Toys n Playthings May 2019

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Helping everyone sell more

May 2 0 Vol. 3 19 8 No. 8

Independently audited ABC circulation of 5,112

1 July 2017 to 30 June 2018

CONTENTS P32 019 May 2 No. 8 3 l. Vo 8

Chairman Malcolm Naish

Managing Director Mark Naish

Editor Mairead Wilmot

Editor Georgie Dobie

Media Solutions Manager Simon Davis

Writer Naomi MacKay

Writer Sarah Welsh

Digital Publisher Mirella Anstey

Digital Editor Rhys Thomas

Production Director Paul Naish

Design and Production

Regular 5

Leader – with Mark Naish


News – the latest toy industry headlines

12 Coffee Break – Kirsty MacKenzie, Bandai, Marketing Manager 14 People news – all the movers and shakers 16

20 Movie news – what’s happening on the big screen 22 Licensing news – the latest on licensed products 24 Retail news – the latest from the retail landscape 26 Toy talk – retailers let us know what is selling well 30 W hat’s new – new products that you need to get your hands on 60 Step back in time – a slice of toy history from the industry’s longest running magazine 61 Don’t miss – unmissable products for all buyers and retailers

Robert Thomas

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


Features 32 C ars, trains, trucks and planes – if it moves, it’s in our category guide 44 T oy Story 4 licensing special – we look at some of the leaders in this top license 52 I nteractive tech toys – the latest innovations in interactive toys 58 Licensing Expo – a sneak peak at the Vegas Licensing show


Special Report


46 D isney/Pixar interview – TnP catches up with Claire Terry to talk all things Toy Story


Columnists 17

edia analysis - Generation Media considers how M brands can use alternatives to TV and YouTube to strengthen awareness and increase reach


aining insight – Kids Insights looks at the G increasing popularity of gaming and explores the opportunities this presents for toy companies

Marian McNamara

Circulation Manager

Media news – the multimedia rundown

27 Retail opinion – John Ryan explores whether hiring a CCO could encourage more customers to keep coming back 28 The Independent/Secret Supplier – our dynamic duo talk about the age-old struggle of finding a work-life balance


43 T nP Ambassadors – our tiny testers give their verdict on Schleich’s Horse Club House and Stable Turn the magazine over for our Toymaster May Show special!

ABC circulation of 5,112

1 July 2017 to 30 June 2018

Helping everyone sell more

Toys and Playthings Template.indd 1

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wful – everything is up some great ideas Naish awful! Well, if you along the way. believe everything you To help you navigate read it is. So, why keep harping the show, flip this issue over on about it, I hear you ask? From and thumb through our bumper retail to Brexit, our politicians Toymaster preview. It contains a A member of the Audit Bureau of Circulation and everything in between, we lot of useful information about the Independently audited are constantly being told by the show and considers some of the mainstream press how awful benefits of becoming a Toymaster ABC circulation of 5,112 1 July 2017 to 30 June 2018 life is. But, with many of these member. If you are interested problems simply out of our in finding out more about control and little that we can do membership, head about our shared predicament in many to the Toymaster of these instances, what's stopping us reception area at from just giving up? the Majestic Hotel While undoubtedly retail has been during the show. particularly challenging of late, if we let this This year, narrative affect us, it may well get a whole Toymaster celebrates lot worse. I certainly don't want to downplay its 30th anniversary PUBLISHING the challenges that many of – and the aptly named Claire Terry you face, but if we don't fight Majestic Hotel has had The against that belief, then our a multi-million-pound Toymaster worst fears will be upon us. restoration to enjoy. It is sure Show is sure to be a fantastic event and I look forward to So, to combat those fears, and to do something positive, to be a seeing many of you there. Also by we have the Toymaster Show Elsewhere in this issue we celebrate the fantastic in Harrogate on the 21 May to forthcoming Toy Story 4. This amazing series Lema Publishing event. I look of films has grossed over $2 billion at the look forward to. forward to If you haven't already global box office and won many awards planned to go, why not? It's including a Bafta, while being a fantastic seeing you open to all bricks and mortar toy license. We also speak to Claire Terry there independent Disney's Retail Commercial Director about toy the opportunities the latest instalment offers. retailers – not just On page 32 we look at vehicles – an immensely Toymaster members. popular category that's still roaring away. I visited And you don't need HTI's HQ this month and was given a tour of its me to tell you that you Teamsterz range – very impressive it is too, which will see a vast array of you can see in the feature! suppliers and product. With kids spending more time on digital devices, we You may even see take a look at the interactive market. Starting on page INTERNATIONAL something that you'd 52, you can see how toy companies, rather than tech previously dismissed, that companies, develop the most engaging products. might be perfect for you Lastly, the Licensing Expo in Vegas starts next now. You get to speak to month. Head over to page 58 to get all the details many other retailers facing and see some of the exhibiting companies. the same challenges as See it's not all awful and there's much to look you and as the saying goes forward to! See you at Toymaster! together, we are stronger. One thing I have learnt from visiting many trade HTi VTech fairs in this industry, and many other industries over the years, is that you get far more out of a good trade show than just seeing product – and Toymaster is a great toy fair! For many of you, this will be just preaching to the converted. But for those of you who aren't yet convinced, where else are you going to be able to immerse yourself in the product, with hundreds of people from the industry you love, and pick

At the heart of retail



J i

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

NEWS Kids@Play celebrates 40 per cent growth

Tesco turns around performance

Kids@Play has brought the curtain down on a record-breaking first full year under new ownership. Between April 2018 and March 2019, Kids@ Play achieved its strongest set of results, with a growth of 40 per cent in sales year on year. This comes after a very strong AW18 with the signing of the Maxx Marketing range of Warner Bros. plush. The team has onboarded more than 50 new domestic accounts and broadened the company’s reach across the UK & Eire market. The team has no intention of stopping or slowing down based on its previews with new introductions across the plush range including DC Comics, Scooby Doo and Looney Tunes. Movement into the arts and crafts category with Kid Made Modern and Mallo, further enhancements in pre-school from Ecoiffier, Falk and Fisher Price and let’s not forget its heritage as an innovative ride-on business with new Land Rover models leading the way.

Tesco profits have risen as the supermarket continues to recover under Chief Executive Dave Lewis. Its pre-tax profits were reported at £1.3bn, which is up £145m for the last year. The turnaround follows a number of disappointing results for the UK’s largest supermarket. Jobs have been cut at Tesco as Lewis looks to save £1.5bn a year. He has also launched Jack’s, a discount chain.

Monster UK tour The official Monster Jam toy line from Spin Master has crashed into the market bringing innovation, authentic designs and an original Monster Jam experience. A jam-packed marketing programme for the new range will kick off with an adrenaline-fuelled experiential retailer tour ahead of the official Monster Jam Live UK Tour flying into arenas UK-wide. Fans can witness the huge excitement of Monster Jam first-hand as the tour hits Manchester Arena from 4-5 May, Cardiff’s Principality Stadium on 18 May and Coventry’s Ricoh Arena on 8 June, bringing jaw-dropping stunts and exhilarating racing.

TRENDS: WHAT’S IN THE BOX? Kristin Morency Goldman of The Toy Association considers the unboxing trend and how it’s set to reach new heights in 2019 ‘Unboxing 2.0’ is one of the hottest toy trends of 2019, according to trend experts at The Toy Association in the United States. The trend encompasses toys and games that make it fun for kids to ‘unbox’ their toys and include creative new ways for them to uncover what’s inside. Adrienne Appell, Trend Expert at The Toy Association, says: “Whether it’s by incorporating unique packaging that transforms into a playset, or by using different compounds (like slime, foam, clay, or sand) that kids have to dig through to get to the surprise, the unboxing trend is ramping up in a major way.” The unboxing phenomenon has its roots on YouTube, where toy unboxing videos by family influencers have amassed millions of global fans and 6

Toy unboxing videos by family influencers have amassed millions of global fans and have resulted in lucrative partnerships with brands

have resulted in lucrative partnerships with brands. The North American International Toy Fair, held annually in New York City, has seen a rise in influencer attendees, with more than 100 influencers in attendance at this year’s February show. The show has been leveraged by social media personalities to announce partnerships with toy brands, unveil new toy lines, and forge toy industry relationships. Global play professionals who visited Toy Fair New York took in an array of toys that offer kids the excitement of the ‘big reveal’, from toys based on family YouTube channels to multilayered toys with multiple hidden surprises, including: Ryan’s World Mini Mystery Egg (Vivid Toy Group): Based on the popular kids YouTube channel Ryan

Growth for Bananagrams Already a global phenomenon, Bananagrams has seen an impressive year-on-year growth for Q1 in the UK of 34.8 per cent, according to NPD data. This comes exactly one year after Asmodee became the official UK supplier to Bananagrams, which appears to be making terrific progress under its new stewardship. Rena Nathanson, Top Banana at Bananagrams, comments: “The whole team at Asmodee has a fantastic understanding of our game and where it fits in the market, so it’s no surprise that - in their caring hands - the game is flying off shelves and reaffirming its position as an evergreen favourite.” A key part of Bananagrams’ growth is through exposure to creative talent such as writers, producers and actors – which has resulted in appearances in TV shows and movies.

Jazwares to launch Angry Birds toy line Jazwares has announced its new Angry Birds toy line that will hit shelves in July 2019, ahead of the October release of The Angry Birds Movie 2. The new toy line follows Jazwares’ appointment as global master toy partner for Rovio Entertainment Corp. The collection features splat balls, catablind collectable figures, plush, a figure pack, a game pack, and a Pig City Build n Launch playset. Selected Angry Birds toys also come with digital unlock features, which allow consumers to scan the product and unlock Jazwares’

Toys Review, Mini Mystery Eggs are filled with surprises such as a mystery figure, squishy or new build-a-Ryan figure, exclusive putty, bouncy ball, stickers, and Ryan’s World tattoos. Baby Secrets and Merbabies (Headstart Direct Limited): The Baby Secrets Series 3 Mystery Tubs and Merbabies Series 2 Shells are filled with secrets to discover. Dip their diapers in water and they will change colour to pink or blue to reveal their gender. Once the secret is out, you can name your baby on the birth certificate! There are 50 new babies and 24 merbabies to collect. Rescue Runts Babies (Bandai): Rescue Runts Babies are adoptable mini plush pets that you rescue, groom, collect and love. The four-inch plush pets arrive in their plastic crates in need of some love and care – pluck out their fleas, brush their messy fur and tie the ribbon collar on to transform them from ragged runt to perfect pet! The convertible crate offers many ways to play – slide the

MAY 2019

exclusive game content, once they’ve downloaded the new Angry Birds Explore app. Angry Birds Explore brings the Angry Birds world to life through the magic of augmented reality! Jazwares will be supporting Angry Birds with digital, social and PR campaigns.

interlocking walls of the crate to turn it into a bed, cubby, carrier, or house. Make the house a home by decorating it with the included stickers. Feisty Pets Mini Misfits Blind Figures (Jazwares): These pets are small and cute – but push the button on the back of their heads, and they get feisty! Each mini animal figure comes inside a colourful pet carrier for added fun. The series features an assortment of fun animal characters and three different expressions, plus three chase figures. Collect them all! Boxy Girls (Character Options): Get ready to unbox the fun with Boxy Girls! The aim of this game is to help the Boxy Girls rock the runway for their spring fashion show. Be the first player to collect four items from the shipping boxes to complete your Boxy Girls’ look and walk the runway to win! For extra fashion fun, flip the game

Hasbro welcomes new CCEO Earlier this month, Hasbro announced that Jamie Gutfreund had been appointed Chief Consumer Experience Officer, a newly-created C-level position to further the toy company’s consumer-facing projects. Jamie will work from Hasbro’s corporate headquarters in Rhode Island, overseeing some of the company’s global marketing functions, including the internal creative agency, insights team and global media management team. “Jamie brings a breadth of experience in driving strategies that build brands through innovation and technology, global marketing campaigns, and proprietary research,” said COO John Frascotti. Prior to joining Hasbro, Jamie served as global CMO for Wunderman Thompson.

board over to model your own Boxy Girl’s stylish trends on the runway. Includes four exclusive fashions surprises. Sweet Pups (Trends UK): Squishy croissants, pastries and sweet rolls transform into soft, fluffy puppies. Each treat smells as good as they look: fresh baked bread, chocolate, cinnamon or strawberry. Collect all 12. Blume (Skyrocket Toys): Blume dolls mix imaginative, over-the-top hairstyles with an awesome blooming effect for a surprising toy reveal experience! Add a few drops of water onto the seeds, wait a few seconds, and watch as your Blume doll starts to grow right out of her flowering pot! As her unique hairstyle emerges, you’ll be able to recognise which Blume character you have. Each doll comes with a hip hairstyle, mix and match outfits, handbags, cute mini friends, and sticker books.

Interested in discovering next year’s hit toy and games? Mark your calendar for Toy Fair New York 2020 – visit to learn more. 7

BTHA Briefing Rebecca Deeming, the BTHA’s Public Relations Manager, looks back at recent BTHA business and forward to the BTHA’s plans for the year ahead Over the past month, the BTHA has been busy preparing for upcoming events, as well as the continuous task of providing updates to members regarding Brexit and other policy topics. We started the month by co-hosting a free webinar with Associate Members of ours, Comply Direct. This webinar was on ‘The Energy Savings Opportunity Scheme (ESOS) Phase 2’. If members missed the webinar but would like to view the slides, please get in touch. Tickets also went on sale for this year’s BTHA AGM and Industry Day, which will take place on Wednesday 3 July. This year, keynote speakers include Ken Clarke MP, who is the longest-serving member of Parliament and has held various significant Ministerial posts including Chancellor of the Exchequer and Home Secretary. Don Williams from KPMG will also be presenting and will once again deliver a presentation on current retail trends and the trading environment. The application for tickets can be found on the event section on We also recently announced another opportunity for members of the toy industry to get involved with the Toy Trust and help raise money for the charity, by taking part in this year’s Big Toy Trust Challenge. This year the annual fundraising day will provide participants with the option of a triathlon, a 65-mile bike ride, 5km or 10km walk/run. The event will take place on Saturday 8 June at Oxford Wet N Wild in Wallingford, where there will also be an inflatable assault course for use during the event. All funds raised from the Big Challenge will go towards two UK-based charities, My AFK and Over The Wall. You can book your place online on the BTHA website (www.btha. For more information, please contact Last month we welcomed Kellie Moore-Mulveen, who has joined the BTHA as our Public Relations and Events Intern. Over the next 12 months Kellie will be working on our consumer campaign, Make Time 2 Play, as well as working on Toy Fair PR and general communications with members. Looking ahead to 2020, the Toy Fair team are now working through exhibitor applications and allocating stands for next year’s Toy Fair. We have received a great number of applications so far this year, including an 82 per cent returnee rate of repeat exhibitors (excluding The Greenhouse). If you have not yet applied for Toy Fair 2020 and would like to, you can apply by filling in the online application form at www.toyfair. If you have any other queries regarding Toy Fair 2020 then please get in touch with me by emailing or calling 020 7701 7271. If you would like more information on BTHA membership, please visit the membership section on our website


NEWS Strong Q1 for Hasbro Hasbro is back on track after a handful of loss-making quarters, sending share prices to the company’s highest point in six months. The US toymaker posted $732.5m in net revenues for the first quarter of 2019, a two per cent increase on last year’s performance with a bottom line totalling $26.7m.

Chairman and CEO Brian Goldner comments: “With most of the year ahead of us, we remain on track to deliver profitable growth for the fullyear 2019.” Hasbro brands such as Transformers, Play-Doh and Monopoly were among the brands posting revenue gains for the quarter.

Blocked: Sainsbury’sAsda merger Vivid UK Games Expo debut Vivid will be attending the UK Games Expo for the first time this year as Goliath Games, as part of the company’s dynamic strategy of directly engaging with families and board game fans alike. At the event, the company will showcase Sequence, Burger Party, Colour Smash and True Colors, offering consumers the opportunity to play the games and enter daily tournaments for Sequence. This is a move which sees Vivid sharpening its focus on experiential activations as part of a wider integrated 360-degree campaign to reach its key demographic. “We’re looking forward to attending the UK Games Expo for the first time this year,” says Darrell Jones, Head of Marketing at Vivid Toy Group. “We have a fantastic line-up of family and party games, and the Expo will provide us with an excellent opportunity to showcase these games to a captive and engaged audience.”

The £7bn merger between Sainsbury’s and Asda has been blocked by the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) over fears it will diminish consumer choice and lift prices. The CMA concluded that the proposed deal to combine the UK’s second and third largest supermarkets would be detrimental to shoppers. If it were permitted, the watchdog said, a merger would lead to “substantial lessening of competition at both a national and local level”. In its final report, the CMA laid out the damning findings of its in-depth investigation: less choice, price hikes, reduced quality and a poorer overall shopping experience, including fewer delivery options for those who choose to shop online. Sainsbury’s and Asda offered to sell off around 150 of their locations and petrol stations to assuage concerns, as well as pledging £1bn in price cuts for shoppers should the deal be given the go ahead, but it was not enough to convince the CMA. A statement from Sainsbury’s confirmed the two parties have agreed to terminate further merger discussions. Sainsbury’s Chief Executive Mike Coupe said the CMA had failed to understand the nuances of “the dynamic and highly competitive nature of the UK grocery market”.

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NEWS Toy Fair 2020 is shaping up Mattel creates a Buzz Mattel has unveiled its full Toy Story 4 toy range that includes figures, playsets and roleplay lines, as well as toys for younger fans from Fisher-Price Imaginex. “We are delighted to be working in partnership with Disney again on this brilliant movie,” says Kelly Philp, UK Marketing Lead, Mattel. To promote the launch in the UK of what is the broadest Toy Story 4 toy range from any one supplier, Mattel has partnered with the Bridges on a cinema advert. The influencer family – made up of former Saturdays star Frankie, ex-Premier League footballer Wayne and their sons – communicate the core message ‘Made for Little Hands and Big Adventures’. The ad spotlights some key toys in the line, including the Walking Buzz, the Buzz Lightyear Robot, seveninch Basic Figures and True Talker Figures.

Big Potato cooks up Spin Master deal Big Potato Games and Spin Master Corp have announced a three-year licence agreement in the US and Canada. Big Potato Games is known for its range of simple, fun, family and party games. Spin Master is taking on the range of Big Potato games with more than 15 existing titles. Bestsellers in the line-up include ‘whodunnit’ family party game The Chameleon, which will be available at major retailers this spring, and shout-out trivia game Linkee, which will launch in the US in 2020. Big Potato and Spin Master are also collaborating on new games and licences, including Disney Colorbrain and a new party game for the nostalgic video-rental store Blockbuster - launching this year. Anton Rabie, Spin Master’s Co-Founder and CoCEO, says: “Big Potato is a boutique company with a creative and talented team. We’re thrilled about our partnership with them and the opportunity to bring their games to a wider audience.”


Toy Fair 2020 is shaping up to be another busy and vibrant show. Just three months on from Toy Fair 2019 there has been a re-booking rate of 84 per cent – an increase on this time last year. A successful sold-out Toy Fair 2019 saw the return of LEGO and PMS International Group, who are both among Toy Fair 2020 returnees, alongside Spin Master, Character Options, Flair Leisure Products, Learning Resources, Golden Bear, plus lots more of the industry’s favourite names. Rebecca Deeming, Acting Head of Toy Fair, said: “It is a testament to

the show’s popularity to see so many applications already coming in. This allows us to keep developing and expanding the Toy Fair to provide the industry with an effective space to buy, sell and network. We are extremely appreciative of the support the industry continues to provide the show.” Toy Fair returns to Olympia, London, from 21-23 January 2020. Visitors and exhibitors can expect a full range of toy, game and hobby manufacturers and distributors representing startups, through to small, established family-run businesses and international mega brands.

Entertainer profits up by a third Independent toy retailer The Entertainer has seen its profits soar by almost a third in the past 12 months. Latest figures show profits are up 31 per cent with total year-on-year sales growth of 21.7 per cent. Its online sales have risen by 38 per cent over the year, and in-store sales grew by 12.3 per cent. The retailer’s staff will share in a £3m profitrelated bonus pot.

BLE: Beyond the Book Brand Licensing Europe 2019 will see the debut of a new publishing activation at the event, which will take place 1-3 October 2019 at Excel London. The Beyond the Book publishing activation will celebrate the licensing success stories of brands that have originated as publishing IP over the years. BLE Event Director Anna Knight says: “Publishing has played an integral role in the licensing industry since day one – it’s thought that Beatrix Potter was the first-ever licensor back in the 1930s when she brought out a Peter Rabbit plush.” The activation will showcase a collection of licensed products from BLE exhibitors, including Copyrights, Gallimard Jeunesse, Casterman, Penguin Ventures, Walker Books, Sanrio, Rocket Licensing, Tara Duncan and Metrostar. The showcase area will also play host to special events, including author meet and greets and signing opportunities. Nielsen Book, the activation’s official partner, will lead a publishing session during the show. The all new Publishing Pavilion will offer entry-level pricing to start-ups and smaller brands to help shine a light on new properties.



Marketing Manager Kirsty MacKenzie talks candidly about Bandai’s toy offering and gives us insider info on future plans for the business In which categories do you expect to see growth in the industry this year? Boys’ action – it’s a challenging area at the moment but we believe that the right properties will succeed. We have recently launched Robozuna to the market and initial sales are positive. We are relaunching the iconic Thunderbirds brand in Autumn 19, which is still a topperforming show on CITV. Dragon Ball will also be a key focus for us as awareness of the brand grows in the UK. Girls’ collectables – Collectables are still driving the market and we have a great offering with Bananas. These offer something unique to the consumer and we have had a great reaction to our AW19 line, which will feature chocolate dipped bananas and peelable strawberries. Games – we recognised a gap in the market for family activity games and have a range of interactive electronic games launching in AW19. Fanzone targets the family market and with 500 football-related questions is a football fan’s dream. Froggy Party is aimed at the preschool market and features more than 50 activities. What products have performed especially well? Bananas – they’re colourful, scented and peelable. These have been a winner for us since their launch in December. Pomsies, our interactive pets brand continues to perform well and there are lots of new, exciting styles to collect. How does Bandai support its retailers? One of our strongest areas of support is tailored content, which we create and implement across social media and digital channels, POS and FSDUs at retail, and tagging of marketing activity. Any exciting marketing initiatives this year?

Aurora World partners with WHSmith Character and content company Aurora World has announced a partnership with WHSmith to bring to stores a refreshed and expanded line of YooHoo plush based on characters from the new 3D Netflix Original series YooHoo to the Rescue. The launch began in April with clip strips containing YooHoo keychains, and from 5 May, the formal YooHoo plush will launch in 200 high street stores. It will be supported by special YooHoo CDUs along with advertising in-store throughout May – and several WHSmith stores will also feature giant YooHoos.

VTech – a popular choice The NPD Group’s recent findings on the nation’s best-selling toys for infants and toddlers in the UK in 2018 (ranked by value) showed that VTech lines, such as Toot-Toot, account for seven of the top 10, while Fisher-Price takes two and Hasbro sneaks in at number 10 with Mr and Mrs Potato Head. In the UK, an average of £159 is spent on toys for children in their first year, with top products including playmats, gyms, infant plush, rattles, teethers and soft toys. As baby grows, toys and play become a crucial part of discovery and learning, meaning that in baby’s second year, the average spent on toys rises to £208. By baby’s second birthday the total average amount spent on toys is £367. Frederique Tutt, Global Industry Analyst, Toys, NPD says: “Toys and play are synonymous with key milestones in early learning, from lying down and discovering the world to sitting stages, crawling, walking and talking, so there’s a significant focus on development and learning in the top 10 best-selling baby and toddler toys.” In the first year, parents account for 39 per cent of the overall spend on toys for baby, while grandparents account for 30 per cent. Parents buy more than one-third (36 per cent) of their baby toys online, while grandparents prefer to shop in store.

We have an opportunity to create some exciting marketing activity around our new brand Foodie Surprise, which involves making sugar-free treats. We’re also continuing to do some great stuff with Bananas. Cepia has got some fantastic social assets which we are using within retail. And our partnership with ITV will see us working closely with the Robozuna and TAG teams on various activities, such as character tours to target fans and new consumers. How does Bandai use social media to engage with consumers? We have our own social media platforms for reaching parents, as well as PopJam pages for Smooshy Mushy and Miraculous, where we can post branded content which children can safely engage with. We also work with selected influencers and bloggers.


Fortnite airdrops into event The latest Fortnite minifigures from Worlds Apart and Moose Toys dropped into the Insomnia Gaming Event in Birmingham last month. Visitors were given a first look at the collection with a Battle Bus ‘airdrop’ experience. Visitors to the Fortnite Battle Royale Collection stand were the first in the UK to see the new figures, including fan-favourites Tomato Head, Crackshot and DJ Yonder. Attendees also got an exclusive sneak peek at the new Battle Bus playset, which won’t be seen in-store until later this summer.Â

Revell’s Super Wings soars With Super Wings joining the Revell Junior Kit range, the hit preschool licence is joining a high-impact digital marketing campaign coming to YouTube at key points throughout 2019. Aimed at the core audiences of children aged five to 10 and dads, targeted pre-roll campaigns began to run across YouTube channels during the key shopping period of Easter, and will roll into the summer holidays and pre-Christmas, achieving more than 130,000 views, supported by Google ad campaigns across the Google Display Network. With its child-friendly screw system, Junior Kit Super Wings enables kids to transform flying hero Jett and gadget guru Donnie from aeroplanes into robots, a perfect entry point for kids to enter the world of model kits. These easy-toassemble construction toys for ages four-plus feature moveable arms and legs.  Â


Schleich spider shock So realistic are the animal figurines from Schleich that its new tarantula caused a major stir in Essex, when the RSPCA were called to reports from residents of a large, live arachnid in Northview Drive, Westcliffe. On arrival at the scene the RSPCA collection officer quickly spotted that the arachnid was not in fact an escaped exotic pet or stowaway from balmy climes, but a toy spider from Schleich’s 2019 Wild Life collection. Paul Dearlove, Trade Marketing Manager at Schleich, says: â€?It’s a quirky story with a happy ending. However, it also goes to show just how realistic Schleich’s product development is. Obviously, nobody was harmed during the event. â€œThe tarantula was added to the collection in January and is already proving to be a real favourite.â€?Â


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MAY 2019




Learning Resources boosts team

Funko CFO to step down Funko’s Chief Financial Officer Russell Nickel is to step down by the end of the year to pursue new opportunities. He has served in the post since 2013, serving with the pop culture collectable company through a period in which its sales grew more than 1200 per cent. “My five and a half years at Funko have been incredible, and I am proud to have been a part of the amazing growth and evolution of the company,” he says. “During this time, I have had the opportunity to be a part of many significant and challenging strategic initiatives, helping to drive Funko’s sales from $42 million in 2013 to $686 million in 2018. Brian Mariotti, Funko’s CEO, says: “On behalf of our entire management team, I want to thank Russell for all that he’s done for Funko. He has been an instrumental part of our ability to grow this business.”

