This weekend (30 Jan – 3 Feb) marks the 70th anniversary of the world’s biggest toy fair, and the Spielwarenmesse is taking place in Nuremberg, Germany. Anyone who is anyone in the toy industry is there, releasing cool new toys, bargaining for licenses, finding out what trends are hitting the playgrounds of the world this year, and living the spirit of play. The strangest thing about the fair though, is that there are no children. It’s a trade fair. It’s the place where adults decide what toys will make their way into the playrooms in 2019.
My heart longs to be there, and it’s hard to believe it’s already 5 years since I made my way through the snow and crowds to experience the largest exhibition halls you can imagine. One hall just for trains, one for dolls and accessories, one for tech toys, one for soft toys, one for educational toys, and the list never ends. Five days is barely enough to walk through once, and it’s hard work looking out for new stars.
The show sports a trend gallery, where they identify the up and coming themes that seem to be popular in the industry. This year the trends are:
- Ready, Steady, PLAY!
At Straight Zigzag we’re all for getting kids outside and active, so we’re 100% behind parents looking for attractive toys to grab the kids’ attention and get their muscles working. It’s easy for us to see how the Bilibo, wobble boards, climbing ropes and scooters are popular in this category, and why parents are prepared to spend good money on sports equipment that will last through phases and seasons.
2. The WOW effect
These toys encourage the curiosity in our children. Some conceal unexpected surprises to be discovered during play. Whether through water or heat, technical gimmicks or sophisticated mechanics – the toy is suddenly transformed into something special.
3. Toys for Kidults
Adults like to reminisce about the toys they played with, and some collectors pieces are placed in prominent places in homes and offices, often showcased in glass cabinets.
There are wonderful ways to use technology to spy on the exciting world of the toy fair. Summary videos get posted on Youtube, you could watch for news on the official site here or you could follow #spielwarenmesse2019 to see more personal impressions. And for a primitive little video of my trip 5 years ago, click here.
PS we’ll have an exciting news release from Moluk soon!