secure in terms of regular sales. I hate change, and prefer things to be simple and regular but I am more than willing to adapt to this change as I know I am not alone. I am an independent retailer who prides himself on having the stock that people want, at the time they want it and at a reasonable price. This job is more difficult than ever, but it has also made me question the level of
I do affectionately remember one licensing company that conveniently forgot to ask for the guarantee when its much hyped-property bombed completely
his salary many times over after all. Indeed Disney does occasionally come up with properties that are very successful in the box office but are ultimately end up 'dogs' in terms of retail sales. Pity the poor companies that signed up the likes of The Good Dinosaur and Inside Out as they will have invested an eye-watering amount in product development, inventory and promotional cost besides big advances to Disney plus minimum guarantees. Both of these properties failed to deliver toys sales despite a good theatrical box office result. One can hardly blame Disney for gathering in their cash although for the companies concerned it must have been a
The good news for me is that at the same time this was all going on smart phones and app related toys were coming to the fore at prices well under £10
painful experience. Although I do affectionately remember one licensing company that conveniently forgot to ask for the guarantee when its much hypedproperty bombed completely. But that is a rarity in licensing and is certainly a policy that has yet to reach Disney! The Independent says he hates “change”. If this is really true then he needs to reflect further as this industry is all about change in terms of retail competition new products and new retail processes and new licenses — so my advice is that he should relish change. Disney is an example of a company that delivers change frequently and successfully and in return earns a healthy profit as it maximises its investment in new intellectual property. As an
space that I give to the big brands like Marvel, Disney Princess and Star Wars. These toy ranges simply aren't warranting much room, and I don't have enough space in my stores to keep items on the shelves that don't warrant their space. So what am I to do? Don't forget, having stock on shelf also ties up my cash, which, if I limited with non-selling items, gives me more free cash to spend with the other products that are in high demand, so it is a double negative to my business. On top of this, the suppliers that sell these branded goods end up having to wheel and deal to shift the volumes, so it ends up having an even bigger effect on my lack of sales as there will inevitably be half price deals in our wonderful friend, the Majors, which further reduces my ability to sell. Who knows, someone might actually take a look at their pricing and think, “if we bring this back down to a normal level it might have a significant impact on what we sell”. That could be a win-win for all of us.
industry, let's welcome properties like Frozen and Winnie the Pooh, and apply pressure to Disney to develop more winners for everyone in the industry. I am sure this is what The Independent really wants!
Simba Dickie group
“We are targeting the UK for the future” Simba Dickie Group is expanding its footprint in the UK with a brand new company, team and London-based office. TnP sat down with Uwe Weiler, COO, Simba Dickie Group to get the inside track on Siso Toys UK and the firm’s growth plans
hanks for speaking with us Uwe — especially with the recent announcement of a major move to expand your operations in the UK. What can you tell us about that so far?
Yes, big news. We’re very excited to be opening a new office close to London for Siso Toys UK — a fresh operation for Simba Dickie Group. As you know, we are already an established player in this market with Simba Smoby Toys UK, and we’ve been working with Tony and Richard Belford and the rest of the team there with great, profitable results. But this new business is a completely independent company with its own set of goals to further establish Simba Dickie Group as a major toy supplier in the UK. We’ve brought an experienced industry executive on board to head up Siso Toys UK. Martin Whitaker will be steering the ship alongside a brandnew team, who will be laser focused on launching and marketing new brands to the UK, extending our brand equity, and developing new licensed ranges.
So what prompted the move? We have a desire and ambition to grow — and we see an opportunity to do that in the UK. Last year we were number 17 by NPD in the UK, and by working in tandem with our partners at Simba
Smoby Toys UK we know we can improve upon that. If you look at Simba Dickie Group’s domestic German market, we are number three by NPD. We are number six in France, and in the top 10 across Italy and Spain. So we have a reputation in Europe as a major player, and it is our hope that over the next couple of years we will enter that top 10 in the UK too.
How do you envision the two companies working together? I think the most important focus for us is working in harmony with Simba Smoby Toys UK. Together we will be able to better position our brands in the marketplace, and we are even looking to share existing logistics to streamline all our operations. It’s similar to the model we have here in Germany. Here we run all companies under the umbrella of the Simba Dickie Group
Fact! Simba Dickie Group already trades under Siso Toys in a number of other territories. It is a historic name for the group that reaches back to the company’s family-business roots.
We have a desire and ambition to grow — and we see an opportunity to do that in the UK
as a holding group. Each company runs autonomously, in parallel, and focuses on its own strengths to achieve a set of common goals. In the UK, Simba Smoby Toys UK will focus on generic products and well-known product ranges, mostly on an FOB basis, an area where the team excels, while Siso will be primarily focused on launching brands into the market, such as Majorette die-cast, and the group’s licensed portfolio.
How will you achieve the growth you’re targeting? Simba Smoby Toys has a very steady business in the UK, and we will be working closely in partnership with Siso Toys to grow both companies.
Meet the MD
Toy industry veteran Martin Whitaker will head up Siso Toys UK. The new MD is a former Mattel executive, with 16 years’ experience working across major UK retailers and a stint at Mattel Australia.
“I am really happy to have joined the Simba Dickie business. We are in the process of setting up the business to achieve our short and long-term ambitions, while offering a new partner to retailers.” In this collaborative process we want to continue and grow our achieved market position with Simba Smoby Toys and elevate that with Siso Toys. We want to be an established, nationally recognised partner for licensed business and own IP, which currently need more marketing support.
Are you looking to establish Siso Toys as a consumer-facing brand? Building the Siso brand within the trade is important as a separate selling unit in the UK, but with consumers, it’s a different thing entirely. The consumers are still faced with our existing brands, Simba, Dickie or Smoby. On licensed product, at least, the consumer focus is more on the licensed characters.
You have a broad portfolio that stretches across the major categories – and much is already available to retailers in the UK. So what will you be launching Siso with? It’s a complex thing to start a new company, even with the backing of our extensive range, and so naturally there have to be some compromises. To begin with, we’ll be starting with Majorette die-cast, a brand with a long history and brand recognition that we can bring into the market.
We’ll also be focusing on four licenses that each bring something unique to the table. Firstly, we’re excited for a refreshed range for Wissper tied to the second series of the TV animation. We also have high hopes for The Deep. The TV series is very well established but there isn’t any merchandise on the market. As master toy partner on this we’re looking to deliver possibly S/S next year. Although we will of course be offering it throughout the coming months as S/S selections will start soon. We’ve also recently signed an Enchantimals portfolio, and we see great potential for this already wellknown brand. Finally there’s Masha and the Bear, which is one of the hottest things we have, and it is our hope that the combined power of Siso and Simba will allow us to elevate that even higher. Masha has already done well in the UK over the past two years, but with its introduction on free-to-air TV at the tail end of 2017, demand has grown considerably. Whereas before the range was in a limited number of retailers, only now are we working with The Entertainer, Argos, Smyths — all the UK’s toy powerhouses. As soon as Siso is established, we will bring Masha
under the new company to develop it and give it further support.
Despite Brexit, is the UK still a major market for Simba?
What we want to achieve with Siso is to create a sustainable business that allows us to invest in and build our own brands and IP
Absolutely, the UK is one of the major markets we are targeting. Germany as our home base - will continue for sometime to be the biggest market for us, followed by France. But that doesn’t reflect the toy market in Europe; the UK is the biggest toy market, and so naturally we are targeting the UK for the future, as a key part of our on-going growth plans.
4000 The number of products in Simba Dickie’s portfolio
Launch line-up Siso Toys UK will be debuting with the following key brands:
Majorette die-cast Masha and the Bear Wissper The Deep Enchantimals
Spotlight on... Vivid Tapping into two of the hottest trends, Vividâ€™s Squeezamals combines collectables and slow-rise squishies for an unmissable range of beautifully scented toys
16 cute characters to collect in series 1
Soft and squishy slow-rise plush
Hottest trend in the UK
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Contact Vivid Imaginations 01483 449944 www.vividtoysandgames.co.uk
Cracking Easter on the box W
ith the sun now shining — at least some of the time — Easter already feels like a distant memory. But with Easter traditionally comes a significant increase in the number of toys and games commercials fighting for kid’s attention over the largely sought after holiday period, but how does this year perform in comparison to previous years? The below chart indicates the number of toys and games commercial campaigns seen over the Easter holiday period from 2012. As you can see, almost every year we have seen an increase in the number of campaigns on air, with a staggering 183 campaigns on air this Easter alone! Compared to the week before the break, which had only 108 brands on air, that’s a 69 per cent increase.
Source: BARB 2012-2016
When comparing to 2012, we can see that kids have the opportunity to see 17 per cent more kids’ TV brands on air in 2018. However, noticeably the number of advertisers within the toys and games sector has fallen over the past two years by 11 per cent. Despite this, each campaign in 2018 delivered a 21 per cent higher number of Kids TVRs on average than in 2017. This suggests an approach taken by advertisers this year to back fewer campaigns with heavier investments. When we look at which campaign has taken the top spot each year there are two clear front running advertisers. To no one’s surprise, Panini World Cup Stickers topped the charts back in 2014 for the last World Cup, delivering an astonishing 492 CH TVRs across the Easter break, and more impressively 722 Boys 4-9 TVRs (BARB, 2018). Again in 2016, the Euro Sticker collection topped the charts, with Panini’s UEFA Trading Cards not far behind. In a surprising turn of events during this all important World Cup year, Innovation First’s Hexbug has just pipped Panini to the post, taking home the Easter trophy as the largest toys and games campaign on air. Comparing the breakdown of categories within toys and games brands year on year, we can see that campaigns categorised as either boys, or with a neutral focus, are those that have topped the
Source: BARB 2012-2016. All toys and games campaigns categorised by GM
leaderboard with the highest delivery figures over the Easter period. And yet girls’ campaigns continue to be the largest category year on year. Following this, the Girls category’s share in the overall number of campaigns saw a marginal decline of 3 per cent in 2018 respectively, with the overall share of boys and pre-school growing. As the number of boys’ campaigns increased in 2018 where others have seen declines, within the toys and games market, share of voice (SOV) is far likelier to be higher. But SOV still remains competitive and lower per brand in the category, in-line with the increased number of campaigns on air. When we look at which advertisers invested most to support their key brands, this Easter we saw the likes of Playmobil, Epoch, Spin Master and WowWee deploy the largest campaigns, with all advertisers featuring within the top 10. These top 10 campaigns alone account for 20 per cent of all CH TVRs delivered over Easter, with 2,811 CH TVRs delivered between them. As we close on the most important period of the Spring/Summer, we prepare ourselves for the anticipated May bank holiday and school holiday periods. Which category and advertiser will come out on top? With the fluctuations in viewing of kids' commercial channels we've seen this year to date (6 per cent decline in children’s eq. impacts Jan-Mar 2017 vs. 2018), the impending importance of campaigns working harder than ever in order to achieve cut-through within the cluttered market is vital. This is a combination of ensuring your TV campaigns are reaching their full potential and during the key AW season enhancing unique coverage amasses on TV with supporting alternative media. For assistance in this area, contact us on the details below.
Generation Media’s Kate Moncur pours over the impact of TV ad campaigns throughout the Easter period — and how toy and game brands can capitalise on the school break
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 to learn more.
In focus Shopkins
There’s no s Shopkins! Superbrand Shopkins has been part of GP Flair’s mega portfolio for five years now, and it is still going strong. TnP gets up close and personal with this top performing girls’ brand with a little help from Flair’s Head of Marketing Emmanuelle Cadet and Senior Brand Manager Verity Groom
t’s been five years since GP Flair’s super girl’s brand Shopkins rocketed into the toy aisles and firmly into girl’s hearts and it is going strong and looking ahead to the new season. Not only is the brand set to return to its core, but a whole new segment is being introduced that will take the brand into its smallest (and arguably cutest) form yet! Since the seemingly relentless rise of the super-influencers, the already established world of the minicollectable has grown. No, it’s exploded! And one of the first brands to benefit from this influencer love is Shopkins of course. Flair’s Emmanuelle Cadet, Head of Marketing and Verity Groom who has been Shopkins Brand
Manager since the beginning reveal to TnP exclusively how the brand manages to stay fresh and resonate with a whole new audience – five years after launch - and give us details about the exciting plans that are in motion for this year.
Emmanuelle and Verity, Shopkins is a huge success story – what do you see as the key reasons for this? Verity: Shopkins was very much a first of its kind — there really was nothing like it for children when it first came to market and so that uniqueness really was important in capturing the imagination of our consumers. The novelty of the idea – to take everyday items and characterise them — really set imaginations alight. And also created that must-have collectable feeling. Let’s not forget that the line was really well honed, with masses of development, imagination and great design and so I think all of those were very significant in creating a huge range. Emmanuelle: Moose, the originators of Shopkins, really thought very clearly
The assets are superbly designed and so from a marketing perspective it does allow us a rich and broad scope of opportunities to emphasise the messaging on numerous platforms
and strategically about this range too. They were very smart and tactical to ensure the longevity of Shopkins with new waves released regularly, all different from the last, each with its new tweak, each sustaining and growing the brand and its collectability. The assets are superbly designed and so from a marketing perspective it does allow us a rich and broad scope of opportunities to emphasise the messaging on numerous platforms.
And for autumn/ winter 2018, how will Shopkins continue its winning ways? V: Shopkins’ strength is its core and recognising that five years on from launch we have a new audience is the way forward. So, we are returning to the origins, understanding what ignited the brand. But added to this is a novel twist in making food packing all part of the collectable fun. Now it’s not just about the characters but also about packets. So
stopping What next for Shoppies? Verity: “Shoppies are a crucial element and feature across a number of the brands which are part of the Shopkins world — Happy Places and Lil’ Secrets! Of course there’s also Cutie Cars which has become a highly successful diecast vehicle brand for girls’. We are delighted with the success, growth and brand extension — and most of all how retail has embraced this flourishing side and helped us develop and deepen connections with consumers.” for instance you can now collect an icecream tub, but you also have to find the cute ice-cream character to go with it. We also have the return of some prized Shopkins season 1, 2 and 3 characters and girls will be able to tell from a gold, silver or bronze token on them which season they are from. These will be highly sought after!
That’s a novel concept! So, the packets are as collectable as the characters? V: Yes, absolutely! The surprise and unboxing element is so huge for children and so we are capitalising on this. Not only does it make the product more enticing, but it creates a whole new level of play – the packing is part of the toy, it doesn’t just encase it. This encourages more collectability and is a seamless fit in the brand values of Shopkins.
I’ve heard there’s a Lil’ Secret coming along… tell me about this? V: There is indeed and girls are going to love them! - Shopkins Lil’ Secrets are the smallest incarnation of Shopkins ever and will be a standalone segment of the brand. You have your pocket sized Lil’ Secrets lockets that hold a tiny Shoppies doll and a Shopkins character within a hidden world of interactive features and secret compartments, that
unfold to reveal a complete play world. What’s more, even before you play with it you have to unlock the secret code to the case, by solving the clues on the Lil’ Secrets map that comes with it.
What makes micro play so unique? E: It’s all about the discovery – and of course the fact they can be taken wherever you go. It’s easy to create a miniature world and have it on display at all times. It does not have to be packed away and so can be enjoyed, played with and shown off whenever you like! There also has to be plenty of variety so that the collectors can share their discoveries together with their friends who may have different playsets of their own.
We are delighted with the success, growth and brand extension — and most of all how retail has embraced this flourishing side and helped us develop and deepen our connections with consumers
Shopkins has been very creative with its approach to consumer marketing and experiences. Is this theatrical and immersive side due to continue?
E: Yes, absolutely. We work closely with retailers to create brilliant in-store experiences such as the hugely popular Treat Truck. And with the new themes a return to classic supermarket releases, trolley dashes and surprise in-store events could be on the cards! We also always engage with our audience through our digital campaigns our Popjam channel for example is going strong with over 80,000 followers and we will be utilising this following to spread the message of all that’s to look forward to. On a global level the Influencer arena is still vitally important and we will be working together with Moose to create events just for them.
And lastly, what special touches will Flair add to the mix to keep Shopkins really strong and vibrant and at the forefront of buyers and consumers’ minds? E : Our unique way of marketing will continue, taking Shopkins to the fans is an essential part of what we do. Sampling events, plenty of content on multiple platforms such as magazines, online sites, and more are all part of the plan for the months ahead!
Cars, planes and Trains
Pint-sized petrol heads The continued success of the cars, trucks, trains and planes category brings new meaning to the idea of ‘fuelling’ children’s imaginations, as TnP discovers by talking to some of the industry’s leading brands...
he sound, look and feel of a sleek new vehicle is something most people love. But whether it’s a tractor, a classic car or a camper van that’s your personal favourite, a small version can be just as exciting. Which explains the enduring popularity of the Cars, Trucks, Trains and Planes toy Bruder category, why parents love it just as much as their children products have a and why girl consumers are sophisticated increasingly becoming just as mixture of great big fans as boys. Anthony Grimaud, Vice play value and President Global Sales, HTI features that Group, believes that this children come long-established category is one built on products that across with have inspired love across the vehicles in real generations for many years. life “Passing on collections of cars down through the family lorian Loh, Bruder encourages the younger generations to carry on this trend,” Anthony says. “It’s about children adding to their collections with new, innovative and current vehicles. They can see the link between real world vehicles and their toy cars, trucks, trains and planes and this fuels their imaginations.” Florian Loh, Area Sales Manager for Bruder, agrees that the ‘just like the real thing’ philosophy is an
important factor in the ever-growing success of such toys. “Bruder products have great play value, but also features that children come across with vehicles in real life,” he explains. “And it’s this sophisticated mixture that underpins Bruder’s popularity. “Plus the magic probably also lies in combining how this reality is interpreted into our toy design and the art of simultaneously bringing together and inspiring the generations.” This concept of translating real life into toy magic has certainly played a part in the Tomy Johnny Tractor range — as Tomy Brand Manager Natalie
Frow explains. “Kids love tractors — it’s a fact!” she says. “Whenever they see one they are mesmerised by how they work — and from a parents’ point of view they are a great way of teaching children where food comes from. “Our Johnny Tractor toys are the only core farm preschool vehicles range on the market. Each vehicle supports learning and development skills, but in a fun and friendly way that appeals to everyone. “Based on the success so far of these two great toys we will be televising the Build a Johnny Tractor in November 2018 in the UK as we believe it will be a great gift for
definitely designed with boys in mind with innovation in wheels, oversized tyres and mechanical sounds. But we always consider our target market when we plan our future developments, and where possible, we offer a range to appeal to both girls and boys.” Bruder’s Florian Loh, adds: “Girls are more and more being successfully targeted by the Bruder range, which is in line with their increasing technical affinity – and consequently we are complementing our bworld series of accessories with more and more female figures.” HTI has similarly seen a shift in the number of girls attracted to vehicular toys, particularly with reference to the company’s PJ Masks die cast range. “We are also launching our own brand Teamsterz website to increase engagement from both boys and girls,” adds Anthony.
pre-schoolers leading up and into the Christmas period.” HTI’s Anthony says that the company’s own range of vehicle toys — including the Teamsterz range — also encourage learning through play. “The categorical grouping of vehicles within the Teamsterz range, help educate children on the roles of different vehicles,” he explains. “Our emergency and construction categories, particularly within our Light and Sound range mimic reallife noises and vehicle functions to that of the real-life vehicles, which is perfect for role play.”
