Character Group in Profits Slump

Character Options Group, the toy developer whose brands include Dr Who, Bob the Builder and Zhu Zhu Pets, has issued a profit warning after poor UK sales.

While its international revenues are holding up, UK kids (and parents) are apparently not splashing out on its toys, leading retailers to slash prices and delay orders for new products. As a result Character said its full year figures would be below market expectations, although it believed its Christmas ranges would do well enough to get the next financial year off to a good start. It came up with a full house of excuses to account for its current woes:

affected by a number of factors and major events, namely, the Jubilee celebrations, the Euro 2012 Championship, the abnormally bad UK weather, the deepening eurozone crisis and the on-going impact of the Olympic games.Retail trading conditions have remained difficult and have been further adversely

Merchant Securities added one other thing: a shift from Character’s type of toys to more technology based products. Analyst Amisha Chohan said:

Although the group has a broad product portfolio with strong licenses including Bob the Builder and Mike the Knight, there is a shift in demand for toys towards technology. We do not believe the group has any key blockbusters for the current calendar year, which could prevent revenue growth from being achieved in 2013. A lack of appetite for Zhu Zhu Pets and the Squinkies continues to be a short-term hindrance for the group in terms of revenues and margins.

The broker has cut its recommendation from hold to sell and its target price from 170p to 119p. Meanwhile the company’s broker Charles Stanley cut its 2012 profit forecast from £9m to £7m, although it kept its buy recommendation. But the shares are currently down more than 10% at 122p.

Matt loves clowning about

Although his face was well hidden behind a thick layer of make-up, his trademark quiff was instantly recognisable and indeed gave his identity away.

Doctor Who star Matt Smith showed his comical side as he agreed to have his face painted like a clown, last night.

The 29-year-old was attending the adidas Underground party in Shoreditch, east London with a host of other celebrities watch it online with a free vpns uk.

Hide and seek: Matt Smith painted his face like a clown at a party in London, last night

The event was used to celebrate the Olympics in the capital city and was curated by the sports manufacturer.

Matt and his fellow revellers were shown a film made by The Chemical Brothers, Don’t Think, of an event that took place in Japan.

Each guest was gifted an adidas Firebird track top and got into character with face paint inspired by the film.

All made up: The Doctor Who star partied at adidas Underground in Shoreditch

Fright night: Matt was one of many guests at the party who had their faces painted

While Matt enjoyed the immersive experience of having his face covered in make-up, he also got to let his hair down with Rosamund Pike.

The former Bond girl, 33, got into the spirit of things by not only having getting her pretty profile covered but also by wearing a large pink wig.

Matt and Rosamund hung out mostly by the bar and sipped on Absolut Mule cocktails as well as taking to the dance floor and looking around the show.


Richard E Grant to be Christmas Baddie

DOCTOR WHO star Matt Smith will battle Withnail And I legend Richard E Grant in the Christmas special of the sci-fi hit.
Grant — who also starred in movies Gosford Park and The Iron Lady — has signed up to be a special guest alongside Silent Witness star Tom Ward.

The Doctor’s new companion, played by Jenna-Louise Coleman, will also make her debut in the festive extravaganza on BBC1.

It will be Grant’s third outing in the hit sci-fi show. He voiced the Time Lord in an animated webcast of the show to mark its 40th anniversary back in 2003.

And he had viewers in hysterics as a lady-loving new Doctor in Comic Relief sketch Doctor Who And The Curse Of Fatal Death in 1999.

It was the first Doctor Who script written by Steven Moffat, now the show’s boss.

The top telly writer has also penned this year’s Christmas special, in which Grant will play a villain.

An insider said: “The Doctor Who Christmas specials are famous for being stand-out episodes and this year’s will be no different.

“It will have a really festive feel and Richard will be great as a baddie.”

The cast got together last week for their first reading of the script and filming begins today.


4 Ways to Get Started Kayaking for Fitness

Kayaking is a great form of exercise. It helps you build core strength primarily because the core part of your body is essential in turning the kayak. Every time you turn your kayak, you build your muscles.

Kayaking also has an isometric effect on your legs. You need to put in pressure to turn and balance the kayak.

As you do this, you tighten your leg muscles just as you do when you perform isometric exercises. Your leg muscles become stronger due to the constant squeezing.


In addition, your arm and shoulder muscles get stronger as you stroke the paddle. This repetitive movement improves your muscle mass as well as tones your shoulders and arms.

It is also good for your heart health because it involves brisk movements. The continuous movements raise your heart rate.

Furthermore, kayaking has mental benefits. It helps clear your mind so that you can improve your mental state and relieve stress. When you engage in this sport, you are able to relax and boost your health.

If you have never tried kayaking before, now is the perfect time to start. As long as you do it the right way, you will be alright. How can you do this?

  1. First of all, you need to get a good kayak. You can check out Perception Conduit 13. It is user-friendly and ideal for beginners. It is unrestrictive with enough stability to let you feel confident as you go on a cruise.


If you prefer longer paddles, you will also like its tracking and speed. It is recommended to be used in small lakes and rivers.

Do not worry because Perception is well known for its quality. For decades, it has produced innovative designs.

It actually pioneered plastic kayaks. Hence, you can count on their kayaks to be stable, durable, comfortable, functional, and high in quality.

  1. Next, you need to search for a good area. Ideally, the water should be calm and shallow. There should also be no rocks around. Once you found a place, you can put your kayak in the water. Use the bow to slide it in as you put your hand firmly on its stern. The cockpit should be in a shallow enough area to stand in.
  2. Then, you can use the kayak. You must hold the paddle in your hand as you walk on the side towards the cockpit. See to it that the kayak is secure before you get in.
  3. Finally, you can start kayaking. Position your leg in the kayak correctly and shift your weight so that you stay balanced.

Always make sure that you hold the paddle properly and you sit upright. Be careful when you rotate your body and take a stroke.

If you are a beginner, you may have difficulty in using the kayak. You may also experience trouble when balancing.

This is why you have to practice on a regular basis if you want to get better at it. Over time, you will be able to use the kayak with ease.


Berkoff set for Doctor Who

It has been announced in the Doctor Who Magazine that, Steven Berkoff most famous for The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, The Krays (that was where I was trying to remember him from) and Beverley Hills Cop has joined the cast for series 7.

Whilst there have been no full details, it is said that he will star in episode 4.

Don’t forget to see here for more Doctor Who series 7 news.

Ben Browder set for Doctor Who

I know that this news is now a couple of days old now, but ‘Farscape’ actor Ben Browder has been cast in episode 3 of series 7, as we know is set in the Wild West.

I remember watching the first ever episode of Farscape and there being a creature on the other side of ther worm hole that looked a bit like Yoda. But that is about it. This episode is shaping up really well so far.

Don’t forget that more Series 7 news can be found here.