Artiwood is finishing 2020 on a high, with not one but two wins in the Australia Toy Association’s (ATA) hottest toys for Christmas.
The company’s Tiny Tot 2 in 1 Classic Bike made it into the top 10 hottest toys for one to two year olds, while Kinderboard Natural was listed as one of the top toys for three to five year olds.
For Artiwood’s managing director customer service, sales and marketing, Andrew McGregor, these wins prove that if you have a great design you can beat the toughest competition.
“Most of the toys on these lists are high-profile licensed brands backed by major corporations,” he explains.
“Kinderfeets, by contrast, is a small entrepreneurial family business. These accolades are an incredible endorsement of its efforts. They prove that great design really can win against such tough competition. It’s also wonderful to see a hand-crafted, quality wooden toy capturing the public’s imagination as much as a plastic toy.”
Kinderfeets has been a longtime advocate of open-ended play. Its award-winning Kinderboard is a classic example of this philosophy in action. These sturdy beech wood boards keep energetic children engaged in creative play for hours.
The Tiny Tot has been available since 2015 and its sales are growing every year. It’s rapidly becoming the ‘must have’ first birthday gift for toddlers. It’s also becoming a popular baby shower gift. Kinderfeets expanded the range earlier this year with a new plus size model. This larger version has captured the attention of whole a new market segment. Indeed, the Plus range went viral over winter.
“It has been a struggle to keep up with demand ever since. However, our Christmas stock has finally begun arriving this week. Every retail channel will be fully stocked again by early December.”
The toy market has been incredibly buoyant this year, adds McGregor. Both online and physical retailers are reporting sales ahead of 2019. Artiwood’s sales are more than 70 per cent up on last year. This result would be even higher had the company been able to source inventory fast enough to meet demand.
“It’s clear that parents working from home are struggling to keep young children entertained. We also think discretionary income normally spent on overseas vacations and social outings is being used to bring joy in such a challenging year.
“We’re warning physical retailers to be prepared for a last-minute surge. Consumers are expected to turn their attention to brick and mortar store earlier than normal this year. Ongoing postal and courier delays will make people increasingly nervous about ordering online as Christmas draws closer. We’ve been working hard to ensure we’re ready for a surge. For example, this week alone, we have four times the volume of Kinderfeets stock arriving for Christmas compared to last year,” McGregor adds.
With 2020 drawing to a close, what can we expect from Artiwood in 2021?
“We’re currently in the final stages of fitting out our new Sydney showroom. Our official opening has been delayed while we wait for shelving components to be delivered. It seems that we’re not the only company struggling to keep popular lines in stock.
“Looking ahead to 2021, we have more staff hires planned and are launching hundreds of new products. This includes a new pastel-toned range from Bigjigs, a new play furniture offering from Tidlo and more titles from HEADU, our new educational brand. Kinderfeets has also launched a new range of bamboo nursery toys.”
You can check out Artiwood’s ranges including the Tiny Tot and Kinderboard at Reed Gift Fair next February at the ICC, which will be a first for the toy supplier.
“We’ll have samples of next year’s new products on display for the first time. We’ll also be inviting interstate visitors to drop by our new showroom as it’s located conveniently between Darling Harbour and the airport.
“Like everyone, we’re curious to see how this event will go. We’re encouraged by Reed Exhibition’s efforts to implement a comprehensive Covid safe plan. In our industry there’s also speculation that some retailers may treat the event as a de facto toy fair now that the ATA has cancelled its annual trade show in Melbourne,” McGregor adds.