The Australian Toy Association's annual toy fair provides exhibitors (importers, distributors, wholesalers and manufacturers) with the chance to showcase their products as well as network with existing and new clients from a broad range of industries including news agencies, post offices, department stores and independent retailers. This four day event saw thousands of industry buyers from all over Australia and the world descend on Melbourne for their first look at what exciting new toy, hobby, nursery and licensed giftware products are coming to our shores in 2016.
This year - and for the very first time - Rebelscum was at the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre (locally known as Jeff's Shed) on the banks of the Yarra River to cover the last show of the international toy fair circuit.
As the leading distributor of licensed entertainment toys and collectibles in Australia and New Zealand, Banter Toys & Collectibles services the specialty retailers with major US trading card brands and Japanese statuettes and novelty items - including Topps and Kotobukiya.
Introducing little Australians to fun, education and lifestyle experiences through interactive and entertaining environments, Child Smart has a number of wall decals - both big and small - that help create a fully immersive Star Wars
play and media room ambiance.
Originally from the UK - but now worldwide - ClicTime is the creative design and manufacturing team who have brought us LEGO Star Wars
watches and LED clocks for more than half a decade. While 2016 will be about concentrating on keeping their retail shelf space stocked with existing products, new The Force Awakens
watches and clocks are being discussed with LEGO at the moment but no firm information is at hand to be shared.
This distributor of pop culture and anime to the independant retailer in Australia, Geek/X are collectors who know - and love - their market. They enthusiastically look for the next trend, which is why their Star Wars
portfolio is a little different to their competitors. This year Geek/X will be highlighting 3DLightFX decorative anime wall lights and HeroCross hybrid metal plastic figurines.
As one of Australia's leading importers of toys, sporting and leisure equipment along with a range of licensed product, Hunter Products work with all the big-box retailers like Big W, Kmart, Woolworths, Target, David Jones, Myer, Toys 'R' Us, Coles, Toy World and Toy Kingdom to bring their Star Wars
range Down Under.
Independence Studios is a wholesaler of homewares, gifts and specialty toys in Australia and they have an exclusive distribution deal with Panadone, one of the UK's two official gift partners for The Force Awakens
. Their offerings include cups, glasses and tumblers, novelty desk items and a pair of very cool rain ponchos.
Licensing Essentials is an Australian-owned company who describe themselves as "the one stop specialist for licensed merchandise". Their Star Wars
line, licensed for Australia, covers character tumblers/glasses/cups, caps and beanies, watches, keychains, lunchboxes, cookie jars, canvas wall art and printed t-shirts. But most Australian of all is their BBQ paraphernalia which includes beer bottle (aka stubby) coolers, bottle openers, tongs, spatula, aprons and mits - so throw another Sith on the barbie!
Rubie's Deerfield, part of the Rubie's Costume Co, Inc, is Australia?s largest Halloween costume company featuring the greatest collection of licensed and traditional Halloween costumes, makeup, wigs and Halloween accessories. With a long Star Wars
history and a wide range of costumes that includes both Prequel and Original Trilogy, as well as Clone Wars and Expanded Universe, costumes Rubie's Deerfield will continue to bring their new The Force Awakens
collection to Australia in 2016.
Scholastic Australia has been bringing the best of children's Star Wars
publishing to children for since 1997 and is recognised one of the oldest Star Wars
licensees in the country. Their remit covers novelty books like the LEGO Star Wars
range, boxed sets and educational titles. As part of the greater Scholastic Inc. group they mostly bring in titles that are available the world over, however occasionally Scholastic Australia create their own exclusive sets like the LEGO Star Wars
Force Files (currently sold out but due to be restocked in April).
U. Games is a leading company that supplies high quality innovative and educational toys Australia. This year their Star Wars
focus is to bring the stylish Schylling tin toys range, which includes five beautifully lithographed character (Boba Fett, C-3PO, Stormtrooper, Darth Vader and Chewbacca) wind-up walkers and six dazzling character (Yoda, Boba Fett, C-3PO, Stormtrooper, Darth Vader and Chewbacca) kaleidescopes.
Ventura Games is one of Australia's premier distributor of family board and strategy games and jigsaw puzzles who have built a solid reputation amongst independant retailers in Australia. Their core Star Wars
focus is the X-wing and Armada miniature games in 2016.
Top Trumps is a staple children's card game in the UK and now Winning Moves - owners of the game - are working hard to launch it in Australia. On show was the unreleased and upcoming The Force Awakens
Top Trumps deck - each card contains a list of metricized data, and the aim of the game is to compare these values to try to trump and win your opponent's card. This is due out in May, and Winning Moves are pushing for it to be launched on May 4th as a special treat. Also being displayed was their new Top Trumps The Force Awakens
- Quiz With A Twist. This new trivia-cum-memory game is being developed right now and was exclusively revealed at this Melbourne event.