Nico Blauw is President and CEO of BOTI, Ltd., and BOTI Europe, BV. Nico has an impressive resume, having founded BOTI and serving as the CEO of Upper Deck International BV/Upper Deck Europe BV. He is an outspoken advocate for the toy industry. Here is his take on the state of the toy business in the Netherlands, with the arrival of Smyths, one of Europe’s leading retailers.
Although my dear beloved friend and business partner Jay Foreman believes #NurnbergToyFair should be for Europeans, the #NewYorkToy Fair for the Americans and #hongkongtoyfair for the world, the recent Nurnberg Toy Fair has proven to be a global fair in terms of audience.
And who are we to decide who gets to go where? In the toy industry our young consumers are not yet poisoned with culture, religion and politics. They don’t think in them vs us, nor should we! Our consumers are as natural as one can find them and they all tend to look at the same screen regardless of where they live, provided that these media platforms are available. Let’s take that as the example for our own behavior.
We can keep traditions in place, we can embrace the past and try to slow down the inevitable process of change, but we all know there is nothing that will stop the need for and the process of change. Change will always happen.
Retailers, distributors, suppliers from all over the world showed up in #Nurnberg and the enthusiasm was beyond any expectation, although partly as one was finally released from the cages we have been living in for the past 3 years. It was like the cows jumping around in the fields in spring being released from the stables after a long cold winter.
As Richard Gottlieb posted earlier this week, the Nurnberg Toy Fair is the world’s largest toy fair by a landslide. 17 halls filled with (new) toys. There is nothing like it in the world. People were also fit and excited for not spending 10 worn out days in Hong Kong at the start of the year.
And although I have criticised Nurnberg for its “poor” accessibility, the ridiculous expensive hotels and the bad timing of the fair, the show it self is next to none. And yes its can be cold, so what? Have you ever been to NYTF in Febr?
If the Nurnberg Toy fair organisation would, for starters, have the show take place from Monday-Friday, then we can have 5 days of effecient meetings rather than the slow saturdays/sunday. I appreciate this is done to allow independent shop owners to come down attend the show, but Nurnberg is not a German show, nor European. It is a global fair! If Christian Ulrich and his fellow board members would realise the global position they have and if they have the guts, the first step they should take apply the Monday-Friday schedule. Second step would be to have the show take place at the right time.