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Festive Inspiration


Bluebell Festive Inspiration Giftware Review looks at some of the Christmas gift options for different age groups

It’s the time of year when toys, games, puzzles, pocket money items and other gifts for kids are flying off the shelves like hot cakes and into Christmas stockings around the globe. This is a great moment

to take some inspiration from the UK’s only dedicated toy and hobby trade show, Toy Fair, due to take place on January 24 – 26 2016 at London’s Olympia. Toy Fair offers a prime

opportunity for you to discover hundreds of exciting and original toys, games and hobby gifts from both established manufacturers and smaller, more specialist companies. Now in its 63rd year, the 2016 show will once

toys are trending for the upcoming year. Judged by an independent panel of retailers, these are the toys launched at Toy Fair that they believe will be the hottest products throughout 2016. They will be displayed on the gallery level, outside the Press Office, over the three days. Traditional wooden

Miss Havisham’s Attic

toys are always good for gift shops seeking to inspire grandparents. Sector specialist Lanka Kade (Stand F1) will be using Toy Fair to showcase its educational, chunky wooden alphabet and number jigsaw. The fairtrade, UK designed, wooden blocks can be used to create multiple animal figures. While ideas for kids abound, there is no shortage

again occupy the entire upper and lower sections of the Grand and West Halls. The show floor will host more than 280 exhibitors, with the likes of LEGO, Bandai, H Grossman and Keel Toys showcasing brand new children’s products for 2016 that are suitable for gift shops. Revealed on the

opening morning of the show, Toy Fair’s Best New Toys for 2016 will help you get a feel for what

of gift for adults either, as recent trade events such as Autumn Fair and Top Drawer demonstrated and with much more to come at the spring shows. An early preview of Spring Fair reveals the like of Pukator and Apples to Pears which presented some great unusual and novelty gift items. For something more traditional, garden giftware company, Fallen Fruits, whose themed, designer products are inspired by nature, has unveiled an enhanced stag and acorn themed collection within its popular Best for Boots range. The winter theme

Max Benjamin includes unusual pieces such as the cast iron Acorn Stocking Hanger and

Key Keeper. Candles are a great

Mr Stanley’s

gifting staple year round but especially relevant for Christmas. The handmade flat candles from Flatyz are a bit different and can be posted as a card, while some of the most delightful scented candles on the market are available from

Heaven Scents, which also

produces own-label product at very reasonable prices. For sheer luxe glamour we love this Max

Benjamin candle in an on-trend warm metallic hue. There is also, of course, an abundance of greetings

cards available for Christmas, the most important sending occasion in the industry’s calendar. It’s worth bearing in mind (whatever one’s personal denomination or lack thereof) that cards with a spiritual/religious subject matter tend to sell very well at this time of year. There are some interesting contemporary options about if traditional imagery doesn’t suit your store. Christmas decorations are another staple for great

festive merchandise displays and there is wonderful choice out there, from the hand-crafted and home- spun to the luxurious, contemporary and design-led. RJB Stone, for example, has over 1,000 festive ornaments in 11 decorative themes ranging from hot trends to traditional. For British retailers Spring Fair will offer one of

the best general selections of Christmas decorations in Hall 2 of The NEC in February. Expect to see spectacular stand displays from the like of Kaeminck, Premier and other major suppliers in this sector.

November / December 2015 Giftware Review & Home Interiors 17

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