Toys that connect the real and digital worlds, that revive the cult of He-Man and the Marvel heroes or take you to foreign worlds – these are the big trends that can be seen at the world’s largest toy fair from February 1st.

For the first time since the outbreak of the corona pandemic, the industry is meeting again in Nuremberg. Around 2100 exhibitors from almost 70 countries will present their innovations there until February 5th. Unlike in previous years, parts of the trade fair will also be open to the general public this time.

Corona failures practically overcome

This means that the trade fair is almost as big as it was before the three-year Corona break, said Board Member Florian Hess. In 2020 there were still 2800 exhibitors. The outbreak of the pandemic had already overshadowed the trade fair back then: fewer guests came from China, stands with disinfectants were set up everywhere. The fair was then canceled in the two following years.

15 countries will present their toy industries in their own pavilions, including Hong Kong and China. The relaxation of the strict zero-Covid strategy therefore came at the right time, said Hess. For the first time this year, Ukraine, France and Uzbekistan are also represented with their own stands.

At the new product show on Tuesday, one day before the trade fair opens, 50 manufacturers will be providing an overview of the trends and showcasing their latest products for the media and trade buyers.

Sustainable toys in trend

In addition to the three major trends that experts have identified for the fair, one focus this year is also on sustainable toys. “Sustainability is now almost mainstream – it has arrived in all product groups,” said Hess.

The fair also focuses on licensing issues, i.e. toys for popular characters from films, TV series, books or video games. “The licenses are becoming more and more important and have grown strongly again in the last year,” said CEO Christian Ulrich.

What is also new this year is that on the weekend (4/5) the hall for model railways and model building will open for toy fans of all ages for the first time. Normally, the fair is only open to trade visitors.