The print issue of Toy World’s dedicated London Toy Fair issue is now landing on desks and doormats across the UK and is also available to read online.
It just wouldn’t be the new year without the letterbox-busting January issue of Toy World imperilling pets and small children everywhere as it begins arriving at homes, offices and toy shops across the UK – in plenty of time to help those planning their trip to the unmissable London Toy Fair 2024.
This year’s 384-page issue dedicates more than half of its pages to this year’s show, which celebrates its 70th anniversary in the same year the British Toy & Hobby Association celebrates its 80th. Roland Earl, director general of the BTHA, shares valuable insights into the upcoming Toy Fair 2024, providing exclusive information about the show’s preparations, special celebrations and tips for attendees. Toy World also spoke to a raft of people from across the full toy industry spectrum about what makes Toy Fair so special – and their funniest memories from years gone by. The stories we were sent are absolutely brilliant, featuring everything from drunken antics to accidental assault of men in loincloths, so do make some time to read them all (and check out the superb picture of Roger Dyson on p.164 too…)
We also spoke to a huge number of this year’s exhibitors, including several first-timers, to find out what they’re most excited to be showcasing in a few weeks: clearly, there’s no shortage of exciting new toys and games to check out. A selection of the UK’s indie retailers also told us what they’ll be on the lookout for at Toy Fair. The responses were surprisingly wide ranging and varied, reflecting the indie sector itself and the huge assortment of retailers the show serves. And of course, we also bring you no less than 126 pages of content covering everything worth seeing at the show when it opens its doors on Tuesday 23rd January.
Ahead of the show, we also spoke to two major toy companies about 2023, the year ahead, and their outlook on the industry. Ravensburger UK & Ireland MD Richard Collions chatted with Toy World editor Rachael Simpson-Jones about his entry into the world of toys, his approach to retail and consumer-facing events, and why 2024 looks set to be Ravensburger’s best yet, while Holly Oldham, managing director UK & Nordics at Jazwares, discussed how the company’s collaborations, new launches and focus on both people and culture continue to provide opportunities for retailers and consumers alike. To find out all there is to know about London Toy Fair 2024, turn to p. 179.
As for the rest of the magazine, there’s plenty more to get stuck into. Our Hot Properties feature, starting on p. 114, takes a look at the biggest kids and family properties from the world of TV, film, gaming and even the metaverse, finding out what makes them unmissable and the licensing opportunities they offer. Toy World also spoke to Stumble Guys’ Naz Amarchi-Cuevas about why the game taps into emotion to keep players coming back again and again, Beano Studios’ Rob Glenny and KAP Toys’ Nat Southworth about the enduring appeal of Beano and the exciting new toy range created for 2024, and Paramount’s Jamie Drew tells us why this year is set to be a huge one for the company behind SpongeBob Squarepants and TMNT. Rachael Simpson-Jones also paid a visit to Mattel’s UK HQ to find out from Michael Hick and Kelly Philp how the company plans to follow up the year of the Barbie movie with new celebrations, fresh content and a renewed focus on the Kidult sector.
On the retail side, Toymaster’s Paul Reader tells Toy World how the independent buying group is continuing to serve its members against a challenging retail backdrop and why a ‘one size fits all’ approach won’t work. We also take a closer look at the nominees for Toy Retailer of the Year 2023, while assistant editor Marianna Casal spoke to 14 different indie retailers from across the UK & Ireland for our Talking Shop feature about Christmas, Q1 and the 12 months ahead. Marianna also caught up with Pocket Planet founder Mark Vlassopulos about why the new immersive miniature experience will offer toy suppliers big opportunities.
And if all that weren’t enough, we also bring you all our popular regular columns as well as the latest licensing and marketing news and information on the very newest toys and games to hit retail shelves this month. Circana’s Melissa Symonds attempts to review the toy industry’s 2023 performance ahead of the final two weeks of trading and considers what 2024 might bring, and Etopia’s Asha Bhalsod unwraps Amazon’s Q4 Toys and Games trends. There’s also insight from across the pond, as Learning Express’ Rick Derr shares with us how the year has ended up for indie retail in the USA and tells us his personal highlights, and Norman Macdonald writes from the United Arab Emirates to provide an overview of the Middle Eastern toy market and what challenges and opportunities exist in the region.
This issue also contains a generous triple helping of insight from kids’ marketing specialists, as Generation Media’s Jon Chambers analyses how the latest marketing trends should factor into companies’ 2024 strategies, SuperAwesome’s Charlie Brownless examines how to connect kids’ requests to parental purchase decisions, and Giraffe Insight’s Maxine Fox looks at strategic approaches brands can employ to thrive in the world of Generation Alpha.
To read the January 2024 issue of Toy World, click here.
‘But wait!’ we hear you cry, ‘What about the Spielwarenmesse 2024 preview?’ Don’t worry, we didn’t forget – the January issue was getting so big (and heavy) that for the first time ever, Toy World has produced a dedicated standalone Spielwarenmesse supplement, which you can read here and take along with you to the show. That’s right, there’s an extra 96 pages to get stuck into on top of the 384-page main issue. That should keep you busy.
The Toy World team hopes you enjoy these two very special issues and is looking forward to catching up with everyone at Toy Fair and Spielwarenmesse later this month. You can find us at Toy Fair on Stand B23 and roaming the halls in Germany.
In the meantime, the team is straight back at it and is currently working on the February issue of Toy World. This issue includes a preview of Birmingham’s Spring Fair, as well as a feature on the latest Eco-Friendly and Sustainable Toys. The February issue will be published in time for the beginning of February, with an ad deadline of the 16th of January and an editorial deadline of this week.
For advertising enquiries, contact Mark Austin by phoning 01442 502 405 or email email@example.com.
For editorial enquiries, contact Rachael Simpson-Jones – Rachael@toyworldmag.co.uk.
The editorial team can also be reached on 01442 502 406.