John Adams bolsters team with new sales agent

Graham Burnett will cover the north of England for John Adams which counts Rubik’s and Ideal Games among its portfolio.

In a further strengthening of its sales team, John Adams Leisure has appointed Graham Burnett as sales agent, covering the north of England.

Graham is a familiar face in the toy industry, bringing with him a wealth of experience having worked in the toy, craft and stationery sectors for the past 16 years.

Commenting on his appointment, Graham said: “I am delighted to represent John Adams’ respected names in the toy industry and am looking forward to growing the business in the north of England.”

Bruno Gallone, group sales director, added: “We are delighted to have Graham on board as our new sales agent. He brings with him an immense amount of experience and is a true expert in his field, which will be instrumental in driving sales and continued growth for John Adams in 2022.”

Graham’s appointment follows that of new national account manager Carole Taylor in July, strengthening the sales team across all of its key brands, as well as new launches. Caroline joined from Epoch, where she worked as a field sales manager and within other sales roles for seven years.

John Adams is a long-established multi-category company, which has been developing and marketing toys and games for over 50 years. Its brand portfolio includes Rubik’s, Ideal Games, Rummikub, Tetris, Tiny Tears, Girl’s World, John Adams Creative Play, Raim Fun Bricks, Scrabble Fuzzy-Felt, and Action Science.

John Adams Leisure is also the UK distributor for Intex products, including the PureSpa range, above ground pools, paddling pools, inflatable boats and toys.

To find out more about the range of new products and brands launching this year, please contact the sales team at sales@johnadams.co.uk

See the latest new roles added to Toy World’s recruitment round-up

Engino and Craft Buddy are among the latest companies looking to fill vacancies through Toy World’s popular recruitment section.

Engino is looking to hire an experienced International Sales Executive to lead its exports department. This position is a remote one, allowing working from home, but will require a lot of travelling to visit customers and exhibit at trade shows around the world, as well as regular visits to the headquarters in Cyprus for training and coordination.

The successful candidate will be in charge of opening and growing key accounts in two main pillars:  the retail and distribution of STEM toys, and the education sector, either direct to schools or Ministries of Education, or through selected dealers.

The ideal person will have toy industry or Edtech experience and at least six years’ experience in a similar role. Please click here for further information.

Craft Buddy is seeking a talented and driven Trade Sales Manager – Maternity Cover  to join the successful and exciting Arts, Crafts & Toy company in a key department – B2B sales – on a maternity cover, fixed-term basis.

The post-holder will manage their own portfolio of craft, toy and gift store accounts, both in the UK and abroad and assist the Head of Sales in putting together product proposals for key accounts. The successful candidate will ideally have a proven track record in the sales or customer service industry, and will enjoy the responsibility of handling their own sales accounts. For further details click here.

Other vacancies currently being advertised include:

  • DKB Toys & Distribution is seeking a Field Sales Account Manager – North of England & Midlands who will help aid the exponential growth of the business. This role will be home based with office visits as well as travel to meet suppliers.
  • University Games is seeking an Area Manager to find new business and growth within independent and educational accounts in the South West.
  • An Assistant Brand Manager is being sought by Tomy to join its Central Marketing Team and support on the development of European brand strategy.

Do you have a vacancy you’d like to fill? Toy World is where the trade goes for the latest recruitment opportunities. For more information or to place an advert and feature in a future Recruitment Round Up, contact Mark Austin, sales director mark@toyworldmag.co.uk

Fanattik becomes UK distributor for Handmade by Robots

The partnership will support a growing UK fanbase and increasing demand for the Handmade by Robots collectible vinyl figures.

Handmade by Robots, the creator and producer of collectible vinyl figures, has announced a new distribution partnership with UK-based gift and collectibles company, Fanattik.

A growing Handmade by Robots fanbase in the UK presented an opportunity to establish a local distribution partner to support increasing demand for product and directly supply retailers in the UK and Ireland.

Handmade by Robots creates and releases vinyl figures driven by some of the most recognisable entertainment characters in pop culture such as Scooby-Doo, Ghost Face and Batman. The strategic partnership with Fanattik, an established licensing partner for powerhouse brands such as Universal Studios and Hasbro, will enable the companyto expand its presence outside of the US.

“Partnering with Fanattik will put our collectible figures in the hands of even more fans around the world,” said Mary Olson, creator of Handmade by Robots. “Fanattik, like us, is obsessed with bringing the most unique and interesting pop culture products to retailers and fans alike.”

