Tisn’t quite the season to be jolly just yet, but toy firms have already ensured they’ll be joining It’s A Wonderful Life and the Doctor Who special on the small screen this Christmas. Billy Langsworthy takes a look at which companies are advertising what products, and where you can see them

Sector guide: Christmas TV

Golden Bear Toys

Boys and pre-school portfolios will form the focus of Golden Bear’s pre- Christmas TV roll out.

Fronting the campaign for boys is the Go Mini with the new HQ play-set alongside current Stunt Racers, Launcher and Radio Controlled Wolf Rally Car.

The range will see more than 750+ TVRs reach the target audience of boys aged four to six in Q3 and Q4. It will include the TV channels Milkshake, Cartoonito, Boomerang, Nick Junior, Disney Junior, Kix and Pop.

My 1st JCB will also appear on air across Q3 and Q4 on terrestrial and satellite stations. The focus of the campaign will be the JCB Talkers and the new characters for 2013.

Also gracing the small screen is the new In the Night Garden collection. The range will appear on over 650 TVRS. The channels involved include Milkshake, Nick Junior and Disney Junior and Igglepiggle and Upsy Daisy will form the focus of the campaign, in particular the large talking plush, Lullaby Igglepiggle and Play a Tune Upsy Daisy.

The Night Garden range will receive an extra month-long push on AOL Parenting Super Channels with banners, skycrapers and MPUs that Golden Bear believes will create more than four million impressions with mums.

Finally, Ben and Holly’s Little Kingdom will be supported with TV ads in Q4 highlighting the new packaging. The ad will focus on The Little Castle Magical Play-set showing the inclusion of the flying fairy feature and will appear on Milkshake, Boomerang, Nick Junior, Tiny Pop and Disney Junior.

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Tomy is ensuring brands including Battroborg, Chuggington, Poke?mon and Dinosaur Train grace the small screen this Q4 with several heavyweight campaigns.

The firm is advertising the Battroborg motion-controlled robot with 500 TVRs targeting boys and dads across Sky One, Dave, CITV, Channel 5, Disney XD and Nickelodeon. The Battroborg campaign is being backed by
a free-to- download Battroborg Trainer app, website, pre-roll on YouTube, online campaigns, print coverage and in-store events.

A 300 plus TVR Poke?mon campaign, including pre-roll, will run throughout the autumn and will feature the Catch ‘n’ Return Poke? Ball Competition.

To support the launch of the new series of Chuggington on CBeebies, Tomy is promoting the Rescue at Rocky Ridge StackTrack play-set with 650 TVRs and dedicated pre-roll.

Tomy is also using TV advertising to push the Play to Learn pre- school collection which aims to ‘inspire playtime with toys for different times of the day.’ With over 400 TVRs, the ads will showcase the full range including Hide n Squeak Eggs, Cheesy Riders and Neil the Seal. Pre-rolls will also be running from September 9th to October 7th across 4oD and ITV Player, while mums will be targeted on key high rating shows such as Coronation Street.

Elsewhere, Dinosaur Train will be running on TV across October and November with the InterAction Dinosaurs the focus, while arts and crafts brand Aquadoodle will be back on screens over the autumn. Both brands will also be the focus of pre-roll on ITV Player and 4oD on shows where mums and kids are navigating through their favourite content from September 23rd to October 14th.

While not appearing on TV, the Winnie the Pooh campaign will have a pure online presence with the use of pre-roll directly targeting mums and gift givers.

Kids will be encouraged to do the ‘Winnie Wiggle’ with new Dancing Pooh through pre-roll within key environments, and a dedicated four-month campaign running on the BabyCentre website will show off the Winnie the Pooh collection.

020 8722 7300

Spin Master

Spin Master will be using TV ads to demonstrate the in- flight abilities of its Flying Fairy by Flutterbye.
Similarly, the Air Hogs AtmoSphere ad hits TV sceens this month and will be showing off the levitating sphere which is controlled by the palm of the hand, while ads for the Hover Assault Eject will be on air for October half term and through to Christmas.

