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Hula-hooping singers, Olympic Torches and next week’s bonus blogs…It’s the Friday Blog!

Published on: 8th June 2012

I hope you all had a stupendous Jubilee weekend. In particular, I hope that toy retailers everywhere benefitted from the fact that the general public had plenty of time to kill over the long weekend – be honest, how many of you were getting just a tiny bit bored by Tuesday afternoon? I just hope this resulted in a few extra trips to the shops and incremental sales for those retail outlets which chose to open.

No doubt about the best toy-related involvement in the Jubilee celebrations; Grace Jones demonstrating her rather impressive hula-hooping skills whilst performing in Monday night’s concert. I’m not sure how much she was paid by Wham-O to do that, but whatever Goldfish and Bison had to stump up, it was worth it! In fairness, it’s not easy to sing and hula-hoop at the same time (in fact, some of those performing couldn’t even manage the singing part, yet alone hula-hoop as well…yes Cheryl, I’m talking about you!), so it was no surprise to see so many people commenting about it on twitter and other social networking sites. Who knows, a little upsurge in sales may even follow – it seemed to work for bow and arrow products after the Hunger Games movie.

Speaking of an upsurge in sales, the Olympic torch relay is doing a splendid job of getting the general public excited about the forthcoming event, and even better, appears to be translating into positive sales for 2012 licensees. Hornby’s Nat Southworth recently told me that the company has sold out of its limited edition replica Olympic torches – all 25,000 of them. So now kids – and adults – everywhere can copy Will.i.am and carry their torch with them wherever they go. Golden Bear’s Chairman John Hales also got in on the act, as he and his Grand National-winning horse Neptune Collonges joined the torch relay at Aintree in front of 370 children from local schools and Alder Hey Hospital, who were each given a plush Olympic mascot to commemorate the occasion. I just hope we can keep this wonderful national spirit going over the next few weeks – which I guess will come down to how well our boys perform at Euro 2012. No pressure then lads….what could possibly go wrong?

Those of you who enjoy the blog will be pleased to know that you’ll be getting a bonus next week – a daily blog no less. For one week only, the blog will be relocating to Las Vegas for Licensing Expo, and as from Monday we’ll be bringing you daily updates from the show. So if you buy or sell licensed merchandise, or are one of the unlucky ones from the licensing community whose boss has ‘baggsied’ the trip to Vegas rather than sending the person who actually does the real work throughout the year, expect plenty of news, views and gossip from the front line. Views are very much my own, and opinions will be expressed – so for one week only, what happens in Vegas won’t necessarily be staying in Vegas! Keep an eye out for the inaugural Vegas Blog next Monday (sadly there isn’t a snappy title which works as well as ‘Nuremblog’…).