Rachael Simpson-Jones spoke to Nat Southworth at KAP Toys about kawaii cats, Stranger Things fans and why a ‘nice thing’ can be everything.
Cover star KAP Toys, which this year celebrates its 5th anniversary as a successful toy company and distributor, has unveiled a major step forward in its expansion plans – its first own-brand plush range, Fuzzballs. The brainchild of graphic designer Marc Sach, the property leans heavily into the trend for all things kawaii, pet-themed and popculture, with its adorably rotund characters, mainly cats, engaging in a variety of activities (eating and sleeping play a key role) and generally being cute. The original comics are viewable online at Fuzzballs.co, where readers can explore the world of Fuzzballs.
Nat told Toy World: “The property already has a huge fanbase, so we’ll be producing toys for existing Fuzzballs consumers and we’re sure they’ll be very happy to spread the word on social media. Marc [Sach] is so tuned in to what the fans want and can tweak the content according to emerging trends. But he manages to do so much more than that too, hitting multiple trends all at once to ensure Fuzzballs resonates with a global audience that spans a huge age range.”
KAP Toys works closely with HMV, which in recent years has been making serious inroads into the pop-culture category. KAP’s Harry Potter ranges have done very well in the music and entertainment retailer, as has Among Us and, of course, Stranger Things. HMV tipped KAP off to Fuzzballs, leading to it becoming the company’s first own-brand range.
Nat believes consumers are crying out for nice things and happy stuff at the moment. Fuzzballs, being as lighthearted and cute and positive as it is, is the perfect balm for a chafed soul: other best-selling plush ranges have highlighted the role of challenging times in their success.
“Following our Toy World front cover, we’re really going for it,” added Nat. “KAP Toys + Fuzzballs = big things. Conversations with retailers can begin now the cat is out of the bag, pun intended.”
Product is expected to be on-shelf in time for Christmas; find out more on this, KAP Toys’ other popular ranges and the company’s plans for the future, in the full article which appears in the August edition of Toy World.