That was it for the Spielwarenmesse 2023. The conclusion of the organizers about the restart is positive after a three-year break due to the corona pandemic. The trade fair has maintained its position as the largest leading event in the industry, it is said. From February 1st to 5th, personal networking, product innovations and making new contacts were the top priorities at the exhibition center in Nuremberg.

“We are simply thrilled. It's wonderful to finally see the light in the eyes of the visitors again after three years,” is how Markus Großweischede sums up the trade fair. The statement made by the General Manager North Europe at Hasbro corresponds to many of the more than 2.100 exhibitors from 69 countries who presented their new products in Nuremberg. 

Exceeded the expectations of the organizers

Not a matter of course after the long abstinence for the trade fair organizers. Christian Ulrich, spokesman for the board of directors of Spielwarenmesse eG: "We are very pleased with the positive result, which is almost at the pre-corona level and thus exceeds our expectations." 95 percent of the exhibitors took part in the industry show as considered important to very important. 92 percent were satisfied or very satisfied with the course of the trade fair.

"The live character is elementary for us, our products live from touching and haptic experience," says Managing Director Özgür Bicakci. With the young company Melia Games in the StartupArea, he found the ideal entry into the toy market. In addition to the interest in newcomers, the country pavilion for the Ukraine also met with a great deal of media coverage. The joint stand was represented for the first time at the toy fair and was visited by the Ukrainian ambassador Oleksii Makeiev, who called for the purchase of products from his country.

Hamleys UK's Victoria Kay and her team are always on the lookout for trends. “The Spielwarenmesse is innovative, exciting and creative. It is unique because you can see a huge variety of products under one roof,” she says in her role as Head of Buying & Merchandising. The specials at the toy fair provided support for the targeted compilation of the assortment. The Toys go Green exhibition area, which presented the topic of sustainability on four themed islands, was very popular. Furthermore, one of three trends was particularly in focus, which the Spielwarenmesse has announced with the international TrendCommittee: MetaToys. Kate Scott, founder of the company Holo Toyz, benefited from the interest in the new technologies with her ToyAward victory in the Startup category: "The win gave our presence a significant boost."

At the Spielwarenmesse 2023 there were innovations and trends in the industry to see. Photo: Spielwarenmesse eG/Alex Schelbert

At the Spielwarenmesse 2023 there were innovations and trends in the industry to see. Photo: Spielwarenmesse eG/Alex Schelbert

The toy fair was also a success for Christian Münkel from Ever Earth Europe: “Participation is a must for us. The 2023 trade fair continues seamlessly from previous years. We really appreciate the quality of the specialist audience.”

A total of 58.000 retailers and buyers from 128 countries came to the toy fair over the five days. This corresponds to a minus of 8 percent, which is largely based on the lack of guests from China and Russia. "We were particularly impressed by the large number and variety of international visitors," confirms new exhibitor Daniel Görres from Unidice. The response from the American toy market – the world's largest – was higher than ever at the toy fair and grew by almost 10 percent.

The new formats are also international. With more than 140 game designers from around 20 countries, the International Game Inventors Fair - Game Inventors Convention celebrated its successful premiere on the Friday of the fair. “By integrating the established event into the Spielwarenmesse, we have succeeded in using the synergies. We are assuming strong growth in the coming years,” summarizes Christian Ulrich. The GamingHour with around 300 game designers and editors and the presentation of the DuAli Game Prize by the Ali Baba Game Club rounded off the day's event.

Another new event was also well received by exhibitors and visitors: the RedNight, which was held on Thursday at the stands throughout the exhibition grounds. "A new format like the RedNight also supports business and personal contact," explains Gollnest & Kiesel Managing Director Thorsten Koss. Over 140 exhibitors celebrated with us.

Another highlight was the OPEN DAY Model Railway & Model Construction. The Spielwarenmesse complied with the long-standing wish of the exhibitors and opened Hall 7A at the weekend - more than 3.000 consumers took advantage of the offer. "Even the first rush reflects the great interest of the end consumers to be able to visit the halls of the world-famous leading trade fair themselves," says Märklin boss Florian Sieber.

Christian Ulrich is satisfied with the restart: "The great enthusiasm that was visible in all facets of this year's toy fair is already radiating on the next event: 83 percent of the exhibitors are already planning to take part again. Against the background of the current development in the global trade fair landscape, the toy fair offers the industry a stable anchor.”

The next edition will take place at the end of January 2024. The final date will be announced at the end of February.

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