This has paid off: 679 million euros – an increase of eleven percent – was achieved by the Brandstätter Group with its brand Playmobil 2017. The Group launched licensed products on the market for the first time last year. In order to ensure that the course of success continues, the company has enacted specific fields of action and also restructured its management.

Last year, Playmobil surprised the toy industry with its entry into the licensing business. The novelties around the classic movie “Ghostbusters” and the adventure-movie “How to train your dragon” were well received. CEO Steffen Höpfner is satisfied with the past financial year: “2017 has enabled us to set new impulses and make our brand experience broader and digital. We reach children worldwide in today’s complex world of experience. We’ll build on that.” For example, 166 new products have been announced for this year – from the fire brigade, school and space sectors, but also from the new “Spirit” license brand of the DreamWorks animation series.

Playmobil verzeichnet Umsatzplus

Fields of action are new markets, new target groups and diversification

In addition, the company has placed three areas of action on its agenda: Expansion into new markets, addressing new target groups and, above all, diversification. Press spokesman Björn Seeger explains: “Digitalization opens up many new market potentials – products that are purely digital are conceivable in the future. One possible new target group could be business customers, i. e. the B2B sector. Digital offerings can be an important first lever for opening up markets in which we are not present yet.”  An app and its own animation film complement the new crystal palace which will be launched this year. The new Playmogram 3D sets on the subject of ice princesses and ghostbusters also create a connection between toys and the digital world.

The company also has new markets in its sights: “There are many potential countries that can be addressed with new specific offers. North America remains a target market and the Asian region is also interesting. In the last quarter of 2017, the group of companies began to develop sales structures in China. The group is at the beginning and will carefully consider further steps “, Seeger continues.

Two new managers committed

Two new external members accompany the implementation of the strategic measures in Playmobil management. Brandstätter is realigning the sales, marketing and development departments and is filling them with new staff. Head of Market and Customer Management is Roger Balser (54). He previously worked for Hasbro, among others. The Lars Wagner group of companies has committed itself to the area of brand and product management. The 46-year-old comes from the Walt Disney Company Germany, where he was responsible for marketing, digital innovation and the development of Disney channels. With both personnel decisions, Brandstätter sets the course for future growth. “Digitalization opens up many new opportunities for us. We have defined clear areas of action in which we will systematically align our business models, sales structures and brand management from 2018 onwards. To achieve this, we need external know-how and new competencies,” explains CEO Höpfner. Since 2017, the group of companies has also been facing a demanding internal transformation process, questioned structures and processes and is preparing itself for the digital future. “Now it is time to implement new ideas and approaches promptly, consistently and courageously. The further development of our sales activities and new, flexible approaches in marketing are an essential key to this “, Höpfner continues.


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Image: Playmobil