Tag Archives: interview

Whirli learning: Selling toys the Whirligig way – inside the UK’s independent ‘make and do’ retailer

A former teacher-turned-coffee shop owner-turned-managing director of the UK’s biggest independent toy retailer outside of a buying group, Whirligig Toys’ Peter Allinson is a champion of the ‘things to make and do’ toy space. ToyNews takes a look at the working parts to find out what makes this toy retailer …

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Doll sector trends ‘will play key roles in 2021 and beyond,’ says Zapf Creation UK

Reverberations of what has been a pivotal year for toy companies the world over will continue to be felt for years to come as ‘play at home’ trends and renewed emphasis on ‘play longevity’ have been earmarked as some of the lasting effects of the coronavirus pandemic. According to the …

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Arklu’s Ian Harkin: “With Lottie dolls we know we’re going in the right direction – it’s a gut feeling”

A momentary pause, a look into the middle distance for some kind of recollection, and a brief panic on our end of the Zoom call that the WiFi had dropped out again, and Ian Harkin, co-founder of the Irish doll brand Arklu returns to the question, answerless. No, as far …

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Dantoy’s new Green Bean toy line will ‘push boundaries of consumer perception’ and eco toys

The Danish toy maker, Dantoy is looking to push the boundaries of both product development and consumer perception with the launch of its latest sustainable-developed toy line, Green Bean; a range of toys created directly from the waste material of the toy company’s own toy production methods. The award-winning toy …

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Paper scissors, rock! Paper Engine talks its Build Your Own toy range success and the ongoing eco-movement

For 20 years, Keith Finch has been somewhat of a hero of the pop-up book scene. An origami entrepreneur, Finch has headed up his Paper Engine business since 2012, over which time he has designed and developed some of the most intricately striking imagery across the marketing and book publishing …

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Wicked Vision: “We’re much more than a toy company, we’re a true lifestyle brand”

Wicked Vision is so much more than a toy company. The words spoken to ToyNews from across a Zoom chat blighted by lawnmowers passing by an open window one end of the conversation, and a WiFi that had all but given up on the other. It wasn’t just for emphasis …

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Zuru’s global marketing director Renee Lee: “We are investing more in the UK market and globally than ever before”

While the lockdown forced the temporary closure of toy shops the world over, it was far from being a quiet time for an industry that, boosted by families spending more time together and in need of home entertainment, and a spell of freakishly good weather here in the UK, found …

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The Railway Children: How Hornby is keeping it fresh at one hundred

It is to be expected of a man who has spent much of his coming up 50- year career within the toy industry surrounded by the hobby, that Simon Kohler, marketing and development director at Hornby Hobbies is more than a little into toy trains. What you might not expect …

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The magical mystery toys: Marvin Berglas on the global renaissance of magic

That Marvin’s Magic has detailed a return to its roots some 30 years into serving the magic tricks market with some of the scene’s most enduring products, makes for an interesting narrative for the industry treasure. When it comes to magic, it’s often the best measure to assume there’s very …

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Panda Mony Toys: “It seems to me that kids aren’t respected by the entertainment industry”

The independent US outfit, Panda Mony Toys has made it its mission in recent years to shake up the action figure market, a space it believes has “become stagnant with toy companies chasing the big comic book and movie franchises” with the launch of its original IP, Alter Nation. Earlier …

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