‘Women’ drivers Undoubtedly in traditional terms the cars, trucks, trains and planes category has been thought of as one more popular with boys, but this is something that’s rapidly changing – and that of course means increased opportunities for toy manufacturers, suppliers and retailers alike.
“We have conducted internal research on whether girls love wheels as much as Technical boys in addition advances and design to observation at innovation help fuel playgroups and there the continued is definitely a good mix of children who success of the vehicle love this play pattern toy sector — although naturally we have a higher Antony Grimaud, HTI number of boys that are attracted to our vehicle range,” Tomy’s Natalie reveals. “Our Monster Treads range which is targeted at three years plus, is
“Technical advances and design innovation help fuel the continued success of the vehicle toy sector, creating new, cool and exciting cars, trains, trucks and planes for children to add to their collection,” Anthony adds. “Our new product launches for Teamsterz include a number of small and large light & sound vehicles such as a camper van, ambulance and police heli transporter, adding to the existing range. Further additions are Lava Splat Slime Track Set, Demolition Dash and Doom Dash, adding to our track set range and a number of die-cast vehicles.” Bruder is unveiling a vehicle series featuring exciting UPS design, and including an MB Sprinter driver and two logistics trucks. Tomy will be continuing to build on their diverse toy range for preschoolers, from simple push n roll toys to more advanced Build a Johnny Tractor and Monster Treads Mega Monster with its expanding wheels. “We keep up with the technology trend without losing our heritage of traditional toys,” Natalie says. “And I think with Johnny Tractor, we have managed to achieve the right balance.”
Cars, planes and Trains
Real fun! BRUDER Toys 01491 412415 (The Sales Partnership) www.bruder.de Bruder brings to market the replica UPS Scania R-Series truck. This high quality and authentic version has three axles, an interchangeable container unit and a mobile forklift. The cab follows Scania’s typical, dynamic design, with folding outside mirrors and opening doors — a must for great play value. The interchangeable unit can be automatically released from the vehicle by pulling it out and extending the outriggers to jackup the container and enable the truck to move away from the unit. The vehicle’s accessories include a mobile forklift and two pallets to load or unload heavy and/or bulky goods. The container body is the same with another cab. The MACK Granite UPS logistics truck with forklift. Thanks to a
realistic cab, opening doors, folding rear-view mirrors, plenty of attachments with chrome effect and a folding bonnet it is a functional toy with superb elements perfectly aligned for imaginative play. The MB Sprinter is one of the most important vehicles within the UPS van segment. And Bruder’s vehicle features a two-part rear door that can be opened. The vehicle’s accessories include a manual pallet jack and two pallets to load or unload heavy and/or bulky goods. This great set is rounded off by a UPS driver wearing the company’s uniform. Typical UPS shipping boxes in different sizes are also included for even more fun.
On track Bigjigs Toys 01303 250400 trade.bigjigstoys.co.uk It’s no surprise that Bigjigs’ favourite mode of transport is rail! Train tracks are so versatile, you can recreate and build a different track every time and add your own accessories and other toys to come up with a new story.
World class line up Mattel 01628 500000 www.mattel.com In 2018, Mattel showcases a terrific line up of vehicle play brands including Hot Wheels, Thomas & Friends and Disney Pixar Cars 3. In 2018, the new ‘Challenge Accepted’ brand campaign will celebrate how Hot Wheels ignites and nurtures the challenger spirit that lives within every kid. As it celebrates its 50th Anniversary year, a series of exciting activations will take place. For AW the Hot Wheels Corkscrew Crash Track Set is the ultimate set for speed. This year, Thomas & Friends introduces kids to the bigger world around them in newly refreshed content. The range brings the themes and characters to life, including the new TrackMaster Twisting Tornado Set. Don’t miss the introduction of Batman Missions, a new range that celebrates the core iconic look of Batman that arrives in A/W18.
The possibilities for imaginative play are endless and so is the size of track! Bigjigs loves educational toys, and our wooden railway range is great for learning through play! Building a track develops STEM skills and hand-eye coordination as well as fine motor skills, creating storylines develops verbal skills and imagination. The competitively priced Bigjigs rail range can be used with all of your favourite rail brands.
In the fast lane Chicco
020 8953 6627 www.chicco.co.uk Chicco has a whole raft of new vehicles to delight children. Bobby Buggy is a remotecontrolled sporty car that can cover any terrain. There’s also Billy Big Wheels - an off-road car that can take on anything. Also available is a radio-controlled Fiat 500 sport race car. The iconic car features a horn and engine rumble noises and is suitable for toddlers aged two years and upwards. The Turbo Touch Fiat 500 Abarth is the perfect partner to Chicco’s existing Turbo Team and can be used to create fun races. And not forgetting the Turbo Touch sports car is a perfect addition to create an exciting and entertaining race! Activated by pressing on the back of the car, the engine will roar to life.
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Cars, planes and Trains
World in motion EPOCH making toys 08435 574062 www.sylvanianfamilies.net
Epoch making toys adds to the new Sylvanian Families Town portfolio with a new vehicle, the Ride Along Tram, which launched in March 2018. Known worldwide for its attention to detail, the newest Sylvanian range is no different. In elegant red and gold, with beautiful engravings. The Sylvanian Families vehicle range is one of the brand’s bestselling categories.
Alpha Animation and Toys 01293 804 599 Following a hugely successful first year in the UK market, Alpha Animation and Toys will be launching some brilliant new products for autumn from it’s hit preschool animation, Super Wings. At over 14” tall, Jett’s Super Robot Suit transforms from a free-wheeling vehicle to a freestanding figure that can conquer even the toughest problems. With lights, sounds, and a Transforming Jett Vehicle included, this item will be a hit with any fan! Jett’s Takeoff Tower is also new to the range, offering on the go play as a portable 2-in-1 airport playset. When opened, Jett transforms into an airport with just an easy press of a button. The playset includes four runways, two launch ramps and a surprise door. It also comes with a comes with a miniature Jett for even more imaginative play. Robot Ready Jett will be a pre-schoolers best buddy offering interaction, lights and sounds. Children can push Jett’s nose to hear Jett speak multiple phrases, and watch his eyes and booster light up when Jett speaks. When the arm panel is open users can hear Jett’s flight commands or Jett’s flight status when opening the leg panel. Super Wings remains a huge focus for Alpha Animation and retailers can expect to see lots more of everyone’s favourite airplanes across heavy TV and marketing campaigns, influencer marketing, brand partnerships, licensing programmes and much more throughout 2018!
Into touch Magformers 0800 385 195 www.magformers.co.uk Clicformers is the new kid on the construction block and the exciting sister brand of Magformers. Made in Belgium and developed at Magformers’ R&D headquarters in South Korea, Clicformers pieces can rotate 180 degrees when connected, are very durable and many sets contain wheels and accessories for children to make loads of vehicles – from cars, fire engines and police cars to diggers, moon rovers and racers.
Wacky races IMC Toys 01904 720 908 www.imc.es IMC has revealed some exciting new additions for AW 2018 to its master toy license, Mickey and the Roadster Racers in partnership with Disney. Series 2 of the hugely popular show launches in September 2018, and IMC will be launching new products across a variety of categories. For AW 2018, IMC will be expanding with remote control vehicles, figures, vehicles, playsets and special feature plush, allowing pre-schoolers to immerse themselves into the world of Mickey and the Roadster Racers, supported with year-round marketing.
toys . jouets
just like the real thing
The Sales Partnership Distributors Ltd Chiltern House, 45 Station Road Henley-on-Thames, Oxon RG9 1AT Tel.: +44 1491 412415 Fax: +44 1491 412915 Contact Name â€“ James Triptree
Cars, planes and Trains
The need for speed Toy State 020 8440 5060 www.toystate.com Toy State is renowned for its phenomenal range of action vehicles. Fans will be wowed by a new collection of high powered, feature packed vehicles that inspire you to race harder, try out new tricks and immerse themselves in the world of construction like never before. Celebrate in Style with Nikko Limited Edition Turbo Panther. Join the party and celebrate 60 years of RC passion with the Nikko Limited-Edition Turbo Panther. Don’t be deceived by the smiley face, this iconic buggy is one mean vehicle, designed to tackle any course your imagination can create. Dare to push the boundaries and put it through its paces! Turbo Panther is snow, splash and dust proof — so what are you waiting for?! Race, drift and spin into pole position. Grab the controls and race hard with the Nikko Omni X, perfect for any driver who loves to push the limits. Experience extreme
performance with a unique wheel design that means you can race, drift and spin around corners at speed giving you the advantage over other racers every time! Enjoy “The Feel of Real” with CAT Construction Zone Foldout Worksite – Take control of the ultimate building site which unfolds to reveal a miniature Construction Zone with over 15 play pieces. Be amazed as the mighty dump truck opens up to let the real adventure begin. Perfectly scaled three mini CAT Construction vehicles are included to move sand, dirt and any other goods. Use the working crane to move heavy containers and become the site manager using replica ramps to get this worksite moving. Get Extreme with Hot Wheels Two Time Flame Thrower and Commander Croc – Stand out from the crowds with two attention grabbing vehicles from Hot Wheels. A real mean machine, the Two Time Flame Thrower™ commands respect. Race
ahead and leave competitors behind in the dust watching the glow of the shooting flame action! With lights, sound and flames this is one car no one will forget in a hurry! Watch out as Commander Croc™ slithers past its enemies at speed. These distinctive Mutant Machines™ move, sound and look like no other vehicle on the road! Save Lives with Road Rippers Real Works™ Rescue Squad Fire Truck – Jump onboard the Fire Truck, turn on the sirens, flashing lights and imagine you’re a firefighter racing to the scene. Put your training into practice quickly! Flip up and slide the material doors to access your equipment then secure the fire truck using the extending stabilizers. Use the extended ladder to get the water cannon in the right position, turn on the hose and put out the glowing fire using the water cannon beam. There’s no time to waste every second counts when you’re a hero firefighter!
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Travel smart Ravensburger 01869 363 800 www.ravensburger.com Discover the latest Smart Tech trains from Brio this year. This season the launch of Smart Tech is adding extra layers of functionality and play value. The Smart Tech trains can stop, turn around, go slower or go faster using the accessories that are in the range, bringing another element of magic to the Brio World. Introduce Smart Tech technology to the Brio range with the Engine Set with Action Tunnels, the Washing Station and Workshop. All Smart Tech items are compatible with other Brio sets.
Wheely great! Little Tikes 0845 0533 333 www.littletikes.co.uk Vehicles will always be a mainstay of the Little Tikes range, from push powered products for the very early stages of development to the Wheelz and Flyerz RC collection for children over four. For spring summer comes the Big Car Carrier, a chunky car transporter complete with three cars which are perfect for children over 18 months to get their mitts on and play.
Learning to drive
01392 281928 www.tomy.com
01553 819 380 www.learningresources.co.uk
Tomy’s John Deere Preschool collection brings farming fun to life through play by encouraging little-ones to grow up green whilst building their knowledge of the outdoor farming world. Tomy’s collection stands out in a category that is mainly dominated by trucks, planes and cars rather than tractors. The range appeals to parents of children aged between 18 months to four years old and gift-givers due to the educational features on each vehicle. The diverse range offers pre-schoolers different ways to play through simple push and roll toys to more advanced buildable and remotecontrolled tractors which all encourage learning with through colour matching, numbers and shapes. For the first time ever Tomy will support its hero toy, Build-a-Johnny Tractor with a fully integrated marketing communication plan that features heavy weight TV in November, Online, PR and retailer to drive additional sales this year. Build-a-Johnny Tractor helps development with a 16-piece buildable set including two extra drill pieces. The farming hero is built with chunky parts that are easy for little hands to assemble, ideal for any young farmer.
Learning Resources caters for an early love of vehicles, providing toys that follow a child’s development from hands-on play to STEM learning. 1-2-3 Built It! is a colourful, early construction range that enables children from two years of age to build three of their favourite vehicles in one handy toy.
Cars, planes and Trains
Driving license Funrise
01908 555640 www.funrise.com
Brand new for autumn of 2018 is Herodrive, an innovative, one-of-akind collection that combines kids’ favourite entertainment characters with fun and original play features to deliver the coolest vehicles for preschoolers. To launch this new brand, Funrise has partnered with Warner Brothers Consumer Products to create a collection of DC Super Friends Herodrive vehicles. The Herodrive DC Super Friends collection will launch with pre-school-themed character vehicles inspired by the recognisable DC characters such as Batman, Superman, The Flash, and more. Vehicles will be available in a range of sizes and styles including: Mash Machines, a new style of vehicles that fuses together iconic vehicles such as police cars and fire trucks with DC Super Friends characters; Herodrive Power Pals plush vehicles with wobble wheels and sounds for the youngest pre-schoolers; Signal Squad, a collection of DC Super Friends-inspired, stylised vehicles, each projecting its DC Super Hero’s logo; and the Batman Racer motorized vehicle with lights and awesome Batman and Batmobileinspired sounds. Also coming in autumn 2018 for kids to enjoy is a ground-breaking line of Tonka vehicles called Power Movers! These rugged, interactive construction vehicles feature new Motion Drive Technology allowing for fun and intuitive play that brings the dump truck, front loader, excavator and cement mixer vehicles to life. With Motion Drive Technology, push the vehicle forward to make the engine rev and activate the lights; push the vehicle backward to hear back-up sounds. Work the mechanical feature of each vehicle to hear hydraulic sounds and flash the lights. The lights and sounds activated by the child’s interaction with the vehicle create an engaging and realistic, Tonka tough experience every time they play.
Join the team! HTI 01253 775544 www.htigroup.co.uk HTI’s own brand Teamsterz comprises of collectable Die-Cast and Light & Sound vehicles, Transporters, Garages, Playsets and Track Sets, creating hours of vehicle play fun. The extensive range includes a mixture of popular Die-Cast and Light & Sound Cars, Trains, Trucks and Helicopters, inspired by UK and international designs from emergency, construction, performance and city vehicles. Available in a 3” and 4” scale, the highquality Die-Cast bodyshell combines sharp price points and quality manufacturing, offering high levels of detail and independent free moving wheels, available worldwide. Our Light & Sound range encompasses chunky vehicles, each with their own unique light & sound effects, providing fantastic play value. Presented in a ‘Try Me’ open box, Teamsterz fanatics can interact with the Small 6” and Large 15” Light & Sound Vehicles from the very start, fueling young imaginations worldwide! HTI has launched PJ Masks 3” Die-Cast Hero and Villain Vehicles to the UK market in S/S18. Collect all Hero and Villain Vehicles; Cat-Car, Gekko-Mobile, Owl Glider, Night Ninja Bus and Romeo’s Lab in gloss, matte and metallic paint finishes. Each 3” Die-Cast Hero and Villain Vehicles feature a high-quality body shell with underbody detailing and independent free moving wheels, ready for endless hours of PJ Masks play!
Pole position Spin Master 01628 535000 www.spinmaster.com Meccano continues to infuse innovation into the 2018 line by incorporating new materials and advanced technologies in its building sets. New this S/S are two unique sets, the Meccano 5 Model Set Pull Back Car and the Meccano 10 Models Set Motorized Car, featuring motors to inspire and excite kids. Both sets are suitable for ages eight-plus and are being supported by TV advertising this spring. Meccano fans can also construct one of the most iconic Italian sports cars to ever, with the new Meccano Ferrari F1 Racer launching this summer.
Cars, plane Cars, and Train planes and Trains
Nitro powered Hasbro
020 8569 1234 www.hasbro.com Nerf Nitro continues to bring high-flying speed and stunts with their latest sets in 2018. The AeroFury Ramp Rage set includes a motorised blaster for rapid-fire blasting to send the two foam cars rocketing into stunt challenges that they set up with the ramp. Also included with the set is a long-jump ramp to create challenging distance stunts where kids can show off their blasting skills and prove how far they can blast the cars with the long-jump ramp. The AeroFury Ramp Rage set features bright, bold colours while the foam cars are designed for speed and distance to go far and go fast! Also available is the Nerf Nitro MotoFury Rapid Rally set which unleashes the cars into motorised fast-firing action. The blaster has a clip that holds up to nine cars to blast into speed-driven, high-flying stunts. The set comes with two
ramps to create amazing jumping stunts with the long-jump to see how far you can blast the cars, and the high-jump ramp for skyscraping stunts. The nine obstacles can be set up in different ways for daring aerial leaps or colossal collisions. With the Nerf Nitro LongShot Smash kids can design longdistance jumping stunts with the ramp and obstacles, blasting one of the foam cars at the long-jump ramp, seeing it race up the ramp and sail through the air before landing on the ground. The set comes with four obstacles that can be set up in different ways. The car can be fired from the front-load blaster for a smash-and-crash collision with the obstacles, or set up a challenging course for the car to blast through to show off aiming and targeting skills. All of these sets from Nerf Nitro feature the power and performance of Nerf with stunts that can go high, far and fast!
All aboard! Marbel
0845 6000 286 www.marbel.co.uk
Micro scale, major fun Hornby Hobbies 01843 233502 www.hornbyhobbies.co.uk Ideal for the younger racer, 1:64 scale Micro Scalextric offers all the thrills and spills of the full-sized slot car racing world and is the perfect introduction to the action-packed world of Scalextric The new Micro Scalextric Sci-Fi Speedway Set features colourful and futuristic concept cars, and is a great taster for full size Scalextric racing, with exciting features including a loop the loop, half pipe and a bridge! It will be available from September 2018. Â For those attending, new vehicles and surprises will be unveiled at the Toymaster May show!
It is no secret that children love exploring the wonderful world of railways and trains. From the success of its first railway collection, Hape is back, bigger and better than ever before with an exciting array of new play-scapes suitable from three years-plus. From the Grand City Station with a fantastic image projector and recorder for kids to create their very own station announcement, to the Solar Power Circuit with a solar panel to generate enough power to run its very own little train. The Crossing & Crane Set even comes with a handy boom crane with 360-degree arm swing and magnetic hoist line for retrieving valued cargo. In each and every one of these sets Hape create new worlds, from the busy city center to an idyllic train line rolling through the mountains. Due to their versatility over time, parents can extend the railway sets as their child grows.
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E A Y R S 0 1 Goring & Streatley THE PACKAGE INCLUDES • Coffee and bacon rolls on arrival • 9 hole morning Texas Scramble from 9.30 • Lunch (ham, egg and chips) • 18 hole individual Stableford and team four ball, longest drive and nearest the pin • 3 Course Presentation Dinner Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
FOR THE DAY
watch out for… The monthly focus on products that are hot right now and can help you sell more
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exclusive Interview: Bandai
Moving on up! The exciting changes at Bandai show no signs of letting up. TnP’s Mirella Anstey catches up with outgoing MD, toy veteran Clive Smith and incoming MD Nic Aldridge to find out more
he past year has seen a seismic shift at Bandai – not just a change in HQ, but also in the team with the arrival of Nic Aldridge who has brought new lines and categories to the long-established and well-loved brand portfolio. And so one year on from joining the company as General Manager Nic’s role is hanging again - he is the new Managing Director of Bandai UK. It’s been a landmark year for the new MD and for outgoing MD, Clive Smith. Clive and Nic reveal more about what’s ahead in TnP’s exclusive interview.
Clive, let’s start with you? How do you feel about all the changes? Well, Mirella there comes a time for every business when we have to let new blood take on the challenge and this is our time. Nic is both experienced and ambitious, a combination that works well in our industry. Let’s face it - you have to know what you’re doing and then you need to have the drive to take it forward and grow. Nic successfully fills both briefs, and then some!
