The Spielwarenmesse 2023 traditionally heralds the first half of the year for board game innovations, but also for many other products from the world of "toys". From February 2.000st to 1th, more than 5 exhibitors will show their product innovations and trends, including many large publishers such as Kosmos, Ravensburger or Asmodee.
The industry has waited three years for this moment: When the doors finally open again at the toy fair in Nuremberg from February 1st to 5th, the participants will experience the “Spirit of Play” up close. They flock to the exhibition center to discover new products and trends, deepen personal contacts and gain valuable knowledge for their everyday business.
The organiser, Spielwarenmesse eG, promises the trade fair experience by offering numerous innovations with added value in addition to the usual structures, and in particular by meeting the need for personal networking. The live event will be rounded off by the Spielwarenmesse Digital business platform, which will support visitors to the fair with new functions.
Toy know-how, licenses and trends
"In the last few months we have had an extremely positive response from the industry - everyone is looking forward to seeing each other again after such a long time," says Christian Ulrich, Spokesman for the Board of Directors of Spielwarenmesse eG. The anticipation is reflected in the figures: the 2.000 exhibitor mark has been broken. In February, 2.142 companies from 69 countries presented their new products to dealers and buyers from all over the world. 402 of them are exhibiting at the toy fair for the first time. Whether leading brand manufacturers or innovative start-ups - trade visitors can explore innovations and trends with all their senses while retaining the tried and tested structures on the exhibition grounds as far as possible. There are 13 different product groups to choose from.
Services for dealers and manufacturers are new. The service area in Hall 7 includes testing and inspection institutes as well as packaging manufacturers and marketing providers. Numerous national pavilions are also celebrating their premieres. A total of 15 different nations are represented with a joint stand – including France, Ukraine and Uzbekistan for the first time.
The “Specials” at the toy fair bring fresh impetus to everyday work. An example of this is Toys go Green in Hall 2. The area continues the megatrend from 2022 and presents the right products for everything to do with sustainability on four themed islands. "Stationery meets Toys" is the motto in Hall 4. The Insights-X Area, named after the trade fair for paper, office supplies and stationery of the same name, offers suggestions for the back-to-school segment. A visit to Tech2Play in Hall 4A is just as worthwhile. Innovations from the categories "Robot Toys", "RC Toys", "Virtual Play" and "Electronic Learning" can be explored and tested here.
Exhibition space for start-ups
Trade visitors will find further product ideas in Hall 3A: The StartupArea unites young innovative companies from Germany with international newcomers and turns the common area into a discovery paradise. In addition, the New Product Gallery promises creative impulses. The compact area offers an eye-catching secondary placement as well as the presentation of the nominees and winners of the ToyAward, which is awarded in six categories. 584 products were submitted by 338 exhibitors and evaluated in a two-stage selection process.
Knowledge transfer also plays an important role at the toy fair. An established format is the Toy Business Forum in Hall 3A, which during the trade fair from 13 to 15 p.m. offers top-class expert lectures on current industry and retail topics such as “sustainability”, “digitization”, “trends”, “diversity” and “metaverse”. ready. The Live on Stage format will then offer presentations by exhibitors for the first time.
In addition, the LicenseTalks take place in the Toy Business Forum from Wednesday to Friday mornings in cooperation with Licensing International and Licensing Magazine. The lectures and panel discussions with international industry experts include the latest trends in licensing, valuable best practice examples and tips for beginners. Right next door, the defining trends in the toy sector will be given their grand entrance: Discover!, Brands for Fans and MetaToys. Descriptive themed islands invite you to discover and try out the various product examples. In addition, daily lectures in the Toy Business Forum deal with ToyTrends.
After a hard day's work, you can also celebrate: at the RedNight on Thursday, February 2nd, in the middle of the exhibition grounds. For the first time, around 18 exhibitors in almost all halls of the toy fair invite you to free parties at their stands from 22 p.m. to 140 p.m. During the day too, many activities throughout the site ensure a real trade fair feeling. These include the oversized igloo in the exhibition center by Zapf Creation as well as various selfie spots: for example the Barbie Cabrio Corvette from Mattel and the large wooden truck from Brio on the forecourt of the exhibition as well as benches with popular licensed figures in the halls.
International Game Inventors Fair
The International Game Inventors Fair - Game Inventors Convention - puts the games industry in a special focus on Friday. In Hall 11.1, national and international game inventors will present their prototypes to experienced game editors. The conclusion is a joint networking party. The Spielwarenmesse is fulfilling a long-standing wish of exhibitors on February 4th and 5th and is presenting the OPEN DAY Model Railway & Model Making for end consumers. Only Hall 7A is accessible. In addition to exciting products, a miniature show awaits fans big and small.
