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Oi! Toys stages powerhouse plan

PERTH-BASED Oi! Toys Limited is progressing with its plans to become a powerhouse toy and entertainment producer and manufacturer.

The early-stage company has signed two new licensing deals with American toy companies and is pressing ahead with product line expansion that will eventually lead to manufacturing capabilities, according to Oi Toys managing director Craig Suttar.

“Oi! Toys’ activities are spear-headed by a licensing business stream whereby new, innovative toy concepts are made available to idea-hungry international toy companies,” Mr Suttar said.

“The first stage for us is to have a bedrock of licensing.

“We want to establish good relationships with distributors and retailers in the Orient and the US; then we want to get into manufacturing and producing our own toys.

“The second stage is to develop our own properties. That may be of an entertainment variety.

“We look with envy across at The Wiggles who have an enormous income and ability to generate other areas of revenue.”

Oi! Toys was formed in 2001 and its core inventor, Victor Pracas, is continuing to invent new ideas in the hope of recreating the success of his 1990 Baby Born doll.

Baby Born, marketed by Zamf Creation, has made more than $20 million in royalties and its sales are about $100 million euro a year.

According to Mr Suttar the company is receiving ideas from a range of inventors, including “very good” ones from Perth.

Many of the company’s ideas have become licensed products and its research and development work is winning favour with some of the world’s biggest toy producers.

Mr Suttar said Mattel’s referral inventors to Oi! Toys was proof of its growing worldwide reputation for toy commercialisation.

“We’re still pretty young but we’ve turned the corner. We’ve had a small amount of revenue come in this year, we expect more next year and we’re always raising capital,” he said.

“We have 400 investors in the Perth region.

“Most of our revenue is expected to come in 12 to 18 months time.”

Oi! Toys has licensed two products to US retailers this year but the details remain closely guarded. 

“Due to the highly competitive nature of the marketplace I cannot disclose the details of the toys,” Mr Suttar said.

“The licensing deals are with leading toy companies. One is MGA Entertainment and the other is Basic Fun.

“The main toy brand for MGA is the Bratz fashion doll. It’s outselling Barbie at the moment.”

MGA Entertainment and Basic Fun had secured worldwide exclusive rights to use the Oi! Toys concepts and underlying intellectual property in return for royalty payments, he said.

Among the new products to be released in international toy markets in the next few years were ride-on vehicles, an innovative skateboard, novelty items such as candy dispensers, and action figures.

“We’ve sold a small quantity of the candy dispensers and will be stimulating those sales with the licensee,” Mr Suttar said. 

“We have licensed the knee-on racing car vehicle and that should hit the market this year, but we’re not sure about Australia. It might be in Australia next year.”

An electronic doll may also prove successful he said.

“We have a potential deal with a large international retailer. We are in final stage discussions for that and we’d hope to make the announcement post February.”

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