Orchard Toys’ new Export Sales Manager Orchard Toys has announced the appointment of Robert Mann to the role of Export Sales Manager. Robert returns to the UK toy industry after a period of four years working as an International Business Consultant. He replaces Mary Watson, who retired from the company after 19 years. MD Simon Newbery says: “It took very little time to agree that this is a perfect fit for both parties. Of course, our thanks and best wishes go out to Mary for a long and happy

Victory for Siso Toys UK Siso has strengthened its team, appointing Mandy Victory as General Sales Manager UK and Ireland. “I’m so thrilled to be joining Siso Toys UK at such an exciting time for the company as it looks to grow from a startup into a top 10 toy supplier,” she says. Mandy joins Siso from Flair, where she managed toy specialists, independents, grocers, department stores and more, as joint Head of Sales. Martin Whitaker, MD, Siso says: “Mandy will enable us to execute our strategy with our retail and licensor partners.” 14

Simon Tomlinson Learning Resources is placing a greater emphasis on international and online sales, hiring an experienced new Head of Sales and refocusing the role of Marketing Manager Simon Tomlinson to better serve Amazon accounts. Formerly of Goliath, Clementoni and Jumbo Games, Michael Radzio’s key responsibility will be to develop and grow international trade, retail and ecommerce accounts across Europe, the Middle East, Africa and India. Another development in the sales team sees Simon Tomlinson, formerly Head of Marketing, Head of Sales expand his role to Head of Amazon and Michael Radzio Marketing. He is now responsible for managing and developing Amazon accounts for the business across Europe and India, while retaining oversight on EMEA marketing operations. Dennis Blackmore, Managing Director of Learning Resources UK, says: “These recent appointments reflect the dynamic state of the market in which we operate. They are designed to maintain our strength in core education markets while pursuing major growth internationally and online.”

Amscan strengthens licensing team Amscan International has welcomed back Allison Moore, a former Marketing and Product Manager at the party and balloon specialist who rejoins the team as Licensing Manager EMEA. In her new role, she will support Amscan’s Licensing Director EMEA Mel Beer on developing and managing the company’s licensed portfolio of partyware, balloons and costumes, becoming the first point for contact for licensors. “Having worked together previously at Amscan I am thrilled to welcome Alli back

on board,” Mel says. “Her prior company knowledge, coupled with her strong organisational skills, product and marketing experience make her an excellent addition to the licensing team.” Alli adds: “I’m very excited to join the business again and look forward to meeting with licensors to develop our portfolio further.”

New CEO for Sambro Sambro has announced the appointment of Tony Hicks as CEO. Tony has 25 years of experience delivering growth strategies for major business units across Europe, Asia and North America for international brands including Carlsberg and Mars. He also brings significant toy industry experience from his time with Vivid and LeapFrog. Tom Falcon, Chairman of Sambro and Operating Partner at Elysian Capital, says: “Tony’s strategic background and experience in leading international FMCG and Toy businesses, coupled with his strong relationships across the toy industry and licensing community, will be critical to delivering further growth for our business.”


NEWS Pingu waddles into Europe TV series Pingu in the City has arrived in Europe. Sony Creative Products (SCP), which manages licensing in the Japanese market for the much-loved penguin Pingu on behalf of rights owner Mattel Inc, has announced the arrival of the new, entirely Japanese-madeand-produced computerThere’s a Pinguanimated TV series in Europe. themed café in Pingu in the City launched Tokyo in the Japanese market in 2017. Following the announcement last year of a new distribution partnership for Pingu with Sony Music Entertainment España, S.L., focusing on Europe and Latin America, a number of European broadcast partnerships are on the way, beginning with UK-based channel ITVBe. Pingu in the City began airing on the channel in February. Pingu is now brought to his UK fans seven days a week. The success of the show in Japan has been accompanied by a strong performance in licensing, at retail and in initiatives. Collectables, mobile phone accessories, plush and cushions are among recent output, while a Pingu-themed café, a Pinguthemed shopping event, a Christmas collaboration with a popular aquarium in Tokyo, and a collaboration with a women’s lifestyle magazine have all enjoyed strong responses.

Did you know?

Pokemon heads into third series This month sees series 3 of Pokemon the Series arrive on Pokemon TV. Pokémon: The Johto Journeys follows Ash and Pikachu as they leave the Orange Islands behind and set their sights on the Johto region. Ash and Misty reunite with their friend Brock for more exciting adventures filled with faithful friends, thrilling battles, and plenty of Pokémon pals such as Totodile and Chikorita. The series can also be watched on the go using the Pokemon TV Mobile app.

Nick Jr signs up influencers Nick Jr has formed a partnership with four parenting influencers to become the new Nick Jr. Parents. In keeping with the brand’s adventurous, relatable and cheeky values, each influencer will taking over the channel’s Instagram page bringing their unique insight to the world of parenting, offering their tips, tricks and epic fails as well as DIYs, makes and bakes and crafts. Faye (@mother_of_five_boys), Hattie (@hattie.writes), Lorna (@ mumtomessyboys) and Nigel (@notsofunnydad) will also create content for their own channels that embodies Nick Jr.’s vision, built around imagination, play and humour.

Did you know?

Nick Jr. is the number one commercial pre-school channel in 2019 to date and has reached more kids than any other Kids Pay TV Channel this year so far. Source: BARB/TechEdge, Pay TV Homes, Live+7 Days, Kids 4-15, Kids EPG, January-March 2019, Reach 1+ (3+ min cont)


Thunderbirds fly down under Modern Brands and Planet Fun have been appointed exclusive toy distribution partners for the new Thunderbirds Are Go toy line in Australia and New Zealand respectively. The ITV Studios Global Entertainment series airs on ABC Me and Channel Nine in Australia and TVNZ2 in New Zealand, and the new season three episodes will support the toy line. Both companies showcased their collectables, action figures and vehicles at the Melbourne Toy Fair. The lines will roll out in AW19. “We are very excited to be working with ITV to bring the Thunderbirds Are Go toy line to the Australian retailers and consumers from 2019,” says Tim Clarke, General Manager at Modern Brands. “Thunderbirds has a strong following in Australia and as a long-term property has a great fit within the Modern Brands brand portfolio.” The series is a co-produced by ITV Studios and New Zealand-based Pukeko Pictures.



Recipe for success A

t the time of writing, we’ve just closed the curtains on Q1 of 2019. Traditionally, in Q1 we see fewer campaigns than the previous quarter. In particular, this Q1 saw 42 per cent fewer advertisers on air than in Q4 (BARB, April 2019. 72 advertisers in Q4 2018 vs. 42 in Q1 2019). Despite this, TV remains the most cost-efficient way to reach kids with AV (audio visual) communications to showcase their brands in order to raise awareness and push sales. One company that has Just explored the theme of where because other children get their toy interests platforms are from is Giraffe Insights, with its revolutionary research ‘Kids less impactful and the Screen’. Unsurprisingly, does not mean AV communications (TV and they are less YouTube) come out on top for kids’ inspiration for toy wish valuable for lists – and their parents agree advertisers’ (Giraffe Insights, ‘Kids and the Screen’: Wave 3, 2019). However, campaigns just because other platforms are less impactful does not mean they are less valuable for advertisers’ campaigns. When looking to build incremental reach for campaigns, or when looking to achieve other objectives beyond awareness for toys and games campaigns, advertisers and agencies can group together to look at avenues outside of traditional TV and YouTube ad spots in order to meet these objectives. One avenue that brands can look at is working directly with channels outside of traditional ad spots and look at show/channel partnerships. Both Nickelodeon and Disney Channel will be promoting their key events – namely Nickelodeon’s Slime Fest and Disney Channel’s Descendants 3. Outside of owning the sponsorship strands across TV spot buying, brands have the opportunity to have presence across all promotions, including online campaigns. Sponsorship is a great way to build brand awareness and increase the frequency of messaging with a channel that already has a positive relationship with their audiences. Event buying across TV is a guaranteed way to ensure your brand’s name is at the forefront of children’s minds whenever thinking about the event – before it’s happening, when it’s happening and after it’s happened.

Similar to event buying on TV, cinemas offer a scheduled viewing time that the whole family can look forward to, on a much bigger screen, with minimal distractions. Every year we see the release of incredible blockbuster titles directed at family viewing, but 2019’s film slate is set in stone to be the biggest year for family films yet. Disney will be featured many times in the end of year box office, with the likes of The Lion King (£73m Box Office forecast), Toy Story 4 (£55m Box Office forecast) and of course, Frozen 2 (£35m Box Office forecast). Cinema’s attraction and engagement rate has been proven, as 95 per cent of the ads that are shown on the cinema screen are the same as those placed on TV, but as high as 85 per cent of cinemagoers think it’s a different ad (DCM, Fast Facts, February 2019). To take an example that is not an AV solution – the use of social media. Obviously, we can’t target kids directly on social media platforms, so SuperAwesome has delivered a safe alternative with its PopJam app. 84 per cent of its users are aged between seven and 12 years old (SuperAwesome, Internal PopJam survey of users, March 2018), falling into the key demographic for some advertisers. Brands are able to create their own brand pages on the platform, and with the help of SuperAwesome, boost these posts to appear on the six million active users’ homepage feed. PopJam is a great tool for marrying brands directly with their core audiences and gaining key insights into how and what these children engage with. Delivering 70m engagements per quarter across the UK app, brands have the ability to post quizzes, competitions and the like to promote their message. In addition to this, the app offers kids the chance to win access to ‘stickers’ – somewhat like emojis – therefore giving them a privileged status. An extra way to sell product is to offer an ‘access code’ within the product itself, that can be used to download a sticker pack in the PopJam app. This is a great way for collectable brands to sell products throughout the quieter months. If you’d like advice or guidance on how Generation Media can help to strategise your media investment, please get in touch by emailing, or give us a call on 0207 307 7900.

Generation Media’s Kate Moncur considers how brands can use alternative platforms to TV and YouTube to strengthen brand awareness, increase a campaign’s reach and achieve objectives beyond brand awareness

Spoiled for choice TV and YouTube advertising Show/channel partnerships Cinema advertising Social media activity

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

MAY 2019




A toy-book connection A

able to capitalise on the popularity s we all know, the kids’ of these new properties, or instead, space is changing faster miss out entirely. than ever before, with new Licensed TV products have not fared communication platforms, brands, well over the year, with sales down and technology making the kids’ across many categories among nineecosystem more complex and to 12-year-olds, which, according to fragmented than ever before. our data, are the biggest The kids of today of licensed have far greater choice The ability owners products. This includes about which characters to react a 24 per cent reduction or brands to engage with than those before quickly enough in licensed clothing, a per cent reduction in them, and the impact to secure new 16 books and a 13 per cent of this extended choice licensed reduction in toys. is expected to become We are also seeing how more significant with properties and the gaming revolution every future generation. get product to led by cross platform and Licensed properties market quicker mobile gaming is seeing are also emerging at a greater speed, gaining may be the key that this generation of children are spending exposure across many factor that more and more of their different platforms time gaming and the and media and further determines impact of that is how diluting the exposure whether a gaming-related content each can achieve with company is and characters are their target audience – becoming increasingly which means knowing able to popular with kids of all which ones to invest in capitalise on ages and genders. has never been harder. the popularity Similarly, the continued This changing growth in popularity dynamic presents the of these new of gaming in recent licensing industry with properties years, among all ages a real challenge, as it and genders, opens occurs at a time when many opportunities for those able to the ability to react quickly enough consider the wider potential. For the to secure new licensed properties first time we are seeing this seep into and get product to market other areas of the kids’ ecosystem, quicker may be the key factor that including favourite characters. determines whether a company is

Knowing which licensed properties to invest in can be a challenge. The Insights People consider how the increasing popularity of gaming may present a number of opportunities for toy companies

For the first time, classic gaming characters have started to appear among kids’ favourites, with Pikachu ranking third most-popular character for boys aged three to 12, followed by Mario (17th) and Sonic (24th) all in the top 30 for younger boys. Pikachu is the only one of these characters to rank as highly (10th) for girls aged three to 12. This may be an indication that the Detective Pikachu film, due out in May, will have a more balanced appeal for both genders. With gaming’s growing popularity among girls, comes a boom in female role models and influencers on social media platforms. For example, while UK data shows that Minecraft YouTuber DanTDM is one of the more favoured YouTubers among girls, the introduction of ‘girl power’ to the gaming market has seen the arrival of female players such as InquistorMaster – a Roblox YouTuber who has entered tween girls’ top-10 list of favourite YouTubers for the first time.

So what does this mean for you? We know that this generation are actively looking to take control of their content. Kids Insights data shows that four- to nine-year-olds who follow their favourite shows on YouTube are 18 per cent more likely than the average child to buy toys related to their favourite shows. Similarly, they are 20 per cent more likely to purchase clothes and 46 per cent more likely to buy video games.

Kids Insights specialises in research and insights on kids and their ecosystems. We survey 400 kids, tweens and teens every single week and our real-time portal is continually updated to allow our clients to spot the latest trends before their competitors. Our insight-led reports are produced by some of the top kids’ researchers in the UK and have seen us short-listed for a number of start-up and innovation awards.

Fun Fast Games - Toys n Playthings __ update.indd 1

18/04/2019 17:03:11



Minecraft builds up to big screen Good news for fans of online building video game Minecraft – after a four-year wait, the movie has a new director, and a new release date. The live-action movie is set for release on 4 March 2022 – or as the official announcement tells us, 1,052 days’ time. The game’s developer Mojang is partnering with Warner Bros. on the movie, which will tell the story of an “unlikely group of adventurers” with a teenage girl in the lead. Sticking loosely to Minecraft’s in-game fiction, the film will see the cast tackle the evil Ender Dragon, which is hell-bent on destroying the blocky Overworld in which players dig, develop tools and delve deeper into the ground in search of treasure. Launched in 2011 by creator Marcus ‘Notch’ Persson, Minecraft has gone on to sell more than 150 million copies. The Minecraft brand and game developer Mojang was acquired by Microsoft in 2014 for $2.5 billion.

Pikachu premiers in Tokyo Pokémon Detective Pikachu premiered in Tokyo, Japan last month, before its May 10 release in the UK. In place of the customary red carpet, the stars walked into the movie theatre along a yellow zigzag carpet, emulating the shape of Pikachu’s tail. Justice Smith and Kathryn Newton play human characters Tim Goodman and Lucy Stevens, while the voice of Detective Pikachu comes from Deadpool star Ryan Reynolds. In the film, detective Harry Goodman goes missing in mysterious circumstances, so his son, Tim, investigates. Helping him is Harry’s former Pokémon partner Detective Pikachu. As luck would have it, Tim is the only human who is able to talk with Pikachu, so they join forces to solve the mystery!

Fantastic Beasts fans face long wait Harry Potter fans shouldn’t hold their breath waiting for the next Fantastic Beasts movie to be released. Warner Bros has confirmed that the next film in the Harry Potter prequel franchise will not appear until November 2021. Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them was released in 2016, with Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald following in 2018. The franchise is set to feature five films in all.

November 2021 Release date for Fantastic Beasts 3 20


The length, in hours, of all 22 Marvel Cinematic Universe movies combined.

Avengers: Endgame beats box-office records The latest, much-anticipated Marvel movie broke all kinds of box-office records on its release. More than 100 million people went to cinemas around the world for midnight openings and thousands of screenings throughout the first weekend. Its first weekend brought in $350 million in North America – and an unbelievable $1.2billion across the world. It made £43.4m in its first four days in the UK It also accounted for four out of every five tickets sold in the US over the first weekend. The film also holds the record for the biggest worldwide opening, and made $1 billion faster than any other movie.

Life-sized LEGO Chris Hemsworth came face-to-face with a life-sized LEGO version of his on-screen weapon at a recent event to promote Avengers: Endgame. Chris was pictured agog as he grasped the LEGO Stormbreaker, the axe his character Thor wields in the movie. Paul Rudd and Scarlett Johansson also attended the event in London. The LEGO model was built by official LEGO Master Builders from 2,414 individual LEGO bricks of four different colours. 17

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Hasbro’s Moon and Me debut Hasbro has unveiled its new Moon and Me toy collection. Available in the UK from 18 July 2019, new introductions will include a range of Moon and Me figures, plush and playsets. Little ones will love snuggling with their Pepi Nana or Moon Baby Moon and Me Talking Plush. By pressing the characters’ tummy, or giving them a hug, preschoolers will hear fun sounds and phrases from the TV series. The soft and fun Moon and Me Plush Toys will allow kids to imagine their own Moon and Me inspired adventures. Pre-schoolers and toddlers can practise tucking their little plush toy friends into bed with the Moon

and Me Goodnight Pepi Nana 34 cm Talking Plush Doll. With the Moon and Me Single Figures, pre-schoolers will be able to bring home their favourite characters and recreate Toy House and Storyland adventures from the television series. The Moon and Me Take and Go Toy House Playset allows young children to explore fun take and go play as they dream about toys who come to life when the moon shines in the series. Also new, the Moon and Me Toy Figure and Vehicle sets each feature one of the beloved toy characters from the television series and their signature vehicle. Each vehicle also has a fun feature.

Tiny, mighty ambassador Polly Pocket, a franchise of Mattel, has announced its new Global Brand Ambassador – 10-year-old female professional skateboarder, Sky Brown. Sky is one of the youngest girls to compete and medal at a professional skateboarding competition. She dares to challenge the status quo and encourages girls to take on new adventures, just like Polly Pocket, as she embodies the brand’s message that “Tiny is Mighty!”. Sky says: “I want to inspire girls around the world to chase their dreams no matter what! When the Polly Pocket brand told me their messaging was ‘Tiny is Mighty’ I felt that they were describing me.” The year-long partnership will be brought to life through content across social and digital platforms. The Polly Pocket brand will also gift a one-of-a-kind micro doll set in Sky’s likeness.

The NPD has revealed the top five licensed items fo 2018 by value: FIFA World Cup 2018 Sticker Packs Harry Potter Hogwarts Great Hall 878 Pieces Harry Potter Fantastic Beasts Mini Figures Harry Potter Hogwarts Express 801 Pieces Harry Potter Hogwarts Whomping Willow Building Kit 753 Pieces

Barbie partners with Bape As part of Barbie’s 60th anniversary celebrations, the iconic doll has partnered with Japanese fashion brand Bape to launch an apparel collaboration that will roll out across Japan, the UK, US and France from April. The partnership will see three-limited edition Bape x Barbie dolls with Bape x Barbie fashion packs that combine the styles of both brands. Fans will be able to dress their Barbie dolls from head to toe in Bape items, including its Shark Hoodie, BapeHead Tee and Bape STA. Bape x Barbie blends Bape’s signature camo with Barbie’s classic ponytail silhouette for a tribute to the brands’ globally recognised logos. Barbieinspired pop colours and iconic logos are mixed with Bape aesthetics for the 17-item apparel and accessory collection for women and kids.


Britains’ new licensed lines This year will be a big year for TOMY, as Britains unveils new licences, Fendt 828 Vario Tractor and Vicon FastBale. The brand will also expand its licensed collection with the release of 12 new models from leading manufactures Massey Ferguson, John Deere, JCB, NC, Kane and Land Rover in 2019. In addition to new product releases, Britains will implement a strong multi-channel marketing campaign for its licences, categories and core items.

Panini The LEGO Group The LEGO Group The LEGO Group The LEGO Group

Super Wings in full flight Alpha Group’s pre-school hit Super Wings has launched its third season. Vickie O’Malley, MD of Rockpool Licensing, Super Wing’s agent for the UK & Eire says: “Alpha’s support for licensees through social media channels, outstanding content delivery and consistent, continuous broadcast support, gives strong foundations that set it apart.” MV Sports’ wheeled and ride-ons will be available in autumn, while Centum’s book range will launch in July. William Lamb will also launch its first backpack in the summer.



Indian franchise eyes up Hamleys The master franchisee of Hamleys in India is said to be in advanced talks to acquire the brand outright from Chinese owner C.banner. Reliance Industries is India’s biggest company by market value, operating across oil, textiles and retail. The group’s retail arm, Reliance Retail, introduced Hamleys to the Indian market in 2010, scaling up over the past decade to operate dozens of locations across the country. The news was broken by Moneycontrol, a news source published by Reliance-controlled Network 18 group. One of its sources said Reliance is “aggressively pursuing the deal,” and expects an official announcement soon. Speculation in the Indian press puts the deal at between 2.5 and 3.5 billion rupees, around £27.6m. Hamleys was established in 1760 in the heart of London, where its flagship still stands on regent Street, but India is a much bigger marketplace for the retailer in 2019. Of the 130 stores it owns globally, 87 are in India and operated by Reliance, making it India’s biggest toy retailer.

Boots responds to market challenges Store closures may be on the cards for Boots, as Walgreens Boots Alliance CEO and Executive Vice Chairman Stefano Pessina responded to a “disappointing quarter”, which left like-for-like sales down 2.3 per cent. It has prompted a review of the 2,500-strong estate, to root out underperforming stores and identify “opportunities for consolidation”.


(Image credit: Liam McBurney/PA Wire)

Debenhams seeks store portfolio restructure Debenhams has announced a CVA, proposing the closure of 22 stores in 2020. Debenhams has said its suppliers would be “paid in full” throughout the CVA process: “All trade suppliers and the entitlements of employees will continue to be paid in full during this process.” Further closures could still be announced following

discussions with landlords. Commenting on the announcement in a statement, Terry Duddy, Executive Chairman of Debenhams, said: “The issues facing the UK high street are very well known. Debenhams has a clear strategy and a bright future, but in order for the business to prosper, we need to restructure the group’s store portfolio and its balance sheet.”

Luxury for less A range of ride-on toys featured in an Argos photoshoot that aimed to capture Kim Kardashian’s family photo for a fraction of the price. In her latest American Vogue photoshoot, Kim Kardashian and family were pictured in the luxe kitchen of their Hidden Hills mansion surrounded by top-ofthe-range ride-on toy cars. To show the bargains that shoppers this side of the Atlantic can take advantage of, the retailer staged an eye-catching recreation of the photoshoot at its London Old Street store. In one of the Vogue shots, Saint West can be seen at the wheel of an electric miniature Bentley Benteyga, while Chicago West steers a customised sparkly vehicle. The combined cost of the vehicles is thought to be in excess of £2,000. But Argos customers can snap up a similarly luxurious set of ride-on toys for just £359.98. Argos replaced the pricey Pomeranian with a brown plush dog and used props such as an L.O.L. Surprise folding inline scooter, a pink camera and a cuddly unicorn head.

The Entertainer supports World Autism Awareness Week The Entertainer showed its support for World Autism Awareness Week in April, partnering with the National Autistic Society (NAS). Gary Grant, Founder and Executive Chairman of The Entertainer, says: “We are continually exploring new ways in which we can make The Entertainer a more comfortable place for autistic children.” The week saw The Entertainer’s Quiet Hour run in all 163 of its stores across the UK, as well as the introduction of a new sensory

table to stores. In addition, 10 per cent of profits on sales of Ready Steady Dough lines during World Autism Awareness Week were donated to the NAS.

Dobbies snaps up 31 Wyevale Garden Centres

Dobbies has become the UK’s biggest chain of garden centres following its acquisition of 31 Wyevale garden centres. It bought another five last autumn. The handover of the latest raft of centres is expected to be finished in June. Wyevale remains in the top three gardening retailers, running 60 centres, with another four operating under licence. The 31 Wyevale garden centres that have been sold to Dobbies are: Altrincham, Andover, Aylesbury, Beaconsfield, Brighton, Bristol, Bromley, Bury St Edmunds, Cadnam, Derby, Galton, Gosforth, Hare Hatch, Harlestone Heath, Havant, Hungerford, Leicester, Lelant, Marple, Moreton Park, Northampton, Pennine, Royston, Rugby, Shenstone, Stratford upon Avon, Stockton, Swansea, Swindon, Telford, and York.

Egg-stra Easter events at Smyths Smyths Toys Superstores held free Easter Egg Hunts over Easter. Shoppers picked up their clue sheets in Smyths Toys Superstores across the UK, then worked their way through the store to complete the sheets and collect an Easter egg. There was also a chance to win a 10ft trampoline in each store.

Weston takes chair at Selfridges Alannah Weston has been promoted to chair of Selfridges. Weston, who was previously deputy chair of the department store group, follows in the footsteps of her father W. Galen Weston to take the position at the family-controlled retailer.


The amount paid by Realty Income Corporation to British Land for 12 Sainsbury’s superstores at the end of April.

Failed Asda bid cost Sainsbury’s £46m The failed merger attempt between Asda and Sainsbury’s has left the latter facing a hefty bill of £46m. The proposed merger was blocked last month by the UK’s competition watchdog over concerns that the move would see prices rise for consumers. Other costs for the retail giant include restructuring costs of £81m and defined benefit pension expenses of £118m.

Very Hungry Caterpillar teams up with JoJo Maman Bébé Rocket Licensing, the licensing agent for Eric Carle’s The Very Hungry Caterpillar in the UK and Eire, has announced a major direct-to-retail licensing agreement for the much-loved caterpillar with JoJo Maman Bébé, boutique mother and baby brand. The first-ever JoJo Maman Bébé The Very Hungry Caterpillar apparel range, aimed at children aged 0-6, is now available in more than 90 JoJo Maman Bébé stores nationwide and online. The range will also be sold in JoJo Maman Bébé’s US stores and online in the US. The five-piece range includes a t-shirt top, a romper, leggings and t-shirt set and two sleepsuits. The collection will be merchandised in stores on a feature display alongside other popular The Very Hungry Caterpillar licensed products: Rainbow Design toys and Penguin books, with product by Paul Lamond Games displayed in the main range. The new collection will be supported by PR and marketing initiatives, including a social influencer campaign and social media competitions.



