The annual UK Toy Fair will be taking place in London between the 25th and 27th of this month in over 19,000 square metres of exhibition space, showing toys, crafts and hobbies of all types.
This popular event has been moved around the country a fair bit in recent years but its spiritual home is in the lovely Victorian setting of the Olympia Exhibition Centre on Hammersmith Road in West London. This is an ideal setting for people who want to find out what is new and what is going to make the news this year in the toy industry.
Way back in 1954 the very first UK Toy Fair event was held in Brighton, and this year’s version is expected to be as big a success as any of its predecessors, as a stronger economy has raised expectations among exhibitors who have ensured a 20% to 30% increase on last year’s event.
There are over 200 exhibitors lined up and the hobby firms such as Hornby, Oxford Diecast and Carrera are expected to make a big impact this year. The last fair saw a number of the big European manufacturers return to the Toy Fair and this year should see the trend continue.
Among the traditional events are the Best New Toys competition and the always interesting Toy Lab, where kids get to try out the new latest models. While the fair is not open to the public it will be filled with inventors, industry buyers, importers and all sorts of other interested parties. All in all, over 9,000 people from the industry are expected.
The big industry awards are the Toy of the Year and the Toy Retailer of the Year and all the big manufacturers will be hoping for one of the coveted prizes.
So what hot new toys will come out of the next few days worth of exhibitions?