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Helping everyone sell more Season 1

2019 mber e t p e S 11 8 No. Vol. 3

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CONTENTS Regular t 2019 Augus No. 11 Vol. 38

Chairman Malcolm Naish


Leader – with Mark Naish


News – the latest toy industry headlines


People News – the latest on who’s moving where


Media News – the multimedia rundown


Licensing News – the latest on licensed products


Movie News – what’s happening on the big screen


Retail News – the latest from the retail landscape

20 Toy Talk – retailers chat to us about Christmas and Brexit 22

Trade Talk – suppliers talk about their plans for the final quarter, Brexit and anticipated top sellers

Mark Naish


What’s New – new products that you need to get your hands on


Step Back in Time – a slice of toy history from the industry’s longest-running magazine



Don’t Miss – unmissable products for buyers and retailers

Managing Director

Georgie Dobie

Media Solutions Manager Simon Davis

Writer Naomi MacKay

Digital Publisher Mirella Anstey


Features 30 Games and Puzzles – the latest from one of the industry’s biggest categories 63

Christmas Campaigns – TnP investigates the top toys on the box in the run-up to Christmas


Time for Bed – TnP explores some of the latest toys, books and playthings helping to establish a bedtime routine

Special Report 9

Rhys Thomas

Kids@Play Coffee Break – TnP catches up with Ben Smith from Kids@Play to find out how the company has achieved its significant growth and what its plans are for the year ahead


Q&A with Ravensburger – TnP speaks with Ravensburger UK about its TV and film character inspired product

Production Director


Retail Interview – TnP speaks to Debra Maloney, Senior Manager at Austins – the largest independent toy shop in the South West

Digital Editor

Paul Naish

Circulation Manager Robert Thomas

20 Retailer Coffee Break – TnP chats with Julia Lowe, owner of online retailer Farm Toys Online about her latest venture, Dinosaur Toys Online 28

Cover Story – Bandai introduces Foodie Surprise food carts as we move towards the festive season

70 TnP Ambassadors Outdoor Special – our tiny testers put some outdoor products to the test

Lema Publishing Ltd


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

At the heart of retail

ABC circulation of 4,768

1 July 2018 to 30 June 2019


Columnists 6

Trends Column - the US Toy Association looks at the digital playthings that are heating up the educational toy category


Media analysis - Generation Media looks at how this year’s series of box office smash hits has influenced cinema advertising spend in the toys and games arena


Retail opinion – John Ryan looks at how retailers can safeguard their profits against some of the factors currently affecting toy retailing: Brexit, the UK’s economy, trade agreements and US tariffs on China


The Independent/Secret Supplier – our dynamic duo reflect on the absence of a top toy craze and the saving grace of this year’s big box office releases, which have inspired a host of licensed toy ranges


Gaining insight – when it comes to Europe, one size does not fit all. Kids Insights reports on how children across the Continent are very different creatures

A member of the Audit Bureau of Circulation

Independently audited



Helping everyone sell more

“In Nuremberg I get the needed momentum for the year ahead. The enormous offer gives inspiration for my product range and shows me where the market is going.” Cynthia Compton 4 Kids Books & Toys

w e n o t n i p A le a s a e d i s s e n bus i The Spirit of Play trends and new products




product range


A member of the Audit Bureau of Circulation

Independently audited ABC circulation of 5,112 1 July 2017 to 30 June 2018


At the heart of retail Also by Lema Publishing

years, the Fence Club team n exciting month to be sure! Mark plays against the HK team at Hasbro buys eOne for a cool Naish the Happy Valley Stadium and for £3.3bn! The deal was the largest those of you that have attended in the toymaker's history, bringing before you know what a nail biter the pre-school hits Peppa Pig and match is and what a terrific night PJ Masks into its portfolio it is too, with the opportunity to alongside hot newcomer enjoy networking and general Ricky Zoom. “The fun. To find out more, contact acquisition of eOne adds David Bramford at Character beloved story-led global Options and, if your company family brands that deliver really wants to go the extra strong operating returns mile, speak to David about to Hasbro’s portfolio and programme sponsorships and provides a pipeline of new other opportunities. It’s a great brand creation driven by night, don’t miss it! family-oriented storytelling, In other news Disney launched the which will now include Hasbro’s Disney+ service at their recent D23 IP,” says Brian Goldner, Expo. The US and select territories get Hasbro chairman and CEO. The bithe service in November, though the “In addition, Hasbro will annual Hong UK has yet to have a release date, but leverage Kong Fence expect it soon. The service — in its first eOne’s Club charity year — will include 25 original series, immersive football match 10 original films and specials, 500 films entertainment will return in and 7,500 episodes of current and past capabilities TV shows, according to Disney, but the to bring our 2020. Kick off big one is the Mandalorian. Based on a portfolio of will be at new character in the Star Wars' universe, brands that 6:30pm on the series is already getting a lot of very have appeal to gamers, fans Tuesday 7th positive buzz and will undoubtedly be a and families to all screens January key entry point for many subscribing to globally and realise full the service. This is obviously big news, franchise economics across our blueprint strategy for shareholders. We but for toy licensing bigger than it appears to be getting credit for. As it becomes increasingly are excited to welcome eOne’s talented challenging to get children's eyeballs, what with employees from around the world into the the myriad of available streaming options Hasbro family.” and YouTube, Disney will be the only Entertainment One’s senior executives licensor with a fully featured streaming will stay on under new ownership, joining platform of its own at this scale. Yes, forces with Hasbro employees to bolster to be fair the BBC does have iPlayer brands from both portfolios. (which is free unless you include the The bi-annual Hong Kong Fence Club licensing fee) and Nickelodeon has charity football match will return in 2020. their app. There will be many children Kick off will be at 6:30pm on Tuesday watching Disney+ when it goes live, 7th January. This is a terrific event raising giving strength to their portfolio of licenses. The money for the many worthy causes that company are pouring considerable resources into the Fence Club supports. As in previous the platform with a lot of new and legacy content to come. We watch this space with interest. I am delighted to announce that Georgie Dobie who has been acting editor on TNP while Mairead has been on maternity leave will be taking over as editor permanently. Mairead will be stayinging with us on sister title Tableware International. Georgie has done a great job to date and will excel moving forward. Talking of Excel - the new location for BLE (in case you’d forgotten), if you haven’t prebooked your entry tickets do so now by going to


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 Hasbro snaps up eOne


Hasbro has bought up Entertainment One (eOne) in an all-cash deal worth $4bn, eight times the amount it paid for Power Rangers last summer. The acquisition is the biggest in the toy maker’s history and brings globally successful pre-school hits Peppa Pig and PJ Masks into its portfolio, alongside hot newcomer Ricky Zoom, which will begin airing on Nickelodeon in the US and other top broadcasters from next month. “The acquisition of eOne adds beloved story-led global family brands that deliver strong operating returns to Hasbro’s portfolio, and provides a pipeline of new brand creation driven by family-oriented storytelling, which will now include Hasbro’s IP,” says Brian Goldner, Hasbro chairman and CEO. The acquisition has been voted through by the boards of both companies but remains subject to regulatory approvals, including those of eOne shareholders. The transaction is expected to complete in the fourth quarter of this year.

The price of the Entertainment One deal.

Rosa Parks boards the Barbie bus American civil rights activist Rosa Parks has been reimagined as a Barbie doll as part of Mattel’s Inspiring Women collection. Aimed at adult collectors, the range pays tribute to women who paved the way for today’s generation of girls, overcoming stereotypes and limits imposed on them because of their gender, to leave a lasting impact.  Considered the Mother of the Freedom Movement, Parks famously disobeyed racist orders to move to the back of the bus and give up her seat to white person. The gesture became an important symbol of the black rights movement in the 50s and 60s and helped set in motion the chain of events that culminated in the abolition of lawful segregation with the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

Alpha mourns its UK General Manager Mark Slater-Hyndman, Alpha Group UK’s General Manager, died at the beginning of the month. Robert He, President Alpha Group, said in a statement: “We have some very sad news to share with all of you. Mark passed away earlier this weekend. “Alpha has lost a passionate and creative manager, and the world has lost an amazing human being. Those of us who have been fortunate enough to know and work with Mark have lost a dear friend and an inspiring colleague. Mark leaves behind a business that only he could have built, and his spirit will forever be the foundation of Alpha Group UK. “No words can adequately express our sadness at Mark’s death or our gratitude for the opportunity to work with him. He was an incredible and unforgettable ambassador for our industry and proud of his association with many charitable causes including the great work of the UK’s Licensing fundraising body, The Light Fund and that of The Toy industry’s charity, The Fence Club, of which he was a dedicated and loyal member. “We will honour his memory by dedicating ourselves to continuing the work he loved so much.’’

TRENDS: DIGITAL PLAY Kristin Morency Goldman looks at the digital playthings that are heating up the educational toy category and inspiring kids for the future Whether it’s learning how to create electrical circuits, exploring the solar system with augmented or virtual reality, experimenting with wearable tech, or building a robot that can react to commands, digital playthings are heating up the educational toy category and inspiring kids for the future. “Innovative tech toys can help to nurture a child’s curiosity and motivate them to explore different interests that could potentially lead them to their future career path,” says Adrienne Appell, Senior Trend Expert for The


Innovative tech toys can help to nurture a child’s curiosity and motivate them to explore different interests that could potentially lead them to their future career path

Adrienne Appell, Senior Trend Expert

US Toy Association. “These toys aren’t just educational – they’re tons of fun, especially when they incorporate exciting features that amplify the play pattern.” “Inspirational & Aspirational” was one of the hottest toy trends of the year announced by The Toy Association at Toy Fair New York in February. The trend includes playthings that teach kids crucial STEM/STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts, and maths) concepts by helping them develop skills and competencies, such as critical thinking and problem-solving, as well as helping to build their confidence through play. To help companies develop and market STEM/STEAM products that enhance

Toy Fair’s Greenhouse sells out Fact!

The Greenhouse Area, which is Toy Fair 2020 well known for supporting new toy will take place companies at Toy Fair, has already at Olympia, sold out for 2020, even after its London, from 21 80sqm enlargement. This space for 23 January 2020. smaller exhibitors is located alongside better-known and older companies, providing better opportunities for networking with the industry’s leading brands and topselling licensors. The success of brands such as Elf on the Shelf, who now no longer need to be in the Greenhouse Area, demonstrates how the area acts as a launch pad. “I love the Greenhouse Area as it showcases new releases and it has a real community feel,’’ says returnee Rachel Lowe, of Rachel Lowe Games and Puzzles.

Fence Club set to kick off Time to dig out the shin pads, tighten your studs and lace up those boots for the return of the bi-annual Hong Kong Fence Club charity football match in 2020. Next year’s match, a highlight in the toy industry calendar, will kick off at 6.30pm on Tuesday 7 January. The game is open to all trade footballers, ex-footballers (‘with a nagging knee injury, just stick me back-left for the first half’), refs and linesmen, so if you’d like to take part, get in touch with Character Options’ very own David Bramford today. As in previous years, the fixture pits The Fence Club team against a select HK team at the Happy Valley Stadium, followed by a meal and presentations. The final ticket price is still to be confirmed, but the event is always a brilliant opportunity for some friendly competition, lots of laughs and, most importantly, fundraising for a worthy cause. So put the date in your diary to avoid late

kids’ learning of these skills, The Toy Association recently published a report that provides guidelines and identifies 14 unifying characteristics of good STEM/ STEAM toys. The report, “STEM/STEAM Formula for Success,” as well as additional resources for toy companies can be found at under the “Research & Data” tab. Examples of digital “Inspirational & Aspirational” toys include: Story Blox (E-Blox): Kids can follow the adventures of Seymour and his robot Robyn as he investigates a mysterious light in the distant ocean horizon. The storybook includes QR codes that create an interactive learning environment using online resources. Models are built in several parts of the story, further enhancing the learning experience.


appointments clashing with a night the entire UK toy contingent looks forward to, and let your colleagues know – the more the merrier. If your company would like to help make the 2020 match extra special by going beyond the normal programme sponsorships, then do speak to David – the team aims to make it the biggest and best event yet. Sources close to the squad have confirmed to Tnp that the Fence Club team have been training extra hard this year, with a strict fitness regime and high-protein diet – so who knows, they might even win this time!

7 January 2020 The date when the Hong Kong bi-annual Fence Club charity football match will kick off.

Albert Einstein figurine (Today is Art Day): Get a closer look at the famous physicist’s world, with this five-inch collectable figure. The figurine comes with a free augmented reality app that allows you to visit Albert Einstein’s Lecture Hall with your phone and click on objects relevant to him. VEX Robotics Build Blitz (Hexbug): Build Blitz has over 800 easy snap-together pieces and can be built into seven different motorized robots without the use of tools. Kids can then use the VEX Pilot App to control the robot through their smartphone. Klutz Maker Lab: Radio Boombox (Klutz): Aspiring audio heads will learn about

Hasbro goes greener Hasbro is upping its green credentials by expanding its recycling programme for toys and games into France and Germany. The scheme, which allows consumers to send old toys and games to recycling company TerraCycle, will also reach Brazil next year. TerraCycle turns the games and toys into materials used to make park benches, flower pots and play spaces. All Hasbro toys and games, including face-to-face games, toys, action figures, dolls, plush, and more, can be recycled. Consumers can box up their toys, print a free shipping label, and send them to TerraCycle. The programme is already running in the US.

Did you know? The scheme will roll out in South America for the first time later this year in Brazil.

the electromagnetic spectrum, wireless communications, and how radio waves become music. Engineer a working FM radio by connecting electronic components, including a magnetic speaker, to a receiver module with a working antenna and buttons for tuning and volume. Put the finished radio and music knowledge to the test with any of the games in the accompanying book. Doodlematic Interactive Mobile Game Creating Starter Kit (Doodlematic): The Doodlematic app turns kid’s hand drawings into interactive video games that they can actually play on an iPhone or iPad. The kit includes washable markers, instructions, reference guides, and a game sketch book.

Interested in discovering next year’s hit toys and games? Come to Toy Fair New York – the largest toy, play, and youth entertainment product marketplace in the Western Hemisphere. Visit to learn more. 7

NEWS Owleez take flight Big Potato cooks up cash Big Potato Games took to crowdfunding platform Kickstarter to release it latest game Muffin Time. It was so popular, it smashed its £10,000 target in just 53 minutes! Muffin Time: The Random Card Game is described as: ‘’a chaotic card game with more twists and turns than you can shake a spork at! Battle your friends, family, and hyper-intelligent pets by drawing and playing from a deck of unique cards that’ll either help you, thwart others, or mix things up for the sheer hell of it!’’ This latest creation from media production company Turbo Punch is expected to reach its fans by March 2020. Thomas Ridgewell, also known as ‘TomSka’ and the founder of Turbo Punch, says: “We played a lot of Big Potato games and had a lot of fun doing it, so we knew they’d be a cool publisher to work with. It’s amazing to hold something in our hands that only existed in our heads a year ago.”


The number of minutes it took for Muffin Time to reach its target of £10k.

Spin Master embraced International Owl Awareness Day as a ‘perch’ for its launch of Owleez. Already included in two major retailer’s Top Christmas Toy lists, Owleez made plenty of noise on Twitter on 4 August, with the help of some of the UK’s top mum influencers who were excited about being first to get their very own baby owl that they could teach to fly!     The Twitter Party invited UK followers to have the chance of winning their very own Owleez, plus a special Owl Adoption certificate so they could ‘own’ a real-life Owl for one year too!  Spin Master was also keen to use the opportunity to raise awareness of the growing plight of owls being bred for domestic captivity. Bird of prey and owl sanctuaries all around the UK have a large number of owls in their care, rescued from unsuitable homes.    Ranjit Dhutti, UK Senior Brand Manager for Owleez says: “Owning an owl as a pet has become extremely popular in recent years but they really need expert care to be able to look after them properly. With Owleez, you can now have all the fun of 4 August is the date owning, caring for and teaching your baby for international Owl owl to fly – leaving real-life owls to live in the Awareness Day. wild where they belong!”

Did you know?

The show will go on The Independent Toy & Gift Show is back this April at Cranmore Park, Solihull, West Midlands. Aimed at the independent retailer, the show offers the chance to discuss bespoke merchandise solutions, independent exclusive offers and gives the opportunity to see new products in time for the main toy season. Free registration is now open at www. – entrance ticket includes free refreshments, lunch and on-site parking.

21-22 April

Dates for the 2020 Independent Toy & Gift show.

Ravensburger hits festival circuit

Epoch returns to Gloworm EPOCH making toys returned to Gloworm Festival this summer, with its Sylvanian Families and craft brand Aquabeads. The family festival is aimed at children aged 13 and under and took place in Nottinghamshire. Sylvanian Families mascots Freya and Ralph appeared each day to meet fans, while dioramas featuring the latest Sylvanian Families products and popular vintage items were on display. Children could also play with the sets. Aquabeads Demo Days gave visitors the chance to make their own bead creations.


The August bank holiday weekend was a scorcher – and turned into a busy few days for the Ravensburger team, which held activities at two of the UK’s biggest family-friendly festivals, Car Fest South and The Big Feastival. The Big Feastival, held on Alex James’ farm in Chipping Norton, attracted around 60,000 visitors, and the Ravensburger team showcased both Brio and GraviTrax, offering children the chance to get hands-on with the products in a country garden themed tent. GraviTrax was also in the spotlight at Car Fest South in Hampshire, making an appearance in Fundamentally Children’s Good Toy Zone tent. Raising funds for children’s charities inclu ding BBC Children In Need, the Car Fest festival, organised by Chris Evans, achieved a footfall of more than 50,000.

COFFEE BREAK TnP spoke with Ben Smith, GM GB & Eire Kids@Play, to find about the company’s growth and its plans for the year ahead

US toy industry welcomes tariff delay The US Toy Association has welcomed the decision by the Trump administration to delay a proposed levy of 10 per cent on toys imported to the US from China. Fears the tariffs would catastrophically injure the toy industry’s vital Christmas trade have been assuaged, with a new date for the tariffs set for 15 December. Steve Pasierb, president and CEO of The Toy Association says the delay “has saved the holiday season for many in the US toy and play community,” and extended thanks on behalf of the trade to Washington officials. But the delay will still impact some quarters of the trade. The United States Trade Representative has put forth the next steps in the process of imposing tariffs on approximately $300 billion of Chinese imports. While toys imported from China will not be subject to tariffs until 15 December, other children’s products, such as toy jewellery, are exposed to the 10 per cent tariff increase. The Toy Association will continue to aggressively advocate against tariffs on toys on Capitol Hill and to key members of the administration. The Association is also an active member and leader of the Americans for Free Trade coalition, and will also maintain its education campaign about the impacts of tariffs, including its digital resource,

Boppi goes viral Zuru teamed up with entertainment giant LADbible and saw its Pets Alive star, Boppi: The Booty Shakin Llama, go viral. As part of a branded content Facebook campaign, Boppi’s twerking routines reached one million views over a 48-hour period and achieved over five million impressions following its go-live date on 14 August. The combination of Boppi UGC and a mix of new and stock bootyshaking sequences across LADbible’s Facebook channel created a wide-reaching global campaign. ‘The collaboration with LADbible allowed us to reach and engage with an adult audience within one of the world’s most creative social publishers and global communities,’’ says Erika Sava, Senior Marketing Manager, Zuru Toys. Due to Boppi’s success, Zuru is launching a Rainbow Boppi for Q1 2020. The new Rainbow version will include new songs and dance moves – but promises to retain the famous booty shakin’ twerk.

Fact! Boppi’s twerking routines reached one million views over a 48-hour period. SEPTEMBER 2019

In April you announced the company had seen YoY growth of 40 per cent. To what do you attribute this success? Our growth comes from a simple philosophy of finding great products that consumers want and then working to match these to enthusiastic retailers! In recent months, we’ve taken opportunities to present our message to retailers and press. We have annualised some mega shipment weeks from 2018 already and our forecasts continue to show manageable growth for 2019. With a small team., how do you achieve such strong results? Our team is experienced across sales, marketing and operations so we work through highly effective communication between the critical success points. Kids@Play is a house of brands. Tell us about your range of licensed products. We work with some great manufacturing partners to develop a range of products connected to classic brands that are not a “flash in the pan”. This helps to provide stability with our retail partners in the products they select from Kids@Play. There will be some exciting new brands added in AW19 and into SS20, one of which is WWE. Your portfolio spans multiple categories. How do you ensure you’re offering the best in the categories you support? Quality is important to us, not just with the products we offer but also among the manufacturing and brand partners we work with. FALK as an example are a fantastic company to work with, as a family business they put their reputation into every product and have some exciting developments coming through. How do you build those all-important relationships with suppliers and retailers? Honesty is key for our business. We can’t afford to allow our suppliers and retailers any doubt about the service we will offer to both. Tell us more about Kids@Play’s investment into establishing the company’s brand identity this year. With the change of management, it was vital to send out a statement to all contact points to the business, focusing on our great new range and why people should work with us. Our newly launched website is critical within this to showcase our products. 9


NEWS Decker pedals in to Wilton Bradley

Wilton Bradley has appointed Scott Decker as its new Toy Buyer. Scott is well known in the cycle trade and has more than seven years’ experience. He has spent the past four years as Own Brand Product Manager/Buyer at Evans Cycles. Scott Eden, Product Director at Wilton Bradley, adds: “Scott is key to the growth of our key brands including Xootz.”

