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Jan/Feb 2020

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WELCOME The home of market leading trade magazines

The home of market leading trade magazines max-publishing.co.uk The home of market leading trade magazines The home of market leading trade magazines March/April 2013

The home of exhibitions The home of exhibitions The home of exhibitions The home of exhibitions

The home of market leading trade awards The home of market leading trade awards The home of market leading trade awards The home of market leading trade awards

Max Publishing Ltd, United House, North Road, London N7 9DP T: 020 7700 6740 F: 020 7607 6411 www.max-publishing.co.uk hello@max-publishing.co.uk

ISSN 2058 797X

Welcome to the Party And so, with the sensory explosion that was the Christmas and New Year period now firmly behind us, it’s time for party suppliers, distributors and retailers to embrace 2020. This time, we’re not just entering a new year – this is a whole new decade, and as such any resolutions or changes that we make will take on a certain additional gravitas. Whether you’re kicking off the year with Dry January, Veganuary or have simply pledged to reduce your screentime, you can legitimately say that you’ve done that for the whole decade Above: Progressive Party Europe’s Rob Willis and Jacqui Parr. (so far). Success! Business changes are just as important as personal ones – reading newspaper reports of the benefits of four-day weeks and the importance of life/work balance while still tapping away at 8pm brings with it a sense of disconnect and disharmony. So what can be done to change that? Are there better ways of letting buyers know what you are working on? More efficient ways of communicating with your team? The new year is an ideal time to put those changes into action. Working in retail brings its own challenges in 2020, which can for the most part be overcome with some creative thinking and determination. In the past the party industry has adapted to the rise of pre-packaged costumes, the might of online retail and supermarkets and discount retailers making significant inroads into the costume and balloon business. We are a resilient bunch and by being proactive and adapting to the changing market, those storms have largely been weathered. But what of the future? The last year has been difficult for all retail businesses (see news story on page 9) and 2020 has the potential to be equally challenging. Of course there’s the minefield of Brexit to navigate (again) but by this stage even the most ardent remainer will just be looking forward to the market having a bit of stability. This year’s real challenge will come from consumers’ reaction to the climate change emergency as many look to reduce their carbon footprint by buying less and generally living more sustainably. Our news story on page 13 outlines this in more detail, but it’s particularly interesting for the party industry. Traditionally a market where much of the product is disposable, repeat purchases are high – after all, no-one’s figured out how to make a balloon reusable (yet). We are already seeing suppliers highlighting recyclable product and packaging, but as consumers begin to understand more about the cost of the recycling process, will that be enough? We’ve seen environmental concerns rightly diminish the popularity of balloon releases and this spring will see plastic straws banned from sale in the UK altogether – so changes are certainly being made and it will be interesting to see how the party industry responds. Could we see a return to the hire business that was once the mainstay of the costume trade? There are a number of businesses popping up online and offering rental clothing, so it seems only natural that the party industry follows suit (that throws up its own challenges of course, with few retailers set up for the maintenance side of a hire business). There have also previously been efforts to create reusable partyware businesses, although these have tended to operate on an extremely local basis and be either no or low profit-making. With these challenges in mind, the trade fair season couldn’t have come at a better time. Nuremberg Toy Fair and Spring Fair offer ideal opportunities to speak with suppliers about their latest releases and what they’ll be focusing on for the coming year, whether that is recyclable packaging or a new portfolio full of fresh designs. We’ve previewed both shows in this issue and its clear that suppliers have pulled out all the stops with this year’s new releases. We will be at both shows, walking the aisles and stealing sweets from stands, so please do stop us for a chat – there’s nothing we like better than a good gossip! Some things never change, regardless of the new decade...



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Tempt your customers to...

Get inspired on Instagram

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Really look the part!

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Market-leading licensed and generic costumes for BOOK WEEK ...and any party!

Get inspired on Instagram

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What’s inside: JAN/FEB 2020 09 57 61 21 23 65 66 25 67 31 43 45 49 57 49 55 News

The latest from the world of party

Marketing Matters

A regular column to boost your business

The BAPIA Boost

John Bowler shares BAPIA news and opinion

Industry Feedback

2019: the party perspective

Time To Play

The Spielwarenmesse 2020 preview

World Book Day

Bringing literature to life

A Strong Start

Focusing on Q1 events for 2020

Licensed to Party

Character product for party

EU New Products

The latest from around Europe

Retailer In Numbers

Crunching Jollyjesters’ figures

Boland’s Big Birthday Celebrating 50 years

Creating Smiles

70 years of Latex Occidental

The Party Plan

What’s on offer at Spring Fair 2020

New Products

Get ‘em while they’re hot!


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NEWS UPDATE Christmas 2019 was no cracker

The sales are almost over, the Christmas stock has been put away for next year and so the festive sales results for retailers have been rolling in. It's been a bit of a mixed bag, with some retailers reporting a cracking Christmas, while there's no hiding from the fact that, for many others, 2019 was a bit of a turkey. On the whole, retail sales remained disappointingly flat in December. According to the latest report from the British Retail Consortium (BRC) UK businesses had their worst Christmas in a decade and no-one was surprised by the news. Total retail sales showed 0% year-on-year growth during the month, the worst December performance since 2008. The BRC said the price cuts which appeared across high streets in the days before Christmas itself appeared not to have been enough to encourage last-minute shoppers. Even Christmas Eve saw retailers experiencing a drop in

footfall of almost 10% compared to the same date last year, according to figures from Ipsos Retail Performance. Footfall on the last Saturday before Christmas Day – previously dubbed Super Saturday – also dropped by 6.2% year-on-year. A report from Barclaycard was similarly disappointing, revealing that consumer spending grew by just 1.8% year-on-year in December, the lowest rate of growth seen since March 2016. "Growth in consumer spending dropped to its lowest level since 2016 and represents a decline in real terms,” said Esme Harwood, director at Barclaycard. “Consumers are remaining cautious amidst ongoing economic uncertainty.” It wasn't all bad news though, with some retailers, particularly the discounters, remaining full of festive cheer. While Next and Tesco both reported better-thanexpected sales, Aldi's total UK sales in the four weeks to 24

‘Cheap’ children’s costumes are focus of fire accident The safety of ‘cheap’ children’s fancy dress costumes has made the news once again, following an unfortunate accident which took place during a nativity performance in December. An eight-year-old boy was airlifted to hospital after suffering burns when a candle slipped out of another child’s hand. The child was dressed as a sheep at the time of the accident, with the costume described as being 'one of those cheap ones'. It was five years ago that Claudia Winkleman’s daughter suffered severe burns when her Halloween costume caught fire, throwing a spotlight on costume safety and flammability which saw new voluntary safety codes being introduced, along with additional testing. Croydon council has launched an official review into the accident, while London Fire Brigade stepped in to advise against using real candles around children. While it is reassuring that consumers are being warned about the dangers of using naked flames, retailers should ensure that children’s costumes comply with the EN-71 safety requirements, carry the CE mark and ideally also meet the voluntary BRC Code of Practice.

Above: UK attitudes towards Christmas shopping are changing.

December rose 7.9% from 2018 and Lidl's sales grew by 10.8% over the same period. Interestingly, Oxfam reported its best festive period in eight years, with sales up 7% in the week before Christmas. The charity chain put it down to shoppers seeking out 'ethical and secondhand products'. Of particular note were its Christmas cracker sales, which jumped by 55%.

Helium shortage shows no sign of reprieve The national shortage of helium has continued throughout the festive season, with toy chain Smyths Toys telling disappointed shoppers they cannot sell inflated helium balloons. A sign which has been put up instore simply reads: "Due to a national helium shortage we are unable to blow up any balloons. We are sorry for any inconvience." The consumer press first picked up on the story in September, when Steve Durnford, director of family business Balloons of London, warned: "Prices just keep going up and up." Phil Kornbluth, the founder of Kornbluth Helium Consulting, told the BBC that the 'price has gone up an awful lot in a short space of time'. "There's no magic number” he said at the time, “but it's safe to say the price has gone up by 50% to 100%, depending on who you are and where you are in the supply chain."

For the latest news visit PartyWorldwide.net

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WBC 2021 dates and venue announced

Left: The global helium shortage has continued to affect retail balloon sales.

The dates and venue for the next Qualatex World Balloon Convention have been announced, with the international event taking place 23 – 25 March, in Orlando, Florida, USA. The World Balloon Convention (WBC) was first launched in 2010, and is specifically designed for business-minded balloon decorators, twisters/entertainers, and party store retailers, as well as ambitious newcomers wanting to explore a rewarding and profitable career in the balloon industry. In addition to exclusive balloon education, epic competitions and grand events, the WBC will also include a carefully-designed educational curriculum and other growth-oriented activities. Visit worldballoonconvention. qualatex.com to find out more.

Party City appoints new chief financial officer US party retail chain Party City has appointed Todd Vogensen as chief financial officer of Party City. Todd brings nearly three decades of financial management expertise to the executive team and will oversee all aspects of finance, business development and investor relations. “We are incredibly pleased to welcome Todd to the leadership team and believe his background and knowledge will make him a strong addition to the company,” said ceo James Harrison. “We look forward to benefitting from his expertise as we focus on improving our business to drive long-term sustainable growth.” “I am excited to be joining the Party City team as I’ve long admired their leadership position in the party goods category and differentiated vertical model,” added Todd. “I look forward to working with the entire team to further enhance the company’s financial and operational performance.”



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Party City predicts 2019 sales to be down by 3% US retail chain Party City has announced that its preliminary brand comparable sales results for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2019 are expected to be down 3%. “Our preliminary fiscal 2019 brand comparable sales are at the low end of our outlook,” commented ceo James M. Harrison. “While disappointed with

our full year brand comparable sales result, we are encouraged by the initial bounce back we’ve continued to see in our heliumrelated categories at retail given our ~100% in-stock position.” He continued: “As we look ahead, we continue to focus on returning the business to positive comparable sales growth through improved in-store initiatives and an

Sue Bowler looks forward to BACI

New decade, new logo

Balloon expert Sue Bowler has taken to social media to outline the reasons for attending BACI – Balloon Art Convention Italy, which is being held in Milan from Friday 20 – Tuesday 24 March 2020. In a video, which was released on Facebook, Sue speaks about the classes she will be teaching at BACI as well as a number of other attractions including competitions, classes, exams and networking opportunities including a gala evening. A wide variety of classes will be led by a number of international instructors, offering delegates the opportunity to specialise in large decor, centrepiece design, wedding decor or twisting, among many others. Founded over 20 years ago, BACI is one of the most popular international Balloon Arts conventions in Europe and is suitable for all levels of balloon expertise. Visit www. bacitaly.com to find out more and book your ticket.

enhanced e-commerce platform as we leverage our differentiated vertical model.” These are preliminary figures for 2019, while Party City completes its normal yearend closing and accounting procedures. Full financial and operating results for Party City's Q4 and full year will be released on March 12, 2020.

Polish party company GoDan has celebrated a successful 2019 with a brand new logo and fresh branding, ensuring it is entering 2020 with a bang! “The party industry is doing very well in Poland,” said sales manager Magdalena Wojteczek. “Every year there are more competitors and clients are expecting new, more fancy and elegant items. The market is very dynamic and sometimes complicated but we are doing are best to overcome any difficulties.” She continued: “2019 has been a very special year for us an we hope 2020 will be even better!”

Big Ass Balloons bought pop-up balloon event to Atlanta Balloon and events company Big Ass Balloons bought its latest popup event to Atlanta this month, with the interactive exhibition taking place from Friday 10 to Sunday 12 January 2020. The unique exhibition was the latest major event from the company, which is well-known for creating a party atmosphere with the unusual pop-up art pieces. Named the Balloon Room, the walk-through experience allowed visitors to get up close and personal with some fabulously Instagrammable creations that are made solely from balloons. Tickets for the interactive installation sold at $25. Billed as the Instagram, Snapchat, Facebook and Twitter opportunity of the year, the Balloon Room was located at Factory Atlanta. Above: The Balloon Room is the latest pop-up event from Big Ass Balloons.

Above: American party retailer Party City expects its full year results to be down by 3%.

