Attendance Ascends

Toy Fair

Saturday, February 18 through Tuesday, February 21, 2017
The Jacob Javits Convention Center in Manhattan

Show Hours:
Saturday through Monday, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Tuesday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.


 

In 2016, more than 30,600 toy professionals from around the world attended Toy Fair in New York – 16 percent more than the year before. If early registration numbers for this year’s event are any indication, the biggest toy trade show in the Western Hemisphere may become even bigger.

TIA reports that more than 7,000 industry professionals registered for Toy Fair through December 15, an increase of 12 percent year over year. Among them were buyers from 70 different countries. “International interest in the marketplace continues to grow,” noted Marian Bossard, TIA’s senior vice president of global market events. “Excluding the U.S. and Canada, the top five countries with the most registered attendees as of December 15 were the U.K., Australia, Mexico, Hong Kong, and China.”

By December 23, exhibit space was almost sold out. “There are still a few booths open for sale, but we are very close to being completely sold out of space,” explains Bossard. “Exhibits will fill more than 432,000 net square feet, compared to 415,000 last year. We anticipate the most dynamic Toy Fair we’ve seen in years.”

As you know, Toy Fair provides a preview of hot new products from big companies like Hasbro, LEGO and Razor, but also marvelous treasures from small and innovative new vendors. Here’s what’s in store.

Upstairs and downstairs

Exhibits are presented on two floors. Level 3 hosts big companies like Hasbro, LEGO and Razor, plus Melissa & Doug in a 7,500-square-foot booth. Two product zones: Dolls & Soft Toys and Tech Toys are located on level 3.

 


DON’T MISS 

The edplay magazine booth 3201 near Carrera of America, Koplow Games and OWI on the very far right of the hall. Stop in to sign up for a free subscription and find out the finalists for our annual Fabulous Product Awards.


 

Level 1 features many smaller vendors, plus new startups who exhibit on 10 by 10-foot tables. The hall is organized into the following product zones.

• Action Figures
• Arts & Crafts
• Games & Puzzles
• Books & Music (including recordings and musical instruments)
• Educational
• Infant & Preschool
• Launch Pad (a distinctive show floor neighborhood created exclusively for new exhibitors)
• Modern Design (toys with a high-design aesthetic and attention to materials, creativity and authentic end-user engagement)
• Outdoor Play
• Models, Hobby & R/C
• PopStop (presenting toys influenced by artists, nostalgia, pop-culture music and design)

 


DON’T MISS
The American Specialty Toy Retailing Association (ASTRA) in booth 6415 on Level 1. Member retailers can pick up a list of members-only manufacturer specials, and sign up to attend ASTRA’s annual toy trade show, Marketplace & Academy, June 25 through 28 in Philadelphia.

ASTRA’s Hospitality Lounge in Hall 1E room 12 past the Food Court. It features racks for coat hanging, and coffee and water, compliments of TIA.

The Launch Pad at the very back of Level 1.


 

Looking, learning and laughing

In addition to viewing new products and spotting trends, Toy Fair attendees can take advantage of demonstrations, seminars and a wide variety of networking opportunities.

On Friday evening, February 17, before the exhibits open the next day at Javits, Toy Fair kicks off with the Toy of the Year Awards Gala at the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum. One hundred finalists – culled from a field of 700 nominees by an esteemed panel of 25 judges – have been vying for the awards since November.

To come up with the finalists, toy and play experts, retailers, academics and journalists ranked each product in specific categories relevant to the judges’ areas of expertise. The process was more rigorous and transparent than it had been in the past, says TIA. The judges used creativity, originality and innovation, design and promotion, excellence, and marketplace acceptance as their criteria.

After the finalists were announced on November 21, mass and specialty toy retailers, media, TIA members, and consumers were invited to cast their vote online at toyawards.org. Voting was scheduled to close on January 15.

Winners will be presented in 14 categories, plus Toy of the Year and People’s Choice.

• Action Figure of the Year
• Active/Outdoor TOTY
• Activity TOTY
• Collectible TOTY
• Construction TOTY
• Doll of the Year
• Game of the Year
• Infant/Preschool TOTY
• Innovative TOTY
• License of the Year
• Rookie of the Year
• Specialty TOTY
• Tech TOTY
• Vehicle of the Year
The gala will also honor three men being inducted into the Toy Industry Hall of Fame: Peter Eio, former president of LEGO Systems; the late Ray Larsen, founder of RLA Marketing; and the late Sydney Rosen, former owner of Rose-Art, Cra-Z-Art. They join an impressive roster of 71 toy industry luminaries who have been honored since the hall was established in 1984.
A variety of demonstrations and seminars will be held on Sunday, February 19 and Monday, February 20 on topics ranging from licensing trends and global expansion to safety compliance and technology for toy inventors. For specific topics, times and locations, visit “Knowledge Network” at toyfairny.com.

 


DON’T MISS
ASTRA’s Exclusively Yours reception, 5:30 to 7 p.m., on Saturday, February 18 to see products available only to ASTRA members
(Hall 1E Room 6)


 

On Sunday, February 19
• TIA’s Toy Trends Briefing from 4 to 5 p.m. (Hall 1E)
• ASTRA’s Night in New York party, 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. at Naples 45,
200 Park Avenue at East 45th Street. Purchase tickets at
astratoy.org/events/toy-fair.

On Monday, February 20
• ASTRA’s Share the Fair, from 8 to 9:30 a.m. A discussion of favorite finds on the show floor for retailers only (Hall 1E Room 11)
• TIA’s Annual General Meeting from 8 to 9 a.m. (Hall 1E)
• Licensing Trends, 3:30 to 4:30 p.m. (Hall 1E)


 

What you won’t see – Play Fair

The first-ever Play Fair was held last year at the Javits Center on February 13 and 14 during Toy Fair. It completely sold out with more than 20,000 attendees. The experience-rich event for children, parents, families, and teenage and adult toy fans featured hands-on exhibits, costumed characters and never-before-seen exclusive products. LEGO, Swurfer, Nickelodeon, Toys“R”Us, Hasbro, Mattel, Crayola, Cartoon Network, Moose Toys, Marvel and DC Comics were among dozens of toy and entertainment brands there.

In 2017, Play Fair will be held November 4 and 5 at the Javits Center. “It will more than double in size – with new activities, bigger features, and many, many more ways to play!” according to playfairny.com.

An industry preview will take place on November 3. Play Fair is presented by TIA and boutique event company LeftField Media.

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