Moshi makes massive move into new markets - ToyNews

Moshi makes massive move into new markets

Mind Candy eyes Latin America, shuffles management and prepares fresh IP.
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Moshi Monsters is already a true UK success story and now the firm behind it wants to become a global force.

Mind Candy is expanding into territories like Latin America, Spain and Asia, hiring new management and developing fresh franchises, while looking to other giants for inspiration. 

“If you look at the growth of the company, it’s just been an explosion,” said Darran Garnham, Mind Candy’s chief business development officer and chief licensing officer (pictured, left).

“The consumer products and licensing team has gone from two or three of us this time last year, to 14 of us, with offices in London, New York and Los Angeles. 

“[Mind Candy CEO] Michael Acton Smith kindly took a dozen of us to San Francisco for a tour of Pixar earlier in the year. When you’re in the atrium at Pixar, you look around and you’ve got Cars, Toy Story, all these franchises. And that’s what we want to become – a company that has franchises.

“Moshi will always be our Mickey Mouse but it is important to have other brands. When I joined we were a digital online gaming company, but I think we’ll develop more into an entertainment company.”

Garnham hinted at the new IP which will be skewed towards boys, ‘more action-packed’, and ‘go into a very tried and tested toyetic space’. It’s due to launch at the end of this year, with consumer products planned for 2014.

Mind Candy has also hired Sam Ferguson as its new senior consumer products manager (pictured, right). This will allow Garnham to focus on the firm’s emerging markets including the US, Canada, Latin America and Asia. It will also move to a bigger office in the UK shortly.

Plus, it’s building a version of the Moshi online game that will allow multiple languages to be played at once. 

“When we do launch into Asia, which will be in the next 12 to 18 months, it’s about finding local partners to bring Moshi in,” said Garnham. “Particularly in Japan, which is a hard nut to crack. The Japanese like to feel that [a brand] is theirs, rather than having a quirky English company bring one over.”

The firm anticipates its 2011 gross retail sales of $100 million will rise again this year. It has deals in place with a host of licensees that produce Moshi toys, including Vivid, Innovation First and many more. 

Mind Candy: 020 7501 1900

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