Toy news and Brexit blues: the week's toy industry news in review

Jack Ridsdale

By Jack Ridsdale

January 19th 2017 at 5:35PM
UPDATED January 20th 2017 at 11:57AM
Toy news and Brexit blues: the week's toy industry news in review

From hard Brexit to soft toys, here are the stories that kept you reading for the week ending Friday, 20th January.

This week most of you were gearing up for what may be the biggest event in the toy industry calendar, London Toy Fair. As industry professionals get ready to file into a hot convention centre for what promises to be three days of heavy drinking interspersed with the occasional meeting, the toy industry was pumping out some truly scintillating news stories. Read on for our Top 10 most read stories from the past week.

While the country’s biggest toy convention prepares to get underway, geek-culture convention goers got a treat in the form of new blind-box figures that are on the way from Titan Merchandise. Science fiction fans can relive some of their favourite TV moments with collectables based on Star Trek: The Next Generation and Doctor Who season 12. Sonic Screwdriver not included.

Many ToyNews readers were breaking out their spandex and tights and reliving their childhood memories of watching WWE (formerly WWF) wrestling with the release of Mattel’s throwback WWE figures. New WWE stars such as John Cena and Roman Reigns are represented in the line that features designs and packaging reminiscent of the classic Hasbro figures that rose to fame in the 90s.

Speaking of Hasbro, the firm’s upcoming digital series and lifestyle brand Hanazuki gained its fair share of attention this week. The first nine episodes of the animated web series have been released on YouTube and there is sure to be tidal wave of merchandise to follow.

Next up was the news that Jakks Pacific has rolled out a new series of Cuppatinis dolls, with designs inspired by different hot beverages including the likes of Cha Cha Chai, Carmela la Crème, Rose Hippensip, Mocha Lisa, Lola Vander, and Jasmint. For some more figures how about Pumpkin Spiced Letty or Meg-Nog?

Back in the top ten was the news that the immensely popular free-to-play online game Roblox would finally see some physical merchandise in the form of lego-style figures based on characters created by players. A small chunk of the game’s rabidly hungry fans was enough to keep this story in our top ten for another week.

Continuing the video game theme, the most incomprehensible multi-million dollar franchise Minecraft drew in readers with the announcement of new figures from Jazwares. The figures will be 3 inches tall which is the same amount of minutes this writer spent trying to play the game before resigning himself to the idea he is out of touch with the youth of today.

Are you up on your hashtags? Do you pronounce is ‘gif’ or ‘jif’? If you want to be successful in the toy industry you need to be asking yourself these questions as toy firm Schleich attributed their banner year to their new website and its integration of social media platforms

In more business news, Mattel signed a new CEO, former president of Google Americas, Margeret Georgiadis. Another industry move to attract the attention of ToyNews readers was industry vet Phillip Ellis’ move to Jumbo. Ellis has been making moves in the toy industry since this writer was still in nappies so he will surely be a great asset to Jumbo’s sales team.

Alright, time to disable comments, because we’re about to get political. Many of you were keen to read about Theresa May’s most recent speech, outlining the terms for Britain’s exit from the EU. May took a hard line stance, ruling out membership of the single market and warning EU counterparts any attempt to inflict a punitive outcome on the UK would be an ‘act of calamitous self-harm,’ which may prompt tax cuts to attract businesses from around the world. The pound did see a slight rise after the speech, but remain voters voiced anger at many of May’s points, including that limiting the number of migrant workers will have a negative impact on the British economy. Expect the debate to rage on as the Brexit train keeps on chugging and affecting businesses within the toy industry and beyond.

In lighter news, Britain’s Got Talent star Jamie Raven added a little magic to our Top 10 this week with the launch of his new magic sets from Paul Lamond. The magic tricks are mostly limited to sleight of hand and card tricks and will unfortunately not teach you how to saw a woman in half or conjure a patronus. Expect to see more of this collaboration at Toy Fair later this month. 

Finally, a familiar face remains lodged at the top of our Top 10. Yes, it’s the L.O.L. Surprise dolls from MGA Entertainment. After more than four weeks at the top of our Top 10, our team of internet experts will be launching an investigation into the legitimacy of our statistics and while we would never suggest foul play, if we suspect hacking is involved our justice will be swift and crushing (disclaimer: this is a joke).