A successful Spielwarenmesse encourages the toy business


There were great expectations for the 2023 edition of the Spielwarenmesse, the largest and most representative toy fair in the world, after a gap of three long years when the event was cancelled due to the pandemic, and they were met, or even exceeded: although 700 exhibitors were missing as compared with the 2019 show – 2,100 companies from 69 countries participated this year – and visitors dropped by 8% to 58,000 from 128 countries, the German toy exhibition, held for the 72nd time in Nuremberg (February 1-6), was considered a real success by anybody concerned. It is obvious that the war in Ukraine and the compulsory visa for Chinese visitors kept both exhibitors and visitors from several territories away. On the other hand, attendance from the US toy market was higher than ever, growing by almost 10%. Since most international toy markets registered turnover decreases in 2022, the positive feeling that was manifest in the Nuremberg fair halls pointed to better results in 2023.

All the leading companies in the international toy business were present. New products and concepts abounded. A significant shift toward sustainability was on the forefront everywhere. The Toys Go Green area enjoyed great acceptance with its presentation of the sustainability theme in four sections. There was strong focus on one of the three trends selected by the Spielwarenmesse together with the international TrendCommittee, namely Meta Toys, which opens new technological horizons for the toy business. The other trends were Discovery and Brands for Fans.

The usual itinerary through the halls underwent some changes as a few major companies were moved to different locations but those exhibitors eventually expressed satisfaction with the new placement. A survey revealed that 95% of exhibitors rated participation in the event as important or very important, and 92% declared themselves satisfied or very satisfied with the way it went. Christian Ulrich, Spokesperson of the Executive Board at Spielwarenmesse eG, announced that 83% of the exhibitors were already making plans to take part again.

On January 31st, during the Spielwarenmesse Press Preview, six products received the coveted Toy Award: among them, there were EverEarth 7 in 1 Space Activity Cube by Ever Earth Europe (Baby & Infant Category, 0-3 years) and Yummy Bear Scale by Topbright (Preschool Category, 3-6 years). Paw Patrol AR Tattoo & Stickers by Holo Toyz was awarded a Toy Award for the Startup Category. Among the Soft Toys, Wooden Toys and Educational Toys areas, we met a broad selection of products relating to babies and infants. We noticed Montessori-inspired articles for the children’s room, extended employment of eco-friendly materials, wooden outdoor play equipment. Baby and infant toys were exhibited in several other halls of the Spielwarenmesse.

The next Spielwarenmesse’s dates will be announced within the end of February.


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Created in 2004, Baby Care Magazines International, at the beginning a European association, became global in 2012 when the Chinese member joined. It is now made up of ten nursery trade magazines.

In September 2004, a meeting promoted by Daniele Caroli, editor-in-chief of Il Giornale dell’Infanzia, the Italian baby care products trade magazine, gathered six similar journals which decided to create an association in order to make it possibile for the members to exchange market data, branch information and articles. The meeting took place in the press room of the Kind + Jugend fair in Cologne, and the organizers of the exhibition immediately asked the members of the association to be part, on a rotation basis, of the jury of the Innovation Award, which would be launched the following year. Ever since, the annual meeting of BCMI has taken place in Cologne during Kind + Jugend.

The six founding members – Baby Hobby and Leketøy, Norway; Baby Wereld, the Netherlands; Il Giornale dell’Infanzia, Italy; K-Boetiek/K-Boutique, Belgium; Nursery Today, United Kingdom; Puericultura Market, Spain – after having approved the association’s statute, which defines rights and duties of the member magazines and promotes their cooperation, elected Caroli as President for a three-year term, at the end of which he was succeeded by Filip Werniers, editor-in-chief of K-Boetiek.

In 2008, as Werniers had left his job to join a Belgian company in the toy business, Carola Siksma-Ruiters, publisher and editor-in-chief of Baby Wereld, was elected new President.

In 2010 the association welcomed a new member, the Polish magazine Branża Dziecięca, and in 2012 two more journals joined: Leksaks Revyn (Sweden), a toy trade magazine which had added a nursery section, and Juvenile Products (now Nursery China), initially a supplement of Toy & Hobby, the official magazine of the China Toy & Juvenile Products Association.

The latest changes, in September 2014, concern the entry of the tenth member, Baby & Junior (Germany) and the election of a new President, Marek Jankowski, publisher and editor-in-chief of Branża Dziecięca, after Siksma-Ruiters expressed the wish to be substituted having by far gone beyond the duration of her term.

During these ten years, the association has consolidated its cooperation with Koelmesse, especially as regards the Kind + Jugend Innovation Award, and its members have been invited to attend international nursery fairs such as China Kids Expo in Shanghai (since 2011), Kids’ Time in Kielce, Poland (since 2012), and Puericultura Madrid (since 2014). Delegations of BCMI members have also visited companies like Aerts/Childhome (Belgium), BabyBjörn (Sweden), Cybex (Germany), and attended international events staged in Europe by Dorel.

Author: Daniele Caroli

Editor-in-chief of Il Giornale dell’Infanzia, BCMI member magazine

BCMI members at BabyBjörn (2008).

BCMI members at BabyBjörn (2008).

BCMI members at Cybex headquarters (2013).

BCMI members at Cybex headquarters (2013).