Monsters University has been a hit on the big screen and Spin Master is using the small screen to continue the push for its My Scare Pal Sulley and Sulley Monster Mask throughout the Christmas shopping period.

Two items from the Spy Gear range will have campaigns: Spy Gear Spike Mic Launcher and Spy Gear Panosphere 360 Spy Cam.

Spin Master’s Boom Boom Balloon game will have its own standalone TV ad on air from October and the successful Hedbanz range will also be backed.

01628 535000

Esdevium Games

Esdevium is highlighting two of its products through TV this Q4: The Dazzling Princess and Who Shook Hook games.

The two campaigns will hit screens from October and run right through the key decision-making period.

Dazzling Princess is the guessing and pretending game, which sees players earn gems either through guessing the princess from clues or pretending to be a particular princess and making the other players guess.

In the Jake and the Never Land Pirates – Who Shook Hook game, players move around the board and must use either the sword, fishing pole, tweezers or shovel to pluck a piece of treasure away from the sleeping Captain Hook, all the while being careful not to knock him over.

Both commercials will feature on a mixture of key satellite pre-school channels, as well as terrestrial stations around pre-school programming.

01420 593593


Revell is using TV advertising to support the UK launch of Revellutions, its new remote control car collection.

The cars are designed for eight to 12 year olds. The TV advertising kicked off last month, targeting the core demographic.

The ads will then return to screens in the autumn.

The ten and 20-second adverts will reach more than 700 TVRs, according to the firm.

The campaign will be also be backed up by a PR drive from Fizz Communications, as well as press advertising, online marketing and POS displays.

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VTech is investing heavily in TV advertising to support its key launches.

Nine TV ads for VTech products will air pre-Christmas to drive awareness of new launches including InnoTab 3S, Kidizoom Twist Plus, KidiGo and Switch & Go Dinos.

VTech believes this year’s above-the-line investment will reach over 94 per cent of all children aged four to six and 88 per cent of mums with kids under three. Between July to December 89 per cent of children aged four to six will see a VTech ad at least once.

The firm also predicts over 75 per cent will see it four times, and 84 per cent of mums with kids under three will see the ad at least once, with nearly 65 per cent seeing it four times.

The firm’s new InnoTab 3S will be advertised on channels including ITV and Channel 5 alongside sponsorship of Disney Junior, while the Switch & Go Dinos range will be visible from mid-September up to the Christmas break with ads on channels such as Milkshake, Sky Kids and Turner.

The Kidizoom Twist Plus will roll out with KidiGo, the multimedia player with built in games from the end of July and will become a combined ad from mid-October on channels such as Nick Junior, Cartoon Network and CITV.

Other pre-Christmas ads will focus on gifts like the Toot-Toot Train Station and Garage, Gadget the Robot and Secret Safe Diary.

VTech’s Charlotte Johnson said: “We’re confident our exciting new product innovation combined with our high investment in TV advertising will deliver another successful Christmas for VTech.”

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Drumond Park

Drumond Park has two TV campaigns targeting ‘little ones’ and older boys and girls airing throughout the autumn and right up to Christmas week.

The Doh Nutters will join Pig Goes Pop, Magic Tooth Fairy, Bubble Buster and Pumpaloons on stations such as Nick Junior, Five Milkshake, Nicktoons, Boomerang, Cartoonito, Disney Junior, Tiny Pop and CITV.

The new LOGO Billionaire game, as well as the Mask ‘n’ Ask board game, will also be promoted, alongside popular titles like Don’t Laugh, Gross Magic and Horrid Practical Jokes. The ads will run on the likes Nickelodeon, Nicktoons, Cartoon Network, Cartoon Network Too, Disney X, Kix and CITV.

TV advertising for Adult and Family games starts in October, and also runs right up to Christmas.

