We used to describe what children do as “play.”
To adults that means something other than work but for children, playing is what they’re hardwired to do, it's how they learn to socialize and think constructively.
However, if a toy isn’t constantly engaging, then be sure that they will stop, reducing productivity to a minimum. This is the challenge toy makers face every year, developing trendy, new and creative toys to engage a child’s mind as they go their young years to become responsible adults.
So making toys that interest children and help them develop at the same time is the toy industry’s ongoing challenge.
It is here, at London’s 2020 Toy Fair, where all these challenges are met head on as toy makers and developers unite to showcase their creative and engaging products, setting the trend for the upcoming 12 months of business.
The Toy Fair is the largest dedicated toy, game and hobby trade exhibition in the UK. Three packed days of business, with more than 260 exhibiting companies ranging from the large renowned brands right through to the new start-up companies and one-man bands.
It offers an unrivalled opportunity to meet the toy industry, network with peers, allowing attendees to be the first to see the new lines as they are launched for the year ahead and to plan product range for the next 12 months- a great opportunity to touch, feel and experiment with the products of the future.
The fair, which goes on from Tuesday 21st of January till Thursday the 23rd, will be held at the Olympia London in Kensington from 9am till 6pm; The venue is a mere 15-minute drive away from The Edward Hotel’s location in Paddington.
The Toy Fair is a showcase, providing visitors with a real overview and insight into a fun, innovative and exciting industry.
It comes as no surprise that the toy industry is considered one of the most demanding sectors on the planet, since it consistently pushes the boundaries of creativity to create a coherent balance between entertainment and knowledge.
Yet the industry has never shied away from the challenge.
The prediction of the future for the toy industry in the year 2022 is subject to numerous moving parts and none of them seem to want to behave.
However, there are many forces currently in play that are majorly shifting the way toys are being sold, distributed, and impacted.
Bricks and mortar retail is struggling, particularly big box. Toys "R" Us is in bankruptcy and some have concerns about the entire concept of bricks and mortar retailing. Which of the bricks and mortar retailers will be active and to what degree is anyone’s guess.
E-commerce is on fire and there is no end in sight to Amazon’s almost exponential growth. Ironically, they could be the future of bricks and mortar retailing as they enter the market with new ideas and fresh strategies – like having stores with no employees.
Consumers, particularly Millennials, are less likely to drive to a store than their Boomer parents and grandparents. Why? because they see a previously unrecognized opportunity cost in driving to the store and not finding what was wanted. Simply put, buying on line saves time and is more efficient.
China is emerging as a major consumer market for toys. In fact, a report by Euromonitor predicts that China will replace the US as the number one country for toy consumption by 2021.
Baby Boomers and Generation X'ers will have exited the management ranks with Millennials taking their place. They will change the face of retailing and manufacturing with new ideas unchained to 20th century notions of doing business.
China will be the #1 consumer market for toys in the world. Expect to make a lot of trips to China as American toy companies become increasingly invested in the Chinese domestic toy market.
Amazon will become the number one toy retailer in the US and much of the world.
Toys "R" Us will still be with us but with different owners, fewer and smaller stores and some surprisingly strong competition from independent toy retailers.
There will be a return to pre-self-service retailing. Shopping will be far more person-to-person and interactive. In addition, 3D Printing will have evolved to the point that it begins to cut into traditional factory based production. We will see this in both digital and physical locations that can supply personalized products on demand.
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