Each of us has our own Toy Highway. Mine runs from the Dallas Fall Toy Preview in October through the Hong Kong Toys & Games Fair and the German Spielwarenmesse in January and finally Toy Fair in New York in February. Yes, it can be exhausting at times (that's three continents and a whole lot of flying) but it is also invigorating.
Next stop for me Is the Spielwarenmesse. It's certainly the biggest of the shows in terms of space so when you go bring a good pair of shoes. There are 17 very large exhibition spaces filled with over 1 million unique toys.
As distinctive as each show is, it is the whole of the experience that is greater than the sum of the parts. Attending all of the shows provides a greater sense of the rhythm of the industry, its mood, its similarities and differences.
One also sees the familiar faces of other toy nomads along the way. It is comforting and a bit ironic
to be at a show in Hong Kong or Germany and see someone you know from England, Brazil or Australia. There is a smiling exchange of greetings and sometimes a sharing of what we have learned.
I consider it a rare privilege to visit these events, see the extraordinary cities in which some of them take place and as a result have such interested and interesting friends and acquaintances.
Hope to see your own personal Toy Highway.