This week I’ve been shopping – buying ‘Good Stuff with Good Stories’ at the Toy Fair 2016!
For me, one of the highlights of January is the Annual British Toy and Hobby Association Toy Fair at Olympia. It’s the UK’s only dedicated toy, game and hobby trade show and 270 companies exhibit thousands of products to visitors including retailers, buyers, media and the wider industry.
It is huge. And noisy! All trade shows have their own atmosphere and ambiance – many of the ones for children’s clothes for example are buzzy but civilised, like a lovely tea room.
Here, there are so many animated products on demonstration, the stands are so bright and plastered with custom stickers from companies (and occasionally downright visually noisy) and the walkways are constantly being cleared for the giant characters to parade (I saw Minions, Tellytubbies and the Twirlywoos.) – it is like, well, a giant toy shop!
But it is fantastic fun – the products are quite amazing and the companies all very enthusiastic to tell you all about them. It’s very easy for the hours to just slip away……
…of course I am actually looking for particular products – those that meet the Rosy Rosie ethos of ‘Good Stuff with Good Stories’- so as well as looking for fun toys – they must also have an ethical provenance; sustainable materials, fair trade, community projects.
All our favourite suppliers were there. Lanka Kade with their fair trade wooden toys. They have some great new floor puzzles and colourways for their popular Alpha and Number jigsaws. Oskar&Ellen, the fabric playbag and books company, were showing us their Zoo Book and their height charts which will compliment our existing ranges. Plan Toys, the ethical wood toy company, have some fab rainbow coloured versions of our best selling green pull along alligators. And finally, Green Toys have lots of new recycled plastic products arriving in the next few months, including a Rescue Boat & helicopter and Barn & Pick-up Truck set, all of which we’ve ordered alongside stocking up on last years best sellers!
These are crayons made from sustainable soy wax (like our candles) and ergonomically designed to encourage a good ‘pencil grip.’ But – and most importantly for the little ones – they are beautifully soft so there is no ‘dragging’ and they come in the most gorgeous colours.
All in all a successful trip and we’re looking forward to sharing them with you over the coming months as they arrive here at Rosy Rosie!