Argos Top Toys 2015

August is nearly upon us, which means it’s about time for that relatable retail feel of planning for Christmas stock a full five months in advance. Just hear those sleigh bells ring-a-ling indeed.

To help out in securing the most anticipated toys for this year’s Christmas season, Argos has released their predictions for the top sellers of 2015. Linzi Walker, Argos’ Chief Toy Buyer, talks us through the list which sees plenty of reliable favourites throughout such as Nerf and Lego. Walker also predicts that films and television shows will have a big influence on what children look for this year. With the Minions film releasing this summer and with people still talking about Frozen, kids will surely be clamouring for related merch.

The video is definitely worth a watch for retailers looking to see what big name stores are stocking up on for winter.

Buzzfeed – Americans Pronouncing Irish Names


Always a favourite. American Buzzfeed writers (or just people Buzzfeed found on the street? They never say who these people are in these videos. And those two groups of people don’t necessarily have to be mutually exclusive, one supposes.) try their darndest to pronounce Irish names, fadas and shéimhús and all.

Princess Leia Figure from Hot Toys

Princess Leia Figure from Hot Toys

Sideshow Collectibles has partnered with Hot Toys to release a new hyper-realistic Princess Leia action figure.

This 1/6th scale model depicts Carrie Fisher’s iconic look as immortalised in the original Star Wars IV: A New Hope (1977). At only just over 10″ tall, Leia comes pre-equipped with two blasters, several different hands for the sole purpose of voguing probably, and 28 points of articulation. The figurine will be joining the ranks of other hyper-detailed Star Wars characters from Hot Toys, such as Han Solo and Chewbacca, Darth Vader, and R2D2.

Princess Leia Figure
Just appreciate those hair loopies though.

Princess Leia will be expected to drop in early 2016 and is available to pre-order now at a modest $204.99, or €185.39 for those of you really into currency conversions.


ISME Briefing Sessions Open for Registration

ISME Briefing Sessions

ISME (Irish Small and Medium Enterprises Association) has just released their timetable for this year’s briefing sessions. These sessions are free but places are limited, so register online to guarantee your spot.

The sessions will take place from Wednesday 9th of September to Wednesday 30th of September in over twelve locations across the country including Dublin, Galway and Cork. The events promise enlightening perspectives on business from industry leaders including ISME’s own CEO, Mark Fielding.

If you’re a small/medium business owner looking to earn a few more business-savvy brownie points, this is the place to do it. For a full timetable, check out the link above.

Es-cent-ial Guide to Rounding

1c 2c 5c - Rounding

Here’s a less charmingly titled article as a mild follow up to our last post on the Rounding scheme being rolled out on 28 October.

The Central Bank has released a quick guide as an overview of what’s happening in October with the Rounding initiative to slowly reduce the use of 1c and 2c pieces. Here’s a prettier PDF for all your prettier PDF needs.

The guide clears up a couple of misconceptions. For one thing, the scheme is totally optional for both the consumer and the retailer; both parties can still use exact change in the transaction if they want. And Rounding won’t be applied to single products but to the the total bill.

Check out the full guide for further info.

Business Mogul Dolls Funded on Kickstarter


“Our girls are smart and savvy. Isn’t it time their dolls reflect that?” proclaims the Kickstarter page for iBesties, an upcoming toy range designed to inspire young girls to seek entrepreneurship as a viable career path.

The brand of toys and books revolves a group of six friends who become successful internet moguls after their blog goes viral. Each iBestie is equipped with a different area of business expertise or technological know-how, from McKenna the Business Boss to Sunny the Coding Queen. Each doll will come with a book full of information to teach girls business savvy and tech skills along with lessons in friendship and teamwork. The series hopes to incorporate a number of different platforms, from the dolls and their fashion to books and online games.

The iBesties come from a wide range of cultures and backgrounds with unique personalities and skills. Nice.
The iBesties come from a wide range of cultures and backgrounds with unique personalities and skills. Nice.

iBesties is a creation from sisters Jenae and Gina Heitkamp. Disappointed with the lack of representation for girls in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics), they decided to create their own. They felt that young girls deserved to see themselves in successful career paths and understand that the sky is the limit for their future. As their Kickstarter video cites, less than 7% of big business CEOs and heads of tech companies are women. The Heitkamps believe part of this is due to young girls having little to no toys or media showing them that they can achieve in these high-power positions and as a result grow up with a much more limited idea of career paths. Basically, “you can’t be what you can’t see.”

