It took just two weeks for this year’s Toymaster show to sell out – beating the record which had been set in 2012, when all space had been filled by the end of January.
This time round, however, the organisers revealed in mid-January that all space available in The Majestic Hotel, Harrogate – in the Marquee, Carriage Suite, South and North Lounge, Drawing Room, Reception Room, Billiard Room, Ballroom and French Restaurant – had been taken by 111 companies.
The event remains one of the most important, not to mention popular, in the toy industry calendar.
Dedicated to independent retailers, suppliers love it as they have the chance to get close with a wide selection of indie stores.
Meanwhile, the retailers get to see products from firms as varied as Mattel, Hasbro, LEGO, Character and Flair, through to Carte Blanche, East Coast Nursery, Bladez, Meroncourt, Paper Island and Stabilo to name a few.
We take a look at what just some of the firms will be showcasing across the three days. Oh, and don’t forget to dig out your 21st birthday outfits for the Tuesday night…
Oh la la
Heading to the French Restaurant area first, and Mattel will unveil several new launches.
Barbie has two new entertainment releases this autumn: Mariposa and the Fairy Princess, and Barbie & Her Sisters in a Pony Tale. A new range expanding Barbie Life in the Dreamhouse will also be introduced. Monster High, meanwhile, will welcome new entertainment title 13 Wishes.
Max Steel and Hot Wheels will continue to head up the firm’s portfolio, while entertainment brands showcased will include Batman, The Dark Knight Rises, Disney-Pixar’s Cars, Man of Steel, Disney Planes and Turbo.
Mattel’s full Fisher-Price pre-school line is highlighted on page 47, with new extensions in the Little People and Imaginext ranges being shown at Toymaster. It will also highlight licences such as Mickey and Minnie Mouse, Jake and the Never Land Pirates, Octonauts, Dora and Bubble Guppies.
Scrabble gets a rebrand in 2013, plus there will be new additions to UNO and the Fun Times portfolio and Polly Pocket, Disney Princess, WWE, Toy Story and Matchbox will be on show.
Carte Blanche Group has a number of show offers including £10 off the RRP on all interactive Tatty Teddy and My Blue Nose Friends. This covers Sleep Tight Tatty Teddy, Tatty Teddy Music Player, Story Time Tatty Teddy and Join In and Play My Blue Nose Friends.
Indies will also be able to buy an FSDU with ten Dress Up Tatty Teddy and outfits, and receive ten free outfits.
There is also a free My Blue Nose Friends FSDU house and 25 per cent off My Blue Nose Friends package available.
LEGO will be showcasing key brands and exclusives.
The firm will be introducing its new Minifigures Loyalty Scheme – exclusively for Toymaster, consumers will be able to collect stickers when purchasing a blind bag Minifigure.
For every five stickers collected, the cardholder will receive their sixth Minifigure for free.
LEGO Games Creationary will also be a focus at the show, lining up alongside new H2 IP Galaxy Squad, LEGO City and the new Toddler line from LEGO Duplo.
From plush to puzzles
Posh Paws will be one of the first timers at Harrogate. It will offer 15 per cent off trade price for orders placed during the show.
The firm will feature collections from its plush, nursery and fashion ranges across licences like Disney Classics, Waybuloo, Jake and the Never Land Pirates, Doc McStuffins and Marvel.
Posh Paws will showcase new categories including Disney plush fashion accessories and new soft doll collection Little Us.
If puzzles are your thing, the Ravensburger stand will certainly be worth checking out.
Among the items on show will be 3D puzzles including Big Ben and Tower Bridge, both of which will be backed by heavyweight TV this autumn/winter, plus the firm’s adult puzzle range.
Aquarelle, which Ravensburger says brings a new technique to the craft sector, will be displayed in Maxi, Midi and Mini formats.
Also on show will be Science X, new experiment and activity kits aimed at children aged eight and up.
The eight sets allow kids to discover the likes of Crystals, Gemstones, Electronics and Circuitry and 3D Optics among others.
Meroncourt Europe will be looking to further underline its toy credentials with its first appearance at The Majestic.
