How are things going at the Spielwarenmesse 2017? The best person to answer this question is the "boss" himself. We talk to CEO Mr. Ernst Kick from Spielwarenmesse eG about this year's fair. We want to know what trends can be identified and how business is going. We are also interested in what games he likes to play himself and what he looks for when choosing a toy for his grandchildren. Find out more in our video interview!
Simone Dericks: Mr. Kick, I'm delighted to have you here for this interview. You are already a real old hand here at the trade fair. Are you still a little nervous before the fair starts? Ernst Kick: Yes, of course, because you never know if everything will work out. You have to imagine this gigantic apparatus, organizing almost 2,900 exhibitors, promoting all over the world so that the world will come to Nuremberg. And did everything work? Was everything done correctly? Of course... the truth comes on the first day. Simone Dericks: Now we have Spielwarenmesse 2017. What are the current trends, what can you see? Ernst Kick: I have noticed that two worlds are developing. A very technology-oriented world on the one hand, which also tries to reflect the current world we live in, and traditional toys on the other. From game boards and colorful plush toys to model trains and model making. Simone Dericks: And with these new products, is there anything that has excited you personally? Have you discovered anything in the last few days? Ernst Kick: Yes, it's not just one, it's a multitude. You have to imagine that we have 1 million products on display. 75,000 new products can be seen here at the exhibition center and of course I find something interesting in every corner. Yes, I'm naturally very technology-oriented - so dolls aren't really my thing, yes - and of course I see a few things in model making and model railroads where I say it's good to be a child again. Simone Dericks: You become a child again, don't you? Ernst Kick: Yes, my eyes light up again.
Simone Dericks: Yes, but you also keep the child, you have to have that when you do this, don't you? That you still have that inner child. Ernst Kick: Yes, I think so, because this trade fair has a lot of passion and emotion. You want to create happiness and joie de vivre with the products and of course you notice that. Simone Dericks: Do you have the feeling something has changed. So the play behavior of children 10 years ago has changed compared to today? Ernst Kick: Yes, you could say that the children are getting younger and older. In other words, the range of how long they play with something is getting shorter in terms of age, and then you also have to say that there are a lot of educational toys on the market, so they want to learn something. Driven a little by parents, of course. And you want to do something yourself. These are the general things that have changed a lot. Simone Dericks: And because you know so much about it, what will our children be playing with in about 10 years' time? What do you think? Ernst Kick: Well, the forecast is that play is the world in miniature. The world will change. It will become even more technological in 10 years, but on the other hand it will also have to create living spaces in which people can be creative and in which they can realize themselves. This means that in the future there will still be the image of adults that children want to copy. And on the other hand, there will be spaces for imagination and experience. Simone Dericks: Have you already received feedback from the fair here? From visitors or exhibitors about how things are going this year? Ernst Kick: Well, I had an exhibitor yesterday who said that I could actually go home after the two days. I've done more business than ever before. So the trade fair is working, the exhibitors are satisfied and the visitors are coming to us in droves. We have almost 70 percent international visitors so far. Simone Dericks: That's great. When you give toys to your children, grandchildren perhaps, what do you give them? That would interest us. Ernst Kick: It has to be a nice combination of conveying the joy of playing, but it can also be about learning something. What I definitely won't give as a gift are toys that don't have good materials and aren't safe. Simone Dericks: So high-quality, perhaps also sustainable. Ernst Kick: Exactly and safe! Simone Dericks: Do you like to play a lot yourself? Ernst Kick: I can't play much, because I'm on the road a lot. But when I do play, I have a very specific game with my family. Can I tell you what it is? It's Activity. Simone Dericks: It's a very, very nice game that I like to play myself. But that means, do you also have time during the fair at the individual exhibitors, there are lots of games set up there, so you can get active yourself. Do you get to try it out yourself during this time? Ernst Kick: No, my function is different. I'm responsible for the company's business, so we talk to the exhibitors about the future, about contract renewals, about trends that we need to reflect. Unfortunately, I don't get to play. Simone Dericks: Unfortunately. First of all, thank you for the interview. Thank you very, very much, and of course I wish you another successful trade fair and I think I'll go and play some more games now. Ernst Kick: That's what you do!