Boycie’s Four King Poker Set available to pre-order in August

Boycie’s Four King Poker Set includes a deck of cards, 120 poker chips, a special digitally signed photo of Boycie and more. 

Boycie Four King Poker Set

To celebrate the upcoming release of Boycie in Belgrade a special gift has been developed as part of its official merchandise. The new documentary, described as “a must watch for any fan of Only Fools and Horses” will feature John Challis aiming to uncover why the sitcom is the most watched show in Serbia.

Fans of Only Fools and Horses can re-enact the iconic poker scene from the infamous episode Losing Streak, featuring Boycie’s famous line “For Four Kings Sake!” The new, bespoke product is being brought to market by former Winning Moves executive, Lazar Vukovic.

Boycie’s Four King Poker Set includes a deck of cards, 120 poker chips, a special digitally signed photo of Boycie (John Challis), a dealer button and the all-important x4 extra kings. The new set is on sale for £14.99.

There are only a limited amount planned for production so those interested are advised to pre-order before 23rd August 2020 in time for Christmas delivery.

Boycie in Belgrade is available to purchase on DVD and Blu-ray and is set to be released on the 4th September 2020. All pre-orders will receive a signed copy of the DVD/Blu-ray by John Challis.

MadeForMums launches search for Top Xmas Toys 2020

Details on how to enter the MadeForMums Top Xmas Toy award can be found below. 

MadeForMums Top Xmas Toy 2020

MadeForMums has opened entries for MadeForMums Top Xmas Toy 2020. Winners will be featured, with a click-to-buy link, as Christmas must-buys in its toy review content. Last year, MadeForMums claims that its toy content brought in over 1.2m page views and drove over £380k of toy sales in the run-up to Christmas.

“Due to the coronavirus outbreak and temporary closure of our London office, we haven’t been able to run our usual MadeForMums Toy Awards this year,” commented Susie Boone, MadeForMums’ editorial director. “But we know, from brand and PR feedback, how important our Toy Awards are for Christmas sales and campaigns, so we’ve found another way to provide the MadeForMums seal of approval.”

MadeForMums’ expert, honest editorial content is highly trusted by its parent users, and boasts a high sales conversion rate from its click-to-buy links, which at 11.5% puts the company as one of Amazon’s highest conversion drivers.

Winners of the Top Xmas Toy 2020 will have the opportunity to purchase the MadeForMums Top Xmas Toy 2020 stamp to use on marketing and product collateral, which MadeForMums will further support with social media promotion.

Entries are free of charge and close on Friday 7th August. Winners will be announced in September.

The general MadeForMums 2021 Awards, to be announced in early 2021, are set to expand to include toys as well as general parenting products, although the dedicated MadeForMums Toy Awards will also run again next year – launching in early June 2021.

Toy manufacturers and PR can enter toys for the MadeForMums Top Xmas Toy 2020 by filling out a form here. For more information, contact topxmastoys@madeformums.com or email Helen Brown at helen.brown@immediate.co.uk.

Disney delays film releases due to ongoing coronavirus concerns

The new Avatar and Star Wars films have been delayed a year, and Disney has also removed Mulan from schedules completely.

Disney Mulan

Walt Disney has postponed the release of three major upcoming titles, as coronavirus cases continue to rise in the US. This news will come as a blow to cinema operators, who are already struggling due to the pandemic.

The new Avatar and Star Wars films have been delayed a year, while Mulan has been removed from schedules completely. Mulan was originally delayed because of cinema closures and had been scheduled for release at the end of August. The Mulan delay follows Warner Bros’ decision to postpone the August release of Christopher Nolan’s thriller Tenet.

A rise in virus cases in the US and the impact globally on film production has forced this change in schedule. A Disney spokesperson added: “It’s become clear that nothing can be set in stone when it comes to how we release films during this global health crisis. Today that means pausing our release plans for Mulan as we assess how we can most effectively bring this film to audiences around the world.”

It had been hoped that Mulan’s release might have triggered a late-summer rebound in cinema-going, however The Avatar sequel is now currently set to debut in cinemas in December 2022, and the next Star Wars movie in December 2023.

