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International success for Avocado Smash puts Ridley’s Games on path to become ‘global player’

Ridley’s Games is on the path to become a global player within the games industry, according to its brand owner Wild & Wolf who is celebrating a year of ‘incredible growth’ for its games division over the past year alone.

Ahead of the unit’s first London Toy Fair exhibition, Wild & Wolf has highlighted the substantial progress Ridley’s Games has made here in the UK market, as well as overseas, where it has been fuelled by the particular success of Avocado Smash.

Selling over 30,000 units in its first year, Avocado Smash was the top bestselling item for Wild & Wolf in 2018. Ridley’s own IP has been identified as a ‘priority category’ and has since been supported by an aggressive global growth strategy. According to Wild & Wolf, this has “paid off”, as demonstrated by its recent exponential growth in export markets.

Underscoring the growth of the brand, APAC international sales manager Jay Newton was brought on board in 2018 to lend specialist experience and extensive global distribution contacts to serve Wild & Wolf’s goal of expanding its export reach further. Its aim was to target high potential growth territories like Eastern Europe, the Middle East and the Far East.

Since joining, Newton has increased export FOB orders for Ridley’s Games, with customers placing “significant orders for translated versions of Avocado Smash”. There are now translated copies of Avocado Smash in Hungary, Israel, Poland and Korea, with a reported appetite for more.

“I think the translations are just the tip of the iceberg, and that the translated editions will really resonate and gather momentum within these newly tapped markets,” Newton said. “I’d credit our success to our professionalism and flexibility to work on FOB orders and crucially our ability to localise and adapt games wherever relevant.”

In the UK, Ridley’s Games received its own dedicated national account manager in September 2019. Mark Holland brings with him over fifteen years of industry experience, with his primary objective being to exploit new buying avenues within the toy and games sector for Ridley’s toys, games, and puzzles to further establish it as an evergreen games brand.

The recent success of Ridley’s has not gone unnoticed by the toy trade, with recognition in both Mojo Nation’s Play Creators Awards and Toy Shop UK’s Independent Toy Awards.

Chris Naylor and Rich Walton on the Ridley’s Games team were shortlisted in the Game Designers of the Year category for Avocado Smash as well as Chris being shortlisted in the Rising Star category. The Independent Toy Awards recognised Smashing Pumpkins with a Gold Award in the Card Games category, making it the first Gold win for Ridley’s.

“We’re so pleased with the incredible growth that Ridley’s has seen over the past year,” said Wild & Wolf commercial director James Portman. “Since we first launched own-IP games in AW18, including bestselling Avocado Smash, the brand has gone from strength to strength.

“We’re excited by the continuing opportunities for expansion, not just in new markets but also major licensing deals that will really put Ridley’s on the map as a key player in the global games industry.”

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