Owner of Sukies Party Emporium retires from party industry The owner of Sukies Party Emporium – a fancy dress costume and hire shop based in in Stamford, UK – has thanked customers as she retires from the party industry after 23 years. The shop – which first opened in 1997 – will be closing down later this year as owner Christine Bradshaw has decided it’s time to move on to pastures new. “There are lots of reasons we are closing down,” said Christine. “One of them is because I am retiring!” But Sukies won’t be gone completely, as in response to the changing fancy dress market, the accessories side of the business will be moving to the Corn Exchange Cafe from 1 February. “There are a lot of things that people want on a regular basis like wigs and make-up, which will be moved there,” says Christine. “What people are looking for in costumes is getting more and more challenging.” At its peak, Christine estimated that the shop stocked up to 5,000 costumes, admitting that the change will be ‘sad in a lot of ways’. “I’d like to thank everyone in Stamford and the surrounding areas,” she added. “A lot of people have more fun trying things on in the shop than they have at their party! We’ve brought a lot of fun and enjoyment and I think that will be missed.”

Facade Academy releases spring 2020 timetable Expert face and body painting school Façade Academy has released its spring timetable for the 2020 season. Facade’s spring schedule once again includes the chance to study the Façade Academy Diploma (Modules 1 – 5) across a number of weekend classes:

T Sat 18 and Sun 19 Jan: Modules 1 & 2 – Foundation TS  at 25 Jan: Module 3 – Crucial Classics T Sat 1 Feb: Module 4 – Flowers and Flourishes T Sat 8 Feb: Module 5 – Mainly Monsters

For the latest news visit PartyWorldwide.net

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These modules can also be mixed and matched with Façade’s mid-week dates, which include the ever-popular Beautiful Butterflies, OneStroke Breakthrough, Tribal Techniques and Festival Faces, as well as the Heavenly Henna/ Glorious Glitter double bill.

The very useful Business Basics module then completes the Diploma Pro certificate. Full details of all classes are available on facadeacademy. co.uk



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Angels Fancy Dress launches trade wholesale site Iconic fancy dress and costume retailer Angels Fancy Dress has launched a new online wholesale site, www. fancydresswarehouse.com. Branded as Angels Fancy Dress Warehouse, the new site will operate as the wholesale division of parent company Morris Angel & Son (also home of award-winning Angels Costumiers). With nearly 180 years of experience in the costume industry, Angels Fancy Dress Warehouse will now be distributing for a wide range of UK, European and international costume manufacturers. All products in

stock will be shipped from the London warehouse. “This new site will act as a one-stop-shop for all fancy dress needs, uniting several manufacturers including some great brands and our exclusive

lines of Rasta Imposta, InCharacter Costumes and Tinsley Transfers,” revealed director Emma Angel. Offering no minimum order and same day dispatch on all orders placed before noon, UK customers can also benefit from free delivery for all orders over £250 (excl.VAT). To find out more, including prices, product availability and how to open a trade account, visit www.fancydresswarehouse.com Above: The new website will operate as the wholesale division of parent company Morris Angel & Son.

The Big Balloon Wonderland A fairytale wonderland straight out of a storybook was created out of more than 60,000 balloons last month, as a result of the third Big Balloon Build. The event, which is the brainchild of Beyond Balloons' Stuart Davies, took place in early December and took a team of 45 volunteers three days to put together. Based at the Tonyrefail Christmas Event in Wales, the build started in a giant storybook before leading into an enchanted forest and ending in in a very festive Santa's grotto. Highworth Emporium co-owner Aga Gabrysiak was one of them. “Working with people from the USA, Canada, South Africa and Norway offered new experiences and ideas

The Rise of Skywalker to break $1bn barrier at box office Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker will smash through the $1 billion barrier at the global box office shortly after PPE goes to press, following a strong Christmas and New Year. Other records for Disney include Marvel Studios’ Avengers: Endgame securing the all-time global box office crown with $2.798bn and Frozen 2 setting the highest global animated opening of all time with $358.4m. All three franchises are already popular choices for both partyware and costumes but the boost given to the brand in 2019 means that is set to continue through 2020 and beyond.

and fun,” she said. “I learned a lot of new things and worked on different elements of it. It was amazing to see the whole scene when it was completed, the pictures don't do it justice.” She continued: “The forest had more of a wow factor than last year's structure. The look on people's faces when they saw it for the first time was quite something. The scene was so big that you could actually walk through it along a spiral path, which was an amazing experience.” The build will once again be carefully taken apart and transported to schools and hospitals around Wales to cheer up children and their families during the festive season.

Balloon and party association NABAS has got the year off to a strong start by launching a brand new training programme for 2020 and beyond At over 30 years old, the original NABAS course has now been revamped to reflect the modern marketplace, which is full of unverified videos and an abundance of balloon courses by different instructors of all levels. “We needed our instructors to undergo a transformation,” said Liz Williams, head of NABAS training. “The learners’ needs had to come first. Every course is assessed and lesson planned, with a strong focus placed on evaluation standards aimed at assisting and supporting instructors to improve and ultimately support all learners.” Liz has been working hard with committee and instructors to ensure NABAS leads the way on quality and educational standards, giving both approved instructors and learners a strong foundation for growth and development. The new Level 1 balloon and business basics course now ensures tips, techniques, calculations and job costing are fully covered, alongside principles and elements of designs, basic marketing, bouquets, garlands and arches. It also now includes a fabulous glossy, colour manual packed full of information. Level 2 is currently in development and will be relaunched later this year, bringing the classic techniques into the 20s. Visit nabas.co.uk/training for more information.

Amscan launches first Warner Bros. supplement Following on from last year’s announcement that Amscan International has teamed up with Warner Bros. for a new range of licensed costumes and wearable accessories, many of the new styles are in stock and ready to order now. The leading party, balloon and costume supplier has officially welcomed a number of Warner. Bros licensed costumes to its 2020 dress-up collection. “We’re delighted to have extended our long-term Warner Bros. relationship, with the introduction of dress-up costumes and accessories for children and adults across

For the latest news visit PartyWorldwide.net

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Left: Some of the festive scenes created by the 2019 Big Balloon Build.

NABAS launches new training programme for 2020

DC Superheroes, TV classics and classic movie franchises,” said Amscan's head of licensing Mel Beer. “Phase one of our product offering is available to ship now, with additional costumes and accessories being introduced throughout the coming months.” The Amscan x Warner Bros. Volume 1 Supplement is now available to browse online at amscan.com, including iconic looks from the DC Universe, ScoobyDoo and The Wizard of Oz. Right: Amscan's new Warner Bros. lines include this Wizard of Oz ensemble.



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29 JAN – 2 FEB 2020 Messezentrum Nürnberg

(Nuremberg Exhibition Centre)

Hall 9 Stand A-47

(National Exhibition Centre) Hall 5 Stand H70-J71

From the World’s largest Balloon manufacturer. For details of European Distributors, visit www.globospayaso.com

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Disguise partners with EA on firstever Halloween costumes Costume and fancy dress company Disguise has announced a licensing agreement with Electronic Arts (EA). to create the first-ever Halloween costumes and accessories to be based on the popular, free-to-play multiplayer game, Apex Legends. The multi-year agreement grants Disguise rights to distribute Apex Legends-inspired costumes in the US. and Canada. Apex Legends, which achieved universal acclaim for reaching 50 million downloads in its first

month, has now amassed over 70 million players and enjoyed continued success through regular seasonal updates. Additionally, Apex Legends has more than one million Twitter followers and more than seven million followers and over 20 billion minutes watched on Twitch so far. “Apex Legends is one of the fastest-growing, multiplayer games in the videogame industry,” said Tara Hefter, evp

Retail sales fall as consumers shop more sustainably In the same week that the BRC announced that retail sales had fallen for the first time in 25 years, new research has revealed that the drop is partly down to sustainability-aware consumers buying less. While the retail downturn has been widely blamed on consumer confidence, Brexit uncertainty and political instability, it seems that many consumers are simply choosing to buy less due to sustainability concerns. The new research, conducted by brand purpose consultancy Given London and commissioned with YouGov, revealed that a new conscientiousness may be a central cause of consumers buying less. Of 2,004 consumers surveyed, 44 % said they were influenced by sustainability concerns in the way they shopped at Christmas in 2019. Significantly, for 51% of those, that meant buying fewer presents than in previous years. Waste has also become a key issue for consumers. Almost two-thirds (65%) of respondents felt companies should be minimising waste, with 36% actively choosing products in more sustainable packaging. “It’s perhaps unsurprising that sustainability concerns may have partly driven a slowdown in retail sales over the Christmas period," commented Becky Willan, md of Given London. "For retailers, it’s important that they discover the role sustainability can play in fueling business growth, rather than in simply slowing it down." Right: Brands need to respond quickly to consumer concerns about the environment.

Boys Can Be Princesses Too A photo series featuring young boys dressing up in princess fancy dress costumes has made consumer press headlines after a photographer began offering free photoshoots for youngsters. Photographer Kitty Wolf from Chicago in the US was running a princess party when she realised it wasn’t just the girls who wanted to dress up as princesses. “I have seen boys being told

Above: Apex Legends costumes from Disguise are scheduled to be available at retailers in time for Halloween 2020.

Hertfordshire council latest to ban balloons and lanterns

Qualatex 2020 calendar is out now

Hertfordshire county council is the latest UK council to ban the release of sky lanterns and balloons from all land and buildings under its ownership or control. The move follows a petition to the council which was started by a local ecological group, calling on the council to ‘disallow the release of balloons and sky lanterns on land owned or controlled by the council’. The last 2019 meeting of the council’s cabinet agreed to the measure after considering the harm to wildlife, livestock and the risk of fire when the lanterns and balloons land. The use of balloons and sky lanterns is not currently banned in England or Scotland and it is up to each individual council to impose restrictions. More than 80 councils across the UK have already done so. As an industry, the party trade does not support balloon releases, with EBPC, BAPIA, NABAS and a number of suppliers all educating consumers to take responsibility, to ‘not let go’ and to enjoy balloons responsibly.

The legendary Qualatex calendar is out now, showcasing some of the most impressive balloon decor, twisting and creativity from around the world. The calendar – which is available from all Pioneer distributors – features the work of 13 different balloon artists. The rainbow-themed cover features the work of Derek Wong of Twisted Inflations, while Sam Cremeens’ (Sam the Balloon Man) motorbike is July’s entry and is a fabulous example of what can be achieved. Retailers and balloon artists who would like a Qualatex 2020 calendar should contact their distributors. Below: The calendar is a unique showcase of balloon art from around the world.

of boys dressed as their favourite princesses. All the shoots are free, but Kitty is raising money to pay for the studio space. To donate, visit the Boys Can Be Princesses Too GoFundMe page.

that princesses are just for girls or that liking princesses makes them weak or inferior. This leads to them feeling ashamed and confused.” Kitty decided she wanted to do something to help boys feel more comfortable about embracing these interests. “Putting on a princess dress doesn’t make a boy a girl anymore than putting on a shell makes them a real ninja turtle!” The Boys Can Be Princesses Too project takes pictures

For the latest news visit PartyWorldwide.net

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and gm of Disguise. "We are delighted to partner with EA to expand the game's popularity and create a complete collection of costumes for the whole family to enjoy."

“One thing that makes Apex Legends so beloved by our players is our roster of characters with unique abilities and personalities,” said Arturo Castro, senior director of brand marketing for EA Respawn Entertainment. "We are excited to partner with Disguise to offer Apex Legends fans a chance to become living legends next Halloween."

Below: The project gives boys a safe space to enjoy role-play and fancy dress.



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29 JAN – 2 FEB 2020 Messezentrum Nürnberg

(Nuremberg Exhibition Centre)

Hall 9 Stand A-47

(National Exhibition Centre) Hall 5 Stand H70-J71

From the World’s largest Balloon manufacturer. For details of European Distributors, visit www.globospayaso.com

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Rotterdam bans balloon releases Rotterdam, the second largest city in the Netherlands, will be banning all balloon releases from Wednesday 1 January 2020. The decision was made on Thursday 12 December during a session of the city council. Amsterdam was the first city in the Netherlands to introduce a ban on balloon releases, back in 2015. It has since been followed by several others. Rotterdam’s ban was supposed

Amazon reveals record breaking holiday season Amazon has revealed that this holiday season was a record breaking one for the retailer, with customers around the world ordering billions of items and signing up to its Prime service. It was also a record breaking season for independent third party sellers – mostly small and medium-sized businesses – with worldwide unit sales seeing double-digit yearon-year growth, surpassing a billion items sold. More people also signed up for Amazon Prime this holiday season than ever before, with more than 5 million new customers starting free trials or paid memberships.

in all shapes and to all materials that are released into the air by means of helium or other gas or fire source. Balloons that are wieghted or tied down will only be allowed if they are taken care of and cleaned up once they serve their purpose. When applying for a license, all event organisers will receive instructions on how to proceed

to be implemented earlier this year but finally took place last Thursday with the majority of the council voting for the introduction of the ban. Alderman Bonte, councillor at Rotterdam City Council, quoted by Rotterdam.nl, said “Balloon remains end up in nature and in the sea or in the stomachs of birds and fish. We prevent a great deal of animal suffering with the ban on their release.” The ban applies to balloons

Smiffys teams up with Manic Panic Smiffys has partnered with US brand Manic Panic, the leader in creative hair colour and cosmetics, for an exclusive line of licensed wigs, which launched at the Halloween and Party Expo in New Orleans. Manic Panic, the outrageously wild brainchild of two New York City rock and roll sisters, Tish and Snooky Bellomo, launched in 1977 as America's first Punk Boutique. For over 42 years, Manic Panic has been setting trends and providing inspiration to the beauty and fashion industries. Manic Panic revolutionised hair colouring, amassing fans with the likes of Kylie Jenner and Katy Perry. Smiffys will launch the licensed range of 24 wigs, coloured using the techniques and styles that epitomise Manic Panic. Smiffys will

also be distributing Manic Panic hair colours as part of the partnership, which was brokered by Pacific Swell Brands, Manic Panic’s agency. Below: Manic Panic is a popular brand with a number of high-profile US celebrities.

