With 244 exhibitors showcasing tens of thousands of brand new toys to the UK’s toy industry elite, the 55th annual UK Toy Fair has been deemed a success.

The Toy Fair, organised by the British Toy & Hobby Association, took place from January 30 to February 2 at London’s ExCeL and provided the first British springboard of 2008 for hundreds of exclusive product launches. Exhibitors made for a busy press day with personal appearances from TV stars including BBC Top Gear’s Stig and ITV Dancing on Ice’s Suzanne Shaw.

Other highlights included James Bond’s Aston Martin DBS and a display of the celebrity-signed toys being auctioned off for the Toy Trust and Barnardo’s.

“The exhibition was full of innovative new toys and ideas which demonstrated the strength of the industry and show how it will continue to thrive,” said Kevin Jones, Chairman, British Toy & Hobby Association. “The Greenhouse Area at Toy Fair, which is dedicated to small and new companies, has been particularly successful, almost doubling in size in the last two years.”

“We were very pleased with the number of visitors to our stand and would regard the Toy Fair as a great success,” said Christine Nicholls of Golden Bear and Chairman of the Toy Fair Committee. “The BTHA thank all the exhibitors and visitors for making toy fair so enjoyable and we look forward to welcoming you back to the show in 2009.”

Toy Fair 2009 will take place from January 28 – 31 at ExCeL, London