EPOCH making toys – the company behind collectible toy brand Sylvanian Families – is launching its new Town range by creating the world’s smallest fashion show, unveiled at Hamleys Regent Street on Thursday March 22nd. A UK-wide experiential roadshow tour with intu shopping centres will follow in April.
The fashion stunt, devised by Bath-based agency Highlight PR, comprises two miniature automated catwalks on which Sylvanian Families figures (just 9.5cm tall) will model 40 ‘petite’ haute couture outfits.
Handmade by EPOCH’s R&D designers in Japan specifically for the launch, these eye-wateringly small outfits feature couture quality details and will be presented as ‘the debut Spring Summer Collection’ of the Town’s main character, Stella the fashion designer.
Over 30 London fashion press and guests attended the Hamley’s launch, together with child look-alikes of Anna Wintour, The Queen and Karl Lagerfeld on the FROW (Front Row).
While one catwalk is part of a double window display at Hamleys Regent Street until May 2nd, the second catwalk will tour the UK as a key attraction within EPOCH’s experiential roadshow – a national partnership with intu shopping centres to launch the Town across the UK.
Devised by Bournemouth-based brand communications agency, Mad River, the Sylvanian Families Town roadshow kicks off at intu Trafford Centre on 31 March (Easter Saturday). It will comprise a branded area with purpose-built life-size replicas of the Town buildings’ facades and street lamps.
Once inside, Sylvanian fans and intu customers can see and play with the new products, watch the new Town characters perform on stage and admire the miniature fashion show. To drive consumer engagement, there will be a themed selfie corner and craft activities, with a competition to become ‘Stella’s intern’ by designing a dress for her next collection.
The roadshow will also visit intu Metrocentre, intu Merryhill and intu Lakeside during April.
Yuki Otsuka, Marketing Manager at EPOCH making toys, comments: “This is the largest product launch in the history of Sylvanian Families, so we wanted to create maximum awareness not just amongst our core customer base but also within a broader target audience to attract the next generation of fans. We’ve therefore designed an integrated campaign across multiple channels, and we hope our unique miniature catwalk will be an exciting element, from a PR, experiential and consumer engagement perspective. As a fashion-lover myself, I’m amazed by the details of the tiny, couture outfits within Stella’s collection – I’m sure everyone is going to love them too!”
To support the launch and the roadshow and drive sales, EPOCH is running a TV campaign from now until 8 April. Ads will promote the Town’s hero products comprising the Grand Department Store, Designer Studio (run by Stella Chocolate) and Ride Along Tram.