While cinemas in England were allowed to reopen from 4th July, as long as social distancing guidelines were followed, the picture across North America is much more uncertain. On Thursday, the AMC and Cineworld cinema chains, who had planned to reopen its US cinemas from the end of July, has now pushed back the reopening date for their US outlets until at least mid-August. Meanwhile New York City and Los Angeles, the two largest markets in the US, have no concrete plans for reopening cinemas yet.

In China, the world’s second largest movie market, cinemas started to reopen this week after being closed for six months due to social distancing measures. One film expert said the delay in Mulan was a “blessing in disguise” for Disney, given the rising tensions between the US and China.

Other delayed Disney films include Ridley Scott’s historical thriller The Last Duel, which has been moved from December 2020 to October 2021. Disney is not the only studio to continue to revise its schedules; ViacomCBS Inc’s Paramount Pictures has also now delayed the release of Top Gun: Maverick, the sequel to Top Gun, from December this year to July 2021.

Panini unveils exclusive Tour de France Stickers and Cards collection

The new collection from Panini will hit UK shelves on 6th August 2020. 

Panini Tour De France

Panini has announced the upcoming launch of a new collection for the renowned Tour de France event, which runs in 2020 from 29th August – 20th September. With the cancellation or postponement of so many sporting events this year, fans will be as excited as ever for this year’s race.

The collection features a 64-page album which is packed with information about the teams and competitors taking part in the summer event. The stickers and cards feature bikes, shirts and key locations for the race. There are 384 stickers to collect, including 32 special stickers. There are also 44 cards for collectors to keep a look out for, which can be kept in a specially-designed card holder.

The brand new collection will hit UK shelves and Panini’s online store on 6th August 2020. To support the launch of the exclusive 2020 Tour de France Stickers and Cards Official Collection, there will be free album sampling with WHSmith and a social media campaign across Panini’s social channels. Panini will also be working closely with the organisers of the Tour de France to engage with the cycling community across the UK and Eire.

Visit www.panini.co.uk for more information.

The Lego Group details new addition to Lego Ideas range

The new Grand Piano set from the Lego Group will be available to buy from 1st August.

Lego Ideas Grand Piano

The Lego Group is launching a brand-new Lego Ideas Grand Piano set. The latest product is part of the Lego Ideas collection, which conceptualises and produces items imagined and voted for by Lego fans.

Designed with the intricate elements of a real grand piano, the new set is a fully immersive build, with a motor and working keys.

Talented builders can create their own masterpiece using the Lego Powered Up app, which allows them full control of the musical notes and piano keys. Alternatively, they can select ‘auto-play’ and enjoy one of the ten pre-set songs available.

The set features all the makings of real-life grand piano to give an authentic musical experience in Lego brick-form. Authentic features include a removable 25-key keyboard, a top lid that can be propped up, authentic hammer action and a moving damper and pedal.

Once built, the 3,662-piece Lego Ideas Grand Piano is made to take centre stage as a display model for any room, measuring over 8.5” (22.5cm) high, 12” (30.5cm) wide and 13.5” (35.5cm) deep when closed.

The new grand piano set is part of the Lego Ideas collection, which offers fans the opportunity to submit their own brick creations with the chance to have their concept brought to life with the help of Lego master designers and a share of the profits. Other recent Lego Ideas sets inspired by fans include the Lego Ideas Pirates of Barracuda Bay and the Lego Ideas Friends Central Perk.

Imagined by music teacher and Lego aficionado Donny Chen, this set was designed as a way for him to combine his passion for music with his passion for building, and even features a music sheet composed by Donny himself.

Lego Ideas Grand Piano will be available directly via LEGO.com and Lego Stores from 1st August.

Interplay launches Peppa Pig Grow & Play

The new set from Interplay encourages children to plant easy-to-grow seeds while having fun playing with Peppa Pig characters.

Interplay Peppa Pig

Interplay UK has launched the new Peppa Pig Grow & Play range. Following the success of My Fairy Garden, the brand encourages children to plant ‘easy-to-grow’ seeds and nurture their plants, while interacting with Peppa Pig characters. In the new range, kids can choose from Peppa Pig, her brother George and their friends Suzy Sheep and Rebecca Rabbit.

The first sets in the range, Peppa Pots, are colourful flowerpot houses for Peppa, George and friends to grow their own plant – cress, pea shoots, basil or red amaranth. The four collectible Peppa Pots attach to each other by clipping the fence from one set to the house of another, to form a Peppa Pig street.

