Toy Fair Nuremberg February 2011

I am here in Nuremberg for the Toy Fair and I am really impressed!! The show is very well organized, so it’s relatively easy to make your way around the many halls, which are filled with visitors! The showrooms of the dominant players (e.g. LEGO, Hasbro, Mattel) are packed!

I’m here for MODA’s client UNICEF, and there is plenty of interest even from companies that don’t normally license. It seems that introducing kids to a “world of play” with the UNICEF brand is a concept that lots of marketers can relate to!

MODA at Toy Fair Nurnberg

MODA Licensing, Inc., represented by Sharon Summer, will be in Germany for the International Toy Fair Nurnberg February 2nd through the 4th on behalf of client UNICEF!

If you are looking for a global children’s brand with incredibly high awareness offering an alternative to character and entertainment properties, please contact MODA to schedule an appointment with Sharon and learn more about how UNICEF can benefit your business (212-687-7640 or

High Point

High Point, April 2010

This was a good market.  Let’s start with the fact that the sun was shining.  (Moving from building to building in High Point when it’s raining dampens the shoes and spirits!)   Overall the showrooms were busy and there was good energy – a feeling that the worst of the recession is behind us prevailed.

We attend this market for many reasons: to spend time with Hammary, our furniture licensee for The National Trust for Historic Preservation, to stay on top of any trends in the industry and to focus on particular categories of interest, including area rugs.

Hammary is launching  a new collection, La Valenica,  for the Design in America – The National Trust brand.   Like all previous collections, the designs  take inspiration from one of The National Trust sites or places.  La Valencia evokes the old world charm of the famous hotel located in La Jolla.  The collection embodies the elegant Spanish style of the hotel and features substantial forms and warm wood tones.   Wrought iron details, bold carvings and intricate inlay patterns provide a handmade feel that adds character and a feeling of luxury.   La Valencia was showcased in the new Hammary showroom.  Hammary and Anerican Drew,  divisions of La-Z-Boy, are now sharing showroom space.   This is good news for Hammary since the opportunity for distribution has now been expanded.  

The area rug showrooms that I visited were very active and there was a lot of licensed product to be seen.  Jaipur, a company that focuses heavily on design, had live models posing on rugs lining the Showplace walkway.  It certainly captured everyone’s attention but I’m not sure if they were focusing on the models or the rugs! 

In all, I spoke with a lot of people. What will develop remains to be seen but the good news is that, in general, everyone was open to hearing more. 

Toy Fair

Toy Fair, February 2010

Toy Fair 2010 felt a lot better than it did in 2009.  The aisles and booths were busier than last year and the exhibitors seemed happy. The noise level at the show was not as deafening as it had been in previous years.  Overall, the tone of the show reflected the economic forecasts – a slow but steady recovery. 

I was at the show representing our new client UNICEF.  The UNICEF organization is extending their brand to children’s toys, apparel, optical, first aid, safety and juvenile products.  We are really excited about this assignment since UNICEF’s global brand awareness, credibility and link to children is virtually unmatched.   Extending the UNICEF brand to toys is seamless. We’re exploring  product categories such as arts & crafts, plush, mini-vehicles, puzzles, games, infant/preschool, games, and more.

Jakks Pacific had one of my favorite toys.  “Real Construction” uses a durable foam material that looks just like real wood and allows children to create wood configurations safely.  It looked like a toy that children could really enjoy.

One thing that seemed lacking in the products I saw was creativity.  Considering the industry this was a bit perplexing and disappointing! It’s clear that the retail environment isn’t necessarily inspiring risk (at least in the toy industry), but for those willing to take the chance, is the potential reward worth the gamble? We hope so!