But you’re remaining close to Bandai over the coming months — why is that?
Your time at Bandai has seen some exciting changes and highs. Tell us a little about the stand outs, Clive. I have to say that I have been very fortunate to work with a great team of people who I consider my friends. This was very apparent from the day I joined Bandai and remains the case today. It was of course very pleasing for Bandai to be recognised in January 2016, with Power Rangers being awarded Boys Action Figure Brand of the Year. In my somewhat biased
Nic on Pomsies Pomsies fits beautifully in our portfolio because it is sweet, fun and collectable and full of surprise. Essentially it is a cute fluffy plush toy that reacts to you. It is lovable and wearable — the Pomsie can be wrapped around your wrist or attached to your bag — but I think the most adorable element is its light up eyes which change according to its mood and that you can really feel it purring with pleasure when it’s happy! This toy has its roots in a number of different strong trends — collectability, interactivity, nurturing and also that tangible quality that kids love. It’s a perfect addition because while it is different not just to our current portfolio and also to everything that is on the market, it sits well with the collectable side we have cultivated with Smooshy Mushy. Buyers know we are collectable toy hit makers!
view, a very well deserved (if not overdue) achievement and one which recognised the consistent effort and attention which we gave to the brand. I will watch with interest how the brand fairs in the future!
And Nic you certainly are ringing in the changes! And there are more to come for Bandai under your
I have to say that I have been very fortunate to work with a great team of people who I consider my friends
Yes — I have been working closely with Nic during the past year and will continue to support him and the business until the end of September. It’s always good to have a handover period I’ll be there to lend a hand where I can. I will of course keep a close eye on the business even after my departure.
What’s next for Smooshies? To date, slow-rising toys have been predominantly girls, but we now have a surprise in store for boys with Smashy Mashy launching later this year.
yet formulaic portfolio and we wanted to offer our customers more. A selection of multiple promising and surprising brands which would captivate them and give them many reasons to buy from us in multiple categories, was our aim and it was a trajectory that Clive and I followed closely in my first year here, and one that I will continue to develop.
leadership. I’d like to kick off with quite a blunt question — how can you fill the void that is left by Power Rangers? Power Rangers has of course been a staple of the Bandai portfolio and we have maximised every opportunity with it. However, one of the clear objectives on joining Bandai one year ago was to create diversity and breadth in the range. For me this meant strengthening our relationship with licensors such as Disney and ZAG, among others, and by developing our product ranges within those licenses. But additionally it was imperative that we grow and develop our third party partnerships – an aim I remember sharing with TnP and its readers when I first joined. Understanding the changes in the market it was clear that we needed to move away from the previous model of having a successful
Is it fair to say that Smooshy Mushy led the charge on this ‘new trajectory’? Yes, very much so. It was a trend that I was aware of and was very much on my radar and so when I saw the product at Distoy last year and met with the guys from Redwood, it instantly resonated with me. My instincts told me it would be a great fit and we could really sell it into the market. Timing was a big factor too — we can be versatile and agile — and it really paid off.
Is this also the case with Silly Squeeks and Poo-nicorns? Yes, again fun, cheeky and a smidge of
My instincts told me it would be a great fit and we could really sell it into the market
silly are all vital ingredients in collectable crazes and both these products have these elements of magic which we will feel lines up well with Smooshy Mushy and Pomsies. Again, retail reaction has been really outstanding and we are excited about these from a consumer perspective. We have already seen strong retail and consumer success from the US so we’re very positive about a similar response in the UK.
STEM and creative play also seem to be a big focus for Bandai — with the National Geographic being a big part of that — tell us more about that? The key for most good toy suppliers is to create a well-balanced portfolio full of good traditional play, a smattering of crazes and some superb licenses. We have that in abundance at Bandai and a huge part of that is, of course, National Geographic, as you say. Perhaps a year or more ago the addition of the range to Bandai would have left customers scratching their heads a little, but now it makes perfect sense! That’s also the same for our Crayola lines. A brilliant license, great products and a new category for us. We can offer so many different types of products in so many different categories and age ranges that we are a one stop shop for retailers!
To sum up Nic and Clive, how would you disrobe Bandai’s future in three words? Exciting, evolving, opportunity!
The Insights People
Knowing me, knowing you Consumer intelligence experts The Insights People are breaking new ground when it comes to understanding the shifting dynamics and ecosystems of young people and parents
onsumer insights have never been more important – to understand and immerse oneself entirely in the world of your buyer and get to grips with what really makes them tick is the key to success. But how deep can the research go? For Kids Insights and Parents Insights, both established by Nick Richardson, a vastly experienced strategic marketer, the answer is in the richer the better. Nick set The Insights People up in 2017 as part of his mission to revolutionise the outdated way in which global market research tends to be conducted. As well as making real time insights portals available directly to clients, The Insights People produce a series of quarterly insight-led reports highlighting key findings and trends. Using their groundbreaking “AQuA” (All Questions Answered) technology and real-time online platforms, Kids Insights and Parents Insights, the team survey 400 different kids, tweens and teens every single week (more than 20,000 every year), as well as 250 different expecting and new parents (more than 10,000 a year). By collecting data continuously (more than 150,000 data points are added every single week), The Insights People are able to uncover entrenched, emerging and flash trends - as well as better understanding the behaviours and consumption – of children and parents. These results are used to help and inform the strategies of retailers, marketers, brands and licensing organisations and to enable them to become more agile and responsive, driving stronger profitability and sales performance. And, for some businesses and brands, this insight is proving genuinely revolutionary to their marketing and sales efforts. The Insights People are now
working alongside some of the world’s biggest kids and retail brands including Cartoon Network, DC Thomson, Finsbury Foods, Penguin Random House, Sambro and Walker Books. We asked Nick and team to share some of the findings of their latest insights reports – due out in April – exclusively for our readers… “This year hasn’t started well for some really big names in the UK retail sector – and we’re talking about brands with legacy and serious clout on the high street over
More Kids Insights: ■■ 400 different children (4-18) surveyed every week ■■ 150,000 data points added to the online portal ■■ Four insight-led reports produced every 12 weeks ■■ 16 insight-led reports produced a year ■■ One amazing real-time portal available 24/7, 365 days a year
For many bricks and mortar businesses, it’s about agility. The agility – or lack of – to respond to changing needs
Meet the team
Nick Richardson - CEO & Founder: Having worked in a number of senior marketing roles, Nick established The Insights People in 2017, with the vision of establishing the market intelligence company of the future, today. Since then Kids Insights and Parents Insights have quickly become recognised as the most comprehensive and dynamic providers of market intelligence in the kids and parents’ sectors.
the years,” said Nick. “And our data reveals so much about the reasons why that might be. “For many bricks and mortar businesses, it’s about agility. The agility – or lack of – to respond to changing needs, and to threats posed by competitors who are just doing things better and smarter. “Kids’ and parents’ ecosystems are shifting at such a pace now too, and that’s having a significant impact on the attitudes and behaviours of consumers. We see it in our data. “We are seeing more families now living in urban areas. We are seeing changes in shopping habits, which include an increase in the frequency of visits but a reduction in spend. We’re seeing kids’ ecosystems in particular expand and become more complex and fragmented. “But, on the flip side, their microsystems are becoming more individual, insular and enclosed, particularly boys who seem to love YouTube and gaming, and maybe a bit of football here and there. Whereas our data on girls reveal they have a much more wide-ranging series of interests. They are living more sociable and enriched lives. What that means for the future of our children we can only speculate about… “With all of the seismic shifts in behaviours and consumption we see, it’s vital that brands know their consumers inside out. And then they use this information to help themselves to adapt. “For many, however, they are simply not investing the time and resources in doing either of these, and that’s a potential danger to their profitability and, in extreme cases, their futures. Just look at Toys “R” Us and HMV.” And what specifically about the toy sector?
Jonathan Watson Product Manager:
Richard Craig Director of IT:
Deborah Maclaren Director of Sales:
Jonathan is a first class graduate in Economics and joined The Insights People as a researcher, before being promoted to Product Manager in September 2017. Jonathan is responsible for coordinating the research and tech team who are responsible for producing Kids Insights and Parents Insights.
Richard is responsible for overseeing the development of The Insights People AQuA (All Questions Answered) technology which enables clients to access data in real-time via their online portal.
Deborah is responsible for leading the organisation’s sales team, overseeing and coordinating all UK sales activity.
“There is no doubt, that as the toy market becomes smaller, toy retail is one sector under particularly immense pressure right now. “Our latest report discovered that 75% (4-6 year olds) own their own tablets and 62% of boys aged 4-15 spend money on video games and 36% spend money on apps…that’s all money being deflected away from the high street. “Sectors like tech and fashion are transforming expectations of kids, as products go from the page to the home in a matter of weeks. “If it takes a retailer months or years to shift to changing demand, then they’re behind the curve already. “And, as Toys R Us discovered to their cost, if you fail to create an experience, you fail. “Our research is seeing the growth of the popularity of specialist retailers – such as LEGO stores or Build A Bear Warehouses. They are winning in the toy retailing market, and much of that has to do with creating strong eco-systems around their products, as well as experiential activities in-store. “I’ve said many times that the retailer that evolves their product range and instore offerings, that embraces technology and keeps the consumer at the very front and centre of its thinking, is the retailer who will capture the hearts and minds of consumers. After all today’s consumer is tomorrow’s influencer. “What’s absolutely fantastic about our AQuA technology is that it enables users to filter and interrogate their data to their own specific needs and discover insights which are specific to their customers. For example, who would have known that
More Parents Insights: ■■
250 different expecting and new parents surveyed every week
80,000 data points added to the online portal
Four insight-led reports produced every 12 weeks
16 insight-led reports produced a year
One amazing real-time portal available 24/7, 365 days a year
If it takes a retailer months or years to shift to changing demand, then they’re behind the curve already
children who favour McDonald’s are four times more likely to favour Fruit Shoots then children who favour Burger King? It’s that level of insight which can be the difference between a really successful campaign, new product or brand licensing strategy.”
Reader offer If you work in retail, merchandising or marketing and want to find out more, The Insights People are offering a complimentary series of reports or a free trial of the portal to readers. To find out more, please visit www.theinsightspeople.com/lema
Feature Tech Toys
Great techspectations Tech toys are cramming more play value into ever-smaller packages — and the trend is set to continue, as TnP found…
eeping up with the App Store Joneses is a daunting task for every industry looking to capture the attention of kids. Heard of Fortnite, the world’s biggest video game that draws millions of players online every day? Or the multitude of licensed apps that let kids explore their favourite characters and worlds. But toys have been at the forefront of consumer technology for years, and last Christmas saw everything from laser blaster games to interactive, life-like nurturing dolls soaring to the top of the sales charts. Toy manufacturers are breathing new life into proven, traditional play patterns to enhance not only play value for kids and parents, but margins for retailers. And this year’s toy line-up is just as clever in its inclusion of wires, code and sensors in bringing enhanced play to the toy aisle. Collectables and sensory play, with the likes of slime and a recent trend for kinetic flow rings, are driving everyday footfall at retail, but for richer play experiences, just a little technology goes a long way. Adrienne Appell, trend expert at The Toy Association, the US’s industry body, said this trend is building
momentum. At this year’s North American International Toy Fair, the trends briefing shone a spotlight on tech toys and put them at the forefront of the year’s innovation, with augmented and virtual reality toys, drones, virtual pets, robotics and more. “With more room for innovation and a greater willingness to take risks, toymakers are pulling out all the stops to create highly groundbreaking products, reinvent play patterns, and refresh classic brands with cutting-edge technologies,” said Adrienne. Interactive pets are set for big business this year. Bandai is re-launching
Mum says… Mum of one, Liz Barsby, says: “My five-year-old Ezekiel is a whizz with my tablet already and obsessed with anything that has a screen or a microchip inside. We got him a LeapFrog LeapStart for Christmas and it he still plays with it almost daily. We’ve got into a routine of sandwiching some reading or maths between a couple of games or videos — and I know it’s a walled garden for him when I can’t hover by his side.”
Toymakers are pulling out all the stops to create highly groundbreaking products… with cutting-edge technologies Adrienne Appell, trend expert, TTA
an iconic classic, with Tamagotchi — in many ways the original tech toy success story — making a triumphant comeback, updated for a new audience. And Character Options’ multi-award-winning Teksta puppy is bringing a new style and scale for 2018, with all the tricks and high-tech features of previously released ranges. On the other end of the spectrum, Learning Resources’ Botley has been taking the world by storm. This STEM robot packs plenty of tech punch with a twist: there’s no screen time involved, even when it comes to coding and programming routines.
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01895 202 840 www.leapfrog.co.uk LeapFrog magically brings books to life with the new LeapStart 3D Interactive Learning System. The updated activity book system now features an interactive 3D-like display and touch-andtalk games to deepen the learning through a combination of video, audio and print. LeapStart 3D encourages various types of learners by combining engaging animation with tangible print books to reinforce learning concepts. This “whole-child” learning system provides the perfect balance of school and life skills to help prepare kids for the future and build a strong foundation for life-long learning. Kids two to seven can learn to count, read, build problemsolving skills and more through fun and replayable activities and 3D-like animations that support the national curriculum in an exciting new way. The stylus reads invisible dots on every page, triggering questions, challenges, songs, jokes and more. In 2018, new licenses will grow the LeapStart library, including the new titles Mickey and the Roadster Racers Pit Stop and Go, Disney Princesses and Pixar Pals. The entire LeapStart library is audio compatible with LeapStart 3D, with select titles upgraded to include 3D-like activities. The library features games, stories, learn to read activities, creative challenges, problem solving puzzles, maths mazes and more with over 30 activities in every activity book. With 25-plus books the LeapStart library covers over 50 key skills for every age level. The library also includes two Learn to Read book sets dedicated to guiding children on their reading journey one step at a time. A total of 400plus activities help kids build tomorrow’s skills today.
M.A.D fun Mookie Toys 01525 722722 www.mookie.co.uk Lazer M.A.D is a laser gaming experience with unlimited players. Each pack comes complete with blasters and receivers, along with various add-ons that act as a booster, increasing the blasting range and altering the sound of the blaster. Lazer M.A.D blasters include two modes: battle-ops and training-ops. Battle-ops allows for multiple players using various boosters and accessories, the aim is to shoot your enemies M.A.D target to win. Training-ops allows the player to set targets up to a fixed object and practice blasting each target. Mookie is promoting Lazer M.A.D with a TV campaign accompanied by digital marketing and PR activities.
Character Options From the arty to the adventurous there are tech toys for all at Character Options. Hero of the interactive pet market, Teksta, the original robot puppy, is ready to flip once more with a new style and scale for 2018. The Teksta 360 comes with all the tricks and electronic features of previous seasons: light-up emotive eyes, cute sounds, interaction with other pets and the iconic 360 flip trick. At 14cm tall, the 360 is ideal for kids on the go. Tech is getting smart in the creative aisle with the award-winning smART Sketcher. This art projector and app offers STEAM supported learning for kids who want to take their drawing to a technical level. The smART sketcher projector puts the fun of drawing, tracing, and writing into the hands of kids using a unique app. Kids can download photos from a mobile device or use pre-loaded activity packs to create technically astounding creations, step-by-step. Taking tech to the great outdoors is the awardwinning brand, Laser X. The original twin pack of blasters that fired longer and stronger than ever before was a sellout success in 2017. Updating the range for 2018 and ensuring the brand remains a firm family favourite is the dazzling Laser X Long Range Blaster and Laser X Battling Tower. The Long Range Blaster fires infra-red beams from an impressive 100 metre range!
Block stars Magformers 08000 385 195 www.magformers.co.uk Leading magnetic construction brand Magformers includes the amazing new Sensor Block Set in its Hi-Tech Line range this year. Children can make models using magnetic Magformers pieces then bring them to life using remote-controls and three different USB sensor blocks – activated by sound, light and movement. Kids can make models like a car, robot or dinosaur, add the power block, then magically move them by attaching one of the three USB sensors. When using the Motion Sensor, wave your hand and off it goes. Switch to the Light Sensor and watch models move when you turn off the lights. Change again to the Sound Sensor, clap your hands and the models spring into action.
Feature Tech Toys
Zooming into tech VTech 01235 555 545 ww.vtech.co.uk 2018 sees the great new introduction of the latest additions from the Kidizoom range. The Kidizoom Smart Watch DX2 is the successor of the incredibly popular Smart Watch DX. Featuring a new sleek and stylish design, the DX2 has a new second camera located on the face of the watch. This, paired with the existing side camera, allows the wearer to capture everything from action videos to selfies, which can then be customised with cool frames and effects. With built-in and customisable digital and analogue watch faces and a Time Master app, the watch is educational as well as fun. There are new innovative games such as Monster Detector, an augmented reality adventure that encourages children to explore, find and catalogue hidden monsters in the real world. Children can also use the watch’s motion sensor for active play challenges, or to track their activities and movements, which keeps them on the go! 2018 will also see a fantastic enhancement to the Kidizoom camera, the #1 camera for kids*, with the Kidizoom Duo 5.0! With a brand new design and an updated 5megapixel dual lens camera, kids can take photos or videos of themselves or with their friends. The two lenses can be swapped between at the touch of a button, making photo and video taking of any occasion effortless. Add fun effects, stamps and frames to your photos and videos, or use the auto-portrait feature to take photos automatically. Record your voice and apply funny effects to it! (*#1 on NPD in the Electronic Entertainment ex Tablets subclass, Jan-Dec 2017 (Value)
Roll out! Alpha Animation & Toys 01293 804599 Terra-Sect, the innovative new RC toy from Alpha Animation & Toys, highlights the company’s ability to bring cutting-edge, innovative toys to a category. Terra-Sect is completely unstoppable – it rolls, flips and crawls in any direction. It’s easy to manoeuvre over varying elevations with stable all-terrain navigation. Terra-Sect will slink and slither stealthily along the ground, then once activated the relentless rolling attack mode kicks in. Players can watch as Terra-Sect coils and rolls to take down its target! Terra-Sect includes a 2.4 Ghz controller with up to 150’ range for indoor and outdoor use.
Pet smart Bandai 0208 324 6160 www.bandai.co.uk When it comes to handheld tech toys then they don’t come more iconic than Tamagotchi. Tamagotchi returned in late 2017 and Wave 1 achieved sell-out success. Now Tamagotchi Wave 2 has stepped up to the mark with all the best-loved features from the original, plus cool new styles inspired by the original from 20 years ago.
Do the robot Learning Resources 01553 819 380 www.learningresources.co.u If the name Botley sounds familiar it’s because this engaging new coding robot from Learning Resources was a London Toy Fair Hero and was featured on BBC Breakfast television. Botley is the fun, friendly way for children as young as five to learn coding and, is entirely screen-free: no tablets or smartphones required. Botley is ready to use straight out of the box and is the only robot on the market that comes with a full activity set.
