“It’s harder than ever to launch a collectables IP today.”: Magic Box’s Ben Harper on the heroic success of SuperZings

As anyone in the toy business can tell you, shifting half a million units of product in the first four weeks of launch really is no mean feat.

However, collectables specialist Magic Box Toys – the team behind the popular Zomlings range, and before then, Go-Gos, has managed to achieve just that, following the debut appearance of its new line, SuperZings at this year’s Spielwarenmesse.

But not only has Magic Box Toys successfully launched a new collectables toy line at arguably the height of competition within the sector, it has also successfully brought the new brand into UK schools through its Show & Tell Super Heroes initiative. Combine this with the heavyweight marketing and social media campaign surrounding SuperZings, and the basic ingredients for a recipe for success in the collectables market are looking nicely lined up.

Ben Harper, UK and Ireland director at Magic Box Toys talks to ToyNews about the success of the brand’s launch.

Have you been surprised by the reaction to the launch of SuperZings, considering how popular the collectables category is today?

We have been delighted with the success so far. It’s harder than ever to launch a brand new IP and to generate the awareness and demand among the target audience.

The market is extremely well served with collectables at the moment and we created a very wide ranging and ambitious marketing campaign to try and give us the edge and get our message across.

How does this now position you within the collectables market?

We have sold a huge volume of products in the first six weeks of sale and we think that it compares very favourably with anything else in the market. Our distribution is very broad and a little different to other companies in this area.

This gives us a nice point of difference and has allowed us to become very well established in a short period of time.

What are your expectations for the range for 2018 now?

We are pushing ahead with a second wave of marketing to help boost our position across the Easter period. We have given ourselves a great platform for the rest of 2018 and we plan to launch series two at the end of August, ready for the start of the new school year.

We also have a range of toys and play-sets, with prices going right up to £25, that will come through for Q3 and Q4 and give us and retailers some great options for the Christmas market.

What reaction have you had to the SuperZings online content and are there plans to build out a wider licensing programme around the IP?

We are creating a wide range of videos and content for our YouTube channel. New things are being published on a weekly basis and this includes really strong animated webisodes that show the hero vs villain rivalries between characters.

We also had a lot of fun creating some video interviews with kids, asking them about their views around issues related to superheroes and super powers.

The aim has always been to build a SuperZings brand that can be sustained over many years and hopefully across a wide range of categories. We have partnered with Lisle Licensing to build up a licensing programme and the interest so far has been excellent.

What kind of growth are you forecasting for Magic Box following the early success of SuperZings?

The exciting thing for us is that our past experience has shown that we can grow sales from series one right through to series five and beyond. SuperZings has started fantastically and gives us an amazing launch pad for the future.

What’s the next step for Magic Box and the SuperZings line?

A fresh wave of marketing for Easter and then building on the success for the remainder of 2018 with series two, play-sets and the start of our licensing programme. 

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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