As Universal's sequel continues to play to packed screens, retailers are asking "where is our Minion merchandise?"

Toy retail misses out on Despicable Me 2 box office phenomenon

Some of the UK’s biggest toy specialists are missing out on the Despicable Me 2 craze thanks to a lack of available stock.

Since landing in UK cinemas on June 28th, Despicable Me 2 has gone on to become the biggest opening in the UK this year.

But this big-screen success hasn’t translated into sales for toy retailers, thanks to limited product and not enough stock.

“We have missed out on lots of sales by having zero stock, not even a puzzle, of Despicable Me 2 toys,” Toytown’s head buyer Brian Simpson told ToyNews. “We had requests from almost all of our stores for the Minions and, unfortunately, we had to disappoint those customers.”

US company Thinkway Toys has an FOB deal with Universal on Despicable Me 2 toys.

“The deal means none of the indies have any products while some of the big stores will. But due to the nature of the FOB, there is exaggerated demand. If you look on Amazon, there are a few Despicable Me 2 products but they are all imported in,” added Toymaster operations director, Ian Edmunds. “With films, you don’t know about demand and then when it does come, it’s often too late, but that’s life. Either way, there is a demand for Despicable Me 2, which unfortunately just won’t be fulfilled.”

Buying director at The Entertainer, Stuart Grant added: “It doesn’t enable anyone to maximise any one opportunity because you either way out call your number or way under call it. In these times, you tend to way under call it.

“There really won’t be much product this Christmas and I imagine the Thinkway toys will be some of the must-have, most sought after because there just won’t be enough stock to supply the demand.”
The stores that have been able to get hold of some product are reporting a strong demand, particularly for the Minions.

“We managed to get some small plush Minions at very short notice which were a perfect price point at below £5. The demand for these has been very high in our shop with us selling out of the first batch in less than an afternoon,” Toy Hub owner Helen Gourley said. “We have re-ordered and they are still proving to be a very steady line.”

The Entertainer’s Grant added: “The success of Despicable Me 2 has taken everybody by surprise, which is why there is a complete lack of product. The trade didn’t really heavily back it at all. The only saving grace is that there is a Minions movie coming out next year.”

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