SECTOR GUIDE: Back to school toys

Dominic Sacco

By Dominic Sacco

June 20th 2013 at 3:33PM
UPDATED June 24th 2013 at 4:21PM
SECTOR GUIDE: Back to school toys

With millions of kids returning to classrooms in September after their first summer hoidays, they'll be ready to snap up a host of new bags, pens and more. ToyNews presents the latest back-to-school products.

Vivid - 01483 449 944

Crayola has a range of exciting new additions coming this summer across each of its key categories, including stationery, supplied by Vivid.

For impulse colouring-in fun, there’s Crayola Pop Art (£3.99), available in four bright colours. Pop Art is a carry case, pencil case and desk tidy all in one. It includes ten colouring-in sheets and four markers.

Following its launch last year, the whole Crayola Moshi Monsters range is being refreshed to include all new colouring and activity sheets, featuring the latest Moshlings from Series 6.

Kids can colour in their favourite Moshi Monsters with Mini Colouring Pages (£3.99), Giant Colouring Pages (£4.99), the Colouring & Activity Book (£4.99), and Crayola’s unique no-mess Color Wonder (£6.49), where markers only work on the special paper for colouring.

The Crayola Marker Airbrush (£21.99) transforms regular Crayola markers into amazing airbrush art, opening up new ways to get creative. The inclusion of fabric markers enables creativity to literally come off the page, to create amazing T-shirt designs.

The Sketcher Projector (£19.99) is all about showcasing artworks in a really big way. Kids can create endless designs over again on the reusable wipe-clean acetate sheets, and then project it up to 20 times bigger on any nearby wall or ceiling. Both lines launch in July and will be supported with heavyweight TV throughout the autumn.

The In Thing - 0845 365 3030

Pocket money toy distributor The In Thing has a couple of top school-friendly products available this year.

The Moshi Monsters Puzzle Erasers come in a variety of styles, representing all the fan-favourite Moshi characters.

Each eraser can be disassembled into eight pieces and re-assembled again, giving kids a great little puzzle in the palm of their hands.

The Puzzle Erasers have an RRP of £3.99 and a retailer margin of 35 per cent.

The Angry Bird Plush Flingers can be flung off any pen or pencil top and are available in six varieties, including the birds from hit Angry Birds apps. They have an RRP of £2.99, with retailer margins of 39 per cent.

Flair - 020 8643 0320

If there’s one thing every child needs when returning to school, it’s a pencil case full of colourful new pens.

And with Flair’s impressive feature pens collection, there’s not just colour to impress the teachers, but also special effects that promise to make any project extra exciting.

Blendy Pens have the unique ability to blend from one hue to another, with the aid of the patented fusion chamber. There are both generic and themed sets to collect, but perfect for school is the Blendy Pen Mini 10-Pen Pack, which provides for 90 different blend combinations to create some amazingly different and dazzling colouring effects.  

For underlining and dramatic multicolour effects, the Trio Pens get full marks. Each pen creates a dramatic three-coloured stripe, which can be made wider by simply turning the nib.

The Starter Set includes three Trio Pens, a detailing pen, ten printed scenes and plenty of blank paper on which to perfect your Trio Pen technique.

Finally, Sprayza creates dramatic airbrushing effects and can be bought as a simple five-pen set or, for a whole Sprayza project, the Magic Pro Set combines seven bright Sprayza colours with a metallic silver detailer, plus stencils to produce truly magical artistic creations.

This is just a snapshot of the complete feature pen collection from Flair.

Retailers have the option of ordering FSDUs with the products to make a dramatic and eye-catching display in-store.

West Design - 01303 297 888

West Design says there is no need to go anywhere else this back to school season.  The company offers all stationery items needed to fill school bags, from a variety of different branded pens and pencils, notebooks, filling and more, for young kids to big kids alike.

One of the must-have ranges is the ever-increasing LEGO stationery line which continues to go from strength to strength.

As well as the Classic and White ranges, West Design is now offering LEGO Friends stationery. With pricing from as little as £1.99 and more than 20 products in the range, there really is something for everyone.

Later this year the introduction of LEGO Chima products promises to be another great success with customers.

Another back-to-school distribution range comprises of Eberhard Faber products, part of the Faber-Castell group.

Eberhard Faber is a specialist in paints and modelling clays for children and educational use, supplementing the product range of the Faber-Castell group as an independent brand. This range includes colouring pencils, felt tips, modelling clays, face paints and street chalk – all essential items to turn school into a fun place.

Away from the distribution products, West Design also has nearly 20,000 other products available – many manufactured at its own factory in the UK.

West Design offers a wide range, perfect for a successful school year, including Stephens pads and clear pencil cases, West ready mix paint, as well as Westfolio art portfolios, display books and course books.

Asobi - 01628 200 077

By providing only the tools and templates, Seedling packs allow children to design their own endless creations using their imagination.

There are two kits which are perfect for getting back to school: Design your own pencil case and Design your own tote bag. The beautiful craft kits will allow the little ones to go back to school with a pencil case and bag that no one else will have.

Seedling also provides the 12 Natural Coloured Pencils in a Tube product.

Asobi says Seedling is one of its most significant brands and took the UK by storm last year when it arrived with innovative craft kits.

For more Asobi products, you can download the free Asobi catalogue app from iTunes or Google Play.

Halilit - 01254 872 454

A school recorder is an essential purchase for most children during their time at Primary School, and it is vital that this is of the right quality to ensure that children get the best possible start when learning to play a musical instrument.

The Halilit School Recorder is an excellent quality, three-piece recorder accurately tuned to meet all educational specifications and it comes with a cleaning rod, fingering chart and handy storage bag, claims Halilit.

