"It's harder than ever to launch a collectables IP today.": Magic Box's Ben Harper on the heroic success of SuperZings

Magic Box's UK and Ireland director, Ben Harper talks to ToyNews about the early launch success of the new collectable line and plans for building out a wider franchise around SuperZings with Lisle Licensing.
Author:
Publish date:
Social count:
4
super zings

As anyone in the toy business can tell you, shifting half a million units of product in the first four weeks of launch really is no mean feat.

However, collectables specialist Magic Box Toys – the team behind the popular Zomlings range, and before then, Go-Gos, has managed to achieve just that, following the debut appearance of its new line, SuperZings at this year’s Spielwarenmesse.

But not only has Magic Box Toys successfully launched a new collectables toy line at arguably the height of competition within the sector, it has also successfully brought the new brand into UK schools through its Show & Tell Super Heroes initiative. Combine this with the heavyweight marketing and social media campaign surrounding SuperZings, and the basic ingredients for a recipe for success in the collectables market are looking nicely lined up.

Ben Harper, UK and Ireland director at Magic Box Toys talks to ToyNews about the success of the brand’s launch.

Have you been surprised by the reaction to the launch of SuperZings, considering how popular the collectables category is today?

We have been delighted with the success so far. It’s harder than ever to launch a brand new IP and to generate the awareness and demand among the target audience.

The market is extremely well served with collectables at the moment and we created a very wide ranging and ambitious marketing campaign to try and give us the edge and get our message across.

How does this now position you within the collectables market?

We have sold a huge volume of products in the first six weeks of sale and we think that it compares very favourably with anything else in the market. Our distribution is very broad and a little different to other companies in this area.

This gives us a nice point of difference and has allowed us to become very well established in a short period of time.

What are your expectations for the range for 2018 now?

We are pushing ahead with a second wave of marketing to help boost our position across the Easter period. We have given ourselves a great platform for the rest of 2018 and we plan to launch series two at the end of August, ready for the start of the new school year.

We also have a range of toys and play-sets, with prices going right up to £25, that will come through for Q3 and Q4 and give us and retailers some great options for the Christmas market.

What reaction have you had to the SuperZings online content and are there plans to build out a wider licensing programme around the IP?

We are creating a wide range of videos and content for our YouTube channel. New things are being published on a weekly basis and this includes really strong animated webisodes that show the hero vs villain rivalries between characters.

We also had a lot of fun creating some video interviews with kids, asking them about their views around issues related to superheroes and super powers.

The aim has always been to build a SuperZings brand that can be sustained over many years and hopefully across a wide range of categories. We have partnered with Lisle Licensing to build up a licensing programme and the interest so far has been excellent.

What kind of growth are you forecasting for Magic Box following the early success of SuperZings?

The exciting thing for us is that our past experience has shown that we can grow sales from series one right through to series five and beyond. SuperZings has started fantastically and gives us an amazing launch pad for the future.

What’s the next step for Magic Box and the SuperZings line?

A fresh wave of marketing for Easter and then building on the success for the remainder of 2018 with series two, play-sets and the start of our licensing programme. 

Related

Screen Shot 2017-11-14 at 16.07.53.png

Stack to the Future: Building a collectable franchise

Similar to the likes of Pokemon that sprang from the screens of early handheld gaming systems to television, cinemas and shop windows, so too are hit toys outgrowing the toy shelves and building franchises across entertainment and merchandising. Here, Jack Ridsdale examines how the collectable toymakers are building franchises

Featured Jobs

Gameplan Job Logo 620 x 349

Sales Director UK

Our client is a well established privately owned UK toy manufacturer which has won numerous awards for outstandingly innovative toys, gifts and gadgets. A correspondingly outstanding and talented UK Sales Director is to be recruited who has the potential, the will, the drive and the ambition to advance to a higher position within a few years.

Vivid Job Logo 620 x 349

Digital Marketing Executive - Toys & Games

Vivid is Britain’s biggest toy company and the 20 largest in the world. With offices across the globe, they sell an amazing portfolio of toys and games to over 60 countries. Vivid is best known for its association with blockbuster brands and is very excited about future opportunities around the world.

Melissa and Doug Job Logo 620 x 349

Operations Planner

Imagine working for a company with a mission you can truly believe in, a playful and energetic culture, a talented team and a bright future! Melissa & Doug, the toy company committed to nurturing childhood wonder, is looking for an Operations Planner to coordinate the demand planning and supply between European markets and the US.

HIT Entertainment Job Logo 620 x 349

Licensing Systems Administrator

The Contract System Coordinator is a newly created role to support the deal term entry process into Mattel’s new Contract Management System for its Licensing business. The role will support the Business Teams at the Deal & Amendment phase of the contracting process and act in conjunction with the System Administration team.