Toy World spoke to David Martin and Mary Price about the company’s first year in partnership with The Entertainer.
TW: What was the thinking behind the products which make up the Addo Play range?
DM: We believe we have created a range of high quality, everyday toys that offer exceptional value. We’ve taken the best-sellers across multiple categories and developed products which offer a variety of different play experiences, while giving our retail partners what they’re looking for – we think of it as ‘own brand plus’. Essentially each range gives the retailer a capsule offering; as the packaging is modular, they can take an individual range in its entirety or mix and match.
TW: Are you pleased with the first year’s trading?
MP: Less than 18 months since the company was inaugurated, Addo Play has created 10 sub brands and will have launched over 70 new products by the end of 2016. The first four brands to hit the market have been Ready Steady Dough, featuring Nick Jr branding; the Pitter Patter Pets mechanical plush range; generic plush line Snuggle Buddies and the Storm Blasters range of water guns. Six further brands will launch between now and Christmas each targeted at different age groups.
DM: The proof of the pudding was whether the ranges would sell once they hit the shelves, and we’ve been delighted with the reaction so far. Storm Blasters sold out, helped by the good weather we had this summer, while the rate of sale of Ready Steady Dough in its first couple of weeks on shelf has also been really encouraging..
TW: What are the key factors behind this successful performance?
DM: Price point is, of course, key; we aim to offer exceptional value, which in practice means around half the price of the branded market leader. However, it is not just about price, product quality is equally important; we benchmark against the market leader and broader market competition, but aim to put a different spin on it.
MP: We pay great attention to detail with every range we develop; a lot of work goes into each box to make it an Addo product. We want customers to be delighted when they open the box – it’s also important that what appears on the box is actually in the box. Each product has to deliver genuine value at a great price point, so it’s important to keep our overhead low. We have a small, like-minded team of 15 people in the UK and Hong Kong, all with great knowledge and experience of the toy market. This helps us to deliver the best possible quality and value.
TW: What progress have you made across the globe?
DM: We’ve already signed up 14 international markets, including Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, Italy, Poland and France, as well as a number of countries in the Middle East. We’re way ahead of where we thought we might be at this stage, but we’re still looking for partners in other key territories to grow our international reach. We will be showing the latest range in Hong Kong in October and January, where we’ve invested in a permanent office and showroom. Any international retailers who are interested in setting up an appointment to see the range can email email@example.com.