ToyFair… it’s the Birchwood Effect!


All the fun of the fair!!!! ToyFair 2013 was great fun!  It is always fantastic to see all my clients and candidates together under one roof. This year footfall was definitely down but with no Jubilee, no Olympics and a great deal of weather this is not a massive shock. I did feel that the buzz of 2012 was not quite there this year and there were a lot of people telling the Birchwood Girls that they were disappointed in product offering and that the numbers through the doors were down. It’s also fair to say that most reported that those that attended were serious buyers and were placing orders, I would much rather see a show like this than full of tyre kickers who have come along for a day out! As someone who attends the show and has no remit to buy I would like to take this opportunity to thank each and every exhibitor for taking time out of their selling time to spend time with us, it really helps to see how clients old and new work at exhibitions. Also, congratulations to the organisers of ToyFair overall a very successful show for all who exhibited and visited.

carolineAs you know I recruited Caroline Rickards to the Birchwood business around 5 months ago and this was her first toy fair. Here she is with Tree Fu Tom, and I am sure she will be delighted with this picture being included. A comment from her whilst debriefing the show at the Alternative Drinks Party has inspired me to write this piece – “Isnt it interesting that your clients are the busy and successful ones?”  Well you know what?  This is not a coincidence; allow me to illustrate!

Birchwood clients had some of the busiest stands at the show.  It’s not a fluke! Birchwood knits teams together, never “puts bums on seats” and never has “a place at any cost” attitude.  Put your trust into a recruiter and allow them to work on your team with you, not just in times of strife but on an ongoing basis to ensure that the right people remain the right people.  At trade events it sticks out that Birchwood clients have the X Factor… Don’t believe me?

JumboLogoI am sure you will agree that the vibrancy and positivity on the Jumbo Games was plain to see, and it was not all down to the coffee and the footballers!  The stand was fantastic and illustrated brilliantly the passion that the team has for both the product range and the business, and not just their product; a company that had thought about things from their customer’s perspective (where will this product go once purchased). Yes, Gray and Kath it was worth all the hard work!  A stand alive with banter and an open approach which made all visitors feel really welcome.  As Gray Richmond (MD) put it himself “two out of two Amanda, loving your work”.  Not always plain sailing but I love it when a plan comes together!

CartamundiLogoThe tag team that is Jonathan Rose and Thalia Vosper of Cartamundi is brilliant to see.  They both try to hide it behind a veil of sarcasm but they love each other and work brilliantly together.  The lovely and always smiling Chloe Fox has huge passion for her role and the products… have you seen a tidier stand?  Well done Chloe, all those perfectly balanced packs and you don’t even mind if they get moved about (my OCD would not allow for that!). The open approach and open stand of Cartamundi along with the location of the stand made for a busy and highly successful ToyFair.

VtechLogoThe last quarter of 2012 saw the arrival of 3 new team members to the sales department at Vtech and this means a fresh and dynamic approach for 2013.  It was great to see Vtech back at ToyFair after a 5 year absence.  I was very impressed with the stand and loved seeing the whole range out of a showroom environment. Richard Hawkins – I am impressed Caroline and I did quiz you! Special mention should go to Graham Canning who did run the length of the stand to greet me… we came back three times over Wednesday and Thursday to see you and you were busy every time – I am sure it wasn’t planned but is a great measure of the quality of the 2013 range! We will make sure we come and see you during the course of 2013.

HexbugLogoWonderful, wonderful HEXBUGS!  Along with other delights coming from Innovation First. Delighted to see Daniel Richardson settling in so very well to the business after a very short period of time… Dan has done 3 continents with the business since mid December! (I know lots of you do this but not with a new product range to learn at the busiest time of the year). I look forward to recruiting more into the team shortly.

There are many more, you know who you are, I pride myself on keeping things confidential when asked to. Needless to say there are some exciting projects  that we are currently working  on, if you are looking for a new challenge in 2013 then please email your CV and package details to

This blog, more than any other, reflects what Birchwood does, and does bloody well!  We know we are blowing our own trumpets, but we are excited by what we do and the success we have had!! This is why businesses put their trust into Birchwood… we are good at matching; someone said to me at the show I should be a matchmaker – that is exactly what I am and what Caroline is!

AGirlForAllTimeLogoNow, I could go on all day about my clients and their successes.  I am only going to mention one more and in a different way as I have not placed with this company yet!  A Girl for All Time; Frances Cain you deserve all the success you are having.  A high quality product, well-constructed and thought through with a clear target market.  I am keen to read the books myself, I love the 1940’s latest doll she is very cool… watch this space there are some interesting things set to happen for this business.

ProgressivePicFinal thanks have to go to Progressive Preschool and their tireless positivity, energy and capacity to socialise! Rob, Jacqui, and Hayley I love you all and most importantly I love the magazine. Their fresh approach to the market is new, refreshing and much-needed; if you are not already advertising with them and subscribing to the magazine then do it now at

To find out how we can work together do give me a call on 07796 697100, the Birchwood offering to its clients and candidates is varied and broad. We look forward to tailoring the perfect solution for your business or career



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