For the past two years Hasbro left an unfillable void at the annual UK Toy Fair (sometimes known as the London Toy Fair) organized by The British Toy and Hobby Association. For many years, the company was the biggest sponsor and the biggest exhibitor of the show. Back in 2016, Hasbro declined to participate as they had their hands full with other European toy shows happening at the same time. The decision continued on with the 2017 fair as well. This created an industry-wide ‘domino effect’ where certain UK companies declined to participate on the fair due to the absence of Hasbro (and later Mattel).
Happily however, the word we received across the pond suggests that an agreement has been made by Hasbro to participate at next year’s UK Toy Fair. The 2018 show will not only have Hasbro back as an exhibitor, the company will also be taking up two conjoining show rooms on the upper Gallery Suites section.
Hasbro will be showcasing their upcoming toys to the ‘independent retail trade’. It was stated that this year’s focus will be toy ranges specifically tailored to indies. Hasbro is said to be working hard to differentiate its ranges for individual retail channels. We are yet to find out what these ranges are and the motive behind the new business tactic. Our best guess is the recent news of Toys”R”Us announcing the closure of significant number of stores in the UK. The toy giant seems to be looking for viable options to push its toylines in the absence of a notable toy retailer.
Few days ago, the company has invited toy journalists residing in the United Kingdom for a preview of what they will display at the Toy Fair. We have learned that this information is under embargo until a certain unspecified conditions have been met.
We also assume that Hasbro display cases will be kept away from the general public eye at UK Toy Fair 2018.
UK Toy Fair 2018 will take place from 23rd January to 25th January at Olympia London. Stay tuned with TFW2005 for more news on other companies showcasing licensed Transformers products at the show.