Toy as a commodity

Toy as a commodity

Tibor Uhrín

Nuremberg is a long-time venue of a major fair for toys and free time articles. The fair invites all world experts to share industry- and market-related information. This year, 60 countries came to introduce around one million products, 60 thousand of which are brand new products. The fair offers a varied range of products, including toys (plush or wood), dolls, railway models, modelling accessories, books, computer games and outdoor equipment.

Among the exhibitors I liked the most were predominantly small enterprises. Slovakia-born Ivan Vanečko is a producer and trader of top quality wooden toys and objects, designed by the Czech designer Tomáš Svoboda. Vanečko lives in Germany and produces under the Janoschik brand, in collaboration with companies in the Central and Eastern Europe. Vanečko presents clear vision of how to compete Asian products: by design, quality, craftsmanship and materials.

Traditional producers from the Krušné hory region, particularly the town of Seiffen, dominate the wooden toys sector. They have 300-year tradition of production of turned, split, cut and painted figures, houses and crackers.

The German company Jakobs offers a wide selection of educational, therapeutic toys and aids developing children´s movements. They pursue an active cooperation with designer and educational and psychological experts.

Swiss company Naef has successfully maintained high professional excellence of craft production and collaboration with designers. The company produces intellect-motivating articles such as brain-twisters and puzzles with optical effects.

It is a great event that, after years of recession in the toy industry, a Slovak exhibitor attended the fair, being an equal competition for other producers and traders of toys. Veva Product from the village of Huncovce introduced four new toys at the fair – namely wooden construction kits with several plastic elements.