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Toymaster: The Suppliers (Part Two)

Toymaster’s 2019 May Show is all ready to kick off once again at the Majestic Hotel in Harrogate this week, with hundreds of suppliers, members and retailers all champing at the bit to take and make orders, before donning their best dress-up and partying until the small hours… or at least the bacon sandwiches make their appearance.

In the latest issue of ToyNews, we round up the companies exhibiting at this year’s Toymaster show to find out just what each has to offer for the year ahead. So, as you make those final preparations for this week, why not whet your appetite with our Toymaster supplier spotlight, part one:

University Games/Paul Lamond Games

Mark Jones, head of sales, University Games/ Paul Lamond Games

What can we expect from you guys this Toymaster show?
We have many of our favourites on display, but also a lot of our new and licensed character ranges including games and puzzles from The World of David Walliams, Roald Dahl, The Very Hungry Caterpillar and We’re Going on a Bear Hunt.

We successfully launched the award-winning World of David Walliams Gangsta Granny Board Game as well as the quirky and innovative Are you Dumber than a Box of Rocks? Trivia Game. This summer will see the arrival of a number of licensed board games including Horrible Histories, as well as action games.

What makes Toymaster an important date in the industry calendar for you?
The Toymaster Show provides a dedicated opportunity to spend quality time with many of our independent retailers and to showcase our evergreen best-sellers such as T Rex, Charades for Kids, Googly Eyes and Yes No! as well as new lines we are launching this summer.

How important are indies to your business today?
Our relationship with independent retailers has always formed an extremely important part of our business model and it is a sector we value and continuously look to support and grow. We offer a vast portfolio of high-quality games and puzzles for the whole family, from pre-school through to adult, all at good margins.

The breadth of our range ensures that there are plenty of key product opportunities for both the independent stores as well as the major retailers, and our dedicated sales team provides a service to our independent account base that is second to none in the industry.

What’s your take on the health of the industry at the moment?
In general, with the on-going uncertainty of the political climate in the UK still reigning, it is still, very much, a tough high street. This is unlikely to change any time soon and, as we have seen over the last 18 months, there is likely to be further consolidation at all levels of retail. That said, the merging of the University Games and Paul Lamond Games businesses has provided many additional opportunities for us as a joint company and this year is looking very strong for us at present.

Have you got any show deals Toymaster attendees can look forward to this year?
We certainly do. We will be offering substantial discounts off list prices on many of our key lines for orders placed at the Toymaster Show. So get your pencils ready and make sure you come to see what we’re offering.

Tobar

David Mordecai, CEO, Tobar

How important are indies to your business today? Why should the indie scene work with Tobar?
The independent toy shops are very important to us. We have some great deals to keep the independents competitive and have a great offering for tall of hose who want to specialise this year and beyond.

What’s your take on the health of the industry at the moment?
Those retailers that can move quickly and give value lines as well as the hottest product will always do well.

Any show deals attendees can look forward to this year?
Plenty! We have some really good new deals on Maisto Fresh Metal Eggs which will make this a great surprise pocket money buy to rival anything else on the market.

H Grossman

Martin Grossman, managing director, HGL 

How important are indies to your business today? Why should the indie scene be keen to work with you guys this year?
The independent retailers are the original core and heartland of the toy trade, and still very important today, as large retailers only take selected items. The indies normally support the whole HGL range.

What’s your take on the health of the industry at the moment?
It has been and will be very topsy-turvey as the retail trade in general is going through a change and everyone is finding themselves affected one way or another.

Have you got any show deals that Toymaster attendees can look forward to this year?
Yes, loads of deal as we do every year.

Gibsons

Rebecca Hersee, marketing and sales at Gibsons

What can we expect from you guys this Toymaster show?
The Toymaster Show will be one of the first opportunities to view samples of our brand new jigsaw puzzle countdown calendar, Christmas is Coming, and our 200-piece jigsaw puzzle bauble, Moonlit Magic. We will also have seven new jigsaw puzzles and our revamped strategic game, L’Attaque, which has been released to celebrate our centenary this year.

What makes it an important date in the industry calendar?
Toymaster is a great occasion for us to catch up with customers and show off our brand new jigsaw puzzles and games. It is also a fantastic opportunity to network and build relationships.

How important are indies to your business today? Why should the indie scene be keen to work with you guys this year?
It is extremely important for us to support the independent toy and gift shops in any way we can. Whether this be by offering POS options and various promotions throughout the year, or through our loyalty scheme that we designed specifically to encourage consumers to support their local retailer.

Indies are at the core of this industry, and will always play a huge role in what we do at Gibsons.

Have you got any show deals Toymaster attendees can look forward to this year?
This year we will be offering our Toymaster customers a choice of free stock bundles worth £80 RRP when they spend £450 on an order for delivery by the end of May. Don’t miss that one!

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