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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Spielwarenmesse Digital brings together the worldwide industry, virtually. For the originally planned period of the trade fair, from 2 to 6 February, the new platform is offering a comprehensive live programme for all participants.

From 2 to 6 February, the new platform has an extensive live programme ready for all participants. © Spielwarenmesse eG

Alongside a wide range of communication tools, it also offers the trade a compact overview of trends and innovations. The registration phase of Spielwarenmesse Digital for trade visitors starts on 19 January. Buyers can register on the new platform at digital.spielwarenmesse.de/en and set up their personal profile. Tickets can be obtained via the website www.spielwarenmesse.de/en/tickets. Previously purchased tickets to the on-site industry event will remain valid for Spielwarenmesse Digital.

Live programme over five days

The digital inaugural event on 2 February, to which all industry participants are invited, will launch the live phase of Spielwarenmesse Digital with the announcement of the winner of the ToyAward. Knowledge-sharing is also a focus: the presentations from the Toy Business Forum will be streamed via the platform on all five days. Topics cover a spectrum ranging from current trends in retailing and toys, through marketing, to sustainability and digitalisation. Spielwarenmesse Digital will also be showing the LicenseTalks product presentations from exhibitors. All participants can very easily add presentations in which they are interested to their own calendar on the platform. After 6 February, the presentations can be viewed on demand as videos. The presentations on the Toy Business Forum are available in German and English.

Arranging virtual meetings

In addition, Spielwarenmesse Digital will provide a compact overview of all participating businesses and their product ranges. Under the menu item ‘Exhibitors & Products’, all of the companies are represented with their own entries. Alongside information about the company and contacts, the profiles offer an overview of their product range and selected product entries, with text and images. And retailers can make direct contact with exhibitors using various communication tools including private chats, group chats, audio calls and video meetings. Virtual meetings, too, are easy to arrange. The platform also includes a number of search and filter options. These allow users to quickly find relevant suppliers, innovations, brands and licences and save them to their own favourites list. The ever-popular Special Areas at the leading industry fair are also reproduced on Spielwarenmesse Digital.

Innovative industry network

A further highlight is the ‘Networking’ area. On the basis of interests saved in the user’s personal profile, the platform will recommend appropriate contacts to each participant. Using the search function, buyers can also easily find their trading partners and network with them. “In Spielwarenmesse Digital, we are setting new standards,” explains Christian Ulrich, Spokesperson of the Executive Board at Spielwarenmesse eG. “With this platform, we are providing the international toy community with an extensive industry network that will enable them to exchange ideas and develop new business relationships.”

The website www.spielwarenmesse.de/en/digital has a number of tutorials available to help participants prepare for the fair. These short videos explain clearly the various areas and functions of Spielwarenmesse Digital.