In the March Talking Shop, Toy World finds out what tempted retailers at this year’s Toy Fair and how trading is going so far in 2023.
Many independent retailers went to this year’s Toy Fair armed with a shopping list of items they wanted to add to their shelves.
Simon Steel of Toy City in London’s Wood Green tells us that one of his show highligts was Wilton Bradley’s range as his store enjoys great sales with the company’s electric vehicles. He was pleased to see a new option for the mini bumper car, which sold very well for Toy City last year and he is also excited about the new two-seater version, which he forecasts will also be a big-seller.
Simon also discusses how his shop experienced its best ever year with Hot Wheels in 2022 and with Mattel bringing back Matchbox, it is also seeing good sales there already. “Die cast is a key staple to have in stock – although it’s relatively low cost, it’s high volume; sometimes customers choose seven or eight cars as they are collecting them, which is brilliant,” he says.
Sam Gascoigne, of Toy Galaxy in Watford, states that the stand-out ranges for him at Toy Fair were Ravensburger’s Disney Lorcana trading card game and Funko’s Bitty Pop! collectibles. The store is also getting behind Zuru’s Mini Brands, which are proving to be popular impulse buys. Zuru’s collectible Smashers Dino Island Egg has also been a strong seller.
Following on from Toy Fair, he says Toy Galaxy is looking to extend a few brands including Funko and Gabby’s Dollhouse. He also adds that business has been good for 2023 so far.
Tony Duffy, of Duffy’s Toyworld in Dunleer, Co Louth, Ireland tells us that while it was good to get to Toy Fair, he found Nuremberg to be particularly beneficial as the business has had to shift its product sourcing due to Brexit.
He explains how extra cost burdens and delivery problems have forced him to start moving away from importing from the UK. “Previously around 80% of our goods came from the UK and 20% from Europe, but Brexit has changed all of that. We’ve had horrendous problems ordering from the UK – we recently had a delivery that took five months to arrive, plus there are now so many added costs,” he says.
Since the start of the year, he has been carrying out improvements to the shop including an enlarged section for Bruder, which is supplied by Banaghan & Co and remains very popular, especially the agricultural vehicles as the shop is in a rural area.
There’s also a Toy Fair round-up from Toy Barnhaus in the regular Indie Viewpoint column.
To read the full Talking Shop feature in the March issue of Toy World, click here.