Taylor spins into new role Sara Taylor has been promoted to General Manager, UK at Spin Master. Sara has been with the company for more than 11 years and has been instrumental in its global growth.   She made a huge impact on the International Third Party Business for many years, preparing several European markets and Russia for transition to affiliate status.  In November 2016 she moved into the role of VP/Head of Sales, UK, where she has provided exemplary leadership, commercial direction and talent development to this team.  The sales team will continue to report to Sara as will Phil Hooper, Commercial Director Marketing, UK. Sara will report directly to Hedley Barnes in his recentlyannounced new role as General Manager, Europe and Russia.

Reg is a charity man Alpha Group UK’s Reg Sookee cycled his way to glory in a time of five hours and 57 minutes as he completed 100 miles, raising well over £1,200 for Shooting Star Children’s Hospice. After five years of applying, Reg finally had his breakthrough and was accepted to ride as part of Prudential’s Ride100 competition, a daring circuit filled with twists and turns, long straights, and dreaded hills around the beautiful sights of London and the stunning Surrey countryside. Following a visit to one of Shooting Star Children’s Hospice’s hospice days earlier this year, Reg was struck by the help and support that they provide young people and families, as they go through life-changing situations and battle lifePlease visit Reg Sookee’s Just Giving page at limiting conditions.

Want to donate?

Monster role for Gill

Howgate signs up to The Insights People Tom Howgate has joined The Insights People as Director of Licensing & Sport. Howgate, a former Manchester United and Nike licensing professional, says: “Independent, live market insights, at your fingertips, mixed with intelligence insight is such a powerful combination. I only wish I’d had access to this level of information earlier in my career. “I want to play a part in spreading the word, and sharing these insights with the industries I know the best, specifically licensing and sports. I think the potential is enormous.”


Neale joins Posh Paws Posh Paws International has welcomed Lee-Anne Neale to its sales team as Sales Manager. She brings a wealth of knowledge to the role with more than 20 years’ experience in the toy, gift and nursery trades, at companies including Moose Toys, KD Group and Re:creation.

US toy firm PlayMonster has brought Richard Gill on board to lead the growth and development of its overseas business. As Vice President International, Richard brings 30 years’ experience to managing markets outside of the US, Canada and UK. Interplay will continue to be run as a separate subsidiary, managed by UK MD Adrian Whyles. Richard has spent the past 20 years as Co-Owner and Manager of McGill Assocs, an international sales and marketing consultancy. For the last seven-plus years, he has consulted and worked with PlayMonster to expand its games into 50 countries outside of the US and Canada. 11



A whole new world for Disney?

Netflix Newsflash Director Kevin Smith has joined forces with Mattel to bring a new anime series – Masters of the Universe: Revelation – to Netflix next year, although a 2021 date has also been mooted. The series has been described as ‘“a wholly original story set in the epic world of Mattel’s over 35-year-old global He-Man toy franchise.” There’s more good news for He-Man fans as a Masters of the Universe movie is also in the pipeline, with Noah Centineo (To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before) lined up for the starring role.

Disney has brought in former BBC iPlayer boss Luke Bradley-Jones to manage the new service Disney Plus. Bradley Jones is the man behind Sky’s on-demand service. Disney Plus is due to launch in Europe and Africa in early 2020, but is set to be trialled in the US from this November. Disney has been concentrating on keeping the cost of the service down, offering a People in the US will be number of different price able to access Disney points. The basic package will Plus for as little as $7 cost almost half as much as a (£5.74) a month Netflix subscription.



The movie, He-Man and the Masters of the Universe, is set to be released on March 5 2021.

Mattel goes mobile Mattel is bringing Hot Wheels to mobile devices with Hot Wheels Infinite Loop, the first Mattel-published free-to-play game for the toy car franchise. The game challenges players to compete in real-time against other racers from around the world to earn upgrades and collect the Hot Wheels cars, including the Bone Shaker, Twin Mill, Rodger Dodger and more. Hot Wheel Infinite Loop was unveiled during Gamescom, Europe’s biggest event for gaming, held in Cologne, Germany.

Fact! Hot Wheel Infinite Loop is available on the App Store for iPad and iPhone, and Google Play for Android devices.

Duggee heads to museum BBC Studios has teamed up with the Design Museum to celebrate the creativity behind CBeebies’ award-winning series Hey Duggee. Designing Hey Duggee runs from 25-28 October and offers the chance to dive into the colourful world of Hey Duggee from never-before-seen early sketches to an exclusive look inside the design, animation and production process of the series creator, Studio AKA and its Creative Director, Grant Orchard.

25-28 October Hey Duggee exhibition runs at the Design Museum, London

Cool cat Stock heads up WarnerMedia Giorgio Stock has taken up the role of President of WarnerMedia Entertainment Networks, Distribution and Advertising Sales, EMEA and APAC. Stoke will be responsible for supporting all entertainment networks, distribution of all networks, advertising sales and the kids networks operations in Europe, Middle East, Africa and the Asia Pacific region.

Garfield, the lazy, lasagne-loving cat, is set to join the Nickelodeon family. In the next few weeks, a deal should be closed that will allow Nickelodeon’s parent company Viacom to own the rights to Garfield content, consumer products and location – based experiences. There are plans to develop a new animated series in a bid to introduce Garfield to a whole new generation.

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Fact! Baby Shark Gelli Baff comes in two colours – Princess Pink and Lagoon Blue.

Gelli Baff swims with sharks! Zimpli Kids has dived in with the new ‘Baby Shark’ Gelli Baff. Available in two colours ‘Princess Pink’ and ‘Lagoon Blue’, it includes one of 10 3D stickers, which float and stick to flat surfaces when wet!

Not only is Baby Shark super fun it also makes the promise of being skin safe, stain free, easy clean and drain safe. Sing along now… ‘Baby Shark, doo doo doo doo doo doo’.

Amscan peps up Peppa portfolio Amscan International is adding Peppa Pig party goods to its portfolio alongside its existing range of Peppa and George dressup and balloons. The addition comes in the year of Peppa Pig’s 15th anniversary. Available to pre-order now, Amscan’s first new ensemble will be ready to ship from August 2019. The colourful range of Peppa Pig-themed party goods incorporates plates, cups, napkins, table covers, decorations, party bags and favours. This new range matches Amscan’s existing Peppa Pig foil and latex balloons, which continue to be a top-selling licensed franchise for the manufacturer year on year. A broad offering of balloon formats are already available, including Air-filled Mini Balloons, SuperShapes, Balloon Bouquets and an 1.2m AirWalker. Amscan’s new Peppa Pig and George costumes are also available to order now for Q4 2019 delivery, featuring three different styles: Peppa’s everyday dress (complete with bear accessory), a Peppa party dress and a George cape.

Abominable added to Rainbow family A new plush character range based on the upcoming DreamWorks Animation and Pearl Studio film Abominable will be joining the Rainbow Designs family this autumn. Abominable – out in the UK on 11 October – is a breathtaking adventure about a teenage girl named Yi who encounters a young Yeti, whom she names Everest, on the roof of her apartment building.


Be king of the castle

Fact! The Downton Abbey film plot revolves around a royal visit from King George V and Queen Mary.

To coincide with the September release of the film, Downton Abbey, Wrebbit 3D is launching an 890-piece puzzle featuring Highclere Castle. Puzzlers and fans of the wildly successful period drama series will now be able to relive the Downton Abbey experience one delightful piece at a time by building the famous castle in their own home. Available in the UK from Coiledspring Games, Wrebbit 3D puzzles are the sturdiest on the market.

Who ya gonna call? Hasbro has been named master toy licensee for Ghostbusters Worldwide. The new partnership between Sony and Hasbro will see the toy company produce Ghostbusters toys ahead of the new movie, which will be Ghostbusters 3 arriving in the US next is scheduled summer. Hasbro will for a July 2020 create a variety of toys release in the inspired by the franchise US. At the time and its entertainment of writing, it properties that will has not yet appeal to both fans of been revealed the original franchise, when the film and a new generation will hit UK of Ghostbusters around cinemas. the world. Tom Warner, Senior Vice President at Hasbro, says: “Ghostbusters is an iconic and beloved franchise and we are excited and honoured to return to the brand as the global master toy licensee and bring new product to the next generation of fans.”

Did you know?


She’s back!



Did you know?

Fowl deeds Tweens and teens will be looking forward to the release of Disney’s Artemis Fowl. But they might have to wait a bit longer than expected. Due for release last May, it’s now not set to hit the big screen until May 2020. Based on the bestselling book series from Eoin Colfer, it’s a sci-fi/fantasy adventure that follows the goings-on of 12-year-old genius Artemis Fowl, who comes from a long line of criminal masterminds. The film tells Fowl’s story, as he discovers a race of fairies living under the Earth’s surface – and exploits them for his own gain.

Artemis Fowl is directed by Kenneth Branagh and the cast includes Dame Judi Dench.

22 November Release date f or Frozen 2.

Did you know? Michelle Pfeiffer plays Queen Ingrith, while Robert Lindsay (My Family, Citizen Smith) plays her husband King John.

Just in time for Hallowe’en, the Mistress of Evil will appear in UK cinemas. Sequel to the original 2014 film, Maleficent: Mistress of Evil is out on October 2019, a full seven months earlier than its original release date. Angelina Jolie reprises her role as Maleficent, Sleeping Beauty’s evil godmother.

Snow business Lending itself to the cutest of plush toys is the star of upcoming animated movie, Abominable, due for release on 11 October. Meet Everest, a Yeti trying to find his way home from the city of Shanghai. He meets teenager Yi, who with friends Jin and Peng endeavours to help the magical creature get back to his family on the highest mountain in the world.

Bringing the screen world to life TnP talks to Katy Fletcher, Head of Marketing and Product Development, Ravensburger UK, about its TV and film character-inspired product Why do you think character-inspired toys and playthings remain popular? Children can forge very intense relationships with characters they see on screen. This is often driven by the fact that the most popular characters for younger children are child-like themselves. Children can identify easily with them as they too explore the world and make the occasional mistake or discovery! Toys and playthings offer them the chance to invite that character inside their own world. They’re

Look out for… Disney Frozen 2 games and puzzles from Ravensburger. 14

no longer limited to just watching on screen, their favourite character can now come along with them wherever they go. Or of course they can actually play at being the star of their favourite show with role-play items. For parents it’s a relatively straightforward equation – they know these characters bring joy to their children and so enabling them to enjoy that friendship away from the screen is going to appeal on many levels. How can these toys benefit children? Many of these toys offer a great way for children to explore their imaginations and develop social skills. The toys give them the opportunity to recreate scenes and

exchanges from their favourite shows in their own way, as well as imagining new adventures. Putting themselves in someone else’s shoes is an important part of learning through play, and character toys have a big part to play here. Are there any trends in this category? Licensed puzzles and games are benefiting in exactly the same way as non-licensed as they offer a great focus for time with family and friends spent away from screens.



Lights, camera, licensing!



Box Office Takings


Avengers: End Game



Toy Story 4



The Lion King



Captain Marvel






Spider-Man: Far From Home









How to Train Your Dragon



Mary Poppins Returns


(Box Office as of 20 August. Source: Pearl & Dean, August 2019) Coming in hot on its heels, The Lion King, which was released a month later, is looking as though it might eventually overtake Toy Story 4 to rank as 2019’s second largest film to date. With a £70m box office target to hit, admissions are showing no signs of slowing down. The previous week (at the time of writing) brought in just shy of £5m. In its opening weekend, Lion King surpassed TS4, taking £16.7m at box office, as both children and adults rushed to the cinema to hear Beyonce’s roar. Typically, with box office hits, there is a 50 per cent drop off in admissions after the first week of release. However, a trend which is commonly seen across family films is the consistent level of admissions we see week on week. This is no

surprise considering 92 per cent of families have said they are cinema-goers – a 23 per cent increase over the past decade (Pearl & Dean, 2019). Taking this into account, it is easy to see why toy advertising revenue in cinemas is increasing, with the main expected spenders such as LEGO, Mattel and Hasbro all investing year-on-year. In the cinema, share of voice – a measure of brand visibility and how much your company dominates the conversation in your industry – is much higher for toy brands, when compared with all other advertising in Q4 of 2017; toy brands deployed three times as many campaigns Cinema as non-toy advertising advertising (DCM Campaign management, 2018). allows brands Cinema investments for to boost Q4 in 2019 are only set to grow for toy advertisers; their AV those wishing to reach engagement pre-teen girls will be allset for the long-awaited and coverage, release of Frozen 2. while ensuring Estimated to take £45m at UK Box Office this brands reach November, Elsa and Anna their intended are sure to bring girls of all ages back to the big audiences screen to soak up the latest adventures of Olaf and the gang! While TV allows advertisers to drive high levels of coverage for products, the introduction of cinema advertising allows brands to boost their AV (audio visual) engagement and coverage, while ensuring brands reach their intended audience. DCM’s & Kantar’s Milward Brown study reveals that adding cinema to the mix makes TV campaigns more effective, with campaigns deploying only TV and cinema activity being the most effective. Furthermore, Benchmarketing Results Vault (2011-2016 data, based on 19 UK Cases) shows that toys, games and console brands see an average return on investment of £6.24 on every £1 spent on cinema advertising. For more regular updates on the performance of the latest set of releases or if you would like to find out more about how we can help you split your media investment by channel, please get in touch!

Kate Moncur of Generation Media looks at how this year’s series of box office smash hits has influenced cinema advertising spend in the toys and games arena


019 has raised the stakes on last year as the real ‘Year of The Family Film’. As we begin the second half of the year, it will be no surprise to anyone that this year’s current top 10 films are dominated by those targeted at family viewing. This year has seen a quick succession of hit after hit, with Walt Disney Studios making up almost 43 per cent of the top 10 at box office. Let’s start with Toy Story 4 – a film that has enjoyed great success at box office. Of course, this should be no surprise, given its wide audience appeal, pulling in cinema-goers aged anywhere from six to 60 or more. Before its release, experts estimated that it would bring in £65m at the box office and it’s well on its way to meeting that figure. In its opening weekend alone, the film took £13.2m. By comparison, in 2010, Toy Story 3 took in just £11.5m across its opening weekend.

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.



Hawkin’s Bazaar goes on the market Tobar has put its retail business Hawkin’s Bazaar on the market. Currently operated alongside wholesale businesses within the Tobar International group, the store portfolio, pop-ups and online platform have now been brought to the market as Tobar looks to withdraw from direct retailing to focus on the wholesale sector. David Mordecai, CEO of Tobar International, explains: “Hawkin’s Bazaar is a very strong retail brand with tremendous heritage both on the high street and online. There is a great opportunity to take the business to the next level through development of the omni-channel approach.”


Hawkin’s Bazaar began as a mail order sales business in the 1970s, and has grown to include an online retail platform and 23 stores.

Debenhams bags new CEO Stefaan Vansteenkiste has been appointed as the department store’s new CEO. Vansteenkiste joined in April as Chief Restructuring Officer and has been working closely with the executive team on a new business plan aimed at turning around the company’s fortunes. Terry Duddy, Chairman of Debenhams Group, has been working with Stefaan on the handover, and will step down this month.

More garden centres join Toymaster Four branches of British Garden Centres have joined the Toymaster buying group. The chain joins a growing number of garden centres that are teaming with Toymaster to diversify their product offering and increase their appeal to families as a shopping destination. The garden centre group has 16 locations across the country. The

new Toymaster destinations are: Bressingham Garden Centre in Norfolk, Wolseley Bridge Garden Centre in Staffordshire, and Albrighton Garden Centre and Bridgnorth Garden Centres, both in Wolverhampton. Other new recruits include recent member, The Leisure Centre in Ireland’s Co. Clare, and Starlings Toy Outlet in Spalding, Lincs.

A quarter of British Garden Centres’ 16 branches have joined the toy buying group.

Playmobil supports Poundland takes aim indies Did you know? at toy brands Playmobil’s sponsorship Banba Toymaster campaign continues to in Dublin, named support independent Independent retailers with a recent Retailer of the campaign with a Northern Year at the 2019 Ireland store. Three large Playmobil: The Toy Retailers Movie banners have gone up Association, is outside Crumtons Toy Shop celebrating its in Bangor, Northern Ireland. 75th anniversary The banners promote the this year. range of nine playsets based on the film, which consumers can buy in-store.  The move follows a similar partnership with Banba Toymaster in Dublin, promoting Playmobil: The Movie. 16

Poundland has brought out its own range of kids’ toys to take on the well-known brands. The new range includes building blocks, foam dart guns and die-cast cars, all compatible with leading brands. According to the discount retailer, the prices are 95 per cent lower than the big toy brands. For example, Poundland’s Brix Play comes with a £1 price tag, as do its packs of two Urban Blazerz die-cast cars, which have been designed to fit all kinds of model car tracks. Poundland is also offering cheap alternatives to Play-Doh and My Little Pony. The new toy range is available now.

Give a toy a (new) home The Entertainer has teamed up with the Salvation Army again to launch the Big Toy Rehoming. The scheme aims to reduce plastic waste by prolonging the life of toys, and give disadvantaged children the chance to play. The retailer is asking the public to bring their unwanted toys into stores between the 5 and 28 September, and they will then be rehomed via The Salvation Army.

Amazon UK reveals top toy Amazon UK has revealed what it expects to be the biggest toy this Christmas. A team of in-house experts examined the trends and habits of shoppers to narrow down the choices. Interactive toys such as Spin Master ’s Owleez are high on the list, along with MGA’s L.O.L. Surprise! collectables and Skyrocket UK’s new Blume dolls headlining kids’ continued love for all things unboxing. More traditional items, such as classic board games with a modern twist – think John Adams’ Bank Attack Game – are also expected to do well, and for pre-schoolers it’s sensory play, best represented by Fisher-Price’s recently-launched Linkimals range. Licences such as Harry

Potter are also expected to attract high sales. Amazon has said its list could change later this year as new toys hit the market.

Amazon’s trending picks for Christmas 2019

Wyevale sells off second site Wyevale Garden Centres is selling its John Browns Garden Centre to Hillier Garden Centres. This is Wyevale’s second transaction The sale of with Hillier Garden Centres and follows the John Browns Garden sale of four centres in April. Centre is The sale of the garden centre, expected to which sits on the edge of the complete by New Forest, will see the Hillier the end of family business expand to 17 garden centres across the South September. of England. Wyevale’s leasehold centre, Thatcham Garden Centre is also set to close by the end of September.


Bank Attack Game – John Adams Blume Doll – Skyrocket Boppi The Booty Shakin’ Llama – Zuru, dist. Tobar Harry Potter Dobble – Asmodee Juno My Baby Elephant – Spin Master Linkimals Smooth Moves Sloth – Mattel L.O.L. Surprise! O.M.G. Doll – MGA Owleez – Spin Master Pictionary Air – Mattel Treasure X Aliens Single Pack – Character Options

Aldi adds to HQ Aldi will bring 850 new jobs to Warwickshire with an extension to its head office and warehouse. Aldi will expand its Atherstone headquarters with 87,000sq ft of new office space along with more than 120,000sq ft of new warehouse space. The changes will include a new multi-story car park with 596 spaces. Two new office blocks and a new warehouse space will be created in the first phase– creating 375 office jobs and 50 warehouse jobs. The second phase will see two further office buildings, and 440 jobs being created. The work should be Development includes a new car park, complete within five years. an 87,000sq ft office expansion and


120,000sq ft new warehouse space. SEPTEMBER 2019

Smyths goes for gold

Did you know? This is the first time Schleich has created a giant gold promotional figure.

Shoppers should be prepared to be dazzled by a giant golden Schleich T-Rex! The giant creature will be stomping into Smyths Toys Superstores across the UK. Upgrading from the usual giant T-Rex that has appeared at many shop openings in the past few years, this new shiny version will hit UK shops this autumn. When the golden gaint appears at a Smyths superstore, shoppers will have the chance to win prizes, including limited edition Schleich Golden T-Rex toy figures, which are exclusive to Smyths.



The cream of Devon Austins, a department store in Newton Abbott, is the largest independent toy shop in the South West. TnP spoke to Debra Maloney, Senior Manager, who has worked at the store for the past 40 years Being a part of Tell us a little about Austins Play-Room is important and its history. to help us compete in a Austins was established in 1924. We’ve grown from a small challenging market

haberdashery and drapery shop into a department store spanning several local buildings of real character and ambience, including a ladies’ fashion store, menswear store, toy store, home store and furniture store.

We are in the process of relaunching our website so it’s currently a work in progress. We are looking to expand sales and we see it as an important part of the future as 40 per cent of toys are bought online.

How big a part of the business is the toy store? We are the largest independent toy store in the South West and it is an integral part of the business, producing a 10th of the turnover.

What sort of events do you run in your toy store? We run Play days; Hama Bead make & take; balloon modelling; mascot days; and games days.

Austins is a member of AIS, the Association of Independent Stores. How does your membership benefit the store and your buying? There are discounts negotiated for us as a group; being a part of Play-Room is important to help us compete in a challenging market.


