With brand recognition playing such an important role in the success of companies, it can sometimes feel like the big names in the toy and children’s entertainment industries are ganging up and creating a hostile environment for independent toy companies, Click-A-Brick Co-Founders Georg de Gorostiza and Jason Smith say, but this also drives innovation among the smaller players, which helps the toy industry, in turn.
Most of the toys that are predicted to be big hits throughout 2015 are from large toy brands and are associated with major entertainment franchises. While this is lucrative for both parties, and a sound business decision on their parts, the Click-A-Brick Co-Founders say it does create an environment of exclusivity within the toy industry that can make it even more difficult for independent companies to break into the industry.
Some of the entertainment franchises that are set to have huge toy tie-ins in 2015 are the Minions from the Despicable Me franchise, Minecraft, Jurassic World and even James Bond.
With brand recognition playing such a key role in the success of a product, whether new or established, licensing agreements between the big players means the little guys need something to set themselves apart, de Gorostiza, who also acts as Click-A-Brick’s Brand Manager, says.
“The silver lining in all of this is that while the big players largely stop innovating and just go after the licensing agreements, the newer, independent companies are forced to innovate and create new toys that will set them apart with their design and ingenuity,” de Gorostiza said. “We feel like Click-A-Brick accomplishes this with its ability to build in any direction. The designers had to sit down and really make the product stand out to get it off to a good start and, fortunately for us, people have responded to it well.”
With the prevalence of licensing deals throughout the industry, it runs the risk of becoming stagnated, constantly releasing the same toys with just a different set of names and faces attached to them, Smith says.
“There’s no doubt in my mind that the toy industry needs companies like ours; independent and looking to shake things up with ingenuity,” Smith said. “Don’t get me wrong, we would obviously jump at the chance to get one of those big licensing deals, but without the little independent companies, I think this industry would easily find itself in a rut.”
As it continues to try and establish its brand, Click-A-Brick has plans to have as many as six sets released by the end of 2016 to solidify its foothold in the industry.