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Sarah and her children Immy, 6, and four-year-old Rory, escaped the dreary weather outside to get making some colourful kitchen creations with a difference — with the help of the new Crayola modelling dough range
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e love a bit of craft dough in our house. It’s an easy rainy or winter day activity, potentially provides hours of fun for all generations involved, is a great way to lure pint-sized people away from screen time and is really simple to clean up. What’s not to like? So my children Immy and Rory were thrilled to get their hands on the new range of modelling dough from Crayola. The products are brightly coloured and lots of fun, which you’d expect from a company with an arts heritage like this — but the sets are also really well thought out in terms of the ‘tools’ and bits of kit they come with. Take the Sundae Delights boxed set for example. Immy loved the ‘ice cream dispenser’ that made the dough come out like Mr Whippy, and was also absorbed for a good 30 minutes with the scoop, waffle maker, sundae cups and cones. Equally the Burger Chef set was a hit with its cute fries holder and soda cup, which when you’re ‘making lunch’ for your younger brother and/ or assembled toys makes it all seem that bit more realistic! This modelling set also comes complete with moulds to help you
“My favourite set was the burger one because it felt like I was cooking with real food! I loved making fries for my mum – in fact I made a whole tray of things for her and Daddy!" make all the extras a gourmet burger might come with – from onion rings to the bun itself. The only things that might have been a nice addition to this set were some green modelling dough to make salad and a rolling pin — although we made do just fine with one we already had to hand. The Bakery Shop set comes complete with cookie cutters, moulds for decorating cakes and its own little waffle maker. As a parent I liked the texture of the dough – it’s slightly dryer than some competitors on the market I would say. This does mean you need to be swift cleaning it up after everyone has finished playing as leaving it out could make it hard. And Immy’s verdict: “I love these dough kits because they’re colourful, easy to play with and loads of fun – and you get lots of different bits with each one so you can do whatever you want with them."
The kids say…
“So cool, my best thing ever!”
In the fold Dad Paul, Poppy, 9, and Herbie, 6, had a great time taking the new Nintendo Labo Variety Kit for a whirl
intendo’s latest console, the Switch, was a special joint treat I picked up for my kids last autumn, as the nights began to close in. At the time I’d never seen them as excited, but that all changed when I walked through the door last month with Nintendo Labo, the company’s new make and do-gaming hybrid. For what essentially amounts to a bundle of pre-cut cardboard – the R&D, graphic design and video games that bring the models to life not withstanding – Nintendo Labo elicited the response every parents dreams when their little ones unwrap their main presents on Christmas morning. There was dancing, there was screaming, there was promising to be good. At £60 for the Variety Kit I was initially skeptical. But weighing up the amount of enjoyment they’ve already had, paying the same amount as a family trip to the cinema for what has already been a fortnight of fun seems like a smart investment - so well done to me on that one. The kit contains around half a dozen projects – known as Toy Cons - to get stuck into, ranging from a fishing rod to a motorbike and even a piano. The Switch, which is essentially a tablet with accompanying controllers, has a really fun interactive video to teach kids exactly how to put the models together – Ikea, take note. I thought I’d be busting out the hot glue gun and doing it myself in a red-eyed, late-night blur. But Poppy and Herbie easily got to folding, slotting and putting the things together on their own. Once built, each Toy Con incorporates either the wireless controllers or the tablet screen – and often both – for kids to play using their creations. One minute they might be twisting the card throttle and steering with the handlebars on a motorcycle course, the next, brushing up on their scales with the surprisingly sophisticated piano. It really is genius to see it all come together, and I’m not ashamed to say I spent more than a few minutes floundering with the fishing rod, trying to crush my daughter’s record catch on the fishing game. The best part is, once the fun’s worn a little thin, it’s on to the next thing. There’s also a mode that lets kids tinker with the back-end, programme their own games, and make their very own Toy Con. My eldest is already far better on the computer than I, and she actually seems to have the best time playing around with that. She might even learn something! It’s a bit different to the sort of cards we had when I was young, but Nintendo Labo gets a thumbs up from all of us.
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Brand and deliver Serious players in the toy industry head to Las Vegas Licensing Expo. TnP takes you through what you might expect to learn there
hat’s hot is the biggest question on every toy retailer and buyer’s lips - so where better to discover the answer than at Licensing Expo in Las Vegas. The annual show, this year held on 22nd to 24th May, is where all the world’s brands congregate to sell, influence and communicate - all under one roof. The show does not discriminate - Superwings
New exhibitors include
the Country Music Association, Flying Colors Apparel, Gearbox, Members Only, Penguin Random House, pocket.watch, PurseN, SMOOTS, Swissbrand World, Tetris, tokidoki, U.S. Marine Corps Trademark Licensing and Warner Music Group (WMG).
Licensing Expo provides a great opportunity to align our company to bestin-class licensees both existing and new to help bring products to fans and consumers around the globe
happily sit cheek to jowl with Barbie — but this is the essential place to gain the most distilled and up-to-date knowledge about the biggest trends in toys. It is universally agreed that the show is pivotal, with Hasbro’s VP of Brand Licensing James Walker telling TnP sister title, LTW that: “Licensing Expo provides a great opportunity to align our company to best-in-class licensees both existing and new to help bring products to fans and consumers around the globe”. Nicholas Denissen, Vice President, Amazon, will The show attracts lead the opening keynote at Licensing Expo 2018. the most influential Denissen will take the stage on 22 May from 8am, players globally and so there is no greater with other industry leaders in a panel session shop window. Johanne titled, “Great Expectations: Pace, Selection, Broadfield VP of Convenience and the Customer.” The panel Cartoon Network Enterprises, Turner discussion will center on how brands can grow Broadcasting System their business online. EMEA says: “For Cartoon Network, as a
Did you know?
licensor globally, Vegas is a great opportunity to showcase pour portfolio of properties to retailers and licensees from right around the world. It’s the event to observe your competition and network with the industry.” And what do the show organisers themselves say about the show? Jessica Blue, Licensing Expo’s VP told LTW: “Licensing Expo is a mustattend show because attendees can see the largest selection of brands in the world available for license, all in one place”. She adds: “Licensing Expo is a unique opportunity to meet and greet and make deals with the industry’s leading power brokers — all in three days!” And so, with all this wheelerdealing, learning and of course the excellent social and networking aspect to this unique and exciting show, who could resist a roll of the dice? Get ahead and find out what’s hot, not now but next year and get yourself to Las Vegas, Nevada.
What The Doctor ordered BBC Studios 0207 612 3000 www.bbcstudios.com
Stand: N204 BBC Studios, formerly known as BBC Worldwide, is back at Vegas Licensing Expo with incredible brands for all ages. Global hit Doctor Who will undoubtedly be a main attraction as excitement builds for the new series, with new deals from the US and UK to be announced in the coming months. Strictly Come Dancing puts on a fabulous performance, considerably upping its licensing portfolio. BBC Studios recently partnered with John Adams Leisure to produce, manufacture and distribute the firstever official Strictly Come Dancing board game, which goes on sale this summer. There’s also the latest from The BAFTA and International Emmy Award-winning Hey Duggee, BBC Earth and Top Gear.
Universal success Universal Brand Development +1 818 7774382 www.nbcuniversal.com
Stand F170 At this year’s Licensing Expo, Universal will showcase an expanding portfolio of properties. Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom makes its highly anticipated debut in theaters from June 2018. Anchored by global partners, Mattel and LEGO, the Jurassic World franchise is supported by its largest program to date. Also, from Universal Pictures comes Mortal Engines in December 2018. In April 2019, Robert Downey Jr. brings a signature new take on a very particular genius in The Voyage of Doctor Dolittle. From the creative teams at Illumination and Universal Pictures, comes a newly imagined version of Dr. Seuss’ The Grinch, supported by global master toy licensee Just Play, in time for the holidays this November. Also, from Illumination, The Secret Life of Pets 2 will debut in theaters June 2019, and in 2020, fans can look forward to Minions 2 and Sing 2. The highly anticipated next film in the DreamWorks How To Train Your Dragon franchise premieres Q1 2019, and Trolls 2 in April 2020.
Pre-school heroes Entertainment One firstname.lastname@example.org www.eonefamily.co.uk
Stand: D196 Entertainment One (eOne) returns to Licensing Expo this year with its world-class line-up of award-winning pre-school entertainment properties: Peppa Pig, PJ Masks and Ben & Holly’s Little Kingdom. Peppa Pig continues to expand into international markets and now boasts over 1,000 licensees globally. EOne is gearing up to celebrate the brand’s 15th anniversary milestone in the UK and Australia in 2019 with a calendar of events. Pre-school superhero property PJ Masks has soared in popularity in the past 12 months. With annual global retail sales going from strength to strength, PJ Masks has firmly cemented its position as a leading pre-school brand.
Magic moments Rainbow +39 071 7506 7500 www.rbw.it
Stand: O192 Content powerhouse Rainbow is ready to sprinkle magic at the Vegas Licensing Expo by showcasing four of the hottest brands in world licensing – 44 Cats, Winx Club, Regal Academy, and Maggie & Bianca Fashion Friends. 44 Cats is a Rainbow production in collaboration with Antoniano Bologna that follows the daily adventures of Lampo, Milady, Pilou, and Polpetta, cats who are all part of a music band named The Buffycats. This big-hearted series promotes positive, can-do attitudes, and conveys a positive message in a funny environment. The show is getting very positive feedback from broadcasters.
Opportunity abounds Mondo TV +39 06 863 23293 www.mondotvgroup.com
Stand C204 Robot Trains is an exciting, inventive new animation from Mondo TV, now broadcasts on a number of leading free-to-air channels. This thrilling 32 x 11’ series for four to seven-year-old children is set in Train World, inhabited by talking trains, some of which can turn into robots! A second season, is already under way. Mondo TV is not only distributing the new series but is also co-producer. Silverlit Robot Trains toy ranges will be distributed through partners worldwide. Rocco Giocattoli, toy distributor in Italy, has already planned a major marketing campaign, with Bisak in Spain and Concentra in Portugal following suit. Proving the variety and versatility of the Mondo portfolio, Invention Story (104 x 11’), a co-production from Henan York Animation and Mondo TV that arrives next year, takes a completely different approach. It’s the tale of an intelligent, thoughtful and
Leader of the pack Bulldog Licensing 020 8325 5455 www.bulldog-licensing.com
Stand E214 Shopkins is the hit collectable from Moose Toys, with over 1 billion characters sold, and finished 2017 as the number one girls’ brand in the UK (the third consecutive year!). Its popularity is bolstered by a growing entertainment slate, and a long list of partners includes Topps, Danilo, Winning Moves and many more. And don’t miss more from Pikmi Pops, The Angry Birds, Zag Heroez Miraculous – Tales of Ladybug & Cat Noir, Zag Heroez - Zak Storm, and Care Bears.
creative fox who each episode comes up with a new invention. There are plots, conflicts and rivalries, as well as funny, eccentric and engaging characters — but this show also offers something different. Such is the enormous potential of Invention Story that Henan York Animation and Mondo TV have already committed to five series – for a total of 520 11-minute episodes. A number of categories are soon to be finalised, including master toy and master publisher, with others certain to be announced before the series’ launch in Easter 2019. There has been a strong broadcast and licensing response to YooHoo to the Rescue, the brand-new 3D CGI animated series based on the line of plush toys made by Aurora World.
Get animated Cartoon Network Enterprises 0207 693 1000 www.cartoonnetwork.com
Stand D170 Cartoon Network Enterprises will be returning to Licensing Expo in 2018 to showcase its broad, dynamic brand portfolio. The beloved Ben 10 franchise, which was successfully relaunched around the world last year, will continue to grow in 2018 with an extensive licensing program. Celebrating its 20th anniversary this year, The Powerpuff Girls will grow with new and continuing licensing partners. Additionally, the consumer products program will significantly expand around the globe for the immensely popular Adult Swim series Rick and Morty. Cartoon Network will also continue to expand the licensing programmes around popular franchises Adventure Time, We Bare Bears, Steven Universe and more.
Inking deals Ink Group
+45 20 33 3020 www.ink-brands.com
Stand F204 Ink Group will have a huge presence at Licensing Expo, with a major stand partly branded with Ink Group’s Zafari – the new animation that looks certain to be one of the biggest kids’ brands of recent years. Ink Group will also present a range of top brands at the show, including global smash hit Masha and the Bear.
Get the Barbie look New deals for Mattel and Missguided have joined forces to launch the newest capsule collection in the ongoing #BarbiexMissguided collaboration, debuting a festival inspired line for the summer. The collection marks the fourth time collaborated, following three sell-out previous collections since 2017. It is the latest in an exciting 2018 rollout strategy of licensed categories globally for Barbie, including stationery, with a European Moleskine partnership, and a beauty partnership with Sephora France.
Star Wars Solo products hits shelves As fans around the world countdown to Solo: A Star Wars Story’s debut on 25 May, Lucasfilm today unveiled product collections inspired by the highlyanticipated Star Wars film. The cross-category assortment spans action figures, role-play products, apparel and more that take inspiration from the upcoming movie, with comic and book titles launching in May. Highlights from the new product line include: Star Wars Han Solo’s Landspeeder construction set by LEGO, Solo: A Star Wars Story Bobbleheads in the Pop! style by Funko, Hot Wheels Solo: A Star Wars Story Character Cars by Mattel, Solo: A Star Wars Story Big Figs by Jakks Pacific, Solo: A Star Wars Story Chewbacca Pet Costume by Rubies, and the Solo: A Star Wars Story The Black Series 6” Figures by Hasbro.
Bulldog has signed a number of new deals for hit comedy-action animated TV series, Zag Heroez Miraculous - Tales of Ladybug & Cat Noir. The latest deals bring Sambro on board for arts and crafts, including magnetic scribblers, colouring tables, and bead craft sets, and also styling head dolls. H&A will also produce a health and beauty range that includes bath products, play cosmetics, hair care and gift sets. The show now airs in over 120 countries and a live-action feature film is set to be distributed by a major studio in 2020, and the brand has a strong online presence.
Pretty deal for CPLG CPLG has been appointed licensing agent for EMEA (excluding CEE and Nordics) for the UglyDolls franchise. Beloved by children, teenagers and adults alike, UglyDoll characters are distinct for their endearing “ugliness” in a wonderful Uglyverse where differences are embraced and cherished. CPLG will develop an UglyDolls licensing programme across a broad spectrum of categories, with an initial focus on apparel, accessories and gifting, targeting young adults and kids. The UglyDolls franchise is gaining momentum, with Hasbro recently named master global toy licensee and world-renowned recording artist Pitbull having recently signed on to the voice cast for the upcoming feature film. Additional projects are in the works, including a television series and digital content.
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Licensing Talk Greenlight Nintendo races into Monopoly Hasbro has teamed up with Nintendo on the launch of Monopoly Gamer: Mario Kart Edition game. The new Monopoly game introduces the fun and competition of Mario Kart through iconic characters and unique gameplay, providing fans of all ages with exciting new ways to engage with the Nintendo brand. “In 2017, our fans were excited to see Mario and Mr. Monopoly join forces, so it’s only fitting we continue this collaboration with another franchise favourite – Mario Kart,” said Jonathan Berkowitz, Senior Vice President of Global Marketing for Hasbro Gaming. “The game will integrate iconic elements of Mario Kart into the Monopoly game, offering a one-of-a-kind experience for gamers across the globe.”
Silvergate mega deals announced Silvergate Media is underway on its biggest content slate ever for 2018, buoyed by high-profile commissions with Nickelodeon and Netflix, alongside new content for its global hit series Octonauts. The international TV production and brand licensing company is rapidly expanding kids’ animation production slate with its most extensive and diverse line-up since being established in 2011. “Silvergate Media is now a significant creative force in pre-school TV and is building its production slate in the broader children’s market” said Waheed Alli, CEO at Silvergate Media. “We have had smash hits in the USA, China, Europe and Australia with more on its way.”
TnP catches up with the company’s Universal Brand Development’s UK and ROI Consumer Products Country Director, Hannah Mungo, to find out more the first raft of UK partners to sign up to the licensing programme for Illumination’s Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas Hannah – tell us about the New Grinch movie. It is a newly imagined version of the seasonal classic, starring British heavyweight Benedict Cumberbatch in the title role of The Grinch, is set for release in November 2018 and is made by those genius guys at Illumination – the home of Despicable Me franchise and the Minions of course!
And where is that brand awareness derived from? From a parents’ perspective, the Dr Seuss anthology is credited with being amongst some of the first books to inspire a life-long love of reading and initiatives like World Book Day are key awareness drivers too. Looking at The Grinch specifically, the property will definitely benefit from our adoption of US trends like Christmas Eve Boxes and UK retail’s ever increasing focus on seasonality and building narratives the engage consumers and drive sales. Who’s on board on the toys side? Early adopters to the programme have the Christmas essentials covered with Flair on board to distribute Just Play’s range of toys, plush and playsets. And can you tell us about some more partners – TnP understands there is a pretty long list…! We are delighted to work with so many excellent licensees such as HarperCollins UK which have signed the local publishing rights and will release a selection of imprints based on the new movie IP, Bon Bon Buddies, World Confections and Give & Go will meet the demand for delicious treats with seasonal chocolate and confectionary. Lastly, BB Designs and Danilo have greeting cards, gift wrap and crackers covered. 65
Step back in time A rather personal look back through time beginning with May 2013, 2008, 1998 and 1988 by TnP Founder and MD Malcolm Naish
May 2013 •
We interview Vanessa Horton of on-line company Jellyfingers. Vanessa had previously worked with Fisher-Price and Mattel in various marketing roles and had used her knowledge of the industry to create Jellyfingers. Her flash sale site is still going strong today.
Bernie Smith of University Games and Rosemary Hughes of John Adams were recipients of the famous ‘Golden Teddy’ awards handed to them at the Toymaster show and richly deserved.
Mattel head the Q1 TV spend on £1,191,108 well ahead of second place MGA on £787,499.
Vivid must surely love ‘Thunderbirds’ as once again they are appointed Master Toy partner for this enduring classic.
Two great stalwarts of the toy trade retire and are presented with a bottle of champagne by Roger Dyson. They are Mike Edmonds and John Nicholas.
May 2008 • An Australian group called Leading Edge are the latest to believe they might breathe fresh life in to Youngsters. With 80 or so of their members still not having decided which buying group to join, Leading Edge believe they have a fighting chance and have appointed Ian Henley and Nik Hallam to head up the UK arm of the company. • Almost at the same time J.A. Magson give up any hope of saving Youngsters and announce the closure of their 20 Toyzone stores.
May 1998 •
The Toymaster show is awash with rumours that they might merge with Youngsters. Thankfully these were soon no more, as was Youngsters a few years later.
Toymaster are also having second thoughts on moving their show to Solihull for 1999. All of the suppliers prefer Harrogate and so too do many of their members. The Board plan to finalise their decision in July. I loved the May show as 70s rockers ‘Showaddywaddy’ provided the music, allowing me to re-live my youth, if only for an hour or so!
Whilst very few of our current readers will remember Charles Baxter, Charles was the Press Officer for the Harrogate toy show for many years and along with his wife Liz ran their press office for 18 years dispensing bonhomie to us all. Rest in peace Charles.
How times change in football. 20 years ago Man. City fans Neil Leah and Richard Body saw their team almost relegated to Division Two. On the other hand, myself, Jon Diver, Trevor Simmons and Barry Hughes were celebrating Arsenal’s fantastic double win.
May 1988 •
Interestingly, 30 years ago Kenner, Parker Tonka were a major force in the land. ‘Ghostbuster’ was big business back then, but KPT incurred the wrath of the Independents by insisting on a £5000 opening order placed by the 18 March with 25% product delivered in June, 50% by 23 September and the balance by the 28 October.
Five grand was a lot of money thirty years ago and their selling policy came in for a lot of stick.
