Shopping centre owner Hammerson set to end rent support for tenants

The move to end rent support comes as shopping centre footfall begins to recover after the pandemic, with a new focus on collecting arrears.

Hammerson crowd checker toolDuring the Covid crisis, retail landlord Hammerson agreed rent holidays and deferrals for some tenants. The government also announced a moratorium on business evictions, in order to support retailers that were struggling during periods of lockdown.

Now Hammerson, a joint owner of the Brent Cross mall and behind Birmingham’s Bullring centre, has decided to bring that strategy to an end, confirming in a statement: “We remain focused on collecting arrears. We do not anticipate granting future concessions and all avenues to collect rents due are being pursued.”

The announcement came as the property company revealed that footfall in all territories has now recovered to approximately 15-20% below 2019 levels. Some centres in the UK actually exceeded footfall numbers from two years ago over the August bank holiday weekend, and have continued to perform strongly since. The company added that sales across its UK centres were in line with 2019 during August and September, while they were around 4% lower in France.

So far in the fourth quarter, which ends on 31st December, Hammerson is believed to have collected 70% of rent due, which is significantly ahead of any quarter since the start of 2020.

Hammerson saw more than £1.6b wiped off the value of its property portfolio in 2020, when lockdowns had a profound impact on the entire retail sector.

ViacomCBS Consumer Products details latest on hit properties PAW Patrol, Baby Shark and Blue’s Clues & You!

New consumer product lines for the pre-school favourites are rolling out across retail. 

With consumer products now rolling out across the UK market, animated feature films and new content slates in the pipeline, and record ratings across kids’ media platforms, now is the perfect time for retailers to get on board with PAW Patrol, Baby Shark and Blue’s Clues & You! Below, ViacomCBS Consumer Products takes a detailed look at these three pre-school favourites and explains how it is ensuring their success in the marketplace for years to come.

PAW Patrol

PAW Patrol maintains its dominance and strength in the UK market. The property is currently the No. 1 licensed brand in the UK pre-school market and is ahead of its closest competitor by +58% according to the NPD Group. This powerhouse status is maintained with evolving content and a diversified retail offering spanning all categories, much to the delight of the brand’s steadfast fan base.

This summer, the PAW Patrol pups took on their biggest mission yet in the highly anticipated PAW Patrol: The Movie, which arrived at cinemas internationally in August. The film, a Spin Master Entertainment production in association with Nickelodeon Movies, and distributed by Paramount Pictures, showcases the pups like never before using hyper-real CGI animation, and includes exciting missions, high-stakes rescues, amazing new vehicles and a star-studded voice cast.

A gold level marketing programme and consumer products programme was put in place to support the release of PAW Patrol: The Movie, with over 20 partners signed in the UK covering a wide range of categories to create movie specific lines. In 2022, PAW Patrol’s thematic versatility will once again be on show in the form of new themed content and consumer products to further cement PAW’s evergreen franchise and No. 1 status. Look out for more information over the coming months.

Baby Shark

Baby Shark has made quite the splash at retail since it dived into the ViacomCBS portfolio. The brand was named the No. 3 licence in Infant/Toddler toys in the UK for May 2021 YTD, and has experienced +43% sales increase YoY in the UK for April 2021 vs. April 2020 (NPD).

Now ViacomCBS takes this classic YouTube character into new territory, demonstrating how humour, a wealth of new characters and great story narratives can take this Shark to the next level.

Baby Shark’s Big Show launched on Nick Jr. in May and has already received over half a million views as of June 2021 YTD (BARB). The series follows the ‘jaw-some’ adventures of Carnivore Cove and introduces a school of new friends, plus new Baby Shark music.

The results speak for themselves: Baby Shark’s Big Show has become the biggest launch on Nick Jr. since Blue’s Clues and You!, securing the coveted No. 1 commercial kids TX of 2021 spot, as well as the No. 2  spot in the kids’ market (BARB). Q1 2022 will see further amplification of the new series as it rolls out on the FTA channel Milkshake!, a children’s programming block on Channel 5. Baby Shark’s Big Show consumer products will also be launching in spring/summer 2022, supported by a robust marketing programme to drive sales.

Blue’s Clues & You!

The revival of Blue’s Clues as Blue’s Clues & You! in May 2020 has proved a winning formula with pre-schoolers and parents alike. The curriculum-driven interactive series features new CG-animation, a new host and an engaging interactive narrative that gets pre-schoolers involved with the show by helping Blues to crack clues and solve problems along the way.

