Occasionally, it is necessary for the good folk at IWOOT to look for new products. It’s a task that involves lots of international travel, toys, games, amazing gadgets that the world hasn’t yet been exposed to, and is as close to going on tour as you’re likely to get in this industry. Honestly, we hate it. Ugh.
Not really. Let our very own Ella Woot guide you through the melange of this year’s finest fairs…
“Well, what a hectic last few months itâ€™s been in the gadget world. Christmas came and went, and New Yearâ€™s resolutions were made and then thrown out the window when Las Vegas was our first Trade Fair destination in early January. Good old British weather tried to hold us back but after being snowed in, flights cancelled, we finally touched down on 8th Jan in Las Vegas, ready for the Consumer Electronics Show (CES). Melissa and I (Buying Team) scoured the super-sized American halls laden with tech to find lots of new items for our gadget section for 2010. In most cases it was a â€˜first lookâ€™ for exciting new tech that will be ready for Christmas this year. September is going to be techy and shiny with lots of fun things for your iPhone, making vids, listening to your tunes, charging your gadgets and of course flying and causing general mayhem.
Back in Blighty, Melissa and Tim-Yee (Merchandiser) headed off to the London Toy Fair to stock up on things for the toy cupboard. A few fun things were found for outdoor play, some cute robotics, and Star Wars fans won’t be disappointed. January also saw Melissa turn into a prettier, better-dressed version of Simon Cowell as she joined the judging panel for Gift of the Year at Top Drawer in London. Her face was splashed over the place and she did us proud.
February saw Melissa and myself shoot off into even more snow as we went to Nuremburg Toy Fair in Germany. Nuremburg is famed for wooden toys and supremely intricate train sets which whilst fun to pop in on, isnâ€™t what you guys are after. Unlike some other trade fairs we visit that are 9 times out of 10 packed with lots of things IWOOT fans would devour, this trade fair is more hit and miss. We had some good meetings with some of our suppliers and found a few fun cuddlies and flyers. When the show closed we huddled into what can only be described as a cross between a caravan and a sauna in the middle of Nuremburg town square for a hard-earned Gluwein.
Two days later we trouped off to Birmingham with our Creative Director and Founder Tim to the Birmingham Spring Fair. James our Graphic Designer joined us too and he summed up his experience at the show as â€œrad, rad, radâ€. Essentially it is 12 enormous halls rammed with Toys, Gadgets and Homeware. We found absolutely loads of cool stuff that will start trickling in from next month. I grew up in Birmingham (many pity me for this) but it just goes to show that Birmingham has a lot to offer â€“ honestly!
Our search for fab IWOOT products is by no means over. Tim and Melissa are heading off to the Big Apple for the New York Toy Fair next week and I am popping off to good old Germany again for the Frankfurt Ambiente Home show. March and April see us scouring the States again and hitting Hong Kong. Lots of hot new things coming your way â€“ we think youâ€™ll be as excited as we are!”