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The week in toys….it’s the Friday Blog!

Published on: 11th October 2013

I was sad to hear of the recent passing of Ian Scott. Ian served as both the president and chairman of the BTHA in the 80s and 90s, and was the recipient of a BTHA Lifetime Achievement award in 2006 for his services to toy safety throughout a long and illustrious career. I always found Ian a thoroughly approachable and genuine person, and we send our thoughts to his family. Details of the funeral service, which will be held next Friday, can be found here.

On to altogether happier matters, I’d like to offer congratulations to Flair’s Nicola Bergot on her promotion to commercial director. I also hear on the grapevine that a significant change at a senior level within the Tesco toy buying team is imminent. I’ll share when I can.

Looking ahead to 2014, online visitor registration for the Nuremberg Toy Fair has just opened. Visitors can head to www.toyfair.de to receive a login and password, which will enable them to buy their advance tickets online. The Toy World team has already booked its flights to Nuremberg next year, which will see us sampling the delights of the new Ryan Air direct flight from Stansted. Indeed, this will be the first time I have personally ever set foot on a Ryan Air plane, so I’m hoping that all the rumours about them are exaggerated (although I appreciate this might be a little optimistic of me). Nevertheless, the price is extremely competitive, leaving more Euros in the coffers for sausages and fizzy lager to sustain us throughout the trip. As long as we don’t end up being dropped half-way across Bavaria, I’m sure we’ll be fine.

We’ve also sorted our hotel out, a choice made largely on the basis that it has this fantastic picture adorning its walls:

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Could be wurst, I suppose?

Moving on, the latest toy retailer to offer his predictions for this year’s top-selling festive toys is Midco’s Dave Middleton; in keeping with Dave’s ‘rebel’ ethos, his list is markedly different from the largely template lists which have appeared so far. His tip for the top is the Rainbow Loom from Grossman (other looms are available), a product which has been a massive hit in the USA and is showing all the signs of replicating that performance here in the UK.

It’s BLE next week, so I look forward to seeing plenty of you there. I’ll be at the show for the whole three-day duration, and my schedule is now looking pretty full, with no gaps for either ‘comfort breaks’ or essential feeding and watering. So if I look ravenous and/or dehydrated, do feel free to come to my rescue (or else I’ll probably end up subsisting on those bowls of sweets on stands, which I suspect are only supposed to be there for decoration). If anyone does want to catch up during the event, feel free to drop me an email or call me on my mobile.

I also received an invitation to a party being held during BLE, which at first glance was a little disconcerting (see below). Perhaps they could have made it sound slightly more appealing by using a different title?

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You can follow John on Twitter @Baulchtweet.