The elf effect Love them or hate them, there's no denying that the little darlings have taken over the run-up to Christmas and Pioneer Europe has reported a 'huge spike' in the elf 'appearing' stuffed inside a balloon. “One trend in particular that caught on more than ever this year was the elf trend,” reported

Julie Dommett, head of marketing. “We’re used to seeing elves appearing in children’s houses in the lead up to Christmas but this year however there was a huge spike in the elf arriving inside a balloon and this seemed to be greatly received by the general public!”

dh-konzept announces new licences for 2020 Party company dh-konzept has announced a number of new licences aimed at the German market for 2020. The German-based manufacturer and distributor has revealed that it will be producing four new partyware collections for the children’s market, including highprofile television characters

and classic literary names. The exciting new partyware and balloon collections are all based on popular children’s characters in Germany. ‘The Show with the Mouse’ (Sendung mit der Maus) is a hugely popular children’s television series, Dr. Brumm is a well-known children’s book character and

For the latest news visit PartyWorldwide.net

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Die Drei Fragezeichen Kids is a leading kids detective story brand with a ‘huge fanbase behind it’. The last brand to join the dh-konzept family is Bibi und Tina, which has been one of the most successful properties in the German market for a number of years.

when using balloons for their happenings. Above: The ban applies to helium-filled balloons of all shapes and sizes.

BAPIA returns to decorate GOSH Christmas parties Last month saw balloon and party association BAPIA return to Great Ormond Street Hospital (GOSH) to decorate the venue for children’s Christmas parties for the seventh year running. The annual event has Above: Part of 2019’s party décor by BAPIA. always been a popular day and the 2019 event was no exception, with 66 members applying for one of the 25 places available. This year saw three new team leaders working on the décor using balloons from three different manufacturers who all sponsored the balloon product used during the day. Mike Harris of For Every Occasion designed the décor for the entrance and food areas with Qualatex balloons, Amy Brown of AJ’s Balloon Décor created a winter wonderland in the activities area using Grabo Balloons and Mike Hurst of Party With Reds used Amscan balloons to decorate the stage and dancefloor. “Today is only possible with the amazing support of the sponsors and the determination of our members and team leaders to bring everything together,” said chief executive John Bowler. He added: “I truly cannot thank the sponsors enough for their support. Amscan UK, Grabo Balloons, Qualatex, Premium Balloon Accessories and BOC have all been so supportive of this event, so thank you to you all!” Around 2,000 children, family and carers attend the four GOSH parties that take place over a two-day period.



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Marketing Matters

The first in a new series focusing on the world of marketing and what it can bring to the party industry. Each issue we will bring you wise words from marketing and party expert Babita Devi, who will take you through some of her top tips and Above: Babita Devi, director of strategies for driving engagement marketing company bStratgeic. and growing business. In her debut column for PPE, Babita introduces herself and outlines her impressive party heritage.

Making Introductions “L ike any good event, the party industry can draw you in. Who wouldn’t want to spend their days among the colour and fun of a good party? It is hard work though, just like any industry. Get it right and the rewards are huge, but it’s not easy to manage everything you need to know. There are industry trends, strategies and social media algorithms to keep up with, things that sometimes seem to change as often as the weather. With this column I’ll be keeping you up-to-date and helping you to grow your business. As a business coach and marketing expert, I am passionate about getting results. I create innovative marketing strategies for my clients, designed to help them make their vision a reality, and I love to see the numbers that prove my strategies work! I believe that with the right plan growth is inevitable in any business. Marketing has long been my passion and I spent 12 years working in the industry before setting up my own company in 2004. bStrategic has given me wonderful opportunities. I moved half-way around the world, from Australia back to the UK and my business travelled with me. It’s also through bStrategic that I was introduced to the party industry. I love being part of something that’s so full of energy and fun! My first introduction to the industry was in 2008 when I started working with Amscan, where I advised on marketing and mentored the marketing team. I have also worked with the European Balloon

and Party Council (EBPC) and was responsible for branding and managing communications as well as helping to develop strategies to deliver their objectives. During my time at Amscan, I transitioned into head of strategy and worked with key licensors. It wasn’t long before the role evolved and I was responsible for managing

the relationship between Amscan and Disney across EMEA, driving sales using multiple retail channels, the success of which was later replicated with the top six global licensors. More recently, I have been coaching and advising the team at Gemar, Europe’s largest manufacturer of latex balloons. I have loved helping this fourth generation company establish themselves as a key player in the international market. In the meantime I have also set up a second company to develop an app, have lectured on entrepreneurial marketing at multiple Universities and have even managed to co-author a book! That’s not all though, I still coach and mentor business owners in a huge variety of different industries. I love working with companies who are looking for new markets and product development opportunities, it’s such an exciting time. I draw on my experience from a broad range of industries, forget about what’s conventional for a particular sector and offer a unique perspective that sees my clients achieving growth and finding astonishing success. I’m thrilled to have this opportunity to share some of my top tips and strategies that will help you to grow your business. Over the coming months I will offer practical advice and clear strategies that will help make your business soar. We will explore the changing nature of marketing, including social media and how you can bring more customers into your business. I will share my tips for market and product expansion, take a look at what drives innovation within organisations and much, much more.” Left: Looking for some bright ideas? Keep reading... Below: You’ll need to blow your own trumpet if you want to attract more customers.


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John Bowler has been part of the party industry for more years than he cares to remember! John currently runs the Balloon And Party Industry Alliance (or BAPIA) and can be contacted on info@bapiaonline.com

A NEW DECADE As 2020 marks the start of a new decade it also marks BAPIA's tenth anniversary – and if this year is as good for BAPIA as 2019 was, then it will be fantastic.


ast year saw a number of highights for the BAPIA team and our membership. Firstly, we saw some significant increases in the benefits offered to members, including an increase for the public and products liability cover, which is now an impressive £10 million. Our supplier members also added a number of great offers and discounts from some of the UK's leading balloon and party wholesalers, exclusively for BAPIA members. 2019 was also the start of our monthly Facebook competition which has proven very popular and is growing each month, with more than 40 entries in December alone. The incredible Chris Adamo UK & Ireland tour took place in April, with Chris ‘wowing' more than 300 delegates with his décor skills and organic techniques. We even raised £1,750 for Great Ormond Street Hospital (GOSH) during the tour, thanks to the generous support of our sponsors and delegates. We also ran the GOSH Children's Christmas Party Class in December, for the seventh year running. Once again, it was oversubscribed with BAPIA members eager to take part and was a huge success. We must thank suppliers for their continued support, as their sponsorship of the product to create the décor allowed us to create a wonderful Christmas feel.

The incredibly deserving children and staff of the hospital really had a great time. Over the past 12 months, BAPIA has also seen a significant increase in membership of about 30%, so at the end of the year we sent out a small gift as a gesture of our appreciation. We felt that aluminium water bottles would be a useful and environmentally sound gift and we have had a fantastic response. We still have a few left so we will be sending these out to new members while stocks last! We are continually looking for information and advice that we can pass onto our members to help them with their business, whether it be new designs or social media tips. To this end, here are some more email marketing gems from our social media expert, Jade Fraser. MAKE A LIST (AND CHECK IT TWICE) With Valentines Day, Easter, Mother's Day and Father's Day heading our way, these

ABOVE LEFT: Fab 2020 design posted on the BAPIA Facebook page by Natalie Saunders of VIP Balloons. ABOVE: The BAPIA water bottles complement balloon kits perfectly, as Twisted Creations' Lee Reilly shows!

What Is BAPIA? The Balloon And Party Industry Alliance, or BAPIA as it’s more commonly known, is designed to work for the party industry to promote the benefits of using industry professionals and to bring significant benefits to our members. Request your copy of BAPIA’s quarterly newsletter at info@bapiaonline.com.

are great opportunities to capitalise on unforgettable delivery bouquets that really make an impact. Make sure you don't get forgotten by sending a few emails to remind customers that you're around. Mailing list platforms such as MailChimp allow you to separate out your regular customers from those who've signed up but never made an order – handy for treating VIPs and offering first-time buyers introductory discounts. Tools like card abandonment alerts also allow you to remind window shoppers to come back when they'd been considering making an order on your site; great for Valentine's Day, with men traditionally leaving everything to the last minute. SEND A GIFT Everyone loves a freebie, especially at this time of year. If you've got any offers or promotions running, entice your customers across to your website with the promise of something special. Send an email with an ‘Open for your Easter Gift!' subject line and when they open it you could highlight your latest offer. Better yet, if you have a website, lead customers to it by including a, ‘Click for Gift!' button within your email that links to the website page where you advertise your offer, such as a homepage banner offering free shipping or a gift with purchase when they spend over a certain amount. POST A HAPPY MESSAGE ONLINE Most consumers would rather give their money to a small business than a corporate chain and putting faces to your brand is a great way to really resonate with potential customers and help them to remember you as more than just another business. Posting a simple boomerang of your team creating décor or delivering a bouquet along with the message ‘Another installation by our team' is all it takes to make someone smile and press ‘like'. And the more ‘likes' a post gets, the more it's seen in the future, meaning more exposure for your business.


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FEEDBACK THE PARTY PERSPECTIVE With all the news reports telling us that 2019 was the worst year ever for retail and a new decade stretching out in front of us, PPE got the lowdown on what the party trade made of the past 12 months and how hopeful it is feeling for the future.

MARK BRETT UK agent, Boland Party “The last 12 months have been tough and I would be hard pushed to find a customer who would say otherwise. Having experienced economic recessions – which I don’t believe this is – I have never quite known a year like 2019. It has been a perfect storm. The lack of confidence, structural issues on the high street, rapidly increasing costs, changing consumer behaviour and environmental issues have all come together to create a very difficult and complex retail scene. It would be wrong of me to choose any one hero product or range, but I would be prepared to nominate balloons for a long term achievement award. It constantly amazes me that a product that has been around in the same form since the 1850s still excites so much interest and creativity. I am very positive for the future. We have plenty of plans in place for 2020, including a once-in-a-lifetime Halloween promotion, loads of new product and a completely redesigned B2B web shop. Retailers of all types will still have to be more creative and innovative in their operations if they wish to have a long term future. In turn, I believe the supply chain has to be more upfront on their route to market. Only in this way can the independent retailers have the opportunity to plan their long-term future. If I had to describe the current party industry in one word, it would be resilient.” Right: Balloons have evolved a great deal in the last few years.

JULIE DOMMETT head of marketing, Pioneer Europe “The party industry has continued to grow over the last 12 months with new trends coming and going. One trend that really took off was elves. We’re used to seeing them appearing in children’s houses in the lead up to Christmas, but this year there was a huge spike in them arriving inside a balloon, a trend which seemed to be greatly recieved by the general public! We released all existing latex Chrome colours in 7” latex in April, with two brand new Chrome colours in September. These new

additions to the Chrome range have performed very strongly throughout the year and we’re excited to see the different ways people are using them. A lot of customers began to work on developing air-filled displays throughout 2019 as they realised what can be created without using helium. We expect to see more air-filled décor and bouquets in 2020 and we’d encourage customers to visit our website to see the air-filled inspiration section that we have on there.” Above: Chrome balloons have been a success for Qualatex in 2019.

