"Only those who can adapt to changing circumstances will continue to exist on the market."

Pascal Adam, Managing Director of Legler OHG small foot company, on goals achieved, the special challenges of our time, and trends and themes for the upcoming 2023 toy business year.

Mr. Adam, the start of 2023 will be the first anniversary of your position as Managing Director of the Legler OHG small foot company. How did your first year go, and how would you describe your start to the new year?

My thanks really has to go out to the whole team; we've reached so many goals and company milestones together, both within individual departments as well as company-wide. Over the past year, we were confronted with new and bigger challenges which make the successes we've achieved that much more notable. With that in mind, I look back with some pride at a successful 2022.

Wooden toys from small foot sand for extraordinary playtime value now more than ever. That's confirmed on one hand by our customers and end customers in the form of valuable feedback, and on the other hand, more and more small foot products carry special quality seals, nominations, and awards given by independent experts. We're overjoyed that our Emergency Doctor's Backpack was able to win the 2022 ToyAward.

Beyond that, we were able to get other important balls rolling and have set significant goals for the future. Even though the forecasts for 2023 are somewhat cautious, we feel well-prepared and will start 2023 feeling highly motivated and optimistic.

Which goals have you set for 2023, and what would you like to achieve with your team?

A peek through the keyhole will give it away: we've definitely got things going on behind the scenes. It's not always easy to be self-critical, but it's necessary and paves the way for ongoing further development. In past interactions with our customers and business partners, we've determined that the coexistence of our trade brand Legler and the product brand small foot can be perplexing. We're taking this feedback to heart, and in light of the strong growth of our product brand awareness, we are transforming Legler into small foot. This will be seen for the first time at the 2023 Spielwarenmesse toy trade fair in Nuremberg where we will hopefully be able to meet up in person again.

Another aspect of this big step is our task to continue to strengthen the small foot brand domestically and in the European market together with our customers and partners. Wooden toys from small foot are moving in to more and more nurseries and children's rooms and accompanying young explorers everywhere from birth into preschool age. From playing to watching in amazement, from fun to learning – we're consistent in the pursuit of our top goal: to make children and families happy with unique, environmentally sustainable wooden toys. The small foot brand stands for extraordinary playtime value, and should therefore reflect high quality, modern design, and fair prices.

With the current rurbulence and war in Europe, possible renewed COVID restrictions, and worsening inflation, companies today are faced with all kinds of challenges. Is it sometimes difficult to stay optimistic?

Yes, of course – we're living in turbulent times, and we are now more than ever facing decisions for which the consequences are not always predictable. I'm firmly convinced that adaptability and flexibility are the keys to success. Only those who can adapt to changing circumstances will continue to exist on the market.

Aside from that, we can definitely affirm the industry-wide opinion that wooden toys fit our modern times better now than ever, and that playing is still trendy. We're also gathering experience in terms of how society is shifting its focus more and more towards quality – and that's anchored in small foot's brand essence. To that end, we're confident that our years of intensive development for unique, creative, and sophisticated wooden toys will continue to bear fruit in the coming years.

This question is basically a tradition at this point: In your view, which trends & themes will play an important role in the toy industry after 2023?

The business figures show that the majority of our new developments are directly in line with current expectations for playtime value, design, and price. That fills me with pride because our development process, which our Category Champions in particular go through with vigor, can sometimes be a long and protracted process, and it isn't always easy to see today which toys will be trendy tomorrow.

As we've recently seen, we've hit the bullseye again with our new "Discover" line: the Spielwarenmesse toy trade fair in Nuremberg presented a toy trend with the same name as our line – "Discover" – that we had a perfect fit for. With these exploration toys, kids can learn to explore and understand the world around them. Additionally, the popular "Discover" Explorer's Backpack is also available in other versions: The Emergency Doctor's Backpack, which is a 2022 ToyAward winner, and the Fire Brigade Backpack, which is a real hit in our assortment.

With the new "Seaside" line of baby products, we're significantly expanding our assortment in the area of products for kids under 1 year old. There are currently already three products on the market, two of which were almost immediately nominated for the "2023 Top10 Baby & Child" award. The Baby Swing is making a strong impression with its trendy colours of smoky blue and offers kids a calm place to relax and be comfortable, and the Stand-Up Toy in the form of a small otter is an absolute must-have and my personal recommendation for your assortment.

Play stores and play store accessories are characteristic of small foot; we've got lots of recent new product innovations for the successful "fresh" line, and we're sure that this segment is also going to grow strongly. With unique play kitchens and accessories that you can only get from small foot, we've got what young, aspiring top chefs need to let their creativity run freely.

The classics from the motor skills and learning category such as baby walkers or motor activity cubes are always bestsellers and are definitely part of our core business – and you can look forward to new developments in this area too.

Last but not least, we're happy to report growing sales in our outdoor toys segment, including toys such as the Mud Kitchen and the Wooden Horse (which just gained a compact partner version). And a large selection of small, child-friendly gardening tools is guaranteed to get people excited for spring and summer!