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January 2017 volume 6 issue 5

January 2017 volume 6 issue 5

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©2016 Spin Master PAW Productions Inc. All Rights Reserved. Paw Patrol and all related titles, logos and characters are trademarks of Spin Master Ltd. Nickelodeon and all related titles and logos are trademarks of Viacom International Inc.


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The Team...

CONTENTS January 2016 volume 6 issue 5

John Baulch

Publisher and Managing Editor john@toyworldmag.co.uk 01442 502 408 07932 651 207

58 Retail Interview: B&M Bargains

73 Hot Properties

Mark Austin

Advertisement Manager mark@toyworldmag.co.uk 01442 502 405

Anita Baulch

Circulation and Financial Director anita@toyworldmag.co.uk 01923 711 439

News

Opinion

Features

08 From the Publisher

34 NPD column

32 Mattel Q&A

10 News

37 Talking Shop

46 Generation Media Q&A

24 Industry Moves

48 Viewpoint 114 Breaking Bad:

58 Retail Interview: B&M Bargains

26 Marketing World

62 Retail Interview: Tesco

On-shelf dates

64 Licensing World

73 Hot Properties

258 Allegedly

90 Nuremberg Preview 118 Toy & Hobby China 120 New York Toy Fair

Clarabel Jones

Assistant Editor clarabel@toyworldmag.co.uk 01442 502 406

Contributors David Ripley | The NPD Group | Mark Buschhaus | Stephen Barnes | Lutz Muller

Jonika Kinchin

Assistant Editor jonika@toyworldmag.co.uk 01442 502 406

90 Nuremberg Preview

Salma Haidrani

Assistant Editor salma@toyworldmag.co.uk 01442 502 406

120 New York Toy Fair

toyworld The business magazine with a passion for toys

Alakat Published by

61 Maxted Road, Hemel Hempstead, Herts, HP2 7DZ

www.toyworldmag.co.uk @toyworldmag @baulchtweet

toyworldmag

Simon Morrison

Design and Production Manager simon@toyworldmag.co.uk 01442 502 405

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Toy World Magazine


CONTENTS Toy Fair Preview

Toy Fair Profiles

123 Toy Fair 2016 Preview

146 Simba Smoby

126 Exhibitor List

154 Sinco Toys

130 Maps

156 Chicco

132 Touching Base: New Exhibitors

160 Interplay

136 Touching Base: Toy Fair 2017

162 Posh Paws

146 Toy Fair A-Z

164 KIDdesigns 166 GP Flair 204 Character Options 208 Spin Master 216 Vivid Imaginations 232 Playmobil 234 Wilton Bradley

E140

E149

Catering Services

E150

B150

B149

Toy Fair West Café

123 Toy Fair 2016 Preview

toyworld The business magazine with a passion for toys

See us at Toy Fair stand GH37 Toy World 6

B135


H

appy New Year to you all. I hope you enjoyed a wonderful festive season and your batteries are fully recharged, ready for what lies ahead over the coming weeks. For now, we enter Toy Fair Season, the most gruelling - and yet exhilarating - time of the year for the toy community. Proceedings will already be well and truly underway by the time this massive issue lands on your desk; a trip to vibrant Hong Kong kicks things off, followed swiftly by the Toy Fair in London, then on to Nuremberg and finally New York.

from the publisher

John Baulch - @Baulchtweet

As you would expect, this edition focuses heavily on these forthcoming shows, and in particular Toy Fair at Olympia. In addition to our exhaustive round-up of everything you need to see in London, there is also a separate pull-out supplement devoted to the children’s gifts, toys and gadgets area of Spring Fair, as well as the second part of our guide to the Nuremberg Toy Fair. Hopefully retailers will approach Toy Fair Season in a positive mood, looking back on a successful end to 2016. With Christmas Eve falling on a Saturday, there was an expectation that sales in the last week before Christmas would be vital in delivering a strong festive trading performance. According to NPD, the last time that Christmas Eve fell on a Saturday, the final weeks’ numbers were far higher than any other week’s trading that year – let’s hope that 2016 saw this pattern replicated. Of course, selling lots of toys in the run-up to Christmas is one thing, but making a profit is another matter entirely. I’ve worked in the toy trade for over 35 years, and you have to go back a long way to find a fourth quarter so deeply impacted by promotional activity. Anecdotally, I heard of one store manager who was receiving three pages of price changes from head office almost every day in November and December. Intriguingly, not all those changes involve prices dropping. It seems that many retailers were – in the words of one of my independent retail friends – ‘ducking and diving’, with prices not just slavishly following other retailers in a race to the bottom, but instead reflecting stock levels and consumer demand. If retailers had stock of a line which they perceived was in short supply elsewhere and they decided to let the price drift upwards, who can blame them? When I commented on the vagaries of retail pricing in the toy market in the Friday Blog back in early December, little did I suspect quite how much feedback I would receive on the subject, nor how passionately people feel about it. The finger of suspicion continues to point at Amazon and the price comparison scanning programmes

it operates, which automatically adjusts prices depending on what other retailers are doing. When suppliers talk about Amazon, one perspective consistently crops up; namely, how they can deliberately reduce prices below a sensible level, then tell a supplier they aren’t making enough profit from their lines and request that they contribute to funding the profit shortfall. I heard of numerous examples where they dropped the price of a line dramatically, sold out, then steadfastly refused to re-order unless the supplier agreed to reduce the cost – while, at the same time, their replenishment team was emailing to warn that stocks were dangerously low. It’s nice to know they have such a finely honed, co-ordinated approach. However, although online retailers remain the most frequently cited miscreants when it comes to aggressive pricing strategies, their approach is inevitably having a knock-on effect on the way that multi-channel retailers operate, especially when some of them are experiencing a significant shift in the percentage of their sales coming via the online channel. Literally days before Christmas, I caught up with Tesco’s John Driscoll and Dawn Lavalette, after comments in my Blog - about how the industry perceived their recent promotional activity - prompted them to get in touch. Their feedback was illuminating: you can read what they had to say on page 62. I also recently spoke to B&M Bargains chief executive Simon Arora, and he proved to be an equally interesting and candid subject to interview (see page 58). I think both pieces make compelling reading and whether you are a retailer or a supplier, I hope you will appreciate the insight into the thinking of a couple of the UK toy trade’s leading retail exponents. Indeed, I hope you enjoy the whole of this jampacked issue. Myself and the entire Toy World team look forward to catching up with you over the coming weeks. In the short term, we’ll be out in force at Olympia, where you can catch us on our usual stand situated on the main aisle, right at the heart of the show, GH37. Toy World will be back in the first week of March with an issue which will round-up our experiences from each of the major domestic and international Toy Fairs. In the meantime, you can log on to our website – www.toyworldmag.co.uk – for daily news updates over the whole of Toy Fair season, as well as my own personal take on the shows in the Friday Blog. I look forward to seeing many of you over the coming weeks – 2017 is going to be a fascinating year on so many levels, let the fun and games begin.

• Consumer Media Relations • Corporate and Trade Media Relations • Digital and Social Media PR • Celebrity Seeding

Understanding your brand, communicating your message

• Internal Communications • Crisis Management • Publishing and Copywriting

+44 (0) 1494 372 130 info@miprglobal.co.uk www.miprglobal.co.uk

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• Event Management


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News CMA provisionally clears VTech’s acquisition of LeapFrog 2016 Toy Retailer of the Year finalists unveiled The BTHA has announced the finalists for the Toy Retailer of the Year Awards 2016. The shortlist is as follows:

Independent Toy Retailer of the Year

General Multiple Toy Retailer of the Year:

• JJ Toys, Gerrards Cross, Bucks • Midco Toys, Burton on Trent, Staffs • Totally Toys, Castlebar, Co Mayo, Ireland

• Argos • Sainsburys • Mothercare / ELC

Specialist Multiple Toy Retailer of the Year (up to 5 stores):

Department Store Toy Retailer of the Year:

• Ken Black Toys & Nursery • Starlings Toymaster • Toy Galaxy

• Toytown at Arnotts, Dublin • Harrods, Knightsbridge • Jarrold of Norwich

Specialist Multiple Toy Retailer of the Year (up to 30 stores):

Online Toy Retailer of the Year:

• Kids Stuff • SMF Toytown • Toy Barnhaus

Specialist Multiple Toy Retailer of the Year (over 30 stores): • Smyths • The Entertainer • Toys R Us

• Shop Direct • Smyths • The Entertainer The winners of the awards will be announced at the annual Toy Industry Awards held at Olympia, London on 24th January. The gala event, which takes place on the first evening of Toy Fair, is organised by the BTHA with the Toy Retailers Association (TRA), who will also present the Toy and Supplier Awards 2016 on the same evening.

The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) started its initial investigation in the acquisition in April 2016 when the deal was made. On 30th August, the merger was referred for an in-depth inquiry. Independent panel members involved in the investigation provisionally found that the merger may not be expected to result in a substantial lessening of competition in the supply of learning toys for 0-5 year-olds. It also found that whilst the companies were close competitors, there are numerous other credible suppliers, and VTech and LeapFrog were not each other’s closest competitor. Philip Marsden, inquiry chair, said: “We looked carefully at competition in the evolving and innovative toy industry, and in particular at learning toys and child tablets, to make sure this merger would not reduce choice for consumers or lead to higher prices. As part of our inquiry, we obtained the views of consumers as well as those of high street and online toy retailers, and other toy manufacturers. We are satisfied that even after the merger there will be a sufficient variety of learning toys for 0-5 year-olds available. We also found that the child tablet market is evolving rapidly with increasing choice available for people who want to buy electronic devices and content suitable for their children. We’re now asking for views on these provisional findings and will assess all the evidence before making a final decision.” VTech has welcomed the CMA’s decision. “I am very pleased that the CMA has provisionally cleared this merger,” said Allan Wong, chairman and group CEO of VTech. “We have always believed that the combination of VTech and LeapFrog will give consumers greater choice and ensure ongoing innovation of electronic learning toys.” VTech will continue to work closely with the CMA through the remainder of its merger enquiry.

DISTRIBUTING AND MARKETING

QUALITY CHILDREN’S BRANDS tel. 01604 678780 email. dkl@dkl.co.uk 11 Deer Park Road, Northampton, NN3 6QD, UK

www.dkl.co.uk DKL.Toys

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Toy World 10


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newsanalysis

Toy Trust pledges to Give the Gift of Play once more in 2017

Name-changers Having recently changed its name from KSG, Sequin Art Ltd is now geared up and ready for a fresh and exciting 2017. Clarabel Jones spoke to Stephen Ducker to find out the reasons behind the name change, and what plans the company has for the year ahead. What prompted you to change your name to Sequin Art Ltd? KSG first purchased the Sequin Art brand in the late 1980s. Over the years we have developed a range and made the Sequin Art brand one of the leading products in the art and craft sector; so much so that we’ve now become better known in the toy industry for our Sequin Art ranges than for any of our other products. We changed our name because we want our customers to know exactly who we are and what our key product is, and to make the natural connection between the brand and the company that produces it.

What impact on the business are you hoping that the name change will have? We are hoping that the name change will increase product recognition within the trade, and offer clarity for existing and future customers.

@toyworldmag

How was business for you last year? 2016 was an excellent year for us. We had an incredible Q4 period with our pre-Christmas TV advertising which introduced our new TV advert. We sponsored Nickelodeon and the Disney Channel in the afternoons in conjunction with advertising on six of the children’s channels, which all led to a massive spike in sales of our Sequin Art range. The export market has also grown substantially in 2016 for us, and we now have distributors for the US and Canadian markets adding to the representation we enjoy all over the world with our ever-growing list of overseas distributors.

What plans have you got for 2017? This year we’re continuing to build on the success of 2016 with new Sequin Art designs, as well as four new additions to our Diamond Art collection. On top of this, we have a Trio Safari 3-pack launching, but the main focus for us will remain on our Sequin Art range. We’ve also recently signed a licensing deal with Gorjuss, and two new designs will be ready for shipping in March 2017.

The Character Group releases preliminary end of year results Underlying pre-tax profit for the year is £12.5m, up 22.5% on the previous year, and current trading is commensurate with the company achieving the board’s profit expectations for the current financial year.

Following the success of 2016’s charity objective, The Toy Trust has pledged to Give the Gift of Play to even more children in crisis for 2017. 2017 marks the 25th anniversary of the Toy Trust, and with it will come even greater impetus to raise funds for children that need it most. The main fundraiser of the year will be the Big Cotswolds Challenge, for which Giving the Gift of play will be the sole objective. Hospitals and play therapy will be the key beneficiaries of the industry’s tough challenge event. The Big Cotswold Challenge will take place on 6th May at Heythrop Park in Oxfordshire. Other activities, such as the new heroes challenges, sporting events and pin badges, will all be part of the calendar, and details on these new initiatives will be announced soon. Foye Pascoe, chair of the Toy Trust committee, said: “It can be difficult to comprehend just how much of a difference play and play therapy can make to a child when they are going through difficult times. Often however it can be the forgotten link went it comes to fundraising, as paying for therapists and play equipment is not as tangible as large equipment and bricks and mortar. For the children involved, it is a vital part of their social wellbeing, and with play being at the centre of what our entire industry does, it seems especially fitting that we can help in this way.”

Results show that international sales are up 50%, and the top 10 performing brands account for 70% of revenue, including Peppa Pig which continues to deliver a high level of sales. This year’s results have been bolstered by Little Live Pets and Teletubbies, which complete the top three performing brands. The successful launch of Stretch Armstrong has also exceeded sales expectations. The company commented: “Our strategic focus remains to seek out and develop exciting products

which meet domestic and international market demand. Overall, current trading continues to be in-line with the board’s expectations, with pleasing levels of increasingly predictable contribution being generated from our established cornerstone brands. We are also very satisfied with the inroads that we continue to make in overseas markets, as demonstrated by the improved level of international sales, and we fully expect such growth to be a prominent factor in delivering our strategic growth ambitions going forward.”

Specialist Traders in all Licensed Merchandise Stand GH62

Buying/Selling We are active buyers & sellers of all licensed merchandise. We specialise in toys, games and gifts. We supply bricks & mortar stores and market traders.

Hemel Hempstead, Cash & Carry Warehouse. 01442 259612 Visitors strictly by appointment

Toy World 12

We are moving warehouse and will have our largest ever range of offers, with low carriage paid orders and show incentives


INSPIRING THE WONDER OF CHILDHOOD © 2017 Mattel, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Toy World 13


News

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Bertoy adds Tiger Tribe to its portfolio

Trod MD banned for price-fixing The boss of the failed retailer, whose warehouse was raided by the FBI following allegations of online price-fi xing, has been disqualified for five years.

Finalised on 1st January, Bertoy has added the Australian activity travel brand known as Tiger Tribe to its current portfolio, which includes Crocodile Creek and Krooom. Philip Morris, UK and Irish country manager, commented: “This is a fantastic opportunity and a great addition to offer the UK and Irish customer.” Philip also went on to advise that to assist with supporting the market in the UK and Ireland, he has expanded the sales force. The following agents are now responsible for handling all brands: North East England: Aimee Kite & Annette Lawrence 07712 183 478 North West England & North Wales: Carole Coupland 07813 842 734 West Midlands: Mark & Sarah Robinson 07766 112 314 East Midlands & East Anglia: Jenny Bendall 07957 231 888 South West & South Wales: Martin Pike 07721 009 999 South East England: Michelle & Mark Devery 07973 387 517 Ireland: Mary Brennan +353 872 429 164 Bertoy will be exhibiting at Spring Top Drawer, London Toy Fair and Birmingham’s Spring Fair.

Trod, which traded under the names of Buy 4 Less, Buy For Less, Buy-For-Less-Online, 247 Toys and Global Trader, was at the centre of a probe by the FBI and Competition and Markets Authority (CMA). It was alleged that MD Daniel William Aston and co-conspirators fi xed the price of certain posters sold online to US customers on Amazon Marketplace from September 2013 to January 2014. Daniel’s disqualification comes months after the CMA decided that Trod had breached competition law. It was fined £163,371. Its Rednal warehouse was raided in December 2015 and the business, which at the time had a turnover of £15m, went into administration in March 2016. Michael Grenfell, executive director for enforcement at the CMA, said: “Breaking competition law can harm consumers, businesses and overall economic performance. In this case, people shopping online were entitled to believe retailers were competing on price, whereas, unknown to them, the companies had colluded not to undercut each other’s prices. The responsibility to ensure that companies don’t engage in illegal anti-competitive practices is an important one, and company directors should not shirk that responsibility.”

@toyworldmag

Character Group celebrates 25 years The Character Group was 25 years old in 2016, and the company marked the occasion in style by turning this year’s Christmas party into a special celebration. Former employees of the company, along with a selection of friends and colleagues from the trade, were invited to The White Hart in Oldham to join the current work force from both the Oldham and New Malden offices at the event. Around 150 people in all were present, with some attendees travelling from Europe to attend the party. There was no ‘Gang of Four’ this time, as chairman Richard King was absent from proceedings, although he was represented by a life-size cardboard cut-out which made its way round the room. However, the ‘Gang of Three’ – Jon Diver, Joe Kissane and Kieran Shah – took it in turns to thank everyone in the room for the part they had played in the company’s success over the past 25 years. Toy World was privileged to be invited to join the event, which illustrated the amazing camaraderie that the Character Group has always engendered amongst its staff and industry colleagues.

UK and Ireland distributor for SES Creative, Peaceable Kingdom, eeBoo and Mudpuppy 029 2002 9724 www.steppingstonesmarketing.co.uk/distributor

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Toy World 15


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Plum announces exclusive distribution deal with Globber Scooters

Trends UK signs distribution deal with Be Amazing! Toys The company has signed a deal with Be Amazing! Toys to distribute the Insta-Snow range in the UK. Launching with immediate effect, the range includes the instant play snow in tubes or on blister cards. Perfect for creating a winter wonderland indoors, Insta-Snow is reusable. After a few drops of water, the powder expands instantly for snow that looks and feels real to touch. Be Amazing! offers educational, creative science kits and toys that teach real science. The Geyser-Tube creates a 30 foot high geyser fountain by combining the Mentos mints included with cola in a bottle. Lindsay Hardy, marketing director at Trends UK, commented: “Be Amazing!’s iconic products have a fantastic track record, selling millions of units in the US. It is a fantastic opportunity to become its UK partner, and we are delighted to present the best-selling Insta-Snow and Be Amazing! range to our customers.”

The range will be revealed at London’s Toy Fair this month. Globber is an international brand, and products include the award-winning My Free 5-in-1 adaptable scooter and balance bike. Style, colour, guaranteed quality, unique features and accessories can be expected from this versatile range for all ages. To complement the new product category, Plum has also secured distribution rights from Authentic Sports for scooter ranges No Rules and Muuwmi, giving authority in this sector. This is the first time that the Authentic brand has been made available on the UK market, having already successfully taken the German and French markets by storm. The Muuwmi brand offers a diverse product range with scooters for all ages where as No Rules provides urban designs for teenagers with its use of graphics, lights, air tyres, double suspension and patented locking feature. As well as securing new distribution business in 2016, Plum also received numerous awards across the role-play and outdoor toy categories and created more new products in one year than ever before. Brand new concepts kept under wraps will be officially launched this coming spring/summer. Visitors to the London Toy Fair can find Plum stand C50, alongside the full range of scooter products, you can also view new retail merchandising options for their renowned large outdoor play equipment. The company will also be in Hall 7, Stand B28/30 at Spielwarenmesse.

Boo’s Toy Shop invited to Downing Street to mark Small Business Saturday An independent retailer from Poundbury, Dorset was one of 100 small businesses from around the UK invited to Downing Street on Thursday 1st December for a reception to mark the UK’s fourth annual Small Business Saturday on 3rd December. Small Business Saturday is a grassroots, not-for-profit campaign that offers small, independent businesses a moment in the national spotlight. Its aim is to encourage people not only to spend money with small independent businesses in the run-up to Christmas, but to also support them all year round.

Make it Real to unveil new ranges at Toy Fair Make it Real, the brainchild of ex-Wooky Entertainment talent Oliver Williams and Isaac Wolman, will present its range of creative products for the first time in Europe at Toy Fair 2017. Since the company’s inception, it has already secured distribution in over 50 countries across the world, administered from its two sales offices. A Baltimore sales office covers Northern America, Canada and South America and is headed up by

Charlotte Polley, owner of Boo’s Toy Shop, which offers a wide range of toys for all ages but specialises in traditional wooden toys, joined other small business owners at a reception at No.10 Downing Street attended by Margot James, the small business minister. “Small Business Saturday is an opportunity for us to celebrate the success of the UK’s 5.4 million small businesses – from family run restaurants, to innovative tech start-ups to local corner shops,” said Theresa May, Prime Minister. “I’m delighted that we had such a great representation of firms here in Downing Street to mark this event and recognise the prosperity they bring to the UK.” Small businesses across the UK have planned events, promotions and other activities to attract clients not only on 3rd December but also beyond. A five-week nationwide bus tour also visited 29 towns and cities in 27 days.

Isaac, whist Oliver looks after the rest of the world from the UK sales office in Manchester. Stock is available domestically in local markets, and bulk stock will also be available to order directly from China. All stock, storage, transportation and fulfilment is co-ordinated through one global logistics partner, ensuring that stock can be tracked accurately, anywhere in the world. The company has devised and gathered a team of Dream Guides. These professional mentors are women working in the creative industries. Through a free app they will share ideas, encourage creativity and host competitions which offer ‘money can’t buy’ prizes. London is the first of the European

Toy World 16

trade shows for the company, but they will also be exhibiting in Nuremberg and New York. Make It Real has already been appointed as the arts and craft partner for Animal Jam. The company is also proud to be associated with Disney and will be introducing new Beauty and the Beast, Descendants, Disney and Elena of Avalor Sketch portfolios, covering a variety of top titles including Frozen, Princess and more. The company will also be showcasing a full range of creative craft products at Toy Fair. Key items include a new home décor range and a kit to create a Knot and Bling Mermaid Tail.


INSPIRING THE WONDER OF CHILDHOOD ©2017Gullane(Thomas)Limited.©2017HITEntertainmentLimited.

Toy World 17


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Paul Lamond teams up with magician Jamie Raven

KD UK partners with Educa-Borras KD UK has announced a new strategic partnership with Educa-Borras, the pre-eminent Spanish manufacturer of games, puzzles and arts & crafts. The new partnership’s strong launch programme will be unveiled at Toy Fair, and will also include the Chicos brand of role-play, creative play and ride-on toys. The agreement extends KD UK’s current product offering, with a quality and proven range of best-selling products across multiple categories, whilst providing Educa with an exclusive distribution partner in the UK market. The new KD UK/Educa partnership will offer retail buyers exceptional business opportunities, as well as strong TV and marketing support across a number of key brands. Core focus ranges for Educa brand will include 3D Sculpture Puzzles, the international best-selling Lynx board game and award-winning Fofuchas, the number one arts and craft range in Spain. The core focus for the Chicos brand will be its licensed and Chicos brand role-play toys. “The Educa Group catalogue offers a hugely rich high quality range of products for all ages, combining Educa’s prestigious own brands and popular children’s licences,” said Seth Bishop, MD at KD UK. “We are excited to work with Educa in 2017 and onwards.”

Stepping Stones Marketing appointed UK and Ireland distributor for SES Creative. Leading independent toy and gift distributor, Stepping Stones Marketing, has been appointed by SES Creative as its distributor in the UK and Ireland. SES Creative is a Dutch manufacturer of a range of creative and educational toys. The company was established in 1972, and now delivers 350 different products, spread over 11 different product categories, in over 70 countries all over the world. The head office and production facilities are located at Enschede in Holland, where new products are invented, developed and manufactured. Stepping Stones Marketing is launching the brand at London Toy Fair and Birmingham’s Spring Fair. In addition to the Stepping Stones Marketing stand at both shows, SES Creative will also be supporting the launch with a stand at Toy Fair. Stepping Stones Marketing’s MD, Paul James, commented: “We are delighted to be working together with SES Creative in distributing its range of craft and activity lines in the UK and Ireland. The brand, which looks to provide children with creative activities that challenge and educate at the same time, is a great fit with the other brands that we currently hold. The variety of product lines is exceptional, and I’m sure we’ll be enthusiastically accepted by existing and new stockists.”

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This year at Toy Fair, Paul Lamond will make its debut into the world of magic with one of Britain’s most talented magicians, Jamie Raven. Jamie, who wowed audiences and judges alike with his magic skills on the 2015 series of Britain’s Got Talent, has teamed up with the company to develop four Magic Sets. The new licensed range consists of four magic sets: Card Magic, Magic of the Mind, Street Magic and Sleight of Hand, and contains all the components required to perform multiple tricks. Youngsters can also learn directly from Jamie, as each Magic Set includes a secret online link where Jamie demonstrates how to perform each trick. The star also shares many helpful hints and tips on how to polish up one’s magic skills. The four magic sets will be available from February 2017. Richard Wells, MD of Paul Lamond Games, commented: “With Jamie on board, it really does look like 2017 is going to be a truly magical year for us. Jamie is such a cool, young and talented magician; youngsters are captivated by him and the effortless magic he performs. It’s fantastic that Jamie is going to be sharing some of his secrets within these sets so we can all look to emulate him.” Jamie will be giving an exclusive performance at 11am on Tuesday 24th January at Toy Fair on Paul Lamond’s stand.

Alpha Animation and Toys to launch in the UK Following the successful launch of subsidiaries in North America and France, Alpha Group has announced that Mark Hyndman has been appointed as general manager for the UK and Ireland to launch its UK subsidiary. President of Alpha Group US and Europe, Jean-Christophe Pean, said: “One of the key pillars of our growth strategy is international expansion through the establishment of Alpha subsidiaries in key markets. Having successfully worked for some of the key toy companies in the UK, including Hasbro, Zapf, Flair and HTI, Mark brings unparalleled expertise to the role.” Mark took Toy World through the ranges and products that will be available from Alpha in the coming year, including new girls’ line Cutie Cubes, pre-school animation Super Wings and a new range of metal fighting tops, Infinity Nato. “I’m very excited by this amazing opportunity, we’ve got some great products in the pipeline for 2017,” he said. “Alpha is a huge global company and I can’t wait to see how the UK will take to the brands and ranges.” “We have ambitious plans for the UK market and our portfolio of brands has acute potential. Super Wings in particular provides us with a great opportunity as we look to replicate our tremendous success in France and Spain.” Alpha will be showcasing its new 2017 ranges at the Hong Kong and Nuremberg toy fairs.

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©2017Mattel,Inc.AllRightsReserved.™&©2017WWE.AllRightsReserved. ©2017HitEntertainmentLimitedandKeithChapman.©2017AcamarFilmsLtd. DC SUPER HERO GIRLS and all related characters and elements © & ™ DC Comics. (s17) ©2017 Mattel, Inc. All Rights Reserved. ©Disney/Pixar


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Lego creates new Brand Group

Exhibitors for Independent Toy and Gift Show 2017 unveiled

The new division will focus on protecting and developing the Lego brand. The Lego Brand Group will monitor and develop all Lego brandrelated activities, including the Lego Group and Lego Education, as well as how the brand is being expressed by entities such as the Lego Foundation and in Legoland attractions. “Our family ownership is deeply rooted in the Lego Idea, which is about learning and development through play and a unique, creative play system that offers endless possibilities,” said Thomas Kirk Kristiansen, fourth generation owner, Lego Group. “With our recent growth and globalisation come new and exciting opportunities for the brand, and we established the Lego Brand Group to look into these new opportunities.” Jørgen Vig Knudstorp, chief executive officer at the Lego Group, will chair the new division in close partnership with deputy chair, Thomas.

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The exhibitor line-up for the Independent Toy and Gift Show 2017 has been announced, and is stronger than ever before. Suppliers from across the toy and gift sectors have secured their stands at the upcoming show, including previous exhibitors Character Options, Hasbro, Mattel and Lego, alongside new exhibitors Steiff and Underground Toys. Additional stands were added to the space for 2017, and the show team has announced that all planned exhibition space has been sold, with a new area covering children’s gift being developed for the show. The team aims to create an exciting, varied and unique show, at which buyers are surprised at what they find. The Independent Toy and Gift Show is free for all independent buyers to attend, and takes place at the Cranmore Park Exhibition Venue in Shirley, Solihull on Tuesday 4th and Wednesday 5th April. The full exhibitor list can be viewed at www.independenttoyandgift.co.uk.

Codenames crowned Game of the Year 2016 by Board Game Club Codenames from Esdevium Games was crowned Game of the Year at the special Christmas event in London’s West End. The winner was decided from Board Game Club guest feedback cards, which are issued at every event for attendees to list their favourite game of the night. Esdevium’s Ben Hogg was on hand to collect the trophy. He commented: “We’re honoured and delighted to pick up this award for Codenames. The game has had a phenomenal year, in which it has won the coveted Spiel des Jahres board gaming award and achieved widespread recognition for its simple yet challenging gameplay. To be voted the best game from players’ experiences of Codenames at Board Game Club is really special. Our goal has always been to bring fantastic games to the UK market and this award acts as further proof that Codenames is an absolute star.” Board Game Club’s co-founder Lesley Singleton added: “Codenames is refreshingly different. At its heart, it’s a word game, but the layer of spy theming adds a narrative and purpose that some other games lack. The rules can be bent and respun to fit the players – something again lacking in other more prescriptive games – and it’s very easy to learn. It’s one of only two or three games that our guests have physically queued up to play this year and the new picture-based version is proving just as popular. We send the biggest congratulations to both Esdevium and Czech Games.”

Hasbro brings Christmas cheer and toys to Hillingdon Hospital The annual act of generosity is part of Hasbro’s Global Day of Joy, an initiative that allows staff to act locally and bring joy to the community. On Thursday 15th December, 25 staff from Hasbro’s office in Stockley Park arrived in a classic red double-decker Happy Bus, joined by Optimus Prime, Iron Man, The Incredible Hulk and Santa. The team toured the wards, personally presenting the children with their gifts. Young patients who were able to venture outside also enjoyed a tour of the Optimus Prime monster truck. The vehicle, modelled on one of the popular Transformers characters, was laid on by Hasbro, which had organised a massive donation of presents to children being treated on the Peter Pan, Wendy and Tinkerbell wards at the Hospital in Pield Heath Road, Hillingdon. Play Specialist at Hillingdon Hospital, Pat McGee, commented: “Once again Hasbro has come up trumps with some wonderful gifts to make Christmas brighter for the children staying with us on the wards. All the staff would like to say a big thank you for their generosity.”

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INSPIRING THE WONDER OF CHILDHOOD Toy World 21

©2017Mattel,Inc.AllRightsReserved.©2017ViacomInternationalInc.AllRightsReserved.Nickelodeon,ShimmerandShineandallrelatedtitles,logosandcharactersaretrademarksofViacomInternationalInc.JUSTICELEAGUEACTIONandallrelatedcharactersandelements©&™DCComicsandWarnerBros. Entertainment Inc. (s17). BBC logo ™ & © BBC 1996. GO JETTERS logo ™ & © BBC 2017. Licensed by BBCWorldwide Ltd. DC SUPER FRIENDS and all related characters and elements. DC SUPER FRIENDS and all related characters and elements © & ™ DC Comics.The DC LOGO:TM & © DC.WB SHIELD:TM & © WBEI. (s17). ™ and ©2017 SCG Power Rangers LLC. All Rights Reserved. OCTONAUTS™ Meomi Design Inc. OCTONAUTS © 2017 Vampire Squid Productions Ltd. ©2017,MEGA Brands Inc.


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Lottie Dolls signs deal with World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts

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Toy Trust announces pin badge appeal In commemoration of the Toy Trust’s Silver Anniversary, a special edition pin badge has been created, which can be worn or given as tokens to friends and colleagues. From its sale, the Trust aims to raise an additional £15,000 in funds towards children’s related causes in this special 25th year. The pin badge will include special mention of the Toy Trust’s continuing message of Giving the Gift of Play, which underpins the events and fundraising throughout 2017. Individual badges will be on sale during Toy Fair at the main entrance and from the BTHA members’ lounge at a cost of £2.50. Badges will also be available to buy throughout the year. It is hoped that individual companies will help promote the badges. They can order a larger quantity such as 100s, 250s, and 500s, to sell or give to colleagues, customers or suppliers. Administratively, The Toy Trust will charge the full amount for the badges which can then be recouped by selling at a cost of £2.50. Alternatively many companies may consider the cost of badges their own personal pledge towards the cause. If more than 100 badges are ordered, a free customised tray will be included to display them; perfect for reception areas or on front counters at Toy Fair. Stocks can also be replenished throughout the year. The pin badge appeal is a way in which every member of the industry can be involved. In addition to ordering badges to sell or gift, members can also help by donating the time of staff to help sell the badges during the three days at Olympia. Those willing to volunteer should contact Matt@btha.co.uk.

The licensing deal initially covers the UK and Ireland, and the range will be based on a Brownie doll, together with playsets and outfits based on Brownie activities and the age-group. Lottie Dolls is planning to launch a minimum of five products in collaboration with WAGGGS, which can be previewed at London Toy Fair in January 2017. Ian Harkin, managing director and co-founder of Lottie Dolls, said: “The partnership with WAGGGS is a huge honour for our company. The tradition and values they and the Girl Guide and Girl Scout Movement have developed over the years has gained enormous respect from parents and communities all over the world, and rightly so. With Lottie, we want to empower children to be themselves and to demonstrate to them that they can achieve anything they set out to do. This is something the Girl Guide and Girl Scout Movement has been doing for well over 100 years and WAGGGS, as the umbrella organisation, since 1928. This certainly fits with our goal of making Lottie dolls empowering, relatable and age-appropriate.”

Jumini appoints David Williams The wooden pre-school toy manufacturer has announced the appointment of David Williams to its team to develop its national accounts portfolio. Jumini’s managing director, Julian Garner, commented: “David brings a wealth of experience across the whole toy spectrum, having worked for established major companies such as Lego to assist with start-up ventures. His appointment marks another great step forward for us”. “I’m so pleased to be back in the toy business after quite an absence”, added David. “I’d been considering returning for some time, but it had to be the right product offer, when I saw what Julian was doing I knew within five minutes that this was the right thing to do”.

Flyte picks up award at Dad’s Choice Awards 2016 On top of the two awards Flyte has received this year, the brand has added a third to the list, Best Outdoor Toy. “For a brand that launched just over a year ago, I think we’ve achieved great things already,” says Hy Pro’s Simon Pickavance, inventor of Flyte. “We’re all very excited to see what heights Flyte can reach in 2017.” Flyte will have stands at both Nuremberg Toy Fair and New York Toy Fair. Maxi Model Making will also reportedly be making its debut next year.

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For Ireland enquiries please contact: Banaghan & Co. Ltd. 路 Co. Tipperary Tel. +35367 63800 路 Fax +35367 63801 info@banaghans.ie

For UK enquiries please contact: Alpha Toys Ltd. 路 Phone 0035367 63800 Fax 0035367 63801 路 info@alpha-toys.co.uk

COME & SEE THE NEW RELEASES AT TOY FAIR STAND F101

www.siku.de Toy World 23


Industry Moves Generation Media announces new senior appointment Generation Media has announced the appointment of Rebecca Price as senior digital manager at nGen, Generation Media’s online resource. Rebecca joins the team from M2M, where she was responsible for managing digital campaigns across the Estee Lauder group of companies. This included multi-channel planning and implementation of display, social and native platforms. She has extensive experience in delivering results for both brand and direct response led campaigns. Previously Rebecca worked at integrated agency, Threepipe, on digital strategy and implementation for a number of retail and sporting clients, holding both operational and account management roles. Working alongside the wider Generation Media team, Rebecca will be reporting to Martin Doyle, head of digital. Roles and responsibilities include producing online insight, advising on digital strategy and delivery and optimisation of client campaigns. “Generation Media continues to invest in our talent across all areas of the company and we are excited to have Becci join as we continue to focus on expanding our online capabilities in anticipation of our clients’ increasing demand for digital services,” said Lisa Morgan, managing director.

Adrian Leafe joins Eduk8 Worldwide Eduk8 Worldwide has confirmed the appointment of Adrian Leafe as its new UK and international sales manager. The company has been trading for over 15 years, supplying educational and pre-school games and toys to the education sector. The company now wishes to offer its extensive product range to the international markets, UK majors and independents. To support this expansion, the company is moving into new offices and warehouse, with additional staff to support the new business and keep up with demand. Adrian commented: “I am delighted to be joining a very well-run, successful and respected business with great products and exciting plans for the future.”

Gary Hughes joins LeapFrog’s UK sales team LeapFrog has expanded its commercial team with the appointment of Gary Hughes as national account manager. Gary joins the company to help drive business with major retailers across the company’s portfolio of products. He will be responsible for maintaining relationships and maximising revenue opportunities across some of LeapFrog’s largest and most strategic accounts. Gary joins LeapFrog from Igloo Books, where he worked as a national account manager for major retailers in the UK and Ireland. Prior to this, he held account and sales manager roles at Pedigree Books and Palmer and Harvey. “It’s great to welcome Gary to the team – despite all the changes, the brand has had a great year and we are looking forward to a fantastic 2017,” said UK MD, Sally Walker. “Gary’s extensive experience means that he has already hit the ground running and is focused on the success of the LeapFrog brand.” Gary added: “The toy industry is constantly evolving and I’ve always admired LeapFrog, firstly as a consumer but also in business, with its ability to keep up and deliver innovative products that teach really important skills. I am delighted to now be a part of the team and I’m already deep into preview season. It’s so exciting and I’m really looking forward to partnering with our retail partners to grow our businesses and unlock new opportunities for LeapFrog.”

Geomag expands UK sales team Geomag has announced the addition of three new sales agents to its UK team. Brian Sage will be covering the Northern territory, while Graham Blair and Wally Cummins will be joining the business in Northern Ireland, Eire and Isle of Man. “Brian, Graham and Wally are all well known and respected members of the trade, and will greatly enhance our reach in the UK. We are delighted to welcome them aboard,” said Geomag’s UK head, Clive Wooster.

Bladez Toyz welcomes new QA manager Bladez Toyz has appointed Sam Mitchell as its QA and compliance manager. Sam has over a decade of toy industry QA experience, having started at Toys R Us in the private label QA department, and most recently at Vivid where she worked for five and a half years. Daniel Abdelmassih, product development director at Bladez, commented: “Sam’s experience in quality assurance is exactly what we’ve been looking for, and we know she will be a great asset to our team. Our portfolio of brands is growing, so it’s important we have the best people on-board to ensure the quality of our products is maintained throughout the design and manufacturing process.” Sam added: “I’m looking forward to supporting Dan and the team, and helping Bladez bring more quality toys to market next year. I’ve seen some very exciting developments for 2017 and I can’t wait to get started.”

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TOY


App-enabled. Awe-inspiring. Sphero fuses physical, digital, and entertainment experiences to unlock the true potential of play and inspire tomorrow’s creators. Get in on the fun.

Toy World 25 TOY WORLD AD.indd 1

12/6/16 8:51 AM


Marketing World My Fairy Garden official website is now live The Interplay owned platform is the official website for the toy brand. The My Fairy Garden website invites its visitors to a magical garden where the world is seen through the eyes of the fairies. The website has been designed to be engaging and educational for children, and includes fun games and activities, quizzes, a garden blog and much more.

John Adams’ Silly Sausage stars in The Jonathan Ross Show On Saturday 10th December, the popular TV show saw celebrity guests including Miranda Hart, David Walliams and Kylie Minogue play the action game. Sales of Silly Sausage doubled overnight, as a result of the product being featured on the show. Already hot from starring on This Morning with Phillip Schofield and Holly Willoughby, this year’s most talked about game, Silly Sausage, also opened the Late Late Toy Show, sparking a frenzy of social media comments. The TV product placement campaign will continue in the run-up to Christmas as part of the PR activity in place to support the game.

The Entertainer adds Good Toy Guide stamp to its website The retailer has teamed up with Fundamentally Children to display the stamp on tested toys across its website. All products in The Entertainer’s range, which have been tested and endorsed by the Good Toy Guide, will now carry the ‘as featured in Good Toy Guide’ logo as part of the online listing. The stamp offers an independent expert accreditation to aid consumer purchasing choices, further endorsing items in The Entertainer’s offering. Visitors to the website are also able to search for the Good Toy Guide to view only products on offer which are also featured in the guide. Products carrying the logo so far include lines from Playmobil, Hasbro, VTech, LeapFrog, Drumond Park, Casdon, Orchard Toys, and more, across a wide range of categories and age ranges. Recent research carried out by Fundamentally Children showed that three quarters of consumers will consider a product’s accreditations when purchasing, while 65% would value the Good Toy Guide accreditation. Furthermore, 85% or consumers who are familiar with the Good Toy Guide, believe it is a trustworthy accreditation, describing it as safe, reassuring and reliable. Georgina Dalton, commercial director of Fundamentally Children, commented: “We’re delighted that The Entertainer has added the Good Toy Guide stamp to its website. Our independent accreditation service gives consumers peace of mind and helps them to make informed choices when purchasing toys.” Rebecca Naish, head of marketing and licensing at The Entertainer, added: “Working with Fundamentally Children and the Good Toy Guide enables us to show that many of the toys we have on offer are recommended by independent experts, strengthening our range and aiding customers when deciding on products.”

Playmobil’s Porsche scoops Dad’s Choice Award The Dad’s Choice Awards crowned the Porsche 911 Carrera S as the best toy in its Vehicles category. The product, which has remained popular with fans throughout the year, fought off stiff competition from other entries to be voted the best by the judging panel of fathers, aided by their children. The Porsche, also commended by the Toy Talk Awards in November, has become a must-have for budding racers big and small. Packed with play value, the working head, tail and dashboard lights let drivers take the toy car for a spin during both day and night. The set comes with a mini Porsche garage where little ones can work with the mechanic to upgrade to a sportier look, developing important motor-skills and engaging in imaginative play. A top manufacturer in pre-school toys, Playmobil has also been recognised for its 123 range of toddler toys, plus Pirates, Children’s Hospital and Zoo themes, throughout 2016. Jamie Dickinson, marketing manager at Playmobil, commented: “We’ve been absolutely delighted with the success of the Porsche 911 Carrera S this year, as our very first automotive licence. With many of us dads ourselves here at Playmobil, we’ve had great fun racing it with our little ones, and we’re glad the Dad’s Choice panel are in agreement.”

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Living in a digital world

Due to security issues, UK Toy Fair 2017 is cancelled. Whether or not you believed the headline, this fake news story is a headline that is a) realistic enough to be possibly true and b) close enough to your sphere of interest to warrant a second look and your consideration. Maybe you didn’t believe it – but would a seven year-old? This is the first key theme that I would like to explore in 2017; the way in which children and young people gain their information via social media. We now refer to our young audience as Digital Natives: a person brought up naturally familiar with technology and the internet. To define, I’ll bet 99% of people reading this can remember a watershed tech moment in their lives – your first PC, internet connection, games console or smartphone. If you do, sadly you’re not a Digital Native. So, let’s go right back to birth for those born in this group. If you have friends like mine, then you won’t need me to tell you that a lot of parents post pictures of their infants onto Facebook. However, I was a little surprised to find that this number stands at 82%. Similarly, I also read a survey by Nominet recently that found the average five year-old now has over 1,500 pictures of themselves posted online – and that’s just by their parents. Should these numbers worry us? We hear of alarming links between children’s mental health and their use of social media but little research has been carried out into this. Shifting to a slightly older demographic, social media becomes more of a “pull” medium, no longer a place where a child’s digital persona exists via their parents’ posts. The youngest age group we have data for is 18-24 year olds, but over a quarter now use social media as their main news source. I don’t think we can assume that younger people are huddled over the broadsheets or tuning in to a nightly news bulletin – a more educated guess would be that the percentage of preteens and teenagers sourcing the majority of their news from social media is high, and rising. Therefore, factors such as fake news – intentionally false stories created simply to grab attention and generate ad revenue for their publishers – become significant concerns for parents, and to us as marketers to this group because nobody wants their products appearing in malignant environments. As an industry, we are well aligned in our conduct: for example, we don’t target campaigns to under 13s on “grown up” social media such as Facebook, so the risk is reduced. But there are new social

media platforms specifically targeting kids, such as PopJam, that replicate many of the features of the real deal. We have to ensure that any platform on which we are showcasing our brands or products adhere to self-regulated guidelines. In the case of PopJam, I have to say that owners SuperAwesome are going to great lengths to present a platform that is child-safe. Meanwhile, Facebook announced at the end of last year that they are launching a parent portal. This isn’t a snooper’s window – such a creation would surely not be well received by kids – instead it’s a guide for parents to help them discuss social media safety with their children. Of course, there has to be a commercial side to this, notably because Facebook is no longer the number one social media platform for kids, (in some studies it’s not even in the top three), but it is reassuring to see the social network doing it’s bit to protect young people online. Generation Media feels that it’s important that both advertisers and media agencies are having conversations with their sales partners about audience safety. I also recommend that you consider investing in brand safety tools when advertising programmatically, and consider further training, such as that which we are rolling out to our clients this year. The toy industry traditionally takes great responsibility for the wellbeing of target audiences, even in an ever fragmenting media landscape. As an agency, Generation is proactively working with industry bodies to create the legislation to protect the consumers we market to. The internet is a powerful tool that undeniably requires a level of restraint and control – the question being, how much, and how can this be achieved? New parents are now faced with decisions that their parents never had to make, but as an industry I strongly believe that we are taking the right steps and want to reassure our audience that we have their best interests at heart.

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Martin Doyle

Head of Digital, Generation Media. Tel: 0207 307 7908 martin.doyle@generationmedia.co.uk


Toy World 29


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newsanalysis

Sphere Not Warren Hudson, EMEA director, Sphero spoke to Toy World about how the company’s development in tech is helping to shape the STEM curriculum in schools, and what can be expected from the company in 2017. Can you give us a little background on the history of Sphero? Sphero began the connected play revolution in 2010 by creating something unlike anything - and we never stopped. We fuse robotic and digital technology into immersive entertainment experiences that ignite imagination and defy expectation. Optimised by data and powered by fun, these ever-evolving experiences are changing the way the world thinks about play.

Which products and ranges performed particularly well for you in 2016? 2016 was a good year for Sphero in the UK. We’re seeing growth not only in our entertainment products, but in our educational robots, as well. More and more schools are integrating our SPRK+ bots into curriculum as STEM education grows in importance.

What do you see as the company’s key strengths? As leaders in Connected Play, we’re able to keep the experience fresh and ever-evolving which

makes for an untraditional toy experience; we have the unique ability to push new content and new experiences to our toys through our apps.

Which new products will you be introducing to the range in 2017 and when will they be available? We have a number of new items coming for 2017. You’ll start to see a greater blend between entertainment, robotics and education. I can’t reveal the details quite yet, but stay tuned!

What do you see as the key opportunities for growth for Sphero in the toy market next year? As Connected Play continues to evolve, you can count on Sphero to lead with an unparalleled consumer experience and innovation.

How can toy retailers make the most of your products? Our products walk the line between CE and Toy and successful toy retailers have embraced this. Demos are always worth their weight in gold.

Brainstorm to launch own craft line for 2017 The Craft Time brand will be added to throughout 2017 and beyond, as the company aims to grow this arm of the business. As Brainstorm continues to grow its reputation as a leading STEM toy manufacturer, it launches a new category and a new brand to complement its existing offering. The first lines to be introduced to the Craft Time portfolio are a selection of Mosaic products at varying price points. The uniquely branded collection will also feature impulse lines including Mini Mosaic Projects with six designs and 200 mosaic pieces, as well as a large set, which comprises 400 mosaic pieces with three projects: Fairy, Princess and Mermaid. The Craft Time Mosaics range also includes the 3-in1 Mega Pack, as well as the My Pretty Journal and My Pretty Jewellery Box, which are ideal gift price points. Nick Saunders, sales director at Brainstorm, commented: “We are extremely excited about the launch of Craft Time. We are taking everything we’ve learned from developing our own Brainstorm Toys brand and translating it into craft. This means all products in the range will not only be highly engaging and great quality, but will also be competitively priced and supported by our in-house marketing team.”

Amazon and eBay investigated for VAT fraud A committee of MPs is poised to launch an investigation into Britain’s online shopping fraud crisis. Sellers on Amazon and eBay have evaded hundreds of millions of pounds in tax in the run-up to Christmas. Conservative MP Richard Bacon, who sits on the public accounts committee, said: “I think this is absolutely an issue we need to look at. We’ve already been discussing VAT fraud in online retailing informally, and I expect that it is something the committee will want to turn to.” Parliament’s public accounts committee has previously played a part in other tax scandals involving the likes of Starbucks, Google and Amazon. In recent years, overseas sellers – particularly from China – have dominated many online selling categories on eBay and Amazon, illegally selling goods without VAT. This has resulted in many small British businesses unable to compete. The National Audit Office could also be asked to examine the subject, and how well it has been addressed by HM Revenue & Customs. HMRC has since admitted VAT evasion in online shopping had become “a very big issue”, and estimated that it has cost up to £1.5bn a year in lost tax. Lin Homer, head of HRMC, told a parliamentary committee: “We do feel that those people who manage a supply chain should ensure enough diligence is built into it. Marketplace providers have responsibilities.”

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Face-to-face

Mattel

In good company Wendy Hill, brand activation director at Mattel spoke to assistant editor Jonika Kinchin about how Mattel fared in 2016, what we can expect to see this year and the importance of telling a story to consumers. Were you happy with your performance in the UK in 2016? We are pleased with our performance this year; our core brands are in growth and we continue to strengthen our relationship with key partners, which is really building our portfolio of brands.

After some challenging times, do you feel you’ve turned the corner now? We are certainly in a much stronger position. We still have some way to go but we are definitely heading in the right direction, so we’re very positive about 2017.

How did you find the UK toy market overall last year? It looks like the UK toy market has had another strong year. The market is continuing to grow so it’s in a healthy position, which is great to see.

Were there any particular retail channels that performed particularly well for you? We have strategic partnerships with all our retailers and we continue to maximise the opportunities, whether that be through bricks and mortar or online, working to make sure they have the right mix in the right channel.

Which products and ranges were the stand-out performers in 2016? Hot Wheels has had another amazing year and the Ultimate Garage has only continued to strengthen that in the final quarter. Barbie got off to a great start with the Fashionistas range. The consumer support that we’ve received to the brand’s changes has been very encouraging, and we have seen that momentum continue through in our sales success. Fisher-Price Beat Bo has also been a stand-out performer for us.

Which new introductions are you particularly excited about for 2017? We have a great new girls’ range that we will be introducing, plus we are very excited to be showing the toy range to support the new Cars movie.

What role does the licensing division play in supporting Mattel’s growth plans? The start of the Mattel consumer’s journey is not always toy; with different brand entry touch points and a focus on franchise, we are creating a full experience for consumers, whether they watch brand content, play with toys or brush their teeth with Thomas toothpaste – all are equally important parts of a child’s day. The aim is for us to help our partners in facilitating a more integrated and focused approach. When we talk to customers at previews, we have a really diverse range of products on display, not just the toy line but our consumer products ranges as well. Our goal is very much about selling our brand franchise rather than just our toys. This approach means that the retailer gets the best product mix, and it also means a much broader choice for the consumer in-store, as well as a more integrated shopping experience.

Whether it’s in the form of content creation or marketing communication, how important is story-telling in getting your message across to consumers? Very important - we know that the way consumers engage with content is ever expanding and the way they shop is becoming increasing diverse, so it’s important that we have a clear consistent message about our brands. How we tell our brand stories and bring our products to life is a vital part of our communication messaging.

What do you see as the key opportunities for growth for Mattel in the UK toy market next year? We continue to see great performance with our own IP, as well as our key partner brands, so we will continue to build on that momentum.

What do you see as the biggest challenges to the business next year? The political landscape and the impact of Brexit is going to be a continual conversation for us all next year.

Toy World 32


u o y ? d i ow D n k

Netflix is now in over

25% of UK homes with children

and growing. Netflix does not currently accept advertising which is affecting how we can reach children with advertising.

SO HOW DO WE ADDRESS THIS?

Children aged 3 to 4 years are spending an average of over 8 hours online every week, mainly using tablets.

YouTube is the no.1 destination for children online, however the vast majority of viewing is outside of the UK.

SO HOW DO WE REACH THEM?

At Azure, an award winning specialist media agency, we make it our business to understand change as it happens.

SO WHAT’S THE TRUE VALUE OF CONTENT ON YOUTUBE?

This enables us to deliver leading media planning and buying solutions for the digital world of today and tomorrow. That’s why we created our own Unboxing channel, Urchinz! Please get in contact so we can show you what makes us a little bit different! Please contact Jeff Taylor (jeff.taylor@arena-azure.co.uk) or Tristan Brooks (tristan.brooks@arena-azure.co.uk)

Toy World 33

Media Driven by Insight


NPD Insight 2016: That was the year that was NPD’s Melissa Symonds reviews the toy market for 2016 and examines the biggest winners in terms of category growth.

W

hat a year 2016 was! While the outside world has been distracted by the Brexit vote at home and the Donald Trump Presidential win in the US, some people might be forgiven for thinking that the UK toy market has had a quiet year. Instead we’ve had a year of collectibles for boys and girls, resurrected film and TV franchises, hard to find toy items and the looming spectre of price increases due to the falling pound. How has all this fallen for the end of year review? Who were the big winners for 2016 and which toy ranges will be fondly remembered in the future? At the time of writing, the full year data is still a couple of weeks away, but with year-to-date November value growth of +4%, even a flat December would still leave the UK toy market comfortably up on 2015 sales. This follows a trend from the last few years with stronger growth at the start of the year, rather than during the peak season. From January to June 2016, the market was up +6% in value and +12% in volume. While growth has continued into the second half of the year, it has been at a noticeably slower pace. In 2016, despite Black Friday being the biggest week of the year so far (at the time of writing), in terms of actual sales, the total market was actually down 3% compared to the same week in 2015 – perhaps due to the promotional period spreading out further either side of the actual Black Friday day. With three weeks of the year to go, the fastest growing supercategory for the year is Games & Puzzles, up +15% or an additional +£19M, with 2015’s break-out game, Pie Face, continuing to perform throughout the year. However, one of the biggest drivers of Games growth this year was Pokémon Trading Cards. Even before the Pokémon Go app release, Pokémon was already up over 100% and since the app, sales have just continued to increase. With such strong seasonal sales for Games and Puzzles in

the last couple of weeks, the final end of year report could change, but the recent weekly performance of Pie Face Showdown, Speak Out and Silly Sausage suggests 2016 will be another growth year for Games. Infant/Toddler & Pre-School Toys has shown that being the largest area of the market doesn’t limit growth, with sales up +5% driven by strong PreSchool Playsets growth spearheaded by increases for Playmobil and Imaginext. In the Pre-School Vehicle category, Thomas and Friends, Paw Patrol and Blaze and the Monster Machines all contributed to sales gains. Building Sets grew again, up +6% with Lego and K’Nex both gaining sales. Building Sets remains a growth area for both boys and girls with Lego Star Wars, Technic and Lego Friends all up double-digits. The top toy properties for 2016 have been heavily dominated by a few big hitters. Star Wars cast a Force Awakens shadow over the market for much of 2016, finishing the year as the best-selling property. Other properties which have seen significant growth from early in the year include the best-selling Pre-School property, Paw Patrol, as well as the largest Girls’ Collectible property, Shopkins. Neither were new launches this year, but both have increased their distribution and significantly expanded their ranges compared to a year ago, maintaining consumer interest and building long-term properties. 2016 was also the year of the collectible, with multiple ranges for both girls and boys. Shopkins was obviously the biggest winner for the Dolls Collectible market, but traditional collectible ranges like Sylvanian Families gained sales, while new properties Tsum Tsum and Num Noms helped drive the Playset Collectible market to over 40% growth. For boys Funko Pop! continued to gain share and doubled 2015 sales, while Mash’em/Fash’ems was the top selling Action Figure Collectible for the year and new properties Star Monsters, Fungus Amongus and The

Supercategory Sales

Melissa Symonds

Director UK Toys, EuroToys NPD Grossery Gang all contributed to the category growth. Other successful lines this year have enjoyed brief but bright sales periods, with the bi-annual impact of a major football tournament driving Panini stickers to the top of the charts over April and May, while the sunny days of summer saw Zuru’s Bunch O’Balloons perform well. Although a late release in the year, Dreamworks’ Trolls has already sold £7M of toys up to November, while it has been difficult to find Hatchimals anywhere in the last few weeks, as demand has been so high. Overall 2016 was strong year for the toy market with the third year in a row of market growth. The real test of the market though will come in 2017, when we will see exactly how 2016’s political decisions will affect costs, and what impact that will have on consumer shopping habits. Looking at previous difficult periods though, the UK Toy market still provides opportunities for those willing to try something new.

Monthly Traditional Toy Sales

Value (£MM) – YTD November 2016 v 15

Units (M) Jan 2015 to November 2016

2015

47

2016 34 35

Inf/Toddler/PS Toys

Monthly Units

Outdoor & Sports Toys Building Sets

23 18 19

Dolls 13

Games/Puzzles

14

14 15

15

18

19

20

15

22 22 18

19

25 25

17 17

Action Figures & Acc Arts & Crafts Vehicles

Jan

All Other Toys

Fe b

M ar

Apr

Youth Electronics

400

300

200

100

Value Sales £MM

The NPD Group, Inc. | Proprietary and confidential

Document classification: Internal Only

0

M ay

Jun

Jul

Aug

Se p

Oct

Nov

De c

Yr/Yr

Plush

26

-5

0

5

10

15

Value Sales Gained (£MM) Source: NPD EPoS Retail Tracking

20

8

2

6

15

17

7

-1

1

1

1

Source: NPD EPoS Retail Tracking Source: NPD EPoS Retail Tracking

1

The NPD Group, Inc. | Proprietary and confidential

Document classification: Internal Only

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1


Property Progression: Total Property (Brand + Licence)

Oct 2016 Rank

Nov 2016 Rank

Anki

#184

#73

Leading into the peak season, several electronic properties have seen sales increase and their property ranking moving up for the month. While interactive playmates like Zoomer and Furby saw a leap in rankings between October and November, the fastest property progression across total toys for the last month was another electronic based property, Anki, moving up 111 positions over the month. A combination of big ticket Christmas purchases starting to kick into gear and a high average selling price (over £80) has made Anki the number two property in Vehicles for November (behind Hot Wheels).

UK Toy Market Volume Performance With much of the UK Toy Market focused on value and price, volume is often overlooked. YTD November, the volume toys sales were up +7% compared to the same period in 2015, three points faster than the value growth of +4%. While this might seem like a positive position for the market, it was heavily driven by the high unit sales of Panini Euro-Championship Stickers April to June (average selling price of £0.50). Without these lines, the volume growth would only be 3.5% YTD. Since September, volume growth has slowed to just +1% per month, while value has been growing +4% in September, +3% in October and +2% in November, with higher price points rather than increased volume driving the growth.

The NPD Group provides global information and advisory services to drive better business decisions. By combining unique data assets with unmatched industry expertise, we help our clients track their markets, understand consumers and drive profitable growth. Sectors covered include automotive, beauty, entertainment, fashion, food/food service, home, office supplies, sports, technology, toys, video games, and wireless. To monitor what’s happening in the ever-changing toy market, NPD collects point-of-sale information from all major toy retailers. This information, combined with our analysts’ industry perspectives, delivers a comprehensive view of what’s selling and where. We also field over 12m consumer surveys annually to help industry leaders understand why consumers shop where they shop and why they buy what they buy. For more information visit www.npd.com. Follow NPD on Twitter @ npdgroup

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www.bkids.co.uk


Toy World 36 MGA_NumNomsAd_ToyWorld_Jan17E.indd 1

16/12/2016 13:30


Talking Shop Ring in the new Jonika Kinchin and Salma Haidrani caught up with several exhausted independent retailers to ask them how Christmas trading went, their thoughts about trade show season and their hopes for 2017.

Caroline Hubbard, Owner Hubbard’s Toy Cupboard - Hinckley Christmas was nice and busy as usual at Hubbard’s Toy Cupboard. I keep my stock moving with new products all the time; I’m constantly sourcing new ranges. More and more customers are coming in; even though I’ve been open for nearly four years, they’re still finding me. I believe it’s down to a combination of Facebook and our online shop. We offer click and collect online and so many people use that facility. Also, the local newspaper ran a December feature on the shop, which resulted in many more new faces through the door. To celebrate the festive season, we ran an instore and Facebook promotion where, if people spent over £10 in the shop, they had the opportunity to win a Christmas tree. A tree was displayed in our window and, as well as baubles, I displayed some products on it. The window display showed what we’d got in stock for Christmas, and helped our customers get in the festive spirit. I have a really talented member of staff who decorates my windows. They write and draw designs on the glass which makes passers-by stop and look; we’ve found this an excellent advertising strategy. There are a few brands that have surprised me in the run up to Christmas by performing so well. Both Melissa and Doug and Galt have been increasingly popular. For Melissa and Doug, the stand out products would be their Pots and Pans set, the Doorbell House and the Latches Barn. For Galt, the Sparkle Jewellery Box has sold well and the Water Magic items for younger children have also been in high demand. I think these products are popular as they catch the imagination of children, plus they are educational which appeals to the parents. The toys are fun, but also help children to learn new skills without them realising. I will be visiting the London Toy Fair, which is exciting as I only attend every couple of years. I go there to look for new suppliers. It’s an extensive show and is specifically toys. I always go to Spring Fair and Autumn Fair at the NEC, and look for new craft suppliers there. I like to go to Spring Fair because there are lots of little independents just starting out, and it’s nice to work with them as well as more established suppliers. My highlight of the year was winning a Shop of the Month award. We were also in the top three of the Great British High Street. My New Years’ Resolution is to open another shop next year. I’d move away from Hinckley but it wouldn’t be too far away. It’d probably be a bit further north, so watch this space.

Toy World 37 13:30


talkingshop

Phil Heath, Owner

Paul Carpenter, Owner

Heath’s Toymaster - Barrow in Furness

Totally Toys - Bristol

Christmas business was steady. It’s a shame that we had to miss out on some of the biggest crazes that were in really short supply, like Hatchimals – but at least we weren’t the only ones missing out. While we didn’t run any specific Christmas promotions, we extended our opening hours to Sundays in the runup to Christmas, which we don’t usually do. There are a few products that have surprised me by selling exceptionally well prior to Christmas. DKL’s stocking fillers, like the Smencils scented pencils, have sold really strongly. Traditional toys such as Sylvanian Families have also seen steady demand. Games wise, Silly Sausage has been a real winner, as we were able to get good stock of that. Pokémon was a pleasant surprise in 2016, and it’s good to see that such an evergreen brand is still going strong. We’re doing very well with the Pokémon cards. We used to sell more Yu Gi Oh cards, but Pokémon has overtaken them this year. We’ve been stocking the trading cards for the last few years, but this year the Pokémon craze created a huge demand for the soft toys as well. In terms of trade fairs for next year, I will be going to the Spring Fair and am looking forward to seeing what 2017 has to offer. I usually go to the Spring Fair because it’s a great opportunity to look at new product, and not just across the toy range, as we also sell stationery. I attend the Toymaster show in June, as it’s essential for planning Christmas. The suppliers that support Toymaster members are all there in one place. They usually come up with initiatives to help us, as well as promotions, which is helpful. Come Christmas, the bigger retailers are all running promotions and advertising on TV, and it can be difficult for the independents to compete with their advertising without such support. My New Year’s Resolutions for Heath’s Toymaster include streamlining ranges, trying to find more niche in the market and stocking product ranges to bring customers back on a more regular basis - which is what we should all be doing anyway. We’ll also be trying to increase our use of social media and interaction with customers. Hopefully we’ll manage to achieve some of them.

I’ve been in this store for the past 28 years and we’ve continually grown year on year. Disappointingly, this is the first year where we haven’t done so well. The run up to Christmas wasn’t as good as expected, and I believe that Brexit has already begun to affect us as we were between 5 -10% down each week. However, business picked up the closer it got to Christmas, which was really encouraging. We should end 2016 with very little stock left over and that is definitely a good thing. We don’t run specific in-store promotions for Christmas, however we club together with the rest of the stores in the street to celebrate the weekends running up to Christmas. We all invest a bit of money and put on events like Santa’s Grotto, live music, buskers, entertainers and that sort of thing. That has definitely paid off, as it increased footfall to our store during the weekends. Totally Toys got into the festive spirit in terms of decorations, with a particularly impressive window display. We had a special designer come in and paint the window with a festive message. There is a Santa, snowman, birds in the shape of a tree and a Merry Christmas and New Year message in the window which illuminates. In terms of specific product, Ty Beanies has been selling exceptionally, as has Teeny Tys. Magformers has also been doing well. We’ve supported them right from the start, it’s a brilliant range and it’s good to see that the product has really taken off. The Speak Out game from Hasbro has also been a popular purchase, but we knew that was going to perform strongly. Brexit has come as a shock to me and the future is certainly uncertain. It’s definitely going to be more difficult, there’s no doubt about that. On a more positive note, Totally Toys is located on Europe’s longest independent high street and we’re really proud of that. I’m a board member of the group and we’re going to work hard to keep Gloucester Road on the map. So, I see that as a strength. If the street does well, we do well.

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TW R


Toy World 39 TW Romans & Egyptians Ad 2017.indd 1

15/12/2016 10:38:02


talkingshop

indie viewpoint

Paul Wohl, Owner Argosy Toys - Westcliff-On-Sea

Mark Buschhaus and Stephen Barnes Toy Barnhaus

Food glorious food

Christmas started with a very positive outlook for us; the main bulk of shoppers started filtering in from early November, which is when we really start selling in bigger quantities. The last two weeks in the run up to Christmas are definitely the most important in the festive selling period, as a lot of people leave their present buying until late. We don’t put on any in-store Christmas events simply because we feel we don’t need to, and I don’t think it would add much on to our sales because we’re so busy already. I find the Christmas season fascinating as we get some weird and wonderful requests, and it’s a great time to make and build relationships with customers. For example, we had older ladies coming in looking for die cast models of classic vehicles for their husbands. Not surprisingly, Pokémon has performed really well for us in 2016. The Pokémon Go app had a huge impact and we’ve seen a real demand for the trading cards as well as other general products, including plush and plastic figures. Pokémon accounted for a large percentage of our turnover, so hopefully it’ll only get even more popular in 2017. We’ve also been delighted with sales of Micro Scooters, and are now a Gold Star Micro Scooter dealer, meaning that we stock a bigger range than anywhere between here and London. As I’m sure a lot of retailers have seen, Paw Patrol is still selling well and there’s always a demand. I don’t think Spin Master really anticipated how popular some of the ranges were going to be, as we have been struggling to get more stock. We also had this problem with Tomy for Pokémon lines, particularly the plastic figures. Peppa Pig and Blaze and the Monster Machines have also performed steadily, and Thomas & Friends continues to be a favourite. It’s vital to have the core preschool licences in stock as there is such a high demand for them, especially at Christmas. We’ve also seen success with Trolls, however we found that Finding Dory didn’t match Trolls in popularity. One of our best sellers, that will come as no surprise to anyone, is the Lego licenced range. With the release of the movie next year, the Lego Batman items have been flying off the shelves (no pun intended). Lego Star Wars has also done well and with the most recent film just released, we’re sure it’s not going to slow down anytime soon. We’ve found that we tend to sell larger items little and often, and for the first time had to make the decision to discount some of the larger generic Lego items. It’s getting harder and harder to compete with bigger retailers on these lines. If they make a loss it doesn’t matter, but for us it has a massive effect. It’s a shame but the profit margins just aren’t good enough – not to mention the space they take up to display and store. We don’t have the benefit of large warehouses and huge amounts of disposable income; when we stock something we have to sell it, or we don’t make a profit, there are no suppliers or shareholders to fall back upon. I have been to the last 29 Toy Fairs, however this year I will miss it as it falls upon my birthday. Fingers crossed I’ll find what I’m looking for at Spring Fair or Autumn Fair. It’s hard to say what the highlight of the year has been here at Argosy Toys, but we have had a mini-refit and changed the shop around, which has had a positive effect. Our New Year’s resolution is to concentrate more on companies that can offer steady lines with steady margins, such as Orchard Toys.

W

e are writing this article after a 25-pallet workout in our warehouse, going back to help fill up the shop, finally sitting down with a cup of tea - and then remembering we needed to produce our latest column. As we write this, there are 10 days to go, and as ever it is hard to gauge how we are tracking, especially this year with the extra Saturday’s trade coming up. However, all the signs are encouraging, so fingers crossed we will be very pleased when you are reading this. It does seem like sales are coming later and later each year, and these final 10 days are worth two month’s takings for us. Looking back on trade in 2016, despite being over-hyped, Black Friday did deliver for us as an event. We ran promotions for the whole week, and they definitely worked. Customers do now expect Black Friday deals, and being sited in malls, we need to be seen to be taking part. However, we did notice that business for the week after was down a bit, so it is probably more likely that purchases were bought forward than any significant increase in overall spend. Looking back on bestselling items, there has been no real change from previous months, with Pokémon still our standout bestseller, with no sign of any slowdown. Otherwise, it has been a year with no major standout new release. TY has been very strong again, with Teeny TYs enhancing the range nicely. Otherwise, it has been an odd year, but one we will look back on as successful, in spite of all the uncertainty out there in the world. The biggest headwind in 2017 is going to be how price increases affect sales. The public is aware of them, and hopefully is prepared for them. As ever, there are some price points that are difficult to move above, such as £9.99, but others, such as £4.99 are not as key, and it will be a matter of working out the best way to be competitive on price while still making a fair margin. At this time of year, it is traditional for us to dish out our Lunch of the Year award! As you all know, the catering is as important as the products when we go to a preview, and 2016 has seen some excellent contenders for this prestigious honour. It started in early January with Hasbro really upping their game, providing delicious cookies in the afternoon, which helped facilitate a very nice order. A new event on our calendar was the Sambro trade show, with a fantastic spread of sandwiches, hot meats and curries – we did not know where to start! The Character stand at Olympia always does a fantastic lunch, and their sausage rolls were very moreish. However, there can only be one winner, and this year it is Flair. There was a fantastic spread of sandwiches and fruit, and finished off with some yum yums. A truly fabulous spread, and well done to them. We look forward to more culinary delights next year. Looking forward to 2017, as ever, the first major event in our diary is Toy Fair. We are happy for it to be back to the regular days this year, as the Sunday did feel very quiet last year. We already have our diary filled up nicely, but have made sure we’ve left enough time to look around and pick up any new suppliers. It is always with great excitement that we look forward to the next year, so soon after the last Christmas. Toy Fair is one of the most important weeks of the year for us, and we bring all our managers along, to give them a good preview of what products they will be selling in 2017. Here’s to a good trade fair season, and whatever the new year may hold in store. As we know, you never really can tell, and that is one of the best things about the toy trade. Happy trading.

Toy World 40


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PA RTER CK TA

COLLECT: ity Towers C 4 2 + s g n li m o Z w e 100+ N ing NEW Vehicles & Park items e iv s lu c x e h it w s k c Starter Pa Tins! ONE New Blister Packs &

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EXPANDED RANGE INCLUDING: Pirate Blister Pack Magic Trick SChool & Crazy School Bus PIR A

CRAZY S CH

HUGE TV & SAMPLING CAMPAIGN LAUNCHING FEBRUARY 2017 Visit Stand E109 at London Toy Fair

01420 251286 info@magicboxint.com

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01420 593593 sales@esdeviumgames.com

L BUS OO

CHOOL KS

DISPLAY UNITS

ST S BLI ER TE

MAGIC TR IC


Fresh

FRESH THIS MONTH:

Each month, Fresh sets out to find the latest products that will have toy retailers reaching for the phone. In January we have new releases from: Flair, Kidicraft, Magic Box and Marbel.

Stunt Jaxx Kidicraft Kidicraft has been appointed as the exclusive UK and Ireland distributor for Stunt Jaxx, and will launch the product range at Toy Fair. The collectible range is predicted to be one of the great crazes of 2017. The creatures are friction-powered, require no batteries and can be bought individually, in twin packs or with a Battle Arena, where children will be able to decide which one can perform the best stunts. A clever and colourful FDU complete with a video screen and promotional video will make sure that customers can see what each Stunt Jaxx character can do.

Glimmies

GP Flair GP Flair’s new collectible Glimmies range is lighting up the market with a fresh style and light technology. Glimmies are miniature fairies with a special technology which makes them light up in the dark, and switch off in the light. Each Glimmie has its own symbol, distinctive colour and facial expression for children to discover. The Single Pack is the perfect entry point into the range with 12 Glimmies to collect, and included in each pack is a collector’s guide which helps them choose their next purchase. Consumers will then look to the Triple Pack as they race to build their collection, which includes three Glimmies, two of which are exclusive. Higher ticket, add-on items provide extra play possibilities. The Glimhouse is the home of the Glimmies, and when they are inside, their light can be seen shining bright through the window. Children can create a fairy scene in their room by connecting the houses together or hanging them up with the star pin feature. There are six styles to collect, with an exclusive Glimmie included. Easter will mark the launch of the Glimtern, which will be a strong seller as collectors look for a play and display accessory. In-store, girls will be able to look through the window box packaging and see the lantern-shaped house. Inside the Glimtern, there’s an exclusive character as well as a shower and bed for extra imaginative play value. In autumn, the new Glimwheel will provide ferris wheel fun for collectors, whilst the interactive Glimtree playset will captivate imaginations with the magical home hidden within. New waves of characters will also become available. The Glimmies range is supported by a heavyweight TV campaign and digital activity, and an FSDU with diorama is also available.

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Zomlings Series 5

Little Splashers

Magic Box Toys Sales of Zomlings, the pocket money collectible, have grown with each new series, and Series 5 is set to be the biggest yet. Zomlings Series 5 introduces more than 100 new Zomlings to collect, including the all-important rare gold and silver characters. A blind bag containing one Zomling has a pocket money-friendly price, which has been a key factor in the success and longevity of the brand. The new Zomlings characters will inhabit a Zomlings Town that is bigger than ever before with the addition of 24 new Zomlings City Towers, three new Zomlings Vehicles - the Police Car, Fire Engine and Ice Cream Van – all of which can be parked at the Police Station, Fire Station and Ice Cream Parlour. There is also the Magic Trick School, Z Games Tin, Zomlings Pirates playset and a Crazy School Bus. All of these items can be played with on the Zomlings Big Town Playmat to create an immersive town. The Playmat is included within the new Starter Pack, which also contains a limited edition metallic colour vehicle, which is not available in any other packs. As with previous series, Blister packs will also be available, this time combining a range of Vehicles and Towers. Zomlings Series 5 will be supported with a TV campaign that will make it one of the biggest TV advertised toys in the first quarter of 2017. There will also be wide-reaching free sampling initiatives and online and social media support to ensure that kids and parents know about the new series. Zomlings Series 5 FSDUs are available to toy retailers on request. Zomlings are available to the UK toy trade through Esdevium Games.

Marbel Marbel has announced the debut of the Little Splashers range, helping to make bath time that little bit more enjoyable for both parents and children. The Little Splashers range features waterfriendly stackers, a bath mitt and a teddy shower buddy. The range is ideal for water play activity and entertainment, whether that’s at home or at the poolside. Products include colourful interactive alternatives, from games and puzzles to entertainment, crafted with friendly faces and designs for children to become familiar with. Included in the range are the Teddy and Duck Bath Mitt Set, Teddy and Friendly Bath Squirts, Pop-Up Teddy Shower Buddy and Umbrella Stackers. There are also the Swimmer Teddy Wind-Up Toy, Happy Buckets Set, and Rainy Day Fun Set.

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Toy World 45


Face-to-face

Putting kids first Toy World spoke to Generation Media CEO Dean Weller about the ever-changing kids’ media landscape What is the thinking behind your ‘kids first’ strategy? Long gone are the days when children were seen and not heard. In fact, for many 21st century households the opposite is true, with kids exercising considerable influence over the household purchase decisions. As leaders in our field, we take our responsibility to the industry we represent very seriously. Our mission has been to provide a voice and driving force to shape the future of kids’ communications. Be it trading approach, influencing legislation or research, Generation Media is at the forefront of moving kids up the industry agenda.

What are the specific challenges associated with trading kids’ airtime? Kids’ TV is seen as a problem child (excuse the pun) target audience to trade with TV media owners. This is due to the volatility of children’s viewing and the skewed last quarter (over) demands on available airtime inventory, alongside lower exit prices against other traded audiences. More often than not, negotiating kids’ audiences has taken a back-seat to the glitz and glamour of the general ad market. Through our specialism and expertise, alongside our clients combined volume and scale, we have broken through this barrier, bringing prestige and awareness to an industry which has previously been short-changed.

How do you keep on top of the everchanging broadcast regulations? With changes to HFSS rulings, CAP guidelines and EU regulations regard data protection, being a part of the conversation has never been so important. Our management team has been busy attending committees and events, to ensure we can not only advise and educate our clients on the impending changes, but also to provide a voice of reason for the advertiser. Generation Media, alongside our clients, is thus involved is shaping the market of the future and protecting our investments and consumers alike.

Do you feel that the target audience is sometimes overlooked by the advertising community? UK data suggests that 40% of mums agree that they always buy brands their children prefer. It is therefore surprising that this is an audience that many in the advertising industry have previously overlooked, often taking a one size fits all approach when talking to this diverse and influential segment of individuals. Categorisation of kids within communications is often dealt with a broad-brush stroke and it is all too familiar to see statistics and approaches referencing sweeping generalisations of 4-15 year olds. As specialists, Generation Media is invested in understanding the extreme physical, psychological and social variations and nuances that makes this market so unique. So much so that we launched a separate research business focused on this area, iGen Insight.

What challenges are presented by the rapid changes in media consumption? In an era of constant change, it is well documented that the ad industry has struggled to keep up with the pace at which consumers are adjusting their media habits. Measurement systems for new technologies are often out dated upon launch, while investment in monitoring under 16s is often overlooked altogether. For example, Project Dovetail, BARBs solution to measurement of TV viewing across devices and platforms, has taken several years to reach stage 1 and data available for kids specific viewing is limited. Where there is a gap we look to fill it. In 2017, iGen will be launching a pioneering study to provide long-term tracking and insight into viewing habits across devices amongst our core demographics. Our investment does not stop there. Through school partnerships we can give our clients access to children to undertake bespoke Q and As. We also are the advisors to the TGI Youth survey to ensure their panel questions are up to date and meet requirements of the modern marketer. With a market that continues to evolve at an everincreasing pace, Generation Media is committed to act as the children’s champion. It is our duty to move kids up the ad industry agenda and ensure our clients are given a voice and seen as a professional market, worthy of professional service and approach.

Toy World 46

Dean Weller

Generation Media CEO contact@generationmedia.co.uk www.generationmedia.co.uk +44 (0) 207 307 7900


Toy World 47


Viewpoint Fisher Price has come back

Lutz Muller CEO of Klosters Trading Corporation, a provider of competitive insights into the mass retail space in the USA and Europe

F

isher Price is the 600lb gorilla in the Pre-School space, and its performance over the past ten years has had a great many analysts scratching their heads, trying to figure out what was going on. Was it part of the Mattel company problem, best illustrated at the time by Barbie’s performance – attributed to feudalism within the company, slow decision making, bureaucracy or any other sins typically associated with large companies? Or was it something else altogether? If these analysts had taken the trouble of talking to any store manager at the large retailers – Wal-Mart, Target, ToysRUs etc. – they would have found out that there were in fact two components to the challenges besetting Fisher Price. One challenge, to a relatively small degree, was “all of the above”. The other was really none of their making. It was economic, and applied to the 45% of the U.S. population making $45,000 or less per year and euphemistically referred to as the Middle Class, and the lower-income population. Even before the most recent recession, these consumers were faced with hard choices each day – food or rent, medications or fuel, heating the home or buying clothes. Then the 2008 recession struck and life became even tougher. The chart below illustrates what happened to real incomes then and afterwards:

because he or she will play happily with either. As a result, the Pre-School category was hit harder than the rest of the toy market and “premium” brand Fisher Price felt the effects more than most. This is how the numbers developed:

minds of US national buyers that Mattel has fundamentally changed the way it conducts its business. They also believe that the shock of losing Disney Princess was a major factor in this change. Whatever the case may be, there is little

As we can see from the chart above, real incomes started to grow again in 2015 and this growth disproportionally benefitted the consumer group making less than $50,000 a year, because this turnaround was driven by a sharp drop in gasoline prices, an increase in the minimum wage in many parts of the United States, lower unemployment and more working hours. People started to feel better about their lives and consequently could afford to be a little more generous in their toy spend. This, of course, benefitted both the Pre-School category overall and Fisher Price in particular.

However, those that had kids still bought toys because economic hardship is difficult to explain to a child. What they did was go down the price scale and substitute – going for price rather than brand. They rightly perceived that it does not make a jot of a difference whether you give a two-year old a $50 toy or a $5 toy

However, the economy was neither the only cause for the decline in Fisher Price’s fortunes nor the only reason for the brand’s recovery. Mattel’s company culture probably had something to do with the former and a profound change in this culture was at least partly the driver for the latter. There is little doubt in the

doubt that the Fisher-Price we see today is a different animal from what it was a few years back. It appears that Mattel has begun to drive Fisher-Price into two distinctly different directions – one focusing on under five-year olds, the other targeting the learning space. If you look at Fisher-Price’s top-selling products at mass retail, the average age is 2.5 years. There is a reason for this focus. A recent study by the American Academy of Pediatrics, which surveyed 350 children aged six months to four years, found that 75% of the four-year olds had a smart phone. It is reasonable to assume that the phone was used for playing games. It is also reasonable to assume that smart phone penetration increases as you go up the age scale. By concentrating on providing toys for under four-year olds, Fisher-Price elegantly sidesteps competition from smart phones and other electronic devices. The other part of their product strategy, the company’s invasion of the learning space, has been helped by a recent development – the LeapFrog/VTech merger. These two companies had an oligopoly in Electronic Learning Products and totally dominated the aisle devoted to them. This merger effectively shifted negotiating power from the retailers to the new entity. To offset this, the buyers basically encouraged other companies to enter the fray and gave them space in the aisle previously monopolized by LeapFrog and VTech. Mattel was not slow in recognizing this opportunity and jumped at the opening it represented. Fisher Price had been developing products with greater emphasis on child

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viewpoint

Fisher Price has come back ...cont.

Is Click & Collect delivering?

John Baulch Publisher and Managing Editor of Toy World Magazine

development as opposed to pure play – Laugh & Learn and Think & Learn are examples of this. The former is designed for very young children, six months and up, whereas the latter is aimed at older pre-schoolers of three years plus. Whilst both ranges were, until recently, restricted to their Pre-School toy shelf location, they have of late made an appearance in the Learning space. They first showed up there in September 2016 when Amazon Mexico reported that Laugh & Learn had made it into the top five rankings in Learning Products. In October, Amazon Mexico again reported the same and ToysRUs U.S. also reported Laugh & Learn in their top five learning products. In November,

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ecent research from Barclaycard has found that approximately 37% of consumers opt to buy online more frequently than shop in store, in order to receive faster service and greater flexibility in their shopping choices. Shoppers cite lack of time as a primary reason for buying online more often, with the high street falling out of favour due to patchy stock availability, crowds and queues at the checkout. Almost 63% have admitted to abandoning an in-store purchase in frustration. Omnichannel retailing has now been embraced by most retailers as a necessity, bringing their in-store and online offerings more closely together. In this competitive sphere, a service that is proving more and more popular with consumers is Click & Collect. Time pressed online shoppers who don’t want to wait in for a delivery or don’t want to risk any carrier fulfilment issues increasingly choose to secure a purchase online and pick it up themselves, at their convenience, from a local branch. This is a particularly attractive option for sought after items where stock might be limited: frequent online checking and grabbing an item as soon as it becomes available has become seen as a sure-fire way to avoid disappointment on Christmas morning. Click and Collect is merely

Laugh & Learn leapfrogged into the top five at ToysRUs U.K., Amazon India, ToysRUs Australia, ToysRUs South Africa and at a very large New Zealand retailer. Mattel has now taken steps to further buttress their advance in the two directions I have mentioned. They bought two companies. One was Fuhu with its award-winning Nabi tablet, ideally placed to further strengthen Mattel’s entry into the learning space and to effectively compete with both LeapFrog and VTech’s console business. The other was Sproutling, a start-up with a clever baby monitor designed to further expand the company’s presence in the Nursery sphere. Nabi has just been released and

Sproutling is still in the launch planning stage. Mattel also tried to buy the Mayborn Group U.K., makers of the leading baby product range Tommee Tippee, however this did not work out because Ping An, one of the largest Chinese insurance companies, stole a march on Mattel by acquiring Mayborn a few months ago. Nonetheless, there is little doubt that Mattel’s diversification strategy with focus on the very young is still in place and we can expect more acquisition efforts in future. Given these initiatives, there is little doubt that Fisher Price will continue to be the undisputed 600lb gorilla in the Pre-School space.

one example of how a high-street presence remains useful and relevant, complementing the online shopping experience. More and more retailers offer the service, some for free - albeit often with a minimum spend - and some at a price. Such a charge is understandable, as the service involves (or ought to involve) no little effort on behalf of the retailer. However, it can be a frustrating experience for the consumer. Click & Collect sounds so snappy and simple. Online transactions have improved immeasurably as a consumer experience over the last few years, so that goods are searched, stock levels checked, orders placed and payment made relatively smoothly and easily. So, you’ve clicked. So far, so good. Now to collect. Here is where it seems that many bricks and mortar retail branches continue to be climbing the “learning curve”. Firstly, the customer has to locate where to pick up their goods in store. Well signed pick up points would seem obvious, but are not always in evidence. Many stores choose to site their order collection point at the customer service desk, where queuing is inevitable – often behind other customers returning or exchanging goods, or having a long-winded enquiry or complaint dealt with. Sometimes, there is a dedicated desk, but often a pick-up point is situated some considerable distance from the

stock room where the delivered goods are kept, necessitating a long trip for the staff for each order, plus a lengthy wait for the customer. In a major supermarket chain, a staff member complained that she couldn’t leave the desk to find an order until her colleague got back from her break, as the desk couldn’t be left unattended. Could the customers come back later? Some stores clearly have no system for sorting received packages, resulting in staff having to check through several jumbled trolleys of goods until they locate the right order, again delaying matters both for them and for the consumer. To provide the service, adequate staffing and organisation is a must. The examples above are admittedly from large supermarkets and department stores, but provide examples of the pitfalls of a running collection scheme. Particularly for toy retailers at the busiest time of year, it is vital that systems run smoothly, avoiding unnecessary hassle, and such a facility shouldn’t be offered without first properly thinking though the logistics. Aligning digital and bricks and mortar experiences so that they complement each other is surely a win-win situation for both consumer and retailer, helping to ensure the survival of struggling physical stores. But many stores have quite a way to go before they’ll be Click & Correct.

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viewpoint

The outer limits of retail disruption

David Ripley David is currently EMEA category director for Toys, Nursery, Sporting Goods & Pet Care at Groupon. His long career as a toy buyer has included stints at a number of the industry’s largest retail accounts.

I

n 1970 Gil Scott-Heron famously said “the revolution will not be televised” …but maybe it will after all? Arguably, a revolution in toys is already being televised, as it has been each and every year, with retailers investing heavily in improving their price perception and carpet bombing their promotional messaging, all in a desperate fight for increased market share. Do not adjust your television set. The toy retail landscape has been materially shifting for years between the Specialty, Multiple, Independent, Grocery and Online channels; it is shifting ever more rapidly as the digital cycle reaches maturity and pure-play retailers start to reverse their operating model into bricks and mortar, not in a traditional way but in a way that optimises the reach and access of their online platforms. The price war between Argos and Tesco in late 2016 was one of the most aggressive and costly in recent memory. A heavily invested and sustained media campaign, with the overriding objective of driving a well-informed buying

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public to make targeted one-off, zero-loyalty purchases at below, or close to cost. I would genuinely be amazed if Tesco has achieved anything more than buying a chunk of market share for the year at zero margin minus marketing costs, a clear Pyrrhic victory if I ever saw one. Driving longer term price perception in a market place that now has near perfect online pricing transparency is something retailers have to seriously consider investing in; making a statement on value is one thing, but making money is very different. In 2017 my EMEA buying team and I plan to adopt and maintain one very simple New Year’s resolution - to meet more merchants and licensors face to face. So, if you see any of the Groupon goods team at any of the numerous trade and licensing shows this year, please say hello and let us know how we can do business. Wishing you all a prosperous and profitable 2017.


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Face-to-face

B&M

Less is a lot more at B&M Toy World publisher John Baulch spoke to B&M chief executive Simon Arora and toy buyer Hayley White to find out how the retailer has fared in 2016, and what lies ahead next year. Are you pleased with your trading performance in 2016? Simon: 2016 has been a hugely important year for B&M. We opened our 500th store in the UK this summer, while we have just reported our half-year results, in which we announced that we achieved £1 billion sales in the UK during the first six months of the year for the first time ever. As things stand, we’re on track to reach £2 billion sales across the full year, which will be another milestone for the business.

What percentage of your turnover comes from your toy range? Simon: Our toy business in the UK is worth around £300 million, which I understand equates to around 10% of the overall toy market. We’re growing at around 20% a year, so I have no reason to doubt that we’ll comfortably exceed that figure in 2017.

Which lines have performed particularly well for you this year? Hayley: We’ve enjoyed huge success with products featuring classic licences such as Peppa Pig, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and Toy Story. We’ve also seen fantastic results from our Paw Patrol range; in terms of new franchises, that is the one which has really taken off for us this year, and we only had a limited selection of product. We’ll be massively extending our Paw Patrol range in 2017; we’ll be aiming for around 30 SKUs in total, so it will be by far our biggest licence next year. We’ll be stocking a broader selection of Spin Master lines, and adding in products from other licensees such as Sambro, including their craft sets and musical items.

What is the thinking behind your approach to ranging in the toy aisle? Simon: We still work on a limited SKU count business model: our mantra is very much ‘less is more’. By concentrating our buying power on a limited amount of product, it means we can secure significant discounts, which help us to drive high rates of sale. If we decide a line is for us, we don’t hedge our bets: we buy decisively and we buy deep. We trust our buying team’s judgement; I like to call it ‘retailing with confidence.’ We also make sure we give the product space to breathe in-store; our

shelves are clean, well-stocked and impactful. We feel that, ultimately, this helps the customer with their purchasing decision – it avoids the tyranny of choice that can be experienced elsewhere. Hayley: We aim to curate the best 500 toys in the market, not the 20,000 or so lines that you might find in a large toy specialist store. This gives us a manageable range, where we can sell very high volumes of each individual item: this year, for example, we sold 12 times more Fireman Sam engines than there are real fire engines in the UK. We also sold three times more radio control helicopters than the number of helicopters in the whole world!

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Simon: There is sometimes a misconception that B&M is the equivalent of a pound shop. Nothing could be further from the truth. Our sweet spot is the £15-£50 bracket. We’ve also seen a significant shift in our toy business over the past two or three years; previously, a large percentage of our range consisted of back catalogue lines – last year’s best-selling items, if you like. This season, we have been very much on the front foot in terms of stocking a greater number of up-to-date products – we now have the TV advertised lines of today, rather than the lines which were on TV last year and the year before. As we look forward to 2017, we fully expect to be doing a lot more of that.

Are there any specific range developments for next year which you can share with us at this stage? Hayley: There are some major movie releases next year – including Despicable Me 3, Cars 3, Transformers 5, Spider-Man Homecoming and My Little Pony – and we are going to have a strong toy offering aligned to the release dates of each of these films. These movies are going to drive huge excitement and massive retail sales, and B&M is going to play a big part in their success. We’ll also be supporting some of the hottest new licensed properties in 2017, including Blaze and the Monster Machines, DC Super Hero Girls and Tsum Tsum.

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Do you feel that you have a strong relationship with the toy community? Simon: I see it very much as a symbiotic relationship. The trade recognises that we are growing at a very healthy 20% a year, and we’re also significantly increasing our store count, so why would suppliers not want to have their latest and hottest products put in front of the six million customers who walk past our toy shelves each week? In addition, we don’t stock gaming products at all; our toy aisle is purely focused on mainstream toys.


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Face-to-face

Is the discount channel still viewed with a degree of suspicion in certain quarters? Simon: Nowadays, I believe there is a far greater acceptance of the discount channel as a means of selling market-leading products. This realisation is not limited to the toy sector; the same things is happening in other key categories such as DIY. Because of the regular footfall and the scale of the channel, suppliers can’t afford to turn their back on such a huge opportunity. Five years ago, the discount channel was seen as a way of getting rid of mistakes – not any more. Anyway, who isn’t a discounter today? Who doesn’t compete on price? Are Argos, Asda, Tesco and Sainsbury’s not discounting? Or the major specialist accounts?

What have you done to help B&M become more accepted as a mainstream player in the toy market? Hayley: We’ve raised our game – it is important to us that the shopper has no misgivings about buying their products at B&M rather than a supermarket or any other retailer. We’ve made sure that our store environment matches or exceeds our competitors. We’ve invested significantly in areas such as point of sale, introduced LED lighting across our whole store estate and developed a strong own-brand range. The truth is that shoppers tend not to be

B&M ...cont

loyal to one specific retailer or retail channel anymore; it is all about presenting them with the best possible products at the best possible prices, in an attractive retail environment. Simon: I think that we’re now recognised as an integral part of the mainstream toy market, almost all the major toy suppliers work with us. The one brand we don’t currently have is Lego: I’d love that to change in the future.

What do you see as the key benefits of establishing a partnership with B&M? Simon: Ultimately, every business is focused on growth: if you work with B&M, you’re guaranteed growth. We plan to open a new store almost every week – we’re targeting around 50 new outlets here in the UK next year. We’re still a long way from reaching maturity in the UK: I believe that a store estate of 850 outlets is a realistic growth target. Large parts of the South East are virgin territory for B&M, while we only have 12 stores in the Greater London area - so there is plenty of scope to extend there.

Away from the UK, how has your German operation performed in 2016? Simon: We have established a significant business in Germany, which is especially gratifying as it is the home of discount retailing. We opened

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19 new stores there in 2016, giving us a total of 78 outlets. We now have a turnover of 150 million Euros, which is impressive when you consider we only launched in Germany two years ago; it just goes to show that everyone loves a bargain, even the Germans!

Can you tell us about the TV advertising campaign you ran in the run-up to Christmas? Simon: This Christmas marked the first time we have ever run a TV advertising campaign. We invested our own money in the activity – we didn’t go cap in hand to suppliers asking for a contribution, we put our hand in our pocket and funded the whole thing ourselves. And we put serious money behind it: we invested over £3 million into the campaign. Hayley: We featured 20 of our best-selling lines across three separate ads, including the 20-inch Batman figure from Jakks; Pig Goes Pop and Doggy Doo from John Adams; a Paw Patrol scooter; Lucy the Dog and a Toy Story Radio Control item from IMC; Mattel’s Batman Gotham City playset and the Peppa Pig classroom and the Scooby Doo Mystery Machine from Character Options. Simon: I think the ads reflected the B&M ethos; there was a strong emphasis on the product and they highlighted our ongoing strategy of honest, everyday low pricing, rather than short-term special offers, which is at the heart of our DNA.


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Face-to-face

Tesco

A larger slice of the pie Major retailers pricing and promotional strategies are always a hot topic in the run-up to Christmas. Publisher John Baulch spoke to Tesco’s John Driscoll and Dawn Lavalette about the 2016 festive trading period and the retailer’s strategy to grow its market share in the toy sector, which has proved controversial in some quarters. How has trading been in the run-up to Christmas? Dawn: We got off to a great start – the results of the half price toy sale were staggering. We started it a week earlier and even though we ran it for a week less than last year, we increased sales dramatically. John: Starting it a week earlier created a longer gap between our sale and competitor activity, while finishing earlier meant we could pull forward the introduction of our Christmas range. That gave us two weeks of additional Christmas sales. Dawn: October half-term is a key selling period, and last year we hadn’t even launched our Christmas range at that stage. We were much later into Christmas than our competitors, whereas this year we were ahead of the game. Pulling forward the activity also meant we could give suppliers early reads on sales. The strategy was to buy less breadth and more depth. We placed big bets – we didn’t get everything we wanted, but overall, we managed to secure good stock levels for our customers.

Have you seen any changes in the pattern of sales this year? Dawn: We’ve seen a fundamental shift this year – our business has moved online to a degree we never predicted. We massively under-called on toys just how much of our business would migrate across to Direct. We sold 10,000 units of Hatchimals in 12 minutes on Direct, that shows you the potential of the online channel. John: Our total numbers are where we thought they would be, but where the business has come from is very different to what we forecast. In the end, you can project where you want to be, but customers will tell you exactly how

and where they want to buy from you. There seems to have been a huge scrap for market share amongst the major retailers this year, with Tesco at the heart of things. John: We made no secret of the fact that we wanted to go after market share this year, to show that we’re serious about toys. It’s not a one-year whim – the toy category is right at the heart of our general merchandise strategy. Dawn: Have we grown our market share? Absolutely, our share growth has been fantastic but there’s always more to go for. If you’d have asked me a month ago, I’d have said we were the growth in the market, especially if you look at NPD. The market has slowed over Christmas period across the board. Not everything is on fire and the products that have been on fire are quite limited in the market. The good products sold through, leaving us with the slow-sellers – there has been a very long tail this year.

How did you react to that? Dawn: We ran a 30% off sale recently to shift stock. It was better to do that than run a 50% or 70% off sale after Christmas. We need to come out clean from the festive season; we don’t have the space to trade through over a long period. It was better to take an early markdown so we didn’t end up in a challenging situation further down the line. And we’d made commitments to suppliers on volumes of stock – having not quite hit our numbers, we had to manage the situation.

Were any of the ‘3 for 2’ sales also a reactive measure? Dawn: Not at all, the ‘3 for 2’ sales were all part of our initial plan, whereas the 30% off sale wasn’t. They were run for very short periods – four days, rather than the three or four weeks

that they had lasted in the past. These promotions are all about growing our average selling price. In the past, our average selling price was 50% below the market average – in effect, we were being busy fools. We wanted to address that, and we wanted to stop the ‘high / low’ pricing fluctuations. John: It was all about building trust and credibility with our customers, and creating stability around pricing: we want to be category builders, not category killers. We didn’t run 25% or 40% off sales in store this year, instead we focused on the ‘3 for 2’ mechanic. Fundamentally, we wanted to reestablish ourselves in the market and, ultimately, to grow the category and our share of it.

Was the strategy aimed at purely at challenging Argos for market share in the toy sector, or was it ultimately a scrap between Tesco and Sainsbury’s – a grocery war if you like? John: It’s not about whether it’s Argos or Sainsbury’s – it’s about doing the right thing for our customers; we want to be customer champions. That said, Argos is the market leader. If we’re looking to grow our share of the market, it’s the first place you look.

Was there an intention to drive footfall or grocery sales by discounting toys heavily? John: I’m staggered that anyone would think that. It’s humbling to think that people perceive we would be able drive the whole Tesco business around toys. I can categorically say that it is not about using toys to drive our food sales on any level – it’s about doing the right thing for the 20 million shoppers who visit Tesco each week. Everyone needs to accept the transparency of price on the

internet, and the impact that has had on retailing as a whole. The world is changing massively; the way people are shopping in store and online is completely different to how it was in the past. We need to be trusted by our customers to consistently offer fair value compared with every other retail channel. When we have an exclusive product, we take a completely different approach; take Sindy for example, we haven’t moved our pricing on that range once - we pitched it at a fair price and have stuck to it, and it has worked extremely well for us. Channel management is the key to this; some toy companies are great at channel management, and others still have some ground to make up.

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Toy World 63 KSG Ads.indd 3

29/11/2016 12:30


Licensing World eOne unveils theatrical releases for Peppa Pig

Tomy named master toy partner for Kazoops Cheeky Little Media, Fusion Agency and Art + Science have announced Tomy as the master toy partner for the pre-school television series, Kazoops. Tomy will produce plush, figurines, playsets and games, which will all be available from July 2017. Underpinning the range are play patterns that link directly to core attributes and storylines from the Kazoops episodes. Patrick Egerton, executive producer of Cheeky Little Media, commented: “It’s extremely exciting to partner with Tomy on Kazoops. Their enthusiasm and understanding for what we’ve set out to achieve with the show, and their strong track record for innovation, make them a dream partner for us.”

Mark Foster, executive vice president of Tomy Europe, added: “We’re delighted to be chosen as the master toy partner for this terrific property. As soon as we saw Kazoops, we knew it was the perfect fit for us. Monty and his adventures lend themselves to a great, innovative range of toys where we can continue to explore a breadth of play patterns for years. We are very excited about the possibilities we can explore, and look forward to partnering with Fusion and CLM as Kazoops inevitably goes from strength to strength across Europe.” Kazoops premiered on CBeebies in the UK on 20th June, and launched in Australia on 1st August 2016 on ABC KIDS. The UK licensing agent is Art + Science International, and the UK licensing programme is building, with partners including Immediate Media, Redan Publishing, Fashion UK and Rainbow Productions. The toy range from Tomy will be showcased at London Toy Fair.

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eOne has announced plans for a big screen theatrical outing for Peppa Pig in the UK on 7th April. To kick-start the marketing campaign and build excitement ahead of the release, eOne has unveiled the first UK teaser trailer and film poster. For Peppa’s latest big screen adventure, eOne has created a new hourlong cinema format: Peppa Pig My First Cinema Experience, specifically for pre-schoolers. This will offer fans nine new Peppa Pig episodes which will be connected with never-beforeseen interactive entertainment, featuring live action Peppa and George characters, alongside their friend Daisy. The experience will be screened at cinemas nationwide in the UK from 7th April, offering family entertainment for both the Easter holidays and May half term. The UK release leads with new episode, Peppa Visits London, where the Queen will make her long-awaited return to Peppa Pig. The release will include special appearances from new characters including Policeman Panda voiced by David Mitchell, and Mrs Crocodile voiced by Jo Brand. To coincide with the theatrical release, a collection of London-themed Peppa Pig merchandise will be released at retail in spring 2017 across categories including toys, accessories and publishing. Rebecca Harvey, head of marketing at eOne Family, said: “We’ve had huge demand from fans in the UK for a Peppa Pig cinema event, and we’re all incredibly excited to be bringing fans what we hope will be an unforgettable cinema experience. It’s also a great opportunity for licensees and retailers to capitalise on all the excitement that the cinema release is sure to generate.”


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licensingworld Maped Helix unveils new licences for 2017 Maped Helix has announced an agreement with Mattel that will launch its new Fun to Learn brand. The range will create new products with leading children’s brands that will introduce children to engaging and fun stationery items. The Primary School Essentials Packs will be the first products to launch in March, featuring Barbie, Hot Wheels, Thomas & Friends and Bob the Builder themed products. Maped Helix will also be reproducing a selection of products from its 1977 Helix Star Wars range to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the first Star Wars film. From maths sets and rulers to pencils, sharpeners and pencil cases, this highly anticipated collection will launch ahead of next year’s May 4th celebrations. Products in the Helix Star Wars anniversary range will feature the Star Wars 40th anniversary logo, and will include the brightly-coloured Death Star pencil sharpener, the original maths set tin - but with modern day contents - a range of pencil cases featuring different characters from the classic movies, a 30cm Stormtrooper ruler and graphite pencils. An Anniversary Collection set is also being created to contain all of the retro products in a gift pack. Helix will also be launching a new range of licensed pencil cases in time for the back to school season. The new additions of brightly coloured pencil cases, resembling the famous Pringles crisps tubes, will add to Helix’s well established range of fashion pencil cases.

Bear with us This year has been a positive one for Golden Bear, and the company aims to grow even bigger in 2017. Katherine Pierce, senior licensing and marketing manager, spoke to Jonika Kinchin about how the company achieved its goals in 2016, and how an increase in digital activity has had an effect. What were the highlights of 2016?

How have you increased digital activity?

2016 was a strong for us, we remain in the top 20 toy manufacturers and continue to grow our business year on year, and early indications lead us to believe the best months are still to come. In addition, we’ve announced some exciting new licences with more still to follow after Christmas.

We recognise the importance of the digital channel in building consumer awareness and so have integrated digital plans into our marketing mix during 2016 where we believe it is relevant and delivers a measurable impact.

The launch of Sleep Tight All Night in August was one of the highlights and has been extremely well received in the market place. Consumer feedback has been fantastic with over 1.5m views of the launch video on Facebook. We’re now looking forward to stage two of the product launch, widening its reach with an exciting above the line campaign due to launch spring/summer 17. We’ve also had great award successes in 2016 which we attribute to the importance we place on product innovation, with Twirlywoos and JCB being triple award-winning ranges for us this year.

What were the main aims and goals of 2016, and have they been achieved? Whilst the pre-school arena has been challenging with increased competition, in 2016 we set out to consolidate our market position and grow our key licences and we believe we have been successful. In the Night Garden and Mr Tumble have continued to grow and we have been encouraged by the response to our new Thomas and Friends and Lily’s Driftwood Bay product ranges. The launch of Oddbods allowed us to enter the collectIbles market and we have plans in place to support the brand in 2017.

Our campaign strategy for the Sleep Tight All Night launch was to reach parents via a targeted pre-roll campaign on YouTube, Programmatic and Facebook, as well as a blogger outreach programme which allowed key influencers to get hands on with the product and share their experiences via blog posts and video content. We believe this has been instrumental in encouraging word of mouth and recommendations within the parental sphere.

What are the aims for 2017? Our main aim going into 2017 is to consolidate our position as number one manufacturer in licensed plush and we are planning for growth. Great things are planned for 2017 including an exciting new IP launch in the collectibles arena called Bush Baby World as well as strong launches in the pre-school sector, including our new DC Super Friends range which we are very excited about. Existing ranges are expanding further and we are supporting them with fully integrated marketing activity.

What licences have seen the most success this year? We have been very pleased with the new range launches such as Thomas and Friends which has been well received at retail and is performing well as a licence. The newly refreshed Mr Tumble range is going from strength to strength as we champion the brand as the Master Toy partner.

Gemma announces 2017 licensing plans Established in the licensed greetings industry for over 30 years, Gemma International is proud to be the licensee for some of the biggest character brands in the world, including Thomas & Friends, Peppa, Emoji, Teletubbies, Bob The Builder, Trolls, Disney and Marvel to name a few. As well as continuing to develop ranges for evergreen licences such as Thomas & Friends and Peppa Pig, the company is excited to be bringing new ranges to market for Pokémon, Mario, Animal Jam and Num Noms, across

cards and gift packaging. For party, 2017 will see a new range for Animal Jam, and design refreshes for Mario and Shopkins. The new Mario Run app is expected to bring Mario back on trend in 2017, and the design studio at Gemma HQ is currently working on some new designs due to launch in 2017. Louise Ellison, Gemma’s marketing manager, commented: “It’s great to see longstanding brands like Pokémon and Mario enjoying a comeback. Uptake on

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Pokémon has been fantastic and we are excited about the launch of the new Mario Run game. Animal Jam is fast becoming a must-have girls’ property following the success of the online community, gaming app and toy ranges; we have already taken orders ahead of our 2017 launch. Num Noms continues to grow in popularity as a girls’ collectible brand. The characters look great on our cards and gift packaging.”


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*NPD Total Property YTD November 2016

© 2017 Hasbro. All Rights Reserved.

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Toy World 69 © 2017 Hasbro. All Rights Reserved.

*NPD November 2016 • NPD License Tracker June 2016


licensingworld New deals for Golden Bear A partnership will see Golden Bear launch a range of DC Super Friends products for 2017. Appealing to younger DC fans, the collection will include iconic comic characters which children and adults recognise and love.

Batman will be the first to be featured within the new sleep aid concept, Sleep Tight All Night, launching in autumn/winter 2017. Other ranges to be launched will include feature plush, an interactive playmat and fun slingable plush collectibles. “DC Super Friends feature instantly recognisable DC Super Hero characters to whom both parents and younger children can relate and admire,” said Katherine Pierce, senior licensing and marketing manager at Golden Bear. “The values these Super Heroes project and the strength of the DC brand make it a natural fit for our new product innovation and ranges launching in 2016. The company has also confirmed the renewal of its Sooty licence, which will take its partnership with Brands with Influence into 2019. The worldwide deal is across a range of plush puppets and playsets for the iconic brand. The new Mischief and Magic Set, which launched for autumn/winter 2016, is the ideal gift for budding magicians and practical jokers. The set features a Sooty hand puppet with magic wand, colour changing hanky and whoopee cushion. Also included is a booklet with six tricks to perform. Golden Bear’s Sooty collection also includes classic Sooty, Sweep and Soo hand puppets and a Pop-Up Sooty Puppet Show, with a puppeteer box, magic wand and authentic water pistol. New lines for 2017 will include the introduction of Sooty’s cousin Scampi into the range of hand puppets.

Trends UK unveils new partnership with Thomas & Friends Thomas & Friends welcomes Trends to its consumer products portfolio, with the introduction of new Thomas & Friends ELAs. Available from summer 2017, the range will aid development of early learning, numeracy and communication skills. The new range includes a Thomas & Friends Smart Tablet, Thomas & Friends Flip-up Phone and Learn with Thomas Magnetic Fridge Toy. Lindsay Hardy, marketing director at Trends UK, commented: “It’s a fantastic opportunity to work with Mattel and launch a new range of Thomas & Friends Electronic Learning Aids, featuring one of the world’s most popular toy brands. We are utilising our joint expertise in developing and marketing successful licensed educational toys to create Thomas & Friends ELAs that young fans will love to play and learn with.” Helen Genia, licensing category manager at Mattel Consumer Products, added: “We are delighted to be working with Trends UK to launch this new range of Electronic Learning Aids. Thomas & Friends is a great platform for pre-schoolers to learn these key skills with this new range of ELAs.”

Fremantle Kids & Family announces partnership with Butlins Beginning at Easter 2017, Butlins’ Danger Mouse show will run twice per family break for two years, making a total of 724 shows. With an average audience of 1,500 per show, around one million Butlins holidaymakers will enter the high-action, highcomedy world of the animated hero. The 50-minute production, following a newly created storyline, will feature all the favourite characters from the show, dancers from Butlins and a stage prop version of the Mark IV Danger Car. Butlins guests can immerse themselves further into Danger Mouse’s world with episodes of the programme screened across the resorts, and merchandise available in Butlins shops. Tracy Griffiths, VP licensing and consumer products for EMEA and Australia, FremantleMedia Kids & Family, said: “Danger Mouse and Butlins are both British institutions, so we’re thrilled that our secret agent will be entertaining families at their holiday resorts in this exciting two-year venture.” Mike Godolphin, head of entertainment at Butlins, added: “We are absolutely delighted to be working with FremantleMedia Kids & Family, and to confirm such a hot property for Butlins as Danger Mouse. As part of our strategy, we are dedicated to providing top quality entertainment for our guests, so to be the only place families can see a live Danger Mouse show is really exciting.”

Epoch unveils new Toy Story Aquabeads products Epoch has announced the release of its new Disney Pixar Toy Story Character Set – the latest product in the arts and crafts range. Children will be able to make some of their favourite characters from the original movies with the set, including Buzz Lightyear, Woody and their very own Aquabeads squeeze toy alien. Each set contains 600 beads in 14 colours. Yuki Otsuka, marketing manager at Epoch Making Toys, commented: “We’re delighted to announce the release of our new Disney Pixar Toy Story Character Set. Children can create some of their favourite characters and have plenty of adventures with this water-based arts and craft set. Once they’ve created their character, kids can simply spray it with water then leave it to set.”

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Hot Properties Boys Batman and Superman Brand owner: Warner Bros. Consumer Products EMEA

Action Man

Brand owner: Art + Science International The Action Man brand was a powerhouse brand from the 60s through to the 90s, and over a 30-year period hundreds of outfits and accessories were available. The Action Man figure was equipped with almost every military uniform imaginable, and these stood in line with outfits for astronauts, divers, pilots, skiers, parachutists, firemen and sportsmen. In celebration of the brand’s 50th anniversary, Art + Science International, under licence from Hasbro, is launching a specially developed range of handmade Collector Edition Action Man figures, and will also be launching a licensing programme. The 50th anniversary Action Soldier and Footballer figures launched at the end of 2016, with British Infantryman, Ski Patrol, Paratrooper and Scuba Diver available from this month. The 50th anniversary collection will be available until autumn 2017, and new additions to the limited edition range will be announced early this year. The Collector Editions are inspired by the best of the Action Man brand, and will feature accessories, gripping hands, realistic flock hair, the iconic dog tag and the famous scar. In December 2016, a very limited edition of 1,966 Action Man Bobby Moore figures went on sale, to honour his extraordinary career and to support the Bobby Moore Fund in their efforts for Cancer Research UK. This figure is presented in a special gift box and includes the iconic Action Man dog tag, and a Certificate of Authenticity. Further collector editions are planned for 2017, and the range will be supported by licensees in additional categories. The brand has full marketing support, including a new website and social media channel. Following the launch into space of Action Man in June 2016, plans are underway for additional missions in 2017. Park Agencies are on board as the apparel partner, with ranges due to launch with key retailers from summer 2017. Sports Souvenirs is creating gift sets, which will be available from June for Father’s Day. Art + Science is also looking to expand the brand into categories including accessories, greetings and gifting, and is currently in discussion with a number of licensees and retailers.

Building on the success of Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice, both characters will be supported with new content this year, including Warner Bros. Pictures’ much-anticipated Lego Batman Movie and Justice League film, as well as animation content from Warner Bros. Animation, including Justice League Action. Warner Bros. Consumer Products will support all content with expansive merchandising programmes. In addition, the company will support the new DVD/Blu-Ray and digital releases of DC titles throughout the year, as well as upcoming video games, including the critically acclaimed Batman: Arkham video game series.

Dennis and Gnasher Brand owner: Beano Studios

Dennis and Gnasher are bounding into 2017 with an array of licensing opportunities. The much-loved duo had a bumper 2016 with the launch of the new Beano digital platform, the reveal of their dynamic new CGI look, alongside the announcement of their return to British television screens. The property is set to take the licensing world by storm over the next 12 months. Commissioned by CBBC, Dennis and Gnasher will take up the mantle of entertaining UK audiences in late 2017 with a new 52 x 11” TV series: Dennis & Gnasher Unleashed. The show, which follows the pair’s high octane adventures in Beanotown, introduces a host of new friends as well as the return of firm favourites. The TV series will target boys and girls aged 7-10. Initially rolling out on CBBC in late 2017, Dennis & Gnasher Unleashed is set to take on the world, with international distribution plans kicking in for 2018. Beano Studios is currently in talks with licensees across all categories, with Dennis and Gnasher Unleashed offering endless opportunities to unleash products for boys and girls aged 5-8.

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Hot Properties

Sonic The Hedgehog Brand owner: Sega

Ben 10

Brand owner: Cartoon Network Ben 10 is Cartoon Network’s global franchise that has generated more than $4.5bn in global retail sales. In October 2016, a new Ben 10 animated series that re-introduces 10-year-old Ben Tennyson to a new generation of fans hit TV screens across EMEA and APAC. The refreshed series of 40 x 11 minute episodes has already drawn in strong ratings. The premiere episode slotted as the number one show of the day in the UK and South Africa, and number one in its time slot in Poland and the UAE for boys 4-9. Cartoon Network is currently gearing up to launch the show in North America and LATAM in 2017, in addition to the free-to-air roll-out across multiple markets. Introducing new aliens and villains, the new series sees Ben discover an out-of-this-world alien-morphing watch – the Omnitrix. The EMEA consumer products programme for the new series will kick off this autumn, and products will primarily target boys aged 4-8. Toys will anchor the new licensing programme and Playmates is on board as the global master toy partner, with Flair appointed as pan-European and UK distribution partner. The new toy range will feature playsets, action figures, role-play and a new Omnitrix. Cartoon Network will be supporting the launch with a raft of immersive retail activations and high-profile marketing activity. Closely following the toy launch will be a roll-out of additional key categories including apparel, publishing and homewares. Live events and immersive fan experiences are also a priority for Cartoon Network; Ben 10 now has a strong presence in IMG Worlds of Adventure. Within the dedicated Cartoon Network zone is a Ben 10 5D multisensory theatre experience and the world’s biggest Ben 10 retail store. Cartoon Network is currently working on ways to further make its mark in this category. The company is also ensuring that Ben 10 is developed to the highest degree and across every platform. Alongside dedicated content that parallels the TV show for YouTube and other web platforms, there is a slate of new apps, games and short form content in the pipeline too.

The Sonic the Hedgehog licensing programme continues to grow with dedicated licensing campaigns targeting both kids and young adults. It’s been a big year for the property, with the announcement of season 2 of the hit kids’ animation series, Sonic Boom, and also the news of the upcoming live action CG hybrid Sonic movie. Sonic the Hedgehog has been celebrating its 25th anniversary throughout 2016, culminating most recently with the launch of a record-breaking fine art collection with Washington Green. The art collection features 25 pieces of art to celebrate 25 years of Sonic, with limited edition prints accompanied by certificates of authenticity, which have been hand-signed by founding member of the Sonic team, Naoto Oshima. November saw the launch of the Sonic Lego Dimensions pack which was the fastest pre-ordered and fastest selling pack of any IP across all Toy To Life categories. This sets the tone for the new slate of multiplatform games planned from 2017, kicking off with Sonic Mania in the spring, followed by Sonic Project 2017 in winter 2017. With a solid roadmap of games for the next few years, this is just the beginning. Apparel partner BWI has also recently come on board, and has already confirmed placements with Urban Outfitters, Primark, Pennys and Game Stop.

The Angry Birds Brand owner: Rovio

The Angry Birds Hatchlings first turned heads in late 2015, when their attempt at Deck the Halls spread like wildfire online during the Christmas period, quickly becoming the single most shared content in the Angry Birds history. A few more viral shorts and a blockbuster Angry Birds Movie later, these little chicks have now become Rovio’s latest breakout characters, with a full range of consumer products, a mobile game in the works and, in February, their very own animated series on Rovio’s ToonsTV platform. On the consumer products front, the Hatchlings’ core target group is girls aged 5-10, with key categories in toys, apparel, back-to-school and accessories. However, the characters also resonate strongly with mums, and Rovio is also seeing interest in the kidult space, especially in Asia. Major global licensees include Spin Master and Commonwealth, while in China Rovio’s strategic partnership with online retailer Alibaba is bringing a wide range of products tailored for the massive market. While the Hatchlings are growing the Angry Birds brand beyond its traditional appeal to young boys, 2017 won’t be entirely cute and cuddly. Vehicles – particularly the crazy, improvised and rickety contraptions favoured by the birds’ arch enemies – are another key focus area for Rovio’s hard lines business this year. In autumn, fans can look out for an Amazing Egg Race.

Thunderbirds Are Go Brand owner: ITV Studios Global Entertainment

Thunderbirds Are Go continues to gain traction and is successfully engaging a new generation of fans with its storytelling and top-class production. ITVS GE is making significant strides in strengthening Thunderbirds Are Go’s international presence, and has now sold the show into over 40 markets across Europe, Japan, America, Australasia and the Middle East. Season two debuted in the UK during Q4 2016, with a third season of 26 episodes slated for release this year. ITVS GE is gearing up to launch merchandise programmes in several markets including France, Benelux and the Nordics this Q4. The global licensing programme for Thunderbirds Are Go is benefitting from the expanding line-up of broadcasters, with over 85 top-class licensees now signed up across all key categories.

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Hot Properties

Classic Brands Shaun the Sheep Brand owner: Aardman Animations

Morph

Brand Owner: Aardman Animations One of Aardman’s first characters, Morph was a regular fixture on kids’ TV throughout the 70s and 80s, and recently launched a comeback thanks to a crowdfunding campaign. Since then, the character has gone from strength to strength and has a steadily growing fan-base of young fans who follow his adventures on his YouTube channel and a new series which launched on Sky Kids platforms this autumn. Morph also has a legion of adult fans who remember him from their childhood. Morph celebrates his 40th birthday in 2017, and Aardman is celebrating with a series of events, activities and brand-building partnerships. Aardman is looking for new partners on a national and regional level to help build a range of merchandise across multiple categories including toys, games, gifts, stationery and publishing. The brand lends itself to arts, crafts and creative play items, with a core audience of children aged 5-11, and a secondary audience of Morph’s original adult fans.

Loved by an audience for over 25 years, and celebrating being the star of his own show for the last 10 years, Shaun the Sheep is a classic property with a big future. With 150 episodes broadcast regularly around the world, including in the UK on CBBC and Amazon Prime, an Academy Award-nominated movie with a sequel in development for 2019, and an ever-growing presence on social media, YouTube and other digital platforms, Shaun the Sheep is firmly established as a global family favourite. The next two years will see a significant investment in the property across new content for digital and social platforms, as well as the development of integrated brand marketing events. This includes a year of activity based around the theme of nature, featuring promotional partnerships, animated content, games and sharable content. The launch of Shaunmojis on IOS, Facebook and Line has resulted in over 350 million shares, with a bespoke style guide being launched in early 2017. Aardman is looking for new partners on a national, regional and global level to help increase market presence across toys, games and gifts as the company builds towards the Shaun the Sheep Movie sequel launch in 2019. The brand is ideally suited for 6-9 year-old children, and is especially suited to products that can be shared by the family and have a level of quality and innovation that are synonymous with Aardman’s brand values. Recent new partners for the UK include IglooBooks for publishing, Timberkits wooden construction toys, Mardles augmented reality stickers and giftwares from Groovy UK and Puckator.

Scooby-Doo

Brand Owner: Warner Bros. Consumer Products EMEA Consistently among the best-selling properties in the Warner Bros. Consumer Products portfolio, Scooby-Doo has a lot on the horizon, with a new theatrical film release and new TV series on Cartoon Network, Boomerang and other channels worldwide. Long-standing licensees are committed to new product launches, including the relaunch of the iconic Stretch Scooby from Character Options. Warner Bros. Consumer Products also represents Tom and Jerry and Looney Tunes. Season two of the new Tom and Jerry show on Cartoon Network and Boomerang will offer new licensing opportunities. The 20th anniversary of Space Jam heralded a new line of Brand Jordan products, supporting the special DVD rerelease. Bugs Bunny’s Wabbit animated series is also a hit, airing six days a week on Boomerang and other channels.

Paddington Brand owner: Copyrights

Launching on 10th November 2017, Hugh Grant and Brendan Gleeson join the returning cast of Hugh Bonneville, Sally Hawkins, Julie Walters, Jim Broadbent, Peter Capaldi, Imelda Staunton and Ben Whishaw in the hotly-anticipated movie, Paddington 2. This year’s new launches include a range of movie tie-in products across plush and feature plush, toys and games, apparel and accessories, confectionery, back-to-school, home textiles, stationery, FMCG, books and more. As well as movie products, there will be ongoing new development across the Classic Paddington ranges, and HarperCollins will be launching a new Paddington novel for spring. New product launches for 2017 will be supported by high profile marketing, PR activity and retail activations from long-term Paddington partners, as well as new movie partners. Looking ahead, Copyrights will celebrate the 60th anniversary of Paddington in 2018 with a specially designed logo, limited edition products and special anniversary activities to include exhibitions with original Paddington artwork and archive items.

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Hot Properties

Film Early Man

Despicable Me 3

Brand owner: Aardman Animations

Brand Owner: Universal

Despicable Me 3 will hit UK theatres on 30th June 2017 alongside the return of Gru, Lucy, the girls and the Minions, the film will introduce two major new characters: one of which will cause Gru to question everything he thought he knew about his past, and the other will be his greatest nemesis to date. The themes in the film will differentiate and define the merchandising programme for Despicable Me 3, and provide a strong point of difference to the previous programmes for Despicable Me and Minions. Several new characters will feature, including new Minions, and there is also a subplot featuring Fluffy the Unicorn. Master toy partner Thinkway, distributed in the UK by MTW Toys, leads the charge for 2017 with new figurines, playsets and feature plush. Posh Paws, Moose Toys distributed in the UK by GP Flair, Wow Stuff, Sambro, HTI and Eolo are all new to the toy programme for 2017. Posh Paws will be producing a range of basic plush; Moose has developed a wide range of collectible figurines, play sets, figural keychains and novelties; Wow Stuff has created a selection of quirky toy lines which cleverly capture the essence of the Minions; Sambro is on board for pocket money toys, bags and stationery; Eolo for outdoor sports lines and HTI for wheeled and role-play cases. In addition, Universal has ongoing partnerships with Bladez Toyz for radio control inflatables; IMC for bath toys, audio electronic and radio control; Rubies for dress-up; Hasbro for Play Doh and cobranded games; Clementoni for adult puzzles; Mega Bloks for construction; Lexibook for consumer electronics; Ravensburger for kids and 3D puzzles and RMS International for art and craft lines. In addition to the toy partners, Universal has just over 100 licensees on board in the UK, covering an array of category areas including apparel, home, stationery, publishing, health and beauty, FMCG and gifting.

Wonder Woman

Brand owner: Warner Bros. Consumer Products EMEA Having featured in Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice, Wonder Woman returns with her first-solo feature film set for June, during her 75th anniversary year. The film will receive worldwide support from WBCP and its licensees and retail partners from around the world.

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Aardman’s new property, Early Man, will be a focus for the studio with the latest stop-frame feature film by BAFTA and Academy award-winning director, Nick Park, being released in January 2018. With lead cast members, Eddie Redmayne and Tom Hiddleston, being revealed earlier this year, along with a number of key territory release dates, Aardman is working closely with StudioCanal on developing a strong licensing, publishing and promotional programme for the film, which promises to be a major global theatrical event for 2018. Confirmed licensees include IglooBooks for publishing, and Bandai Namco Entertainment for prize plush and gifts. Merchandise programmes will be targeted at kids aged 7-11, plus families with a focus on humour, a clash of civilizations and the strong cast of characters.

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Justice League

Brand owner: Warner Bros. Consumer Products EMEA The Justice League is an assembly of all the most popular DC characters. The recently launched animated TV series, which hit small screens in autumn, will be further boosted by the release of the much-anticipated self-titled film, scheduled for November 2017. The Justice League film represents a unique opportunity for Warner Bros. Consumer Products to spotlight the leading DC characters Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman, The Flash, Cyborg and Aquaman - in one programme. Warner Bros. Consumer Products will roll out an exciting licensing and merchandising programme in advance of the theatrical event.


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Hot Properties

Pre-school

Blaze and the Monster Machines Brand owner: Nickelodeon

Ben & Holly’s Little Kingdom Brand owner: eOne

The animated series was first broadcast in the UK on Nick Jr in 2009 and Milkshake in 2010, and now airs daily in the UK across both channels where it consistently ranks as one of the channel’s most-watched shows. The UK licensing programme currently boasts 25 licensees including Character Options, Penguin and Blues across key categories including toys, publishing, apparel, partyware, live events and digital. Character Options’ toy line continues to gain traction at retail and updated toy lines for the brand in 2017 include figure packs, a castle playset and new limousine vehicle.

Blaze and the Monster Machines continues to gain momentum across all its audiences, with the latest viewing figures for the UK ranking the show as one of the most popular on Nick Jr. It is also performing well on Channel 5’s Milkshake!, where it launched in November 2015. The show centres on the title character, the monster truck Blaze and his 8-year-old driver AJ, who have adventures and solve problems together using the early stages STEM curriculum. Blaze is supported by a cast of characters including Starla (a purple pick-up), Darington (a blue monster truck) and Zeg (half-triceratops, half-monster truck), all of which are also popular with fans. Following the success of the toy line in 2016, other categories featuring Blaze will be of special focus for 2017. Apparel, publishing, stationery and e-learning are all categories where Blaze is set to feature. The property is supported with creative promotional campaigns and digital content that is linked to each episode, with new online games and apps launching in support of content tentpoles. This support will continue across 2017, along with special in-store events and online promotions.

Paw Patrol Brand owner: Nickelodeon

The success of the Paw Patrol property is comprehensive with the show winning top audiences on Nick Jr. and Milkshake! and product flying off shelves. Produced with Spin Master Entertainment, Paw Patrol follows six heroic rescue pups - Chase, Marshall, Rocky, Rubble, Zuma and Skye - who are led by a tech-savvy boy named Ryder. Together they work hard to protect their Adventure Bay community. Each pup has a skill set and a house that turns into a vehicle specific to their personality. The property has grown tremendously since its UK launch in 2013, with Paw Patrol leading across categories. The first-ever Paw Patrol live tour: Paw Patrol Live! Race to the Rescue began in the US in 2016, with plans for bringing the experience to the UK in 2017. With live events, new episodes, on-air and digital promotions, as well as new product lines launched with bespoke retail promotions, the success of Paw Patrol is set to continue throughout 2017 and beyond.

Hey Duggee Brand owner: BBC Worldwide

Hey Duggee is set to have a positive year in 2017. Master toy partner Golden Bear continues to do well with its plush and plastics range, which includes Woof Woof Duggee, the Soft Toy Talking Squirrels and the Squirrel Club Playset. There are now four Hey Duggee chart-topping apps, created with partner Scary Beasties, including The Big Badge App, The Outdoor Bagde app, Hey Duggee Colouring app and most recently the Hey Duggee We Love Animals Badge app. For publishing, Penguin has created range of companion books and activity books, and the Big Bumper Hey Duggee DVD launched at Christmas into all major accounts. New licensees in 2016 included Aykroyd and TDP; nightwear products launched into Sainsbury’s, followed by t-shirts for Tesco, with underwear and swimwear to follow. Blue Sky Designs will also be creating a range of art, stationery and activity products.

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PJ Masks © Frog Box / Entertainment One UK Limited / Walt Disney EMEA Productions Limited 2014.

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Hot Properties

Peppa Pig Brand owner: eOne

Peppa Pig is a global pre-school entertainment that has over 800 licensees around the world. The property generates over $1bn in global retail sales per annum and has over 2.8 million fans on Facebook. With 52 new episodes starting to air and rolling out internationally in 2017, there is a fresh pipeline of new content to inspire its growing stable of licensees and entertain its huge fan-base. In the UK there are 86 licensees, covering all categories from toys to toothpaste, and the toy category spans a wide range products including plastic playsets and figurines, plush, arts and crafts, construction, puzzles, games, novelty, role-play, electronic learning and outdoor. New toy partners joining the licensing programme include Green Board Games, Underground Toys and H.E.R., and HTI will be updating its product lines in 2017. The licensor is gearing up for the brand’s big screen theatrical return in the UK when Peppa Pig My First Cinema Experience heads to over 400 cinemas nationwide on April 7th 2017. This new cinema experience for preschoolers will feature nine new episodes - never before seen on TV. These will be connected with exclusive live action interactive musical content that offers children the opportunity to sing and dance along to songs with Daisy, Peppa and George. The release will be supported by an above the line marketing campaign and national PR, including talent interviews. Brand partners and retailers will benefit from the halo effect of the cinema release this Easter. A capsule collection of London themed merchandise will launch in spring 2017 to maximise the excitement that will be generated by the theatrical release.

PJ Masks Brand owner: eOne

Entertainment One’s new pre-school superhero TV show is winning over audiences around the world since launching on Disney Junior in the US in 2015 and globally on the Disney Junior network from 2016. PJ Masks follows 6-year-olds Connor, Amaya and Greg who go to school like kids everywhere. But when they put on their pyjamas and activate their amulets, the crime-fighters transform into their dynamic superhero alter egos, and become the PJ Masks. The licensing programme for PJ Masks will be driven by toys, dressup and publishing, and supported by apparel, accessories, stationery, party goods, games and creative play. US toy firm Just Play is the brand’s global master toy partner, and debuted a line of action figures, playsets, vehicles, plush, dress-up and role-play in the US from autumn 2016, exclusively with Toys R Us. Initial sales have been strong, placing PJ Masks as the fastest growing entertainment property in the pre-school toy segment for a four-week period in November 2016. The first wave of consumer products outside of North America will be led by Europe. France leads the international roll-out in January 2017, closely followed by the UK in February 2017 and then Iberia, Germany, Italy, Benelux and Russia. Just Play’s toy line will be distributed internationally by best in class toy partners, including Giochi Preziosi, Simba and Bandai. Beyond Europe, Australia and New Zealand launch merchandise from April 2017, Korea will lead the launch in Asia in time for Children’s Day in May 2017, followed by India. In Latin America, toys and apparel will launch from July 2017. In most territories, toys, publishing and apparel will launch in 2017 and will be followed by ancillary categories in 2018.

Something Special Brand owner: BBC Worldwide

BAFTA award-winning Something Special has been entertaining pre-schoolers and children with special needs on the CBeebies channel for more than 10 years, regularly appearing in the top three most watched shows for pre-schoolers on the channel. Master toy partner Golden Bear recently refreshed and re-designed the Something Special offering under the new banner of Mr Tumble Something Special. The brand continues to perform well at retail, and has increased TV advertised product lines including a vehicle and new feature plush. Fans of Mr Tumble will love the latest award-winning additions to the popular toy collection, which feature many of the key learning elements brought to life from the much-loved CBeebies show. The Mr Tumbles Fun Sounds Musical Car is packed with features; children can push the car to hear fun engine sounds as it wobbles along. Kids can also explore a world of sounds and phrases with Mr Tumble with Fun Tumble Tapp. Also available in the new range is The Mr Tumble with Lights and Sounds - an interactive soft toy. Other product lines include books from Egmont, an Electronic Learning Aid from KD Group and homeware from Zak. New licensees for the brand include Aykroyd and Sons Ltd &TDP Textiles Ltd for nightwear, underwear and swimwear and daywear with K3Y. BBC Worldwide is also representing brands featuring Justin Fletcher, Justin’s House and Gigglebiz.

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NEW TV! • Season 2 set to hit screens in 2017 across EMEA • Season 1 a major global kids’ TV hit • Season 1 airing in over 100 countries worldwide!

NEW GAMES! • Sonic is returning to console! • Two major multiplatform releases in 2017 • Over 350 million games sold and downloaded

MOVIE! • A new hybrid CG-animated/live-action family film is being developed with Sony Pictures! • Produced by the Fast and the Furious franchise producer, Neal Moritz! • Deadpool director Tim Miller is attached to develop and executive produce the film! © SEGA / Technicolor

For licensing queries please contact: Europe, Middle East & Africa:

US, Canada & Latin America:

Rest of the world:

Jason Rice

Anoulay Tsai

Rika Shirai

Email: jason.rice@sega.co.uk Tel: +44 (0) 208 996 4568

Email: anoulay.tsai@sega.com Tel: +1 (747) 400 2410, ext.203

Email: rika.shirai@sega.com Tel: +81 3 6871 7122

www.sonicthehedgehog.com/uk

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@sonic_hedgehog

/sonicthehedgehog

/sonic


Hot Properties

DC Super Hero Girls

Girls

Brand owner: Warner Bros. Consumer Products EMEA

Barbie

Brand Owner: Mattel In 2017, Barbie will introduce new content and products with its fairy-tale segment, Barbie Dreamtopia. Dreamed up for a younger girl, Barbie Dreamtopia is a make-believe world imagined by Barbie’s youngest sister Chelsea, empowering girls to be heroes of their own stories. Dreamtopia invites children to join Barbie along with Chelsea and her puppy Honey as they swim through rainbow rivers with mermaids and fly through cotton candy clouds with fairies. There are four magical kingdoms for kids to explore: Sweetville, Sparkle Mountain, Rainbow Cove, and the Endless Hair Kingdom. Continuing the momentum from a successful launch, a toy range in spring/summer 2017 includes fairies, mermaids, princesses, a Barbie Dreamtopia Bubbletastic Fairy Doll and the Barbie Dreamtopia Magical Dreamboat – designed to look like the boat Chelsea travels to the kingdoms in. 2017 will also see new long-form content launching in spring/summer 2017 with a TV special. In autumn/winter 2017 the company’s Mattel Creations arm will launch 52 x 11 minute episodes. The story revolves around Chelsea, the youngest sister of Barbie, as she takes a journey from her real life to the land of dreams. Barbie Dreamtopia content has been created with a visual look, designed to appeal to more of a pre-school demographic than previous Barbie content. The roll-out of licensing partnerships begins with the Ravensburger Barbie Dreamtopia Puzzle and the Just Play Dreamtopia Styling Head. Girls will love immersing themselves in this fantasy world with new Barbie role-play opportunities with Christys Barbie Dreamtopia Rainbow Dress-Up. The Barbie Dreamtopia franchise includes publishing and apps. Mattel looks forward to a strong start with a 360 marketing plan including TV, PR and digital activations.

DC Super Hero Girls centres on the female super-heroes and super-villains of the DC universe during their formative high school years, prior to discovering their full super power potential. Featuring a completely new artistic style and aesthetic, the property includes DC icons such as Wonder Woman, Supergirl, Batgirl, Harley Quinn, Bumblebee, Poison Ivy, Katana and many more. Each character has their own storyline that explores what teen life is like as a super-hero, including discovering their own abilities, nurturing their powers and mastering the fundamentals of being a hero. DC Super Hero Girls has been a cross-platform hit with webisodes on www.dcsuperherogirls.com, 45-minute TV specials on Boomerang and CITV, plus ever-present activity on social media across Facebook, YouTube, Snapchat and Instagram. There is also an app available for iOS and Android that features a Harley Quinn and Batgirl game. There are products in more than 30 categories, currently available in 35 countries globally. Mattel is the master toy partner, and the licensing programme also includes Rubies Masquerade, Lego, Sambro, Random House, Egmont, Aykroyds & Sons, Cooneen, IMC, Pyramid Posters and GB Eye, amongst others.

Shimmer and Shine Brand owner: Nickelodeon

Shimmer and Shine has been Nickelodeon’s hero pre-school brand for girls. Launching in the UK on Nick Jr. in November 2015 as the number one show for the month, the series has found a firm audience in UK families who have been watching on Nick Jr. and on Channel 5’s Milkshake, where it launched earlier this year. In October 2016, 23 UK licence partners were announced for the property, including master toy partner Fisher-Price. The property works well across all categories, especially apparel, with the show’s bright colours and intricate designs translating to core clothing, accessories and dress-up. Product launched in shops in autumn 2016, with plenty planned to support the brand at retail in 2017 with new episodes on both Nick Jr. and Milkshake, digital activations, special promotions, character meet and greets and in-store events.

They're all waiting to meet you on the Golden Bear Stand:

London Toy Fair: Stand E69 TM

Explore the magical world where dreams are made

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THE THE BAFTA BAFTA AWARD AWARD WINNING WINNING

Heavyweight Heavyweight marketing marketing andand PR support PR support throughout throughout 2017! 2017!

2016 2016 Children’s Children’s BAFTA BAFTA winner winner forfor Best Best Pre-school Pre-school Program! Program!

Most Most watched watched series series on on Nick Nick Jr Jr in the in the US US at at launch launch

Over Over 70,000 70,000 fans fans onon Facebook! Facebook!

Over Over 10 million 10 million viewers viewers since since launch! launch!

For all Forlicensing all licensing enquiries enquiries please please contact: contact: Bbcw.licensing@bbc.com Bbcw.licensing@bbc.com HEY DUGGEE™ HEY DUGGEE™ and character and character logos™ &logos™ © Studio & ©AKA Studio LtdAKA 2014.Ltd Licensed 2014. Licensed by by BBC Worldwide BBC Worldwide Ltd. BBCLtd. logo BBC ™ &logo © BBC ™ &1996. © BBC 1996.

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Hot Properties

Bush Baby World Brand owner: Brands with Influence

Bush Baby World is a new concept for children aged 5-9 based on a magical new world of cute and cuddly characters for kids to love, collect and share. Brought to life through a range of unique and patented toys and accessories, and supported by online creative play, storytelling and animated webisodes, autumn/winter 2017 will be just the start of a brand that has endless entertainment and play opportunities. The new Bush Baby World animation series is being produced by Brands with Influence, with scripts by the accomplished writer Miranda Larson (previously of Disney, CBeebies and Nickelodeon). The animation is by the award-winning Character Shop Studio. This team are building the story on an original concept by Andrew Coates, the inventor of the Bush Baby toys. The Bush Babies are the guardians of dreams. Nestled in a magical world, they protect the Dream Tree and ensure that every night it casts out its dream dust, ensuring children’s dreams are filled with wonder. However, a host of dream-villains and Mother Nature make sure having sweet dreams is never easy. Golden Bear has created a range of soft toys and accessories based on the Bush Baby characters. With a patented mechanism that brings the toys to life in the hands of children, and an animated story, Bush Baby World is set to enlighten the lives of children around the world. Visitors to London Toy Fair can see Bush Baby World for the first time on Golden Bear’s stand: E69.

The Powerpuff Girls Brand Owner: Cartoon Network

The original ambassadors of girl power recently made their highly-anticipated return in a major revival of The Powerpuff Girls. The brand possesses a credibility and heritage that makes it perfectly positioned to capitalise upon the current trend for superhero properties for girls. The new series of 40 x 11 minute episodes launched across EMEA in April 2016 and a second season has already been greenlit. The new show retains the playful, offbeat humour and action of the original, but has been refreshed for a new generation of fans. With an increasing number of girls tuning in and the series now available on FTA, as well as the EMEA licensing programme gearing up for launch, it’s set to be a big year for The Powerpuff Girls. The EMEA merchandise roll-out will be kicked off by global master toy partner, Spin Master, which will launch its extensive range spanning plush, figures and playsets, dolls, role-play and novelty items in Q1 2017. Apparel, accessories, gifting, homewares, publishing and back-to-school categories will follow closely thereafter. Over 30 top-class partners have already been welcomed to the EMEA licensing programme. In the UK, key partners include Blues Clothing, Forbidden Planet, Branded Clothing International, William Lamb, Smith & Brooks, C&M Licensing and Blueprint Collections. The primary target audience for product is girls 4-8 and, given the brand’s strong heritage and bold visual look, the secondary target is girls 9-11, teens and young adult women. The consumer products launch is being supported by a global multiplatform franchise strategy spanning digital, online, social media, marketing and PR.

Trolls

Shopkins

To celebrate the film debut of Trolls, NBCUniversal aligned with top brands across many categories, led by global master toy partner Hasbro. A host of licensees working across toys and games, publishing, arts and crafts, food and more brought the film to life. Having generated a total of £22m in UK box offices, Trolls became the fourth biggest animated movie of the year. The property performed well as a licence in 2016, finishing as the second best-selling new licence of the year. Sales of toys made up approximately 50% of overall sales of Trolls merchandise. With the DVD launch set for 13th February 2017, NBCUniversal will be further bolstering the property in 2017 with YouTube content and a TV special, which is expected to air Christmas 2017 on a free-to-air channel. Hasbro will also be extending its range of collectible Trolls merchandise this year.

Shopkins are the collectible characters that live in a big shopping world. Targeting girls aged 5-9, the collectible toys and playsets are distributed in the UK by Flair. Sales continue to see fantastic growth with each new series launch; October 2016 saw the strongest week of sales ever for the brand. 2017 will see the launch of Series 7 and 8 of the core collectible, as well as a range of new playsets. Following the successful launch of the Shopkins: Chef Club DVD this October, a new entertainment release will come in the second half of 2017, as well as other exciting media releases yet to be announced. Moose Toys will also be increasing the frequency of the hugely popular webisodes, with a new one uploaded each week, alongside its continuing work with top vloggers. With over 40 UK licensees, Shopkins is the number one girls’ brand in the UK (NPD) with products available from publishing to stationery, health and beauty to sporting goods, and apparel to bedding. The most recent additions to the programme include PMS for travel accessories and Pangea Brands for home electricals. In 2017, Bulldog is looking to add more partners in the consumables space to this licensing programme.

Brand owner: NBCUniversal

Brand owner: Bulldog Licensing

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Nuremburg Toy Fair

The away game T

he 2016 show saw 2,851 exhibitors attend from 66 countries around the world, including 2,070 international exhibitors, an increase on 2015’s numbers. The UK was the third of the top 10 exhibitor countries and sixth in the top 10 visitor countries. There were 70,714 visitors, 58% of which were international visitors from 125 countries. The TrendGallery in Hall 3A highlights the most exciting trends for 2017, in an area of over 1,000m2. The ten members of the Trend Committee evaluate and identify industry trends to present to visitors and exhibitors every year. The first trend for 2017 is Body and Mind Activity, where play helps counterbalance children’s hectic everyday lives physically and mentally, whilst also focusing on fitness and movement combined with fun, to encourage a balanced mind and body. The second trend is Girl Power: the Trend Committee believes that all girls should be provided with the capabilities to test and try out their interests. The final trend to look out for is Swap and Collect. The old, young and everyone in between enjoy collecting, and swapping only adds to the attraction. The TrendGallery is also home to the Toy Business Forum, where Trend Committee experts Reyne Rice and Dr Maria Costa will appear as speakers at the Forum’s daily presentations. Other presentations will include a workshop by sales coach Jörg Winter. All presentations are free to attend and take place every day from 1pm in both German and English.

The 68th Spielwarenmesse will take place from the 1st to the 6th February 2017, with over 70,000 trade visitors expected to attend. Over one million products will be on display at the show, including over 75,000 new products. Toy World takes a closer look at what to look out for at next year’s show. The coveted ToyAwards winners will be revealed in a presentation at Tokyo Hall on the 31st January, in a ceremony starting at 6:30pm. There is still time for exhibitors participating at the Fair to submit new products for the 2017 ToyAwards. The awards are split into four categories; Baby & Infant, Pre-school, School Kids and Teenager & Adults. Submission is free and the winners will be decided by an eleven-strong jury composed of educationists, market researchers, sales agents and toy safety experts. Other key features of the Spielwarenmesse include the New Exhibitor Centre, where trade visitors will have the opportunity to speak directly with the 58 exhibitors from 28 countries who are showing at the fair for the first time. This will be located in a joint pavilion in hall 3A. Stuart Whitehill, who is from the Overseas Fairs division of the Birmingham Chamber of Commerce and organises the British Pavilion at the Fair, told Toy World what will be different in the pavilion this year. “We will be welcoming six new companies onto the pavilion, which is great news for all concerned especially as we did not get any additional space for 2017. Joining us will be Danilo, GB Eye, Gibsons, Learnwell, Invicta and Button Bag, who will all be

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exhibiting on the UK pavilion for the first time”. The pavilion provides British exhibitors that extra level of support that can be so important at international fairs. Advice can be provided regarding the show, hotels, the stand, advertising and even where to eat in the evenings. There is also a designated lounge area with facilities that British exhibitors and visitors can take advantage of. “The location is key, and our team work tirelessly for the six days to cater for the 35+ UK exhibitors”, commented Stuart. “The smaller stands enjoy being seen as part of a larger community and the networking between everyone is invaluable. The Spielwarenmesse is so passionate about the toy industry, and genuinely looks after those companies that join them at the events”. Stuart believes that the show is “truly superb”, and that there are a variety of reasons that keep so many exhibitors and visitors coming back. “It has a huge range of products within its portfolio, and over half of visitors and exhibitors are from outside of Germany, which shows the diversity of opportunity”. Over the next few pages, Toy World presents a selection of new ranges which will be unveiled at the 2017 Spielwarenmesse.


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Nuremberg

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Show and tell This month, Salma Haidrani speaks to a selection of Nuremberg exhibitors to find out why it’s the highlight of the toy fair season and what their stand-out products will be. Danny Whiteley Andrew Laughton MGA Nuremberg remains the biggest fair of the season, and a great opportunity to meet with suppliers from all over Europe to introduce them to our new brands and ranges. Plus, with our German heritage, Zapf Creation, it’s a no brainer for us. The show attracts global visitors and brings the best of the international toy industry together in one space. With a growing portfolio of brands, we have new innovation across both existing and new properties. This spring, our hot new launch in stores is our collectible L.O.L – the new toy that brings together the excitement of collectibles and unboxing. L.O.L will be available in stores in the UK from February. We’ll be showcasing lots of exciting new products and brands at the show, with a full team on the stand to speak to anyone interested in finding out more. 2016 has been a very strong year across the board, with our Zapf and MGA properties performing extremely well. For MGA, we launched our first collectible range, Num Noms, and it’s grown to be the fifth biggest new property year-to-date. Gel-a-Peel, our new arts and crafts brand, launched this summer and it’s safe to say we are delighted with the brand’s performance. With Little Tikes, we are currently the sixth biggest property in the whole of toys, and the classic Cozy Coupe is the 19th best-selling toy year-to-date. Our Zapf Creation doll brands have also had a strong year, with Baby Annabell and Baby born retaining the No.1 and No.2 positions in the nurturing doll category, respectively. Baby Annabell was the fourth best-selling toy in the UK in November, demonstrating how this product continues to resonate strongly with consumers due to the aesthetic and life-like features.

Vance Withers

GB Eye At GB Eye, our product mix is changing, and after visiting the fair in 2016, we thought it was the ideal place to showcase what we have been working on over the past 12-18 months. 30% of our annual turnover is accumulated through sales outside of the UK. With Nuremberg toy fair having over 70,000 visitors last year, 41,000 of them coming from overseas, it offers great opportunities to meet up with our existing distributors, as well as hopefully building new customer relationships for our new products which can widen our distribution network. Many of our new licences and products will be on show, including Glassware, Heat Change Mugs and 3D Mugs. We have new formats for 2017 which we will be launching at the show. Samples will be available to give a taste of what’s to come. As with all our trade shows, any new customers placing orders at the show will receive a 10% discount on all list prices. Highlights of 2016 were the growth and expansion of our in-house mug production, where we were working around the clock just to keep up with demand. Secondly, the two main trends have been the Wizarding World, with Fantastic Beasts and Harry Potter, as well as the re-emergence of the Pokémon phenomena. Who would have thought it could be as big second time around?

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Philip Harrison Mondo We exhibit at Nuremberg simply due to the fact that it is the main European toy fair, and Europe is the major market for our business. It’s the ideal place to meet our European business partners. Also, we receive many visitors from around world who regard Nuremberg as the worldwide toy fair. We are able to have a very large stand at the show, which means we get to display a large range of products to show buyers how they look and work outside of the box. Having all of our major clients in one place is obviously also a major benefit. We will be revealing one or two new licences which will complement existing ranges, and we will also be revealing that we are to be the official licensee for kids World Cup ’18 footballs. There will also be new items added to the Hot Wheels range across all sizes. One of the biggest highlight of 2016 for us is that we created a partnership with Halfords, which is growing and has been a great success. We’ve also had some great developments in the range of children’s drones and RC cars.

Worlds Apart Nuremberg provides a platform for us to meet both UK and international partners and customers to finalise autumn/winter 2017 commitments. The sheer size of the show means that most key players attend, and the space available to us means that we can showcase our brands and NPD in the best possible way. There are also many networking opportunities created. We will be showcasing new product developments in our core range of products - GoGlow, Ready Beds, Outdoor and Room Accessories - alongside new launches in the games, tech, boys and girls arenas. SelfieMic was a phenomenal global success in 2016. LimboHop was a huge hit in both the Outdoor and Games categories, and our Headphone Hats were a great innovation which broke new ground and opened up global distribution.

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touchingbase Sarah Holden HTI As a company with a strategic focus on continued international growth, Nuremberg is essential to HTI’s international strategy. The show provides our sales team with an opportunity to meet with existing customers to present new ranges, follow up on January Hong Kong previews and forge new customer relationships, expanding business by opening up new distribution channels. It’s also a great occasion to catch up with our many licensor partners to discuss business and future plans, and also to meet with prospective new licensors to review hot new properties. Nuremberg also offers HTI the opportunity to see as many international distributors and customers as possible over the course of a few days. It also provides an ideal opportunity to meet customers from the local German market. HTI has supported the fair with a permanent showroom in Hall 12.2 since 2009. Our current

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showroom in Hall 12.2, P-09 provides us with a fantastic platform to showcase the many new ranges and product developments for the forthcoming autumn/winter season to maximum effect. To strengthen our dolls prams and pushchair portfolio, HTI will introduce new Baby Annabell and Baby Born ranges that offer designs across a range of price points, with features and styling inspired by real-life nursery models. HTI’s Paw Patrol range of novelty, bubbles and musical toys will also be expanded with new lines such as Paw Patrol cases for key characters. From our own extensive Teamsterz range of collectible diecast vehicles, garages and playsets, light and sound vehicles and track sets, there are 50% new and over 20% refreshed lines on the Nuremberg starting grid for 2017. The brand will be supported by a multi-platform marketing campaign from 2017, including a new consumer website which launches in Q1, as well as a TV advert for international air. HTI continues to offer an extensive selection of Peppa Pig role-play, musical and bubbles toys as well as dolls’ prams. The dolls’ prams collection has been refreshed with a vibrant fabric colourway. We’re also launching a new range of Teletubbies pocket money, bubbles toys, and will introduce

new lines to the Teletubbies role-play and musical instruments toys. JCB continues to be supported through an extensive range of JCB vehicle and role-play toys, inspired by the distinctive yellow and black theme of the real-life brand. There will also be extensions to HTI’s range of My Little Pony role-play toys, and a new launch of pocket money toys. HTI works hard to develop lines that can hit the most competitive price points in the market, offering customers and distributors fantastic margin opportunities. Our biggest new partnership is with Nickelodeon with whom we’ve signed deals for Paw Patrol, Blaze & the Monster Machines and Shimmer & Shine. Earlier in 2016, we signed a multiterritory deal to manufacture Chicco dolls’ prams and pushchairs for EMEA, Asia Pacific and Latin America. We also signed an expanded two-year deal with Disney for the wheeled toys category. Increasingly, licensors are seeing us as a wheeled specialist - able to offer a broad range of wheeled products across different age groups - rather than just a supplier of wheeled toy products. The My Little Pony brand continues to perform well. With a multi-territory licence partnership with Hasbro for role-play sets, HTI expanded its range in 2016 with new sculpted pony character cases as well as the new Tea Pot Palace.

Leaps and bounds 2016 has been an eventful year for LeapFrog, to say the least. Toy World spoke to MD Sally Walker to find out how the team achieved consistent success during last year’s acquisition, and about the launch of its latest interactive learning system, LeapStart. Were you happy with your performance in the UK in 2016?

Did the launch of LeapStart live up to your expectations?

Despite an unusual year full of surprises and challenges, the LeapFrog business has had a really strong year. At previews and Nuremburg we shared our new line-up and our business plans which we have focused on executing. Of course, there are always things like stock availability that you would change and improve if you had a magic wand. Overall, it is true to say that the brand and business are in their best shape for years. For this, we owe big thanks to our retail partners who have continued to work with us and grow the business, despite all the uncertainty created by the CMA investigation.

LeapStart has been fantastic. From its launch in July, both platforms and books have had strong velocity off shelf. In today’s world of screens, the book and learning proposition engaged with mums, kids, retailers and the PR world from the very beginning. The strength of the marketing programme and the in-store experience have driven the sales success. We’ve been airfreighting stock trying to keep up with demand. Without a doubt, LeapStart is a year-round business opportunity that we are all set to maximise in 2017.

How important was the UK team in delivering a strong performance under such challenging circumstances? As you would expect, we saw a lot of people choose to leave the business in the first half of the year. However since then, it has been the core team at LeapFrog who have made this year happen. We have also been lucky enough to bring some great experience into our business through working with consultants like Alison Keats and Paul Bennett, the latter armed with invaluable years of his own LeapFrog history. The workload involved in delivering this year has been immense. The team’s passion for the brand, their commitment and pride in the business is unfaltering. I could not be more proud of them.

Which new introductions are you excited about for 2017? No one in the LeapFrog team can remember a bigger or stronger line-up of new introductions in a year. That is how excited we all are about 2017.

Where can retailers see the new launches? Like most other companies, we hold previews for retailers from November onwards. We also look forward to showcasing our range at Nuremburg again, where you can find us in Hall 12.2. With all the new launches complementing our strong ongoing business, 2017 is set to be an even better year for the LeapFrog brand.

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Nuremberg

Make It Real 07729 051 368 | makeitrealplay.com Hall 1, Stand C-33/D-16 2017 is the first time Make It Real will appear at Nuremberg after its debut appearances at Hong Kong and London. Sharing stand space with Carletto, the company’s German distributor, Make it Real also has a private room in the Hall. This creative brand aimed at tweens brings craft, technology and aspiration together in one cleverly created and artistically packaged product. The products include Dream Guides, which profile the lives of real women who work in the creative industries. Through a free app, the consumer can access picture and video instructions and connect with professional role models. The app also provides a social networking forum to share ideas with others and the opportunity to win ‘money can’t buy’ prizes. Make It Real’s products can be divided into four core categories: jewellery making and wearables, fashion design and illustration, home décor and cosmetics. Consumers can access how-to videos and share creations with their friends. They can also learn how to use the contents of the box to make different items, not just those suggested on pack. Licensing is an important area for the company, and 2017 will see the release of the new Beauty and the Beast, Descendants, Disney and Elena of Avalor Sketch Portfolios. The company has also announced that it is the arts and craft partner for Animal Jam, and will be presenting a full range of products at the show.

Mondo 01706 751 155 | mondotoys.com

Plum 0344 880 5302 | plumplay.co.uk

Hall 8, B-01, C-18

Hall 7, Stand B28-30 Alongside the new scooter ranges, Plum is debuting its own new concepts, which will be launched in spring/summer 2017. The Plum in-house design team has created more new products in one year than ever before, which demonstrate the company’s brand values: childhood development, safety and fun active play. Introducing outdoor role-play, the Plum Discovery Range is adventure and messy play at its finest, providing the tools for little ones to explore, create and tinker in the garden. Having worked alongside Forest Schools, the product range has been developed to encourage children to experiment and learn outside. Plum Teepee Playhouses are designed to be the centre of adventure, offering a fun environment for versatile play. All made from FSC certified timber and treated to be weather resistant for longevity, the playhouses provide years of play as children grow. The Plum Snap Together Sand Pit offers a quick build solution by simply slotting into place in the garden. The Plum Space Zone II Evolution Springsafe Trampoline has a pack down feature, making covering and storing the trampoline easy. The neat pack down is ideal for winter and windy days, keeping the trampoline weather protected. The new on-trend Colours by Plum range includes distinctive trampolines for everyone.

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The new division of Mondo, Mondo Motors has been excellently received by the trade in 2016. The range includes Ultra Drone, a line of drones ranging from the simplest quadcopter to more complex items and large items for personal and hobby use. The range features drones with added technical functions, such as the Ultra Drone Tornado which has an anti-collision feature, flashing LED lights and a camera with Wi-Fi, so images can be sent back live to tablets and phones. There are also drones that simply hover and fly, meaning the range is suitable for users with different abilities and interests. The drones launched approximately three years ago and has proved successful. Other products in the range include RC Helicopters and Airplanes. The company’s range of larger RC cars has also seen a successful 2016, with the Hot Wheels range topping the list. There are a variety of different licences from some of the world’s largest car companies such as Ferrari, Land Rover and McLaren, varying in sizes from 1:10 to 1:28. Additions to the Hot Wheels range will be revealed at Nuremberg. In its outdoor ranges, the company has seen success with licensed products, such as the Play Balls. Thomas & Friends is one of the best performing licenses for a variety of Mondo’s products. Disney Princess has also done well in the outdoor toys sector. New licences will be revealed at the show. It will also be announced at the show that Mondo will be the licensee for children’s World Cup 2018 footballs.


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Nuremberg Worlds Apart 01637 882 200 | worldsapart.com Hall 7, Stand C-21 After the successful launch of SelfieMic in 2016, Worlds Apart will be showcasing a range of new promotional toy lines, as well as strong licensed toy, outdoor and home ranges for what is set to be a blockbuster year. January will see the debut of Worlds Apart’s new game, Spin to Sing. Offering fun for all the family, Spin to Sing is the talent show game where the best performer wins. Players must spin the microphone for their time to shine, while jeopardy cards add a twist to performances. The game will be backed by a heavyweight TV campaign along with PR and digital marketing. Worlds Apart’s stand at Nuremberg will also showcase a range of toy, outdoor and home products in 2017’s hottest licences, including Cars, My Little Pony, Spider-Man, Power Rangers and Paw Patrol. Product highlights include new TV advertised lines from the GoGlow night light brand, licensed toddler trampolines, feature tents and ReadyBeds, new additions to the Headphone Hats range, and toddler beds, including a light-up Lightning McQueen bed.

Hauck 07770 608 858 | hauck-toys.com

Sequin Art 01760 721 390 | sequinart.com

Hall 2, Stand B-05 - C-04

Hall 4, Stand C-18 First launched by Kitfi x Swallow in 1987 with just six pictures, the Sequin Art range continues to grow with 12 new items launching for 2017. Right on trend is the company’s Craft Teen Sugar Skull, which is Sequin Art’s take on the traditional folk art from Mexico, which is currently enjoying revived global interest. In the Sequin Art Red range, also aligned to current themes, are two new Dreamcatcher designs. In conjunction with Santoro Licensing, two designs from the Gorjuss artworks will be ready for shipping in March 2017. Also on the licensing front, Paddington is sure to shine again in Q4, with the release of the second movie. Completing the range are Bubbles the Kitten and Binky the Rabbit, whilst there are also designs based around Tutankhamun, as well as a Snowy Owl and Cheetah. Another new launch comes in the form of the Sequin Safari, which for the first time includes three full-size pictures for kids to complete. After the successful launch of the first two designs of Diamond Art in 2016, there are four new pictures for 2017, namely a Sugar Skull, Owl, Tutankhamun and Love. Artfoils are also refreshed with a total of eight new designs in both silver and gold, all using a Japanese Kawaii theme which brings novelty to this popular pastime.

Following a record-breaking year, Hauck’s ranges of ride-on toys and dolls prams, strollers and accessories are its strongest. The company’s Nerf Battle Racer and Batman Go-Carts have proven to be outstanding successes, and will be joined by Transformer’s Bumble Bee. This bright yellow go-cart, with its distinctive Transformer bodywork comes in sturdy full-colour packaging. Also launching in Hong Kong and Nuremberg is Hauck’s new battery-operated Mercedes GLK350. This car features opening doors, headlights, a horn, two speed transmission, suspension and MP3 compatibility with volume control. Available in three colours, this high-spec car offers great value. There is also service back-up. Also new is the Sirocco Go-Cart. With its styling and features, such as automatic free-wheel and almost friction free wheels, make it an exciting addition to the range. There are also two pre-school go-carts called Turbo - a boys and a girl’s version. Each can be used indoors as well as out with its EVA wheels being non-scratch and silent on wooden floors. As with all Hauck ride-on toys, the seat has tool-free adjustment. Also for preschoolers is the new Explorer Deluxe, a grow-with-me trike which adapts to the child from baby to toddler. There are also new additions to Hauck’s dolls pram, stroller and accessory range. New My Little Pony toys feature everything a child could need for their favourite doll including the My Little Pony Cook ‘n’ Care Kitchen and Bath Centre with light and sound. There are also prams, strollers and a cot and playpen. Attractive new designs feature throughout the range including a new concept - Little Diva. This range features faux leopard skin fabrics.

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Stor 01706 375 612 | storeline.es Hall 6, Stand A-19 Following the launch of its new product range at Canton Fair in October 2016, Stor will be exhibiting at Nuremberg 2017. Included in the launch is a whole new catalogue of products from a vast range of licences. New products and designs in the tableware, drinkware and lunch ranges are now available, featuring character imagery from licences such as Despicable Me 3, Cars 3, Spider-Man 3, Beauty and the Beast, My Little Pony, Paw Patrol’s Chase & Skye, Super Hero Girls, Star Wars Episode VIII (available from Q3), Yo-Kai Watch, Disney Princess and Frozen, along with new signings including Pokémon and PJ Mask, which are yet to be launched. The company has already seen success with its tableware, drinkware and lunchware, storage boxes, toddler items and a comprehensive kids baking range. Also in the offering will be 3D lunch bags, also with a lenticular option, and character range lines across all licences including new snack bottles, tumblers and tableware. In 2017 the company is opening a new UK office and showroom based in the North of England.

Zapf Creation 01908 268 480 | zapf-creation.com Hall 12.2, Stand P-08 Following another strong year of sales for the UK’s number one and number two nurturing doll brands, Baby Annabell and Baby Born, Zapf Creation will be launching a host of new products for spring 2017 at Nuremberg. With products available for new-born babies and onwards, children can learn all about nurturing at every step with a range of dolls and accessories from Baby Annabell. Spring 2017 will see a number of new product launches across the Baby Annabell ranges. Baby Annabell Newborn will welcome new soft dolls in two sizes and a new friend for Baby Annabell to play with, whilst the My First Baby Annabell range will launch a new bathingthemed doll with fun accessories. Ideal for pre-school fun and imaginative play, Baby born celebrates imaginary role-play through a variety of fun themes. Spring 2017 will see new products and a new theme for the brand. The Baby Born First Love range will introduce new plush dolls, the My Little Baby Born segment will introduce a new potty-training themed doll, and Baby Born will enjoy a new outdoor theme with supporting accessories. Both brands will be supported by a strong integrated marketing campaign throughout spring 2017, including TV, digital, PR and social media campaigns.

LeapFrog 01702 200 244 | leapfrog.co.uk Hall 12.2, Stand P-19 2016 has been a busy year for LeapFrog, having launched a series of new products in its core learning toy range, as well as the award-winning LeapStart, all of which have received support from multi-channel marketing campaigns. LeapStart, the all-in-one interactive learning system, has had a successful first few months since its launch in July, surpassing initial forecasts and being well received by parents and children alike. It has also gained support from primary school teachers across the country. The system brings learning to life, teaching key educational and life skills that will provide children with the tools they need to prepare for their future. Looking ahead to 2017, LeapFrog will continue to help kids leap ahead by investing further in its ever-expanding toy category. An anticipated 14 new lines will be launched across Multimedia Learning, Print Based Learning and Learning Toys in autumn/winter 2017. In addition, a series of new colour updates have been made to 2016 launches - Count & Crawl Kitty, Scout’s Goodnight Light and both LeapStart systems - as well as existing favourites Scribble & Write, Fridge Phonics and Learn & Groove Musical Table. All new products will be launching in spring/summer 2017.

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Hy-Pro 01582 670 100 | hy-pro.co.uk Hall 7, Stand C25 The Flyte case scooter range will be on full display at the show. Alongside the existing Mini and Midi Flytes, the Maxi will finally be making its debut. With a high quality specification, the Maxi has real scooter credentials whilst doubling as a backpack. The Zinc brand will showcase an array of wheeled toys including the hybrid scooters, new designs of skates and skateboards and new twists on old favourites like the Street Gliders. Zinc will also debut a whole selection of new electric products, including multiple lithium models. The Smart A power board is the brand’s first foray into the power board market. The Smart A comes in multiple colour designs and has its own range of accessories to mix up the riding experience, including the Smart Kart and telescopic Smart Bars. This lithium power board reaches speeds of 7.5mph and all safety and testing documentation has been reviewed and verified by Trading Standards. This comes as part of a whole range of power boards from Zinc, which will be revealed at Nuremberg Toy Fair.

Hasbro 0208 569 1234 | hasbro.co.uk Hall 12, Stand F10-H5 In 2017 there will be launches of new games and toys from Hasbro’s growing franchises, including Monopoly, My Little Pony, Play-Doh, Nerf, and Transformers and partner brands Star Wars and Marvel. June sees the release of Transformers: The Last Knight, the latest film from the science fiction-animation franchise based on the Transformers toy line. It’s the fifth instalment of the Transformers film and the new toy range will bring adventure and thrill for both collectors and kids across the UK.

Sticking to its scooter roots, Zinc will also debut the new Smart Quantum lithium powered commuter scooter. This foldable, lightweight model has an aircraft grade aluminium frame and reaches speeds of up to 15mph. On top of that, the existing Volt range will also debut new models with the Volt XT line. These take advantage of new lead-acid battery technology, allowing for new slimline and lightweight electric scooters.

In addition Hasbro is launching My Little Pony: The Movie, a full-length animated family adventure scheduled to release globally in October 2017. The movie will build on the franchise’s reputation for tales of adventure, magical characters, colourful worlds and humour for all ages, pairing characters from Equestria with an all-star ensemble cast including Golden Globe winner Emily Blunt and Tony Award winner Kristin Chenoweth. This year will also see the release of Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy Vol.2, Spiderman: Homecoming and Thor: Ragnarok. To celebrate the releases, Hasbro will reveal a new range of products. Hasbro will also launch a new Star Wars range to celebrate the eagerly awaited film Star Wars: Episode VIII. There are also lots of surprises to come from Hasbro’s Gaming portfolio too, with both brand new and revamped games that are both fun to play and fun to watch. Play-Doh Kitchen Creations brings culinary creativity to play-time, with a range of new playsets for children to squish and mould all sorts of creations. The Sizzlin’ Stovetop makes real sizzling sounds as junior chefs pretend to rustle up masterpieces in the kitchen, with the noise starting up as soon as the pans are placed on the stove, intensifying when a Play-Doh creation is added. The set comes with four stampers to stamp entrees including steak, eggs, burgers and fish, with side dishes

using the half-moulds. Also included are the tongs and spatula. With Noodle Makin’ Mania dishes from pretend pasta, make-believe macaroni to imaginary ramen, this playset can create all kinds of noodle dishes. Select one of the four noodle discs to change the shape, load Play-Doh into the noodle maker then press the handle to squeeze out the noodles. There are also moulds for make-believe raviolis, macaroni and cheese and toppings. The Shape n Slice playset provides a set of kitchen-themed tools which allow budding chefs to slice imaginary ingredients on the cutting board, toss all together in the bowl and then share with plates and spoons. There’s even a presser tool to squeeze out a variety of shapes, including celery, garlic and more. The Nerf N-Strike AlphaHawk is part of the AccuStrike Series, which features darts designed for greater accuracy. Children can hit the mark with the precision of the most accurate Nerf darts. The AlphaHawk blaster fires one dart at a time from a revolving, easy-load drum that holds up to five darts. The latest blaster includes 10 Elite foam darts that are designed for greater accuracy.

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Nuremberg Casdon 01253 608 248 | casdon.co.uk Hall 12, Stand C-04 There is a whole host of pretend-play branded appliances to discover at Nuremberg, plus a range of dolls accessories for the most popular sized doll with Casdon’s Baby Huggles portfolio. The Baby Huggles range is a proven seller, and its fresh new look offers a one-stop shop for baby dolls. 2017 will see a contemporary and up-to-date feel to this collection that is ideal for any modern 46cm doll. Characterised by its colour scheme, Baby Huggles is a cohesive collection of car booster seats, changing mats and more, all at an affordable price range. The Dyson Cord-free Vacuum is a must-have for any home, and now little ones can copy the cleaning ritual with their very own Cord-free Dyson, which comes complete with a hose and vortex cylinder. The Cord-free Dyson joins other successful Dyson toy merchandise, together with branded role-play collections with household names such as Kenwood and Morphy Richards. Added to this is the collection of Casdon classics that are ideal for the Little Helpers, Little Shoppers and Little Cooks amongst us.

HTI 01253 775 684 | htigroup.co.uk Hall 12.2, Stand P-09 Following a multi-territory licence deal with Zapf Creation, HTI will showcase Baby Annabell and Baby Born dolls prams and pushchairs with accessories at the show. Each range features separate distinct fabric colourways, and incorporates key iconography unique to each brand. The collections offer a selection of designs across price points with features and styling. Other dolls pram ranges on display include Chicco, Mamas & Papas and Disney properties such as Disney Princess, Minnie Mouse and Frozen, as well as Peppa Pig. HTI’s own Smart toy range covers key role-play themes of home, shopping and DIY. It features a colour palette and contemporary packaging artwork. The refreshed Smart 360 Kitchen is a compact, fully functioning play kitchen that offers 360º play. With a fully rotating base, it features a pretend oven and stove with light and sound effects and opening, slide-away doors, a sink, refrigerator with ice dispenser, washing machine and storage shelves. New multi-feature Cash Registers are also introduced. HTI’s new in-house B You range comprises key lines for hair, nail and beauty role-play, such as a Mobile Nail Case, a Hair Care Case and light-up Beauty Studio. The company’s own scooter brand, Rïpp, provides a range of high spec, high detail scooters and accessories. With refreshed eye-catching packaging, the R500 Pro Series and Dirt Riders offer solutions for both track riders and all-terrain. HTI also continues to offer its EVO range of non-licensed wheeled toys, offering great value and quality scooters, skates, trikes and new mini skateboards.

Hape 08456 000 286 | marbel.co.uk Hall 3A, Stand E17,G26 Hape’s new train range is extensive and offers everything from train packs to track sets, as well as traditional pieces. Design styling focuses upon natural elements, such as jungle landscapes or country settings. In addition, there are rain tables and play surfaces engineered for multiple functions, optimising space and storage. The show will also be the first to see Hape’s new bath play range. Another launch Hape is looking forward to unveiling is the new licensed wooden walkers. In 2017, Hape will hold the worldwide toy licence for Volkswagon classic T1 and Beetle vehicles. Hape is taking Quadrilla to a new level with story-telling value. New Medieval Quest is full of engineering family fun. Designed by Adam Shillito, a wooden scooter and ride-on offers an opportunity to go both on road and off.

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Rainbow Designs 01329 227 300 | rainbowdesigns.co.uk

Underground Toys 01708 374 499 | underground-toys.com

Hall 1, Stand E22

Hall 5, Stand A-72

Joining Rainbow Designs’ licensed ranges for 2017 will be a new Elmer for Baby Collection. The range will feature an Elmer rattle, a Comfort Blanket as well as a plush Ring Rattle, all in the bright colours of the world-famous elephant.

Underground Toys will be showcasing the new-look stylised Star Wars Talking Plush range. The newly stylised 8” Yoda, Chewbacca, Darth Vader, Kylo-Ren, R2-D2 and BB-8 will be available from March, with more characters joining later in the year. Talking toys from the upcoming Guardians of the Galaxy Volume 2 film will also arrive in the form of new 9” Groot and Star Lord characters. Fresh Star Wars culinary comrades include a BB-8 Kitchen Timer, Rogue One Villain Plate Set, BB-8 Chopping Board and Retro Planet Storage Tins. Also making its debut are new DC Comics homeware items. Batman, Wonder Woman and Superman will appear across character teapots, plates, aprons, oven gloves and mugs. Underground Toys is also welcoming new additions to the POP! Vinyls range. Guardians of the Galaxy Volume 2, Thor: Ragnarok, Beauty and The Beast, Cars 3 and Star Wars characters will be available, alongside characters from Netflix’s Stranger Things. A new 1.5” stylised blind-bagged Pint Size Heroes range introduces licences including Five Nights At Freddy’s, Disney and Guardians of The Galaxy Volume 2, alongside new licences in Mystery Mini, POP! Rides, POP! Tees, Rock Candy format and more.

Rainbow Designs is also introducing a new range of pre-school craft products to its World of Eric Carle collection. The range will feature a collection of Super Dough Model Kits to collect, including a Ladybug, Brown Bear, Elephant and The Very Hungry Caterpillar. Other new lines include a set to create a Very Hungry Caterpillar Wooden Door Hanger, The Very Hungry Caterpillar Colour and Construct 3D Characters set and a Sew-n-Stuff Caterpillar set. New lines for 2017 also include some feature plush toys in the Paddington and new Peter Rabbit TV collections, as well as new line extensions for the My First Thomas & Friends, The World of Eric Carle developmental toys and The Very Hungry Caterpillar baby and nursery collections.

Five Stars +852 3692 5032 | fivestarshk.com Hall 12.2, Stand P20 Crea Dough is a high-quality, colourful dough range, manufactured at Five Star’s factory in China, using the perfect mix of ingredients honed by many years of experience. For 2017, the range has been completely refreshed, with the product line divided into six new themes: Farm, Cooking, Learning, Beauty, Baking and Music. Each theme will have its own dedicated character, which is supported by additional lines; for example, children can create their own farmer by using clay and stickers and build a farm with the complementary Crea Dough sets. The Qolor range incorporates a wide variety of paint formulas. The Paperpaint line includes a new press-and-paint brush pen, which allows children to paint instantly. The Fingerpaint range sees several new additions, including a 30-page finger print book and finger sponges, while Windowpaint will allow children to make cool window stickers. Magicpaint gives children the ability to decorate anything they like with 3D paint, while Chalkpaint and Gluepaint complete the selection. The aim of the Qolor range is to help children create great art using simple materials. The range benefits from high quality packaging, featuring clear tutorials.

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Mattel 01628 500 000 | mattel.com

Dolu 07850 779 797 | dolu.com.tr

Hall 12.2, Stand P15

Hall 5, Stand D50

Mattel continues to build on the success of its core brands Barbie, Fisher-Price, Hot Wheels and Thomas & Friends, as well as new launches and brand extensions to its ToyBox portfolio. Barbie continues to evolve, and in 2017 will empower girls to try on every facet of who they can become, from a princess to a president, bringing this to life as only Barbie can. Barbie will continue to build on the You Can Be Anything campaign, celebrating how Barbie inspires the potential in every girl. The Fisher-Price brand campaign champions the message of let children be children, free to experience the joy of their own natural desire to learn, imagine and discover, whilst also helping to develop them into happy, capable individuals. In 2017, the Thomas & Friends brand launches Set Friendship in Motion, a true global franchise statement for the brand. With a focus on the importance of first friendships and developing the skills to be a good friend, the campaign will speak to millennial parents to highlight the brand’s ability to help pre-schoolers achieve these milestones, setting them up for lifelong friendships. Hot Wheels continues to Make It Epic, inspiring kids to experiment and compete by creating track systems. Hot Wheels will also continue to celebrate key pop culture moments with Hot Wheels diecast collaborations, offering collectability including Star Wars and Batman cars. Mattel ToyBox celebrates partnerships and a supercharged year with 2017 blockbusters Disney Pixar’s Cars 3, Wonder Woman and DC’s Justice League. Mattel ToyBox is proud to offer a variety of supporting key play patterns with a portfolio of brands including Monster High, Mega, Bob the Builder and Imaginext, and partners including DC Super Hero Girls, WWE, Shimmer & Shine, Go Jetters, Bing, Blaze and the Monster Machines, and Octonauts. With different brand entry touch points and a focus on franchise, Mattel is creating a full experience for consumers. In 2017, Mattel will launch new products, strong content, licensing partnerships, creative brand initiatives and integrated marketing campaigns throughout the year. With a powerful portfolio, Mattel is instilling purpose in its brands to create valuable relationships with kids and families.

Dolu is one of the main toy manufacturers in Turkey. Its products have been available in the UK for the last four years, and Steve Richardson has represented the company in the UK since. This year, as a company, Dolu has seen a sales increase of 25% in comparison to 2015. In 2017 the company will be introducing many new items, including four different playhouses which are of European quality, and can be easily assembled and taken apart when needed. There is a completely new kitchen range on offer which includes a fridge, washing machine, dishwasher and more. Joining this will be a new boxed range of play trucks. Also new for this year are the Sit n Rides and 4-in-1, plus many more improvements on existing 2016 products. Dolu is based in Turkey, but its delivered prices are in GBP. Its prices are extremely competitive compared to Far East products, without the MOQs or lead times needed from China. Steve Richardson will be pleased to arrange a meeting for those going to Nuremberg.

Cartamundi 01268 511 522 | cartamundi.co.uk Hall 10.1, Stand B-06/C-11 Cartamundi is planning some major announcements at Nuremberg this year. The show will showcase new additions to product lines that have made the company a major name in playing cards and card games. The new Fundels educational card games range takes the fact that our brains are 68% more active when we’re having fun, and adapts it to a series of card games that offer fun as well as learning for children. The Fundels range combines entertaining games and colourful packaging with themes such as language, conceptual thinking and mathematics. Fundels will be available in two formats. The flagship premium games have been created to follow the National Curriculum’s specific key stages. They also offer game rules and pack text in a special dyslexia font. The games will also be available in a pocket money-priced version Shuffle Monopoly Deal has proved to be one of the most popular games in the Shuffle line. Cartamundi’s product category brings the world’s best-known games and strongest licences to card games, and combines them with digital technology. Fans can now start playing without reading, thanks to the animated game guides in the free app. The app also offers an enhanced way of playing. Shuffle Monopoly Deal Cities takes the game to the next level by incorporating London’s best-loved landmarks and hotspots into the gameplay. The cards even include the nearest tube station to guide tourists directly to the landmarks. Following the success of its Paw Patrol Snap and Happy Families games, Cartamundi’s Paw Patrol Twist game is on its way. In the Rescue Memo game, players have to bring together a full Paw Patrol team to win. The cards in the Rescue Memo game are also glow in the dark. Paw Patrol Twist also features a four-in-a-row game, based on the different Paw Patrol badges. Both games star the team of rescue dogs and their leader Ryder from the hit show. Visitors to Nuremberg can also expect to see a wide range of new and established entertainment brands — from film, TV, music and more.

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This year’s looking very rosy indeed!

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Rubie’s Masquerade 08453 070 707 | rubiesuk.com Hall 12, Stand I-29 Rubie’s Masquerade will be showcasing an array of new dress-up ranges at Nuremberg in 2017. Lines to be revealed for the first time will include the new look Power Rangers, ahead of the upcoming 2017 movie, and a new dress-up range ahead of Disney’s Beauty & the Beast film, launching in March. The range will include new Belle dresses at various price points, from Classic and Deluxe up to a Premium version. Costumes from Disney’s latest animated feature film, Moana, will also be on show on the company’s stand for the first time. Superheroes from the Marvel and DC Comics powerhouses will be in abundance, including new Spider-Man costumes ahead of 2017’s Spider-Man: Homecoming film from Marvel, and Wonder Woman dress-up costumes for girls ahead of DC Comic’s Wonder Woman film. New licensed pre-school dress-up ranges for Shimmer & Shine and The Lion Guard will also be unveiled for the first time, alongside the popular Paw Patrol range, which continues to show strong sales. There will also be the new Disney Princess range on show, alongside new Marvel Avengers, Star Wars: Rogue One and Classic saga, DC Super Hero Girls and much more.

Trefl 07850 779 797 | trefl.com Hall 10.1, Stand F-34 Trefl is the largest manufacturer of jigsaw puzzles, board games and playing cards in Central and Eastern Europe. Its range of merchandise also includes arts and crafts products. The company is also a distributor of toys to the Central and Eastern European market from leading world brands such as Siku, VTech and Science4you. Trefl has operated since 1985, and its products are sold in more than 50 countries worldwide. Jigsaw puzzles count for as many as 20 product lines from a total of over 500 SKUs.

The company will present its newest lines of puzzles and the well-known best-sellers. The jigsaws will include items suitable for both adults and children. The latest jigsaw puzzles to be presented include two Puzzle Memos; one box contains two sets of puzzles and the memory game of finding pairs of matching cards. Puzzle Plus contains colourful reusable stickers with which children can decorate the puzzles or a marker for drawing on them, connecting dots and tracing patterns. The marker is erasable. In the future, this line will include new products currently under development. Home Gallery puzzles have interesting illustrations, and Magic Playset is a set of selfassembling 3D models that come with accessories made from durable cardboard and pictures from the worlds of children’s favourite characters. Trefl’s Colour Puzzle is a new set of double-sided puzzles. On one side there is a colour picture, while the other is black and white, ready for colouring. This year Trefl also presents Roar! Catch the Monster - a game acknowledged by the jury of the Jouet de L’année 2016 competition that won the main prize for the best toy of 2016 in Belgium in the family games category. Roar! Catch the Monster combines a standard board game with the modern use of mobile devices that, together with a free app (iOS or Android), give a full augmented reality experience. Also exhibited will be the well-known series, The Little Explorer. The range is made up of educational games, designed by experts from different fields, which aid the development of a child’s cognitive and intellectual skills.

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GB Eye 01142 767 454 | gbeye.com Hall 1, Stand B-22 GB Eye has been a big part of the licensing industry for over 30 years. In addition to its poster and related merchandise collection, the company now offers a range of homeware and giftware products from the world’s biggest brands. 2017 marks the first time the company will be exhibiting at Nuremburg Toy Fair, where it will be showing its established product ranges alongside new formats and designs. 2016 has seen Pokémon lead the way on the sales charts. GB Eye’s range of posters, merchandise and mugs continues to be in high demand, and will continue to grow the range with new designs. With more to come from Pokémon throughout 2017, this is sure to remain a firm favourite. The Wizarding World has also had a huge impact this year; the launch of Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them has seen the interest in Wizarding World products increase even more, with a further four films to come. There is a broad selection of products and designs across all formats, and new products will be available soon. The more recent addition of mugs and glasses has seen the company make its name in the giftware market. Over the last 18 months it has developed its ranges and now offers over 1,000 titles on its standard 10oz mug range, all manufactured in-house and individually boxed. Heat change mugs and 3D mugs are a growing area, and new designs will be launched throughout 2017. There are also new glassware designs which can be seen at the show, featuring the biggest brands and eye-catching imagery. Gift boxes and gift sets are being prepared for the second half of the year and will feature the most in demand licences. With new packaging and exclusive products, these key gift products are a must- have for seasonal sales, and details will be available at the show.


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Opinion

On shelf dates

Breaking Bad – why not respecting on shelf date embargoes is an issue It has recently come to Toy World’s attention that independent retailers can lose out when it comes to new product releases, due to nationals breaking on shelf embargoes. There is currently no regulatory body in place to enforce consequences on retailers that break these embargoes: no OFTOY exists. It’s very rare that shelf dates on DVDs, CDs, games consoles, and other much anticipated new releases are broken, so why does it happen so often with toys? Jonika Kinchin speaks to a selection of retailers and an ex major buyer on why this happens so often and what can be done to put a stop to it.

W

ith every new movie, new series, new game or new brand comes an influx of new toys, merchandise, DVDs and lots more. Some companies are lucky enough to highlight their new launches with special release times, demonstrated by the queue of people who wait outside a store at 11:59pm on a Friday night to get the most recent merchandise, whether it’s the latest Star Wars DVD, Hatchimal or Pokémon cards. For a retailer to have enough stock of a product or range that is so eagerly anticipated can have a huge effect on profits, especially for an independent. An ex major buyer who wished to remain anonymous told how, when the practice of timed releases began, toy retailers largely toed the line with their partners on shelf date embargoes. “There were often logistical challenges to get the product in the right place at the right time, which could result in the odd accidental lapse, but by and large the official release dates were observed,” we were told. However, as time went on, certain retailers started to break the release dates more and more frequently. There are a number of reasons why this can happen. Poor organisation is one, or a casual member of staff filling up an empty shelf with product that wasn’t supposed to be put out for a few days. “The finger has largely been pointed at the grocers as the most frequent culprit”, added the ex-buyer. It is highly unlikely that it all started as a deliberate strategy, however the more it happened, the bigger thorn it became in the side of toy specialists who take special care and attention with the sector. “Therefore, over time the breaking of on-shelf dates became more strategic”, added the buyer. “Not just by grocers, but often by specialist retailers as well as a reaction to their competitors’ activity”. Any independent retailer aims to become a one stop shop for customers looking for something in their specified area. It is vital to have the most

up to date and sought after stock, particularly when it comes to hotly anticipated releases. One independent retailer, who also wishes to remain anonymous, believes that this is a serious ongoing issue and that nine out of ten times, anything with an embargoed shelf date is broken by a larger retailer. “It is very rarely a toy retailer that does this, it’s more often a supermarket. Star Wars is always a prime example, I cannot remember a time when one of the films has come out and a shelf date hasn’t been broken by someone. It’s usually more than just one retailer as well, which is even worse”. With Pokémon recently having a resurgence, the retailer was incredibly frustrated when a particular supermarket broke the shelf date of the Pokémon Sun and Moon range, on top of which a line key to the video game release ended up in the three for

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two section. It is plain to see how putting a much sought after product in a deal such as a three-fortwo or buy-one-get-one-free can be something of a slap in the face for an independent retailer. Different companies send out stock at different times; therefore, purely due to distribution and delivery circumstances, a national retailer could receive stock way before an independent or vice versa. Most packages clearly have the shelf date labelled, therefore it’s difficult to pass off ignorance as a viable excuse, especially from supermarket retailers who deal with an abundance of shelf dates in different sectors. “A lot of companies don’t seem to trust independents, I am noticing more and more often that suppliers are launching product with specific stores first”, commented the retailer. “I think this is unfair and we are never told about


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Opinion

On shelf dates ...cont

this until we see it on shelf. Most shelf dated product we receive on the day, or after the shelf date, unless I push hard, which I don’t always have the time do.” With shelf dates broken more and more frequently and with no real consequences, it would appear that any retailer could get off scot-free. Another independent retailer experienced repercussions from breaking shelf dates, when it had its Amazon selling account revoked due to putting Skylanders out before the embargo. “Sainsbury’s already had the stock on shelf two days before the shelf date, so we just thought ‘why not?’ - it’s incredibly unfair that it is one rule for one and one rule for another”, complained the retailer. “It’s blurring the lines of judgement for us because we either risk damaging a relationship with a supplier or risk completely losing out on sales, so we lose either way”. It would seem that the bigger the retailer, the more likely they are to get away with it. Retailers have got in contact with suppliers to complain about the issue, and suppliers have promised that they will try to do something about it, but what can they do? A supplier is unlikely to break bonds with a national that may account for a significant percentage of its annual turnover. “After all, what were their real sanction options?”, asks the ex-buyer. “Mainly, suing the retailer or

stop supplying them with stock. Realistically, what supplier is going to embark on that course of action with a major retail account? So suppliers would privately say to retailers that they’d really like them to comply with the on-shelf date, but if product does end up on shelf a day or two early, it’s not the end of the world”. This is effectively endorsing the practice, and unsurprisingly, there has been no action taken. “Suppliers tried to control the process by shipping one or two days before the on-shelf date, but that proved unworkable in practice”, they added. In most other sectors there are major repercussions if a shelf or release date is broken. People who leak TV shows and films can receive a prison sentence under copyright laws, so why is it any different for toys when the industry is just as big? Retailers believe that the impact breaking embargos has is not good for the whole market. “It takes the shine out of everything. Anticipation is built for a film or a product range and then it’s on shelves two weeks earlier than expected, and the independents have no stock. Then it gets spread all over social media, customers come asking for it and we physically don’t have it yet, because it’s nowhere near the launch date. Then the launch date comes around and no-one cares anymore”. The retailer goes on to explain that it is easy to see how mistakes

can be made, for example it is highly unlikely that supermarket staff would work exclusively in the toy section. Staff who stack shelves often don’t always know much about the products themselves, and boxes that come in larger packages can have very small dates on them or none at all, therefore it’s easy to put out stock that shouldn’t yet be merchandised. There are many sides to the debate of what should be done to prevent this happening, or if anything can be done at all. The ex-toy buyer believes that the only way of effectively addressing this problem is scrapping the on-shelf date completely. “Going too early with product rarely works anyway. With movie releases, numbers shoot up exponentially after the movie is released. Apart from an initial burst with collectors, sales volumes are usually fairly negligible until after the movie launch”. Independent retailers believe that suppliers should look after toy retailers first. “We are the people that want to do things properly. Toys matter to us, and so do the brands and suppliers”. They go on to explain how a Friday launch date can make or break a weekend, adding 25% sales in just a few days. “We want to promote products properly, we want to build hype for a particular release and we want what is best for the toy industry to keep it going strong”.

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Toy World 117


Feature

Toy & Hobby China 2017

Zoning in on international trade The Toy & Hobby China and Baby & Stroller China fairs recorded a 21% increase in visitors in 2016, with a significant spike in international participation. This year’s show, running from 8th to 10th April at the Poly World Trade Centre Expo in Guangzhou, China, is expected to further surpass this success. Clarabel Jones reports.

T

oy & Hobby China has held a prominent place in the industry for over 20 years, with Baby & Stroller China joining it 10 years later. However, last year marked the start of Messe Frankfurt’s involvement in the fairs, a collaboration which saw the debut of the show’s successful International Zone. An effective platform for overseas exhibitors to enter the China market, the International Zone has now been heralded as one of the main reasons for the strong increase in buyers attending last year’s fairs. Together, the two events recorded 48,521 visitors – a 21% increase compared to 2015, marking a new record for the fair. International visitors jumped a phenomenal 126% to 2,345, with the top 10 countries being Hong Kong, Korea, Malaysia, the US, Russia, Taiwan, Thailand, Japan, Vietnam and India. Buyers came from 68 countries and regions to source from 1,006 exhibitors from 10 countries and regions, with both fairs covering an area of 75,200 gross square metres. With the large scale of the fairs, visitors appreciated the layout of the halls, with clearly defined areas such as the Hong Kong Pavilion, Animation and Character Licensing Zone, Electronic Pre-school Zone and Pre-school Amusement Play-set Zone, joining the new and successful International Zone. Serving as a platform for overseas exhibitors to capture the huge potential in the China market, the International Zone earned positive feedback from many of last year’s participants. Kidzpiration from Hong Kong, which went to the fairs for the first time last year, was pleased with its decision to exhibit in the space. “The zone adds more credibility to our company. Buyers regard us as a high-end supplier because we’re located there,” Vaneffa Ho, general manager explained. The International Zone was also effective in helping overseas exhibitors attract potential buyers from China. Tim Bradley, director of international sales from GreenLight LLC, US, was surprised by the amount of interest the company received at the show. “We’ve been swamped; the interest we’ve received has surpassed our expectations. The International Zone is the best place to be, as visitors often come specifically to search for overseas products. I’m happy with our participation there,

as we got enough opportunities on the first day alone to establish our business in China.” With the introduction of the International Zone and growing overseas awareness of the fair, exhibitors and buyers alike were positive about the increased internationalism of the fair. In addition, the fairs also met buyers’ expectations in meeting more overseas suppliers. “The inclusion of more international exhibitors helps upgrade the fairs,” said Jenny Wu, export department manager for Long Faith Industrial Co. “When there are more overseas suppliers joining, more visitors will be attracted, so domestic exhibitors can also benefit from the visitor flow.” Another reason for these fairs’ leading reputation in the domestic industry is their comprehensive range of sourcing options. Products from toys, animation licensing and licensed products, hobby models, pre-school items and equipment, strollers and ride-ons to baby products will be available. As well as the multitude of products on offer, extra features of the fairs are also available to help buyers in their sourcing. This includes the fairs’ business matching service, which connects select buyers with exhibitors that match their needs. Liam Rodden, assistant public relations manager of Messe Frankfurt, told Toy World: “Toy & Hobby China and Baby & Stroller China’s main competitor fairs are based in Shanghai and Hong Kong, but we believe that the fairs’ location in Southern China, alongside the timing of the shows, sets it apart from its rivals. This is largely due to spring being the peak buying season for the Chinese consumer market, and with 1st June being China’s Children’s Day, this is a very important time for stroller and baby product sales. What’s more, the recent changes to the one-child policy in China have undoubtedly provided a real boost to the industry, including overseas brands.” “Messe Frankfurt also has an overseas buyer programme on offer, providing free accommodation during the fair for eligible preregistered buyers.” For more information on the fairs, or to register for free accommodation, visit www.chinatoyfair. com or email toy@hongkong.messe.frankfurt.com.

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in partnership with Wilton Bradley Ltd

Learn More / Request a Catalogue • Tel: 01626 835400 www.wiltonbradley.co.uk • Email: sales@wiltonbradley.co.uk

Toy World 119


Feature

New York Toy Fair 2017

Midtown toy town T

aking place from 18th to 21st February 2017 at New York City’s Jacob K. Javits Convention Center, Toy Fair’s exhibit space is already sold out, with more than 1,000 companies signed on - including 20 UK-based toymakers - to showcase their latest innovations. Since registration opened in October, nearly 6,000 industry professionals (+12% year-on-year) have already registered, and as of early December, the marketplace is expecting buyers from nearly every US state and 60 countries. Produced by the Toy Industry Association, Toy Fair 2017 will have a number of new features – including an expansion of exhibit space in Hall 1E, which will be exclusively devoted to companies who are new to the Toy Fair marketplace. Toy Fair will also host an array of special events and enriching seminars designed to help visitors build new contacts and learn about the future of play, youth trends, licensing, independent retailing, safety compliance, entrepreneurship and more. Of particular interest to global buyers and media is TIA’s annual Toy Trends Briefing, taking place on the second day of the show. During this seminar, TIA’s trend experts will unveil the Association’s top trend predictions for the coming year. “The Toy Trends Briefing is a great session for buyers looking to hone in on brand new products and emerging trends that will attract the attention of shoppers in their stores,” said Adrienne Appell, TIA trend expert. Last year, it was noted at the seminar that board games, puzzles and other traditional toys would be hot for 2016, due to increasing consumer demand for back-to-basic playthings that incite nostalgia and promote family bonding. TIA was correct in its prediction – The NPD Group recently reported that US sales in the board games/puzzles category grew by a staggering 16% from January through to September 2016. “We are expecting to see a new crop of exciting and innovative playthings that are truly engaging and entertaining, whether they are tech-driven or unplugged,” hinted Appell. “And with so many exciting, family-friendly movies on the horizon for 2017, we predict that licensed playthings will continue to be hot across various categories.”

The 114th North American International Toy Fair is just around the corner, and 30,000 global buyers, licensors, entertainment executives, press and other play-lovers are gearing up for an energetic and productive show, where they’ll get to see hundreds of thousands of new toys and entertainment products across a whopping 40,000+ net square meters of exhibit space.

The marketplace will also offer sessions for companies looking to grow their businesses internationally. TIA’s exclusive Global Market Research programming, with sessions on both Sunday 19th February and Monday 20th February, will focus on market entry opportunities in India, a rapidly expanding area for the toy industry, and the US, the largest toy market in the world, with annual sales of approximately $25bn. Under the Independent Thinking track, which focuses on the interests and needs of retailers, attendees can learn about connecting with customers in a digital world and how to bring in more sales by harnessing The Genius of Play programme, TIA’s research-backed initiative to bring more play into kids’ lives. Given that licensing captures more than 30% of total US toy sales, TIA’s Licensing Content Connection sessions will be particularly relevant to the Toy Fair audience. Successful licensing is coming from all forms of media – from TV to streaming platforms to YouTube, among others – and can be daunting for a small licensee or retailer. Session attendees will learn how to get noticed in an increasingly competitive environment. “While Toy Fair attendees come to see the hundreds of thousands of diverse, highly creative product lines unveiled by new and veteran toymakers, the show’s educational sessions are full of compelling, hands-on learning about the hottest industry trends,” said Marian Bossard, TIA’s senior vice president of global market events. “From in-depth presentations about the massive licensing business to tips for bringing new product to market, these sessions are not to be missed.” These are just a few examples of the many educational and networking activities that will be taking place during Toy Fair week. Be sure to visit www.ToyFairNY.com or download the free Toy Fair Mobile App (available on iTunes and Google Play) for information about registration, exhibiting companies, special events, educational opportunities, hotel bookings and more. Global buyers are also encouraged to get ahead of the game by checking out TIA’s online business-to-business marketplace, www. ShopToys365.com, where they can browse virtual showrooms, place orders and make connections before Toy Fair even opens its doors.

Toy World 120

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Feature

Toy Fair 2017 Café UL G122 E125

G120

G115

E135

E140

E149

E131

E130

E129

Catering Services

E150

B150

B149

B135

B130

Toy Fair West Café

Catering Services

On with the show Having now returned to its usual mid-week format, Toy Fair 2017 is once again predicted to be a huge success for everyone involved. Clarabel Jones reports.

O

ften described as the beating heart of the toy industry, London Olympia’s Toy Fair remains one of the most successful domestic toy fairs in the world. Despite last year’s disruption of the show’s traditional Tuesday to Thursday format, 2016’s event was heralded a huge success, and this year’s event is set to be even bigger. Exhibitor and visitor interest has been high since the early part of the year, with the event selling out almost four months prior to its opening on 24th January. The BTHA was also thrilled to announce that, once again, the show received a high returnee rate, with more than 80% of returning exhibitors, excluding those new in 2016, rebooking their stands for 2017. On top of the show’s loyal returnees, who have remained faithful to the show since its inception, Toy Fair will also welcome a number of new exhibitors, including Engino, MTW Toys, Little Brian, Sinco Toys, Chelford and more, some of which will be starting their Toy Fair journey in the Greenhouse Area. Located in the centre of the Grand Hall, the Greenhouse Area is an exhibition

space dedicated to start-up companies looking to break into the industry for the first time, as well as housing many established industry names who have found their home in the Greenhouse over the years. This year, the popularity of the area has surged, with the space completely selling out by mid-July. The zone will welcome 40 exhibiting companies this month, including more than half of last year’s Greenhouse exhibitors. However, following a successful 2016 show, a number of last year’s Greenhouse exhibitors, including Kidicraft, Eduk8 Worldwide and Morning Family, have decided to move out of the area and onto the main show floor this year to expand their stands and their product offering. Taking place on the first evening of the show will be the annual Toy Industry Awards, a gala event organised by the BTHA with the Toy Retailers Association (TRA), who will also present the Toy and Supplier Awards 2016, on the same evening. The event is a key date in the industry calendar and provides opportunities for industry colleagues to network and celebrate the first day of Toy Fair. They

Toy World 123 17:16

will also be the first to discover the winners of the Toy Retailer and Supplier of the Year awards. Also returning for another year is the fair’s annual Trolley Dash, a signature closing event of Toy Fair. Following a phenomenal result in 2016, the show’s charity partnership with KidsOut has been renewed for a second year. Last year’s initiative saw more than 60 volunteers and 50 trollies, kindly donated by Tesco Cromwell Road, pass through the Toy Fair aisles collecting donations from exhibitors for disadvantages children across the UK. 2016 was the first year as Toy Fair’s official charity partner, and thanks to the generosity of all involved, the charity was able to provide toys to around 1,000 children. Throughout 2016, exhibitors were encouraged to donate any unwanted or excess stock to the charity’s volunteers, who will be pushing trolleys through the aisles of Olympia, with the aim of matching, and even topping, this number for 2017’s show. Another initiative drawing in crowds and public appreciation is the show’s annual Design Student Seminar, which the BTHA has confirmed will take place on the third day of Toy Fair this year, for the eighth year running. Since 2010, the BTHA

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Toy Fair 2017 Café UL G122 E125

G120

G115

E135

E140

interview

E149

E131

E130

E129

Catering Services

E150

B150

B149

B135

B130

Toy Fair West Café

Catering Services

Toy World spoke to head of Toy Fair operations and sales, Majen Immink, about this year’s event. has organised the seminar to encourage university students to consider a career in toy design. Around 120 students from seven universities will attend the seminar. The University of Sussex, Sheffield Hallam University, University of Portsmouth, Brunel University and the University of Brighton have all been represented in previous years, while the University of East London and Coventry University are new additions for 2017. To encourage the best creative talent to come to the fair, there is a strong programme of speakers and a chance to meet the companies exhibiting at the show. The seminar will begin with a welcome introduction from John Stewart, co-founder of Worlds Apart and BTHA council member, followed by talks from James Wing, R&D manager at Vivid Imaginations, Sammy Davis, junior designer at Design by Touch and David Fry, UK and European patent attorney at Agile IP. “The toy industry brings 50-60,000 new toys to market every year, some of which become huge hits and household names, all of which bring fun and joy,” said Kerri Atherton, communications and public affairs officer. “We need to encourage the best innovation within our industry to inspire the children who play with our toys, and to do that we want to encourage the most talented UK students to think about a career in the toy industry.” Over the following pages, Toy World is pleased to present details of all the hottest products being introduced at the fair.

You must be relieved that last year’s date clash with Nuremberg is now a thing of the past – have you had more interest this year as a result? Despite the challenge of the unexpected clash in dates, we were very pleased to put on a sold out show and to receive such positive feedback from so many exhibitors post show. It was also very encouraging to retain the same visitor numbers as in 2015. This year the show has sold out almost three months prior to the show opening and we currently have a waiting list of companies looking for space.

How many new exhibitors have joined the Fair this year? We have more than 60 new exhibitors this year, including a total of 45 companies who will be exhibiting at Toy Fair for the very first time. We give a warm welcome to all of our new exhibitors and hope they have a fantastic show. Many of these new companies can be found in the Greenhouse, an area created to encourage and foster new talent looking to make an impression.

How do visitor pre-registration numbers compare with last year’s? We are really pleased with the current pre-registration numbers, so far they are on par with last year, but as happens every year, we will expect a sudden burst of registration applications from high quality retailers, licensors, media and the wider industry, the other side of Christmas.

In your opinion, what makes Toy Fair a mustattend event for major and independent retailers? Toy Fair offers thousands of new and exciting product launches for retailers to discover, touch and experience for the first time. Exhibitors represent a cross section of toy, game and hobby companies including toy giants such as Lego, Flair and Character, through to smaller independent companies looking to make their mark. Many show offers, which are exclusive to retailers during the three days, are not to be missed.

Toy World 124

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EXCLUSIVE TO WILTON BRADLEY IN THE UK

Learn More / Request a Catalogue • Tel: 01626 835400 www.wiltonbradley.co.uk • Email: sales@wiltonbradley.co.uk

Toy World 125


Exhibitors

Stand Number

1 Two Kids

GH54

4D Cityscape

E35

8th Wonder

GH3

A Girl For All Time

GH11

AB Gee of Ripley

B40

Aardvark Swift Recruitment

GH10

About time

B100

Accentuate Games

G65

Alex Brands Juratoys

H90

Alpha Toys

F101

Alphabet Pie

GH46

Amerang

Gallery 215

American Jewel

GH6

Anamalz

E66

Aniworld

B99

Arckit

Gallery 165

Arklu

B90

Articulate Scotland

GH33

Asobi

Gallery 124

Aurora World

D35

Bachmann Europe

Gallery 110

Bandai UK

Gallery 600

Battle Front Miniatures

B97

Beasts of Balance

GH47

Bertoy

G46

Big Potato

H46

Bigjigs Toys

H39

BKD

GH9

Bladez Toyz

Gallery 123

Blue Orange

E35

Brainstorm

E79

Breyer

E66

Brian Clegg

B95

Brixies

E118

BTHA Exhibiting Members' Lounge

Gallery 205

The Bug Store

GH24

Bureau Veritas

GH58

Café UL

G122

Cambridge Brainbox

GH36

Cartamundi

H1

Casdon

E30

Character Group

E119

Cheatwell Games

F20

Chelford Ltd

B98

Chicco

Gallery 180

Clementoni Spa

Gallery 155

Click Distribution

Gallery 120

Clockwork Soldier

GH32

Cloud b

F16

Coiledspring Games

E35

Crocodile Creek & Krooom by Bertoy

G46

D'arpèje

Gallery 190

Delta Kids

F25

Depesche

H50

Destination Board Games

GH13

DKL Marketing

E66 & F66

Dracco

G30

Educational Learning Mats

GH5

Eduk8 Worldwide

F1

The Elf on the Shelf

G119

Engino Play to Invent

Gallery 545

Epoch-Making Toys

B130

Esdevium Games

E109

Eurofins Consumer Product Testing

GH23

Extreme Fliers

Gallery 415

Fairygoodies

Gallery 149

Toy World 126


Exhibitors

Stand Number

Fashion Angels

E66

Fiesta Crafts

D2

First Celtic Toys & Learning

Gallery 405

Flair Leisure Products

E39

Folkmanis Puppets

H36

Fun Stickers

G115

Fundamentally Children the home of the Good Toy Guide

Gallery 154

Funkit World

GH25

Funrise International

G90

Furry Friends

GH44

Galt Toys

E9

Game Theatre

Gallery 135

Games Workshop

Gallery 198

Gamewright Games

E35

Gardoolet

Gallery 142

Geomag World

Gallery 501

Getretro

GH62

Gibsons

E40

Gift Time Ltd

GH24

Gigamic Games

E35

Ginger Fox

B115

Global Opportunities

B80

Golden Bear Products

E69

Granna

E35

Great Gizmos

G20

Great Pretenders International

B75

Green Board Game Company

E15

Green Elephant Trading

GH42

H Grossman

E49

Guild of Master Craftsmen Publishing

GH57

Halilit

E90

Hama

E66

Hang Wing Plastic Co

B92

High Resolution Design

B65

Hippychick

B49

Hornby Hobbies

D11

House of Marbles

G110

Hubelino UK

GH29

iDance

Gallery 315

IMC Toys

E129

Indigo Jamm

H40

Infantino Bkids UK

Gallery 310

Information Desk

E70

Insect Lore

F90

Intelligent Retail

GH21

Interplay

G10

Intertek

G66

Iwako

Gallery 122

Jakar / Caran d'Ache

B82

Jazwares

D99

Jemilo Games

B15

John Adams Leisure

G100

John Crane

E20

Jumbo Games

E46

Jumboo Toys

GH26

Kapla

Gallery 143

KD UK

Gallery 630

Keel Toys

B60

Keycraft

D20

KIDdesign

B150

Kiddimoto

H44

Kidicraft

H30

KidKraft

F50

Kids@Play

Gallery 200

KidsOut

Gallery 152

King International

Gallery 152

Toy World 127


Exhibitors

Stand Number

Theo Klein

B25

K'Nex

Gallery 510

K-Play

Gallery 420

Le Toy Van

E10

Learning Resources

D36

Legler OHG

Gallery 141

Lego Company

Gallery 550

Lexibook

B18

Liberty House Toys

Gallery 179

LittleCONCEPTS

GH51

Loona Toys

B16

Lottie Dolls

B90

Lucky Voice

Gallery 145

Magformers UK

Gallery 540

Make Time to Play Café

Gallery 530

MakeitReal

Gallery 162

Marbel

B50

Mardles - Augmented reality for Kids

B85

Marvin's Magic

H65

Melissa & Doug

F40

Mic-o-Mic

Gallery 132

Mightymast Leisure

Gallery 173

Milly&Flynn

B115

Micro Scooters

B45

MiniMaster Sports

GH1

Miniprop

Gallery 175

Mookie Toys

E149

Morning

H70

Music for Kids

GH16

MTW Toys

Gallery 105

MV Sports & Leisure

B30

Myweeteepee

GH39

The NPD Group

Gallery 146

New Yuan Zhi Toys Co. Ltd

H92

Nutty Putty

GH46

Orchard Toys

B12

Oxford Die-cast

Gallery 195

Padgett Bros (A to Z)

E16

Papo UK

Gallery 128

Paul Lamond Games

E50

Playmags Toys

G40

PlayMais

E66

Playmobil (UK) Ltd

Gallery 210

Plum Products

C50

Portfolio Group

Gallery 505

Posh Paws International

D89

Press Office & Best New Toys

Gallery 158

Progressive Preschool Magazine

GH31

Purple Cow

E35

Pursuit NHA

GH30

Rainbow Colours

Gallery 410

Rainbow Designs

E120

Rainbow Dreams

GH50

Ravensburger

E140

RDM Creations

GH48

Re:Creation

E125

Relaxation Garden

Gallery 325

Revell

Gallery 100

Sakar International

F100

The Sales Partnership

E21

Sambro International

Gallery 400

Scentco Scented Stationery

E66

Schleich

B121

Schmidt Spiele

E35

Scootaheadz

GH45

Scratch Tradtional Toys

E66

Shantou Zhencheng Toys

H80

Toy World 128


Exhibitors

Stand Number

SES Nederland

GH18

SET Enterprises

E35

Shantou Yierda Plastic Toys Electronic

H95

Simba Smoby

E135

Simbrix

GH20

Sinco Toys

B20

Skip Hop

B135

Smart Toys & Games

F36

SmartLab

E66

The Sock Game

GH28

The Source Wholesale

Gallery 148

Spin Master Toys

E131

Star Images

B22

Stepping Stones Marketing

GH15

T.a.r.e.m.a

G25

Tactic Games

D109

Tasma

B56

TellTails

GH8

Tenzi

E35

TFTV Demo Zone

Gallery 157

Thames & Kosmos

F15

The Three Magicians

E35

Think Distribution

Gallery 147

ThinkFun

E35

Titan Merchandise

C42

TKC Sales

E99

Tobar Group

Gallery 305

TOMY

Gallery 520

Toy Box Company

GH59

Toy Butler

GH34

Toy Fair West Café

B149

Toy Retailers Association

Gallery 150

Toy Trust Coffee Lounge

Gallery 160

Toy World

GH37

Toymaster Lounge

The London Room

ToyNews

E2

Toys 'n' Playthings

E1

Tractor Ted

GH2

Trefl

D19

Trunki

C45

TT Italia SRL 1978

Gallery 320

Turner Media Innovations Lounge

Gallery 130

Ty UK

Gallery 119

UGears UK

B14

UL VS

G120

Underground Toys

E130

University Games

F10

Vivid Toy Group

B70

Vtech Electronics

Gallery 500

Warlord Games

Gallery 174

West Design Products

B35

Wicked Vision

E100

Wild Card Games

H20

Wilton Bradley

E89

Wind Designs

H52

Winning Moves UK

E115

Worry Eaters

E35

WOW Toys

G15

Wrebbit3D

E35

Zimpli Kids

Gallery 144

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www.halilit.co.uk


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Toy Fair 2017

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Every year Toy Fair welcomes a host of new exhibitors, and this year will be no different. Clarabel Jones spoke to a selection of the show’s first-timers to find out what brought them to the fair, and what stand-out products and ranges they’ll be launching.

Oliver Williams Darran Garnham MTW Toys MTW Toys is one of EMEA’s fastest growing distributors and a key partner for Thinkway Toys. Established in 2013, we have offices in five European countries, warehouses in three, logistics in Asia and growing operations in UK and other markets. We work with some of the hottest movie IPs in the business, including Universal’s Despicable Me franchise and Disney Pixar’s Toy Story 4. We have key lines for Despicable Me 3, which is set to be the hit movie of summer 2017, and these will be a key focus of our presence at Toy Fair. The range comprises collectibles, plush, electronics and deluxe action product. As you’d expect from Thinkway, there’s a lot of innovation behind much of this range, and we’re looking forward to sharing it with the trade. One of the key items is the Despicable Me 3: Minions Music Mates Assortment. Included are 10 different characters from the movie, all of which dance to music on their own plinth. The real magic comes when you connect as many of them as you like together – they all start to dance in unison, and the resulting spectacle can’t fail to raise a smile. We also have assorted talking action figures as well as Walk and Talk Dave and Stuart Minion figures, which can repeat back words spoken to them. In addition, we’ll be expanding our reach with Toy Story – it’s an evergreen brand which will see line innovations and expanded distribution. MTW Toys sees London as the kick-starter of Toy Fair season. It’s the perfect opportunity for us to catch up with key local and European partners, as well as showcasing our new lines. Thinkway has always developed ranges which the industry wants to see, and this year will be no different.

Make it Real Make It Real is a new company jointly run by Isaac Wolman and myself. We both have a passion for creative products and have brought our experience together to start this new company. Our experience has been gained over 25 years’ of running businesses and managing the two largest turnover territories in the world. We have secured distribution in over 50 countries, and we have two sales offices – one in the US, servicing North America, Canada and South America, and one in Manchester which covers the rest of the world. Stock will be available domestically in local markets, with bulk stock being available to order directly from China. Make it Real is a creative craft company which aims to bring creativity to life. Our products include access to Dream Guides, which are actual mentors working in the craft and design industries who will share their experience and creativity with a new generation. Our free app connects the consumer with these role models, and will also host money can’t buy promotional opportunities. Our products cover all types of creative craft, broadly across four core categories: jewellery making and wearables, fashion design and illustration, home décor and cosmetics. We’ll also have some great licensed products on show at Toy Fair, including Animal Jam and a whole host of Disney Sketch portfolios. Generally, we have products across all price categories. Toy Fair is an essential part of our trade show itinerary; we will be showing at all the major shows, and London will help us connect with our UK customer base.

Joel Cope Chelford Chelford is an established company, running since 1995 as a leader in the development and distribution of unique, high quality products. The main products we’ll be exhibiting at Toy Fair are our iPlush animal friends. They are inflatable, soft, cuddly toys, making them lightweight, easily washable, easily portable and hypoallergenic. These products are brand new in the UK, and are set to be a firm favourite amongst the main retailers this year. It has always been our goal to provide the highest quality and value, as well as innovative products, at the lowest possible price. Available today are over 20 designs, while our R&D department continues to work on developing new designs, upgrading current products and bringing new products to the market. For those who are interested in selling iPlush in their area, we will gladly add our help and support. Our customer support team has over 30 years of experience in both retail and wholesale, which we will share with our customers at any time. Our friendly team members are committed to establishing long, beneficial and fruitful relationships. Toy Fair is an ideal way to best market our product. The large amount of retailers attending, alongside the smooth running of the exhibition, make the show an enjoyable and productive business opportunity.

Toy World 132 Toy


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Little Brian

Robert Mann Engino Engino was established in 2004 in order to commercialise a new system of multi-functional connectors, invented by mechanical engineer and educator, Costas Sisamos. After three years of R&D, the first sets of Engino construction toys were launched at Nuremberg, getting the attention of global buyers and toy experts. Since then, new products are developed every year, and now more than 50 different toy sets are offered, covering various age levels and price ranges. Our toy system is the most versatile building system in the market today, as it allows connectivity in all directions of the 3D space with the minimum number of parts. Since 2007, when the first products were launched in the market, the company has experienced steady growth, now with a presence in more than 15 countries. The main products highlighted at Toy Fair will be our new series Qboidz and our new Inventor 30-in-1 Motorised Adventure Models set. The Qboidz building system is designed for preschoolers, based on the latest STEM principles. The system enhances creativity and imagination by combining the Engino snap-fit technology with traditional stacking connectivity. Children will be able to build many different models from the same set, while developing their dexterity skills and perception of three-dimensional space. The Inventor 30-in-1 Motorised Adventure Models set introduces new designs and models for young builders to experiment on. Toy Fair is the premier location in the UK for us to launch Engino and exhibit our latest product development. The fair receives, without question, the largest number of relevant buyers and media advertisers in the industry. Engino has made a significant investment in the UK and Ireland with the appointment of Simon McCrickard as sales director, McCabe marketing and sales in Ireland, CK Agencies for Greater London with the rest of the independent sector in the UK serviced through Kayes Cardiff. Engino has also established a telesales group to service multiple accounts, such as Toymaster and AIS. In 2016, we promoted Engino with two TV campaigns, one running in August and the other from 2nd December through to Christmas. It is our intention to promote Engino in 2017 with further TV coverage throughout the year, as well as making available display solutions for the range and having consumer promotions throughout the year, supported through our social media promotions team. The show will allow us to communicate directly with the trade and highlight our investment plans for 2017. This will provide them with positive reasons to extend their ranges and space allocated to Engino in the knowledge that the consumer will be directed to their stores with our year-round support.

Daniel Smith Sinco Toys We will be debuting a range of new products at Toy Fair, spanning across different categories. Sinco Toys aims for the highest quality, and for children to fall in love with our products. We will be debuting two new ranges of plush with a twist. The first is the new range of Wobbleez, a selection of three plush dogs which children can pull along on a lead; using momentum, the dogs can walk along behind them. There are no batteries required, which is a real selling point for parents, and come as a Golden Retriever, Dalmatian or Shepherd Dog. Also on offer are the new Zookiez. These plush toys have classic slap bands incorporated into their limbs, meaning the dog, cat or bear can hold onto the child or to an object with ease. There will be much more launching at the show so make sure to stop by. Toy Fair is the ideal place to debut our new products due to the excellent sales opportunities. We were looking for the ideal platform for our product launches, and where else is there to go where everyone will have the right brand awareness?

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Little Brian is one of the newest brands to enter the toy industry, and has come onto the scene with a bang with the launch of its first product, Paint Sticks, just 10 months ago. I’m proud to say that Paint Sticks has already won three awards; we were the overall winner in the Creative Play category at the Practical Pre-School Awards, a gold winner in the Creative Play category at the Primary Teacher Update Awards and the winner in the Painting and Colouring Materials category for 4-7-year-olds at the Creative Play Awards, proving that it really is a toy that is going from strength to strength. Little Brian was launched by its brother company, Brian Clegg, which is an established and trusted manufacturer of art and craft products, as well as ride-on toys, in the educational and retail markets. We’re a fun brand that really lets creativity flow, and we hope to prove that to everybody at the show. This will be the first time that the brand has exhibited at Toy Fair, and we have a bumper three days planned with fun and games on our stand, which epitomises what the Little Brian brand is all about. We’ll be allowing visitors to experience our Paint Sticks product first-hand, which provide a clean and convenient way to paint with no need for water or the mess that comes with it. The solid paint sticks twist up and down, just like a glue stick, and allow vivid colours to be transferred directly onto surfaces like canvas, wood, paper, card and even glass, drying within minutes of use. We want to prove to people that painting doesn’t need to be messy, and I’m excited to say that we’ll also be unveiling two brand new products. Toy Fair is an important date in the toy industry’s calendar, and is the perfect platform for us to reveal our strength in the market as well as pitch ourselves amongst some of the big players within the industry. We’re extremely proud of our Paint Sticks products, and we hope to demonstrate this to visitors. I’m really looking forward to generating plenty of leads with buyers and distributors, as well as building a strong relationship with the press and other brands. Our main aim is to show people how great Paint Sticks are for children, how they aid their creativity and dexterity, which both play an essential part in their overall development, and have Paint Sticks leave the lasting impression that painting can be fun without any mess.

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Showing off

London Toy Fair is a very important trade event to us as it presents a great opportunity to show visitors what we have planned for the year ahead, and maximise exposure to our new ranges to all our customers. With over 80 new products, there are so many items to see. It is best for retailers to visit our stand to join in the excitement, and see what will stand out for them. We are excited to showcase all of our ranges; the VTech stand is dedicated to show innovation and exciting new developments on our award-winning ranges. We also look forward to catching up with as many retail partners as possible to share our 2017 plans.

Lauren Shipman Posh Paws Toy Fair is a must-attend event for us; it’s the perfect way to kick off the year and show off our very latest licensed plush and backpack ranges. Whilst we have already had most of our previews with buyers, the show is the perfect place to firm up listings, particularly for the autumn/winter season, and discuss range plans going forward. We will also have some new product ranges to reveal to retailers, buyers and the media at the show. It’s hard to list one product or one range that stands out for us, but it goes without saying that our Despicable Me 3 and Cars Plush ranges are going to be stand-out ranges for us in 2017. We also have some fantastic new designs across our licensed back to school and plush backpacks. This will be Posh Paws’ fifth year at the show. This year, we’re most looking forward to catching up with licensors and buyers. There is a real buzz at the show, and it’s great to see the full impact of everything we have been working on throughout 2016. We do have some brand new products which we’ll be revealing at the show, which we are very excited to launch to retailers. We will also be presenting some fantastic FSDU deals and offering a discount for orders placed at the show.

London Toy Fair is one of our solid diary dates. I can’t imagine a year not being at Toy Fair; it’s the perfect opportunity for us to meet as many people as possible, and a chance to show our latest and greatest innovations. Meeting contacts new and old, showcasing product, media

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Nick Saunders The UK and Irish markets remain the most important markets for us at Brainstorm, and Toy Fair is the number one show to exhibit at. There are very few toy specialists that we will not see at Toy Fair, and for us the fair seems to get busier every year. I first joined the business in 2003, so this will be my 13th Toy Fair; as a company I think our history with the show dates back to 1995. It’s impossible to choose which our most important range is this year; we have new items augmenting existing successful brands like StikBot, Brainstorm Toys and The Original Glowstars Company. We also have new brands like BeeBeez and Craft Time, and we even have a new Aqua Dragons line where the eggs have been sent to space. I’m most looking forward to seeing our customers and agents; the toy community is a great crowd, and I always come away from the show feeling very positive. We always have a few surprises at the show, and this year will not be an exception. Mostly we are hoping to have a lot of fun, and our StikBot greenscreen booth should deliver on that front.

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With Toy Fair just around the corner, Clarabel Jones spoke to a number of returning exhibitors to find out what keeps bringing them back, and what they’re most looking forward to about this year’s show.

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interviews, discussing collaborations and writing orders are all to be looked forward to in a typical day at Toy Fair. This will be Spin Master’s 19th Toy Fair, if you include our years as Feva (1998–2005). We have lots of new items and themes to show from our phenomenally successful Paw Patrol range, including the new Jungle theme for spring/summer. Plus, there’s more innovation from Air Hogs, our arts

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and crafts ranges, plus plenty more surprises in store. I’m most looking forward to catching up with people I don’t usually get a chance to see – albeit at a very busy show – plus feeling the buzz and vibe of the industry that we all love. Spin Master always has a few surprises up its sleeves. We’ve had an amazing 2016, and we’re optimistic that this will be the case again in 2017.

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Toy Fair is a show we exhibit at every year; although we participate in other trade shows, Olympia is our biggest, and where we can show off all of our products and meet up with customers old and new. This year, our stand is almost 60% larger than it was in 2016, which is a reflection of our growth throughout the year. It’s also a great opportunity to get feedback on new lines, and to find out first-hand what our customers are looking for. We also love the buzz around this first important show of the year; it is great to see everyone come together and showcase their product offering and catch up on industry gossip too. As always, our aim is to inform the industry about the quality items and brands that we stock, and to present our new launches to our loyal customer base. Halilit has exhibited at 32 Toy Fairs in the past, with 2017 being our 33rd year. We have seen the show go from strength to strength, even through the peaks and troughs of the economic climate, and we are so proud to say we that have returned to the show, year in year out. Toy Fair 2017 will see the launch of Taf Toys Easier Parenting brand strategy. The new direction shows Taf Toys split into five Easier categories: Easier Development, Easier Sleep, Easier Drive, Easier Outdoors and Easier Meals. The new and exciting direction emphasises Taf Toys’ continuing ability to design and develop new, innovative products which provide exciting solutions for parents’ daily struggles. Coinciding with the new, softer colour pallet, we are certain that Taf Toys will continue to flourish and reinforce its position as a key brand within the market. As far as an individual product is concerned, we are all absolutely in love with Dr Pooch, a gorgeous cuddly companion for pre-schoolers which teaches all the skills involved in getting dressed. One thing we always look forward to at Toy Fair is seeing our current customers face to face. Whether we have long standing relationships with them or are putting new faces to names, it is great to discuss our product ranges in more detail and to receive quality feedback, which we always take on board and implement in some shape or form. There will be lots of exclusive show offers at the event, although Toy Fair visitors will have to pop along to our stand to see for themselves.

Richard Greaves Kidicraft Toy Fair is a hugely important start to any year, and we love having the opportunity to present new products and to make contact and chat with both new and current buyers. Kidicraft has exhibited at the last three Toy Fairs, and we’re looking forward to being at many more. We have a much larger stand in 2017 because we need a great deal more space to display our rapidly growing portfolio of even more 3D products, which in 2017 will include children’s wall posters and wipeable placemats. Stunt Jaxx, the brand new range of crazy collectibles, is one range which retailers of all shapes and sizes should not miss. With SSPs from only £2.99, this is sure to be one of 2017’s great success stories. Kidicraft had a great year in 2016 with its 3D Magic Motion Puzzles, and we are really looking forward to showing customers the great new additions to this range. We always offer really beneficial Early Buy deals to customers who take the trouble to attend Toy Fair and other trade shows.

Ben Parkhouse As far as we are concerned, Toy Fair is the premier event. It provides an opportunity for us to meet with new and existing partners, to showcase our new range of scooters and accessories, as well as unveil programmes such as Scooter Aid, Scoot Safe and Try Before You Buy, all of which are designed to help sales within our retailers’ stores. This year, our new nursery range of products will be a focus for us. After years of innovating within the children’s sector, we have applied the same rigour and innovative thinking to products such as the Chopper Balance Bike, Mini 2 Go, Mini Micro 3-in-1, Micro Trike and Lazy Luggage, and we can’t wait to unveil them at the show. In addition, our Deluxe range of 3-in-1, Mini and Maxi Micro scooters have proved hugely successful since their launch in the latter half of 2016 – the show will give us the opportunity to talk in further detail about the range and the opportunities the product presents for retailers. We have been a huge supporter of Toy Fair for over half a decade; this year’s Toy Fair will be our seventh show. If I’ve not mentioned it enough, I believe our new nursery range is a genuinely special offering. Encompassing five superiorly engineered and innovatively designed products, each one fitting a need millions of busy parents and their children have. Our multi-award winning history provides strength to the category, as well as brand recognition. I believe the Micro Nursery range is a huge opportunity for all of our partners and retailers. This year, I’m most looking forward to the opportunity to meet with all our trade partners, whether they’re large or small, and being able to discuss how we can help them during the forthcoming year.

toyworld The business magazine with a passion for toys

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Countless Ways to Play! Imagine thousands of products spanning 16 categories!

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Show some love at London Toy Fair

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Countless Ways to Play! Toy World 139 Melissa & Doug | 0800 731 0578 | info@MelissaAndDoug.com


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Editorial Index Café UL G122 E125

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236 168 158 228 250 180 168 170 170 172 190 242 148 182 204 254 182 156, 188 176 190 192 172 174 174 192 184 184 236 194 206 194

Global Opportunities Golden Bear GP Flair Green Board Games Grossman Halilit IMC Infantino B Kids Interplay Jazwares John Adams Jumbo Just Play KD Toys Keycraft Kiddesigns Kidicraft Kids @ Play K’Nex Le Toy Van Learning Resources Lego Little Brian Little Concepts Magformers Make it Real Marbel Marvins Magic Melissa & Doug Micro Scooters Milly & Flynn

MTW Toys MV Sports Orchard Toys Paul Lamond Playmobil Plum Products Posh Paws Rainbow Designs Ravensburger ReCreation Sakar Sambro Schleich Simba Smoby Sinco Toys Smart Games Spin Master Stepping Stones Tactic Games Thames & Kosmos TKC Sales Tobar Tomy Trefl Trends Underground Toys University Games Vivid Vtech Wilton Bradley Winning Moves

248 196 166 196 198 198 242 200 160, 230 200 244 240 238 246 152 164 250 184 186 202 202 188 228 238 176 240 206 210 210 244 224

180 148 178 178 232 248 162 212 252 252 212 214 214 146 150, 154 218 208 222 254 218 220 220 150 222 246 230 186 216 226 234 224

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A B Gee Accentuate Alpha Animation Alpha Toys Arklu Asobi Bananagrams Bandai Bertoy Big Potato Bladez Brainstorm Cartamundi Casdon Character Options Cheatwell Games Chelford Chicco Clementoni Click DKL Eduk8 Worldwide Engino Epoch Making Toys Esdevium Fiesta Crafts Fundamentally Children Funrise Galt Geomag Gibsons

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NEW FOR 2017 OFFICIAL AND EXCLUSIVE DISTRIBUTOR OF GLOBBER AND AUTHENTIC SPORTS SCOOTERS IN THE UK

Visit London Toy Fair, Stand C50 to view Globber, No Rules and Muuwmi. Plum for SS17 last minute orders. Launch of the new POS board and gift box.

To request a catalogue or schedule an appointment email sales@plumproducts.com or call on 01522 7737136

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COLOURS BY PLUM ®

Visit Nuremberg Spielwarenmesse, Hall 7, Stand B28/30 and see what’s new for Plum®

plumplay.com 15/12/2016 13:14

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Toy World 141 Toyworld Full Page Template.indd 1

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SHOW FACTS • Toy Fair will be located at Olympia Grand and West Halls, Hammersmith Road, Kensington, London, W14 8UX • The fair will open its doors at 9.00am on Tuesday 24th January, and will stay open until 6.00pm each day, officially closing at 6.00pm on Thursday 26th January H80

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LONDON TOY FAIR

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Feature

Toy Trust

A year to celebrate with the Toy Trust Media Auctions, pin badges, anniversary raffles and a Tough Mudder are all part of the Toy Trust’s 25th anniversary. Toy World finds out what we can expect from the children’s charity in its celebratory year.

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t’s a new year, and the Toy Trust would like to thank everyone for their time, efforts and fundraising during 2016. 2017, however, marks a special year and the charity is hoping to raise more than ever before. The main fundraiser of the year will be the Big Cotswolds Challenge, for which Giving the Gift of Play will be the sole objective. Hospitals, and in particular play-therapy, will be the key beneficiaries of the industry’s tough challenge event. This year, the funds will once again be spread far and wide so that the benefits can be felt across the entire country. Those interested are advised to keep checking the Toy Trust bulletins or check out the BTHA website to see how they can get involved. As part of the 25th anniversary events, 2017 will also see an auction/raffle take place. This will be a chance to win prestigious gifts for the price of a raffle ticket. The first stage is gathering the prizes, and already the Toy Trust has work experience days at Disney, flights to New York, sailing trips and Disneyland Paris holidays. However, the company needs more to tempt for the ticket price, and small and large gifts will be gratefully accepted. Those who have something to donate should contact Nat Southworth or Matt Jones at the BTHA. A full list of prizes and who donated them will be available soon. This year’s Media Auction is the place to pick up a bargain in media for the year ahead, and as ever the Toy Trust is immensely grateful to all the advertisers who have given lots for visitors to bid for. The media auction is the second biggest fundraiser of the year, and in 2016 raised over £60,000 for the children’s causes that the Toy Trust supports. This year’s event takes place on the awards night at Toy Fair, but bids can be put forward from now until that time. Now that Christmas is well and truly behind us, this year’s Big Cotswold Challenge is just five months away. The challenge, complete with cycling, walking and the new Tough Mudder, will take place at Heythrop Park on 6th May, with all proceeds going towards Giving the Gift of Play. As the new extreme event, The Tough Mudder means working as a team is essential. It’s also on many people’s bucket lists; so already the places are going

fast. The cost for entrance to the event, including a place at the party, is £110 each, or £160 for those entering the Tough Mudder. Visitors to London Toy Fair should also check out the Toy Trust’s Silver Anniversary pin badge to help raise an additional £15,000 in funds towards children’s related causes. The pin-badge will include a special mention of the Toy Trust’s continuing message of Giving the Gift of Play, which underpins the events and fundraising throughout 2017. Badges will be on sale during Toy Fair at the main entrance and from the BTHA members lounge at a cost of £2.50. Companies can order a larger quantity such as 100s, 250s, and 500s, to sell or give to colleagues, customers or suppliers. Members can also help by donating the time of staff to help sell the badges during the three days at Olympia.

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2017 is set to be an exciting year for Simba Smoby UK, with the release of two ranges based on Cars 3 and Transformers 5: The Last Knight, plus a pre-school range based on Wissper, a 7-year-old girl who has the magic ability to talk to animals. Simba Dickie’s new Cars range allows boys to bring the magic of Cars 3 to life. The collection includes a full range of radio control cars, including Lightning McQueen, all of which are packed with features. New characters from the film start with the 1:32 scale, going up to 1:24 scale and ending at a 1:16 scale. Simba Smoby’s role-play lines include a wide range of work benches. The DIY Tool Belt includes three tools and a buildable lightning McQueen. The Mack Truck playset lets boys fi x up Lightning McQueen in a lights and sound Mack Truck, complete with tools and driving simulator. The V8 Driver lets boys play out their racing dreams and includes a smart phone holder, with an app available to download. The Cars 3 range will land in stores on 1st May, with the movie launching on 14th July. Transformers: The Last Knight lands in cinemas on 23rd June, and will be supported by a range of diecast, radio control cars and feature mechanic. Giant Robot Warriors are 1:18 scale and feature Bumblee Bee and Barricade. Ultimate RC Bumble Bee is a larger 1:12 scale and transforms from a radio control vehicle into Bumble Bee robot using a smart phone app. Transformers: Robots in Disguise continues to enjoy success on Cartoon Network, and CITV has new diecast vehicles including an Optimus Prime Trailer, which includes two diecast cars and a new two-pack with articulated Transformers action figure and diecast vehicle. Easter will see the launch of the Wissper range based on the popular programme, airing on Nick Jr and Milkshake. The toys perfectly

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capture the essence of Wissper and her animal friends, from an 8.5” doll and playsets that have 2-in1 transforming capabilities. For autumn, new larger playsets will be introduced, which include multiple play mechanics. A new 15” feature doll will also be available, which has three different sound phrases. The doll plays music when kids put the flute up to its mouth, and also says Wissper’s signature catchphrase if kids put the doll’s finger close to its mouth. Masha and The Bear is a global phenomenon and a YouTube sensation, ranked among the top five for global views. Airing on Boomerang and Cartoonito in the UK, Masha is growing in popularity and 2017 will see the introduction of new playsets, including the Birthday and Playground playsets and Ambulance Playset. Autumn will also see the introduction of an interactive Tickle Me Doll and two assortments of Animal Friends plush. Bob the Builder will have a new range of work benches and accessories to keep young builders busy. Autumn will see the introduction of three new work benches, including Bob’s Ready to Go Work Case. Included inside the work case are a set of tools and detached fi xture legs. By attaching the fi xtures to the bottom of the case, the Ready to Go Work Case transforms into a mobile workstation. With Bob the Builder role-play being among the best performing lines for the licensed property in 2016, favourites such as Bob’s Tool Belt will continue to be offered for 2017. Other lines from Smoby in 2017 include the popular Black & Decker work benches, ride-ons, outdoor toys and Quinny Push chairs. The popular Steffi and Evi continue to make bold fashion statements in 2017, offering attractive retail propositions.

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Cartamundi is planning some major announcements at Toy Fair. New product launches across entertainment and education will be on show in the shape of Shuffle and Fundels. Shuffle Monopoly Deal has proved to be one of the most popular games in the Shuffle line. Cartamundi’s product category brings the world’s best-known games and strongest licences to card games and combines them with digital technology. This means players can start playing without reading, thanks to the animated game guides in the free app. The app also offers an enhanced way of playing. Shuffle Monopoly Deal Cities takes the game to the next level by incorporating London’s best-loved landmarks and famous hotspots into the gameplay. The cards even include the nearest tube station to guide tourists directly to the landmarks. Following the success of its Paw Patrol Snap and Happy Families games, Cartamundi’s Paw Patrol Twist game is on its way. In the Rescue Memo game, players have to bring together a full Paw Patrol team to win. Fans can even play when the lights are out, as the cards in the Rescue Memo game are glow

in the dark. Paw Patrol Twist also features a four-in-a-row game, based on the different Paw Patrol badges. Both games star the team of rescue dogs and their leader Ryder from the hit show, which airs in more than 160 countries and territories globally. The new Fundels educational card games range takes the fact that human brains are 68% more active when they’re having fun and adapts it to a series of card games that offer fun as well as learning for children. The Fundels range combines entertaining and colourful games and packaging with themes such as language, conceptual thinking and mathematics. Fundels will be available in two formats. The flagship premium games have been created to fit with and follow the National Curriculum’s specific key stages. They offer game rules and pack text in a special dyslexia font. The Fundels games will also be available in a pocket money-priced flash card version. Visitors to Cartamundi’s stand at Toy Fair can also expect to see a wide range of new and established entertainment brands — from film, TV, music and more.

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MV Sports will be showcasing nine new licences, plus refreshes to another seven properties and an array of product launches, including foot to floor and battery operated ride-ons. Cars 3 will be represented in 2017 with a range including a selection of Lightning McQueen Electric and Foot to Floor Ride-ons, which span multiple price points. The hero product is the authentic Lightning McQueen 6V Electric Ride-on, which is large enough for any child to feel like a real racing driver. Pre-school boys’ favourites such as Thomas and Fireman Sam feature eye-catching graphics and bold colourways. Thomas and Friends will be expanded with the new giant 12v battery operated ride-on, featuring lights and sounds. The ride-on comes with realistic Thomas moulded features and measures over a metre long. In the evergreen girls’ arena, Disney Princess and My Little Pony are having a makeover for 2017, ensuring that the product ranges stay relevant to each successive generation of fans. Both properties have also been strengthened with the addition of a 16” bike for Princess, and a 14” bike for My Little Pony, allowing more fans to indulge in these classic properties. Joining this duo, MV Sports will also be bringing some new licences to the wheeled market, notably Moana, Animal Jam and Beauty

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and The Beast. Each range features a selection of bikes, scooters, skates and helmets which are differentiated by bold designs, on-trend features and themed accessories. Paw Patrol continues to delight after a record-breaking 2016, and MV Sports is proud to introduce a girls’ collection, featuring Skye and Everest. This includes a Foot to Floor Ride-on, Mini 6V Quad, Sit ‘n’ Scoot, Scootin’ Suitcase, 12” bike and accessories. MV’s own-brand portfolio expands in 2017 with a refresh on Stunted. This features a selection of upgraded stunt scooters, plus the addition of new Skateboards and Ramps. Twisted, Wired, Electrick and Bored will also be showcased at Toy Fair, featuring solid designs and bold colourways. For older boys, the Star Wars saga continues into 2017 with two ranges to choose from. MV Sports’ Stormtrooper range has been completely revamped to feature new graphics. Batman continues to outpace all other boys’ wheeled toy licences. Visitors to Toy Fair shouldn’t miss the company’s new 6V Batmobile, showcased for the first time at the fair. An assortment of blockbusters, Guardians of the Galaxy, Transformers 5 and Power Rangers, are released in 2017, and all ranges feature an array of bikes, scooters, skateboards, helmets and accessories.

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2017 will see the debut of new supply and distribution company, Sinco Toys, at London Toy Fair. The company will be offering a range of new stand-out products to the market, and is looking to make new connections in the toy industry. The company will be exhibiting its range of plush Wobbleez. With no batteries required, the dog uses momentum to walk along behind the child when they pull on its leash. Available as a Golden Retriever, Dalmatian or Shepherd Dog, the companions will be the focus of dedicated TV advertising, showing back to back, also accompanied by the new Zookiez. Featuring classic snap bands in all four limbs, Zookiez are able to cling to wherever they are placed with ease. The plush animals can cling to a child’s arm without the risk of falling off, adding to the play value. Children can straighten out the legs and it will lay down. The concept is individual and is available in the style of a panda, brown bear, white cat and two breeds of dog. Specially designed marketing support is available to accompany the range, including stoppers, shelf strips, toppers and shelf banners. Zookiez Jr will also make an appearance on the stand. Cupcake Surprise was the big hit in Europe in 2016, and Sinco holds the distribution rights in the UK. The range of Cupcakes Surprise started with an assortment of 12 different dresses and six different smells. The second half of 2016 saw the launch of series two, with six new dresses added. Mid-2017 will see the release of a whole new range, featuring new cupcakes and dresses. With the success it has already received, the range has been extended with Cupcake Surprise, which features many different styles and price points. The beginning of next year will see the release of Popcake Surprise, which will be TV supported. Also in the first quarter of the year, there will be the Tutzie Cupcake Surprise with colourful hair and dresses. This item is included with a tray to display the Cupcake. Spring will also see the release of a 12 assortment Wedding version, which will include a Cupcake Surprise. Mini Cupcakes Surprise will also be introduced next year, as well as an assortment of three playsets. The whole cupcake range will be TV supported all year round. Sinco Toys will also be distributing Zorbz Water Balloons, the selfsealing balloons. Using Insta-Seal technology, the water balloons fill faster and seal themselves, allowing children to have more fun. Children can place the neck of the Zorbz on the nozzle and fill with water. When removed, the neck of the balloon will automatically seal itself. The balloons will be available in packs of 75.

Tomy Stand Gallery 520 01271 336 155 | tomy.co.uk Tomy’s 2017 portfolio holds much to discover across all ages and categories, including award-winning baby sensory toys from Lamaze, pre-school toys from Tomy, arts & crafts toys from Aquadoodle, action figures from Pokémon and a high quality range of Britains farm models for older collectors. In 2016, Tomy unveiled Lamaze’s new brand identity and year-round integrated marketing plan, comprising Coleen Rooney’s celebrity endorsement with a targeted digital and social media marketing campaign. Lamaze will be returning to Toy Fair with an abundance of award-winning products and new collections. Tomy will be showcasing new Clip ‘N’ Go characters as baby essential travel companions and new activity toys that are great for gifting. During Toy Fair Tomy will share its retail activation plans for 2017. Tomy is known for developing toddler toys for hands-on fun, with lots of characters and activities. Hide ‘N’ Squeak Eggs still remains a classic top-selling toy, with one million units sold in the last three years. Tomy is also well-known for creating bath toys, including best-seller Foam Cone Factory that quickly became the UK’s No.1 bath toy and contributed to nearly 25% of the bath toy category’s growth in the last 12 months. Leveraging its experience, Tomy is very excited to share the rebranding of its Tomy toddler and bath toys range. In the games category, Tomy will continue to develop its collection of quirky family fun games in 2017. Following the success of Greedy Granny, the company will unveil its new mischievous game Fizzy Dizzy Hippo. Players must take it in turns to spin the umbrella and watch as Dizzy Hippo’s belly grows. The winner is the first player who can make Dizzy Hippo pop and let out a big burp. Tomy’s Pop Up Pirate still remains one of the top five best-selling children’s games, 30 years after its creation. Fans of the Pop Up Pirate are invited to visit Tomy’s stand to discover Pirate Pete and its new game. With over 15 years of mess free fun using pilot ink technology, and with a strong satisfaction rate, Aquadoodle is expanding its range with the My First Aquadoodle Little Puppy. The brand aims to maintain its leadership position in mechanical design with the launch of two new licensed mats, My Little Pony and Cars, and the launch of the Zoo/Dinosaur themed Mini Travel range for mess-free fun on the go. Tomy’s Pokémon range achieved record-breaking sales in the second half of 2016, following the launch of worldwide craze Pokémon Go. 2017 will see Tomy unveil many new characters, toys and plush, supported by a large-scale integrated campaign consisting of marketing, digital, PR, social media and in-store programmes. The company will also show its new animal property, Ania, and the Molang property from Korea.

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Fun for kids of all ages! Visit us at London Toyfair, Grand Hall, Stand F10 For more information please contact us: T 03334 050120 E: info@ugames.uk.com www.university-games.co.uk

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Copyright Š 2016 PlayMonster LLC All rights reserved. Yeti in My Spaghetti and Hey, Get Out of My Bowl! are trademarks of PlayMonster LLC. Manufactured for and distributed under license by Š 2017 University Games (UK) Ltd.


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Stand D20 01779 478 078 keycraft.eu Keycraft, now in its 42nd year of trading under the original ownership, is an importer and wholesaler of children’s impulse buy and pocket money toys and gifts. The company sources and develops toys and gifts that combine creativity, integrity and commerciality. This year, Keycraft will be located on a bigger stand with more room to give better demonstrations. Visitors will find the company’s extensive ranges of pocket money and impulse buy toys, along with a new gondola display stand, designed to be adaptable for any retail environment. The Living Nature brand is firmly established in the market and is a favourite with many retailers across the globe. All animals come with

a hang tag detailing facts specific to that animal and its habitat, providing educational fun for children. There are two display options available. Keycraft purchased the entire share capital of Wizard Limited, founder of Shrinkles, on 1st September 2016. Shrinkles is a household brand name, and has been sold worldwide for 43 years. Keycraft has now moved production facilities to its head office to ensure that products are still made 100% in the UK. The developed brand will be accompanied by new retail packaging and a FSDU, complete with a video screen. Developed solely by Keycraft, Gogopo is a new brand of funky stationery products for children. Brightly coloured, eye-catching and

highly collectible, the Gogopo range can provide opportunities for any retailer. This brand will be sold as a package in a 42 pocket floor stand display unit. Magnoidz is a new brand of science-related toys for children with inquisitive minds. Launching at the trade shows in January/ February 2017 with seven new science experiment kits, this brand will see more developments and additions continuously throughout the year. Each of the new experiment kits comes with a full colour instruction and activity book.

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Staccups Š Seven Towns Ltd, 2016. All rights reserved. Manufactured for and distributed under license by Š 2017 University Games (UK) Ltd.


Feature

Sinco

Let this sinc in Jonika Kinchin spoke to Daniel Smith, European account manager at Sinco Toys about the company’s recent venture into the toy industry and its exciting new range of licensed and collectible products. two different breeds of dog. They will also be available in Zookiez Juniors form. Both the Wobbleez and the Zookiez will benefit from back to back TV advertising in 2017. Finally, Zorbz water balloons incorporate technology so that once filled with water, the balloons will seal themselves – giving obvious benefits to parents who don’t want water spilled everywhere.

What are the key attributes of these ranges?

Can you tell us a bit about the products and ranges you will be distributing in 2017? All of the products we are unveiling at Toy Fair offer something new to the toy market. Sinco has the distribution rights to the Cupcake Surprise range for the UK. The dolls come in scented cupcakes, which make for a decorative storage unit. The cupcakes come in six different scents; strawberry, vanilla, grape, chocolate, lemon and peanut butter, with 12 different dolls to collect. The range gives girls an opportunity to collect the dolls as well as role-play with them and dress them up, so the versatility of the product really drew us in. We’ll also be handling the distribution for the Wobbleez, which are plush animals that will walk behind a child when its lead is pulled. There are no batteries required as the momentum of the pulling motion makes the legs move. The animals currently available are a golden retriever, dalmatian or shepherd dog. In addition, Zookiez are another variety of plush , which incorporate slap bands into the toys and enable them to hold on to surfaces and children’s arms. Children can also straighten out the slap band so it becomes a regular plush toy, as a panda, brown bear, white cat or

What makes the Wobbleez stand out is that there are no batteries required whatsoever, so I’m sure parents will see the appeal of that. Zookiez also bring a new element to the plush category, and the incorporation of the wellknown snap bands will also add a nostalgic feature. The Zorbz water balloons will be ideal for the summer period. They come in packs of 75. All of the products have their individual attributes, but I think they add up to a really strong and compelling overall selection.

What are the main benefits of the products for toy retailers? Each range offers something completely new to retailers. The price points of both the Wobbleez and the Zookiez are strengths on their own, as nothing else currently on the marketplace can really compare. The Cupcake Surprise range fits into numerous categories and therefore offer many different play opportunities for children. The packaging is ideal for an attractive display which will instantly catch the eye of young girls. The collectible element also means girls will be coming back for more. The Zorbz water balloons sell themselves due to the fact that they tie themselves. They will also be available in specially designed CDU’s.

Where else will you be exhibiting? As well as debuting at Toy Fair in January, we will also be exhibiting at Nuremberg and Autumn Fair, where we are planning to reveal products we’ve been working on with some very strong licences. We will also have a stand at the Hotel Grand Stamford at the Hong Kong Fair in January.

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What are the Company’s aims for 2017? We want to make our name as a brand that creates innovative and high quality toys. We know that the only way to build a fantastic brand is to have fantastic products, so we will make sure that every product we distribute will be of the highest quality. We also want to make sure we offer a variety of generic products and licensed products at the right price point. In particular, we want kids to really fall in love with the Zookiez and the Wobbleez.

When will stock of each range be available? All ranges will be available mid-February.

What consumer marketing activity will there be to support the respective launches? There will be TV advertising for Wobbleez, Zookiez and the Cupcake Surprise range. We’re relying on retailer feedback and support for the Zorbz water balloons.


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Face-to-face

Chicco

Small screen success Mitch Levene, managing director of Chicco tells Jonika Kinchin about how successful the company’s TV campaigns have been, how he feels 2016 has gone and what’s in store for the New Year. Were you happy with Chicco’s performance in the toy space in 2016?

Which new products will you be introducing to the toy range in 2017?

2016 has been another fantastic year for Chicco, where we have witnessed a fourth consecutive year of double-digit growth overall. In toys we were particularly strong, up a staggering 20% year on year. This is the result of an exciting year in the toy space with the launch of new additions to our popular Fit ‘N Fun and Turbo Team ranges. We also took our toys to TV for the first time during the summer, which was then followed up with further TV investment in the lead up to Christmas.

2017 will see the arrival of two new additions to our ever-popular Fit ‘N Fun range: Jump & Fit and Mr. Ring hoopla toy. Also new is Sherlock the Detective Dog, with its clever built-in sensor, aiding babies in learning to walk, as well as Sam the Mole Pop Up, which encourages children to pick up new languages. For kids with a need for speed there is the Bobby Buggy turbo toy, and for the foodies out there, the Food Truck 2-in-1. To soothe babies as they sleep is the Lullaby Sheep, and topping off the 2017 collection is the licensed Mrs. Potts Electronic Tea Set.

Which products and ranges performed well for you last year? Goal League continued to be a hero product for us this year, demonstrating 300% uplift during TV. The other two products featured in the advert, Jungle Rugby and RoboChicco, also performed well.

Did the autumn TV campaign drive the level of business you anticipated in Q4? After taking our Fit ‘N Fun range to TV, we saw a huge uplift in sales, particularly for Goal League. With the pre-Christmas activity we recently completed we are set to report a 20% increase in Chicco toy sales for the end of 2016.

What do you see as the key opportunities for growth for Chicco in the toy market next year? At the start of 2016 we launched the Fun of Development - an umbrella concept that expresses the very essence of Chicco – to create products, which promote fun and happiness at every developmental stage. The introduction of this concept allowed Chicco the potential to position itself as a key provider of toys, which promote both fun and growth simultaneously and it is within this space that we have the biggest opportunity to grow.

Do you plan to extend the TV activity in 2017? In light of the success of both campaigns this year, we will aim to invest further in TV in 2017. For our Fit ‘N Fun range, we plan to tap into topical events such as the Six Nations, as we did with the Euros in 2016, to maximise awareness of our Jungle Rugby toy at a time when rugby is at the forefront of consumers’ minds. We also have lots of exciting new additions to the toy range in autumn/winter 2017, so we will be creating a campaign which promotes the key launches in the run up to Christmas – a crucial period for retailers.

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Alpha Animation flies into the UK

FOR FURTHER DETAILS CONTACT MARK HYNDMAN ON

01293 804599

2017 will see the launch of Alpha Animation into the UK market for the very first time, spearheaded by a vast array of properties and brands that have already enjoyed success around the globe.

Super Wings is a pre-school property that will be televised in the UK on Cartoonito from February. In this animated series, hero character Jett is a fun-loving jet plane that delivers packages to children around the world. His team, Super Wings, are a group of planes that can transform into robots, with characters including rescue helicopter Dizzy, expert navigator Jerome and gadget guru Donnie. The show combines proven pre-school brand elements, and delivers a positive storyline that teaches children the importance of friendship and teamwork. It also educates children about multi-culturalism and geography, as well as developing problem-solving skills and an awareness of cultural diversity. The characters have high appeal to both boys and girls, meaning it has a gender neutral appeal. It also touches on vehicle play which is a proven play pattern for the pre-school sector. Alpha will support the launch with a heavyweight TV advertising, social media and marketing campaign. Product is expected on shelf in second half of 2017.

Drone Force is a range of kid friendly drones that are positioned as toys not tech. They are designed to introduce younger children (6+) to drones, and big things are expected from the range. The creature-inspired drones all include durable cages for maximum crash protection, easy-to-use controllers with intuitive buttons and levers, as well as auto take-off and landing for children beginning to learn to fly. The drones have different creature aesthetics to deliver the wow factor. Each different drone within the collection has an individual feature or play pattern and offers a play experience to challenge flyers to missions beyond just flying. From Arachno Tricks, Stunts and Morphzilla Drive>Morph>Fly drones, to the Raptor Attack and the Angler Attack with Electro-Luminescence. The core DNA of the range consists of the exoskeleton cages, for protection and durability. The design features include one-touch take-off and landing, making it much easier for young children to actually do some flying instead of trying to work out advanced control systems. Intuitive controllers also assist in flying.

The key appeal of the drones is that they are toys meant for children, and while a lot of advanced drones have cameras and complicated wi-fi enabled features, the range is designed so children get the feel that they are using an advanced drone, but it is easy for them to use and play with.

Also launching in the UK will be the current top anime series in Asia, Infinity Nado. The animation series follows a mysterious phenomenon which happened 15 years ago, where somewhere on the planet earth, a gyro-type tower suddenly falls from the sky, along with 20 Infinity Nado players inside. The story focuses on the adventures of four Infinity Nado players, Jin, Dawn, Davis and Cecilia. Together they form a team to take on the top players of the Infinity Nado tower, which is where the play value comes in. The range includes the only battling top product that splits into two further tops when battled, and can keep on battling at high speeds. They give a powerful spin and offer the ability to perform technical stunts. There are two ways to play, arena battling and high wire stunt fighting. The brand is driven by superior innovation and performance, and will also be launching into Europe in 2017.

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Top Licenses. Innovative Products. Offering a wide range of youth electronics products

KIDdesigns/eKids, a supplier of cutting edge electronics with over 60 years’ experience manufacturing, marketing and distributing “Best in Class” Consumer Electronics in the USA, is now operating throughout Europe, Middle East and Africa. Working in collaboration with top licensors such as Disney, Lucas, Marvel, DreamWorks, Universal and more, KIDdesigns/eKids brings kids’ favorite characters to life on innovative electronic toys and Youth Electronic products featuring characters from Frozen, Cars, Spider-Man, Star Wars, Shopkins, Minions and more!

London Toy Fair – Stand B150 Nuremburg Toy Fair – Hall 12 stand i17 All marks are trademarks of their respective owners.

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Face-to-face

Interplay

Sowing the seeds of success Toy World caught up with Ross Ainsworth, Interplay’s managing director, to find out how 2016 has been for the company, and how it plans to soar to new heights in 2017.

Was 2016 a good year for Interplay? 2016 was an extraordinary year in many ways, and an exciting one for Interplay. Over the past couple of years we have worked hard to re-position ourselves, investing heavily in staff and product development. It was really pleasing to see these efforts pay off with a huge uplift in sales.

Which products and ranges performed particularly well for you last year? My Fairy Garden’s brand value grew spectacularly in both domestic and international markets, and the hero line, Fairy Garden, became one of the year’s top selling toys. Interplay’s Fab Lab brand also came to the fore, building on its successful launch in 2015. Sales of the leading line, Glitter Tattoos, was remarkable. At one point in November, both Fairy Garden and Glitter Tattoos were ranked in the top 12 best-selling toys on Amazon - an outstanding performance for a business our size. Fuzzikins Craft is a new brand which we launched last year, and we’re delighted with its performance in both sales and customer reviews. We have expanded the range for 2017, and will be investing heavily in TV advertising and marketing promotions.

What do you see as Interplay’s key attributes? Our staff are key to Interplay’s success, and we have a hard-working and talented team with a clear vision to be a design-led company positioned at the quality end of the toy market. Also key is our sound commercial understanding of the needs of our retail partners, and to work with them in terms of positioning, pricing and promotions to create in-store demand.

How important is it to have a particular passion for the product ranges which you develop in-house? We have real passion for creativity and quality of design, no matter what range we develop. This is important as it challenges us to go the extra mile to be the best we can. Our mission is to develop toys that are credible and deliver positive play value. I believe we achieve this and create toys that are unique and beautifully designed.

How successful was the TV sponsorship activity which you ran with Disney Channel in 2016?

What do you see as the key opportunities for growth for Interplay in the toy market in 2017?

The Disney Junior sponsorship campaign for My Fairy Garden was extremely effective for brand awareness and brand building. The campaign ran each day from July to the end of September, during the popular fairytale hour, and the idents were over 20 OTS for our primary audience. The package with Disney also included a 600TVR campaign that ran concurrently with the sponsorship, and the two combined created a very hard-hitting and successful campaign.

2017 looks very exciting indeed. Our previews with major customers indicate the momentum gained in 2016 will continue building in 2017, and we are forecasting significant increases in brand revenues for the domestic market. However, I believe the biggest opportunity will be in the international sales, where the demand for My Fairy Garden lines is looking very strong after an encouraging introduction to key territories last year.

How do you plan to extend your consumer marketing activity in 2017? Interplay’s 2017 marketing plans include heavyweight TV campaigns for our four main brands, online and offline PR, engagement with the consumer through the official brand website and social media campaigns. As always, we are going to be producing high quality visual and written content, including lifestyle photography and sizzle videos not only to drive consumer engagement but also to assist our retailer partners to attract more customers.

Which new products will you be introducing to the range in 2017? Over 30% of our portfolio on view at London Toy Fair will either be new or improved products, and each of our top brands will have exciting new additions. My Fairy Garden will be expanded to include five new lines, incuding entry level kits, a beautiful Fairy Watering Can and a grow and play Unicorn Meadow. Fuzzikins Craft also gets a make-over and two new kits including a Camper Van Carry Case. New ranges we are introducing include My Mermaid Lagoon – three detailed playsets for kids to create their own mermaid terrariums.

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Stand D89 01268 567 317 poshpawsinternational.co.uk 2017 is looking to be another strong year for Posh Paws, as the range includes new movie launches, best-selling collectibles and new backpack designs. The first blockbuster movie to hit cinemas and shelves next year is the live-action adaptation of Disney’s Beauty and the Beast. Posh Paws’ plush range will feature Beast and Belle in a variety of sizes, as well as a full cast of characters in its Beauty and the Beast Tsum Tsum Collection. Easter will see the release of the latest Power Rangers movie, and Posh Paws is offering the licensed plush range. The Minions are back this summer, along with all the family in Despicable Me 3. The film features existing favourites Gru, Agnes and Fluffy, as well as new characters and new outfits which will be reflected in Posh Paws’ Despicable Me 3 plush collection. The new range includes basic plush in a variety of sizes and styles, as well a small range of soft toys with sounds. A new concept for the franchise will also be revealed at the show. Lightning McQueen is racing his way back onto the big screen in July for Cars 3. Cars is one of the top boys’ character franchises, and the new Cars 3 plush range will feature Lightning McQueen and his friends, as well as the new generation of racers. Using new fabrics, the plush reflects the characters from the film. From the racing track to the Marvel Universe, Posh Paws has a new range of Marvel plush to support Marvel Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 and Spiderman: Homecoming. The new Guardians soft toy collection features characters from the film, including Groot, Rocket Racoon, Star Lord and Baby

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Groot. In addition, Spiderman: Homecoming will be in cinemas this summer, and Posh Paws has a range of Spiderman and Iron Man plush to support the movie, along with the classic Avengers characters. At the show, Posh Paws will also be revealing a new Star Wars premium plush collection. The line will feature classic characters, as well as popular characters from The Force Awakens, such as BB8. The appetite for collectible Star Wars merchandise continues to grow, and the company believes that this latest line of plush will appeal to avid fans of the franchise. In addition, Posh Paws will be launching a new Toddler Moana Plush Toy to coincide with the Moana DVD release. The new toy sits in line with its Moana Soft Toy range which Posh Paws launched in November, and includes a Moana Doll, Maui, Hei Hei, the Kakamoras and Pua the pig. Posh Paws will be showcasing its new Mickey and the Roadster Racers Plush toy collection, in line with the Disney Junior channel launch of the Mickey and the Roadster Racers show. The range will include all key characters from the show in their racing outfits. Minnie is also starring in the new 11-minute TV series, Minnie’s Happy Helpers. Minnie and Daisy will appear in a variety of outfits as they attend different emergencies in Hot Dog Hills. A new line will also be launched this autumn/ winter in the shape of Disney’s first Latina princess, Elena. Other best-selling Posh Paws lines such as Lion Guard, Disney Princess and Tangled will all see new characters and looks revealed. This will include classic characters such as Rapunzel, Pascal, Simba, Timon and Pumba, to support the characters that

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feature in the Disney Channel shows, as well as the launch of the Tangled TV Series. The Tsum Tsum collectible craze will continue throughout the year with Posh Paws releasing new Disney Tsum Tsum characters each month. Available in mini, medium and large, the 2017 Tsum Tsum will include new collections that will coincide with new movie releases such as Cars and Marvel, as well as classic characters such as Muppets, Aristocats and Star Wars Phantom Menace. The company will also be launching a new range of licensed back to school and plush backpacks. The range will see new product for Animal Jam and Despicable Me 3, as well as hot properties in the TV world including Powerpuff Girls, Teletubbies, Thunderbirds, Care Bears, Disney and Sesame Street. The backpack collections bring a variety of different styles including bags with sound, and there will be something on show to suit all ages and pockets.

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Discover our new educational card games!

Based on UK National Curriculum!

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Face-to-face

Kiddesigns

KIDdesigns heads to the UK Toy World spoke to Ravi Mashru, managing director EMEA (Ray Consultancy), who is spearheading the launch of KIDdesigns International LLC throughout the EMEA, to find out more about the company’s aims for 2017 Can you give us a bit of background on the history of the company?

Where will retailers be able to view the 2017 range?

KIDdesigns is part of a group that includes SDI Technologies Inc., which first started trading 60 years ago, manufacturing a range of high quality audio products and becoming one of the top audio companies in North America. Capitalizing on its expertise in electronics, the group initiated a highly successful line of Youth Electronics for Playskool in the early 1990’s, which included Mr. Mike, which had been featured in the original Disney film Toy Story. Over the next decade, KIDdesigns evolved into a tier one role play toy manufacturer, securing high-profile licences from Mattel and Disney, with big sellers such as the Barbie Cash Register. A key transformation took place in 2009, when the company took the decision to return to its roots in the Youth Electronics category, in recognition of the dramatic age compression affecting the toy market, with kids moving into electronics at increasingly younger ages. The company invested heavily in its design and production capabilities, with the aim of becoming the leading player in the US market. The company also broadened its licensing base, extending its partnership with Disney, Marvel, Lucas, Universal, DreamWorks, Hasbro and others, capturing a leading market share throughout North America in the process.

We’ll be exhibiting at the London Toy Fair for the first time in the company’s history, on stand B150. We’ll also be showing in Nuremberg in Hall 12, stand I-17. We have an amazing line-up for 2017. Our portfolio of licences is exhaustive, and covers just about every base; major properties for next year include Star Wars, Cars, Power Rangers, Frozen Minions, Trolls, Shopkins, My Little Pony, Moana, Doc McStuffins, Elena of Avalor and Descendants. In addition, there is a wide range of Marvel product, including Spider-Man, Guardians of the Galaxy, Iron Man and Captain America.

What presence has KIDdesigns had in the European market? Up to now, KIDdesigns has achieved prominent placement at key retailers in the UK and Ireland, but has had more limited distribution in other EU countries. However, all that is set to change in 2017. We’re looking to replicate our tremendous success from the US market, so we’ll be supplying the UK and Ireland on a domestic basis for the first time, and carrying inventory locally for the first time. I have set up a brand new European headquarters for myself and my team, which will be based in Leicester, to focus on these new efforts. I am confident that this new arrangement will not only enhance our opportunities with our existing retail partners, but also open new doors with retail accounts who prefer to buy domestically and want to have the option to replenish stocks locally.

Which product ranges will you be focusing on in the UK market? Product-wise, KIDdesigns offers an extensive selection of youth electronic lines including a range of quality Walkie Talkies – the regular models operate up to 150 metres, while the longdistance models work up to an incredible 450 metres. There is also a broad choice of MP3 microphones; singalong boom boxes; a digital recording studio; digital journal; voice changers; alarm clocks; Bluetooth speakers and a huge range of headphones. We’ll also be introducing a licensed selfie microphone, which features KIDdesigns’ proprietary stream -catching technology, which works with an app, allowing the user to record music from any source and to sing along to create a video. The packaging includes a try-me function across the whole range, which is a fantastic feature to aid sales.

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What are you aiming to achieve in your new role? First and foremost, I’ll be working closely with Barry Harding to strengthen our partnerships with our existing UK and Irish customers, as well as starting a dialogue with those retailers who haven’t collaborated with us previously. I have also appointed a new sales director for France and Belgium, as we will also be looking to supply these markets on a direct to retail basis. In addition, we’ll be working closely with the US team to make sure we have the right licences for the UK and European market, and I’ll be looking to appoint distributors in key European territories. Having worked in the youth consumer electronics sector for the past decade, I’m hugely excited to be representing a company with such a fantastic range of products and such a strong portfolio of licences. My goal is to have its products available in all the key retail accounts this year, with the aim of invigorating this product category and enabling consumers to have access to a fresh product line-up.


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Stand E39 020 8643 0320 flairplc.co.uk GP Flair will reveal another bumper crop of new brands at Toy Fair, whilst the firm’s existing awardwinning ranges have much to look forward to too. The Shopkins brand is still a firm favourite with kids, and Flair will celebrate with the launch of a new party theme as part of Season 7. New playsets will mark the launch that sees 140+ party-themed Shopkins characters to collect. The new collection, together with new Shoppies, will be released to market in time for Toy Fair, and is expected to be one of the most popular to date. Also on display at the show will be a snapshot of Season 8. Shopkins Happy Places and its dolls house play pattern were released in autumn 2016 with success. As the first property under the Happy Places banner, this new way to enjoy Shopkins has captured the imaginations of girls across the globe. At Toy Fair there will be a first sight of a new licence for Happy Places. Launching in February, Glimmies are magical characters that glow in kids’ cupped hands, and when placed in the dark make their first appearance. At Toy Fair, retailers will see new waves of Glimmies characters with additional features, for launch in July. The new Glimwheel also launches in July and allows three Glimmies fairies to enjoy a Ferris wheel ride, while also providing the perfect play and display solution. Girls can also take their Glimmies to the Glimtree. Once inside the tree, the Glimmies will light up and create an enchanting forest glow. The playset also features hooks which children can hang their Glimhouses onto. A whole new collection will join the Pet Parade range as the Ponies theme is introduced in autumn. Eight different breeds will be available to collect, each with a brushable mane and tail, a magnet on its muzzle, customised hooves and the signature Pet

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Parade joystick. Children can start their collection with the single or twin packs, whilst two playsets offer an ideal higher ticket purchase. Packaged in a try-me window box, the Carry Along Stable is a portable playset with several accessories and a mirror included. Also new is the Pony Ranch Playset, which features a spinning training tree, a feeding area with a bowl, swinging stable doors, a grooming area and extra accessories for extended play - not to mention an exclusive pony. Turtles will see new waves of action figures to support Series 5 of the TV programme, Tales of the Teenage Mutant Turtles, including Super Shredder, Monster Hunters, Bebop and Rocksteady. A WWE Mash Up will also take place with hybrids of Turtles as classic and contemporary superstars of the ring. For younger turtle fans, the successful Half Shell Heroes collection will take on a safari theme, with figures and playsets inspired by the wilds of the savannah. Also in the boys’ aisle will be the launch of Ben 10, with figures, playsets and role-play accessories, including two Omnitrix watches. The Grossery Gang will also experience two new series for 2017. Flair’s Doc McStuffins range is evolving to match the new Baby Nursery within Toy Hospital theme from the TV series. At the heart of this new collection is the Baby Lil’ Nursery Pals assortment of four babies dressed in plush onesies. With the Get Better Baby Cece, kids can take her temperature, examine her with the light and sound stethoscope, feed her with her bottle, and soothe her with the clip-on dummy. The hero of the Baby collection is the Baby Checkup All-in-One Nursery. This large playset is packed full of features, multiple play areas, light and sound, storage areas and more. GP Flair’s Cool Create division will also see

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substantial growth in 2017. Fans of the popular Cool Cardz will be coveting the new range of design studios. My Little Pony, Shopkins and a generic Design Studio will see girls creating their own ID cards, party invites, special messages and more. Also expanding on the success of the Shaker Maker range is the new Shaker Baker, taking the successful shaking and making into food play. IDO3D will push the boundaries of creativity even further with the new Formula 4D, which allows kids to create or clone any small items. Combining creative play with collectability, creativity and role-play, Shimmer Wings is another one to watch at Toy Fair this year. These fairies have a seasonal theme, inspiring children to match their designs to the changing seasons. Their wings can be decorated with glitter, gems, fabric, stickers and more, and each fairy comes with a sprite for added value. Girls can also decorate their own fairy wings in the same design as their Shimmer Wing fairy.

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2017 WILL BE FULL OF GREAT NEWS FOR The 2017 Geomag line now fits onto more retail shelves than ever before. New PANELS range, New COLOR range, New PRO-L range

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Easter 2017

TV Campaign!

The expert’s choice

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Balcony 501 - from Tuesday 24th January to Thursday 26th January.

CONTACT US

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Stand G65 0330 400 4162 accentuategames.com Accentuate, which was successfully funded by Peter Jones in the BBC Dragon’s Den in 2015, will be showcasing all versions of its guess-the-accent party game. New German and French language editions of Accentuate will be revealed at London Toy Fair. The aim was to create new versions of the game for these two new foreign markets rather than to simply translate the existing game. The new editions were developed after commissioning a study on French and German regional accents, working with language experts from both countries. The company also enlisted the Honorary Consul of the German Consulate in Liverpool. In the game, players read aloud a film quote in a randomly-selected accent, which their teammates then have to guess in order to score points. Each edition has 90 Accent Cards, with 30 different accents repeated three times.

The French edition comprises of 12 French accents and 18 international, while the German version has 13 German regional accents and 17 international. The film quotes have also been taken from different films for each country – in the French edition, around half the quotes are from French movies, while the German game has approximately a third of quotes coming from famous German films. All the accents are graded on levels of difficulty like the UK and USA versions.

Bananagrams Stand E115 020 7298 9500 bananagrams.com Bananagrams will be showcasing two new additions at London Toy Fair. The first, Bananagrams Party, is a spin on the classic anagram game. It gives the receiving player the power over their opponent, making them play without using their thumbs or do a lap around the table. Each action causes mayhem while players race to use all their little tiles and complete their own grids. My First Bananagrams is a new game designed to help little ones’ vocabulary. The early-learners’ version differs from the original family word game with colourful lower-case letters and unique double-letter tiles. It’s designed to make it easier for mini-wordsmiths to race to complete their word grid. Designed to cater to a wide range of abilities, the 10 curriculum-based mini games are designed to become more challenging as confidence and vocabulary grow. My First Bananagrams includes new double-tiles with vowel-teams, word families and digraphs, which can help little ones as they learn to read and spell. It also has a distinct ripening green banana-shaped pouch. Bananagrams has sold more than seven million copies in more than 30 countries globally since launching in 2006. The company can count the cast of ITV’s Downton Abbey, Dame Judi Dench and Scarlett Johansson as its fans.

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Stand Gallery 600 020 8324 6160 bandai.co.uk

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Miraculous: Tales of Ladybug and Cat Noir debuted on the Disney Channel in 2015, and became its number one show. Spring will see the free to air launch of this popular animated show on POP, as well as the new toy line, which will feature fashion dolls, role-play accessories and action and feature figures. Bandai will also be continuing its distribution partnership with Famosa. The collectible mini doll brand Pinypon will see a Pirates and Mermaid theme released in the summer, including a new series of interchangeable Pinypon figures, as well as new vehicles and playsets. New to the nurturing range is Nenuco Likes to Cuddle, an interactive doll which encourages girls to be the best mother in the world by completing simple tasks, with the goal of lighting up the symbols on the doll’s chest. Monchhichi, Finding Dory and the company’s Banpresto import collection will also be on display at the show.

Power Rangers will be arriving in cinemas on 24th March – the property’s first big screen outing since 1997. Bandai is releasing a full range of toys based on the movie from 1st January, which will be supported by its own dedicated marketing campaign. Summer will see the launch of the new TV series, Power Rangers Ninja Steel, which will see the Power Rangers learn to master their arsenal of Throwing Stars, Zords and Megazords, each made of legendary Ninja Steel. The new toy range, covering action figures, role-play and the new Mega Morph segment, will be unveiled for the first time at London’s Toy Fair. The launch of Ninja Steel will be supported by a heavyweight 360° marketing programme.

Bertoy Stand G46 0774 815 0906 bertoy.com Bertoy is a Belgian company and the exclusive distributor in the UK and Ireland for the Crocodile Creek, Krooom and Tiger Tribe brands. The family run company has already been active for over 15 years, and cherishes quality, good design and consideration of the environment. The American brand Crocodile Creek offers something special to children of all ages. From puzzles to different sized playballs, drinking bottles and backpacks, Crocodile Creek has a range of products to suit all children. Krooom is an Israeli brand that specialises in creating toys that inspire ecoawareness. Each product is made out of cardboard and is 100% recyclable. This durable technique is patented in the toy section. Included in the range are the Kitchen Play Set and the Fold My Dino. Bertoy has also recently acquired the exclusive distribution in the UK and Ireland for a new brand, Tiger Tribe. This brand has its roots in Australia, but appeals to children from all around the world. Kids can learn through play, and with Tiger Tribe play becomes an imaginative journey. Even during bath time, the Tiger Tribe Bath Stories guarantee hours of fun. Whether it be building, making up stories in a Magna Carry, or drawing scenes in an activity set, Bertoy’s products open up a world of possibilities for growing minds.

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Stand H46 020 3620 9495 bigpotato.co.uk Big Potato will be exhibiting its portfolio of games at London’s Toy Fair. Two teams can go head-to-head in Mr. Lister’s Quiz Shootout. Each team gets three shots at a correct answer for a quirky question such as listing Americans’ 10 favourite pizza toppings. Players can expect to escape from bad situations with the help of useless objects in Big Potato’s party game, Bucket of Doom, which was funded on Kickstarter. Obama Llama is UK DJ Matt Edmondson’s first game with Big Potato. Players can expect to yell out rhymes to earn points to win the game. Rainbow Rage is the second game created by Matt Edmondson. Players can race to grab the colours that have swapped places and build their own

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rainbow, but must watch out for traps which can instantly wipe out their rainbow. Qwordie is part quiz, part word game. Players must build the answers to questions using letter tiles that have been collected or stolen. They must spell an answer first to win those tiles, and as soon as a player’s stack reaches the winning line on the tin, they’ve won. Fans can play OK Play anywhere – all they have to do is grab a stack, throw down tiles and block

their opponents. It may be easy to play, but it’s tricky to win. Players can doodle their way to mischief with Scrawl, where the most grins win. Each game is supported by the new Big Potato mobile app, which offers extra features to enhance the game playing experience - from timers and scoring systems to additional content to lengthen the lifespan of the games.

Eduk8 Worldwide Stand F1 01434 672 336 eduk8worldwide.com Eduk8 Worldwide is returning to London Toy Fair this year with a bigger stand in the main hall, enabling it to display more of its range of award-winning toys. After a successful 2016 show, the company will be showcasing its Belly Bump Balls once more, along with its large games range. Launching at Toy Fair for the first time will be the new Eduk8 n Play range, featuring lots of new products for 2017, such as the new Large Activity Play Mats in Zoo, City, Construction and Farm themes. These are water resistant and durable 200 x 120cm roll mats, which will stimulate a child’s imagination by creating a mini-world for them on the floor. The company will also be showcasing its range of hands-on Science and Maths orientated toys, ideal for encouraging STEM learning. One of the company’s new additions this year are the new Dice Domes, in large and mini sizes. The dice are encased in a dome and, when the plunger is pushed, will spin and land with a new number face-up. Eduk8 Worldwide is an independent, end-to-end toy design and manufacturing company distributing unique educational toys around the

world. All of the company’s toys are tried and tested with children of all ages and abilities, and are made with high quality materials for schools and, more recently, the consumer market. At Toy Fair, the company is offering free delivery on all orders of £175 or more placed at the show.

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Stand Gallery 545 0800 988 7065 enginotoys.co.uk From 2003, Engino has aimed to provide the best construction and educational toys for children. Through many years of research and development, and a focus on innovation and creativity, the company aims to boost children’s interest towards engineering and STEM. All of Engino’s products are made in Cyprus, and the company currently offers seven toy series. All these series will be presented at Toy Fair. In 2016, the company successfully distributed its products to more than 40 countries. In January 2017, Engino will be launching the Qboidz series and the Inventor 30-in-1 Motorised Adventure Models set. The Inventor 30-in-1 Motorised Adventure Models set introduces new designs and models for young builders to experiment with.

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Stand B130 08435 574 062 sylvanianfamilies.com/uk aquabeadsart.com/uk

Time Set (Theme Refill range) and a new Template Set (Accessory range). These items will all have new packaging and a new Aquabeads logo, designed to appeal to both boys and girls. New licensed products will also be on display inside the Cosy Cottage, including Disney Princess and Cars 3. Visitors can interact with the new playsets available, including new Cars 3 sets that can create 3D creations - the first of its kind - which comes complete with wheels for racing.

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Epoch Making Toys Epoch Making Toys will be at Toy Fair 2017 with its flagship brand, Sylvanian Families and arts and crafts range, Aquabeads. 2016 has been a successful year for Sylvanian Families; the brand has experienced continuous growth throughout 2016 and will welcome its 30th UK anniversary in 2017. Epoch Making Toys will once again be bringing its award-winning exhibition stand, comprising a life-size Sylvanian Families Cosy Cottage, to Toy Fair this year. New products for 2017 will be on display, together with all the existing lines in this evergreen collectible toy range. Demo areas will also showcase the connectable features of the core products. Outside of the Cosy Cottage, there will also be a room resembling a lighthouse which will be open for visitors to venture inside and play with the new Sylvanian Families Starry Point Lighthouse. Complete with over 25 pieces, a story book and a projector unit which can shine different night-time scenes onto a child’s bedroom ceiling, the Starry Point Lighthouse is the star product in the upcoming 2017 range. There will also be the chance to see the remaining new playsets, as well as the upcoming two launches for spring/summer and autumn/winter 2017. Throughout the fair, Freya Chocolate Rabbit and Ralph Walnut Squirrel mascot figures will also be making appearances to show retailers the potential value of live events. Epoch Making Toys will also showcase the core Aquabeads categories, which will feature 16 new products including the Deluxe Studio (Complete range), Tea

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In 2017, with Qboidz Engino will enter the pre-school toy market. The Qboidz series gives children the ability to stack cubes, but also to snap them together with the patented Enigno toy system. All these series will provide the foundations to excel in the STEM and robotics fields after primary education. At Toy Fair the company will also be presenting its new display stands for the Inventor and Inventor Girl ranges. Furthermore, Engino will provide a 1st Quarter Instore Display/Competition package with any £500 order taken at the show. This package comes complete with a window display model and 20 Engino Spinner Giveaways, valued at over £50. The competition prize of its 30-in-1 Motorised Inventor series is valued at £40.

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Stand Gallery 155 020 8782 1143 clementoni.com

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Clementoni will be putting a strong focus on the infant and science market when it showcases a number of new product lines at Toy Fair, and also at Spring Fair in February. Licensed puzzles will also continue to be a focus for the business, which has seen strong year on year growth, particularly in the UK and key European territories. Following the Baby Clementoni lines in 2016 is the 2-in-1 Interactive Football Table, a talking educational toy which teaches children letters, numbers, shapes and colours. Doc is an educational robot programmed to give kids their first experience of using animatronics, and enabling them to engage with and experience technology in its simplest form. There will be two additions to the science category for 2017. Visitors can preview the Evolution Robot, a programmable robot which can be controlled by an app on smart phones and tablets which are Bluetooth enabled. It can also be used manually. The new Evolution Robot comes complete with sound effects and lights to add to the robotic experience. It also comes with many different modes for children to play, including ‘dance mode’, and can perform high-level

commands such as carrying objects in its claws. Visitors can also see the Interactive Globe demoed on Clementoni’s stand, where they’ll be able to explore the world using an optical reader pen. Children will be able to learn about continents, countries, capital cities, currencies, languages, time differences and many more. With more than 300 questions divided into varying difficulty levels, children can test their knowledge. The product is supported by an accompanying app, which can be downloaded and used interactively with the Globe to heighten play and learning experience. Clementoni is known for its puzzles. The company’s 2017 puzzle offering ranges from pre-school through to adult, and contains both licensed and non-licensed product. The licensed category for 2017 includes Shimmer & Shine, Disney Pixar’s Cars 3 and Despicable Me 3. The Minions range includes a 1,000-piece impossible puzzle with all three popular characters and high definition imagery, ideal for testing adult intellectual skills. Clementoni will also be launching its 3D Virtual Reality puzzle collection.

Magformers Stand Gallery 540 08000 385 195 magformers.co.uk Magformers will unveil a colourful range of blister-packed accessories and boxed spare pieces sets at Toy Fair, alongside several new full sets. On offer are the new pocket-money priced Figure Plus accessory packs and 12-piece spares kits, providing an opportunity for Magformers fans to add to their collections. Magformers’ Space Wow set was popular in 2016, and its spinning astronaut piece will be available in a pack with five other magnetic squares. The boy driver piece from the company’s Wow Set is also available, as is the girl piece from the Mega Brain set, princess from the Princess Castle set, the little alien from the Space Traveller set, and a new construction worker piece. There are also two Card Plus packs, containing printed cards inserted into six Magformers squares. One features images like the sun, moon, flowers and various printed facial expressions, and the other includes six different kinds of animal

illustrations on one side, while they transform into a chef, firefighter, astronaut, police officer, heavy equipment driver or wizard on the back of the cards. Magformers will also be launching new sets including the Curve 20 - a set with curved magnetic pieces. Also new are the Log House Set, Neon LED Set and new Monster Set range – three kaiju-inspired dinosaur creatures which can be made from magnetic squares and special clip-in heads, legs and tails.

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The Doll That Flips For You!

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Adorable NEW 4-in-1 soft dolls for Autumn/Winter 2017 See her grow from baby to girl ... just flip her bonnet and swaddle!

Meet them all at stand B70

01483 449944

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Orchard Toys

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Stand B12 01953 859 526 orchardtoys.com

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Orchard Toys will be launching five new lines for January 2017. Cheeky Monkeys is a counting game for all the family, where players battle to collect the most bananas. Children are encouraged to make strategic decisions, choosing whether to play it safe after their first turn or spin the spinner to collect more bananas. The game features lots of twists which make counting fun, including the Cheeky Monkey card, which every player will want. The 3D tree and hanging monkeys also add another dimension to this competitive game. Smelly Wellies is a simple matching game, where players turn over welly cards to find matching patterned wellies for their monsters. Toys is a great addition to the company’s pre-school puzzle range. The box features six large, two-piece jigsaw puzzles with familiar first toys such as a teddy bear, a doll and a toy car. As well as new lines, Orchard Toys is also launching extensions to some of its best-selling literacy games. Match and Spell Next Steps is the ideal progression from the Match and Spell game. This game has exceeded expectations for Orchard Toys, gaining

success with parents, teachers and educational professionals alike. This fun reading and spelling game helps to develop more advanced reading and spelling skills using both sounds and blends. The game features double-sided boards, meaning it can be played in two different ways to extend learning. Another addition to Orchard Toys’ classic Flashcards activity, Alphabet Flashcards introduces children to the letters of the alphabet in a fun way. With colourful illustrations and a double-sided card for every letter of the alphabet, Alphabet Flashcards is the ideal tool for parents looking to teach children their ABCs and first words.

Paul Lamond Games Stand E50 02072 540 100 paul-lamond.com This year at Toy Fair, Paul Lamond will make its debut into the world of magic with one of Britain’s most talented magicians, Jamie Raven. The magician, who impressed audiences and judges alike with his magic skills on the 2015 series of Britain’s Got Talent, has teamed up with Paul Lamond to develop four Magic Sets. The four sets: Card Magic, Magic of the Mind, Street Magic and Sleight of Hand will be available from February, and will contain all the components needed to perform multiple tricks. Each set also contains a secret online link to allow budding magicians to learn the tricks of the trade directly from Jamie. Paul Lamond will also be unveiling an abundance of new lines at Toy Fair 2017 including a Now That’s What I Call Music board game and a new range of We’re Going on a Bear Hunt products for 2017. Now That’s What I Call Music is one of the most successful compilation album series of all time, and music fans can now test their musical knowledge with the new board game. The game features

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questions from the 80s, 90s and 21st Century, as well as covers to sing and song titles to be mimed. The new range of We’re Going on a Bear Hunt game and puzzle sets feature new illustrations from the TV animated production that premiered on Channel 4 on Christmas Day 2016. The new lines, which will be available from February, will include a We’re Going on a Bear Hunt 4-in-1 Games Cube, a Memory Card Game and a Jumbo Floor Puzzle. There will also be four 1,000-piece That’s Life Spot the Difference puzzles launching at the show, along with a set of condiment-based games known as The Spicy Games, and a new Murder Mystery Dinner Party game: A Slice of Murder. Paul Lamond’s complete 2017 range of pre-school, children’s and family games and puzzles, licensed football products, as well as its craft selection, will also be on show.

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Your favourite characters just got ooshed! Squishy pencil topper characters 40 Ooshies to collect in each license Hot licenses for 2017

Find your favourite on stand B70!

www.ooshies.net

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Stand Gallery 105 07734 479 973 thinkwaytoys.com

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MTW Toys, which is headed up by Darran Garnham, is one of EMEA’s fastest growing distributors, and a key partner for Thinkway Toys. It boasts some of the hottest movie IP in the business, including Universal’s Despicable Me franchise and Disney Pixar’s Toy Story 4. Exhibiting at London Toy Fair for the first time in 2017, the company will be unveiling new, interactive toys based on Despicable Me 3, released in June 2017. Within the extensive range are products designed to entertain and provide exceptional value for money. For Minions fans, these include the Walk and Talk plush line, available in either Stuart or Dave characters. Dave and Stuart will also repeat words and phrases spoken to them. C

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Asobi will be showcasing several new products at London Toy Fair as well as unveiling developments to its existing lines. For 2017, the company will be showcasing Schmaze, a range of safe plush sports toys for babies and toddlers. The Schmaze My First line is a series of rugby, cricket and football based soft toys, complete with their own character and identity. Providing safe play and fun for all the family, the My First Rugby set includes the plush rattling rugby ball Grubber, with one-size soft rugby boots Ruck & Maul. The My First Football set features the plush football Dribble, with football boots One & Two. The My First Cricket set features plush bat Willow and Cherry the soft ball. Asobi is also looking to build on the success of its Micador early start arts and crafts products, specifically designed and developed for pre-schoolers. Their shape, size, texture and ease-of-use have been designed with little ones in mind. The range includes beeswax crayons, safety markers, washable oil pastels, stencils, craft packs and chunky stampers. The company is set to demonstrate at ToyFair how the Elf For Christmas toy is being developed into an all-year round product.

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The smaller Talking Action Figures bring to life key characters from the film including Minion Dave, Minion Carl and Prisoner Tom. Each character is equipped with 25 phrases taken from the movie. Music Mates are set to be a popular collectible line. The 9cm characters are presented on their own plinth and will sing and dance independently. However, kids can also connect the figures together with a click and watch them dance to the music in unison. The company will also be showcasing licensed Toy Story 4 toys at the show.

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Stand Gallery 124 01628 200 077 asobi.co.uk

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Hours of colouring and shrinking fun!

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Casdon

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Stand E30 01253 608 248 casdon.co.uk

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Famous for trusted brands such as Little Helpers and Little Shoppers, Casdon combines pretend play with household names to bring replica kitchen appliances and role-play accessories to the play room. There’s a whole range of pretend-play branded appliances to discover at Toy Fair, plus dolls accessories for the most popular sized doll with the firm’s successful Baby Huggles portfolio. The Baby Huggles range is a proven seller and with its fresh new look, and offers a one-stop shop for baby dolls. 2017 will see a contemporary and up-to-date feel to this collection that is perfect for any modern 46cm doll. Characterised by its colour scheme, Baby Huggles is a cohesive collection of car booster seats, changing mats and more, all at an affordable price range. Casdon always ensures it keeps on top of the trend for pretend play. The Dyson Cord-free Vacuum is a must-have for any home, and now little ones can copy the cleaning ritual with their own Cord-free Dyson. With its realistic hose and vortex cylinder, Little Helpers will be keen to take part in pretend cleaning. The Cord-free Dyson joins other successful Dyson toy merchandise, together with branded role-play collections with household names such as Kenwood and Morphy Richards. Added to this is the collection of Casdon classics that are perfect for Little Helpers, Little Shoppers and Little Cooks. A huge social media programme reaching hundreds of thousands of parents is already established, and will continue with a strategic campaign with top influencers and a social media schedule for 2017 to further the awareness of all the firm’s popular toys.

Chelford Stand B98 0161 737 1881 iplushtoy.co.uk Chelford has just launched iPlush!, a new patented design. iPlush has solved the problems common to traditional plush toys: how to easily store them away, how to carry them and how to clean small, large and extra-large plush animals. iPlush is the only plush toy that is machine washable while the inflatable/deflatable stuffed animals are easily stored. This is achieved using a high-tech custom interior balloon shaped like the character, with an outer plush jacket. All that’s required is filling it up with air using the air pump and discreet hidden air valve, included with every iPlush. When it’s time to store away, simply deflate and fold it up. The jackets are made with super soft plush fur, are machine washable, lightweight and easily portable, ideal when traveling. Teddy Bear, husky, bulldog and Sharpei dogs, farm animals, three different sized giraffes and zoo animals are included in the range. 2017 marks the iPlush release in the UK after it launched in the United States.

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Enjoying 30 years of learning fun in the UK... VTech is excited to launch a number of great new products at the 2017 London Toy Fair. With developments to much loved ranges as well as brand new additions in other categories. Visit our stand to see more!

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Fiesta Crafts is encouraging storytelling with the introduction of a new Hand Puppet character and two new Hand and Finger Puppet Sets. The Hand and Finger Puppet sets are designed to stimulate creative minds and encourage both individual play and role-play. The new Frog Prince and Puss in Boots will also keep children entertained in their own world. In the Frog Prince set, the main hand puppet is the Frog Prince. He is accompanied by the Witch, the Princess, the King and the human Prince as a finger puppet. Puss in Boots is the main hand puppet in his story, with the Princess and King as finger puppets. Each set includes finger puppets for each of the main story characters. Puppets can enhance a child’s development and encourage them to be creative and imaginative. They can also improve their speech and language skills and their confidence. Now in its 25th year of trading, Fiesta Crafts has been designing and manufacturing toys and gifts for children since 1990. Many of its toys have a direct educational value and encourage children to use their imaginations and creativity.

Fundamentally Children Stand Gallery 154 01438 831 204 | fundamentallychildrenhq.co.uk

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Stand D2 0208 804 0563 fiestacrafts.co.uk

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Kids@Play will launch its new battery powered Land Rover at Toy Fair this year. Features include a rechargeable 6v battery pack that guarantees a total of 350 recharges. The Land Rover also has proper suspension on all four wheels, a painted body, working headlights and brake lights, FM radio, MP3 socket, leather seats, a horn, and forward and reverse gearing. The product is just one of many new ideas for 2017 being previewed at London Toy Fair.

Fundamentally Children is looking forward to Toy Fair 2017. The team will be both supporting current clients and promoting the wide range of research, consultancy and endorsement services to the industry. Plaques will be delivered to stands for exhibitors with products in the Good Toy Guide to help showcase all of their ‘good toys’. The experts from Fundamentally Children will also be able to present products in the demo zone, discussing the toys’ developmental benefits and allowing clients to remain on their stands. Fundamentally Children’s popular toy clinics will be running again this year, providing both visitors and exhibitors with a free opportunity to find out what makes a ‘good’ toy or app, as well as benefit from the insight the company’s team of experts have to share. The Good Toy Guide team will also be scouting for new toys and apps for evaluation during the show. Exhibitors are encouraged to book an appointment early to showcase new product launches to the team and discuss how to maximise the benefits of having toys in the guide, as well as getting involved with the increasing number of experiential marketing opportunities at consumer events during 2017.

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Dimensions: Height 134 x W120 x D74cm

Coral Playground

Construction Site

Knights Castle

Thomas & Friends Smart Tablet

Mermaids & Friends 6 pack

Thomas & Friends Flip-up Phone Peppa’s Sing & Learn Microphone

Ghost Hunt Evolution

Peppa’s Laugh & Learn Laptop

Alien Mission Evolution

www.trendsuk.co.uk salesadmin@trendsuk.co.uk To place an order please contact:

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For media enquiries, please contact:

Ane Olesen: ane@wirepr.eu

©2016 Gullane (Thomas) Limited. © 2016 Megableu. Splashings Copyright © 2016. All rights reserved. Peppa Pig © Astley Baker Davies Ltd/Entertainment One UK Ltd 2003.

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K’Nex

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In 2017, K’Nex will bring STEAMagination to life with new products that fuse engineering and art. Launching this month, the K’Nex Intro Assortment offers an introduction to the range, with three models to choose from. A Rocket Car, Stealth Plane and Motorcycle can be bought separately, or kids can collect all three to create a Helicopter Combo Build. Another new addition, K’Nex STEM Explorations sets, will allow children to explore STEAM skills while they play. Kids can choose between Gears or Levers and Pulleys, while the Vehicles set has five experiments and seven different models to build, each with a different power source. The K’Nex STEM Explorations Roller Coaster and K’Nex STEM Explorations Swing Ride enables children to explore the science of theme parks, and comes complete with three suggested builds, each with an experiment idea. K’Nex Super Mario Series 8 Mystery Bags coincide with the launch of a new Super Mario iOS game. The K’Nex Plants vs Zombies line will also be updated with new mystery bags and playsets. New for July 2017, the K’Nex Thrill Rides Web Weaver is a motorised coaster set, complete with 399 K’Nex parts and pieces, plus a spider coaster car. Other new additions to the line include K’Nex Thrill Rides Lunar Launch. In July, the company will launch the K’Nex My Little Pony, offering a range of figures and playsets. Kid K’Nex will be available at retail, inspired by its popularity in early years’ educational settings. The range introduces construction play to younger children, supporting their cognitive development with sets that feature chunky, brightly coloured pieces. In addition to a Kid K’Nex Budding Builders Tub with 100 parts and pieces, plus 50 building ideas, the line also features animal and wheel inspired sets. K’nex Building Tubs will be refreshed in July 2017. New additions include the Power and Play Motorized Tub and the Imagination Makers Tub, aimed at girls. The K’Nex Mighty Makers line will also be updated in July. The Mighty Makers Amusement Park Fun set has more than 1,000 pieces for kids to build three theme park rides at the same time. The K’Nex K-Force’s range of buildable, customisable blasters will be refreshed in July. New Barracuda, with pump action blasting, and Sabretooth, with lever action blasting can each be built and rebuilt to create five different models. To support new and existing lines throughout 2017, K’Nex will expand its marketing support, including TV advertising, kids press, strategic partnerships and digital activity. This includes a new K’Nex kids’ hub hosted by Kizi.com, while continuing to grow a fanbase on kids’ social network PopJam.

University Games Stand F10 01616 865 520 university-games.co.uk Continuing on from successful launches in 2016 and the strengthening of its share in the Travel Games market, University Games is showcasing several new additions to its portfolio at London Toy Fair. Following its triumph at the box office, Paddington is back for his second movie in 2017. University Games is proud to add the bear to its line-up, and will be initially launching Paddington Spot The Difference and Paddington Mini Colour On. Players can follow the adventures of Paddington through a series of seemingly identical images in Spot The Difference. An ever popular format, this Mini Game will add more strength to the company’s share of the Travel Games category. A main Paddington Board Game is also under development, for an autumn/ winter launch. There are many activities and colouring scenes on offer with the Paddington Mini Colour On. There is also an all-in-one three metre roll, which can be taken anywhere. Another exciting licence to launch in 2017 is Dinosaur Roar. The book licence comes to life initially in the form of The Word Rhyming Game,

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and Mini Colour On. A Dinosaur Roar Main Board Game is also planned for future release. Dinosaur Roar Word Rhyming Game is the educational children’s game designed to help teach children rhyming words and colour recognition. There is also a bonus game to be the first player to collect a family of dinosaurs. Already a success in the US, Yeti in my Spaghetti will see players take turns to carefully pull away the spaghetti sticks from the bowl; they must be careful not to let the yeti, that is sat balancing on top, tumble into the bowl. The game will be TV supported in 2017. The major family game launch for 2017 is the fast-paced Staccups. With frantic fun for all the family, it will receive TV backing, and will bring out the competitiveness in everyone. University Games will also be bringing its hero 2016 games to Toy Fair, including Googly Eyes, 5 Second Rule and Smart Ass. Googly Eyes had a successful first year, and the 5 Second Rule family now boasts a Junior version too. The company’s Mini Games range, which has firmly established itself in the market, is another must-see line.

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VISIT US ON STAND E66 AT LONDON TOY FAIR 2017

MARKETING & DISTRIBUTING BRANDS

DKL Marketing Ltd, 11 Deer Park Road, Northampton, NN3 6QD, UK tel. 01604 678780 email. dkl@dkl.co.uk www.dkl.co.uk

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Lego Stand Gallery 550 01753 495 000 lego.com For 2017, Lego will be showcasing product from existing IPs and licensing partners. As the largest brand in the portfolio, Lego City will be showcasing a selection from the latest Police and Great Vehicles themes. Hero items for the Police range include a refreshed Police Station and the High Speed Chase, which sees Lego City police hero character Chase McCain brought to life in minifigure form for the first time. With a big movie year ahead, the company will be unveiling partner IPs including The Lego Batman Movie, Lego DC Comics Super Heroes, Lego Marvel Super Heroes, Lego DC Super Hero Girls, Lego Star Wars and Lego Disney Princess. Lego’s own IP, Lego Ninjago, will also see the release of its first feature film later in the year. Visitors to the stand will be able to view a collection of new sets based around a new narrative surrounding a terrible twosome: The Time Twins. Lego Technic continues to offer challenging builds and a diverse product assortment

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Stand Gallery 180 01214 549 707 | chicco.co.uk New additions to Chicco’s Fit ‘N Fun collection include the Hopscotch Playmat, an electronic play mat featuring two modes, hopscotch and fitness. A further addition to the Fit N’ Fun range is Mr. Ring. Aiding children in precision, coordination, patience and cognitive function, Mr. Ring is a colourful hedgehog who sits atop a rotating base, with five large spines protruding from his back, onto which children can try to throw one of 12 plastic rings. Mr. Ring also plays out music as it rotates. Also on display will be the latest addition to Chicco’s Move and Grow range, Sherlock The Detective Dog, which is aimed at babies taking their first steps. Sherlock centres around the treasure hunt concept, with parents or other children hiding his bone somewhere in the room, for him to then find. Visitors will also be able to see the latest addition to Chicco’s supercharged Turbo Team, Bobby Buggy, a red buggy-style remote-controlled car. The car comes with a detachable steering wheel that serves as the remote control, big wheels and front headlights.

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Also new to Chicco’s Disney Princess range is the Cinderella Dancing Spinner and the Cinderella Dream Highchair, using key themes from the classic story. Another addition to the collection is the Snow White Cottage, with 10 activities, the Snow White Magic Mirror, which plays out melodies, and the Cinerella Carriage, a push-along walker featuring melodies and LED lights. Completing the range are Disney Princess Stroller Dolls and Disney Princess Magic Wands, with motion activated lights and sounds. A further addition to the sleeptime range is the Lullaby Sheep, in both blue and pink. A soft sheep toy that can be placed in a baby’s cot, the Lullaby Sheep has a voice recorder function so that a mother or father can record their voice and leave it with their baby overnight. With a soundactivated sensor, the recording will play when the baby stirs or cries. Also with a music option, the Lullaby Sheep can play melodies to soothe restless babies back to sleep, and has a soft night-light to comfort them in the darkness. The Lullaby Sheep is machine washable. Chicco’s Rodeo can be used as a rocking horse, sit and ride toy or interactive activity centre. The character comes to life thanks to interactive sensors, which activate moving eyes and sounds. The company’s Fiat 500 RC is based on the Fiat 500 sports car and is controlled using a steering wheel shaped remote, which also features a horn. The product will be another hero product in the already successful family of RC products by Chicco, such as Billy Big Wheels and Johnny Coupè.

New to Chicco’s Bilingual ABC range is the Sam the Mole Pop-Up shape sorter toy. A 2-in-1 electric shape sorter featuring a peek-a-boo mole, it speaks to the child in both English and Italian. With the introduction of the Food Truck 2-in-1, Chicco is combining two playtime concepts, the play kitchen and play vehicle, to create a kitchen on wheels. The first toy street food kitchen on the market to transform into a vehicle, the Food Truck 2-in-1 is an activity centre that appeals to a child’s inclination for role-play, whilst also promoting the importance of socialisation. To extend its popular Disney Princess licensed range, Chicco is introducing the Mrs. Potts Electronic Tea Set. The teapot displays the face of Mrs. Potts from Disney’s Beauty and the Beast film, and also includes two stackable teacups.

centred on iconic real-life vehicles to foster engagement among older children and the adult fan community. Lego Friends will launch 10 new sets in January 2017. With a focus on celebrating friendship, fans of the range can join best friends, Mia, Olivia, Stephanie, Andrea and Emma, and make memories hosting a party at Stephanie’s House, getting fit at the Heartlake Sports Centre or putting a smile on a friend’s face with a present from the Heartlake Gift Delivery. Whether kids are looking to expand their existing collection or are completely new to Lego Friends, each set offers lots of exciting opportunities to build and play out stories, with a host of details and accessories. In 2017, the Lego Elves story will be darker, with even more conflict as Emily and the Elves unite the magic to save Emily’s little sister, Sophia, who has followed her to Elvendale and been caught by the Goblin King and his goblins. Lego Duplo has new themes for 2017 which will stimulate pre-schoolers’ imaginations, whilst offering some great role-play opportunities. The My First range is an introduction to building for young toddlers. The first half of the year sees the introduction of My First Bird, My First Plane, My

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First Cakes, My First Bus and My First Carousel. Meanwhile, Duplo Town keeps on growing with the addition of a Pizzeria, Family House, the High Street, Nursery School, Birthday Party and Family Pets. Lego Juniors is the ideal introduction to Lego building with sets combining standard Lego bricks and larger elements for an easier first build. New for 2017 is Batman vs Mr Freeze, Police Truck Chase, Fire Patrol Suitcase and the Demolition Site. There are also two new Lego Friends sets: Mia’s Farm Suitcase and Andrea & Stephanie’s Beach Holiday.

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BRAND NEW FOAM PUZZLES © 2016 Gullane (Thomas) Limited.

© 2016 Hit Entertainment Limited and Keith Chapman.

© 2016 Hit Entertainment Limited. © 2016 Prism Art & Design Limited.

VISIT US AT LONDON TOY FAIR, STAND E46! Jumbo Games, 2 Carters Row, Hatfield Park, Hatfield, UK, AL9 5NB Telephone: 01707-289289 Email: uk.saleshotline@jumbo.eu www.jumbo.eu Toy World 189


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My Little Pony and Thor Collections. The release of DreamWorks’ Trolls movie last October created huge success with Trolls products and Click expects to see a spike in demand for the DVD release in mid-February. Accompanying the movie, Topps’ Official Sticker and Trading Card Collections and Zuru’s range of Keychains sold through at a remarkable rate at retail. Following on from last year’s EOLO collections, brand new ranges are set for release this year which include character Swim Masks, Flying Twisterz, Foam Planes, Parachutes, Micro Flyers, Cars 3 Flying Wheelz, Slingshot Heroes and Super Loopers, all of which are licensed featured including Star Wars, Minions, Disney and Marvel. Adding to the excitement of 2017 is Click’s new venture within the jewellery sector, which will be manufacturing popular licensed collections. So far, key licences include Paw Patrol and Shimmer and Shine with the aim to tie up other licences throughout the year. Bijou Bracelets, a separate entity to the licensed hair and fashion collections, features its new range of interchangeable and collectible wristbands, all of which will be on show at London Toy Fair.

More brands will be added to Bladez’s portfolio, while more characters will join the company’s collection of radio control inflatables. There will also be new developments in the world of traditional RC, as a new Hot Wheels toy range launches this autumn. These include a new play system combining radio control. This summer marks the release of Despicable Me 3, and following years of success with the RC inflatable Minions, Bladez will be unveiling new movie characters at Toy Fair. Tom and Mel will be joining the collection in mini size, while there will be a radio control inflatable of Agnes’ favourite unicorn toy, Fluffy. Bladez is known for its Star Wars inflatables and the RC BB-8 last year. New characters will be launched in 2017 as the countdown to Episode VIII begins. For the first time, the Star Wars RC range will be TV advertised, as Bladez expands its marketing support. Bladez ventured into the pre-school market in 2016, introducing the younger generation to their first RC experience. The range of Peppa Pig, Teletubbies and Thomas & Friends inflatables performed strongly, and retailers can enquire about opportunities and additional support to help bring characters to life in-store. The inflatable play mats have also been best sellers, with the no mess, no splash concept of an indoors water puddle selling out in November in many retailers. Bladez is also exploring new product categories for pre-school lines, including a Teletubbies Puzzle Track with a motorised Teletubbies Car from the new TV series. This will combine puzzles with vehicle movement. Kids can build a track up to 50cm wide and watch the car whizz around. With eight interchangeable pieces, they can reconfigure the track in any number of combinations. This concept is also expected to appear in other properties within the portfolio this year. The announcement of new licences also marks Bladez’s 10th anniversary year.

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2017 is shaping up to be an exciting year for Click, with a whole new line-up of licences and products from some of the biggest toy manufacturers in the world. The end of 2016 posed a particularly busy few months, setting up new ventures for the forthcoming year which London Toy Fair will showcase. Building on last year’s success, Topps’ Match Attax 2016/17 collection has once again dominated at retail, most notably the Match Attax Advent Calendar which was introduced for the first time in mid-October. UCL Match Attax is set for release on January 12th with Match Attax Extra in March. Other key Topps collections coming in 2017 include the Num Noms Sticker Collection, Disney Princess Trading Card Game, Match Attax 17/18, WWE Slam Attax, Marvel Hero Attax, Star Wars Sticker and Trading Cards, plus many more! Panini’s line up for the year possesses a jam packed schedule. Major Sticker and Trading Card Collections for the first half of the year include Home Nations which features all of the UK’s footballing countries subject to World Cup qualification, Beauty and the Beast, Guardians of the Galaxy 2, Road to World Cup 2018 and Cars 3. Other releases arriving later on in the year include the FIFA 365 Sticker and Trading Cards and Disney Princess,

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Esdevium Games Stand E109 01420 593 593 esdeviumgames.com Esdevium Games heads to Toy Fair after celebrating its best year yet, thanks to the success of key gaming brands, The Pokémon Trading Card Game and Dobble. The most significant change for 2017 is the addition of the successful Rory’s Story Cubes to Esdevium’s range. The company has partnered with the brand’s owner, The Creativity Hub, to offer the full range of Story Cubes to UK stores, in addition to the licensed sets already on offer from Esdevium. Story Cubes, which has sold more than seven million copies worldwide since its launch,

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Stand E66 01604 678 780 dkl.co.uk DKL has expanded its stand space at London Toy Fair. DKL has been distributing Hama Beads for over 27 years, making Hama the number one beads range, offering the largest range of sets, beads and accessories. Launching at Toy Fair will be over 30 new Hama Bead products, including licences such as Mickey and the Roadsters, Cars 3 and updated Princess and Frozen sets, as well as a new Finding Dory line. The generic range has new sets with a variety of price points. Fans can also look out for the new 3D range from Hama Beads, which is predicted to be a best-seller for 2017. Scentco Scented Stationery has had a strong year with record sales throughout 2016, in particular Smencils, Smens, Smarkers, Note Books, Key Rings, Plush. New additions for 2017 include Activity Sets, Gel Pens and new licences from Avengers and Spiderman. New to DKL is the US range of Tween Crafts from Fashion Angels. Launching at Toy Fair will be an assortment of products, including Beauty Kits, Craft Sets, Portfolio Sets and Znapeez. Head Cases, which

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allow kids to make their favourite animal to hang on a wall, will also be showcased. Scratch Traditional Toys’ Magnetic Dart range is sold on a wooden FSDU. There are new Dart Sets being launched for 2017. The range has a huge choice of quality toys from traditional wooden toys to furniture. New products include 2-in-1 light projectors, a Doctors Set and more. PlayMais will also be showcased on the DKL stand. This range has transformed in the last year with new packaging, models and 3D features. New models include Fun to Play Dinosaur, Trendy Mosaic Ballerina and 3D Mosaic. Squishy Human Body has been one of DKL’s best-sellers from the popular SmartLab Science brand. Dino and Zombie will be new additions. Smartphone Science turns a mobile phone into a microscope and the Crash Test Lab demonstrates the importance of seatbelts. Breyer Model Horses continue to expand into the toy area with their range of model horses and

will be available exclusively from Esdevium across 2017, and will be a huge focus of the company’s Toy Fair stand, with demos and range plans available. Esdevium is also preparing for another bumper year for The Pokémon Trading Card Game (TCG). Its February release will bring the series up to date with November’s new video games, Pokémon Sun and Pokémon Moon. The Pokémon TCG saw unprecedented success across 2016, largely due to the success of Pokémon Go and a surge of interest and activity around the brand’s 20th anniversary. Esdevium will showcase the new Pokémon TCG: Sun & Moon as a key focus for the show. There are a number of other reasons to pay a visit to Esdevium’s stand at Toy Fair this year. Back by popular demand is the new Series 5 of pocket-money collectible, Zomlings. Series 5 introduces more than 100 original Zomlings for kids to collect, including the all-important rare gold and silver characters. Buyers should also keep an eye out for the most backed Kickstarter project of all time, Exploding Kittens. Visitors to the stand can also have a go at the game of spy-spotting in Codenames and challenge Esdevium staff to a game of Dobble.

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accessories. Xavier Mystical Unicorn Stallion is a new addition as is the Pocket Animals Range of dogs, fish and animals. The Small Stable Mates range of miniature horses in life-like stances and colours will also be unveiled. In 2017, DKL will be extending its instore and marketing support across all of its brands, including extensive PR and social media activity.

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at London Toy Fair

+44 (0) 207 298 9500 sales@winningmoves.co.uk www.bananagrams.com

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Galt Toys Stand E9 0161 428 9111 galttoys.com Galt Toys will be introducing its first 3-in-1 Playnest & Gym at London’s Toy Fair. The doublesided Playnest, plus a soft rainbow gym with three toys, supports babies during rest and play from birth, lying down and later sitting up. The soft velour resting area, which comes with a harness, cradles a young baby over the inflatable ring. Parents can add the soft rainbow gym with three colourful toys to stimulate babies with bright colours, patterns and sounds. The Playnest can be turned over to reveal a padded seating area to support an older baby in a sitting position, enabling them to reach out and explore safely. There are eight multi-sensory features around the Playnest to stimulate touch, vision and hearing.

Suitable from birth, the 3-in-1 Playnest & Gym will have an important role in a baby’s physical and play development. Galt will also reveal six new items to its range of Creative Cases. Flower Lights, Beady Animals, Paint a Piggy Bank Set, Jungle Wind-Ups, Cross Stich Case and Fashion Knitting will all be additions to this range. For young budding scientists, Galt will be introducing a new Explore and Discover range. Five Lab Kits, including Science Lab, Rainbow Lab, Glow Lab, Magnetic Lab and Slime Lab, all encourage children to experiment while having fun, and are compatible with the National Curriculum. All new products will be shown alongside Galt’s existing portfolio. This includes the iconic Ambi Toys range, as well as new products in First Years and Active Play ranges. With a focus on young art, new products will be added to the Activity Packs

Gibsons Stand E40 020 8661 8866 gibsonsgames.co.uk 2017 will see the Gibsons stand full of new products, along with a life-sized version of the company’s latest game, Plop!, and a little puzzle that’s ideal for cake-lovers. Following the success of its Great British Bake Off 1,000 and 500-piece jigsaw puzzles, Gibsons has released a smaller 250-piece jigsaw that is slightly different from the other two in the range. Presented in a cake slice-shaped tin, the jigsaw portrays a montage of snapshots and best bits from the last seven series. Once the puzzle is complete, the tin has been specially coated to ensure it can be used to keep treats inside. One game that will be a strong feature on Gibsons’ Toy Fair stand is Plop!, a game for all ages. The game has so far received a lot of attention for its unconventional gameplay methods. Gibsons will have a life-sized loo on its stand, and will be urging all visitors to come and have a go at hurling the giant counters into it. The iconic Volkswagen Campervan will finally be released in puzzle-form this year, and Gibsons will be unveiling it at Toy Fair. The new 500-piece jigsaw puzzle comes in an attractive tin replica of the campervan, which can be kept long after the puzzle is complete.

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and Fairy Friends ranges next year. New construction sets, puzzles, Horrible Science and Fashion Club products, with a focus on education and learning, will also be launched for 2017.

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Golden Bear

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Stand E69 01952 608 308 goldenbeartoys.com Golden Bear will be showcasing a range of new products and licences. After signing a global deal with Brands With Influence, the company will be exhibiting its Bush Baby World, a new concept set in a magical land. The range includes a Sleepy Pod and a Dream Tree playset for kids to collect. The Sleep Tight All Night range has been celebrated amongst sleep-deprived parents. Golden Bear is looking to further establish the product as a must-have in 2017 with two new additions to the Sleep Tight All Night range. In celebration of its 10th anniversary, 2017 marks the start of the In the Night Garden’s 10 years of Magical Journeys, and heralds Golden Bear’s launch into the nursery sector with In the Night Garden Baby.

The collection will include a selection of nursery toys all based around the Igglepiggle, Upsy Daisy and Makka Pakka characters. As well as soft toys, the range includes Blankies, Rattles and Hanging Chimes, designed to stimulate littles ones’ senses. Golden Bear will also be showcasing a new lineup of pre-school toys, including a Ninky Nonk Train set, a Peekaboo Igglepiggle and My Friend Upsy Daisy plush, as well as a Walking Makka Pakka soft toy. Following the launch of the Fun Sounds Big Red Boat, the Musical Statues Dancing Great BigHoo will be showcasing Golden Bear’s Twirlywoos line-up at Toy Fair. Following the newly refreshed Something Special Mr. Tumble range, Golden Bear is launching the new Adventure Track Set with Drop

in Driver. Leading the new licensed introductions is the DC Super Friends range. Based around Batman and Superman, this will appeal to DC Comics fans of all ages. The company is also bringing out updated My First JCB lines, highlighting the brand’s indoor and outdoor uses. Following the success of the Big Wheelers, two new lines, Tough Talking Joey JCB and Doug Dumptruck, will launch later in the year featuring chunky muddy wheels and rumbling sounds, as well as new vanishing mud splat bath toys. A new Mini Freerunner track will also be launching in autumn/winter 2017. Harold will be joining the Thomas & Friends range in the spring, with a new interactive Talk Along Thomas being released in the autumn.

Green Board Games Stand E15 01494 538 999 greenboardgames.com Green Board Games is showcasing a host of new products for 2017. New additions to BrainBox include the licences of Peppa Pig and Marvin’s Magic, while an updated Roald Dahl BrainBox, including The BFG, Matilda and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, will follow later in the year. Other additions to the evergreen BrainBox range include Myths and Monsters, Animal Families, Under the Sea and People at Work. Things that Go has also been introduced into the BB Pre-school range, with a phonic-centred, curriculum-aligned update of BrainBox ABC hot on its heels. The company will also be introducing Adventure and Fantasy to its portfolio following the successful launch of BrainBox Story Cards, along with two new Brain Box Jigsaws, Rainbows and Opposites. Flights of Fancy, known for its educationally focused game ethic, also became part of the Green Board Game family in 2016.

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H. Grossman H. Grossman is showing hundreds of new products at Toy Fair 2017. The company is introducing a revamped scooter offering at the show, with over 50% of the range updated with new themes and packaging. The Ozbozz brand is renowned for outdoor products, and this year sees a whole selection of new lines, including the new Twist and Fold Scooter, available in three colourways, with four wheels and height adjuster which folds away. Alien Eggs took the toy market by storm in 1999, winning numerous awards including the coveted Toy Craze of the Year. The popularity of this range has never waned, and has now gone on to sell over 22 million units worldwide, with sales still showing no sign of slowing down. The Hatch It Grow Alien range, which is designed in-house, will add to the success story at pocket money

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prices. Kids can immerse the Egg in water and wait for another little alien to hit the planet. This product is pocket money priced and will introduce another generation of children to the Alien Egg concept. In addition to this, the Hatch It Mega Growing Alien will reach up to 3ft in height, from a standard 8 inch egg. They will be growing throughout Toy Fair in a specially designed display tank. Emojis are massive worldwide, and Grossman is introducing a full range of themed outdoor products for 2017, including scooters, pogo sticks, skateboards and a spiral ball. The company’s award-winning Megasaurs range has been extremely popular; the gift sets are updated and available across all price points, from pocket money to the 30-piece gift sets. The pocket money range has been doubled with lots of new items. From yoyos to water wrigglers, and bubble wands to skipping ropes, H. Grossman has something for every child. The company also has some surprise items under wraps, which can be seen at the show. Grossmans will also be introducing the world’s largest growing Alien at Toy Fair 2017.

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Halilit Stand E90 01254 872 454 halilit.co.uk Halilit will be unveiling new additions to its nursery and pre-school ranges. With almost 60% more space, the company’s stand at Toy Fair will showcase launches across all brands. Products across the Taf Toys range are now grouped into five Easier Parenting categories: Easier Development, Easier Sleep, Easier Mealtime, Easier Outdoors and Easier Drive. These aim to develop new solutions to common parenting challenges. New designs include the I Love Big Mat, Mealtime Monkey, Baby Gyms and Development Toys. Halilit has introduced a line of animal-themed gift sets. The Sounds of the Forest Gift Set is a combination of an illustrated children’s storybook, complete with a musical hooting owl, enabling children to play along as they listen. In addition to this, new Dr Pooch helps children learn how to dress themselves, from tying shoelaces to buttoning up their clothes. Along with Dr Pooch, the range features additional developmental and sensory toys such as the Magic Water Cube, Curiosity Cubes and other new early years’ construction and gift sets, ideal for early years’ development. New additions to the range for 2017 include the Hide and Seek Alphabet set and the Pump and Go Airplane and Train for tots from 18 months and above.

A new Lori Doll horse theme will also be unveiled at the show. Following a successful launch in 2016, horses, stables, a horsebox, new dolls and outfits will join the Lori Doll range. Terra animal and dinosaur collections will also be showcased.

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Stand D99 020 3598 0270 jazwares.com

Infantino BKids BV Stand Gallery G310 07557 640 097 bkids.eu Infantino BKids BV is set to start the year with a bang as it exhibits at Toy Fair for the first time with its most enthralling brand launch yet. Toy Fair 2017 marks the launch of the Sensory Toy collection. The range includes a multitude of toys that will educate and entice. The collection of sensory toys are unlike any other on the market, and has been specially designed. With products suitable for younger babies, sensory toys feature loveable characters, high quality materials, different textures and sounds, lights and bright colours, all brought together to stimulate senses and provide toys to nurture early exploration. Toys that offer sensory stimulation are invaluable to the early development of little ones, and the sensory toy trend is growing in the UK. The Sensory Toy collection by Infantino BKids BV offers sensory features and toys that will last generations. From Senso Balls to Snap Pals, Pull-Along Snails and Spinning Windmills, to robots, shape sorters and walkers, there’s something for everyone. Highlights from the Sensory Toy collection include Leon the Chameleon Light and Shape sorter, which has already won awards in Europe, and is packed with functions that will have any baby or toddler twiddling for hours. This learning-made-fun toy will allow little ones to practice motor skills by pushing buttons to match colours and shape sort. In addition to this, the Sensory Discovery Robot promises babies endless enjoyment with his enchanting sounds, flashing lights and expressions which will activate every time baby pushes, pulls, twists and turns him upside down. Also on offer is the 3-in-1 Walk and Drive Discovery Car that will spark curiosity for little explorers with its colourful textures, buttons, lights and sounds.

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Jazwares will announce a number of new properties at this year’s Toy Fair, and will also unveil new product ranges from existing brands. As well as showcasing refreshes from the Animal Jam range, Jazwares will reveal the First Act collection - a range of musical instruments - and its new Chuggington range for pre-schoolers. A new boys’ property within the digital space will also be announced at the show. Animal Jam, created in partnership with National Geographic, is a safe online playground for kids who love animals and the outdoors. The toy range brings this digital world to life with collectible pets, plushies and playsets. Included in Jazwares’ new Animal Jam toy collection are vehicles for the Pets, as well as customisable Dens and the Series 2 and 3 collectible Adopt a Pets, which come complete with accessories to mix and match across the entire range. All toys come with codes to unlock exclusive content in the online game. Jazwares’ First Act range offers musical products, instruments and accessories for children and young adults under the First Act and First Act Discovery brands, as well as a broad array of licensed properties. Offering a comprehensive range of tunable string, percussion and wind instruments for kids of all ages, the collection includes 30” Designer Acoustic Guitars, a Three Piece Drumset and Electronic Keyboard. Chuggington is a contemporary, energetic and vibrant CGI series for children which follows the adventures of three main characters, Wilson, Brewster and Koko. As Chuggington’s global master toy partner, Jazwares will be unveiling a new collection of toys to hit shelves this Easter. There are 24 Little Chuggers to collect, various track packs and iconic location playsets. With the specially developed ConnecTrax system that is compatible with other train systems, the range will allow pre-schoolers to recreate the adventures from the show and build their collection. Today, through the expertise of its product development team, Jazwares continues to offer a wide array of merchandise at major retailers globally. Jazwares’ portfolio includes: Minecraft, Animal Jam, Peppa Pig, Danger Mouse, Chuck & Friends, Chuggington, Dino Train, Terraria, Adventure Time and Tube Heroes, among others.

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Le Toy Van

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Stand E10 020 8979 2036 letoyvan.com

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Le Toy Van will launch a plethora of new toys at London Toy Fair. 2016 was a strong year for the company’s Toddler collection, which saw an exclusive partnership with Pampers on its new Reward Club App. Le Toy Van is looking forward to the expansion of its ranges in 2017. With a woodland theme and natural smooth solid wood, alongside its range of price points and its own range of gift packaging, Petilou is the ideal year-round gift purchase. Following its Gold Award at Junior Design for the My Little Bird House Shape Sorter, the company also received an endorsement from the Good Toy Guide, which recommended its Sensory Shapes Set and the Forest Stacker Tower & Bag. 2017 will see the arrival of four new lines, including the mini Sensory Shapes Set and the Cogs & Gears Busy Bee Learning.

With five ark-themed toys, including a new Le Petit Ark, this collection has proven to be a favourite. In 2017, Le Toy Van will launch a new design of its Noah’s Ark Shape Sorter. Gender neutral, and inspiring creative and imaginative play, the Great British Honeybake collection is an award-winning collection for Le Toy Van. In 2017, the company is rolling out a wheeled reversible Shop & Café and a shopping trolley. Further additions include the matching shopping trolley with detachable fabric bag, a roast chicken, an apple tart and an egg and cup set, all painted in the company’s iconic Honeybake colour theme. Garages & Cars continues to be a strong theme, exemplified by the company’s Gold Award from the Independent Toy Awards 2016 for its Race Car Transporter. New for 2017 is the Big Wooden

Crane, scaled to Le Toy Van’s vehicles, garages and playmats to create a multi-sensory play environment. Packaged in a big window box, it’s an ideal accompaniment to the newly repackaged Construction Vehicle set. The collection has its own bespoke designed yellow packaging. All of Le Toy Van’s Daisylane Doll’s houses come fully painted and decorated, and feature functioning windows and doors. The refreshed Sweetheart Cottage has glitter on the roof. Also new for 2017 is Party-Time and Play-Time sets, which are scaled to all of the company’s dolls’ houses. There is also a miniature version of the IceLollies set. Le Toy Van’s classic wall unit and island displays are joined by a Play & Display table, and Petilou and Pelmel FSDUs.

Learning Resources Stand D36 01553 819 380 learningresources.co.uk London Toy Fair will see a display of all that’s new from Learning Resources, including new sets in its best-selling STEM range. The Engineering & Design Building Set gets problem solving in full swing. Including over 100 playground pieces, children use creativity and imagination to solve engineering challenges. Activity cards pose problems, guiding young learners through the engineering design process, each problem has more than one solution so can be revisited and redesigned again and again. The award-winning Gears! Gears! Gears! construction range has expanded with two new themed sets. The range includes spinning interchangeable gears that turn with the spin of a handle. New sets include Robot Factory and Space Explorers, which each include themed gears and stickers. All sets can be rebuilt countless ways for endless combinations and designs.

Learning Resources continues to grow for Early Years in 2017. The ideal introduction to problem solving and construction, children build their own robot friend with Count & Build TotBot. Young learners twist to build fine motor skills and use the colourful pieces to develop counting, shape and colour recognition skills. The set includes a two piece TotBot, five number and shape pieces, one detachable bolt and a chunky spanner. Now the youngest learners will get a feel for geography with the new handson Puzzle Globe. This colourful rotating globe sits on a sturdy safe base. Once complete, the globe is customised with stickers of famous landmarks such as the Eiffel Tower and the Great Wall of China for extended learning.

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Character Options comes to Toy Fair 2017 with a line-up of products for boys and girls of all ages, including a ramped up creative play division. Character Options will be adding to the Peppa Pig range in the coming year. With its winning formula of familiar playsets and accessories, the Classic collection will welcome a high-ticket product for 2017: Peppa’s Family Home Playset. This playset features six rooms across three stories, plus articulated figures and lots of accessories. A new licensor-supported theme centred around Play Days and learning will also run throughout the Peppa Pig franchise during autumn/winter 2017. To celebrate, Character Options will launch playsets, including a chunky blue school bus with sound, a classroom set and a schoolhouse. The learning theme continues right through to plush with the launch of the new ABC Singing Peppa. Kids can hold Peppa Pig’s hand and she will sing one of two familiar songs: the Bing Boing theme tune and a rendition of the ABC alphabet song. The 20th anniversary of the Teletubbies brand means Character Options’ Teletubbies range will be extended in 2017. The company’s new collection of 8” talking party plush offers all four Teletubbies characters, each donning colourful party accessories such as hats and balloons. Later in the year, fans will turn their attention to the new Tiddlytubbies. The 8” giggling plush toys have new muted colours with towelling fabric bodies, which closely resemble the Tiddlytubbies on the TV show. Available in four styles – Umby Pumby (yellow), Nin (purple), Mi-Mi (light blue) and Ping (pink) – the Tiddlytubbies will release speech and giggles when their tummies are squeezed. Another option comes in the form of Shuffle and Giggle Tiddlytubbies. These two 10” toys shuffle along and giggle as they crawl. Character’s creative play division will grow once more with extensions to the favourite brands, plus new properties such as Cutie Stix and Crazy Gels. Cutie Stix is the all-in-one activity that allows girls to create a variety of crafting items, such as bracelets, necklaces and hanging wall art. At the centre of the fun is the Cutie Stix Cut & Create Station. With 24 Cutie Stix, cutting and coring wands and a multi-drawer storage unit, this set has enough to create 224 semisoft rubber shapes with colourful designs running right through them, including emojis, foods and animal themes. Kids can simply choose their Stix and cut, core and create. Refill Cutie Stix packs will also deliver continuous creativity and countless designs. 2017 will also see the launch of Cra-Z-Gels Sticker Art, allowing kids to create hundreds of cool stickers using the special 3D gel paint. Kids can simply paint, peel and stick; after the stickers dry they can be applied and reapplied anywhere. The hero of the range is the Cra-Z-Gels Deluxe set with 10 different coloured gel tubes, allowing children to create over 50 stickers. At pocket money prices, there are four themed 3D sticker sets too. Character Options’ girls and boys portfolios will introduce cute new animals from Little Live Pets. Fans should look out for the new Lil’ Hedgehogs and the Surprise Chick that hatches from its own egg. Miniature pets will also come in the form of the Teksta Micro Pets, with a full playset and pet combination. Stretch Armstrong’s adventure continues this year with the new 7” Stretch toys for spring, and the return of Stretch Armstrong’s arch enemy, Vac Man, from July. In the collectibles aisle, Season 2 of Twozies will be unveiled, ready for launch in mid-spring. A new venture with Disney’s Crossy Roads will also add a pixelated option to this important sector.

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Toy Fair

Please Visit us on our stand B121 at the Toy Fair in London

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Geomag

Stand B50 0845 6000 286 marbel.co.uk

Stand Gallery 501 07831 886 997 geomagworld.com

Marbel will be showcasing its newest range of products at London Toy Fair. Made from sustainable materials while enhancing a child’s development skills, Hape encourages imaginative and creative play for all ages. The Mountain Mine range is a new extension to Hape Railway, bringing train play to life and capturing a real working mine. 18 new products will be revealed in the railway range. Hape will also be displaying its new Little Splashers range. Ideal for any age, the collection includes a range of colourful and interactive games and puzzles, featuring faces and designs for children to become familiar with. The VW Walkers are new additions to Hape’s Push & Pull range. The VW Campervan and VW Beetle are available in blue and red. With rubber nonskid wheels and adjustable handrail, the VW Walkers encourage walking and motor skills from a young age.

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Geomagworld SA, the magnetic toys specialist, will be attending its second London Toy Fair this year, with a range of new products and ideas to build on the success of 2016. Firstly, the company’s Color range has a completely new and updated look and packaging style. Geomag has created a mix of new and bright colours, included more play pieces for the construction of new models and highlighted the all-important STEM connection with its products. The Panels range now includes rods and panels with new colours and new items, with different pieces for making new models and bright new packaging. The Mechanics range continues with its engineering theme, and enables real working models to be created, teaching sound engineering principles. For older children and their dads, Geomag’s Pro L is a new range of bigger construction sets with more pieces, bigger constructions and a much larger range of models which can be created. A TV campaign will feature in 2017, along with social media initiatives and promotions.

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Marbel

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GREAT

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Toy Fair, London Spring Fair, Birmingham Spielwarenmesse, Nuremberg

01603 397105Toy World sales@tobar.co.uk 207


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Spin Master

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Stand E131 01628 535 000 spinmastertoys.co.uk

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Spin Master continues to grow organically through geographic expansion and acquisitions. The company’s entertainment properties and brands continue to lead the industry; Paw Patrol currently airs in more than 160 countries and territories, and is one of the world’s leading pre-school properties, and Zoomer, Air Hogs, Meccano and Bunchems have been present in a host of top toy lists. October also saw the launch of a new global phenomenon: Hatchimals. Just one month after revealing the creatures to the world, Hatchimals reached most-wanted status, with consumer demand far exceeding the company’s expectations. With their unique combination of nurturing, caring play and advanced robotics, Hatchimals were ground-breaking and the intensity of demand for the product was completely unprecedented. Spin Master’s 2017 line-up will reveal developments in the fields of robotics and STEM. In addition, this year will see continued strength and growth in Spin Master’s entertainment properties and innovation in the RC Air Hogs product line. Excitement continues to build for the Powerpuff Girls launch in spring 2017. Spin Master will also have a range of action figures and role-play toys to support the May release of Pirates of the Caribbean: Salazar’s Revenge - Disney’s fifth instalment in the popular live-action franchise. Paw Patrol continues to maintain its well-established position as a leading pre-school brand, resonating with children around the world. 2017 introduces new characters and settings, including a jungle storyline for spring. The new characters and themes will be reflected in a new toy range, and following the success of the Paw Patrol Tour last autumn, Spin Master will continue to support retailers with additional store visits in 2017 on a more adventurous scale. The company’s fast-expanding games division welcomes new introductions, including the thrill and challenge of its Escape Room The Game, which includes expansion packs, bringing longevity to the game’s appeal. Get up and Go will also have a strong focus with two new introductions: Pop Knot and Wobbly Worm. Air Hogs will be launching a bold new look, new augmented reality and other technologies and new segments for 2017, with items that appeal to RC enthusiasts of all levels. Drones continue to gain dominance in the tech toy marketplace, and Air Hogs is at the forefront of the trend. Spy Gear has been refreshed to incorporate a Ninja theme; fans can look out for the Ultimate Night Vision and Sky Pen Blaster. In addition, the company’s iconic Meccano line will introduce new materials that add a superior and super-realistic styling to new models, including a Corvette. The Meccano Tech line continues to infuse advanced robotics with the addition of new, intricate programming elements in 2017, creating a powerful combination of high-tech and kid-friendly products. Bunchems has seen strong growth throughout its first year, and is set to be a staple item in Spin Master’s arts and crafts offering. New additions to the Bunchems range include the Bunch Bot to help youngsters build new models quicker. Staying with the creative sector, the Cool Maker range will become more streamlined, and will enjoy the introduction of new materials and projects. Kinetic Sand also introduces new, smaller pocketmoney sets as well as a new compound, Kinetic Rock. Build A Bear has a big year ahead as it celebrates its 20th anniversary, offering retailers the chance to maximise the ‘make at home’ opportunity. Other new introductions will see Spin Master’s entry into the Outdoor sector, with the UK launch of a market-leading range of pool floats and toys from Swimways and Kelseyus. Retailers can expect more surprises in-store as Spin Master prepares for ground-breaking new introductions to be announced later in the year.

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W NE FOR 2017

Just one of next year’s EXCITING new range.

Come and see us at Toy Fair! Olympia London: 24th – 26th January, Stand E 49


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Stand H65 01582 849 000 marvinsmagic.com Entering its 30th year in 2017, Marvin’s Magic is now a recognised brand leader for all things magic. The company prides itself on being the pioneer of in-store theatre, with a reputation for being arguably the premier demonstration company, combining captivating demonstrations with remarkable sales. Its entertaining sales presentations can be experienced in high profile stores worldwide. Marvin’s Magic launched its first internationally renowned magic department within Hamleys’ London store, and nearly 30 years later has ensured that the magic tradition at Hamleys has flourished. Constant innovation and combining the rich heritage of magic with cutting edge technology has produced award-winning

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ranges including the company’s i-Magic range – smart magic for smart devices. Video instructions are also now included in its best-selling sets, which show how to present and perform the various tricks. They have proved a success in both the domestic and international markets, ideal for youngsters and hobbyists who prefer visual explanations. Marvin’s Magic nurtures talent and has helped encourage many young magicians, including TV presenter Stephen Mulhern, who came up through the ranks at Marvin’s Magic and is now regularly hosting four prime time series. Together they’ve created the Stephen Mulhern’s Unbelievable Jokes and Pranks collection, which will be launched at Toy Fair 2017.

Melissa & Doug Stand F40 0800 284 3948 melissaanddoug.com Melissa & Doug’s range of products spans 16 categories of play, from classic wooden toys, crafts, pretend play and games. Melissa & Doug aims to provide a launch pad to ignite children’s imagination. The company’s pretend play line includes realistic playsets, play food and accessories designed to inspire kids to create stories, make connections and practice life skills. The centrepiece launch is the Chef’s Kitchen, a modern play kitchen available in charcoal and pink. Budding chefs can ‘cook’ pretend-play food and store cookware, appliances and utensils. The 22-piece Kitchen Accessory Set includes a frying pan, salt and pepper shakers, spatula, timer and oven mitt, all made from durable plastic. Other items that help extend kitchen play include the Pasta Play Set, a 50-piece pasta-making set. The Wooden Wash, Dry & Iron Play Set has realistic details including a spin-able window on the front-loading washer/dryer and an attached ironing board. The Scoop & Serve Ice Cream Counter has eight flavours and six toppings, while the Frozen Treats Set is a 24-piece set featuring various cookies and ice cream flavours. Snacks & Sweets Food Cart and the Grocery Store Lemonade Stand will appeal to young entrepreneurs of all ages.

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Sakar International

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Stand F100 02476 518 500 sakar.com

Rainbow Designs Stand E120 01329 227 300 rainbowdesigns.co.uk Rainbow Designs is ready to unveil a host of new products across a number of its toy and nursery brands at Toy Fair this year. 2017 will mark the arrival of feature plush toys in two of the company’s most famous brands: Paddington Bear and the new Peter Rabbit TV collection. In line with the new Paddington 2 Movie, set to premiere in November, Rainbow Designs will launch two feature plush toys: Dancing

Paddington and Crazy Cycling Paddington. Youngsters can dance along to the calypso rhythm with their favourite bear, which swings its hips to the beat of the music, and also says five different phrases. Little ones will also have fun with the Crazy Cycling Paddington. These two new characters will join the popular Talk to Me Paddington and My Name is Paddington feature toys that were launched in 2016. There is also a whole host of new feature plush toys available in the new TV Peter Rabbit collection. The new Hopping Peter and Hopping Lily waggle their ears whilst they hop up and down. The characters also say five different phrases. The new collection will also include Talking Peter and Talking Lily feature plush toys, as well as an 18cm soft toy range that includes Benjamin Bunny and Squirrel Nutkin. Rainbow Designs will also be showcasing its My First Thomas & Friends, Paddington, Peter Rabbit, Peppa Pig for Baby, Guess How Much I Love You, The Very Hungry Caterpillar, Miffy and The Snowman and The Snowdog collections at Toy Fair.

Sakar International is a leading provider of consumer electronics and accessories. With a rich heritage of technology improvement since 1977, the company has developed a global presence by consistently evolving alongside technology to develop on-trend, cutting-edge products. Sakar is pleased to announce its retail launch of the Nerf Streaming Video Drone at Toy Fair 2017. The new Nerf drone blasted onto Target store shelves in the US for the 2016 festive season, and will continue to roll-out throughout spring 2017, delivering a new way to enjoy the fun and action play of Nerf. The new Nerf Streaming Video Drone will feature aerial acrobatics. The SKU will include the Nerf Streaming Video Drone Cam Copter with Wi-Fi, a full size drone with the built-in HD video camera, transmitter, a full size controller, an app-based camera view and hover/flip/inversion capabilities plus 32 built-in LED lights. The drone is powered by two flight batteries for easy night flying. The Nerf Streaming Video Drone includes six minutes of flight time per charge, and a 200-meter transmission range. It will also be fully charged in 110 minutes. The drone will feature onboard Wi-Fi for real-time downloading of the footage, captured by the on-board camera/camcorder to the device of the user’s choice. Sakar International also develops licensed products under other Hasbro brands, including Nerf Rebelle, My Little Pony, Transformers: Robots in Disguise, Transformers Movie and Littlest Pet Shop. These products are distributed throughout North America, EMEA and Australia.

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Exciting New Products!

Village Cake Shop

Ballet Theatre Full TV and

Marketing Support

Starry Point Lighthouse

Full TV and Marketing Support

2017 range available in new packaging design! 1300

840

Plus more amazing products in the range!

Š EPOCH EPOCH_TnP_240x315mm_TnP_2017.indd 1

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Stand Gallery 400 08458 739 380 sambro.co.uk Sambro is one of the biggest destinations for licensed products at London’s Toy Fair. With a vast selection of some of the hottest properties of the year, retailers can expect to see yet more category and product additions to the Sambro stable. With a wide range of price points and an unrivalled selection of categories, ranging from pocket money and stationery right the way through to arts and crafts and outdoor, the company is able to offer customers current, high quality and complete licensed ranges. Pokémon continues to dominate the market, and Sambro’s collection of bags and arts and crafts will be added to throughout 2017. The iconic character is just one famous property available at the show, and the

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successful Trolls collection will continue to allow retailers to capitalise on the movie phenomenon. Sambro is renowned for its stationery and arts and crafts ranges, and the company’s new Moana products are perfect for fans of the new Disney character. Two movies enjoying their third instalments in 2017 are Despicable Me and Cars. Sambro has long created successful Cars lines, and retailers will be delighted with the innovative new twists added to the full Cars 3 2017 range. Despicable Me 3 will launch in June 2017, and as with previous releases, popularity is expected to continue all year round. Sambro has a wealth of products to ensure that retailers can offer cross category ranges.

Paw Patrol continues to be a huge success for Sambro, and the range will be refreshed and added to along with other evergreen Nickelodeon licences, including Blaze and the Monster Machines, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and SpongeBob SquarePants. My Little Pony is still a favourite with girls, and arts and crafts products will be launched exclusively at London’s Toy Fair. New licensed ranges will also launch at the show, and customers will be the first to see Spider-Man: Homecoming, Forever Friends, Hello Kitty and other new collections.

Schleich Stand B121 01279 870 000 schleich-s.com Schleich’s DC Super Hero figurines gain reinforcements in March 2017 with the addition of Hawkman and Shazam. Another new arrival in the DC range is Catwoman, and two new figures from the Wonder Woman film will be released in May. Super Heroes from the feature-length Justice League film will also be available from September. The pre-school offering for Farm World and Wild Life will expand for 2017. Key to each of the ranges will be new Starter Sets, with the highlight for the second half of the year being a Croco Jungle Research Station. This playset includes a big crocodile skull and integrated secret hiding place, a research centre as well as a viewing platform. Further accessories include a ranger figure, a fire pit, scientific equipment and four animals. Alternatively, the Tractor with Trailer and Hay Conveyor will also make great additional purchases to the Barn and Farm Buildings from the Farm World range. The Horse Club collection has received a positive response from both retailers and consumers since its launch in autumn/winter 2016, and now the collection will offer even more play value as further horses and playsets are added. For Q3, there will be four more Horse Club playsets including the Mobile Vet Van, which comes complete with many accessories such as a portable X-ray machine, a young Hanoverian foal and doctor’s bag.

In addition, the Riding School with Riders and Horses will be introduced to the Horse Club range this year. There will be some new horses arriving at the Riding School, alongside the horse stall with Lusitano mare. The Horse Club range will also be acquiring another set with Pintabian mare, foal and a horse groom. These playsets can be connected with each other via their paddocks, as well as with the Riding Centre set. Accessories include a saddle, jumping crop, reins and bridle, a hay rack, trough and apples, as well as accessories such as bandages, ointment and brushes. Schleich’s Dinosaur collection will see the arrival of feathered pre-historic creatures, with a Feathered Raptors Set, complete with three dinosaurs that have moveable arms and jaws. The Stegosaurus has also had a redesign and will be joined by Utahraptor and Acrocanthosaurus figures for 2017.

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50 glorious years‌ and counting! Come and see me at:

London Toy Fair, Stand F36 Spring Fair, Hall 5, Stand H16

50th Anniversary collection: Action Soldier, Footballer, Scuba Diver, British Infantryman, Paratrooper, and Ski Patrol are all now available The 2017 collection will be previewed at both shows To place an order please contact: karen@artistsandscientists.com For licensing opportunities please contact: nicola@artistsandscientists.com Licensed By:

+44 1903 885 669 www.artistsandscientists.com HASBRO and its logo and ACTION MAN and its logo and all related characters are trademarks of Hasbro and are used with permission. Š 2017 Hasbro. All Rights Reserved. Photography by Rob Wisdom, a leading Action Man collector.

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Vivid Imaginations

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Stand B70 01473 322 000 vividimaginations.co.uk Off the back of a successful autumn/winter with Nocto, the light-up bat, comes Nocto Arakno. This interactive arachnid scuttles along the floor, or can be hung up to protect children’s rooms; when he detects any movement, he will drop down. Arakno boasts over 30 features including movement, sounds, moods, modes and lights, along with four spider-themed games. Vivid’s Supersize Thunderbird 1 Playset has a tail which can be rotated to retract the wings ready for take-off. With flight sensors, TB1 knows when it’s in flight mode, activating action and rescue sounds. At 35cm tall, the Supersize TB1 also features an opening cockpit with a Scott Tracy articulated mini-figure. Ooshies are squishy mini figures that double up as pencil toppers. Licences for spring/summer 2017 include Marvel, DC Comics, WWE, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Cars and Disney Princess. There will also be more licences and character playsets launching in autumn/ winter 2017. Fungus Amungus is back with over 100 new figures to collect. The Batch 4 Collectibles are new, and also coming into the range is the Rotten Fridge Collector Tin, as well as the Fungus Infest-Station, the new squishing machine for kids’ Fungus figures. Fungus Amungus will continue with its strong TV, online and digital marketing campaigns throughout 2017. Genie Girls will launch new figures into the Wave 2 collection in autumn. The Glo Lantern, Wish Book and Wish Granter will continue in the range from spring/summer 2017, and the Charm Chest Playset is the stand-out item in the autumn/winter 2017 range. Genie Girls’ marketing campaign will continue throughout the year with a strong focus on TV, online, print and sampling programmes. Filly Royale is a new girls collectible. Each Filly Royale pony boasts a real Swarovski crystal, and there is one rare Filly in every 2,500 blind bags which features a real Swarovski diamond. These flocked pony figures are part of a large collection of playsets, including the Magical Crystal Castle. Filly Royale will be supported with a TV campaign. Animagic builds on a successful 2016 with the introduction of a new range. The Surprizamals are miniplush characters hidden inside their own surpriza-ball. With multiple styles to collect in Series 1 and 2 for 2017, these collectibles will be available from Easter. Onesie Pets’ autumn/winter 2017 TV campaign will focus on Fluffy Go Walkies and Penny My Snuggly Puppy. 2017 is the 35th anniversary of Care Bears, and will be marked by the introduction of new Rainbow Heart Bear and birthday celebrations in the second half. As well as character refreshes, there is also the new Hug & Giggle feature plush. Building on the successful world of Flip a Zoo, Vivid is introducing FlipZee Girls for autumn; an assortment of babies wrapped up with a bonnet and swaddle which flip to reveal a soft-bodied doll. The TV commercial will be on-air from launch.

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The Play Face Pals are soft plush toys with adjustable mouth and eyebrows. A catchy TV commercial will support the brand. The Real Baking range is back with a new addition to the range. Another hero product that will be TV advertised alongside the renowned Chocolate Pen is the Princess Cakes Maker, which enables kids to create and decorate a cake with tools, stampers and cutters. Phlat Ball transforms from a 9” disc to a 6” diameter ball when thrown. A new addition to the range is Phlat Ball Flash, along with the original V3 Fusion and Neon Jnr options. Super Wubble is soft and lightweight and can be inflated to up to 3 feet tall. Super Wubble is available with or without a pump, and comes in assortments of pink and blue. Also new to the Super Wubble range for spring/summer 2017 is Water Wubble, the self-sealing refillable water balloon. Vivid’s Kite-a-Pult features a launcher, meaning children can now launch and fly a kite without the help of someone else. The string can also be removed to transform the kite into a glider. Kite-a-Pult will be TV advertised from February with a heavyweight campaign. Also new to Vivid’s outdoor range for spring/summer 2017 are Sky Flyers. Interconnecting launchers allow kids to launch up to four planes at the same time or in a sequence, with four launch modes. Sky Flyers come in a Twin Pack or Bumper Pack. Smackerz is a new craze which enables kids to practice their tricks and challenge their friends. Crayola has an exciting year planned to build on a successful 2016. Crayola Color Wonder is expanding its range and getting a makeover with a brighter, whiter look. The ink in Color Wonder markers only appears on special paper and won’t colour on skin, furniture or fabric. 2017 will see a new Mess Free marketing campaign focusing on TV, in-store communication and more. Launching in autumn, Color Wonder Mess Free LightUp Stamper has ink which is clear, but the stamper knows what colour kids are using. New to My First Crayola is Colour Pops! Colour and Erase Mat, offering colouring in fun for toddlers and worry-free creativity for mum, as any doodle can be magically wiped away, using just water. Responding to the growing colouring trend, Crayola is launching Art with Edge, a range of colouring books, kits and stationery targeted at tweens. Crayola’s Silly Scents range will tap into the scented trend, and will cover Twistables crayons and markers. With Drumond Park games at the backbone of Vivid’s games division, another strong year is expected in 2017 across children’s, family and adult games with new introductions planned across all three segments. Bang On fills the family game slot while Snotcha, Shark Bite and Gassy the Cow will join the children’s games segment.

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Visit us at: LONDON TOY FAIR

Roll the cubes. Make a story.

E109

9 cubes, 54 icons 10 million+ combos, infinite stories!

Rory’s Story Cubes®: MIX Collect all the sets - A story theme for everyone! Discover a world of endless storytelling fun.

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The trademark Rory’s Story Cubes® and its associated marks are owned by The Ideas Hub Ltd

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Tel: 01420 593593 Email: sales@esdeviumgames.com

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Exclusive UK Distributor from 2017 Visit us at London Toy Fair Stand E109

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Smart Toys & Games

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Smart Toys and Games sees the expansion of its range with the launch of GeoSmart, alongside new sets and games from SmartMax and SmartGames. The new releases will be showcased at Toy Fair 2017, highlighting the company’s new range of toys and games that will entertain and educate both adults and children. An ideal STEM magnetic construction set, GeoSmart enables fun learning at home and in the classroom. Featuring bright colours, strong magnetic pieces and a patented double-safety system, GeoSmart offers unsurpassed safety and durability for endless creative play. The kits range from basic starter sets to battery powered remote controlled vehicles. One of the stand-out products is The Mars Explorer, which contains 51 pieces of varying colours, with different shapes and even LED lights. Children can also control their explorer with its two motors, a transmitter and receiver. The SmartMax range will expand to include more sets that allow children to explore the world of magnetism in a fun and safe way. The new My First Safari contains six wild animals (crocodile, hippo, lion, rhino, elephant and giraffe),

and will stimulate children with their bright colours and tactile feel. The magnets are also interchangeable, giving kids the opportunity to mix up these well-known creatures to test their knowledge and understanding. SmartGames’ new releases range from the very easy to the challenging. Each product’s game mechanic with varying levels means that these educational games are ideal for both adults and children. They come in travel, compact and table top editions in plastic or a premium wood range. Stimulating and educational, the latest IQ launch XOXO uses players’ logical thinking. Players must fill the grid with 10 colourful double-sided pieces, leaving Xs and Os in a sequence. This new IQ game also includes 120 multi-level challenges.

Thames & Kosmos Stand F15 01580 212 000 thamesandkosmos.co.uk Returning to Toy Fair for the sixth year, Thames and Kosmos will be unveiling their new range of interactive STEM toys and Strategy Games, which will be released throughout the spring/ summer season. Happy Atoms is a revolutionary approach of teaching chemistry, and lets children discover the world of molecules in a hands-on, intuitive way with a physical and digital STEM kit. Using a set of 50 atom models, representing 16 different elements, children can assemble their own magnetic molecular models. They then use the included app for iPad and iPhone, which uses stateof-the-art image recognition technology to identify the molecule from tens of thousands of varieties, and also provides information for 120 of the most important molecules. Happy Atoms will be available in both an introductory and full sized set. Gekobot is a wall-climbing robot which uses a motorised air suction system and battery-powered motor to make the legs move back and forth and up and down.

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The Giant Triops contains everything kids need for successful Triops breeding. The European Triops, which grow far larger than the better-known American Triops, will be particularly fascinating for kids. Capitalising on Mattel’s Imagine the Possibilities campaign with Barbie, Thames & Kosmos is introducing a Barbie STEM kit. The full-colour storybook manual guides a journey through seven building projects and more than seven experiments. Kids can build a spinning closet rack, washing machine, jewellery holder, hammock, dress designer platform, shoe rack and greenhouse with fan. Children can also make a chromatography dress, leaf-print dress, and optical-illusion origami dresses and learn the scientific processes along the way. Delving deeper into the world of Strategy Games, Thames & Kosmos is also launching three themes of the Exit Games series, where players must use their team spirit, creativity and powers

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of deduction to crack codes, solve puzzles and collect objects. Secret Lab sets the scene of a medical study where players are the only ones invited, and Abandoned Hut taps into the creepy cabin analogy. Pharoh’s Tomb will see players try to escape in time, and Kerala is a fast-paced strategy game where each player aims to take at least one tile of each colour, and all tiles of one colour should be joined together.

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Toy Fair

Stand E99 01380 872 950 tkcsales.co.uk

With 20 years of exhibiting at London Toy Fair under its belt, TKC Sales returns to the show once again in 2017, and is looking forward to presenting its range of outdoor sports and fun toys. TKC Sales will bring with it the successful and world-record-breaking Aerobie sport range, the Stomp Rocket range, HQ Kites and Wham-O’s well-known and much-loved Frisbees: Slip N Slide and Hacky Sacks. OGO Sport, whilst still a relative newcomer to the company’s portfolio, brings forth a much broader range of park life toys in 2017. With the addition of the new Bolli, which is exclusively designed for kids and babies, the range is looking strong, and the company is looking forward to presenting it at the show. There will also be lots of new product opportunities in both the classic Stomp Rocket range and Wow! Stuff’s ever-growing licensed gifts and toys range. After last year’s positive reaction, the company is bringing back its shoot for discount show deal, using the Petron Archery range. Visitors to the stand must hit the bullseye to earn up to 15% discount off their show order. Despite the company’s time in the toy industry, it has kept some of its brands and products a secret. TKC Sales’ mission this year is to break its silence and expose all of the opportunities it represents, not only to prove its high quality and playability, but to offer its customers old and new one of the easiest and best supplier experiences in the UK.

Tobar Stand Gallery 305 01603 397 105 tobar.co.uk Tobar will showcase a range of products at Toy Fair this year. Lawn Darts is an outdoor game which is set to be a success in 2017. It comes with four large weighted soft-tipped darts and two rings. Easy to throw and safe for children, each player will take turns to see who can land the closest to the bullseye. Mini Wooden Golf Set is a traditional garden game which comes complete with two wooden golf clubs and a variety of wooden obstacles. Tobar’s Wooden Rounders Set is a traditional bat-and-ball game set which can easily be played in the garden or taken away on days out. Players must hit the ball and race around the base pegs to complete a rounder, and see who will be crowned the rounders champion. The Dolphin Bath Buddy is the ultimate bath time companion. Perfect for making bath time fun, this dolphin can be attached to the bathtub’s sides and creates a water effect. Kids can pour water into the dolphin’s hat and watch it spurt out through its mouth, creating a watermill effect as the water hits its wheel. Another hit for bath time, Flower Shower is a colourful water toy that can be stuck to the sides of the bath tub. Kids can place the water ball in the tub and hit the button to watch it squirt water through its holes. A favourite from the past, Tobar is bringing Sunprint Paper back for 2017. Sunprint Paper is a simple form of photographic paper which can be used to make sun art. Kids can place any object on top of the photo-sensitive paper and leave it in the sun for 10 minutes. The object will block the sun, whilst the paper around the object will change colour. Kids can make interesting patterns using anything from leaves to shells. Tobar will also unveil its Plasma Lamp Speaker in the UK for the first time. Users can plug in their device through the AUX port, play their favourite music and watch the synchronisation of the plasma lights to the tune being played. The Round Magnetic Dart Board is a classic game with a modern twist. The dart board is fully magnetic, great for hanging anywhere around the house.

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The Exciting New Cute Collectable Brand

They're all waiting to meet you on the Golden Bear Stand: London Toy Fair: Stand E69 Nuremberg: Stand H5 C-15

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Stand D19 07850 779 797 trefl.com two Puzzle Memos; one box contains two sets of puzzles and the memory game of finding pairs of matching cards. Trefl’s Colour Puzzle is a new set of double-sided puzzles. On one side there is a colour picture, while the other is black and white, ready for colouring. Puzzle Plus contains colourful reusable stickers with which children can decorate the puzzles or a marker for drawing on them, connecting dots and tracing patterns. The marker is erasable. In the future, this line will include new products currently under development. Home Gallery puzzles have interesting illustrations, and Magic Playset is a set of selfassembling 3D models that come with accessories made from durable cardboard and pictures from

We are at the London Toy Fair 24–26th January Stand B95

the worlds of children’s favourite characters. This year Trefl also presents Roar! Catch the Monster - a game acknowledged by the jury of the Jouet de L’année 2016 competition that won the main prize for the best toy of 2016 in Belgium (in the family games category). Roar! Catch the Monster combines a standard board game with the modern use of mobile devices that, together with a free app (iOS or Android), give a full augmented reality experience. Also exhibited will be the well-known series, The Little Explorer. The range is made up of educational games, designed by experts from different fields, which aid the development of a child’s cognitive and intellectual skills.

Stepping Stones

All the fun, less mess

Stand GH15 029 2002 9724 steppingstonesmarketing.co.uk

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Trefl is the largest manufacturer of jigsaw puzzles, board games and playing cards in Central and Eastern Europe. Its range of merchandise also includes arts and crafts products. The company is also a distributor of toys to the Central and Eastern European market from leading world brands such as SIKU, VTech and Science4you. Trefl has operated since 1985, and its products are sold in more than 50 countries worldwide. Jigsaw puzzles count for as many as 20 product lines from a total of over 500 SKUs. At Toy Fair 2017 the company will present its newest lines of puzzles and the well-known best-sellers. The jigsaw range will include puzzles suitable for both adults and children. The latest jigsaw puzzles to be presented include

www.littlebrian.com

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For more information email

hello@littlebrian.com

SES Creative is based in Holland and distributed by Stepping Stones Marketing in the UK and Ireland. Every product is developed and manufactured by SES itself, with due regard for the safety and quality of all of its products. All products are toxin-free, paraben-free, animal friendly and accompanied by clear instructions or a manual. SES Creative has a range of product lines including colouring, painting and clay materials and craft kits, outdoor activity and bubble kits, iron-on bead kits, hobby kits, aqua bath toys, face paints and role-play costumes and kits. The company also supports the environment. There is a special Eco line available, and boxes and packaging are made with recycled materials wherever possible.

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www.abgee.co.uk Toy World 223 Email: sales@abgee.co.uk


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Stand E115 020 7298 9507 winningmoves.co.uk Winning Moves has enjoyed a growth of 80% over the past three years through product winners such as its Star Wars Top Trumps Quiz - the instant knockout battle game with a twist. Fans can battle the Force and test their Star Wars knowledge with unforgettable moments from the Star Wars saga. With TV support, the game has become a huge success. Top Trumps has also turned one of its best-selling packs into the ultimate World of Animals Top Trumps Quiz and the World of Sports Top Trumps Quiz, where players can discover interesting facts. 2017 will reveal many more hot new licences, including Disney Classic, DC Comics and WWE Quiz. The success continues with Top Trumps Match, the cube game where players race to match five character cubes in any direction, or choose to step up the strategy and take the win using a special Top Trumps card. Both the Disney Princess Top Trumps Match and Marvel Avengers Top Trumps Match have received TV support. The snap-to-close pack makes the game perfect for travel. 2017 will reveal many new licences including Despicable Me, Harry Potter, Star Wars, Shopkins, Mario, DC Comics, Emotis, and more. Trolls Top Trumps is packed with all the favourite characters from the Trolls universe. The pack stormed straight to the number one best-seller within Winning Moves’ Top Trumps range. The company is also excited to launch its range of Friends games in 2017, including Top Trumps, Monopoly and Trivial Pursuit. The company’s new Star Trek Top Trumps pack includes Spock, James T. Kirk, Scotty and many more characters from the hit TV show. Following a strong sell-through in 2016, the 2017 Shopkins range expands to include Top Trumps, Junior Monopoly, Guess Who, Match, WHOT! and Shopkins Collector’s Tins. The 2017 Top Trumps range includes Animal Jam, Friends, Star Trek, Hottest 30 Apps, Despicable Me, plus a range of classic retro packs with a new vintage-style case. At Toy Fair, Winning Moves will be offering an exclusive show offer; customers will receive 5% off a £500 order or 10% off a £1,000 order.

Milly&Flynn Stand B115 01242 241765 millyandflynn.com

2016 was a good year for Milly&Flynn, having now established itself as a major player in the licensed wooden pre-school toy category. Its Dear Zoo and Peppa Pig toys won multiple awards. Milly&Flynn is developing a range of wooden Teletubbies toys in 2017 to celebrate Teletubbies’ 20-year anniversary. The range, designed to stimulate growing minds, will include a Magnetic Play Set, a Pull and Play toy, a Shape Sorter and some Stacking Blocks. New additions for autumn/winter 2017 include Milly&Flynn’s In the Night Garden and Little Baby Bum ranges.

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These ethically sourced toys will be launched at the Toy Fair. The stand will also feature other licensed character puzzles, toys and games and a range of non-licensed Milly&Flynn pre-school products. For the first time, this year sees Milly&Flynn’s sister company Ginger Fox join in on the Toy Fair stand. Ginger Fox specialises in adult and family games and novelty gifts. It will be exhibiting its licensed games range, including Family Fortunes, Blockbusters, The Unbelievable Truth, Catchphrase, Emoji and Eyetoons as well as its own-brand products.

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VTech

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Stand Gallery 500 01235 546 810 vtech.co.uk

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VTech will be launching over 80 new products at Toy Fair 2017. With continued growth and development in 2016, VTech Baby has secured its number one infant and toddler position for another year, increasing by 6.4% (NPD Y2D Jan-Oct 16). 2017 will be no exception with the launch of two new ranges, Pop-a-Ball and GearZooz. Pop-a-Ball is an action-packed range which aids motor skill development, while GearZooz is a range full of fun cause and effect elements. Both ranges teach numbers and colours, and also encourage imaginative play. VTech will take the Toot-Toot success to a younger audience in 2017 with a new addition to the awardwinning Toot-Toot Family: Toot-Toot Drivers Baby. Toot-Toot Drivers Baby will include a Baby Driver, a Fire Engine Book and a Drive and Discover Police Car, all of which include the renowned interactive features and fun sound effects that consumers have come to love from the Toot-Toot range. With a few simple steps, the Switch & Go Dino’s range can easily transform and switch between a

vehicle and a dinosaur. The most popular character, Lex the T-Rex was the top pre-school vehicle item in 2013, and 2017 is set to see the favourite 2-in-1 toys make an impressive comeback. Depending on which mode kids are in, they can choose different dinosaur eyes or drivers to be displayed on the LCD screens. They can also press the action buttons to activate interesting facts and sound effects. In addition to this, the talk and sound buttons let kids hear fun phrases and dinosaur facts at the touch of a button. VTech’s Kidizoom Action Cam has been consistently in the top 10 within the electronic entertainment (excluding tablets) category since its launch. 2017 will see the Kidizoom Action Cam get even stronger with the new 180° rotating lens, which will give a greater variety of action shots and videos, whilst still retaining the fun features such as the slow and high speed recording and photo burst modes. The new Action Cam 180° will still come with all the same accessories, including various mounts and the waterproof case. Products in the

KidiCreative range create demand and generate sales that are consistent throughout the year, and the Kidizoom Action Cam is a prime example of this. With the winning combination of a huge, well-known licence and the company’s proven achievements and experience of this category, the two new Star Wars Smart Watches and the Stormtrooper Camera are set to be huge successes in 2017. The on-trend designs of the new First Order Stormtrooper and BB8 Smart Watch feature Star Wars mini games, signature sound effects and Star Wars-themed 3D style clock faces. Themed effects can be added to the photos and videos that are captured using the built-in camera. The Stormtrooper Camera is an ultra-tough design, and resembles the black and white helmets of the troop. Star Wars-themed effects, stamps or frames can be added to photos or videos. Kids can also play one of the three fun games or use the voice changing function.

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London Toy Fair - booth G 46 Nuremberg Toy Fair - Hall 3, Stand E12 Birmingham Spring Fair - booth 5M15

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Come and see us at London Toy Fair Gallery 510 and Nurnberg Toy Fair Hall E, Stand E95


Toy Fair

Little Brian

Alpha Toys

Stand B95 01706 666 620 | littlebrian.com 2017 marks the first time that Little Brian will be exhibiting at London Toy Fair. It may be one of the newest brands to enter the toy industry, but it has already won three awards. Its first product, Paint Sticks, are a clean and convenient way for kids to paint with no need for water. The solid paint sticks twist up and down, similar to a glue stick, and allow vivid colours to be transferred directly onto surfaces such as canvas, wood, paper, card and even glass, drying within minutes of use. Paint Sticks offer a range of different techniques, from blending and stamping to the technique of scraperboard art. The toy was named as the overall winner in the creative play category of the Practical Pre-School Awards and was awarded a gold in the creative play category at the Primary Teacher Update Awards. More recently, Paint Sticks was crowned the winner in the painting and colouring materials category for 4-7 year-olds in the 2016 Creative Play Awards. Paint Sticks can help develop a child’s creativity and improve motor-skills, dexterity and co-ordination, all of which play an essential part in their overall development. Little Brian will be exhibiting on Brian Clegg’s stand. Art manufacturer Brian Clegg launched Little Brian, and is an established manufacturer of art and craft products.

Stand F101 0035 3676 3800 | info@alpha-toys.co.uk The Siku brand continues to go from strength to strength with a very successful year’s growth in 2016, and very positive outlook for 2017. This success has been built as a result of an increasing number of stockists in the UK and the new releases, which always enhance the possibilities of sales growth. There were four series of releases throughout the year, with new items in the blister model series, 1:87, 1:50, 1:32 tractor and attachments. World Series of sets was also expanded to allow for further play value. This meant that all categories within the brand had something new to offer. Added to that, the Bugatti Gift Set - Version 5 was released mid-year, a UK and Ireland exclusive to Alpha Toys. Such has been the success of these limited edition sets that a Pink set of three cars and a Mini Set are planned for release in early 2017. This will enhance the other new items for this year. There will be also be a Siku Control Excavator, which was postponed from late 2016. Its release is now eagerly awaited. This is a new venture for Siku Control, as in the past there have only been tractors, attachments and trucks available. To complement the Siku range, Alpha Toys also distributes the Wiking sister brand of Siku, the premium collectors brand. Adding to that, the company also distributed the Kids Globe Farming and Kids Globe Traffic ranges, which should ideally be stocked beside the 1:32 Siku range for add-on sales.

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Underground Toys Underground Toys is back at Toy Fair this year with a whole host of pop culture toys, collectibles and homeware items. For Star Wars fans, the new-look stylised Star Wars Talking Plush range builds on Underground Toys’ award-winning assortment, which was first launched in 2008, retailing at a lower price point than before. The newly stylised 8” Yoda, Chewbacca, Darth Vader, Kylo-Ren, R2-D2 and BB-8 will be available from March, fully equipped with sound and lights, with more characters joining later in the year ahead of Episode VIII. Talking toys from the upcoming Guardians of the Galaxy Volume 2 film will also arrive in the form of new 9” Groot and Star Lord characters, featuring popular phrases from the film. As a partner and sole distributor of Funko products in Europe, Underground Toys is welcoming many new additions to existing ranges, including the ever-expanding POP! Vinyls. The latest characters from blockbusters will hit stores ahead of the film

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releases, due to the company’s fast to market turnaround time. Guardians of the Galaxy Volume 2, Thor: Ragnarok, Beauty and The Beast, Cars 3 and Star Wars characters will be available, alongside familiar faces from Netflix’s Stranger Things. Power Rangers will be one of many cult favourites on show. A new 1.5” stylised blind-bagged Pint Size Heroes range introduces licences including Five Nights At Freddy’s, Disney and Guardians of The Galaxy Volume 2, sitting alongside new licences in Mystery Mini, POP! Rides, POP! Tees, Rock Candy format and more. New lines from Metals Die-Cast coincide with 2017’s major spring cinema releases, offering weighty companions with a metal diecast finish. New ranges to the Metalverse include X-Men, Power Rangers, two new waves of WWE characters and a Fast & Furious assortment. Also making a first appearance in summer 2017 are new 1.5” Star Wars, Harry Potter, Marvel and DC Comics figures.

Interplay Stand G10 01628 488 944 interplayuk.com Interplay will be building on both domestic and international markets for 2017. The company is also going through a creative period, with new additions to broaden and strengthen its product portfolio. Fairy Garden was one of 2016’s top selling toys. Glitter Tattoos from the FabLab range is achieving strong sell-through with high street retailers, and the company’s new Fuzzikins Craft brand is also performing well in the independent sector. At Interplay’s Toy Fair stand, visitors will be able to see existing products which have benefitted from new additions. There are also some new innovations, which will be presented at the show for the first time. My Fairy Garden, Interplay’s leading range, enjoyed excellent sales both home and abroad. New developments available to the international market include entry level kits including a Fairy Bean Pot to grow a magic bean and a Fairies and Friends pack, featuring the most popular Fairies and their animal companions. Mid-price additions include a Fairy Watering Can and Unicorn Meadow, a grow and play kit. At the top end, Interplay will also be introducing Woodland Fairy Garden, an indoor or outdoor playset. FabLab, Interplay’s range of experimental kits for older girls, features 10 kits including the hero line, Glitter Tattoos, which is currently the UK’s top selling children’s tattoo kit. Fuzzikins Craft was launched in 2016, attracting positive reviews and international interest. Fuzzikins are flocked creatures which can be coloured and personalised. Each kit includes extra accessories to extend play. The craft sets encourage imagination, role-play and creativity. Another highlight of Interplay’s portfolio is the Craft Box brand. New for 2017 is the Charm Jewellery, a range of activities for little girls to thread together charms and beads to create jewellery based on the themes of fairies, mermaids and unicorns.

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Playmobil

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Stand Gallery 210 01268 548 111 playmobil.co.uk Playmobil will return to London Toy Fair this year, debuting its first famous entertainment brand licences, Ghostbusters and How to Train Your Dragon, alongside over 200 new original products. The company’s Ghostbusters range will feature much-loved characters, locations and sets from the iconic film. The toy line will bring the scenes to life at home, enabling children to create their own stories starring their favourite characters, or imagine new scenarios by combining with classic Playmobil ranges. Sets include the famous Firehouse and Ecto-1 vehicle, plus a towering Stay Puft Marshmallow Man. An original DreamWorks Playmobil range will also be unveiled. The tale of a young Viking named Hiccup and his unlikely friendship with a dragon, adored by families worldwide, is now available in toy form to play along at home, ahead of the release of 2018’s How to Train Your Dragon 3. The company’s new licences, set to appeal to both loyal and new fans, are also joined by a whole host of new ranges. The new Playmobil Police range will be a hit with budding heroes, almost 40 years after the first Police sets launched in 1978, becoming a favourite with children and parents alike. The new Police Headquarters with Prison has a fingerprint scanner, command centre and telephone system and secret breakthrough wall, where criminals can escape. To complete the line-up, there’s a new Police Helicopter with LED Searchlight, a Squad Car with Lights and Sound and Police with Horse and Trailer. New for 2017, the Romans and Egyptians range is on hand to help make learning fun, with the Pharaoh’s Pyramid and Roman Warrior’s Ship leading the way. The pyramid has five chambers, each containing individual puzzles and traps,

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including secret switches, trap doors and revolving doors. The walls can be removed for little ones to discover ancient artefacts, and keep an eye out for the secret tomb chamber, where Egyptian treasures can be found. The Roman Warrior’s Ship has a fire arrow artillery and ram bow ready for battle, and the boat can be upgraded with the Underwater Motor for bath time. Also launching in 2017 is the Cruise Ship, featuring a fillable pool with slide, restaurant area and bridge on the upper decks, with a removable roof. The lower deck sections can also be pulled out of the ship’s hull. Also included is a floating lifeboat, and lifejackets are stored in the bow. Youngsters can upgrade their ship, with further sets including Singer with Stage and Diving Trip with Speedboat available. Aviation enthusiasts will enjoy the new City Airport range, with the Airport with Control Tower and Passenger Plane among the sets on show. The

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accompanying Airport Fire Engine, Firefighting Operation with Water Pump and Firefighter Quad will appeal to fans of Playmobil’s Fire Brigade toys. The Summer Camp theme features a Camping Lodge and Off-Road SUV, plus a Camp Site with LED Fire, Night Walk, Whitewater Rafters and Biking Trip. Further celebrating the great outdoors is the Forest Life range, with Forester’s House and various vehicles including a Woodcutter with Tractor, Forester Pick Up and Transporter of Wood with Crane. Following last year’s award-winning Porsche 911 Carrera S is the new blue Porsche 911 Targa 4S, continuing the brand’s successful automotive licence. It has a removable roof and working front, rear and dashboard lights for night time driving. For fairytale fans, the Playmobil Princess range is back with a new Grand Princess Castle with elegant staircase, plus a Royal Residence. Additional sets include a Royal Couple with Carriage, Castle Stable, Dressing Room with Salon and a Masked Ball. The Pony Farm comes complete with accessories for animal lovers. Four collectible Ponies are available to add to the mix, plus Country Horseback Ride, Picnic with Pony Wagon, Vet with Pony and Foal and Pony Walk sets.

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Wilton Bradley

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Stand E89 01626 835 400 wiltonbradley.com Wilton Bradley has a number of new brands and products to unveil at London Toy Fair 2017. First is the new Monster Smash Ups brand. Kids can race, smash and rebuild these rechargeable, high speed, radio control monster trucks. When crashed, the front bumper of the monster truck activates the ejector seat, and can send the driver flying across the room. The realistic monster truck suspension enables the trucks to tilt-turn, race and swerve. A TV advert and promotional video will be showing at London Toy Fair, and a heavyweight multichannel marketing campaign is planned for 2017. Visitors to the company’s stand at Toy Fair can interact with the Monster Smash Ups trucks in their galactic arena and watch the promotional video. The Mi-Mic Wireless Microphone Speakers range is also a new addition to Wilton Bradley’s portfolio for 2016. These are wireless enabled karaoke microphones, which come complete with built-in speakers. Kids can simply connect their phone, tablet or computer to play music and sing over the top. Complete with USB charging and seven LED light functions, this microphone will provide endless fun for all ages. The ever popular Toyrific Ride On

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range has been strengthened with three new and exclusive licensed electric ride-ons - a Mercedes SLS, Mercedes GLA and a BMW bike. These electric rideons incorporate luxury features such as adjustable seats, real working doors, MP3 connections and air conditioning to match their iconic branding. The Bubble Fire Rescue Electric Ride On, also exclusive to Wilton Bradley, was a success during Christmas 2016. On top of the exciting features one would expect from a standard Electric Ride On, the Fire Engine also includes a nozzle which fires out real bubbles. The bright, eye-catching packaging will make this product stand out in stores. The Xootz brand was launched by Wilton Bradley, and focuses on the kids wheeled toy market, with a fresh and vibrant take on skates, scooters, skateboards, go karts, ramps and safety gear. Wilton Bradley have a wealth of experience when it comes to sourcing performance wheeled products for its action sports brand, Osprey, and the benefit of this expertise can be seen in the quality of the Xootz

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range. New Xootz items for 2017 include a Quad Skate with LED lights in the sole, a Go Kart with steel frame, inflatable rubber tyres and plenty of new scooters, bikes and skateboards. Force Flyers patented motion controlled drones are also new for 2016. In its first year, a major retailer stocked them in 120+ stores around the UK. Force Flyers’ drones are controlled by a glove which allows users to fly the drone using just hand motions. There are a number of new models available for 2017, including a hybrid car/drone. The UK’s leading inflatables and leisure products manufacturer, Bestway, will also be on show. Wilton Bradley is Bestway’s exclusive partner in the UK. Representing approximately 25% of the industry’s global market and dominating the UK market, Bestway’s assortment of products ranges include Bestway Above Ground Pools, Lay-Z-Spa Hot Tubs, H20Go! Water Slides, the license collection (including Star Wars, Disney and Fisher Price) and much more.

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Exclusively distributed by Chelford Ltd throughout the UK & Europe Dreamscene House, Park House Bridge Estate, Langley Road, Salford, M6 6JQ. 0161 7371881 | sales@chelfordltd.com

www.iplushtoy.co.uk

London Toy Fair | Stand B98 Spielwarenmesse Toy Fair | Hall 5 Stand D16


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Stand B40 01773 570 444 abgee.co.uk With new company branding and products, A.B.Gee of Ripley has a comprehensive range of premium toys, games and models on offer. The company supplies wholesalers, large high street outlets, online stores and independent retailers. A.B.Gee is the exclusive show representative for Hasbro, Mattel and MGA Entertainment, together with many other leading brands such as Science 4 You, LeapFrog, Dolu and Trefl. The company will have dedicated display areas packed with great value toys for all ages, including toys and games for early years, boys, girls, roleplay, wooden, craft, pocket money, puzzles, games, outdoor, remote control, quadcopters and diecast. The company’s extensive range enables it to offer an unrivalled collection of quality products direct from one supplier, enabling retailers to maximise their sales and profit going into 2017 and beyond. Highlights on A.B.Gee’s stand will include the re-branding of Mattel’s

popular Thomas & Friends range, with new Thomas products and packaging. The company will also have the latest games from Hasbro Gaming, including Toilet Trouble and Speak Out. This year, Science 4 You, the award-winning scientific educational company, will be on hand with a large dedicated stand linked to the main A.B.Gee area. Science 4 You has a range of educational toys and games designed in partnership with the University of Oxford and Discovery Channel. Kids can learn about water science, fossils and chemistry, and can even learn how to build a volcano. Demonstrations will be taking place on the company’s stand throughout the show. A.B.Gee will also have favourite names including Trolls, Star Wars, PlayDoh, Disney Princess, My Little Pony, Barbie, Baby Annabel, WWE, Marvel Avengers, Peppa Pig, Fisher-Price, Little Tikes, Thomas & Friends, Shopkins, Nerf, Hot Wheels, Remote Control and Wooden on display.

Funrise Stand G90 01908 555 640 funrise.com Funrise Toys, master toy licensee for the new Netflix show Luna Petunia, has created a preschool toy line. Sparked from the collaboration between Saban Brands and Cirque du Soleil Jr., Luna Petunia reveals the world of Amazia, a place in which the title character goes on adventures and learns how to react to different situations she faces along the way. Featuring the main characters and key moments from the show, Funrise’s toy line includes an assortment of figures, mini playsets, plush, large dolls and signature role-play items. Rounding out the line is the key driver, the large Petunia Manor Playset, with exclusive figures and lights and sounds from the show. Gazillion bubbles, the premium bubbles brand from Funrise, continues to deliver a mixture of magical play and innovation. The company will debut a new Giant Bubble line for spring 2017. The new Giant Gazillion Solution is a specially created formula that creates larger, more

elasticised bubbles that work with the new key items from the Giant line, including the Giant Bubble Mill, a Ferris wheel type machine that produces endless large scale bubbles, and the Giant Power Wand, a hand-held item that creates a stream of larger bubbles. With 2017 marking the 70th anniversary of the Tonka brand, Funrise has continued to look for new ways for consumers to experience Tonka. After the success of the 2016 launch in the US and UK, Tonka Tinys will continue to be a focus for spring and autumn, with additional vehicle styles packaged in signature blind box garages. The Tinys line will expand the Tonka play, with new mini playsets launching in spring, and the larger key drive Rescue Response Station playset for autumn. The Tonka line is rounded out by an assortment of light and sound vehicles within the Minis and Mighty Motorized segments, as well as the brand’s iconic range of Steel vehicles.

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Fancy a date? Ok then, meet you at H46, Olympia. We’ve got four brand new games to show you, including the official game of Channel 4’s hit TV show, First Dates. See you there.

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Leading the way in February is the launch of Just Play’s PJ Masks master toy collection. With a phenomenal launch already under its belt in the US, anticipation is high for this new eOne property. The PJ Masks launch range will include action figures of all the main characters, figure and vehicle sets, along with role-play and plush. In autumn, further figure assortments will join the line, along with four new playsets, including a Transforming Figure Set, HQ Training Room, Launch ‘N’ Go Rival Racers and the PJ Masks HQ Playset. In My Pocket returned in 2016, with the range of flocked collectible pups and kittens. For Q3 2017, the animals will become fiercer with the launch of Jungle In My Pocket, offering jungle pets for children to collect. The entire In My Pocket range includes traditional blind bags and carry cases, multifigure packs and playsets. New for the Jungle series is a rare white animal to find, and a Jungle House Playset, with two exclusive animals and many features such as a walking bridge, log hurdle and fruit hurler. The Disney Styling Head collection sees the addition of Disney Princesses Rapunzel and Belle, both with their own special features. In time for the new Disney Movie, the Belle Styling Head has a magical twist feature that allows the creation of the perfect bun every time. Rapunzel comes with magical growing hair along with gold glitter hair extensions, hair bands and make-up tattoos. In Just Play’s Barbie collection there’s a new Colour Specialist Deluxe Styling Head. This set allows girls to create ombre hair effects. Kids can flip Barbie’s parting to reveal modern hair colour and use the accessories provided to style and customise. Also new is a 58-piece Cash Register, which comes complete with a portable card reader, calculator, a pink sparkly shopping basket and an opening drawer. Spider-Man will also join Just Play’s portfolio in 2017 with the Swing & Sling 15” Deluxe Feature Plush, featuring a shooting web motion, tricks and sound effects. Visitors to the stand will also be able to see new additions to the company’s Lion Guard, Trolls and Puppy Surprise collections.

Little Concepts Stand GH51 01172 302 112 littleconcepts.co.uk Little Concepts is back at Toy Fair in 2017 for the second year running. After a successful first year of trading, the company will be starting the year with ScribbleDown, joining PlanToys, Avenue Mandarine and BrickStix. ScribbleDown designs and manufactures rub-down transfer activity packs that are designed to inspire creative fun, at home or on the move. They are safe and easy to use. There are 12 designs in the range including the best-selling Pirates, Castles, Dinosaurs and Wild Adventures. New for 2017 are four Bumper Packs, featuring large foldout scenes and over 100 transfers. After a relaunch in 2016, the environmentally friendly PlanToys brand continues to push the boundaries of sustainable wooden toy production, with over 30 new products being introduced in 2017. Highlights include sets of mini games, and the mini Balancing Cactus will keep children entertained for hours. Alongside the new products, the PlanToys collection features numerous timeless and iconic products, such as the Dancing Alligator, Sailing Boat Penguin and the My First Camera. PlanToys’ products are made from

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natural rubber wood trees that no longer produce latex. To keep the wood pure, no fertiliser is added to the soil three years prior to cutting the trees down. The Avenue Mandarine collection goes from strength to strength, with over 10 new items on show at Toy Fair for the first time. Avenue Mandarine consists of a selection of puzzles, games and arts & crafts products, all designed in France. New products such as the XL Puzzles, with simple forms and large scale pieces, are adapted especially for young children. The XL puzzles will help kids develop their sense of observation and association. The XL puzzles come in two designs, the Jungle Animals and Tropical Birds. BrickStix, the retail hit from the US, was brought to the UK in 2016. BrickStix makes tiny stickers designed to fit plastic bricks such as Lego and Mega Bloks. The stickers can be removed or repositioned, just like the bricks. New for 2017 are the Spongebob Square Pants and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles licences, alongside the classic 12, including Zombie, Apocalypse, WWII mission and Space Galaxy. All packs feature 60 removable and repositionable stickers.

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Stand Gallery 162 0772 905 1368 | makeitrealplay.com

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Joint CEOs Oliver Williams and Isaac Wolman have joined forces to bring a creative tween girl brand to the market. Make It Real products can be divided into four core categories, jewellery making and wearables, fashion design and illustration, home décor and cosmetics. Each product features recommendations, challenges, extended play suggestions and competitions. The products include Dream Guides, which profile the lives of real women who work in the creative industries. Through an app, consumers can access picture and video instructions and connect with professional role models. The app also provides a social networking forum to share ideas with others, as well as the opportunity to win prizes. Make It Real packaging contains high quality contents, each product clearly explains the skills needed and includes definitions and recommendations. There are also challenges and extended play suggestions. Home Décor is a key area for 2017. New additions include a Woven Rug kit, Neon Light Boards, a DIY Night Light, Home Photo Boards and String Art using LED lights.

2017 will see the release of the new Beauty and the Beast, Descendants, Disney and Elena of Avalor Sketch Portfolios. Make It Real will be working with Disney on a range of watercolour sketchbooks, covering a variety of popular titles including Frozen and Princess. Make It Real have appointed arts and craft partners for Animal Jam, which has over 55 million players worldwide, and will be presenting a range of products at the show.

Jumbo Games Stand E46 01707 289 289 jumbo.eu Jumbo Games will be exhibiting a number of new products from both its children’s and adult puzzles and games ranges at Toy Fair 2017. New for Jumbo’s Peppa Pig range is the refreshed 18-piece Puzzle & Colour, as well as the Peppa Pig 4-in-1 Shaped Foam Bath Puzzles. Both puzzles have been previously successful, and the new packaging and imagery aims to make the items even stronger for retailers in the New Year. Other key launches for Jumbo at Toy Fair will be from its Mattel licensed properties, Thomas & Friends and Bob the Builder. The Thomas & Friends range includes two foam puzzles; the extra-large 19-piece Foam Floor Puzzle is extremely durable and waterproof. Also in the range are the 4-in-1 Shaped Foam Bath Puzzles, featuring four brightly coloured shaped bath puzzle pieces that float and can be stuck to the bath and wall. New additions to Jumbo’s Bob the Builder range include the 18-piece Puzzle & Colour and the 4-in-1 Shaped Foam Bath Puzzles, which complement the 4-in-1 Shaped Puzzles, 9-in-1 Puzzle Bumper Pack and three 35-piece jigsaw puzzles. Also launching at this year’s Toy Fair will be a number of new products from Jumbo’s Disney properties. Highlights include products from the Disney Pixar Cars 3 movie that will be heavily supported with the launch of a new 3D Racing Game and range of puzzles. Jumbo’s new Disney Guess the Movie Game will also be previewed at the show, as well as the new Mickey and the Roadster Racers, Minnie Mouse and Elena of Avalor puzzle ranges. With the Emoji Movie hitting cinemas in August, Jumbo’s Emotify game is also set to be a hit.

From its adult portfolio, Jumbo’s number one adult puzzle brand, Wasgij, will be commemorating its 20th anniversary throughout 2017. Jumbo will be celebrating this milestone with the launch of 10 new products - three in January, three in April and four in June. Attendees to the Jumbo stand will get to see the latest January Destiny, Mystery and Imagine…? releases, and will also get an exclusive look at the seven releases due later in the year, across the Original, Christmas and Back To…? concepts. The unveiling of the new collectible range, Wasgij Retro, will also be shown at the show. Other adult portfolio highlights will include 11 news releases from Jumbo’s Falcon de Luxe range. The puzzles cover the much-loved, traditional Falcon themes of Nostalgia, Scenery, Cottages, Animals and Transport, across varying piece counts from 200XL to 1,500 pieces. At the show Jumbo will also be launching its new Adult Premium Puzzle Collection, featuring over 70 new jigsaw puzzles in piece counts from 300XL through to 5,000 pieces, covering themes of cities, animals, scenery, sightseeing, fantasy and licensed collections such as Studio Pets and Santoro Gorjuss.

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Stand E79 01200 445 113 | brainstormltd.co.uk

IMC Toys Stand E129 01904 720 908 imctoys.com Following on from 2016, IMC will be presenting its most exciting collection to date at this year’s London Toy Fair. Visitors on IMC’s stand will be treated to a brand new stand design showcasing everything from Club Petz, Cry Babies to the new Mickey & Minnie master toy range. 2017 will be the year of Mickey & Minnie. The pre-school brand will launch its new series, Mickey & the Roadster Racers in April on the Disney Junior channel. Programming will feature 2 x 11 min episodes split into Mickey & the Roadster Racers and Minnie’s Happy Helpers. IMC will launch their brand new collection early June supported by a multi-platform marketing campaign and TV advertising. IMC’s collection takes imagery straight out of the series bringing it to life with play sets complete with numerous play possibilities. Amongst the new toys this year is brand new concept Bambo. This new toy will see IMC enter into the electronics category and define a brand era for the company. It is its most ambitious product yet with two years of development behind it. Functionality and product details are being kept confidential until

Hong Kong and London Toy Fair. In 2016 IMC launched Cry Babies into the trade with a bang, storming into NPD’s top performing Nurturing Doll category, alongside existing doll BabyWow. This year IMC has exciting plans to expand its doll category introducing a new talking doll, Emma and an entry point doll called Bloopies. IMC’s feature plush range, Club Petz continues to remain strong. Currently the number one selling Feature Plush (non-licensed) brand with core lines, Lucy the Dog and Blu Blu the Dolphin are reporting strong growth. New additions to the range, Yoyo Panda, Martina and Lola the Puppy launched into the market 2016 with a positive response from both the consumer and retailers. IMC’s games portfolio will also continue to expand in 2017. Having successfully launched Chrono Bomb in 2015 and then Speedy Bin, Turtle Fun and Treasure Detector in 2016; IMC will be adding new and dynamic games to its range. One to look out for is Boomball which is sure to be a big hit next autumn/winter 17. As always IMC will continue to support its ranges with extensive TV campaigns and marketing support.

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Brainstorm is looking forward to 2017 with a bigger range of products than ever before. As well as adding to its own range of Brainstorm Toys, The Original Glowstars Company, StikBots, Aqua Dragons and Natural History Museum brands, there will also be a new creative brand called Craft Time. Craft Time is a newly conceived brand from Brainstorm, and will be a vehicle for a host of craft projects designed to allow kids to develop and hone their creative and motor skills. The brand will launch with a range of 12 easy to complete mosaic projects. Each pack contains either a picture, jewellery box or journal that kids will decorate with the shiny, colourful, sticky foam mosaic pieces. Much of StikBot’s popularity stems from the social sharing element of the product and the StikBot Central YouTube channel, which has received over 93 million views so far. This year the range will extend to inspire even more creative stop-frame animations with the new Action Packs. The Hairstyling pack features a selection of fun wigs to affi x onto a StikBot, including the Afro, Mullet, Bieber and more, whilst the Weapons pack transforms StikBots into warriors with medieval swords, crossbows and more. StikBot Pets are new for 2017 and will add a new dimension to the product. Initially the range will include dogs, cats and monkeys in different colourways. Aqua Dragons has been one of Brainstorm’s most successful ranges to date, and a new line will be introduced in 2017. The new Aqua Dragons in Space range features eggs that have actually been flown to near-space. The set features an authenticity certificate showing metrics of the space flight and links to YouTube so children can watch their Aqua Dragons’ journey above Planet Earth. This new launch will be supported by a nationwide PR campaign linking with a major media partner, and will be delivered across schools in the UK to drive brand awareness. The new Brainstorm Toys Dinosaur Projector and Nightlight is ideal for fans of all things prehistoric. It projects 24 high quality, colour images of dinosaurs up to one metre wide and has a night light, which can also be used as a torch. Brainstorm continues to add to its successful Torch and Projectors range. New for 2017 are Cute and Cuddly, the Must See UK and NHM Sea Creatures Torch and Projectors. The new Brainstorm Toys 14cm World Globe is a great way to teach children of all ages about the countries of the world. The Globe is the ideal size for desks or bedside tables. There will also be new additions to The Original Glowstars Company collection, including Glow Stars and Planets and the Glow 3D Moon decoration. Brainstorm has a growing reputation for pocket money lines, and the new BeeBeez is a nostalgic impulse line that will become a firm favourite once again. The rubber toy can be turned inside out; when bounced it pops open and springs up. Addict a Ball also continues in 2017, and Maze 1 and Maze 2 will challenge both children and adults. TV advertising during Q4 2016 raised awareness and drove sales over Christmas, and the brand will be supported in much the same way throughout 2017.

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Be the first to see our latest

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Just like the real thing!


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changing Spray Magic set and a Glitter Studio on offer, allowing children to add more sparkle to their crafts. In addition to this, the company’s Chocolate Sprinkle Stix allows kids to make their own delicious, bite-sized treats. John Adams continues to lead the way in the action science category, and will now allow kids to create their own Super Powers with the Super Science range. There are sets to represent both Heroes and Villains. Following the huge success of Soggy Doggy and Silly Sausage, John Adams’ range of Ideal branded games also grows in strength and volume. New for 2017 is Mr Bucket – the original, racing, chase the bucket game. To play, players must quickly scoop up the coloured balls and place them into Mr Bucket before he shoots them out again. With Giggle Wiggle, players must start from the bottom and race to balance the coloured balls on

their hands, as they twist and turn, dancing to the music. The aim of the game is to be the first to stack all of one’s balls on Giggle Wiggle’s hands. The company’s Don’t Be A Donkey game will require players to shout ‘donkey’ and grab a carrot; the player who didn’t get a carrot must lift up one of their donkey ears. If a player loses three times, they must then wear the donkey mask. John Adams’ Rummikub range is extended for 2017 with the new Rummikub Twist. The game is played in exactly the same way as the Classic game, but with new additional Jokers to add an exciting twist. Tetris, one of the top-selling video games of all time, can now be played as a table top game. Players can go head to head in a strategic battle with two ways to play. All of John Adams’ key new launches will benefit from TV advertising and a full PR plan.

Micro Scooters Stand B45 01206 381 334 micro-scooters.co.uk Micro Scooters will be showcasing its new nursery, children’s scooter and accessory ranges at Toy Fair 2017. After years of development with its Swiss team, the company will be unveiling its new nursery category. The range includes scooters and rideons, as well as ride-ons that turn into scooters, which have been designed and engineered with the attention to detail and durability that Micro Scooters is known for. For example, the pioneering Mini 2 Go scooter is a multi-functional product with a storage drawer, adjustable handlebar and deluxe footplate. It adapts in four stages to suit a growing child’s needs, and is a one stop shop for parents with younger children.

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Stand G100 01480 414361 johnadams.co.uk John Adams Leisure will be celebrating its 50th anniversary at Toy Fair 2017, with a whole host of surprises. Continuing to build on its successful heritage within its creative play craft range, the company’s 2017 portfolio boasts over 20 new and refreshed product lines. For budding artists, there’s a range of new drawing products, including Pixelo, which allows users to doodle, dot and draw with a special electronic pen. For spiral designs that illuminate, there’s Spiralite, and GlowPad can be used to create illuminations and glowing messages. Following on from a successful launch, there are new lines being added to the company’s eZee Beads range, including new 3D themes and a licensed Paw Patrol set. The Blo Pens range will also see new introductions in the form of a My Little Pony Creative Case, which turns the packaging into a handy mini easel. There’s also a colour-

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Micro Scooters is also excited to unveil the Micro Trike, which provides a completely new, easy and fun way for parents to get out and about with a toddler in tow. A feat of engineering, the Micro Trike is light and folds down compactly so that it can be easily stored. Micro Scooters’ Deluxe range of scooters for 2017 also marks a huge breakthrough in children’s scooters. The Mini Micro Deluxe and Maxi Micro Deluxe have been reinvented, and now include an adjustable handlebar, anodised stems, superior grip and increased weight limits as standard. When released in late 2016, the Deluxe range became the best-selling scooter range for a huge number of its trade partners, and provided opportunities

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for incremental sales. With a new range of colours, increased trade support and continued investment in the Micro brand, the company expects the Micro Deluxe range to be even bigger in 2017. Supporting its scooter ranges and providing a huge opportunity for retailers across all sectors are Micro Accessories. New Micro Accessories for 2017 include bells, windmills, noise makers, gift sets plus revamped prints in best-selling products. Accessories allow children to personalise their scooters, whilst allowing retailer partners to increase their revenue by increasing the number of products sold.

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KD UK

Trends UK

Stand Gallery 630 01727 827 194 kdplanet.com/uk

Stand B20 01295 768 078 trendsuk.co.uk

KD UK will be returning to Toy Fair 2017 with a huge range of new brands, products, dynamic marketing propositions and a new domestic operation that will support the retail market with UK stock for future growth. New for autumn/winter 2017 will be over 12 brands and extensions into new categories, including arts and crafts, games, puzzles, nursery, collectibles, gift, tech and interactive consumer electronics. Amongst the new categories, visitors will have the chance to view new advanced technology and never-seen-before robotics, as well as some more traditional categories delivered in a new way. New to the boys’ vehicle category will be KD’s Monster 500 collectible character diecast. The brand will be supported by a large TV and digital marketing campaign this year. Following on from KD UK’s recent partnership announcement with Educa-Borras, the company will be previewing the range of high quality, puzzles and arts and crafts products. Key highlights from the range include 3D Sculpture Puzzles, the international best-selling Lynx board game and the number one selling arts and craft range in Spain, Fofuchas. To build on KD UK’s nursery success, KD will be showcasing the new Tiny Boo night lights range at the show. The range consists of five lines, including the Tiny Boo Lantern, Tiny Boo Mini Light, Tiny Boo Baby Light, Tiny Boo Huggy Plush and Tiny Boo Sleep Trainer. Tiny Boo night lights help babies and children get to sleep with a multi-coloured glowing light and calming sounds. Other key launches will be from KD UK’s dedicated children’s consumer electronics brand, Kurio. Following in the path of the successful Kurio Watch, KD UK will present its new line, the Kurio Snap, which is the first portable photo-booth for kids with sharing capability. In addition, KD UK will be sharing updates to its Smart Watches and Tablets range. Also featured on the stand will be KD UK’s top-selling Paw Patrol electronic learning range with new additions for 2017. With the Paw Patrol Walkie Talkies and Paw Patrol Blazon both proving to have been very successful throughout 2016, the new additions will make the range even stronger for retailers in 2017.

Following success in the US, Spashlings are landing in the UK with Trends. Splashlings collectibles include Mermaids, Treasure Shells, and Splashlings sea creatures Treasure Pets. The launch will be supported with TV and social media campaigns. Available from summer 2017 are collectible Splashlings packs with Mermaids and characters. There’s also a Splashlings Medical Centre play set and a Splashlings Coral Playground Set. Trends is planning another big year for the Shopkins Kinstructions range from The Bridge Direct in 2017. The new Wave 3 Shopkins Kinstructions will include a Deluxe Chef Club Academy and other destinations including a Tiki Hut, Music Shop, Slumber Party, Birthday Party and more. Suitable for indoor and outdoor play, the new inflatable Pops Up City playscapes come in a small storage box and inflate to a kid-sized play area. In this patented system, each set is made of easy to inflate parts that attach together with Velcro. The environments also have special sound effects and detachable/ wearable inflatable vehicles. Themes include Princess Castle, Emergency Rescue Centre, Construction Site and Knights’ Castle. Pops Up City sets will be available in spring. The company is also introducing the new Thomas & Friends Electronic Learning Toys from summer 2017. The new range includes a Thomas & Friends Smart Tablet, a Thomas & Friends Flipup Phone and a Learn with Thomas Magnetic Fridge Toy. New additions to Trends’ Peppa Pig ELA range include Peppa’s Sing & Learn Microphone and Peppa’s Laugh & Learn Laptop. For autumn, the new Peppa Pig Play Mat features fun graphics and activities. The ELAs are supported with TV advertising and lifestyle PR campaigns. Trends is introducing the new VR Real Feel Racing from VR Entertainment. It has a headset with 42mm lenses that harnesses the power of an Apple or Android smartphone to deliver graphics in stereo 3D. It also launches with a racing app and a patented Bluetooth steering wheel with Max Force

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Feedback. The headset is compatible with hundreds of other downloadable virtual apps and games from Apple Store or Google Play, and will be available from April. Available from spring 2017, Thumb Chucks is the new craze item from Zing Toys. They light up and come in a range of colours with interchangeable belts. Players can upload and showcase tricks with special effects on social media with the Thumb Chucks app, and watch new trick tutorials by the Thumb Chucks guru online. The new suspense-filled action game, BlastBox, from Zing will be available from Trends and Wind Designs from summer 2017. The Megableu Games range features games with working features and strong visual recognition. Featuring strong brands such as Ghost Hunt Evolution, Alien Mission Evolution, and Cobra Attack, Megableu will support the range with TV and marketing campaigns. Name That will be promoted as an ideal travel/holiday game in spring/summer. Be Amazing’s Insta-Snow is reusable; kids can add a few drops of water and the powder expands instantly for snow that looks and feels real. Lines available from Trends include Insta-Snow in tubes or in blister cards. The company is introducing a new Build Your Own Jet Engine set, which will be available from summer 2017. The 50-piece set builds a fully motorised jet engine with sounds and an illuminated combustion chamber. Inspired by Discovery Channel content, the Discovery Kids brand encourages curiosity about the real world. Offering real working features and educational benefits relating to the STEM curriculum, the range will be extended in 2017 with the new hi-tech Discovery Kids Galaxy Tracker Smart Telescope. It includes a smartphone adaptor and aluminium tripod. Kids can attach their phone and start using the app to access an intelligent star tracking system. Trends’ science toy ranges will benefit from TV and PR campaigns this autumn.

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Until London Toy Fair 2016, the Lisciani and Ludattica brands were a wellkept Italian secret in the UK. In Italy however, the Lisciani Group has been successfully researching children’s learning strategies for over 40 years. The Lisciani Centre for Training and Research was set up to help elevate the quality of education in schools, and has designed and produced books and educational games to support this initiative. The centre, founded by Professor Giuseppe Lisciani, involves university instructors and prominent figures in the fields of Pedagogy and Child Psychology on its scientific committee, and each year involves more than 5,000 teachers, school administrators, parents and professional experts in education and publishing through training courses and research meetings. For the first time in 2016, much of the Lisciani game range became available in English, and many leading UK retailers quickly appreciated the quality and good value which the range had to offer. All the company’s products are made in Italy, are great quality, and come in high quality retail packaging. The Lisciani range includes Bay Hi-Tech Electronic educational toys, pre-school educational games and Early Experiments scientific games. The Ludattica range is a line of original and high quality games and puzzles, thanks to the materials it employs. The full range of products, including many new ones, can be seen on the Global Opportunities stand at Toy Fair.

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Plum will be revealing its exclusive distribution deals for the latest ranges of outdoor scooters at London Toy Fair 2017. Its range of Globber Scooters, featuring the Evo 4-in-1 Plus Titanium, will be released in January. Recognised for its ease of use, this award-winning scooter will teach young riders how to scoot, and is designed to grow with the child. The four stages enable transformation from a balance bike to a scooter for beginners, and help the child to develop and learn to ride in different ways. Kids can either attach the handle and seat to push the trike, or can adjust the T-bar height and interchange easily between configurations. It also includes a removable footrest, low deck for stability, metal plate that supports up to 50kg, steering lock button, rear brake and high rebound PU wheels. Also in the range is the My Free 5-in-1. As one product with five different uses, it follows a child’s development as they grow and learn to ride in different ways. It has assisted steering and all the essential safety features, and comes in a selection of five colours, with an adjustable handlebar to cater for growing children. There is also a new electric scooter on offer, and the My Too 18.0 includes a one-second Kleefer folding system. Plum will also reveal its distribution deal with Authentic Sports for its scooter ranges, No Rules and Muuwmi. This is the first time that these brands will be available in the UK. The Kids Scooter UP Muuwmi Black Neon Lightwheel will be available from January, and has easy direction control with front neon wheel lighting. The scooter includes a high impact transparent PP-Deck with fibre and an aluminium T-bar handlebar, with an adjustable and removable turning system. The deck size is 29x12cm and has a handlebar with soft-comfort grip. The scooter comes with a colourful High Impact PP Brake, and high rebound wheels.

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Spring Fair 5L64 www.littleconcepts.co.uk hello@littleconcepts.co.uk

littleCONCEPTS

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Stand B90 0203 773 2716 lottie.com 2017 will see Lottie, Finn and Friends celebrate childhood and inclusivity. Lottie has signed a publishing partnership with Penguin to launch a series of chapter books and activity books in May 2017. Characters from the forthcoming publishing series will also join the collection in doll form, with diverse, educational and fun themes. Following the successful Lottie in Space campaign in 2016, a space suit accessory called Astro Adventure will launch in 2017, the ideal addition to Stargazer Lottie, and a highly sought-after extension to the STEM range. Development of books, playsets, dolls, buildings and outfits will extend the range based on demand for extra play patterns to grow the collection, all created to reflect Lottie, Finn and Friends’ childlike nature. A licensing deal has also been signed between Lottie and the World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts, which will see a three-year deal which initially covers the UK and Ireland. The launch range will be based on a Brownie doll, together with playsets and outfits based on the Brownie activities and age-group. Lottie Dolls is planning to launch a minimum of five products in collaboration with WAGGGS, which can be previewed at Toy Fair. Lottie’s 2017 international PR and marketing campaign includes TV advertising, viral video campaigns, content marketing, targeted digital media advertising, and international editorial promotion of partnerships, as well as an integrated communication plan to promote the brand message. Continued involvement from fans all over the world will be key. Six products to date have been inspired by the designs of real children, and this is something the company aims to build into its brand long-term, through crowdsourced competitions, the exclusive Club Lottie online membership club, and active communication on social media. 2017 will see the launch of new campaigns and content in collaboration with existing partnerships which include Trowelblazers, Brave Girls Alliance, European Space Agency and Action Breaks Silence.

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Kidicraft Stand H30 01282 505 988 kidicraft.com

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Kidicraft will be introducing Stunt Jaxx, the new collectible range, at Toy Fair this year. These comical products are predicted to be one of the great crazes of 2017. The creatures are friction-powered, require no batteries and can be bought individually, in twin packs or with a Battle Arena, where children will be able to decide which one can perform the best stunts. A colourful FDU, complete with a video screen, will make sure that customers can see what each Stunt Jaxx character can do. Toy Fair will also see the addition of even more 3D Magic Motion jigsaw products, some novelty stationery products and a range of children’s 3D wall posters, wipeable 3D placemats and 3D bookmarks. There will also be some new additions to the Magic Motion Jigsaw Puzzle range with, among others, four dinosaur images taken from the National Geographic image library. There will also be more 3D A6 notebooks and a collection of postcards/pictures. The Jigsaw Puzzles, using images from the vast National Geographic, National Geographic Kids library as well as images from British Artists Howard Robinson and Kevin Walsh, appeal to both children and adults with their wide range of pieces, from 48 to 500. Kidicraft’s Selfie puzzles have also been particularly popular. A further addition to the Kidicraft portfolio is a new range of novelty stationery products, which will include pencils and erasers. These low-priced products will be a great pick-up line for all types of outlet. Primo’s children’s arts and crafts products include everything from chalks, paints, crayons, aprons, air-drying clay and fibre-tipped pens, which have an impressive five-day cap-off drying period. Sourced from Italy, Primo products represent the very best that is available in this segment of the market. Mostaix mosaic art sets give both adults and children the opportunity to create pictures that range from simple creations to attractive works of art. Along with the Primo range of children’s arts and crafts and the Mostaix mosaic picture range, there is something for every retailer on the Kidicraft stand. In the past year, Kidicraft’s products have proved to be great sellers in areas of the market as wide-ranging as toy retailers, gift retailers, garden centres, zoos and visitor attractions. The company also has counter displays, floor displays or floor spinners for each of its ranges, as well as an FDU designed solely for its puzzles.

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Stand E140 01869 363 800 ravensburger.com

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Ravensburger will be unveiling 100 new items at London Toy Fair. Buggaloop is a brand new addition to the multi award-winning Bugs in the Kitchen series. Classic children’s games Funny Bunny and Penguin Pile Up are being re-launched, and all games will be backed by a TV campaign. In addition to this, there will also be developments in licensed games, building on the success of the mini memory, Surprise Slides, Labyrinth and Eye Found It formats. During 2017, the company will welcome 16 new licences to its portfolio, including Animal Jam, Disney Pixar’s Cars 3, Disney’s Beauty & the Beast, Elena of Avalor, Rapunzel, Despicable Me 3, Paddington, Power Rangers Dino Charge and Rachel Ellen. Other new licences are set to arrive for autumn/winter 2017. New products have also

been added to existing licences Paw Patrol, Thomas & Friends, My Little Pony and Avengers Assemble. Key releases in the 2017 range include a shaped lighthouse, created by puzzle artist Colin Thompson. Other key launches include a 3D Sneaker, a vintage Volkswagen T1Camper Van and licensed editions of the successful and collectible My 3D Boutique range. The Brio World range continues to expand with the introduction of the village range. Children

can build multilayered buildings, all compatible with the rest of the Brio range. In addition to the fire and rescue launch in 2016, is the brand new police collection, complete with motorbikes, a helicopter and a boat with lights and sound.

Re:creation Stand E125 01189 736 222 recreationltd.co.uk Toy Fair 2017 will see the addition of several new brands to Re:creation’s portfolio. New introductions to the Razor portfolio will also be unveiled. HoverTrax 2.0, the company’s most recent launch, will continue to play a significant role. There will also be developments as the company continues to set the pace in hover boards. The Snuggables plush portfolio performed well in 2016 with Stretchkins and Bright Light Pillow. Both brands will unveil new additions in 2017. Ballet Buddy will introduce a new theme to the Stretchkins portfolio, aiming to introduce a new generation of fans to the brand. The Talk Back Zoo collection will also be unveiled at Toy Fair. Voice recording technology enables the range of four Talk Back Zoo plush animals to repeat back everything their owners say. Tummy Stuffers, ideal for storing other soft toys, socks, clothes, pyjamas, shoes, bedding and pillows, will also be on the stand. With the Lego Movie under its belt, Re:creation’s Lego Lights portfolio has much to offer in 2017. Lego Batman is set to feature in his own big screen animated adventure in February.

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The supporting Lego Lights key lights line will make its debut, introducing new features. Squinkies ‘Do Drops will also be showcased at Toy Fair. This collectible brand, first launched in 2011, is set to expand for 2017. The new line-up for Season 2 will be revealed at the show with new characters, while playsets will offer new environments for character role-play. Re:creation’s new action game, Fox in a Fix, will also be showcased at the show. Joining the company’s recent launch, Who Tooted?, this game sees a fox try to stuff his pockets with stolen chickens. Players are kept in suspense as they await the moment when the thieving fox loses grip of his trousers, sending the birds flying. The winning player is the one who becomes the first to fill their hen house.

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Come and see us!

Toy Fair - Stand E40 Spring Fair - Hall 5 Stand E30-F31

NEW! Mike Jupp is back with the 14th jigsaw in the best-selling ‘I Love’ series - I Love Autumn! With jigsaw delivering drones and crazy Halloween antics, this tongue-in-cheek jigsaw is filled to the brim with chaos and calamity!

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Tactic Games

Stand F20 02392 524 098 | cheatwell.com

Stand D109 01483 332 070 tactic.net Tactic Games will be launching more than 30 new products at Toy Fair, as well as exhibiting some of its most successful games. Amongst the new product launches are games which will be TV advertised during the course of 2017. In the game Emojito, players have to make facial expressions and the other players have to guess what the expression is. Players can co-operate or they can compete. On their turn, players must draw the top card from the deck of emotion cards and imitate the facial expression depicted on the card. They then shuffle seven emotion cards, including their card, and place them on the numbered game board face-up. The other players decide which of the emotion cards is the correct one, and can then turn the guessing dial to the number on the board that the card is on. All the players then reveal their guessing dial. The players that are correct score a point, as well as the player who’s turn it was. The box contains seven guessing dials, seven player tokens, 100 emotion cards, a game board and rules. Emojito will be television advertised during Q4 2017. Word Rush, a word recognition game where the quickest player will win the round, will also be TV advertised during Q4. When the sand timer starts, players place nine letter cards on the grid in front of the other players. They can then take a card from the deck of cards and reveal it. The first player calls out a word that starts with one of the letters on the grid and fits the category, such as films. The player then keeps that letter card. The sand timer starts again and the next player does the same. The quicker the word is identified gives each player a chance to collect the most letters to win the round. The box contains a game board, scoring board, six playing pieces, one large sand timer, 100 letter cards, 50 category cards and rules. The Colour-In range consists of four Colour-In 1,000-piece puzzles and five Colour-In decks of playing cards. The 1,000-piece puzzles are black on white line drawings. The puzzle is completed with the aid of a poster of the completed puzzle. Once the puzzle is complete, kids can colour it in. The completed puzzle is 68 x 48 cm. The initial launch tiles are Floral, Amazing Action Comics, Pin Up and Moomin, with more titles released during 2017. Colour-In playing cards are packed in a counter top display unit containing 12 decks of cards. The titles are Classic King and Queen, Pin Up, Amazing Action Comics, Moomin and Japan. Tactic Games is growing rapidly, with its factory increasing production capacity twofold to facilitate the production of four million games a year. Currently in construction is a fully automated high bay warehouse, providing 6,500 extra pallet locations.

Cheatwell Games returns to Toy Fair with more games for 2017. Leading the charge is Game Pod. The dispenser can be popped in pockets for games on the go. The design allows cards to be cycled from front to back; players must pick a card, accept the challenge then replace it. The range launches with three tried and tested titles: Kids Charades, Humm Bug and Shaggy Dog. Three new card games, Silly Safari, Lift Off and Caveman, come packaged in attractive round tins. Silly Safari challenges players to find the animal that’s wandered off from the Safari. Lift Off requires players to make sets to complete the launch pads before their opponents, and Caveman allows players to master the pronunciations of paleolithic man. All three games are fun, and also help to develop matching and reaction skills. For quiz fans, Quirky is the fastmoving, quickthinking, question and answer, bluff and banter quiz. Quick wit and confidence are

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as important as knowledge in this game, where the players decide the answers. Players must answer the questions as fast as they can, but must be prepared to be challenged by the other players if they think there’s a better answer. What’s In The Box is the high quality wooden box that contains a secret; players can shake, listen, or guess, without peeking. They can ask questions, hold it or listen to the sound it makes. Players have 21 chances to guess the contents before the Box Keeper wins.

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Brilliant Games and Great Margins. Gnome-istake.

Find us at Toy Fair on Stand F20

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For more information and a copy of our latest catalogue please contact mark@cheatwell.com or call 02392 524098

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Advertisers Index Café UL G122 E125

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223 77 255 23 33 233 215 152 193 197, 199 86,87 75 226 237 43,45,47,49 84 163 85 243 12 4, 131, Back Cover 255 235 121, 122 59 231 171, 173 9 10, 187 105 81 249 191 213 217 251 91 126, 127, 141 247 241

GB Eye Gemma International Geomag Gibsons Global Opportunities Golden Bear Grossman Halilit Hasbro Hauck Helix Hornby Hti IMC Import Services Infantino B Kids Interplay Jazwares John Adams Jumbo KD Toys Keycraft Kiddesigns Kidicraft K’Nex Le Toy Van Leapfrog Learning Resources Lego Little Brian Little Concepts Magic Box Make it Real Marbel Marvins Magic Mattel Melissa & Doug Messe Frankfurt MGA Mi-PR

103 67 167 253 44 221 209 128, 129 68,69 101 31 2, 3 107 57, 137 259 35 51, 52, 53, 54 219 145, 147 189 133,135 181 159 143 227 253 109, 111 155 27 222 249 41 229 116 225 11,13,15,17,19,21 139 55 36 8

Micro Scooters Milly & Flynn Mondo MTW Toys Nickelodeon Orchard Toys Playmobil Plum Products PMS Posh Paws Puppet Company Rainbow Designs Ravensburger ReCreation Rovio Rubies Sakar Sambro Schleich Sega Sequin Art Sinco Toys Sphero Spin Master Stepping Stones Stor Tactic Games Thames & Kosmos TKC Sales Tobar Trefl Trends Underground Toys University Games Vivid Vtech Warner Wilton Bradley Winning Moves Worlds Apart

203 142 95,97 165 71,72 256 39 140 64 169 257 195 149 161 89 29 239 65 205 83 63 7, 61 25 Front Cover 14 99 157 56 228 207 245 185 211 151, 153 175, 177, 179 183 79 112, 113, 115, 117, 119, 125 201 93

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A B Gee Aardman Accentuate Alpha Toys Arena Azure Arklu Art & Science Asobi Bananagrams Bandai BBC Beano Bertoy Big Potato Brainstorm Brands With Influence Carta Mundi Cartoon Network Casdon Character Kingdom Character Options Cheatwell Games Chelford Chicco CITV Clementoni Click Diaframma DKL Dolu E One Eduk8 Worldwide Engino Epoch Making Toys Esdevium Fiesta Crafts Five Stars Flair Funrise Galt

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The Puppet Company Ltd. The

Pup Co pet mp any Ltd ÂŽ .

2017 Shows

We hope to see you at the following shows: Nuremburg: 1st - 6th Feb - Hall 1/Stand F09 Spring Fair NEC: 5th - 9th Feb - Hall 5/Stand 5G60 New York Toy Fair: 18th - 21st Feb - Booth 6219

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Allegedly

To all intents and purposes, it would appear that Black Friday has developed into a predominantly online phenomenon in the UK. I am sure I wasn’t alone in having Facebook and Twitter timelines featuring numerous photos of metaphorical tumbleweed blowing through shopping centres and retail parks on the day itself. Perhaps the unsavoury scenes of the past have put consumers off from potentially getting involved in unseemly melees, while retailers themselves inevitably prefer to spread their offers over a wider period, rather than concentrating everything on a single day. And, after all, UK consumers don’t have the day off, unlike their US counterparts, so realistically Black Friday can never become the pivotal event it is in America… There have been several notable new appointments in recent weeks to mention: Adrian Leafe has joined Eduk8 Worldwide as UK and international sales manager - it’s great to see him back in the fold. Elsewhere, Mark Hyndman has been appointed as general manager of Alpha Group, where he will be responsible for launching the company’s UK subsidiary. For those who aren’t aware of the operation, they are one of China’s largest toy and animation companies, and having employed former Mattel country head JeanChristophe Pean as president of US and Europe earlier this year, they clearly mean business. Finally, Lego has a new CEO, Bali Padda; Bali has worked at Lego for 14 years and interestingly, the new British boss is the first non-Danish CEO the company has ever had. We wish each of them the best in their respective new roles… Allegedly would like to highlight two people who are highly regarded across the toy and licensing market, who have both recently moved on from their respective roles: Barry Groves, who has left Posh Paws, and Richard Hollis, whose time at DreamWorks – now of course NBC Universal – has come to an end. Both have been a pleasure to work with over the years and I’m sure everyone will join me in wishing them both all the best with whatever comes next… Speaking of NBC Universal, I was delighted to be invited to attend their licensee presentation day before Christmas. As is so often the case with licensing presentations, I am no doubt bound by all manner of NDAs, so I shall have to be careful what I say; but I was certainly impressed with the strength of the newly-combined Universal /

DreamWorks portfolio, and licensees and retailers will undoubtedly have been encouraged to hear details of the major organisational changes which will deliver a far greater level of support going forward. I don’t think it’s unfair to suggest that the merger has created an organisation capable of challenging the very largest of licensing companies, and I’m not just saying that because they put Toy World’s recent interview with Hannah Mungo up on the big screen for five minutes… I felt very honoured to be invited to attend Character Option’s 25th anniversary celebration in December. As you would expect from Character, it was a spectacular event, with fantastic food, great entertainment and enough alcohol to keep distillers, vintners and brewers in profit for a very long time. In addition to all the current staff from both the Oldham and New Malden offices, Character invited a host of ex-colleagues from the past 25 years to attend, along with a selection of friends from around the trade. It was great to catch up with many people I hadn’t seen for a while such as Alan Caswell and Graham Thompson, and it was a privilege to be part of such a special evening. My favourite comment of the night came from one of Character’s team who rather candidly said to me: “You look bigger in the magazine.” There really is no comeback to that… Prior to Christmas, I received a report from a new data company which tracks price changes of other 10,000 toys sold online by over 20 major toy retailers. In Black Friday week, there were an astonishing 209,000 price changes made (of which Amazon accounted for over 85% incidentally). Of those 209,000 changes, over 40% were price increases, with Argos and Tesco amongst the retailers cited as having the highest price increase percentage. By comparison, Debenhams, ELC and Disney Store saw 95% of their price adjustments represented by price decreases. Of course, when a ‘3 for 2’ promotion ends, many prices are automatically raised, which may account for a percentage of the price increases. But that certainly doesn’t tell the full story – as the aforementioned retailers were shown to have 95% of their price adjustments as decreases, that would suggest that once their prices go down, they don’t necessarily go back up again. And all that is before you factor in those times when a small internet retailer closes out a handful of excess product at ridiculous prices, prompting Amazon to automatically respond. As one person commented: “Talk about the tail wagging the dog!”

For all the latest breaking news from the toy market, visit the Toy World website www.toyworldmag.co.uk Toy World 258


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