Spielwarenmesse: PLAYMOBIL sets a course for international expansion

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PLAYMOBIL sets a course for international expansion

29. January 2019 15:21 h

  • Brandstätter Group is systematically driving forward the digital transformation of the PLAYMOBIL brand
  • New offerings and business areas broaden the brand experience – for consumers and business partners

The Brandstätter Group records stable economic growth. In 2018 the company achieved a turnover of EUR 686 million with its PLAYMOBIL brand – and, after its record year in 2017, has again posted revenue growth of one per cent.

The overall turnover achieved by the Group, which also includes the LECHUZA brand, is approximately EUR 748 million. In 2018 the foreign proportion of the turnover, around 70 per cent, was mostly generated by the subsidiaries in France and Spain as well as the expansion markets in the USA and Italy.

“Thus we take a positive stock for 2018 overall. The toy industry is under pressure. Our company offers the right solutions in a competitive market environment,” says CEO Steffen Höpfner. The Group is successfully setting trends and reaching consumers as well as business partners with its new classic play themes, digital offerings, attractive licence themes and business areas. “We want to build on that in 2019. With this multifaceted brand experience we are laying the foundation for further expansion.”

The PLAYMOBIL experience in new dimensions

At the Spielwarenmesse, the PLAYMOBIL brand is being presented as an interactive experience – with touchpoints for all target audiences. Trade fair visitors have the chance to dive into a whole universe of creative themes, new stories and animated film sequences. These include new TV series as well as the trailer for the brand’s first big-screen film, “PLAYMOBIL: The Movie”, which will premiere worldwide in August. The first trailer has already generated plenty of enthusiasm and talking points. “We are looking forward to a big animation adventure for the whole family. The best directors are still the children themselves though. The movie’s story also conveys that – in a humorous and action-packed way,” adds Höpfner.

The brand experience for 2019 also includes a wide range of over 30 programmes, apps and games that are continually being added to. In 2018, for the first time, the FunParks welcomed well over one million visitors. To manage the many online offerings aligned with different target audiences, PLAYMOBIL will collaborate with WildBrain – a leading digital kids’ network and studio, that also specialises in marketing of video content via platforms such as YouTube. The Group is also announcing three new licence themes at the trade show. With “Heidi” from Studio 100 Media | m4e, ‘Scooby-Doo” (Warner Bros.) and “Back to the Future” Universal), different target audiences are addressed.

The brand strategy for PLAYMOBIL relies on a new emotional chain of experiences and selected variety in the digital consumer approach – whether at home, at the point of emotion or on the internet. One important goal is to further establish the brand positioning in the USA. New products featuring a retro appeal will be creating excitement for the play system among parents as well.

Ambitious expansion plans – focused on the US market

The Group will continue to build on its commitment to the American market in 2019. Despite the turbulence around the insolvency of Toys“R”Us, turnover increased by 20 per cent for PLAYMOBIL. The Group is changing the strategy from niche products to mass market through commercial partnerships with Walmart and Target. Plans are in place and search analyses are under way for building a proprietary production site. The goal is to lighten the load on logistical processes and to move even closer to the US market. There is also major market potential for PLAYMOBIL in South America and Asia.

A total of 171 new products: knights, dragons and lots of movie heroes

For 2019, PLAYMOBIL is presenting a diverse programme of 171 original product novelties, including popular themes such as the Farm, Dollhouse and Hospital. The 45th birthday of the PLAYMOBIL knights will also see the new edition of the successful classic, the “Knight’s castle”, in its largest and most spectacular form yet. From 23 August 2019, the knights will compete for a legendary, magical suit of armour in two mighty castles that come complete with secret hiding places and creative play and defence features. The reinvention of the classic promises knights of all kinds and formats – and will be enacted at all touchpoints. Seven add-on sets such as the water ballista, a team of wolves or the fire guardian will bring action to the game. A mystical story, original characters and ingenious weapons mean great fun – and not only for fans of knights.

In addition to these play sets, successful licence themes like DreamWorks Spirit, DreamWorks Dragons and Ghostbusters will be continued. The highlights include new sets for the DreamWorks Dragons range, which will be available in shops as early as February to coordinate with the third film. Fans of the Ghostbusters line can look forward to the first collector’s edition in a 2:1 format. The long-awaited film “PLAYMOBIL: The Movie” will also be accompanied by play sets that focus on different characters, settings and stories from the animation highlight.

 

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