Galleon is a distinctive vertically integrated company that gives us the ability to develop a toy line in house. Our toy company Croco strategically focuses on developing and supplying toys and games to be used as premiums in the global food and drink markets.
I think we are in a market where everyone is looking for something new in the children's entertainment sector, but when the new trend or property is spotted, people are nervous because they don’t know what to benchmark it against.
In the case of Skunk Fu we have a brand that already has fantastic TV placement and some huge ratings coming through in the UK and the US. However, like all distinctive brands, it is a bit different in the way it mixes action and comedy with Eastern themes and aesthetics.
This makes toy companies slow to react as they are not sure on the execution. We are perfectly clear as to what the toy line should be, so in order to short circuit the whole process we used Croco to source and develop the Skunk Fu toy line.
In addition, we are used to working to food grade standards on a global basis, so have a very tight control on production, quality assurance, time lines and logistical fulfilment.
As we predicted, once you show how the Skunk Fu brand can come to life as a toy product, the overall potential of the brand become obvious. It isn’t necessarily a strategic step for us but more a tactical use of resources. Brand owners and managers in the entertainment sector need to have more control over key assets like TV, websites, publishing initiatives and, in the case of a boys action property, the toy line.
I don’t think it’s unusual in this respect but what is refreshing is that the response we have had from retailers, toy companies and licensees is that it is exactly what they wanted to see from a representative of the brand. This suggests that this may be a model to be employed more and more in the future.