Retail

Distributor Rory Kelly on how a long retail career and two key ingredients shape his view of the toys and games he distributes

With 20 years in retail, and nearly five in the toy-and-game industry, Red Knight Toy Group’s Rory Kelly’s experience includes time at Coiledspring Games as an executive, and as a champion of Wrebbit’s 3D Puzzles.

US toy market sees sales dip 4% in 2019 to $20.9bn

“2019 was one of the more complicated years to get a good read on toy industry health,” said Juli Lennett, vice president and industry advisor, Toys, The NPD Group.

UK toy market suffers 6% sales drop in 2019 but remains Europe’s largest toy market

“The on-going question that is Brexit undoubtedly had a dampening effect on consumer confidence whilst a general election in the middle of the busiest trading month of the year wasn’t helpful,” said the BTHA’s Natasha Crookes.

Games that sell: Specialist retailer Becky Ottery on what she can’t sell and doesn’t buy

What do retailers know about inventing games that sell? Darrell and Becky Ottery own and run the aptly named Eclectic Games in Reading. With a tireless work ethic, they strive to play every game they stock, and meet each customer’s need with insight.

Games to Get’s Luke Evans on helping players get to know each other with Sussed

Luke Evans, lead product designer at Games to Get, talks us through the success of the firm’s range of Sussed card games.

Tru Kids Brands and b8ta’s new Toys R Us stores to be “the most progressive and advanced stores in its category in the world”

New stores will allow toy firms to showcase products in an ‘interactive playground-like environment’ and create custom experiences around their IP.

John Lewis sees parents becoming ‘more mindful’ as wooden toy sales rise

Sales of wooden toys are up 15% at John Lewis this year.

Rejection, challenges and retail

The Fantastic Factory’s David Snow looks at the cycle of success and rejection in life as an invention company, and how designers can apply their own creativity to help revamp tired game aisles

Funko sees Q4 sales soar 38% to $233m

“Once again, Funko had a terrific quarter and full year, significantly exceeding our own expectations,” said Funko CEO Brian Mariotti.

“A phoenix from the flames is likely to get the backing of suppliers, even if it comes with a begrudging approach”: Designers on the return of Toys R Us

We asked figures in the toy and game design community for their thoughts on Tru Kids Brands, and the potential return of Toys R Us.

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