OPINION Jon Scrivens Toymaster, Berkhamsted, Herts Do you think games are becoming more popular? Yes, most definitely.

Next month we’ll be asking what is the next big thing after slime and fidget spinners – and what products are bringing in the boys to your shop. If you would like to be featured in Toy Talk email

Why do you think that is? Young adults are taking more of an interest in social multiplayer games such as Ticket to Ride and Carcassone as an alternative to going out. Also families are doing games as an alternative to digital games and tablets.

Amanda Alexander

"I think a lot of families do have screens off time and play games – we certainly do’’

Giddy Goat Toys, Didsbury, Manchester

What are the bestselling games in your shop? We have a lot of success with Games Workshop’s Games ranges including Warhammer 40,000. This is kids getting into it at their school with a club or even as a badge for their Scouting (it’s a Duke of Edinburgh approved activity too!) Plus there is the interest from adults returning to the hobby after a break. The modern classics such as Ticket to Ride, Pandemic, Exploding Kittens and Settlers of Catan all do well for us across age ranges.

Talking retail

Do you think games are becoming more popular? I wouldn’t say they’re becoming more popular in my shop but games have always been good sellers for me – I sell a lot of Orchard Toys games as presents for two-to six-year-olds and Dobble to the six-plus kids. These are within the magic party present price point of under £15, which is the mainstay of my business. I also stock classics such as Monopoly, Scrabble, Cluedo, Pictureka, Yahtzee, and Connect 4. Basically, stuff I’ve played with my kids and I know are fun for adults and kids. I also have a few more unusual things such as Exploding Kittens and Qwirkle.

Why do games sell well? I think a lot of families do have screens off time and play games – we certainly do – but I’m not sure that all families do this. I think older kids (12 years plus) spend most of their free time on phones but I think younger children want to interact with their parents and games are the perfect way of doing this, especially for parents who might not be as comfortable joining in their imaginary play. What are the bestselling games in your shop? Dobble and Shopping. Both have been favourites in our house so they’re my go-to’s when customers want recommendations.

Bill Deakin Silly Billy’s Toy Shop, Hebden Bridge, West Yorkshire Do you think games are becoming more popular? No, they sell primarily at Christmas - as they always have done. The only exception is Orchard Toys, which are directed at a lower age group and mainly educational; these educational British-made games sell well at our shop

TnP loves to hear your views. This month we chat to retailers about the rise in popularity of board games

Jon Amphlett

Toytastik, Chepstow, Wales Do you think games are becoming more popular? Games sales are unbelievable for us! There’s certainly a move back towards traditional games. Asmodee, Big Potato, Paul Lamond and University Games are all selling well, along with puzzles from Smart Games.

Game and Googly Eyes. The Smart Games puzzles are great for 8-9 year olds. They make perfect gifts for that age group. Preteens like games such as Smart Ass from Paul Lamond games, Puzzles have been great – things like Smart Games’ Kapla Challenge. Then there are the aspirational games, for parents of young Why do you think that is? children who think they are going It’s a concerted effort to turn off to have civilised dinner parties – the TV. I’m often on my phone like Cards Against Humanity… and tablet, many parents are too, When we started, we had a small so they want to make the effort to games section – now’s it’s a big switch them off. section at the front of the shop. What games sell well for you? As an independent we can For those with younger kids Lets open the box, demo the game – Feed the Hungry Caterpillar Game something bigger chains can’t do and the Horrid Henry Games are so much. popular. For the I’ve also d 7-8 year-olds, it’s t’s a concerte "I organised a University Games' off games night at effort to turn Yeti in My Spaghetti ts n our pub. re a p – TV

the s" as well as kid

What are the bestselling games in your shop? Orchard Toys, various titles including The Shopping List Game, Pigs in Pants and others. We have traditional board games and travel games such as Chess, Ludo, and Snakes and Ladders –they all sell through but not at high volumes.




Going the extra mile T

here was a moment, perhaps a couple of years back, display all of the material that when retailers of all types were falling over themselves they have been sent. Don’t worry Jamie Gutfreund, Hasbro’s to appoint Chief Customer Officers (CCO). The role of – they will be. Retail is a little like newly appointed CCEO CCO will vary somewhat depending on who you speak with, early-season gardening. It is the duty but ultimately, it seems to involve making sure that shoppers of the retailer (who is a CCO by definition) get what they want and what they need. to prune on a regular basis or things will get But isn’t that what most shopkeepers have to do in order to out of hand. keep customers coming back? Absolutely – welcome to the The other trait that a CCO should have is a good eye Trying to keep wonderful world of the overhyped experience. for store design and, ideally, a visual merchandising team. customers The news that Hasbro has hired a Chief Consumer This is a part of the nuts and bolts of any efficient retail Experience Officer should come as little surprise. Another operation – store design today is more important than it interested in way of putting it might be that the company has ever been. Looking good should mean the everhas added a consumer-facing lieutenant to provoking interest, as much as keeping ensure that it puts on its best face when the things neat and tidy. A good CCO will evolving A CCO must be walking the floor, assessing the likely time comes to meet the shopper. Or to put it world of retail yet another way, this is a job for those who are impact of shop displays on consumers. address bad concerned with the look and feel of the shopping experiences and A recent stroll around the world’s is tricky at the environment when consumers enter a store that largest Primark in Birmingham, just ahead encourage good of its 11 April opening was enlightening. best of times, stocks Hasbro items. ones, so the job Accompanied by Sanjay Dhiman, Director but does the When you consider that Hasbro has revenues over $5bn and operates almost anywhere you can could be as of Design – the man responsible for solution lie think of, the CCEO must be inundated with work. the way a Primark store looks – I was much about So, what could they do to make things better encouraged to observe everything from within the role firefighting as for customers? Well, a CCO must address bad a small, mid-shop display that obstructed of CCO? experiences and encourage good ones, so the job setting consumer a specific sightline (in a store of 160,000 could be as much about firefighting as setting square foot) to decorative cubes above desire alight consumer desire alight. each of the cash desks, that had till The first point perhaps is that whether you’re a numbers on them. Dhiman was doing brand owner, a brand or a humble toy shop owner, exactly what a CCO should do on a regular there is an awful lot of in-store ‘noise’ to deal with. For the most basis – being critical. part, it is other people’s efforts at creating an experience that Therefore, is the CCO anything new? Possibly not. But will be the thing that grates. it might just be the case that this is a job role that Retailers will be familiar with this. They are supplied with has been created as a result of the increasingly endless amounts of POS material with the expectation that it popular experience economy. The retail will find its way to the shop floor. For the most part this comes experience economy is one that is concerned from the brand owner – and unless you are a very large brand with the effect that certain factors can have and exercise a considerable amount of commercial weight, there on a customer’s shopping experience, is a good chance that you will be supplying the same marketing including the physical shopping materials as everybody else. For brand owners, it isn’t a matter environment and in-store activity and of one bit of POS fitting all, and for retailers it can be difficult to events that can make the shopping decide which campaign should be given prominence. experience more entertaining. So, for a The reality is that a lot of branded POS remains in the CCO, what this really means is that this stockroom, never to see the light of day – until it lands in the is a position where the concern is for recycling bin. This all adds up to a lot of wasted effort by the the effect that shopping can have on CCO (or the CCEO) and the associated team. As such, perhaps people. This would suggest that a CCO there is little point in pumping out large amounts of collateral is somebody who has a more focused to little purpose and perhaps one of the roles of the CCO marketing role than a Marketing Director. should be to place constraints on the nature of an experience. Regardless, the function of the role is There is however FOMO (fear of missing out). Retailers may one that is important - even if the job fret that sales will not be where they should be if they do not title may not stand the test of time.

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.



Work hard, p Finding the perfect work-life balance is an age-old struggle. The Independent contemplates a life where he can spend less time working, leaving more time to play

Bestsellers VOLUME: 1) L.O.L. Surprise Bling – MGA 2) Hot Wheels Singles – Mattel 3) LEGO Movie 2 Minifigures – LEGO VALUE: 1) L.O.L. Surprise Bling – MGA 2) L.O.L. Hair Dolls – MGA 3) L.O.L. Under Wraps - MGA

was generally really busy because of all the fairs, then February to get orders placed. There was often a nice lull between March and August/ September, and then it was usually full steam ahead into Christmas. I didn’t mind it, and neither did my staff. We always had a great team of people in our stores, who were happy to take the odd extra day’s holiday here and there earlier in the year and work the time back when the business needed it in the run-up to Christmas. But at the moment, I find that I struggle to get any time away from my business. The most frustrating part of this is that I’m not making any more money out of the extra work. It really is soul destroying! I have noticed this trend for a couple of years now, and I have spoken to many close friends – both inside and outside of the toy retail industry. It seems that no matter who you are (except for those people lucky enough to have a perfect worklife balance) we are all working harder and not getting any further. I am determined to figure out

I lived and worked in Australia for a couple of years. They seemed to have a better notion of what it means to have a good work-life balance


ife is crazy busy at the moment, and if I look ahead in my diary – at both my work schedule and personal life plans – it isn’t due to settle down any time soon. I spoke to a guy the other day who works from 8am until 6pm Tuesday to Friday, so he does the hours, but is able to consistently have three days off per week. He called it the perfect work-life balance. My life used to consist of some ridiculously busy periods. January

exactly why this is, with the full intention of sorting it out so I can gain some control over my life again. But I just can’t find any time to look into it! So, here I sit at my desk, having a bit of a rant about life, while a mountain of paperwork builds up around me. I suppose the better weather and brighter nights should be some form of consolation, but it just doesn’t feel good enough. I remember the good old days where I could leave the office whenever I wanted. The toys sold and the staff were happy – and I was happy! My garden always looked well-tended, with my grass regularly cut. Now the garden is a mess because I can’t get out of work early enough to do something about it. I remember joking with someone once about going on holiday for two weeks and not looking at any


Work smarter – not harder Is the perfect work-life balance achievable? The Secret Supplier believes so, and that the solution may lie in working smarter rather than harder

Enjoying work is no excuse for not putting in the effort needed at home to bring about a good balance



n this month’s article, the Independent discusses something that is important for all of us in this wonderful industry of ours. He asks: “Can we ever achieve the perfect work-life balance?” The subject arises because the Independent is well aware that he is working longer and harder for no additional financial reward. What I think is at the heart of the matter is that if the Independent really enjoyed his work, then

spending more time on it would be no hardship. But the fact is that spending more time at work comes at a cost to his family – and this is surely his biggest concern. My own experience is that the idea of a perfect work-life balance is a myth that can only be achieved by those with relatively low aspirations. Did I really write that? That sounds horrible – I know! But we used to work in an industry where the job was both financially rewarding and came with

, play hard years. They seemed to have a better notion of what it means to have a good work-life balance. We used to finish on a half-day every Friday. And the company I worked for brought in a different type of locally brewed beer (about 50 bottles every week) for everyone to sit and chill out after their week’s work. The real hardcore group of us hoped that very few people would turn up, because then it meant there was more beer for us, but it was always very well attended, and the craic was superb. It was a lovely way to decompress after a difficult week of work – and people looked forward to it. One other thing they did was instead of celebrating everyone’s birthday – there were 70 of us in the office – they had a lunch party every month to celebrate anyone’s birthday that happened to fall in that month. They even threw a party when there had been birthdays one month. Aside from melting from the heat the entire time I was out there, the experience was amazing. I feel like the UK is set on working people to death. And, on top of this, there seems to be a competition between people to prove that they work harder than everyone else, creating a ridiculous downward spiral

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His angry response reminded me that sometimes we are completely on the wrong side of the life-work balance. Subsequently, I realised that simply enjoying your work was a feeble excuse for neglecting family matters of greater importance. In the film Kramer Versus Kramer, which features a hard-working executive and his neglected soon-to-be ex-wife – Mr Kramer feels that he is bringing home the bacon. At least, that is his inappropriate excuse for a poor work-life balance! Enjoying work is no excuse for not putting in the effort needed at home to bring about a good balance. There are solutions to this industry-

There are solutions to this industrywide problem of a poor work-life balance; perhaps the most important is to work smart

an enjoyable lifestyle. It almost seemed that everyone worked on an amazing pink cloud of happiness, but that came at a price with regard to family life and children. Of course, not everyone enjoys their work and not everyone finds their work financially rewarding. Some years ago, I was sitting at my desk when I needed to talk to a certain individual – not realising that he was fast asleep in Hong Kong.

If I was a younger man with young children, I think I would find it really difficult to carve out that all-important family time

emails that came through in that time. Their response was: “But the emails only build up and when you get back into work there is an absolute mountain. It just isn’t worth the depression.” To which I responded: “And what would happen if I simply cleared my inbox, deleting all of the emails on my return. Surely if there was something really important to the sender, he/she would make contact again, effectively filtering my emails, leaving only the most important things to look into further. Of course, I was joking – my nature is such that I couldn’t bring myself to do this – but in essence it would be great to trial it, just to see if it worked out in my favour. I wish that I was happy not caring, but unfortunately, I was brought up with the belief that you should treat people how you would want them to treat you. And, if I sent an email that went unanswered it would not put a smile on my face. So, it looks like life will continue as it is – at least for the time being. When I was younger, I lived and worked in Australia for a couple of

of talking about work, thinking about work, or just working itself. I have enjoyed seeing my children grow up, and although I worked hard, I was lucky enough to be able to do this around my time with them, working some nights every week after they went to bed. Nowadays, if I was a younger man with young children, I think I would find it really difficult to carve out that all-important family time, with the amount of work on my plate every day. Fortunately, I am not in that position, but I hope this isn’t the case for others.

wide problem of a poor work-life balance; perhaps the most important is to work smart. Of course, that can’t be an individual strategy – it has to apply to the whole work ethos of the individual company. The Independent’s problem is worse, because he has certain responsibilities that he must undertake on his own. This means that he will feel the full impact of additional work and responsibilities. There are consequences when companies fail to appreciate the value of achieving a healthy worklife balance. Every company should subscribe to sensible rules that protect their employees’ home lives. Such a move would improve productivity and reduce stress and mental illness. Let’s hope the Independent can find a healthy balance.


WHAT’S N Brand spanking new launches from top toy companies to help you sell more!

Game on! HASBRO

How cool is that?

020 8569 1234

GIBSONS 020 8661 8866 www. Spring is here, and with it a host of new games and puzzles releases from Gibsons, including seven new jigsaws and a refreshed reissue of the classic strategy game L’Attaque, released in celebration of the firm’s centenary in May. Among the new 1,000-piece puzzles is a montage of delicious Vintage Wall’s Ice Cream imagery. With a rich history stretching back to the early 20th century, Wall’s is deeply rooted in British summertime culture, and these designs reflect the smile and a laughter of every Wall’s ice-cream bite.

Hasbro’s opening volley of Overwatch action figures have blasted their way into stores across the US and Canada. Based on the hit first-person shooter video game from Blizzard Entertainment, these premium 6in-scale figures feature game-inspired designs with multiple points of articulation. Each comes equipped with their signature in-game accessories for plenty of creative poseability and display options. Heroes in the single-figure assortment include Tracer, Lúcio, Sombra, and Blackwatch Reyes (Reaper), while the dual-pack assortment bundles either Soldier: 76 and Ana or Pharah and Mercy together. Meanwhile, a 6in figure of Reinhardt is a one-off special that comes complete with signature accessories, including his Rocket Hammer and Barrier Field. The collection will hit UK stores in late May.

Smacktion figure fun ALPHA ANIMATION

01293804599 There is set to be mayhem of a monstrous size from Alpha Animation. Massive Monster Mayhem is the TV show that is set to create chaos with all-new, supersized inflatable play from the massive monster toy range. Alpha is releasing its neverseen-before ‘smacktion’ figures, and motion-activated foam power punchers and a range of oversized and wacky epicrole play toys for larger-than-life play formats that everyone is sure to love. The outrageous, ridiculous and over-the-top inflatable play range Airnormous is set to take centre-stage for AW19. Airnormous is bringing the world-renowned WWE brand to life with a new range of inflatable play products that encourage children to become their favourite heroes and superstars. The oversized muscle arms come with awesome sound effects, enabling kids to roleplay their favourite WWE moments. Bash and smash like a WWE superstar with inflatable props from the show or flex like a true champ with the oversized, super-cool title belts that all WWE fans can proudly showcase.


NEW Sharing Snuggles WILTON BRADLEY 01626 835400 Parents can watch their little ones care, carry and cuddle their very own Snuggle Doll. Created to encourage imaginative roleplay fun, the Snuggles range of baby dolls and accessories lets children learn how to look after others. As well as a range of cute outfits, each doll has a fully poseable body and adorable outfit to choose from. Ranging from classic to fully interactive dolls, there’s a host of features that take role-play realism to the next level. From little life-like sneezes, to adorable coughs, to light-up red cheeks, these adorable little Snuggles dolls inspire kids to build a story around their doll and pretend to care for their poorly child or even take them out for a day trip with the family. Sara from the range also comes with a dummy that fits in her mouth so children can comfort her when she’s unwell. Children can use the included stethoscope to listen to her heartbeat, and the pretend medicine and

medical card are also perfect for children who love playing doctors and nurses. Snuggles is more than just an adorable range of interactive dolls, there is also a whole host of accessories to choose from, including a little doll swing, travel cot, buggy and doll walker. Each accessory comes in the vibrant floral print, a hallmark of Snuggles.

Animal magic MATTEL 01628 500000 Autumn 2019 will see Fisher-Price introduce an exciting new range to the Newborn sector, with new on-trend animals in a softer, neutral colour palette. The Grow with me Tummy Time Llama is a cute companion, offering four ways to play to help little ones enjoy tummy time. The Perfect Sense Deluxe Gym is packed with features, providing more than 25 different sensory touchpoints to help baby’s developing senses. To help baby drift into dreamland, the new Soothe ‘n Snuggle Otter provides a unique action that mimics the rhythmic motion of a parent’s breathing. Following new additions to the Infant toy portfolio earlier in the year, AW19 sees the introduction of Linkimals – an interactive range of toys with technology that help babies learn. The Smooth Moves Sloth, Musical Moose, Lights and Colours Llama, A to Z Otter and Happy Shapes Hedgehog each promote development while keeping baby entertained, and when joined together, they create an immersive learning experience. New to the Infant Laugh & Learn category, the Light-up Learning Vacuum and On-the-Glow Coffee Cup stimulate learning and role-play fun, while the Bounce and Spin Puppy, and Bounce and Spin Unicorn help strengthen baby’s balance and coordination skills.

MAY 2019

Get your brain mooving SMART TOYS AND GAMES 01903 885669 Smart Games has announced its latest mindboggling challenge. Smart Farmer is a funfilled game that allows little ones to enjoy an interactive trip to the farm. It is an important job being the farmer, especially at this farm. The pigs, sheep, horses and cows are making a big mess and need to be separated, but there are only three simple fences to divide the field into separate meadows. Players can help by placing the fences so the animals each get their own space, and, don’t forget about the animal’s water - they each need their own supply. With 60 challenges to complete from Junior to Master levels of difficulty, players will enjoy sorting this farm for hours.




HTI Group

The hottest th i The timeless appeal of the vehicles category is something that toy suppliers and retailers alike can rely on, whether you’re talking the traditional play value of wooden train sets, coveted collectables or RC designs built around the latest technology. Sarah Welsh takes a closer look


geless momentum is a phrase that quite perfectly captures the magic of the broad cars, trucks, trains and planes toy category. An industry niche that encourages intergenerational play and inspires nostalgia among parents about the vehicles they once played with as children, but also one that’s constantly innovative in design terms and ever looking forward. It’s a phrase that was actually given to us by Florian Loh, Bruder’s Area Sales Manager for Northern Europe, but we’re quite happy to claim it for the purposes of this feature! “The evergreen popularity of this toy category lies in the combination between an interpretation of reality and the ability to simultaneously link and inspire generations – and thus create some kind of ageless momentum,” Florian expands. James Colclough, Co-Owner and Director of East Midlands Toy Company, reports that toy vehicles across the spectrum tend to perform well for the company – although he says that remote control designs tends to be a slimmer range due to the often higher price points. “Farm vehicles sell very well, as do wooden

train sets and Midlands Toy Co. is collectable cars that sit Tonka from Funrise in the pocket money – and again James category, like Hot thinks the fact that it According to figures from NPD, Wheels,” James says. is a reliable name with the top five selling vehicle toys “Push along vehicles enduring appeal is a big in the UK in 2018 were: also sell well and are factor behind this. *Hot Wheels Singles 1:64 Asst, important for our pre“Another supplier by Mattel. school category and, that’s very important *Hot Wheels 5 pack 1:64 Asst, although the Thomas for us is Peterkin in by Mattel. brand has had a Leicester, especially challenging couple of in terms of the Motor *Cars the Movie Character Cars years, it’s picking up. Zone brand. Britains is Assortment, again by Mattel. “Brio is a key brand another big seller for *Air Hogs Supernova Gravity for us in terms of train us, and we get a lot of Defying Hand Controlled Flying sets, and is often found adult collectors who Orb RC, by Spin Master. on the play tables in our love their products, and *Mattel’s Hot Wheels City Ultimate four stores. It has a very this is also true of Hot Garage Shark Attack. traditional, timeless Wheels and Diecast. appeal and people like “During the first it because you can constantly add to the line. quarter of this year, farm as a category within “I’d say Brio really evokes memories of vehicles has been very big, and overall our top childhood play for parents, and although people sellers have been Britains and Brio – with the latter have been questioning spending more on toys probably topping the list.” in the current economic climate, they still want Colin Morris, Assistant Manager at independent to buy something outlet Toys UK, says that vehicle toys are also a big well-made that will draw for adult collectors in the Aylesbury store. last and looks lovely in “We sell between five and 10 Hot Wheels cars the home.” every single day,” Colin reports. “When we get Another brand new deliveries every two weeks we have adult that is currently collectors coming in and spending an hour going selling very through everything to find what they want! well for East “As a result, Mattel is a very important supplier

Top-selling vehicles

Marbel 32

for us, as is Hasbro and Big Jigs. An interesting new venture for Big Jigs has been its Green Toys range, which is made entirely from recycled plastic. This eco-conscious factor has made them very popular with parents and as prices vary from £12 to £22 they are also affordable. “We find that while girls do buy vehicle toys, boys are still the key demographic. And equally while the technology side of the category with RC toys has good days for us in terms of sales, overall I would say other toys sell better. “A lot of parents like to see children playing with cars and trains, so designs that have traditional play value are always going to sell well for us.” One range that seems to brilliantly combine traditional appeal with added tech enhancement, is Marbel’s Hape brand – one of the world’s largest producers of wooden toys. “Across Hape’s railway ranges, the fact that the

showcases a realistic unloading system ready for the race track including maintenance tools, repair station and lift.” For German brand Bruder, the great play value of the incredibly realistic vehicles it is famed for, is part of its evergrowing sales appeal. “Whereas digitised items can sometimes be ‘overcharged’ with non-realistic attributes, it is precisely Bruder’s ‘just like the real thing’ philosophy that translates to our timeless popularity,” says the company’s Florian Loh. “There is no doubt that Bruder’s overall design aesthetic

Wilton Bradley

h ing on wheels “

consumer has the freedom to add new elements and tracks allows these wooden play systems to grow alongside your child – and that’s a massive hit,” says Joe Rushworth, Marbel’s Sales Manager. “It provides new and exciting ways for children to learn through play as well as allowing parents more value James Colclough, for money. “With Hape’s East Midlands own toddler and Toy Company pre-school railway range, there has been a gradual integration of technological enhancements – whether with the use of accompanying sound and visual effects, remote control power via a digital app or using solar power energy to help fuel movements. “But for a lot of parents these wooden play sets will be something they recognise from their own childhood – so the fact that Hape continues to integrate similar designs within today’s product range is fantastic.” “In terms of the category launches we have coming up, in September Hape will welcome a collection of new train sets to its pre-school line, creating even more real-life scenarios for on-rail, on-road play. “This includes the Emergency Services HQ complete with police, fire station, jail house and abundance of sirens and flashing lights. Meanwhile, the Race Track Station

Farm vehicles sell very well, as do wooden train sets and collectable cars that sit in the pocket money category, like Hot Wheels

presents a perfect link between the Smash Up product encourage intergenerational infantile and parental generations. play, so this product is far more than just the “In terms of new product designs to look out average remote-control car. for, the MAN TGS tow truck including roadster “The range started with Raptor, Viper and and light and sound module, lives up to its Rhino, and even though they are described as strengths thanks to its versatile functions male riders, the names and colours used are and accessories. very gender neutral and there was a significant “The new Bruder roadster also sets visual interest from girls. This interest resulted in the highlights, either individually, as a sporty, onrelease of the purple colourway with the Black road vehicle with striking yellow paintwork or Widow character last year. as part of the toy set with RAM 2500 Power “This year Wilton Bradley is releasing a Wagon and the Bruder Racing Team trailer.” new collection as part of the Monster Smash For Wilton Bradley, as Marketing Coordinator Up range which is called Monster Smash Up Julian Marsh tells TnP, one of the most important Carnage. It’s a smaller model with all the great vehicle brands for them is the award-winning, features of the current products, and is perfect, RC range Monster Smash Ups, which has been especially for younger smash enthusiasts.” acclaimed by retailers and consumers alike. “The unique interactive feature of this product In an age where parents are fighting to tear boosts the popularity,” Julian their children away from digital devices, we see says. “Instead of a normal vehicles as a timeless play pattern that continues remote-control car or truck, the aim of this toy is to race, to be in demand. The vehicles category is a smash, eject and rebuild these pivotal part of our business going from strength incredible monster trucks. to strength each year, reflected in the strong “And in addition, it’s not consistent support we gain at retail, even in just a race for the monster these times of nervousness and uncertainty. Our trucks, but the children continued product and marketing investment in themselves – as they see this area is testament to this. who can rebuild their track The Teamsterz brand is an important focus for the fastest. HTI, underpinning our “The concept of remotewider business, there is control monster trucks is a huge team who live something that appeals to parent collectors, and is fun and breathe the vehicles for all ages. The high-speed market to ensure the and smooth movements range continues to provided by the Monster evolve, from a new style

HTI Group: Part of the team

of die cast to innovative new products.

