Day 1 of Nuremberg’s Spielwarenmesse
Where do I start? What an amazing day; I am simply gobsmacked. It’s like I died and went to toy heaven! I am so, so glad that I came: I could tell it was worthwhile as soon as I walked in the door. It’s kind of hard to describe, but I’ll try: You know how you felt when you went from primary school to high school? At primary school in your last year you were one of the big kids and knew your way around. You were confident and people knew who you were. Then you go to high school and you are small fry. Everyone is bigger and more confident than you, and you have to make your way up the food chain again. Well, that was me – moving from primary to high school today. It was intimidating, but I LOVED it!
Typical German efficiency got me to the Messe (Exhibition Centre) with no fuss. A short bus ride followed by three stops on the Ubahn and I was there, plus about 50,000 other people. And you could wear any colour you liked, so long as it was black. Well, at least that’s what it seemed like. So I was appropriately dressed in all over black and knee high black boots, which also seemed like part of the uniform for women. Flat shoes were an absolute must.
I started with a coffee and the mini guide to work out my plan for the day. I thought I would use my normal strategy and walk through every hall at first. That way, I would know exactly what I was dealing with, and how much time I needed to spend in each hall on subsequent days. First up, Hall 1 – dolls and soft toys. Well, that plan lasted… about two minutes; courtesy of the fact that the third booth I walked past was Folkmanis. There was this fantastically engaging display, and then I had to go in and look at all the new puppets. My fav? A cute pig that makes an oink sound when you squeeze its hindquarters (pictured above).
I then wandered through the aisles with a grin on my face like a Cheshire Cat. I always say that fairs are all about ‘wow’ moments and they were everywhere. I didn’t even go into most stands, just made notes of what to go back to. So I’ll just summarise a few of the photos I have taken so far:
Hall 2 – Baby and infant. This is Micro Scooters’ brand new mini micro. It is smaller than the current mini micro, designed for children about 12 months old. It can even go in the dishwasher, though why you would want to do that I don’t quite know. Just let it get dirty!
The Wheely Bug stand was interesting. The lady in this photo is the inventor — and get this — she is from Kuranda (in the North Queensland Tablelands) and still lives there. These are the new removable soft covers – pretty cute!
Hall 3 and 3A – this is where I really got stuck, and spent the rest of the day. You heard me, I did not get beyond Hall 3. This was where all the ‘wood’ was. I can’t even begin to describe it. My eyes were like saucers.
This is Brendan from Honeybee Toys (where we source our Grimm’s range from). I ran into him and we spent a fair bit of the day together talking about the latest and greatest. Our retail customers will recognise our Kinderkram Castle in the background.
Can you see the seat in this pic? You sit in it and they literally take you for a ride – amazing way to display the products they sell.
This was Toy of the Year in the Baby/Toddler Category. It’s a construction toy that links, and then you can move the pieces around… like worms really.
Although he may bear resemblance to Colonel Sanders; this is the most amazing Dutch man who invented Kapla blocks. They are very similar to the PLANKS range we stock.
An Austrian stand, and all they produce are spinning tops – in all shapes and forms.
The new Le Toy Van Honeybake range in pink colourway – very pretty! The items behind are the matching sink and dresser.
Me with the Fagus truck I made! It was part of their stand – they had the four steps in the manufacturing process set up, and you made your own. What a way to sell your product!
Auris musical instruments which are made by disabled folk in Sweden.
Tomorrow? I still have six halls to go! Bring it on!!
Find more about Spielwarenmesse.