The International Toy Fair in Nuremberg isn’t a public event; admission tickets are only available to trade professionals, journalists and invited guests. We don’t want you to miss out, so we visited the largest toy fair in the world and summarised our highlights for you. Over one million products were exhibited at the fair, including around 100,000 new releases. After fighting our way through the huge selection of toys on display, here’s our selection of trends for 2018.
Carrera's Turnator has been around for several years now, but new versions are presented from time to time. In addition to the original Turnator, the Turnator «Glow in the Dark», a new off-road version of the RC car, is released this year. As its predecessors, this car performs spectacular stunts: It spins around its own axis and flips over in all directions in a 360° radius. This version of the Turnator isn’t only great indoors, but also drives on meadows, in the dirt or over stones. In terms of price, my guess is it will be priced similarly to previous Turnator models – around 100 francs (no liability assumed). Carrera is expecting to release the Turnator «Glow in the Dark» in early October.
Science kits were hugely popular at this year’s Nuremberg Toy Fair. One of them is Kosmos’s Monster Maker. It contains three balls that are transformed into small monsters using a smartphone or tablet. Each ball is equipped with a different sensor; one reacts to brightness, one to temperature and one to sound. It’s quite impressive when your monster gets larger eyes in the dark or thicker fur in the cold!
With orders going through the roof, Ravensburger’s GraviTrax marble run (released last year) was a huge success. In fact, the demand was so great that Ravensburger was unable to keep up with production. Today, production is back on track and Ravensburger is already planning new extensions. We’re looking forward to exciting extension modules – expected to be available in October 2018.
A traditional brand, Brio has been producing wooden railways and trains for decades. With so-called «Smart Tech», they’ve taken their products to the new age. Smart Tech trains are battery operated, drive on their own, play sounds, have a built-in light and interact with their surroundings. For instance, if a train passes through a tunnel, it plays a specific sound. What’s just as impressive is the car wash, where trains travel back and forth while washing noises are played.
Every year, the Nuremberg International Toy Fair presents a ToyAward to outstanding innovative products in four age groups. This year, a jury of ten experts (market researchers, educators, international sales agents and a toy safety expert) selected four ToyAward winners from 643 entries. The following products were named winners:
Category Baby & Infant (0-3 years): Kullerbü – Car Park-Play Track, Habermaass
Source: Spielwarenmesse eG
«The car park-play track has been made from quality materials and offers a seemingly endless number of playing options for children.»ToyAward 2018 jury
HABA’s car park-play track is a real multi-talent: Cars find a place to park on different levels, there’s a repair shop, a petrol station and a helicopter landing pad on the top level and, of course, a play track which cars can zoom up and down on.
Category PreSchool (3-6 years): Robo Chameleon, Silverlit Toys Manufactory
Source: Spielwarenmesse eG
Cute Robo Chameleon with its big wide eyes and robot-like embellishments will conquer the hearts of all pre-school children in no time. A remote control moves the toy through the children’s room to train their dexterity in a fun way. At the touch of a button, it quickly unrolls its long tongue, which is covered in magnets to help it snap up the metal food items and make them disappear in its mouth.
Category SchoolKids (6-10 years): Pepper Mint and the Treehouse Adventure, Franckh-Kosmos Verlag
Pepper Mint and the Treehouse Adventure is a fascinating game which introduces the world of research to girls in a playful way. With specific examples, children solve technical or physics-related problems with snazzy Pepper Mint. The concept won over the jury:
« The experimentation set gives girls access to the STEM subjects (science, technology, engineering and maths) – beyond clichés and pink worlds of glitter.»ToyAward 2018 jury
Category Teenager & Adults (from 10 years): 1:87 VW T1 Samba Bus 2,4G 100% RTR, TAMIYA-CARSON Modellbau
Source: Spielwarenmesse eG
Volkswagen’s T1 Samba automotive classic now comes as an only five centimetres-large remote-controlled version. The miniature model by TAMIYA-CARSON Modellbau is a 1:87 true-to-the-original replica of the popular old-timer which collectors and model railways fans – the VW bus fits perfectly in with H0 railway landscapes – will be greatly enthusiastic about.
Unfortunately, some manufacturer (Lego, Playmobil and Zapf for instance) didn’t allow us to take photos, as their products are still secret. However, what we may tell you is that some cool stuff will be released this year. We’ll keep you posted!
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