Dear Mummy, I feel cheated. You see while I was at school you were having the time of your life at the London Toy Fair. January can be pretty miserable and grey so it was wonderful to get the opportunity to see lots of colour, sparkles and exciting new toys. What better way to ‘get happy’ than a visit to a Toy Fair! But not any old Toy Fair….the biggest in the UK.
It’s the third time my mummy has attended the conference on my behalf and while it is very much geared as a trade show, it’s still the perfect opportunity to attend and speak to exhibitors about new toys coming out in 2019/2020.
As a child I feel that I should have been there, you know, to test the toys out. In fact, I’d heard on the grapevine that a lot of kid YouTubers were there, checking out the cool new toys they may be asked to help promote this year.
However you were my roaming reporter down there to give me live access to the show. 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 you weren’t allow to take photos. It was like something out of willy wonka!
See the footage below for our walk-around of the show!
The Toy Fair is massive and housed within a beautiful glass roofed exhibition hall in Kensington Olympia. The annual three-day event runs from 22-24 January, organised by the British Toy & Hobby Association (BTHA).
Toy manufacturers, importers and promoters display their brand new products for UK buyers and the world media. Alas, I couldn’t go (shock horror!) so instead I stayed at home and monitored our social media channels (and went to school). 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!
Of course my mummy couldn’t wait to see what was on offer, especially as I’d potentially be involved in the toy testing, reviewing and marketing stage. She had some appointments booked with toy manufactures and PR companies and was really grateful that they managed to squeeze her into their busy show schedule.
The sheer scale of the stands and the attention to detail of the exhibitions was amazing. With some toys and prototypes hidden under lock and key. Big giants like Lego, Spin Master, Flair, Character and Vivid Toys and Games offered appointment only slots for press to see the toys in action.
You were lucky enough to see these new toys, however as a lot of these are still under embargo until the release dates we can’t really share them with you. Not even my mummy told me. The toys at the show covered every age group from newborns, pre-schoolers, tweens/teens and even adult collectors. My daddy would have loved all the Star Wars inspired toys and merchandise.
The Toy Fair offers a first look at the trends and crazes tipped to be big in 2019 and I know you found it a great introduction to the many toys that will be on the market soon.
You had a giggle at the twerking llama, part of the new Pets Alive range by Zuru. The dancing and booty shaking Llama was named Boppi. He danced to three built-in songs while twerking and shaking its head! Very funny.
The return of nostalgic toys from my mummy’s childhood had her rubbing her hands with glee and the reemergence of more family board games was welcomed. Nearly every stand had a board game on show! It was clear that the collectible toy trend is set to continue too and popularity of pet toys was also reflected on the Golden Bear Stand and many others.
Along with the toy giants my mummy had fun exploring the little know brands in the Green House zone, a dedicated area for start-ups and inventors looking to crack into the UK toy market.
My mummy saw a lot of toys influenced by films coming out like Pokemon, How to Train Your Dragon 3, Lion King, Lego Movie 2, Dumbo. Along with popular shows on CBEEBIES and Disney, children’s favourites like Peppa Pig and Fortnite were making waves once again.
Some toys earned a spot on this year’s “Toy Heroes” list, an annual set of predictions compiled by retailers and experts detailing the products they expect to be in hot demand over the next 12 months. The list was unveiled at the Toy Fair and each of the 25 toys awarded “hero” status was selected by an independent panel of experts. See below!
BHTA Hero Toys 2019
The LEGO Movie 2 70820 LEGO Movie Maker, £44.99 (LEGO)
Peppa Pig Stage Playset, £38.99 (Character Options)
The World of David Walliams’ Gangsta Granny Board Game, £19.95 (Paul Lamond Games)
Tetley Tea Set, £12.99 (Casdon)
Massive Monster Mayhem Inflatable Bash Armour, £17.99 (Alpha Group)
PET_BITS Interactive Collectible Robot, £19.99 (Clementoni)
The Rise of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles – Deluxe Ninja Attack Action Figures, £29.99 (Flair Leisure Products)
Everybody’s Best Friend, Waffle the Wonder Dog!, £29.99 (Golden Bear)
My First Light Up Trike, £49.99 (H Grossman)
NERF Rukkus ICS-8 Nerf N-Strike Elite, £19.99 (Hasbro)
Face Paintoos Wild Pack, £9.99 (Interplay)
Join the Force Police Bike, £99.99 (Kids @ Play)
Butterfly Counting Friend, £19.99 (LeapFrog Toys)
Artie 3000, £69 (Learning Resources)
Bananas Bunches 3-Pack Bunch, Series 3, £9.99 (Bandai UK)
Chimpy, £20, (Mookie Toys)
Magic Spelling, £12.75 (Orchard Toys)
Tiny Paws Pet Hotel, £59.99 (Playmobil)
ENGINO STEM Heroes Greenhouse (Re:creation)
The Schleich Horse Club Rider Cafe, £39.99 (Schleich)
Paw Patrol Ultimate Rescue Construction Truck, £39.99 (Spin Master)
Don’t Upset the Llama, £14.99 (Tactic Games)
Ritzy Rollerz Dance & Dazzle Spa, £34.99 (Tomy)
Ryan’s World Mystery Egg, £14.99 (Vivid Toy Group)
So what do you think of our coverage of the London Toy Fair? Maybe next year my mummy will let me come with her! It really is a great show and a lovely way to kick off the year. Who knows maybe we’ll see some of these toys on our YouTube channel soon. What’s your favourite toy from the ones above?
Love Bella x