The project was launched to Kickstarter on the 15th of June and reached its goal of $50,000 earlier today, the 28th of July. The deadline is the 31st of July so there is still some time to back the project.

July Sale

July Sale - Fitzpatrick Wholesale

Yes, July is the month and we’ve got a sale, it’s happening. Check out the website for the latest scoops and deals, for example this giant outdoor Snakes & Ladders game. Yes, now you too can have a whimsical round of this affront against the natural order of board games belonging on tables. Confound tradition, you exclaim, you want to play your childhood classics on the dirt with your 80s-quality-photoshopped family in front of your stock image of a quaint neighbourhood while a giant cartoon dice looms above you all, judging.

Whatever is happening in this scene it belongs in the Smithsonian, this is art.

It doesn’t get much more ‘July’ than this, folks.


1c 2c Rounding

For want of a better title please make do with this hilarious and charming pun.

As previously shared on our Facebook page and as previously reported by the South Dublin Chamber, 28th October 2015 will bring with it the start of the National Rounding Project. This scheme seeks to reduce the use of 1 and 2 cent coins by rounding the total cost of transactions to the nearest 5c. This follows the likes of other countries such as Canada, Sweden, Denmark, and other countries who have previously scrapped their small change.

The next four months in our barbaric, backwards society awash with 1cs and 2cs will be used to give retailers and consumers alike time to adjust and plan accordingly. The late October date allows adequate time for retailers to prepare for the busy holiday season. The Central Bank also plans to launch education campaigns for consumers and provide support and resources for retailers still in grieving.

Spray the Cray Away

feck off spray copy (2)

Never before has a product been acclaimed as so innovative and revolutionary for simply doing exactly what it says on the tin. This exclusive aerosol makes short work of removing petulant pests from your immediate vicinity for up to four hours with a success rate over 30% more effective than that of giving one word answers in conversation and hoping they’ll take a hint eventually.  The spray has been tested on a vast range of eejits and cretins you’re sure to encounter on your daily route, even politicians and other arbitrarily disliked groups of society. The tend to swarm during summer, so make sure you’re prepared. Only available while stocks last, so act today and spray away!

Of course if you’re more the ‘honey over vinegar’ kind of citizen then you might be more interested in our full air fresheners range. Who knows, maybe you’ll convince the assholes in your life to take a fresh and floral-scented perspective on life.

Marketing to Generation Z


The millennials have been the target of a barrage of advertising over the last two decades in the hopes of tiding over the materialistic new kids on the block. However, now that the millennials are aging gracefully into the ripe old demographic of 20-37 year olds, it’s about time for marketers to start shifting their attention to our new and shiny batch of impressionable youths: Generation Z. While only having been born in 1995 or later, these up-and-comers have already established new ideologies and media consumption patterns totally different to their predecessors.

Marketo have compiled a very useful infographic breaking down the characteristics of this new Gen Z which will prove to be vital for any retailer looking to appeal to this new audience. Know your enemy and all that, right? However bear in mid that all of the figures cited in the graph pertain to American Gen Z kids, but it’s still a fairly good stab at what Irish kids are doing nowadays too.

Make Social Media Work For You

In this unforgiving capitalist world of ours, social media seems to ever be on the rise as a means of connecting with your audience. However simply signing up for a new-fangled account on Facebook or Twitter or the next big thing of the next three months won’t be enough – you need to engage with social media smartly so as to benefit not only you but also your customers. Here’s a fun guide from RazorSocial detailing how you can get the most out of your social sites to guarantee you’re reaching the audience you want and delivering the content they need. And if you’re hungry for more after that, RazorSocial have plenty of pieces on business and social media to keep you going.

While you’re here being interested in social media and all, why not another cool reminder to check out our Facebook, the ultimate paradigm of business savvy and the genuine power of friendship? It really is some solid stuff.