“Fanattik only gets involved in projects that spark our passion and from the moment I saw these figures I knew they were something special,” said Anthony Marks, managing director at Fanattik. “We are proud to add Handmade by Robots figures to our portfolio of collectibles and represent their brand in the UK and Ireland.”

The figures will be available in select stores Q4 2022, launching to the wider market early 2023. For details on how to become a stockist, contact hello@wearefanattik.com

 

Finalists announced for Toy of the Year Awards

Wow! Stuff’s Jurassic World Real FX Baby Blue is among the finalists at the TOTY Awards run by the Toy Association.

The finalists – all 122 of them – have been announced for this September’s Toy of the Year (TOTY) Awards.

As expected, the list is dominated by US companies but flying the flag for Britain in the Action Figure category is Wow! Stuff with its Jurassic World Real FX Baby Blue animatronic dinosaur.

“To be a finalist in one of the most hotly contested categories at the TOTY Awards is kudos to our fantastic teams,” said Wow! Stuff’s head of Licensing, Kenny McAndrew.

The finalists, across 17 categories, were selected by a panel of judges comprising play experts, journalists, academics, retailers and other toy experts, and now it’s up to the voters to determine the winners.

Everyone is invited to visit ToyAwards.org to vote for their favourites in each category, with voting closing on 2nd September. Category winners will be announced at the TOTY Awards on 20th September at the Dallas Market Center, on the opening day of The Toy Association’s 2023 Preview & 2022 Holiday Market.

The overall Toy of the Year and People’s Choice award winners will be announced on 21st November, 2022. Voting for the People’s Choice Award, decided by online consumer votes, will remain open until 11th November, 2022. The Toy of the Year will be determined by a panel of expert judges.

Reacting to the news that Jurassic World Real FX Baby Blue has reached the finals of the Awards, Wow! Stuff’s head of Licensing, Kenny McAndrew added: “The TOTY Awards are the highest honour in the global toy industry. The Action Figure category is the one everyone wants to win and now that they take place ahead of the holiday season, any winner can utilise the prestige and authority of the TOTY Awards to say ‘don’t take our word that this is a truly special toy, see what our industry says’.”

“The finalists are marvelous examples of innovation and imagination to deliver the power of play to children and adults alike,” said Pamela Mastrota, executive director of The Toy Foundation. “While the TOTY Awards spotlight the best of the best in toys, it’s heartening that our toy family chooses this platform to unite behind the TTF’s core programme areas. Thanks to your collective support, we’re able to deliver millions of toys to disadvantaged youth, improve pediatric care in under-resourced communities, and help attract diverse talent to the industry.”

The TOTY Awards are a key fundraiser for TTF to support its year-round philanthropic work and all event proceeds (including TOTY nomination fees) benefit its initiatives, including the Children’s Hospital Play Grants programme to bring the healing power of play to children in hospital settings.

To see the full list of Toy of the Year finalists, click here.

 

Pop to air new Pokémon Ultimate Journeys: The Series

UK Pokémon fans will be able to watch the 25th season of the popular animation on free-to-air channel Pop from 1st September, 2022.

The Pokémon Company International and Narrative Entertainment have announced that kids’ TV channel Pop will launch the exclusive free-to-air premiere of Pokémon Ultimate Journeys: The Series, from next month.

In this new series, the stakes are higher than ever for Ash, Goh and Chloe, as they advance towards their goals. As the Pokémon World Coronation Series tournament heats up, intensive training is in store for Ash, Pikachu and their Pokémon friends, while Goh embarks on a series of challenging trial missions to become a member of Project Mew. Meanwhile, Chloe and Eevee learn about the different evolutionary paths that Eevee can take.

The series promises non stop action, familiar faces from journeys past and more Pokémon discoveries for fans to make.

Pokémon Ultimate Journeys: The Series (12 x 22”/54 x 22”) starts on Pop from Thursday 1st September and can also be viewed on demand on the Pop Player.

As reported in Toy World,  Pokémon fans were able to snap up merchandise when The Pokémon Center returned to London in August, three years after it made its first appearance.

Launching alongside the 2022 Pokémon World Championships at the ExCeL London, the pop-up Pokémon Center was said to be the biggest store featured at a World Championships event yet. The Center featured exclusive World Championships merchandise, also be available online.

