The annual event presents the best toys for Christmas, as selected by an expert panel of judges.
DreamToys 2019, which took place in its usual location of St. Mary’s Church on York Street, London, drew crowds of media representatives – including TV and radio stations – bloggers, buyers, toy companies and more, all keen to see the official toy selections in person.
The DreamToys Top 12 comprised some outstanding products; Tomy’s evolving interactive toy, Rizmo, was among those awarded the top spot, along with Jakks’ Frozen II singing dolls, Lego’s Harry Potter Knight Bus, a Fortnite Nerf blaster from Hasbro and MGA’s L.O.L. Surprise! 2-in-1 Glamper. As with all awards, it’s impossible to please everyone who was hoping for a place among the lead dozen, and while there was the odd hint of bemusement from around the hall, most seemed to think the selection was fair.
“I think the DreamToys experts have selected well, and have included a wide array of play experiences from the Lego portfolio,” commented Marius Lang, head of marketing UK & Ireland at Lego. “The nominations we’ve received cover evergreen brands such as City, Friends and Duplo, and popular licences too. A Lego Harry Potter product has made the Top 12 again this year; last year the Lego Hogwarts Great Hall made the final dozen, and this year it’s the Knight Bus sharing the limelight. The selection committee also chose our Lego Technic Land Rover for the Trains, Planes and Automobiles category; this launched in October and has been flying off the shelves ever since.”
That Rizmo made the Top 12 won’t have surprised many; Tomy’s three-stage marketing campaign, and the product’s innovative, rather surprising evolution play-pattern, have resulted in strong success at retail. Mary Wood, Tomy UK’s general manager, explained: “Rizmo’s nomination is much appreciated. We know how competitive the market is, and there are a lot of great products out there, so it was a very pleasant surprise to arrive this morning and discover that Rizmo had made the Top 12. We’ve spent a lot of money on marketing, and we’ve had some great retail support, but to secure the DreamToys recognition is always a pleasure. What’s now important is securing extra coverage; as we all know, the next five weeks are vital for this industry.”
Christmas came late for many in 2018, and, speaking with suppliers at the event, it would seem the industry is firmly braced for the same again. But with political dramas and the dangling Brexit guillotine still on the mind, the festive season this year offers a real reason to be happy. As one supplier said: “It may be late, but it will come. Sure, it’s nail-biting stuff sometimes, but parents are buying toys this year just the same as any year. It’s a case of watching and waiting. When the sales really kick in, I’m sure it’s going to be good.”