Spielwarenmesse eG, the group behind the Nuremberg International Toy Fair, visited the country on Thursday to promote the fair, and urged businesses in the local toy industry to participate in it next year.
“We are currently promoting the Spielwarenmesse Nuremberg Toy Fair this year in 30 different countries. I have already been to countries in North and South America and East and Western Europe and now I’m making my tour here in Asia,” said Ernst Kick, chief executive officer of Spielwarenmesse eG.
The annual Nuremberg International Toy Fair, which began 65 years ago, is said to be the largest in the world, with thousands of visitors and exhibitors worldwide participating in the event. This year, more than 72,500 visitors joined the exhibit, with international visitors from 113 countries reaching an estimated 40,600.
To gauge the satisfaction of participants, the group interviewed them on how satisfied they are with the exhibit and if they plan to return as exhibitors next year. The result was 78.7 percent of the respondents said that they were satisfied with their status at the fair, while 92.2 percent said they will participate as exhibitors next year.
Ernst is optimistic that this number will grow next year, citing the recent status of the global toy industry as an indicator that more participants will join the exhibit.
“The largest toy market in the world is in the United States with a 25-percent market share, while the second largest is Europe with 22 percent. We have also very interesting emerging markets in the toy industry. One of the driving forces here in Asia is the Chinese market, which has a growth rate of 5 percent every year,” he said.
“The Easter European market is also interesting, which has a growth rate of 4 percent. And the South American market is very promising especially Brazil, where they have a growth rate of 7 percent,” Ernst added.
Toys and the digital age
Ernst also stressed the importance of toys in the physical and mental development of children, saying that playing with them can help children develop their imagination and creativity, most especially if they play with traditional rather than electronic toys.
“What I think is that electronic toys are consuming toys. What you consume is limited only to what is programmed,” Ernst said.
“When we talk about traditional toys, we will see the fantasy of the child is growing. She is creating her own world. Creativity is stimulated by traditional toys. I’m not sure about electronic toys,” he added.
With the advent of the digital age, children today would rather stay indoors and play video games, than go outside and play with traditional toys and games. But Ernst said this won’t threaten traditional toys.
“Traditional toys are here to stay,” he said.