Late January brings the start of the Toy Fair season with in short succession, the London Olympia, the Spielwarenmesse in Germany, and the Spring Fair at the Birmingham NEC. Last week it was the Kensington Olympia Toy Fair and I made a literally flying visit from snowy Inverness down to grey and rainy Gatwick to visit the capital for the day.
It was a great chance to catch up with some of our principal suppliers such as HTI, Papo, Padgett Bros and Peterkin. In addition, I was also of course on the lookout for what’s hot in the toy world in 2015, and for what might fit snugly into our rapidly expanding range of products.
Model designer Schleich was one of my first stops. They have a great range of dinosaur figures that will hopefully complement our lines from Papo. In addition there are also new exciting Justice League figures featuring Batman and Superman.
Movie tie-ins are obviously going to be a major factor in 2015. Minions were everywhere, Frozen was ever present, and there were no shortage of Transformers, Super Heroes and Dinos from the new Jurassic Park. Spongebob is also due to make a reappearance and even a certain franchise set in a galaxy far far away is about to prove it isn’t done yet.
A good hour was spent having a guided tour round the Hasbro, where Transformers, Marvel Jurassic Park were in clearly in evidence. However of particular interest to me were new Nerf ranges. Below can be seen the Nerf N-Strike Modulus ECS-10 Blaster:
Sadly, since we are not an existing Lego customer, I couldn’t get in to see their stand, but Playmobil had a great display, as did Bandai with their Power Rangers, and Character Options with Doctor Who, Simpsons and Minecraft Toys amongst others.
There were many others too numerous to mention, including some lovely toy vehicles from Britains and Bruder, and smart toy versions of household appliances and power tools from Casdon and Klein. Finally, after helping myself to Character’s generous array sandwiches and snacks, it was time to make my way back to Gatwick for the evening flight. One of my final stops was at HGL’s stand, where Megasaurs look likely to roar their way into stock range very soon!