Blue’s Clues & You! viewership continues to strengthen, with a +73% increase in UK reach on Nick Jr. from Q4 2020 to Q1 2021. The show is also No. 3 on Nick Jr. as of June 2021 YTD (BARB) and has a strong hold across the FTA platform Milkshake! where millions are reached each quarter. Blue’s Clues & You! has reached an impressive 3.3m views across Nick Jr., Nick Jr. Too and Milkshake! so far this year (BARB). Season 3 will be launching on Nick Jr. in October. Performance and reach across the Blue’s Clues YouTube channel continues to build with 183m global views Q2 2022 alone, up 29% from Q1 2022.

The brand has a strong multi-platform approach developed to meet kids where they are, playing out across key VOD platforms. Exciting new developments within this space will be announced later this year.

The UK consumer products roll out of Blue’s Clues and You! has commenced. Just Play is the master toy partner and has developed an exciting line of toys aimed at pre-schoolers aged 2-5 years old. Innovation and key brand attributes have been leveraged to translate the property’s success from screen to shelf. Licencees including Fashion UK, Blues, Aykroyd TDP, Character World, Kid Designs, Melissa & Doug, Ravensburger, MV Sports, Basic Fun, Amscan, Sambro and Harper Collins have already signed up to the brand’s Q4 launch, and will roll out into 2022.

Next year, Blue’s Clues & You! will hit the road to meet & greet fans across the UK in the nationwide Milkshake! Tour.

Hot Wheels names UK Legends Tour finalist – the Volvo P1800 Gasser

The overall winning vehicle is to be made into a 1:64 scale die-cast and released in Hot Wheels’ 2022 range.

A bespoke Volvo P1800 Gasser has been selected as the UK finalist for the Hot Wheels Legends Tour, a competition that seeks out the best in classic, modified and race cars from around the globe.

Nicknamed ‘Ain’t No Saint’, the Volvo P1800 was unanimously selected as the UK finalist as part of a live streamed event on 14th October 2021. The UK judges – Car Throttle’s Alex Kersten, revered designer Ian Callum CBE, photographer Amy Shore and YouTuber Sam Fane – deemed the Volvo P1800 the most fitting entrant when it came to Hot Wheels’ exacting standards of performance, authenticity and ‘garage spirit’.

Owned and built by Somerset-based Lee Johnstone, the Volvo P1800 is raced by him and his three daughters – Ellie, Tori and Sarah – with supportive wife Sue also part of the JD Racing (Johnstone & Daughters) team. Originally purchased as a stripped shell that was too far gone to restore as a road car, the Gasser has a 600bhp big block supercharged 454 Chevrolet V8 engine, under which it can run a quarter mile drag race in 10.01 seconds and reach a top speed of 133mph.

“As a team, we were ecstatic to hear our car was chosen. We never thought it would be chosen against some of the other entries,” said Lee Johnstone, owner of the P1800. “Everyone always says it looks just like a Hot Wheels and maybe it will now become one.”

Judge Ian Callum, design director of design and engineering business Callum, added: “This is a beautiful example of a gasser – a drag racer with street car form. Often with dragsters, the chassis is so important that the body gets overlooked, but this example is fabulous with great attention to detail. It’s a super quality, beautifully built car, and it completely hits the Hot Wheels brief.”

In a record-breaking year for entries to the Hot Wheels UK Legends Tour, other notable competitors included a 1972 Ford Escort Mk1 Speedster, which was a lockdown project, and a 1964 Singer Sport that took five years to build.

The Volvo P1800 Gasser will contest in the Semi Finals of the competition on 4th November, with the chance of going onto the Global Final on 13th November. The global winning car will be immortalised as a Hot Wheels 1:64 scale die-cast for both kids and collectors to enjoy.

To learn more about the Hot Wheels Legends Tour visit and follow #HotWheelsLegendsTour.

Exclusive: Steve Cox of Keel Toys on why sustainability shouldn’t cost the earth

Keel Toys’ Keeleco plush range will be showcased in the Sustainability Activation at BLE in November.

Keel Toys is participating in the BLE Sustainability Activation in partnership with Products of Change. BLE takes place in person from 17th-19th November 2021 at Excel London, and online 30th November – 1st December). Toy World caught up with UK sales director Steve Cox to find out what’s changed since he took part in B&LIS back in June.

The last time we spoke, you were heading into a panel session at B&LIS talking about sustainability and the changes the toy industry needs to make. Are we any closer to the industry developing/discovering a source of reusable and recycled plastic for toys?

