Despite regulations which state that the Olympic logo must not be used by any companies without a license to do so, toy manufacturers have seized the opportunity to increase sales and maximise revenue from the Games.
Many companies have forked out a considerable amount of money in order to purchase an official London 2012 license to enable them to utilise the logo on their products. Director General of the British Toy and Hobby Association, Roland Earl, says that there is much “excitement and buzz” from toy manufacturers with regards to the Olympics and the public can expect to see various window displays with an Olympic theme.
Toy manufacturers will be capitalising on the Olympics from approximately July 2012 through to Christmas, and UK director of toy industry analysts NPD, Jez Fraser-Hook, says, “There will be an after-effect that you do not get with football. The Olympians will be heroes for some time.”
It seems the Olympics are not the only event to boost the toy industry – a chess set which features the Queen, the Duke of Edinburgh and the turrets of Windsor Castle is also on sale as a direct result of the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee this June.
Model railways manufacturer, Hornby, have created such items as the Scalextric Velodrome for £69.99 which allows two players to race Team GB cyclists round the track. They will also produce collectable sports figurines and London keyrings, as they “fully expect visitors to want to go away with souvenirs”, says Marketing Director Nathaniel Southworth.
These items, as well as an Olympic edition of the traditional Monopoly game whereby players attempt to build an Olympic stadium rather than collect hotels, are all licensed and therefore able to bear the London 2012 logo. Other companies are also creating toys to reflect the Games but without official branding.
Designs of many outdoor sports toys incorporate the Union Jack to signify the Olympics and the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee. A 12% increase in sales of this type of toy 2011 is a positive indication that the presence of the Olympics has encouraged young people to exercise.