How long have you sold toys online? How important is your online toy offering to the business?


The year Austins was established as a small haberdashery and drapery shop.

Austins is located in a beautiful part of the country – does your toy store stock certain kinds of toys for holiday makers or people buying gifts to take home for grandchildren? Devon is a lovely county but, with many nearby resort towns on the coast and the attraction of the moors, we don’t see a massive seasonal uplift in visitors. That being said, we cater for all budgets and the latest trends.

Is there a difference between what is popular online and in the store? It’s early days for us with the recent launch of our new website but I would expect the bestsellers to be consistent across both channels.

How have toy sales been for you so far this year? It has been a challenging year so far with sales 11 per cent down on last year. We are putting on a lot of activities for half term, through to Christmas.

Which toy categories have really performed well for you? Traditional ranges such as

Orchard Toys, TOPModel, Top Trumps and Schleich have been performing well. Educational toys and toys that stimulate the imagination are also very popular.

What are your top three toys? And are there any suppliers whose product is particularly popular? The L.O.L. Dolls range from MGA, Squishmallows from Innovation First, and Dobble, as well as its variations, from Asmodee.

Have there been some toys that have been more popular than anticipated? We’ve noticed this year that

Top Trumps have certainly seen a revival in sales.

Is it important to have a variety of price points on offer?

We’ve noticed this year that Top Trumps have certainly seen a revival in sales

Yes, from pocket money to high-price LEGO sets. It’s important for us to cover all budgets for all occasions.

How are you feeling about Christmas, and what do you expect to be the big sellers this Christmas? We believe it will be a challenging Christmas, but hopefully with Brexit issues on the way to being resolved some of the uncertainty will be lifted. We anticipate the following to be popular for Christmas: Fur Real Cubbybear, Real Walking Buzz Lightyear, LEGO: Harry Potter, L.O.L. Dolls, Peppa Pig, and Boppi the Booty Shakin' Llama.

Austins tipped top sellers for Xmas •

• Fur Real Cubbybear Real Walking Buzz Lightyear • LEGO: Harry Potter • L.O.L. Dolls • Peppa Pig • Boppi the Booty Shakin' Llama

Is there one game that you think will be a big hit this Christmas? Pictionary Air is predicted to perform well over the Christmas period.





Talking retail

TnP loves to hear your views . This month we chat to retail ers about Christmas – and Brexit !

Dafyd Bowen

Wendy Hamilton

Manager, Rules of Play, Cardiff

Grasshopper toys is an online toy retailer with a sister site, Curious Minds, which specialises in science-based toys and equipment With the prospect of a no-deal Brexit on the horizon in October, what actions are you taking to prepare your business? We’re not taking any action at all. Not through negligence, but through having a conviction that companies will continue to trade as they have done for millennia. We stock LEGO and Playmobil, both of which come from Europe, and neither company appears to be panicking – nor are we.

We stock LEGO and Playmobil, both of which come from Europe, and neither company appears to be panicking – nor are we

What concerns you most about the prospect? I don’t have any concerns about Brexit in relation to my business. There may be some disruption initially but I don’t anticipate anything serious long term and everyone will be in the same position – we will find a way through. The biggest disruption to business has been the shenanigans of our politicians; their appalling display of leadership has made the country anxious, we’re all suffering Brexit fatigue. It reminds me of the non-event of Y2K.

Are you seeing any change in buying habits? Not really. Business is strong for us again this year. How are you feeling about Christmas sales? Optimistic! We’re a family who loves the sparkle and excitement of Christmas – having a toy shop only adds to the magic. From a business perspective, we're excited by Christmas and preparing to be shattered! Santa Claus is a very demanding boss! What do you think will be Q4's big sellers? The usual: LEGO, Playmobil, Games Workshop, Melissa & Doug. We tend to be on the traditional side of the toy market so it will be lots of wooden forts and dolls houses.

A boardgame specialist founded 10 years ago. With the prospect of a no-deal Brexit on the horizon in October, what actions are you taking to prepare your business? The effect was immediate after the referendum in 2016. When I check deliveries I see the prices have already gone up. A £40 game is now £50. And if I had to stock only games made in the UK I would be opening up a burger store! And even then everyone gets their plastics from China. Brexit will be a bad thing – just judging by myself – if 40 per cent of your income goes on the things you need – food, electric etc – it will be the things you don’t actually need, including board games, that will suffer.

Dan Lovett Manager, The Toy Box. Beccles, Suffolk With the prospect of a no-deal Brexit on the horizon in October, what actions are you taking to prepare your business? As far as I’m aware we aren’t taking any actions ready for October 31. The boss hasn’t said anything, but I might do a Brexit window display for a laugh (trick or treat!). We are concerned, however, about stock and supply, but I think the suppliers have been preparing for this for some time now. I haven’t seen any change in habits. I think we will just have to wait and see what happens. I think it’s going to be a bit like New Year's Eve 1999, when the next day your computer just carried on working.

I might do a Brexit window display for a laugh (trick or treat!)

How are you feeling about Christmas sales? This Christmas is a hard one to predict, I would like to say I’m optimistic for a good one. But it’s a case of getting your customers to part with their cash when they have been struggling to spend it all year. And getting the right products this year will be hard.

Owner, Grasshopper Toys


Want to appear in Toy Talk? Drop us a line at Naomi@ and we’ll get back to you…

Big sellers for this year? Well I would say for us, for pre-school it’s Paw Patrol, for boys, LEGO/ Playmobil and for girls, anything collectable – TY, L.O.L. and TOPModel.

COFFEE BREAK Directors, Laura Clare & Samantha Clare Toys Plus, Blackpool With the prospect of a no-deal Brexit on the horizon, what actions are you taking to prepare your business? As a UK-based business that sells online within the European and global market, we're preparing for all possible no-deal scenarios, by familiarising ourselves with the terms within the World Trade Union Organisation and maintaining close communications with our delivery providers.

Julia Lowe owns online retailer Farm Toys Online. We talk to her about her latest venture, Dinosaur Toys Online

What concerns you most about the prospect? There is a possibility that border checks on goods will increase and be more regimented, which would make it more difficult to trade, compared with trade in the EU single market. This could create border disruption and affect deliveries. However, we always remain optimistic. We've not seen any significant increase or decrease in EU or global sales. So far our customers appear to be unfazed by the prospect of a no-deal Brexit. How are you feeling about Christmas sales? Optimistic? We're feeling extremely excited about Christmas sales. Many of our customers have already started their Christmas shopping and we're looking forward to plenty of new toys that are due to be released soon. We believe MGA's L.O.L. Surprise toys will remain a top seller for Christmas. We predict other big sellers will be: LEGO, Toy Story 4 by Hasbro/Mattel, Poopsie Surprise by MGA and Frozen 2 by Hasbro due to the November release. We suspect the new must-have family board game for Christmas will be Character's What’s in the Box? Challenge.

Jonathan Amphlett Owner, Toytastik, Chepstow, Wales With the prospect of a no-deal Brexit on the horizon, what actions are you taking to prepare your business? As a small, family-run/independent high street business, it's difficult with the ongoing cashflow pressures, and added concerns in the decline of the high street to invest in stockpiling goods. Our small yet agile business structure allows us to make decisions and take actions quickly. We're able to buy little and often, enabling us to keep the shop fresh and engage our regular customers. We've also made a conscious effort to work closely with British manufacturers/suppliers. What concerns you most about the prospect (business-related)? With the so-called ‘powers that be’ not knowing or being clear on the actual impact of a no-deal Brexit, it’s difficult to quantify what I should be worried about. The primary fear I have is that if there’s an increase on tariffs for our toys coming in from Europe, will I be able to pass them on to our customers? If the bigger retailers on the internet and high street decide to squeeze If the bigger their margins, the playing field could all of a retailers on sudden become very unlevel!

What do you think will be Q4's big sellers? If I had to guess it would be games! This prediction is based upon the fact we have seen a staggering increase in board game and IQ puzzle games over the past 18 months.


Are you seeing any change in buying habits? I do feel that a lot of our customers are becoming increasingly more cost-conscious. However, this is counterbalanced by an increase in demand for quality sustainable products.

the internet and high street decide to squeeze their margins, the playing field could all of a sudden become very unlevel!

What first sparked the idea for an online shop specialising in dinosaur products and toys? The idea came about during a meeting with my Head of Marketing, Kelly-Anne. We were discussing her son’s obsession with dinosaurs, which took us on to the possibility of tapping into other niches as a way of scaling the business. After researching the idea, we found there was a good opportunity for a business like ours to fulfill a meaningful niche in the dinosaur space. I’m passionate about selling toys that combine imaginative play with education. Like farming, dinosaurs hold a special fascination for children and offer a great educational experience, which make them a great fit for us. What does your site provide that isn’t offered by anyone else – or what does it do better? It’s early days, but once we're fully established, our intention is to offer the very best selection of dinosaur toys on the market, drawing in gifters for little dinosaur enthusiasts across the UK. That’s the key benefit of shopping with a speciality shop like Dinosaur Toys Online or Farm Toys Online – the focus on a single category.  Do you think there has been an increase in interest for dinosaurs thanks to the latest Jurassic Park film? Or are there any other influences? I don’t think the obsession with dinosaurs is any more common today than it was 10 years ago. Dinosaur films are usually a hit because most children are in awe of dinosaurs – I can think of The Land Before Time, The Good Dinosaur and Jurassic Park to name a few. Having said that, shops everywhere do seem flooded with Jurassic World toys and merchandise, it’s Frozen all over again!  Schleich figures are a big focus of the site – what do you like about them? I love the quality. Schleich dinosaurs are superbly modelled and realistic. They're well made, timeless toys that can be handed down from generation to generation. It’s early days for the new site – are there more plans in the pipeline? For the moment we shall be keeping it simple; testing what works and what doesn’t. But I’ll keep you posted! What’s your cuppa of choice? Strong black coffee, with full caffeine!




Trade talk

TnP would love to hear your views. Next month we’ll be asking suppliers how business has been for them so far this year. For your chance to feature in next month’s Trade Talk, email

This month, it’s all about forward thinking. TnP reports on the industry’s key contenders on their plans for the final quarter, Brexit and anticipated top sellers ROGER MARTIN Managing Director, Coiledspring Games What are you doing to plan for the all-important final quarter? Our Autumn Supplement highlights our new releases for the final quarter, and we’ve got a fantastic team in place to help talk retailers through it. Product-specific promotions and innovative marketing initiatives are in place to help the products stand out. What do you anticipate will be your top selling toy/game this Christmas? The Mind will be our Christmas topselling game this year. It’s a game that appeals across the games, gifts and toy markets as it’s more than just a game - it’s a mindblowing experience!

MICHELLE PROBERT Sales and Marketing Manager, Juratoys What are you doing to plan for the all-important final quarter? Every year, we run a ‘Half Year Christmas Product Brochure’, which features a selection of best-sellers, key lines and great offers. We designed this brochure to give our customers a focus leading into the most important time of year and to make life just that little bit easier. What do you anticipate will be your top-selling toy/ game this Christmas? Green Market and Ride on Llama from Janod.

EXPERT OPINION NICK RICHARDSON CEO, Kids Insights Do you have any predictions around what the top selling toys/games will be this Christmas? In the UK, yo-yos remain one toy that we see in our data as being one of the children’s top predictions, and also dinosaurs are increasingly being identified as one of the next big things. It is also worth noting that according to our Kids Insights data captured last Christmas, UK children were expecting to receive £1bn (an average of £82 each) in cash as gifts.


JOELLE ENGOLIA Senior Marketing Executive, Wild and Wolf What are you doing to plan for the all-important final quarter? Boosts to stock! We have a well-oiled logistics operation to deliver on-demand for peak times; with the rapid growth of Ridley’s, keeping up with demand and inventory is the key priority for us. How have you changed your plans this year with Brexit looming? It’s been ‘business as usual’ all year, we can’t plan for the unknown. Fortunately, gaming is escapism from the doom and gloom so sales have been really robust. What do you anticipate will be your top selling toy/game this Christmas? Avocado Smash sales show no sign of slowing down but we’re tipping Think Fast to be our top seller for Christmas.

SIMON TOMLINSON Head of Marketing, Learning Resources What are you doing to plan for the all-important final quarter? We are working closely with our PR agency to ensure our products are being seen by key journalists, influencers and industry experts. We are also well down the line with booking media, finalising marketing plans and working with key retailers to ensure stock availability and in-store/online presence. How have you changed your plans this year with Brexit looming? We have always had a robust plan in place that has allowed us to be agile when required and we look forward with confidence to Q4. What do you anticipate will be your top selling toy/ game this Christmas? We are hugely excited about our new coding products Coding Critters. We have had great success with other coding products, such as Botley and Artie and we fully believe that Coding Critters, which are suitable for children as young as four, is due to be a best-seller.




Riding out the storm I

t goes without saying that the world of toy retailing does not decided that now is a good time to come over and spend a exist in isolation. And the current state of things in the world little less than they might previously have needed to. will undoubtedly have an impact on prospective toy sales. Almost counter-intuitively, this might actually be good But the big question is, how can we deal with it all, when these news for toy shop owners – of course, that’s providing you things are so far beyond our control? happen to be in a location that tourists are keen to visit. The With the likes of Trump, Johnson, Putin and Brexit dominating home market might be a bit depressed, but this doesn’t the news, it looks like things may not go so well in the near future. mean that it doesn’t look like something of a bargain for Certainly, the media is full of gloomy predictions – that things visitors. If, therefore, you happen to be in central London, haven’t been so bleak since the Second World War, the Black Bath, Edinburgh or perhaps Oxford and Cambridge, now Death or as far back as the Norman Conquest – take your pick. might be a good time to stock up on toys that will have Admittedly, things look pretty bad on the face of it. The current international appeal. Perhaps it’s also a good time to economic indicators all seem to suggest we may be stuck consider the sorts of things that are selling well overseas between a rock and a hard place. But what’s all as much as at home (most suppliers will be of this got to do with the price of sausages, if you happy to furnish you with this information, happen to be in the business of selling toys, either as long as they make the sale). This could be It’s not all as a wholesaler or from a retail unit? beneficial for both parties. bad then, so long The answer is probably quite a lot, given The problems start if the foreign footfall that an awful lot of the toys and gifts that will fails to make up for dampened home demand as you have some be unwrapped on 25 December have been or if you happen to be marooned in a location kind of game plan, that is a relative stranger to the tourist dollar, manufactured in China. The imposition of tariffs from the US could mean that cost prices from you know what to euro or suchlike. If this is the case, then that market will rise, as manufacturers attempt to now might be a good time to consider how buy and from recoup some of the losses they will incur as a result you can grab a little slice of the action by of Trump’s latest machinations. And if prices rise, it where, and you expanding your online activities. Of course, may do little to dampen the enthusiastic demands also key to keep your shop up to scratch. have a good idea it’sIt’s of the recipients of the Christmas presents, but it not all bad, so long as you have of how to sell it may have an impact on those buying them. some kind of game plan, you know what And then there’s Brexit. On the day before the to buy, where you want to buy it, and you referendum in 2016, one Pound Sterling was worth have a good idea of how to sell it. Easier just over 1.30 Euros. As this piece is written, the spot rate is 1.08 to say, perhaps, than to do, but this has always been the to the Pound, meaning that buying anything from the Eurozone is case: some things really don’t change. But what about nearly 20 per cent more expensive than it was back then. Fans of the matter of exchange rates and when to buy? The old top-end Steiff teddies, for instance, may therefore be inclined to salesman’s saying of buy now to avoid disappointment purchase something a few steps down the price ladder. might usefully be deployed in this case. If current trends Finally, in this catalogue of woe, spare a thought for Boris. continue (and there is little to suggest that they won’t), There may be a healthy market developing in dog toys or Toby then waiting to place your orders might mean that jugs that look like our Prime Minister, but this doesn’t mean he you buy the right thing, but you’ll be buying a hasn’t got his work cut out! And indeed, if he takes us over the whole lot less of it, you may not be able to 31 October line without a deal, things are unlikely to be any afford it, and therefore profits stand a good easier for him. chance of heading south. Once again, it’s a So, where’s the upside in all of this? In any given market, question of confidence. In this instance, it’s there has to be a winner for every loser. And the winner in this a question of confidence in your ability instance is anybody who is visiting the UK. Having travelled up to choose a winning toy that will be sold to the Highlands of Scotland a couple of weeks ago and driven in two/three months’ time. If it’s China, around a bit, one thing was very obvious – the Dutch, Germans then deals will already have been done, and French have spotted a weak pound, low prices and have allowing for the lead times involved. Anywhere else, and the next few weeks will be pretty critical, as far as ensuring that Christmas 2019 frustrates the expectations of the doomsayers. With a weak exchange rate on the GBP, Things may be tricky over the next six months, but act with determination and UK retail is likely to look like a bargain for consider who you can sell to, rather than visitors from the Eurozone. So, if you’re lamenting the absence of those you may based in a tourist location, stock up on toys once have relied on. This will hopefully reap some kind of material reward. with an international appeal.

John Ryan looks at how retailers can safeguard their profits against some of the factors currently affecting toy retailing: Brexit, the UK’s economy, trade agreements and US tariffs on China

Sound advice

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.



Movies make t The Independent reflects on a summer with little sun, the absence of a top toy craze and the saving grace of this year’s big box office releases that have inspired a host of licensed toy ranges


wife says: “There were more lies I was a about the weather than ever before – days that we were promised firm believer sunshine and warmth, which that movies instead turned out to be dreary, don’t do damp and cold.” At least this explains why I am anything to still looking at a fair bit of outdoor support toy stock that I was hoping to sell by sales, but now, with that very small silver lining that I now won’t need to now we purchase anything for the early have had part of next year. I like to think I’m quite astute three major and on top of what is going on movies in around me – and this summer I couldn’t help but notice that 2019 that it’s been a bit crap! I feel like have proven VOLUME: we were given a few days of my theory 1) L.O.L. Surprise Sparkle Dolls – MGA niceness, with the promise of 2) Hot Wheels Singles – Mattel either a continuation of this, or wrong with a slight drop of rain. But 3) Ryan’s World Mystery Figures – Vivid that never really materialised into anything more than a brief VALUE: appearance of sunny weather. 1) L.O.L. Surprise Sparkle Dolls – MGA Of course, it wouldn’t be very 2) L.O.L. Surprise Hair Goal Dolls – MGA prudent to complain about 3) L.O.L. Surprise Oh La La Baby - MGA that now with much bigger can’t give an opinion that everyone will agree with, but for me, this summer was pretty pants in comparison to 2018. My wife is a keen weather watcher and likes to know when she will be able to tell me to go outside and cut the grass, paint the fences, clear out the guttering, and so forth. So, it’s in her best interest to be familiar with the weather forecast for the week ahead. And now that summer has passed, my

things afoot. This summer, the Toy Story 4 movie launch was the main thing for me that relates to work. Having been to see the film, I felt that Disney had maintained the highest standards that they had achieved with the first three movies – and this is no mean feat. I don’t know if I will ever see such a solid movie licence from a fourth instalment of a film series in my lifetime – and I



A movie licence to sell? With The Independent contemplating the popularity of movie-inspired toys this year, the Secret Supplier looks at the challenge that is picking a successful licence


he subject raised by The Independent this month is linked to a key question for our industry: “How do you pick a successful licence?” Weather forecasting, by comparison, is much easier and more reliable. According to NPD data, licensed merchandise accounts for nearly 30 per cent of all toy sales. What is not reflected here is the all-important split between licences inspired by film and other media. I would agree with The Independent that the fourth instalment of Toy Story was great – better than Toy Story 3 in my opinion. But generally speaking, it is much harder to pick a successful film


licence. The problem with a movie licence is selfevident. First, the window of opportunity is quite brief, opening up when the film is on general release – typically during the school holidays. The DVD release does not create as much interest, but as The Independent points out, if one of the majors gets behind the property, this can extend and amplify the overall demand for the licence. For retailers, this raises a key issue – getting the numbers right in terms of inventory. Now, this goes for any kind of licensed product, but with the typically short lifespan of movie licences, this is particularly important. In my opinion, retailers are always better to be cautious and short on stock rather than greedy and over-stocked.

e th toy sales couldn’t be happier that it struck gold with the kids. I am always quite anxious about seeing a sequel from a movie or TV show that I liked, with that natural fear that they will mess it up and ruin a good thing. With Toy Story 4, I was very impressed and the sales we have been seeing from the range (with the exception of a few lines that I always felt were over-priced) have been really good. When I have been within earshot, our Toy Story 4 range has definitely been the talk of the kids. I especially like the new characters: Duke Caboom, Bunny, Ducky and the now infamous Forky. Forky has been so popular – our church did a craft evening and most of the kids ended up running about the hall with their own version of Forky (or in fact Spoony, as we couldn’t get sporks at such short notice). All through summer, there were kids running around near our house saying “trash” or “Duke Caboom” in that hilarious way Keanu Reeves does it in the movie – it has clearly been a good smash hit all round. The downside of this is that the majors seem set on making their

own statements throughout the year on key brands like this. I have been in a number of major retail stores recently and all of them seemed happy to drive promotions on these ranges. I don’t know whether to be mad about it, as we have had customers mention our pricing, or feel sorry for them, as we have managed to sell a lot of toys at the SRP, meaning they are just giving money away. Just to clarify, I don’t think I could ever feel sorry Maybe for the majors. it’s because It makes me wonder what Frozen 2 will do for toy sales. For there hasn’t a number of years, I was a firm been a real believer that movies don’t do anything to support toy sales, but craze this the three major movies we’ve had year that in 2019 have proven my theory wrong: How to Train Your Dragon movie 3, Avengers End Game and Toy products are Story 4. Therefore, if Frozen 2 can doing so well live up to the hype, we could be set for a complete overhaul in my theories, where great toy sales can be expected off the back of great movies – no pressure, Elsa! To be honest, I do hope that this is the case; it’s always nice seeing a range of products, even though

By comparison, licences that are not tied to films usually have a greater life span, but there is a much higher volume of these properties to choose from. This is due to the high demand of children’s broadcasting, which is something that can confuse matters. When looking at a TV licence, one should be aware of who is developing the TV programme, how many episodes will be shown and on what platform. Paw Patrol makes for a strong example in licensing. Paw Patrol was produced by Spin Master Entertainment (with animation provided by Guru Studio). The series premiered in North America back in 2013 and Spin Master has since developed the show into a media franchise and released an ongoing line of toys based on it. Certainly, Spin Master is a company that has

shown through its investment and development of Paw Patrol that it knows what makes a great, longlasting entertainment property. To mention another strong licensor, Disney clearly has a wealth of experience. So, the owners of a licence can definitely be a good indicator of the potential success of a property. At the same time, it’s also a good idea to watch what the big toy companies are backing. But it is worth remembering that sometimes these companies can miss excellent opportunities – something that Just Play in the US and UK have shown with PJ Masks. Looking ahead to the imminent release of Frozen 2, music and dancing tend to work very well, especially when tied to a strong storyline. So, let’s hope Frozen 2

Spin Master is a company that has shown through its investment and development of Paw Patrol that it knows what makes a great, long-lasting entertainment property


Disney do go a little overboard on licensing a property out to everyone with every discernible type of product: plush, feature plush, basic plush with stitched eyes, basic plush with button eyes etc. Knowing something is coming up makes my job a lot easier; seeing the ranges of toys available and being able to create an ageappropriate selection of toys that can sit on an end bay for four to six weeks that can create a bit of hype in my stores. It brings me back to the days before we had all these crazes. Or, maybe that’s it – maybe it’s because there hasn’t been a real craze this year that movie products are doing so well? I wonder if that is true, even though movie product and crazes are not linked at all. Lightbulb!

lives up to the industry’s expectations! To bring us to a close, picking winning licences needs a lot of research and hard work. For this reason, I would like to wish The Independent every success as he contemplates his future licensing choices. 25

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

Parrot play RAVENSBURGER 01869 363 800 With a focus on learning through play, Ravensburger’s BRIO brand welcomes the colourful Record & Play Parrot to its line-up. Toddlers can enjoy putting together the pieces of this stacking toy on its perch. Once in the right order, the parrot starts talking. Record and playback speech in the parrot’s unique voice for added fun.

