Sticky figures for Panini’s rivals

There are a number of exaggerations and inaccuracies in Jo-Anne Walker’s article “Pride after a fall” (MW March 3) that I should like to correct.

I would challenge Panini to prove that they sold 1 billion packets of stickers in the UK last year. Given that they accept Merlin has the major portion of the market, and even we did not sell that number, it seems a pretty impossible figure based on current mathematical principles.

A rather less amusing error lies in the final paragraphs. Although Merlin are proud to be UK-based, our group activities are virtually worldwide, encompassing wholly owned European subsidiaries operating in Italy, France, the Netherlands, Germany, Spain and Portugal. Merlin products are also distributed in Scandinavia, South Africa, Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, Malaysia and Hong Kong. Meanwhile, our US subsidiary based in San Diego, California, has one publication riding high in the What’s Hot list of the Toy Book (the US toy industry’s bible) – the first time a sticker collection has achieved this distinction.

Not bad for a market that we’re not even supposed to be in. And not bad for a company only that is five years’ old. And, of course, we’re not stopping there, with further expansion into South America, eastern Europe and the Far East planned for 1995.

Kelvyn Gardner

Group licensing director

Merlin

Milton Keynes

Bucks

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