A wide variety will be on show, from electronic toys such as licensed digital cameras, MP3 players and tablet PCs featuring Hello Kitty, Moshi Monsters and Monster High through to children’s outdoor toys and scooters from D’arpege, plus Zinc stunt and adult scooters.
There will be scientific toys from Uncle Milton and Clementoni, plus a large creative offering from National Geographic and brands such as Play-Doh, Disney, Amazing Spider-Man and Winnie the Pooh.
Goldfish & Bison enjoyed a successful 2012 and is looking to continue this momentum in 2013.
Its solid line-up will include light-up construction toys Laser Pegs, which are due to hit the UK this summer after having already proved popular in the US.
Another big draw is likely to be Spirograph, which Goldfish & Bison is reintroducing to the UK and Europe (under licence from Hasbro). Sets will be available from £2.99 up to £24.99.
The firm will also be bringing three new Megableu games to the UK: Creepy Hand, The Enchanted Ball and Buss Lightyear.
These will join Ghost Hunt (which sold out in 2012), which has been bolstered with an infra-red gun that can be used for multi-player gameplay.
The Simon game is celebrating its 35th anniversary with a relaunch in the UK (see more on page 61), while Wham-O, Trendiy Art and Techno Art. Role-play JJ Jumping equestrian toys will also be on show.
The beautiful games
Top picks from Jumbo Games will include SoccerSuckers, a range of novelty football collectables. The capsules each feature a mini Premiership footballer from five teams – Arsenal, Spurs, Chelsea, Liverpool and Manchester City – with more clubs to follow.
Launching in August, the characters feature a patented suction cup on the reverse, so they will stick to almost any gloss surface.
Visitors should also be on the look out for new ranges of games and puzzles under the Peppa Pig and Fireman Sam licences, the Puzzle Mates Portapuzzle line and new Falcon 3-in-1 Christmas Collection.
Tomy is bringing the hotly tipped Battroborg to Harrogate.
The mini battling robots bring motion and action to life, as the child shakes and punches with the nun-chuck style remote controls.
Up to 20 robots can battle at once, with a battling arena set also available.
Pokémon will also have a heavy presence, with the firm showing sculptured figures with solid bodies, which are compatible with all play-sets.
Chuggington StackTrack is the latest addition to the pre-school favourite, with new deco-engines and play-sets launching in the autumn.
Tomy will also represent its new John Deere Sandbox range with the Big Scoop John Deere Dump Truck.
The Big Farm and Britain’s Farm Toys will also be on the stand.
Dinosaur Train, Play to Learn, Aquadoodle, Winnie the Pooh products and Lamaze complete the line-up.
Pocket money specialist The In Thing is flying at the moment and will have 50 per cent margin show deals on offer, plus licensed exclusives including Moshi Monsters and Skylanders Giants.
New dinosaur figure brand, Predasaurs, will be a huge focus, as will Magic Choc, the chocolate model making kit.
Alongside the original sku, Skylanders Giants and Moshi licensed versions will join the range. A preview of summer launch Zombie Zity will also be on display.
If you’re on the hunt for pre-school items, Halilit will have four new themed Interstar construction sets on its stand.
With new packaging, the Safari, Space, Racers and Kingdoms sets will retail at £19.99.
The company will also be featuring the new Interstar Floor Display Unit, which will be available as a special Toymaster show promotional offer.
Halilit’s musical instrument range will also be the subject of show offers, while there will also be new additions to nursery and pre-school brands including Taf Toys, Edushape, Beezeebee bath Toys and Scotchi.
Marbel will be taking the opportunity to show off new additions to its portfolio: Bullyland and Pink Poppy. Girls’ accessories line Pink Poppy has over 100 products for retailers to choose from, while figurine range Bullyland has more than 500 across four worlds: Fantasy, Comic, Prehistoric and Animal. Marbel will offer a five per cent discount on show orders with instant delivery.
Launching this summer, VIP Pets will be a highlight of the IMC Toys stand.
There are six characters to collect, each with their own personality, plus a special Christmas edition and a VIP Pets Beauty Salon with ten exclusive accessories.
The firm will also show its plush animal range, with Tam Tam the Orangutan joining the Funny Monkey.