Reigning it in MV SPORTS 0121 748 8000


Did you know?

MV Sports’ Horse and Every little Princess needs to get Carriage features easy around in style – and this beautiful 6v foot-operated control, Battery Operated Horse and Carriage is reactive steering sure to turn heads! wheel and forward Suitable for children aged threeand reverse gears. years-plus, this authentic regal ride-on comes complete with moulded ’quilted’ seat and a stunning horse feature. The easy foot-operated control, reactive steering wheel and forward and reverse gears are suitable for beginners just taking up the ‘reins’.

Record & Playback parrot starts talking when the pieces are placed in the right order.

Glitz and glamour KD UK 01727 827194

Parisian perfection REVELL 01296 660 291


The number of parts that form Revell’s Notre Dame de Paris 3D Puzzle in the ‘Masterpiece’ series.

September sees Notre Dame de Paris released as the first in Revell’s new 3D Puzzle ‘Masterpiece’ series. With a whopping 293 parts arranged on 20 A3size sheets, plus printed clear ‘stained-glass’ windows, double-sided tape to secure them with, and a waste-removal tool, this is the jewel in the Revell 3D Puzzle crown! This is no one-evening build. Once complete you’ll have a detailed replica of the famous Parisian landmark. Notre Dame is detailed both inside and out, featuring a fold-out action that lets you view the awe-inspiring interior.

KD Toys brings glamour to the popular plush market with its new sequin pet makeover Shimmer Star range! Newly launched, this must-have collectable plush range is about creating fun, creative hair play for children and their pets. There are four pets to collect in the glitter litter, including a Unicorn, Cat, Dog, and a Panda. Each pet comes with its own Shimmerizer styling wand, which is easy to use – all you do is select a sequin, press onto the hair, style and shimmer your very own glitter critter. You can even use the Shimmerizer styling wand to makeover your own hair! There’s no glue, no mess and it works on all hair types. Twinsie accessories include either a tutu or scrunchie, collar or bracelet, there are lots of pet styles to collect!


Go with the foam

The number of cute and sparkly


Adorbs designs

01553 819 380

that are currently available.

Dress to impress TOMY 01392 281 928 Playing dress-up has never been more fun thanks to the launch of Adorbs – a new range of adorable fairy and princess dresses from Tomy. Perfect for little princesses and fairies in the making, Adorbs offers the perfect solution for girls aged three years and over who love to dress up. Easy to wear, and affordable, Adorbs are available in six cute and sparkly designs in a range of pastel colours, the unique tulip-back dresses allow for easy putting on and taking off and will also help encourage independent play with minimal help from parents. As the dress-up outfits come in an innovative, glittery capsule, Adorbs can be stored easily and help to keep the ‘dress-up mess’ contained.


From the makers of best-selling Playfoam Playfoam comes the mesmerising Playfoam Pluffle, the Pluffle is latest squish-sensation! Children can mix colours fluffy, dry, together to create their own cool combinations and totally then give Playfoam Pluffle a squish and watch it flow. Perfect for tactile learning and fun, mess-free. Playfoam Pluffle is fluffy, dry, and totally messfree. Just tip out Playfoam Pluffle from the included storage container, squish, and release to see the magical movement – or keep it in the tube and flip it for some lava lamp-like flowing action. Packaged in clear flip and flow storage tubes, the product is available in a variety of striking shades with a hint of sparkle, which makes it ideal for tactile in-store demonstration stations, and eye-catching retail displays. As with the original Playfoam, new Playfoam Pluffle has a non-sticky texture that won’t dry out or stain any surfaces that it comes into contact with.

Spookily fun! WILD AND WOLF


01225 789909 www. Just in time for Halloween, Smashing Pumpkins is the perfect portable fun game for all the family. Whether playing at home or onYou need just 10 minutes the-go, it’s a quick and fun game to play Smashing that’s very easy to learn. Pumpkins, with two or Players can harvest a victory in more players. this card-matching game of fast reactions that features a pumpkin medley of lattes, pies, soup and more. Be the fastest to match all things pumpkin and squash the competition by being the first person to get rid of all your cards. The game contains instructions and 70 game cards and comes in pumpkin-shaped packaging. Suitable for all aged six-plus, for two or more players, with a 10-minute gameplay.



JAZWARES 0203 598 0272 Jazwares introduces its new collectable Nanables. The World of Nanables is a colourful, ultra-small, world of imaginative lands with Nanables, detailed ‘eye-candy’ dwellings for Nanos, the unique inhabitants who call them home. Each detailed dwelling includes two unique Nanos with built-in hangouts. Using the peep-hole, children can peek inside each Nanable for a glimpse of the interior. The peek also gives a hint to what you’ll unlock using the free Nanables app. Children scan their Nanable, bringing the Nanos’ world to life using augmented reality. Nanables launches with two magical lands – Sweetness Town and Rainbow Way – and will be supported by a robust TV, digital and influencer marketing campaign.



Oh, the sweet life! Bandai brings to the table Foodie Surprise food carts, a new release that is bound to be a smash hit, topping kids’ wish lists around the world as we move towards the festive season Create. Eat. Repeat. Catering for all food-loving children, Foodie Surprise is a magical candy making collectable. Redwood came up with the unique concept of Foodie Surprise, the first toy on the market to combine both crafts and collectables. From the outset, Bandai has worked in partnership with Redwood – the company that developed the Smooshy Mushy slowrise collectables that proved a runaway success for Bandai. Kirsty Mackenzie, Marketing Manager, Bandai UK, says: “Currently, there’s nothing else quite like it on the market. Foodie Surprise is creating a new subcategory by bringing a hybrid sweetmaking craft/collectable to market. Foodie Surprise allows children to collect and play with their themed food carts and collectable characters. Plus, it gives children experience in designing and making their own creations, helping to encourage imagination and nurture creativity. Once complete, children will have the satisfaction of being able to eat their delicious designs. Foodie Surprise connects with hands-on, independent play that can also be enjoyed as a social activity with parents, friends or siblings.” Wave one of the Foodie Surprise range is now available to buy in both the US and the UK. Foodie fun for everyone Suitable for children aged six years and over, each Foodie Surprise Food Cart

pulls apart to reveal everything you need to create your sweets. Hidden within, are the all-important packs of candy powder, as well as the instructions and tools required to create your treats. Kids will love the bonus collectable, the collectors’ poster, and level of detail on each product, such as the rolling Foodie pin and the pizza cutter on the pizza Surprise is truck and the straws and little cups creating a new on the bubble tea version. With four themes, each available sub-category in two different colourways, season by bringing a one offers something for everyone hybrid sweetand promises to keep children entertained for hours. The fun won’t making craft/ stop there – Redwood is already collectable to working on Season 2.


The future is food Kirsty Mackenzie, At Toy Fair New York 2019, Foodie Bandai UK Surprise was named one of the top toys. And the US Toy Association made the prediction that consumer interest in food and drink toys would rise steeply among boys and girls, making foodie products must-have items. Keeping up with the trends, Bandai has lots more exciting developments planned for the remainder of 2019 and SS20. In the Foodie Surprise range, Bandai will be adding to the offering in late September with the launch of Takeouts. Offering children standalone play with new recipes and themes, each Foodie Surprise Takeout will include a collectable figure within them at a competitive, pocket money price point.

No need to sugar coat things All components of Foodie Fun meet EU guidelines on HFSS; containing only ‘naturally occurring sugars’, which also means that the range can be TV advertised. 28

Bandai has plenty more on-trend toys scheduled for launch in SS20, including another range called Foodie Surprise Yolkies, which combines cute collectables with edible slime. Putting kids in control of their play, Yolkies slime can either be eaten or played with. This new range will be available at a slightly lower price point to ensure retailers have something for all consumers. Yolkies have already received a great reaction from buyers! 360° marketing From the summer holiday period, Bandai commenced the rollout of its comprehensive marketing campaign for its portfolio of toys. With a mix of traditional, digital, and social campaigns and additional bursts planned for hero brands from October through to December, Bandai’s offering is sure to be at the forefront of consumers’ minds. To introduce Foodie Surprise to the consumer market, Bandai plans to invest in a variety of media, including TV, digital, micro-influencers and print to promote awareness of the Foodie Surprise launch. Coming into the latter part of the year, Foodie Surprise, among other lines, such as the awardwinning collectables range Bananas, Robozuna, Smooshy Mushy, Pomsies, and Squishimals will be supported with a collection of 10” and 20” spots aired across terrestrial and satellite channels, plus pre-roll YouTube ads. Foodie Surprise and Bananas top the majority of placements to reflect the company’s commitment to both brands with 360-degree marketing plans. As the festive season approaches, one thing is for sure – we’re only likely to see demand for confection perfection grow.

Bandai 0208 324 6160


These playful pets teach preschoolers early STEM concepts through coding and play!

Your first coding friends!

Code along with storybook coding adventures!

Endless coding challenges!

100% Screen Free!

Coding Critters Ranger & Zip


LER 3080 23 Piece play set

Coding Critters Scamper & Sneaker

Coding Critters Rumble & Bumble

LER 3081 22 Piece play set

LER 3082 23 Piece play set


Character Options



Ahead of the game Ever reliable, the games and puzzles market continues to go from strength to strength, with new titles, new trends and innovations a-plenty


he games market continues to go from strength to strength – once seen as a seasonal market in the run-up to Christmas, sales are becoming more consistent all year round. And thanks to its universal appeal – offering something for everyone, from pre-schoolers to adults – there is no other category that has such a wide-ranging target audience. And the sector looks set for further expansion, according to Nick Richardson, CEO, at Kids Insights: “We expect to see a lot of innovation in this category over the next 12 months, with Augmented Reality and Voice Technology providing significant opportunities for manufacturers to create deeper immersive experiences – and this could even be the potential home of the big Generation Speak trend we are awaiting.” However, the games arena is already doing well: “We’ve been fortunate this year in having two of the most soughtafter games of 2019, The Mind and

The all-time classics always make an appearance in my house as well as this year’s viral sensation – please no more poo games!

Darrell Jones, Vivid



Quacks of Quedlinburg. The Mind will be our Christmas bestseller this year. It appeals across the games, gifts and toy markets as it’s more than just a game – it’s a mind-blowing experience,’’ says Roger Martin, MD at Coiledspring Games. Joelle Engolia, Senior Marketing Executive, Wild & Wolf, agrees that the sector is performing well: ‘‘Ridley’s Puzzles are performing +70 per cent and our original games an astonishing +259 per cent! Avocado Smash, our fast-paced Avocado-themed take on Snap, is the single biggest-selling product we have ever produced.’’ The story is the same for jigsaw specialist Gibsons: ‘‘We are seeing an exciting strength to our sales month on month,’’ comments Kim Garrod, Gibsons National Account Manager. Asmodee’s Ben Hogg agrees that Games and Puzzles is bucking the trend: ‘‘We’ve had excellent interest in Fun Fast Games and Party Games, with some exciting new titles being released including Telestrations and Time’s Up! Party. Dobble goes from strength to strength and we have been really pleased in the growth of our Bananagrams sales, even before the launch of the Bananagrams Schools Club, which will have more than 1,700 schools playing!’’ Revell, meanwhile, only launched its 3D Puzzle range in March and “sales are already in excess of expectations and set to keep on

Q&A Dafyd Bowen, Manager, Rules of Play, tabletop gaming specialist, Cardiff What are the best games to introduce newbies to board games? Ticket to Ride is great, and Carcassonne. They’re good in terms of ease of use – you can explain a couple of concepts and you’re away playing a big game. In the right hands, it’s suitable for ages eight plus. It’s an adult’s game but kids can learn things quicker than adults! What’s going to be the next big game? For gamers it will be Tapestry (from Mesomorph Games) – a good civilisation game with nice miniatures. But who knows what the next Exploding Kittens (distributed by Asmodee) will be – on a quiet day I still sell three or four copies of that. It’s games like that which keep a shop like mine going. It might be an expansion to Unstable Unicorns (TeeTurtle) – LLamas Unleashed – who knows! Silly little games that just sell by the bucket-load. growing,’’ says Jamie Mabbs, Country Manager – UK & Ireland. Appealing to everyone is the secret of success, according to Richard Wells, Managing Director of University Games and Paul Lamond Games: “Our extensive portfolio of games and puzzles is exceptionally strong, with something for everyone, from our family board games and fun, educational preschool games and puzzles to 4,000 piece Educa Landscape puzzles, Murder Mystery Dinner party






Retailers say… “We suspect the new musthave family favourite board game for Christmas this year will be What’s in the Box? Challenge by Character Laura Clare and Samantha Clare, Toys Plus, Blackpool

Big Potato

games and the ever-popular 3D Football Stadium Puzzles.” For Big Potato, the secret to success lies in the creative process. Becky McKinlay, Head of Marketing at Big Potato Games, says: “We’ve got quite a cool process for creating games. Over the course of the year everyone pops ideas into a hat – yes, a literal one. We all get together and go through each idea one by one. Anyone from Big Potato can put an idea into the hat. In fact, our Head of Finance came up with one of our new games called What Came First? “With every Big Potato game, it’s essential for us that it’s easy to learn and quick to play. We make a ‘how to play’ video for each game to help those who don’t fancy reading the rules. None of our games take over 20 minutes to play, but you can easily play them again and again, which makes them perfect for parties.” Having good-quality reliable games is key, says Orchard Toys Sales Director Simon Prest: ‘‘In times of uncertainty and customer cautiousness, customers tend to fall back on the reliable quality and good value for money that our products offer.’’ The same is true for Revell, says Jamie Mabbs: ‘‘Quality manufacture, ease of construction and interesting subject matter are definitely factors.’’ So why are games and puzzles so popular and why is the phenomenon on the rise? ‘‘More and more people are looking for real-life experiences with friends and family, and for parents who are keen to limit screen time, board and card games are a perfect way to spend quality time together,’’ says Joelle Engolia at Wild & Wolf. ‘‘There are many other factors, including the popularity of games on Kickstarter (it has never been easier for an individual to publish their own game) as well as social media.’’ In case you doubted the efficacy of Kickstarter, ponder this… Exploding Kittens is the most successful card game project in Kickstarter history – it closed with more than $8.7 million in pledges. Family time and educational opportunities are key drivers for parents


“We have seen a staggering increase in board game and IQ puzzle games over the past 18 months. This may have been helped by our drive to open and play all our games with our customers…which presents a wonderfully fun and constructive opportunity to build a rapport with new and existing customers’’

when buying games. “Enjoying a game or building a puzzle are activities that families can enjoy together, and spending quality time with our nearest and dearest is becoming more and more important within busy lifestyles,’’ says University Games’ Richard Wells. Vivid’s Darrell Jones, agrees: ‘’Even in this digital era there are times that families still enjoy sitting down to play a Jonathan Amphlett, Toytastik, Chepstow game – the all-time classics always make an appearance in my house as well as this year’s viral sensation – but please, no more poo games! ‘’ Coiledspring Games has seen over Also driving the success is the past five years that, ‘‘the games awareness of mindfulness and market has evolved from a Christmas the benefits of gentler past times phenomenon to being strong all year and family games, says Kim round due to the growth in popularity of Garrod at Gibsons. ‘‘After hearing gaming as a cost-effective hobby.’’ about ‘Hygge’ for so long I feel Summer holidays are a key sales that this winter we will see this time, agrees Joelle Engolia at Wild & Scandinavian concept become Wolf: ‘’Sales have really boomed since more of the norm here in the UK.’’ the schools broke up in July. Games and puzzles enjoy year‘’We have launched into the party round popularity, but apart from game space with Think Fast and this has Christmas, are we seeing any been particularly strong with millennials other spikes in sales? and families. This sales momentum will Asmodee’s Ben Hogg says: carry on with Back To Uni trade for ‘‘We see spikes in sales at other the booksellers and department stores times of the year where families through to Christmas trading.’’ spend extended time together ‘’ We are also seeing a movement such as Easter and the summer towards Easter becoming a popular Natalie Frow, Senior holidays. Families are looking for period as more people choose to give something sociable to do together Brand Manager, Tomy a gift rather than chocolate. During the that everyone can enjoy. and summer our mini games sell well as travel games also offer kids games,’’ says Orchard Toys’ Simon Prest. the chance to get As the market continues to expand, one up on their trends are becoming apparent: ‘’Cardparents!’’ themed games are very popular, says ‘‘We continue to Vivid’s Darrell Jones. ‘’The card-based see strong sales, game Sequence has already sold over 10 especially through million units in the US and Australia.’’ our preschool and ‘‘Accessible, fun party games are children’s lines, Tomy everywhere right now,’’ says Wild throughout the & Wolf’s Joelle Engolia. ‘’We’ve just year, with games launched Think Fast, which is a fast, such as our game of lively trivia game you play in two modelling mayhem, teams – and tipped to be our Kersplatt!,’’ points Christmas bestseller.’’ out Richard Wells at Fun, quick-play, triviaUniversity Games and based games are doing Paul Lamond Games. well for University Games Roger Martin at

Games are a great way of supporting children through their various developmental stages and are great for bonding time away from electronics





and Paul Lamond Games too: ‘’Our quirky Tip of the Tongue and Are you Dumber than a Box of Rocks? are sought after this year,’’ says Richard Wells. Co-operative games for kids are also popular for Coiledspring, with Zombie Kids Evolution from Scorpion Masque, Bandido and Cahoots all doing well. Talking of kids – as we mentioned at the start, toys with educational benefits are major drivers for parents with buying power. So how do games and puzzles support a child’s development? Natalie Frow, Senior Brand Manager at Tomy, says: “Games are a great way

of supporting children through various developmental stages and for bonding time away from electronics. Our adult and family friendly games are brilliant as they encourage communication skills.” Spin Master has two kids character games in its portfolio that encourage all-important teamwork – the Hatchimals Hatchy Friends Game and the Paw Patrol Save the Forest Game. Social skills can come from taking

Top 10 best-selling games (excluding strategic Trading card games) for the first half of 2019 in £.*

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

Dobble Monopoly Classic Uno Original Rubiks Cube Monopoly Fortnite Scrabble Original Twister Jenga Classic Cluedo Bananagrams Game

Asmodee Editions Hasbro Mattel  John Adams Leisure Hasbro  Mattel  Hasbro  Hasbro  Hasbro  Asmodee Editions


*Data from NPD

turns, coping with winning and losing and so on, while specific skills can be learned in certain games. Coiled Spring’s Rat-a-Tat Cat, for example, is a basic memory game, but it also helps understanding probability and numeracy. Vivid’s Word Search Junior is great for encouraging reading and spelling. ‘‘Many of our games are fun for all the family, so that the adults enjoy playing them with children. This encourages positive and mature social development,’’ explains Wild & Wolf’s Joelle Engolia. ‘‘Family time is hugely important to the development of a child and this very much fits with the ethos and values here at Gibsons,’’ says Kim Garrod. ‘’Our 3D Puzzles help build motor skills through their construction and there is the interpretation of the build instructions, plus hopefully, an historic interest in the subjects being built,’’ says Revell’s Jamie Mabbs. At Orchard Toys they ask the experts: ‘’Each of our products is rigorously tested by teachers in schools and nurseries to ensure they meet the all-important balance of learning and fun!’’ says Simon Prest.

