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31 Jan – 4 Feb 2018
Spielwarenmesse®: Dolls and stuffed animals are among the oldest playthings. You could say they're timeless, in a way. But still, new kinds of dolls are always being launched in line with trends. What are this season’s trends?
Thomas Eichhorn: Incorporating science into play is one of the popular topics with children this year. We have also taken this trend into account in our product design and will be bringing a product line to the market in autumn which combines science and fashion dolls. Based on the motto “Having fun through intelligent play and experimentation”, we are launching a range for 6 to 10-year-old girls which makes it cool to be clever. We’re not at liberty to give out any further details on this at the moment.
Trendy innovations which little girls love will also be added to our extremely popular BABY born brand. Elves, unicorns and fairies with lots of pink and glitter are still all the rage here and we’ll be bringing these to the market in autumn with our Wonderland highlight theme. This is how we conjure up a fantastic, magical world for BABY born®, in which little girls can give free rein to their imaginations.
International perspectives: do you see differences in respect of demand and market structure in the key markets?
T.E.: Naturally there are certain differences between the individual European markets when it comes to how children play. It goes without saying that these have to be taken into account in product and concept development. However, when it comes to playing with dolls, it’s safe to say that this is still one of the favourite pastimes of young girls all over the world. Which is great for us, of course.
Apps and digital features can be found in almost all product groups today. We are seeing increased digitisation in dolls as well. Where is this trend going?
T.E.: Toys, even dolls, are not immune to the trend towards digitisation, of course. However, you have to be very cautious in how you use digital features so that you don‘t end up turning a highly emotional product, which a doll represents for a little girl, into a soulless robot.
Zapf Creation AG has seen turbulent times. How are things at the company today?
T.E.: We experienced good sales growth in 2014. The company has succeeded in turning things round and we see further opportunities for developing in a positive direction.
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