There are additions to the Mickey Mouse Clubhouse and Minnie Mouse Bow-tique lines, plus a Jake and the Never Land Pirates R/C Skateboard and Max Steel Turbo Blaster and R/C Motorbike.
Rainbow Designs will bring its mix of classic and contemporary lines to the show.
Abney & Teal pre-school toys will include the new Feature Neep plush, Wooden Dominoes and 4-in-1 Puzzles with poster, while the firm is confident about its collection based on The Snowman thanks to the success of new animation The Snowman and The Snowdog.
Popular lines The World of Eric Carle, Paddington the Adventurous Bear, Guess How Much I Love You, Shaun the Sheep and Charlie & Lola also line-up alongside the quirky B.Duck and classics Miffy, The Gruffalo, Stripy Horse, The Enormous Crocodile, Beatrix Potter and more.
Staying with pre-school, and Coiledspring Games will showcase its new ThinkFun line.
Recognising the demand for structured games for toddlers and pre-schoolers, ThinkFun developed the successful Roll & Play, which will be followed this year by Hello Sunshine.
The games will feature with other new launches, WordARound, Swish and Swish Jr.
Coiledspring will offer a ten per cent discount on all ThinkFun products ordered at the show, for delivery before the end of September. The order includes a free merchandising kit and WordARound demo deck.
The Flair stand is likely to be popular, with the firm showcasing extensions to its Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles range.
A total of 17 new figures will be introduced throughout the year including the Mutagen Ooze Turtles (which come with their own ooze pack), as well as a variety of villains.
Summer will see the arrival of Flingers Turtles, while new vehicles include the Drop Copter, Ooze Cruiser, Road Raider and Stealth Bike.
Doc McStuffins should also create a lot of interest. The hotly tipped pre-school property has already taken the US by storm, and Flair will now be introducing UK retailers to products including the Time For Your Check Up Interactive Doll, Doctor’s Bag Set and Check Up Centre (which is due to arrive in the autumn).
The popularity of The Trash Pack continues, as does Sylvanian Families, while the new Glitzi Globes range – a mix of collectable characters, creative play and DIY glitter globes – arrives in the UK in summer.
MGA Entertainment will aim to capture visitors with the expansion of its Lalaloopsy line, with a new creative Lalaloopsy doll segment due to be unveiled which the firm says will propel Silly Hair Lalaloopsy to a whole new level.
A full run down of MGA’s new additions to its doll portfolio can be found on page 74, including Lala-Oopsies, Moxie Girlz, Bratzilla and Novi Stars.
Meanwhile, Zapf Creations is expanding its line with new products in its Baby Annabell, Baby born and Chou Chou ranges.
Both firms will be offering special promotions throughout the course of the show.
We go from dolls to Aqua Dragons, which will form a key part of Brainstorm Toys’ offering. Aqua Dragons – or Artemia Selina – grow up to two centimetres and their eggs can dry out and stay alive, only to hatch years later when re-hydrated.
Also from Brainstorm, My Very own Rainbow is a light projector which uses multi-coloured LEDs to display rainbow colours on walls and ceilings in a darkened room.
It also includes a rainbow crystal to hang in a sunny window. Also on the Brainstorm booth will be the 2-in-1 Globe Earth and Constellations, RC Illuminated Moon and Solar System, and arts and crafts line Mostaix.
A must-see on the Great Gizmos stand will be the new Plan Toys collection of environmentally sound wooden toys.
There are four new categories in the line this year: Plan Pre-school, Plan Activity, Plan Dollhouse and Plan City. These will line up alongside the 4M science collection, which grows with the new Green Science Salt Water Power Robot kit and the Science Grow-a-Maze kit.
Continuing with this theme, Great Gizmos will showcase Glow-in-the-dark Fairy Buttons and Make Your Own Light-Up Fairy Plaque.
The Geospace line will expand with the introduction of the Finger Flinger, while the NICI collection of plush toys and accessories has floor and counter POS displays for Toymaster retailers.
Still with us? Good, because Revell is unveiling a new concept which it says will overhaul the remote control model market: Revellutions.
