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Toy maker Hornby's Olympic collection

Tuesday, July 05, 2011 - 02:21

July 5 - UK toy maker Hornby, famous of its model trains, is making more than 150 Olympic-related items for the London 2012 games and says it hopes the range will attract a new generation of hobbyists. Hayley Platt reports.

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Keyrings, cars and trains, just some of the new Olympic merchandise on offer from Hornby. The British firm owns Airfix, Corgi and Scalectrix but is best known for its model railways. It was the first to be granted a license from the organisers of the 2012 games and is now working on an Olympic-size range of products. Hornby won't say what the deal is worth but it has increased production 10-fold since it started making the merchandise. The company's chief executive, Frank Martin says he hopes the range will have lasting benefits for the company. SOUNDBITE: Frank Martin, chief executive, Hornby, saying (English): "What the Olympics has enabled us to do in a very meaningful way is to get into business relationships with Tesco with Sainsbury's with W.H. Smiths and with other mass market retailers but hopefully if we do good business with them on the Olympic product there will be opportunities in the future there as well." PTC "Of the 200 or so Olympic products Hornby have made this is expected to be their top seller. The Scalextric Velodrom Cycling set will cost just under £70 pounds and will go on sale from September." Construction of the real Velodrome in east London finished earlier this year. And official merchandising shops across London are already open. By 2012 some 10,000 different Olympic souvenirs will be on sale - raising more than £80 million pounds towards the staging of the games. And Martin expects the products go keep selling long after the games are over. SOUNDBITE: Frank Martin, chief executive, Hornby, saying (English): "I expect that 2012 merchandise to have life long into the future, 2014, 2015 people are going to be visiting London and the games will be fresh in people's minds even two or three years beyond them so I think there's an opportunity to continue that volume." Hornby has been making toys for 104 years. Many of its original trains are now collectors items. But train enthusiasts hoping to buy this limited edition set will be disappointed. Only two thousand and twelve sets were made - and they've already been sold. Hayley Platt, Reuters.

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Toy maker Hornby's Olympic collection

Tuesday, July 05, 2011 - 02:21