Toy World’s Rachael Simpson-Jones spoke with Holly Oldham about Jazwares coming into 2024 on a strong footing, as well as the company’s collaborations, new launches and more.
In a year like 2023, you’d have wanted a brand like Squishmallows in your portfolio: an award-winning, year-round, global best-seller with a huge, passionate fan base and massive retail presence. Against the backdrop of an undeniably tough 12 months, with its particularly challenging Q1/2, surprisingly hard back end and very late Christmas, Squishmallows played a big part in delivering Jazwares’ 11th consecutive year of growth.
“There’s no doubt a significant portion of our growth stems from Squishmallows: in fact, as I sit here today, we’re close to selling our five millionth unit of Squishmallows and Squishville here in the UK, which, once again, represents massive year-on-year growth,” said Holly. “We’ve had amazing support at retail, with our partners throwing themselves into experiential activations. We’ve invested in amazing displays for Squishmallows and taken a varied approach to marketing, including bespoke digital campaigns and exclusive launches. Our retail partners have also really helped us expand our out-of-aisle presence, which has been a massive driver of success for the brand.”
Squishmallows has also had a huge year on the licensing side, with new Disney, Pokémon and Harry Potter ranges launching in 2023, while Squishmallows HugMees, which skews towards a younger demographic, partnered with pre-school favourites including CoComelon in 2023. Bluey launches in the UK in 2024.
Jazwares sits on both sides of the licensing table, being licensor as well as licensee. The company’s ambition has always been to transform Squishmallows into a global lifestyle brand and 2023 bore witness to the first major steps toward this goal. Holly told us: “We look forward on building on this in 2024”.
To read the full interview with Jazwares, which appeared in the January edition of Toy World, click here.