LUCY THOMPSON director, Star Cutouts “The party industry has performed very well for us over the last 12 months, as we have seen an increase in customers’ desire for licensed products, especially related to movie releases. Lifesize Cardboard Cutouts are becoming mainstream, featuring on television chat shows, influencer videos and the national news during the election. The rise of social media has really contributed to our growth with customers sharing posts of enjoying product and reviewing product with fun engaging imagery. Our business highlight of 2019 was The Rise of Skywalker Star Wars release, as well as The Mandalorian. They reinvigorated fans of the Star Wars franchise and Darth Vader is once again ruling the Galaxy in term of sales! Our stand-ins were our hero product for this year. They are amazing conversational pieces and the timeless imagery means they can be used again and again. For next year we will be looking forward and embracing Brexit with a range of products celebrating Great Britain. If we had to describe the current party industry in one word, it would be ‘invigorating’.” Above right: Darth Vader and the Star Wars franchise helped Star Cutouts have a successful 2019.


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FEEDBACK C O N T I N U E D MAGDALENA WOJTECZEK sales manager, GoDan “The party industry does very well in Poland. Every year there are more competitors and clients are expecting new, fancier and more elegant items. The market is very dynamic and sometimes complicated but we are doing our best to overcome any difficulties. 2019 was a very special year for GoDan. We have introduced a new logo and launched a new special premium line, Beauty&Charm, as well as organising several balloon decorating courses. These events are always a big highlight and offer a good opportunity to meet with our customers and gain new ones, while also helping us to understand the needs and expectations of our customers even better. We hope to extend our biodegradable collection next year. We expect this to be a key trend trend for 2020 and we are working very hard on searching for new solutions which do not pollute the earth, such as our new, more environmentally-friendly drinking straws. We are also launching new tableware lines and completely new standing foil balloons. Balloons are always most the most important product line for us – all balloon novelties are always a big hit. If I had to describe the current party industry in one word, it would be ‘dynamic’.” RIGHT: Plastic drinking straws will soon be a things of the past.

SHAYNA BOWLES product and marketing manager, Creative Party “We’ve experienced steady growth over the last twelve months, largely bolstered by strong sales in children’s birthday ranges, our extensive candles range and our glitter number centrepieces. We expect to see some new top sellers coming in for 2020, with party themes like Dinosaurs and Woodland Animals looking strong. We’re thrilled to have launched what we believe is the must-have milestone birthday range for 2020. We know that milestone birthday ranges are absolutely

key and there can be a lack of trend-led design in this area, so we’re excited to have the brand-new navy and gold Geode Milestone range joining our 2020 line-up. It’s completely on trend but has mass appeal. Our product team always go the extra mile to identify and develop the right products that our customers are asking for. We’re also delighted to have launched a refresh of our much-loved Anniversary range, which includes luxurious foil accents and a more modern design and is available now in our new 2020 catalogue.” Above: An on-trend design for Creative Party’s new milestone birthday range.

EMMA ANGEL director, Angels Fancy Dress “The start of 2019 with Carnival across Europe was pretty busy for us and we had a good Book Week too. The summer is always a quieter time with all the preparation for the Halloween madness. The highlight of the year was definitely Halloween. We didn’t know what to expect with all the competition around and uncertainty of the Brexit, but working extremely hard throughout the whole year we ended up with a good result. We ended the year in good spirits with some exciting plans for 2020. We hope to grow even more this year than we did last year, expand our costume portfolios and sales channels. Our aim is to do well and smash Halloween 2020. If we had to describe the current party industry in one word, it would be ‘growing’!” Above right: The cute Baby Bat onesie from the InCharacter Costumes baby range was a hero product for Angels’ Fancy Dress.

JAYNE RICHARDS UK sales and marketing manager, Thetru “The appointment of a full-time sales person for the UK has been a key investment for Thetru in 2019 and Above: Peaky Blinders it has been critical has been a big influence to our expansion in for Thetru. the territory. Giving the retailers access to see and touch our samples has been crucial in supporting our claims regarding the quality of the costumes and the materials used.

MICHEL SCHRAMA marketing manager, OppoSuits “One of our many business highlights of 2019 was to see our OppoSuits shine in the Lion King soundtrack Spirit of Beyonce. Over 50 dancers wearing our Mr. Pink suit in the middle of the desert gives you goosebumps! Our bestsellers keep performing extremely well. Our iconic Jaguar, Pacman and Confetti print suits still do great, but we are definately seeing more uptake for character-based suits like the Joker or Harry Potter. Our expectation for 2020 is that the popularity of the character-based suits will continue to grow and this trend is clearly visible in our product lines for carnival and Halloween. We will launch our first collaboration with Bob Ross in the autumn season. It’s a great fit and we hope that the products will be much appreciated by our fans. We’ve really found our drive for the coming year and the new 2020 collection is amazing. We can’t wait to show it off!” Right: OppoSuits’s disco ball suit is the perfect way to start a new decade.

Our hero range for this year has definitely been our range of 1920s outfits. All the budding Tommy Shelbys out there have meant that our mens outfits have been a real winner over the past 12 months! For 2020 we will be investing in the development of our range of accessories as this continues to be an area of real growth for us. We are also hoping for continued success throughout the UK as we introduce more of our costumes and accessories to the market for the first time. If we had to describe the current party industry in one word, it would be ‘exciting’!”

CHARLOTTE TERRY marketing executive, Amscan “Our Clearz range was a standout new addition for 2019 and it will continue into 2020 with additional purple and green options, as well as the smaller sized Clearz Petites. Our Harry Potter and Baby Shark licensed party ranges have also been a great success. Following the recent launch of our new Warner Bros. dress-up collection we look forward to developing and expanding the collection throughout the year. We are also welcoming an exciting mix of other licensed dress-up to the portfolio from Crash Bandicoot, to Paddington Bear, Trolls World Tour and Stranger Things. With Halloween landing on a Saturday this year there is great potential for retailers to be able to maximise sales, we expect to see a higher demand for Halloween partyware, dress-up and balloons.” Above: Amscan is welcoming a number of licensed dress-up lines to its portfolio this year.


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Discover our new collections! Visit us at the Spielwarenmesse: Hall 9, D-09 © FOLAT BV Diakenhuisweg 15 - 2033AP - Haarlem - Netherlands - www.folat.eu

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Spielwarenmesse International Toy Fair Nürnberg 29 jan – 02 feb 2020 Hall 9 Stand D-09

16/01/2020 13:23

Spielwarenmesse 2020



29 January – 2 February, 2020 Nuremberg Exhibition Center, Germany www.spielwarenmesse.de


ith a hall and a half dedicated to carnival products, dress-up and other festive items, the Nuremberg Toy Fair is an essential visit for European party retailers looking to be ahead of the game in 2020. Billed as the place where ‘international toy markets come together’, the six-day show brings together more than 270 exhibitors from over 37 different countries in Hall 9 alone, showcasing their latest lines from across the wide-ranging festival, carnival and fireworks market. While party fashions typically vary quite widely from country to country, the power of social media has seen those trends converge more each year and Spielwarenmesse is the ideal place to explore both the differences and the similarities which can be found right across the party industry. “Spielwarenmesse is a date not to be missed for making contacts and previewing the season ahead with the most important international vendors,” commented Andreas Greif, owner of Austrian party retailer Miranda-World. “It is also a welcome opportunity to link up with new vendors in order to explore the variety on offer.” “Showcasing our new lines to our customers and prospects is, of course, the most important part of the show,”

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agreed Charlotte Terry, Amscan’s marketing executive. “But being at the fair and having a stand like ours does also mean setting a statement and leaving a footprint in the world of party.” Last year also saw the debut of a new activity area, named Showtime, which will be returning this year and playing host to a targeted programme of events each day. Held in Hall 8, adjacent to the party hall, a catwalk show will be showcasing the most exciting costume trends of the season three times a day, while other innovations from the sector, such as balloon workshops, will be given their chance to shine during hands-on demonstrations. “We were very satisfied with the new Showtime activity area,” said Manuela Pfeifer, ceo, Rubies Deutschland. “The catwalk allowed us to show trade visitors many of our new costumes several times a day. The activity area... was well received by the trade visitors and draws attention to the various product areas.” With so much going on, PPE spoke to a number of key exhibitors to find out what they’ll be focusing on at the show and who party and costume buyers should put on their ‘must-see’ list.

■ Amscan Amscan’s stand is designed to help visitors get a feeling for the latest trends and focus topics for the coming year across the party business. Spielwarenmesse is the perfect place to meet new licensed characters, find out the on-trend colours to focus on and to discover brand new innovations to the market. New lines on show this year will include the cute little kittens from 44 Cats, thanks to a bright range of party items. With the new Minions movie scheduled for 2020, the yellow characters are set to make a big come back. Amscan will be making the most of this with its offical party products including tableware, decoration, balloons and much more.

l 9, Hald E576 5 n Sta 172 4d4.7e5u +31 bolan

Boland Party Boland’s new 2020/21 catalogue will be available at Spielwarenmesse, showcasing almost 600 brand new products for the coming year, including a selection of fresh new themes across tableware and party decorations, offering everything from bunting and balloons through to pinatas, wall decorations and beer mats. The well-established and best-selling Boland Party disco-themed products have also had a complete makeover, while a completely new Dino-Dinosaur theme has also been designed and produced – but is being kept under wraps until the show itself!

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Bristol Novelty is returning for its second year at the Nuremberg Toy Fair in 2020, with a stand which will be very visibly Halloweenorientated. The large mask display will be hard to miss as it features all of the company’s newest and creepiest masks which will be in-demand this Halloween. Bristol Novelty’s costumes are equally gruesome, with modern adaptations of zombies and clowns alongside classical vampires and devils for grown-ups and children alike. Those attending will also see some awesome weapons and a redeveloped wig range. Bristol Novelty has very high hopes for these collections as it aims to continuously innovate all its ranges at the same pace as its increasingly creative consumers.


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Folat will be in Nuremberg with a new stand with a new design, an interactive online party and a money wind machine to help buyers grab discounts! At the fair Flolat will also launch its brand new Milestone concepts; the Elegant True Blue and Elegant Lush Blush. These new collections include luxury products such as matching transparent balloons, large banners, napkins and cake toppers, all in trendy materials and colours. Folat will present more than 100 latex balloons in various new designs, with a number of on-trend collections which can be bought as co-ordinated sets and offer something truly different for anyone looking to create beautiful balloon decorations easily. Also in stock are the Yummy Gummy Rainbow number foil balloons, eye candy for every age!

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■ Gemar



Gemar has been attending Nuremberg Toy Fair for over 30 years and is very much looking forward to coming back again in 2020, with over 100 shapes, sizes and colours. Gemar seeks to bring happiness and delight to every occasion with plastic-free, sustainable and premium quality balloons. The 2020 collection includes everything from the magic of crystal rainbow balloons that float like bubbles to the raw power of tiger stripes and the fun of a glowing neon sign. The latest additions to Gemar’s product offering will put retailers ahead of the competition, showcasing the latest innovations and exciting new developments, yet safe in the knowledge that every balloon is manufactured to a quality that comes from over a century of balloon-making tradition.

■ Disguise Disguise is proud to be showcasing its costumes for the very first time alongside its European partners, AFG Media/Morph Costumes. For 2020, Disguise has created a wide array of innovative costumes from some the hottest brands in the world. The company continues to expand globally with its licensed brands, such as Super Mario Brothers, Legend of Zelda, Halo, Minecraft, LEGO and a new attrition to the portfolio; Disney Junior’s hit preschool series, Gigantosaurus. Disguise is proud to offer exciting new styles for both kids and adults in the international market.

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■ Godan GoDan has prepared several new lines of products for its customers this year, focusing mainly on new designs for kids and adults. A particular highlight is the brand new product line Beauty&Charm, dedicated for new technology balloons, premium birthday candles and partyware. With many exhibitors expected to focus on environmental issues, GoDan expects to see new eco and biodegradable solutions for party items and will also be focusing on this, with new lines for this year including eco cutlery, biodegradable drinking straws and mineral foil to cover plates. GoDan is continulously monitoring the market as manufacturers look for ways to launch new eco-friendly solutions for the partyware trade. At the show itself, GoDan hopes to gain new clients and new markets and to do at least as well as last year, which was a great success!

For 2020 Haza is proud to present a new collection with a strong focus on the latest trend colors, including a brand new sustainable party concept. This concept features ranges like Festive Colours and Sweet Deco and includes attractively priced party items for any occasion. All products are packed with minimal use of plastic and presented in full colour cardboard envelopes in response to the growing demand for sustainable products. The recently launched Festive Numbers range has the same packing concept and is also customisable – customers can pick and mix their own garland and add personal pictures! Also new are the licensed Miffy baby range, a fresh anniversary range and many new balloons, candles, shooters and garlands. Place your order at the fair for exclusive promotions and special offers.

