Neil Bandtock, the departing managing director of Epoch Making Toys is returning to MGA Entertainment from October this year, where he will take over from the firm’s current MD, Andrew Laughton. Laughton resigned from MGA earlier this year, following a 12 year tenure with the company.
Having worked in the toy and children’s entertainment industry for over 16 years, Bandtock joins MGA Entertainment from EPOCH toys, where he has been managing director for three years. Previous positions also include global retail director of Merlin Entertainment Group (2015 to 2017) and managing director of Vivid Imaginations (2010 to 2014).
From 2004 to 2008, Bandtock worked as UK general manager for MGA Entertainment, overseeing many of its most celebrated brands including Bratz and Little Tikes.
Bandtock stated: “It’s not often that such an incredible opportunity comes to you twice in life. I started working at MGA in 2004, working closely with Isaac Larian and on core brands such as Bratz. Since then, I’ve successfully run businesses on both the supply and retail side – and I’m thrilled to be able to bring this experience to my new role.
“There’s no doubt this is an unusual time for the industry, and for the whole country, bringing both challenges and opportunities. I’m very excited to return to MGA, to work with such a passionate and incredible team on some of the best brands in the market and to make the most of what our ‘new normal’ future holds.”
Isaac Larian, CEO and founder of MGA Entertainment, said: “We are extremely excited to welcome Neil back to MGA. His reputation in the industry and record of delivery is second-to-none and we have no doubt that his strategic, experienced approach will help us to operate at our very best in the UK and Irish markets.”