Messe.TV presenter Klas Bömecke in conversation with Dr. Ulrich Maly, Lord Mayor of the City of Nuremberg at the Spielwarenmesse 2016 in Nuremberg.
Klas Bömecke: Dr. Maly, the toy fair in Nuremberg is a big event every year, isn't it? Dr. Ulrich Maly: Yes, it is a trade fair that unites various criteria in a combination that is unparalleled: A traditional event, the highest level of internationality, a likeable product that everyone can identify with. This is the mixture that has actually shaped the city. The first truly international event in the post-war period was the Spielwarenmesse. In the past, when there were no hotels, people used to let trade fair guests stay in their guest rooms. And that connects a city with a trade fair to an extent that hardly any other event actually does. Klas Bömecke: Is the Spielwarenmesse also of great economic importance for Nuremberg? Dr. Ulrich Maly: Yes, there are the usual trade fair multipliers that economists calculate. We know roughly what the trade fair visitors spend here. We know the multiplier effects that result from this. But that is only the side that is materially recorded, so to speak. The image of being a toy city and the city of the Spielwarenmesse goes far beyond that in terms of immaterial value. Klas Bömecke: But you are not only a toy city because of the fair. Dr. Ulrich Maly: Yes, to be honest we are now because of the trade fair, because most of the big toy manufacturers don't live in Nuremberg but in Fürth - but that doesn't matter, because the region is basically still a toy region when you think of the big brands from the region. Yes, that makes a difference, it's the positive connotation associated with the product that makes this message stand out. Klas Bömecke: I picked up the term "ToyCity". Can you tell me something about it? Dr. Ulrich Maly: Yes, Nuremberg has been suffering for decades from the fact that it is a trade fair. And you're not allowed in. And that's why we've been working closely with the Spielwarenmesse for several years to bring the trade fair into the cityscape to some extent. On the one hand, so that visitors to the fair can see that the whole city is dressed up for them. On the other hand, so that the people of Nuremberg can perhaps be the first to try out the new games. So we also want to live the Spielwarenmesse. Klas Bömecke: For many years now, you have had the privilege of being able to look in here as Lord Mayor. As a journalist, I'm delighted to be able to be here and to be able to pick up on what's going on. Do you feel the same way? Dr. Ulrich Maly: I feel the same way. We always have our traditional tour, I'm not just here for the opening. During the tour, we visit the companies from the region, and we also take a look at the toys. My children are grown up, so it's no longer personally relevant, but it's exciting. Even as an adult, you realize that after 4-5 hours you're overwhelmed by the sensory overload, because there are a million products to take in first. But you can see how innovative the industry is, every year there are great new developments that you find fascinating. There are actually always a few pieces where you think to yourself - you could take them home, you could give them away - that's the fascination, yes. Klas Bömecke: And you remain a child to some extent. I still love the Carrera track, and I still love LEGO. Dr. Ulrich Maly: LEGO is a classic, yes. Klas Bömecke: Do you still play? Dr. Ulrich Maly: I play cards. Mostly cards. Playing cards - the classic way with friends. Or sometimes board games, parlor games. Less Carrera or Lego. My wife and I did a test the other day: our children had a party with lots of young adults and we just put the Lego box next to it. When we came home at night, the whole table had been built on. You can see that even young adults, who would reject it out of hand, still indulge in play and then the old fever of youth reawakens, so to speak. This actually shows that people are "playing people" throughout their lives. Klas Bömecke: Playing simply always works. Dr. Ulrich Maly: Yes, always.