Titles involved in this campaign include LOGO, LOGO Best of TV & Movies, LOGO Best of British, Articulate, Classic Wordsearch and the latest edition of Rapidough. Stations include ITV2, 3, 4, E4, More 4, Film 4, Sky 1, Sky Sports, Comedy Central, Sky Atlantic, Four Music, Sky Music and Dave.

Drumond Park will be backing up TV advertising activities with individually planned and budgeted PR, promotional and sampling campaigns for all its new titles during the four-month run-up to Christmas.

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Flair is launching 22 major campaigns across its boys, girls, creative and pre-school portfolios in the run up to Christmas.

The company will be ensuring the continued success of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles property with a TV campaign delivering over 2,500 boys’ ratings and themed TVCs. The ads will focus on the Shell Raiser RC Vehicle, the Secret Sewer Lair Play-set, the new Deluxe Flingers Figures and Deluxe Vehicles and Figures Sets.

The Trash Pack will also be gracing TV screens each month with over 1,200 boys’ TVRs supporting the red wheelie bins from Series 4. Ads in October will help drive the launch of the Series 5 Trash Pack Toilets.

Other products pushing the brand in the run up to Christmas include the Trash Pack play-sets.

Elsewhere, for young girls Disney’s Doc McStuffins will appear in an extensive campaign featuring over 1,000 children ratings starring the interactive Time for Your Check Up and Medical Centre.

New ads will also showcase the pre-school autumn lines of Ultimate Tom and the Tree Fu Tom Adventure Castle Play-set as well as other lines including the role-play collection. Tree Fu Tom looks to be popular this Christmas after becoming a top ten new property this year.

This autumn will also see Flair launch its first app related product in Appen and a major social media campaign will ensure mums understand the idea and this will support a TV campaign to mums and children that will deliver 600+ ratings.

Finally, a Glitzi Globes TV campaign will top over 500 girls TVRs, while a girls’ press campaign is set to reach over 2.5 million readers.

16 other high profile brands from Flair will also be supported with TV advertising this autumn, including launches for the Pinkie Cooper, Emotion Pets and Snuggle Pets, an autumn campaign for Sylvanian Families featuring Maple Manor and the Seaside Theme Play-sets and TVCs for Aqua Beads, Cool Cards and Inkoos.

020 643 0320

John Adams

John Adams’ TV campaign kicked off in August before airing through September to December across both satellite and terrestrial channels targeting kids, mums and family-viewing programming schedules.

Mega Construction came top in the Best New Toys Construction category at this year’s UK Toy Fair. The range, including the Starter Workshop (Motorbike), Pro Workshop (Dune Buggy), Mega Workshop (Robot & Helicopter) and the Mega Blaster Workshop, will be supported on TV from launch in September.

The company is also using TV to push its first product for the youth entertainment sector, the HolograFX. The product is an immersive interactive entertainment show, designed to make the user the star of their very own holographic video show.

John Adams is also driving its IDEAL Action Games category via TV advertising, with Silly Moo, Gooey Louie, Doggie Doo and Don’t Take Buster’s Bones all receiving heavyweight TVRs to drive retailer footfall.

The latest addition to the Gross Science collection – Dr Toxic’s Slime Lab – will also receive TV support, as will the Classic 3×3 Rubik’s and Rubik’s Race, the game that challenges players to go head to head to have the fastest fingers.

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In pre-school, Little People and Imaginext will see continued support through Fisher-Price’s Milkshake sponsorship, as well as TV spots for the Little People Happy Sounds Home and Little People Fun Sounds Farm, the new look Little People range, and Imaginext Batcave, Mega Apatosaurus and classic Imaginext Castle.

Thomas & Friends has Milkshake sponsorship, plus TV ads for Trackmaster Castle Quest, Take-n-Play Adventure Castle play-sets, Thomas Around Sodor and Action Tracks.

The Fisher-Price Disney Junior ranges will also be heavily supported.

