This page contains a Flash digital edition of a book.
28 COMPANY PROFILE THE IN THING The next big thing

When was The In Thing set up and how have you grown since? We formed in 2000 and grew steadily for three to four years. Over the past couple of years we’ve concentrated more on our own products. We work for some of the biggest toy manufacturers on a sub-distribution basis, such as Flair, Vivid, Character Options and Spin Master, but we have a number of our own lines now, including five Moshi Monsters licences we control. We have always specialised in pocket money products and craze lines.

Why focus on lower-priced products? It’s good to have a focus. In Thing products don’t really retail at £50. If you look at the top of the NPD sales charts, it’s usually goods that have sub-£10 RRPs. I believe the only income unaffected by the economic climate is pocket money. Everything I sell is impulse purchase, and because of that, we’re flying in a less than favourable economic climate. We had 147 per cent growth in May.

And what about growth over the past year?

June will be our 12th consecutive month of growth. We have been averaging approximately 40 to 50 per cent year-on-year growth each month since July 2011. But this figure has jumped to 100+ per cent over the last couple of months since we started distributing Skylanders. I got involved in Moshi Monsters products in July 2011 and that’s when our rate of growth originally started increasing. I am pretty confident we will have doubled our turnover during the past 12 months.

Do you have plans to expand your warehouse or your team? Yes. We’ve just hired a new marketing manager, national account manager and sales team members. We currently have 29 staff – up from 21 last year.

JULY 2012


Established: 2000 Based: Lancashire Staff: 29 Contact: 0845 365 3030 Web:

The In Thing distributes the popular Skylanders figures to indies – and it’s about to record its 12th month of consecutive sales growth. MD Paul Jackson tells Dominic Sacco the secret to its success…

Jackson (pictured above with Lyndsey Sample, general sales manager) says the firm is flying in the current economic climate, and there is still more to come too...

Our warehouse is 8,000 sq ft. Our best sellers are Yu-Gi-Oh, Magic Choc, Skylanders, Moshi Monster Moshlings, Pokémon trading cards, Lego Minifigures, Match Attax trading cards and Angry Bird Mash’Ems. Everything fits in the palm of your hand, so I don’t need 50,000 sq ft of warehouse space.

any spend I have ever seen from even the biggest toy distributor. Its arrival into the toy market has got to be hugely beneficial to the toy business in the months and even years to come. I can see Skylanders going from strength to strength, and for sales to go off the scale.

We have been averaging approximately 40 to 50 per cent year-on-year growth

each month since July 2011. Paul Jackson, MD, The In Thing

How excited are you about the upcoming Skylanders Giants toys? We paired up with Activision during a quiet time of the year in April and Skylanders was already six months old. But we’ll be involved with

Skylanders Giants at launch in September or October, so I’m hugely excited by the potential of that. Activision’s planned TV spend for Giants dwarfs

Have you ever had any stock issues?

There have been a few issues but nothing too major. For any collectable, you keep supply just below the curve. Leave the market just slightly short and it means you don’t flood it. We try and treat indies fairly with products that are in big demand, so we have a maximum order quantity on goods that are ‘thin on the ground’.

What are your expectations for your new Angry Birds range?

We’ve got at least eight new novelty stationery lines due to launch in July. These include erasers, stationery sets and Plush Flingers which can be fired from your fingers. We are also supporting Character Options with its master toy range. It’s a very exciting licence, the world’s most downloaded app game and it’s what kids are playing with nowadays. The product is priced right and it’s going to sell.

What’s changed since Dracco acquired a 50 per cent stake in The In Thing?

Its manufacturing expertise has enabled us to pursue our own licensed products. We have just signed some new licences and have at least two new ranges of Dracco products launching in spring/summer 2013. We’ll have a minimum of two TV campaigns starting January 2013 and I envisage the company will spend more on TV ads next year than in the previous ten years. We have exciting times ahead.

Page 1  |  Page 2  |  Page 3  |  Page 4  |  Page 5  |  Page 6  |  Page 7  |  Page 8  |  Page 9  |  Page 10  |  Page 11  |  Page 12  |  Page 13  |  Page 14  |  Page 15  |  Page 16  |  Page 17  |  Page 18  |  Page 19  |  Page 20  |  Page 21  |  Page 22  |  Page 23  |  Page 24  |  Page 25  |  Page 26  |  Page 27  |  Page 28  |  Page 29  |  Page 30  |  Page 31  |  Page 32  |  Page 33  |  Page 34  |  Page 35  |  Page 36  |  Page 37  |  Page 38  |  Page 39  |  Page 40  |  Page 41  |  Page 42  |  Page 43  |  Page 44  |  Page 45  |  Page 46  |  Page 47  |  Page 48  |  Page 49  |  Page 50  |  Page 51  |  Page 52  |  Page 53  |  Page 54  |  Page 55  |  Page 56  |  Page 57  |  Page 58  |  Page 59  |  Page 60  |  Page 61  |  Page 62  |  Page 63  |  Page 64  |  Page 65  |  Page 66  |  Page 67  |  Page 68  |  Page 69  |  Page 70  |  Page 71  |  Page 72  |  Page 73  |  Page 74  |  Page 75  |  Page 76  |  Page 77  |  Page 78  |  Page 79  |  Page 80  |  Page 81  |  Page 82  |  Page 83  |  Page 84