Bratz is back with special 20th anniversary dolls

Special editions of the original dolls will feature their first outfits and accessories, with more lines to be added going into the autumn.

MGA Entertainment has announced that Bratz is making a comeback with a line of special editions to mark the 20th anniversary of the fashion dolls.

The new dolls are part of a year-long celebration which will highlight the cultural impact Bratz has had on fans. As the first dolls to create a cultural shift, introducing diversity and cutting-edge style, fans of the brand can revisit their favourite Bratz doll online and in stores.

The iconic original Bratz 20 years special edition dolls – Yasmin, Cloe, Jade and Sasha – come complete in their very first outfits and accessories, and original trapezoid packaging. The first boy Bratz, Cameron, will also join the line-up.

More lines will also be added going into autumn, including Bratz Rock Angelz. The addition of Roxxi to the core four dolls follows a popular vote by fans for the character’s return. Each doll comes with her own guitar, microphone, and microphone stand.

Despite all the changes in the world over the last 20 years, Bratz are as strong today as they were back then, influencing pop culture and challenging beauty standards, says MGA Entertainment’s Jasmine Larian.

She added: “Bratz were and are just so cool, fashion forward and rule breaking. They spoke to what kids actually wanted, not what their parents felt like they should want. They were also a diverse group, which was shockingly new at the time.”

Other projects in the pipeline to mark the 20th anniversary include an extensive PR and marketing campaign, including influencer and celebrity engagement, and social media activity. Fans of Bratz can also catch the girls on their screens, by watching the Talking Bratz animated Tik Tok Series and downloading the mobile app ‘Bratz Total Fashion Makeover’ Game.

Wild response to PlayMonster UK’s #FairiesForNature campaign

Thousands of packets of seeds and activity packs were sent to children, encouraging them to care for wildlife and the environment in their communities.

PlayMonster UK says it has enjoyed a fantastic response to its summer marketing campaign for My Fairy Garden, which saw more than 36,000 activity packs and packets of wild flower seeds given to children.

The #FairiesForNature campaign encouraged children to help care for nature in their local communities and was kicked off by celebrity and First Time Mum star Ferne McCann and daughter Sunday, who shared content to her 2.4m followers to show how everyone could play their part.

The campaign reached 5.8m children and parents across the UK. Fans of My Fairy Garden were invited to take part in the online competition, which saw more than 16,000 fans sign up to receive garden seeds and download a #FairiesForNature pledge pack. There was also a fantastic response from primary schools nationwide: 20,000 claimed the packs, which contained fun activities for connecting with nature including building a hedgehog shelter, creating a bird feeder, planting a compost bin, going litter picking, creating a mini pond and planting wildflower seeds in the garden. Fans were also invited to share their pledges by entering the online competition to win one of 250 prize bundles of the My Fairy Garden playsets and their own Official Fairies For Nature Certificate and Fairy Wings.

Meric Pekcan-Butcher, marketing manager for PlayMonster, said: “We’ve absolutely loved engaging with children and families on this campaign and we’re delighted to have seen so many people sign up and get involved. My Fairy Garden is a Grow & Play play set range that encourages interaction with nature through play. There’s no better way to get this message across by encouraging people to get outdoors, grow plants, and look after nature with simple but effective actions.”

She added: “We’re on a mission to look after nature and we want to encourage our next generation of children to grow up caring for their local environment and wildlife. Our multi-faceted marketing approach, supported by press and influencers, has maximised our reach and allowed us to connect with children across country and to empower them to become the guardians of nature.”

Disguise recruits pair to lead EMEA market growth

The appointment of Kim Lucas and Nathalie Ferrier to the EMEA team will help drive expansion across the UK, France and Benelux markets.

Global costume company Disguise has announced the appointment of two key sales hires to lead the two largest dress up markets in EMEA: the UK and France.

