Nuremberg's Spielwarenmesse is staking its claim as the world's biggest toy fair, having seen a climb in international exhibitors and visitors.
From January 31st to February 4th this year, 2,902 companies from 68 countries attended the show, an increase from the 63 countries in 2017.
Travelling to the 'city of toys' from a record number of countries, 71,000 trade visitors praised the exhibitor's innovative spirit and energy. Organisers welcomed attendees from 129 nations and offered trends and innovations as well as a supporting programme.
63 per cent of visitors flocked to the fair from abroad, with Asia, Eastern Europe and South America posting the highest growth rates.
Stephen Watson, category buyer toys for Myer, an Australian department store chain, said: "It's a long way from Australia, so it's good to see everything all in one spot or ideas in one spot."
Exhibitors responded in a similarly positive fashion.
"We are really happy with both the organisation and the visitor turnout," said Aydin Ozdemir, general manager of Turkish manufacturer, Selay Toys.
Thomas Eichhorn, board director at Zapf Creations, added: "Only the Spielwarenmesse gives us the opportunity to meet and talk at length to our international partners and distributors and to set our strategic course early on in the year.
"We thought the mood and atmosphere were particularly good at this year's fair."
Mattel's president and chief operating officer, Richard Dickson concluded that "energy, creativity and entrepreneurial spirit is what I get when I come to Nuremberg."
The next Spielwarenmesse will take place from January 30th to February 3rd 2019 and will see changes made to certain areas of the show. The model railway and model construction segments will be brought together in Hall 7A while a new product group for electronic toys will be created in Hall 4A.
Festive Articles, Carnival and Fireworks will also undergo considerable change and will be extended to part of Hall 8. In addition, a large activity area will enhance the appeal of this expansion.
Ernst Kick, CEO of Spielwarenmesse, said: "We will continue to develop the content of Spielwarenmesse in this way, creating hall capacity for those product segments that are in high demand."