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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Currently located in Fuenlabrada, a town close to the Spanish capital Madrid, Mima Bebés was founded in 2008 when its owners decided to open a babycare business that would welcome a wide variety of infant products. From its beginnings, the establishment has been evolving despite the economic adversities of the Spanish recession, through the opening of its online sales channel. Rosa María Seco, manager of Mima Bebés, details in this interview some characteristics of the business, as well as their expectations and objectives.

Owner Rosa María Seco (right) and her team provide Fuenlabrada’s newlywed parents with a sophisticated assortment.

Mima Bebés began its activity in 2008 in Humanes in Madrid by the hand of Rosa María Seco, who wanted to bring to the young public of her town a babycare referent point of sale, responding to the high birth rate that was taking place then. Today, the point of sale is located in a polygon of Fuenlabrada, a few minutes by car from the initial town, and has an area of 600 m2 of exhibition. According to the business manager,” in Mima Bebés we currently work six people and we have a great variety of products”.

The product that works in the small business is mid-high range, avoiding competition with large supermarkets, as “they have another type of public that is not looking for a specialized store where being suggested.” In this sense, Mima Bebés has an offer focused both on furniture and body, as well as articles organized by categories such as hygiene, food, toys, etc. Thus, as mentioned by María Seco, “as we are located in a polygon, our customers are looking for large items such as the components of the room or the cars, which we have on display. Meanwhile, the small article does not rotate as much as we would like, since we have a great variety, great quality and very competitive prices.” However, what Seco highlights is the perfection with which the business owners try to target the customer, seeking to have the technical knowledge of each product, as well as its correct use.

   What does the customer need? The wishes of the parents play an important role at Mima Bebés.

From its beginnings, with a complete web page to which the online store would later be added, Rosa María Seco states that “it is very difficult to have the same relevance offline as online due to ‘the big ones’ companies, and compete with the prices they set is very difficult. ” However, aware of the opportunity offered by the online store, Rosa María Seco concludes that ” we are every day updating and improving the online service so that customers can choose”, as it is believed to be a channel which must be taken into account, but without forgetting the value of the traditional treatment with the client.

 Interview with Rosa María Seco, Manager of Mima Bebés (Fuenlabrada, Madrid)

What is the business philosophy that characterizes you?
“Our philosophy is based on knowing the needs of customers and be able to guide them as best as possible until they’re sure their purchases are appropriate.”

How do you rate the evolution of the babycare sector in Spain? What are your expectations for 2017?
“Although we are in a complex time, I trust that this year is a little better, since there is a great diversity of products. However, the sale is very limited, since we are in the tendency to lend things from one parent to another. That means we can talk about second-hand sales, which, although the economy improves, will continue to be present for a season.”

How has the business evolved over the years in the country?
“The truth is that it has evolved slowly because we opened the establishment in the middle of the economic crisis and we have not yet come out of it. For our part, we have struggled a lot, perhaps a little more than the rest due to the circumstances, but we are very satisfied to continue and try to improve a little bit each day, working with honesty and seriousness so that everything, as far as possible, goes well.”

 What additional services are offered to the consumer on sale? What results do they get?
“We make birth lists. Also, we offer interest-free financing, with the option to pay every month until they pick up the order, whenever they want. In the purchase of safety chairs, we install them for free and, in general, we help them in everything we can and with all our affection.”
What criteria do you have in mind when choosing brands and products with which you work?
“Mainly, we take into account that we like both functional and visual, that the articles are practical and that the price seems appropriate. It is about knowing our customers, as each area demands some articles or even more specific colors. An example can be the colors to choose in a stroller, since there are areas that only sell black and navy blue, and, on the contrary, we sell them in more cheerful colors. We choose according to the needs of our audience.”

What are the main trends that will mark the babycare market in Spain?
“Finally, we can say that car safety is a trend. In this sense, we have been contributing our bit since our beginnings and it seems that we are becoming aware of the importance of taking our children safe in cars. It is a trend that I hope will never disappear.”

What are the objectives of Mima Bebés in the short, medium and long term?
“Our goals are to continue improving and continue to gain the trust of our public, hoping that the word-of-mouth is good and bring us more parents. In addition, we propose ourselves to have the best products and to be fast in the answers.”