It was over a week ago that I was there and it seems a lifetime ago! Where are all my days going so quickly?
The 59th Toy Fair opened at Olympia last week and on the suggestion of Helen from John Crane I asked Other Half to take a day off so I could go and discover what it was all about and thank goodness I did. Have you met Helen yet? Here’s a video I took of her with one of the utterly gorgeous Reading Dolls from their Lilliputien range
I had my first Press Pass (show off) hanging around my neck as I visited some of the hundreds of stands representing toy brands from near and afar. A true paradise for any serious toy lover like moi! The stands were displaying their very best and if it had been a market I could have spent thousands of pounds such was the high level on offer.
I also got to see and try out the prototypes from big names, toys you will see appearing on the shelves come the summer or autumn but definitely in time for Christmas 2012! Here’s a selection below
The Leapfrog stand was incredibly interesting as I was shown prototypes for learning toys being put together for this summer/autumn, it’s interesting to see the amount of work and thought that goes into each product, the girls on the stand explained to me that nobody dreamt the Leapfrog Explorer would have been the phenomenon it became and that was why they got caught out and the product sold out so quickly. However, I am assured that for those of us that had to go without there are container loads on the way to the UK so do watch this space, I’ve been told I will get the nod as they hit the stores.
The Leapfrog Tag Reading System was of particular interest to me with the girls starting school next year, it encourages children to interact and understand as they go. Plenty of titles to read along to plus interactive games too.
My next stop was the Lego stand, we’ve had Lego in our family since we could toddle and my brother was a huge fan of their Star Wars range which can be found now looking even better than in his day. I saw lots of fabulous products coming out in the autumn but I wasn’t allowed to take photos of them, all very Top Secret. However they did show me some products that have been put forward to attract the female builders amongst us some examples can be seen in the collage above.
Another stand had these guys – Bananas in Pyjamas. We adore them in this house and manage to catch most of the show before we head out the door to preschool in the morning. Watch the stores this Christmas as B1 and B2 are coming in all sorts of shapes and sizes along with their house too.
A massive sigh of desire as I bumped into the Corolle Dolls, beautifully made with complete wardrobes to buy for them. Look at the coat – I would wear it!
Playmobil have the perfect alternative to the chocolate egg coming out for Easter, a Playmobil egg with toys inside, perfect for the families who want to reduce their chocolate intake this year. I saw the popular Advent Calendars ready for this Christmas again for those who want to reduce chocolate intake over the festive season these are perfect plus they can be used as countdowns to exciting dates such as birthdays, holidays, end of school and so on.
Hornby have some fabulous collectors pieces out this year for the Queens Jubilee for the Olymipcs and I just had to take a photo of the Eddie Stobart lorry for my other half :)
I finished off at the John Crane stand, I spoke doll’s houses for quite some time with Stewart, the design manager who creates them giving feedback on what works for us and what doesn’t, watch this space for a fabulous new one coming out at the end of the year. He showed me this kitchen they’re working on, it’s garden toys and made to stand our British weather…
Can you believe these three pieces have been left in their car park all autumn to test how weather proof it is? It looks brand new, a perfect garden toy!
They have added a few new brands to their range the Italians Sevi (utterly gorgeous) and Trudi, I couldn’t refuse a photo with that huggable bear, an American Company B who recycle plastic to make new toys, the musical keyboard and the caught my eye but there are Spinaroos and toddlers keys and phones too. Check them out
and I couldn’t finish off this post without showing you this
I adore it, I’ve always had a romantic notion of canal boats and this one would keep me entertained for hours