Beware the fakes

Licensees need to have the backing of brand owners when it comes to wheedling out the imitators?
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Just as we predicted in this article recently, sales of toy have in some stores have been buoyant during this poor summer weather.

Woolworths reported stronger sales supported by DVDs and other home entertainment items. As reported in a recent ToyNews Daily there has been another major seizure of counterfeit toys – in this case Heelys. Consumers are not easily fooled by fakes, largely due to their retail distribution and price points.

However, with concerns of health and safety like the recent Fisher Price paint scare and the need to reassure customers that they are buying the genuine article, it is about time that brand owners and licensees adopted best practice initiatives.

One such initiative is to use an Official Licensed product hologram. Toy companies should be pushing their licensing agents and licensors to support them in this initiative. The cost is as little as 1.5p per hologram and if this helps to distinguish a genuine item from a fake and gain a sale then the cost would have been worth it. This system also adds value at the point of purchase so a small retail price increase may pay for the system.

We have encountered many brand owners who seem to just turn a blind eye to the issue of fakes. We would suggest that if shareholders of these companies found out that sales of their branded products were being eroded by fakes and that the firms they had invested in were turning a blind eye to the issue of counterfeit, there would be changes in management.

This is an extremely serious issue faced by toy companies and quite often the proceeds of these fakes fund more serious crimes elsewhere. More information is available at

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