Our Toy Fair 2016 experience!
Dear mummy, we were invited up to the Toy Fair a couple of weeks ago and had a great time. We’d never been before and were looking forward to it for ages. It was held at Olympia London and it was a sight for sore eyes.
Alas, I couldn’t go (shock horror!) as my mummy thought it best if I stayed at home and monitored our social media channels. You see if I had gone we wouldn’t have got anything done… I would have been too busy playing with all the fab toys! A toddler meltdown wouldn’t have gone down very well either and my mummy had visions of me at the stands trying to nick the prototypes.
The Toy Fair is shroud in an air of secrecy, it’s an event that allows toy manufacturers to showcase and release their best toys to the market and give the select few an opportunity to see new toys before the rest of the world. At a lot of the stands we weren’t allow to take photos. It was like something out of willy wonka! Toy buyers from big stores were there to trade and network and it was like being part of an exclusive club.
” What happens at the Toy Fair, stays at the Toy Fair…”
However, that didn’t stop my mummy from having a whale of a time and pretending that she was a little kid again. She spent the majority of the day walking around with her head in the clouds, feeling nostalgic at all the retro toys like the CareBears and Stickle Bricks. She bumped into her friend at Mudpie Fridays while aimlessly walking around and shared a giggle at how impressive the exhibition was.
Children are so lucky to have all these fab toy companies creating such magical toys, but it’s great that some of these toys can help adults to find their inner child too.
We had an agenda though, there were some stands that we really wanted to visit which were appropriate for my age range, even though we liked the look of all the Star Wars toys and Doctor Who releases (My daddy is a massive fan so we had to report back) my mummy was really interested in saying “thank you” to the companies which have brought joy to my little life so far.
My mummy visited the Cloud B stand, they have never asked us to review anything for them, we just have because we loved their products so much. The staff on the stand were friendly and gracious and welcomed my mummy with open arms. We got to admit that the Cloud B Turtle nightlight which I’ve had since birth and still continue to use 3 years on has been a savour to our little family. My mummy passed on our thanks and scoped out some of their new products, had a chuckle with the team and wished them luck at the event.
The next stand she visited was Orchard Toys, we are brand ambassadors for them and wanted to see what new items they had for 2016. My mummy was very impressed with their stand and the team came across professional and helpful when we enquired about their products. She liked the look of their new colouring and education books, perfect for my age! They had a large jigsaw displayed within clear perspex flooring which we thought was pretty nifty too!
After lunch at the Cartoon Network Cafe she headed to the press area, which was a great experience, however my mummy did feel out of her depth mingling with professional jornos. It was a great area to rest her weary feet and take stock. She enjoyed reading some press packs and caught her bearings and carried on exploring. Next door was the TV and demonstration area where kids could test out and talk about the toys (maybe when I’m a bit older I could come and help with this!? *hint hint*)
My mummy was impressed with Nutty Putty and spent ages watching the demo and hearing about the product (We’ll be sharing a review with all of you soon on the blog)
She enjoyed visiting the Character and Flair stands and was whisked around by a lovely PR guy and shown some new toys, very exciting products for the Peppa Pig, Teletubbies and Clangers fans out there!
Afterwards my mummy moved around the impressive and very large Sylvanian Families stand and again the staff were on hand to answer her questions about toy releases and product details. She was particular taken with the little hotdog stand set. A fairground theme was going on at the Toy Fair!
Further up and in the top corner of the exhibition space were the sponsors of the show Lottie Dolls, again another impressive stand with some great new releases like Stargazing Lottie. They even got a special mention over twitter on the day from the UK astronaut, Tim Peake, on the space station! Woweeee. My mummy got chatting to the chap on the stand and realised that he came from the same small Irish village that my grandparents come from (and they know each other!) small world eh?
Taking of dolls, my mummy also met and spoke to a lovely lady on the A Girl For All Time stand. What a pretty stand with beautiful dolls, a real head turner at the show and interesting product range. We hope to be sharing some more of her story on the blog later this year.
My mummy had a laugh with a very funny guy (American or Canadian we couldn’t place the accent) on the Melissa & Doug stand about the large unicorn on display (see if I had been there that would have come home with me!).
My mummy enjoyed visiting and seeing the beautiful display of wooden toys at Le Toy Van, the pastel colours and pop of red were a wonderful visual entrance to the Toy Fair. She loved the new doctors bag and beautiful crafted kitchen set. Some great toy sets to encourage role-playing.
The pièce de résistance was the heavily guarded LEGO stand, one of the main reasons she came down to the Toy Fair, now you wouldn’t refuse Lego would you? It was like a theme park tour in itself and a wonderful experience being taking around all their new products. My mummy focused on the DUPLO products as that’s my age range, but was thoroughly impressed by the new IP and range of toys for older children. The colours, the themes were all perfect for a little diva and princess like me….but she can’t say too much, as their new range is hush hush. She only just scratched the surface… whisked through curtains, section after section ending up at the new LEGO Star Wars collection… and OMGosh the world is in for a treat! My daddy would have been in his element. The LEGO crew were bang on the money for us this year.
There were loads of other stands which we browsed around including heavy hitters Playmobile and Bandi. Over 277 toy manufactures and distributors were down there and it would have taken the whole weekend to visit everyone! My mummy never reached it to the KidKraft stand to talk to them about toddler beds (they were always too busy) and she missed Schleich and their awesome animal toys.
My mummy had an awesome time at the Toy Fair, a grand day out. It has really given her an insight to the Toy Industry which we hope to work with in the next couple of years.
Love Bella x (future toy reviewer extraordinaire)