As business development lead for the UK and Ireland, Kim Lucas will oversee the development of the UK business alongside the senior management team. She brings to Disguise apparel experience acquired throughout her career, most recently at Christy’s by Design where she was pivotal in growing the costume business. Kim’s insight into the UK & Ireland licensor-driven dress-up industry, along with her many retailer relationships, will further Disguise’s growth and expansion in these key markets.

Nathalie Ferrier, business development manager for France & Benelux, brings over 20 years’ experience in the toy and dress up industry including years working for Amscan. With a local presence, she will develop the French, & Benelux markets via direct-to-retail, working with local distribution partners and accounts.

“We are excited to welcome Kim Lucas and Nathalie Ferrier into Disguise EMEA,” said Tony Lewis, sales and marketing director, Disguise EMEA. “With their breadth of industry experience in dress-up, they are both sure to drive further expansion into retail and deliver a truly professional service to our customers.”

“The UK and France are Europe’s strongest dress-up markets so it’s critical we have talented and experienced staff running the development and local sales there; Kim and Nathalie are the cream of the crop,” said Tara Hefter, president and GM of Disguise. “Their backgrounds and their personalities are the perfect fit for the Disguise culture and we are thrilled for them to lead our rapidly expanding team. We look forward to Kim and Nathalie growing some key and soon-to-be-announced major licences in EMEA.”

 

Supporters flock to back Clive Wooster’s Follow the Seagulls walk

Geomagworld MD Clive Wooster says the walk has so far raised around £25,000 for brain tumour charity Brainstrust, with money still coming in.

Clive Wooster

A giant ‘seagull’ helped draw in extra donations for an annual toy trade backed walk in aid of a charity which supports brain tumour sufferers and their families.

Clive Wooster, MD of Geomagworld, says the costume sported by one of the participants of the Follow the Seagulls walk on the Isle of Wight last weekend had passing well-wishers flocking to boost the total for the Brainstrust ramble, with donations currently standing at an incredible £25,000.

“Now in its 11th year, this year’s total so far is even better than those raised by previous walks,” said Clive. “We would like to thank all those who generously donated to the Brainstrust charity.”

Last weekend’s walk – which was originally planned for April but had to be rescheduled to the 11th and 12th September due to the pandemic – saw 24 participants take on the 52-mile trek around the Isle of Wight. The first leg of 27 miles takes place from Cowes to Ventnor, while the second one, from Ventnor to Yarmouth, covers 25 miles. This year, all the starters – some of whom are suffering from brain tumours – managed to finish the walk, which Clive said is unusual.

“The 52-mile walk was completed in two days with stunning sea views and stunningly sore feet, but it was done,” he told Toy World. “The walkers all had their own reasons for undertaking this feat, none more so than one participant who walked in the hot sun, dressed as a seagull.”

The annual Isle of Wight walk has also prompted the Brainstrust to hold three other versions off the walk which take place in Fife, Whitby and Dartmouth.

“We decided to expand it, because it worked so well,” explained Clive.

Clive started the walk with a friend in 2010, covering the 75 miles around the Isle of Wight in three days and raising £200.

“We have come quite a way since then both in terms of participants and the amount we raise,” said Clive. “We get a lot of toy trade support and some of the big retailers have been very generous.”

Next year’s event is already being planned for April. To find out more about the Brainstrust, which is based on the Isle of Wight, please click here.

 

 

Lego and Queer Eye reveal fabulous new set featuring the Fab Five

Hot on the heels of the company’s first LGBTQ+ Lego set is the Queer Eye – The Fab 5 Loft Set, which celebrates individuality and creative expression.

The Lego Group has once again shown it is a leader in promoting positivity and individuality with the release of a new set made in honour of the TV show Queer Eye.

The Lego Queer Eye – The Fab 5 Loft Set is a 974-piece model of the apartment that serves as the group’s base in the show. It features minifigures of Bobby Berk, Tan France, Antoni Porowski, Karamo Brown and Jonathan Van Ness, who first assembled as the Fab Five to embark on a mission to change people’s lives for the better.

