As the New Year began, and most people were slowly catching up on emails following the festive break, the Toy Industry was hard at work prepping for the start of their trade fair season, kicked off by The Toy Fair. Always a highlight in the SnapDragon calendar, the London fair is an opportunity for us to catch up with familiar faces, meet new brands and continue spreading the word about the importance of brand protection.
Despite this being our third year in attendance, we are always amazed by how the exhibitors manage to transform the metal skeleton of the Olympia Exhibition Centre in the bustling, colourful fair we all know and love. As usual, the SnapDragon stand was positioned on the Upper level, across from our friends at the British Toy and Hobby Association (BTHA).
Our first day of the show was filled with lots of intrigued brands stopping by the stand to find out who we were and what we were doing. It was great to chat to toy brand owners and representatives about their new products and how they are protecting them. From in-house legal teams to the illustrators of some of the actual games themselves, the importance of brand protection was relevant to varying branches of each company. We also got the chance to visit one of our lovely clients, Orchard Toys, who won UK retailer of the year! Congrats guys!
What was unique about this year was the amount of product design students and new start-ups in attendance. We love to give advice about protecting products online and believe passionately that innovators should consider IP right from the start of their journey. Their enthusiasm for each of their ideas was thrilling to see and brought home to us the importance of what we do.
The final day gave us the chance to sit down with our partners at the BTHA and discuss the ever-important issue of Toy Safety and the role that fakes, and copies, can play. The BTHA have had tremendous success in the last year with regards to raising awareness of the importance of rigorous safety testing for toys. The quality and legitimacy of products within this industry can often have disastrous consequences and it is something that we feel passionate about preventing. For our top tips on how to protect your customers, see here. And final good wishes to those of you with more fairs ahead!