Spare a thought for Leisuretime’s M.D. David Walton. As the result of one father sitting in his child’s swing and managing to break a plastic support ring, David had to recall that particular model and at the time of going to press over 3000 had been returned and the plastic part replaced by a metal support. No one was injured and nobody else ever reported a similar accident, so good on David for acting responsibly and solving the problem.
I’m also on my hobby horse asking why so many of the big toy companies seem to prefer to employ twenty-something FMCG sales staff rather than experienced toy personnel in their 40/50s?
Who said “You can’t make them up”.
• Hornby purchase the Corgi brand tooling and intellectual rights. • Gamleys having already shut six of their stores, are reviewing the future of the business. Such a shame as Gamleys must surely be one of the most favourite of retail store groups that suppliers sell to. • It was only ten years ago that The Entertainer had just 41 shops – now look at them! • Back in 2008 Nat Southworth leaves Vivid to strike out on his own with Added Smile.
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If you want to reach 5,121* total average net circulation, then call Ryan Horwood on 01442 289945 or email email@example.com *. Circulation figure relates to period from 1st July 2016 to 30th June 2017
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We bring to the fore a selection of the hottest and newest products that will help you sell more. Buyers and retailers, get in touch with your sales contact now!
Product: Disney Baby Incredibles Jack Jack Romper Company: Amscan International Tel: 01908 288500 Web: www.amscan.co.uk
Product: Helix Sling Stix Company: Jazwares Tel: 020 3598 0272 Web: www.jazwares.com
Product: Break Free Company: Ravensburger Tel: 01869 363 800 Web: www.ravensburger.com
Product: Hama 10,000 Bead & Pegboard Tub Company: DKL Marketing Tel: 01604 678 780 Web: www.dkl.co.uk
Product: TP Toys Mud Kitchen Company: Mookie Toys Tel: 01525 722722 Web: www.mookie.co.uk
Product: Yuri’s Bath Salon Company: Tomy Tel: 01392 281928 Web: www.tomy.com
Product: Personalised Putty Company: Instant Gift Int. Ltd Tel: 01580 765040 Web: www.instant-gifts.co.uk
Product: Christopher Robin Movie range 10-inch Winnie the Pooh Company: Posh Paws Tel: 01268 567317 Web: www.poshpawsinternational.co.uk
Product: Friends Top Trumps Company: Winning Moves Tel: 0207 298 9515 Web: www.winningmoves.co.uk
Helping everyone sell more
Exhibitors Guide 2018
CONTENTS 018 May 2 No. 8 6 3 Vol.
TEAM TnP Group Editor Mirella Anstey email@example.com
Leader - with Mirella Anstey
oymaster May Show - your T guide starts here
over Story – Playmobil shares C more about some incredible product - unmissable
Mairead Wilmot firstname.lastname@example.org
Editor Rhys Thomas email@example.com
Group Advertisement Manager Ryan Horwood firstname.lastname@example.org
10 S uppliers say – Toymaster suppliers discuss why the May Show is unmissable 12 E xhibitor Guide – Plan your trip to Harrogate with an advanced look at who’s exhibiting and what they’re showing
Publisher Mark Naish email@example.com
Production Director Paul Naish firstname.lastname@example.org
Design and Production Marian McNamara email@example.com
Managing Director Malcolm Naish firstname.lastname@example.org
Circulation Manager Robert Thomas email@example.com
Lema Publishing Ltd
1 Churchgates, The Wilderness, Berkhamsted, Herts, HP4 2UB Telephone: 01442 289930
At the heart of retail A member of the Audit Bureau of Circulation
Independently audited ABC circulation of 5,125 1 July 2015 to 30 June 2016
am over the moon that the Toymaster show is here again! Like so many of us I really love to make the annual pilgrimage to Harrogate — not just because it is a lovely place to be but moreover because the show is just at the right time of the year! We are far enough from the big shows at the start of the year to really enjoy the May show and it comes at a time where we are full of expectation and optimism at what the final half of the year might bring. The show is buzzing with lots of business, lots of chat and lots of fun — all the vital ingredients for a successful, useful and valuable show. The offers are of course a great enticement too but there is something about the guidance and expertise that the
Toymaster team offer their members which helps bolster the buying. The team are always around the show — always eager to help or give some advice — they really know their members very well and equally know the suppliers too. The social side of the show is a true highlight, everyone getting together and having a really good time — the definition of feel-good to me. I am looking forward to seeing everyone up there and having a real good chat and getting to see some of these second-half of year products too. Enjoy the following pages — featured are some of the great products you will see as well as some key information and tips from exhibitors and retailers.
Helping everyone sell more
preview preview Toymaster Toymaster
Show details What: Toymaster May Show When: 15-17 May 2018 Where: The Majestic Hotel, Harrogate Web: www.toymaster.co.uk
Master of ceremonies Hundreds of independent retailers and savvy suppliers alike will travel to the grand surroundings of Harrogate’s Victorian Majestic Hotel this month with one thing in common – the desire to ‘talk shop’ and get down to business. TnP catches up with some of them, and the man behind the magic, Toymaster MD Ian Edmunds…
or those looking to coin a catchphrase that perfectly encompasses the threeday annual success that is Harrogate’s May Toymaster Show, look no further than ‘Mr Toymaster’ himself, Ian Edmunds. “It’s an inclusive, relaxed environment where likeminded people who are serious about doing business come together,” he says – and Ian should know. Toymaster’s Managing Director has worked for the organisation for 19 years, building on his previous 15 years of experience in independent retail at the well-known store Roys of Wroxham. And the hard work
and planning that goes into making the Toymaster show – held at Harrogate’s Majestic Hotel – the industry talking point and ordering extravaganza it always is, is something he is an integral part of. “If ever anyone wants to learn about the toy trade, the Toymaster show is a very good event to come to,” Ian tells TnP. “You’ll meet a lot of like-minded people there, be they independent retailers or suppliers. Members Ian Edmunds, Toymaster talk to other
The nuts and bolts of Toymaster is business – suppliers looking to get orders signed and members looking for great products
independents about shared problems and it’s quite simply a place to do good business. “Toymaster is a show all about orders, not what I call a ‘looky, looky’ trade event. The nuts and bolts of Toymaster is business: suppliers looking to get orders signed and members looking for great products.
Re Sa tai y. ler ... s
“The Toymaster May Show is always an important event for A1, because suppliers understand they are talking to people who are margin driven and you’ll get a few exclusives. Plus it is great to have the opportunity to bounce ideas off other independents as well.”
James Neil, A1 Toys
“The show is all about buying for the last half of the year, whether that be stock for September or November, and for retailers it is cost effective because there are good, exclusive deals on offer and competitive prices to take advantage of.”
If it ain’t broke… Ian says that part of the show’s success is down to the fact that it stays at the same size year on year, and focuses instead on what it does well – bringing people from across the industry together. Over the three days, around 130 Toymaster members are expected to attend with an additional 100 independent retailers joining the lively atmosphere in Harrogate alongside more than 110 suppliers. Ian himself has been involved with the Toymaster show since 1994, attending first as a member – so has invaluable experience in terms of seeing its many business benefits from both sides. “The format of the show works, and if it ain’t broke don’t fix it,” Ian says. “Of course people who attend are serious about doing business, but equally the social side is important too with two dinners held in the evening – one quite relaxed, one more formal. There’s lots of networking to be done and knowledge to share. “We put a lot of work into this main show, it’s all about the preparation. We start planning for it the day after the previous year’s show finishes and meet at the Majestic to discuss the next event while everything is still
fresh in our minds. “I have so many wonderful memories of the show from over the years but personally, on a lighter note, I do enjoy a curry and a beer on the Thursday night after everyone has gone home! “I think this year there’s going to be loads of interesting industry talking points, for example, how things are looking after the collapse of Toys R Us. But this is a market where the products and the climate are always changing. It’s ever-evolving and that keeps things fresh. There’s no doubt that independent toy retailers are becoming increasingly important Laura Bull, Posh Paws to suppliers. They need to nurture this side of their business as they are going to have to maximise this avenue. “Independents stand out because of the very high levels of service, their impeccable knowledge and the fact that they are in tune with their local
The independent trade is very important to Posh Paws and it’s an area that we are really focusing on
community. The Toymaster show isn’t about chain stores, but about business people who have built their companies on their own with their own money. “Suppliers value the genuine responses they get from members and know they can rely on honest feedback about factors such as packaging, point of sale and the quality of products.”
Brilliant for business Many suppliers have been loyal to the Toymaster show for many years, but what unique business opportunities does it offer them to keep them coming back for more? Ben Hogg, Marketing Manager for Asmodee UK, says the company has been attending Toymaster for more than 15 years. “It offers a unique chance for us to meet with the indies face to face, show our range, catch up with old friends and understand how we can work better with them,” Ben explains. “We have an excellent relationship with Toymaster and its members and a show like this demonstrates that.” Jumbo Games has been coming to the show for at least 25 years, according to Sales Director, Steve Washbourne. “Toymaster offers us the perfect chance to
110+ The number of suppliers exhibiting at this year’s show
The independent retailer is our bread and butter. It is only through communicating with them that we can keep our finger on the pulse
showcase our new A/W ranges, as well as what we have already released for S/S, to a large number of independent customers,” Steve says. “With our strategy to focus on continuing to grow our Adult Puzzle portfolio and our independent customers being a massive part of that, it’s an invaluable show for Jumbo and one that we invest a lot of time and resources into to Ben Hogg, Asmodee make sure it’s a success.” Juratoys has been a fixture at Toymaster for the last three years, and Sales and Marketing Manager Michelle Probert says that the fun atmosphere and opportunity to meet independents from across the country makes for an unmissable combination. “At Juratoys we feel that we have a lot to offer a Toymaster retailer and look forward to showing off our 2018 collection,” Michelle explains. “We have more than 250 new products to show this year and have put together some great merchandising options alongside our ongoing deals.” Zara Grindrod, Sales Director at Rainbow Designs, agrees: “Toymaster is a great specialist show completely
focused on the independent retailer, and that’s why we’ve been coming for more than 12 years,” she says. “ Toymaster allows us to showcase our key collections, like Peter Rabbit, Paddington, The Snowman and Winnie The Pooh, that work well for the independent. Plus it’s also a timely opportunity to reconnect with our existing accounts as well as meeting potential new customers.” Posh Paws International’s Marketing Manager, Laura Bull, says the company has been at the Toymaster May Show for at least five years – for as long as they can remember anyway! “The show is a great opportunity to see and new and existing customers following the madness of the bigger fairs at the beginning of the year. We get the chance to engage with the invaluable independent trade, offering fantastic promotions on our quality products.”
Talking shop As Posh Paw’s Laura Bull explains, Toymaster is a crucial show for many suppliers because they are constantly seeking dialogue and feedback from independent retailers in order to improve the products and service they provide. “The independent trade is very important to Posh Paws and it’s an area that we are really focusing on,” she says. “We’ve got some fantastic ranges to showcase this year alongside some even more fantastic offers. We have great hopes for a productive, order-writing show.”
“We like to keep an ear to the ground so we can understand the issues affecting stores and any opportunities available that we can work with them on,” Asmodee’s Ben Hogg adds. “The independent retailer is our bread and butter it is only through communicating with them that we can keep our finger on the pulse. It also gives us a better understanding of their business and what we can do to help them.” Michelle Probert from Juratoys agrees: “We feel very passionate about the independent retailer and would say that a huge part of our business comes from that sector. It’s important that our customers feel supported and looked after. “We have a great support network and are constantly coming up with new ideas and ways to help with many aspects of our retailers – from the buying process to merchandising options.” Jumbo’s Steve Washbourne, says over the past two years the company has adopted a ‘back to basics’ mantra, which ties in well with the values of the Toymaster show. “Dialogue with independents is vital for us as these are the customers that get the most face-time with our consumers. Listening to what they have to say and taking their comments and advice on board and looking to how we can better assist them is very important to us.” Zara Grindod, from Rainbow Designs, says the brand’s relationship with independent retailers is extremely important, and historically has been at the core of the business. “As a business we’re definitely becoming more relevant to Toymaster members who are looking for some premium, higher-margin lines. We are The Home of Classic Characters and our breadth of collections including Peter Rabbit, Paddington, Winnie the Pooh and The Snowman, provide a point of difference. For us, Toymaster is growing as an order writing show and has done year on year.”
NEW FOR 2018
Visit Plum® at the Toymaster May Show BRING THE OUTDOORS IN-STORE with new retail solution
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Sets in the Playmobil Explorers range, across a variety of price points
Playmobil’s new themed sets transport children to a world of dinosaurs and exploration, complete with a fresh approach to storytelling through an acccompanying official movie
t’s time to get adventurous with the brand new for 2018 Playmobil Explorers range. Launching in June, this exciting new range features six sets and offers children the chance to really delve into their imagination and into the shoes of the intrepid Playmobil Explorers. The four main characters each have their own personalities. Archaeologist and leader of the group, Nick, knows his history well and takes the team around the various lands, often taking the leap and making courageous decisions. Biologist and chemist, Emma, knows everything about animals and carries out examinations in her mobile lab, always teaching the others all about the animal kingdom. Will is the
We’re confident that our customers will enjoy The Explorers movie, and take the range home to create new and even more fun and exciting adventures
Jamie Dickinson, Playmobil
technician of the troop and likes to add a dash of humour. The three explorers, along with their guard dog and furry friend, Sammy, make a spectacular team. The range is accompanied by a Playmobil animated movie, which sets the scene for a wild adventure and takes viewers on a trip with these four new characters. The team travel to the island of Roca where they explore the land of dinosaurs, stumbling across mystical plants and ancient ruins, overcoming the obstacles caused by Quinn and his team. The Explorers team will go on many different adventures to different lands over time, from the Ice World, to the Stone Age to ancient Greece, and children will be able to set off on different trails with the mighty foursome. Jamie Dickinson, Marketing and Display Manager for Playmobil, said: “We’re very excited about this launch. This is a new approach for Playmobil as we are setting a scene with the Explorers range. It has always
Movie magic The Playmobil Explorers range is accompanied by a movie that fans can view on YouTube. More than 40,000 kids have already enjoyed the 10-minute animation since its launch in early April 2018.
been, and remains, our philosophy to allow children enjoying our toys to create their own stories and, while we do have a narrative around The Explorers range, we know youngsters will soon be making their own adventures. “Having such a rich history within the toy industry, we’re confident that our customers will enjoy The Explorers movie and take the range home to create new and even more fun and exciting adventures in the comfort of their own home. It’s always rewarding to see children mixing the sets together and making their own tales; it won’t be long before the T-Rex is battling the Princess in her castle and Quinn is trying to steal some treasures from the Pharaoh’s Pyramid.” The entire range features six sets, including smaller toys such as the Motocross Bike with Raptor and Adventure Copter with Pterodactyl – complete with spinning rotor blades. Quinn and his team can be found in the Enemy Quad with Triceratops, with working net cannon and removable cab, and the Enemy Airboat with Raptor, which floats and can be upgraded. The team also travel in the Explorer Vehicle with Stegosaurus, complete with functioning winch. Central to the story is the Hidden Temple with T-Rex, including all the Explorers, cool glow in the dark lighting effects.
opinion Lewi Hillier, UK Sales & Operations Director, Click Distribution
Michael Berg, Head of International Sales, Mookie
What makes Toymaster an unmissable and valuable show for you?
What makes Toymaster an unmissable and valuable show for you?
The Toymaster show is a fantastic opportunity for us to see all of the members and gives us a chance to showcase our full range of products especially for the independent retail sector, which is a very important area of our business. Over the course of the three days, it’s great to be able to talk to the members face to face and run through lines for the remainder of the year, while also getting feedback on what’s worked well in Q1 and Q2.
Toymaster is a good opportunity to see customers in a short period of time. It’s well organised, fast paced and has been a successful show for us for the past few years.
Star product for Toymaster: Kawaii Squeezies, Meegos and Panini’s 2018 FIFA World Cup Sticker Collection
Star product for Toymaster: Lazer M.A.D
Suppliers say... The Toymaster May Show is an unmissable part of the calendar for many suppliers. TnP found out why
David Mordecai, CEO, Tobar
Grace Astin, Sales Account Manager, Zimpli Toys
What makes Toymaster an unmissable and valuable show for you?
What makes Toymaster an unmissable and valuable show for you? Toymaster is always a great show to exhibit at, as everyone is always extremely welcoming and helpful and the atmosphere is very laid back and enjoyable. As a relatively new supplier to the Toymaster Group, I am looking forward to our first show and can’t wait to see everyone’s reactions to our new products that we’re launching this year!
Star product for Toymaster: Brand new Slime FSDU
The Toymaster May Show is a brilliant opportunity to see ’old’ faces, but also to meet many new ones. I always look forward to this time of year as there’s an opportunity to strike up meaningful relationships across the industry and show off some of the great new Tobar product lines coming up this year. Star product for Toymaster: Pass Gass game
Judith Dayus, Director, Great Gizmos
Sarah Winter, Head of Sales, Green Board Games
What makes Toymaster an unmissable and valuable show for you?
What makes Toymaster an unmissable and valuable show for you?
Toymaster is a great show for us as it allows us to catch up with existing members and also meet new members. It is an important show for us because we showcase our latest products with fantastic deals and offers. We also have some unmissable clearance lines for this show. Star product for Toymaster: Plush backpacks
Brendan Taylor, Key Account Manager – Toys, West Design What makes Toymaster an unmissable and valuable show for you? It’s not always easy to get around and see all of the Toymaster members and keep them up to date with current lines. So when we are all together in one place for three days, it gives suppliers a fantastic opportunity to showcase their new, old and favourite lines. The atmosphere is always welcoming and friendly at the Toymaster May Show and the members are focused on looking for new and existing lines to order for Q3/Q4.
Star product for Toymaster: Grow Your
We love being at Toymaster. It gives us the opportunity to spend quality time with a significant number of independent retailers. It is important to gain insight as to the needs of smaller businesses and look at how we might tailor our offerings to support their sales needs - you cannot beat personal interaction. Toymaster provides a perfect platform for us to showcase and engage in a relaxed, fun-focused setting with both customers and like-minded businesses. Star product for Toymaster: Shaperise
David Kelly, MD, Magformers What makes Toymaster an unmissable and valuable show for you? It’s a wellorganised and wellattended show that gives us an opportunity to talk to Toymaster members in a focused environment that’s a lot less pressurised than other trade events. We can talk more at length and in more detail with Toymaster members about Magformers, our best-selling and new lines, and what we can do to support them this year. Star product for Toymaster: The SkyTrack Monorail sets
Play for keeps Ravensburger 01869 363 800 www.ravensburger.com
Look out for Ravensburger’s exciting range of character puzzles this spring. Perfect for pre-school children, the firm boasts a range bursting with the latest popular TV and film characters. Renowned for its high quality, family-fun products, Ravensburger has added even more licenses to its ever-growing portfolio. Brand-new this season is the bright and colourful range of Peppa Pig puzzles and games. Currently in the range are nine jigsaw puzzles, including a Giant Shaped Floor Puzzle, a Look & Find Puzzle and My First Puzzles. Available for the youngest of fans, the My First Puzzles are suitable from 18 months, ensuring there is something suitable for any aged puzzler. Extend the fun with the range of fun family games including a Peppa Pig Snakes & Ladders, Dominoes, Card Game and Ravensburger’s iconic memory game. Look out for further range additions in July this year. Completing the extensive range of character licensed puzzles and games are Ben & Holly’s Little Kingdom, PAW Patrol, Thomas & Friends, PJ Masks, The Gruffalo, Disney, Marvel, Paddington and many more. There is certainly plenty to choose from with Ravensburger this S/S.
