INTERVIEW: Darran Garnham, Mind Candy

Head of licensing Garnham (left) and senior consumer products manager Sam Ferguson (right) reveal how they?re growing the Moshi Monsters brand further with Poppet's own licensing programme
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Why licence out the Poppet Moshi Monster in particular and how big do you think it can become?

Garnham: I don’t know if it’s being ignorant or arrogant, but it’s retailer feedback – those who are selling Poppet merchandise. They said it was starting to sell neck-and-neck with Hello Kitty.

For us that was the penny-drop moment where we realised we’ve actually got something pretty special here. We’ve been internally building a whole new girls’ IP, but we’ve got a hero character that millions of kids already know. So why are we trying to reinvent something when we’ve already got it?

The first product will roll out in spring/summer next year and it’s looking incredible. We’ve got a whole Poppet range and style guide that was on show at Brand Licensing Europe.

Within some of the skus, we’ve got some backpacks with Poppet on, and a range of watches. Poppet was selling 52 per cent of the [Moshi] watches in Argos and that’s 52 per cent of the six characters on offer, so that’s a massive weight. We’ve got hair clips and all these other Poppet products that were sitting beside Disney Princess and Hello Kitty, and it was a retailer-led discussion looking at how can we get more of this character. We’re not going to go high and hard, we want it to look really cool.

Ferguson: We’re in such a lovely position where we’re going to retailers, and they’re saying, you know what, you should look in this space.

Working backwards from retailer to licensee is better for all. It’s a great position to be in.

Garnham: On the flipside of that, we’ll be growing some key Moshi characters on the boys side too. We’re still toying with the new IP we’ve got down here in terms of which direction we take it in terms of character base. It’s more boy-skewed while Moshi is more girl-skewed.

Visit ToyNews for the rest of the interview.

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