MAY 2019




Fun in the sun MARBEL Not only does the beach provide the perfect opportunity for building sandcastles, it also makes an ideal race track thanks to Hape’s latest drop of exciting new sand toys. Taking vehicles off the open road and onto the sand dunes, feel the sea breeze with the Hape Dump Truck and Dune Buggies, sure to be a hit this summer. Using a tilting, indestructible – yet highly flexible – body, incorporating low-profile tyres and independentlyturning wheels makes them ideal for use both indoors and out. Withstanding the rough and tumble of child’s play, these new additions allow kids to roll, dig and make interesting tracks in the sand. Using easy-to-grip handles means they are perfectly suited for small hands to hold, both on the race track and to grab and go. From ages 12 months plus, these new lines encourage creative play, healthy outdoor activities, and the development of fine motor skills, while also getting kids to explore a whole new way to play outdoors.

King of the road BRUDER 01491 412415 (The Sales Partnership) The MAN TGS Tow Truck with Roadster and Light and Sound Module has now been added to the Bruder range. The platform can be lowered to recover vehicles. It is also possible to load vehicles using the crane that can be extended and pivoted. In this process, the loading harness, consisting of chains and wheel clamps, enables safe and fast lifting and loading. Wheel chocks and folding outriggers secure the vehicle and tread tyres round off the HGV. The high-detail MAN TGS Truck’s cab features doors that open and folding mirrors on the cab. The Light and Sound Module has

also been pre-installed. The new Roadster features a removable roof and can accommodate any bworld figure. The Bruder Roadster comes with the new wheel changing system for even more fun. Bruder also introduces the RAM 2500 Power Wagon and Bruder Roadster Racing Team for 2019. The transport trailer features a tilting platform, wheel chocks and a cable winch to safely transport and load the vehicle. The roadster features a removable roof through which the enclosed racing driver can be put behind the wheel. The sports car has been equipped with the new Bruder wheel changing system. It includes a large decal sheet featuring many options for young racing drivers to individually design their racer. All four doors of this pick-up truck open and the tried-and-tested steering wheel extension means the vehicle can be easily manoeuvred.

Car-crashing, truck-trashing! SPIN MASTER

01628 535000 As the worldwide toy partner for Monster Jam, Spin Master’s range of Monster Jam trucks incorporates realistic features and new technology. Launch yourself Embodying the style into the gaping and swagger of their mouth of a zombie real-life counterparts, and perform deaththe trucks come complete with BKT defying stunts with tyres, stylised chrome the Monster Jam rims, an authentic Zombie Madness chassis with chrome playset. detailing and a moulded driver, just like the real thing – only fun size! The range includes the all-new 1:64 scale diecast Monster Jam truck. With more than 100 to collect and available in a one- and two-pack, these 1:64 scale trucks come complete with a collectable Monster Jam driver figurine. The 1:24 diecast models feature more details and graphics plus an all-new, working suspension system that absorbs more impact. Also, in the range is the 1:43 Rev N Roar Monster Jam Truck with awesome Monster Jam sounds, alongside cool playsets for fans to create their very own adrenaline-fuelled action. The all-new Monster Jam Champ Ramp Freestyle playset provides endless fun with more than four ramps and multiple accessories, while the Monster Jam Zombie Madness playset is terrifyingly awesome as you launch yourself into the gaping mouth of a zombie and perform deathdefying stunts. From the makers of Kinetic Sand comes the all-new, life-like Monster Dirt, which mimics real Monster Jam conditions. These gritty sets add a new level of fun and a whole new way to play. The RC toys, including the official Monster Jam 1:24 RC Truck, put fans in control. Pushing the boundaries of imagination and fun, Monster Jam fans can simulate real action.

Zombie madness



Monster smash WILTON BRADLEY 01626 835400

Mighty Moverz and shakers HTI 01253 775544


The speed that the HTI Group is fast establishing itself as one of the electronic Teamsterz industry’s biggest manufacturers when it comes to vehicles, thanks to its growing product range that Car can reach. includes Teamsterz and Micro Motorz. The Teamsterz brand includes real depth with everything from ride-ons to licences such as JCB. New for 2019, the Teamsterz Mighty Moverz range takes hands-on fun up a level for kids thanks to its realistic sounds, lights and electronic movement. The range includes street racers, police, fire engines, motorbikes, and even a lifelike delivery van and garbage truck. Press the buttons to hear realistic noises such as sirens and revving engines or to send them forwards and backwards. Celebrating the new Teamsterz and JCB brand partnership, the Teamsterz Mighty Moverz range also includes a JCB Dumptruck and JCB Wheel Loader featuring actions and sounds that capture real-life construction in full motion. Great for play inside and out, the JCB range has cool lights, sound effects and music. The electronic Teamsterz Car takes outdoor adventures up a gear. With speeds of up to 3km/hr, a working steering wheel, seat belt and windshield, little petrol heads will be driving in style. Working headlights and engine sounds make it more realistic, and the remote-controlled version gives parents the power, keeping children safe while they learn.

Sludge surprise TOMY

01392 281928 Born from sludge, the new Real Monster Treads vehicles are ready to scare away all other toys! Available from June, these creepy monster vehicles offer a truly distinctive and gross unboxing experience. Each blind bag features a frightening monster vehicle, sludge, and random mutant bugs. And let’s not forget the unique personality and the super bouncy tyres. Each pack is sold separately, with eight creepy vehicles to


collect at an impulse price point. This year will also be a big year for Britains, as it unveils brand-new licences: FENDT 828 Vario Tractor and Vicon FastBale. The brand will also expand its licensed collection in 2019 with the release of 12 new models from leading manufacturers: Massey Ferguson, John Deere, JCB, NC, Kane and Land Rover. In addition to new product releases, Britains will implement a strong, multi-channel marketing campaign for its licences, categories and core items. This will be achieved through continued partnerships with leading farming events, social media and consumer adverts and reviews in specialised farm and replica magazines.

The innovative RC brand Monster Smash Ups sees a new range of all-exploding trucks, which is called Monster Smash Up Carnage. The Monster Smash Up Carnage is a smaller model with all the great features of the current Monster Smash Up products. This concept is perfect – especially for the younger smash enthusiast – and the new line will be available at a competitive price point. The unique interactive feature of this product boosts its popularity. What sets it apart from a normal remote-controlled car or truck is that the aim of this toy is to race, smash, eject and rebuild these incredible monster trucks. Also, it’s not just a race for the monster trucks, but also a race for the children – who can rebuild their truck the fastest? The concept of remote-controlled monster trucks is something that appeals to parent collectors, especially the ones who are kids at heart! The idea of smashing the trucks introduces a new and exciting feature to a remote-controlled toy – one that is fun for all ages. The aim of Monster The high-speed Smash Ups is to race, and smooth smash, eject and movements rebuild these trucks. provided by the Monster Smash Up product also encourage intergenerational play, making this product so much more than just the average remotecontrolled car.

Race, smash, eject & rebuild!



Peppa’s new wheels CHARACTER OPTIONS


0161 633 9800

In the trunk of Peppa’s Big Red Car is a picnic table and basket and a BBQ.

Character Options will be celebrating Peppa Pig’s 15th anniversary year with a whole host of new toys, including Peppa’s Big Red Car, based on the iconic Family Car vehicle. Big enough for a family of four, this new deluxe vehicle from the 2019 Peppa Pig collection comes with Mummy Pig and Peppa figures in their summer clothes, ready for a lovely day out. The pushalong car features music and fun sound effects. To ensure they travel and dine in style, packed in the trunk is a host of picnic accessories. Dining outdoors is a stylish affair with a picnic table and basket, with a packed lunch and drinks inside, and even a BBQ. Peppa’s Big Red Car joins other modes of transport in the Peppa Pig collection, from pocket money Mini Buggies, right through to the Ice Cream Van, Miss Rabbit’s Train and Carriage and the awesome Air Peppa Jet.

Hero toys JUST PLAY, GP FLAIR 020 8643 0320


The number of vehicles that the new PJ Masks Seeker can fit inside the detachable carrier.

For vehicle play, Flair has a great set of pre-school wheels for wanna-be PJ Masks heroes. The core range continues to drive Flair/ Just Play’s PJ Masks sales, with the wide collection of vehicles behind the wheel. This spring saw the introduction of the new PJ Masks Power Racer Vehicle Assortment, bringing more choice for existing fans. Each Dynamic set comes with a 7.5cm (approximately) articulated figure dressed in a racer outfit, along with a vehicle that has a sleek design, chunky wheels and go-faster styling that is ready to kick it into high gear. The vehicle range will continue to be refreshed with some exciting new developments to come for AW19. A major focus for autumn, and perfect to track down those pesky night-time villains, is the new PJ Masks Seeker. The PJ Masks Seeker can fit up to four vehicles inside the detachable carrier and up to three 7.5cm (approximately) articulated PJ Masks figures inside the cabin. Features include a light-up searchlight, disc launcher and a detachable cage. For a quick pursuit of escaping villains there’s even a pull-out ramp and dropdown side door.

High-soaring adventures HASBRO 020 8569 1234 Kids can join their favourite rescue birdsin-training, Swift, Penny, Rod, and Brody and explore the importance of teamwork as they recreate their favourite scenes from Nickelodeon’s animated pre-school series Top Wing. The Top Wing Figure and Vehicle set includes a poseable three-inch figure and matching vehicle, creating a great way for kids to take their cadets-in-training on imaginary missions to save their friends and community. Top Wing cadets race to the finish line with the Top Wing Academy Mission Ready Track. Pre-schoolers can load two racers into the top of the track and fire the double vehicle launcher to send them on their way. The Top Wing figures will race down spiral tracks, launch into the air off a ramp, and win as they reach the spinning badges. The playset features a diverter that lets kids switch from one track to the other, while spinners at the finish line rotate, making for an exciting finale. This track comes with Rod Racer vehicle.

Did you know? The Top Wing Academy Mission Ready Track playset features rotating spinners at the finish line, for a superexciting finale. 38


Inspired by young YouTube star Ryan Kaji, the Ryan’s World product range is already proving to be a sell-out success in the UK since launching in early 2019. Bring Ryan’s World to life with three cool vehicles to choose from including Ryan’s Race Rod, Sky Fighter and Patrol Car. Each vehicle features pull-back action and a removable figure to collect.

MAY 2019

Making tracks VTECH 01235 555 545 The Toot-Toot Drivers Big Vehicle Carrier, launching in AW19, includes two mini vehicles and will carry up to five full-sized Toot-Toot cars. Little ones can play with the walkie talkies, gear, or raise the zig-zag ramp and launch the cars down through the trap door and out the back of the carrier. They can press the light-up face button to trigger fun phrases, songs and engine sounds, or press the feature button to see the exhaust vibrate. The Toot-Toot Drivers Big Vehicle Carrier includes two SmartPoint recognition sensors that play phrases and sounds when triggered. The motion sensor can be activated for fun sounds and cheerful melodies, this two-in-one car carrier transports vehicles everywhere. Another new addition for AW19 is the Toot-Toot Drivers Train Station. Encouraging imaginative play, children can combine the varied track pieces. The motorised train and its wagon chug along the tracks and go into the station, over the bridge, down the ramp and load up using the crane. The train and other Toot-Toot Drivers vehicles respond to the four SmartPoint locations. Suitable for children aged 0-3 years, the Toot-Toot Drivers Train Station TV advertising will start in the summer and continue through peak season. There will be a digital and social campaign to support the TV.




Small world play PLAYMOBIL 01268 548111

Ed-Choo-Choo-cate LEARNING RESOURCES 01553 819 380 Learning Resources has some exciting new additions to its early years range including the Count and Colour Choo Choo and Speedy Shapes Racers. The fun Count and Colour Choo Choo train encourages counting skills, number and shape recognition. Driven by a friendly conductor, each of the five numbered train trucks holds a cargo of a matching quantity of blocks. Children can sort the blocks by shape and colour or build fine motor skills

while loading and unloading the blocks back into their correct train trucks. Speedy Shapes Racers are nostalgic, colourful racing cars that combines fun imaginative play opportunities with learning about shapes, colours, and numbers. Each car comes with a removable racer with a uniquely-shaped peg base so children can build fine motor skills, handson sorting and matching skills every time they race.

A whole new world SISO TOYS UK 01620 674 778 Playlife is the all-new, action-themed vehicle and figure line from Siso Toys UK that is set to launch later this year. The range of vehicles and action figures is based on two themes. Wave 1 is centred around adventure and exploration and includes a fishing boat set, Adventure ATVs and Jeeps with surf board accessories and off-roader explorer trucks. All of the vehicles in the range include a 7.5cm articulated figure and come with accessories. Wave 2 is centred around a construction and city life and includes garbage trucks, street sweepers, tow trucks and more.

Did you know? The Tactic Unit Boat contains a functional cannon that can be loaded either with a hook or projectile arrow.

Playmobil introduces the Tactical Unit range, for children aged five plus, as part of its City Action collection. Prepare to solve mission impossible with the Tactical Unit Truck. This thrilling machine features working lights, two different siren sounds and a removable roof. Conduct vital surveillance with the Tactical Unit Undercover Car, adding the removable flashing blue light when your target is in sight. Dispatch your on-the-water mission team with the Tactical Unit Boat. Fully buoyant, the vessel can also be equipped with an underwater motor. The boat contains a functional cannon. Take to the skies with the Tactical Unit Helicopter. Open the cockpit to install your officers in the command centre or rappel your diver down to take control in the water. The diver comes with accessories. Meanwhile, little explorers can traverse both land and sea with the 9364 Amphibious Truck. Capable of floating, the truck includes an underwater motor to aid aquatic exploration. The set also features a functioning cannon, as well as driver figure and a range of accessories. Launch your next land or sea mission with the 9365 Tactical Unit Team of experts. The set contains four figures, including a diver who can be equipped with helmet, jacket, scuba tank, harpoon and scooter for underwater exploration.

A tale of two themes Playlife is the allnew, action-themed vehicle and figure line based on two themes .


y a d s Tue une J h t 4 2019



CLASSIC 2008 - 2019


A E Y R S 1 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:




Burning rubber MATTEL 01628 500000 In 2019, Mattel showcases a world-class line-up of brands including Hot Wheels, Thomas & Friends and Disney Pixar Cars. New for AW19 is the biggest boosted set Hot Wheels has ever created; the Hot Wheels Colossal Crash Track Set. Over five feet wide, the set has a double figure of eight design that offers multiplayer racing with multiple cars! Thomas’ 75th anniversary in 2020. The diecast element of Hot The Hot Wheels Colossal Crash New additions to an already impressive Wheels continues to retain Track Set is the biggest boosted set engine range include small push-along strength year after year, due to the Hot Wheels has ever created. engines Hong Mei, Troublesome Truck ever-growing portfolio. Exciting and Rosie, with Henry, Edward and Belle themed vehicles include: Batman’s joining the large push-along range. Also 80th Anniversary, Avengers, Fast & new for AW19 are the motorised engines and play sets Super Furious, Toy Story, Forza and 1:64 Marvel Character Cars. Cruiser and TrackMaster Cave Collapse Set. The introduction of In SS19 Hot Wheels launched the new Monster Trucks Range, the TrackMaster Glow in the Dark range features playsets, track with the 1:64 Scale Trucks built for competition and ultimate packs and engines. dominance - kids can collect 22 different characters. Mattel races to the finish line with Disney Pixar Cars. Autumn Following the evolution of Thomas & Friends in 2018 with sees new fan favourite characters added to the Hero Mini and refreshed content, 2019 continues to maintain awareness and Diecast lines. engagement with new and existing fans in the lead-up to


Pedal to the metal TOBAR 01603 397 105 As distributors for Maesto and Bburago, Tobar can supply practically every vehicle that has ever put rubber to the road – from Ferraris to farm tractors and everything in between. There is even a very special limited edition Bburago Swarovski Bugatti Chiron, which has more than 7,688 crystals embedded into the body – a true collector’s item with only 300 made. The Maisto range for this year includes the competitively priced Fresh Metal Eggs. These surprise pocket money toys are priced at a level to leave the competition standing. There’s a variety of vehicles to collect, each packaged in a metal egg. The Tobar radio control range is very popular, with three new products joining the line-up this year: the Fire Engine, the Mini Digger and the Speedboat. For something a little larger, check out the Monster Trucks from Maisto Tech R/C – this off-road series packs a punch. New for this year is the Rock Crawler Pro, which joins the mighty RC RockZilla.


Piece of the action FUNRISE 01908 555640 Herodrive is an innovative, one-ofa-kind collection that combines kids’ favourite entertainment characters with fun play features to deliver the coolest vehicles for pre-schoolers. The range launched with character vehicles inspired by the DC Super Friends characters, such as Batman, Superman and The Flash. Combining superhero and real-life rescuers is the collection of Herodrive Mash Machines, a new style of vehicle that combines iconic vehicles, such as police cars and fire trucks, with DC Super Friends characters. For a fully-motorised experience, the Bat Racer has lights and Batman and Batmobile-inspired sounds. New for 2019 is the Herodrive Mod Squad. This assortment of three vehicles – Flash, Batman and the Joker – come apart and can be reconnected within the range to create hybrid, superhero wheels. Along with three character pieces that form a full vehicle, each set also comes with an additional piece. Collect all three packs to complete a fourth Joker vehicle to add to your Mod Squad collection! Already loved by pre-schoolers is the Tonka toys collection. Recently launched is a ground-breaking line of Tonka vehicles called Power Movers. These pre-school friendly vehicles bring the dump truck, front loader, excavator and cement mixer to life.


Happy horses – happy home! When Jackie and Michael had their granddaughters to stay over the Easter Holidays, the girls spent many happy hours playing with the Schleich Horse Club House and Stable The Schleich Horse Club House and Stable proved a galloping success for grandparents Jackie and Michael when they had their granddaughters to stay during the Easter holidays. ‘’It was easy to put together’’ says Jackie. ‘’The girls just needed a little bit of supervision.’’ Once it was assembled, the girls and their grandparents discovered that the Schleich house is a quality, durable product – just what they expected from the company that produces highquality animal figures, including a whole host of horses. The girls thought the house was both ‘’beautiful’’ and ‘’amazing’’. The house comes with a whole host of accessories, perfect for roleplay. As well as the family, and two horses, there are two kittens and all kinds of

Size matters

kitchenware – from cups and plates to pieces ble e and sta of apple pie! The hous x 24 x 42 cm. 96 Of course with measure horses to look after you’ll need a horse brush, a pitchfork for tossing hay, apples for treats, a saddle and bridles. To encourage roleplay, there are lots of movable parts - for instance the stairs can be moved, the table folds up, the sunshade can be tilted – you can even wash the horses with the hose! ‘’There is everything included in the box for you to get set up and

s y a s y Keel

IT’S ING Z A M Aed 11 ag

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start playing – there are even rosettes and a trophy so you can have your own gymkhana!’’ says Jackie. ‘’It’s nice that the girls can add their own touches to the house too – you can write on the stickers so you can add your own horse names,’’ says Jackie. Lexi named her horse Beauty and Daisy was the name of Keely’s mare. ‘’It’s lovely having the chance to personalise things, rather than everything being generic. It really makes it feel like the house belongs to the girls.’’ Having a set with two parts proved perfect for the two girls too – one could play with the house, while the other was getting the stables set up for the horses. There are some fun features too – there’s a secret door that leads to the attic, for instance. ‘’We will be keeping the House and Stable at our home, so the girls will have something fun to play with when they come to stay – and the great thing is that we can add on to it – with pony paddocks and so on,’’ says Jackie. ‘’They’ll have their own equestrian centre here before long!’’

IT’S FUL AUTI BE ed 7 ag

MAY 2019

Contact Schleich 01279 870000




To Infinity and

Beyond In June 2019, Disney’s Pixar will head to infinity and beyond once more, with the release of Toy Story 4. The film will see the return of many familiar faces and a host of new characters, creating ample licensing opportunities, as TnP discovers


Story, Mayur Pattni, Marketing hen the announcement of Manager for Siso Toys UK, says: “I Disney-Pixar’s Toy Story 4 think it’s the wish fulfilment of came back in 2014, the having your toys come to life. news took the nation by storm. many kids, their favourite With the release just around Any Disney For toys become like their best the corner, fans are in frenzy! film is brilliant, friends, so seeing toys come to Mike Stagg, Senior VP of life is what makes it timeless.” Retail and Digital Commerce, but Toy Story is Retailers, too, see Toy Story UK and Ireland, The Walt just so good as an exciting opportunity. Paul Disney Company, says: “We’re because it’s Wohl, Owner of Argosy Toys in so excited to bring Toy Story unisex and it has Westcliff-on-Sea, says: “The back to UK audiences in 2019 as they have such a strong an appeal for all on-shelf date for Toy Story product was 22 April. It was affinity to the franchise – Toy ages important for us to showcase Story 3 still remains at the top our licensed product as soon spot for the highest-grossing Paul Wohl, Owner, possible. Any Disney film is animation ever in the UK. And Argosy Toys brilliant, but Toy Story is great we’re confident audiences will because it’s unisex and it has an love Toy Story 4 just as much.” appeal for all ages. I think the Phil Ratcliffe, Sales and LEGO is going to be brilliant. Marketing Manager for MV The Mattel stock is all going to Sports says: “Toy Story has all sell through fine, too.” the right ingredients. The Maurice Doyle, General Manager franchise has longevity. The fact that the theme is all about of Banba Toys in Dublin, says: “So far, toys lends itself perfectly to feedback about the movie has product. And the franchise is been positive. We already put an enduring one – perfect for a substantial order in for Toy products that are more of Story product earlier in the an investment – like year. I think it’s evergreen wheeled toys.” product that will be around for a long time. We have Certainly, Toy Story’s evergreen status gives mainly got Mattel action figures, Imaginext sets the licence great and playsets.” appeal. Mel Beer, Ivor White, Owner Licensing Director EMEA, Amscan says: of Whites of Omagh “Toy Story has in Co. Tyrone, says: remained a hugely “I’ve got some Mattel popular franchise figures and Posh Paws plush. I’ve MV Sports across the globe. The gone for the more random items characters are instantly recognisable, and fans have grown incredibly fond of them over the past couple of decades. There will be a great sense of nostalgia for older fans.” Speaking about the magic of Toy

– like Forky – rather than Woody and Buzz, which will be stocked in supermarkets.” One thing is for sure, for the many thousands of fans looking to immerse themselves in a world where toys come to life, there’s a mammoth collection of licensed toys, playthings, partyware and gifts available. Mayur of Siso Toys, says: “Siso Toys has Toy Story 4 covered on RC. Our 1:24 RC Buggy encourages kids to reimagine their favourite scenes and create new ones.” Other lines in the range include Turbo Racers, Crash Buzz and new character, Dyke Caboom and his motorcycle. MV Sports has created a great collection of outdoor toys and playthings, having enjoyed the chance to theme certain products to specific characters. Phil says: “Take the Buzz 6V Space Cruiser – this product represents his intergalactic mode of transport. And our new Forky Tilt Scooter has a giant Forky character as a stem plaque.” But Phil’s favourite product is the new Dream Den that combines a play den with a portable sleepover pod, integral mattress and themed lights. Amscan’s Toy Story range comprises dress-up for little ones, and balloons. Mel at Amscan, says: “Our new Toy Story 4 products complement our existing offering of themed dress-up and apparel. We’ve refreshed the design of our Buzz Lightyear AirWalker balloon, which has a real wow factor, measuring 1.57m high. Our new standard 18in, SuperShape and Orbz foil balloons all feature the key characters within the design, and our mix of formats are suited to different budgets.”


Toy Story 4 hits cinemas on 21 June 2019




Reach for the With Toy Story 4 due to hit cinemas on 21 June and licensed Toy Story 4 product now available at UK retail outlets, TnP catches up with Claire Terry, Retail Commercial Director, The Walt Disney Company to talk all things Toy Story

the world couldn’t be more excited. But what is it that makes Toy Story Woody (voiced by Tom Hanks) has so popular after all this time? always been confident about his It’s been a nine-year wait since place in the world, and that his Amscan the release of Toy Story 3 and lots priority is taking care of his kid, of quality storytelling and craft has whether that’s Andy or Bonnie. So gone into the making of Toy Story when Bonnie’s beloved new craft4. Pixar has created a great project-turned-toy, storyline with Forky (voiced by The Toy Story films familiar, wellTony Hale), characters, declares himself as are so wholesome – they loved and some new ‘trash’ and not a really have stood the test introductions toy, Woody takes it that you can’t of time and they still upon himself to help but love. show Forky why he bring the same level of One of the should embrace excitement that they did great things being a toy. But when they were first about Toy Story when Bonnie takes is that it has been released the whole gang on enjoyed through her family’s road the generations. Parents who trip excursion, Woody ends up on an watched the Toy Story films when unexpected detour that includes a they were younger will be able to reunion with his show their children the films and long-lost friend Bo they will be able to go and watch Peep (voiced by Toy Story 4 together. Annie Potts). After The Toy Story films are so years of being on her wholesome – they really have stood own, living life on the • The first Toy Story movie was released on 22 the test of time and they still road, Bo’s November 1995 manage to bring the same level of adventurous spirit • The original Toy Story movie was the first fully computerexcitement that they did when they bubbles beneath her animated feature film and the highest grossing movie of were first released. delicate porcelain The themes from Toy Story are the year exterior. As Woody as relevant today as they were 24 and Bo realise they’re • To date, Disney/Pixar’s Toy Story movies have grossed years ago. For instance, there’s so worlds apart when it almost $2 billion at the global box office much about friendship. With kids in comes to life as a toy, • Toy Story 3 remains the UK’s highest-grossing animated the movie just starting school for they soon come to film, taking over £74 million at the box office the first time, the films really help find that’s the least of to illustrate the importance of • The franchise has won many accolades including the their worries. making friends. Oscar, Golden Globe and BAFTA awards for best Directed by Josh Can you tell us a little about the new film?

