Bandai UK has expanded its senior team with a pair of new hires that sees Nigel Kay move into the role sales director.
He will lead the UK sales team across all Bandai UK brands, including Robozuna, Thunderbirds Are Go, Bananas, Pomsies, and Rescue Runts.
Meanwhile, Gareth Mitchell has been hired as operations manager.
Kay (pictured left) comes equipped with over 16 years’ experience in the toy industry, having held roles with the likes of Hasbro where he managed the Toy Specialist channel and the Growth Channel, as well as Mattel, where he was responsible for formulating a new business development strategy.
Prior to Hasbro, he cut his toy industry teeth at Corinthian Marketing where his eight-year stint as sales director included the re-launch of the “In My Pocket” brand, as well as Microstars and Prostars football collectible brands. Kay also spent a number of years in the food industry, working as commercial manager at global blue chip FMCG food business Unilever/Bestfoods.
“This is a brilliant time to be joining Bandai UK,” said Kay.
“The company has launched a number of stellar toy brands in the past year, all of which continue to evolve with innovative brand extensions and a commitment to quality new product development, so I’m looking forward to driving the team even further forward in 2019.”
Gareth Mitchell (above right) also joins retail and wholesale operations. Mitchell has spent 14 years in home entertainment retail, with roles at Virgin Retail (Virgin Megastores) as stock control manager and with Entertainment UK as Blu Ray/DVD merchandise planning manager.
Commenting on the appointments, Bandai UK’s managing director Nic Aldridge, said: “Nigel and Gareth have joined at a key period of evolution for Bandai, strengthening the team as our portfolio continues to grow.
“While Gareth’s vast experience in logistics and merchandising will serve him well in the operations position, Nigel’s background is a perfect blend of ‘big brand’ experience coupled with having worked in dynamic, entrepreneurial businesses.
"Bandai UK is a balance of these two worlds – a fast-moving, ever-evolving organisation, with large-scale corporate backing from the Global Bandai Namco Group. I’m delighted to welcome them both to the team.”