Monday 4th May – Latest toy industry reaction to coronavirus outbreak

Published on: 4th May 2020

Today, news from Hornby, MGA, Winning Moves, Disney, Usdaw and Costco.

Hornby has announced a unique limited-edition model of locomotive 66 731: ‘Capt. Tom Moore – A True British Inspiration’. Initially, the company said that only 500 models would be produced and sold exclusively via the Hornby website, with sales of these models resulting in £20,000 being donated to the NHS.

Following huge demand, Hornby decided to increase the production run to 3000 models, which will result in an increased donation of £120,000 to the NHS Charities Together fund.

A statement from Hornby said: ”Like others, we at Hornby have been inspired by the achievements of the amazing Captain, now Colonel, Tom Moore and we are so pleased that GB Railfreight, Porterbrook and Railwayana Auctions have teamed up to create a special livery on one of GB Railfeight’s Class 66 locomotives.”

As part of Operation Pac-Man and #MGACares, a quantity of disposable face shields has been produced and donated to local hospitals in the Midlands. Spearheading the UK arm of the global Operation Pac-Man initiative, MGA UK’s senior vice president Andy Laughton modelled one of the face shields on LinkedIn, where he confirmed that the PPE items can be produced to order, with or without added printed decoration. He thanked Nick Kirby of BoxMart, as well as Swanline, for help in enabling the speedy and professional turnaround of the face shields.

Winning Moves has put together a special double-pack of Top Trumps games, to celebrate key workers keeping the country and its hospitals running. The Key Workers edition covers roles from volunteers and waste collectors to the police and armed forces, while the Hospitals pack lets players discover what makes hospitals like Addenbrooke’s and Hull Royal Infirmary so unique. Categories include Gadgets & Gizmos, Unsung Hero, Number of Beds and Rainbow Rating, and packs contain facts, figures and fast-paced gameplay, just like any pack of Top Trumps. All profits will be donated to the NHS.

Disney has unveiled a collection of protective face masks decorated with characters from its franchises. Priced at $19.99 (£15) for a pack of four, the cloth masks are available from the website in the US. Packs include Star Wars, Avengers pack, Winnie the Pooh and Mickey and Minnie Mouse.

Disney will be donating a million of the masks to children and families living in vulnerable communities and also plans to donate up to $1m in profits from sales of the masks to Medshare, a non-profit organisation that delivers medical supplies and equipment across the world.

At this stage, it appears that the company has chosen to produce and sell the masks directly, rather than sign deals with licensees to do so.

Trade union Usdaw has called for a new deal for retail, manufacturing, distribution and home delivery workers in the wake of Covid-19. The trade union claims that millions of low-paid and undervalued workers deserve a new deal because of their efforts during the coronavirus crisis. The union has demanded a £10 minimum wage for all workers, improved sick pay, minimum contracts of 16 hours per week and a ban on zero-hour contracts.

General secretary Paddy Lillis said: “Usdaw members employed in our supermarkets, distribution warehouses, food processing sites and home delivery operations welcome the weekly applause for key workers, but that respect and appreciation must not fade into the background when this national crisis passes. Too many key workers are low paid, with insecure hours and few employment rights. They have been undervalued for too long and deserve a new deal.”

In the US, Costco has updated its shopping policy, for the safety of both customers and employees. No more than two people will be allowed to enter with each membership card, and from today, all customers must wear a face covering that covers their mouth and nose at all times. The company cautions that the use of a face covering should not be seen as a substitute for social distancing while on Costco premises.


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