Facts for fans

animated feature film for Toy Story 3


Cooley (Riley’s First Date?), and produced by Jonas Rivera (Inside Out, Up) and Mark Nielsen (Associate Producer Inside Out), Disney/ Pixar’s Toy Story 4 ventures to UK cinemas on June 21, 2019. The wait for Toy Story 4 is almost over and fans around

Why does Toy Story lend itself so well to licensed toys? The special thing about Disney is not only the calibre of its content, which is really valued, but also its franchises and characters. The Toy Story brand is certainly no different – in fact, one of the most magical things about Toy Story is that you can sit and watch the movie and then play with those same toys that you’ve seen on screen and make them do what


skyyy! Thinkway

the same standard as the films – anything less just wouldn’t cut it with fans on this franchise! To ensure that we deliver the very best products ahead of the Toy Story 4 release in June, we have been working with some really innovative partners, who have helped to create products that bring everything to life. Licensees include Thinkway Toys, Mattel, Siso, LEGO and Funko – to name just a few.

the movies. The innovation and storytelling that went into developing these At London Toy Fair this year, toys is second-to-none, and we’re Disney hosted an exclusive Toy sure that consumers will have a Story 4 preview event where it fantastic experience with them. unveiled a handful of under-wraps These toys let kids truly relive the toys from one story of the films. of its that While storytelling is Bringing licensees, on-screen Thinkway Toys a really important storytelling to life – can you tell with the toys was component of Toy Story, us more? so important for so too is the strong Disney has and Thinkway affinity that fans have for us, been working has done an with Thinkway its characters incredible job Toys since the with that. There’s release of the plenty of play value and magic for very first Toy Story movie in 1995. kids and, much like the Pixar Thinkway is known for adding an movies themselves, there are extra special something to a elements that parents will be product. wowed by too – that’s all part of At the big reveal we introduced the Pixar magic. the new Forky range, including an Of course, we also can’t wait to interactive Forky, which listens to showcase the full product portfolio voice commands, talks back and is across multiple licensees and programmed to dance along with retailers in the spring ahead of the any song you play. We film’s June release. also LEGO showcased voiceactivated Buzz Lightyear and Woody toys that topple from freestanding into ‘toy mode’ when told “Someone is coming!”, mimicking their behaviour from

they did in the movie. While most licensed box office toys are toys of the characters on screen, the line gets a little blurred with Toy Story, as they’re all toys. It really is the ultimate storytelling. When creating licensed Toy Story products, we also have to remember that while storytelling is a really important component of Toy Story, so too is the strong affinity that fans have with its characters. Even the new characters teased in the Toy Story 4 trailers such as Ducky and Bunny have received a fantastic response from our audiences. Because the Toy Story films are so well loved and of such a high calibre, they really do set the bar for licensed products. The quality of Toy Story toys and playthings needed to be of

MV Sports

MAY 2019




Air styles

The soft story



01908 288500 Party, balloon and dress-up manufacturer and supplier Amscan International has launched an exciting range of new Toy Story 4 foil balloons ahead of the upcoming movie. The collection includes eight different balloon options to suit all budgets, from an air-filled Mini Shape through to an impressive Buzz Lightyear AirWalker, which measures 1.57m high. The balloons make the perfect gift for Toy Story fans or a fantastic party decoration. Designs feature Woody and the gang with both existing and brand-new characters. Amscan also has an adorable range of Toy Story licensed dress-up as part of their Disney Baby collection. Styles include Woody, Buzz, Rex and Jessie ranging from ages 0-3 months to age two.

Call to action MATTEL

01268 567317 Posh Paws is taking the best in plush licensing to new levels with a movie range for Toy Story 4. As official plush partner, Posh Paws is readying itself for the launch of Toy Story 4 soft toys. The range consists of long-standing favourites alongside some of the new characters from the movie. They are available in multiple sizes so fans can go to infinity and beyond with their collecting! Toy Story has kept our childhoods alive for the past two decades, and with Posh Paws range of Woody and the gang, fans can take it home with them too.

S-Mashing collectables CHARACTER OPTIONS

01628 500000 Mattel introduces the exciting Disney Pixar Toy Story 4 range across Action Figures and FisherPrice Imaginext. The Action Figures range includes the Real Walking Buzz, and 7in figures. Fisher-Price’s Imaginext range features the BuzzBot and Basic and Feature Figure Assortments.

Bedtime story MV SPORTS 0121 748 8000

Guess what…

0161 633 9800 Squishy collectables meet the characters of Toy Story 4 thanks to Character Option’s proven Mash’ems collection. The Mash’ems portfolio continues to grow and is constantly refreshed with favourite licences from the small and big screen. Late this spring, the line-up will be The new Mash’ems include enhanced with both the Buzz, Woody, Bo Peep and familiar and new faces new characters. from the Toy Story franchise including Buzz, Woody, and Bo Peep, as well as some new characters. At pocket money prices, Mash’ems make the perfect squishy and super-collectable pick-up treat after a cinema trip and are presented in a handy CDU of 23 collectables; perfect for displaying at till points, side-by-side with other key properties, or within a wider cross-category in-store display.


My Dream Den includes a sleep pod/play den, mattress and fairy lights. MV is supporting Toy Story 4 with a whole range of new designs, including the My Dream Den, a 2-in-1 sleep pod and play den, with an integral mattress that easily inflates, folds quickly away and comes complete with storage bag and 10 fairy lights - the ultimate sleepover essential for any child’s bedroom.


Forky is set to be one of the new main focuses in the film, and MV has created a Forky Tilt n Turn scooter, with full-length bespoke Forky-shape plaque and quirky character graphics. Go to infinity and beyond with the bespoke Buzz Lightyear 6v Space Cruiser ride-on, featuring, integrated lights, easy-to-use foot pedal and forward and reverse gears. Also available in MV Sports’ wider Toy Story 4 and/or classic ranges are themed scooters, bikes, accessories, go karts and tepees.



Stay in control SISO TOYS UK 01620 674 778 Siso Toys UK has Toy Story 4 covered on RC with a range of lines that are sure to be winners among Toy Story Fans. First up are the 1:24 scale Turbo Racers, which include Woody and Buzz for fans to race or, depending on the story, to chase down New character Duke and save. Caboom appears on Non-articulated figures of his motorcycle. Woody and Buzz are strapped onto the RC Buggy, which is 17cm long and has a Turbo Speed feature. Also available in the 1:24 scale is new character Duke Caboom and his motorcycle. An articulated Duke is attached to the cycle and can perform forward flips and be posed to perform tricks. Finally, the 1:18 Crash Buzz really brings the action to life. At around 24cm in length, the RC Buggy has a Buzz figure attached, but whenever the buggy crashes into an object, Buzz has a topple-over feature. Siso’s RC range is supported with heavyweight TV, YouTube and digital activations.


Let the lips do the talking HASBRO 020 8569 1234

Who knows what Mr. Potato Head will say - or sing - next? The Mr. Potato Head Movin’ Lips electronic interactive talking toy is fun and entertaining for kids as well as adults. Users just attach his Mr. Potato Head Movin’ Lips mouth and press says more than 40 phrases the buttons in order for his lips to and sings four songs. synchronise to wacky songs and some really funny phrases. The talking toy features more than 40 phrases and four parodies of popular songs, including a parody of the song ‘Lips Are Movin’ by Meghan Trainor. Kids can experience the same mix and match play with a lot more to say with Mr. Potato Head Movin’ Lips.


Featurepacked plush JUST PLAY, GP FLAIR

Walk the talk IMC TOYS 01904 720 908 IMC Toys’ new and exclusive Deluxe Intercom includes two intercoms, designed to look just like Buzz Lightyear’s arms. The intercoms work like a classic walkie-talkie but fit around the forearm. Once flipped open, the arm piece reveals details that replicate the style and ability of Buzz. Another exciting product added to the range is the Mega Laser set. This two-player action game comes with two laser guns and two adjustable armour plates in the style of Buzz’s chest. The laser guns fire beams that are designed to hit the chest piece of the opponent.

Piece together the Toy Story JUMBO GAMES 01707 289289 Jumbo Games has launched a range of five new Toy Story 4 puzzles across various popular puzzle formats and piece counts, aimed at children aged 3+. The 4 Shaped Puzzle box set includes a 14, 16, 18 and 20-piece puzzle that has been specially cut to the shape of the characters printed on them. Jumbo’s 4in1 Puzzle Pack includes piece counts from 12, 20, 30 and 36-pieces and there is also a new 4 Round Puzzle box set for children aged 3+, which includes four 20-piece circular puzzles. Jumbo’s creativity-inspiring 18-piece Puzzle & Colour box set allows children to piece together a 50

020 8643 0320 Just Play, Flair’s feature-packed Toy Story 4 plush collection hosts all the familiar heroes from this summer’s blockbuster film plus a few new faces for fans to get to know too. Kids can watch Buzz and Woody come to life with the talking plush toys – with a simple squeeze of their tummies they say a whole host of familiar phrases from the film. Kids can also enjoy a high-flying experience with the 13in Interactive Flying Buzz soft toy. This clever toy’s motion sensors can even detect when you fly him…lift him in the air and his wings will deploy, tilt and he strikes a flying pose, all while making real flying sounds. Woody’s trusty steed is also in on the action. Giddy Up Bullseye has sound effects and hilarious walking action.

Jumbo Games has launched a range of five new Toy Story 4 puzzles, across various popular puzzle formats and piece counts, aimed at children aged three plus. brightly-coloured image on one side, then flip it over and, using the free crayons in the box, colour in an entertaining black and white image. Finishing Jumbo’s new Toy Story 4 range of puzzles is the 50-piece Movie Collection poster puzzle, which includes a variety of new and popular characters that you’ll see in the new movie and is sure to keep children entertained as they bring the Disney/Pixar magic to life at home.


Tech tricks


The fast-paced, action-packed excitement of tech toys is something that will always capture consumer imagination. But broad appeal can bring challenges of its own, as Sarah Welsh discovers


nteractive toys take the latest design knowhow and technological developments – from at-home coding to virtual pets and remotecontrol vehicles, planes and drones – and transform them into coveted pieces that capture the imagination of children and adults alike with engaging features and ingenious extra benefits. But a category so broad that it covers a huge age range, both genders and sits in multiple subject areas, can pose something of a challenge for retailers. Warren Du Preez, Toy Buyer at Daniel department store, Windsor, says that the sheer amount of variety within tech toys means that you can’t always market it effectively within just one shop section. “For the retailer it’s a challenging category,” he tells TnP. “From our point of view interactive toys have to be fantastic standalone products that customers will love, with tech as an added benefit. It’s still the quality of design that sells these toys, rather than the technology alone. “Fortunately, suppliers now see the need for this great design with added features. And also, there often needs to be a dedicated television and social media marketing campaign to convey the tech features of a toy in the best way. “In addition, this category comes with a high


price point, so there’s even more need to make it attractive to customers. In Windsor we sit in an affluent area, but our customers tend to shop by age so we factor that strongly into our visual merchandising. “An interesting example of a tech toy that


We distinguish trends in adult consumer electronics, or identify fashionable apps and transfer the technology in to products for children

posed a challenge for us is Spin the tech toys arena? Rebecca Master’s Boxer mini robot. I Lazarus, VTech’s Senior Brand really loved it, but I couldn’t see Manager, says the company’s where he would sit in the store expertise in this – and that’s in a toy department field certainly translates to volume with a footprint of 10,000 of sales. square feet. Customers were “There is lots of innovation in asking for the toy so eventually this category that adds new play we were sent four and put experiences for consumers, but it is them in the new electronics the established, well-known and category, but we only sold one.” trusted brands that have the Despite the challenges longevity,” Rebecca reports. “The posed by the tech category, Kidizoom Action Cam HD, which is Warren says Daniel store has launching in Autumn/Winter 2019, seen great innovation right not only has new features, such as across the spectrum. high-definition recording and “Brio has designed appreverse video mode, but it also enabled trains and they are comes with new accessories, really clever – and popular with including a wide-angle lens and Rebecca Lazarus, parents. Interactive pets such floating handle. VTech as the FurReal brand have done “These are fun but add play very well for us, and VTech’s value for the children, while Kidizoom collection and Myla the interactive making it desirable and more in line with unicorn have also sold well. adult equivalents. “In terms of RC product, Revell and SilverLit “Similarly, the KidiCom Advance, also battling robots are great. Coding toys such as launching in A/W, has taken some of the most Botley from Learning Resources sell well within popular apps and features of a parent’s our science and discovery section and then you smartphone and transferred kit to a product have ranges such as Spin Master’s Zoomers that designed just for children. perform well.” “VTech’s continual investment in product Alison Quill, founder development and marketing ensures that we as a and owner of awardcompany are innovative and forward thinking in winning home shopping all our tech pieces. We distinguish trends in adult company Bright Minds, consumer electronics, or identify fashionable says she has seen a real apps and transfer the technology into products divergence recently with for children.” tech toys – both from Alpha Animation is also gearing up for some parents’ and children’s big new tech releases this year – this time in the perspectives. field of RC toys with ‘monstrous appeal’! “I agree that it’s the Hot on the heels of its best-selling whole package, box and performance last Christmas, Terrasect is back all, that still sells toys to with a vengeance, with innovative features the consumer,” Alison including glowing eyes, a rolling attack flip. and says. “Interestingly we’ve every twist and turn needed to take down found that the hate that its target. is building for plastic is Another dynamic RC toy Alpha is hugely really important. Children excited about is Grrrumball. The powerful are shunning plastic in Tasmanian devil-style character delivers a big numbers, so wooden super-fast spin attach and ultimate arm smash, low-tech tech toys are and promises action for any age. ones to watch.” Finally, the hit animation Super Wings takes Robots have been big flight with fan favourites Jett and Paul. Perfect sellers for Bright Minds, for little hands, these fun and easy-to-use including Guardian Bot – a programmable, RC toys are brilliant for boosting imaginative infrared RC robot with features including a play skills. Fans can re-enact their favourite robotic dance function and two walking modes missions from the popular TV series, while – and Tobbie, the self-guiding AI robot, that you activating lights and sounds for the full character build yourself. experience, watching Jett and Paul zoom forward But what of the views of major suppliers in and spin a full 360 degrees!



Ingenious innovation VTECH 01235 555 545


The the range i Kidi n fee G Talk ear Wa t of lkie ie VTecs by h

The KidiCom Advance, launching AW19, is the nextgeneration smart device. The 5in touchscreen, which has a new sleek, flat design and new on-trend apps, make it even more like parents’ smartphones. Wondermasks is a Snapchat-like app, which adds more than 30 fun filters and effects to create cool images. Using a wireless connection, children will want to share these with parent-approved family and friends via KidiConnect messaging. The new, augmented reality game app, Creature Detective, is an exciting monstercatching game that takes place in the real-world environment. Using the 2.0 MP rotatable camera children can take photos and videos, safely browse the internet, play games, listen to music and watch favourite shows. If they connect to VTech’s Learning Lodge there are even more apps, games, e-books, videos and music to download. The KidiCom Advance by VTech includes Time Limit controls, which parents can use to set the amount of time

children are allowed to play on the device or to mark certain areas of the day as off-limits. KidiCom Advance will be launched in AW19 and will be supported by a full media campaign, targeting children where they spend their free time, watching TV or YouTube and visiting the cinema to watch one of the popular releases this year. Add excitement to any adventure with the KidiGear Walkie Talkies by VTech. A new addition to the popular Kidi range, these walkie talkies allow little ones to keep in touch indoors and out, at home or on the go with up to 650-foot range. These child-safe two-way walkie talkies feature a digital connection that keeps your child`s conversations clear and secure, preventing other walkie talkie users from hearing. The KidiGear Walkie Talkies include four cool two-player games for real-time gaming between devices. Little adventurers can also send messages back and forth by choosing from the fun built-in animations, or use the different voice effects to add to the fun. KidiGear Walkie Talkies will be launched in AW19. The TV advertising, digital and social campaigns will be throughout peak season.

No reason to Grrrumball ALPHA ANIMATION 01293804599 Alpha Animation and Toys UK are readying for some monstrous RC releases. Last year’s Christmas sell-out sensation Terrasect is back with a vengeance. This bold beast includes glowing eyes, a rolling attack flip and is completely unstoppable. RC enthusiasts will be thrilled seeing its twists, turns and flips as it crawls to take down its target. Hot on the heels of Terrasect is the equally interactive and terrifyingly dynamic RC toy, Grrrumball. Delivering super-fast spin attacks and including an ultimate arm smash, this powerful Tasmanian devil-style character must be seen to be believed and is the winning addition to any RC range in store, for action at any age. Covering all family demographics, hit animation Super Wings takes flight with fan favourites, Jett and Paul. These fun and easy-to-use RC toys are perfect for little hands and designed for imaginative play. Fans can re-enact their favourite missions from the popular TV show while activating lights and sounds for the full character experience. Watch Jett and Paul zoom forward and spin 360 degrees.



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Intelligent interaction LEAPFROG 01895 202 840

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LeapFrog, the leader in innovative developmental solutions for children, will be expanding the number one pre-school electronic learning brand (NPD Jan-Mar 2019, Value) this autumn/winter with the LeapStart Go – the interactive learning system for active minds. Launching in AW19, children aged four to eight will be able to learn in an exciting new way with the LeapStart Go. This sleek, easy-to-hold stylus triggers videos and audio responses using the adjustable LCD screen and built-in speaker, making it perfect for right- or left-handed children. LeapStart Go makes it easier for pre-school to primary school kids to understand more advanced information with deluxe activity sets such as The Human Body and School Success, which are sold separately. Cool interactive video effects let kids zoom in, explore and interact with a variety of learning concepts by touching the stylus on interactive charts, book pages and more. The LeapStart Go is compatible with the entire LeapStart Library of activity books and can hold up to 13 LeapStart books at one time.

Pocket pets & Pac-Man BANDAI 0208 324 6160 Tapping in to the current wave of 90s nostalgia, Bandai is responsible for the comeback of the original Tamagotchi. The original virtual reality pet is recognised as one of the most iconic toys to hit shelves and was at the centre of a global craze as children clamoured to hand rear their very own digital companion. With a mix of classic and new styles, Bandai’s Original Tamagotchi is available in either Gen1 or Gen2 versions with different games and characters. The Connect n Play range includes 12 classic Namco titles with the much-loved Pac-Man version an evergreen favourite. A hero


Fingerling fun

WowWee/Jazwares 0203 598 0270

Fingerlings toys have evolved from cheeky monkeys into a whole range of adorable and fierce animals. Fingerlings Narwhals, Untamed Dragons, Fingerlings Elephants, Fingerlings Giraffes and the glittery Fingerblings have just arrived in the UK. Fingerlings Narwhals have been diving into stores across the nation. These adorable unicorns of the sea have many ways to play. With a special horn that lights up in different colours when you blow them kisses or shake them. When you pet them, Narwhals will flap their tails and blink their eyes to tell you how they’re feeling. The Narwhals will also give you magical kisses.

Turbo charged tech! item within Bandai’s tech/ interactive games portfolio, Pac Man Connect n Play comes in a Pac Man games case and merges digital gaming with one of the world’s most iconic video game brands. A finalist in this year’s TOTY Awards, Pomsies is the loveable, wearable, interactive pet. Launched at the end of 2018, 2019 brings new characters and styles including Bubblegum the Dog, Winter the Unicorn, and Khloe the Koala. These virtual pets resemble fashion poms and can accompany children wherever they go. Each has a fuzzy tail that can be wrapped around the wrist, hair, or backpack.


CREATIVE CODING LEARNING RESOURCES 01553 819 380 Artie 3000 is a drawing robot that helps children learn to code. This new addition to the Learning Resources coding range was recently featured on Channel 5’s The Gadget Show. Children can imagine simple or complex drawings and designs, and translate them into ‘drag and drop’ code on any device. They then get to experience Artie drawing what’s been coded, line by line, moving forwards, backwards, and spinning in any direction, while lifting and lowering a thin-tip coloured pen. With a built-in WiFi server, Artie is compatible with any Mac, PC, tablet or smart device.

Tech gets turbo charged with the latest release from Character’s Really R.A.D. Robots, while family games also step into tech with the fastmoving Tap It. Really R.A.D. Robots are packed full of attitude and come with great features at affordable price points. The collection will continue through summer with the successful MiBro.. Tap It is a brand-new electronic game, featuring four light-up pods with four different modes of play. Play Pong, Switch, Memory or Wireless modes, each different and fast moving.

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Talking Heads

Viva Las Vegas! The world’s largest licensing trade show kicks off next month in Sin City. Licensing Expo’s VP Jessica Blue talks to TnP about the 2019 show What: Licensing Expo 2019 What’s new for the Expo this year? We’re thrilled to see new brands from growing property categories exhibit on the show floor, including art and design, food and beverage, eSports, publishing, sports, and toys. In fact, 150 new exhibitors are joining us this year! Also, to enhance the attendee experience, we are moving Licensing University and the Keynote to the main expo hall. And there Everyone will be a new venue for the attending Global Licensing Group Party.

Licensing Expo should take advantage of the Matchmaking Service where they can network and schedule meetings with companies before the show even starts

Is there anything you are particularly excited about? The Global Licensing Group Party! We’re hosting it at the new state-of-the-art HyperX eSports Arena in Las Vegas. We’re excited to have Ubisoft co-host the event with us. Ubisoft will show attendees what an eSports tournament is all about. Plus, we’re excited to launch ‘Pitch the Brands’, where inventors have a chance to pitch their product to a group of panellists including Nickelodeon for a chance to win a prize package valued at over $18,000!

What about the keynote speakers? Rachel Shechtman, founder of STORY at Macy’s will share her experience as brand experience officer at Macy’s and considers how brands can create

Did you know?

Licensing Expo 2019 features more than 5,000 brands. There are more toy companies exhibiting this year, including Funko, Funrise, and Spin Master.


Where: Mandalay Bay Convention Centre, Las Vegas When: 4-6 June, 2019 a deeper connection with consumers. Brick-and-mortar retail is still the major driver for licensed consumer productions – representing over 75 per cent of all sales. Rachel’s Keynote will explore innovations that address evolving consumer expectations while driving foot traffic. Who are the new faces at the show? We have lots of new faces this year! Emoji, Encyclopedia Britannica/ Merriam-Webster, Perfetti Van Melle, M&M Retail, NASCAR, San Diego Zoo, Stan Lee’s Pow Entertainment, and Bradford Licensing, which represents Game of Thrones, to name a few. What are your top tips for getting the most out of the Licensing Expo? Everyone attending Licensing Expo should take advantage of the Matchmaking Service where they can network and schedule meetings with companies. Last year, almost 5,000 meetings were booked before the show began. Take advantage of the Licensing Week events around the Expo, including Licensing University. While you’re there – network! Why is the Licensing Expo such an important event for the industry? Toys and games are a cornerstone of the brand licensing industry. Of the three billion toys and games purchased in the US each year, 30 per cent are the result of licensed partnerships. Brand licensing can be a lucrative marketing strategy for both toy brands and toy manufacturers. Licensing Expo Las Vegas serves

What they say about the show… “Licensing plays an indispensable role in the toy community both via our members’ own IPs coming to life in innovative consumer products or via new entertainment platforms, as well as the licenses toymakers negotiate from others. With licensing driving roughly 30 per cent of all US toy sales there is a natural synergy and mutual strengthening between the vibrance of Toy Fair New York and the energy of Licensing Expo. The Toy Association’s support for the licensing community, Licensing Expo, and our colleagues at LIMA is one of the most exciting aspects of our work.” Steve Pasierb, president & CEO of The Toy Association

‘’Las Vegas Licensing Expo is a key date in the calendar here at BBC Studios, providing us with the perfect platform to build partnerships and showcase our properties to licensees, manufacturers and retailers across the world, together with our colleagues in both Australia and the US.’’ Julie Kekwick, Senior Licensing Manager, BBC Studios

“Licensing Expo is the quintessential trade show of the licensing industry and provides Spin Master the opportunity to showcase both our toy and entertainment properties to manufacturers and retailers on a global scale.” Juli Boylan, VP, Franchise Dev & Outbound Licensing, Spin Master

the global licensing market and represents the largest market within the licensing industry – North America – which represents more than 50 per cent of the global market. The Global Licensing Group offers a portfolio of licensing events around the world. Each show addresses the specific needs of the region, which is essential to establishing and growing a presence in any of these growing markets. media



Celebrating difference THE INK GROUP +45 31 71 17 70

Stand F204 Unique and captivating stories are the DNA of Ink Group and this year, the entertainment developer’s line-up at the 2019 Licensing Expo focuses on exactly that – one-ofa-kind storytelling. INK Group’s stand will be mainly branded Zafari, the next rising star in the portfolio. Zafari is a story that not only aims to entertain, but to inspire, and make a difference for kids around the world. The show is a story about a baby elephant, Zoomba, who is mysteriously born with zebra stripes instead of the normal grey skin of an elephant. He ventures to the land of Zafari, at the base of Mount Kilimanjaro, where all the animals are different and truly unique – all born with the skin of another animal. Here, he learns all life’s important lessons and most importantly that sometimes being different, makes all the difference. Zafari focuses on themes such as friendship, inclusivity and celebrating differences. NBCUniversal International Distribution is the distributor for Media Rights and a host of broadcasters have joined the Zafari franchise across Latin America, Asia, Middle East and Europe, where Zafari has already performed with great success. Hachette is on board as global French-language publisher and many other consumer products deals are in negotiation already.

Studio stars BBC STUDIOS 020 8433 2000

Stand N204 BBC Studios will be showcasing several of its properties at Licensing Expo 2019. Golden Bear’s new Hey Duggee toys will be hitting shelves in AW 2019 and the new hit series Bluey will be making an appearance at Licensing Expo for the first time, having shot to success across Australia since its TV launch last year. Following the success of Doctor Who Series 11, the team is looking forward to talking to new and existing partners at Licensing Expo, and the BBC Earth brand has an exciting year ahead, collaborating with brands and partners who offer consumers a choice to purchase sustainably.

hallo to YooHoo Licensing’s one-stop shop Say AURORA WORLD BULLDOG LICENSING

020 8325 5455

Stand D214 Bulldog Licensing is presenting a diverse mixture of brands at this year’s Licensing Expo in Las Vegas. With a list that includes Angry Birds, Care Bears, Match Attax, Miraculous, Pikmi Pops, Shopkins, Treasure X, Sesame Street, Route 66, LIFE, Garfield and That’s not my…, would-be licensees can choose from hit games, books and films, classic and new TV shows, collectables, cards and much more. Angry Birds began as a single hit mobile game and went on to become a hugely successful multi-title franchise. Such success has led to a hit cartoon series, a hit box office movie and, a major licensed property.

