• 1949
  • 1950
  • 1951
  • 1957
  • 1958
  • 1960
  • 1963
  • 1973
  • 1974
  • 1977
  • 1991
  • 1996
  • 1997
  • 1998
  • 1999
  • 2001
  • 2002
  • 2003
  • 2004
  • 2005
  • 2007
  • 2008
  • 2009
  • 2010
  • 2011
  • 2012
  • 2013
  • 2014
  • 2015
  • 2016
  • 2017
1949 After the division of Germany, the toy manufacturers have no suitable fair for presenting their products. A number of farsighted entrepreneurs who were prepared to take risks decided to set up a German trade fair in Nuremberg exclusively for toys. The founders (from l to r): Carl Ehmann (Märklin), Ernst Theodor Horn (General Manager of the Toy Industry Association), Arno Drottboom (Director of VEDES) and Hans Mangold (GAMA).
1950 Ludwig Erhard, Federal Minister of Economics, opens the first German Toy Fair in Nuremberg. 351 exhibitors present their products from 12-18 March 1950 and 4,321 buyers come to the fair, including 600 from abroad. Following the successful premiere, the fair committee and 46 firms set up a cooperative on 11 July 1950. Fritz Drescher heads the company as managing director from 1950 to 1974.
1951 The fair's first logo, the city tower with the initials, made only a short guest appearance. It was soon replaced with a new logo for the 2nd German Toy Fair, in which the graphic artist Viktor Kaltenbach combines toys, represented by the rocking horse, with Nuremberg, symbolized by the city tower. Since then, the fair horse with a few layout modifications has become the worldwide embodiment of today’s leading fair.
1957 The continuing debate on the possible internationalization of the fair was finally settled by Federal Minister of Economics Ludwig Erhard. In his speech at the opening of the German Toy Fair in 1957, he demanded: "I don't want to see the word "German" here next year!"
1958 When the "International Toy Fair Nürnberg" then also invited international exhibitors, the 830 exhibitors included 60 firms from abroad right from the start. This figure doubled the year after and has risen constantly since then. One-third of the 12,000 visitors are international guests.
1960 The International Toy Fair continues to grow rapidly in the 60s. After further expansion into newly erected fair buildings, auxiliary and alternative buildings, and lightweight halls, all the space available around the old fair site at the municipal park is finally exhausted. Discussions on a new fair site start between the fair management and the Nuremberg authorities.
1963 The organisers support Spielwarenmesse exhibitors with a show presenting new products to the press for the first time. The special show showcases selected products to invited journalists and is gladly used by toy manufacturers to create awareness of their innovations. The media event becomes a fixture in the years that follow. Now known as the PressPreview, it is still held annually on the day before the Spielwarenmesse opens.
1973 The International Toy Fair moves into the new fair site in Nuremberg-Langwasser built in a record time. The exhibiting area grows to 52,000 m² and for the first time offers space for a systematic arrangement in product groups. Previously only the model construction, hobbies and handicrafts product group was combined.
1974 Dr. Benno Korbmacher is head of Spielwarenmesse eG from 1974 to 1996. He advocated that Messehallen GmbH, a forerunner of the present NürnbergMesse GmbH, should expand the exhibition centre. At the same time, he succeeded in increasing the fair’s worldwide importance by enlarging the event.
1977 Visitor numbers exceed the 30,000 mark for the first time. 1,567 toy manufacturers – including 644 international companies – exhibit at this year’s trade fair. Nuremberg becomes the “Mecca” for the toy industry.
1991 The internationality of the Toy Fair continues to increase and the number of international exhibitors tops the two thousand mark: 938 of the 2,078 exhibiting companies come from abroad, and 15,737 of the 51,140 visitors are international guests.
1996 Gerd Bise takes over the management of Spielwarenmesse eG from 1996 to 2002, the first exhibition expert to hold this post. In this period, the company modernizes its marketing activities, extends its network of international representatives and expands the cooperative's activities nationally and internationally beyond the International Toy Fair.
1997 The increased global marketing activities make it necessary to adapt the event name and logo. In the communication for the 1998 fair, the leading fair is called the "Spielwarenmesse International Toy Fair Nürnberg". Spielwarenmesse eG accompanies German toy manufacturers abroad on behalf of the Federal Ministry of Economics and Technology. It organizes the German pavilion at the American International Toy Fair in New York. Contracts for organizing German pavilions at the toy fairs in Hong Kong, Moscow and Los Angeles follow in the coming years.
1998 An innovative permanent stand concept in hall 12.2 brings the International Toy Fair a totally new quality of stand design in 1998. Some 30 international companies, including world-renowned brand leaders, rent the stand space all year round. They can now also use their lavish company presentations outside the fair times. For example, during the "ANTE" preview, the first time that Spielwarenmesse eG organizes another event of its own. The toy industry and trade meet there to discuss the coming year's new products in November every year from 1998 to 2001.
1999 The Spielwarenmesse International Toy Fair celebrates its 50th anniversary and marks the occasion by publishing the book "50 Years of the International Toy Fair Nürnberg. A History of Success". In its 50th anniversary year, the company moves from the Nuremberg exhibition centre to nearby offices in Münchener Straße.
2001 For the first time, a German chancellor takes his place among the many guests of honour who visited the fair in the course of time. Gerhard Schröder opens the 52nd Spielwarenmesse International Toy Fair Nürnberg.