The personal trade fair experience is enhanced for all participants by the extended functions of the Spielwarenmesse Digital business platform, which is now available all year round. This includes the new Leadfinder. Based on the information on the type of company, product categories and country markets stored in the profile, it enables simple matchmaking and increases the efficiency of on-site meetings. Spielwarenmesse TV can also be accessed in this context: The moderator duo Jenny and Rob welcome interesting interviewees and convey impressions of the fair in an entertaining way. There are also live streams – from the ToyAward ceremony and the Toy Business Forum, among others. Thanks to the synchronization with the Spielwarenmesse app, retailers always have all exhibitors, hall plans and their saved list of favorites to hand.
Christian Ulrich sums it up: “The dimensions of the toy fair will come close to the proven level before the corona pandemic and will offer a wide range of products. We have further developed the content to meet needs and target groups, so that our visitors will clearly benefit from the added value on site.”
ToyAward at the toy fair: The nominations
The Spielwarenmesse leading event is considered the most important meeting place for the industry. The event from February 1st to 5th in the Exhibition Center Nuremberg is of central importance for the presentation of innovative new products. To make it easier for retailers to find particularly creative product ideas, the toy fair presents the ToyAward every year. It is awarded to outstanding innovations that have a high potential for success. The prize is awarded in six categories: Baby & Infant (0-3 years), PreSchool (3-6 years), SchoolKids (6-10 years), Teenager & Adults (from 10 years), Startup and Sustainability.
A total of 584 innovations were registered by 338 exhibitors for the ToyAward. In a digital preliminary decision, a specialist jury assessed all submissions and made a shortlist. The criteria of fun, potential for success in retail, originality and comprehensibility of the product concept served as the evaluation benchmark. The members of the jury then nominated a total of 17 products for the Innovation Award at a joint meeting in the run-up to the toy fair. The requirements from the preliminary decision were expanded to include the criteria of safety as well as workmanship and quality.
The winners will be chosen for the first time as part of the "PressPreview". The media-effective event will take place on January 31st in the NCC Ost of the Nuremberg exhibition center on level 1. The ToyAward will be presented from 12 noon. Jury members are also on site. The award ceremony will be streamed live via the Spielwarenmesse Digital business platform (digital.spielwarenmesse.de) and will be available there afterwards as video-on-demand. The international jury consists of 13 experts from the areas of retail, industry, market research, sustainable plastics, education and toy safety, including Rainer Weiskirchen from TÜV Rheinland and Sue Warfield, President of the American Specialty Toy Retailing Association.
ToyAward nominees 2023
Babies & Infants (0-3 years)
– EverEarth 7 in 1 Space Activity Cube – EverEarth Europe (Hall 3/E-22)
– Tranquil Whale™ – Cloud B/Little Big Friends (Hall 2/D-20, E-14)
– Y Glider Luna 5-in-1 V2 – Yvolve Sports (Hall 7/C-68)
Preschool (3-6 years)
– bworld Construction Set and BRUDER MAN TGS Crane Truck – Bruder toys (Hall 6/C-31, C-37)
– Rescue Penguin – Silverlit Toys Manufactory (Hall 4A/B-34, C-38)
– Yummy Bear Scale – Topbright (Hall 12.0/B-16)
SchoolKids (6-10 years)
– Gecko Run – Starter Set – Franckh Kosmos (Hall 10/G-02)
– History of Life on Earth – Clementoni (Hall 12.0/F-10, G-07)
– Origami 3D Peacock – ZP Alexander Piotr Pundzis (Hall 4/F-54)
Teenagers & Adults (from 10 years)
– Humbug Original Edition – D&R Thinking Giants (Hall 10./ A-01)
– Miika KI – Franckh cosmos (Hall 10/G-02)
– MINTiD Dog-E – Brandunit/WowWee (Hall 4A/D-19)
– klang² – Oberlin and Rennertz (Hall 3A/B-04)
– Paw Patrol AR Tattoos & Stickers – HoloToyz (Hall 4A/C-15)
– Car-Board Racers Dino-Adventure Set – VTech Electronics Europe (Hall 12.2/P-06)
– Creative Building Blocks – BAVVIC (Hall 3A/C-14)
– PLAYMOBIL Wiltopia – Playmobil (Hall 12.2/P-07)
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