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Kidult toys and nostalgia feature during a busy Toy Fair 2024

Kidult toys and nostalgia were among the themes celebrated at this week’s Toy Fair 2024, as the toy industry came together over a busy three days to help celebrate the show’s 70th anniversary.

With more than 250 exhibiting companies launching thousands of new products in front of buyers, retailers, licensors, media and the wider industry, it was for many, the first opportunity of the year to network under one roof.

The show welcomed a cross-section of visitors over all three days and achieved media coverage including ITV Regional News, BBC regional radio, The Guardian, The Daily Mirror and the Daily Star, with online coverage including The Sun and Daily Express, and more coverage pending. In a nod to nostalgia there were many anniversaries celebrated including Rubik’s Cube’s 50th anniversary, TOMY’s 100th anniversary and Playmobil’s 50th birthday.

Due to the high demand for exhibiting space at this year’s Toy Fair, the show increased its footprint by extending into part of the Upper West Hall, which played host to The Lego Group, as well as TOMY and Spin Master, which had both returned to the show after a period away.

“London Toy Fair has always been a significant milestone for our industry, and this year was no exception,” commented Claire Ridley, director of marketing at TOMY. “It was fantastic to be back for 2024 and see the magic of play come to life in every corner. Toy Fair provides us with the perfect platform to showcase our latest innovations and connect with industry leaders, retailers and creators. After three energised days, we look forward to a memorable year ahead.”

Richard Dickson, general manager, UK & Ireland at Spin Master, continued: “Toy Fair is an amazing opportunity to have meaningful conversations with all our customers – and this is invaluable to having a successful year. We’ve had an awesome show connecting with those buyers and cannot wait to be back for 2025. It’s been great being back at Toy Fair this year and we’re delighted to have been recognised for our innovation in Bitzee and PAW Patrol too.”

Majen Immink, director of Toy Fair, added: “As show organisers, reaching 70 years of Toy Fair is not something we take for granted. A huge thank you must go to all of our exhibitors, visitors and contractors, who have supported the show not only this year but over Toy Fair’s 70-year history, and who once again made this year’s show so vibrant, colourful and a great platform to kick off the business year. We wish everyone a successful year ahead and look forward to welcoming the industry back in 2025.”

Applications for Toy Fair 2025 will open in March 2024 on the Toy Fair website.

A number of the stands featured licensed products including Just Play, with Anna Chapman, vp international licensing, commenting: “This has been our third consecutive London Toy Fair since setting up the UK and Ireland business in 2022, and each year has surpassed the last. Connecting with our business partners could not be more efficient, having met with over 100 retailers across the three days, along with media, agencies and licensors. Thank you BTHA for yet another excellent Toy Fair.”

Emma Weber, senior director – marketing and licensing (UK) at Vivid Goliath, commented: “It was great to be part of the Toy Fair’s 70th anniversary celebrations and the show felt as busy and vibrant as ever. The Vivid/Goliath stand was bustling with retailers, licensors, inventors and international partners and we got some fantastic responses to our new ranges across toys and games. A highlight has to be Press Day and meeting contestants from the most talked about BBC show, Traitors and seeing the coverage in the nationals the following day.”

Nathaniel Southworth, md at KAP Toys, added: “Toy Fair 2024 has been another successful year for KAP Toys, it’s the only place you can present great product to this number of customers within a 72-hour window. BEANO has been incredibly well received; nostalgia is such a strong pull towards product, and everyone knows and loves BEANO. We are looking forward to the strong responses we’ve had converting into sales.”

Meanwhile, for Jason McKenzie, commercial director at Paper Engine, the show was a chance to get feedback on its new kits: “The feedback on our new kits launching this year has been incredible, with particular love for our new Wallace & Gromit kits. We were thrilled to be interviewed by ITV Regions, and to have the opportunity to talk about kidult trends and how our Wallace & Gromit range fits within that. A huge success, and we can’t wait to return next year.”

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