Naughty or nice: toymakers gear up

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Naughty or nice: toymakers gear up

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For toy makers it is never too early to think about Christmas and that is what they have been doing at New York’s International Toy Fair, which is the industry largest gathering.

A big trend this year was traditional favourites adapted for high-tech use, like on tablet computers.

Adrienne Appel, a trend specialist with the fair’s organisers, the Toy Industry Association, said: “When you have these physical toys, they kind of bring everybody back together around the table. It’s a true family game night.”

There were over 100,000 toys on display at the event with the makers of the new entries hoping they would have the wow factor to become a hit.

Or you could go with products that are already guaranteed sellers, such as tie-ins with successful movies.

The distributor of Star Wars merchandise is hoping the re-release in 3D of the latest Star Wars films will drive sales.

Robyn Morgan is licensing director for Underground Toys: “With these products we’ve really been able to expand our distribution in a way that we couldn’t with another licence that doesn’t have the broad appeal that Star Wars brings to the products we make.”

Makers of traditional toys will be hoping that there is still room for their wares among the apps and the high-tech tie-ins.

Analysts say the toy industry has remained resilient even in tough economic times, though manufacturers remain worried after last holiday season when toy sales fell three per cent in the United States.