In it to win it BANDAI

0208 324 6160 Having identified a gap in the sector for accessible, quality interactive games, Bandai UK has introduced engaging family games, which combine fun and learning with mainstream appeal. Partnering with Zanzoon, Bandai’s family games portfolio includes Froggy Party and Fan Zone. Froggy Party stimulates imagination, concentration and agility, and boasts 50 different challenges to encourage children as young as three to get active while having fun. The interactive frog instructs kids to sing, dance or imitate before having them run to the nearest lily pad. Combining entertainment with physical play, Froggy Party includes everything required for an exciting, interactive gaming experience. Fan Zone features more than 500 football-related questions and can be set to one of two modes – seven-plus or 14plus – depending on the ease/difficulty of play required. The virtual games master can test players on five football topics to discover the ultimate football fan. The games master does it all; explains the rules, asks questions, counts points and gives out the scores. Bandai is expanding within the gifting/tech games space with Gorilla Games. A range of classic arcade games are available in miniature for ‘finger-sized’ play, all featuring light and sound effects, and set to appeal to children plus tap in to the popular kidult trend. Look out for Punch King, the ultimate boxing arcade game, and Bandai’s muchloved Pac Man Connect n Play.















Call 01932 281928 email



Did you know? Hatchy Friends comes with two exclusive Hatchimals CollEGGtibles.

Cracking portfolio of games SPIN MASTER 01628 535000 Spin Master has two kids character games in its portfolio that not only offer hours of fun for young players but also encourage all-important teamwork. With the Hatchimals Hatchy Friends Game, players must race to find their five missing Hatchy Friends. Squad friends are all over Hatchtopia and the Hatchimals want to help players hatch them. To play, children spin the spinner board and match the illustrations of their Hatchy Friends to complete characters on their Squad Board. The first person to collect all five of their characters wins! But watch out for Wild Egg Tiles and Hatchy Surprises! If players land on a space with a Hatchimals Figure on the stack they get to look at all the Egg Tiles in that stack and take up to two Character Egg Tiles for their Squad Board. Hatchy Friends comes with two exclusive Hatchimals CollEGGtibles and is for two to four players, aged five and up. Can you help Marshall save the day in Adventure Bay? The excitement of PAW Patrol comes alive in this fun pre-school board game, Save the Forest. Kids team up with their friends and their pup pal Marshall and embark on a mission to put out fires in Adventure Bay. Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s easy to learn how to play this fun game; spin the arrow on the dial and if it lands on a flame, add a flame-shaped piece to one of four forest cards. If it lands on a water drop, remove a flame-shaped piece. Kids must work together to help Marshall put out the fires. As they do so, children will develop a deeper understanding of teamwork. The PAW Patrol Save the Forest Game includes the Marshall figure and is a great gift for kids aged four and up.


Over 4 million copies sold worldwide! Qwirkle and the wider MindWare range are now available exclusively from Coiledspring Games

Contact or call 020 3301 1160 to stock



Puzzle people JUMBO GAMES 01707 289289

4 October The date that Disney lifts the

The autumn months will soon be upon embargo placed on Frozen II us, and with adult puzzles continuing to product and Jumbo can launch grow in an otherwise difficult climate, Jumbo has invested heavily into ensuring its licensed Frozen II puzzles. the company is meeting the demands of consumers by releasing 18 brand-new cluttering up the house. That’s puzzles this month. where Jumbo’s Puzzle Mates Having already released 30 new Falcon Portapuzzle range of storage cases de luxe puzzles this year, including the complement puzzle selections and can increase value for your business. Jumbo latest Christmas puzzle titled ‘Santa’s is happy to look at multi-buy Special Delivery’, Jumbo will add a further 10 new ones to its popular range of British promotions. illustrations. New releases include the With only a month to 500-piece ‘Christmas Window’ go until Disney lifts the and ‘The Nutcrackers Christmas’, as embargo placed on well as the 1,000-piece ‘Dolls House Frozen II product (4 Memories’, ‘Autumn on the Farm’ and October), Jumbo has ‘Christmas Conservatory’. every piece covered As the Wasgij puzzle brand continues to with its range of grow in popularity, Jumbo is committed five new jigsaws for to listening to its fans who demand “more children aged three puzzles!” each year, and the company has and over, with the released its tenth puzzle this year, with the Four-in-One Puzzle latest Wasgij Mystery 17 ‘Catching A Break!’ Pack, Puzzle & Colour, 1,000-piece puzzle. If you haven’t already Four Shaped Puzzles, Movie Collection Poster seen the new June releases that were the and Four-in-One Round Original 32 ‘The Big Weigh In!’, Destiny 20 ‘The Toy Shop!’ or the Christmas 15 ‘Santa’s Puzzles. But that’s Unexpected Delivery!’, then make sure you not all, Jumbo has do before it’s too late. developed a new game, Jumbo’s other distinctively unique titled ‘True Friendship’, puzzle brand, Jan van Haasteren, is similar which is a co-operative game for two to four players. to Wasgij in many ways, as it is highly collectable, has a strong and engaging For pre-schoolers Jumbo’s Moon and Me puzzle range is available now fanbase and is very different from and the first lines to be released include the traditional puzzles. To ensure this brand Shaped Floor Puzzle, Four Shaped Puzzles keeps on growing, new releases this month include ‘The Start!’ 1,000 and 2,000-pieces and Four-in-One Puzzle Pack. If family strategy games are working and ‘The Winery’ in 1,000 and 3,000-pieces, for you, then Jumbo’s crowd favourites and if it’s a comical Christmas you’re Overbooked, How To Rob A Bank and looking for, then the ‘Holiday Shopping’ Forbidden City are definitely worth looking 2x1,000-piece box set is perfect. at, as they were big hits at the UK Games Having the latest puzzles for customers Expo in June this year, and Jumbo has isn’t enough, as they’ll need a surface some appealing offers for customers who suitable for building, sorting and storing their unfinished puzzles, so they are not want to list these products in Q4.

Our contact in UK: Stephen Richardson, Ria Richardson SJR Associates Phone number: +44 7850 779 797 E-mail:



Odds-on Big Potato BIG POTATO 0203 620 9495


The number of Shoreditch-based indie company Big Potato has recently launched two movies to collect new party games that the company and win in Big predicts will be its bestsellers for Christmas this year. The lineup includes Potato’s new the licensed movie party game Blockbuster game. Blockbuster and a new family betting game called What Came First. Blockbuster is a super-simple party game for anyone who has ever seen a movie. In round one, each team chooses a member to go headto-head in a quick-fire buzzer battle. From ‘Famous trilogies’ to ‘Movies with a zombie’, these two players must think quick, shout out a movie and slap the buzzer to put the pressure on their opponent. The first player to run out of ideas loses the round. In round two, the player that wins the buzzer battle picks up six movie cards. They give the hardest three to their opponent and keep the rest for themselves. When ready, they’ll get 30 seconds to get their team to shout out the movies by using three tricky techniques – acting out the film, making up a quote and describing the film with just one word. With 200 classic movies and 60 category cards, this is a party game that promises to bring home the entertainment, again and again. In What Came First, two icons are pitted against each other – like Cher or Tupperware, Bruce Lee or KFC – and you’ll have to figure out which came first. Make your bet by placing your chips on either side of the board, which includes a ‘guessthe-year’ section for anyone who’s feeling particularly lucky. Pick the right side and you could double your bet. Pick the right year and you could quadruple it. The more you win, the quicker you’ll get to the finish line but watch out – get it wrong on a big bet and you’ll be heading backwards in a hurry.


Fantasy fun

Did you know?

ORCHARD TOYS 01953 859525

Knights and Dragons is not only a race to match the most knights before the castle image is complete, but there’s also the added fun of the dragon chance cards. Turn over an awake dragon and it’ll scare your knights away. Turn over a sleeping dragon and players can win back all the knights.

It’s heads and tails at Orchard Toys as it adds fun twists to a classic game with two fabulous new lines. The everpopular pre-school games manufacturer champions simple yet engaging gameplay, and once again the company has successfully coupled this with fantastically appealing graphics. Rainbow Unicorns, and Knights and Dragons are two refreshing new twists on heads and tails, with each boasting different characters and gameplay. Rainbow Unicorns is more than just a game of heads and tails, bursting with vibrant colour and adorable characters the unicorns go head to tails as they gallop around the board to reach the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. Guaranteed to be a popular addition to the Orchard Toys range. Knights and Dragons adds fun elements to a classic heads and tails game. Not only is it a race to match the most knights before the castle image is complete, there’s also the added fun of the dragon chance cards – turn over an awake dragon and it’ll scare your knights away, but turn over a sleeping dragon and a player could win back all the knights. Orchard Toys are expecting both lines to be popular in the Q4 gifting period due to their on-trend themes and fun gameplay.




Got to pump it up! Challenge accepted


01392 281928

Fact! Players of Pump up Pirates can

With a whole host of new use either their hands or feet to launches this summer, Tomy pump up their pirates. has something for all in its games portfolio. Following on from the very popular game Articulate, entertain family and friends with the new board game Articulate Phrases. Teams compete to be first round the board by guessing words that their team-mates describe. The team that gets the most phrases right and moves around the board fastest wins! Suitable for children aged 12-plus. For children aged over six years, there’s Puff Ball – introducing a new and unique way to get a ball from one cup to another. Players must connect the cups and add different stunts to build their unique tracks. There are four sets to collect, one starter set to get the ball rolling, then the other three sets, which contain more pieces, so multiple players can make bigger and more exciting tracks to race with. Pump Up Pirates, for players aged four and over, sees the return of the popular Pirate Pete, but in a new form and challenging players in a new way. Who can blow him up the fastest? Each player gets a pirate and a pump – using their hands or feet, they must pump quickly to blow up their pirate. Another addition to the company’s popular range. Also for children aged four and up, Snap Dragon is a game of teethsnapping tension! Players take turns to pull the Snap Dragon tongue according to the number on the dice. If you pull his tongue and he doesn’t wake up, you can steal one of his coins. Steal as many coins as you can but be careful that he doesn’t wake up and bite you as you must give him a coin to let you go. Sushi Scramble is the game that gets players to take a sushi menu card from the stack, and then use their chopsticks to pick up pieces of sushi to fill the order shown on their menu card. But beware of the sushi chef who can quickly knock off the pieces you need. The sushi pieces become ‘out of play’ if the chef knocks them off the table. Whoever fills their card first, wins. Suitable for children aged five-plus.

CHARACTER OPTIONS 0161 633 9800 The ultimate high-energy adrenaline-fuelled game for all the family, Tap It is a brand new electronic game featuring four electronic light-up pods with four different modes of play. Pass the coloured light from one side of the pod line to the other in a game of pong, challenge your brain in a game of memory or challenge everyone in the switch and Tap It games. Be warned though, each is fast paced and hugely addictive! Can you master the beeps and defeat the opposition? Bang up to date with the YouTube trend, and with over 500 million views, the What’s in the Box? Challenge game provides the perfect way to task players of all ages to blind-guess what’s inside an all-encompassed table top crate. Each set contains the all-important box, built-in timer, scorecards and instructions with two ways to play. Using the timer, players have 10 seconds to make their guess then pass the box to the next player to take their turn. When everyone has taken part, compare answers to see if anyone has guessed correctly. Or for even more hilarity, each round can be individual – open the side panel of the box, so all apart from the ‘Guesser’ can see what’s inside, sit back and watch with amusement who guesses what!




Party people! ASMODEE UK 01420 593593 With Christmas on the horizon, Asmodee UK is perfectly positioned to get family and friends laughing together with its new range of party games. Ideal for larger groups, the range includes major new titles such as Time’s Up! Party – a game of guessing famous names in teams against the clock – and Telestrations, a riotous game of drawing and interpretation where simple words are guaranteed to be hilariously misconstrued. Also part of the Party Games range is Just One, a word game that won the Spiel des Jahres award this summer – the most prestigious prize in board gaming and guaranteed family fun! The range is completed by dexterity games Crazy Eggz and Maki Stack, plus top-selling word game Codenames. Dobble continues to headline Asmodee’s Fun Fast Games category, which highlights fast-paced titles suitable for all ages. These include Bananagrams, Rory’s Story Cubes, Cobra Paw, Who Did It? and Dice Academy. Asmodee is also set to bolster its stable offering of TV-licenced games with two hot new lines to launch this year. Tenable, based on the hit ITV quiz show hosted by Warwick Davis, will see players completing top-10 lists testing knowledge on a variety of topics. Meanwhile, Carpool Karaoke adapts James Corden’s popular viral segment into a board game for the whole family. Assisted by any music streaming service, the game has players singing along under unusual conditions, completing lyrics, answering trivia questions and more. Asmodee’s Modern Classics range continues to champion the essential modern board games, ideal starting


points for anyone interested in the market’s broad and exciting offerings. It comprises critical and commercial successes Catan, Pandemic, Ticket to Ride Europe, Carcassonne, Dixit and Splendor. Modern Classics games – as with the other key ranges – can be supplemented with a variety of POS support. Ticket to Ride, in particular, is to receive a boost with the launch of Ticket to Ride: London, a bite-sized, 15-minute edition of the iconic family game. This spin-off will Asmodee UK’s recent benefit from an exciting launch event held at the acquisition of Green London Transport Museum Board Games has seen in September. As well as the Brainbox and Fat the Routemaster buses that are featured in game, Brain ranges move guests will be able to play across to Asmodee. the game on a variety of other trains, buses, tube

Did you know?

carriages and more. Asmodee UK recently acquired fellow UK games supplier Green Board Games, which has seen the Brainbox and Fat Brain ranges move across to Asmodee. More details on the acquisition have been announced in a separate press release on Asmodee’s website and within the toy press.




020 3301 1160 If there are two things Gamewright has learned about its fans over its 25 years of publishing games, it’s that they love playing Sushi Go! and they really love games with dice. With a limited pre-release at UK Games Expo, Sushi Roll is set to hit the shelves in time for Q4. Roll with your favourite Sushi Go! characters in Sushi Roll, a dice-based version of the best-selling card game. Also joining the lineup for autumn is worldwide top seller Qwirkle and the wider MindWare range. With over four million copies sold, Qwirkle is a simple game of matching colours and shapes that requires quick thinking and a well-planned strategy. The MindWare range includes hits such as: Q-bitz, Q-BA-Maze and the Sensory Genius line. MindWare games have been carefully developed to foster lifelong learning, growth and success. The popular Thomas Kinkade Disney range is growing just in time for Christmas with two new additions: Peter Pan and Mickey Mouse. These 1,000-piece puzzles will join top-selling Beauty and the Beast and Cinderella to form a 14-strong Disney range. All jigsaws are manufactured to Schmidt’s premium six-star quality. To coincide with the theatrical release of Downton Abbey, Wrebbit 3D is launching a stunning 890-piece puzzle featuring Highclere Castle. Puzzlers and fans of the wildly successful period drama series that captured the

imagination of millions of viewers will now be able to relive the Downton Abbey experience one delightful piece at a time by building the famous castle in their own home. Wrebbit 3D puzzles are the sturdiest on the market with the highest quality of design and illustration. Alongside new releases, Coiledspring Games has an array of must-stock games. Kingdomino, which puts a majestic twist on a popular classic; Forbidden Island, the first in the co-operative series by Matt Leacock; and The Mind. When playing The Mind, groups are tasked with the challenge of laying the cards in ascending number order. Sounds simple? But can you do it without speaking, without communicating, using just the power of your mind? The Mind is a highly addictive co-operative card game that you’ll want to play again and again. It’s the perfect game to demo and has been a top performer in the range. Another top seller is 2018 Kennerspiel des Jahres winner Quacks of Quedlinburg. In this push your luck game, you’re looking to brew the best concoction to prove you’re the finest miracle doctor in the land. To brew your potions, draw ingredients from the shared supply bag. Do you stop early to improve your chances of making a better potion later, or do you risk a big setback to get more money and fame now? Sold-out at the manufacturers, Quacks of Quedlinburg is due back in stock just in time for Q4.


The number of years Gamewright has been publishing games.

Challenge accepted! TRENDS UK

01295 768078 The Guinness World Records annual is the world’s best-selling copyright book with 138 million copies sold in more than 100 countries, two million YouTube subscribers, 12 million Facebook followers and more than 21 million annual visits to the GWR website. The brand has an enormous established fan base for the Guinness World Records Challenges game. Guinness World Record Challenges – Do try this at home! is the new game from Trends UK that puts players’ knowledge about Guinness World Records to the test and challenges opponents to demonstrate some nifty record-breaking skills using everyday household items. Players compete to answer some of the 600 Guinness World Record question cards, but the crux of the game is to complete the challenges quicker or more successfully than your opponents. Cross the finish line with three challenge cards in your possession to be the winner.


CONTROL IT ALL WITH THE POWER OF YOUR VOICE. The voice-activated hat that manages your entire game!

Mr M wh ono o is po win ly, nin g?




Smashing games

WILD AND WOLF 01225 789909 Wild and Wolf introduces the Ridley Games Avocado Smash, the new, fast-paced, avocado-themed take on Snap. It is the single biggest-selling product that the company has ever produced – the sell-out at retail has been phenomenal all year. Also new to market is the matching game Smashing Pumpkins – perfect for Hallowe’en! This great little game comes in portable, pumpkin-shaped packaging and can be popped in a bag and played on the go – on the train, in the car, wherever! Think Fast is Wild and Wolf’s first party game. Just launched, it’s a fast, lively trivia game designed to be played in two teams. Teams play head-to-head to guess answers to clues through three rounds. Players will know all of the answers after the first round, and with each round they stay the same, but the questions get harder, until there is only one word given. Think Fast is tipped to be the company’s top seller for Christmas – it’s the perfect family-friendly party game. Many of Wild and Wolf’s games are fun for all the family, encouraging positive and mature social development. And with any of the company’s games from Peach Snaps through to Selfish: The Space Edition, playing regularly can help to improve cognitive skills, and introduce the concept of winning and losing graciously!

Explosive entertainment GIBSONS 020 8661 8866 Pass the Bomb is the explosive word game that will blow your mind! For about 30 nailbiting minutes, players’ nerves are tested to the limit by the threat of the ticking bomb. In turn, players must shout out a word that contains the letters on the card and pass the bomb before it ‘explodes’. The game starts when one of the cards is turned over and reveals between two and four letters. The die is rolled to determine whether the letters that are on the card have to be at the beginning or end of the word, or anywhere. Even those who boast the largest vocabularies find their minds go completely blank as the bomb ticks away. Once the player has stated a word, they pass the bomb to the left, to the next player. The player holding the bomb when it explodes has to keep the card for that round, and the player with the fewest cards at the end wins. Gibsons’ Limited Edition Jigsaw Puzzle is back once again, and Secret Santa is the 17th puzzle in the popular series. Finished with gold foiling, this 1000-piece puzzle has been painted by talented artist, Tony Ryan, and comes with a serial numbered certificate, making it the ideal gift for collectors.

Spellbinding fun! WINNING MOVES 0207 298 9507 Harry Potter LexGo! is one of Winning Moves’ fastest-growing products. Harry Potter LexGo is a crazy word game where players must race against one another to get rid of all their playing card tiles by creating words, swapping letters, and even adding their tiles onto other players’ words. Think your friends are your friends? They won’t be after you play this! But that’s not everything. The Harry Potter LexGo! contains magic spell tiles that alter the Harry Potter state of gameplay. Will you use the LexGo! comes in Stupefy card and an L-shaped bag, freeze another which is easily player’s tiles for 10 seconds? Or will you portable, and deploy Expelliarmus! looks great on and mess up another the shelf. player’s tiles? This exciting tile game comes in a neat, high-quality L-shaped bag, which is easily portable, and looks comfortable on the shelf – making it the perfect companion for those holiday blues.

Did you know?



