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Mädchen mit Teddy spielt mit coolem Puppenhaus
  Movers & shakers

11. December 2017 / Movers & shakers

Cool and trendy with high-quality design

from Harald Hemmerlein

Lifestyle products can make the toy trade come across as cool and trendy. They could be articles covering the topic of make-up, right through to articles on the product group of wooden toys. After all, design is at the top of the agenda among the suppliers of trendy wooden toys, as Silke Hausdörfer, Managing Director of howa Spielwaren GmbH in Germany, reports in an interview.

Spielwarenmesse®: Lifestyle and wooden toys are no longer complete opposites these days. If you look at your range over the years, it is clear that, over the course of time, both the children playing with the toys and the parents buying them repeatedly go for colours and shapes that fit in with their lifestyle. What role does this aspect play in terms of product development and marketing?

Silke Hausdörfer: Safety, sustainability and efficiency have always been to the fore with us. This applies just as much to the selection of raw materials as to the manufacturing processes and design of our products. A lot of products in our range are usually only available in plastic. Toys made of the natural product of wood, on the other hand, are durable, safe and suitable for children. In addition, high-quality and beautifully designed wooden toys invite children to play with them and encourage them to entertain themselves.

The loving details on the various toys pique the child's interest to the limit. This conviction that the child and its development take priority is what drives us forward, regardless of the lifestyle trends. Rather, the awareness of natural materials and sustainability currently seems to be increasingly important in the adult lifestyle, which only confirms – but does not influence –our way of thinking and actions.

Make-up is especially important for girls, not just in role-playing games. Your current "Little Lady" dressing table supports this aspect of play. Would it actually sell if it were a different colour other than pink and came with fewer heart stickers?

S.H.: I'm sure it would sell in other colours as well. But pink is still a very popular colour with little girls. And every little girl can also decide for herself whether she wants to use the heart stickers or not. They can, for example, also be stuck onto other items of furniture or pictures. Up to now, we've not had any request for a different colour. Should we get one, we will gladly consider offering other colours, as we do with our tents, for example.

Doll's houses reflect their time. From the kidney-shaped table of the 1950s to the timeless IKEA look, doll's house furnishings mirror the mainstream lifestyle. What is the current trend?

S.H.: In the houses of the adults, there's a clear trend towards more wood. For example, solid wood houses are becoming increasingly popular, too. It is above all the high-quality natural material that is also in the foreground when it comes to our doll's houses.

What is just as important, however, is paying loving attention to detail, which is expressed in every single piece of furniture. Ultimately, with doll's houses, it is above all the creativity of the children that should be given space to unfold, regardless of trends. Because trends are far less important for children than for us adults, which is a good thing.

 

Author of this article:

Harald Hemmerlein

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