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NEWS & OPINION


Counter Insurgent


Walking with Dinosaurs game to help toy shops welcome Wonderbook


BBC gaming expert believes the educational nature of the title will help the toy space get on board


By Billy Langsworthy


THE LATEST title for Sony’s Wonderbook will help toy stores embrace the video game tie-in, a BBC gaming expert has told ToyNews. Wonderbook: Walking with Dinosaursfor the PS3 allows children to explore the prehistoric world using augmented reality. “I think it is an unusual


product that crosses over from video games to toys and books,” freelance BBC gaming expert and runner of Family Gamer TV Andy Robertson told ToyNews. “As such it seems to


attract a different consumer who may not be a ‘gamer’ but would be interested in Wonderbook. “Having the Wonderbook on display in a form that the customer can try would also make a big difference to its reception.” While the product has


largely been ignored by toy retail, Robertson believes the educational nature of Walking With Dinosaurs makes it a better fit than prior titles. “Until now there have not been a very wide range of titles for Wonderbook,” “With the recent Diggs Nightcrawler, Book of Potionsfrom J.K.Rowling and BBC’s Walking With


92 January/February


Dinosaursthis is changing. Walking With Dinosaursis a different kind of franchise to be in a video game as it not only draws on entertainment with the recent movie but also the educational side of the series. “In the game you are


presented with a quiz at the end of each level to see how much you have learned.” Players need a


Wonderbook, a PlayStation Eye camera and a Movie


to video games make the product a no-go. “I don’t think we’d be


interested in that sort of thing at all, as it goes against my ethos which is people interacting with children through toys,” Magic Dragon Toys’ Lesley Schwarz told ToyNews. “But in a toy shop environment, it might open up some areas for them to explore.” On the gaming side, Andy Harden, owner of video


It seems to attract a different consumer who may not be a ‘gamer’, but is interested in Wonderbook. Andy Robertson, gaming expert


controller to play the game, and for some stores, this provides a barrier. “It’s interesting because of the educational slant, but it depends on what else you’d need with it,” Wise Owl Toys owner Mark Stewart commented. Halesworth Toy Shop’s


Nigel Kemp added: “It might be something I look at but it’s not something I’d usually stock.” Elsewhere, traditional shops told ToyNewsthat despite the educational value of the latest Wonderbook title, the ties


game store Ego, believes it is too late for Wonderbook to make an impact at video game retail, but it could be a good fit for toy shops. “They are big, nice looking


products and the new ones are perfectly priced. It’s on the fringe of my industry but it’s a perfect product for toy stores. “But they might have a


problem because, how do you sell it? Do you invest in games machine so you can show people it working? If so, you lose on one because you’ve got to open it up.” Sony: 020 7859 5000


It’s a New Year, so what has 2014 in store? According to Counter Insurgent it’s finding the toy mojo at Toy Fair. Elsewhere, CI enjoys an odd moment when faced with a price match request


ANOTHER YEAR over, and is retail becoming more and more like our American cousins? The Black Friday Frenzy happened and shoppers still left their buying until as late as possible. Online sellers once


again caused trouble, wandering around the store scanning barcodes and walking out. At least some of them ask to match an online price. Our policy has now


changed, if anyone asks if we price match, the staff are no longer allowed to say ‘yes’, but ask what the item is and then find me (no, I don’t have time but…). Someone wanted us to


match an Amazon price for a £6.99 toy that was being sold for £6 plus £4.60 postage the other day. I said I would do it for £6.50. The gent stood in front of me, pushed a couple of buttons on his phone and said he had ordered it from Amazon with a stupid grin on his face.


One of the sensible customers behind him pointed out he had just


paid 40 per cent more than had he bought it from us. I stood back and watched one of the funniest things I have ever seen in the shop as the customer gave him a simple maths lesson. We were still a little unsure if he understood even then. Should I have taken an


overall view and just matched the price? I don’t think so, the item would have cost the seller no more than £2 to post but it typifies the problem. Maybe if online prices had to show all the costs instead of just the item or postage included it would make a fairer comparison. So, what will 2014 bring? It seems to me that more value retailers like B&M will be selling toys, and not just crap with better support from suppliers exploring other ‘channels’. I have to question why


they bother, when they can’t even look after their existing ‘channels’. Nevertheless, hopefully we can all get our mojo for toys back as we walk around ToyFair this year.


Will you be getting your ‘mojo’ back at Toy Fair this year? www.toynews-online.biz


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