The design range of 1:14 and 1:18 scale RC cars is aimed at eight to 12 year olds and includes buggies, monster trucks and muscle cars. All models are ready to run with 2.4 GHz technology, they’re fast, robust and dust and water resistant.
Meanwhile, additions to the Revell Control brand include the credit-card sized XS series Micro Helicopters, the Quadrocopter Multiquad, the Glowee helicopter and the Airboat GatorSkater.
The firm’s Easykits modelling range will be on display, featuring a number of new lines, too.
Interplay also has a raft of arts and crafts products on its stand. The myStyle collection will have a number of new lines on display including Pick-n-Mix Jewellery kit.
Three new £8.99 lines have also been added following the success of the four already established lower priced kits.
My Living World also has a new look for 2013. Endorsed by TV nature specialist Nick Baker, each kit includes everything required to learn about fascinating creatures, plus a guide. Ladybird, Snail and Spider World join the collection this year.
Finally, Interplay will also showcase the Rivetz line, as well as Technokits, Craft Party and Wild Science toys.
B Kids will be launching two new nursery lines as it continues to grow its profile within the toy sector.
The Pop n Learn Train helps children to learn the alphabet and includes seven pop-up blocks which each feature letters and words.
The child needs to place them in the train and it will ask for a word beginning with the chosen letter.
Meanwhile, the Blink n Bling Ball develops and enhances a baby’s sense of touch, motor skills and auditory awareness.
It features music and lights, while the outer edges are soft and easy to hold.
Remaining in the pre-school sector, Wow Toys will be showcasing its new 2-in-1 Multipacks, which fit into the firm’s popular Emergency, Construction and Girl’s Adventure ranges: Police Patrol Pals, Construction Crew and Sunshine Explorers. Orchard Toys, meanwhile, will be launching Baa Baa, a colouring matching game for ages three and up.
The product encourages colour recognition using a broad range of colours and shades.
Also on the firm’s stand will be Giant Road Jigsaw, On the Farm playmat, Post Box Game and Pirate Shapes, all of which are included in the Toymaster Christmas Catalogue for 2013.
DKL will also present several products suitable for pre-schoolers, as well as older kids.
Look out for highlights from the Hama range including My Pocket Hama, along with Miniland Educational’s aptitude boxes and science kits.
Miniland has also expanded its range with a new collection of plastic vehicles.
A selection of Wonderworld products will also be on the stand including Mini Vehicles and Trix Track.
A new range of Disney games will be the key focus for Esdevium at the show.
The games spread across a host of popular Disney licences with a focus on pre-school. They include Jake and the Never Land Pirates, Disney Princess, Doc McStuffins and Minnie Mouse.
In addition, Esdevium will also showcase new kids’ action game, Go Fetch, as well as card game Dobble.
Retailers can also pick up details on how to sign up to the Dobble Challenge.
Go go Power Rangers
If you’re looking for action at The Majestic, check out the Bandai stand where the firm will be promoting the 20th anniversary of Power Rangers, with a special show deal for the new Megaforce line.
Members ordering Megaforce figures, vehicles and role-play toys will also benefit from a free mini figures offer, and will receive free card packs and a poster to display in-store.
Visitors to the stand will also be able to view a working demonstration of the new Ben 10 Omni-Link Omnitrix, the new role-play item for this autumn.
Bandai will also be running a competition to win a Power Rangers and Ben 10 character costume visit later in the year.
Finally, core Harumika items and Badge It will be included in a special arts and crafts deal, with Harumika demo kits available on request.
Re:creation will also have an action-packed stand, showing off its Air Storm line and Finger Whips scooters.
Other favourites on show will include the LEGO Lights range with new themes including Chima and Friends, plus new Minifigure characters and extensions to the Star Wars line. New lines, Bright Light Pillow and Fuze Wheel Writer, will be on the stand.
On a slightly different note, Alyss Toys will be offering a special show discount as well as a competition to win a Plasmacar worth £49.99 at retail and a box of luxury chocolates.
Toymaster members will get a five per cent discount on orders placed at the show and delivered by the end of June.
