A major refurbishment programme at The Majestic, strong product ranges and optimistic attendees combine to make Toymaster 2019 a resounding success.
The annual May Toymaster show has once again drawn widespread praise from the toy industry, with both suppliers and independent retailers quick to commend their experience.
The Majestic Hotel is currently undergoing a major refurbishment, which has transformed the Victorian landmark into a luxurious setting for the show. With the forewarned potential disruption failing to impact on proceedings, suppliers and retailers alike have reacted very positively to the work.
“£15m is being spent on the hotel, and it shows,” says Ian Edmunds, managing director of Toymaster. “It’s not finished yet, but hopefully it will be this time next year and we can all enjoy in the show in its final new surroundings.”
Tuesday’s evening event, (very) loosely themed on Glasnost, was the usual high-spirited affair attendees have come to know and love. A three course meal was accompanied by Russian dancers, live music and energetic dancing, alongside a fabulous professional Del Boy lookalike, who charmed the crowds with his jokes and cheeky banter. Nici and
Charlotte from Green Elephant Trading were also awarded a bottle of champagne for their creative costumes – and for being the only two guests to dress up.
Wednesday night’s event was a rather more elegant affair; attendees donned their tuxedos and posh frocks for the do. Entertainment came in the form of a jazz quartet, the AMC Gospel Choir and a hip-hop/dance band, Beat, which got everyone onto the dance floor. It was also the official awards night – more on the awards can be found here.
Brian McLaughlin, who joined the group as retail manager last year, commented: “This is my first Toymaster and it’s been great, its lovely to see everyone together under one roof and how our members interact with each other. Feedback has been very positive; trading is tough but everyone remains upbeat and there are some great products out there.”
“No one has complained about the weather, their position, the noise level or footfall, which I take to be a measure of success,” joked Paul Reader, Toymaster product manager. “The feeling among our suppliers and members is much better than I thought it was going to be, truth be told. When I was visiting our members in late April people were finding trading really tough; Easter had come late, the fantastic bank holiday weather kept people away from the shops, and we haven’t had a wildly popular trend or craze line so far this year. But everyone who has come to Toymaster has brought with them a real feeling of optimism, and we’re very pleased with the feedback.”