Recycled polyester is being adopted by some companies for fabric-based products such as Keel Toys – the Keeleco sustainable soft toy range launched in 2020. Working on hard plastic toys is proving more difficult.

The difference between then and now is that it’s not only at the front of everyone’s agenda, it’s no longer all talk: many companies are now acting and doing. Lego is probably further along the road as I understand they are working on using recycled plastic for their bricks, and Zuru has made inroads into both recycling and finding material alternatives. Many others are still working on packaging, getting that right before tackling the issue of recycled plastic.

We’ve also talked about your own sustainability journey at Keel Toys, particularly the Keeleco range. How are sales looking?

Our Keeleco (which features 100% recycled material) has done phenomenally since we came out of lockdown. Back in June we had 17 designs. We now have over 120 SKUs and we have used the equivalent of more than 9m recycled water bottles since we launched.

We started with Wild Animals, added British Wildlife and Farm Animals, and then launched a dedicated nursery range, which has flown off the shelves with retailers such as JoJo Maman Bebe planning to extend the range.

Why do you think it’s done so well?

People buy for three reasons:

  1. Emotional – do they love it? Often that’s why consumers pick soft toys.
  2. Functionality – how does it work, look and feel? Keeleco’s soft toys feel exactly how they should feel. The only difference is that they are made from a recycled  source of polyester, not a virgin one.
  3. Money – will this purchase make me money, save me money, or offer good value? The Keeleco range falls into the latter category because we don’t charge more for them compared to ‘regular’ plush.

But then it also ticks a new, fourth box, which is: ‘Is it sustainable?’. And this is as important for retailers as it is for consumers, especially for attractions and zoos, for whom it’s now a must to offer consumers a sustainable product option. There’s this meeting of minds when it comes to sustainability – the push by retailer and pull by consumer – with the caveat that they don’t want to pay more to be sustainable. Inflation is rising, food and fuel prices are going up. It’s essential that the price is right.

What plans do you have for extending the Keeleco range?

We started with natural wildlife parks and zoos, and nursery was a logical step forward. Next up, we are planning a range of fashion-based soft toys, which is a bit funkier. We soft launched the range at Autumn Fair. It includes 12 very cute soft toys with the typical big eyes, but embroidered, not glass. The artwork features holidays and travel, but with a quiet nod to sustainable travel – so hot air balloons and boats, rather than planes and cars. We are launching at retail in January/February 2022, but will be previewing the range at BLE.

Do you envisage a future when all of your toys qualify to sit under the Keeleco brand?

There are certain products where a recycled fabric option isn’t yet available for externals, but over 50% of Keel Toys will become Keeleco toys within the next 24 months.

You’re taking part in the Sustainability Activation at BLE. What can visitors expect to see from you there?

In addition to the new fashion range of Keeleco toys, we’ll be showing a diorama that explains the journey we go through to turn plastic bottles into soft toys. I’m really pleased to be back in person – I’ve done three live events recently, and I’m looking forward to being at BLE next.

What’s the one message you want retailers and licensees to leave with?

My big message is for licensees and retailers to remember that sustainable products should not cost to the earth – either for the planet or the people from whose pocket the money will come.

Penguin Random House Children’s appoints new commercial director

David Sprei will be joining Penguin Random House Children’s as commercial director for Penguin Ventures, reporting into Francesca Dow, Penguin Ventures MD.

In this newly-created role, David will lead the Penguin Ventures business to further growth, working in close partnership with Susan Bolsover, Global Licensing and Consumer Products director, and the Penguin Ventures team. Susan Bolsover will report into David.

David joins from his previous role as director International Business Development at ViacomCBS Consumer Products, focusing on new innovative & non-traditional partnerships across the portfolio. Prior to this, David has held commercial and partnership roles at Viacom Velocity (MTV Europe), Instrumental and TBWA\Stream, London.

Penguin Ventures is a separate business within Penguin Random House Children’s which manages and exploits a portfolio of literary brands and characters, most notably Peter Rabbit, The Snowman and Spot, focusing on licensing and consumer products, retail activations, theatrical, exhibitions and commercial partnership strategies. In the UK, Penguin Ventures’ most recent successes include a multi-year partnership with Cadburys as well as a global collection with Cath Kidston, both for Peter Rabbit. The team also created a fashion and digital collaboration with Barbour for The Snowman, expanding upon Raymond Briggs’ timeless story via an innovative ad campaign, and was responsible for the UK, Australian and Japanese licensing programme for Peter Rabbit and Peter Rabbit 2: The Runaway.

