You could call it a ray of joy.

The Spyra Two water gun shoots liquids up to 15 meters away, the jet is smooth without splashing to the side, since the nozzle is technically more similar to those that also allow ornamental fountains to spray flawlessly.

And a battery-operated pump helps with refilling.

"It's the only water pistol that also sells well at Christmas," enthuses Florian Sieber, head of the Fürth toy manufacturer Simba-Dickie.

What he calls "the best water gun in the world" is not cheap, the basic version costs around 70 euros, the advanced version even 150 euros - plenty for spontaneous fun at the pool.

But Sieber is enthusiastic, because he has recently benefited from the water pistols.

The Simba Dickie Group, with products ranging from the Bobby Car to Steffi Love dolls, Smoby play kitchens and Eichhorn wooden trains, has become a shareholder in the Munich water gun start-up Spyra.

However, the water fights are likely to have remained one of the less joyful moments of the past year.

Shortly before the Nuremberg Toy Fair, the largest industry show in the world, reopens after a two-year Corona break, the mood is rather subdued.

Because the industry's conviction that the child is the last thing to save has been refuted to some extent by the inflation.

Simba-Dickie's turnover has shrunk from 754 million euros to almost 702 million euros, a drop of 7 percent.

The American Hasbro group with Monopoly board games and Transformers figures even reported a drop in sales of 9 percent to the equivalent of 5.4 billion euros.

In the Christmas quarter, Hasbro's business is said to have gone 17 percent worse, according to preliminary figures.

CEO Chris Cocks said costs must be substantially reduced.

The group announced that it would cut around 1,000 full-time jobs, which corresponds to 15 percent of the workforce.

The board of directors for Hasbro's operational business, Eric Nyman, is also leaving the group.

The market has shrunk

The difficulties are the same on both sides of the Atlantic – in Fürth, Germany, and at Hasbro's American headquarters.

The toy industry had had a strong year in 2021, in which it could have sold many more products if it had been able to deliver.

But supply chain bottlenecks, especially when transporting by shipping container from the Far East, stood in the way.

This shouldn't be repeated, so we ordered earlier to be prepared for the important Christmas business.

But because electricity, gas, petrol and groceries became more expensive, there was probably less left for gifts in families.

In Germany, the toy market shrank by 5 percent, in France and Great Britain it was 3 percent less, for the USA Hasbro spoke of economic headwinds.

The recent boom in board games also seems to have come to an end.

Because leisure activities were only possible to a limited extent during the corona pandemic, more was played at the table.

In 2022 families are swarming out more again.

Simba-Dickie also felt this elsewhere.