2015 has seen John Adams enjoy another year of steady growth. ToyNews talks to managing director Simon Pilkington about this year’s hit family game Rummikub and the firm’s advancements in the pre-school sector with its Pip Ahoy line.

Adams’ family values: John Adams on the growing success of its burgeoning family line-up

How has 2015 been for John Adams?

We have had a really exciting year with lots of major launches across all product categories, including new introductions within the Rummikub games collection and the launch of our new pre-school range, Pip Ahoy.

We are continuing to grow steadily across all of these categories. We do this by carefully managing our product portfolio and the lifecycle of each product to ensure that our growth is sustainable in the long-term.

What’s driving growth for you at the moment?

We have been really pleased with our key 2015 product launches. The reaction to our new Bangle Blitz range, which enables kids to make and design their own bangles, has been fantastic.

Our new Disney Globe products are also performing well in the arts and crafts category.

However, the latest addition to our growing food craft collection, Mini Make Cupcakes, is doing really well at the moment as it was launched to coincide with all the hype around The Great British Bake Off.

Everything is now lined up for us to have a very successful 2015. We have some very strong TV and PR campaigns in place for Q4 as we enter the key buying period in the run up to Christmas, so we are quietly confident, although only time will tell.

2015 has been a big year for the Rummikub brand. Can you talk us through its success?

Rummikub is a fantastic brand. Born from humble beginnings, families all around the world have been playing it for over 50 years.

As a heritage brand, it is the perfect fit for John Adams’ ever-expanding games portfolio.

We relaunched Classic Rummikub last year and the range has been extended this year with Word, X-Press, Prime and Junior versions.

This year saw the Rummikub UK championships take place at the John Lewis Store at Startford Westfield Centre, welcoming some of the best players from around the UK to compete against each other to become the UK Rummikub Champion.

The winner now goes on to represent the UK in the World Championships.

We also have the Othello World Championships at the end of October, followed by the Rubik’s UK Championships which we sponsor in November.

These competitions are an important part of keeping games like Rummikub alive because, as well as bringing people who love playing these games together, it’s also a great way to raise awareness of these games and introduce them to new audiences.

Our whole ethos is about bringing people together through play and as a company, we are very proud to offer games the whole family can enjoy.

How has the Pip Ahoy helped shape your pre-school offering?

The Pip Ahoy product range has seen a really good response and as we move into 2016, the toy range will be supported by new product launches in other core pre-school categories, including publishing, apparel, mobile applications and DVDs, so this will naturally create an even stronger retail presence for the brand.

For us, Pip Ahoy is definitely adding more shape to the company’s pre-school portfolio, with continued UK broadcast commitment, new content, growth in the merchandising programme, international distribution opportunites and a drive in consumer marketing activity in 2016. It is an exciting time to be master toy licensee.

Pip Ahoy is a brand we plan to build for the future, so watch this space.

What has 2016 got in store for you?

It’s all very much top secret at the moment, I am afraid. However, we will have extensions to our most successful brands along with new licensed arts and crafts products, plus some hilarious new games, following in the footsteps of Doggie Doo and Pig Out – in true John Adams style.

Will you be looking to expand into new categories?

We are always on the look out for new opportunities to develop and grow our portfolio, but equally, it’s important for us to maintain our core business and ethos.

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