Each Queer Eye show features a ‘Hero’, someone who learns different skills and perspectives from each of the Fab Five which helps rebuild their confidence and has a positive, lasting impact on their lives. The Lego set aims to showcase each of the stars’ skills and celebrate their artistry and individuality.

In June, the Lego Group launched its first ever LGBTQ+ Lego set at the start of Pride Month. The Everyone is Awesome set includes 11 monochromatic, non-gendered minifigures, set against a backdrop comprising the colours of the pride flag as well as pale blue, white and pink – to show support for the trans community – and black and brown, to highlight diversity within the LGBTQ+ community.

Commenting on the Queer Eye set launch on LinkedIn, Eloise Bradley, senior global licensing manager for the Lego Group, said: “By far the most proudest moment in my career signing this deal and I’m so proud that Lego are the first toy company to support the LGBTQIA+ community – the fight continues for acceptance and equality, and with partnerships and products like these they will make a huge difference.”

The set, available from 1st October, has been created with Queer Eye creators Scout Productions in a partnership conceived by the show’s licensing agency IMG.

Matthew Ashton, vice president of design at the Lego Group and lead designer of the new set, worked closely with the Fab Five and is proud of the collaboration and what it stands for.

He said: “Queer Eye has had such a positive impact on so many people’s lives which is why we are excited for this collaboration. It reminds us that we need to take time to celebrate kindness and help build each other up. In this set we’ve captured themes central to both the Lego Group and the show – caring, creativity, learning and fun. While the Fab Five rebuild people’s lives, we are on a mission to inspire people to get creative and help rebuild a more positive world.”

Bobby Berk, the group’s interior designer, added: “Lego bricks played such an important part in my childhood. Clicking those little bricks together really sparked my imagination and creativity. Collaborating with the Lego team was an absolute dream come true. It would be any kid’s dream and now it’s my reality.”

Independent Toy & Gift Show to be rebranded for 2022

The show will be known as the INDX Toys & Nursery show when it returns to Cranmore Park in April.

The Independent Toy & Gift Show will be rebranded as the INDX Toys & Nursery show when it returns to Cranmore Park next year after joining the umbrella group of INDX trade shows.

The rescheduled 2021 Independent Toy & Gift Show has been taking place this week (14th-15th September) after organisers Play-room cancelled its original April date due to Covid restrictions earlier in the year.

The 2022 show will come under the INDX Home Banner for the show which takes place at the Solihull venue from 19th-20th April. INDX (short for Independent Exhibitions) represents a group of established and successful trade shows covering fashion and home categories which are curated by AIS and specifically focused on Independent Retailers. The welcome addition of Toys & Nursery will expand and strengthen the existing INDX Home portfolio which already includes Furniture, Housewares, Linens, Beds & Bedroom and Gift Food.

“The Independent Toy & Gift ethos has a lot of similarities with the key values that the INDX Brand stands for, such as providing a business and buyer focussed approach to shows and a commitment to meeting the diverse requirements of today’s retailers. We are delighted to be joining the INDX family and we look forward to welcoming everyone to the launch show in April 2022,” commented Rosie Marshall, head of toys & children’s gifts at AIS.

All INDX trade shows offer free admission and free on-site parking and are located at Cranmore Park in Solihull, close to the M42.

The first INDX Toys & Nursery show is scheduled for 19-20 April 2022 and will be open to all retailers. Buyers are advised to keep an eye on the INDX website for information about registering for the show. For more information visit  www.indxshows.co.uk

 

ToyTopic launches with high-profile brands and WowWee partnership

The new toy company has secured multi-territory licence agreements with Hasbro as well as a strategic partnership with WowWee.

L-R: Ashley Holman and Paul Cook

New company ToyTopic has announced its plans for the company as a new player in the toy market with high-profile brands on board and a strategic partnership with WowWee.

