We’re delighted to be publishing the first in a series of short interviews with significant people in the toy industry, titled ‘5 Minutes with…’. In the series, we plan to talk to people who work in different roles in different businesses to understand their different fields and specialisations. First up, we are really pleased to have had a chance to speak to Marie Bureau, Marketing & Product Development Manager at Le Toy Van. We are delighted to have Marie on the blog and very grateful to her for giving us some insights into her role and the company.
Have you always been in the toy industry?
After I graduated from my Master Degree in Marketing and Product Development in 2013, I joined the Le Toy Van family. I have been in this industry for 5 years so still a baby really J
How big is the team you manage?
Our Design and Marketing team is fairly small but composed of great people, fully dedicated to the brand and passionate about creating unique brand new toys.
How is that broken down in terms of product development, sales and marketing, etc?
We are a design led company and so within my department (marketing and design), the accent would be on the design side.
In terms of product development, how does that process work at Le Toy Van?
Le Toy Van comes up with an average of 25 brand new to market items each year. We design all our toys and packaging in house.
Talk us through the production process and how you ensure all Le Toy Van products adhere to current safety standards.
All Le Toy Van products are rigorously safety tested by accredited bodies. Le Toy Van also carries internal quality checks on each batch produced at the manufacturing level as well as the warehouse level.
What is Le Toy Van’s current product inventory? Do you aim to keep it there or are you looking to increase or decrease the range?
We currently carry 220 products, including 2018 new additions. Like every year, next year will see some great new products joining the collections; some slower sellers will be removed too. This usually brings us to a slight increase in products number but most importantly, a centralisation on best sellers and new items.
The Honeybake, Petilou and other ranges are very popular. What was the inspiration for these products and are there any more in the pipeline?
Always lots of new products joining Honeybake and Petilou collections! 2018 has seen the launch of 8 new items in Honeybake and 8 in Petilou. I cannot reveal too much at this stage, but for sure in these collections, 2019 will not disappoint.
What are Le Toy Van’s top 3 selling items?
It depends of the collections and the time of year. As you mentioned before, Honeybake and Petilou collections are really popular but also our Dolls Houses and Construction collections. My personal favourite remains the Doctor’s Set as it is a great award winning toy, non gender and ideal for role play.
What is the geographical spread of your sales?
Le Toy Van is present in more than 50 countries worldwide
Do you notice that particular items sell better in different countries?
Each country has its own culture and its own consumer’s expectations so yes, according to the country; we see a difference in sales.
On a more general note, how has the toy industry changed in the last 5 years in your view?
The baby and toddler market has increased exponentially. We also noticed a clear increase in the gift sector.
Going forward, what do you see as the main trends affecting the industry and how do you plan to respond?
Le Toy van is a design led company and so we are constantly looking for trends to follow or to launch for our toy designs. We shall see the 2019 collection revealing some great vintage products with our famous contemporary twist keeping up with the trends.
Find out more about Le Toy Van and their fabulous product range – www.letoyvan.com
For more about Marie or to connect with her, you can find her on Linkedin HERE
Make sure to visit our Le Toy Van collection for gift ideas and more