Simba Dickie launches new UK outfit SISO Toys UK

Martin Whitaker has been appointed MD of the new operation with a focus on building out the company's licensing portfolio.
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Simba Dickie Group has launched a new UK subsidiary for its licensing portfolio, having appointed Martin Whitaker to head the operation.

Whitaker has stepped into the role of managing director of the new outfit, SISO Toys UK and will take up the role from May 1 this year.

He brings to role significant toy industry experience from his 16 years at Mattel, where, during this time, he has worked across a majority of major UK retailers. Most recently he was the general sales manager on the digital channel, prior to this the grocery and discounter channel.

He also worked in the Mattel Australia business for three years.

Whitaker will join the Simba Dickie Group to drive forward the growth in the UK toy market and focus on brand building of group properties and the licensing business.

The existing team of Simba Smoby Toys UK and the new subsidiary SISO Toys UK will work independently, but co-operatively. Both companies will use the existing logic centre in Bradford.

Uwe Weiler, COO of Simba Dickie Group, said: “We are delighted to have Martin on board of our team in the UK. He shares our growth plans, which we will achieve by investing in our brands and building strong relationships with our retail partners.

“Martin’s wealth of experience will be valuable in developing a new team and creating a sustainable growth of our business in the UK.”

Whitaker added: “I am thrilled to be joining the Simba Dickie business. To be asked to build and then lead SISO Toys UK is an amazing opportunity, given the ambitious plans they have for the SISO UK business.”

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