Christmas is over and Toy Fair season is upon us…it’s the Friday Blog!

Published on: 4th January 2013

A belated Happy New Year to you all. I hope you had a truly wonderful Christmas, and have returned to work suitably refreshed, re-energised and raring to go. I traditionally use the festive break to relax and recharge my batteries after the ridiculously hectic few months that precede it, but it’s hard to totally escape the toy trade; whether it’s Christmas TV (Dr Who, the Snowman and the Snow Dog) or Christmas movies (the splendid Muppets Christmas Carol and Up), reminders of my day job are never far away. Sylvanian Families managed to get a name-check in Miranda and there was even a passing reference to Hasbro in the movie Ted (although, having watched it, what our contributor Richard Gottlieb was thinking when he suggested in his blog last year that Ted merchandise should have a place in toy departments escapes me. If you haven’t seen it yet, let’s just say that whilst highly amusing, it does rather redefine the word ‘crude’).

But marvellous as it was, Christmas is already becoming a distant memory; sadly there’s no gentle easing into the New Year for anyone in the toy trade. Our first full day back in the office – January 2nd – gave us one last opportunity to fine-tune our mammoth January issue, which is currently being printed and will be with you towards the end of next week. I say this merely as a warning to keep pets and small children away from the letterbox when it arrives; please note that Toy World cannot be held responsible for any damage caused to domestic animals or infants by a falling Toy Fair edition.

So now, January issue done and dusted for another year, I head off to Hong Kong, where a packed schedule – day and night – awaits. Judging by comments on Twitter and Facebook, quite a few people have already made the long trip east and are settling into the Hong Kong routine. I shall be joining them over the weekend, so I look forward to catching up with what’s been happening over the past few days. I’m told it’s on the chilly side, so my packing plans have been amended accordingly – it does come in handy having an advance posse (although I appreciate that Google works just as well). I’m hoping that jet-lag doesn’t kick in too violently this year, as I’m giving a seminar presentation on adult toys (no, not that kind of adult toys) at the Toys and Games Fair on my first day in town. What could possibly go wrong?

Our Olympia and Nuremberg diaries are also filling up fast, so if anyone would like to see me – or indeed any of the lovely Toy World team – during either show, feel free to drop us an email.

There has been relatively little gossip to report this week. Lee Clark has moved from Argos to Costco Online (and I’ve even managed to spell his name correctly this time), it has been officially confirmed that Rob Mann will be joining Munchkin Lindam (I have to be honest, I thought that was a ‘typo’ at first….) and Mookie Toys has promoted Stewart Middleton to head of sales and Michael Berg to head of international sales (well done chaps).

Hopefully there will be plenty more to report on next week, when the Hong Kong Blog will be appearing each day. If anyone has any suitable material (and I stress the word suitable, mainly for Chalky’s benefit…), feel free to contact me by the usual means.