Exclusive: Tomy – ahead of the game

Published on: 6th September 2021

Rachael Simpson-Jones sat down with Mary Wood to find out more about Tomy’s strategies for the year ahead.

Following a year which saw unparalleled sales resulting from the unprecedented situation caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, it was very much anyone’s guess as to how the Games category would fare in 2021. Tomy, then, is understandably pleased with its astonishing performance in Q1 and Q2, which has set it up for an even bigger and better 12-month period than it enjoyed in 2020.

“Tomy was very fortunate to have an exceptional 2020, due to the fact it has a strong presence in the categories consumers were seeking,” said general manager, UK and Ireland, Mary. “In the UK, we had the best year we’ve had in a decade, which was surprising but obviously satisfying. Our performance gave us the momentum to enter 2021 on very strong footing; when we previewed selections for customers for autumn/winter, we were doing so off the back of some great sell-through. Nothing was overstocked, and retailers were very receptive to what we had to say. We’re trying not to be too overenthusiastic – we knew it would be hard to have as good a year on Games as we did in 2020. However, our numbers are solid and we have strong listings across the board, meaning it may well, incredibly, be even better this year.”

Like most other toy companies that source from the Far East, either in full or in part, container availability and pricing is a significant challenge for Tomy. At the end of the day, the big winner this Christmas might not be who has the best products, but who has the most stock.

Luckily for Tomy, all its card- and board-based games, and the entirety of its Drumond Park range, are made in Europe. Mary told us about several new releases, which should arrive in good time for the key Q4 season. Eight new games due to launch for autumn/winter will build on Tomy’s current Games portfolio. The titles comprise a healthy mix of adult, family and kids’ games, and span Tomy Games, Drumond Park and French company Zanzoon, a distribution line.

For both its new and existing titles, Tomy is keen to continue its extensive support of retailers. “We don’t know what the retail landscape will end up looking like, but Tomy will always support a broad number of retailers and retains a very strong independent retail base,” Mary explained. “We’d hate to ever be in a situation where we need to depend on just one or two retailers. It’s good to have a diverse retail base in the same way it’s good to have a diverse portfolio – you spread the risk that way. And for us, this approach is definitely paying off.”

To read the full article, which appeared in the Toy World September Games & Puzzles Supplement, click here.


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