Sega bring influential Mattel brands to the prize stand

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Following a deal with prestigious toy manufacturer Mattel, Sega’s collection of redemption prizes is perfectly on-trend for the summer season, explains Trevor Clarke.

Trevor Clarke, head of merchandise division at Sega


Sega has increased its range of redemption prizes over the last year to include some of the most influential kid’s brands on the retail market. A recent deal with Mattel has seen the company add Barbie, Fireman Sam, Bob the Builder, and Thomas the Tank Engine to its catalogue – an iconic list of titles that still entertain children to this day.

Trevor Clarke, head of merchandise division at Sega, explained the importance of such strong licensing deals.

“We’ve just signed the Mattel properties which will allow us to offer Barbie for the first time in this channel,” he said. “Mattel is a global company with global brands and these products will resonate well with visitors, because Mattel have already heavily invested in marketing campaigns.”

While visitors are certainly drawn to arcades for the fun of redemption machines, their attention is kept through reward incentives. Clarke outlined how attractive prizes can help increase revenue through repeat play.

“Operators need desirable prizes to back up a good redemption machines, otherwise they won’t get the repeat play that generates income,” he stated. “When players are in the mindset of saving tickets up for desirable prizes, this will show through in the machines cashbox.”

Clarke added that along with high quality toys, operators should ensure they have a diverse mix of high and low ticket-value items.

“Visitors will keep coming back to save up for high ticket-value items, but at the same time you need items at the lower end to provide instant gratification,” he said. “This is particularly relevant for operators who have a lot of day trippers, as they are obviously not going to come back often.”

Advancing technology is slowly changing the face of redemption prizes, especially high ticketvalue items, and Sega are on-trend to offer these prizes in the form of selfie-sticks, drones, tablets and speakers.

Clarke said: “In terms of plush toys, you lose kids at an earlier age now – when we were younger, kids liked toys up to age 10-12, but now it seems you start to lose them around 7-8. They are increasingly drawn towards electronic devices and that’s because of the strength of companies like Apple and Samsung, who are really pushing that type of item.”

To keep up with this ever-changing sector, Sega is constantly monitoring the retail market for new products that would be successful as redemption prizes. “We go to all the sourcing shows and see what’s on-trend and what people are buying for retail, and we will follow that same sort of path,”

Clarke added. “Anything that succeeds in retail we will keep an eye on it.”

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