MY TOY FAIR BLOG
Please provide a brief introduction to yourself and the company you work for
Hello! I am Tess Parsons-Boome, the Marketing Communications Manager UK for Just Play. I joined the team in April 2023 and have been thrilled to contribute to our vision of creating innovative and delightful toys that bring joy and entertainment to children.
What is your favourite part about working in the toy industry?
The dynamism of the toy industry is something I get a real buzz from, as is the opportunity to create exceptional toys that seamlessly combine fun and learning, backed by captivating storytelling and creative campaigns that truly resonate with our audience. At Just Play, our focus is bringing boundless joy and excitement to children, while enhancing their cognitive skills through engaging play experiences.
Give us the inside scoop, what products are you launching at Toy Fair 2024?
We have a VERY exciting line up of new brand and product launches that we are showcasing at Toy Fair 2024. Highlights include the re-launch of the beloved interactive pet brand, FurReal, this Spring under Just Play’s remit. The range features old favourites as well as some impressive new innovation for Autumn/Winter to continue the legacy of pet and nurture play.
When it comes to our own IP we have some fantastic interactive and engaging new lines that will captivate both children and parents alike, including a stand-out WOW product that features incredible innovation – but I can’t disclose anymore! You’ll have to come and see for yourself by visiting our stand at B90.
What trends do you predict for the Toy industry in 2024?
We foresee the continued popularity of micro-sized collectibles and playsets, driven by their appeal on social media. The ‘surprise reveal’ of unboxing experiences, such as our Disney Doorables, adds an element of excitement to these sets. Additionally, mini collectible figure sets within this trend offer trade ability, collectability, and highly stylized details, making them sought-after by both children and collectors.
Another trend we expect to flourish is the rise of pop culture. Building upon the 2023 ‘fandom’ culture, this trend connects with audiences through core aesthetic trends on social media and nostalgic returns. From adults reliving their favourite characters to younger children experiencing revamped shows via digital and streaming channels, these pop culture-inspired toys offer a unique engagement opportunity.
How many years have you exhibited at Toy Fair? Any favourite memories?
As part of our long-standing presence in the industry, Just Play has been proudly exhibiting at Toy Fair for two successful years, with next year being our third! A stand out moment from Toy Fair 2023 was of course Potty Time Elmo being named a Hero Toy, but also that we went big and bold last year (after having a very small stand the year before). As we only recently have had a presence in the UK, it has been great to join the rest of the industry at London Toy fair and put Just Play on the map in the UK!
What is your favourite toy?
It’s got to be the Disney Doorables collection! These delightful, collectible figures have become adored by multiple age groups, from kids and collectors to passionate Disney fans. For me, Disney Doorables have managed to tick all the right boxes for today’s consumers. The unboxing trend, combined with the ASMR quality of the characters and the element of ‘surprise’ reveal, makes Disney Doorables the ultimate toy that satisfies the desire for an engaging and immersive experience.
What top tip would you give to a fellow exhibitor or visitor attending their first Toy Fair?
For fellow exhibitors or visitors attending their first Toy Fair, my top tip would be to embrace the opportunity to network and establish valuable connections! Toy Fair is not only about showcasing products but also about fostering relationships within the industry. And wear comfy shoes!