TOYMASTER: Character Options’ offerings set to make a splash at May show

With a wide range of brands across all toy sectors, retailers at this year’s Toymaster show won’t want to miss the hot properties in Character Options’ portfolio. 

An exciting new offering comes in the form of Giga Bots – intergalactic defenders who fought against the evil Blaze to prevent the destruction of the universe, until Blaze banished them across space and time to the core of the earth, where they lay dormant for years. Until now. Kids will love unboxing and reactivating their energy core to transform it back into a Giga Bot. Each Bot comprises 33 easy to assemble pieces that pop and lock together to create a fully articulated 13in character, with multiple play elements. The collection launches at the end of July, with the support of animated webisodes launching in May.

Character Options is leveraging its worldwide success with stretchy, squishy, crunchy tactile toys with a new concept for the collectable dolls aisle, GooZonians – six superheroes from the mythical realm of GooZonia, where enchanted, rainbow-hued goo flows through everything. These colourful 7in heroes are set to launch globally from June 2022, supported by a gripping 12-minute webisode introducing the characters and the story, TVC, FSDU and an extensive influencer campaign. Alongside six single Hero packs there will also be a Twin Pack with exclusive fillings on the royal leads Queen Ember and Princess Flik. 

Heroes of Goo Jit Zu remains a top priority for Character Options, with the collection now sold in over 50 territories. Big news for 2022 are the Goo Shifters. Discover the special hidden core buried within each Goo Jit Zu Hero then crush the core and watch your Hero power-up and activate their goo transformation. There are seven characters to collect; each has a hidden core to discover, while the limited-edition Corruptagon has a light-up feature. The Goo Shifter theme continues with larger 8.5in Rockjaw and Thrash Primal Packs. Also available to collect from summer is a Goo Shifter Versus Pack, where Shadow Orbs Scorpius takes on Liquid Gold Pantaro.

Character Options’ Stretch collection continues to have a strong hold on the market. There are now seven pliable Stretch figures to collect, including a 10in version of The Original Stretch Armstrong and a 7in Mini version, alongside a line-up of licensed lines including Sonic the Hedgehog and DC Comics Justice League heroes Batman, Superman and The Flash. 

Following the success of its award-winning Moon Shoes last year, Character Options has launched a new Stay Active category. Made up of family-inclusive toys that can be played both inside and outside, it includes new lines as well as existing favourites Jump It, KickerBall and Moon Shoes. All-new for spring is Splash Out, which features a ball that can contain a water- or air-filled balloon, as well as a timer. When the timer runs out, the balloon is popped and whoever is left holding the ball gets splashed out! Also new is Sling Ball; kids will love hooking the ball to launch it up to 60 feet for a friend to catch in their racquet net. Plus, there’s more fun to come this autumn with skipping challenge Jump-It Wipeout, which has three modes of play; tension builds with each level of increasing difficulty as the music plays in time with the speed of the skip bar. Meanwhile, the Hip Hoppa is a jumping ball toy with handle and tether that packs the fun of a pogo stick into a more transportable format. 

New to the Jiggly Pets range is Jiggly Pets Elephant. This walking, trunk-lifting elephant features full-body movement, music and sound effects, and moves to the beat of his tunes. He joins Tan-Tan the Orangutan, the Jiggly Pets Koala, and the Jiggly Pets Pups – which from A/W 2022 will be available in a beautiful pearlescent finish. Plus, there’s plenty more newness to come in the second half of the year, including the palm-sized, pocket money priced Jiggly Pets Lovables, which jiggle and glow when tapped. Look out for Rex the Dino and Gigi the Disco Giraffe, which come in packaging designed to look like their habitats. 

Character Options will be at the Toymaster May Show, 17-19 May, the Majestic Hotel, Harrogate. Contact: sales@charactergroup.plc.uk; 0161 633 9800

About Tessa Clayton

A former Chief Sub of Red magazine, Tessa Clayton is the Digital Editor of Licensing.biz and ToyNews. As a freelance journalist she specialised in writing about parenting and family life, and has contributed to a wide variety of publications and websites including Tesco online, Mother & Baby, Livingetc, Junior, Boots Health & Beauty, Practical Parenting and babycentre.co.uk. Get in touch at tessa.clayton@biz-media.co.uk

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