The global toy company Spin Master has struck a note of optimism for the course of the rest of the year, having outlined its plans to support its retail partners with stock, promotional plans and TV support for its most popular lines. The company has been ‘encouraged’ by the revival of the high street and the brick and mortar retailer, and has even sung the praises of the sector for ‘having organised itself very well’ throughout some of its most tumultuous days.
Speaking to ToyNews, Spin Master UK’s general manager, Sara Taylor stated that it was “encouraging to see people returning to bricks and mortar stores, particularly a revival of the high street where consumers are enjoying ‘the local experience’ once more.” It’s a change of pace compared to the stark increase in numbers online shopping saw at the height of the lockdown period.
“At the height of lockdown, as expected, we became a nation of online shoppers, whether that was the weekly grocery run, or for toy purchases,” she added. “Retail has organised itself very well, to ensure in-store shopping is safe and still enjoyable for customers.”
Having seen toy sales enjoy a double digit growth since schools closed in March this year, Spin Master has been ramping up its activity across the categories most in demand since lockdown began. The company has not only been turning the volume up on its games, puzzles, activities, and outdoor offering, but feeding a demand for and consumption of its popular digital business, too. As parents look for ways to entertain and educate children at home, the toymaker saw a spike in demand for its Toca Boca and Sago Mini apps.
“We have streamlined our focus for the second half on several new brands that we believe will bring incredible innovation and newness to the industry and consumers alike,” said Taylor. ” Additionally, we will be putting the usual level of Spin Master media and trade support behind these new launches so that we can all hit the ground hard and fast when the season kicks in.
“We will be running some early TV on new brand launches to again help get retail sales moving through the typically slower month of August, as many families chose to “staycation” this year.”
Looking now towards the end of the year, Spin Master is keen to promote the success of the newest theme for its PAW Patrol brand under Dino Rescue, which, according to Taylor “has got off to a roaring start” with encouraging strong early reads, as well as DC Batman, Kinetic Sand, Air Hogs, and new innovation in the Hatchimals segment.
Taylor has also acknowledged that as lockdown eases and restrictions on gatherings begin to relax, the tastes and demands of children and consumers will adapt accordingly, suggesting that ‘action play’ will take more of a leading role in toy sales going forward.
“With children spending more time at home watching TV, this has also had a strong impact on brand sales. But now that children can meet up with each other “action figure play” will certainly come back to the fore and allow children to engage with their favourite pups in toy form once more,” she said.