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Wagwan…it’s the Friday Blog!

Published on: 15th July 2016

It’s a short Blog this week, as I’m on a family holiday in Jamaica, where you’re never more than two tracks away from a Bob Marley song and they really do say ‘Wagwan’ a lot (it’s not just a phrase they use in Rastamouse…).

I’d like to thank the British toy community for making it a relatively quiet news week, thus keeping my time away from the pool/beach to a minimum.

It looks like Pokemon Go has really taken off – it even made the BBC World News service out here. Independent retailers have been telling me how well Pokemon products have been selling all year, so this latest release should give it a timely boost.

Congratulations to the BTHA on winning the Trade Association of the Year award. The whole team does a great job, and this is well-deserved recognition. A busy couple of years lie ahead post-Brexit, but I’m sure they’ll face the challenges with their customary diligence.

Having failed in its bid to take over Argos earlier this year, Steinhoff has been successful in acquiring Poundland, so it now has a foothold in the UK market, albeit with a rather different proposition to its original target. I’ll be fascinated to see what plans it has for its new acquisition, and indeed what scope a value retailer such as Poundland offers for a new owner looking to establish itself.

Finally, I’ve been on the lookout for toys that are popular in the Jamaican market, which essentially seems to be anything that is popular across the globe with added dreadlocks and/or a Jamaican beeny hat. So I’ll leave you with pictures of Jamaican Elmo and Spongebob, which, if I’m being honest, I’m not fully convinced are official licensed versions. There is also a Jamaican Angry Bird, who is presumably angry because his hair looks more like a Bobby Charlton comb-over than dreadlocks.

Back next week with a proper, non-holiday Blog.

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