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It all started 20 years ago, with a simple idea for a New Year’s celebration. As a matter of fact, it can now be considered the most popular balloon of the third millennium. Simple, elegant and versatile: the Grabo Numbers, Grabo Letters and Betallic Megaloons are the evergreens of mylar balloons. Grabo and Betallic are the inventors of the idea and the worldwide leading producers and suppliers of mylar numbers and letters. They are available in five sizes and over 40 colours. Here’s to a 20-year long cheer!

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instagram.com/palmeragencies 10/01/2020 15:34

Spielwarenmesse 2020

■ OppoSuits OppoSuits has a lot of new things to show this year at Spielwarenmesse, including a wide range of collections for carnival, Halloween and Christmas and featuring a number of completely new styles and fresh product development. OppoSuits has also added a specials lineup including a golden and disco ball suit. Despite being so close to carnival season, Spielwarenmesses is always a very good show for the company as the majority of retailers come over for a visit. Perhaps most importantly for the OppoSuits team though, it’s the best opportunity to have Weissbeer and Nurnberger sausages with people from the industry!

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■ Henbrandt ■ Oaktree UK Oaktree UK is proud to announce the launch of its new Sparkling Fizz Party range, consisting of captioned and plain paper plates, paper cups and napkins, all decorated in the exclusive Sparkling Fizz pattern and featuring highlighted detail in rose gold holographic foiling. The range of napkins and table cover are available for key landmark birthdays as well as a general Happy Birthday and a plain uncaptioned version. The Sparkling Fizz range of UK-made foil balloons, holographic banners and bunting has been a highly successful range for Oaktree and thanks to this stunning addition to the range it is set to become a classic in partyware ranges as well.

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For this year, Henbrandt will have two booths at Spielwarenmesse. The first will be in Hall 9, where it will be showing its fancy dress range, including different themes for Beer Festivals, Pride Parties, Christmas, Hawaiian, Rave, Inflatables. Along with some generic costumes and accessories. The second will be located in Hall 4 and will be showing a selction of pocket money toys as well as novelty, stationery, gift ranges and others. Nuremberg Toy Fair offers exhibitors a unique opportunity to show their latest ranges in the largest trade show of its kind in Europe and this year Henbrandt expects to see a wide selection of new items from all other exhibitors, with a bigger focus on accessories than costumes and a wider range of toys of all types.

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■ PartyDeco With over 25 years of experience, PartyDeco offers a continually changing portfolio with decorations for every special occasion imaginable. Over 6,000 unique products are available for Halloween, Christmas and New Year’s Eve as well as wedding and party decorations and collections including paper tableware, garlands, cake toppers and many more. PartyDeco uses its years of experience to adapt its offering to the changing market and keep up with the latest trends. The company considers every last aspect of its products and believes that high-quality, aesthetically-pleasing packaging is just as important as the appearance of the product itself, allowing retailers to create attractive point of sale displays, thanks to a team of specialists who help retailers create shop displays and present products online.

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■ Palmer Agencies Nuremberg comes at a perfect time, with plenty of time to close a few deals before carnival begins on 25 Feb and it has grown to be the must go to show in Europe... catering not only to the continent but also to the Middle East and Africa, where there is a growing appetite for novelty and fun. Palmer Agencies will once again show in its very central stand in, in the very centre of the main party and carnival hall. Palmer Agencies will offer the most complete Halloween merchandise as well as extraordinary offers to all orders placed at the stand during Spielwarenmesse.


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Spielwarenmesse 2020

■ Smiffys

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Preparations are well underway for the highly anticipated Spielwarenmesse 2020 at Smiffys with an exclusive first look at all ranges, with show only offers also available. The show provides an exclusive first look at new children’s, main, Halloween and Christmas collections for the season. Family dress-up remains at the forefront of design for 2020, with the focus on a look the whole family can wear. Smiffys has brought pop culture to life with its new family of punk rocker costumes featuring tartan print and metal stud detailing. The new 2020 Carnival range is bold, bright and better than ever with great designs to get the party started. Incorporating his and hers dress-up with corresponding jackets, great for couples wanting to celebrate together this carnival season. For him and her, the corresponding Wild Leopard and Peacock party jackets are sure to be popular, as animals prints are at the forefront of design for 2020.

■ Pioneer Europe Visitors to the Pioneer Europe stand at Nuremberg can expect to see exciting displays that showcase the latest trends in balloon décor and themes, as well as great designs created by world-renowned balloon artists. On top of this, the highly anticipated new 2020 collections will be on display, focusing on the hottest trends and latest fashion and lifestyle themes. New products will include a large range of Qualatex latex, Microfoil balloons and exclusive Bubble Balloons as well as new Pioneer Party products that feature coordinated tableware and party accessories suitable for any party, no matter the occasion.

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■ Widmann Widmann predicts that this year’s Spielwarenmesse will be even more international than normal, with its growing importance right across the European and global party markets. Nuremberg is the place to find the right international partner! This year’s emphasis is on product availability and quick logistics; riding the e-commerce tide, customers are investing less in their own stock and expecting suppliers to keep adequate stocks and offer quick logistics to ensure just-in-time delivery to customers. The market is fed up with cheap, throw-away-after-one-use products and expects a move towards a higher degree of quality materials and workmanship, allowing products to be used for longer periods of time, across multiple events by multiple users. This is a ‘hot’ topic on several different levels and Widmann is keen to doing everything it can to reduce global emissions and move towards more sustainable energy. It is looking at increasing its use of bio-friendly materials in the production and packaging of products, which are currently synthetic and plastic-based.

■ Premium Balloon Accessories

■ Splashes & Spills

At this year’s Spielwarenmesse, Premium Balloon Accessories will be launching a number of new eco-friendly products as it has invested in a variety of new designs and materials to produce green solutions for the balloon industry. A brand new biodegradable Cup-N-Stick is ideal for air-filled latex and foil balloons and is fully environmentally friendly, while the PLA Balloon Saddle is a one-piece 12” balloon holder that is made from compostable PLA material and is ideal for use with 5” to 11” latex or foil balloons. Premium Balloon Accessories is also launching two new balloon inflators at Spielwarenmesse this year – the Smart Twist is a portable, re-chargable battery or mains-powered inflator for entertainer latex balloons from 160 up to 5”, while the Smart Sizer is a digital helium inflator designed for the retail and professional balloon market, enabling easy, accurate and consistent sizing of latex balloons.

Quality make-up and special effects company Splashes s (0 +44 shesand & Spills is based a l sp in Huddersfield, West Yorkshire. All products are designed in the UK and tested to the highest standard and with extensive experience in the Halloween and fancy dress industry, it has grown to become a reliable and trustworthy company. Founded in 2015, Splashes & Spills’ innovative designs include UV, glitter and neon make-up and face-paint options of the highest quality range. UV make-up is fast becoming one of the biggest selling items on the market, with mass appeal for use in festivals and carnivals as well as for fancy dress occasions such as Halloween.

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Boland’s Big Birthday


Left: Fun, on-trend costumes are a key ll things to all part of Boland Party’s product portfolio. people, Boland Below: Clever and innovative lines – Party is one of such as this printed biker tshirt – are testament to Boland’s creativity. a rare breed of party suppliers; with everything from elaborate costumes to unusual decorations and novelties, it prides itself on being able to offer product for over 35 different themes – so there’s something to get every party started. “Fifty years is no small achievement and Boland is looking to mark the occasion in a number of different ways,” reveals Mark, who has been working with Boland for the last seven years. The company famed for its larger-than-life themed trade show stands will continue to Over the last two years push the boat out to celebrate alone, Boland Party’s range its half-century, making sure its has grown from 3,000 skus customers know exactly what to over 5,000. Over the last is on offer, with a once in a five years the company has Above: Smiffys’ Wild Leopard and Peacock Party jackets are lifetime Halloween promotion, introduced a minimum of sure to be a hit, with animal print at the forefront of design loads of new product and a over 600 new products every for 2020 and a stand-out look for Carnival season. completely redesigned B2B year and it’s safe to say that ecommerce website. 2020 will be no exception. It’s a big change from the Despite all these changes, Hailing from The Netherlands, Boland company’s humble roots, which Boland Party’s philosophy – began back in 1950, when Mr of a being a supplier to the Party has established itself as one of the Boland Snr. started importing party and celebration trade most important suppliers in the party and selling basic party items – remains firmly entrenched products industry. This year will sees the such as hats and blowouts. within its DNA. “The last 50 Initially the company worked company celebrate its 50th anniversary years have been a tale of good with trade customers in the Dutch work ethic, innovative – so PPE spoke to UK agent Mark Brett to Netherlands, before gradually ideas and the creation of find out more. extending its reach across sound professional trading Europe and eventually becoming relationships,” concludes product as well as designing the Boland one of Europe’s leading party product Mark. “It will be exciting to see what the catalogues which are released each year. distributors. next 50 years have in store!” Keeping the business in the family, Robert The photographic studio shoots all the Below: Themed partyware and decorations offer a images used on the product packaging Boland (son of Mr Boland Snr.) took the complete party solution for retailers and customers. as well as every image in the catalogues helm in the early 2000s. “While continuing using professional models and high-quality to follow his father’s basic principles, production processes. Robert also re-energised the company Meanwhile, the offices, showrooms and to meet the needs of an ever-changing warehouses are all based just down the marketplace,” says Mark. “One of his first road in Alphen aan den Rijn, where the and most significant changes was to create an in-house design studio and now, some 20 rest of the team (sales, marketing, finance years later, the company designs, creates and and logistics) all ensure product arrives, gets sold and is delivered, as with any develops most of its own product.” other distribution operation – although of The design studio itself is currently course Boland adds its own unique spin! located in a listed building, within an “Our trading philosophy is very Dutch, but art district of Rotterdam. A team of very simple,” reveals Mark. “It’s all about designers is based on one floor while a the customer and is both direct and to the professional photography studio is on the point; ‘Get it right first time, but if you floor below. The design team create all of don’t – get it sorted.’” T With Halloween falling on a Saturday Boland’s packaging and much of the actual The warehouse has a capacity of over and Boland Party celebrating its 50 13,500 pallets, which are kept 365 days of anniversary, there will be a huge, the year with the aim of creating maximum once-in-a-lifetime promotion on the fulfilment and a minimum of back orders 2020 Halloween range. The Boland team will be showing occuring thanks to out of stock product. T This year will also see the launch of at both Spielwarenmesse (Hall 9, “Robert Boland’s personal philosophy a brand new web shop. The complete Stand E57) and Spring Fair (Hall 5, is that if we don’t have stock, then our redesign will create a much friendlier Stand 5J72) and is looking forward customers won’t have stock,” says Mark. user interface as well as a more to revealing more about what is on “If they have nothing to sell they can’t make powerful back office. the horizon. any profit and nor can we!”

Anniversary Specials

Show Time


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Latex Occidental Turns 70 Below: The Latex Occidental offices are the perfect showcase for the balloons.

Mexican balloon manufacturer Latex Occidental is proud to make millions of people happy around the world each year. Often referred to as its balloon brand Globos Payaso, 2020 marks the company’s 70th year in business and it’s showing no signs of slowing down yet!

Creating smiles


t all started for Latex Occidental in 1949 in Guadalajara, Mexico, when Señor Salcedo started making and selling latex balloons from his garage. Business soon took off and it wasn’t too long before he was producing up to one thousand latex balloons each day. Understandably, this soon became unsustainable for a one-man home-based operation and so Latex Occidental began its journey. Over the last seven decades, the company has come a long way from those humble beginnings and is now the largest balloon factory in the world (the factory is nearly 500,000 sq ft) . The company now produces several million balloons per day, shipping to over 100 different countries and employing more than 1,000 people. “Latex Occidental has been committed to providing the best service to its customers for more than 70 years,” says Mark Brett, of distributor I.T.I (UK). “Its focus is on creating smiles, producing and distributing latex balloons and offering a wide variety of products of the highest quality.” “It also boasts the largest distribution network in the world, which has strengthened its positioning and growth in international markets.” As part of its well-established European network, ITI (UK) is delighted to have been the Globos Payaso distributor for the UK and Ireland for over 35 years. Working very closely with Latex Occidental, it has been instrumental in ensuring that product development meets the needs of the UK and Irish markets. ITI (UK) works alongside ADIC Bv in the Netherlands, Globos Luftballons Gmbh in Germany, Lion Balloons in Greece and M F Poish in Russia. By working closely together these

SHOW TIME To see the latest new releases and find out more about Latex Occidental’s amazing journey, visit Spielwarenmesse (Hall 9, Stand A47) and Spring Fair (Hall 5, Stand H70-J71). distributors are able to maximise their resources and ensure that European stock levels remain viable at all times. Latex Occidental also seek to remain the largest producer of balloons in the world by offering the widest variety of latex balloons possible. “The Globos Payaso brand includes a wide variety of balloon styles,” contines Mark. “It currently offers more than 50 types of balloons and 70 colours Below: The 500,000 sq ft factory makes 60,000,000 balloons each day. Right: On-trend styles and designs are popular in more than 90 countries.

