There aren’t many places where buyers rub shoulders with the likes of Donatello the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle and Peppa Pig - but it’s hard to avoid at Toy Fair.
For three days in January, London’s Olympia exhibition centre is transformed into a Santa’s Workshop as exhibitors from across the globe present the toys and gadgets they hope to be the next playground hit or Christmas list must-have.
The buyers and suppliers who attended this year’s show heard the sobering news that a lack of innovation was being held up as a key reason for the relatively poor performance of the market, with new toys accounting for 31% of all sales last year - down from 34% the year before. Overall toys sales, which had grown 3% year-on-year in 2011, fell 1% last year [NPD data].
Looking around the packed halls and gallery of this week’s show at the host of exciting new products and brands, it’s hard to imagine the industry will be hearing a similar tale this time next year.
But don’t take our word for it - here our some of our favourite sights and products from Toy Fair 2013.