MAY 2019

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Korean Pavilion J206 Character and content company Aurora World is expecting a stronger response than ever to its hit brand YooHoo the Expo. It’s already been a good year for YooHoo. The global launch of the pre-school animated series YooHoo to the Rescue took place on Netflix in March, followed by a number of free-to-air launches. And the new show has inspired a refreshed line of YooHoo plush, with a new look and new characters. Along with the Netflix global premiere, the new YooHoo plush toy line has been the focus of a number of major launches globally. Aurora World is working closely with key partners in retail, especially in Japan and the UK. They include Hamleys Hakata and Yokohama in Japan, and John Lewis, Chessington Zoo, and Rainforest Cafe in the UK.




Step back in time TnP’s founder, Malcolm Naish, takes a journey through the annals of time, reflecting on the news from Mays past: 1989, 1999, 2009 and 2014

May 2014 • Rubik’s Cube celebrated its 40th year and John Adams made the most of this big birthday with plenty of consumer PR and marketing. • Famosa supported the World Diversity awareness campaign, focusing on the different cultures, races, customs, languages and backgrounds of children in different countries. • May 2014 toy TV expenditure was headed by Hasbro with a rate-card spend of £1,001,777. • Roger Dyson, Toymaster’s Managing Director, announced two well-deserved ‘Golden Teddy’ awards for husband-and-wife team Mandy and Nick Harrison of Brookite. Roger said of this double act: “Tonight is something of a first, as it is a shared award. They have worked in the industry for over 40 years each and are a fine example of the very best we have to offer in the toy industry. They are two of the nicest, most honest and hardworking people you could wish to meet and have made their company what it is today.” • Can you recognise any of the Toymaster members who celebrated 25 years of membership in 2014?

MAY 2009 • The Toymaster Show was cause for cautious optimism as the country was still reeling from the consequences of the banking failure of the previous year. Companies were cutting back on staff levels; Simba Dickie made the decision to dispose of its UK-based sales team for Smoby to run this function from Germany. • Hamleys made the decision to let go of 50 per cent of its staff, including Ian Gibbs. • A rather hairy Roger Dyson awarded my old mate Ian Kenyon with a Golden Teddy at the show. An agent for more than 30 years, this was a well-merited form of recognition. I always remember Ian’s response when I told him of my divorce settlement costs in his broad Yorkshire tone: “HOW MUCH?” • Famous New York toy store on Broadway FAO Schwarz was bought by TRU. This included the store in Caesar’s Palace, Las Vegas. • May 2009 was a milestone month for Flair as the company


marketed its 10th anniversary. Pictured left to right is CEO Peter Brown, FD Carl Moran and Commercial Director Simon Hedges. • Mothercare reported its full year results, showing a pre-tax profit of 12.4 per cent to £37.1m.

MAY 1999 • May is always Toymaster month, and 20 years ago, Chairman Roy McDowell presented outgoing Chief Executive Peter Ovall with an appropriate gift. • Twenty years ago, in Barcelona, Manchester United completed a fabulous treble. • Hands up – who remembers Beatties? Back in 1999 they were a major toy retailing group and had just published improved trading figures, posting an operating profit of £982,000 – a significant improvement on the previous year’s loss of over £1m. • We published a 16-page feature on Barbie, who this month celebrated her 40th year at the top. As we well know, moving on to 2019, Barbie is still very much a fashion icon. • Star Wars licensees were up in arms, as a few major licensees were given special dispensation to deliver the new product a month prior to any other licensees. The lucky three were Hasbro, LEGO and Toy Options (Character Group). • Back in 1999, at its industry day, the BTHA was going to highlight the growth in America of selling toys online.

MAY 1989 • When Jim Brearley and Mike Clitherow organised the North vs. South football weekend 30 years ago, the amazing sum of £33,000 was raised. • Mattel withdrew its application for an interim injunction to stop Hasbro selling the newly-modelled Sindy in the UK. • Our TNP Shopper visits Norwich. Langley’s in the Royal Arcade is among stores visited, which of the six stores visited received the top mark from the six rating categories. • Thirty years ago, home video films were just beginning to take off. Each month we showed the top 20 films. Top in May was Doctor Who Time Warrior with Real Ghostbusters 1 ranking second. When you look at these charts, it illustrates the longevity of top characters. To name just a few – Mary Poppins, Tom & Jerry, My Little Pony, Thomas, and Willie Wonka’s Chocolate Factory.

Test a publisher’s statement of circulation. In today’s business climate you can’t afford not to. Our ABC Certificate provides accurate, independently verified circulation figures, giving you confidence in your advertising investment.

If you want to reach 5,112* total average net circulation, then call Mark Naish on 01442 289930 or email *Circulation figure relates to period from 1st July 2017 to 30th June 2018

For more information visit or email

DON’T MISS… 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: Monster Jam 1:64 Diecast Trucks Two Pack – Double Down Showdown Company: Spin Master Tel: 01628 535000 Web:

Product: Toy Story Mega Laser Set Company: IMC Toys Tel: 01904 720 908 Web:

Product: Multi-activity baby walker Company: Janod/Juratoys Tel: 0208 878 2133 Web:

Product: Harry Potter Dobble Company: Asmodee UK Tel: 01420 593593 Web:

Product: Smart Sizzling BBQ Grill Company: VTech Tel: 01235 555 545 Web:

Product: Tactical Unit Team Company: Playmobil Tel: 01268 548111 Web: Product: Trollhunters Action Figures Company: Siso Toys UK Tel: 01620 674 778 Web:

Product: Forky Tilt n Turn scooter Company: MV Sports Tel: 0121 748 8000 Web:

Product: Playfoam Pals Fantasy Friends Company: Learning Resources Tel: 01553 762276 Web:

Helping everyone sell more

Exhibitors Guide 2019 Everyone has a role to play



019 May 2 No. 8 8 3 Vol.

TEAM TnP Chairman Malcolm Naish

Managing Director Mark Naish

Editor Mairead Wilmot

Editor Georgie Dobie

Media Solutions Manager


Leader – with Georgie Dobie


Toymaster May Show – your guide starts here

8 Toymaster Buying Group Q&A – TnP spoke with Toymaster Retail Manager Brian McLaughlin, to learn more about the group, its benefits for retailers and what we can look forward to at the show 10 Cover story – Playmobil talks to TnP about its new Ghostbusters lines and the company’s wider activity for the year



12 Retail interview – Being a Toymaster member has helped shape the toys offering at Pennells Garden Centre – TnP finds out more 12 Retail interview – Whites of Omagh chats about the perks of being a Toymaster member, catching up with suppliers at the show and selecting the right lines

Simon Davis




Naomi MacKay

14 Retail interview – Banba Toymaster tells TnP how it makes full use of its Toymaster membership

Writer Sarah Welsh

Digital Publisher Mirella Anstey

Digital Editor Rhys Thomas

Production Director Paul Naish

Design and Production Marian McNamara

Circulation Manager Robert Thomas

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

16 Suppliers say – Toymaster suppliers discuss why the May Show is unmissable

Georgie Dobie


am so excited for the upcoming Toymaster Show. Although I’m not new to the industry, this will be my first visit not only to the show but also to the beautiful town of Harrogate. Having worked in the toy trade for a couple of years now, I’ve heard rumblings of how great the show is. So this year, I am very much looking forward to seeing the event in full swing. I can’t wait to make my way around the 100+ open stands to say “Hi!” to suppliers and retailers who have made their annual pilgrimage to North Yorkshire. I am also really excited for the chance to scope out the great new lines winging their way to market for the second half of the year. With the big early-year shows now a thing of distant memories, the May Show is perfectly timed to capitalise on high spirits and optimism for the second half of the year. I know that this is a show at which people do business, and one where money changes hands – there are definitely great deals to

18 Exhibitor Guide – Plan your trip to Harrogate with an advanced look at who’s exhibiting and what they’re showing

be had, which obviously helps with margins. I also know that this is a show where people really let their hair down, networking into the small hours of the morning! I’m excited to spend some quality time with suppliers, retailers and the Toymaster team. I have been warned about my induction into the Toymaster social scene. As someone who traded parties for early bedtimes some years ago (perhaps a little prematurely!), I suspect I may be taking a trip down memory lane. Having visited the Toymaster team last month and seen first-hand how busy the team has been with preparations for the May Show, it’ll be great to see all of that hard work pay off. The team will of course be on hand to help, give advice and discuss membership with non-members. Enjoy the following pages – featured are some the brilliant products that you will see at the show, as well as some key information about the event and tips from exhibitors and retailers.

Independently audited ABC circulation of 5,112

1 July 2017 to 30 June 2018 Helping everyone sell more


Show details What: Toymaster May Show When: 21-23 May 2019 Where: The Majestic Hotel, Harrogate Web:

Show time! Hundreds of independent toy retailers and suppliers are readying themselves for what has become an unmissable date in the toy trade calendar – the Toymaster Show. TnP asks the industry, what makes the event so invaluable. We also pay a visit to Toymaster HQ to find out first-hand what’s in store for visitors of the 2019 Show and discuss the benefits of Toymaster membership


irstly, a very happy birthday to the Toymaster team, as this year marks a very special anniversary for the group – the big 3-Oh. In these 30 years, Toymaster has offered dedicated support to the independent toy trade, helping its members to trade more profitably. Recognising the nuances between each and every independent bricks-and-mortar toy retail store is Toymaster’s bread and butter. With more than 150 members, running more than 250 shops throughout the UK and ROI, Toymaster retail outlets come in all shapes and sizes, with different layouts, varying competitive environments, different brand portfolios and their own unique challenges and achievements. Toymaster members include traditional toy shops, retailers with postal stores, garden centres, department stores, stationery shops, toy/hobby shops and more. As Yogi Parmar, Operations Director at Toymaster puts it, the support that the Toymaster Buying Group offers is like a ‘drop-down menu’ – Toymaster is able to tailor the support it offers to its


individual members. As the Toymaster group looks to grow and evolve, the group sees the addition of Brian McLaughlin to the team as Toymaster Retail Manager (see page 8 for a special Q&A with Brian). His role is to support existing Toymaster members and help them to trade more profitably and also to recruit new members. Having worked as a buyer in the toy trade for 20 years, Brian is wellequipped to offer members advice with the business operation side of things, as well as product selections. He is very much looking forward to attending the May Show, and is excited to see the familiar faces of those he has visited, meet members that he has not yet been able to see – and discuss membership with retailers who are keen to find out more about becoming a Toymaster member. As you may expect from a group that has such a strong reputation in the industry, there are many benefits to becoming a Toymaster member. Membership to the group offers access to more than 180 toy suppliers, the prospect of

The May Show is a 24-hour experience that showcases all that is great about the toy trade Ian Edmunds, Toymaster

special offers from suppliers, use of a central invoicing and payments system, support from a year-round marketing programme, an exclusive FOB programme – not to mention the famous May Show. And members are encouraged to retain their independence and remain in control of all the key decisions, such as what ranges to stock and how to set out their store. So, if you’re not already a member, but you are interested in finding out more, register for the show and talk to Brian and other attending Toymaster members, or contact Brian (brian.mclaughlin@ Brian says: “I hope my background and experience within the industry will add a new perspective to Toymaster members and enable me to support them.” And it’s not just members that benefit, but also the many suppliers who work with Toymaster. Simon Newbury, MD, Orchard Toys says: “The benefit of working with Toymaster is the two-way communication and passion for toys it inspires. Toymaster is a great community, which gives its members a collective voice, while also allowing us to communicate and build relationships with them individually.” Of course, the May show – where networking opportunities are aplenty, and many orders are placed


members who have already registered to come along. Exhibiting at this year’s event will be plenty of familiar faces, including Character Options, Flair and Bandai – Maurice Doyle, Banba and this year will Toymaster also see a firsttime appearance from Kids@Play, Siso Toys and more. For many members, including Dublin’s Banba Toymaster, this is the show where they do most of their ordering for the year. Maurice Doyle, General Manager of Banba, says: “It’s the most important show for us. We sit down and do most of our main season ordering there – it’s where we spend the money.� Speaking of the upcoming show, Will Pennell, MD of Pennells

It’s the most important show for us. We sit down and do most of our main season ordering there

– is an event that suppliers are keen to attend. Matt Bishop, Telesales Manager, Asmodee UK says: “The event gives us the invaluable opportunity to cement relationships with our customers. The show is known for its friendly and welcoming atmosphere and is a great platform for us to showcase unmissable offers and exciting new products to order for Q3/Q4.� Held annually at the Majestic Hotel in Harrogate, this year’s show promises to be a buzzy event, for which the planning began almost as soon as the last event closed. With more than 100 suppliers exhibiting on open stands – and many more wishing that they had got their applications in earlier, after the available space sold out within a couple of weeks – the Toymaster Show will be widely attended by most members, and many non-

Garden Centre, says: It’s good to see our current suppliers and the new ranges they are bringing out but we’re also looking forward to seeing what new companies Toymaster has brought into the fold.� Of course, there will be a few exciting changes to the Toymaster Show this year – some changes are subtle, some not so. With regards to physical changes it will not be until 2020 that the Majestic renovations are completed, although vast progress has been made this year, and disruptions will be kept to a minimum during the event. Be sure to consult the floor plans, as there will be a few changes to room names and the layout has altered somewhat – but to account for lost space, while the renovations continue, there will be a marquee outside. With an all-welcome policy, for independent bricks-and-mortar toy and model retailers, Toymaster invites members and non-members alike to register to attend the May Show now!

Register now via the website: Or contact Brian McLaughlin: brian.mclaughlin@toymaster. Tel: 01604 674477

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IAN SAYS... The Toymaster May Show is firmly established as a key event in the toy trade calendar. In 2019 we again have a list of suppliers unable to attend – proving the show’s importance and the continued relevance of independent toy retailers to our suppliers. Whether you are a Toymaster member or not, as long as you are an independent bricks-andmortar toy retailer, you are welcome to attend the show. The May Show is a 24-hour experience that showcases all that is great about the toy trade. Once

Meet the team business has finished for the day, there are great functions in the evenings you can attend or you could relax in one of Harrogate’s many bars and restaurants. It is often said that more business is done in the evenings than the day time; never has the phrase been truer than at the Toymaster Show. The show has changed and evolved over the years and will continue to do so as it moves into its fourth decade. Some changes are subtle, some not so – but rest assured, our team at Toymaster do all they can to ensure the continued long-term success and relevance of the event.

Exhibitor List Alpha Animation Alpha Toys Antony Nunn Agencies Asmodee Bachmann Bandai Basic Fun (K'nex) Big Potato Bigjigs Bliss Distribution Boxine Brainstorm Bruder Canal Toys Casdon Character Cheatwell Games Clementoni Click Distribution Coiledspring Games Depesche DKL Epoch Flair Funko Funrise Galt Games Workshop Geomagworld Gibsons Golden Bear Great Gizmos Green Board Green Elephant Grossman Guidecraft Halilit Hasbro Hobby Company Hornby Hobbies Hti Imc Innovation First Interplay Jakks Jazwares John Adams Jonathan's Toys Jumbo Juratoys JWS Kayes of Cardiff Keel Toys Kidicraft


Carriage Suite Drawing Room Carriage Suite Carriage Suite Carriage Suite Carriage Suite Lower Marquee Carriage Suite Carriage Suite Carriage Suite Carriage Suite Billiard Room Upper Marquee Upper Marquee Carriage Suite Drawing Room Carriage Suite Carriage Suite Carriage Suite Carriage Suite Carriage Suite Carriage Suite Carriage Suite Regency Suite Carriage Suite Carriage Suite Carriage Suite Carriage Suite Carriage Suite Drawing Room Drawing Room Regency Suite Regency Suite Billiard Room Carriage Suite Billiard Room Lower Marquee Lower Marquee Lower Marquee Lower Marquee Upper Marquee Lower Marquee Upper Marquee Lower Marquee Lower Marquee Lower Marquee Carriage Suite Lower Marquee Lower Marquee Lower Marquee Lower Marquee Lower Marquee Lower Marquee Lower Marquee

The Toymaster Show wouldn’t happen without all the hard work of the amazing people that make up the Toymaster team. TnP hears how they support Toymaster members, not just in May, but all year round!

Brian McLaughlin, Retail Manager (Joined July 2018) Brian’s role is to support Toymaster members to help them trade more profitably. He is also responsible for finding and recruiting new Members and would be happy to hear from any retailers interested to finding out more details. Having heard plenty of good stories about the Toymaster show over the years, so I’m looking forward to finding out if it lives up to the hype! A 20-year toy industry veteran, Brian is looking forward to experiencing his first May Show!

Ian Edmunds, Managing Director (Joined April 1999) Kids@Play Paul Lamond/University Games

Learning Resources Legler Lego Magformers Magic Box Marbel Marvin's Magic Mattel Melissa & Doug Mga Entertainment Mookie Orchard Padgett Bros Papo Peterkin Pioneer Europe Playmobil Plum Products Pockos Posh Paws Rainbow Designs Ravensburger Re: Creation Revell Royal Brush Rubies Sales Partnership Schleich Siso Toys Smart Toys Spin Master Spirit Of Air Tactic Games The Source Theo Klein TKC Sales Tobar Tomy Ty Usborne Publishing Vivid Vtech/Leapfrog Warcradle Studios West Design William Lamb Wilton Bradley Wind Designs Winning Moves Wow Toys Zapf Zimpli Kids

Lower Marquee Upper Marquee Drawing Room Upper Marquee Billiard Room Upper Marquee Upper Marquee Upper Marquee Upper Marquee Harrogate Suite Billiard Room Regency Suite Upper Marquee Upper Marquee Upper Marquee Upper Marquee Billiard Room Lower Marquee Lower Marquee Lower Marquee Upper Marquee Upper Marquee Upper Marquee Upper Marquee Upper Marquee Upper Marquee Upper Marquee Upper Marquee Upper Marquee Upper Marquee Upper Marquee Upper Marquee Lower Marquee Upper Marquee Upper Marquee Upper Marquee Upper Marquee Upper Marquee Upper Marquee Upper Marquee Upper Marquee Upper Marquee Lower Marquee Drawing Room Upper Marquee Upper Marquee Upper Marquee Upper Marquee Upper Marquee Upper Marquee Upper Marquee Regency Suite Upper Marquee

Ian’s role is to oversee all the plans and policies executed by the Toymaster Board. His responsibility is to ensure the smooth running of all aspects of the group in order to meet the company’s mission statement which is ‘to help Members trade more profitably’. This will be Ian’s 25th show, including the four he attended as a member while at Roys of Wroxham.

Yogi Parmar, Operations Director (Joined November 1990) Yogi manages the day to day operations and functions of the office in Northampton, ensuring that all members of the Toymaster team are always providing excellent levels of service to both Members and Suppliers. If you’re looking for him around the show and can’t find him, then he’s probably taking a nap!

Paul Reader, Selector (Joined September 2000) Paul coordinates the marketing activity, particularly the window display program and selections for the Spring & Autumn catalogues. He is also responsible for managing the supplier relationships and ensuring Members have all the relevant product information to help with their selections. I am actually Tom Cruise’s stunt double, but for some reason more people seem to mistake me for Danny Devito!

Kirstine Weston, Admin Supervisor (Joined August 1988) Kirstine oversees the Admin team who are responsible for the daily operations in the Northampton office and liaising with Members & Suppliers. She, along with Chloe, have co-ordinated the plans for the May Show and will be on hand at the reception to greet all attendees. Kirstine will be the most organised member of the team during the week, so if you have any queries she is the best person to ask! Other team members who will be on hand to assist at the show with set up and any other queries during the week are Chloe Farrow, Nina Tebbutt and Rob Buglass.











Group dynamics

Guess what…

Toymaster is ce lebrating its 30th annivers ary this year.

TnP caught up with Toymaster Retail Manager Brian McLaughlin to find out more about the buying group, its benefits for retailers and what we can look forward to at the Toymaster Show negotiate terms, and offer advice and support. We do this so that our members can focus their efforts on running their business.

For those people who are not especially familiar with Toymaster, can you tell us a bit about the group? Toymaster is a buying group for independent toy retailers in the UK and Ireland. Toymaster itself was formed in 1989, when a number of regional buying groups around the country combined so they could operate as one. This also means that this year is our 30th anniversary. Our membership has changed a lot over the years, but for the past few years, our numbers have been fairly consistent, with around 150 members who between them operate around 250-260 stores. Our mission statement is straightforward – ‘to help our members trade more profitably’. This means that our role is a support function to our members. We manage the invoicing and payments, offer a marketing service, set up suppliers and help

The show is open to all bricks-andmortar independent toy retailers – not just Toymaster members

As someone who is fairly new to Toymaster, what attracted you to the company? The fresh challenge was the biggest attraction. I’ve been in the industry for 20 years now (with both Toys R Us and Mothercare) but virtually all of that time has been at national retailers. So an opportunity to work with the independent sector was appealing because it was something different. My role is also a change; previously I was a buyer,

but as Retail Manager I have two key functions – to help our existing members trade more profitably and to recruit new members. I hope my background and experience within the industry will add a new perspective to Toymaster members and enable me to support them.

What are you most looking forward to at this year’s show? This is the first May show for me, and the planning has been going on for months now, so I’m looking forward to seeing all the hard work come together. I’ve heard plenty about the Toymaster Show over the years, so I’m sure it will be a great experience.

What has changed about the show this year? The most obvious difference is the renovation at The Majestic in the past year. It’s not yet fully completed, but all the public areas of the show are refreshed, and the work carried out looks great. This should give the show a slightly different feel from previous years.

What are the benefits for Toymaster members who attend the show? The timing of the show is ideal, as most of our members will be planning their main buys for autumn. The Toymaster Show gives them a chance to see finished products before they have to make these key decisions on what to stock for the Christmas period. The May show is also a great event for networking. Show

attendees have the chance to catch up with fellow Toymaster members. Retailers also get to build relationships with their suppliers thanks to the opportunity they have to meet face-to-face.

Any advice for retailers attending for the first time to get the most out of their visit? The show is open to all bricksand-mortar independent toy retailers – not just Toymaster members. We are always delighted to see first-time visitors. Anyone wishing to attend can register at www. The key advice I can give retailers is to see as many suppliers as possible. In particular, retailers should spend time looking for new ranges. I would also encourage attendees to take the opportunity to speak to Toymaster members and staff about the benefits of being a Toymaster member – we are all very friendly and happy to speak with attendees, answering any queries they may have.

What are the highlights of the show? The main highlight is that the Toymaster Show is 100 per cent focused on independent toy retailers. There will be more than 100 suppliers present, including all the major suppliers and many who were not at London Toy Fair. All of the stands are open, which means that all retailers attending can see the ranges on display. Many suppliers will have exclusive deals for independents available at the show, which will also help with their margins later in the year. The other highlight is the evening entertainment – I am reliably informed it is not to be missed!

What are the wider plans for Toymaster this year? Our main objective is to continue what we are doing by following our Mission Statement, which is ‘to help our members trade more profitably’. One of the key characteristics of Toymaster is that each member is unique and no two stores are the same. This means we cannot adopt the ‘one solution fits all’ approach that larger retailers use; we need to tailor the support we offer to each member individually. One of the key messages we have given to our members this year is to focus on the basics. The

MAY 2019

retail climate is very challenging so the priority is to ensure that the strongest ranges and bestsellers are kept in stock, and that slow sellers are addressed rather than left to gather dust. Again, this will vary from one store to another, so it is essential to get out and see our members and their stores as much as possible. We will also continue to look for new members; we are open to discussions with all bricks-andmortar independent toy retailers. If anyone wants to know more about becoming a Toymaster member, then they can contact me via email at brian.mclaughlin@

What are your personal work goals?

We are only a small team of 18 in the Northampton office, but between us we have around 350 years combined experience in the toy industry!

I would like to get out and see as many of our members as possible, so far I’ve seen around a third so there are still plenty more to get to. The reaction I’ve had from members I have visited so far has been positive; many of them appreciate a fresh pair of eyes looking at their store and passing on some new ideas for them to try. There are plenty of other members who have asked me to come and see them, I just haven’t had the chance to get round to everyone yet! In terms of new members, I don’t have a specific target to achieve, my goal is to find the right ones rather than a specific number. A lot of the independents I have visited so far have different perceptions of what Toymaster do – many of them don’t realise that our members still retain their independence and are in control of all the key decisions, such as what ranges to stock and how to set out their store. I get the impression there is a historic perception that Toymaster is controlling, but that is definitely not the case.

There are two kinds of Toymaster membership – could you explain these for us? We have Branded and Associate membership options available. The Branded Membership is for

retailers who brand their store or toy department as ‘Toymaster’. The Associate Membership is for retailers who, by size or choice, choose not to trade under the Toymaster brand. Associate Members receive all the financial benefits and internal support, but they do not benefit fully from the comprehensive marketing programme or the Toymaster brand. But this does mean that existing toy retailers can join Toymaster without having to rebrand their store. We allow our members to choose which services and initiatives to take part in – everything is optional for them.

You’ve had quite a few garden centres come on board this year. Is this something you would like to expand on further? And do you think being a member of Toymaster has particular benefits for garden centres? Yes, garden centres are offering toy ranges more these days, and they can receive the same benefits as all our current members. In particular we can open up access to around 180 suppliers for them, as well as an FOB program twice per year. We continue to provide support and advice to all members, regardless of size or store type, and additional advice is available from a network of more than 150 fellow Toymaster members.

Can you tell us something about Toymaster that we are unlikely to know? We are only a small team of 18 in the Northampton office, but between us we have around 350 years combined experience in the toy industry!

Toymaster currently has around 150 members with more than 250 stores. 9


Who you gonna call?