Meriç Pekcan-Butcher, marketing manager, Interplay UK commented: “We are really excited to introduce the new Peppa Pig Grow & Play range. Within days of announcing it, we have already seen a huge interest on social media with lots of positive feedback. Influencer campaigns will be running over the next few months, showcasing how lovely the fun and green-fingered grow & play concept is. We are also supporting the new brand with digital marketing, lifestyle PR campaigns and awards programme running over summer to Christmas.”

Tactic Games appoints Inside Out Toys as UK distributor for independent channel

Effective from 1st August, Inside Out Toys will focus on promoting a selection of Tactic’s card, trivia and party games, and some outdoor and travel games to independent retailers.

Tactic Games

Tactic Games UK has partnered with Inside Out Toys in a distribution deal to grow the Tactic brand in the UK and strengthen relationships with independent toy, gift and garden centre customers.

Effective as of 1st August, Inside Out Toys will focus on promoting a selection of Tactic’s beautifully made in Finland card, trivia and party games, as well as some of their popular outdoor and travel games. The offering will feature classics such as Flags of the World and Wonders of the World, plus new releases catering for players of all ages, including Beach Bounce, I Love Britain and Crazy Laws. With 2020 marking the 30th anniversary of Tactic’s Alias word play game, a number of Alias games will also be part of Inside Out’s catalogue for the autumn/winter season.

This new strategic and close-working partnership with Inside Out will allow the Tactic UK sales team to concentrate on national accounts and support the autumn launches of new family games, including Jolly Polly, 15 Minutes to Self-Destruct and Hack My Password.

Phil O’nion, UK sales manager at Tactic Games, commented: “The Tactic business in the UK has been going through a period of transition over the last 18 months and maximising opportunities and increasing coverage within the independent sector has been our main priority. Our conversations with Inside Out have left us in no doubt that the company is well positioned to help open new doors and introduce Tactic to more toy and gift retailers and garden centres. Our senior management team in Finland has been impressed with Julian and Nikki’s enthusiasm, professionalism and vision, and we are looking forward to working with them, their sales agents and their customers to ensure that Tactic’s reputation in the UK continues to go from strength to strength.”

Julian Garner, Inside Out Toys’ managing director, added, “Tactic’s social and environmental responsibility matches closely to our own and we are excited to work with the teams in the UK and Finland to further develop the brand here in the UK.”

Independent retailers that are interested in Inside Out’s autumn/winter Tactic Games catalogue and would like to book an appointment with an agent should contact the Inside Out office on 01908 969969 or email sales@insideouttoys.co.uk.

UK marketplaces to collect overseas seller VAT after Brexit transition

UK marketplaces will start collecting overseas seller VAT with no minimum value from the 1st of January 2021.

Oversees seller VAT

The government has published plans for marketplaces to collect overseas seller VAT with no minimum value from the 1st of January 2021. This is welcome news for Retailers Against VAT Abuse Schemes (RAVAS) and VatFraud who have been campaigning for this for the past decade.

The changes to VAT treatment of overseas goods sold to customers have two aims:

  • To ensure that goods from EU and non-EU countries are treated in the same way and that UK businesses are not disadvantaged by competition from VAT free imports.
  • To improve the effectiveness of VAT collection on imported goods and address the problem of overseas sellers failing to pay the right amount of VAT on sales of goods that are already in the UK at the point of sale.

The paper published this week does not cover matters specified in the Northern Ireland protocol and the government has committed to providing guidance on how the Northern Ireland Protocol will work ahead of the end of the transition period.

Key VAT changes for overseas seller VAT are as follows:

  • For imports of goods from outside the UK in consignments not exceeding £135 in value (which aligns with the threshold for customs duty liability), HMRC will be moving the point at which VAT is collected from the point of importation to the point of sale. This will mean that UK supply VAT, rather than import VAT, will be due on these consignments.
  • The new arrangements will also involve the abolition of Low Value Consignment Relief, which relieves import VAT on consignments of goods valued at £15 or less.
  • Online marketplaces, where they are involved in facilitating the sale, will be responsible for collecting and accounting for the VAT.
  • For goods sent from overseas and sold directly to UK consumers without online marketplace involvement, the overseas seller will be required to register and account for the VAT to HMRC.
  • For sales of goods by overseas sellers, where the goods are already in the UK at the point of sale, the responsibility for accounting for VAT from the overseas seller to the online marketplace that facilitates the sale will be removed.
  • Overseas sellers will remain responsible for accounting for the VAT on goods already in the UK and sold directly to UK consumers without online marketplace involvement.

