My Toy Fair Blog – Gibsons
Nicki Gumbrell – Sales Director
- Please introduce yourself and your company: I’m Nicki and I’m the Sales Director at Gibsons; we manufacture and supply jigsaw puzzles, games and playing cards.
- What products are you launching at Toy Fair? We always save our biggest launch of new jigsaw puzzles for January, usually around 30 or more brand new images across all our piece counts. We have a brilliant kids’ addition to our TfL license, a great new concept from the Stormtroopers license, and on the issue of sustainability a beautiful There is No Planet in our contemporary White Logo Collection; those are probably the 3 I’m most excited about.
- How did you get into the toy industry? Gibsons is my family business, it was set up by my mum’s grandfather in 1919. My dad worked in the business from 1979-2000 and I grew up playing board games on Friday nights so I guess it’s in my blood. I went into retail from school but joined Gibsons in 2005 when Michael Gibson offered me a role in the sales team.
- What was your favourite toy growing up? I loved my roller skates – the type you had to strap onto your shoes! And I had one of those flat cardboard dolls where you wrapped paper outfits round with tabs that used to tear off if you didn’t handle them carefully…
- What is the one “special ingredient” that makes a great toy? Anything that sparks engagement, interest and fun I would say – be that mentally or physically.
- Other than your own, what toy brand really stands out to you today? I love walking past the Puppet Company stand at shows – it’s amazing to see such a traditional, niche product going strong in this day and age. A bit like jigsaw puzzles I guess!
- What was your best memory of Toy Fair? Probably our Centenary year in 2019. We had so much fun creating the catalogue that year, and some special products to mark the occasion, and we couldn’t wait to show them to our customers. We are lucky to have such a great heritage to be proud of.
- What’s your top tip for surviving Toy Fair? Tea! And lots of it. And spacing out the meetings so there’s an opportunity to take a wander off the stand at times. I love what the trade shows offer – catching up, networking, selling, observing, listening. It’s all great stuff and been very much missed over the past 18 months.