2019 will be our fifth successive year of exhibiting at Toy Fair. From those first tentative steps in the Greenhouse in 2015, we graduated to a more substantial presence at stand G65 where we have remained ever since.
Toy Fair is an important part of our heritage and holds a special place in our hearts and minds. Our gaming journey started at this event in January 2015. It was the first time we met the fabulous team from Asmodee UK, experienced the networking skills of Playtime PR, secured our first Spring Summer contract with John Lewis & Partners and many, many more firsts.
Even with our subsequent appearance on BBC2 Dragons’ Den in July, 2015, we still see Toy Fair as the event that put us on the map of the gaming world.
Subsequent Toy Fairs have helped us as a small family business to reach those partners, customers, suppliers and influencers that, as inexperienced self-publishers, have helped us to expand our product portfolio and geographical reach.
We’ve gone from just one game in 2015, developed after a wine fuelled family dinner party (Accentuate, The Award winning ‘Hilarious-Guess-The-Accent-Game’), which sold at a few retailers in the UK – to all three of our games being showcased in 2019, and will be widely available throughout the UK and the rest of the world.
As a game designer and publisher there are few things more satisfying than having a ‘game epiphany’, crafting game-play, design, and securing comprehensive IP, to then be able to play the finished game at Toy Fair and see the delight and challenge on visitors’ faces when playing the new creation. This was the case with our latest game, FReNeTiC, ‘The frenzied word game of the Elements’, which had its debut at Toy Fair 2018 and has gone on to win multiple awards.
Toy Fair is our preferred venue for new launches and we are excited to announce the showcase of our new game – ‘Rats to Riches’ – a strategy game for scheming Rats, during the January 2019 event. This represents our first foray into licensing with us securing the world-wide rights to the game in August 2018.
I have always said it’s that one meeting, that one discussion, that justifies the investment in Toy Fair and every year without fail we secure that pivotal moment.
For us no other event brings our customers, potential customers, suppliers, distributors, licensees and professional partners, together under one roof at one time to create a hot bed of opportunity.
We also have a lot of fun at Toy Fair, you never know what might happen next, from being accosted by Elves, grabbing the film quote card “and I ate his Liver with some Fava beans…” off a 9 year old during the Demo Zone broadcast, avoiding your stand being destroyed by a rogue Go Kart and collapsing with laughter at the accent attempts of Gavin Inskip (who should never be allowed to test drive Go Karts.)
Toy Fair is our incubator for ideas and trends, will we see Hobby Games become more main stream? How will technology, notably The Cloud, affect game development? I don’t know, but Toy Fair is where we may learn if it will.