Puppet power sees Fiesta Crafts bolster EU growth

Traditional play specialist Fiesta Crafts is positioning itself for global growth thanks to the success of the newest lines under its pre-school portfolio.

The firm, known for its collection of wooden and traditional toys, has seen its latest line of character hand and finger puppets open new doors across the continent.

Earlier this year, the firm struck a partnership with a key Spanish distributor, Feran, who has got on board with the firm’s pre-school offering “in a big way.”

“We create lots of different styles of puppets across the pre-school portfolio and our recent character ones have been really successful for us,” said Rob Trup, marketing and brand manager at Fiesta Crafts.

“We now have further plans for expansion across the EU, with some big new orders for Europe as well as in the Middle East. In fact, for us, our exports in the first quarter of the year have reached a phenomenal number.

“Sales have been up double digits, which has been a delight.”

While Fiesta Craft’s range of hand puppets and puppet theatres have been a driving factor for the firm’s growth into new territories, new lines including the latest in its Push n Roll offering and Stickabouts have also contributed.

A variation on the traditional push along toy, the Push n Roll range boasts an assortment of character toys featuring two functions; one for rolling along, encouraging crawling, while the other encourages walking through pushing with a screw in rod.

“The Push n Roll range is stylish and arrives presented in one gift box, this gives it extra stand out and has made a massive difference for us,” said Trup. 

“We have seen fantastic growth with this line and we are certainly going to be bringing more of these Push n Roll products out in the future.”

Meanwhile, the firm’s line of Stickabouts reportedly caused a stir at this year’s trade shows when Fiesta Crafts saw an uptake in customers keen to get their hands on the glueless sticker line.

Trup continued: “We found ourselves back in production with the Stickabouts line before we had even had the first lot in, just because the demand for the line was so high following the shows.

“We had customers that we had never seen before coming to the stands to pick up these stickers, that’s how popular they were.”

With a strong line-up of products across it pre-school offering including new hand puppets featuring a cast of Jungle Book favourites and Little Mermaid characters as well as a Caveman and Cavewoman, the traditional play specialist is optimistic of another year of growth.

“Consumer reaction and demand for this year’s line-up has been more than we could have hoped for,” Trup explained. 

“We are really pleased that the health of the pre-school market is currently in full swing and things are going really well for us in terms of growth and international expansion this year.

“We have had lots of re-orders on some products that have taken us by surprise, a lot of which have been sell-out successes.”

And the second half of the year promises to hold more of the same in store for the firm who expects greater pick up on some of its higher priced lines, too. 

“We are bringing out new product ranges later in the year, including higher priced items and lower priced wooden toys.

“The second half is shaping up very nicely,” concluded Trup.

About Robert Hutchins

Robert Hutchins is the editor of Licensing.biz and ToyNews. Hutchins has worked his way up from Staff Writer to the position of Editor across the two titles, having spent almost eight years with both ToyNews and Licensing.biz, and what now seems like a lifetime surrounded by toys. You can contact him by emailing robert.hutchins@biz-media.co.uk or calling him on 0203 143 8780 You can even follow him on Twitter @RobGHutchins if ranting is your thing...

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