Francesca Dow, managing director, Penguin Random House Children’s, said: “Penguin Ventures is a successful, multi-award winning and profitable global business, respected by our partners and licensees around the world. To date, Susan has brilliantly led and managed our strong licensing business and excellent team. Now that Ventures wholly manages the licensing for Classic Peter Rabbit in-house, we are excited about exploring new and uncharted opportunities. We believe we are at an early stage in Penguin Ventures’ potential and in his role David will help take us to the next stage of growth and commercial success. I’m impressed by David’s entrepreneurial mindset and look forward to working with him, together with Susan and our Ventures team, as we explore new UK and global opportunities for growth and innovation, explore new IP development and investment and ensure the long-term health and success of our incredible brands. Internally, David will in this new role act as a central commercial unifier for our owned brands, working in close partnership with our Brand and Publishing teams.”

David says: “I am truly excited to work with the world class Penguin Random House Children’s portfolio to drive commercial growth across new and existing markets and lines of business. Working with Susan and the Ventures team, we will continue to build on previous success, explore new ways to tell the story, and continue to connect and engage our fans from yesterday, today and for tomorrow, helping to future proof our audiences for years to come.”

David Sprei joins Penguin Random House Children’s on 18th October.

Selfridges unveils its top Christmas toys for 2021

The retailer says Christmas-related online searches are 225% ahead of forecast as excitement for the festive season builds and customers shop early.

Selfridges has revealed its pick of the toys it believes will be topping kids’ letters to Father Christmas this year, with a number of household names making the list. The retailer’s predictions for the best-selling toys include an array of interactive and fun-filled Christmas gifts that will keep little ones entertained over the Christmas period and long after the festivities end.

Selfridge’s picks are as follows:

  • Luigi Starter Set (Lego)
  • Jiggly Pets Tan Tan the Orangutan (Character Options)
  • Little Live Pets Gotta Go Turdle (Character Options)
  • Paw Patrol Movie Ultimate City Tower (Spin Master)
  • Playtent Grey Star (Kids Concept)
  • Micro Scooter Eco Mini Deluxe (Micro)
  • Deluxe Interactive JJ Doll (Bandai)
  • Barbie Transforming SUV (Mattel)
  • Le Toy Van Shop & Café (Le Toy Van)

Two of the toys – the Micro Scooter Eco Mini Deluxe and the Le Toy Van Shop & Café – are highlighted as ‘Project Earth’ toys, reflecting consumers’ ongoing desire for products that are eco-friendly and sustainable. The Micro scooter’s deck is made from discarded fishing nets and is built from entirely replaceable parts that will never end up in landfill, while the wooden shop and café role-play set is made from sustainable rubber wood and non-toxic paints.

In 2020, Selfridges’ top Christmas toys list championed Lego’s Adventures with Mario Starter Set, Character’s Little Live Pets Gotta Go Flamingo, and Spin Master’s Paw Patrol Dino Patroller. Clearly, these sorts of toys haven’t waned in popularity among Selfridges shoppers.

Spielwarenmesse highlights sustainability with Toys go Green area

The Toys go Green area will host four themed ‘islands’, each offering visitors an insight into the materials and innovation that go into sustainable toys. 

With sustainability remaining a significant and much-discussed topic worldwide, Spielwarenmesse’s 13-member strong International TrendCommittee has identified it as a ‘mega trend’ for the upcoming 2022 show.

From 2nd-6th February, Spielwarenmesse will be bringing the topic to life at the Toys go Green special area in Hall 3A. In consultation with the experts, the team at the trade fair has identified four product categories relevant to the trend – Made by Nature, Inspired by Nature, Recycle & Create and Discover Sustainability – which will be presented as themed islands.

Made by Nature: bamboo, cork and more

The Made by Nature section demonstrates that toys can be made from numerous other natural materials in addition to the wood that has been a mainstay of toyboxes and playrooms for generations. The range of raw materials that nature has to offer is broad and diverse, and includes products such as maize, rubber, bamboo, wool and cork.

Inspired by Nature: the plastics of the future

The Inspired by Nature segment likewise revolves around renewable raw materials. The production of plastics is heavily dependent on fossil resources such as oil, coal and natural gas. This product category demonstrates that there are other, less harmful ways to use plastics, by presenting toys made from bio-based plastics that are environmentally friendly.

