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Slot Car Industry News - Hornby Hobbies in profit, Toy Fairs & NSR


Hornby Hobbies moves into profit

2020 has been a testing year for everyone. News today from Hornby Hobbies - the parent company of Scalextric - suggests that there has been a silver lining for parts of the toy industry. In a BBC website article (here), Hornby report a 33% rise in sales across their brands in the six months to the end of September, climbing to £21.1m from £15.9m in the same period last year. Hornby Hobbies recorded a net profit of £200,000, turning around a £2.5m loss in 2019.

Chief Executive Lyndon Davies said,
Quote:We have observed hitherto successful and profitable companies worldwide crumbling under the pressure [of the pandemic], with losses, closures and tumbling share values.

Yet we have not only weathered this shattering storm, our sales have increased by 33% in the first half of 2020, moving Hornby back into profitability.

Davies admitted that the company started 2020 with "no idea" how they would weather the pandemic. Most of the staff have been working from home this year and there were many logistical problems getting products from the Far East. However, for the customer, it has seemed pretty much business as usual.

From the activity online - particularly on social media - it has seemed like there has been a surge of new people getting into slot cars - and many more returning. It is good to see cold, hard figures to show this has translated into increased sales for the manufacturers.

Although the 2021 Scalextric catalogue will be published - as usual - next January, it is unclear exactly how the media and retailers will get to see the new range. Rest assured, we'll have some in-depth coverage here on SlotRacer Online. You can see our 2020 unveiling here.

London Toy Fair cancelled

One impact of the pandemic is that trade fairs are being cancelled and postponed. Announced yesterday was the cancellation of the 2021 London Toy Fair...
Quote:We have been working closely with Olympia London and we have together taken the decision that despite all best efforts and endeavours by both parties, regrettably the Toy Fair 2021 is unable to take place.

This conclusion is due to government restrictions now in place on large scale indoor events in light of the Covid-19 pandemic.

The wellbeing of our exhibitors, visitors, staff and contractors is paramount and currently the risks are considered too great to allow the show to go ahead as dictated by the government regulations. We empathise with the industry’s disappointment - this is the first year that Toy Fair will not take place in 66 years.

We express our thanks to all exhibitors for their patience and understanding and for the support of the wider industry, and very much looking forward to a big return in 2022 from 25-27 January.

SlotRacer Online had some fun coverage from Olympia last year (see here) and hope to be back in 2022.

Spielwarenmesse postponed to summer 2021

Speilwarenmesse 2021 - the Nuremberg Toy Fair - has been moved from February to the summer and will take place between 20 and 24 July. The official announcement said...
Quote:For the first time in its long history, the world’s leading toy fair has been postponed to summer by organiser Spielwarenmesse eG. The decision was made taking in consideration rising infection rates and further restrictions on travel.

We hope to have SlotRacer Online coverage from Nuremberg next summer. You can find our 2020 thread here.

NSR closes after positive Covid test

A statement from NSR yesterday reminds us all of the reality of the Covid-19 pandemic. A member of their team tested positive and the company has had to close while the rest of the staff self-isolate and are tested. They hope to return next week.
Quote:We have to sadly inform you that due to Covid-19, NSR will stay closed for some days. A member of NSR is actually positive to Covid-19, and all of us is waiting for some days of quarantine and for results of the test.

Maybe we could come back on Monday 02/11, but it is just an approximate date. We will inform you as we will have some news.

Thank you so much for your collaboration, specially during these hard times.

We will do our best to come back as soon as possible and stronger than before. [Image: 1f4aa.png]

Keep safe[Image: 2757.png]

Our best wishes go out to everyone at NSR - and at all the slot car manufacturers, distributors and retailers who are keeping us thrilled and entertained during these difficult times.
[+] 6 members Like woodcote's post

My uncle has a children's toys shop in Manchester and it's been months since that store closed. He had opened a shop in the middle, but sales were very low because of Covid. Seriously this pandemic has affected all of us.

By the way, now he set up his online store because of my advice and affiliated with reecoupons store and now his sale is increasing.

It is certainly a very bleak time. Millions of people have lost their lives and much of the world's population will be waiting years to receive a vaccine. The economic impact around the world has also been huge - making existing problems and inequalities even worse. It can seem strange that we spend time discussing toy cars on this forum - and complaining about small things that don't really matter. But it's our way of taking refuge from everything else - we all have to find our own way through this.

Best wishes to you and your family.
[+] 2 members Like woodcote's post

An awful time for everyone but it has encouraged those who don't have hobbies to look around for something to do which has been good for slot racing and the hobby market in general. Pleased to hear that Hornby have managed to start to turn things around with a fairly modest profit but at least it is a promising step in the right direction and let's hope that continues.
 When we do eventually come out the other side of all this I hope it will have encouraged people to slow down just a little now and then and take a bit of time to enjoy hobbies.
[+] 2 members Like autoavia's post

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