Publisher John Baulch looks back on the launch of Toy World ten years ago this month and how the magazine has fulfilled his ambition to become the industry defining title it is today.
John describes the life of Toy World as “an epic journey, full of twists and turns, but great fun all the way (well, mostly).”
He describes the first days of the title, in 2011, a time when the UK toy market was still recovering from the loss of High Street giant Woolworths two years earlier. “Some in the toy community had momentarily lost all sense of perspective and predicted it would be the beginning of the end for the toy trade as we knew it. Instead, it was the beginning of a whole new era in toys,” he writes.
On a personal level, John had reached a turning point in his career, and came up with the idea of starting his own toy magazine in the industry he knew and loved. Read on to find out how the industry reacted, which leading industry figure deemed John “a mad bugger” and how a competitor confidently predicted that Toy World would be “gone by Christmas”…
And yet, 10 years later, here we are. Recognising that many of the most successful toy retailers are true specialists, people who live and breathe toys, Toy World set out to mirror that by being the specialist toy magazine. “We do toys, and children’s licensing (because the two are inextricably linked). That’s it,” explains John. “As a result, we spend each and every day focused on the toy market, understanding what drives it, learning more about it – what the biggest opportunities are, and equally what challenges people are facing. We have never been shy in covering controversial or ‘difficult’ subjects: in truth, we thrive on it. We love to shine a spotlight on behaviour which affects the toy community.”
The past decade has seen some incredible toy success stories and we’ve been delighted to showcase them all, and a host of other brands and ranges which make up the vibrant, fascinating toy universe.
“Thanks to everyone for enabling us to do what we have done so far – and here’s to the next ten years,” adds John. “We will continue to have fun and be thankful that we work in the toy community. When I started my career in publishing, I worked on some grim titles: Blinds & Shutters. Brushes International. Process Biochemistry. Paint & Resin News. Then I found myself on a toy magazine. The rest, as they say, is history…”
To read the full article, which appears in the September edition of Toy World, click here.