Above:In-house design and manufacturing keeps standards high.

which, when combined, offer more than 3,500 products, all boasting the highest quality standards in the industry.” The last three years have seen a massive explosion in new product within the company. In the coming year alone, Latex Occidental will be launching over 75 completely new products, including three main category launches; the Platinum Luxe Range, the Titanium Ultra and Deco Bubbles. “The Titanium Ultra is a technological breakthrough in latex balloon manufacturing that takes colour and appearance to another level,” explains Mark. “The colours are quite literally another dimension and they have to be seen to be believed!” But the new launches and continuous improvement do not stop there. New balloon kits have also been added to the successful collection which was first introduced over three years ago, while fresh lines have been added to the huge selection of over 70 colours. Giant heart shaped balloons (29”) will be available, as will even more new products in the popular pre-filled confetti balloon range. As part of its plans for continuous growth, Latex Occidental will be focusing on two key points going forward: T Making the Globos Payaso brand a world leader in the development of high quality cutting edge latex balloon products. T Ensuring that all processes within manufacturing and distribution processes are environmentally sustainable. From producing 1,000 balloons per day to several million per day, from a few basic items to over 3,500 combinations, from one country to over 100, Latex Occidental is one story that keeps on expanding.

THE SUSTAINABILITY FACTOR Latex balloons have always had a strong environmental heritage as latex is a natural product harvested from rubber trees, grown in the tropical forest zone. Consequently, the finished product is naturally biodegradable and renewable. However, Latex Occidental is constantly seeking ways to reduce its carbon footprint within the manufacturing process as well. There

is an onsite water treatment unit which reduces pollution, while all additives used to create the colour of the balloons are entirely natural. Packaging is constantly under review to ensure the best use of materials, minimising the impact on the environment while still maintaining strong visual impact within the retail marketplace.


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Spring Fair 2020

SPRING FAIR’S PARTY PLAN As the only trade show in the UK which offers a platform for the party trade, Spring Fair’s party sector is a crucial platform for the party and costume industry. Taking


aking place from Sunday 2 – Tuesday 6 February, Spring Fair allows balloon, partyware and costume buyers to get hands-on with the newest launches across costumes, Halloween items, Christmas favours, party tableware and decorations. It’s also the perfect opportunity to kickstart the UK buying season – with more than 50,000 visitors attending over the six days, it is ideal for researching trends, discovering new product and catching up with industry contacts. While the show itself has undergone a dramatic re-edit for this year, The Party Show remains in Hall 5, alongside Play & Tech and Christmas and adjacent to Gift in Hall 4, helping visitors and buyers to diversify and source complimentary gift products. However, the popular Greetings &

place in early February, buyers, distributors and agents visit the show to ensure they have the pick of the newest party product. PPE finds out what’s on offer...

Stationery sector has moved to Hall 2, along with a few party names who have historically exhibited there, such as Alandra, Creative Party, Ginger Ray, Neviti, Simon Elvin, Talking Tables and Unique Party – so it’s well worth taking a stroll around the rest of the show as well. Back in Hall 5, popular attraction The Party Stage will be returning for the 2020 show, allowing exhibitors to entertain and inspire visitors with an exciting live catwalk costume experience and a number of invaluable balloon demonstrations showcasing the latest trends and techniques. “Spring Fair is the largest show of its kind in the UK and provides a great opportunity to display our latest products to both existing and potential new customers,” says Charlotte Terry, Amscan’s marketing manager.

“There is such a varied amount of product throughout the show, it’s a great chance for visitors to get a feel of the latest trends across a mix of industries. We enjoy having visitors to the stand from all over the UK as well as international locations.” So whether you’re looking to add to your current stock or just want to find out what everyone will be wearing for this year’s Saturday Halloween, Spring Fair is the place to be. We’ll see you there! THE

Regular catwalk shows will be taking place at The Stage, in Hall 5, showcasing the latest in costume and dress-up trends. Balloon seminars and workshops will also educate and inspire.


■B  ristol Novelty

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Amscan’s range of licensed Warner Bros. costumes and accessories will be ready to view at Spring Fair, with more to be revealed throughout the year. Other new licensed dress-up for 2020 includes Crash Bandicoot, Doctor Who, Money Heist, Paddington Bear, Stranger Things and new Trolls. Amscan has also expanded its preschool offering to include a new Peppa Pig party ensemble as well as a generic Dino-mite party and an ‘On the Road’ range; both perfect for under-fives. Iridescent continues to be a popular balloon trend and Amscan has added some eye-catching new juvenile foil balloons additions to its 2020 collection, including a Pastel Rainbow SuperShape, Cloud with Streamers SuperShape and Swan SuperShape perfect for birthdays or baby showers

Building on last year’s incredible success, Bristol Novelty is returning to Spring Fair in 2020. Bristol Novelty enjoys being part of the Spring Fair as it provides the perfect platform for the company to physically showcase its best and newest ranges for 2020. This year, Bristol Novelty will be presenting its customers with exciting new Book Week and Halloween costumes, as well as the additions to its accessories line, including new Halloween weapons, fresh parties/events add-ons and additional styles across the revamped wig ranges. Bristol Novelty will also be displaying Rubie’s latest licensed range of costumes, with Frozen 2 and Wonder Woman 1984 set to be two nd 75 12 a huge features for the t S 74-J 724o0.uk coming year. 9 c 5H(0) 11n7ovelty. l 4 o +4 rist b

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■B  oland Party Boland will be launching its 2020/21 catalogue at Spring Fair, with almost 600 brand new products for the coming year, including a number of new themes across tableware and party decorations. A number of brand new party ranges include a whole host of product, from bunting and balloons through to pinatas, wall decorations and beer mats. For example, a sophisticated Llama range includes reusable wooden cutlery, hanging decorations and pom pom balls. The very well-established Boland Disco themed products have also had a complete makeover to reinforce and reinvigorate this perennial best seller. A completely new Dino-Dinosaur theme has also been designed and produced but you’ll have to visit the stand to find out more!


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Spring Fair 2020

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■ Balonevi Coming all the way from Istanbul, Balonevi is Turkey’s leading latex balloon manufacturer and has been in business since 2001. Balonevi is one of the biggest latex balloon manufacturers in Europe with its high capacity and manufactures high-quality latex balloons to meet all the required standards. The latex balloons offering from Balonevi produces 6” round shapes in pastel and metallic colours, 10” round shapes in pastel and metallic colours, 12” round shapes in pastel, metallic, macaron and crystal colours, 12” heart shaped in pastel colours and modelling in pastel colours. Balonevi also prints on the balloons (in up to four colours) on all sides, with its high-technology silk-screen printing machines. Balonevi also manufactures partyware such as paper plates and cups, party accessories, etc.

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Creative Party Creative Party will be exhibiting a capsule collection of new releases and best sellers in the Cardgains Village in Hall 2 as well as with sister brand Anniversary House in Hall 8. This year Creative Party will be showcasing some fantastic new party ranges in baby shower, children’s birthday, themed parties, anniversary and milestone birthday to name a few. Some of this year’s unmissable ranges include a brand-new navy and gold geode milestone range and newly refreshed wedding and anniversary party range in a fresh, timeless design. Brand new for 2020 is a new range of high-quality paper straws. Made in the USA and featuring patented ecoflex technology, these are long-lasting, sustainably-sourced, biodegradable, paper straws which provides.the bend and flex of a plastic straw. A must-have for every occasion and the perfect impulse purchase.

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I.T.I. (UK) I.T.I. (UK) is the UK distributor for Latex Occidental, the world’s largest balloon manufacturer supplying national multiples, wholesalers and independent chains. I.T.I. can provide a wide range of balloons in a variety of shapes and sizes including round, airship, hearts, marbled and novelty in over 80 different colours. These are available in bulk bags of 100 and smaller retail units of 10, 15, 25 and 50, allpackaged under the Fantasia, Globos and Globos Payaso brands. As an additional service I.T.I. also offers own-label packaging in lowvolume runs. Other items in the range include balloon pumps, gas-cylinders, flags, bunting and party-products.

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Grabo Since 1982 Grabo has been a leading name in foil balloon production, setting fashions and trends throughout the years, bolstering high-tech products to ensure quality and innovativity and paving the way for the future. Grabo’s best sellers include a variety of numbers and letters, strong licences and the most beautiful everyday shapes. High-quality custom balloons are also available, boasting Grabo’s top levels of service, reliability, promptness, competitive prices and industry knowledge. Buyers joining the fabolous Grabo world will be part of a wordwide group which reaches more than 90 countries and thousands of households around the globe.



Gemar This year Gemar will be showcasing some highlights from its 2020 collection with a pop-up stand at Spring Fair. Gemar designers are always looking for new inspiration and creativity and the latest collection is a shining example of their skill. The 2020 collection includes everything from the magic of crystal rainbow balloons that float like bubbles and the elegance of delicate butterflies floating on the breeze to the raw power of tiger stripes and the fun of a glowing neon sign. Gemar really does have something to suit everyone and every occasion. This collection will showcase the latest innovations and exciting new developments, safe in the knowledge that every balloon is manufactured to a quality that comes from over a century of balloon-making tradition.

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Henbrandt Retailers should definitely attend Spring Fair in order to be ahead of and up-to-date with the current market trends. All successful businesses should take the opportunity to see for themselves the latest products coming in this new year. For Henbrandt, the challenge is to keep improving its business, so meeting current and potential customers and learning from them is essential. Henbrandt will be displaying most of its range at Spring Fair, from its pocket money toys to its costumes, from accessories to Pride, Easter and St. Patricks items – and of course not forgetting tattoos, stickers and the hugely-popular Halloween and Christmas ranges. It’s a great time for customers to see the full collection, the new and best lines and also meet the whole Henbrandt team.


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Thetru Thetru is really excited to be exhibiting at this year’s Spring Fair following a fantastic response to its recent product launches for Halloween and Christmas 2019. The new ranges will allow retailers to increase their offering of high-end and top-quality costumes, ideal for both retail and rental. Thetru’s range of 1920s mens suits and ladies flapper dresses have proven extremely popular and this trend is expected to continue throughout 2020, thanks in part to the eagerly-anticipated series six of Peaky Blinders. Thetru also continues to develop its exceptional Halloween range and looks forward to continuing to offer independent retailers something different.

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Palmer Agencies Palmer Agencies has been in the fancy dress and party category for the last 50 years, supplying unique, exciting, profitable and trail-blazing merchandise alongside the best customer service in the market. It is the byword for quality customer service and Halloween and party merchandise and is constantly marketing exciting new trends, innovative products and unique designs. At Spring Fair, Palmer Agencies always makes a point of wow-ing visitors with all the new lines on show. The company will use central stand to display all new party and Halloween décor items as well as the latest and most sought-after mask from Halloween (new film coming out in 2020). All orders placed at the show will benefit from a special show-only discount.

PS Wholesale PS Wholesale is the leading supplier of floral head garlands, of the highest quality and at a great price. An exiting new range of clothing and bumbags geared towards the music festival market has been added to PS Wholesale’s catalogue this year, as well as more fast selling fancy dress items. The new range will be launched at the Spring Fair, so get your order in while stocks last!

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Mask-arade After 11 years in the business, the Mask-arade team know a thing or two about celebrity face masks. With such a large range of fun characters to choose from, the fun mask company has decided to simplify ordering into easy-tomanage bite-sized chunks. Mask-arade has taken the guesswork out of ordering its top quality, UK produced, fun masks, by collating the best sellers in every category into easy to order £25 bundles. Visit the stand to find out more.

PartyDeco Polish party company PartyDeco launched in 1995 and now provides over 6,000 unique products that are compatible with the latest trends. A continually changing portfolio includes decorations for every special occasion imaginable, with hundreds of products for Halloween, Christmas, New Year’s Eve as well as wedding and party decorations and collections including paper tableware, garlands, cake toppers and many more PartyDeco thinks about every aspect of its products and believes that aesthetic packaging is just as important as the appearance of the product itself. PartyDeco’s packaging allows retailers to create attractive point of sale displays, thanks to a team of specialists who have created free materials to help retailers learn how to create shop displays and present products in the online store.

