ToyNews chats with Pedro Sousa, UK Brand Manager for TOMY Games about the demand for family gaming and the firm's plans for the space this year and beyond.
Can you talk us through the Games collection for 2017?
2017 is set to be another great year for us, we’ll be driving the children’s games category releasing five new games including the hilarious Fizzy Dizzy Hippo which won BTHA’s Best New Toy Award under the Games category at Toy Fair London.
Also new is Phil the Fridge which keeps players on their toes as they race against the clock to get their coloured food shapes into Phil’s fridge before he decides to pop open. We’re also launching two new licensed Pop Up games including Pop Up Minions and Pop Up BB8 as well as a Tickle Me Feet which is a fun follow on to the legendary Pop Up Pirate.
As well as new launches we will support our hero products including Screwball Scramble, Pop Up Pirate, Greedy Granny with a strategic marketing campaign featuring TV and digital advertising as well as PR.
How have you seen demand for Children’s Games in the market grow over the last couple of years?
The games market has grown significantly over the last couple years and our games collection has delivered outstanding results. The launch of Greedy Granny strengthened TOMY’s position in the children’s games category having gained a place as one of the top six new children’s games of 2016* within just six months of sales.
We have also seen robust sales figures coming from our classic games, including Screwball Scramble which grew by 95% and Pop Up Pirate which continued to be featured within the top ten children’s games*.
*Source: NPD EPOS Retail Value Tracking – YTD 2016, December
Why is now the right time for TOMY to be launching a new collection?
The games market is growing faster than ever and TOMY is contributing to that growth. TOMY Games is a huge focus for us and we will continue to put the full strength of our marketing and sales team behind the brand. We’re also investing in a big marketing campaign to generate more consumer demand and working closely with our retailers.
What are your ambitions for the Games portfolio for the coming year and beyond?
We expect 2017 to be another huge year for TOMY. We’ve already received great feedback from Fizzy Dizzy Hippo and Phil The Fridge so we’ve got high expectations ahead of their release. Children’s games are a priority for us and we are continuing to look for good opportunities to innovate whilst bringing differentiation and excitement to the category.
How has the year been so far for TOMY – How will the new additions help drive further growth for the company?
We achieved a 17 per cent increase in sales between January and May 2017 and TOMY Games now ranks within the top three manufacturers in children’s games**. We worked closely with our stakeholders to develop our new products and come up with compelling ideas so we have high hopes for the new releases. At TOMY we believe people enjoy playing face-to-face games to connect, and if we can give them that experience we will succeed.
** Source: NPD EPOS Retail Value Tracking – YTD 2017, May
What’s next for TOMY?
Our current goal is to establish TOMY as ‘the next big player in games’, we want to build on this momentum and rank at the top of the children’s games category. Innovation will continue to be essential for our range and we are working on some exciting concepts for the next year.