2015 has been Sambro’s best year ever, thanks to a strong showing from licences like Frozen, Marvel, Minions and Paw Patrol.
The firm has benefitted from an increased focus on TV advertising this year, as well as numerous award wins. As a result, strong sales have followed.
“We’ve had our best year ever,” Nikki Samuels, Sambro’s licensing director, told ToyNews.
“We have had major successes with Frozen, Disney Princess, Marvel, Turtles, Play-Doh, Paw Patrol, and, of course, Minions. This has been capped with a Gold Medal at the Independent Toy Awards for the Olaf Slush Maker in the competitive licensed toy category.
“It’s just been a great year. Our turnover is up over 33 per cent which now gives us the ability to invest in 2016 and the future. We have boosted our design team significantly, sourced two additional experienced buyers and ramped up our operations and administration teams.
“We have invested in new showrooms in Hong Kong, new bigger stands at London Olympia’s Toy Fair and Birmingham’s NEC Spring Fair, and revamped our UK showroom.
“TV advertising has also been a key focus in 2015 and sales are performing very well on our Sweet Care Spa range, Frosty Fruit and three games, led by the outrageous Lay It or Break It game. We are now looking forward to 2016 and with our planned product introductions and continued investment, we are looking at further strong growth.
“It’s all about people, product and planning.”
Looking ahead to next year, Sambro has secured deals to launch licensed ranges including Finding Dory, Shopkins and Batman V Superman across a whole host of categories in 2016.
“We are really excited by some of the new introductions, and comments so far signify that we are going in the right direction with them,” added Samuels.
“As well as continuing with our current deals, we will add Disney Tsum Tsum, Finding Dory, Little Tikes, Bratz, Dora and Friends, Batman v Superman, Thunderbirds and even Shopkins. Our portfolio is considerable and for most licences, we are making product in the categories of arts and crafts, stationery, pocket money and bags.
The firm’s wheeled toy category will also continue to grow in the New Year and 2016 will see additions from Paw Patrol, Half Shell Heroes, as well as Dora the Explorer.
“Little Tikes is an exciting opportunity and we will have arts and crafts product featuring iconic Tikes product, tooled to scale to fit our dough range, plus a new range of tooled scribblers.
“We have also tooled up for new key items under the brands of Dory, Tsum Tsum, Bratz and the restyling of Disney Princess, but I don’t want to give away too much at this stage. You will have to come and see for yourself at our previews and next year’s toy fairs.”
Elsewhere, the firm has seen its licensed pocket money lines take off, and is planning to bolster this line, as well as its character bag offering, in 2016.
“Licensed pocket money continues to flourish and the new brand introductions give us the chance to make exclusive characterised product. And don’t forget our character bag range.
“This is a significant part of our business and 2016 sees some fantastic introductions in licensed plush backpacks and some innovative new designs.
“There is a continued growth in our investment in tooling, allowing exclusivity and license focused offerings for next year.”