2002 Ernst Kick is appointed as new chief executive officer in 2002 and brings many years of exhibition experience to the company. He pushes the internationalization of the company's activities through cooperations, holdings and setting up subsidiaries. Under his management the company continues to professionalize the organization and range of services and develops the fair's lead function.
2003 From 2003 onwards, a special theme of the year is prepared for each International Toy Fair with an action area for visitors from the trade. The company organizes the ToyPreview in November, a two-day information event with the permanent stand exhibitors in hall 12.2. Here the central buyers and representatives from the toy purchasing cooperations obtain an opportunity for initial orientation for the coming year’s business.
2004 The fair team launches a campaign to enable exhibitors to put their new products at the fair in the limelight. Besides the existing new products show under the name of the PressPreview, this now includes the InnovationCenter in hall 4 and the InnovationGuide. The exhibiting companies can enter their most innovative play ideas for the ToyAward. An independent jury selects the winners in various categories.
2005 The Frankfurt Book Fair and Spielwarenmesse eG cooperate for the benefit of their exhibitors. The toy manufacturers present their products for the book trade in the "Games & Playing in the Book Trade" pavilion at the Frankfurt Book Fair from 2005 to 2007, and the children’', juvenile and hobby book publishers present their books for toy traders at the International Toy Fair in Nuremberg from 2005 to 2006. The manufacturers and publishers use the fairs as a sales platform to develop new distribution channels.
2007 The Spielwarenmesse eG and the Russian National Toy Association for toy manufacturers agree on cooperating to arrange toy fair in Russia. The event premiers already in in the following year in Moscow.
2008 With the World of Toys a unique international fair program starts. Its aim is to open the doors to the world's most attractive toy markets for the customers of Spielwarenmesse eG. Ernst Kick creates the basis for this in 2008 with relevant cooperation agreements with the Hong Kong Trade Development Council. The program starts in 2009 at the Hong Kong Toys & Games Fair in 2009. The first Toy Russia takes place in the International Exhibition Centre of Crocus Expo in Moscow. The result clearly exceeds the expectations.
2009 During the Hong Kong Toys & Games Fair the fair and marketing services provider presents the first international pavilion World of Toys by Spielwarenmesse eG. The Spielwarenmesse International Toy Fair Nürnberg celebrates its 60th anniversary with over 3,000 fair guests in CCN Ost and in the city centre.
2010 ToyKnowHow, ToyInnovation and ToyNetwork are the three success factors from which visitors to the International Toy Fair in Nuremberg benefit. Spielwarenmesse eG particularly expands the ToyKnowHow. The Global Toy Conference as the finale to the fair supplies conference participants with concentrated expert knowledge on burning issues in the toy industry.
2011 Spielwarenmesse eG continues its commitment to sustainability following the great success of the fair motto Toys go green. The sustainability strategy will be executed through activities on corporate and fair level that will be put into practice step by step by 2015. The company expands its social media activities on Twitter, Facebook and YouTube at the same time.
2012 Spielwarenmesse eG announces Kids India, its first own fair to be organized abroad. The trade fair for toys, baby articles, licensed products, and sport, leisure and hobby articles is supported by the Indo-German Chamber of Commerce (IGCC) and takes place for the first time from 24–26.10.2013 in Mumbai.
2013 Spielwarenmesse eG founded Spielwarenmesse Middle East Fuarcılık Ltd. Şti. on 1 January 2013 and took over Toyzeria. The 100-per-cent subsidiary is now the organizer of the Turkish trade fair, which takes place in the Istanbul Expo Center for the sixth time from 31 October to 3 November 2013. Moreover, the word “Spielwarenmesse“ is since 2013 a protected trademark in Germany, so the Spielwarenmesse International Toy Fair Nürnberg is called “Spielwarenmesse” – keep it simple!
2014 Spielwarenmesse eG founded Die roten Reiter GmbH as an independent advertising agency on 1 April 2014. CEOs Christian Medelnik and Christian Ulrich together with their team provide their customer-orientated creative potential for clients from the consumer and capital goods industry. The team has decades of experience of agency, industrial and service companies. In June the Spielwarenmesse eG announces the Insights-X – a new trade fair for paper, office supplies and stationery products. The plan for a new stationery trade fair in Nuremberg emerges from the demand which was brought to the fair and marketing services provider by the stationary industry itself. The first Insights-X takes place in October 2015 in the Exhibition Center Nuremberg.
2015 In October 2015, Spielwarenmesse eG celebrates the premiere of Insights-X. The new stationery expo kicks off with 188 exhibitors of paper, office and stationery products for the office, school and hobby segments. This product portfolio and the attractive supporting programme attract a total of 4,365 visitors at the trade fair in Nuremberg from 8 to 11 October 2015. In addition, Spielwarenmesse eG receives the support and encouragement of associations and trade publishers in the stationery sector.
2016 In 2016, Spielwarenmesse eG expands its presence in India. Spielwarenmesse India Pvt. Ltd. is the latest addition to the fair organiser’s family of subsidiaries. Formed in New Delhi on 1 April 2016, it caters to an important global growth market. The new company has already been put in charge of organising the Kids India in Mumbai, which in its fourth year boasts an additional exhibition hall.
2017 Spielwarenmesse eG moved to its new offices in the Nuremberg-West Business Park in July 2017. The company has leased a refurbished, listed building on the former site of the Em-Eukal sweet factory. This provides the team of around 50 staff plus subsidiary Die Roten Reiter with approx. 1,700 m² of office space over three floors.