Trade show season is in full swing, and this week I had the opportunity to catch up with my senior network at the Toy Fair at London Olympia. This has to be one of my favourite exhibitions of the year, especially as I have an 18-month old son and there is still that Star Wars loving child that is part of me!

Despite all the negativity surrounding the business market at present, the toy sector is still thriving. The UK market is one of the largest in the world, worth an estimated £3.5bn and last year saw 6% growth.

What fascinates me the most about the toy industry is the variety of businesses and products in the sector. There are small traditional, family-owned businesses, often third or fourth generation ownership, through to the large 'super toy' companies, with pockets deep enough to pay for multiple licences. 

However, the best part for me is the range of toys on offer. Yes, this is a market where technology plays its part in innovation, such as allowing your five-year-old to take selfies on a new camera watch! But it is also a market still dominated by traditional and heritage toys, games and puzzles, with development often through 'fun games' for all the family. This is evident with the puzzles and games category growing 15% last year, versus the 6% growth of the overall category. Just look at the success of the Pie Face game in 2016. A simple, but very clever idea. So what will be the Pie Face of 2017? I am sure this is an overused question that everyone was looking to answer at the Toy Fair! We will just have to wait and see which will come out on top.