Below is the trailer for Pokémon Ultimate Journeys: The Series on the official Pokémon YouTube channel.

 

Nikko Toys revs up for new RC rally cars in deal with M-Sport

The licensing agreement will see Nikko Toys bring out a range based on the motorsports team’s  Ford Puma Hybrid Rally 1 car.

Nikko Toys has announced a new licensing programme and deal with global motorsports team M-Sport to bring its rally cars to the toy aisle.

Cumbrian-based M-Sport was chosen to mastermind Ford’s assault on the FIA World Rally Championship, and Nikko Toys will be launching a new range with three assortments and scales of radio control cars in 2023.

All three assortments will feature M-Sport’s Ford Puma Hybrid Rally 1, bringing it into the hands of fans and aspiring racers around the world. Gearing up for its 65th anniversary with a flurry of marketing activity and activation across a broad spectrum of media, Nikko is looking to make 2023 the start of another 65 years of original innovations and trusted performance.

Warwick Brenner, director at Direct to Retail, said: “As M-Sport’s global licensing agency, we are thrilled to have brought together this high calibre partnership between powerhouse brands M-Sport and Nikko Toys. Both companies hold an unrivalled history and pedigree for success, innovation, and excitement. In 2023, RC fans around the world are going to be offered a range of M-Sport’s Ford Puma Hybrid Rally 1 ‘Current Generation’ cars including authentic rally inspired features to really rev up the category. We can’t wait.”

Richard Millener, team principal at M-Sport Ford World Rally Team, added: “Nikko Toys is a globally recognisable name, and to have our Puma Rally1 Hybrid replicated by the team is something we are all extremely proud of. When I was a lot younger, my life revolved around radio-controlled cars; they provided so many hours of fun. To now see the cars I help to look after day to day manufactured by such an iconic brand is beyond exciting. I can’t wait to see the next generation of rally fans start their affiliation to M-Sport and the team by re-imagining WRC events of their own in their back gardens with a fantastic replica of our real-life cars.”

for more information, please contact Simon Juniper at Simon.Juniper@NikkoToys.com.

Pip and Posy entertain at Bristol International Balloon Fiesta

Milkshake! and Sky Kids’ favourites Pip and Posy joined in the fun on the balloon festival’s Brizzle Kicks Stage.

Pip and Posy, the colourful characters from the hit pre-school series, joined in the fun at Bristol International Balloon Fiesta this weekend as they entertained families at the festival’s dedicated children’s area The Brizzle Kicks Stage. Made by Magic Light Pictures, the show was commissioned for a second series in early 2023.

Children at the festival, which took place from 11th-14th August, were invited to meet Pip and Posy as they made special appearances in a dedicated branded area managed by Rainbow Productions. There were also goodies and entertaining activities on hand for the children.

Magic Light Pictures holds the global distribution and merchandising rights to Pip and Posy (excluding publishing) and has launched a full consumer products programme to complement the property. Products already rolling out include tie-in publishing from Nosy Crow, as well as puzzles from Ravensburger, dress up with Amscan, audio figurines with Tonies and home accessories. The Pip and Posy characters will also be appearing in Milkshake! Live and will be touring nationwide from February 2022 through to 2023.

Marc Ollington, marketing director, Magic Light Pictures said: “We are thrilled to have played a part in this colourful and iconic event which has drawn thousands of families to Bristol for several years. It was joyful to watch hundreds of children interacting with their screen favourites and enjoying some special Pip and Posy playtime.”

Hosted by children’s party and entertainment experts, Party Peeps, The Brizzle Kicks Stage created fun and entertaining experiences for families with a variety of acts, from magic shows to street dance, live DJs and singers.

 

IMC Toys opens Australian subsidiary

Matt Keighran is the new VP of Sales and Marketing and will oversee the Australian business, which continues IMC Toys’ global expansion.

Spanish toy company IMC Toys is continuing its global expansion with the opening of an Australian subsidiary headquartered in Melbourne and led by Matt Keighran as the newly appointed VP of Sales and Marketing.

IMC’s newest endeavor follows an international expansion strategy that was initiated in 2004 and has led to operations in US, Spain, Italy, France, UK, Germany, Portugal and Hong Kong (China). Entry into new markets has allowed IMC Toys to steadily increase its turnover by 215% since 2010, with export markets today representing approximately 80% of total sales.

In his new role, Matt is responsible for introducing IMC’s core properties into the Australian market as part of IMC’s larger strategy to scale its brand globally.

