This page contains a Flash digital edition of a book.
INTERVIEW: SAMBRO Play it again, Sam

2014 has been a good year for Sambro, with the firm successfully launching its second trade event and signing several new licences. Sambro managing director Nikki Samuels tells Billy Langsworthy about the unexpected success of Frozen, the beauty of One Direction and the toy industry’s changing view on licensing

How has 2014 been for Sambro so far? Sambro had a brilliant 2013 and that momentum has continued into 2014. The first half of this year has been really positive and we have built upon last year with new licences, new products and lots of forward orders. Last year we launched our first trade event at our Bury HQ and wanted to make these a regular event in our selling calendar. We ran our second trade event in May which was a great success and will run another pre-Christmas. We are also in the process of launching our brand new B2B website which will make ordering and delivery of products even more efficient and simple.

Which brands have performed best for the company this year? We have some brilliant licences in the company’s portfolio and all continue to exceed expectations. Our One Direction range has been phenomenal. To date, way over eight million of our 1D bags have sold in the UK, EU & Australia. In fact, the whole range which includes stationery as well as bags just flies out. Long live One Direction. We have lots of Disney licences which encompass bags, stationery, arts and crafts and puzzles. This year we have also added F

rozen which has, of course, been the icing on the cake.

The success of this

Disney franchise has meant demand for innovative products has been high and the new arts and crafts products featuring the main characters are set to have a fantastic fourth quarter.

What brands have surprised you this year? When F

rozen was released

last year I don’t think anyone envisioned the unparalleled popularity of the film.

We are about to launch a great new licensed range which is quite different from Sambro’s usual licences in that we are appealing to an older demographic. Our new MLB New York

Yankees collection will include items that not only appeal to collectors of NY Yankees products, but the on- trend designs will be perfect for teens and students. There is a new

SpongeBob SquarePants movie due out next year

Our One Direction range has been phenomenal.

Long live One Direction. Nikki Samuels, Sambro

By everyone, I mean not just manufacturers and retailers but parents too. As soon as products hit the shelves, they fly out and retailers have to keep up with demand from under-pressure parents. Up until now, dolls

and dress up have been supremely popular so we hope that during the run up to Christmas, shoppers will look to extend their purchases to include everything F


Which brands do you expect to do well for Sambro for the rest of 2014?

and our products appeal to all ages as well as to both boys and girls. We have also extended

our growing wooden puzzle collection to include the Fisher-Price licence – the chunky, quality puzzle pieces are perfect for little hands to hold and we hope they will be a great pre- school line. We continue our great

relationship with Hasbro and will grow our Play-Doh collection.

How do you choose which brands to work with? We are always open to discuss new licensing and distribution opportunities


potential partners. We attend all the key trade events throughout the year meeting existing partners and, of course, sourcing new ideas and forging new relationships. Having worked within

the toy industry for many years now, we have honed our senses to know which products sell well and enjoy creating bespoke licensed alongside our partners. We have signed some

great distribution deals this year and some of these lines will be TV advertised during the latter half of the year. Zed the Zombie is a

brilliant game and we have also received a fantastic reaction to The Enchanted Mirror. In the interests of diversifying our product offering, we have also launched the BBC Earth Science range.

How has Sambro’s attitude to licensing evolved since the birth of the company? The company has certainly evolved since we launched back in 1996. Since moving to our new

HQ, we now have a dedicated design team of brilliant creatives who constantly come up with unique new takes on our licences. We have also invested

heavily in tooling which allows us to replicate

successful products across all of our licences. We always look to create a comprehensive range of licensed products in that we include products with various price points. This enables retailers to cherry pick key products to offer complete ranges to the customer. We are also able to offer

great distribution and ongoing sales support for all our customers.

How has the toy industry’s attitude to licensing changed in this time? The toy industry is now far more susceptible to peripheral licensed products. As well as key licensed items such as dolls and dress-up, retailers understand the need to offer a wide range of licensed lines to drive additional sales.

This attitude to licensed

products has contributed to our evolution as a company as we have now become a one-stop shop for licensed ranges enabling retailers to stock quality, reasonably priced ranges across arts and crafts, stationery, bags, games, toys, wheeled goods, pocket money lines and much more.

August 19

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