Tuesday, 21 January 2014

The London Toy Fair 2014 - Wow!

The problem with going to the Toy Fair on press day is you have to avoid this lot trying to cuddle, high-five, kiss or generally chase you about! Mind you they are absolutly hillarious when trying to pass through a standard size door...

Late last year our favourite toy manufacturer was taken over by the huge Canadian toy company Spin Master. Little known to us in the UK, Spin Master is well known in the USA and Canada. With some good reason, Meccano nuts, world wide, were getting ready for bad news.

Having been assured that would not be the case, I was feeling a lot better. At last Meccano had the backing of a large multinational toy company with the time and the expertise to make it work. The question to ask from our point of view was, how? More strange, oblique, moves into such things as the Gears of war? The relentless pursuit of ‘B’ list franchise such as Tintin and Rabbids? Only time was going to tell.

This is the first thing you see when entering the Spin Mater stand
Anyone who was worried about Spin Master’s commitment to the brand can now rest easy in their beds. The stand revealed to The Press at the London Toy Fair today is fronted with huge Meccano presence. Meccano is obviously their flagship brand and they are proud of it! The stand presents its  hospitality area at the front with the James May IOM TT Motorbike in pride of place, for all to see, backed with very high quality graphics and prominent branding.

Now the good bit…

No new Gears of War, no new Rabbids. In fact no new ranges at all this year. This is hardly surprising given the time scale but there is another reason. The plan is to concentrate on the more traditional Meccano, initially expanding and reviving the Multimodels range, as the basic Meccano, and treating the Evolution range as the more advanced stuff. The two ranges being totally compatible if desired.

I said earlier there were no new Gears of War or Rabbids, but much to my delight there were no old ones either! There was a selection of Maxi Kits and the Turbo range has a new rally car. 

Looking good the 12 model set...

...and from the 15 model set
 To the left and leading you into the stand, there are two large displays the first one showing the Multimodels range with some new sets including 12 and 15  model sets. The second display presented the existing Evolution range and four new models for this year. The chopper bike and the skid-steer digger we have already seen and are scheduled for release in the spring but there is a wheeled digger (Affectionately known on-site as a Rubber Duck) and a Forest Engine, a robust looking 4x4 with log handling equipment. Both should be available in the autumn, in time for Christmas.

Forest Engine
I will post more on these new models tomorrow once I have had a chance to study our photographs properly.  


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