Following London Toy Fair, Rachael Simpson-Jones rounds up what was widely hailed as a magnificent three days at Olympia – with a little help from her friends.
If you were at London Toy Fair in January, you were in good company, with the toy trade once again gathering en masse to check out the latest toys, games and kids’ products that will be keeping the nation’s children (and adults) entertained in the months ahead. Toy World looks back on another superb show and chats with attendees about how the event was for them.
24th-26th January saw the Toy Fair return once again to London Olympia for three packed days of buying, networking, and – of course – having fun. The UK’s leading toy trade show was a sell-out, even with an expanded footprint that made good use of the entire National Gallery to accommodate additional stands. The BTHA’s Majen Immink, director of Toy Fair, is understandably thrilled with the feedback she and her team have received in the weeks since: “The atmosphere around the halls was incredibly lively; there was a real buzz to the show and visitor numbers returned to pre-Covid levels,” she tells us.
“We started working with Retail PR this year,” she adds. “We saw a great range of media coverage of the show, the industry and exhibitors across print, online and broadcast.”
The Toy World team wasn’t the only one with packed diaries across the three days, as retailers, buyers and distributors applied themselves with gusto to finding the next big thing. Many we’ve spoken to came away with the sense that innovation has returned after a couple of fallow years disrupted by Covid, Brexit and economic factors. From what we saw, innovation was largely within existing brands, while range extensions and lines based on hot licences were also front and centre.
Maddi Tiscoe, UK Marketing manager at Moose Toys, said that the ‘buzz at London Toy Fair was unreal’, while B&M Stores’ toy buyer Hayley White told Toy World that she listed more new lines than at any previous show.
Majen Immink says the feedback the BTHA has received on Toy Fair 2023 has been overwhelmingly positive. “Next year is Toy Fair’s 70th anniversary,” she adds, “so we will hopefully have some exciting surprises to celebrate the show that we love so much.”
Rachael also caught up with a selection of exhibitors to get their views on the event. For more on who won what (Toy Industry Awards, Best Stand Awards and Golden Teddies were just some of the accolades handed out) and a round up of all that took place, read the full article, which appeared in the March edition of Toy World, here.