It will also open its showroom in October, have a large presence at London Toy Fair and has appointed ex-Sambro International head of sales Paul Cook as its new sales director.

ToyTopic has already established a successful relationship through WowWee, the company behind the huge global successes of the Baby Shark toy line, Fingerlings and Robosapien to mention a few, and WowWee has distributed ToyTopic product internationally since last year. ToyTopic will market the entire WowWee portfolio (except for My Squishy Little Dumplings) in UK and Ireland from spring 2022 onwards.

WowWee’s extensive portfolio available from ToyTopic includes the huge hit property PinkFong Baby Shark and exciting new launches from WowWee, such as Got2Glow Fairy Finder.

Michael Yanofsky, MD Sales, WowWee, commented: “WowWee is thrilled to be entering into this new partnership and believe that it is exactly what we need to grow our business in the UK/Ireland. The experience, know-how and wisdom that the ToyTopic team brings to the table will provide a level of focus that is 100% centered around growing the WowWee product portfolio, distribution and overall presence in the UK/Ireland market. We look forward to what the future has in store.”

A multi-territory licence agreement with Hasbro is also in place, which will see ToyTopic market licensed Peppa Pig toys. Launching on shelf in many countries around the world now, ToyTopic’s Peppa Pig lines have already having received a very strong level of support from retail.

Marianne James, VP EMEA and Asia Licensed Consumer Products, Hasbro, said: “We’re very excited to be partnering with ToyTopic at a pivotal time for our beloved Peppa Pig. We’re looking forward to seeing Peppa come to life in the variety of innovative products that ToyTopic have developed, at the start of our long-term partnership”

Paul Cook has joined the company as the new sales director from the 6th September 2021. Paul brings his considerable experience in the toy business to ToyTopic, having spent the last 19 years at Sambro International in sales.

Ashley Holman, ToyTopic MD, said: “We are thrilled to have formed a strategic partnership with WowWee. An inspiring company and team, WowWee is an innovator of high-profile and best-selling toys, that children and fans really love and aligns with the values we had for ToyTopic. I’m delighted that in a relatively short time, we have the opportunity to bring to market some of the most famous and iconic brands across the joint licensed portfolio. I’m pleased to welcome Paul Cook as our new sales director who is a fantastic addition to the company. With his wealth of experience, he is a real asset to the team, further enhancing our relationships with partners and retailers. With a boosted team and strong brands on offer, we are set for exponential growth in the business.”

Paul Cook, ToyTopic sales director, added: “I’m delighted to join ToyTopic at this exciting stage of the company’s growth. It’s a joy to work with the entrepreneurial ToyTopic team, developing and implementing strategies that will continue to expand the business.  We already have an amazing line-up from our strategic partners WowWee and Hasbro licence agreement. I’m really looking forward to showcasing the high-profile brands and supporting our customers and retail partners.”

Ashley Holman will continue to run Riverside Brands alongside ToyTopic.

For sales enquiries, please contact the ToyTopic sales team on: Sales@toytopicgroup.com

Lego adds to Super Mario universe with 64 ? Block set

The ? Block opens to reveal microscale levels, including Peach’s Castle, Bob-omb Battlefield, Cool Mountain and Lethal Lava Trouble as well as several microfigures.

Coming 25 years after the initial launch of the iconic Super Mario 64 video game, The Lego Group is to launch the Super Mario 64 ? Block, a  nostalgic new set which opens to reveal four different, but instantly recognisable, levels from the game.

The introduction of the ? Block is the latest build on the partnership between the Lego Group and Nintendo, which has seen the release of other sets in the popular Lego Super Mario product line.

Along with featuring the different levels from the game, the 2,064-piece ? Block set includes several microfigures of iconic characters such as Mario and Princess Peach. Fans can also add their Lego Mario or Lego Luigi figures for music and sounds from the video game, plus seek out the hidden Power Stars that reveal secret reactions from the figures. Hints for how to find the Power Stars can be found in the building Instructions.

