TRA chairman Gary Grant has hit back at claims that this year’s Dream Dozen selection was influenced by stocking decisions within his own Entertainer stores.
For the first time in a number of years the overall top 12 contained nothing from Mattel, but saw Lego return with its Lego Games range. Several voices within the trade have noted that Mattel is not in Entertainer stores this Christmas, while Lego is.
Grant responded to the claims by offering to resign if members of the 12-strong selection committee felt he was unduly influencing the decision on the final list.
“If anybody really believes that I would severely disadvantage a manufacturer in such a way then they’re clearly don’t know me or it’s just sour grapes. As far as I’m concerned there’s no case to answer, but I’m happy to be accountable.
“This is not a closed committee and it’s never a six/six vote with me having the casting vote. The chairman has to lead the meeting but I don’t unduly influence it.
“It was a list agreed by everybody around the table. And I would say to people ‘in hindsight, were the selections wrong?’
“We seriously would welcome input from the whole of the industry. If you want to influence it, get involved. We are represented from top to bottom in terms of the size and style of retailing. Toys R Us and Argos were not on the committee, but they were asked.”
Toymaster’s Paul Reader, also part of the selection committee, added: “It’s unfair of suppliers to suggest that just because Gary has a trading issue with one supplier, it would influence the selection.”