The recorder matches many of the bigger brands in terms of quality and sound, and yet it is very affordable and offers excellent value for money, retailing at just £5.99.

The School Recorder comes in a classic brown colour, but Halilit offers a similar version in a variety of colours for £4.99, for younger siblings or children who want to introduce an element of fun into their playing.

Music is considered to play a key role in a child’s development and as well as providing enjoyment, it also helps with the development of language and motor skills.

All young children love to join in making music, whether banging a drum or jingling bells, and Halilit’s range of high quality, accurately-tuned note perfect musical instruments are loved as much by parents as they are by children, says the firm.

2013 sees the introduction of a fresh new packaging style for the whole range, which also makes the items look great on the shelf.

Spearmark - 07796 445 726

Spearmark Housewares, specialists in the design and development of children’s licensed products, has Sonic the Hedgehog and Tree Fu Tom products available this back to school season.

The ever-popular Sonic the Hedgehog character celebrates 22 years as the fastest hedgehog around in 2013, with a fresh range of licensed products. He has a core target audience of boys and girls aged four to 11 years old.

The new range features a rectangular lunchbox which is guaranteed to be an instant favourite of children throughout the UK, and with a wipeable lining for easy cleaning, mums will love it too. The aluminium sports bottle, with sports style nozzle cap, is a fun way for active children to keep hydrated without worrying about spillages.

In addition to these, the Tree Fu Tom Lunchbag features an easy carry handle, name tag and a wipeable lining for easy cleaning. It’s perfect for allowing kids to carry their lunch to school.

There’s also a reusable Tree Fu Tom plastic drinks bottle available, along with a Tree Fu Tom Tumbler, Bowl, Plate Set and Cutlery Set that keeps children engaged at mealtimes with the Tree Fu Tom characters from the popular TV?show.

Copywrite Designs - 01908 618 944

Copywrite says it’s excited to launch a new licence to its portfolio: Tree Fu Tom.

A wide selection of stationery and arts and crafts products will be available for autumn/winter 2013, based on the popular children’s TV show. These products are ideal for children heading back to school in September.

The Tree Fu Tom Chunky Triangular Pencils are priced at £1.50, while the officially licensed A5 Wiro Scribble Pad costs just £2.99.

Furthermore, the Tree Fu Tom Filled Complete Art Pack includes felt tip pens, wax crayons, colouring pencils, a carry case and more. It has a £6 price tag.

Finally, kids can have fun with the Tree Fu Tom PVC Pencil case, priced at £1.50.

Tree Fu Tom is an animated kids’ TV show that airs on CBeebies.

Blueprint Collections - 0845 217 2400

The Bon Voyage collection features everything a Me To You fan would need for the back to school season, including a ring-binder, several notebooks, a pencil case, stationery set, a ball pen and pencil, as well as a great backpack, courier bag and purse.

Further to these items, however, there are some great novelty items in the range which will make school days a lot more fun. Among these are twist-up colours, a friendship book, novelty stationery set and some die-cut note cards for all those little messages between friends.

Retail price points for the Bon Voyage collection range from £1.99 to £18.99. The products are available now.

Bic- 01895 827 100

Kids will love writing secret messages and experimenting with special effects from the new Colour & Create XL from BIC.

The magic ink eraser pens included within the pack will magically remove the colour from their drawings, allowing kids to really let their imagination run wild.

The extra-large pen barrels are easy for a small hand to hold, so even the youngest budding artists can join in the fun.

The 4Colours Shine new addition to the classic BIC 4Colours range brings a shimmering twist to the pencil-case favourite. Now available in six different trendy colours – from metallic pink to gleaming acid green and polished purple – the new pens include the choice of four colours. There’s traditional black, blue, red and green, all in one pen.

The BIC 4Colours pen gets a sophisticated makeover, too. It includes black, red, blue and green colours in a gloss black barrel, for understated style.

The Plastidecor Triangle crayons for little artists are made of plastic, which means they’re super resilient. And unlike a normal wax crayon, the colour won’t stain hands, meaning they stay clean and tidy.

Music Room - 01284 725 725

Music Room has a host of products for budding musicians including instruments, activity books, song books and more.

The Tiny Tutor Ocarina box contains a genuine fun-sized instrument, plus instructions on how to play it. Unlike the Tuba or Bassoon, kids will never have any trouble getting on the bus with it, and at home, the whole thing takes up no more space that a book.

The contents include an ocarina – a flute-like instrument considered one of the oldest instruments on Earth – as well as full colour illustrated How-To-Play book, a fingering chart and neck string. This Tiny Tutor instrument pack is perfect for kids – a great novelty gift.

Other instruments include the Harmonica, Krazy Kazoo and Pantastic Pan Pipes.

There are several song books available such as the Children’s Christmas and Nursery Rhyme Songbooks.

Also available

Trademark launches a new range of Tree Fu Tom rucksacks, wallets and umbrellas this autumn; GB Eye has posters, stickers, badges and more based on properties like Skylanders Swap Force, Moshi Monsters and Angry Birds; Wow Stuff launches Wow Packs this year – remote controlled backpacks that come to life at the press of a button; Jomoval’s Bobble Art range features children’s backpacks, lunch boxes, drinks bottles, PE bags and gift items; Learning Resources has the Robinsons Fruit Shoot Smencils, which are the world’s only scented pencils made from 100 per cent recycled newspaper; Bunkerbound’s Back 2 Skool range includes the Back 2 Skool Desk Tidy (£12.99), Pen Holder (£9.99) and Pencil Box (£6.99); On The Movies launches its unique tablet PC that is housed in a child’s backpack.