Toy Fair is celebrating: 2008 marks the fifth anniversary of the event's Greenhouse Area and 64 companies - more than ever before - have taken stands. Half of these are exhibiting at Toy Fair for the very first time.
The Greenhouse Area at Toy Fair was launched in 2004 specifically to help smaller companies with big ideas reach the UK toy industry's VIPs and to promote entrepreneurship and innovation within the industry. Since then, the Greenhouse Area has proved to be a successful springboard for hundreds of talented toy companies and individuals.
iTeDDy is one such company. Managing director Imran Hakim explained: "We exhibited at Toy Fair in 2007 because we needed a showcase that would give us instant access to retailers, distributors and licensors. We didn't know what to expect but Toy Fair served as a great platform to launch iTeDDy to the industry giving us instant exposure to other businesses and also to consumers through the interviews we did with the BBC, Channel 5 and Sky News. We were inundated with offers from major retailers and signed an exclusive deal with Argos."
Abracardabra also exhibited for the first time last year and is returning to the Greenhouse Area for a second time in 2008. Managing director Philip Pennant said: "We are longstanding in the gift trade but fairly new to toys and now that we have pre-school licences such as Thomas, Dora, Forever Friends and Angelina Ballerina, we need to be at the Toy Fair. Last year we gained new customers including Toys R Us, Smyths of Ireland and several other new independents."
Natasha Crookes, director of communications at the British Toy & Hobby Association, which organises Toy Fair, ended: "We are thrilled to be celebrating the Greenhouse Area's fifth birthday next year and to announce that the Greenhouse Area has grown once again. The area has been so popular since day one that we are often oversubscribed and forced to open a waiting list. We are hoping that the increased floor space we've devoted to the Greenhouse Area this year will help to accommodate everyone who wants to be in there."
NOTES TO EDITORS
1. The complete exhibitor list can be found online at www.toyfair.co.uk
2. Toy Fair press day will take place on Wednesday January 30.
3. Visitors and media can register now for a complimentary pass at www.toyfair.co.uk