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Nürnberg Toy Fair Report 2010

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Crisis or not crisis?
In my last year Report of the Nürnberg Toy Fair (see here) I wrote that "the real indicator of our hobby's health will probably be the next Toy Fair in 2010". Well, is plastic modelling still alive? The answer is definitely yes, albeit some indicators clearly show that we are indeed in a recession period.

While most of the manufacturers of last year were present in 2010 as well, with even some new ones, the release program shown was rather "defensive". Only exceptions were the Chinese manufacturers (Trumpeter and Hobby Boss) which still have an ambitious 2010 catalogue, as well as Airfix (but the kits are manufactured in China and India) and to some degree Dragon or should I better say Cyber-Hobby?

The Czech manufacturers are doing well but they are more focused on niche markets. Anyway, the program of AZ Models, Eduard and the MPM group remains very interesting. In the case of Eduard and MPM it is worth noting that they are the only ones to release new kits every month at a regular rate. But, as an example of a more cautious strategy, the "Royal Class" boxes have disappeared for the moment.

The big mainstream manufacturers have all adopted the same policy of re-issueing older models in different boxings and focusing only on one or two new tools per year it seems. Tamiya is the perfect example: a new 1:32 scale Spitfire and some 1:48 scale figures and the rest are older references which have been revisited (P-51D, F-16, Mosquito etc...). It's the same for Academy, Italeri, and Hasegawa.

This year, with the 70th anniversary of the "Battle of Britain", it was as if every manufacturer wanted to have it's own Messerschmitt or Spitfire in it's kit listing. The P-51D Mustang was very present this year as well. Obviously, when there is a crisis, the first reflex is not to take any risk and to go back to sure values which are supposed to sell well. We can't blame the manufacturers for that I guess.

Carnival and pretzels
On a more personal note, it was a real pleasure to spend two days with Steffen Arndt again. I have to thank him for his hospitality during the week-end. I also met Volker Helms and his wife this year. We had some great time at the show and at the hotel, even if conversation there was almost impossible because of the traditional "Fasching" (carnival). The Germans have the reputation to be serious people, but believe me, when they do start a party, it's funny and noisy!

To the contrary of last year, the two days have passed really fast. I almost didn't had the time to spend some moments at the Press Center to eat the famous pretzels. But I must say I was fortunate to meet a lot of very interesting people this year, some being directly involved in the design of kits I had on the workbench in 2009. I'm already looking forward to next year's Toy Fair and I wonder with what the manufacturers will surprise us this year...

To see a detailed report for each manufacturer, go to pages 2, 3, 4 and 5.
Note: IPMS Deutschland have kindly allowed us to use some of their images to fill the gaps of this report. Thanks a lot to them!

About the Author

About Jean-Luc Formery (TedMamere)

I'm mainly interested in WW2 aircraft and I build them in 1/48 scale.