Meccano has unveiled three licensed toy lines based on video game brands.
In the construction market rivals such as Lego, Mega Brands and Character Options have enjoyed immense success with licences like Star Wars and Halo – the latter of which, as a more mature video game, has a lot in common with Gears of War.
Aimed at kids (and adults) aged over eight years old, the impressive Gears of War sets let kids re-create vehicles from the series in Meccano’s famous building system and come with mini figures. The range also features Meccano’s first ever diorama play-set – the 200-piece Locusts vs Delta Squad Battleset.
Following Mega's Halo model, in 2013 Gears of War mini figures will be launched as a separate blind bag line and will be joined by additional toys to co-incide with the release of the next video game, Gears of War: Judgement.
The Gears of War line will be promoted heavily on TV on childrens' channels and during Sky programmes that appeal to both kids and adults.
Catering to a younger audience of plus fives, Sonic products range from small, constructable character vehicles to large race track play-sets, with prices from £14.99 to £69.99 at retail.
Finally there's a selection of quirky sets based on the lesser-known video game property Rabbids - or ‘Lapins Crétins’ in Meccano’s native France, where the brand is hugely popular.
With the Rabbids sets in particular, Meccano’s traditional metal nuts and bolts system is artfully incorporated into a series of oddball items which include a toilet, a shopping trolley and a motorised washing machine. With a Rabbids animation is launching next year these items could become hot property in the UK.
Sue Barratt, country manager, Meccano UK, said to ToyNews: “The percentage of licensing in construction is pretty high and if you look at Lego they’ve been very successful with a lot of licences.
“I think licensing can be very successful if it’s done in the right way. These toys are complementary to our range, and bring the brand to consumers that perhaps wouldn’t usually buy it, and that’s what we hope it will do for us.”
Sonic and Gears of War sets are available now, with the Rabbids to be available before the end of October.
Meccano: 01844 324 956
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