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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After the two full digital editions that gained recognition as international event, the long-awaited physical show had a record turnout: a multitude of trade operators from all over Italy as well as from abroad.

172 brands present, equal to 137 direct companies (78% Italian) with over 350 brands represented. An exponential growth for an appointment that since 2006 has become essential. This is demonstrated also by the presence of more than 3 thousand professionals, about double compared to the last physical edition of 2019. Thus the 5th edition of Toys Milano & Bay-B came to an end, the main B2B event dedicated to operators in the toy and early childhood sectors, but also in stationery, carnival, festivity and party that took place in the 8 thousand sqm of the MiCo Sud pavilion at fieramilanocity. Given the incredible success due to the extreme will to meet in person again – that much hoped-for back to business – it is already possible to announce that in 2023 the dates will be April 16 and 17.

This is how the market concretely demonstrates a constant growth trend that, as confirmed by the research company NPD Group, currently stands at + 4%. Therefore, the sold out was assured, affirming how much the event organized by Salone Inernazionale del Giocattolo in collaboration with Assogiocattoli has now become “the place to be” for all stakeholders in the toys market and beyond. Thanks to the positive experience of the full digital editions of the last two years that gained recognition as international event, the fair will also be online. In fact those who could not be present for distance or work reasons can count on Toys Milano PLUS: For the third time in a row, the digital platform was active, this time from 17 to 31 May – full of special contents, videos, presentations, interviews and insights of all kinds.

During the intense two days in attendance there were many moments of discussion: in addition to the hundreds of commercial meetings, workshops and various insights were held in collaboration with leading partners – NPD Group, Sfera MediaGroup (RCS), E -Duesse Communication, Flowtech and GfK. Unique opportunities to understand the direction of the market and learn to anticipate it thanks to accurate studies of the most recent market data and analysis of current and future trends. In an almost festive atmosphere, it was also held the award ceremony of the Toys Awards, the TG TuttoGiocattoli initiative that for years has been rewarding companies and products that stood out for creativity, awareness, and efficiency in the last year: special guest Francesca Valla, the famous TV Nanny.

But not only that, for the occasion Assogiocattoli announced beforehand the 2022 program of the campaign “Gioco per Sempre”, the project that aims to modify and elevate the paradigm of thought that lies behind the concept of all-round playing and that aims to support a market that is still too tied to “traditional” feasts.

Finally, Toys Milano & Bay-B was also an opportunity to involve all participants in a charity initiative in support of Ukraine refugees: “Donate with Toys Milano & Bay-B”. Thanks to the support of Fondazione Fiera Milano and Fondazione Progetto Arca – that already “loaded and shipped” 16 trucks of essential products and materials, including games and toys – at the end of the show the exhibitors donated their products to all those children who are forced to leave their small bedrooms and their playmates alone.