Liontouch has been around since 2007, but the team behind it has been creating amazing toys since 1995. Read the story of how Liontouch came to be below and how a small, square piece of EVA foam started the entire journey.
The LEGO Years
"Swords and shields - but in soft foam!" That's how Visiodans owner, the passionate fencer Hans, presented the idea of a knight series specially made for Legoland in 1995 to a selection of LEGO representatives. And it was precisely that last remark, "soft foam," that was significant. Already from the outset, the LEGO folks from Jutland had greeted the Copenhagen-based (from Næstved, 88 kilometers away) visitor with some skepticism, and when the conversation turned to the park's castle and the obvious need for swords and shields, the skepticism intensified. Swords and shields made of hard plastic or wood could never live up to LEGO's safety requirements, and so the Copenhagen visitor was almost on his way home again, until he placed a small cube of EVA foam, the size of a die, on the table and pressed on it. It gave way.
The mood around the table immediately shifted, and for the rest of the meeting, everyone enthusiastically participated in the spontaneous product development that took place on the presented paper. This meeting was the beginning of the collaboration with LEGO, which lasted eight years and laid the foundation for Visiodan's expertise in swords and shields for children.
Everything has an end, and so did the collaboration with LEGO. This meant that Visiodan had to search for new partners, as the belief in the concept remained intact despite the failed collaboration with LEGO. Therefore, new products were developed, but this time under Visiodan's own name. Initially, four swords and two shields were created, and then the car was started and headed south. This resulted in a collaboration with the German company Playmobil, which continues to this day.
The effort to establish new relationships succeeded, but as the idea of swords, shields, and accessories made of EVA foam became widespread, (low-cost) competitors began to emerge. Therefore, it became necessary to brand the products.
The Liontouch brand is established
The Liontouch concept is simple. We want to create the best designs in the best quality, and the products must be safe. Therefore, the name Liontouch should be understood as "The touch of a lion", meaning that the lion soothingly puts its paw on the product to signal that "you can play safely - I vouch for the safety." The fact that the lion wears a crown in the logo is, of course, because the lion is the king of animals - and it fits well with Denmark being a kingdom.
With the name, logo, and product range in place, we now needed a distribution network. Our desire was to work with local experts who knew their respective markets. And so it was. Over a number of years, Liontouch became more and more widespread, not least thanks to our wholesalers who helped introduce the brand both in Denmark and abroad. Contact with new wholesalers was often established at the toy fair in Nuremberg, where Liontouch was now represented with its own booth.
Liontouch goes online
After years of growth, Liontouch encountered a challenge in 2017. The internet had changed people's consumption habits and the whole world could now compete for consumers' favor. Despite ambitions to do the same, Liontouch was not really geared for a digital reality - but that had to change. Liontouch had to become available online.
Today, Liontouch is no longer exclusively sold through wholesalers but is available to both distributors, stores, theme parks, castles, museums, and end users. We want to be able to trade with all types of customers and have our entire range available. If a customer wants to buy a product, it should not depend on whether it is in a given importer's portfolio. Due to that strategic decision, over half of Liontouch's sales today are direct to end-users and we have developed a dedicated internet range. We believe that the future requires digital presence and that Liontouch products can offer an analogue respite for children.
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We are very interested in hearing about your experiences with Liontouch. We love to hear the positive ones, but we also want to hear the negative ones so we can continue to improve and hopefully stay relevant for many years to come.