Yesterday, my in-laws, Jörn, and myself traveled to Nuremberg to attend the annual Toy Fair. Jörn's parents run a business importing toys from China to German grocery and toy stores. I guess since I have started helping in a very small way, reading and writing emails mostly, I too was invited to this event, which is not open to the public. I guess yesterday was my induction into "the World Toy Society."
It was actually my second trade fair. My first, a few years ago, was a paper-goods fair in Frankfurt. It was so boring, I swore never to go to another fair again. But, Jörn lured me with a promise of a tasty Bavarian dinner if I went.
The Nuremberg Fair Hall is GIGANTIC!!!!!!!!!!!!! We spent about 5 hours mostly in the Far East Halls, but did manage to wander over to the Plush Animals and Dolls Hall, and to the Electronic Toys and Hobbies Hall.
I really enjoyed being able to meet some of the people that Jörn and his parents talk about, and I also really enjoyed looking at all of the new products. We spent lots of time looking at games, and met a man from Israel who had some of the coolest new games. How on earth does one even come up with the idea for a new game? It was so interesting to see all the new products he was displaying. I'm secretly hoping that we can do business with him, just so I can talk Jörn into visiting Israel :)
It was interesting to visit some of the larger booths, like Ravensburger and Hasbro. My in-laws even made a special detour just so I could visit the Steiff booth, which was great. Like the Steiff Museum, they had some animated stuffed animal displays, along with some of their newest stuffed animals. The Steiff company also unveiled the official stuffed animal of Flocke, Germany's latest polar bear superstar. It was very cute, and surprisingly, they actually constructed it so that it does not look identical to the official Steiff "Knut" from last year.
I was also very proud of my outfit. It isn't very often that you get to wear a suit when you work with 4 year olds. Further, I debuted my very first cashmere sweater which looked perfect underneath my suit. I have to say, for the first time in my life, I almost looked my age :)
After our long day, Jörn decided that we would not be going to eat in my favorite Bavarian restaurant, so instead we opted for a very nice Chinese restaruant very close to home.
All in all it was a great day, and I am quite looking forward to our return next year!