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Slow Toys 2012 at Selfridges

TnP’s Malcolm Naish with Peter Brown from Flair

Sylvanian Families fans get arty

A week long art exhibition hosted by the Strand Gallery was commissioned as part of the Sylvanian Families 25th anniversary celebrations. Featuring almost 60 pieces of art donated by artists and amateurs, adults and children, they will be auctioned at the end of the exhibition with proceeds going to the Toy Trust. This eclectic mix has created several interesting views of Sylvania, some of which are very sweet and innocent whilst other pieces have an altogether more refl ective feel about them. Holly Lackey, marketing manager, said: ‘I am incredibly proud of the exhibition as it refl ects the fact that Sylvanian Families means so much to so many diff erent people. ‘We had entries from across the UK and Europe and even from as

far away as Singapore and the results are truly stunning. I believe the many visitors that will walk through the doors this week will take with them a warm feeling of what childhood is all about.’ Lucinda Chua, Gallery Manager, said: ‘Hosting this event is something we have been looking forward to for weeks. By using a much-loved toy we have been able to create something that will be of interest for all ages.

The brainchild of Asobi’s M.D. Thierry Bourret, who created the ‘Slow toy’ movement last year to create more recognition for traditional non- plastic/non battery toys, many of them hand-crafted in wood and other traditional materials. Hence the fi rst ‘Slow Toy’ awards in 2012. these were announced on the 30th October, appropriately in Selfridges toy department with a judging panel looking for the encouragement of traditional play that boosts creative thinking and inspires the development of a child’s imagination. They have to be durable and able to stand the test of time and most defi nitely sold in independent toy shops. t and its awards aim to recognise the ‘real toys’ on the market that are well made, inspire the mind and provide children far more than the noise and fl ashing lights commonly associated with the toys of today. Commenting on the awards and the exciting

news announcement, Thierry Bourret said: ‘I have always longed for this level of appreciation for good quality, well-made toys that encourage traditional play and stimulate a child’s imagination. I am overwhelmed that not only have we found seven wonderful products, we have also managed to team up with one of the country’s most prestigious departments stores to help spread the word!’ He continued: ‘I am delighted to say the fi rst

ever Slow Toy awards have been a huge success. I would like to thank everyone who took the time to enter but, most importantly, a big thanks to the judges who generously gave their time to review all the products.’

App toys to appeal to girls

New girls boutique for Hamleys

Lucky customers at Hamleys got the opportunity to witness the exciting launch of a new dedicated girls boutique – Luvley. The innovative boutique was introduced by Hamleys’ Pre-School and Girls Category Manager, Emma Toolan. Emma comments: ‘I identifi ed a gap in the market in January and

wanted to launch a boutique specifi cally for a girl aged 6-10, who no longer want to wear a Princess Outfi t.’ It has an amazing selection of diverse products for girls, dominated by product from Wooky Europe and fun costumes courtesy of Smiff ys.

Wonderworld: Wonderworld Eco House £120

Coiledspring: Rory’s Story Cubes £10

BigJigs: Triangular Activity Centre £27.99

Totseat: Oobicoo £46.80

P’kolino: Multi Solution Puzzle £14.99

My Wonder: Wondercube £19.99

Play to Z: Stacking £48.00

New data released by The NPD Group shows that toy makers targeting the UK market are looking to girls to help them drive sales in the run-up to Christmas. Figures from The NPD Group show girls ages 7-10 are one of the most dynamic targets for toy makers. UK toy sales to this group increased by 19% to £330m in the 12 months ending June 2012. An indicator of the popularity of girls toys, sales made ‘on request’ by little girls across all age groups have increased by 11 per cent over the same time period while sales ‘on request’ for boys were only up one per cent. Frederique Tutt, Global Toy Industry Analyst with The NPD Group, said: ‘This renewed interest from

girls is the result of high profi le launches with strong marketing campaigns. When it comes to toys, the girls are defi nitely back in town. But the big new trend is that manufacturers have reached out to their audience and off ered more relevant content with social media capabilities and mobile apps. Their ranges are collectible and their themes are fashionable. They have found the magic recipe that encourages girls in the 7-10 age group to stay engaged with toys.’ Frederique added: ‘Manufacturers are capturing the imagination of pre-teen girls with content

around the toys themselves. So they are creating more than a toy – they are creating a social media platform that gives the toys a sense of reality and identity. It’s the unique blend of social media, content, innovation and technology that is helping toy manufacturers keep girls in the toy market.’

07 thenews

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