A non-melt edible chocolate toy that can be used like playdough is braced for international markets after a successful spell in toy stores in the UK, according to distributors of the product.
Magic Choc is manufactured by Choc-O-Bloc in the UK and is distributed by ‘pocket money specialists’ The In Thing.
The product, which launched in 2011, is a playdough-like substance that can be molded and shaped without melting in hands.
First raft of overseas partners
Paul Jackson, managing director of The In Thing, said: “We started of course in ‘our own backyard’. We wanted to prove its success in the UK and then look to overseas markets.”
He said his company had seen growth in 17 of the last 18 months with January to February sales this year 50% higher than the same period in 2012. The In Thing’s distribution centre is in Lancashire, UK and it has recently moved premises to cope growing demand for the product.
“We have now signed what we believe to be the strongest boys & girls licenses in the UK (Skylanders & Moshi Monsters) and with Magic Choc now well established in the UK in high profile stores such as Toys R Us, Smyths Toys Superstores, Hobby Craft and John Lewis - we are now looking at overseas markets.
“We will shortly be announcing our first raft of overseas partners to include the US, Canada & Australia with numerous European & South American distributors coming on board later in the year.”
glucose syrup, Cocoa Mass, Sugar, Cocoa Butter, Whole Milk Powder, Emulsifier, Soya Lecithin, Natural Vanilla flavoring.
Magic Choc melts 4°C above the temperature of regular chocolate, which Jackson said “gives us a big advantage in hotter climates”.
Magic Choc is intended for children over four with prices ranging from £4.99 ($7.52) for Starter Packs to £9.99 ($15.07) for a Deluxe Activity Packs.
Each box comes with three bags of chocolate; white, dark and milk, along with an instruction booklet and antibacterial wipe for children to clean hands with prior to use.
Kieran Murphy, head of marketing for The In Thng, said the product had shelf presence in multiple in-store locations. For example, Toys R Us has Magic Choc in both the confectionery aisle and the toy section.
Products have an 18 month shelf life and are manufactured in Belfast, Northern Ireland, UK.
Pocket-money recession proof?
Jackson said that it was easier for his company to achieve growth in a tough economic climate because the company specialized in pocket-money priced toys.
“Children’s pocket money is just about the only disposable income unaffected by the state of the economy,” he said.
Magic Choc has a partnership with Activision and recently secured a license for Skylanders Giants branded products exclusive to Toys R Us. There is also a licensing agreement in place with Mind Candy for Moshi Monsters.
“Skylanders is the hottest current boy’s property worldwide. This gives us superb leverage when speaking to new prospective distribution partners,” said Jackson.