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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The latest trade fairs organized by the Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC) recorded encouraging traffic and exhibitor participation, with many buyers placing orders at the fairground. The recent reopening of the Hong Kong-Mainland China border and resumption of international travel has helped drive the industry’s response, allowing buyers and exhibitors to seize opportunities. 

Across four days, the 49th HKTDC Hong Kong Toys & Games Fair, 14th HKTDC Hong Kong Baby Products Fair and the 21st Hong Kong International Stationery & School Supplies Fair welcomed over 21,000 buyers from some 100 countries and regions who participated physically and online. More than 12,200 buyers attended the three fairs in-person.

This year’s fairs featured an assortment of new products from more than 1,000 exhibitors, occupying less space than in the previous editions.

Non-local buyers travelled from near and far to join the physical fairs, including Mainland China, ASEAN, India, Japan, Korea and Taiwan. European buyers came from, amongst others, the Czech Republic, France, Hungary, Italy, Poland and the United Kingdom, while buyers from the Middle East and Brazil, Chile and the United States took part as well.

The first three trade fairs of the year adopted – until January 19 – the HKTDC’s new EXHIBITION+ model, which includes not only the physical shows, but also virtual access facilitated by its smart business matching platform Click2Match, connecting exhibitors and buyers online. It proved to be an easy-to-use platform.
The Baby Products Fair featured pavilions from Korea and the Hong Kong Children, Babies, Maternity Industries Association, showcasing a wide assortment of products.