With almost 50 licensees across key territories, and a successful launch in the US last year, Gogo's is that unique of products - a playground craze with longevity.
Gogo’s miniature collectable characters are the latest and perhaps greatest playground craze - a number one seller in the collectables market and a top-seller across numerous categories of licensing, Gogo’s are hot property.
“Around the world, there is a huge amount of interest in the Gogo's brand with licensees signing up across multiple categories in the territories that launched more recently,” says Rob Corney, managing director of Bulldog Licensing.
Attracting close to 50 licensees across key territories, “Gogo's has proved an enormous hit. We have some excellent new products coming to market in these regions across numerous areas including toys, stationery, collectables and publishing.”
Created by Magic Box International and Promociones Premier International, Gogo's are a series of miniature collectable figurines. Each has its own name, personality, special ability and character traits. There are roughly 80 different characters to collect, all available in five different colours.
Sold in small packets of three for 99p, the tiny toys are used to play a variety of simple games. “Kids have since gone on to develop hundreds of their own games which they then share with friends across social networking sites,” Corney says.
Previously a popular toy of the 90s, the current generation of Gogo’s was launched in March 2008 to the UK and Spain. Subsequent territories followed with Germany, Benelux, South Africa and Australia/New Zealand all naming the toy as their biggest seller. Numerous licensed products were sell-outs and the Gogo’s Top Trumps game was Winning Moves’ fastest seller when launched.
The brand continues to expand into further territories, while a multi-million dollar marketing program is planned to grow the brand in the US and Canada, where Gogo’s enjoyed a successful launch last year.
Did Bulldog ever expect the brand to become so popular?
“It's never possible to anticipate that something will become the biggest-selling line in its market and a top-seller across numerous categories of licensing. However, at Bulldog we operate a very strict acquisitions policy when looking at new brand opportunities and apply a series of tests to each property which allows us to assess the likely scale of the opportunity,” Corney says.
“When we looked at Gogo's it ticked every box despite the fact that there is no history of successful licensing programmes being developed out of collectable product with no corresponding TV series. But there was something about Gogo's which just worked - kids love them.”
Most playground crazes only enjoy a short shelf-life, but Gogo’s has bucked this trend. “Gogo's has demonstrated extraordinary staying power - for it to still be right at the top of the sales charts three years after the original launch makes it a phenomenon in the hugely competitive world of collectables and with more high profile launches to come, it is set to be lighting up the sales charts for some time yet.”
Corney says Gogo’s success is down to the licensor’s ability to keep the toys fresh by regularly introducing new characters, while “the licensed lines have also helped to ensure the interest of the consumers stays high with innovation and adaptation".
Thanks to the highly competitive nature of the collectables market, Bulldog is secretive over what the next 12 months holds for the brand. However, Corney did reveal that there are major plans for the brand, including a trading card game which will be complemented by the “usual very high levels” of TV advertising.
“We believe that our strategy will see Gogo's continue to dominate sales charts in our current major markets of UK, Spain, Germany, Benelux, South Africa and Australia/New Zealand, whilst the new markets such as the US and other key European territories will grow to show Gogo's appearing right at the top of their sales charts too - both on the core collectable line and on sales of our licensed products.”