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Colour Distribution Manic Panic is the original New York Punk hair colour, developed by Tish and Snooky Bellomo in the 70s. The super long-lasting semi permanent hair dyes are 100% vegan and cruelty free. As the company likes to say – these hair dyes are tested on celebrities not animals. Manic Panic proudly supplies the colour for rock stars and celebrities including Rhianna, Katy Perry and Kylie Jenner. They are now available throughout the UK, allowing retailers and distributors to take advantage of the trend for vivid coloured hairstyles.

Pioneer Europe Pioneer Europe is the European subsidiary of Pioneer Balloon Company, manufacturer of Qualatex balloons.The product range includes an extensive selection of latex, Microfoil and exclusive Bubble balloons, as well as ranges featuring popular licences such as Disney, Marvel, Lucas and more. Pioneer Europe also distributes Northstar Balloons and Pioneer Party products, making the company a perfect partner for toy, greeting card, florist, gift, fancy dress and party shops. At Spring Fair, Pioneer Europe will have two side-by-side stands with a host of new ranges on show in the UK for the first time as well as a number of inspiring balloon décor displays. Visitors can also ask questions or find out more about how balloons can grow their businesses at the Education Centre. Daily displays will also be taking place on the Party Stage throughout the show.


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10% OFF!

- 10% PRE-ORDER DISCOUNT - NO MINIMUM ORDER FOR MORE INFO, CONTACT: customer.services@fancydresswarehouse.com / customer.services@angels.co.uk +44 208 732 8871 / 79 | www.fancydresswarehouse.com Orion Costumes is not available in the UK& Ireland territory. Visit our website for full T&Cs.

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■ Confetti Birthday Amscan has expanded its birthday offering to include this colourful ensemble with various options including a generic ‘Happy Birthday’ message. The range also includes a milestone napkin, banner and foil balloon options for ages 18 – 80. A varied colour palette and an attractive, simple design makes it suitable for all ages and genders.


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What’s New?

New products don’t come much better than this...

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■ Bend and Flex

■ Taking Pride

Creative Party has introduced a new range of high-quality, bendable paper straws. Made in the USA and featuring patented eco-flex technology, the straws are long-lasting, sustainably sourced and biodegradable. Featuring a striped pattern and available in various colours, the straws coordinate with the Touch of Colour solid colour tableware and a number of other partyware collections.

With its neon maracas, brightlycoloured leis and other glow products already top sellers for carnival and festival season, Henbrandt has now released a range of rainbow products, perefct for the Pride events which now take place all-year-round. From tutus to feather wings and glitter hats, the collection is expected to be popular throughout 2020.

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■ Confetti Surprise

■ Fun Faces

With retail space at a premium I.T.I. (UK) has now developed a new variation on its popular Gender Reveal balloons, with a single packet including separate packs of blue or pink confetti. This allows the consumers to fill the printed 36” ‘Boy or Girl’ balloon with the appropriate colour confetti before bursting the balloon and revealing the gender.

The lovely team at Mask-arade have made it even easier to sell their fantastic celebrity face masks. With a large range of fun characters to choose from, they have taken the guess work out of ordering the top-quality, UK-produced, fun masks by collating the best sellers in every category into these easy-to-order £25 clipstrip bundles.

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■ An Edgy Look With its fully opaque coverage and blend-resistant application characteristics, Mehron EDGE, provides the perfect match to Mehron’s easily blendable Paradise make-up. It is ideal for design outlines, crisp colour transitions and a perfectly flawless edge. The water activated paint offers a bold result and is perfect for both novice artists and experienced professionals.


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15/01/2020 19:05

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08/01/2020 10:53

Book Week

With schools across the UK embracing the literary celebration that is World Book Day, costume and party shops are able to capitalise on the event, which is now a key date in the calendar for the industry. Here’s what’s new for 2020.


he past few years have seen World Book Day (or Book Week, as it is often known) catapulting children’s fancy dress to the forefront of the party industry. The annual celebration of all things bookish is a highlight of the school year for most children under the age of ten – and their teachers, who have embraced the opportunity to dress up as Mary Poppins, Mrs Trunchbull or the Big Bad Wolf as eagerly as the kids. It’s also a handy way of dividing parents into two camps – those who have been saving milk bottles since Chrismas so they can turn them into a six-foot dinosaur costume and those who have forgotten about the day entirely until a message is posted on the Facebook group the night before, asking if anyone has a Gruffalo costume they can borrow. In reality, most will fall somewhere in the middle of these, with many buying from supermarkets and others leaving it far too late to do anything other than buy in person from the local party shop. As a key event in the dress-up calendar, all the major suppliers now offer their own, dedicated World Book Day collections. Bristol Novelty offers a wide range of styles covering a number of the most popular themes ranging from historical to careers, fairy-tale and animals, with new lines for 2020 across all of these. “After Halloween, Book Week and World Book Day is the next biggest sales period of Right: The crocodile, grasshopper and Peter Pan tunics are all popular classic dress-up choices from Widmann.

Above left: Fearsome Saxon warrior costumes are ideal for all manner of books and historic stories. Above: Smiffys’ classic new fairytale collection includes this character from the Three Little Pigs. Right: The Evil Queen costume from Rubie’s is expected to be a hit with teachers this year.

the year and is fundamental to us as a business,” reveals Bristol’s marketing manager Fran Hales. “With both children and teachers across the world dressing up as their favourite characters, we take pride in our responsibility to bring their favourite book characters into reality.” Last year, Bristol Novelty found kids costumes to be the most popular, understandably, with a particular focus on the reinvented classic fairytale characters we’re all

familiar with. This year, the company has developed a new range inspired by the world’s favourite historical book characters, featuring fearsome Saxon warriors, adventurous Kansas girls and the most discerning detectives. “Our aim is to help our consumers to wear their story this year by celebrating the stories which are personal to them, their teachers and also to ensure our costumes play their part in making happy memories in the process,” added Fran. Of course, licensed characters are often a popular choice with young children and World Book Day celebrations continue to be a great tent pole occasion for spring. “We love being able to offer classic evergreen characters from the Wizarding World, Beano, Horrid Henry and Disney,” says marketing manager Vicki Hamilton. “There’s more choice for grown-ups this year with the addition of Snow White’s Evil Queen, a terrific costume that really stands out and could be a teaching #teamwin when paired with the new range of Seven Dwarves soft masks.” New generic lines from Rubie’s include Dino and Bug Explorer which

Book Week 2020 This year’s official World Book Day is taking place on Thursday 5 March 2020, with nurseries, preschools and schools across the UK taking part in the event. More than 15 million £1 book tokens will once again be given out for children to redeem in their local bookshop, featuring a wide range of favourite characters which are perfect for those dress-up opportunities, including CBeebies’ Bing, Supertato and Amelia Fang.


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Catalogue Out Now! trade.bristolnovelty.com sales@bristolnovelty.co.uk +44 (0) 117 972 4012 58_PPE_January February 2020.indd.indd 1

Nuremberg Toy Fair

Spring Fair (NEC)

29 Jan - 2 Feb 2020 Hall: 9 Stand: B33

2nd - 6th February 2020 Hall: 5 Stand: 5H74-J75



15/01/2020 16:06

Book Week

Below: Bringing World Book Day to life with licensed lines from Star Cutouts.

Through the looking-glass It’s not just about costumes and with a range of book-themed cutouts, Star Cutouts helps classrooms and shop windows bring literature to life, while also giving young readers the opportunity to share the stage with some of the world’s greatest writers. are wonderfully versatile costumes that could work for all manner of little explorers. Both costumes come with a hat and Bug Explorer even includes a net and magnifying glass. According to Anna Solly of Sancto – UK distributor for Italian company Widmann – book week has grown in size each year. “It has become one of our top annual events and gives our retailers an extra boost in the early part of the year,” says Anna. “Its popularity has given rise to new costume ideas being chosen as more new books are released and cherished by young and old alike.” Widmann’s classic lines such as cowboys, Peter Pans, princesses and pirates always prove extremely popular and for this upcoming Book Week it has added new lines such as the grasshopper and a charming prince, which have already created a stir. A new range of dress-up kits have also been introduced for both children and adults, ideal for anyone who doesn’t like being in full costume. “Our mouse tutu disguise sets are great for Book Day and then for playing general dress-up at home afterwards, as are the wizard and cowboy sets,” Anna adds. Henbrandt’s George Morgan is similarly enthusiastic about the season. “We can confidently say that costumes, hats and costume accessories sell well every year for Book Week and we fully Left:Amscan has added this adorable Paddington Bear style to its collection for 2020, featuring jumpsuit, mask and hat; perfect for Book Week.

expect that they will continue to do so. As a dress-up occasion, World Book Day is getting more and more popular and we are seeing a rise in sales accordingly.” Henbrandt is also focusing on bringing in more products that will appeal to this market, extending its collection of costumes which can be used for a wide number of children’s literary characters. With a whole new range of costumes for this year, Smiffys’ new 2020 Book Day collection is brimming with over 150 products, with something available for everyone. “Baby dress-up is set to be a hot trend for 2020,” says trade marketing manager Sharon Poulter. “This has been aided in part by the prominence of World Book Day, not only in schools, but also preschools across the UK.” Bringing literacy to life is a key theme for Smiffys and is one which aligns with a raft of new designs for 2020, with the introduction of new licences to the portfolio, including The Tiger who Came to Tea, Mog the Forgetful Cat, Fun with Spot and Thomas and Friends. “Our new officially licensed baby and toddler collections are sure to be popular this Book Day as the preschool dress-up market continues to expand,” Sharon continues. “The baby designs are just adorable!”

Other new baby lines which are expected to do well for the 2020 Book Week season include the officially licensed Where’s Wally and Roald Dahl’s Willy Wonka costumes – both are range extensions of the already popular adult costumes. Everyday costumes are of course equally important and often sell well as parents can accessorise in a number of different ways to create specific characters. “These costumes are great for creating all round fun with something for everyone,” says Sharon. “They mean that little one’s imagination can run wild as they are transported to the depths of ocean or deep into times gone by.” Nursery rhymes also offer a popular theme running through new Smiffys costumes, from Bo Peep and her bleating sheep to little Piggys and their ‘tails’ of old and new, all coming to life this year. Smiffys new children’s tabards also create more time for play with easily wearable, instant dress-up, perfect for World Book Day 2020. Below: A classic detective look and an ‘orphan girl’ are expected to sell well for Henbrandt this year.

The Character Parade “We have an extensive collection of costumes and wearable accessories to help children become their favourite character for World Book Day or Book Week. The event is a key dressup occasion in the calendar and we are continually developing and expanding the range of both licensed and generic styles to keep in line with the latest trends. Licensed costumes have been proving particularly popular

over recent years. Our portfolio includes some of the world’s most loved literary characters such as Dr Seuss The Cat in the Hat and Thing 1 and 2, as well as The Very Hungry Caterpillar and Elmer. Classic story book characters and historical costumes also remain top choices from Mad Hatters, to Royal characters and witches and wizards. For 2020 we are excited to have launched our Warner Bros.

licensed dress-up collection, with a great variety of styles for both children and adults. Styles included in Volume 1 of the collection will be available for Book Week and include leading characters from the Wizard of Oz, superheroes from the DC Universe and Scooby-Doo. We have also added Doctor Who and Paddington Bear costumes for 2020!” Charlotte Terry, marketing executive, Amscan


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Please visit us at Spielwarenmesse Hall 9 Stand B-15

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15/01/2020 17:55

Q1 Events 2020

A Strong


The first few weeks and months of the year are cold, wet and depressing. Everyone’s either pleading poverty, going on a diet or doing Dry January – it’s not the busiest time for the party sector. It’s a good time for planning though, so with a number of miniseasons just around the corner, PPE takes a look at what’s new for 2020.


he smaller celebrations which pepper the first few months of the year offer a fairly straightforward way of getting consumers back instore. Once January is over (which boasts Burns night and Chinese New Year as its highlights), it all kicks off with Valentine’s Day on 14 February, followed by St. David’s Day on 1 March. St Patrick’s Day isn’t far behind, on the 17th, with Mother’s Day falling on the following Sunday, 22 March.

diary dates “In Poland the most important events in the first quarter of the year are Grandma’s and Grandpa’s Day, both celebrated in January. The key items for this events are balloons and so we have a nice line with Polish inscriptions. In March we have Women’s Day, when people traditionally buy flowers, although nice balloon bouquets are getting more popular. The same is true for the other sub-seasons such as Valentine’s Day or Mother’s Day, so we refresh our balloon lines every year to meet consumer expectations.” Magdalena Wojteczek, sales manager, GoDan

Right: Pioneer Europe’s Mother’s Day designs feature pastel colour palettes as well as a strong floral theme. Below left: Accessories are key St Patrick’s Day products for Boland Party.

