A Toy Company for the Great Outdoors
Wicked Vision: Toy Company with a Difference
The Toy Fair is one of the biggest toy, game and hobby exhibitions in the UK and was held at the beginning of the year at Olympia. Among one of the many exhibitors there was Wicked Vision, a young and vibrant London based company near Wimbledon with an emphasis on active indoor and outdoor products.
The company has a truly international flavour. Managing Director David Strang started the business 16 years ago when he imported boomerangs from his native Australia to re-sell them to toy stores and other sporting retail shops. There is a something very unique about the ability for a UK company and manufactured product that is able to sell boomerangs to the Australians. The range of indoor and outdoor boomerangs have always been the staple and most successful product for the company.
Swap Screen Time for Play Time
The company really push innovative products such as the Ukick which is a blend of badminton and street football and won best new toy at the 2014 Toy Fair. Wicked also increase sales through the cyclical trend of retro fun . A few years ago, they experienced a real boost as the original Duncan’s yo-yo had a ten-fold increase in sales.
However, the company is dynamic and not reliant on current trends to survive or fail.Ultimately, one of the best spin offs of the Wicked Vision “vision” is that they make toys that can be enjoyed outdoors. “I ‘m really passionate about sports. And in the last four years or so, I think parents are turning back towards outdoor toys”, says Strang. The director even started an initiative last Summer entitled “Swap Screen Time for Play Time” where the public could temporarily trade in their electronic smartphones to take a box of Wicked products to the park to return later. The feedback was that both young and old felt “freer and happier”. Perhaps there is a lesson to be learnt that fresh air does not become redundant in the technology age.
The company actually won the best new Outdoor Toy award in this year's Toy Fair with the exceptionally fun Mega Bounce XL which has a “ball diameter” of 80 centimetres when fully inflated. The whole ethic is to take its exceptionally simple but fun bouncability outside in the park or beach and let it go. It can de deflated or inflated with a handy foot pump which is easy to use. It also has an easy grip texture even for the butter-fingered.
Wicked Vision has certainly touched a chord with kids whose natural instincts can be all too repressed when faced with easy access to technology. As the company press release says: “We just want to give people the chance to spend time way from all the technological distractions that get in the way of quality bonding time from friends and family.” It is an initiative that is surely worth a step outside….