We sat down with Andrew Laughton, SVP of EMEA to learn about the firm's ambitious plans for its top-tier collectable lines.
What is it about L.O.L Surprise that has struck a chord with youngsters everywhere?
Andrew Laughton: L.O.L Surprise! Dolls combines the huge popularity of collectables with the phenomena of vlogging and unboxing. The seven layers of surprise feels much like unwrapping a gift, it lets children feel like an unboxer themselves - like the stars they spend so much time watching on YouTube.
In what ways has L.O.L Surprise gone outside the world of toys?
Laughton: We didn’t launch L.O.L Surprise in the usual way, the times of relying solely on TV to promote a toy product has changed and the success of the brand followed a YouTube and UK event launch – with no TV. We’ve created a brand for the YouTube generation and the marketing must support this.
We’ve recently launched the Become an Unboxer campaign – this looks to encourage fans to create their own unboxing videos and supplies tips from their favourite YouTube stars. L.O.L Surprise is offering more than a toy, it is engaging with fans beyond purchase.
L.O.L Surprise also has strong licensing plans for 2018, with over 30 partners in key categories such as apparel, accessories, back-to-school, stationary, games and puzzles, novelty, health and beauty and home décor.
What has made Num Noms such a hit?
Laughton: Num Noms brings a collectable which offers more than a character, whether that be a lipgloss or nail polish, children can use them beyond unpacking. Num Noms has seen constant product development, now on its fourth series it also offers a Collecters Case, Surprise in a Jar, playsets and Lights.
Num Noms also has an extensive licensing program in major categories within softlines, hardlines and publishing, as well as regular YouTube webisodes.
L.O.L Surprise is offering more than a toy, it is engaging with fans beyond purchase.
Andrew Laughton, MGA
Why does the collectables sector continue to grow?
Laughton: Collectibles is one of the fastest growing sectors in the toy industry this has been led by playground crazes as well as strategic influencer activities.
Brands have continued to develop and evolve in the collectables market, this will progress and collectables will remain one of the most popular categories in the toy sector. Kids love to find new ways to collect and play with their toys, the market offers a fun way to do this often with a lower price point.
What does the future hold for this brand?
Laughton: Num Noms continues with development and a range of exciting new products are on the way for next year. The brand has plans to grow its licensing and digital offering - the future is bright for Num Noms.
Are there more collectables from MGA on the horizon?
Laughton: Next year is set to be another big one for MGA, there will be new brands in several different categories. Watch this space…