The great and the good of the toy industry descended on Nuremberg at the end of January to check out the latest developments and trends in the toy and hobby industry at Spielwarenmesse, the world’s largest toy trade fair. Monocle brings you a selection of our favourite products from the show.
01 Smikeson, Tribel Gran Tourismo
Smikeson is a young German company based in Berlin, where it manufactures its Tribel tricycle. CEO Denis Niehusen took inspiration for the design from a childhood toy, updating it for the 21st century. He replaced the conventional external bicycle chain with a carbon-belt drive contained within the trike’s body, making it less of a hazard for small fingers. We’re fond of this Gran Tourismo edition, which features a fetching leather saddle and matching steering-wheel grip from saddle-maker Brooks England.
02 Märklin, Trans Europ Express
Model-railway manufacturer Märklin, founded in Göppingen in 1859, has enthralled hobbyists for years with its meticulously constructed miniature railroads. The company strives for a reproduction of actual rolling stock and railway equipment that is as close to the real thing as possible, including using identical materials wherever possible. This is a reproduction of the Trans Europ Express, which provided the ultimate passenger experience on route Zürich-Basel-Mannheim-Frankfurt-Hamburg until the late 1980s.
03 Atelier Fischer, Cube puzzle
Founded in 1975, Atelier Fischer makes traditional Swiss wooden games. It cooperates with the Stiftung Bernaville foundation to employ disabled workers among the workforce in its Schwarzenburg factory. There the company’s games and puzzles are made using handpicked and sustainably sourced solid timber from nearby forests. Pictured is a 16-part cube puzzle depicting typical Swiss scenes.
04 Dal Negro, Baccara cards
Dal Negro is a Treviso-based playing-card company with a heritage dating back to 1756. Its Baccara set is made in Italy from triplex plastic for a vintage feel – and the box is as handsome as the cards themselves.
05 Alison’s Montessori, Trinomial cube
Alison’s Montessori makes elegantly designed educational toys that tie in with the holistic Montessori pedagogical approach. This trinomial cube is a concrete representation of the trinomial formula (a + b + c)3, facilitating perception of mathematical patterns.