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Ho Ho Ho…it’s the festive Friday Blog!

Published on: 21st December 2012

Right, this week’s blog is short ‘n’ sweet and to the point. It’s Christmas, and no-one wants to read over-long – or over-earnest – ramblings from me. I’m sure you’ve all got better things to do, whether that’s last-minute Christmas shopping (guilty), heading off to the office party/drinks (which Team Toy World will be doing in a few short hours) or pretending to be impressed by the Secret Santa present you just received (unless you’re Andy Laughton, in which case you genuinely can be impressed. They must have a very different spending limit at MGA Towers…).

Congratulations to David Ripley on his new role as COO at Winning Moves, and also to Fiona Wright on her elevation to the position of UK General Manager at Lego.

I attended Richard Hollis’ BBC leaving ‘do’ last night. A fitting send-off for a true gent. Well-attended by friends and colleagues from the licensing community, a few nice surprises (presentations from Topps and Character Options, the latter a superb action figure of Richard in the guise of ‘Super Licensing Executive’), and a nice speech from Julie Kekwick. Richard tells me he’s taking a short break, but I’m sure he’ll be back ‘in the fray’ very soon. I do wonder if the BBC appreciates just how much they’ll miss him….

The answers to the big questions of the week are:

  1. No, I have no idea where Rob Mann is going. He has promised to tell me as soon as he can, and we will in turn spread the word.
  2. I honestly don’t know how festive trading finished up. Did the last-minute surge materialise? Your guess is as good as mine. I’ll wait until I speak to a few Tsing-Tao influenced buyers in Hong Kong, when I’ll hopefully get some accurate feedback.
  3. Yes, I did see the article about toys in The Independent. No, I wasn’t overly impressed. Maybe they should lighten up a bit – it is Christmas after all. If I want to be miserable at Christmas, I’ll watch Eastenders or listen to the Michael Buble Christmas album thank you very much. No mention of the fact that the toy market has probably fared just as well – if not better – than many consumer product categories. Nor any context (if you think it’s been tough here, be thankful we’re not Italy, Greece or Spain). Overall, a bit too ‘eeyore’ for my liking.
  4. No, I have no idea who would want to see ‘twit pics’ of Toy Fair stands being built either.
  5. No, after careful consideration, I won’t be joining the ‘Dryathalon’ in January. Worthy cause, just exceptionally bad timing for anyone in the toy industry (can’t imagine standing outside Bulldogs all night with a mineral water in my hand).

Before I go, I’d like to wish all the blog readers a very Happy Christmas and a prosperous New Year. The blog will be taking a well-deserved festive break, although we will all still be working between Christmas and New Year, putting the finishing touches to the beast which is our January Toy Fair issue. The blog will return on 4th January, just before I pack my bags and head off to Hong Kong – which of course means the return the following week of the daily Hong Kong blog. See you in 2013 for more fun and frolics.