The focus of the TV drive for Octonauts is the new Deep Sea Octo-Lab and Dora the Explorer will continue to be supported on TV for the Dive n’ Swim Mermaid Dora. The key play-set in the new Bubble Guppies range, the Bubble Guppies Rock & Roll Stage, will also be supported.

Barbie will benefit from an on-air presence to December with a TV campaign supporting the two new entertainment properties, including Barbie Mariposa & the Fairy Princess. Further campaigns include the Barbie Digital Dress, Barbie Slide & Spin Pups, Barbie Hair-tastic Colour and Design Studio, Barbie Life in the Dreamhouse Feature Dolls and the Barbie Dreamhouse.

Monster High 13 Wishes and the Disney Princess Transforming Mermaid Ariel Doll will both be supported. Also backed will be Colour Change Rapunzel, Ultimate Dream Castle Play-set and two new brands, Sofia the First and Christmas movie Frozen. TV ads will also support the refreshed Password Journal.

Hot Wheels will be given an on-going high-impact brand campaign including strong content and experiential activity.

Matchbox will celebrate its 60th anniversary with the release of a 24 die-cast car collection featuring a selection ranging from the classic Routemaster Double Decker Bus to a 64 Austin Mini Cooper. The brand will be supported with TV advertising.

Scrabble and Uno will also promote new games on TV, alongside new additions to Mattel’s kids’ games portfolio.

Max Steel is supported with strong content and a TV series. The first DVD will land on shelves in October and the brand as a whole, including the toys, will be supported with TV advertising.

Ads for the Disney Planes toy range will focus on the Tilt n Fly Dusty RC and the Air Race Trackset, while Disney Cars is also being backed.

Man of Steel products such as the Man of Steel Fortress of Solitude and Quick Shots Range are being pushed. There will also be support for the Batman Ultimate Jet Pack, while WWE is utilising TV support to push the Power Slammers MIB Play-set, Championship Brawlin’ Buddies and the transforming Rumblers Tour Bus.

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Character Options

The Teksta robotic puppy is starring in a four-month TV campaign for Character, and the firm is even sending him to space and back to ensure he makes it onto Christmas lists this December.

Character will support new lines with almost 3,000 TVRs across Peppa Pig, Fireman Sam, Postman Pat, Mike the Knight and Scooby-Doo.

The focus of the pre-school ads will be Postman Pat and Fireman Sam with the new Drive and Steer Remote Control Vehicles, Peppa’s Theme Park, Mike the Knight’s Deluxe Glendragon Play-set, along with other play-sets including Castle Gatehouse Play-set and the new Trap Time theme for Scooby- Doo.

The firm also has a new girls brand in The Zelfs and figures and play-sets will appear in a 30-second ad. Backing up its presence on the small screen is The Zelfs’ own one off magazine, inventive in-store activities, a dedicated website and expansive presence in the girls print media.

For the company’s construction portfolio, Character has close to 2,000 ratings planned for autumn with all main properties featuring. This includes newly launched Lite Brix and SportsStars. Pets, both photogenic and genetically challenged, will also be appearing on TV. The Ugglys range will represent the burping, gross side of the coin, while at the other end of the scale, the Anipets collection of Disney classic characters will benefit from 625 TVRs featuring the likes of Back Scratching Baloo, a Thumping Thumper and Roaring Simba.

In Character’s creative play portfolio, key lines Orbeez, Colour Splasherz and Blingles will all have 20 second TVCs as part of a 1,500 TVR campaign, while the popular ChillFactor Squeeze Cup Slushy Maker will enjoy continued support.

0161 633 9800


Air Storm and Finger Whips are the fastest growing brands in their categories according to NPD, and the firm is giving them a push this Q4 with Christmas TV advertising.

Boys aged between six and ten will be targeted via a heavyweight TV campaign airing though October, November and into early December.

The campaign promises to deliver over 1,000 TVRs across the period.

0118 973 6222


Grossman’s pre-Christmas campaign began in the late summer and will continue right through Christmas Day and in the weeks following to drive Boxing Day sales.

