Meccano believes its new Evolution range will open the brand up to a wider audience.
The new sets have gone back to a style last seen in the Thirties with Meccano X, as they have holes a quarter of an inch apart as opposed to the traditional half-inch.
“It’s that idea of making a range that looks stronger and more powerful than the traditional Meccano,” Sue Barratt, UK country manager, told ToyNews. “It’s about creating a product range that has a broader appeal so we can aim at new Meccano users. It’s a little bit easier to build, it has better instructions for children that are not traditional Meccano users and there’s more after build play value.”
The range launched at the start of September and is one of Meccano’s biggest Christmas offerings. An intense market research period has indicated that the Evolution range has the potential to bring the company a whole new audience.
“We did some market research, focus groups and a big survey online,” said Barratt. “We showed products and pictures and when we asked people before they saw Evolution if they would buy Meccano, and it was quite a good response but some said no.
“But after they were shown Evolution there was a 100 per cent turnaround. No one said no. So it’s a powerful product in powerful packaging and it will really reach that audience of kids that are more action-orientated.”
Evolution is the first line to be released in the wake of Spin Master acquiring Meccano, and Barratt believes the deal will prove lucrative for both parties.
“From a brand point of view it will be a good thing. They are saying they want to invest in product development and marketing and they were very impressed with the Evolution range. They want brands with heritage and ones they can invest in and drive forward, so it can only be a good thing for us.”