Toy World sat down with Katie Rollings, SVP UK licensing, eOne, and Mary Wood, UK general manager, Tomy, to find out more about latest pre-school animated property Ricky Zoom.
The global launch of Ricky Zoom, Entertainment One’s latest pre-school animated property, is gaining momentum. Based in Wheelford, a town populated exclusively by friendly bikes, the show lends itself perfectly to master toy partner Tomy’s upcoming range of figures and play sets.
“The show launched on Youku in China at the end of June this year and reached 200m views in just 5 weeks, which is really promising for the wider, global roll out.” Katie said. “Our confirmed partners include Nickelodeon in the USA, Clan TV in Spain, Gulli in France, RAI in Italy, Discovery Kids in Latin America and Super RTL in Germany, with more to come.”
“The overall market, and character licensing, is particularly tough right now, but we nurture our brands in an effort to ensure their longevity – and that means not rushing to market with too much too early, trying to manage licensee and retail expectations and sometimes saying no,” she added. “Consumers are always looking for something new, and they are consuming content at a faster rate; our job is simply to keep them consuming eOne brands for longer.”
A major plus for eOne was that Tomy came on board for Ricky Zoom early on, and together, we’ve been able to ensure that contingencies are in place. We’ve been very open with Tomy on the lessons learned from Peppa and PJ Masks, and it has always been our intention to live and breathe the process with a strong partner on board from the outset.”
Mary added: “To build a brand, it is important to not flood the market at launch, which means the initial Ricky Zoom range will be tight – just six key SKUs. However, we appreciate the need for retailers to differentiate their ranges, so we are also creating a number of items to be used as exclusives. The autumn/winter 2020 line is well progressed and we’re making inroads into our 2021 line as well. We have a lot to contend with in the UK at the moment, including fluctuating exchange rates, which may impact which lines we’ll introduce and when, but we have plans in place for all eventualities.”
The ideas the development teams keep coming up with are amazing. Just when I think we’ve reached the creative limit, they push it even further.”
Read the full interview in the October issue here.