Back to (office) life, back to reality and non-stories … it’s the Friday blog

Published on: 17th February 2012

It’s been a slightly strange week, probably due to it being only my second entirely office-based week in the past two months. It didn’t help that 40% of the Toy World team has been laid low by illness (OK, so that’s only two people, but it still leaves something of a gaping hole in a small business). But after the ‘buzz’ of Toy Fair season, it was very much a case of ‘back to reality’….with a bump! (Mind you, not as much of a ‘bump’ as Flair’s Andrew Brown, who returned to the office this week after his Atlantic rowing heroics. Reacclimatising to the office after such a life-changing feat must come as a serious shock to the system!).

Some people were lucky enough to spend the week at the Toy Fair in New York, which by all accounts seems to have been a highly successful show. Richard Gottlieb’s blog – which you can find at – talks in glowing terms of an increase in numbers and a surge in orders placed, which is encouraging news. By the way, I’m delighted to confirm that Richard is the latest addition to Toy World’s roster of contributors, and his first article will appear in the March edition, which is coming your way soon. I have worked with Richard for many years, and I’m sure he will be a valuable addition to our team of toy experts. Welcome onboard Richard!

The biggest UK toy ‘story’ of the week turned out to be more of a ‘non-story’; an article in The Independent announced that Vivid was for sale, but on checking the story’s accuracy with Paul Weston, he referred to the whole piece as ‘pure speculation.’ I have to say I feel for Vivid; the middle of the selection period isn’t exactly the ideal time for question marks being raised over a company’s ownership situation. I hope our  news alert helped to set the record straight as to the current position, and if there are any developments in the coming months, I’m sure we’ll bring them to you as soon as we are able.

Elsewhere, I’m pleased to hear that Adrian Leafe has accepted a new role as national accounts manager at John Crane. Conversely, I understand that Paul Watts has parted company with Dominoes, and is currently exploring his options with a view to hopefully staying in the toy trade. Paul can be contacted on

Finally my congratulations to Peter and Penny Brown on becoming grandparents for the first time this week, good luck to Flair’s Carl Moran in the Seville marathon this weekend.