Recycle & Create: new from old

Sustainably manufactured products are at the heart of the Recycle & Create category. On the one hand, it showcases toys made of recycled raw materials, while on the other, it focuses on creating new toy ideas with upcycling.

Discover Sustainability: learning through play

Toys can help children to understand complex situations by simplifying and clarifying them, and these are the products at the forefront of Discover Sustainability. The segment displays toys that use play to explain topics such as environment and climate, and to make children aware of the issues in an accessible, fun way.

In addition to the four islands, the Toys go Green area will provide concise background information on the topic of sustainability. Next door, at the Toy Business Forum, industry participants can learn about the Toys go Green mega trend from daily presentations given by experts in the field.

Further information, concise articles on the topic of sustainability, plus examples of best practice are also available on the website.

Rubies announces partnership with The Children’s Society

Rubies has donated more than 50,000 costumes and accessories for The Children’s Society to sell in its shops, helping to raise funds for vulnerable young people. 

The Children's Society

Skelly and Batwoman pay a visit to a The Children’s Society charity shop.

Rubies has announced a new and exclusive partnership with The Children’s Society, a national charity which supports some of the country’s most vulnerable young people. By donating over 50,000 units of stock for The Children’s Society’s shops to sell, the costume company is helping raise much-needed funds for the charity.

The Children’s Society runs local services supporting children including those suffering neglect, abuse and exploitation, children in care, missing children, those struggling with well-being and mental health, and young refugees. These include children and young people facing new challenges as a result of successive lockdowns, or who have seen existing challenges and dangers made worse by the pandemic. The charity also campaigns and lobbies for changes in policies and laws to better protect children and improve their lives.

One of the biggest sources of funding for The Children’s Society is its 104 charity shops. The organisation also has a strong online presence, running an eBay shop in partnership with Parcelforce. However, lockdowns forced the charity to close its shops, leading to the loss of around £1m every month of vital income. Rubies hopes its donation of over 50,000 costumes and accessories, will helping the charity continue to provide life-changing support to thousands of children and young people every year.

Donna Joyce, head of UK Retail Sales & Business Development, said: “As the world’s leading costume manufacturer, we understand that two of our core audiences are children and parents, and we want to help those who have been left negatively affected by the pandemic. From abuse and neglect to isolation and poverty, the sad reality is that there are too many children not living a safe and fulfilling life. As a business it is our responsibility to help society, and by donating our stock, we know the funds raised will go towards vital help that will change young people’s lives.”

Mark Russell, chief executive at The Children’s Society, said: “This is a fantastic, generous donation by Rubies and we are hugely grateful. Even before the pandemic, thousands of children across the country experienced really serious threats to their safety, happiness and well-being. Since then, they and their peers have faced unprecedented challenges like being unable to see family and friends, attend school or pursue hobbies, and it’s sadly no surprise that some have been exposed to increased risks like exploitation, abuse, poverty and mental ill-health. This wonderful gesture will build on the amazing support our shops have received since reopening from our loyal supporters and customers, helping us to be there for children at this difficult time and give them hope of a brighter future.”

The stock Rubies is donating spans a range of licences and iconic brands, with costumes from Star Wars, DC Comics, Power Rangers, Paw Patrol and L.O.L Surprise! included. Shoppers will be able to buy costumes in The Children’s Society’s dedicated stores as well as via its eBay store.

Toy World readers invited to join European Toys & Games leaders for Deauville’s Preshow Noël

The French trade fair offers buyers and retailers five days of business networking, product showcases, after-show events and more.

Preshow Noël Toys & Games, the leading European Toys & Games event for the Christmas 2022 period, offers one of the best opportunities for buyers and retailers to preview trends, first-look samples, new products, flagship ranges and must-have toys and games for next year's festive season.

For the past 17 years, more than 300 key buyers - 100% of the major French retailers included - and over 100 suppliers from the Toys & Games industry have chosen to work on their next Christmas product listings at the Preshow Noël in Deauville, France.

One of the most major trade events of 2021, Preshow Noël offers attendees the chance to connect with a raft of international suppliers, gathered together under one roof to present the biggest choice of toy & games on the market: action figures, arts & crafts, buildings sets, dolls, games & puzzles, infant, toddler and pre-school toys, youth electronics, outdoor & sports, plush, vehicles, explorative toys and much more.