By the time we start heading into the spring (British summertime officially starts on 29 March) then (hopefully) it should have started to look a little brighter, with Easter Sunday taking place on 12 April and St. George’s Day on the 23rd. “Spring seasons are a great way of boosting early sales,” agrees Pioneer Europe’s head of marketing Julie Dommett. “Mother’s Day in particular is a strong season for balloons.” Julie points out that each of the seasons are celebrated in different ways, whether it’s consumers buying gifts for Easter and Mother’s Day or local pubs, restaurants and business looking for décor for their St Patrick’s and St George’s Day celebrations. Pioneer has added a selection of new designs to its seasonal ranges this year, including 12 new Mother’s Day designs. “Trends in this category include ombre designs using pastel colour palettes as well as a strong floral theme throughout the collection,” reveals Julie. “Personalisation can make a huge difference in the smaller seasonal events, especially for Mother’s Day. Balloons are easy to personalise for a little added value and offer something that not a lot of other products can.” For Bristol Novelty, spring is an interesting time of the year as although it certainly isn’t slow, the company has identified plenty of opportunities for growth. “Outside of the main seasons in the party year, we see great potential in sub-seasons such as St Patrick’s Day, Easter and sporting events,” says marketing manager Fran

Far left:Bristol Novelty’s knight costumes are also ideal for St George’s Day or a day out at the cricket or rugby. Left:OppoSuits will be launching the Shamrocker, its latest St. Patrick’s Day style, this February.

Hales. “With millions of people across the world joining Ireland in celebrating St Patrick’s Day, it provides a tremendous opportunity for us to capitalise on the festivities.” Henbrandt’s George Morgan asserts that all these subseasons are important for the brand, with St Patrick’s Day and Easter in particular creating a ‘vast amount of sales’. “We have improved and refined our stock for these occasions in response to the rising demand,” he says. “There has been an increase in the call for a number of different lines.” Also focusing on St Patrick’s Day is Boland Party – although UK agent Mark Brett points out that the success or otherwise of that particular celebration will depend very much on which day of the week it falls upon. “If it’s a Friday or a weekend night then it’s pretty good but aside from that it can often be a fairly flat event,” he says. “The reality for Boland is that these ‘sub-events’ do tend to play a small part in any year.” Moving onto Easter, Creative Party has launched a new foil Easter Eggs partyware range, offering a vibrant, trendled alternative to solid colour tableware. The classic Easter egg motif is paired with a mint, purple, pink and yellow colourway and makes a great basis for any Easter-themed celebration. In addition to all the Easter food (and chocolate!) there is also plenty of fun, with dressing up and decorating bonnets taking place. Widmann’s range of straw hats, bunny and chick costumes – as well as various other novelties and accessories – will all go down a treat.

Left and below: Widmann will be making the most of its Easter costumes and accessories.


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Let’s Celebrate!

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Q1 Events 2020

Spring events

Green is the colour of the moment for Henbrandt as it prepares its wide range of accessories, including themed leis and novelty hats, for St Patrick’s Day.

Amscan has added some fabulous new Mother’s Day balloons to its offering for 2020, including this Watercolour Geode SuperShape and Iridescent Sun SuperShape.

Celebrate the luck of the Irish with Amscan’s range of St Patrick’s Day partyware, balloons and wearable accessories.

Bring the springtime in with Colpac’s Easter party boxes. Colourful, fun, compostable and fully recyclable. Consumers just add their own treats to make them special!

With St Patrick’s Day proving to be a key dressup opportunity for adults, Bristol Novelty has a wide range of accessories and fancy dress options for anyone looking for the craic.

Easter proves very popular at Star Cutouts with these three bunnies competing for attention. A new personalised range also allows customers to add a message of their choice.

Qualatex has introduced an impressive 12 new Mother’s Day designs for 2020, such as this ombre heart in on-trend pastel shades. Every St George’s Day celebration needs its very own St George and this costume from Widmann is perfect for the occasion. Creative Party has extended its Peter Rabbit cake decoration range for 2020, with a number of cake toppers now available in different sizes – perfect for Easter celebrations. Widmann is going green in the run-up to St Patrick’s Day, with a complete range of costumes, novelty glasses, hats and other accessories ideal for celebrating

Love the ombre trend? Look no further than these pastel ombre SuperShape Easter Egg balloons from Amscan! Standard sized foil also available.

With local pubs, restaurants and business requiring décor for their St George’s Day celebrations, Pioneer Europe expects this simple St George’s cross foil to do well.

Easter is a hugely popular occasion for Henbrandt, which has a wide range of accessories, add-ons and other party novelties ideal for creating the perfect Easter egg hunt.


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15/01/2020 19:09

Grow your business with Balloons and Partyware! Introducing the new Qualatex “Mythical” balloon collection


Visit Pioneer Europe at Spring Fair (Hall 5, Stand 5G80 – J81) or Spielwarenmesse (Hall 9, Stand D76) to see the latest from Qualatex and Northstar balloons and Pioneer Party products. Perfect for setting the scene at any party!

Open one account — access three amazing balloon and party brands!




Call 01279 501090 or email pelorder@qualatex.com for details

USA ©2020 PBC

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■ Hang ‘Em High The Halloween aficionados at Trick or Treat Studios are breaking into new categories and will be making a big impact with high-end collectibles, ornaments and accessories, many of them officially licensed, like this highly-detailed SAW Billy Puppet ornament and Texas Chainsaw Massacre Leatherface ornament – perfect for any creepy Christmas.

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Licensed to Party Spring Fair

Progressive Party rounds up the latest licensed releases.


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■ Perfect Puppy

■ Muddy Puddles

Fun with Spot dress-up costumes are new from Smiffys and are set to launch for World Book Day 2020. The new baby, toddler and preschooler costumes comprise of a yellow all-inone, complete with a co-ordinating hat with adorable puppy detailing. They are available for ages newborn up to six-years-old, perfect for some classic storybook magic!

Party product company Amscan has launched a refreshed Peppa Pig party range for 2020! The brand new vibrant partyware collection includes coordinating tableware, decorations, favours and balloons, featuring both Peppa and George in a fresh modern styling. Peppa Pig costumes are also available to complete the perfect piggy party theme.

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■ It’s Coming Home

■ Mouse-tastic Fun

■ Block Party

High-quality UV make-up, glitter and face paint company Splashes & Spills has released its first licensed product, launching just in time for Euro 2020. The Fan Paint takes showing off your team pride to a new level as users can simply remove the lid and apply their team colours. There are 20 sets to choose from including Germany, England, Spain, Holland, France, Italy and Portugal.

Balloon and partyware company Pioneer Europe has extended its classic Disney collection with this line of classic latex Minnie Mouse designs. The four brightly-coloured 12” balloons featuring a classic Minnie face are perfect for the younger market, while the translucent design featuring a bold, iconic Minnie outline with bow print is perfect for sophisticated older fans.

For 2020, Disguise has created a wide array of innovative costumes from some the hottest brands in the world as it continues to expand globally with its licensed brands. LEGO costumes continue to be very popular and Disguise has expanded its LEGO Ninjago and LEGO iconic lines with some creative new styles which are an important part of its international offering.



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What’s New From Europe?


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■ Tropical Toucan As part of its 50th birthday celebrations, Boland Party is launching a number of brand new party ranges. The Toucan range offers a refreshing look which is ideal for tropical and beach-themed parties. The range includes a whole host of product, ranging from bunting and balloons through to pinatas, wall decorations and beer mats.

What’s New?

Looking for something a bit different? Then it’s time for an international shopping spree!

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■ Baby Love Spring will soon be here and across Europe the patter of tiny feet will be heard. To mark the occasion, Globos Payaso has launched two new balloons, ideal for baby showers. The Boy Footprints (It’s a Boy) and Girl Footprints (It’s a Girl) balloon packets each contain a selection of 12” confetti balloons or printed footprint balloons in either blue or pink.

■ Princess Power Consumers can personalise their little ones parties with this sweet new Princess party range from Haza. The range includes party decorations and tableware with fresh pink colors and royal Hotstamp gold, perfect for little princesses, who will love this range which comes complete with personalisable banner.

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■ Beauty&Charm A highlight from GoDan’s new collection for 2020 is the special product line Beauty&Charm. This brand new line has been created especially for the premium market and offers a wide range of new technology balloons, stylish birthday candles and partyware. All packaging has been developed to work together so that all retailers can add new lines and display them easily.

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■ Time to Shine In 2020 Gemar is ready to turn it up a notch with Shine Big, offering the same eye-catching colours and stylish finish as its popular shiny collection but now available in a larger 19” size, alongside the traditional 13” for those occasions where nothing else will do. So it’s time to stop playing small, step out of the shadows and shine!

■ Flowers and Frills Thetru is particularly excited to be offering a number of new ranges for the coming year, such as this stunning new masquarade mask, which is embellished with flowers, frills, glitter and butterflies. Over the next 12 months Thetru will be increasing its offering of high-end quality costumes and accessories which are ideal for both sale and rental businesses.




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15/01/2020 19:12

Facts and Figures

THE TOP The five most popular products from 2019 were: T 1  920s flapper dresses T P  eaky Blinders waistcoats T fl  at caps T r a-ra skirts T 1  980s accessories

Jollyjesters: IN NUMBERS Based in Derbyshire in the UK, Jollyjesters fancy dress shop is a mecca for all things costume. The business began hiring costumes and acessories in 1990, long before pre-packed massproduced costumes came into existence, making 2020 its 30th anniversary. PPE spoke to owner Kate Moore to find out the figures behind the store’s success.


“ Anything Peaky Blinders by the looks of it and also anything from the 1990s, as there are far more 90s-themed events coming up than in previous years.”


Above: Kate has been running Jollyjesters for the last 30 years.

Below: The Peaky Blinders and 1920s styling have been a key trend throughout 2019.

“ The Greatest Showman seems to have disappeared without trace this year, ditto Frozen.”

A TYPICAL SATURDAY... “Last Saturday was the major returns day for the New Year’s Eve hires, so although plenty of people came through the door they were mainly bringing costumes back for washing rather than spending any money.”

T Preferred social media channel? We use Instagram and Twitter as well, but Facebook brings us the most business. T Most common search term used to reach jollyjesters.co.uk? ‘Fancy Dress shops near me’ T Strangest search term used to reach jollyjesters.co.uk? ‘Gorgeous, slim, friendly, vivacious helpful, shopkeeper offering phenomenal value costumes and accessories.’ (Ed. - We cannot verify this information.)

Above: There’s plenty to choose from with thousands of costumes available inside the shop.


Above: The show’s over for The Greatest Showman.

T W  ith two members of staff, the team is small but perfectly formed. T T  he shop is around 200 sqft, with not a single wasted inch of floor or wall space (or ceiling, for that matter). T J ollyjesters has over 2,000 costumes for hire, 100s of costumes to buy and 1,000s of accessories. T E  nough boxes of product came in on the last delivery for Kate to build a five-storey cardboard fort (this may or may not be true). T T  he average spend per transaction can be anything from £1.99 to about £80.

MY HERO! “The absolute ‘hero’ product for 2019 has been Peaky Blinders beaded sequinned dresses for hire, including the gloves, headdress, beads and boa.”

WORKING RELATIONSHIPS “We have been working with the wonderful Bristol Novelty since the mid-1990s – we have stuck with the tried’n’tested for reliability and good customer service.”

CH- CH- CH- CHANGES “There have been a lot of changes to the fancy dress market over the last three decades, and some have been harder to weather than others. But somehow we’re still here, still doing it. To all the other bricks’n’mortar shops in the same situation... we salute you. We know how tough it is to keep all the plates spinning on all the poles while juggling 27 chainsaws and a raw egg all at the same time!”

Above: Jollyjesters makes the most of its compact size!

WINDOW SHOPPING The windows at Jollyjesters are an ongoing concern – new costumes are added frequently on a one-in, one-out basis.


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Profile for Max Media Group

Progressive Party Europe Jan Feb 2020  

Progressive Party Europe Jan Feb 2020