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Playmags eyes 2014 success Tom Roberts talks to Yidi Berger, sales manager at Playmags Toys, to

fi nd out more about the Playmags construction range. A new entry into the Construction Toys category this year is Playmags. Playmags is made up of 3D magnetic construction blocks, which attract on all sides and can be combined to form many different geometric shapes and structures. Building with the tiles has been shown to inspire creativity and brain development, as well as providing fun construction-based play for children aged three years and up. Yidi Berger, sales manager of Playmags Toys, said: “Playmags has

performed very well in the US, and we are hoping to replicate the success in Europe. It’s a really interesting new product for the Construction Toys category, and one that wears its education-through-play badge proudly. The branding on the boxes is also very striking and unifi ed across the range, meaning that retailers can create a great-looking Playmags sections on their shelves.”

Yidi explained that the magnetic blocks of Playmags easily connect together allowing open-ended play creating cubes, pyramids and other shapes. He said: “The shaped blocks encourage creativity, maths skills and spatial relations, as well as patterning and basic geometry. The ease with which the tiles connect allows children to move from constructing two- dimensional to three-dimensional creations.” The product is available in three sizes: a 20-piece set, a 50-piece set, and a 100-piece set, and there are also two accessory sets available in two sizes: 30-piece and 50-piece. The sets come in eye-catching boxes, which fi t nicely on shelves as part of a construction and educational retail offering. The company also owns Dress Up America, an independent wholesale company featuring a collection of quality Halloween and year-round costumes. The range includes fancy dress costumes, wigs, exciting accessories in all sizes ranging from infants, boys, girls, teens, men and women. To fi nd out more, get in touch with Yidi Berger on 020 3667 2721.

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Hornby has announced its fi nancial results for the six months to 30 September 2013. • Turnover for the six months of £22.5m (2012: £23.5mn)*

@toyworldmag Hornby fi nancial results released

• Underlying losses of £0.7m (2012: £0.2m)** •

First half sales broadly in line with seasonal run rate at 39% of last year’s total (2012: 42%)

• Gross profi t margin increased to 47.1% (2012: 45.0%)* •

Production of Airfi x QuickBuild range ‘fl at-out’. 35 concessions opening in WH Smith and Hawkins Bazaar

• New directly-owned store in Swindon Outlet Centre performing well •

Roger Canham, chairman of Hornby, commented: “We remain on track to meet

market expectations for the full year. We are encouraged that trading over the last couple of months has been positive and remain focused on managing the reliability of the supply chain which continues to impact model rail product. As we approach Christmas, we have a promotional programme in place that is keeping our products at the forefront of consumers’ minds. Corgi and Airfi x are performing well and our new QuickBuild products have been well received. As our model rail supply chain disruption is settled, we are confi dent we will see a much more robust performance across the group.”

VTech announces interim results

VTech has revealed its results for the six months ended 30 September 2013, reporting higher revenue and profi t with an improvement in gross margin. • Group revenue was up by 1.9% to $892.4m •

Profi t attributable to shareholders of the company increased by 4.7% to $95.2m

• Gross margin improved by 1.3% to 31.7% •

Strong balance sheet, with deposits and cash of $94.7m and debt free

Interim dividend of US16.0 cents per ordinary share, same as the dividend paid in the corresponding period last year.

Allan Wong, chairman and group CEO of VTech Holdings, said: “I am pleased

to report that VTech delivered both top-line and bottom-line growth in the fi rst half of the fi nancial year 2014, despite a weaker-than-expected performance of telecommunication (TEL) products in Europe. The group also benefi ted from lower cost of materials, resulting in an improved gross margin and contributing to a higher profi t during the period.” The operating environment in VTech’s major markets is likely to remain challenging

for the remainder of the fi nancial year. In the US, the pace of recovery appears to be slowing, while many European economies face conditions that are still tough and uncertain. Nonetheless, the group is optimistic of achieving top-line growth with improved gross profi t margin for the full fi nancial year 2014.

Esdevium announces exclusivity with WizKids

Esdevium Games has signed a European-exclusive distribution agreement with the miniature collectable manufacturer, WizKids. The deal covers a wide range of board games and licensed fi gurines from Wizkids’ signature HeroClix range.

Esdevium’s Ben Hogg commented: “We’re honoured to be WizKids’ exclusive European distributor and look forward to working closely on their fantastic range of products. Looking at both their existing and upcoming catalogue of products, there is plenty for retailers to be excited about.”

Games and collectable products for Yu-Gi-Oh!,

The Simpsons, The Hunger Games and the new Avengers fi lms make for an exciting 2014 line- up, and Esdevium will showcase the range at London Toy Fair in January.

10 Toyworld

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