A possible concern is how large an online marketplace has to be in order to be liable to collect overseas seller VAT. There are many smaller marketplaces and this change could be a barrier to their growth if they have to perform VAT collection for overseas sellers.

However, the move will be welcomed by many UK sellers who have felt disproportionately impacted by overseas competitors who they suspect have been avoiding VAT, particularity sellers who have variously shipped from the Far East, shipped from UK warehouses, undeclared values or marked packages as gifts.

With VAT being collected at the point of sale by marketplaces after the Brexit Transition Agreement ends and the New Year starts, the only people not charging VAT on marketplaces in the UK will be domestic UK businesses which aren’t VAT registered. Unlike the UK where a business can trade below the VAT threshold, there is no VAT registration threshold for businesses not established in the UK, so the seller is liable to register and account for VAT as soon as it starts making sales or holds stock for sale in the UK.

The Works takes steps to expand store estate in South East

The Works has teamed up with property consultants GCW to open more stores across the South East of England.

The Works

Value craft, toy and stationery retailer, The Works, has appointed property consultancy GCW as it seeks to expand its store estate across the UK. The retailer hopes GCW will help it find stores to launch across the South East of England.

The Works currently has 530 stores trading across the UK, and is considering opportunities in towns across the South East for new outlets and re-locations, as part of the ongoing management of its UK wide store portfolio.

It plans to launch stores in prime locations or shopping centres, with store sizes ranging between 1500sq ft to 2000sq ft, with 500sq ft of ancillary space.

The Works property director, Jeremy Smith, commented: “I look forward to working with GCW in these exciting times for our business. We have had great success opening stores in this part of the country and I am keen to further optimise our store locations in this key region as part of the ongoing management of our whole portfolio.”

GCW said it is already engaged in talks with a number of landlords.

In May, during the coronavirus lockdown, The Works saw its online sales more than triple whilst its stores remain closed as per government guidelines at the time. The retailer said its like-for-like sales in stores and online increased by 81% in the week to 22nd March. Revenue rose by 3.5% year-on-year for the 12 months to 26th April.

Gamepath launches in the UK with immersive Monopoly experience

Gamepath will combine escape rooms, immersive theatrical magic and innovative translations of gaming and table-top titles.

Gamepath

Gamepath, a brand new company dedicated to developing and staging large-scale experiential and live gameplay productions, in partnership with leading global entertainment brands, has been launched in the UK, under the umbrella of H & R Entertainment, parent company of the Selladoor Worldwide theatrical production company.

Further details of the inaugural projects will be announced over the coming months, but include the previously announced Monopoly immersive experience, in collaboration with Hasbro, as well as other major iconic titles across the gaming and cinematic genres.

Gamepath’s work will encapsulate the best of escape rooms, combined with immersive theatrical magic and innovative translations of much-loved titles in Covid-secure venues in London and beyond.

With the gaming industry in the UK projected to be worth an estimated £23b by 2023, and the global tabletop board games market projected to be worth more than $12b by the same year, and with over 10,000 escape rooms in existence worldwide, Gamepath will look to bring new audiences for live entertainment from the growing gaming sector, with a unique fusion of theatrical storytelling, thrilling gameplay and global brands.

Led by head of development Julia Posen, who came to the company from Walker Books and previously BBC Worldwide, the company comprises associate producer Paul Mansfield, development producer Tom Beynon and headed up by CEO David Hutchinson and CFO Philip Rowntree.

“We’re delighted to launch our new company, Gamepath, dedicated to developing and producing experiential productions in partnership with leading global brands,” commented David. “The gaming sector is a huge industry, and by working alongside household brands developing them into innovative, dynamic live gaming experiences – we’re hoping we can bring a whole host of new audiences to live performance who want to consume entertainment in a different way.”

H&R Entertainment Ltd is made up of Selladoor Worldwide, I Am Marketing, Desk Tidy Design, and now Gamepath.

Follow @GamepathExp on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook for all the latest updates. Or visit www.gamepath-experience.com.