Kids’ Time 2020: Largest B2B Expo Representing Central and Eastern Europe
Notwithstanding a slight decrease in the number of exhibitors, the Polish event held in Kielce on February 19-21, 2020, was lively and crowded. Among a great deal of new proposals we picked some of the most interesting products exhibited by Polish companies. We also report on the fair’s Kids Time Star Awards
©Text by Daniele Caroli, International Managing Editor at Parents’ Choice Russia / Vibor Roditelei, and Reyne Rice, Global Trend Hunter and Co-President of the International Toy Trade Magazine Association
Pictures: Branża Dziecięca, Daniele Caroli, ©Baby, Hobby & Leketoy, Hans Henrik de Glasenapp
At its 11th edition in 2020, Kids’ Time, Fair of Toys and Products for Mother and Child, experienced the end of its constant growth. Exhibitors decreased from 564 the previous year to 532. There was a good reason to explain it, however: due to the coronavirus outbreak in the province of Hubei, the Chinese companies which had booked their booths could not take part, and some local distributors had to give up, having not received the products that should have arrived from China.
“Of the originally registered 33 Chinese companies, 22 resigned because of serious problems with shipping their goods and travelling”, Andrzej Mochoń, President of Targi Kielce (Kielce Fair), told our German colleague Ulla Cramer in a short interview. “To the remaining 11 companies we offered the possibility to hire local stuff but at the end they also decided not to come. They can participate at next year’s edition without costs.”
Despite this, the show was both busy and lively, filling 8 exhibition halls (the whole fair quarter of the Polish town of Kielce plus a mobile pavilion). International participation: 60 of the exhibitors were foreign companies from 20 countries including Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Russia, Spain, Turkey and the United Kingdom. The Russian offer was featured in the Russian pavilion, the presentation arena for entrepreneurs from the Region of Kirov. There were no other special pavilions – but companies from Italy, Spain and Sweden were positioned fairly close to one another. A robust educational program offered trade guests insights into various topics including global trends, market research and retailer participation programs.
Targi Kielce plans to expand Kids’ Time in the next years: “Since we have witnessed a big decline of the wheeled goods for babies in Poland, we are considering the opportunity to add new categories, such as school articles, paper products, textiles and baby birthday party items”, said Mochoń. “We intend to build a new pillarless hall with a 12,000 square metre surface and are waiting for the approval and required documentation from the Town of Kielce, which owns the fairgrounds. If everything is approved, it will be completed in August, 2021. We are also engaged in getting more exhibitors from abroad, seeing great potential in Germany and in Russia and other Eastern European countries. We look forward to hosting more exhibitors from Turkey next year and we have started a cooperation with the chamber of commerce in Kazakhstan. As to visitors, we concentrate mostly on the East – Russia, Ukraine – and on Southern neighbours like Czech Republic and Slovakia so that the companies from Western Europe can find new clients. But we want to strengthen the communication in Germany and Italy in order to make the fair more and more international”. The 2021 edition of Kids’ Time will be held on February 17-19.
The Kids Time Star Awards
On the first day of the fair, six companies received the prestigious Kids’ Time Star awards. The jury panel chaired by Marek Jankowski, publisher of Branża Dziecięca, the BCMI member Polish trade magazine, selected products belonging to six different categories of nursery products and toys.
• Products for parents and children: Jack N’ Jill Toothpaste (distributed in Poland by Eco & More). Australian brand.
• Car seats: BeSafe iZi Twist B i-Size (distributed in Poland by Marko). Norwegian brand
• Textile, clothes, shoes: Muslin collection by Doctor Nap (distributed in Poland by Elan). Polish brand.
• Prams and strollers: Thule Spring (distributed in Poland by Scandinavian Baby). Swedish brand.
• Toys (0-3 years): InnyBin by Fat Brain Toy (distributed in Poland by QElements). US brand.
• Toys (3+ years): Pucio – Where To Put It? by Nasza Księgarnia. Polish brand.
Across the halls we stopped at booths of Polish companies featuring products of special interest.
Rollersy, now in its third year of activity, was founded by two mothers. Their first idea was to add wheels to the baby car seat (Group 0+) along with a strap and adapters and a backpack in order to easily carry the accessories. Later, they introduced car seat accessories, such as an air layer to avoid the baby’s sweating and car pillows, as well as baby footmuffs and handmuffs for the mum, provided with a pocket for the telephone. The line has now been extended with a bib that can be fixed to the table top using velcro and with an organizer containing a changing mat, that can be rolled and carried hanging from the arm or from the stroller.
Dostawka, established 4 years ago, exhibits a universal rider that attaches to 99 % of the strollers on the market and features two or four wheels, equipped with LED lights for safety: it is available in six different models, all of them featuring a seat for the little passenger; other stroller accessories include an extension bar and bags that can be attached to the side.
Founded in 1986 by Halina and Marian Suchanek, family-run Marioinex has been focusing on its award-winning Mini Waffle building blocks, manufactured in Poland using high quality plastic material; later additions are the Micro Waffle sets, that can be used by adults as well in order to improve concentration and psychomotor skills, toy vehicles, different kinds of blocks and beach toys. The Waffle building system is suitable for disabled children who cannot play with hard, sharp pieces.
Pinio has been manufacturing baby room furniture since 2005, launching their own brand in 2010. Their most successful line, Marsylia, still in production, was introduced five years ago: offering a wide choice of elements, it follows the child’s growth from small baby to teenager and sports an attractive French style, inspired by the Riviera bathing-cabins. It is available in pine wood or in a slightly different MDF version.
At the booth of the Sun Baby start-up we are shown a very special construction set which received the Zabawka Roku (Polish Toy of the Year) award in November 2019: the elements allow to build vehicles for kids from 3 to 15 years-old, with a maximum weight of over 50 kg, starting with a balance bike or a tricycle (Mini Docyke) up to various kinds of scooters and bikes (Maxi Docyke) and to a three- or four-wheel rider driven by an electric motor (Electro Docyke).
At the booth of the Belgian company Childhome we noticed the Evolux Changing Table which had been nominated for the 2019 Kind + Jugend Innovation Award. A few days after Kids’ Time, the product won the Dutch Baby Innovation Award 2020 for Furniture & Deco. It shares the design of the award-winning Evolu 2 and Evolu ONE.80° high chairs and it stands out for adjustability, being the first of its kind with 4 different heights, and safety features, thanks to a 3-point harness with removable crotch. The large Changing Unit with higher sides can be removed and used separately.
The 2021 edition of Kids’ Time will be held on February 17-19.