Head in the game UNIVERSITY GAMES 03334 050120 Get ready for a fantastic Q4 with games and puzzles specialists, University Games and Paul Lamond Games. Catering for the whole family, from pre-school puzzles and educational games to Murder Mystery dinner party games and action-packed family and adult games, there is something for everyone. For those aged 12 and over, there are some brilliant new family games that are set to make the festive season even more fun. The quirky trivia-based game ‘Are You Dumber Than a Box of Rocks?’ will see players pitting their knowledge against the Rocks in this quick-play game that is perfect for parties, as any number of players can take part. New for the autumn and set to provide hours of entertainment, Tip of the Tongue is a fun, fast-paced game that will have the whole family in stitches. Players have just two seconds to attempt to answer the quick-fire trivia questions – you know the answer, it’s on the tip of your tongue but players will have to think fast and spit it out. Also arriving this autumn and set for preChristmas TV advertising, is Sort it Out, a game of putting things in order. Guess from a list, from the longest to the shortest or fastest to the slowest, players will find out many facts they never knew and have great fun learning them. Another of the TV-advertised lines this year is Kersplatt! the hilarious family board game of modelling mayhem. A high-energy, tactile but strategic board game that will see players Kersplatting opponents’ pieces in an attempt to be the first to get two pieces home. First players have to get creative and make their own play pieces with the modelling dough provided, then it is all to play for as they race home, Kersplatting their opponent’s creative masterpieces along the way. There are also plenty of new action-packed

pre-school games launching this autumn, including Inch Worms, Five Little Fish and Squeak and Seek Mice. Each of the games has been designed to encourage learning through play and will certainly entertain inquisitive little minds. A brilliant pre-school game and perfect for little dino fans is the new Dinosaurs Galore board game from The World of Dinosaur Roar. Dinosaur Squeak is looking for all her Dinosaur friends so players must answer prehistoric questions, name different dinosaurs and make the loudest ROAR! to collect dinosaur figures and help Dinosaur Squeak find her friends. Significant media campaigns are planned for September through to December on key lines including Smart Ass, Google Eyes, Senor Pepper, Sort it Out and Kersplatt! including TV and online support. There will be online and social campaigns for Stupid Deaths, Tip of the Tongue and Are you Dumber than a Box of Rocks. Kersplatt! and Sort it Out will see new, thought-provoking TV creatives that will make any family want to play them.

Stunning structures REVELL

01296 660 291 Revell’s new 3D Puzzle range launched earlier this year. Made up of several series, incorporating famous buildings and vehicles from history, Revell’s 3D Puzzles are constructed from colour paper/EPS foamboard; are supplied on flat-packed sheets; assemble easily; require no special tools or glue to complete, and are aimed at ages 10 and above. Once complete, you’re left with a beautiful display piece for all to admire. The ‘Mini’ range is aimed at the complete 3D Puzzle beginner and has a deliberately lower parts count to keep the construction simpler and quicker too. Reasonably priced, Mini 3D Puzzles are perfect stocking fillers and general pocket-money items. The ‘Skyline’ series is more challenging and focuses on a famous city from around the world. Each set includes a selection of the most famous structures to be found in that location and groups them on a self-contained display base with included name plaque. The famous buildings range includes worldwide landmarks that we all know and love, including the Eiffel Tower, Big Ben and Dubai’s Burj Al Arab. The larger vehicles series includes two of the most famous ships in history, the ill-fated R.M.S. Titanic (800mm long) and Lord Nelson’s flagship, HMS Victory (570mm long). Released this month, Notre Dame de Paris will be the first Revell’s 3D ‘Masterpiece’ series puzzles require subject in the range.


no special tools or glue to complete.















Stealing the show JOHN ADAMS

01480 414361

John Adams Leisure is expanding its established and hugely successful games portfolio for 2019 with a host of fun lines for the whole family to enjoy. Joining the range is Bank Attack – an intense and thrilling co-operative game where players work together to crack the vault to release the gold hidden inside and steal the 50 million dollars. Each person is assigned a role; all players must listen to the boss to swap and use tools, making sure to press buttons at the right time to open the vault before the alarm goes off. The game has five challenging levels, plus one bonus level. Shaking things up is Shake Off, where the aim of the game is simple – the more you shake, the more you score. Spin the spinner to decide where you’ll wear the shake-ometer, then once ready press the timer and shake. The hilarious ‘hoot if you toot’ family challenge game Whoopee Doo is sure to get families giggling. Players must sit on the large inflatable whoopee cushion and complete challenges before the time


runs out; otherwise they’ll blow off in front of everybody. Clock It! is the game where players have to say, draw or mime... it’s a race against time. Place 12 cards around the clock-face board and start the clock timer, which shows the card you have to draw, mime or describe to the other players. Competitors must guess as many cards as possible before the time runs out. There’s plenty of fun for younger kids too, with wacky new action game Shark Chase. Escape the shark to be the winner – swim too slow and you’ll be his dinner! With Tetris celebrating its 35th anniversary in 2019, the collection has been extended to include new single and multiplayer games all based around the iconic Tetrimino shapes. Tetris Shake is the stacking, shaking, strategy game where your skills and nerves are put to their limits. With 43 quintillion combinations and its unique turning and twisting action, the Rubik’s Cube has boggled minds since the eighties and is still the ultimate when it comes to brainteasers. Rubik’s Cage is a fun and strategic game of Tic Tac Toe for up to four players. It may seem easy to get three in a row, but you can twist and turn the Cube to re-shuffle the game and you can even turn it upside down to really scramble your opponent’s chances. Fans of the world’s most perplexing puzzle can take on a new challenge with the Rubik’s Edge. The three by three by three cube is a single layer puzzle with nine cubes in a square – but it’s harder than it looks. In Rubik’s Match players race to build the pattern on the challenge cards, using their own set of Cubie Cards. The first person to complete the pattern wins the round.

Fact! Tetris celebrates its 35th anniversary this year.







Giant selection VIVID

01483 449944 Goliath Games is launching more than 20 new games in AW19 across the pre-school, kids, adult and family, licensed and party games categories. New for the younger ones, Early Bird is a game in which players must pull back the bird so he can peck at the tree and try to get to the worm, which will pop out. There is also the popular Foxy Pants and Shark Bite and the classics: Don’t Wake Dad!, Lucky Ducks and The Magic Tooth Fairy Game. The kids games portfolio includes Dragon Snacks. Kids will love waving their hands in front of him to see his belly light up, taking it in turns to peek inside to try to remove coloured snacks from his tummy. Letting kids experience the fun of mini golf at home, Gator Golf is the game that gets players to hit the ball into the gator’s mouth. Moving away from animals, there is iTop, the pocket-sized electronic spinning top and the fun and educational Wordsearch Junior. Bringing families together for an ‘ice’ time, Freeze Fall is the new game that gets you to put on the mask and spin to see how many times you must press. No ice? Then pass it on – but get ready! The ice can fall at any time. On Your Marks is the all-new game of quick brand recognition. And families can now enjoy the mystery and thrill of an escape room with Escape Room The Game. There is also Catchphrase, based on the ITV game show, Silly Sketch – a drawing game with a difference – and Dizzy Letter Disc, a head-spinning word game. Or, for those looking for a classic and addictive game, look no further than Sequence. Giving games a magical twist are two new Harry Potter games. The Tri-Wizard Maze is a twist on the fast-action Pop ‘N’ Race play as you race around the Triwizard hedge maze to capture the Triwizard cup. Calling all Wizards! The Magical Beasts Game requires you to collect all the magical beasts that have broken loose. YouTube sensation Ryan’s World is coming to a game near you. Ryan’s Pop ‘N’ Race game is a twist on the classic game. There is also the Ryan’s World Springin’ Spiders Game, where players compete to catch as many spiders in the web as possible. It’s time to join the party with four new party games! Collect a hamburger and all its ingredients with Burger Party. Colour Smash is the fast-moving game of colour coordination. Think you know your friends? Think they know you? Play True Colours to find out! Side Effects is the game of experimental charades and absurdity. The pre-school, kids and family and adult games will benefit from TV and there is also a strong digital campaign across a variety of games across the Autumn-Winter season.


The number of new games that Goliath Games will be launching in AW19.


Belly laughs GP FLAIR 020 8643 0320 For a sumo smashing showdown, look no further than Belly Bashimi. Each game comes with two inflatable bellies that any sumo wrestler would be proud of. Inflate, wear and let the games begin. The aim is to knock your opponent out of the sumo ring with one belly push, as they reach and collect the Sushi playing pieces included in the box. You’ll need to use your head in a different way with HeadSplat, but beware; your performance will either save or soak you. HeadSplat is the water challenge game where you must use your head to flip a water balloon into the splash out cup. Hit the rim or miss, the balloon will burst and you’ll get head splatted. For the cerebrally minded, 20Q is the ultimate tech toy and game that, through its in-built algorithms, always knows what you are thinking. The concept is simple, think of something and then let 20Q guess what it is; it will invariably succeed in doing so in less than its allotted 20 questions. For those who loved the original, fear not, this 20Q is smarter than ever and comes with a new ergonomic design that makes playing it even easier. Players can use it solo, or play with friends.

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01869 363 800 With a strong performance throughout the first half of the year, Ravensburger builds on momentum towards the festive season with a powerful raft of puzzles and games introductions. Innovative marketing, hot licences and unique product propositions deliver a wealth of opportunity throughout the second half. The first board game to be powered by the Google Assistant, kNOW! offers games fans an always-up-to-date, multi-activity play experience. With a series of games within the game comprising different challenges based on intuition, fun, knowledge and creativity, it enables players to create a unique experience every time. Suitable for play on or offline, kNOW! brings new news to the games aisles and Ravensburger will roll out a wide-reaching, high-impact marketing programme putting this game at the heart of games night fun. Children will enjoy edge-of-the-seat action with Monster Splat. This great-value proposition sees players test the speed of their reactions as they try to be the first to swat the monsters with the sticky slime hands. With interest in tabletop gaming increasing, the Disney Villainous lineup continues to grow. Villainous – Wicked to the Core and Villainous – Evil Comes Prepared both offer three new Disney ante-heroes for players to discover. The company’s Jaws game with its ultimate attention to detail, is already proving popular among fans of the hit movie franchise. Among the other Ravensburger games to be TV advertised are ThinkFun’s Rush Hour, as well as Labyrinth, Bugs in the Kitchen and new Bugacula game. Established leader in the 3D puzzle world, Ravensburger will add to its line-up with an iconic London Bus edition and Campervan celebrating Woodstock’s 50th anniversary. The new Harry Potter Knight Bus 3D Puzzle will spark the interest of fans of the young wizard, too. Taking in the breadth of the company’s 3D offering, a major marketing campaign will showcase new dimensions in the puzzling experience with new TV, digital and in-store activations throughout the second half. With Downton Abbey making its big screen debut this year, Ravensburger’s Downton Abbey 500- and 1,000-piece puzzles capture the atmosphere of the era with stunning imagery featuring the best-loved characters in their finery. Disney Frozen II forms a key focus for Ravensburger’s children’s licensed offering this autumn with highlights including a 3D Castle Puzzle and 3D Olaf shaped puzzle. As the franchise welcomes a new generation of fans, Ravensburger games including classic Mini Memory, Frozen Labyrinth Junior and Go Elsa Go! games are certain to be on wish-lists.

Did you know?

Ravensburger is releasing its 3D London Bus edition and Campervan edition puzzles in celebration of Woodstock’s 50th anniversary.


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Introducing Big Potatoâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;Junior Potato Collectionâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;. Three of our favourite games for ages 6+, wrapped up in a shiny new CDU. Thereâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s OK Play Duel, a head-to-head tile race, Dino Dump, a poo-dodging card game, and The Muddles, a game about collecting animals and turning them into Muddles! Fancy one for your shop? Chat to Emily at or give her a ring on 07427 824526.














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Game changers HASBRO 020 8569 1234 Hasbro Gaming continues to bring fun, excitement and newness to the gaming market with the launch of the Monopoly Voice Banking game. This new version of Monopoly features lights and sounds and comes with an interactive Mr. Monopoly banking unit. The iconic Monopoly top hat is voiceactivated and the personality of Mr. Monopoly handles all of the game’s transactions. He keeps tabs on players’ money and properties so there’s no cash or cards to think about. Talk to Mr. Monopoly and he responds. Users press their token’s button and say, “Buy St. James Place” and Mr. Monopoly will track the transaction, keeping the game moving. To win the Monopoly Voice Banking game, players must travel around the board aiming to be the person with the most money and highest property value. The Tiny Pong Solo Table Tennis game brings exciting bouncing action into the palm of your hand! Players launch the ball off the court and bounce it repeatedly on the court to rack up points by moving the court back and forth under the ball. Users should aim to keep it going, getting a point for every bounce. To increase the challenge, they can switch from Beginner mode to Expert mode. The game responds with lights and sounds as players try to beat their highest score by getting as many bounces as they can. Who will make the porcupine pop? This exciting kids’ game combines simple play with silliness and suspense. Roll the die, press the porcupine’s nose that number of times, and hope his darts don’t fly out. No one knows when that will happen, and the only player not to make the porcupine pop wins. Kids can switch up the gameplay and try a round where whoever makes him pop first wins. Or try a game where each dart colour is assigned points and when the porcupine pops, players race to grab as many darts as they can, and the player with the most points wins. Among new releases, Hasbro Gaming continues to cater for all families with its array of classic games including Monopoly, Cluedo, Connect 4, Hungry Hippo’s, Jenga, Operation, Twister and many more.


Did you know? The Monopoly Voice Banking game comes with an interactive Mr. Monopoly banking unit, which handles all of the game’s transactions.



Chairs in the air! TREFL

07850 779797 Trefl is one of the biggest manufacturers of puzzles and games in Europe and holds most of the major licences for children’s puzzles. The company also has a wide portfolio of licensed games, with a strong focus in the UK for 2019 on its Mistakos stacking chair game. Designed to be played by up to four players, Mistakos has already sold more than 480,000 pieces worldwide in three years. As products are delivered directly from the factory in Gdynia, Poland, Trefl can offer some of the most competitive prices. Unsurprisingly, the company has recently seen a 45 per cent increase in UK business. Trefl’s range has been increased by 25 per cent and it now offers more than 600 items. In 2019, Trefl launched its 1,000-piece Crazy Element Puzzles. What makes them crazy is that they do not have a square edge, so these puzzles really challenge the puzzler – no more getting the outside frame completed first. For more information, please contact Trefl’s representatives Steve Richardson or Ria Richardson to arrange an appointment.

Did you know? Trefl’s 1,000-piece Crazy Element Puzzles don’t have a square edge, so players complete the outside frame first.

Fun-fuelled family fun MOOKIE TOYS

01525 722722 Since announcing its partnership with YULU earlier this year, Mookie Toys has been off to a great start with the YULU games lines. This has allowed the company to expand into the games and puzzles category, opening all sorts of opportunities. YULU has already had amazing success with products like the award-winning Watermelon Smash, the hilarious family water roulette game that has been popular amongst YouTube influencers, generating hundreds of millions of online views. Oops Scoops, the super fun stacking game that challenges players to stack icecream scoops onto ‘Oops’ the shaking cone was launched in Smyths earlier this year. This will be launching nationally in the upcoming months and we are excited to see the outcome. Yulu has some exciting new additions launching in 2020, including Peeking Duck and Poppin Popcorn which are expected Mookie Toys announced its partnership favourites. Keep an eye out for the new YULU with YULU earlier this year. games range!

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know? Mookie Toys

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Vive la difference! What are the top toys in Europe? Looking at how children across Europe shop for toys, we have found Italian children aged three to 12 are most likely to purchase from dedicated toy stores (26 per cent), followed by Spain and France (21 per cent). German children are the least likely to have visited a toy store in the last month (19 per cent). This compares with 25.5 per cent of children in the UK who visit toy stores. When it comes to the favourite toys of children aged three to 12, LEGO has been the consistent favourite with kids in the UK over the past two years, but it’s German children who most prefer LEGO ahead of local brand Playmobil. It’s clear that Playmobil in Germany is favoured by girls – with a 75 per cent skew, whereas LEGO is preferred by 78 per cent of boys. Looking specifically at girls, Barbie is the favourite toy in both France and Italy, whereas girls in the UK and Germany prefer LEGO and Playmobil. Hot properties in Europe One area that the UK, France and Germany all share in common is their love for all things Harry Potter. In all three regions, Harry Potter is the favourite book and overall character. Interestingly, the peak age for Harry Potter as a character in each of these markets is identical – 12 years old. The gender breakdown is also extremely similar, with a skew of around 60 per cent girls to 40 per cent boys in each region, showing how the Harry Potter brand is consistently resonating across multiple territories, eight years on from the release of the final movie. Harry Potter is least popular in Spain, where the children prefer SpongeBob. Children in France are also the most likely to name video game characters among

their favourite, with Mario and Pokémon both appearing in the top five. This is despite only 49 per cent of children in France reporting that they play video games, compared with 70 per cent in the UK.

The connected ecosystem At Kids Insights, we view the kids ecosystem system as a whole. Trends that emerge in the toy world influence and spread into the digital world and vice versa. Likewise, if children are spending more time on digital activities, they have less time to spend in their offline world. The balance between the digital and offline worlds in Germany significantly differs from that of the UK. Our latest data shows that almost half as many children in Germany have access to a tablet than in the UK. The country is known for its strict stance on children’s digital privacy – defining the age of consent at age 16 under GDPR (compared to 13 in the UK) and even banning the sale of kids smart watches Making a difference in 2017 due to concerns around privacy. There are some key similarities and Consequently, 76 per cent of all differences across Europe. children attend an extra-curricular club, First, a device many compared with 68 per cent young children use to in the UK. Children access the digital world It’s clear that the in France are – the tablet. In much of attitudes, behaviours Europe, including the also the most and consumption of UK and Spain, which are children vary significantly leading the way, tablet and likely to name by region across the tech use in general is high, video game European continent. with eight in 10 children characters having access to a tablet. One size does not fit all among their However, looking a little In March 2019, Kids deeper, our data shows favourite, with Insights launched its tablet usage is not all the service across France, Mario and same. In the UK, 30 per Germany, Italy and Spain Pokémon both – surveying a total of cent of children in this category own an Apple iPad, appearing in 42,600 children aged compared with the 20 per three to 18 annually. the top five cent who have a Samsung This data, combined tablet. In Spain, the pattern with the 63,900 children is reversed, with 35 per cent of kids the surveyed by Kids Insights across the same age owning a Samsung tablet, US, UK and India, offers them a global compared with 12 per cent for Apple. perspective into the world of children. Children’s content consumption also Through its platform, Kids Insights differs between the two regions, with has identified a series of trends in 56 per cent of children in the UK using the UK and US earlier than most, Netflix, compared with 45 per cent in including the rise of the Fortnite Spain. In the UK, 72 per cent of kids phenomenon, the growth of TikTok, have spent money on apps, compared and Korean K-pop bands and culture with 60 per cent in Spain. entering into the UK.

Nick Richardson, CEO of Kids Insights, says that when it comes to Europe, one size does not fit all. Children across the Continent are very different creatures, as the research shows

We’re offering brands an immersive planning meeting to illustrate how data and insights can help your advertising, content, licensing, product and marketing planning for 2020. To book a session, visit or call +44 (0) 330 159 6631.



What’s on the box? TV advertising is monopolised by toy advertising as we head towards the festive season. But how important are TV ads when targeting children and their parents? TnP investigates


hristmas TV ads are a huge part of the public’s psyche – so much so that in recent years, much speculation has built up before the ‘premiere’ of Christmas ads from the likes of John Lewis and M&S, and social media is full of discussion about whether the retailers have hit the mark this year and whether they have improved on last year’s efforts, Toy retailer The Entertainer kicked off its Christmas TV campaign with sponsorship of ITV’s This Morning. And the tactic worked, says Chief Marketing Officer, Phil Geary: ‘‘Last year’s TV campaign delivered great results for us. Both in-store and online sales were up during key TV moments and in the subsequent days that followed a key burst of activity. We implemented a brand tracking study to measure the impact on brand awareness during the most important sales period of the year and we were delighted with the results.’’ And the 2018 Elton John/Rocketman Xmas ad did the trick for John Lewis, too: ‘’Total views of our ad across all social media platforms topped 50 million, a 62 per cent increase on last year, and sentiment was overwhelmingly positive,’’ says a spokesperson for the retailer.

A preChristmas TV campaign reinforces brand awareness during such a crucial sales period Phil Geary, The Entertainer Alpha


‘’Partners helped to launch the ad on social media and it was trending within 16 minutes.’’ But there is more to life than TV, cautions Nick Richardson, MD of Kids Insights. “TV is obviously an important factor, but our Kids Insights data continues to show that children continue to spend less time than ever watching linear TV, so maybe it’s time we start looking beyond preChristmas TV advertising?’’ The Entertainer’s Phil Geary agrees: ‘‘A pre-Christmas TV campaign is great for brand awareness but will only translate to sales if backed up by an effective marketing strategy across all channels. It’s not just important at Christmas either. The work we do year-round to engage our customers, for example with our calendar of community-based initiatives, is as important when ensuring we’re the destination of choice at Christmas. A pre-Christmas TV campaign reinforces our brand awareness during such a crucial sales period. ‘‘From in-store to our website and not forgetting the importance of social media now as a way to reach customers daily, we ensure our plans are aligned across the channels and our stores and platforms ready to support customers in their purchases. So while TV is great for brand engagement, it’s ineffective if you aren’t delivering what the customer wants throughout the rest of their journey.’’

