This year’s event takes place on October 28th, at St Mary’s Church in London, with the Dream Dozen lists being revealed to the assembled press at 7am.
Gary Grant, chairman of the TRA has expressed his frustration that some retailers seem reluctant to use the media spotlight created by the event, to optimise their own opportunities for publicity on a local level.
“What we’re trying to do is to generate excitement and interest in toys – to drive customers into your toy stores and support the widest number of retailers possible,” said Grant.
“This is FREE! We are working for your benefit. Pick up what we’re giving you and PLEASE run with it.”
On the supplier side, there is strong support for the event and the coverage it creates on TV, radio and in the national press.
Jerry Healy, marketing director of Character Options, said: “It has traditionally marked the first real opportunity to get the consumer thinking about Christmas time in a serious way.
“The event is well supported on the day by the TV media and it’s a chance to get product in front of a large audience. To maximise the opportunity it is important that the products plays well to the cameras. If it moves, makes a sound and looks exciting then the chance of obtaining great coverage is high. And good coverage on the day tends to snowball all the way to Christmas.”
Darrell Jones, marketing director of Bandai, said it affects the level of coverage: “If one of your items is selected for the Dream Dozen this can have a great impact on your back-end sales. I think if an event like Dream Toys did not exist more toy companies would probably do their own thing but not receive the same levels of coverage.”
Stuart Picton, UK marketing manager of Spin Master, added: “It’s a fun event and helps get everyone in the right mindset whilst reminding the whole country what a great range of fun toys there are out there for kids of all ages.”