Further exciting launches this year include new family games Break Free, Make-n-Break and Thinkfun Rush Hour, all supported by a fully integrated marketing plan and high-impact TV campaigns. Rush Hour is already an established family favourite and the winner of countless industry awards. Break Free is brand-new to the range, where up to four players race to be the first to escape the handcuffs by unpicking a secret lock. Break Free, Make-n-Break and Rush Hour all promise to be excellent additions to the Ravensburger collection this year. Discover the full range of Ravensburger, BRIO and ThinkFun products at the Toymaster May Show.
Make and do Galt Toys
01614 289 111 www.galttoys.com Galt will be showing a host of new products across its range at this year’s Toymaster May Show. The popular Activity Packs are just the thing for birthday parties and year-round giving. There are six new products including Balloon Train, Connecta Straws and Fab Hair. Galt is well known for its puzzles with a difference. New Giant Floor Puzzle, Town, strengthens this popular range with a 30-piece puzzle complete with eight templates. Galt’s best-selling Snakes and Ladders Game is complemented with a Giant Snakes and Ladders Puzzle. This 36-piece puzzle makes an 80 x 80cm game and includes a large foam dice and four chunky counters. Stationery has long been an integral part of Galt. This year there are five new products including two Chalk Books, an animal Photographic Sticker Book and two further Water Magic Titles - Pets and Who’s Hiding, to keep the magic well and truly in this fast-selling range. The evergreen Fairy Friends range introduces two new light products: Fairy Picture Lights, 10 LED fairy lights with clear lightshades to be decorated with vinyl stickers and glue paint, and Fairy Night Light, a delightful colour changing fairy toadstool night light, complete with a wooden stand. Finally, it’s time for science. Last year Galt introduced the STEM range Explore and Discover, which immediately established itself on Galt’s bestseller lists. Two additions, Body Lab and Forces Lab, will ensure further success. These products are classic Galt: educational, fun and contemporary, and packed with experiments!
Â© 2018 Hasbro. All Rights Reserved.
FOR SALES & ENQUIRIES CALL 020 8477 5777
Come to see Comansi Juratoys 020 8878 2133 www.juratoys.co.uk
Blowing off steam 01603 397 105 www.tobar.co.uk
Tangles, Trick Trucks, ’gassy games’ and much more will be on display at Tobar’s stand for this Toymaster May Show. Tobar is the go-to distributor for all the next big trends in 2018 such as mermaids and dinosaurs. A few examples of favourites from Tobar include: the brilliantly cheeky Pass Gass, the next viral family game to hit the market. The game challenges players to pump the dog’s tail after rolling a dice and eliminates any player hit with the flatulent canine’s gas. Young daredevils can do all sorts of tricks with the remote-control Trick Truck. Black on one side and green on the other, the chunky gripped wheels can power over obstacles and even backflip when driven at a wall. Zuru’s walking robot T-rex will roar into life at this year’s show. Realistic features including walking, roaring and a pair of reflective, life-like eyes. It’s enough to make kids think they’re roaming in the world of dinosaurs. As part of Zuru’s best-selling Robo Alive range, these dinos are sure to be in high demand and hugely popular.
Star power Wilton Bradley
The Juratoys team is really looking forward to the Toymaster show this year as a great opportunity to show off what the company has to offer Toymaster members and independent retailers. Toymaster members will be able to see a fantastic new brand this year call Comansi – and the Juratoys team feels this is a great fit for Toymaster stores. With figures including Peppa Pig, PAW patrol and Thomas to name just a few, Comansi will definitely be a focus for during the show. Jura has also launched over 250 new products this year across Alex, Janod and Kaloo. With so many great brands to talk about at the show – not to mention great offers, point of sale ideas and package deals – a visit to the Juratoys stand is unmissable!
01626 835400 www.wiltonbradley.com Wilton Bradley have the X Factor! On stage at Toymaster will be the X Factor XF1 and XF2. The XF1 a microphone speaker which has Bluetooth connectivity. The XF1 is branded in the black and red X Factor logo and has flashing LED lights on the base. The X Factor XF2 is a sophisticated microphone speaker which includes voice changing modes, echo function and a micro SD/USB Charging/USB Port. The existing Mi-Mic microphones will have new functionality and will continue to build on the success of 2017. Monster Smash Ups, the award winning remote control range will be joined by a fourth character ‘Black Widow’. The trucks have even more impact as the body of the truck now fully explodes when they hit each other or an obstacle! Other line extensions include a ‘Battle Pack’ which comes with two trucks, four interchangeable characters and chassis’. There will be even more activity in 2018 with an even bigger mass media campaign. Wilton Bradley has joined forces with YoYoFactory to act as their exclusive UK distributor for their expert line of Yo-Yos. And the GBSB range of Sewing Machines inspired by the Great British Sewing Bee TV show – a full range of accessories kits are available with everything needed to create the perfect item.
Cuddly characters Posh Paws
01268 567317 www.poshpawsinternational.co.uk
Did you know… Posh Paws is official plush partner of Jurassic World Fallen Kingdom, which hits cinamas next month. A colossal soft toy launch includes 8”, 10”, 14” and XL versions of the most recogniseable dinosaurs from the film.
With a raft of licensed merchandise, retailers at the Toymaster Show won’t want to give Posh Paws a miss! August will see the release of Disney’s Christopher Robin Movie and ahead of this the classically styled Posh Paws My Teddy Bear Pooh collection will be the perfect way to introduce the little ones to The most Famous Bear in the World! The Posh Paws Winnie the Pooh offering is a major focus for the firm this year, and to ensure its success, TV advertising is planned for Q4 and will feature the My Teddy Bear Pooh range. Already available as part of the Winnie the Pooh collection is Winnie the Pooh Vintage, Winnie the Pooh Tonal and Winnie the Pooh Snuggletime, all of which are beautifully designed, adorably cuddly and perfect for gifts for all. Launching in July, the official Christopher Robin movie range will be a must have and includes Pooh in his classic red jumper, Eeyore, Piglet and Tigger. Available as 7”, 10”and XL sizes, each toy is
styled as per the characters in the film. Toymaster will also be the place to see Posh Paws’ exciting, wide-eyed and super cute Disney Collection. These glittery plush toys feature favourites from both Disney’s back catalogue and most recent films. Released in squads of six, each character is adorable with super large eyes that instantly attract. Squad A’s characters launched in January and included Cinderella, Marie from the Aristocats, Minnie Mouse, Dumbo, Winnie the Pooh and Tigger. Hot on their heels in Squad B is Bambi, Snow White, Mickey Mouse, Simba from The Lion King, Patch from 101 Dalmatians and Eeyore. The fresh, new and stylised look and feel offers kids, teens and adults alike an utterly adorable plush that is priced as a collectable, so fans can build their own #DisneySquad. POS stands are available and are perfect to fill and refresh with new characters as they are released throughout 2018.
Revel in Revell! Revell
0845 459 0747 www.revell.de/en
Revell returns to Harrogate in 2018 with a huge selection of both radio controlled and self-assembly toy vehicles. The Revell ‘Junior Kit’ range, for ages 4+, will feature new license Super Wings, with key characters from the popular animated TV series. Within the Revell ‘Build & Play’ range for ages 6+, Star Wars is represented with key vehicles from ‘Episode 8 - The Last Jedi’ and ‘Solo - A Star Wars Story’, featuring snap-together parts, working lights and movie-sampled sounds! Amongst an array of spectacular show offers from Revell will be special discounts on a selection of RC vehicles and Christmas novelties. “Never before have we offered such a variety of promotions with such exceptional discounts” ,says Jamie Mabbs, Revell Country Manager - UK & Ireland.
In with the new! Vivid Imaginations
Billiar d Room
Tomy 01392 281928 www.tomy.com
01483 449944 www.vividtoysandgames.co.uk As global Master Toy partner on Nickelodeon property Nella the Princess Knight, Vivid is introducing a cross-category range of plush, dolls, role play items and playsets based on the popular animated show. Hero product Transforming Princess Knight Nella Doll has a magical feature that with a press a button changes her from Princess to Knight. Vivid has launched Squeezamals with a unique design USP. Covered in a super soft furry fabric, each animal themed Squeezamal features a scented, unique slow rise foam interior and can be squashed, squeezed and cuddled - always returning to its original shape. A perennially successful own IP for Vivid, Animagic With a slate of new titles continues to grow with new stand-alone central under the Drumond Park characters, Waggles and Woofles being launched brand Vivid is poised for a into the range for Q3 2018. good 2018 in board Vivid showcases its new Tiana Toys AndMe gaming, with new preinspired, unboxing themed toy range at the school games Foxy Pants Toymaster show. With more than 1.7 billion view and Wally the Washer, numbers and 7 million subscribers to her YouTube action game Super Ski channel the globally recognised 10 year old Jump and family game ‘professional’ unboxer and toy reviewer features Word Bandit receiving a across a range of micro toys, gifts and fashion great reception among accessories, with design input from Tiana herself. press and buyers. Science4You encourages STEM linked learning via educational and fun packed Science based kits for children aged 8+. Vivid offers a full range of Science4you kits and introducies three new lines which will be TV supported during Autumn/Winter. Crayola Color Wonder continues to go from strength to strength with sales growing and momentum building. The Crayola Ultimelt Pen is the hottest new creative toy for 2018. Also new for AW18 are cute and adorable Washimals Pets. Find adorable cats and dogs in the packs and in the Pets Scrubbie Tub Playset. More Silly Scents are being introduced for 2018 with refreshes to the existing Silly Scents Twistables Crayons and Silly Scents fineline marker packs as well as a new core lines being introduced including the 12ct Silly Scents Broadline Markers and the 8ct Silly Scents Stinky Markers which includes garlic, mud and sock smells!
Carria ge Suite
Tomy’s got you covered!
See exciting characters from Lamaze’s award-winning Clip & Go toy segment and other new lines launching in 2018. In games TOMY will present Screwball Scramble & Greedy Granny as well as new lines such as Burp the Baby. Also showcased is hero bath toy Foam Cone Factory as well as its new Yuri’s Bath Salon featuring the brand’s beloved turtle. Europe’s oldest specialists in scale farm models and accessories, Britains farm will showcases Massey Ferguson, Valtra and JCB. Johnny Tractor from the John Deere collection. Visitors can expect a first look at TOMY’s brand new collection, Stinkbomz a range that’s set to send boys of all ages into hysterics with crazy plush featuring grotesque traits, smells and sounds.
Get smart! Smart Toys and Games 01903 885 669 www.smarttoysandgames.co.uk There are several new lines from Carria SmartGames; the worldwide leader ge in multi-level logic games. These Suite award-winning games include a minimum of 48 multi-level challenges. As well as expanding the IQ games collection, Smart Games introduces Squirrels Go Nuts!, which promises endless educational fun. The brand expands the ‘My First’ collection with the arrival of ‘My First Farm Animals’ and ‘My First Tractor Set›, which include a range of farm animals which are soft to touch, easy to grab and connect using the signature magnetic bars. GeoSmart debuted last year and it is back and takes fans on a space adventure with the arrival of new sets including U.F.O and Moon Lander.
PLAY DIFFERENT….. with Janod The No 1 French wooden toy brand
Rub a Dub fun in the Tub Turning Bath time into Fun Time! 50 Amazing Bath Products Available
Come and visit us at the Show 2018!!
32 High Park Road • Kew Gardens • Richmond • TW9 4BH • United Kingdom Tel: +44 (0)20 8878 2133 | janod.com - kaloo.com - alexbrands.com
Demonstrating success No Lounrtgh e
Asmodee UK 01420 593593 www.asmodee.co.uk
Fresh from picking up the Game of the Year award for Dobble from the Toy Industry Awards earlier this year, Asmodee UK will arrive at the Toymaster May Show to showcase a range of great products and the many additional ways in which the company can help out retailers. Chief among these initiatives is the highly successful programme of demo Asmodee will be offering days, in which Asmodee sends its a variety of POS materials knowledgeable and enthusiastic team of to further support these demonstrators into stores. A method that hit products, including has proven to get great results, customers get the chance to try out quick and easyDobble colouring sheets to-play family games like Dobble, Rory’s and posters, with much Story Cubes, Who Did It? and Set. more in the pipeline. The newly acquired Bananagrams and Cobra Paw join those titles in Asmodee’s range of Fun Fast Games. These easy-toteach and instantly memorable games will all be subject to special showonly deals that are not to be missed. In addition, retailers will be able to get a look ahead to the launch of an exciting, brand-new IP coming to Asmodee in early 2019.
Cleaning up! Casdon
01253 608248 www.casdon.co.uk Toymaster Members and high street toy retailers can stock the best in role-play toys for the little ones with Casdon. Casdon’s trusted brands such as Little Helpers and Little Shoppers combine household names with pretend playthings to bring replica kitchen appliances and role-play accessories to the play room. Among all that’s new and building on the success of the partnership with Dyson, January 2018 saw the Dyson Cord-free Vacuum added to the collection. This cordless vacuum is a direct replica of the real Dyson and has been specifically designed to be true to life, right down to the last detail. The model features working suction, realistic sounds, and twist-and-turn action – just like the real thing. The spinning
beads will mesmerise children, and will be an instantly recognisable favourite at home. A further addition to the Little Helpers collection is a fresh shape for the Hetty and Henry Vacuums. These robust multi-purpose vacuums have everything little ones need to help with day-to-day chores. Each vacuum really works and will pick up small bits of paper from the floor, storing them in a removable drawer that is quick and simple to empty. Supplied with a T-shaped nozzle, the accessories pack away neatly at the back of the vacuum. A huge social media programme reaching hundreds of thousands of parents is already well established and will continue with a strategic timetable of top influencer reviews throughout 2018, furthering the awareness of all the firm’s much loved toys.
Trends UK 01295 768078 www.trendsuk.co.uk
Wind Designs 01353 724140 www.wind-designs. com
On trend H. Grossman
Recep tion room
0141 613 2525 www.ozbozz.co.uk There are trends aplenty at the H Grossman stand! Starting with HGL’s new Twist and Coil ring bracelet. A range of looping spherical strands that lie flat in the packing and uncoil onto the arm. Squidgies are next up, a huge variety of the squeezy characters in pastel colours with a new range of Unicorn squidgies. Unicorns are everywhere this year and now they are part of the Grossmans Squidgie line up. It’s part of a general increase in the number of pocket money toys throughout the product range from Grossmans this year. Cost effective, child-led purchases with plenty of play value. Over 100 new lines have been added. Everyone loves slime and putty and as Grossman has led the way in variety and design. Unicorn Poo was a great sell out range with the mass media coverage on the craze. Now the range of slime and putty has doubled with all sorts of innovations. New is Genius putty with two tone mixed colours in various permutations to add a new twist to this phenomenal line. The Grow range, which consists of eggs immersed in water which then hatch to reveal their contents, has been a great success. Grow Aliens, Dinosaurs and now, of course, Unicorns. This year sees the range treble in size with prices still kept at an affordable 99p to 2.99 for the larger eggs.
See the new Discovery toys that explore nature on the go. The Discovery Pocket Scope is a new handheld microscope for outside investigation of specimens. The Discovery Binoculars & Carry Case are light and portable with a 6 x magnification and a built-in compass, perfect for observing wildlife. New are Sweet Pups plush -alr eady a big hit and favourite with influencers following a sneak preview campaign. Sweet Pups are the cutest range of soft, scented plush puppies hidden inside scrumptious looking pastries. They transform by turning them inside ou12 adorable breeds to collect in series one. The sophisticated SpyX range offers working features that fuel the imagination. Kids can role play with cool crime fighting gear and gadgets, just like real hero agents. Supported by PR and marketing campaigns, the SpyX range includes an exciting selection of strategically priced listening devices, laser alarms, night mission goggles, and communication devices. All this plus the groing Pain Sticks range developed by Little Brian is big with pre-schoolers, parents and teachers.
Pre-school play Marquee Orchard Toys
01953 859525 www.orchardtoys.com Award-winning Orchard Toys are launching three exciting new lines this May as well as a refresh of their popular ‘What a Performance’ game. Superhero Lotto is a superpowered matching and memory game featuring four fun superheroes with special powers! One Dog Ten Frogs is a giant floor activity, counting and memory game, with super sized disc. This includes a variety of friendly characters to count and pair, helping children learn to count up to 15 with the help of the handy reference board. Joining Orchard Toys’ first puzzle range is ‘Dinosaurs’, a collection of six chunky 2-piece dinosaur puzzles -ideal for little hands.
Top soft sell
Keel Toys is focused on developing key ranges of winning products and developing them further, so they will be continued to be loved, hugged and collected during 2018. Animotsu, Keel’s number 1 selling collection, grew in sales by over 200% in 2017! To boost the sales further the plush leaders will be adding Dinosaurs and Ballerinas to the range in the Animotsu trademark vibrant colours. The 15cm Collection will see the introduction of seven new designs including Seahorse, Rainbow Rabbit and Seal. Together with the new Sea Life there is now an Animotsu for everyone to love. We Love to Hug! Hugg’ems is eight wonderfully coloured animal characters with long arms, weighted paws and swirling tails that can be hung from your arm or neck and love to be hugged. Once you have hugged them all you can hang them on to your favourite chair or decorate a shelf. Available in two sizes, they are merchandised in a cardboard floor stand, which is free with 84pcs of stock. Central to Keel Toys Winter 2018 range are three themed Christmas collections; Pugsley, Pipp the Bear and Animotsu – their top selling sparkle-eyed toys. Pugsley features the adorable Pug in onesies in both laying and sitting poses and will include, for the first time, sound chips with Christmas themed songs.
01329 227300 www.rainbowdesigns.co.uk
The amount of growth in 2017 for Keel’s number one selling collection, Animotsu
The Home of Classic Characters will be showcasing many of its plush collections at the Toymaster May Show this year, including its renowned and muchloved Peter Rabbit Movie, Paddington Movie and Disney Baby collections. The blockbuster Paddington 2 took the box office by storm, and with the hugely successful release of the film on DVD this spring, the popularity of Paddington across all ages continues to soar! Rainbow’s much-loved Paddington Movie range includes two feature plush toys: My Name is Paddington and Talking Paddington. Rainbow’s fun-packed Peter Rabbit Movie range features a series of plush toys styled on characters from the blockbuster film, set for release on DVD this summer. The Movie collection includes a Giant Peter Rabbit, Flopsy Bunny and Peter Rabbit Soft Toys, as well as a feature plush Talking Peter Rabbit with phrases that include: “More radishes and carrots please!” and “Has anyone seen Mr McGregor?” Also on display at the Toymaster May Show, Rainbow has brought to life Disney’s much loved and iconic characters in a new collection of highquality baby developmental toys. Disney Baby is a colourful range of character-led developmental toys featuring Disney’s most iconic characters: Minnie Mouse, Tigger, Dumbo, Winnie-the-Pooh and Mickey Mouse. The collection of baby-soft toys is created from multiple fabrics and textures and features a variety of activities to encourage baby’s early developmental skills and promote sensory play. Firm favourites Classic Winnie-the-Pooh, The Very Hungry Caterpillar and The Snowman, which celebrates its 40th anniversary in 2018, will complete the display of classic plush character collections at Toymaster.
