Wednesday to Sunday!
31 Jan – 4 Feb 2018
Tradition and modernity have a special place at this year’s Spielwarenmesse. From 30 January to 3 February, the world’s leading trade fair for toys celebrates its 70th anniversary, and everyone in the industry is invited. Organiser, Spielwarenmesse eG, is paying tribute to the enduring loyalty of its participants – often spanning several decades – by staging the ToyFestival as a special highlight of the fair. At the same time, it is remaining closely tuned to the future: Buyers and independent retailers will benefit from modified product groups, informative special shows and plenty of expertise to help them in the daily running of their businesses. The 170,000m² area of the exhibition centre, operated by Nürnberg Messe, will be filled with 2,886 exhibitors from 68 countries, with the international share rising once again from 75% last year to 76% in 2019. The trends “Ready, Steady, Play!”, “The WOW Effect” and “Toys 4 Kidults” as well as the nominees and winners of the ToyAwards provide visitors with valuable guidance in their search for innovative products.
Changes to the halls
Perfectly timed to coincide with the anniversary event, the hosts are introducing several changes to the structure of the fair. Ernst Kick, CEO Spielwarenmesse eG, states: “We’re pushing on with our plan to equip the Spielwarenmesse for the future. We’re restructuring some of the product groups to reflect dynamic changes in the marketplace.” The new product group Electronic Toys is taking root in Hall 4A, featuring robots, RC toys, virtual play and electronic educational toys. The foundation for this new product group was laid in 2017 by the Tech2Play activity area which will continue to attract huge interest at the centre of the hall. The biggest move is taking place in Hall 7A where the product groups Model Railway and Model Construction are being merged. The international diversity of both industries, which appeal to identical target groups, has now been united under one roof to reflect the full spectrum of products. The product group Festive Articles, Carnival and Fireworks is likewise benefitting from several new features in Hall 9. Ranking as the most important gathering for well-known suppliers and market leaders from this field, the Spielwarenmesse is responding by expanding this segment into part of Hall 8.
Special areas with added value
“ShowTime, the new activity area covering more than 200m², offers genuine entertainment value and is the absolute highlight of this product group,” explains Florian Hess, Director Fair Management. The catwalk hosts daily fashion shows featuring the latest fancy-dress costumes and make-up tips. Visitors can also have fun with the magic photo mirror, creating memorable snapshots with decorative accessories supplied by exhibitors. A different target group altogether is addressed by the special show Toys meet Books, which has been conceived for booksellers looking for interesting additional ranges. The area which was successfully launched in 2018 is located in a highly frequented location close to Entrance Mitte and has been extended to 200m². Toys meet Books not only presents relevant non-book items but also talks, best-practice examples and speed coaching with retail experts in German and English.
Let’s talk licensing
Trade buyers dealing in toys refresh their industry knowledge at the Toy Business Forum in Hall 3A. International experts give presentations on changing topics every day that are highly relevant to the practicalities of business: Trends and innovations, change management and the challenges of digitalisation are among the topics of interest. The LicenseTalks are a completely new feature of the Toy Business Forum, with expert presentations taking place every morning from Wednesday to Friday. The exhibition centre provides a broad overview of international licensing themes and products, whilst licensors benefit from a wide variety of presentation opportunities. At the LicensePreview, for example, major studios and agencies such as CPLG, Viacom/Nickelodeon and NBC Universal present their concepts to selected business contacts in an exclusive setting. The importance of licensing is underlined at the Spielwarenmesse by its long-term partnership with the International Licensing Industry Merchandisers’ Association (LIMA) and its stand in the foyer of Hall 12.0.
Innovative products and ideas
Trends and innovations are brought together in the TrendGallery in Hall 3A. The eleven-strong international TrendCommittee has identified three significant trends, that are presented here in conjunction with related products: “Ready, Steady, Play!” combines physical activity with heaps of fun, encouraging children to be more active. “The WOW Effect” is all about surprising toys whose true content or capabilities are not revealed until they are unpacked or discovered during play. The products that fall within the “Toys 4 Kidults” trend include collectibles and eye-catching products that also fascinate the adult world. The TrendGallery likewise features the nominees and winners of the ToyAwards, which are presented in five categories: Baby & Infant (0-3 years), PreSchool (3-6 years), SchoolKids (6-10 years) and Teenagers & Adults (from 10 years). The Start-up Category is being introduced for the first time and is aimed at firms that have been trading for five years or less. This year, 433 companies (2018: 397) entered a total of 838 products (2018: 643). Christian Ulrich, Director Marketing, explains: “The jury judges the products in line with specific criteria such as originality and safety, as well as potential success at retail.” The winners are announced at the official Opening Ceremony on 29 January.
The corks will also be popping during the Spielwarenmesse. Visitors in need of a breather or wanting to take home a memorable snapshot of the 70th anniversary edition can enjoy a break at the selfie station with ball pit and deckchairs in the passageway between Halls 3A/4A. Visitors, exhibitors and media representatives are gathering for the ToyFestival on the evening of Thursday, 31 January 2019. The spectacular Hall 3C is poised to host a relaxed get-together with a live band and a light country spread. An anniversary of such proportion would not be the same without a spell-binding fireworks display on Saturday evening. The best views can be captured from the Exhibition Park.
CEO Ernst Kick is full of anticipation: “Our special events for the 70th Spielwarenmesse are our way of thanking all attendees for their loyalty over the years. At the same time, we’re keeping our eye firmly fixed on the future, ensuring that our quality event continues to reflect an industry with a bright and promising outlook.”
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24 January 2019 – sw
Spielwarenmesse, the leading international fair for toys, hobbies and leisure, is organized by the fair and marketing services provider Spielwarenmesse eG. The trade fair creates a comprehensive communication and ordering platform for around 2,900 national and international manufacturers. The presentation of new products and the extensive industry overview provide a valuable pool of information for annual market orientation for 71,000 buyers and toy traders from over 125 nations. Spielwarenmesse® has also been a protected word mark in Germany since 2013.
Fair date: Spielwarenmesse®, Wednesday to Sunday, 30 Jan – 3 Feb 2019