The world’s biggest toy fair is underway in the southern German city of Nuremberg.
Around 75,000 trade visitors are expected to attend to check out 2,600 exhibitors and looking to order the next ‘must have’ toy for Christmas.
The toy industry fared better than many others during the recession.
Worldwide sales slipped only slightly last year and were down less than one percent in the US.
Kevin Farr, Chief Financial Officer for Mattel, the world biggest toy maker, said sales held up because many parents would rather go without than deny presents to their children: “The toy industry had a very good year in 2009, we saw good, strong, single-digit growth in almost every country. It’s interesting, in an economically challenging time kids are always the last people to feel that kind of economic pinch and parents are very protective of kids.”
The economic downturn prompted Mattel to put a lot of effort into cutting costs last year and helped it to post higher profit and sales in the all-important holiday season fourth quarter.
It also revamped its 50-year-old mainstay product – the Barbie doll – and, like many other toymakers, is focusing on emerging markets such as China, India and Brazil.