Industry answers Minions calls this year

"There'll be no shortage of Minions products this time around," UK toy retailers tell ToyNews.
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The UK trade is fully primed for the success of Minions this year, with retailers confident in product levels ahead of the film’s release this summer.

When Despicable Me 2 rocketed to box office success in June 2013, some of the UK’s biggest toy stores were left feeling the cold due to a ‘complete lack of product’ at retail.

With the Minions movie now scheduled for release?on June 26th, the industry is keen not to see history repeat itself this time around.

“I feel that the industry is in a much better place this year than it was for either of the Despicable Me movies,” Brian Simpson, general manager of ToyTown SMF, explained to ToyNews.

“Everyone was caught with their pants down last time, but now the characters are known and loved by all, the suppliers have caught on to this and have the products to match.”

This time around, there is more than enough product to reflect the popularity of the Minions brand, according to The Entertainer’s buying director, Stuart Grant.

“The Minions product line-up is very strong,” he said.

“Minions is our number one priority for the year.”

Toymaster’s MD, Ian Edmunds, added: “Minions will be much bigger than Despicable Me was. Having walked around Nuremberg and seen the 357 different backpacks that are available, and everything else, I am confident there is enough out there.”

With expectations for the Minions franchise at such a high, it would be easy to over licence the product, but with carefully chosen lines, Universal appears to have avoided the issue, for now.

“There is a fine art to making product that actually enhances a licence, and Thinkway Toys’ range of talkers is perfect for the Minions,” explained Steve Kerrison, owner of Kerrison Toys.

“It looks like Universal protects the integrity of its brands very well, so far anyway.”

However, Thinkway’s approach to FOB shipping has the potential to divide some retailers.

“It seems to be frustrating to most indies, as product is only brought in by container loads,” said ToyTown’s Simpson.

“But equally, it means it doesn’t end up damaging the brand,” added Kerrison.

“And with Mattel on board with Minions Mega Bloks, it could be massive.”

Simpson concluded: “I am confident that Minions is here to stay; my hope is that they become an evergreen.”

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