Plum job Plum Products 01522 7737136 www.plumplay.co.uk
Plum is the UK’s biggest outdoor toy supplier and sells to over 40 countries worldwide. With play for every stage of childhood, their choice of products range from imaginative role play to large garden play centres. Plum are also the official distributor of Globber scooters taking play out and about. With safety, innovation, fun and design at the heart of the brand, all products are made from quality ethically sourced materials built to last giving consumers peace of mind when buying into the Plum range. Plum now offer a wide selection of products through their dropship and domestic bulk program supported by creative marketing content with all selling tools available on the Plum Asset Hub. Their in-house dropship team will also help you to manage and optimise all of your online listings. New point of sale innovation from Plum brings active play into a retail environment allowing consumers to explore and engage with a larger range of products like never before. The new Gift Box solution beautifully presents a choice of larger active play products in a small retail space. The gift box and FSDU is designed to capture sales in-store directing the consumer to the till, giving consumers a physical gift to give with the convenience of instant home delivery.
Time for fun! R H Smith
0800 590 599 www.smiffystrade.com
The R H Smith pride themselves on being a multi-awardwinning family business with a heritage of over 120 years, built upon integrity, quality and value for money. Since 1894, R H Smith has earned a reputation for delivering excellence to its customers, and as the proud owner of the Smiffys, Fever and Time4Fun brands, strives to provide excellent service, innovative products and of course, a whole world of serious fun! The Time4Fun collection of toys, leisure and dressup items are designed to inspire and excite the imagination. And while the aim is creating a fantastic and fun collection for kids, the company takes product safety very seriously. All products are manufactured and rigorously tested to comply with the latest EU and American regulations. All children’s costumes are tested to both EN71 regulations and nightwear (flammability) standards. Parents can rest assured that Time4Fun Bubble Guns, Glow Glasses and Light Up Batons are as safe as they are fun for their kids to use. Time4Fun also offers bespoke character merchandise designed by the in-house creative team to match any theme or character. This innovative service is tailored to suit each individual customer’s needs, creating perfect bespoke solutions. Contact the sales team now to find out more.
Puzzle people Jumbo Games 01707 289289 www.jumbo.eu
Pig-ger and better
Winning Moves 0207 298 9515 www.winningmoves.co.uk
The original Pass the Pigs game just got much bigger and wilder. These two piggies have their tails in a twist. One squeaks and one squirts, and kids can play them in water or play them anywhere! Squeak or squirt the pair of porkies, throw them and score points depending on how they land – will players get a Mixed Combo, Leaning Jowler or will they be Pigging Out or Makin’ Bacon? Only the pigs will tell! First one to score 100 points wins. Playing with the family or in the bath, these pigs are perfect for parties and full of fun! The Winning Moves story continues with many more fantastic new Top Trumps such as Rick and Morty, The Independent and Unofficial Guide to Minecraft, GOLD World Football Stars and many more! Visit the team at the Toymaster May Show and take advantage of a special show offer: 5 per cent off £500 orders and 10 per cent off £1000 orders made at show, one-drop delivery – t&cs apply.
Jumbo Games will be showcasing over 50 new releases. Focuses at the show are Independent retailers will the new Falcon de luxe Christmas Shopping Puzzle get to see more than 50 (incl. a FREE 1000-piece puzzle), a new Wasgij brand new releases from Original 30 Strictly Can’t Jumbo at the show Dance! 1000-piece puzzle, released in September, and the top-selling Puzzle Mates Portapuzzle Standard 1000-piece Puzzle Accessory. In the children’s offering, retailers can pick up the Disney Guess the Film Game, Thomas & Friends Large Foam Floor Puzzle. Continuing in its double-digit growth in the adult puzzles category, Jumbo is getting ready for the next set of new releases. Highlights include three new puzzles from the hugely popular Wasgij range, starting off with the Wasgij Original 29 Catching Wedding Fever! and Wasgij Mystery 15 A Typical British BBQ! all across 1000-piece formats. Jumbo will be showcasing over 30 of the 40-plus new releases for Falcon de luxe, covering the traditional themes of nostalgia, scenery, cottages, animals and transport, across varying piece counts from 500 to 1,500-pieces and multiples in a box. Visitors to the Toymaster show will also get a first-look at new introductions to Jumbo’s children’s licensed portfolio. These include the popular new Disney Junior shows Disney Puppy Dog Pals and Disney Vampirina, launching with a 4 Shaped Puzzles Box and 4in1 Puzzle Pack each. As well as the 100XL and 200XL Disney/Pixar Incredibles II puzzles that are available now! Highlights of Jumbo’s licensed portfolio include Beatrix Potter’s Peter Rabbit, with a collection of high quality, licensed children’s and adult puzzles. These include a 4 Shaped Puzzles Box Set that is Jumbo’s most popular puzzle format for children, as well as a Giant Floor Puzzle aimed at children aged threeplus years. In addition to the beautiful children’s range, Jumbo will release 1,000-piece and 500-piece adult puzzles.
Toys for every kind of role play fun! Cord-free Vacuum With cyclone action and working suction!
packaging for 2018!
Inventors of Fun & Play! Casdon Ltd., Cornford Road, Blackpool, Lancs FY4 4QW Tel: +44 (0)1253 766411 Fax: +44 (0)1253 691486 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org www.casdon.com
Pizza the action West Design 01303 297888 www.westdesignproducts.co.uk
Kids can combine crafting and gardening with the pizza garden kit, which includes four non-GMO seed packs - plant basil, peppers, oregano, and tomatoes. Kids can start their plants with West Designs GROW light, or indoors by a window and once these savoury pizza essentials sprout, transport them outside or into a bigger pot. This is a great STEAM experience for children that combines the fun of crafting with the science of learning. They can learn how to nurture garden from seed germination through harvest, then turn their tomatoes, peppers and herbs into a tasty homemade pizza – recipe included! This kit contains everything kids need to start their very own garden, with no additional items necessary. The kit includes four seed packs, planting trays, potting mix, stickers and more! Garden tray measures 10.5” diameter x 1.25” height. Great for ages 6 to 96!
Popper stars Cheatwell Games 02392 524098 www.cheatwell.com
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With 30-plus new lines for 2018, the Cheatwell team is confident they have plenty of products to inspire retailers! Retailers looking for a game for younger children need not despair because Cheatwell has launched Polar Panic! This compact card game can be taken anywhere - whether it’s the grandparents’ house, on holiday or anywhere else you’d want to entertain a child or drag them away from their tablet. If you’re after a family board game, then prepare to be Baffled. This fab new memory game, for ages eight and above, is innovative, exciting and keeps everyone’s attention focused as the picture tiles get swapped around…will you remember where they all are? Baffled is carefully designed so that both adults and children have an equal chance of winning. Perhaps you’re looking to stock another toy for outdoors, but daren’t rely on the Great British weather? If so, pop to the Cheatwell stand to see the top-selling Squeeze Poppers, which are suitable for indoor and outdoor play. There’s an attractive bunch of monsters (Squeeze Poppers that is, not the Cheatwell staff!), pink and white Unicorns and a dopey looking Sloth. There’s even a Poo Popper, and if that doesn’t convince you to drop by, then perhaps the 15 per cent show discount will!
Fun Fast Games - Toys n Playthings.indd 1
Mini scientists Clementoni 020 3206 1101 www.clementoni.com
New for 2018 is the Baby Clementoni Unicorn, an adorable plush pal for babies from six months. This magical creature will entertain little ones with lots of sound and light effects and helps development by teaching babies’ letters, numbers and colours. 2018 will be the year of the dinosaur with the cinematic blockbuster release of Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom and Clementoni is excited to launch its range of puzzles and science kits. Each kit will feature differing Dinosaurs from the film with all the tools kids need to excavate and explore the skeletons of these prehistoric creatures. In addition, there are four puzzles with a Jurassic World option for adult or child across Clementoni’s recognised concepts – Impossible 1000 piece, Panorama 1000 piece, 250 piece and 104 piece. The Science Museum range increases significantly for 2018 and Clementoni continues its Mechanical and Robotic offering with the all new Grand Prix Mechanics Laboratory Kit. Kids can speed off into the world of Formula 1 and make 10 racing car models from the more than 200 interchangeable components.
Shape up! Green Board Games
01494 538999 www.greenboardgames.com
Green Board Games’ fabulously fun new game Yogi will be centre-stage of each table at this year’s Toymaster gala dinner, which is bound to get everyone interacting in ways the popular evening event has never quite seen before. GBG’s new game Shaperise was the winning game in its 2016 Young Games Inventor competition. Designed by Sebastian Fleming-Smith, who was aged 11 when he entered, Shaperise is a game of visual memory and speed. In the UK, sales of this game are gaining momentum and the international markets have showed significant interest. Won over by the simple, crossgenerational, mixed ability gameplay and the ease of translation, Shaperise has already been produced in Mandarin and Spanish!
Competition time! Send your table pictures from the evening gala to georgie@ greenboardgames.com to win GBG’s Pic of the Night competition, and share your images on social media, tagging @BrainBoxGames so the team can give you like and share opportunities.
The Puppet Company, 01462 446040 www.thepuppetcompany.com The Puppet Company has lots of additions to existing collections plus brand new ranges of puppets and soft toys. The Puppet Buddies Animal Puppets are a new budget priced collection giving you price point and still achieving a 2.4 margin. Puppet Company’s traditional high quality plush range continues and is growing! Wilberry Toys is the soft toy side of The Puppet Company and has 75 new designs.
Stellar launches Kidicraft 01282 505988 www.kidicraft.com
Kidicraft will be showcasing its amazing new set of Super 3D puzzles and pocket notebooks at this year’s Toymaster May Show. The Super 3D puzzles and stationery ranges increase year after year due to their popularity. All ages love the vibrancy, colours, subject matter and of course the quality of these fabulous puzzles. Kidicraft’s new editions are bang on trend with a set of Dinosaur Selfies roaring their way on to the shelves! With Jurassic Park’s 25th anniversary this year and the film Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom launching in cinemas this summer, these set of ferocious selfies will certainly be a big hit. There’s the frightening T-Rex Selfie, the fearsome Dino Selfie and the rather cute Oviraptor Selfie. All these are 48 pieces and come in a great box with the 3D image on the front. Space is always popular and Kidicraft has launched a series of stellar puzzles in the National Geographic Kids range. The Super 3D puzzles have a real depth and will take kids on a trip to outer space. With awe inspiring images, these really do give you a stunning view. The three new 150-piece puzzles are called Satellite in Space, Space Landscape and Space – Earth & Moon. To complete the new range is the fun, funky Rubik’s puzzles which come in 500 pieces. Bright, colourful, lively and challenging, these puzzles come in two designs, Neon Splatter and Geeked. The puzzle that stumped millions and has become an icon, these jigsaw puzzles could possibly be harder to solve than the original cube! There’s a free Floor Display Unit with Super 3D Header for the 3D Puzzle brands.
Dash to the shops University Games 03334 050120 www.university-games.co.uk
Encouraging children to be on the move, University Games’ hero product this summer is Ultra Dash. The fast paced, take anywhere game is all about energetic movements for the whole family. With four different coloured targets and the Ultra Dash tagger, players have to race around the garden or the house to complete the course as quickly as possible connecting the illuminated colour on the tagger to the colour co-ordinated target. One for the whole family to play, and have great fun, whilst exercising, it’s a must-have this summer. Replicating the BBC1 No. 1 quiz show Pointless, the new Pointless game is available from July. Refreshed to mirror gameplay in the show, there’s a free scoreboard app, replica Pointless Trophy for the winner, all new questions and more. Jitterbug is ready to shake up game play quite literally for our younger game lovers. This fun game for ages three-plus is fantastic fun – the Jitterbug wildly jumps around while players try attaching legs to him. The first player to attach all their legs to Jitterbug and press his hat wins the game. Who’s the Smart is a quick thinking, fun party game that everyone will enjoy. This year sees a new edition launch, with new questions and special edition Card packs, Geek Chic and 90s Nostalgia.
Early STEM Learning
Compatible with the National Curriculum Encourages scientific thinking
The Young Science range from Galt for children aged 5 to 8 years
Science Lab and Glow Lab (not shown)
Visit us at the
show! 15-17 May 2018
James Galt & Co. Ltd. • Sovereign House • Stockport Road • Cheadle • Cheshire SK8 2EA tel: +44 (0)161 428 9111 • fax: +44 (0)161 428 6597 • www.galttoys.com
Pre-school cool Character Options 0161 633 9800 www.character-online.com
Family fun John Adams
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01480 414361 www.johnadams.co.uk John Adams Leisure will be showcasing a selection of its key ranges at the 2018 Toymaster Show with some great show offers. Face painting just got easier with Face Art. Just choose your stamp design, paint it and apply for perfect results every time! It’s super easy for parents to apply on their child, for friends to do together or for a child to do by themselves. This new addition joins the popular BLOPENS range. Following the huge success of Soggy Doggy and Don’t Be a Donkey, new for 2018 is Mr Pop. Pick a card and race to quickly build Mr Pop’s face matching the card, before he pops up and sends all his pieces flying! Hamster Race is the hilarious and adrenalin-fuelled action game. Line up your hamsters on the starting grid, roll the dice and you’re off! Building on the huge global success of the ‘Soggy Doggy’ Game, Soggy Doggy’s Friends are squishy and hilarious interactive pups with their own personalities. Grabolo is about finding a match and grabbing it fast! Players roll two dice, then race to quickly grab the piece that matches both the colour and shape shown. The new action games will join the John Adams’ games portfolio alongside classic family favourites Othello, Rummikub and the Rubik’s 2 x 2. Toymaster attendees can be ready to be dazzled with the official Strictly Come Dancing Board Game. With cheeky challenges and Strictly trivia, there’s something for all the family to enjoy. John Adams continues to lead the way in Science. The number one science kit Sparkle Science will be available, as well as the new Rainbow Science set. Also available will be Power Tracks. Kids can learn the first steps in coding, circuit building, problem solving and planning and sequencing, with the help of Volty, the fun codable robot. All of the key new launches will benefit from TV advertising and a full PR and social media plan.
Character Options will introduce retailers to a host of new products at the Toymaster May Show, including perfect interactive additions to everyone’s favourite pre-school license, Peppa Pig. The delightful Peppa Pig Mobile Medical Centre is a freewheeling, 2-in-1 Ambulance playset that folds out into a full medical centre for Nurse Peppa and Dr Brown Bear. Continuing the When I Grow Up theme is a brand new Nurse Peppa feature plush with an otoscope and interactive stethoscope that makes heartbeat sounds! Tots everywhere will also be saying eh-oh to fun new launches in the Teletubbies toy range designed to take these well-loved characters into the arms of a younger (six months to 2.5 years) with a brand new nursery collection. This stunning choice of early years plush offers sensory input with different textures, sounds and colours to encourage inquisitive and early development. From an adorable multi-texture Tinky Winky plush, a feature packed Laa-Laa Jiggler Toy – just perfect for clipping onto pram bars and car seats – to a Po shaped Stacking Ring Tower, there’s a toy in the range to delight babies everywhere! 2018 will also see some exciting additions to the PJ Masks portfolio with a creative line-up perfect for any pyjama-wearing hero! Among the new collection is the Headquarters Deluxe Dough Set. The three tiered carry-along set that is packed full of dough, cutters, moulds and more, and is complete with opening and closing doors and scaled perfectly to play with PJ Masks action figurines. All of this adds to new additions across every category from Character, whether it’s crafts, girls or boy’s toys, all on offer at this year’s show.
Don’t miss Follow Me Peppa, a new novelty item that snorts, giggles and plays music when activated through multiple touchpoints!
The Frenc Resta h urant
Wave the pom Carria poms ge S Bandai
0208 324 6160 www.bandai.co.uk Experience all that’s new from Bandai, including a whole host of collectables and a yo-yo experience like no other. A summer launch that must be seen to be believed is Hyper Cluster, the line of precision-engineered, highperformance yo-yos which can be customised to match the user’s style and performance needs. Following the success of Smooshy Mushy, which is just about to enter season two, comes a new breed of creatures called Smashy Mashy! The collectable range will appeal to lovers of all things gross. Smashy Mashy Pets come in yucky, slime reveal canisters with blind surprises packed inside. Fans can look out for cool characters who come with their own mystery mates and have a scent stink - that is all their own! New and ready to wrap themselves around girl’s hearts everywhere are Pomsies, collectable pom-pom pets with soft, cuddly faces and tails kids can wrap around wrists, hair, backpack, clothing and more. Pomsies are highly interactive and make sounds and their eyes light up too! Big Hero 6, The Series launched in February and fans will be able to collect the characters with Bandai’s Micro Chibi Figure Assortment or the 12.5cm articulated action figures. The featureThere's the Squish to Fit Baymax line, while Armour-Up Baymax 2.0 is the packed Flying iconic toy from the original movie and Flame range now with weapons and Baymax from accessories. the Big Hero Don't miss Crayola Dough, and in 6 range, STEM, National Geographic and the Original Sea Monkeys. which has
automatic wings, rocket fists, motion sensor sounds and phrases, and much more!
World of wonder Mattel 01628 500000 www.mattel.com
Mattel is proud to bring excitement and innovation and fantastic retailer opportunities. Mattel is re-launching Polly Pocket in the original one-inch micro-scale and compacts that made her a phenomenon! Mattel brings you the definitive Jurassic World toy range inspired by the movie blockbuster in partnership with Universal, and are excited to introduce Harry Potter figures inspired too. Mecard is an exciting new head-to-head action battle game that offers thrilling fun with super cool vehicles that transform into epic warriors! Barbie celebrates the world of cooking with the Barbie Ultimate Kitchen! An exciting new playset is introduced with the Barbie Rescue Vehicle, a colourful transforming care clinic vehicle. Hot Wheels ce;ebrates its 50th anniversary by igniting the challenger spirit in every kid! Gear up for fun with The Hot Wheels Corkscrew Crash Track Set and the Hot Wheels City Ultimate Gator Car Wash Playset. Fisher-Price's Smart Moves Rockit™ and Glow encourage children to move and play with fun learning content that grows with baby. While the Laugh & Learn 3-in-1 Smart Car helps to develop gross motor skills with Smart Stages technology. The Bright Beats Learning Train introduces little learners to the alphabet, colours and shapes through three ways to play.
Spin to win Spin Master 01628 535000 www.spinmaster.com
Spin Master continues to showcase disruptive innovation with exciting new product launches at this year’s Toymaster show, as well as offering independent retailers exclusive ‘show only’ offers of up to 25 per cent off on selected lines. With an ever-increasing toys, games and entertainment portfolio, key highlights that visitors can expect include Season 3 Hatchimals CollEGGtibles, exciting PAW Patrol themes and toys, highly anticipated new tech toys, and brand-new pre-school line Rusty Rivets. Following the positive momentum around Season 2, the brand-new Season 3 Hatchimals CollEGGtibles introduce “Hatch Friends Forever!” With over 100 new friends to collect, each new Hatchimals CollEGGtibles has a best friend, squad or twin.
Revell Junior Kits 1RZZLWKäJXUHVLQFOXGHG
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Revell GmbH, Unit 10, Tring, HP23 4QR Tel. 01296 660 291 Email: email@example.com
© 2018 Revell GmbH WWW.REVELL.DE/ EN
Figures also available separately
Peter Rabbit and all associated characters ™ & © Frederick Warne & Co Limited. Peter Rabbit™, the Movie ©2018 Columbia Pictures Industries, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
See us at Toyma ster!
