Armed and ready

Character Options? opening salvo of its much-vaunted plan to bring back military action figures with its HM Armed Forces range will be a launch on May 8th ? VE Day. The plan incorporates TV, press and PR and will be the biggest in Character's history.
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Having unveiled the first 32 products in the range at Toy Fair, Character is preparing for the big push, with its plans for the launch in May, which is bigger than anything it has previously been involved in.

TV will kick off two weeks before the release date. Separate commercials have been created for each of the three services – Royal Navy, Army and RAF – each of which will start with a teaser campaign in April building up anticipation for the real thing. May 8th will then see the full force of the TV campaign with coverage across all relevant channels. 

For the entire month of May a print campaign will utilise single and double page photo-stories and advertorials. Over 400,000 issues aimed at boys aged five to ten will carry the advertorials, all of which will point them towards a new dedicated website. 

In celebration of the launch over half a million collector’s cards have been produced, each representing one of the figures and its associated job role. With nine to collect in all, the cards will be distributed through Titan boy’s titles and also at the many launch events that will take place throughout the UK over the weekend of May 8th. 

The purpose of the cards is to identify each figure with an active serviceman, enforcing the difference between these and the military figures of years gone past.Only one print run of the cards is planned making this promotional series highly collectable in its own right. Once again all will point to the dedicated website.

On May 6th RAF Northolt will host a major launch event with displays from all three services, keynote speakers, product unveiling and more. Members of the press (both consumer and forces correspondents, TV and radio) will be in attendance.

Extensive media coverage is expected throughout May.
In addition, over a dozen sites have been identified for regional launch events that will be held on the weekend of May 9th. Character is working closely with local servicemen and military bases to coordinate the events, with the full support of the MOD. Each event will be publicised in local press and on regional TV.

For retailers, in-store POS and window displays including cut outs, graphics, camouflage nettings and so on are available on application for display during the launch month. 

More functional point of sale materials, including FSDUs, are also being produced. The fulcrum of the activity is the HMAF toys website, which will go live a few weeks before the launch.

The initial holding information will point the consumer to the events of the launch weekend and afterwards there will be activities and information available to download such as survival skills and games, plus cross-sell information letting kids know about all that is available.

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