The offer applies across the portfolio, taking in Orb Factory Sticky Mosaics (including the Disney Princess and Fairies lines), plus Quercetti, Plastwood Magnetic Construction, Safari Replica Animals, Bilibo and Plui.
Speaking of animals, Schleich will introduce new figures and play-sets across all ranges, as well as launching a new Knights collection.
Two new series of Smurfs will also be on display: a movie range which this year features two characters with a dark twist, the naughty Smurfs, plus eight new Occasion Smurfs. Both the World of Nature and World of Fantasy collections will also be expanded.
Spin Master, meanwhile, will be treating visitors to its stand to demonstrations of the new Air Hogs AtmoSphere, launching in July. The levitating sphere requires no remote control and hovers above surfaces.
Also attracting audiences will be Flutterbye Flying Fairy, which responds to hand movements to gently float in the air.
Disney Hedbanz expands the Hedbanz line, while the Spin Master Games range includes the likes of Dr Dreadful Scabs & Guts and Temple Run.
Plush, collectable characters and items to support the cinema launch of Monsters University will also be heavily pushed, along with a new line of surveillance, security and communication equipment for Spy Gear, plus new items for Tech Deck.
A mega show offer from Green Board Games will see the firm offer members £80 worth of product free at retail when they spend over £250 wholesale on any choice of product.
If they spend over £500, they will receive £200 worth at retail free. Lines include the popular BrainBox collection, plus strategy game Gemblo and new ‘build your own’ remote control vehicles.
Finally, Character Options says it has something for everyone at the show.
The firm will display its Disney Planes line, with the hero item being the Remote Control Dusty Plane. Disney Cars has been given a metallic makeover, while Monsters University lines will also be showcased.
New Anipets will include Magic Touch and Singing and Scratching Baloo, Magic Touch Thumpin Thumper from Bambi and Talking Nemo Plush. New brand The Zelfs will have a heavy presence (for more details see page 76), as well the BinWeevils collection, which has been bolstered with a number of new items.
Visitors can also check out the Flying Superheroes range, Lite Brix and the new ChillFactor Slushy Maker.
Also on show
Drumond Park will showcase new board game Mask n Ask, alongside Bubble Buster Kazoo Game, Wordsearch Junior and LOGO Billionaire; Vivid’s new TV advertised brands Cut The Rope, Tickety Toc and Canimals will be on show in Harrogate for the first time; Meccano’s Evolution range of model vehicles using new scale components will take centre stage, with the firm running a number of special deals; John Adams brings HolograFX to Harrogate, along with refreshed Tiny Tears and construction lines and Silly Moo, the follow up to Doggie Doo; University Games will be displaying a wide range of games including Don’t Rock the Boat, Photoloco, Smart Ass and Pointless; Bigjigs Toys will introduce its Baby Bigjigs Plush range to visitors, as well as new rocking horses; Worlds Apart will focus on Horrible Histories and latest additions to Tatty Teddy and My Blue Nose Friends; Thames and Kosmos is a first time exhibitor and it will be adding 20 kits to its already extensive range this year; Innovation First will unveil the Hexbug Nano V2, the Hexbug Aquabot and Tagamoto; The Puppet Company will be offering a free puppet display stand on all orders over £500, as well as free postage on all orders over £200 plus 90 days credit; new balance bike lines, including Kurve and aluminium bike colour schemes, can be found on the Kiddomoto stand. The firm also has three exclusive show deals running; Time4Fun is showing its new floor standing display units, which it says offer the ideal merchandising solution, along with its joke and costume ranges; Papo brings its collection of characters and animal figurines, saying it is releasing more than 100 new items this year; Brookite has a free stock show offer – for early birds only. New kites such as the Rainbow, Fairy and Robot Delta kites will also be on display; Casdon is offering five per cent off all orders placed at the show for delivery any time this year; Hornby will have products from all its brands – Airfix, Humbrol, Corgi, Scalextric and Breyer – on display; Dollsworld and Early Learning Centre will be among lines pushed by Peterkin; busy HTI will have deals across Tonka, Barbie & Me, Hello Kitty, Fantasma Magic, Playskool and Fisher-Price.
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