Please introduce yourself and your company:
I’m Ben Parkhouse and am the Head of Sales & Business Development for Micro-Scooters UK. We were the original creator of the 2 wheeled folding aluminium scooter and now provide a huge range of push powered and electric scooters for children, adults and everyone in between!
What products are you launching at Toy Fair?
We are thrilled to be launching our first ever electric scooter for kids – the Micro Sparrow. We are on the cusp of a transportation revolution with governments around the world finally putting in to place strategies, tactics and investment to allow ours towns and cities to run smoother, cleaner and quicker. This is one of the reasons we think it is a perfect timing to launch our own clean air transport solution for children.
We will also be launching new non-electric scooters and bikes including our clever 2in1 balance bike and Micro Cruiser 2 wheeled scooter.
How did you get into the toy industry?
I first joined Mattel in 2006 as a Brand Manager and ended up spending ten years with the company, firstly in marketing and then for six years in sales.
What was your favourite toy growing up?
I was obsessed by collecting Matchbox cars. They went with me everywhere.
What is the one “special ingredient” that makes a great toy?
For me that special ingredient is a toy that allows children to unleash their imagination. There is nothing more powerful, creative or fun than a child who has the chance to let loose all the crazy and brilliant things they are thinking. For me when you see children hop on to our scooters and pretend they are slaying dragons, surfing the pavement or on a rollercoaster it makes me realise how powerful kids’ imaginations can be and how important it is all children are given the chance to play.
Other than your own, what toy brand really stands out to you today?
All the small independent brands that have been started at kitchen tables. It’s inspiring to work for a brand that was started in the same way and it’s great to see so many entrepreneurial brands at the Fair this year.
What was your best memory of Toy Fair?
I always enjoy bumping into former colleagues and the Fair is a great place to catch up as well as do business.
What’s your top tip for surviving Toy Fair?
Have your stand directly opposite a coffee shop like ours is!