The Lego Super Mario universe launched last year with a Starter Course featuring an interactive Lego Mario figure, which players can use to collect digital coins and enjoy instant responses via LED screens and a speaker, while earlier this year, the Lego Group launched the Lego Adventures with Luigi Starter Course to encourage social play as the two characters can now interact with one another and jointly collect even more coins. The Lego Super Mario universe also includes Expansion Sets and Power-Up Packs, allowing builders to expand, rebuild and create unique levels in new interactive ways.

“We know how much Super Mario fans have loved the Lego Super Mario experience, and wanted to tap into even more elements of the traditional game play capturing the immersive play experience of Super Mario 64,” said Pablo Gonzalez Gonzalez, senior designer at the Lego Group. “It’s difficult to imagine the Super Mario Universe without the classic game’s iconic levels full of discovery and secrets. With this amazing set, we’re building on the exciting play experience of Lego Super Mario, both to bring a bit of nostalgia for those who played the Super Mario 64 video game, but also to introduce these wonderful levels to a whole new audience of Super Mario fans.”

Fans will be able to get their hands on the Lego Super Mario 64 ? Block set exclusively from Lego stores and Lego.com from 1st October and from other retailers in 2022.

DKL-Beysal to launch The Dancing Army with YouTube campaign

The interactive dance set encourages children and teens to dress up and master routines which they can then post on social media.

DKL-Beysal will launch its new interactive dance set, The Dancing Army, with a high-impact YouTube campaign later this month.

The set, which follows the TikTok trend, allows children and teens to spend hours rehearsing, choreographing and creating dance routines before posting them on social media. It encourages everyone to have fun, while keeping active active at the same time by providing neon body, face and hair paints, glow sticks and fun choreographies – perfect for anyone who loves to dance.

TikTok was one of the most downloaded apps of 2021, and once children and teens have practised and mastered the moves, they can upload their routines to their favourite dancing social networks. The Dancing Army allows them to paint their bodies, face and hair with neon body ink markers and chalk pens, and dress up with the accessories.

Included in The Dancing Army Case are six fluorescent bracelets, three neon markers, one neon hair chalk pen, one neon net glove, one ultraviolet light and instructions. DKL-Beysal will also be supporting The Dancing Army with other marketing campaigns including influencer campaigns and extensive social media and PR activity.

For further information please contact call 01604 678 780 or visit DKL-Beysal’s website at  www.dkl-beysal.uk

 

Panini UK scores big with Premier League Adrenalyn XL trading card game

Panini says there has been huge demand for the latest collection, which is out-selling the very successful 2020 trading cards. 

Panini UK says it has been taken aback by the demand for its brand-new Premier League Adrenalyn XL Collection this season, with sales even out-performing the hugely successful 2020 collection and continuing to grow week on week.

The latest collection builds on the success of both the Premier League Adrenalyn XL 2020/21 trading cards and the Premier League 2021 stickers and the company says there has been a extremely positive response to design innovations such as the new signature and 3D Lenticular cards.

Chris Clover, Panini UK’s head of sport marketing, said: “We are delighted to see how UK and Irish collectors have responded to our new Premier League Adrenalyn XL 2021/22 Trading Card Game. Sales have flown out of the blocks and we are now doing our best to keep up with demand.

“There is a huge sales opportunity here for this season, and all retailers interested in selling collectibles should ensure they are stocking the only official Premier League trading card collection and displaying the products prominently. Premier League Adrenalyn XL is by a distance the top-selling trading card brand in the UK, and football fans both young and old are not accepting any substitutes.”

Starter Packs include a two-player gameboard and poster, a high-quality collector’s binder, 18 trading cards, plus a guaranteed Limited Edition and 3D Lenticular card. Trading card packets include six trading cards and a QR leaflet.