The focus will be on Deadstone Valley in the run up to Halloween with ads introducing the new
blind bags.

Grossmans will also be focusing TV ads on its scooter range, especially Lightning Strike.

Fizz Pods are next in the line-up alongside Mermaid Fizz.

The campaign will run on both satellite and mainstream channels.

0141 613 2525


Interplay is increasing its TV advertising this year and is even giving products a push in the cinema.

The Rivetz TV campaign launched in late June and, over the next few months, will be delivering over 500 TVRs. This is being backed with a big screen-marketing schedule, which takes the brand to cinemas across the UK.

With the addition of a Stealth Fighter and a prehistoric Pterodactyl, the Rivitz range has never been bigger.
MyStyle, the creative jewellery and craft kits for girls, has received TV advertising throughout the year, but the main focus of the campaign will come this autumn.

Over 250 targeted TVRs will feature Neon Charm Bracelets, Pick ‘n’ Mix Jewellery, Shamballa Fire Jewellery, Alpha Bracelets and Designer Jewellery. This will be backed with print advertising from September right through till December.

Completing Interplay’s TV line-up is the Wild Science range with 400 TVRs showcasing girl’s favourite, Perfume Laboratory and the new Magic Nail Laboratory. Ads are being aired across satellite and terrestrial TV stations including CiTV, Nickelodeon and Pop. This will also be further supported with print media and fully integrated PR.

01628 488944

Vivid Imaginations

Vivid is pushing the Animagic brand on TV this autumn with products including Holly Goes Hopping, Night Night Puppy and Bonny & Babies Go Walkies appearing.

Novelty plush lines Smashaballz and Flufflings will also be the centre of campaigns, alongside Cut the Rope’s Candy Monster.

Vivid is also continuing to push Moshi Monsters with TV campaigns for the likes of the Poppet product range and the Moshling Mall.

Pre-school products gracing the small screen include Tickety Toc toys, while adverts for a range based on Christmas movie Walking with Dinosaurs will air in October.

Vivid is also backing other movie-based brand Teen Beach Movie. It received over 1.3m viewers during its premiere weekend and a range of Beach Dolls, Biker Dolls, a singing microphone and musical keychains will be TV promoted, including advertising on the Disney Channel and other girls TV stations.

Finally, Vivid will TV advertise new hero line ‘Pop up Mimi’ throughout autumn/winter.

01483 449944

Also available

Hornby’s Christmas TV plans involve a Scalextric campaign and pushes for the Hornby model railways, Breyer model horses, Corgi Toys die-cast vehicle range and Airflix Quick Build series; Inspiration Works is backing Peppa Pig’s Fun Phonics and Peppa Pig’s Little TV on pre-school channels including Tiny Pop and Nick Jr. My First Disney Princess Touchpad, Disney Princess Magical Secret Book, Fireman Sam My First Notebook and the Kurio S Series range will also grace the small screen; IMC Toys is making its VIP Pets line the primary focus of a Christmas TV campaign on over 800 TVRs; Horrible Histories toys and play-sets and Tatty Teddy and My Blue Nose Friends products will feature in Worlds Apart’s Christmas ad campaigns this Q4; Playmobil is launching its biggest Christmas TV campaign ever this year, with ads focusing on key hero ranges and top sellers including Police, Hotel, Pony Farm, Western and Dinosaurs; Zapf Creation is pushing the refreshed Baby Annabell and Baby Born lines and accessories this Q4; HTI is supporting its new Tonka Town range of vehicles, play-sets and character figures with a TV campaign this Christmas; Bratzillaz, Moxie Girlz and Novi Stars lines are the focus of MGA Entertainment’s Christmas TV campaign this year; Jakks is continuing TV support for The Smurfs 2, Spy Net, Power Trains, Disney Fairies Sky High TInk and Disney Princess Ariel’s Vanity and Bubble Blowing Tea Set this Christmas. 

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