The team of international toy experts, trend scouts, market researchers and journalists, with its extensive knowledge and many years of experience, has a good nose for the topics that are set to make their mark on the toy industry. It thus guides retailers and manufacturers each year, giving them an insight into the trends to watch to ensure success.
John Baulch has over 35 years’ experience of working in the UK toy trade press. In June 2011 he launched his own toy trade magazine, Toy World, which has established itself as the leading UK toy magazine, renowned for having its finger on the pulse of the vibrant, fast-moving toy industry. John also writes a popular weekly blog, which appears on the Toy World website every Friday.
Clara Blasco holds a Master’s in Product Design, and is a Design & Trends Researcher at AIJU, the Technological Institute of children's products and leisure located in Spain. She has worked as a toy designer, UX researcher and lecturer. From more than 10 years of experience, her work focuses on detecting user insights and trends, maintaining a human-centred focus to advise toy and childcare companies in order to develop strategies, products, services and communications. She coordinates R&D projects with companies and facilitates innovation workshops from a Design Thinking perspective. Since 2017 she manages research projects focused on obtaining sustainability insights from the toys and children's products user and consumer. She is author of several publications about children’s social trends, parenting trends and childcare products and participates in numerous events to disseminate children findings and trend analysis. She is passionate about helping companies to foster innovation and explore new and inspiring ways to tackle challenges in the children’s sector.
Born in Milan, Italy, in 1945, he started his career as a journalist in 1970. Until 1985 he worked in the music business and later in consumer electronics. As editor-in-chief of the nursery products trade magazine Il Giornale dell’Infanzia (1994-2018) and of the toy trade magazine Giochi & Giocattoli (2000-2013), he acted as President of the Baby Care Magazines International association BCMI (2004-2007) and of the International Toy Magazines Association ITMA (2008-2012). Since October 2020 he has been contributing to Spirit Of Play, Spielwarenmesse’s online magazine.
Axel Dammler is managing partner of iconkids & youth, the biggest German institute specializing in research on kids and juveniles. He has worked with young target groups since 1992 and has conducted numerous studies on national and international media and consumer goods markets since then. He also works as a consultant and has had several books published in addition to more than 50 articles. His book, “Pink Knights, Black Princesses”, deals with the gender discussion and was released in October 2011.
Steven is Founder and Managing Director of Global Licensing Advisors, a media, marketing and licensing consultancy based in New York City, launched in September 2020. Prior to this role he served as the Brand Director for Informa Markets Global Licensing Group which encompasses, Licensing Expo Las Vegas, Brand Licensing Europe, Licensing Expo China, Licensing Expo Japan, Licensing Leadership Summit and License Global, the premier information provider for the global licensing industry. He was also the founder and the Group Publisher of License Global magazine, the leading business publication for the Global licensing business. He speaks extensively on licensing at conferences around the world and he conceived and published the reference book, “Licensing for Dummies” an industry trade paperback overview of the licensing business, published in by John Wiley & Sons.
With 30 years’ experience in market research, Philippe Guinaudeau is the CEO of BrandTrends, a Marketing Research firm. Philippe (and his team) is dedicated to providing highly tailored, effective solutions to clients in every sector of the challenging and fast-moving markets.
Prior to founding Kidz Global and Melipan, Philippe was a Director of The NPD Group, a leading global provider of consumer and retail information for a wide range of industries. Here, and previously, as a Durable Goods Consultant at AC Nielsen, Philippe gained huge experience in the toys and games markets, as well as the licensing and entertainment industries in North America, Europe, Australia, Latin America and Asia.
With offices in Paris, Hong Kong, Singapore, Philippe travelled extensively - that was prior to the pandemic - to produce expert insight in understanding the Durable Goods markets, analyzing the retail landscape, the competition, the consumer behavior and the brand line architecture; and assisting his clients in planning strategies to achieve the best results on their product segments.
Lena Hedö is the editor in chief of Lek & Babyrevyn, the Swedish trade magazine for Toy and Baby. She is also working for the Toy and Baby association in Sweden. She has been in the toy industry more than 40 years, most of the time in a family company with 13 toy stores. Lena became CEO of the Swedish toy association for retailers in 2002 when the family company was sold to Brio.
Gabriela Kaiser, born in Frankfurt in 1969, studied Textile Engineering with a major in Design in Mönchengladbach and worked as a designer for almost 6 years before going into business for herself with a trend agency. She has been working as a trend scout and consultant across Germany since 2002. Well-known companies in industry and commerce as well as trade fairs and magazines now number amongst her clients. From summer 2010 until winter 2013/14 she has been lecturing in Strategy and Trend Research in the Design Department at the Georg Simon Ohm University of Applied Sciences in Nuremberg. When researching new trends, Gabriela Kaiser always focuses on the entire lifestyle.
Urszula Kaszubowska is the Editor-in-Chief of “Branza Dziecieca” – the biggest Polish trade magazine covering both toy industry and baby products sector. She is a member of the judging panel of the Toy of the Year contest in Poland. Urszula also has a background in publishing. For seventeen years she had been working for one of the biggest publishing houses in Poland, i.a. as the Publishing Director for hobby magazines.
Sujin is the founder and CEO of Gem Factory and has been challenging various projects since its foundation in 2014. Including product development, brand development, and marketing, he started working on a data platform project since 2018.
Gem Factory launched Gemi-rawn AI in 2021. It is the sole solutions provider for Toys and Animation content analysis and prediction. Through Gemi-rawn AI, Gem Factory is digitalizing the Toy market.
Reyne Rice is a Global Trend Hunter. She serves as Co-President of ITMA (International Toy Trade Magazine Association), and is a journalist and contributing editor for multiple international publications, including The Toy Book and Spirit of Play. Reyne serves as a consultant, broadcast media spokesperson, keynote speaker, industry analyst and judge on multiple Toy and Kids Technology Award committees. She travels to 24 global trade shows a year always sleuthing for, and reporting upon the newest and most relevant trends in toys & games, entertainment and licensing, and kids & family technology. Reyne owns her own consultancy, ToyTrends, since 2003 based in New York.
Jane Wong is Deputy Director of Editorial Department in TOY INDUSTRY, the biggest monthly magazine in China toy business. Based in Guangdong Province, the world's largest toy manufacturing hub, she has direct access to latest and hottest news on products, manufacturers, and industrial moves. She also works on research and analysis on international and domestic toy markets, and writes articles, reviews and blogs for Toy Industry Omnimedia Center, the most influential digital toy press in China.