Exclusive: Opportunity knocks at Rubie’s

Published on: 22nd January 2021

Following some major developments for Rubie’s during 2020, including its merger with Bristol Novelty, the specialist costume company has lots coming up for the new year.

Fran Hales and Mike O’Connell

Toy World spoke to  Mike O’Connell, COO Rubie’s Masquerade and MD Bristol Novelty, and Fran Hales, content and marketing manager, Rubie’s Masquerade and Bristol Novelty, to discuss how 2020 turned out for Rubie’s and what plans the company has in store.

Mike talked us through the major changes at Rubie’s parent company and UK operation in 2020, explaining the new ownership set-up and the new UK structure. He now feels that the company is in good shape and ready to move forward. “Rubie’s ended 2020 in a much stronger position than it was in at the beginning of the year,” he told us. “We are very confident going into 2021 that we will see our industry rise as a result of the hard work that has been put in by the team over the past months, as we continue to support our retailers who are the core focus of our business.”

Mike and Fran discussed seasonal events like Halloween and Christmas during the unprecedented circumstances of 2020, detailing how the overall costume market was affected and how Rubie’s was able to buck the trend.

With all the early year trade shows cancelled, they also shared the company’s plans to  update retail customers with its latest developments. “2021 offers exciting change for us, as we will be running live virtual shows from our dedicated showroom in Nuremberg,” explained Mike. “This is in addition to our new Rubie’s showroom, complete with a media studio, in our Bristol site.”

Previews began to take place last year, and Fran went on to detail just how Rubie’s has managed to adapt and find new and clever ways to grab the attention of virtual visitors, that sound great fun for buyers to check out.

This is all part of the business growth planning for 2021, along with significant investment to ensure that licensed partners, retailers and consumers are provided with the best possible service.

Mike concluded: “We always aspire to bring joy to consumers. Dress up and role-play is so much fun and after 2020, I think all of us need a bit more of that in our lives.”

With news on how the company sees the dress-up and party market faring in 2021, what retailers can expect from Rubie’s in terms of new ranges and new licences and how retailers can fully maximise the dress up category, read the full article, which appeared in the January edition of Toy World, by clicking here.



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