Friday 23 February 2018

Dragon Duffy blames iPad sales for failure of Irish animation game

Dragon's Den finalist Michael Connolly with his invention Animatazz.
Dragon's Den finalist Michael Connolly with his invention Animatazz.
Louise Hogan

Louise Hogan

'DRAGONS' Den' investor Gavin Duffy believes the surge in computer tablet sales scuppered hotly tipped children's animation game Animatazz, in which he took an €80,000 stake.

The entrepreneur, along with the game's founder animator, Michael Connolly, took the decision to wind up the firm after sales in the UK failed to take off.

Mr Duffy said he felt it was a "fantastic toy" when he took a 45pc stake in the company for his €80,000 investment after Kildare man Mr Connolly appeared on the RTE show.

However, the entrepreneur believes the pair will work together again in the future.

Animatazz offered children the tools to make animated films using modelling clay to make figurines, a digital camera and computer software for €29.99.

"I think very few children wrote a letter to Santa looking for Animatazz but well-intentioned grandparents wanted to buy it for them," said Mr Duffy.

He believes the toy sector has become digital, with a surge in popularity of computer tablets that children can draw on.

"We were going with what we thought was a wonderful crossover toy," he said.

After its launch in 2009, it was one of the 'Top 10' toys that Christmas. It caught the attention of Drumond Park -- producers of the 'Who Wants To Be a Millionaire?' game -- and they licenced it and signed up to distribute it.

However, Mr Duffy said the sales did not prove "spectacular enough" in the UK, and it sold around 70,000 units.

Irish Independent

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