NEW YORK, Feb. 26, 2019 /PRNewswire/ — The global toy and play community came together in New York City for The Toy Association’s 116th North American International Toy Fair. In all, more than 26,000 professionals from 98 countries attended the largest toy trade show in the Western Hemisphere, where they got a sneak peek at hundreds of thousands of ground-breaking and creative toys and games spread out across 447,300 net square feet of exhibit space. The show hosted the equivalent of nearly eight football fields filled with toys during its four-day run from February 16, to Tuesday, February 19, at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center.
“Buyers from around the world, and toy, play, and licensing professionals came to unleash their outer business executive and inner child at this year’s Toy Fair New York!” said Steve Pasierb, president & CEO of The Toy Association. “With a sold-out, energetic show, every square inch of the Javits Center was used for order-writing, networking, trend-spotting, professional development opportunities, in-booth demos and reveals, and much more. Toy Fair New York is the gateway to toy aisles this holiday season, and drives the $28 billion U.S. toy market and influences markets around the world.”
From veteran brands to first-time exhibitors in the “Launch Pad” section of the show, Toy Fair’s 1,038 exhibiting companies unveiled new product lines and showcased key drivers in front of 8,300+ mass and specialty buyers, including delegations from more than 3,000 unique retail outlets and 22 of the nation’s top 25 toy sellers, such as Amazon.com, Walmart, