The biggest-ever January issue landed on desks and doormats across the country last week; readers who may have missed it can access the online issue below.
In this issue, Toy World publisher John Baulch speaks to Jan-Eric Kloth, ThreeSixty Group president, Retail & International, about how FAO Schwarz reacted to the Covid-19 pandemic and how it intends to deliver ‘magic and wonder’ in what is a very different retail landscape. Jo Hall, Toys R Us Asia’s chief commercial officer, meanwhile, spoke to John about how the company has emerged from 2020 stronger than ever, and its plans for the year ahead in an in-depth, upfront and fascinating piece. Adding to the retail coverage, Toymaster’s Brian McLaughlin tells readers how the buying group is supporting its members through the crucial buying season, and retailers tell us how important their membership has been over the previous months.
Mattel’s Michael Hick, VP & country manager – UK & Ireland, and Kelly Philp, UK marketing director, sat down with Toy World to discuss how the company’s reactivity and adaptability stand it in good stead to tackle whatever lies ahead, and Neil Bandtock, managing director of MGA Entertainment’s UK & Ireland offices, talks about the bold and entrepreneurial spirit behind the company’s latest hit launches.
Lego’s Marius Lang, UK & Ireland head of marketing, looks back at the company’s numerous 2020 launches and tells Toy World how the Lego product range continues to evolve. Mike O’Connell and Fran Hales of Rubie’s, meanwhile, spoke to Lisa Currie following a year of development and big changes for the company, and Geemac’s Gerald McKay and Adam Pearson spoke to Rachael Simpson-Jones about how the company’s new domestic supply capabilities will benefit retailers and consumers alike. We also go behind the scenes at Holotoyz and Rex London, with Q&As that tell readers everything they need to know about what each company offers.
Our Viewpoint section this month features fresh and familiar faces alike, including Toy World’s very own John Baulch. Tristan Brooks of Azure Media discusses how companies can plan their marketing for the year ahead, while Love From Aunty’s Sam Muxworthy talks about her experiences of Black Friday/Cyber Monday. New contributor James Ford discusses the upsides and downfalls of Christmas Top 10 Toy lists, Amy Holden, founder of World Alive S.L., asks whether boycotting Amazon would hurt small businesses, and Asha Bhalsod, founder of Etopia Consultancy, offers tips and strategy on ‘standing up’ to the online giant. Rick Derr’s Letter to America column likewise focuses on Amazon as Part 1 of a series of articles takes readers on a dive into the ocean of online.
In licensing, Warner Bros.’ Rachel Wakley gives readers the lowdown on the biggest properties to look out for from the studio this year – Space Jam, Tom & Jerry, and Batman – and John Baulch explores how the licensing industry enjoyed a far better 2020 than could arguably be expected.
Our enormous Show Off feature is the go-to resource for retailers looking to find the latest and best toys on the market. With the London Toy Fair this issue normally previews pushed back to 2022, we’ve helped companies highlight the ranges that would have been on show, helping buyers decide what they should be ordering this year. Be sure to check out our special 2-page Hornby feature – there’s a lot on the way this year. Don’t miss our Virtual Showroom guide and Touching Base feature either; the innovative can-do spirit of the toy industry is clear to see when you take a look at the ways in which companies are bridging the gap between them and their customers this buying season. We’ve also got a Touching Base on Brexit, asking how companies have ensured smooth trading with their UK customers now the transition period has come to an end.
On top of all this, we’ve also got articles from regular contributors including The NPD Group, Toy Barnhaus, Generation Media and the BTHA, plus Talking Shop, Fresh, Allegedly, and news and views from Jazwares, Diaframma and Show Cloud.
If we’ve missed anything, we’re sure you can understand why…
We hope you enjoy reading the bumper January issue of Toy World as much as we enjoyed putting it together. And don’t forget, there’s still time to get involved in our February issue, in which we’ll be taking at look at eco-friendly and sustainable toys.
To read the January issue of Toy World, click here.