Fact! The 2018 John Lewis Christmas TV ad featuring Elton John clocked-up more than 50 million views on social media – up 62 per cent on the 2017 advert.


So what can we expect to see gracing the screens and prompting those letters to Father Christmas this year? Well, Alpha Group’s best-selling transforming all-terrain creature Terrasect will be appearing on TV screens and YouTube from October half-term onwards Bandai will promote its collectable ranges – Bananas, Foodie Surprise, Robozuna, Smooshy Mushy, Pomsies, and Squishimals – its new Froggy Party game and plush brand, Rainbow Dreams on terrestrial and satellite TV. Pokémon will be at the heart of the Character Options ad campaign, while Flair will target girls with its Spirit Riding free range and its Hairdorable collectables. Fans of PJ Masks will be introduced to the new PJ Seeker playset. Vivid meanwhile, has something for everyone, from Goliath’s games, to the extreme marble track system, Boomtrix. Siso will focus on satellite TV and YouTube with its campaign for Masha and the Bear, and Mookie will promote mess-free tie-dye Tybo sets. Playmobil will focus on Playmobil: The Movie playsets as well as Ghostbusters and DreamWorks Dragons sets. For retailers it’s more about keeping the brand out there: ‘‘Our TV Ad is never about selling a specific product but about finding the perfect gift,’’ says the John Lewis spokesperson. Phil Geary agrees: ‘’We are most likely to focus on brand awareness rather than specific toys as this is so changeable in the lead-up to Christmas.’’




Terrasect TV takeover Alpha Group UK

01293 804599

Alpha Group UK is planning a heavyweight campaign across both broadcast and digital platforms to promote Terrasect – the relentless rolling R/C. The unstoppable reptile was a seasonal sellout sensation in 2019 and can flip, roll and crawl in any direction, lighting the path with its glowing eyes. Terrasect, which is suitable for ages eight years and over, can be used indoors or outdoors for endless adventures. Also launching for the October half-term will be a highimpact YouTube advertising run, targeting the increased migration to digital platforms for children’s viewing habits. Alpha Group’s The YouTube campaign will continue until 15 December best-selling via TruViews.


transforming allterrain creature will be appearing on TV screens during the October half term for a twoweek campaign.

Building momentum Mookie Toys

01525 722722 Mookie Toys has worked hard this year to develop strong media plans to support its product portfolio in the run-up to Christmas. Tybo is the mess-free, tie-dye experience that children can use with great results every time. The new Tybo Print Studio lets children personalise and decorate their tie-dyed items by using screen printing and stencils to create patterns and pictures. The launch of the Tybo Print Studio is supported by a new TV commercial that started running in August. #SNAPSTAR will be launching nationally this October supported by a multi-channel media campaign. With a heavyweight TV campaign to support the launch, #SNAPSTAR is set to be a must-have for Christmas. The free #SNAPSTAR Studio app helps ‘tweens turn their dolls into social media stars. The dolls are articulated to allow for those all-important poses! Mookie’s partnership with Silverlit is still going strong. A big focus for the RC range is to provide unique offerings, like Robo Chameleon. New on TV for this year is Robo Dash, a lovable robotic puppy who will follow you wherever you go. Driving onto screens in September is the twoin-one, all-terrain stunt vehicle Fury Cross and the super transforming amphibious vehicle Aqua Jet – which is part of the new Exost stunt vehicle range.

Stealing the show Playmobil 01268 548111 From September to December, Playmobil’s strategic campaign is set to deliver 7,950 TVRs, building continued momentum to attract and inspire family members looking for that all-important Christmas present. The extensive campaign will focus on 16 Playmobil themes including the new range of Playmobil: The Movie playsets,. Pre-Christmas TV advertising will showcase popular sets such as the City Action Fire Station, Mission to Mars Space Station, City Life Tiny Paws Pet Hotel, Family Fun Summer Villa and Magic Crystal Palace.

TV teasers VTech 01235 555 545 AW19 will see VTech have a strong media presence across all channels that are popular with children and mums. In fact, 86 per cent of children aged four to nine and 85 per cent of housekeepers with children aged three and under will see a VTech commercial at least once this year, meaning that VTech will be hard to miss, with 16 different TV campaigns. VTech will TV advertise new ranges in the younger years portfolio, such as ZoomiZooz, a fun group of animal friends who wobble and bounce. The Kidizoom range will be boasting strong digital and TV presence within the pre-Christmas timeline, which will ensure the ever-popular VTech Kidizoom Camera maintains its position in the December Top 20.




Hungry for more Bandai

0208 324 6160

Did you know? Foodie Surprise is a new collectables craft range from Bandai. Find out more about the range on page 28.

A mix of traditional, digital, and social campaigns commenced from the summer holiday period with additional bursts planned for hero brands from October through to December. Ranges including Bananas, Foodie Surprise, Robozuna, Smooshy Mushy, Pomsies, and Squishimals will be supported with a collection of 10” and 20” spots aired across terrestrial and satellite channels, plus pre-roll YouTube ads. Foodie Surprise – a new collectables craft range – and the award-winning collectables range, Bananas, top the majority of placements to reflect the company’s commitment to both brands with 360-degree marketing plans. A comprehensive TV advertising plan will be implemented for the new Froggy Party game and new plush brand, Rainbow Dreams. Integrating traditional with digital and social channels, Rainbow Dreams and Sea Monkeys will receive backing to showcase both lines, while Froggy Party and brand-new preschool range Timber Tots will receive support from Facebook targeting during Q4. A robust pre-Christmas TV advertising schedule is supported by cinema kids club advertising for Robozuna, Bananas, Foodie Surprise, and Froggy Party. Each of the ranges will also benefit from social, experiential, and influencer activations until the end of the year.

Ramping it up! Making a splash Character Options

GP Flair

0161 633 9800

020 8643 0320

Character Options commits to having the strongest of TV and marketing across its entire brand line-up. And with the festive buying season fast approaching, the company is ramping up itsactivities across all platforms. The awesome Pokémon line has grown substantially in 2019 with continual waves of new figures, plush and roleplay lines plus a cute new pocket-sized Pikachu. With this widespread collection comes extensive marketing, and key to the activity will be the My Partner Pikachu Toy. With two interactive modes, Pokémon Trainers can discover all that’s possible with this new handheld friend, while also training Pikachu to react just as they need him to. Standalone TVCs are to be broadcast while influencer activity and digital advertising will reach out to the gaming community who are so very attached to the brand. Plush toys are abundant in the autumn lineup and from July you can expect to see a host of new Pokémon products featuring in the assortments.

Christmas Spirit will be abundant with the Spirit Riding Free range and central to the campaign will be the exciting new playset Spirit & Lucky Grooming Paddock and the impressive Deluxe Spirit Walking Horse. A high number of TVRs and pre-roll advertising will feature the brave and adventurous Lucky and her cherished wild mustang Spirit introducing this action-packed play experience to fans. Influencer activity, together with a late autumn event, is also part of the marketing mix.


Action stations Jazwares 0203 598 0270 Jazwares will deliver a high-impact, multi-channel marketing campaign, ramping up pre-Christmas activity across the entire portfolio, including enhanced TV support for Fortnite, Roblox, Pixie Belles, Lucky Fortune, Untamed and Baby Shark. TV advertising will run from September, raising awareness over the Christmas buying months.




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Covering all bases

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Siso Toys UK

Siso Toys UK is gearing up for a strong second half with TV advertising on its two key brands before Christmas. First up is Masha and The Bear, which is a strong performer for Siso, with the brand up 40 per cent YTD according to NPD. Media resumed from August with a five-week-long campaign on YouTube. The on-air TVC campaign will run for two weeks from 2 September on Disney Jr, Milkshake, Nick Jr, Tiny Pop and Cartoonito. Siso will run the TVC on YouTube from 16 Sept to 20 October. The TVC will hit the stations mentioned above for three weeks between 21 October and 10 November. The media plan will wrap up on 24 November, with two more weeks of the TVC on YouTube. The featured lines will be the Winter Bear House playset, the 23cm Doll and the 40cm Bear. Siso Toys UK has Toy Story 4 covered on RC with the marketing plan going live last month to drive sell through heading into peak. An eightweek-long heavyweight TV campaign will air across CITV, ITV, Disney XD, Nickelodeon, Nick Toons, Pop, Pop Max and Cartoon Network, featuring the 1:24 scale Woody, Buzz and new favourite Duke Caboom.

01483 449944 Vivid’s campaigns will be running from August through to December. Animagic with new spots featuring the new Wild pets – Peri the Penguin and Arty the Owl and Scoot the Follow me Puppy. Nestlings will be arriving in September with a campaign including digital, kidfluencer launch activity and TV. Boomtrix is the new extreme marble track system, which will benefit from in-store, digital and TV. Other supported launches include Micro Wheels, Muddy Buddies, Munchkinz, Squeezamals and Science4you. Goliath will be supporting 12 children’s games including Dragon Snacks, Freeze Fall, Gator Golf, Early Bird and Lucky Ducks, Don’t Wake Dad, Foxy Pants and Shark Bite. Four adult and family games will feature in their own campaigns: On Your Marks: Silly Sketch, Dizzy Letters and Word Search. Crayola’s key launches will be supported with heavyweight TV advertising: Washimals, featuring the new Beauty Salon and Vet Set Carry Cases and the My First Crayola line.

Saddling up for Q4

It’s showtime! Paul Lamond Games | University Games 020 7254 0100 University Games and Paul Lamond Games has pre-Christmas advertising campaigns scheduled on eight of their brilliantly entertaining games. Smart Ass and Google Eyes will return to TV for AW19, alongside Señor Pepper, Sort it Out and Kersplatt! 2019 will see University Games and Paul Lamond Games largest media plans, including traditional TV and social campaigns for the lines outlined above and online and social campaigns for Stupid Deaths, Tip of the Tongue and Are you Dumber than a Box of Rocks. Kersplatt! and Sort it Out will be on air from September with new, thought-provoking TV creatives that will make any family want to play them.


Trending on TV Ravensburger

01869 363 800 Among Ravensburger’s substantial catalogue of TV-advertised lines for Q4 are GraviTrax, 3D Puzzles, Monster Splat and BRIO. The first TV campaign for BRIO puts the brand’s BRIO World system in the spotlight. The creative showcases items including the BRIO World Railway Starter Set, BRIO World Smart Tech Engine with Action Tunnels and BRIO World Smart Tech Action Tunnels with Track set. As new add-ons and expansions join the collection, GraviTrax benefits from heavyweight TV showcasing the breadth and versatility of the range. Experiential activations across the UK enable children to get hands-on with this popular system. Ravensburger will support many of its popular and new games and puzzles lines in the final quarter with impactful TV campaigns. Among these Monster Splat, Labyrinth, 3D Puzzles and ThinkFun’s Rush Hour. Digital marketing and PR also form vital pillars of marketing programmes.


01279 870000 A major focus for autumn is the Horse Club TV coverage, which continues to air across the UK and Ireland. The channel list includes CITV, Disney Channel, Milkshake, Nick, Pop and Cartoon Network. The stars of the campaign are the four Horse Club riders and their horses, in an equine world centred around the best-selling Large House and Stable and the new award-winning Rider Café, plus other key playsets. The significant investment in TV and digital is just part of a multi-media strategy that includes the microsite and the recent launch of the new Horse Club app. This, with other landmark occasions and events for the brand, makes it a very exciting time to be part of the Horse Club.


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For this month’s TnP Toy Ambassadors’ Special, our tiny testers’ delve into the realms of outdoor playthings. It’s been a month hard at play for our cohort of toy testers, as they bring to you their findings on the latest and greatest in the category this year. They’ve put these products through their paces to give you a sense of why they love them and how best to sell them in-store. Our TnP Ambassadors took to their local parks, gardens and cul-de-sacs to trial a selection of outdoor products from some of the industry’s giants, including a trampoline from Mookie Toys, a scooter and an electric rideon from Wilton Bradley, TV and film character-inspired wigwams from MV Sports and fake snow from Zimpli Kids. As you will see over the next eight pages, with new toys comes newfound joy. Read on to hear the stories and experiences of real families and hear exactly what they think...

“One of the main reasons Betty-May has become so attached to her new wheels is that she feels like a proper grown up, with a ‘real’ working car” Mum Tracey on Wilton Bradley’s electric ride-on Range Rover Sport SVR

“For mums, dads and grandparents, the best part is that SnoBalls offer no-mess fun. They don’t leave stains, they’re easy to clean, irritant free and environmentally friendly” Mum Demi on Zimpli Kids’ Snoball Battle Pack

“As far as I’m concerned, this trampoline is the Ferrari of the trampolining world. It’s great fun for kids and kidults alike!” Uncle Simon on Mookie Toys' TP Infinity Leap Trampoline

“The wigwam makes for a fun outdoor play experience” Mum Leanna on MV Sports’ TV and film character-inspired Wigwams



Fact! The TP infinity Leap Trampoline is the world’s first two-level trampoline.

New heights

Uncle Simon says:

“It’s great fun for kids and kidults alike!”

When Daniel and Evie bounced into action testing Mookie's revolutionary trampoline, their 'fun' uncle Simon also got in on the act! My nephew Daniel (aged 11) and my niece Evie (aged 6) love screen time – TVs, tablets, games consoles, smart phones – you name it, if it involves a screen, they love it. Now, don’t get me wrong, it's important that kids learn how to use all of the tools at their disposal, but it’s also critical to get children outside, soaking up the benefits of fresh air and physical activity. As a family, we try to encourage the kids to spend as much time as possible outside. My sister’s house is located on a quiet cul-de-sac, where there are a lot of children of a similar age, so they regularly want to play out in the street with their friends. They can be a little reluctant to stay cooped up in

the garden, where you don’t have to worry about cars and it’s a little easier to supervise. But when we were given an opportunity to trial the TP infinity Leap Trampoline, my sister’s garden suddenly became a hot spot for all children in the close. Naturally, when the trampoline arrived, we were keen to get it up straight away. In total, it took us a couple of hours to put the trampoline together. It was relatively straightforward and the build quality was superb – I have no concerns whatsoever that the trampoline will collapse or break. In fact, the only concern raised by their mum was

that the trampoline would be difficult to take down and move. But as we soon learned, one really cool design feature of the trampoline is the unique, patented YOYO Enclosure System that enables the enclosure to be taken down and erected in less than a minute by a single adult. The ‘lift’ and ‘lower’ system allows parents – and helpful uncles – to quickly lower the sides. But I don’t think we’ll be moving it any time soon, as the kids love the Infinity Leap Trampoline! Daniel and Evie live next door to a family that has a trampoline. Their garden used to be a popular destination, but because the TP Infinity Leap is the world’s first twolevel trampoline, featuring two bounce zones at different levels for double the fun, the other trampoline doesn’t get much of a look-in anymore. The trampoline’s longer Rapid Rebound Springs also offered a superior bouncing experience. My little niece Evie loved testing how high she could jump – she was convinced that if she tried hard enough she would be able to reach the sky! And my nephew, who is that little bit older – and more daring – was particularly impressed by the trampoline’s two-levels, which offered plenty of scope for fun tricks. 11) Starting this term, Daniel will be attending trampoline club on a Thursday evening. He’s a little bit nervous that the other children in his class will be more advanced than he is, so he’s been spending hours upon hours brushing up on his skills and trying his hand at some tricks. He’s a real daredevil and not afraid to attempt some of the more advanced stunts like flips (when supervised by his responsible uncle!). So it’s reassuring to know that the trampoline has a safe Interlox Protection System that eliminates the risk of the jumpers feet making contact with the springs, keeping them within the safety of the enclosure. Thanks to Mookie, Daniel and Evie – and their fun uncle Simon – can enjoy hours of fun while getting that all-important exercise. They will have the satisfaction of playing without noticing how much exercise they’re doing. It’s the perfect solution for kids who don’t like to take part in conventional types of exercise. As far as I’m concerned, this trampoline is the Mookie Toys Ferrari of the 01525 722722 trampolining world! It’s great fun for kids and kidults alike!

Daniel says:

“Now I can practise the tricks I le a r n at trampoline club when I get h ome” (aged





Summner fun As the weather heated up, our little ambassadors got outside to enjoy the sun with some of the latest and greatest products in Wilton Bradley’s toy portfolio

Fuelling fun “Seeing my three-year-old Betty-May sat behind the wheel of a white Range Rover Sport SVR – albeit a fun-sized electric ride-on version – was somewhat unnerving," says mum Tracey. "On any given day it’s probably a bit scary seeing a toddler driving a car, but with Betty-May’s limited attention span, I was understandably a little bit more on edge than your average parent! But to my relief, she loved it, and remained fully immersed in the task at hand – zooming around the garden on her new motor. “The vehicle was fast enough to keep my little thrillseeker entertained, but not the retractable footrest – changing “She feels so fast that it compromised from the push-and-go mode into like a proper electric to keep things exciting. her safety. This cute little grown up” pint-sized Range Rover also “Betty-May loves this car so much has a back rest for additional that her other toys rarely get a looksupport and an anti-tip system in. I can tell that this isn’t going to be one of to prevent unfortunate accidents, which is those toys where the novelty quickly wears reassuring for cautious parents. off and it gets pushed to the back of the “We’ve previously looked at getting toy cupboard. So for us, the Range Rover a Range Rover – a brand synonymous ride-on offers great value for money. with comfort, luxury and safety. And this “One of the main reasons Betty-May has miniature version offers all the perks with become so attached to her new wheels an impressive level of detail. Betty-May is that she feels like a proper grown-up. loved the working horn, headlights and As far as she's concerned, she has a ‘real’ built-in music. working car. I only wish that the family“This little Rangey also lets young car sized Range Rover came with such an enthusiasts switch between ride modes with appealing price tag!”

Mum Tracey says:

Take the Mi-Mic

Mia says:

Bubble whammy “My daughter Dotty, aged five, was so excited when I brought home the Xootz Bubble Scooter,” says Dad Owen. "She’s drawn to all things cute and girly, so the pink and blue colourway went down a treat – and the fact that it blew bubbles out the back meant that it got an instant double tick! Dotty also loves spending time outside, so it really was no great surprise when she took an instant shine to this tri-scooter. “I was impressed too – the easy-to-assemble instructions meant that it took just 10 minutes to build. And the product was of a good quality; it felt “This kept both my really sturdy, with girls entertained. As soft handle grips Dotty scooted around and a nonslip deck the garden, her sister to help minimise chased after her the risk of having an accident. popping bubbles” “Not only was Dotty pleased with her new scooter, but her sister Betty-May also had a whale of time playing with her big sister’s new toy. My youngest daughter, who is three years-old, was quite content chasing after her sister’s new wheels, popping the bubbles that were left in her wake. And because of the threewheeled design, Betty-May was also able to try her hand at a bit of scooting with a little adult supervision, giving Dotty an opportunity to practise sharing! “It was a joy to watch them play together and blow off a bit of steam. And I would one hundred per cent recommend this product to anyone with children aged three-plus. It kept my daughters entertained for hours, encouraging them to stay fit and active, while they enjoyed some fun and fresh air. It’s also great value for money – win-win!”

“I felt like a “Barbecues are a winner in our family, but it can be difficult to keep the kids entertained while the superstar” grill heats up. So, we were thrilled when Aged 12 we were asked to try out the X Factor Mi-Mic Microphone,” says Helen, mum to Mia (aged 12) and Millie (aged nine). “Both girls can be a little shy, so it was great to see them stand up in front of the family and give a confident performance. And because the microphone is a wireless Bluetooth device, the girls were able to use it indoors and outside. “What was also great, was seeing my girls encouraging one another." Mia says: “Singing with the Mi-Mic was so much fun. I felt like a superstar. My favourite song to sing was the Circle of Life.” Millie says: “I liked how the light flashed to the beat of the music, and the echo voice changing mode was also really fun!”

Dad Owen says:


Wilton Bradley 01626 835400

Exclusive to Wilton Bradley

01626 835400

S R O D A S S A AMB L A I C E SP Dad Paul says: “What’s great is that it’s compactable and fits into a small bag to store it away when not in use”

Mum Georgia says:

“It took just five minutes to put up and provided hours of fun”

Versatile play MV’s Wigwams let kids choose whether to tie back doors to create an open play space or close them off to make the perfect hideaway. And because the Wigwams are water and UV resistant, they can be used both inside and outside.


Going glamping! This summer, three lucky families had the pleasure of testing MV’s gorgeous range of character-themed wigwams Mum to Evie (aged four) and Flori (aged 18-months), Georgia says: “Much like many small children, Evie and Flori love getting outside to play – especially when that play involves making mischief! The girls are also huge fans of Peppa Pig, so they were understandably delighted when i came home with a Peppa Pig Wigwam for them to play with. “And personally, I was delighted by how easy it was to construct, especially as I’m not tent savvy! It took just five minutes to put up. “Hours were spent this summer playing out-of-doors in their smart little hideaway. Everything had to be done in the wigwam! The girls had a teddy bears’ picnic in their new den, they played games inside it, ate their breakfast in it and they used it for pretend play, making up cute – albeit sometimes curious – role play scenarios! “From my perspective, the wigwam was a great little safe space from which the girls could enjoy the great outdoors. Being both waterproof and UV resistant I felt reassured that they would be sheltered from the sun and left dry in the case of rain, while they played under cover. And, because the wigwam is also suitable for use indoors, the girls won’t have to miss out on their newest favourite plaything as the weather starts to cool off and get a little wetter.”

