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Exclusive – Mary Wood talks to Toy World about Tomy’s outlook for the months ahead

Published on: January 10th, 2019

A raft of fresh product, a new collectible range, and the recently announced strategic partnership with Drumond Park sees Tomy enter 2019 with an invigorated portfolio. 

Tomy’s new collectible Ritzy Rollers has been well received at previews across the globe.

Since joining the company just over a year ago, Tomy’s UK & Ireland general manager, Mary Wood, has overseen a period of significant, positive change.

When asked how her first year had been, Mary replied: “Tough, as expected. We knew it was going to be a hard year for Tomy because of what we had in the portfolio going into 2018. Decisions were made a few years ago which saw investment pulled back from product development, and this resulted in the less strong ranges we had last year. However, that decision has thankfully been reversed, and we – now have plenty in the pipeline to look forward to.”

She adds: “A year ago, the company was a bit wounded by Pokémon being taken out of the portfolio, but one of the challenges with a big brand like that is that you can lose focus on the core business. With Pokémon gone, we’ve concentrated on healing and nurturing those brands that needed it, and it’s starting to pay off.”

Tomy recently landed the master toy deal for eOne’s new pre-school animation Ricky Zoom, a new collectible range – Ritzy Rollers – is now available, and Lamaze has been stabilised with new price points, categories and refreshed packaging. Toomies’ packaging now allows consumers to see and try the product, and the Aquadoodle range has welcomed brand extensions that widened its core target market of 18 months to up to three years old.

The company’s partnership with Drumond Park will give Tomy a much bigger focus on its core games business, with Mary explaining that it will be keeping the Tomy-branded games portfolio, which includes the best-selling Pop-Up Pirate franchise. “The Drumond catalogue gives us the Articulate family, the Logo family, Rapidough, the ‘Best Of’ games, and a raft of new products too that we will showcase for the first time at London Toy Fair,” she adds.

On top of all this, Mary hints at a new product so secret the only thing she can reveal is where it will be presented to buyers.

“We’re hoping to showcase this at London Toy Fair, but it will be highly dependent upon the level of security we can organise,” Mary explains. “A Japanese-developed, one-off standalone product, it’s under very close protection at the moment and we think it’s a very big deal. If it’s not on show at London, it will be at Nuremberg, so attendees can see it there.”

To read the full interview with Mary, which was published in the January issue of Toy World, click here.

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