Following months of preparation and surging viewer numbers for its animated series, Bakugan is launching back on to the boys’ market. Robert Hutchins talks to Spin Master’s UK commercial director, Phil Hooper about what the company has in store for this perennial boys’ brand for this year and beyond.
How has business been for Spin Master for this first half of the year?
We’ve had a solid start to the year as we continue to push the boundaries of innovation, inspiring play and delivering fun to children.
DreamWorks Dragons was officially the number one biggest animated title of Q1 2019, and the toy line has seen great success so far this year. The launch of the Hatching Dragon introduces further innovation this Autumn set to delight Dragons fans. We’ve combined the ground-breaking technology from Hatchimals to develop this product offering a truly unique experience.
As worldwide toy partner for Monster Jam, our toy line has crashed into the boys’ market bringing awesome innovation and truly authentic designs. With an extensive marketing and retail programme in place, Monster Jam fans can simulate real action and play beyond the events they know and love. Our evergreen brands such as Hatchimals and PAW Patrol continue to grow with new themes including the exciting Mighty Pups which saw the first ever theatrical release for this number one brand. roll into cinemas across the country last month.
Can you talk us through some of the biggest brands for you guys this year?
It’s a very exciting year ahead with innovative new launches and surprising extensions to favourite lines that will win over the hearts of children and their parents, as we continue to introduce new play patterns and spark imaginations.
We’re getting ready for battling excitement with the highly anticipated relaunch of the global phenomenon Bakugan, the adrenaline-fuelled action of Monster Jam has already captured the minds of fans, and as the collectables trend continues there’s lots in the pipeline for evergreen brand Hatchimals, plus much more.
What plans have you got around the return of Bakugan – why is now the right time for the brand’s return?
It is the official 10-year anniversary of the original series of Bakugan and the relaunch fittingly marks the celebration. The global legacy of the brand aided in the evolution of our approach to entertainment and franchise development, and we are hugely excited to build on the brand’s rich heritage and fan-base.
The long-awaited relaunch will be supported by an extensive marketing campaign in the UK for the toy range, card game and mobile app, all with the aim of reigniting the call to brawl among new fans of the brand. Bakugan brings exciting new play patterns to the boys’ market, as well as the collectability factor.
What is Bakugan doing to push innovation in toys and entertainment?
The innovative new line, launching into retail this summer, introduces fan-favourite characters to collect straight from the popular TV series, alongside new play-sets for endless battling fun. The Bakugan Battle Planet toy line will retain the essence of what made the original toys so popular, with exciting new features that bring revolutionary card and app play. Innovative marble-like balls with ingenious technology transform into multiple collectable characters when rolled over a magnetic card.
The game will bring different levels of play, from beginner to advanced, and allow players to compete against multiple opponents. This will offer enhanced collectability due to its wide range of strategy options.
We’re committed to the success of the Bakugan brand and toy line, as children recreate the excitement of the TV show and battle to become the ultimate Bakugan master, so watch this space for the future.
What do you make of the current health of the industry – in performance and innovation coming through? How’s Spin Master met the challenges of the past years?
We are committed to disruptive innovation and a breadth of product offerings, from popular collectables to the latest technology advancements, which allows us to remain at the forefront of trends that lead the industry.
What’s next for Spin Master now? How are you guys going to be setting the industry agenda for the next few years to come?
Collectable toys with an element of surprise continue to be top-sellers in the industry. We will be launching exciting new toys in this competitive category, as well as building on the current success of our popular Hatchimals CollEGGtibles and Twisty Petz lines through new themes and product development.
We’re also launching brand-new innovation in the Luvabella range this Autumn/Winter that will see a completely new offering in the doll’s category. As we strive for innovation across all categories, we’ve taken evergreen concepts and given them a seamless upgrade for the children of today’s advanced world in our games and activities offerings launching this summer.
Meanwhile, we will also be focusing on expanding our entertainment line-up and securing top licenses, so kids can continue to engage with their favourite characters in their own homes. It’s going to be an exciting next few years with Spin Master