Nuremberg, in Germany, is hosting the biggest toy fair in the planet this Thursday, February 4, in an industry where the economy hasn’t left its marks. Toy makers and retailers have been left relativly unharmed from the effects of the economy worldwide basically because parents would rather save and not buy stuff for themselves and grant their children the same way they have been used to do.
In 2009, total sales of toys, action figures and video games has dropped just a tiny bit in Germany, one of Europe’s biggest markets. Some say 2010 will still not fully recover, others expect a 1% growth in the second semester of 2010.
The Toy Fair is always a big event. It all started in 1949 in a post-war Germany getting itself off the ground. Nurember held for the first time its edition at this time, and it was really in the 1950s and 1960s that the city began to be seen as a center for the display of innovations in the toy industry and also due to new advances in technology which allowed for new toys and concepts being developed. Remember a post I wrote, it was in the 1960′s that the first action figure was developed, in 1964 to be exact, that the first G.I. Joe was born. You can read more about it in the History of the Action Figure.
Some of the most successful products to have been sold in these times were new releases, novelties that children busy and some new item that the cool kid always seems to have and that most other kids then want as well.
Otto Umbach, head of Idee und Spiel, a German company representing over 800 retailers, skateboards are going to be good sellers, at least in Germany and probably Europe as well. Other predicted for the EU are the Ricochet (stunt car), in the radio/remote control vehicle category, sold by Tonka, a Hasbro brand and yo-yos.
Other featured toys are the Mindflex (coming from the US) that uses our brainwaves to keep a ping pong ball being tumbled and a pink unicorn that says good night to children.