Toy Fair closes on a high as exhibitors praise 2020 event

Show hailed as “hugely productive”, “positive” and “an extremely exciting platform”.

Exhibitors have given their verdicts on this week’s Toy Fair as the 67th annual event closed its doors at London’s Olympia.

Mindful play and inclusive ranges made the headlines, helping to inspire retailers for the year ahead, with visitors such as Sainsbury’s Argos, Boots, Asda, Harrods, John Lewis, House of Fraser and The Entertainer to name a few.

The BTHA and the NPD Group opened the show by revealing the 2019 market figures for the UK toy industry.

In line with other sectors, the UK market reported a decline in year on year sales. However, the UK remains the largest toy market in Europe, with over 32,000 new products launched and total sales of £3.2 billion. Collectables and films drove the market, making up 21% and 11% of all toys sold respectively.

“We have had another good show,” commented Clementoni’s Shahbaz Khan. “It has been hugely productive to meet with our customers, especially after a significant year of growth for the Clementoni business. We have exciting launches this year, including our 100% recycled materials range Play for Future.”

Halilit’s Judith Stark said her and the team were kept busy throughout the show: “Our new packaging on Halilit Music was really well received and our Toddler Tribute Band created a stir.”

Hippychick’s Alex Molyneux said that Toy Fair was “an extremely exciting platform to launch multiple new products”. She added: “Yet again, the 2020 show has been an amazing opportunity to see our products tested, talked about, and broadcast to a huge number of important customers. Thank you Toy Fair.”

Learning Resources’ Thomas Baker, meanwhile, said the company had a good mix of current and new customers visiting the stand and that it was a positive show. “We launched over 100 new products and based on the feedback, look forward to a strong 2020,” he said.

H&Fparty

Meanwhile, Progressive Preschool, Licensing Source Book and industry recruiters Aardvark Swift enjoyed another successful turnout for the annual Toy Fair drinks meet up (pictured above).

Held at the Hand and Flower on the Wednesday evening following the show (January 22), some 150 execs from the toy and licensing industries, as well as key retailers networked over drinks with peers, winding down after a successful day at Olympia.

“It’s genuinely a delight to see how everything comes together every year at Toy Fair,” commented Majen Immink, director of fairs and special events at the BTHA. “From the organisation and cooperation across the industry, to the continued creativity and drive shown by inventors and exhibitors alike. What a year. See you all at Toy Fair 2021!”

Toy Fair will return to Olympia next year, in the Grand and National hall, running from January 19-21.

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