Entertainment firm Dracco has it fingers in many pies - from toy creation through to licensing, stationery, accessories and even confectionery - plus it has a 50 per cent stake in UK pocket money toy distributor The In Thing. ToyNews speaks to MD Henrik Andersen about its top toys for this year and plans for 2014

INTERVIEW: Dracco reveals plans for 2014

Which toy ranges are you focusing on in the UK?

2013 is an exciting year for us in the UK, having started with the launch of Predasaurs and Zombie Zity. These offer two new product lines, focusing on collectability, web interaction and dynamic gameplay. Predasaurs has received a superb response and Zombie Zity will roll-out in autumn 2013. It has become one of our more greatly anticipated product lines in terms of the overall strength and long-term brand opportunities. Zombie Zity Series 1 will feature a collection of 12 of the most unique Zombie characters ever produced.
The In Thing has many new Dracco-developed product lines ready for distribution in 2013-2014, as well as a few surprises. In the international markets, Filly continues to build momentum, and we are launching a new and exciting series this year.

What is your strategy and how has this helped you grow?

Dracco continues to grow based upon the introduction of new product lines and the addition of key strategic partnerships. Our approach in the UK market, along with our partner, The In Thing, has been to launch a combination of select licensed lines along with key Dracco products. Combined together, these products have enabled our distribution in the UK market to grow during the past 12 months, and we are able to reach new retailers and consumers.

What attracted you to invest a 50 per cent stake in The In Thing in 2011?

The In Thing was an established company with solid sales and incredible distribution coverage within the UK market. Founded and managed by Paul Jackson, his vision was to find a long-term toy partner who could supply branded toy lines exclusive to his company in the UK market, as well as help his company create additional licensed product lines. Dracco is positioned to help The In Thing grow. Dracco in Asia comprises a team of 130 individuals who provide the product development, quality assurance and brand development necessary for continued growth in the marketplace. The partnership has been busy building up the product lines and making sound business decisions for 2013 and 2014.

Filly is a fast-growing brand. What are your plans for the property?

Filly has continued to grow and expand globally, and within many parts of the world, it has become one of the top-selling girl’s toy properties. This year we’ll focus on strengthening the core Filly product line with several new innovative toy play-sets, as well as introducing a new interactive Filly website with game platform.
Other developments include new mobile apps, the introduction of a Filly CGI animation series in 2014, as well as the continued addition of new core product licensees for the brand.

Which of your brands are you hoping to launch into other categories?

We exhibited at Licensing Expo in Las Vegas in June. Along with Filly, Predasaurs has proven successful in retail sales, and thus it’s generating a greater amount of awareness in European countries.
We foresee Zombie Zity having a huge following going into 2014 accompanied by strong licensees.

You’re also exhibiting at ISM next year. How important is the candy market for you?

Confectionery has always been an important part of Dracco and continues to be a priority in 2013. Our focus has been on key licensed properties mixed with high-quality confectionery products. At ISM, we introduced a number of new confectionery product lines continuing to build on the hundreds of products currently in our portfolio.

What would you have liked to have achieved by the end this year?

In 2013, we plan for continued growth within the UK retail market with our core brands, as well as retail placement on certain new product lines.
Additionally, we have many new global and strategic toy partnerships that will help support new launches and continue the growth of core Dracco brands. It is of outmost importance for us to launch new product lines with marketing efforts and other support needed to create successful sales results, together with our partners in distribution and retail.

Some ‘Thing special

The In Thing saw its business increase by almost 50 per cent fo the 12 months ending March 2013. It moved into new offices in April, more than double the size of its previous premises.

The distributor has seen success supplying indie toy retailers with Skylanders figures, Predasaurs collectables, Moshi Monsters, Angry Birds, Magic Choc to name just a few.

To order stock, contact The In Thing on 0845 365 3030 or visit www.theinthing.com.

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