289 New Derry Jobs with US Firm

Ireland continues to attract international business as proven by OneSource Virtual’s bold multi-million investment plan which seeks to employ over 289 workers in Northern Ireland by 2017. The Irish Times reports that the company was drawn to Derry because of the skilled, tech-savvy work force to pool from. The centre plans to support output from its US headquarters and begin its expansion into the rest of Europe. Jonathan Bell, Northern Ireland’s enterprise minister, named Invest NI’s £2.9million worth of financial incentives as a big contributor in securing OneSource’s placement in Derry.

UK Poll: 22% of Adults Play with Toy Cars

Can you blame them, look at these things, they’re rad.

As the Irish Examiner recently reported, a survey of 2,044 UK adults showed that over 22% of participants still play with toy cars, regardless of if their kids are in the room or not. Only half of these kids at heart feel comfortable enough to play with their toys if other adults are around to judge. The survey also found that 7% of adults put their cars on glorious display.

13% reported that they had received toy cars as a gift but if you happen to feel a kindred spirit-type connection with the 6% that wished they had received a toy car in their adulthood, fret not; we’ve got just the thing. For your perusal, our toy cars range form the greats including Matchbox, Hot Wheels and more. You’re welcome.

Current Promotions – Paddling Pools

Dinosaur Pool
Be hip and cool like these fun kids.

Summer has finally come upon us in these early days of July and it is like the prodigal son returning if the prodigal son brought with him sweating and blinding uncertainty as to what to wear to keep you warm but not too warm and getting it heinously wrong each and every time, it is an absolute struggle. But don’t worry, we’ve got you covered in this sweltering heat with this rad and cool paddling pool!! And when you’re done cooling off with that, check out the rest of our summer toys range. And why not go the whole nine yards and check our full toys range too, it’s all great.

Double Your Retail Return – Alex Cochran

In this detailed five step plan, Alex Cochran promises to get you doubling your net profit without having to spend a single cent. Cochran’s blog is populated with tips and tricks on expanding your business and maximising profits and this guide is no exception. ‘Double Your Retail Return’ uses lots of diagrams, bullet points and business-sounding initialisms such as GPROSI in order to whip your business into shape. A must-read for any retailer looking to increase their profit margins.

HSA Guide for Safe Workplace

A solid few minutes were spent debating whether or not to title this post with some ‘Safety Dance’ lyrics but given that safety is THE most important topic we could discuss the council ultimately conceded that that would be a bad call. Maybe some other time.

What’s a GOOD call, however, is making sure the risk statements and safety assessments for your business are up to scratch. If you don’t know what these are, you absolutely need to. And you’re in luck cause here’s a handy link to the HSA‘s dandy guide on making such statements and assessments. The document walks you through the main health hazards you or your employees are liable to, how to minimalize these risks and what to do if something does happen. It lays out all your legal requirements as an employer in easy-to-understand terms which will make it much easier to avoid any accidents in the future. The guide also prepares you to write your own safety and health policy and even includes a number of forms at the very end to fill out and get yourself sorted. Safety is important, go check it out!!

Grey is the New Black

It can be difficult enough finding a target audience to target with your assortment of amazing goods and products, which is why it’s important to not automatically write off any particular group of potential customers. In their study ‘Grey is the New Black‘ conducted on the behalf of Retail ExcellenceBehaviour & Attitudes found that many retailers dismiss older people as a potential demographic because they are all notoriously stuffy and penny-pinching and upsetting to look at obviously. However if we let go of these misconceptions, it becomes clear that this significant portion of the population (nearly 23%) is continuously undervalued as a possible market. For example, over 82% of the age 65+ demographic agreed that they had no large financial commitments as opposed to only 23% of the age 25-49 group. While this study was conducted in 2011, many of the observations still ring true today, maybe even moreso now than back then; the study remarks that while older people are not associated with being tech-savvy, many in this group have come to embrace such technologies as Sky+ Television and Skype. This study is an excellent read if you are looking to expand your market into this underappreciated demographic as it not only includes statistics and figures but also market research into this group to see what older people appreciate in their customer care.