Jamie Dickinson, Marketing and Display Manager at Playmobil, talks to TnP about the company’s new Ghostbusters lines and Playmobil’s wider activity for the year Playmobil’s ethos has always been ‘to help children develop and learn through play’. How do you action this ambition? All Playmobil play sets encourage children to immerse themselves within different worlds, giving the opportunity to explore different scenarios and careers that can influence their future and find new passions through aspirational play. We take great pride in the attention to detail that goes into our play sets, letting children enjoy realistic play. Our 1.2.3 ranges are designed using bright colours and large pieces so that children can begin using their imaginations from an even younger age. Tell us more about your new Ghostbusters range Available from this month, Playmobil has released six new play sets, including four extra-large collector’s figures, Ghostbusters Ecto-1A and Ghostbusters Figure Set, which comes complete with Winston, Peter, Egon and Ray. With Ghostbusters celebrating its 35th anniversary this summer, the new play sets will launch in time for that. We also have four collectable figures: E. Spengler, W. Zeddemore, P. Venkman and R. Stantz, which are extra-large (15cm in height). With only 12,500 of them being made, Playmobil is tapping into the action figure boom. Many of your recent releases are focused on careers. Why is this theme important? Playmobil toys present children with the opportunity to explore different career paths and engage with some of their

Playmobil has a strong presence online and offline. Can you tell us a bit more about your recent activities? We have recently launched a new YouTube series, PLAYMO High, with a new episode available every week. Later this year, we also have the exciting premier of Playmobil: The Movie, which we are all looking forward to.

Playmobil toys present children with the opportunity to explore different career paths and engage with some of their everyday heroes

everyday heroes. More importantly, this helps them learn about the roles and immerse themselves in different scenarios. We strive to positively encourage children through play and provide them with endless possibilities. We always keep this in mind when creating new play sets. In the last year, what have been the most successful lines for Playmobil? Last year, we saw a lot of success with the Aquarium range and the 1.2.3 Pirate Ship, which both won several awards between them including ‘Best Toddler Toy’ at the Mumii awards and first place for ‘Imagination Toys’ at the Blog On Toy Awards. What else has Playmobil got in store for the year ahead? 2019 has already been an extremely exciting year as we have expanded a number of our licences including: DreamWorks Dragons, DreamWorks Spirit Riding Free and Porsche. Later this year, we have the launch of Playmobil: The Movie in August and new play sets to go alongside. Do you have any exciting marketing initiatives planned for the year ahead? Our marketing initiatives focus on partnering with retailers, supported by a comprehensive and above-the-line series of campaigns, which will run throughout 2019.

Get in touch!

How does Playmobil support its retailers? Our TV advertising campaign runs throughout the year, and all our new launches will be supported by PR activity and campaigns. Our display and merchandising teams are constantly on the road and working directly with our retailers. We also have a number of partnerships that form an integral part of our commitment to retailers.


The number of Playmobil figures produced every day. Can you tell us a little more about Playmobil: The Movie? The movie will treat audiences young and old to an epic comedy adventure through a captivating imaginary world. It features the voices of well-known TV and movie stars, telling the story of Marla who enters the Playmobil world after her younger brother Charlie mysteriously disappears. What do you hope to achieve before Playmobil turns 50? We are in the process of expanding our position in the entertainment industry; with Playmobil: The Movie coming out later this year, we are solidifying our space within the sector. We hope to continue establishing ourselves as a beloved entertainment brand.

For more information, please contact your sales representative or the main office on 01268 548111.


must have toys!







Up the garden path

Being a Toymaster member has helped to guide the development of the toys offering at Pennells Garden Centre


ennells is one of the oldest garden companies in the UK. The business was founded by a Richard Pennell way back in 1780, with a small nursery on the outskirts of Lincoln next to a small stream called Gowt’s Beck. It is still a family-run business today – with seventh and eighth generations Richard Pennell and his son William Pennell at the helm. The company ran two garden centres at Lincoln and Cleethorpes until 2018, when it added a third centre, Four Seasons, at Sleaford to its portfolio.

The Lincoln and Cleethorpes centres have expanded in size over the past decade, to include retail areas and restaurants, and a luxury food hall. Plans are already under way for expansion of the Sleaford site. Managing Director Will Pennell spoke to TnP about being a member of Toymaster.

What do you enjoy about being a Toymaster member – what do you see as the greatest benefits of membership? Being a Toymaster member has given us access to some of the suppliers that we would not normally be able to see. They also provide us with constant

Opening doors TnP talks to Ivor White about being a Toymaster member, catching up with suppliers at the Toymaster Show – and selecting the right lines


hites of Omagh has been a Toymaster member for more than 25 years. It sells all kinds of things – houseware, gifts, kitchenware, candles, stationery – probably 15,00020,000 SKUs – along with toys. The shop in Northern Ireland has been going for around 65 years, starting life as a wallpaper shop. As time went on, they diversified, and eventually began to venture into toys. “We quickly realised that trying to paddle your own canoe in the toy market is hard,’’ says Ivor, who has worked in the shop that his father


founded since he was 16 or so. It was soon after expanding into selling toys that Whites joined Toymaster: “I went to Toy Fair and didn’t know anything about Toymaster. I spoke to a few shops who were in Toymaster and realised it was a really professional organisation.’’ The benefits are varied. “Things like central invoicing and getting deals with suppliers are invaluable. We can go to suppliers and say we have an account with Toymaster. Toymaster has opened so many doors for us.’’ But it is more than that. “There is really good camaraderie, especially among the Irish guys. We meet up at regionals and at Harrogate. And you

We quickly realised that trying to paddle your own canoe in the toy market is hard

find because we’re all in it together that people tell it like it is. If business is tough, they will say so.’’ The Toymaster Show is a really important part of the trading year for Ivor: ‘‘We go every year. Because we’re

Did you know? Pennells began in 1780 as a small nursery on the outskirts of Lincoln. information and are a very proactive company.

Were you always a Toymaster member? We joined in early 2018 when we decided to create a toy store within the centre. The guys from Toymaster were very helpful in starting this for us and guiding us in which direction to go.

Do you enjoy attending the Toymaster show? Yes, it’s useful to see what is coming out from the suppliers as well as the new ones coming through.

As the Toymaster show draws closer, are there any suppliers who you are particularly looking forward to seeing? It’s good to see our current suppliers and the new ranges they are bringing out but we’re also looking forward to seeing what new companies Toymaster have brought into the fold.

Are there any suppliers who you feel are particularly

good at keeping up with new trends? Playmobil and Depeche have been particularly helpful in our first year of trading toys and games properly.

What sets you apart from your competitors?

We’re looking forward to seeing what new companies Toymaster have brought into the fold

As we’re a garden centre we offer a very diverse range of goods for the customer, including a large restaurant, fully-covered plant area and a food hall concentrating on local produce.

Who is your main target audience and how do you appeal to this market? We are first and foremost a garden centre, with the majority of our sales still being plant based. As such we currently appeal more towards this market rather than perhaps businesses whose core direction is toys and games

Do you run any special instore activities/events/ promotions to entice customers into your store? We run a large events campaign through the year both directed at our traditional gardening customers as well as young families. These events include

‘how to’ demonstrations such as planting a hanging basket as well as face painting and animal encounters and so on.

How have you kept up to date with the fast-paced, ever-evolving business of toy retail? I rely on both my buyer who has a young family as well as being directed by the guys at Toymaster to guide us going forward.

Flair, Epoch and Martin Grossman. we are busy right up until 5pm Another benefit of visiting the on the Thursday.’’ For the big show is getting consumer offers. companies, Ivor expects to “It’s so much easier to talk about be with them for a couple of offers when you are face-to-face,’’ hours seeing all that they have Whites has been a says Ivor. to offer. ‘’The likes of Hasbro Toymaster member for So what’s selling well in Omagh? don’t have reps on the ground more than 25 years. “Green Elephant Trading’s putty over here, so I have to do a is still popular, and because we're year or half a year’s business at rural, range likes Bruder and Britains the show. Even small companies will always do well. The countryside take a good 20 minutes to see three theme continues with Schleich cows, or four lines,’’ calves, pigs and sheep selling well. It’s a gruelling but useful schedule. “It’s a great brand and great product – “Some of the reps have taken pictures teachers like it too; we even do well of me asleep in a chair – it’s not to with the dinosaurs. do with late nights! It’s the only “Our Generation dolls are place for us to get a good look popular too. I would never have at some of the ranges, apart imagined we would be selling from Toy Fair. And I like to see a load of dolls at £50 each. stuff, to see the size and shape To stand out from the of what you will sell.’’ crowd, Whites is careful Ivor tends to pay when selecting lines: "While less attention to the we stock core items that names of the brands you wouldn’t be a toyshop than what’s on the without – like the L.O.L. stand – “I go round Dolls – we look at something most of them over a bit different, like Orchard Toys the three days.’’ But and Ravensburger puzzles and he looks forward to collectables from Funko.’’ the likes of Spin Master,

Did you know?

on a small island, if we don’t meet there we’re going to miss out. “But I expect suppliers to have a stand or a table at the show. If you haven’t worked hard enough to get yourself to the show, I’m not going to see you.” The Toymaster Show represents a busy three days for Ivor. “We go over on the Monday evening, ready to start meetings at 9am on the Tuesday, and

MAY 2019



In Dublin’s fair city On the corner of Ireland’s second busiest shopping street, Dublin’s Banba Toymaster makes full use of its Toymaster membership


anba Toymaster in the heart of Dublin has been a Toymaster member from its very beginnings in 1989. General Manager Maurice Doyle says being a Toymaster member offers a whole host of benefits. “First off is the system for invoicing, which makes it easy to print off any invoices. Then there is the forum – “Toymaster members can go in and discuss their problems, We might have already experienced an issue someone else has, so we can get on there and tell them how we came up with a solution. “It’s great for new members – for instance we were able to take Ian Bailey who joined four years ago, round with us at the show, introduce him to suppliers and so on – it would

Toymaster is the most important show for us. We do most of our main season ordering there

Best sellers Jigsaws and kids’ construction kits from Ravensburger, Clementoni and Coiled Spring are selling well, along with soft toys from TY and Asmodee’s Pokemon cards.


have been quite daunting to go in on your own for the first time.’’ Then there’s the newsletters that come out – they include all sorts of information and details about special offers, so that you can plan your sales ahead of time. The credit insurance is another great benefit – “Toymaster guarantee payment on all invoices for orders shipped, so it acts as a bit of a cushion. They are very good at keeping an eye on you – they’ll let you know if they think you are overbuying or whatever. “Then there are the POS, special offers, uniform, shelf strips and marketing like the window displays. For Maurice, being a member of Toymaster offers lots of support, while still letting you be your own boss – and being able to pick up the phone to suppliers to order what you want, without having to go through hoops and layers of management. The Toymaster Show is a must-

do on Maurice’s calendar: “The show is a great place to meet up with people to face to face. And as an independent it’s great to meet up with suppliers and reps. It’s the most important show for us. We sit down and do most of our main season ordering there – it’s where we spend the money. “In January at Olympia, you might not have even done your stocktake. It’s where we take a look at what’s new and upcoming, but it’s the May show when we sit down and order. “We go for the full three days. We’ll catch up with the larger suppliers, such as Mattel and LEGO. Most of our main season ordering for LEGO has been done, but we’ll look at the catalogue for autumn and winter. And with Mattel we’ll be looking at the Toy Story 4 range. We’ll also be looking to do a VTech order at the show.

‘’We concentrate on the smaller suppliers, who might have an ace up their sleeve for us. It’s important that the smaller suppliers are looked after at the show – they don’t necessarily have a presence on the ground for us in Ireland.’’ So what has been selling well in Dublin? Like everywhere, L.O.L. dolls have been a success, as has LEGO – Maurice was looking forward to the Toy Story 4 kits launching as we spoke. ‘’Jigsaws and kids’ construction kits are good sellers – we stock Ravensburger, Clementoni and Coiled Spring Games. ‘’We expanded on our soft toys TY range and that has been paying off – we have seen increased sales of plush.’’ Asmodee’s Pokemon cards are also high up

Member benefits For Maurice, being a member of Toymaster offers lots of support, while still letting you be your own boss – and being able to pick up the phone to suppliers to order what you want, without having to go through hoops and layers of management.

The show is a great place to meet up with people to face to face. And as an independent it’s great to meet up with suppliers and reps

on the list. Pocket-money toys, Avengers and Transformers figures also sell well. Keeping up with the trends is always a hard job for retailers and suppliers. “Jazwares got in early with the Fortnite product – but it’s difficult getting stock to keep up with demand,” says Maurice. And finally, how does the shop make itself stand out from the competition? We have Smyths right on our doorstep. If you took down one of our walls you’d be inside it! So we have to be competitive on price and make sure we have things in stock. “We are based on two floors and are a traditional toyshop. Not aisle after aisle of boxes. We have nooks and crannies and we merchandise nicely. “We differentiate ourselves by stocking a full range – where Smyths might stock only the five or 10 top selling items. For instance, we stock the full Sylvanian Families range and have a lovely display house. We don’t sell online at the moment, and if we do, we will specialise, with a full range of Schleich figures for instance. The personal touch is also important.‘’Because we’re an independent, people can call and ask if we have something in stock – and we can get back to them and let them know when it will be in, and put it to one side for them. We also have a Christmas Club and an all-year-round savings club. “As we have just celebrated our 75th anniversary, we are running regular competitions on Facebook, with prizes from our suppliers. “We do get a lot of tourists in, as well as regular customers – we’re on the corner of the second busiest shopping street in Ireland, We aim to be as welcoming as possible – whether it’s someone who comes in regularly, or a tourist passing through. Our aim is to get them walking out of our shop with a bag of toys on their arm!’


OPINION Matt Bishop, Telesales Manager, Asmodee UK

Darrell Jones, Head of Marketing, Vivid Toy Group

What makes Toymaster an unmissable and invaluable show for you? We are really excited about attending the Toymaster Show again this year, as it gives us the invaluable opportunity to cement relationships with our customers. The show is known for its friendly and welcoming atmosphere and is a great platform for us to showcase unmissable offers and exciting new products to order for Q3/ Q4. We are looking forward to seeing many familiar faces, as well as introducing ourselves to new Toymaster members. Star product for Toymaster: Telestrations from our new Party Games range

What makes Toymaster an unmissable and invaluable show for you? The show is a great opportunity for us to showcase our toys, games and Crayola product ranges for 2019 and to meet all of the Toymaster members in one convenient location. It also allows us to share our marketing activities for the all-important Christmas season.

Star product for Toymaster: Our Ryan’s World collectable range – we cannot keep it in stock!

Suppliers say... The Toymaster May Show is an unmissable event in the calendar for many suppliers. TnP found out why Victoria Allen, National Manager, Jumbo Games What makes Toymaster an unmissable and invaluable show for you? It is the show where we get to present all of our new products that we’ve launched – and will be launching – in 2019 to Independent retailers. It’s great because we can sit and talk them through our ranges, listen to feedback and work on retail plans to drive sales and grow our partnerships – together. Star product for Toymaster: Our brand-new Falcon de luxe Christmas 1,000-piece puzzle – Santa’s Special Delivery

Mark Standen, Sales Manager, Rainbow Designs What makes Toymaster an unmissable and invaluable show for you?

Our independent retailers are a vital part of our business. The event offers us the ideal opportunity to support and grow our relationship with retailers and show them firsthand the products and ranges that are best suited for their marketplace. The timing of the show is perfect as it allows retailers to reflect on the first few trading months and plan for summer and Christmas. Star product for Toymaster:

Our new official plush collection for DreamWorks’ Abominable

Chris Beardmore, Retail Sales Manager, Learning Resources UK What makes Toymaster an unmissable and invaluable show for you? The Toymaster Show gives us the opportunity to meet with Toymaster members in one place. The show is open to all independent retailers with bricks and mortar shops, giving us the chance to build relationships, listen to feedback, have a review of the year and show our new products. It’s a great opportunity to meet many independent retailers in an informal, relaxed atmosphere. The independent toy sector is very important to Learning Resources and one that we wish to support.

Star product for Toymaster: Playfoam

Karen Nunn, Marketing, Green Board Games

Mark Jones, Head of Sales, University Games and Paul Lamond Games

What makes Toymaster an unmissable and invaluable show for you? The Toymaster Show provides the perfect opportunity to talk to our independent retailers, as well as meet new potential customers. This engaging show enables us to gain significant insight from the sharp end, allowing us to be more targeted to the retailer and invigorate the consumer. Using our sales promotions and merchandising solutions to ensure our portfolio meets the everchanging needs of the challenging market place, helps us support retailer sales and in turn our own growth.

What makes Toymaster an unmissable and invaluable show for you?

Star product for Toymaster: Our all-new Disney and Pixar BrainBox Classic and BrainBox Board Games

Simon Prest, Sales Director, Orchard Toys What makes Toymaster an unmissable and invaluable show for you?

The toy trade calendar year wouldn’t be the same without the Toymaster show, it’s a great chance for us to see our Toymaster customers in a friendly and relaxed environment. Now that the show has been opened up to non-members it is even more of an invaluable opportunity to see our all-important independent customers and understand how we can help them throughout the year. Star product for Toymaster:

Our six new colouring book titles

Derek Scott, Head of Sales, Ravensburger What makes Toymaster an unmissable and invaluable show for you? It’s an unmissable toy industry institution and the comradeship between all who attend is second to none. Its invaluable for us as we continue to see exceptional growth and support from Toymaster. Growth is driven in the main by the key members who really engage with the point of sale and marketing initiatives we offer.

Star product for Toymaster: Our new kNOW! game

Julia Cake, Commercial Director, Magic Box Toys What makes Toymaster an unmissable and invaluable show for you? This is the first year exhibiting as Magic Box and I know how very important it is that we show our toys and playsets at the show. Toymaster is a key partner for us and therefore this is a great chance to show the complete range available in order to expand distribution into the toy arena. Star product for Toymaster: Our new SuperZings playsets

MAY 2019

The Toymaster Show provides a dedicated opportunity to spend quality time with many of our independent retailers and to showcase, not only, our evergreen bestselling games and puzzles but all our new additions for 2019. Our relationship with independent retailers is an extremely important part of our business model and it is a sector we value highly and continuously look to develop and support through our dedicated sales team.

Star product for Toymaster: Are you Dumber than a Box of Rocks?

David Mordecai, CEO, Tobar What makes Toymaster an unmissable and invaluable show for you? Toymaster is a really important show for us; we can connect with frontline retailers and get their feedback, which is always useful. The independent sector has always been key for us, as we offer lots of opportunities for those who want to specialise, as well as the main mass-market toys on offer. Star product for Toymaster: Boppi, the dancing llama from the Robo Pets Alive range


Lab life Galt Toys

01614 289111

Carriage Suite

Tears of joy IMC TOYS 01904 720 908

Lower Marquee IMC Toys will be returning to the Toymaster trade show later this month to showcase an array of new and existing products. The Cry Babies range is expanding with the introduction of Cry Babies Kristal, the baby who gets poorly. IMC will also be introducing two new lines of Cry Babies Magic Tears collectables, featuring new glittery characters and diamond accessories. The recent launch of Cry Babies Fantasy characters is off to great start. Cry Baby Bruny is an adorable dragon and Cry Baby Dreamy is a gorgeous unicorn. Both of these new Cry Babies live in a fantasy world. They’re adorable characters, but they will cry real tears if you remove their dummies. IMC will also be introducing three new products to the Club Petz range including a unicorn, a llama and a sloth.

New science products include a range of Explore and Discover – Bubble Lab, Dino Lab, Kitchen Lab and Slimy Lab. New for Horrible Science is Perilous Planes, while the Chaotic Kitchen Experiments lets you power a clock with a potato. 2019 sees the introduction of a new licensed Playnest – The Very Hungry Caterpillar. There is a new Activity Ball in the First Years range and the Follow Me Ball is being relaunched with an external switch. Ambi Toys, the range of pre-school toys, includes Tick Tock Clock for a child’s early years. Activity Packs have been the entry level price point for the Galt craft and activity categories. The Clay Cars kit makes two fun animal cars, the Cute Lockets kit makes keepsake lockets and there's also a make-up kit. One of Galt’s heritage range is marble construction. In 2019 Galt are launching an exciting new construction set using the ever-popular Galt Marble Run. Galt is renowned for its puzzles. As well as a new Giant Floor Puzzle, there's also a new four puzzles in a box Jungle with brightly coloured animal images. The Play and learn range sees a new introduction – the Cosmic Coding board game introducing children to coding. Jungle Floor dominos is new, with 28 double-sided dominos. Stationery is being strengthened with a range of reusable sticker books and a new Water Magic title, Unicorns. Young Art has additions including Non-Spill Pots and Giant Chalks. Galt’s Creative Cases range sees four new additions – French Knitting, Animal Pottery, Hair Studios and Sparkle Body Art.

Bingo! Orchard Toys

01953 859525

Upper Marquee

So classic RAINBOW DESIGNS 01329 227300

Upper Marquee

The Very Hungry Caterpillar has taken centre stage this year as Eric Carle’s classic character celebrates its milestone 50th Birthday. In celebration, Rainbow Designs has launched an exciting new nursery toy range featuring a beautiful selection of products crafted for kids aged 0-18 months. The eagerly awaited official plush collection for DreamWorks’ Abominable, starring the lovable yeti character, Everest, and his co-stars will also be on display.


Tthe company is showcasing three lines. Let’s Go Lotto is a travel themed game for pre-school children, featuring simple gameplay and quirky characters. Orchard Toys has also launched a collection of six Mummy and Baby twopiece jigsaws with beautiful illustrations. Large, chunky pieces make them ideal first jigsaws for children as young as 18-months-old to enjoy. Orchard Toys has also expanded its colouring book range with themed activity books such as Farmyard, Jungle, Dinosaur and Outer Space.




Marbel-ous introductions MARBEL 0845 6000 286

Upper Marquee At this year’s Toymaster Show, visit the Marbel stand and explore numerous international toy brands: Hape, Nanoblock, Relevant Play, Kathe Kruse, Poly M, Eureka Kids and Nebulous Star. From one of the largest producers of sustainably-made toys, Hape showcases its new concept – Junior Inventor – based on a process of trial, error and creation. Meanwhile Nanoblock’s collection of micro-sized building blocks continues to grow for 2019 with an expansion of dog breeds such as the Chihuahua, Siberian Husky and the Toy Poodle.

World of wonder FUNRISE 01908 555640

Carriage Suite From Wonder Park to wonder farts! Funrise has some fun and quirky collections that will be on display at Toymaster this year. Funrise has created the Master Toy line for the latest Paramount animated film, Wonder Park. Packed full of playsets, figures and plush, the line truly brings the movie to life. At the heart of the range are the movie’s Wonder Chimps, which will be available in blind bag collectables, windup and scented plush forms. Also on display at Toymaster is Funrise’s latest development, Fart Ninjas, the range of interactive, farting Ninjas. At pocket money prices, cheeky kids will love collecting the different characters to create a symphony of fart noises. Be careful, if you walk past a Fart Ninja, the motion sensor will be activated. Included in the initial range will be four smaller collectable figures, as well as the Fart Ninja XLs, which come with a remote control to record your sounds! For the perfect solution to your summer stock, Funrise’s Gazillion Bubbles

Go, go Power Rangers! HASBRO 020 8569 1234

Lower Marquee Hasbro will be showcasing its new Power Rangers collection at this year’s Toymaster show. The Power Rangers legacy continues with figures, vehicles, collectables, and roleplay toys from Hasbro, celebrating Ranger teams from Mighty Morphin to the Beast Morphers. Hasbro’s new Power Rangers collection aims to bring teamwork, action and adventure to fans. Core items in the range include the Power Rangers Beast Morphers Cheetah Beast Blaster which is powered by NERF, the Electronic Cheetah Claw toy and the Beast-X Electronic Saber – both of which feature reactive sound effects that respond to kids’ movements as they imagine battling monsters and villains as one of the Power Rangers. The collection also includes the Power Rangers Beast Morphers Mask, allowing fans to mask up like the Red or Blue Ranger. Both masks feature design inspiration from the new Power Rangers Beast Morphers TV show. Visitors will also get a first look at Hasbro’s Moon and Me collection.


has led the charge in creating premium bubble products for over a decade. With an already extensive array of premium bubble solution, bubble toys and machines for 2019, the Gazillion range is ever-expanding. A new star for 2019 will be the new Gazillion Bubble Rush. With its revolutionary design, this high-powered bubble machine blows the most bubbles ever. This next generation bubble machine has a three-sectioned, no-spill modular design including a removable washable top. Also new are the Turbo Bubbles, Mini Hurricane and Battle Blaster gadgets. Another range from Funrise not to be missed at the show is the Tonka toys collection of pre-school friendly vehicles that are perfect for intuitive play. Recently launched are the Tonka Power Movers vehicles that bring the dump truck, front loader, excavator and cement mixer to life.

All roads lead to HTI HTI 01253

Upper Marquee HTI’s preparations for Toymaster are focused around the new brand launch of Micro Motorz. Launched under the Teamsterz brand, Micro Motorz Series 1 has been well received by retailers. The collectable car series has over 20 cars to collect – each with six different surprises. Micro Motorz has been supported with a heavyweight marketing campaign which included a PR launch at Westfield.

The everlasting squish of Playfoam® together with the magical surprise of collectables


Playfoam® Pals™ Pet Party SERIES 2


Playfoam® Pals™ Snowy Friends SERIES 3


Playfoam® Pals™ Fantasy Friends SERIES 4

Available in 2, 6 and 12 pack CDU


Movie magic PLAYMOBIL 01268 548111

LOWER MARQUEE Ahead of the highly-anticipated Playmobil: The Movie premiere, the beloved toy and entertainment brand is heading to Toymaster Show to share its new range of filminspired playsets. The entire movie range will include nine playsets, featuring main characters Charlie and Marla, as well as Del, the food truck driver, and Rex Dasher, the charismatic secret agent. Alongside the new playsets, Playmobil is also launching two waves of 12 collectable figures in July and December, allowing children to continue expanding their movie collection. Playmobil: The Movie playsets are set to launch in July 2019, which means Toymaster Show guests will be among the first to see the dedicated toys in action.

