With all the changes going on in the market and the retrenchment of many suppliers who put on the tin hats while the recession worsened, the toy market, like plenty of other sectors, seemed to end the decade not with a bang but a whimper.
But, unlike in so many other sectors, there is a strong underlying feeling of positivity in the trade. It was evident at the busiest ever Brand Licensing Europe back in October and again at Dream Toys, which garnered the industry a huge amount of air time and column inches.
Christmas, for the first time for a while, saw the industry with a genuine tabloid toy feeding frenzy on its hands as desperate parents duked it out to get their mitts on whatever stocks of Go Go Hamsters they could find. Toys are still capable of capturing the public imagination for the right reasons, of course.
Fingers crossed that this ‘feelgood factor’, or perhaps ‘feargood factor’ might be more accurate, given market conditions, will carry over into 2010 and a new, more central, venue for the London Toy Fair will see the UK trade set about the new decade with renewed vigour and determination.