Beacon Creative’s Carol Feeley highlights her top picks and trends from last week’s show.
London Olympia opened its doors for the 65th annual Toy Fair, showcasing over 260 brands, last week. Beacon Creative has collated its top picks and top trends for this year’s show.
Tiana, Toys and Me – Vivid Toys
YouTube sensation Tiana made an appearance on Tuesday to unveil her new line of toys at the show. The range features a fashion doll and various playsets which allow kids to ‘unbox’ like Tiana with confetti-filled pop boxes. The pop boxes contain accessories for each of the mini figures. We were lucky enough to be involved with the project, working with Vivid on the style guide including logo, illustration and packaging design for the range.
With nearly eight million subscribers to her channel Toys and Me, we’re expecting this to be massive at retail later this year, and we’re fully expecting to see more properties born from social media based on the success of JoJo Siwa.
Vivid showcased its new range of Stickits, combining the success of blind bags and collectables. Featuring Disney characters and My Little Pony, the stylised characters dispense stickers similar to a Pez dispenser.
Each character dispenses 100 stickers, with rare specials to find. We were tasked with designing and artworking the stickers, 9,000 in total!
The brand that just keeps getting bigger, Funko had one of the largest stands at the show displaying not only vinyl figures but also debuting its venture into new categories.
Funko showcased a new range of Marvel homeware and Disney accessories from its latest acquisition, Loungefly.
Click Distribution – Molang
We were excited to hear the announcement of the third series of Molang in December, and just as excited to see Molang’s adventure into new categories.
Click’s new range of Molang accessories and jewellery features, rings, earrings, purses and our favourite – the Molang eye mask.
Molang has also released some very cute backgrounds to customise your desktop and phone, a great freebie to get their brand shared.
Recycling and Responsibility
We were glad to see some traction building in this area, with an increase in STEM toys and a larger focus on responsibility. We’re seeing this trend develop not only through toys but also across apparel and homeware, with the success of Blue Planet and parents being more aware of waste and the impact it will have on their children in the future.
The Teddybot robot is a traditional soft-toy, designed for young people to develop cognitive skills and problem-solving on an interactive platform. It’s accompanied by a smartphone app where the ‘bot can be named and ‘adopted’. The app’s real purpose is to help manage time spent on the phone, along with activities that promote cognitive skills. Games inside the app are linked to painting, puzzles, and storytelling, and encourage kids to put down the phone for a while.
First timers to the Toy Fair, Money Monster has reinvented the traditional concept of a piggy bank, with a range of customisable money box monsters. The digital money box is linked to a contact-less cash card, which is controlled and monitored by parents. Money is transferred to the Money Monster account – it’s partnered and backed by Santander – and its eyes light up to tell the owner there’s money inside and who it’s from eg Auntie Sue. Tilt the monster to the side, and the balance shows up on the screen.
Another first-timer to the show, it was nice to see some simple straightforward building bricks from Pagl Toys. The bricks are created from completely renewable resources that do not harm the planet and are safe for children’s health.
As usual there were lots of collectables on show, but Washimals caught our eye on the Vivid stand. Launching in July, the range features mini animals which can be customised with Crayola pens, then washed and customised again.
If you were at the show last week you must have wondered what that smell was? Well, it was scented plush and collectables from Mookie, Sambro and Bandai.
Bandai’s series one range of Smooshy Mushy’s sold out in the US almost instantly. The super cute miniatures come in some great packaging, including milk cartons and our favourite – the bento box.
Epoch – Sylvanian Families
Last but by no means least, our favourite stand this year was the department store inspired Sylvanian families stand by Epoch. Inside it showcased the new product range this year for Sylvanian Families Town.
The product launch includes a fan event and four roadshow events across intu shopping centres nationwide beginning in March.
Carol Feeley is creative manager at Beacon Creative – an independent brand design consultancy, working with worldwide brands on a daily basis, which believes that at the heart of every good brand communication is a great idea. She can be contacted on 0191 478 4411 or firstname.lastname@example.org.