Toys in vending machines? The Toy Box Company has launched a range of licensed collectable pocket money toys with the UK’s vending operators in mind. The range includes some of the most iconic brands in the toy industry and includes Hot Wheels. The roll out is the consequence of successful trials with two major operators and positive market market conditions: the market for collectable toys grew by 30% in 2018 and accounted for 16% of total British toy sales by value. Indeed, according to market research experts the NPD Group, 3 out of 10 toys purchased are collectables.
‘The trials we have carried out show there is consumer demand for toys in vending machines’, Toy Box Company Director Mike Simpson told Planet Vending. ‘Key target sites fall within sectors such as Healthcare, Public Transport and Leisure. Our products give families an alternative to snacks and that benefits operators thanks to superior margins and increased customer spend. With a selling price of between £1.50 – £2.00, operators can compete effectively with the high street. Indeed, the vending trials have been so positive that we’re now seeking to partner with selected entrepreneurial operators to roll out our products to more sites and machines.’
The companies that took part in The Toy Box Company’s trials were Upton Group and Graddon Vending and both report positive experiences. “We have successfully trialled Hot Wheels Rally Cars and Puppy Club in a number of our machines’, Alix Upton told us. ‘We were pleasantly surprised by the rate of sale of toys in vending machines and our intention now is to place these products in those machines we’ve installed in locations that are frequented by young families.’
David Graddon, MD of Graddon Vending was similarly upbeat: “We put Hot Wheels and Puppy Club into a machine in a large hospital, in the Children’s Ward. Sales have been very encouraging, at around 40 units per month and as a result, we’re now putting these toy products into more machines in the hospitals and leisure centres we serve. We see toys in vending machines as a great product to sit alongside the traditional items we sell.’
‘There’s massive pressure from government, local councils and other authority bodies – not least NHS Trusts – for vending machines to offer healthier options’, Mike said. ‘This often means that operators are often forced to withdraw their best selling drinks and confectionery lines, so the timing is right for the collectable toys we’re bringing to market. Toys in vending machines are popular with customers and they deliver the sales volumes and margins operators need to ensure their machines continue to pay their way.’
Toys In Vending Machines
As well as Hot Wheels products, the Toy Box Company range includes other well-known licensed products including Care Bears, Justice League and Puppy Club. All the products are supplied in bags similar in size to Skittles or Maltesers and as you’d expect, they all comply with UK Health & Safety standards. Point of sale material is available to alert potential customers that the toys are in the machine.
‘The toys are a great way of consolidating business through vending machines as the clamour regarding what should and should not be offered for sale in them intensifies’, Mike said. ‘All I’d say to operators is ‘give them a try.’ The Toy Company UK Ltd is a family business. I’ve been running it with my brother Jonathan since 2010. Our core business is in operating toy and sweet vending units in a number of shopping centres across the UK and it’s because of our success in this environment that we realised there was an opportunity to sell toys in vending machines in other environments. We’ve got a great story to share with any operator that has time to listen.’
Get in touch with Mike Simpson here or on phone number 07885 218780