Movie M ovie R Range ange ffrom rom Rainbow R i b Designs D i
Flopsy Bunny Soft Toy TM
My First Giant Peter Rabbit
Hello, I’m Peter P Rabbit!
Hey! He ey! You’ve Yo e got g You’ve this! th his!
Talking Peter Rabbit
. Follow us k u . o c . esigns d w o b n Call 01329 227300 or visit www.rai
The Home of Classic Characters
Peter Rabbit Soft Toy TM
Horse play DKL Marketing 01604 678780 www.dkl.co.uk
DKL Marketing will be showcasing best-selling products from across its nine brands, with exclusive show deals and offers for Toymaster members. Almost 60 years since its creation, Hama Beads exceeded 2017 growth plans and sees 35 new products introduced for 2018. Hama Beads are the epitome of creativeness in the arts and crafts space. For years, this fantastic brand has been encouraging imagination and creativity – with a few Hama pegboards and a variety of colourful Hama beads, model making is endless! Plus-Plus is the construction toy with a simple shape but endless possibilities! The bestselling themed tubes allow to create a world of dinosaurs, their own zoo or a medieval masterpiece. Also, new and exclusive to DKL is the Union Jack Tube available now, just in time for the Royal Wedding. The new floor spinner stands will make these exciting tubes stand out, they hold 144 tubes and there’s even space for loose Plus-Plus, so kids can try before they buy! Not to be missed includes Bloco Construction, a new range of construction made from high density foam. And not forgetting Breyer Model Horses, Scratch Lifestyle Toys, Escabbo Bath Toys, and Scentco Scented Stationery.
Game for a laugh Gibsons 020 8661 8866 www.gibsonsgames.co.uk Gibsons will be revealing seven new puzzles. Among the new additions will be The Country Dance, a jigsaw filled with cheerful Morris Dancers; Seagulls At Staithes, a delightful 636-piece scene by Roger Neil Turner; and The Four Bells, a 1000-piece design by Derek Roberts featuring some sunny seaside scenery. Gibsons will also be promoting its brand-new game Pixit. This highly addictive, simple to learn game can be played alone, in pairs or in groups for hours of fun inside one little cube! Players pile up their Pixits, pick a card, and twist, turn and tip their cubes into place to recreate a pixelated image. Alongside the jigsaws will be some quirky new Piatnik branded playing card designs. Dig into Britain’s favourite sandwich spread with the new Marmite Playing Cards, or remind yourself that prosecco is always the answer with the Prosecco Playing Cards. Ideal for collectors, these playing card packs include 52 unique card designs presented in a durable tuck box.
Building up Magformers 08000 385195 www.magformers.co.uk
Toymaster members will see an exciting line-up of new products from Magformers UK this year – both in its award-winning Magformers magnetic construction range and from its sister company, Clicformers. The company has built on the worldwide popularity of the Magformers WOW Set from its Vehicle Line collection, with the introduction of a small car kit called the Rally Kart Set. Containing magnetic squares, triangles and a rectangle, with a special boy and girl driver piece and wheels, the set shows how to build different karts and buggies and makes a perfect present or introduction to the creative world of Magformers. Clicformers is the new kid on the construction block distributed 40
by Magformers UK Ltd. It’s non-magnetic but offers a similar range of creative construction play options to children as Magformers, with four different ways to build 3D models – by hooking, stacking, folding or clicking pieces together. Clicformers pieces can rotate 180 degrees when connected, are very durable and are super-creative.
CONSTRUCTION SERIES Introducing our new radio control Volvo A25HPS. A concept designed by Volvo and the Maisto Tech RC team, this big dump truck can carry the load and deliver in style.
â€˘ Working dump bed â€˘ Large off-road tyres â€˘ Approx. 14â€? long
Donâ€™t miss out. Pre-order today! tel: 01603 397 105 email: firstname.lastname@example.org online: www.tobar.co.uk/rc-tech 5$9B7Q3B+DOI3DJHB0D\B),1$/SGI$0
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Masters of fun GP Flair/Just Play
020 8643 0320 www.flairplc.co.uk 2018’s Toy master show will see GP/Just Play hosting its heavyweight pre-school portfolio including two key Disney Junior licenses, new themes for PJ Masks and much more. This summer the PJ Masks will be launching into space on a Super Moon Adventure! Central to this theme will be the Super Moon Adventure Rocketship. As seen in the TV series, the rocketship features mechanical doors, ramps, rocket sound effects and lights. A space rover that enables Gekko to leave the ship and explore on his own is also included. Another
Magnetic play Great Gizmos 01293 543221 www.ggtrade.co.uk Mould and Paint Ballroom Flamingo is set to fly off the shelves, joining the Mould and Paint Unicorn, which has been so popular throughout 2017. Kids can make their own flamingo characters and decorate them using the paints and string included. Discover how science can help you in the wild with the fantastic Survival Science kit. The kit includes everything needed for survival in the wilderness. Kids can discover the power of magnetism with Kidz Labs Magnet Science. The kit includes 10 fun experiments and games, including making a super power horseshow magnet or a magnet wand, a super magnet racer, a yacht compass and so much more!
exciting development is the introduction of the amazing new PJ Masks Robot. This latest member of the team adds electronic play into the mix and features lights, sounds and bendable arms. Just Play is the master toy partner for the new Disney pre-school property Vampirina! Launched this spring, the range will deliver spooky fun to preschool across multiple categories including plush, dress up, dolls and playsets! Highlights include the 30cm Bat-tastic Talking Vee & Friends and the Scare B & B Playset, which looks just like Vampirina’s home in the show! This set is packed with features and stands a full 66cm tall over three levels. July will see the launch of another Disney pre-school collection, the Puppy Dog Pals. This exciting new series follows the adventures of two loveable pug puppies who are on a mission to save the day. As master toy partners, Just Play have created a stunning toy line that is packed with playsets, figures, accessories and plush toys. The striking colourways set this collection apart and will appeal equally to boys and girls.
Going for gold Golden Bear
01952 608308 www.goldenbeartoys.com Building on the strength of its success as the number one new plush property (NPD FY 2017), Golden Bear’s Bush Baby World collection will be expanding further in 2018. The hero line for AW18 is the magnificent Shimmer Palace! Build-A-Bot is an innovative range of customisable robot pets which heralds Golden Bear’s first move into the STEM arena. Build-ABot enables kids from five years to build and personalise their own colourful robots with each pack containing all the pieces needed. The In the Night Garden collection is getting a whole new refresh for 2018. The plush is refreshed and is led by Sleepy-time Igglepiggle which has soothing lullabies and soft glowing cheek. The line will also include Igglepiggle’s Lightshow Bath-time Boat which features an amazing light up function, creating a colourful and soothing display in the water. It comes complete with two floating shapes that fit into the boat, and an Igglepiggle that can be split in two to create a watering can and pouring cup. The Press and Go Vehicles are also available.
JOIN US FOR SERIOUS FUN! AT THE
TOYMASTER SHOW - FIND US IN THE MARQUEE MAJESTIC HOTEL, HARROGATE, HG1 2HU
15th to 17th May 2018
GIRLS TOYS • BOYS TOYS • DRESS UP • RETAIL SOLUTIONS • BESPOKE PRODUCTS Freephone: e: 0800 590 599 | Email: sales@s email@example.com @ miff *Subject to order quantity. Terms and conditions apply.
STAND with every order!
Did you know… Mookie has invested in heavyweight TV advertising across it's brands for 2018, including Tybo Tidy TieDye Design Studio, Laser M.A.D and Aqua Crystals
Mookie Toys 01525 722722 www.mookie.co.uk
Mookie Toys will be presenting their exciting new 2018 lines as well as their already successful existing brands. Tybo is a unique, mess free tie-dye experience that children can use with great results every time. The Tybo Tidy Tie-Dye Design Studio comes with a unique patented easy-to-use magic mixing orb and is supported by a heavyweight marketing campaign. Current play patterns show that children love to create their own keepsakes and jewellery. The innovative new product for AW 2018 Aqua Crystals, allows children to create jewellery, accessories and gifts by adding water to the crystals provided. Mookie has plans for a strong marketing campaign to support this brand with over 1000 TVRs, as well as, an active social media strategy.
Mookie is the UK partner for Silverlit and new for 2018 will be the launch of Robo chameleon, Robo Kombat and Talkibots. Robo Chameleon is a great remote control character that has a three step challenge to collect his food - move, aim and shoot its tongue out and snap up the bugs! Robo Kombat are awesome battling robots with power fists. Talkibots is a Portable Robot with cool features, available in 2 styles and 6 cool colours! Their robotic voice playback, with pitch and speed changing effects bring Talkibot to life! Also showcased is Laser M.A.D, a laser gaming experience with unlimited players. Each pack comes complete with blasters and receivers, along with various add-ons including a booster increasing the blasting range. Laser M.A.D blasters include two modes: battle ops and training ops. And is supported by a TV campaign accompanied by digital marketing and PR activities.
Alpha Animation & Toys 01293 804599 Alpha Animation & Toys will be making its debut appearance at this year’s show and visitors will be given the opportunity to view Alpha’s full product offering across boys, pre-school and RC. The hugely exciting new property Screechers Wild will bring exhilaration to the boys’ aisle. Launched in February, the brand’s development steps up a level for autumn with the ultimate Fossil Fire Playset. Players can race, stunt and win with the Screechers Wild Fossil Fire Stunt Set. The gameplay encourages children to strategically launch their vehicle at the perfect time to catch the disc, flip over obstacles, and activate the final winning sequence. If they miss, their vehicle will launch into the air and end up stuck in the pit. Super Wings, the hit pre-school TV Show, continues to go from strength to strength, and the brand will carry on evolving into 2018 with some brilliant new products for autumn. At over 14” tall, Jett’s Super Robot Suit transforms from a free-wheeling vehicle to a free-standing figure that can conquer even the toughest problems. With lights, sounds, and a Transforming Jett Vehicle included, this item will be a hit with any fan. Jett’s Take Off Tower is also new to the range, offering on the go play as a portable 2-in-1 airport playset. Robot Ready Jett will be a preschoolers best buddy offering interaction, lights and sounds. RC is at the heart of what Alpha does and Terra-Sect highlights the company’s ability to bring cuttingedge toys to the category. Completely unstoppable, Terra-Sect rolls, flips and crawls in any direction. The relentless rolling attack reptile with glowing eyes is sure to be on kids lists for Christmas!
PLANT A PIZZA GARDEN Everything you need is included - just add water!
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Paul Lamond Games 020 7254 0100 www.paul–lamond.com Paul Lamond Games is launching over 30 exciting new games and puzzles this year and many of these new lines will be on display at the Toymaster Show alongside their other renowned best sellers. Look out for the new, hilarious, fast-paced, family board game of modelling mayhem - Kersplatt! A high energy, tactile but strategic board game that will see players Kersplatting opponent’s masterpieces in
Great mix Funrise 01908 555640 www.funrise.com
an attempt to be the first to get two
pieces home. This colourful new board game will be joined by perennial best sellers including; What’s Up and Charades for Kids. What’s Up, the classic ‘What’s on my head?’ game, provides hours of hilarious fun and entertainment for children of all ages as they interact, use their imagination and ask questions to try and discover who or what they are! The action-packed Charades for Kids is a fun, active game of charades, created especially for children to help them learn through play by acting out the object or action for the other players to guess. New to Paul Lamond’s preschool games line up this spring is Let’s Feed the Hungry Caterpillar, a fun-packed board game starring Eric Carle’s The Very Hungry Caterpillar. Players move the colourful, 3D sculpted caterpillars from fruit to fruit, collecting a unique butterfly puzzle piece each time they stop to “eat.” Hot on the heels of the successful release of The Highway Rat Giant Floor puzzle, 4-in-1 Puzzle Set and Memory Card Game last autumn, is a brand new children’s board game. Starring Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler’s villainous storybook character; The Highway Rat, the fun and educational Stand and Deliver! board game has been created specifically for children aged 3 - 7…… and their parents!
The number of exciting new games and puzzles Paul Lamond is launching throughout 2018
Visit Funrise at Toymaster to see an incredible range of brands including a new pre-school vehicle collection, fun new ways to play with bubbles, and new construction vehicles from TONKA! The HERODRIVE DC Super Friends collection will launch with preschool-themed character vehicles inspired by the recognisable DC characters such as Batman, Superman, The Flash, and more. Vehicles include: Mash Machines, a new style of vehicles that fuses together iconic vehicles such as police cars and fire trucks with DC Super Friends characters; HERODRIVE Power Pals plush vehicles with wobble wheels and sounds for the youngest pre-schoolers; Signal Squad, a collection of DC Super Friends-inspired stylized vehicles, each projecting
its DC Super Hero’s logo; and the Batman Racer motorized vehicle with lights. Funrise’s Gazillion Bubbles gives kids the ultimate bubble experience. With an extensive array of bubble toys and machines, Gazillion Bubbles has something for every bubble fan! Toymaster will be the perfect opportunity for members to see the new items in the collection include GAZILLION Bubble Pong and GAZILLION Crazy Wands. New for autumn of 2018 is a ground-breaking line of TONKA vehicles called Power Movers! With Motion Drive Technology, push the vehicle forward to make the engine rev and activate the lights; pull the vehicle backward to hear back-up sounds; work the mechanical feature of each vehicle to hear hydraulic sounds and flash the lights.
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Get up and glow! Re:creation
01189 736 222 www.recreationltd.co.uk With the strong performing LEGO and Magic Tracks brands among Re:creation’s ToyMaster offering, as well as Floof - the ultimate in new and compelling compounds, there is much for retailers to get on board with in the coming months. The power of the LEGO brand is at play in 2018 as fun additions join Re:creation’s LEGO Lights offering. While hot properties, LEGO Star Wars and LEGO DC Super Heroes continue to perform well. LEGO Hot Dog Man and LEGO Banana Guy provide an irresistible draw to fans of the brick and for those looking for something completely new, LEGO Lights welcomes the launch of the LEGO Monsters collection later packed with Zombies, Witches and Skeletons. Retailers looking for get up and ‘glow’ this year should look no further than Magic Tracks. This brand has truly set the pace in big sellers in the past twelve months and shows no sign of abating. Easy to put together track sets with serpentine-style flexibility, children and parents alike have fallen for this great value range which offers incredible opportunities for retail ‘theatre’. The Re:creation team will showcase the Magic Tracks Starter Set alongside the new Magic Tracks Racer Set with its dual raceway and light-up finish gate.
Play to learn Learning Resources 01553 819 380 www.learningresources.co.uk
Playfoam is the child friendly, super-squishy, sculpting material that won’t dry out and doesn’t stick to clothes or carpet; perfect for indoor creative play! The Playfoam brand has been extended to include an exciting new range of collectibles called Playfoam Pals. Hidden inside each of the 12 pods, and encased in Playfoam, is a unique animal character. Heads and bodies can be mixed and matched for endless character combinations and there’s always the possibility that the next pod might contain a rare golden Pal! Playfoam Glow-in-the-Dark is another extension to the successful Playfoam range. Beaker Creatures, the new line of science-themed collectibles from Learning Resources, is also being revealed for the first time at the Toymaster show. Beaker Creatures combine the thrill of collecting with hands-on experiments, building scientific skills and sparking curiosity! Children use the liquid reactor super lab to dissolve their Beaker Creatures’ reactor pods to reveal the identity of their hidden creature. They simply drop the reactor pod into the chamber, pump the reactor liquid and watch the bubbling reaction until the creature is revealed! It is the only collectible line that incorporates learning through science experiments, Beaker Creatures sets also double as working lab sets. Beaker Creatures Series One includes 35 collectible characters from five different families for children to discover, classify, and explore. There’s also a rare mystery figure as part of each series to encourage further experimentation and collection.
Kooky and Tooky A.B.Gee of Ripley 01773 570444 www.abgee.co.uk
Retailers looking for one company to supply all of their toy and hobby needs look no further than A.B.Gee of Ripley. With exclusive Toymaster terms, superb retail focused products, 24/7 website ordering and next day delivery, A.B.Gee is the “First Choice in Toy and Hobby Distribution”, perfectly placed for the independent or larger retailer alike. Look out for A.B.Gee’s exclusive range of wooden toys. Tooky Toy(s) has been making a range of high quality durable wooden toys for more than 15 years. All items produced are designed to encourage a child’s imagination through creative play. The Tooky Toy range is comprehensive and includes colourful, eye-catching designs across infant, push and pull, educational, puzzles, music, furniture, scene and outdoor toys. A.B.Gee is an official partner of Hasbro, Mattel, Character Options, Flair, Tooky, Hornby, Greenlight, Sunstar and Oxford Die-cast, and one of the UK’s main distributor for MGA/Zapf, John Adams and Golden Bear as well as supplying its own exclusive products to the UK.
The search is on Carriage Big Potato
Figures for fun Schleich 01279 870000 www.schleich-s.co.uk
07472 824 526 www.bigpotato.co.uk
Schleich is thrilled to showcase new lines as well as firm favourites. Action and adventure is key to the fantasy world of Eldrador Creatures, a new franchise joining the Schleich portfolio in Q3 with an exciting line up of monsters and creatures to explore. There are four key collections; Lava, Ice, Water and Stone worlds will each have three figurines to collect at three price points. At the centre of the adventure is the hero playset: Battle for the Superweapon – Frost Monster vs Fire Lion. This large playset is a first for the Eldrador franchise. One of the most celebrated collector’s themes within the Schleich portfolio is Horse Club and this year won’t disappoint as new breeds and playsets join the line-up. With brand new breeds such as the new Quarter Horse, English Thoroughbred and the Holsteiner will no doubt be top of the wish list for Horse Club collectors! And there’s the new Caravan For Secret Club Meetings too! The Caravan comprises a living room, balcony, removable roof, and plenty of accessories for endless fun! All eyes will also be on the incredible new Large Horse Stable with House & Stable. With six stunning rooms and a balcony to explore plus stables, human figurines and animals, this mighty set will be top of all wish lists come September.
Pop on over to the Big Potato stand and check out what the gang have been cooking up. With a full range of brand new party games to show off, alongside bestsellers, here’s a little taster of what to expect. First up, there’s The Chameleon, the award-winning party game. Played in a group, one person is secretly appointed the role of the Chameleon. The aim of the game is for the Chameleon to try and blend in by sneakily working out the secret word without being caught. It involves a lot of bluffing, debate and deduction. In Weird Things Humans Search For, the players’ job is to predict the most popular endings to Google search questions. Examples include: “Why can’t I… own a Canadian” and “My cat wants… to kill me”. The more popular the guess is, the more points players win.
Create Visibility in the Leading Toy Trade Magazines! Belgium: Kids Universe, China: Toys & Hobby, Finland: Lelukauppias Germany: das spielzeug, Japan: Weekly Toy News Netherlands: Speelgoed en Hobby, Norway: Baby, Hobby & Leketøy Poland: Świat Zabawek, Spain: Juguetes B2B, Sweden: Lek & Babyrevyn United Kingdom: Toys ‘n’ Playthings, USA: The Toy Book
ITMA Presidents: Lena Hedö Lek & Babyrevyn, Sweden e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Telephone: +46 70 590 77 33
Reyne Rice Toy Trends, USA e-mail: email@example.com Telephone: +1 631 335 5917