Please introduce yourself and your company:
My name is Nathan Ridgard, I’m the co-owner & Managing Director at SWAG Distribution Ltd.
In 2015 I joined SWAG and we relaunched the company with new products. SWAG stands for the categories we cover: Scoot & Skate; What Kids Want; Apparel & Accessories; Gadget & Tech. We now distribute marketing leading brands to top UK retailers. We also design and run brand websites in-house, and run social media platforms for brands. With SWAG a brand can be sure everything is taken care of!
We pride ourselves on “finding the next big thing” and that has proven to be a winning formula with the continued success of PopSockets in particular. We are looking to expand in 2019 with some exciting new brands and we are always on the lookout for more!
What products are you launching at Toy Fair?
At Toy Fair we will be launching Pindaloo in the UK.
Pindaloo is a new design-patented toy that is the next skill-building craze. It combines basic components with simple action principles, creating an addictive, challenging toy with endless tricks and possibilities. Suitable for everyone, everywhere, at any time, it’s a joyful, fun, and friendly reason to shut down the screens and build skills.
How did you get into the toy industry?
I have worked in the toy industry for twelve years with some fantastic industry leading brands in the toy world, which helped me gain great relationships with top retailers. Three years ago it was time I took my own path with new brands and it’s been great to hook up with the same contacts and receive support from previous employers.
What was your favourite toy growing up?
I was an action figure kid, so the original Star Wars, He-Man, A-Team collections were a great source of toy joy for me. Shame I sold them all when I was 18!
What is the one “special ingredient” that makes a great toy?
I think it’s pretty simple: make people SMILE. If a toy can be played with and it gives someone joy, they smile. The more people smiling makes the world a better place.
Other than your own, what toy brand really stands out to you today?
In the UK, I think Sambro and Blue Sky Designs for their innovative designs. Worldwide, MGA are doing really well at bringing out in demand products, and Zuru are right on the money with their new product development.
What was your best memory of Toy Fair?
My first Toy Fair with Micro Scooters where we were in the Greenhouse area – the reaction we received was great!
What’s your top tip for surviving Toy Fair?
Wear trainers, always have mints & water, don’t run out of business cards, a stapler is a must for exhibitors and keep smiling.