“I was relieved to discover the wigwam took very little time to build – in fact Albie was in the den, with his Toy Story friends within 10 minutes of the box being opened. And, I am happy to report – I too was sat down, sipping on a beer with my feet up. “In terms design, I think MV Sports are bang on the money. The characters look uncanny to the firm favourites in the film and the quality is superb. What’s also great is that it’s compactable and fits into a small bag to store it away when not in use. “All in all I think that this is a great product that any child would love, especially as there are so many different themes to choose from.”

Mum to Mia (aged five), Leanna says:

“I would go as far to say my daughter Mia is Frozen’s biggest fan, so when I came home with an MV Sports Frozen themed wigwam, you can imagine her excitement. “She recently had her fifth birthday that followed a Frozen theme, where the wigwam took pride of place. She spent most of her time at the party in the wigwam, singing her favourite Frozen songs, making a real effort to entertain us all. “Since the party, the wigwam has been relocated to our back garden, where she has Dad to Albie (aged three), Paul says: enjoyed watching the Frozen film on an iPad. “My son Albie is a happy little boy who Of course, she is eagerly is rarely seen without his Buzz and awaiting the release of Woody toys – he’s Toy Story obsessed! Frozen II, which comes “So, when I came home after a long out at the end of this day at work, dreaming of a nice sit down year, and plans to watch and a refreshingly cold beer, it goes that in the wigwam too, without saying that I should not have when it is released. stepped into the house with a Toy Story “One thing I would say box tucked under my arm. Albie spotted about the wigwam is that it really makes the Toy Story images on the box as soon for a fun outdoor play experience.” as I came through the door. Long gone were my hopes of a relaxing evening. “Albie, who has surprisingly good negotiation skills for a three-year-old, convinced me to build his new wigwam MV Sports so that he could set up camp for him 0121 748 8000 and his toys.





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Let the adventure begin... TNPT - SEPT 2019 - Brand Tepee Ad v2.indd 1

16/08/2019 13:17:39


A snow-brainer School’s out for summer and TnP’s toy testers were on hand to put the Snoball Battle Pack from Zimpli to the test Always keen to try out new things to keep the kids smiling, Demi was eager to trial Zimpli’s Snoball Battle Pack. “We should With two little boys to stock up so entertain – Sam (aged we can have three) and Josh (aged snowball fights ” four) – she asks: “What all year round! child doesn’t have a aged 12 fascination with snow?” Demi also told TnP that her sons love getting outside to play! So when they were asked to review the Snoball Battle Pack, a product that combines the boys’ fascination for snow with their love for playing outside (children today really do have the best of both worlds), it’s perhaps no surprise that it was a huge hit! Demi says: “I was pleasantly exciting and unfamiliar." surprised at how easy it was for them to “Josh was thrilled by the unusual make. All you do is add the recommended texture and enjoyed making it into balls amount of water to create the snow and and said that he loved the feel of it. His then add some additional water and salt little brother Sam also wanted to get in to dissolve the product. Because it’s so on the action. He was initially nervous to easy and safe, it’s perfect for the threeget his hands dirty, but once he started, plus age bracket. he thoroughly enjoyed getting a bit messy “I could see this was a brilliant and helping his big brother create and product that would serve to enhance throw the Snoballs. sensory and physical play, enabling “For mums, dads and grandparents, them to feel a different texture and physically play with something that they the best part is that Snoballs offer no-mess fun. They don’t leave stains, had made themselves. they’re easy to clean, irritant free and “From a parent’s perspective, I environmentally friendly. As with all loved watching them create and enjoy boys their age, Sam and Josh love to the mixture, because I could see the excitement on their faces when they were make mess, but with Snoball Battle Pack, everyone’s a winner!" able to touch and explore something

Kacie says:

Finding things for the kids to do over the summer holidays can be tricky. But when the weather is being kind, children can get outside for some good old fashioned play! Lindsay has two girls – Kacie (aged 12) and Amy (aged 10) – and sometimes looks after her nephews Jayden (aged 15) and Kian (aged 10). Always on the lookout for fun things to do with the kids, she was excited to put Zimpli’s SnoBall Battle Pack to the test. “I love the concept of SnoBall Battle,” says Lindsay. “It’s really fun – who doesn’t love a snowball fight when it snows? And now kids can enjoy a snow-battle when the sun is shining! The girls and their cousins loved it – it kept them entertained for hours. And the best part is that it cost a fraction of the price of going to the cinema, bowling or your typical holiday activities! “I had peace of mind, knowing that nobody was going to get hurt. All of Zimpli’s products are safe on skin and non-toxic, and the texture of the ‘snow’ was so soft that it was like being splashed with water. “I could tell they were having a blast. It was great to see them all getting along and playing together – running around the garden, trying to dodge one another’s SnoBalls! So, another added benefit was that it got their heart rates up for a bit of fun-fuelled exercise! “This free-for-all Snoball fight was the perfect activity for kids who enjoy a bit of friendly competition. But due to the versatile nature of the product, it doesn’t just have to be thrown around. It’s also ideal for little ones who enjoy sensory play.”

"Snoballs offer nomess fun"


Zimpli Kids 01254 460006




And so to bed Juratoys


ny parent of young children will tell you that bedtime is a big deal. Unless you are blessed with an angel, most parents will have had some issues with getting their little ones to sleep – whether it is a Reading to daily occurrence of an occasional one. your baby is such a And there is no one lovely calming end happier than a parent who has got all the to the day and children to bed in time gives parents and to enjoy a cheeky glass of wine and babies a sense of something on Netflix. closeness So if you can help them in their quest for Michelle Probert, bedtime Nirvana, you Juratoys will have some very grateful customers on their hands. “Sleep is essential for mental and physical health and wellbeing and even more so, for children and teens. It’s important to encourage and establish a good bedtime routine as it’s key in achieving a good night’s sleep. Implementing and sticking to a consistent bedroom routine really does work,” says Lisa Artis, Sleep Blogger for The Sleep Council. “One of the best ways to get children ready for bed is to have an

Bedtime is a big part of the daily routine for children. TnP discovers just how important a routine of bed, bath, stories and more can be

established wind down routine, which usually goes along the lines of tea, quiet play, bath, story and bed. “Reading a bedtime story with their child, with their favourite soft toy, is a fantastic way to calm a child before bedtime.” Michelle Probert, Sales and Marketing Manager at Juratoys, says their soft toys are the perfect solution. “Kaloo has a reputation of oh so soft products suitable for babies and children and all of these products are designed by parents. We understand the importance of a routine, especially at bedtime. Reading to your baby is such a lovely calming end to the day and gives parents and babies a sense of closeness. Kaloo books and plush toys are designed to make children feel happy, content and relaxed.” Rhiannon Findlay, Commissioning Editor, Ladybird agrees: ‘’Reading with a child before bed can play an important role in establishing a regular bedtime routine, and can be a special, peaceful time spent together at the end of a hectic day. Books written using gentle rhythm and rhyme often have a lulling effect that will help a child wind down before bedtime, while illustrations can also encourage sleep through enchanting scenes and soft, dusky tones.

Fact! Sleep is essential for mental and physical health and wellbeing and even more so, for children and teens (Lisa Artis, Sleep Blogger for The Sleep Council).


“Designed specifically for bedtime, the Ten Minutes to Bed series from Ladybird features a countdown to sleep at the heart of each story.” Michelle Probert adds: “Children can embark on sweet journeys with Kaloo’s ultra-soft baby books. Each cuddle-up baby book presents lovely illustrations to behold, a story to tell, fabrics to stroke and fun activities to stimulate baby’s senses and to share tender moments.” Lucy Wolfe, sleep consultant and Ambassador for family-run baby retailer Baby Elegance, suggests some low-key play opportunities: “Invest in low-impact play activities, puzzles, and shape-sorting stacking cups. Older children might like dominoes, spot the difference or word games – whatever activity; ensure that it is connected time. “It is also helpful if you spend lots of non-sleep time in the bedroom as well as change nappies and get them dressed. Play with them in their room up to 30 minutes per day as this can help encourage positive associations with the room and in turn sleep time.” Lisa Artis also suggests some pre-bed toys and games: “Parents can offer quiet activities that are motivating to their child. Fine motor skill activities are perfect to aid relaxation – jigsaws, colouring in, threading, building with bricks etc.” Lucy Wolfe adds: “It may also help to have music or white noise on in the background – to regulate the heartbeat and help your child to relax.”

Creature comforts Juratoys | Kaloo | Since Kaloo was founded in 1998, Kaloo has had a reputation of oh-so-soft products suitable for babies and children – and all of these products are designed by parents. Responding to a natural need for tenderness, love and comfort, Kaloo has created a world of softness; generous, soothing and full of precious moments of tenderness. Kaloo products use a mixture of soft and textured materials that are warm and soft, gentle to touch, moisture-wicking, with resistant fibres and colours. These materials are carefully selected, guaranteeing high

Music to their ears Infantino 07921 212072 Catering for newborns to 36 months, Infantino’s product range includes an innovative range of nightlights to sooth babies to sleep. Most recently, Infantino has launched the Fox Musical Soother and Night Light Projector. Babies and toddlers will love this multi-purpose night light, as the Infantino fox and its adorable cub have a few tricks up their sleeve when it comes to sleep. The ingenious night light soothes little ones by playing relaxing lullaby music and nature sounds for 20 minutes. There are five comforting songs to choose from and three nature sounds. If that wasn’t enough, the fox’s tail gently moves and projects a colourful light display onto baby’s wall, to lull them into a peaceful slumber. The beautiful light display, which is adjustable, depicts stars and clouds in an array of colours and creates a visual interest which little ones will love, as it promotes eye tracking and focus. And the Fox Cub can be removed. Designed to provide comfort to little ones wherever they go, the baby fox can be held throughout the night or be placed in the cot to help little ones fall asleep. It’s also a great feature for when travelling, or for siblings that both want to enjoy the night light. It can even be used to assist little ones who are toilet training.


Did you know?

quality, as well as the wellbeing and safety of baby. Within the range, Kaloo offer a selection of comforters, Chubby Teddies and other soft toys to There are six ultrahelp reassure children, both soft baby books to throughout the day and before choose from including they go to sleep. Kaloo’s super The Happy Unicorn, soft collection also includes a range of rattles, books and The Tired Dinosaur activity soft toys to help babies and The Curious Lion. and little ones grow surrounded by comfort. Reading to baby is such a lovely calming end to the day and gives parents and babies a sense of closeness. With Kaloo’s ultra-soft baby books, children can embark on sweet journeys. Each cuddle-up baby book presents lovely illustrations, a story to tell, fabrics to stroke and fun activities to stimulate baby’s senses and to share tender moments. These books are also designed to stimulate children’s imagination and senses. The team at Kaloo understands the importance of a routine, especially at bedtime. Kaloo plush toys, books and comforters are designed to make children feel happy, content and relaxed. With the help of the classic accessories from the Perle and Plume collections, parents can create a warm ambiance in their little ones’ bedrooms, helping all members of the family to enjoy a peaceful night’s sleep.

Ahoy, matey! Playmobil | 01268 548111 The Playmobil 1.2.3 range offers a wide range of entry-level playsets for developing toddlers. The toys feature bright colours, rounded shapes and detailed functionality to help ignite imagination and encourage learning through play, while the large pieces make it ideal for small hands to hold. The 9118 Playmobil 1.2.3 Pirate Ship floats on water, making it the perfect bathtime toy for children to go on endless pirate adventures. The integrated air chamber in the interior of the ship prevents the boat from sinking, even if it is filled with water, so children can join the jolly crew and set sail to the high seas and find the hidden treasure! Suitable for ages 18-monthsplus, elements include a standing space for a Playmobil 1.2.3 figure in the crow’s nest on the mast and behind the turning wheel. This standing space also has a clamping function for the figure.


The integrated air chamber in the interior of the 1.2.3 Pirate Ship prevents the boat from sinking, even if it is filled with water.




Sleepover with Peppa! Character Options 0161 633 9800

Somewhere over the rainbow Dual purpose Bandai

0208 324 6160

Rainbow Dreams acts as both a cuddly companion and night-light.

Bandai taps into the ongoing unicorn trend with the introduction of new brand Rainbow Dreams. Made from super-soft plush materials, Rainbow Dreams is a magical unicorn with light-up features that plays music and soothing sounds. Suitable for ages 18-months-plus, Rainbow Dreams acts as both a cuddly companion and night-light for added comfort during bedtime routines and while sleeping. Children simply press the rainbow motif on Rainbow Dreams to activate light-up rainbow coloured hues designed to delight by day and settle by night. A mute option is included to prevent unintentional sound activation and ensure uninterrupted sleep.

Sleepovers with Peppa make for the perfect bedtime routine thanks to the delightful new Peppa Pig Feature plush toy from Character Options. From the ever-popular Peppa Pig Plush toys range; the new Sleepover Peppa is the essential take-along toy for a night with the grandparents or the perfect night-time friend for home. Whatever the occasion she is bound to become an ever-present part of the bedtime routine. Watch as Peppa gently glows as a night light when you press her tummy and she also plays a soft lullaby. Sleepover Peppa also comes with her very own sleeping bag carry case, making sure she too is tucked up when it’s time for bed.

Did you know? Sleepover Peppa gently glows as a night light when you press her tummy and she also plays a soft lullaby.

Sparkle at bathtime Zimpli Kids 01254 460006 No more boring bathtimes – kids can be whisked away into a dream filled with fantasy and unicorns thanks to the new Baff Bombz Unicorn range. The Zimpli Kids range is packed full of bright and exciting colours, which are bound to make bathtime before bedtime an absolute dream. Available in Orange and Pink, Pink and Purple, and Aqua and Green. So gallop your way to bathtime with a Unicorn Baff Bomb – perfect for children who were born to sparkle!

See the light

Watch with Moonlite

020 8953 6627

Chicco Adding to its range of sleep-time accessories, Chicco has launched the Next2Moon Projector – an innovative soothing toy that combines the magic of storytelling projection with the cocooning effect of a wide canopy. The Next2Moon is a three-in-one projector that can be used fitted onto the cot with the canopy attached, with the canopy removed or on the bedside table. The Next2Moon projects a colourful night sky onto the canopy or ceiling, which comforts little ones at sleep-time, while also playing soft calming music. Chicco First Dreams Baby Bear is designed to comfort and reassure babies as they drift off to sleep. It features a soft tummy with a projection to serve as a soothing night light, as well as the ability to play a goodnight message that can be activated at the touch of a button. 80

Spin Master 01628 535000 Perfect for bedtime stories, favourite tales come alive with Moonlite, an easy-to-use, award-winning storybook projector. The small device clips onto a smartphone and uses its torch to project vibrant storybook images onto any surface! While projecting the images, the Moonlite app displays story text and plays sound effects, creating an immersive story-time experience. PAW Patrol fans can hear their favourite adventure-filled PAW Patrol tales with the new Moonlite uses a smartphone Moonlite PAW Patrol Gift Pack, torch to project storybook or look out for the Moonlite Eric images onto any surface. Carle Gift Pack.

Did you know?

Once upon a time...

32 High Park Road, Kew Gardens, Richmond TW9 4BH • United Kingdom Tel: +44 (0)20 8878 2133 • • website



Step back in time TnP’s Founder Malcolm Naish looks back through the news of Septembers past: 1989, 1999, 2009 and 2014

September 2014

September 1999

• We interviewed Selfridges Toy Buyer Danielle Dondi. The retailer had recently switched from Christmas buying months to a year-round toy department, reaping the benefits in the process. Selfridges’ toy offering spanned products priced 99p up to £30,000 at retail.

• We announced that Toy Fair would be moving from Olympia to a new site in the Docklands from 2001. It was also announced that a new consumer show ‘Total Fun’ was to be held during the October half-term at ‘Olympia 2’.

• At Selfridges, leading licensed characters included Peppa Pig, Spiderman and Transformers. Selfridges was also having a great year with Furby and Frozen Loom Bands from HTI, as well as other Frozen products that it could get its hands on.

• Malcolm Evans made the announcement that Smoby was moving to a new 10,000sq. ft. office/showroom and warehouse.

• The Entertainer won the impressive accolade of ‘Family Business of the Year’ in the Private Business Awards. • Golden Bear reported good sales for its new In the Night Garden Ninky Nonk Train and was hard-pressed to fulfil demand. • Hasbro headed the August 2014 TV chart spend with a whopping £1,262,654 at rate-card – well ahead of its nearest rival on just over £800,000. • In our Toy Talk column we asked retailers what was selling well. Four out of five retailers highlighted Minecraft as the best-selling boy’s toy range.

September 2009 • Wilkinsons asked its suppliers for financial contributions. The whole saga produced almost universal condemnation. This was a time when trading conditions for suppliers, as well as buyers, were the toughest that they had been for quite a few years.

• Hasbro bought Wizards of the Coast in a $325m deal. This move brought its MD Steve Wilkes into the Hasbro family. • Paul Lamond Games added ‘Snazaroo’ face paints to its portfolio. • Norman Walker, President of K’Nex in the States, who wrote our regular ‘Letter from America’, spoke of the growth and power of Walmart and the rise of e-commerce. He said: “It has emerged from the primeval internet swamp and is spreading like an unstoppable virus. The e-tailers are able to inventory a very wide range of products on a just-in-time basis, and operate an inherently lower cost business model than a specialty or niche retail player who has to support bricks and mortar stores.” Reflecting on the state of business in 2019, I reflect on the accuracy of Norman’s observations. • When Ty announced that it would be retiring Beanie Babies at the end of the year, our retail readers were left wondering what would happen. With a new millennium looming they were looking forward to the replacement range, but they were worried about unsold stocks.

September 1989

• At the same time, Tesco’s FOB team were proposing a change to their FOB trading terms – bear in mind that this was September and the terms were agreed back in spring. Tesco’s accompanying letter said the company wanted to: “Work closely with suppliers to create long-term relationships.” One wonders who at Tesco genuinely believed that this approach was the best way to achieve that?

• Telitoy went into receivership. Over many years, this brand was run by Karl Schelhorn and his family – plus ace salesman Malcolm Cook. It was a great mid-sized toy company. Who remembers the company’s Victoria Plum and Gordon the Gopher product ranges? Bought by Sydney Orchant of Sharnaware fame in the previous November, we all wondered why?

• A delighted Alan Simpson announced that his Toy Town business was set to double its turnover in 2009, opening a number of toy concessions in leading UK department stores.

• I visited Superjouet’s HQ in the Jura valley region of France. Known as ‘plastic alley’, many French toy manufacturers were based in this beautiful region.

• We shared the terribly sad news that ex-Freeman’s Toy Buyer Jacqui Stevenson had passed away. This was a great shock to all. Around 200 attended her funeral at Lambeth Crematorium.

• Hornby announced a turnover increase of 66 per cent – up to £11.6 million with an operating profit up 140 per cent to £1.127 million.

• Another passing was that of John Bagnall, who was well remembered as a great Midland’s toy shop owner by John Nicholas. • Disney announced its plans to acquire Marvel Entertainment in a cool $4 billion deal. • Adrian Whyles was appointed MD of University Games’ UK arm. He made the prediction that the company would see sizeable growth based on its range of family games.


• The BTHA announced the creation of the ‘Lion’ mark as a guarantee of toy safety compliance. This stirred up a hornets’ nest as the Toy Importers Association believed this would be both confusing and misleading. • Of course, tempers eventually calmed down and both Associations benefited from their strict code of practice that saw toys – whether imported or home manufactured – continue to be safe. • These sort of problems never truly go away, as can be witnessed by the number of knock-off products that continue to enter the British market from disreputable manufacturers.

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: Foodie Surprise Company: Bandai Tel: 0208 324 6160 Web:

Product: Infinity Leap trampoline Company: Mookie Toys Tel: 01525 722 722 Web:

Product: Avocado Smash Company: Wild & Wolf Tel: 01225 789 909 Web:

Product: Peter Pan – Disney Thomas Kinkade 1000 piece puzzle Company:Coiledspring Games Tel: 020 3301 1160 Web:

Product: U-Move Scooter Company: MV Sports Tel: 0121 748 8000 Web:

Product: X Factor Microphone Speaker XF1S Company: Wilton Bradley Tel: 01626 835 400 Web:

Product: Bank Attack Company: John Adams Tel: 01480 414 361 Web:

Product: ThinkFun Invasion of the Cow Snatchers Company: Ravensburger Tel: 01869 363 800 Web:

Company: Zimpli Kids Product: Ryan’s World Aqua Gelli Baff Tel: 0845 459 1818 Web:





- Brand new TVCs for Articulate & The Logo Board Game - Heavyweight TV support in November & December - PR & Digital gifting campaigns









How many phrases can you describe?

Cracking Christmas Trivia!


Call 01932 281928 email

Profile for Lema Publishing

Toys n Playthings September 2019  

In the September issue of TnP we bring to you the latest and greatest in the games and puzzles category and our tiny toy testers put some of...

Toys n Playthings September 2019  

In the September issue of TnP we bring to you the latest and greatest in the games and puzzles category and our tiny toy testers put some of...

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