Showtime at Toy Fair 2012
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Showtime at Toy Fair 2012

Well it is a rare occasion when the designers are let out of the studio (I don’t think they trust us to behave!) Time will tell whether that it is true. But we got an opportunity to go on a studio school trip. Where did we go I hear you ask? Toy Fair, Olympia London of course.


On Wednesday 25th January, Nick, Fiona and I took the school bus (in the shape of a Vauxhaull Corsa driven by Don from the Warehouse) to High Wycombe train station. As any responsible ex-college teacher I completed a register to check everyone was present and correct. Then we were off to the big city. Fiona was very excited and never stopped smiling. The one thing that came apparent on this trip was that I shouldn’t be left in charge of navigation, especially when using London tube. Another thing that became apparent was the handrails on the tube trains weren’t designed for Fiona.

Arriving at Toy Fair 2012

We soon arrived at Olympia to experience the Toy Fair. For Nick and Fiona it was their first trade show. This was a great opportunity for them to see what happens at trade shows and enabled them to pick up a wider knowledge of the toy industry and how it works. Designing games are quite complex and there are lots of things you need to be aware of, not only do you need to make it appealing for children and adults to play, but the designs need to attract retailers to stock them. Visiting a trade show was great market research for designers, seeing how consumers react, what attracts them, what make them smile, it is great, we are always learning.

The Green Board Games stand is always a bright and colourful and stands out from the rest. This year there are lots of new products but the noisiest ones, our robotic dinosaurs seemed to go down a storm and were grabbing everyones attention. It is great for us to see what the stand looks like with the artwork we have designed for it. We are always looking for what we can improve on, we always want to keep everything at Green Board Games looking fresh.

Visiting the stand is great for us to meet customers. Its always fantastic to hear what they think of our designs. We always go slightly bashful.

Exploring the show

Wandering round the trade show was great. Seeing all the stands for all the toy companies was a great experience. There were not just UK companies there, we saw international toy companies too. Seeing new games before they hit the shops is exciting. Trying to work out what the next must haves are? For Fiona (who is only 5ft) finding a giraffe that she was taller than is her must have toy!

Toy fair 2012 we salute you, it was a great experience.

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