Pocket money play


The missing piece JUMBO GAMES 01707 289289

Lower Marquee Jumbo Games is excited to showcase its range at the Toymaster Show, that includes a host of own brand and licensed lines. Jumbo has over 15 new puzzle releases that will be launched at the show, across their Wasgij, Falcon de luxe and Jan van Haasteren brands, as well as licensed Disney classics. With 10 new puzzles launching in the nostalgically British Falcon de Luxe puzzle range, you’ll want to check out the latest 1000-piece puzzles like Down at the Allotment, An Afternoon in the Bookshop and Seaside Promenade. Three new Wasgij puzzles join the six that were released in January, adding the latest instalments to the UK’s Number One-selling puzzle brand. Seeing the growth and demand for Disney, Jumbo are releasing an Aladdin and The Lion King 1000-piece puzzle using the classic artwork. To celebrate The Little Mermaid’s 30th Anniversary, they’ll also have a commemorate movie poster puzzle available for AW19.

0141 613 2525

CARRIAGE SUITE Grossman leads the way with slime and putty. Unicorn Poo was a great sell-out range and London Toy Fair saw lots of publicity for Dog Poo. Grossmans has added Mermaid Poo, Dinosaur Poo, Flamingo Poo and Sloth poo. Squidgies appeal to those with a love of all things mythical, and there's an extensive range of outdoor toys including the return of the Nebulus scooter.

Smart art TRENDS UK/WIND DESIGNS 01295 768078

Upper Marquee Peppa Pig celebrates her 15year anniversary in 2019. The multi award-winning and 5-star rated Count with Peppa is the star of the Trends ELAs range enabling children to have fun with the 10 play coins and learn about numbers and colours. New for 2019, the Science Mad! Build Your Own Robotic Vacuum Cleaner has 75 pieces to build a working model. The SpyX Micro Gear Set puts would-be agents through their spy training. Watch and listen with the Micro Listener, Micro Motion Alarm & Spy Light and then send messages with the Invisible Ink Pen. Trends UK is refreshing its popular science toy range under Discovery Adventures with a new look designed to appeal to adventure-seeking families. The award-winning no-mess Paint Sticks range is growing with the new Paint Sticks Classic Art Station. The new Paint Sticks Bucket contains 20 assorted Paint Sticks with a selection of classic, day glow and metallic colours. Trends UK's also introducing a Face Paint Sticks range from Little Brian. Mess-free, simply twist up and they're ready to use.


Character’s new heroes A new action hero brand will be among the treasures to discover at the Toymaster Show for visitors to the Character Options stand. The Heroes of Goo Jit Zu evolved when a freak cosmic event transformed animals from the city zoo into goo-filled Goo Jit Zu fighters, each with their own gooey features, unique powers and martial arts moves. With this event, comes a new entertainment property – and, with it, Character’s new collection of action figures, ready to take on the world. Each action figure has its own squishy compound to explore – super stretchy, gooey, mushy and even crunchy, making them even more collectable for kids. As a hugely important launch of the season, Character will release Wave 1 in July with a full FSDU programme, in addition to a global schedule of marketing activity including short films, influencer activity, TV advertising, digital activation, pre-roll and more. With Peppa Pig’s 15th anniversary to celebrate, Toymaster members should take a look at the 2019 Peppa Pig collection. Peppa’s Stage Playset brings a whole new play pattern to the range. The curtained stage comes with three reversible back

Fairy dust

Character Options 0161 633 9800

Drawing Room drop cards, a pull-out stage floor, sound effects and separate theatre seating, as well as themed accessories. Peppa’s Wooden Playhouse is also not to be missed, together with Peppa’s Big Red Car and a fun Mud Kitchen Playset. Treasure X is the ultimate surprise-reveal collectable and is soon to be joined by a further quest for kids. Named ‘Action Figure of the Year’ at the Australian Toy Fair, Treasure X Aliens is a throwback to the alien autopsy craze, inviting kids to dissect the alien to save the Treasure Hunter within. Each alien stomach contains a bag of slimy ooze that needs to be searched through to find the treasure and critter that hides within. Timely for the Toymaster show is the latest arrival for Pokémon – Detective Pikachu. As a major theatrical release and with a huge amount of activity surrounding the film, this super cute Pokémon character is bound to be a hot favourite for fans.

Saddle up!


GP Flair

01628 488944

020 8643 0320

Lower Marquee The new Fairy Kitchen Garden lets you grow, harvest and eat pea shoots. For A/W, there's also Fairy Nature Garden and the Dragons’ Tower Garden set. Face Paintoos makes children’s parties and sleepovers fun by transforming ‘face painting’ into a fun and easy activity. The new games portfolio includes Orangutwang, Relative Insanity, Take ‘N’ Play and the award winning 5 Second Rule. Fuzzikins is a rapidly growing brand for Interplay., with exciting new launches of new animals for 2019.


Regency Suite Just Play’s Spirit Riding Free range will grow with the introduction of new playsets and accessories. The Classic Doll and Horse sets are perfect for any collector. Each horse stands over 5in tall and is accompanied by her wild horse companion with poseable arms enabling her to ride her trusty steed. For the second half, the new Spirit Riding Free Deluxe Spirit Walking Horse features the brave and adventurous Lucky and her cherished wild mustang Spirit, in an action-packed play experience. Another classic brand celebrating an anniversary is the Original Super Spirograph. The classic interchangeable Spiro-Tracks let you create your own unique patterned shapes, taking your designs to a whole new and super level. This jumbo 75+ piece set comes in a storage case with a work surface and features a real metal die-cast #50 Spirograph wheel to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the original. Keeping the collectables zone fresh is Flair’s new MushMeez, the new moldable plush characters that have their very own unique look and feel. Clip-Ons, Medium & Mega MushMeez are available in handy CDUs perfect for that pick-me-up treat. Each has sweet sparkly eyes and a colourful personality. A rainbow llama is joined by a rosy cheeked Unicorn, as well as a Dragon and super cute Penguin.



Visit our website for the full range of products

Visit us at the



James Galt & Co. Ltd. • Sovereign House • Stockport Road • Cheadle • Cheshire • SK8 2EA Tel: +44 (0)161 428 9111 • Fax: +44 (0)161 428 6597 •

21st - 23 rd May 2019


Partner in play 0208 878 2133

Lower Marquee






R ATO 1. Zigolos

The Juratoys business includes French leading Balancing Game toy brand Janod – a brand that is renowned for its premium wooden toys that are both fun 2. Finger Inkpad and contemporary. Its wooden selection spans Panda and his multiple sectors, from learning toys, to ride-ons, wooden puzzles, role play toys and family games Friends – Janod has something for all. Across its portfolio, Juratoys has a number of unique, beautifully designed 3. Sophie la Girafe products that bring a splash of colour and creative play to children aged 0- to 12-years-old. Bead Maze This year, the company’s design teams in France 4. Dino Stampinoo have put together a completely new range for 2019, with over 200 new product SKUs scheduled for 5. Spirit Sidecar release across the year. The strength of the company is that it can offer so many different types of products Philip in various categories to all types of retailers. 2019 will see Janod expanding further into the arts and crafts sector, in partnership with Hachette. The range includes a number of highly giftable, themed creative kits, including those with foam stickers, finger inkpads, stamps, sand play, pom-poms, foam mosaics, glitter and crystals, scratch cards, feathers, and more. Children will enjoy letting their creativity flow with competitively priced sets that have a very attractive margin for independent retailers. Many of the sets are themed around animals, including llamas, koalas, pandas and peacocks, while others dip into the Bollywood culture or bring the world of fashion to a younger audience – be sure to ask about the Defiles de Mode range! In the outdoor category, Janod has released many new lines, including My First Birdhouse and My Bird Feeder and an assortment of pastel-coloured garden tools for little hands, including the adorable – and practical – Little Gardener Playset. These garden items join a host of gorgeous skilled games that can be played outside, including My First Animal Skittles. Bringing the games inside for those expected but unwelcomed rainy, summer days in the UK and Ireland, is the unique skilled game Juratoys will introduce over collection. Be sure to ask about the Waterlily Challenge Game of 200 new product SKUs in 2019. Skill. The object of the game is to place your game piece on the lily pad without making it tip. Perfect for children aged three years plus, is Zigolos Balancing Game from the Manipulate and Handle range. Children must balance little wooden birds on Zigolo the flamingo’s wings. And don’t miss Nutty Balance from the same range – a sweet little squirrel, who children must help to balance nuts on his back. These new additions join iconic Janod products, such as the Magnetic Red Rocket and a strong portfolio of wooden jigsaw puzzles and lines from the Worlds range, such as the popular Story Box Circus wooden set and Sidecar Philip from the Spirit range. Also not to be missed – the adorable Sophie la Girafe wooden collection. Pop to the Juratoys stand to see favourites, such as the Sophie la Girafe Bead Maze that sees children thread beads around the Eiffel Tower. Retailers can benefit from Juratoys’ superb support for its retail customers. Not only does Juratoys offer great products at competitive prices, it also has good sales coverage to ensure that its customers are well looked after. In-store merchandising is also available when ordering new ranges and Juratoys can offer advice around promoting its ranges on social media to drive awareness.



Includes Carry Case


Casdon Kids Are

With working suction and attachments!

HAPPY KIDS! 2-in-1 toy!

Fill with water!

Real life fun & play Casdon Ltd., Cornford Road, Blackpool, Lancs FY4 4QW Tel: +44 (0)1253 766411 Fax: +44 (0)1253 691486 Email:

See us at the show!


Pure imagination Learning Resources 01553 819 380

Drawing Room In 2019, Learning Resources will be showcasing more exciting products including Stems, the flexible 3D maker toy that encourages STEM learning through play. With just one shape, the building opportunities are endless with Stems. Learning Resources will also be introducing Coding Critters – children’s first coding friends, as well as the latest Playfoam Pals range, Fantasy Friends. The all-new Playfoam Pals Fantasy Friends bring 12 new magical characters hiding inside colourful pods of playfoam. Children will love opening the colourful Playfoam Pals Fantasy Friends pods to reveal their surprise collectable. These collectables add elements of role play and nurturing, allowing Playfoam Pals to own a distinctive space in the competitive collectables market. Because they're hidden inside Playfoam, Playfoam Pals uniquely combine creative play with discovery.

Posh Paws

Floofie, flapping Jiffpom fun!

01268 567317


Upper Marquee

01189 736 222

Disney’s plush partner

As the exclusive distributor for NICI in the UK and Ireland, Posh Paws now has a vast array of luxury NICI plush product and other accessories such as girls' gifts, stationery, nursery gifts and bedroom accessories. The Posh Paws NICI range showcases the high quality always associated with the brand, and perfectly complements the entire Posh Paws portfolio. 2019 sees Posh Paws bring a plethora of popular Disney properties to life in plush form. Aladdin, Dumbo, The Lion King and Toy Story 4 are all among new collections. With the premier of Toy Story 4 in June, Posh Paws is the official plush partner and is readying itself for the launch of Toy Story 4 soft toys. The range consists of old favourites alongside some of the new characters. Also part of the Posh Paws Disney lineup is the Disney Classics plush range, full of favourite Disney characters including Bambi, Marie and Thumper. Ahead of the November film release of Frozen 2, Posh Paws are ready with a new range of Frozen 2 plush.

UPPER MARQUEE With iconic outdoor hits from Wham-O, strong performing LEGO Lights, as well as new licensed plush joining its portfolio, Re:creation is a must-see. There's a 10 per cent discount for show visitors on orders placed for delivery before the end of July. Retailers looking for big-hitting and affordable outdoor brands, need look no further than Wham-O. The company is responsible for many legendary brand names such as Hula Hoop, Frisbee and Slip ‘N Slide. Among 2019’s offerings are Aqua Force water balloon launchers. Leveraging strength and experience in the plush arena, Re:creation is well-placed to deliver a new and innovative plush brand for 2019. Leading the charge are two internet sensations. Major YouTube property Larva, with over four million followers on YouTube and content streaming on Netflix. The soon-to-launch Jiffpom Cutelife plush collection is based on ‘the world’s most followed dog’ Jiffpom. Other new plush brands include Floofies, cute and collectable pets with rainbow powder-puff tails and giggly, wiggly action, and Doolallie Flappers wearable plush hats with ear-flapping action. These fun animal-themed hats recently scored a hit on CiTV’s Scrambled show. Get creative with Aqua Gelz. This entry lets children design and make their own squishy characters using gels, and see them magically transform when submerged in a unique water solution mixture.


Playing house Casdon 01253 608248

Carriage Suite Retailers can stock the best in roleplay toys for little ones from Casdon. Casdon’s brands such as Little Helpers and Little Cooks combine household names with pretend playthings to bring replica kitchen appliances and roleplay accessories directly to the play room. Building on the success of the partnership with Dyson, September 2018 saw the Dyson Cord-Free Vacuum added to the collection. This cordless vacuum is a direct replica of the life-size Dyson and has been specifically designed to be trueto-life, right down to the last detail. The play model features working suction, spinning beads, realistic sounds and twist and turn action, just like the real thing. The Morphy Richards' Kitchen Set adds to the extensive Morphy Richards product range. The Kitchen Set has a whole host of features that will help little ones create that perfect meal for friends and family including a brightly-coloured kettle, fillable coffee maker, popup toaster plus a range of crockery, cutlery and play food. Bringing traditional arts and crafts into the home is the Wooden Easel. The traditional easel houses a chalkboard surface on one side and a wipe-clean magnetic surface on the other, for no-mess drawing. Everyone likes a proper tea party and the new Tetley Tea Set will appeal to adults as well as kids for its durability and nostalgic charm. This traditional styled set includes a tin teapot, tray, cups, saucers and plates, all housed within its own carry-case for easy portability. A huge social media programme reaching hundreds of thousands of parents is already well established and will continue with a strategic timetable of top influencers’ reviews throughout 2019.


Whizzpopping fun PAUL LAMOND/UNIVERSITY GAMES 020 7254 0100 www.paul–

Upper Marquee As well as firm favourites and best-sellers, many of the new 2019 lines wil be on display. New AW19 lines include the Horrible Histories board game and Dinosaurs Galore. Also featured are new educational games based on three of Roald Dahl’s much-loved characters. Matilda’s Splendid Spelling, Charlie’s Marvellous Maths and The BFG’s Whizzpopping Words.. The hilariously quirky new trivia games ‘Are You Dumber than a Box of Rocks?’ and Tip of the Tongue are sure to catch buyers’ attention along with Paul Lamond's high-quality range of jigsaw puzzles.

Cracking line-up SPIN MASTER

01628 535000

Lower Marquee Spin Master continues to showcase disruptive innovation with exciting new product launches, as well as offering exclusive ‘show only’ offers of up to 25 per cent off on selected lines. Key highlights include the new Monster Jam toy line, Season 5 Hatchimals CollEGGtibles Mermal Magic, and exciting PAW Patrol toys to support the Mighty Pups film launch. New AW lines will also be showcased. As the worldwide toy partner for Monster Jam, Spin Master’s range of Monster Jam trucks incorporate realistic features, authentic design and new technology. Retailers can see the entire line including additions for A/W19. Independent retailers will also be able to experience the new Bakugan toy line firsthand at the show. The enchanted Mermal Magic range, launched this spring, includes new sea shell eggs, more character detailing and a variety of water transformations. Hatchimals fans will experience the magical underwater world with the new line. The new Paw Patrol Mighty Pups film will be backed by exciting launches including Action Pack Pups and Flip N Fly Vehicles. There are promotions on selected key lines in the games offering, the Tech Deck range, and Kinetic Sand.


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01494 538999


Available NOW!


Wheel appeal

Top reasons to visit Wilton Bradley

Wilton Bradley

Members that visit the stand will receive a goody bag

First 25 members to order will get a free Mi-Mic

All members placing an order during the show will be entered into a raffle – first place is a Mercedes electric ride-on; second prize is the Range Rover electric ride-on; third place will win a Xootz Large Wheeled Scooter.

Wilton Bradley will be offering an exclusive 10 per cent discount on show orders with anytime delivery.


Upper Marquee Wilton Bradley will have a great range of products on show at the Toymaster event in May. A range of best-selling electric ride-ons available exclusively from Wilton Bradley will be on show, including the brand-new McLaren P1, Audi TT and the BMW Police Bike. These eye-catching replica ride-ons are a must-see. Wilton Bradley will also be showcasing an array of outdoor toys from their Xootz, Garden Games and Bestway brands. As Toymaster’s chosen inflatable supplier, Bestway looks to further strengthen its position in the market with a host of exciting product releases scheduled throughout this year. The successful Academy of Music and Power Play brands will also be presenting some of their highlight products such as the 54 Keyboard and the 27in Air Hockey table – great year-round gift ideas and perfect for the Q4 season.

Play together GREEN BOARD GAMES 01494538999

Regency Suite GBG has over 40 new products in its Toymaster line-up for 2019; this will include its ever-popular, award-winning pre-school range of Fat Brain Toys. Its pre-school offering is bolstered by the launch of two new, fun, early learning product ranges. The Footsteps range has been specifically designed for kids up to three years of age. Leaps and Bounds is for those aged three years plus. The list goes on to include the exciting launch of its long-awaited Disney and Pixar licensed BrainBoxes and board games – a brand link set to be a win-win partnership. GBG say its attendance at the Toymaster Show provides the company with a fabulous opportunity to showcase its new products, as well as physically play them with prospective purchasers. The company feels that this opportunity is invaluable, as it enables the team to offer face-to-face support for its retailers and provide a proper ‘how to play’ experience for all attendees.


Trolls & dolls SISO TOYS UK 01620 674 778

UPPER MARQUEE Siso Toys UK will be making its debut at the Toymaster show. The company will be showcasing its RC line-up from Toy Story 4. The range includes 1:24 scale RC of key characters from the movie, as well as 1:18 scale RC. Siso has boys action covered with CBBC’s The Deep, which has impressive action figures, vehicles and underwater robot suits at Toy Fair. TV lines will be the various collection of action figures and the popular underwater robots, known as Nekbots. Trollhunters: Tales of Arcadia includes various sets of figures. Boys and kidult collectors, will also love the UK Majorette range of die-cast vehicles and playsets. T The range comprises different themes and sets that collectors will enjoy. Siso will also be showcasing its new Playlife range of vehicles and action figures. Within girls and pre-school, Masha & The Bear is supported with a full 360 marketing plan.


Get ready to Grrrrumball

TOBAR 01603 397 105

Upper Marquee


Carriage Suite Outside the pre-school sector, Alpha Animation will have new innovations from exciting brands including WWE, SpongeBob SquarePants, Grrrrumball, Terrasect, and Massive Monster Mayhem. Toymaster members are invited to join the company on its stand in Harrogate to find out more about the innovative new launches in feature RC and inflatable play to find out how the firm can support them in incorporating the new lines into their product offering.

Ride away with Schleich Schleich

This year’s Toymaster show will see new tech lines from Tobar, such as the full range of Pets Alive and Robo Alive products, including Boppi – the now famous twerking llama – and the Pets Alive Unicorn that offers an amazing 20+ ways to interact. Tobar’s popular collectables ranges will also be on show, including the new Jellyball range, with Fruzoos – a fusion of fruit and jellyball – front and centre. Also proving popular this year for Tobar is the pocket money range, Llamacorns. The range combines two of the most popular creatures of the moment – llamas and unicorns. Toymaster attendees should see the loveable Animigos New Born range – the cutest, lifelike, interactive pets that have fantastic shelf-appeal with their great packaging and price point. Not to be missed is the Angry Birds collection timed for the launch of the new movie this year. New lines include a range of racing and radio control vehicles and Hatch and Race blind bag collectables. With plenty of cracking deals to be had on the Fresh Metal egg range, and deals also on some Tobar radio control ranges, this stand really is a must-see.

01279 870000

Upper Marquee Schleich offers the perfect portfolio of children’s quality figures and playsets for Toymaster stores and will showcase new equine lines for Farm World and Horse Club among others at this year’s show. 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 the same beautiful hand-painted detail that the company is renowned for. Children will race to add the stunning new Rider Cafe to their collection – a 60-piece set that will be available from July. Horse Club will be supported with its first ever TV advertising in Q3/Q4 in the UK. Meanwhile, Farm World introduces younger children to the colourful world of pony agility with a host of new play sets: the new Pony Agility Training Set, the Pony Agility Race Set, the Pony Slalom Set, and the Pony Curtain Set. Particularly practical, the various course and obstacle elements are modular in design and the elements can be combined with each other as desired.

MAY 2019



A sweet treat BANDAI

0208 324 6160

Carriage Suite

Creative construction RAVENSBURGER 01869 363 800

Upper Marquee With so many new, exciting products launching this year, Ravensburger is keen to showcase its complete range. There was a TV campaign for GraviTrax over Easter and new products are launching in July, meaning this is the ideal time to get stocked up. Get in touch with your representative to find out what POS solutions they can offer to help you present this unique and fun range in your store. Ravensburger is supporting GraviTrax with consumertargeted events throughout the year, where fans can get their hands on GraviTrax and build the most spectacular tracks on a large scale. For Brio, the focus remains on Starter Sets and Smart Tech. The Railway Starter Set, Lift & Load Starter Set, combined with the Starter Track Pack, is the ideal way to get started. Add the unique and exciting range of Smart Tech products to create your ideal Brio product range. A fully-integrated marketing plan launches later this year including a highly targeted TV advertising campaign. A wide range of POS, interactive in-store play solutions and play events are available to help drive footfall into your store. To become a ThinkFun Specialist Store, please get in touch with your representative. RushHour, Gravity Maze, Roller Coaster Challenge, Cat Crimes and Escape the Room Games are just a few of the addictively fun game available.

New for 2019 is Foodie Surprise – the new DIY sweet making kit. Foodie Surprise lets kids create real food they can eat and share and also includes collectable characters for added play value. Squishimals are the new super soft, extra cuddly plush for girls aged 4-9. In two sizes, characters include a bunny, fox, mouse and ladybird. Tapping into the unicorn trend, Rainbow Dreams is a soft plush unicorn that lights up with colours of the rainbow and plays magical sounds. Further series of the hugely successful Smooshy Mushy – the squishy, scented surprise collectable brand - launches throughout 2019. Bananas are the latest collectable craze to hit the market – unique and silly characters are hidden inside each piece of tropical fruit. Series 2 launches for SS19 and sees the introduction of Bananas in new colours. Following the release of new ITV series Robozuna, Bandai will follow its S/S19 launch with phase two, including role play and articulated figures. Clunk, the robot in the show comes to life as Mega Clunk. Hero role-play lines include Deluxe Mangle Mask and Mangle’s Flash Welder.

One-stop Moji Pop shop MAGIC BOX TOYS 01403 251286

Upper Marquee Top-selling SuperZings will be launching toy range expansions for A/W19, including the Kazoom Lab: Professor K Vs Engima, plus the Hero Monster Roller Truck. Moji Pops is the extra-expressive collectable that is made up of everyday objects brought to life as unique, fun-loving characters with an array of colourful emotions based on popular emoticons. Following a record launch in March, Moji Pops will be growing as brand with dedicated toy launches.


Quiz master

WINNING MOVES 0207 298 9507

Upper Marquee Top Trumps Quiz is the game with 500 questions that tests players of all ages. Offering instant play and flip-open doors, Top Trumps Quiz can be played anywhere. To play, deal five cards to each player, and ask the first question. Whoever answers correctly keeps the card; if it’s a tie, players move to the next question. The first to three pairs, wins. Top Trumps Quiz now has a Pub Quiz edition. With five categories to choose from and 500 questions to ask, this game offers hours of fun. Cross over into the Wizarding World of Harry Potter Quiz and put your potions' knowledge to the test. Answer questions based on the Harry Potter films, some of which would challenge even the smartest of wizards. Winning Designs now offers a high-quality metal merchandising solution that is the perfect all-in-one house for all your favourite Top Trumps Games. This master FSDU has 36 front facings, stocking a total of 216 Top Trumps packs, and can store a further 225 packs on the back, with pull-out shelves on either side that hold eight Top Trumps Quizzes in total. Use the remaining two shelves to show off your other Top Trump lines. Visit them at Toymaster Show and take advantage of their show offer – five per cent off £500 order and 10 per cent off £1,000 order, one-drop delivery. Terms and conditions apply.

Let kids be kids MATTEL

01628 500000

Harrogate Suite Barbie turned 60 this year and continues to inspire girls to be anything! Travel the world with Barbie Dreamplane with 15 fantastic accessories, while kids can make playtime magic with the Barbie Dreamtopia Princess Doll and Unicorn. Hot Wheels introduces its biggest boosted set; the Hot Wheels Colossal Crash Track Set. For Thomas & Friends, new additions include small push along engines Hong Mei, Troublesome Truck and Rosie, with Henry, Edward and Belle joining the large push along range. Fisher Pricelets kids be kids with the introduction of Linkimals – an interactive range of toys with technology, Smooth Moves Sloth, Musical Moose, Lights and Colours Llama, A to Z Otter and Happy Shapes Hedgehog. Mattel has recently introduced the exciting Disney Pixar Toy Story 4 range across Action Figures and Fisher-Price Imaginext. This Spring, Mattel unveiled the BTS Core Fashion Dolls Assortment, inspired by the global superstar boy band; the dolls' outfits are inspired by the group's Idol music video.

MAY 2019

Retailer’s best friend VIVID IMAGINATIONS 01483 449944

Lower Marquee Leading the way for the company’s licensed offering is Ryan’s World; inspired by the seven-year-old YouTube star. The range includes blind bags, squishies and Mystery Eggs. Boomtrix is the new extreme marble track system consisting of towers, trampolines, stunts and a goal. Encouraging STEM linked learning via educational and fun-packed Science4you kits for children aged 8+ and introductory sets for ages 4+. The company’s award winning Phlat Ball continues to lead the way for Vivid’s outdoor range, along with the Super Wubble – an extension to the inflatable Wubble line. Featuring super soft, slow rise foam, the cute and cuddly Squeezamals collection will see a new sweet-smelling Squeezamals Dessert themed range launching later in 2019. AniMagic’s new collection includes Little Light Ups featuring an adorable sausage dog. Crayola will be welcoming more additions to its Washimals range in AW19. With the Vet Clinic Playset and Beauty Salon Playsets, kids can play with their Washimals pets on the go.


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