To coincide with the monarch's diamond jubilee, we profile the companies going that extra mile to reflect a right royal occasion
"The jubilee allows us to put our products into a broader
distribution base" - Nathaniel Southworth, sales and marketing director, Hornby Hobbies
In 2009, we signed a major contract for the London 2012 Olympics across our brands, including Hornby, Corgi, Airfix and Scalextric. We invested in a range of new products and from that work managed to push some royal wedding Corgi products into the market last year. The response to items including a commemorative die-cast Mini car model was way above expectations and we sold out.
With the jubilee we took the lessons we learnt from the royal wedding, meaning fans can follow up their collection with our 19 diamond jubilee releases (including a royal blue Routemaster bus, above). For the first time we have co-ordinated two Hornby diamond jubilee train sets into the range – the Britannia Class steam locomotive with Royal Train carriages, and the Princess Elizabeth locomotive, which is limited to 4,000 pieces. We've also extended our range to include three-dimensional die-cast key rings. These include a telephone box, a beefeater and pin badges. The take-up has been fantastic.
The event licence is the uniting force of our brands – Hornby acquired Airfix in 2006 and Corgi in 2009. By putting the products together we have a compelling offer to deliver retailers a solution for the diamond jubilee. This and the Olympics allow us to put our products into a far broader distribution base. Historically, our collectables had a higher price point and fans spending £300 on a locomotive want ever-higher levels of detail.
We strive to keep that market happy but also appeal to entry markets, tourists and impulse purchasers with good-quality, detailed under-£10 products. We are operating in a challenging environment but we are grateful to our loyal fan base. www.hornby.comNext jubilee company profile >>