TOMY’s Morgan Weyl on the shared brand values of Toomies and PEPPA PIG

Morgan Weyl, TOMY, Toomies, PEPPA PIG

Morgan, it’s great to catch up! PEPPA PIG celebrates its 20th anniversary this year. Why do you think the brand has resonated with kids – and parents – over the years?
Peppa shines by its simplicity, relatable and understandable universal stories. It portrays human emotions, feelings and family dynamic with an approachable sense of humour… It just embraces happiness and brings instant comfort.

At what point in the brand’s history did you guys begin collaborating with PEPPA PIG?
We jumped into Peppa’s puddle back in 2008 – so pretty soon after she debuted on screens. We launched with Aquadoodle at the time and our range of products kept on increasing since.

How do you assess when to ‘embrace’ a brand? Are there benefits to being an early champion?
If there was any formula as to when embracing brands, I think all companies would follow. We naturally keep a close eye on brands that embrace our company’s core DNA and values – and Peppa naturally ticked all the boxes. There is always value at being an early champion as you naturally build a connection, relevance and trust with fans – and retailers of course.

“PEPPA PIG, very simply and graphically, embodies what families of toddlers and pre-schoolers go through on an everyday basis.”

Can you talk us through some of the stand-out items in your PEPPA collection?
Difficult to only focus on some as they all bring a different developmental play experience and are also complementing each other in the range. If I had to pick specifically… In our Toomies bath line, I would go with Peppa’s House Playset. The house is iconic to the Peppa Pig franchise and a nice tie to bath time at home. It comes loaded with fun features that use water as the central power source to create movement, showering, splashing and pouring.

It sounds simple but would be disrespectful to our amazing design team if I stated that designing bath toy is easy. Where many bath toys out on the market focus on simplicity and low price point, TOMY and our design team excel in creating role play/adventures in the bath that keep kids playing and laughing, discovering and re-discovering, inventing and creating.

Morgan Weyl, TOMY, Toomies, Peppa Pig, Toys & Games

Great pick. And away from the bath range?
In our Toomies toy line, it would have to be Pull Along Peppa. To me, it is the quintessence of an evergreen toy. Not only was it inspired by a heritage Toomies item – the Quack Along Duck, which already delighted generations of fans – but it just encompasses toddler pre-school core learning and values… It’s a genuine “grow with me” toy which, whether you crawl or walk, will bring Peppa, George and his favourite dinosaur to life.

As they roll along, kids will hear a happy tune and funny little snorting sounds from Peppa and George. Again, always adding surprise in our toys, Dinosaur will occasionally roar, keeping kids surprised. A great developmental toy, building confidence and keeping kids engaged!

Morgan Weyl, TOMY, Toomies, Peppa Pig, Toys & Games

Fantastic. Not all hit kids’ TV shows replicate that success in toys. What do you feel the brand lends itself particularly well to bath toys and your Toomies brand?
PEPPA PIG, very simply and graphically, embodies what families of toddlers and pre-schoolers go through on an everyday basis. We can all genuinely relate to what they are going through and it brings personal and cherished memories back to life. Once this emotional connection is made, you want to bring a piece of it in your own life. Both PEPPA and Toomies embrace the same core values, driving fun play experiences, building confidence and helping children’s emotional learning and development.

And what has the Hasbro team been like to collaborate with?
We have a very strong partnership and It’s been a pleasure to partner with the Hasbro team. The licensing, retail and creative teams are fantastic to work with. They are all true brand guardians and understand the nuances of capturing the spirit of the characters and storytelling in the consideration of toy development. Both companies are driving towards the same goal; making sure PEPPA PIG shines at the top of most demanded pre-school properties and fans feel part of the journey as they enjoy unique products and experiences. While they have a strong global minded strategic thinking, they equally manage to implement local nuances to optimise every opportunity.

Morgan Weyl, TOMY, Toomies, Peppa Pig, Toys & Games

What’s the key to successful creative collaborations with brand owners?
Understanding each other’s expertise, embracing and respecting the values that each team brings, whether they are cultural or corporate. Honestly and openly communicate, celebrate our successes but most importantly tackle challenges and learn from them together. The Hasbro licensing team trust in their partners to create the very best toys. They guide us to ensure we capture the rich DNA and history of the brand which makes for a very symbiotic relationship.

Morgan, this has been great. My last question is, design-wise, why do you think Peppa is an interesting IP for your design team to work on?
There’s only a very small number of brands that continue to innovate and capture new generations of audiences and that’s all credit to the people involved in this brand. The storytelling, characters, environments and themes are constantly evolving and that’s all great ingredients to create really interesting toys, especially in a category such as toddler. Being able to capture unique storytelling moments for a younger audience enabled us to think differently about Peppa and exactly how an 18 month or two-year-old would understand and interpret the stories though developmental toy and bath play.

Thanks again.

To stay in the loop with the latest news, interviews and features from the world of toy and game design, sign up to our weekly newsletter here


Stay up to date with the latest news, interviews and opinions with our weekly newsletter
Back to top arro

Sign Up

Enter your details to receive Mojo updates & news.