Spin Master's Phil Hooper on the Thunderbirds and Meccano alliance

Next month will mark the launch of the first ever Thunderbirds themed Meccano set. Spin Master's marketing director Phil Hooper explains why these two classic brands make the perfect match.
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Can you talk us through Spin Master’s Thunderbirds Are Go toy line?

In October this year Spin Master UK is proud to be launching the Meccano Thunderbird 2.

Fans of Meccano and Thunderbirds fans will be able to build a replica Thunderbird 2 from over 650 coloured Meccano parts. Realistic features include a cargo bay pod, thrust nozzle, foldable landing legs, and even ‘The Mole’, which deploys into action from a replica Pod 5.

What makes Spin Master the ideal toy partner for Thunderbirds Are Go?

There are similarities between the Meccano and Thunderbirds brands. Both are steeped in British heritage. Thunderbirds is celebrating 50 years in 2015 and Meccano will have been around for 110 years in 2018.

While Thunderbirds has benefitted from a high quality new production, Meccano also has a new brand look roll out this autumn to give greater stand out at retail and an improved Meccano build experience.

Both Meccano and Thunderbirds have a core fan base so we have already had some fantastic feedback on the new Meccano Thunderbird 2 product.

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What do you think makes Thunderbirds such a successful property in the toy space?

Not only does Thunderbirds have the nostalgia factor, the amazing new TV show Thunderbirds Are Go has successfully attracted a new generation of fans.

There’s a great balance of key characters and locations, which translate well into action figures and play-sets.

How have you seen the toy line evolve since the arrival of Thunderbirds 50 years ago, and what does Spin Master bring to the brand/toy line?

The big change is that the show has had a complete makeover with new and updated characters and the creative execution is clearly far more dynamic and modern.

This gives toy developers far more scope to develop new types of products that haven’t been seen before.

This year Spin Master is adding real metal construction play to the offering, and a real collector item with the Thunderbird 2 Meccano.

There is also tremendous scope for us and other partners to develop new toys for the Thunderbirds Are Go brand in the future.

What marketing plans have you got in store for the toy line?

The Meccano Thunderbird 2 has great appeal and we will be spreading the news of its launch through widespread PR, social media and consumer print advertising.

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What’s next for Spin Master and Thunderbirds?

All I can say is that there’s more coming in 2016. ITVS GE have been a fantastic partner and done a brilliant job driving show ratings and so many exciting off air and online activities. We are very much looking forward to continuing our relationshipgoing in to 2016.

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