Matt brings a vast amount of experience to the role and, prior to his position at IMC Toys, was the commercial strategy and marketing director at MGA Entertainment in Australia, where he led sales and marketing initiatives that supported significant growth during his time with the company. Prior to MGA, he spent time at Target Australia as a buyer for Dolls and Plush and held a national account manager role at Headstart International.

Matt commented: “IMC Toys has been steadily building a global reputation and the impact they’ve had on the industry is undeniable.I look forward to building upon this momentum and introducing a whole new customer base to IMC’s amazing line-up.”

Matt’s arrival at IMC Toys coincides with a planned entry into the Australian market in 2023. New launches will be supported by holistic marketing campaigns that encompass media planning, social media, influencer outreach, digital and eCommerce support, as well as investment in retailer specific marketing.

“IMC is thrilled to have Matt joining the team,” said Karen Branson, SVP of IMC Toys North America. “Matt will be instrumental in this initiative, building a strong foundation for IMC brands in Australia, and establishing the company and our award-winning content for many years to come.”

In addition to an extensive portfolio of brands and toy offerings, IMC Toys provides custom animated content that brings children into a world that goes beyond the product. IMC Toys first launched the Cry Babies Magic Tears animated series on its own YouTube channel, Kitoons, which has since gone on to feature content that supports a variety of brands and has reached more than 8m subscribers and 5b views. As of 2021, fans of the series can also view them on IMC Toys’ own VOD platform.

 

Moonbug announces new content deal with BBC

The deal follows the success of the current partnership and covers new episodes of CoComelon and new IPs including Blippi Wonders.

Moonbug Entertainment has announced a new agreement with BBC to share new content and IPs with its audiences.

The agreement includes the relicense and new episodes of CoComelon as well as Digley and Dazey. It also includes new IPs to the BBC such as Blippi Wonders, Little Baby Bum, Gecko’s Garage and Lellobee City Farm which will be available on BBC iPlayer. Gecko’s Garage will also be available on CBeebies, the BBC’s free-to-air pre-school children’s channel.

The agreement marks the first public service partnership for Blippi Wonders in Europe and the show will be available on the BBC from September 2022.

“We are thrilled to extend our partnership with the world’s most respected public service broadcaster and bring more Moonbug content to delight families across the UK,” said Gina Costelloe, senior director of Distribution & Content Partnerships EMEA, Moonbug Entertainment. “Since our initial agreement last year, viewership has been strong and we look forward to seeing how our partnership continues to grow.”

Moonbug, part of Candle Media, specialises in creating and acquiring IP and turning it into global entertainment franchises, by rapidly scaling the brand using data to increase and enhance the content, distribute broadly across Moonbug’s vast global distribution network, and creating new avenues for interaction through licensing and merchandising, original productions, and brand partnerships.

Moonbug’s shows are on more than 150 platforms globally, including YouTube, Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Sky, Super RTL, BBC iPlayer, HBO Max, Tencent, Youku and Roku. The company’s YouTube channels are viewed over 9b times on average every month globally and has more than 440m subscribers. Its portfolio currently stands at 29 IPs and 100+ brand partners and is available in 32 languages.

Lego to stage two-day immersive Mission to Mars event

The free Lego City Missions experience in London will see visitors sent on a secret mission to Mars over the August bank holiday weekend.

Lego is set to take fans and families on an immersive Mission to Mars in a free two-day event in London over the August bank holiday weekend.

In Lego City Missions, cadets will board the spaceship before blasting off on a mission to Mars, where they will use their creativity and imaginations to solve problems, before being interviewed about their mission.

Disguised as a comic book store, visitors will be met and briefed by a secret agent about their mission, before heading to a decompression area where they will build their Lego City space shuttles. The event will showcase the Lego City Missions play sets.

Just this week, Natali Stojovic, SVP Lego Retail, spoke to Toy World’s Sam Giltrow about the importance of customer experiences for retail, at the opening of the revamped Lego store in Leicester Square – now the largest in the world.

“We carried out research before designing the concept and consumers – both kids and adults – have given us a clear signal that they want hands on play. They want immersive experiences and they want something they will remember,” she said.

Lego City Missions will open at Noho Studios, 46 Great Titchfield Street, London, W1W 7QA on the 26th and 27th August between 10am and 7.30pm. Lego fans can book their slots through this link.

More information on Lego City Missions play sets can be found here.