The five-day in-person event boasts a unique concept: pre-arranged business meetings, held in comfortable private showrooms, take place between toy & game suppliers and the totality of the French distribution network, as well as a selection of top European buyers and distributors including decision-makers, buyers from specialised and generalist distributors, eCommerce specialists, and multiple specialists.

Looking for French and European toys & games brands? Preshow Noël attendees can discover for themselves products and prototypes never showcased to the trade before.

More than 100 suppliers are showcasing their ranges at Preshow Noël 2021, of which over 30 are leaders in the space (according to the NPD TOP 50 manufacturers ranking). Exhibitors include:

  • Goliath Group
  • Clementoni
  • Juratoys
  • Bandai
  • Funko
  • IMC Toys
  • Buki Toys
  • Diset
  • Universal Hobbies
  • Vulli
  • Injusa
  • Schleich
  • Gigamic Games
  • Moose Toys
  • Tomy
  • Sentosphere
  • Canal Toys
  • MGM
  • JBM
  • MegaBleu
  • Blackrock Games
  • Doudou
  • Mondo Motors
  • Chicco
  • May Cheong
  • Lunii
  • Jeujura
  • Vilac
  • Theo Klein
  • and others

The full list of exhibitors can be found here.

New features at this year's event include:

The International Buyer Programme

This year, for the first time, Preshow Noël has set up an International Buyer Programme exclusively dedicated to top buyers from key European toys & games retail chains in the UK, Spain, Belgium, Germany, Netherlands and Italy. This dedicated programme offers qualifying buyers a number of perks:

  • Full access to the event from 22nd-26th November at both exhibition sites (Royal Hotel and the CID)
  • Accommodation (two nights in a hotel)*
  • Access to the Preshow opening cocktail night (Monday 22nd November, starting from 8.15pm)
  • Complimentary breakfasts, lunches and coffee break refreshments during their stay

*subject to conditions. Exclusively reserved to decision makers from key toys & games retail chains. The invited retailers must be part of their country’s Top 10 and from the UK, Belgium, Germany, Italy, Spain or the Netherlands.

Those wishing to join the International Buyer Programme or check their eligibility should contact Emilie Ragoin: +33 (0)6 99 59 67 10 /

The Preshow Noël Game Bar

The Game Bar, conveniently located in the Lobby of the Royal Barrière Hotel on Tuesday 23rd, Wednesday 24th and Thursday 25th November from 6pm-8pm, is a must-visit for buyers. These early evening events will allow show visitors to play games with suppliers. A fun and lively atmosphere is expected each night.

Revamped opening evening

Preshow Noël has redesigned its popular cocktail party to ensure all buyers and suppliers can enjoy a festive introduction. Surprises are guaranteed on Monday, November 22nd, starting from 8:15 pm, thanks to a collaboration with Preshow Noël's partner, The Walt Disney Company France.

Digital platform

A new digital platform, launching this month, has been designed to allow attendees to further prepare for Christmas 2022 by meeting all the toys & games suppliers due to showcase their ranges at Preshow Noël and discover their products online.

To find out more, visit the Preshow Noël website. To register for the event, click here.

Latest Smyths campaign brings favourite Hasbro games to life

The launch of the Hasbro Board Games ad is supported with an integrated 360 marketing campaign on YouTube, Facebook, Instagram and web.

Smyths Toys Superstores has unveiled a magical new board games campaign in collaboration with Hasbro Gaming.

The creative campaign captures all the fun of iconic Hasbro board games as Smyths Toys’ beloved brand character, Oscar, gets competitive. The story follows Oscar on a journey through a world of larger-than-life Hasbro board games, animated by McCann Manchester Animation House. Oscar tries to blend in on the Guess Who board, gets rich quick in Monopoly and comes across a feeding frenzy of Hungry Hungry Hippos Unicorns. But when it comes to Ka-Blab, he might just get brain-freeze.

Sinead Byrne, joint head of Marketing at Smyths Toys, said: “Bringing this campaign to life was a truly creative and collaborative process with Hasbro and McCann Animation House. We loved seeing Oscar step inside these iconic board games, and we hope it inspires customers to share their favourite board games with friends and family.”

Anne Leonhardi, marketing director North Europe at Hasbro, commented: “Hasbro is home to some of the most popular games that generations have grown to love. This campaign has been a really great opportunity to bring some of our family favourite games to life, as well as showcase some newness ahead of the 2021 festive season.”

The launch of the Hasbro Board Games ad is supported with an integrated 360 marketing campaign on YouTube, Facebook, Instagram and web.