Wednesday to Sunday!
31 Jan – 4 Feb 2018
Toy suppliers - games publishers in particular - have been exploiting this potential for a while. For companies like Ravensburger or Kosmos it is relatively easy to place their toys and games in bookshops. They already have their own sales teams for their book products. Many other toy suppliers have also starting approaching customers successfully through bookshops.
Harald Hemmerlein has had a look around this year's novelties and presents a few examples that are particularly suitable for this distribution channel.
The cult "Diddl" mouse has been available through virtually all distribution channels since it was created. The license specialist United Labels is now the new licensee and master partner for Diddl. The licensing agreement extends over Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Spain, Portugal, France, Italy and Benelux and covers a wide portfolio of gift items, party ware, home fabrics, bags, cuddly items as well as watches, games and kitchen utensils. The core target group for these product categories is girls aged between 6 and 10. The products will be given a brand new 3D design and will be in the shops in autumn 2016.
"Creativity" is an emotive word that has a particularly positive effect on bookshop customers who are usually well educated. Kosmos has a new product for this customer group.
About two years ago the company presented its first "Geek & Co." kits. In 2016 a further six categories will be available: A block of lime wood can be turned into a little sailing boat in the DIY wood carving kit. Young sewers can create their own little super heroes. The "Geek & Co." range will also include stamping and planting kits as well as feltwork craft and experiments with LEDs.
Playing and learning, as we all know, are virtually inseparable. In the atmosphere of a bookshop this connection can, of course, be exploited very successfully.
The early learning book "Learn with me", published by Ravensburger in their tiptoi range helps second year primary pupils with their maths. Basic multiplication tables, adding and subtracting up to 100, measuring units and doing sums with times on the clock: In this little early learning book children help the castle ghost Erasmus von Rechenstein to overcome his age-related difficulties with maths. Children can have fun practising all the topics covered in maths lessons and then check the answers themselves. They have to climb up castle walls, cross the moat and shoot down the multiplication tables.
Adults buy an above-average number of games in bookshops for their own use. This also includes jigsaw puzzles. The calender and puzzle specialist Heye also has some products in bookshops this year, including the four new jigsaw series "Jolly Pets", "Flower Show", "Hearts of Gold" and "Inside Neuschwanstein". There are also 54 new motifs from the categories art, fantasy, cartoons, nature and animals.
The "Jolly Pets" series includes two colourful animal portraits "Dogs never lie" and "9 Lives", by the artist Dean Russo. The illustrator and graphic designer Rita Berman has also joined the Heye team. Her imaginative hidden object picture "Happytown" consists of 1500 pieces.
Bookshops are also focussing on the other end of the target group spectrum, namely babies. People often buy toys in bookshops as a present for newborn babies, christenings or birthdays.
TOMY's recently launched new products, the Mix and Match Motor Boat and the Paddling Puppy, are suitable for children from 10 months. The special feature of the Mix and Match Motor Boat is its engine which children can wind up. Wind it up once and it will zoom across the bath tub - no batteries needed. It is made up of four segments which are four little toys at the same time: a water pourer, sieve, water cannon and a water wheel. Kids can put the segments together however they want. But, however they design the boat, it will always float. The Paddling Puppy is a delight for all animal lovers. Turn the handle under the boat and the little puppy will start paddling happily across the water. The Paddling Puppy does not need any batteries either.
This is only a small selection of the toys that are suitable for sales in the non-book segment of bookshops. Just take a look at booksellers' online shops to see for yourself.