Top Gear targets kids

Top Gear Turbo: one-shot spin-off

BBC Top Gear magazine is launching a one-shot for kids interested in cars.

Top Gear Turbo will target boys aged eight to 12, many of whom are already believed to be picking up their father’s copy of Top Gear.

The 40-page title will differ in style, tone and typography from the title for adults. It will also be less word heavy and be focused more on aspirational cars such as Ferraris and Porsches. Publisher BBC Worldwide said it would also appeal to older teenagers and could even attract female readers.

Top Gear publisher Adam Waddell said the launch was based partly on research and partly on a “hunch”.

“Traditionally, research does not cover kids very well, so we conducted our own research and it seems that a lot of young lads are buying adult titles because there is nothing for their own age group,” he told Press Gazette.

Research also showed a large proportion of viewers to the Top Gear TV programme were young boys.

BBC Worldwide hopes to fill a similar niche in the motoring market as titles such as Shoot and Match have done in the football sector. “Most boys grow up with an obsession with cars or football. Football has always been taken care of but not cars. Unlike pretty much every other car magazine, this is not focused on the buying process; it is about cars as a hobby rather than for necessity.”

Top Gear Turbo comes with a double-sided poster and a range of sticker sheets in a bag. The editorial will be a mix of Top Gear magazine and content from the TV show, with features by Jeremy Clarkson and articles on super-cars, top designers and racing drivers.

It is edited Nik Berg, a long-standing Top Gear writer and former editor of BBC Tomorrow’s World magazine.

Top Gear Turbo will sit alongside Top Gear and other motoring titles on the news-stands and have a cover price of £1.95. It will have a print run of 80,000 and Waddell said he would be happy with sales of at least 40,000.

He said there was definite potential to turn the one-shot into a permanent launch if sales prove a success, although the BBC is not likely to make a decision until autumn.

The magazine goes on sale on 23 May to coincide with the half-term holiday and the new TV series of Top Gear.

By Ruth Addicott

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