With show season fully upon us, the Nursery Online team has been busy meeting brands and retailers to find out what 2024 has in store.
Toys take the highlight though late January and into early February with back to back trade shows in London and then out to Nuremberg for Spielwarenmesse.
We headed to the Toy Fair at Olympia last week to see what we can expect in the way of product highlights and trends for late 2024. The British Toy & Hobby Association, which turns 80 this year, marked the opening of Toy Fair’s 70th Anniversary with an unveiling of 27 Hero Toys for 2024.
The Hero Toys line up showcased an extensive range of toy categories, including games and puzzles, plush and collectibles, sectors which all saw growth throughout 2023. Arts and crafts, outdoor toys, and licensed toys provided something for every interest and imagination. Affordability seems to be a key trend with 15 out of the 27 Hero Toys priced under £25, starting at £4.99. This focus on affordability is particularly relevant in helping families navigate the challenging economic landscape.
Rebecca Deeming, Communications & Events Manager at the BTHA, commented: “Toys that offer multi-generational play have always been popular with families, as they allow for children to bond and learn with their parents and grandparents. At a time when cost is a continuing concern for many households in the UK, toys that can bring a family together for entertainment and offer a cost-effective way to make memories, have fun, and learn together are becoming more popular, and many of this year’s selection of Hero Toys offer this.”
It was interesting on speaking to a number of brands that there is a concerted effort to reduce the RRP of toys wherever possible to offer incentive for families struggling with the increased cost of living. Brands traditionally priced at the more premium end told us they were reducing prices on many lines of toys.
On the whole, the Toy Fair was buzzing, with brands reporting good trade with a mix of new customers and repeat business across independents and multiples.
Lorraine Ashton from 1 Two Kids, which distributes Sophie la Girafe, kindly spent time showcasing the impressive range from the brand including a gorgeous plush activity mat, as well as the more traditional teething toys – we highly recommend taking a look at the collection!
Lorraine commented: “The show has been a good mix of large retailers and new independents, including a selection from across the lifestyle and homes and gift stores, who are looking to diversify into toys to expand their ranges. We have seen a shift away from online and more high street and boutique stores visit us at the event.”
We were also really impressed by the new plush and nursery collections from Little Big Friends, Flipetz, and Les Ptipotos, and the gorgeous new Cloud B night lights,all distributed by BTL Diffusion. Other highlights in pre-school for us were the amazing new ranges from Janod, Taf, Bigjigs Toys, Kaloo and Hape.
We are off to Spring Fair next week, so if you are around and would like to catch up, do get in touch by emailing us email@example.com