Bristol wins big at international toy fair
Bristol company Cod Steaks is celebrating success after a toy line it created won a top award in the Best New Toy of the Year - Role Playing category at London’s Toy Fair 2010.
Armouron is an interchangeable armour-style kit, designed to encourage children to engage in active outdoor role play. The new toy ranked alongside established competition including Harry Potter and Star Wars merchandise to scoop a prize, voted for by a panel of expert toy retailers.
Japanese toymaker Bandai, behind such hits as Ben 10 and Power Rangers, has snapped up the license to produce a full toy-line which will hit the shelves in time for Christmas 2010.
The company has also struck a deal with RDF Rights, part of the RDF media group to handle further licensing of the products, which has already resulted in a multi-book publishing deal with Random House, telling the story of the Armouron. Talks have already been held discussing future opportunities, including video games and a TV series.
Cod Steaks, which specialises in designing and manufacturing products for film and TV, has been working on its first foray into the world of toy design for just over six years. The idea was conceived by founder and managing director, Sue Lipscombe, who wanted to use her business’ creativity and expertise to produce a toy that would inspire children to play outdoors and take an active interest in engineering and customisation.
Sue said: “The product we came up with is a bold move away from modern, popular toy formats and we are incredibly happy that some of the world’s biggest players have taken an interest and will help to make our designs the must-have item for children across Europe.
“This is a good, old-fashioned British success story and it’s great to see a homegrown product taking on the big players on an international scale. Several retailers have already placed their orders for the full toy line-up and, judging by the reaction we’ve been having from everyone we’ve spoken to, we are looking forward to our product becoming a household name very soon.”
Despite its recent success, the company is not resting on its laurels. It has already started working on new products that will be added to the toy line in 2011 and continues to produce characters, museum exhibits, costumes and public art sculptures for clients across the world.
Sue said: “Cod Steaks is a hub of innovation which I believe brings together some of the finest minds and skills in the UK creative sector today. What we have proved time and time again is that you don’t need to be based in London or Los Angeles to make an impression and that if you can dream it, it is possible.”
For more information, visit www.codsteaks.com
Robert Fenner moved to Bristol from Grayling's London office in July 2008. "It was a really good move for me," he says. "The energy in business here is as dynamic as anywhere else, and the quality of life is so much better. Bristol has an identity of its own, and the South-West is a great place to be - whether as a next step or as a starting point in a public relations career. I'd recommend it to anyone."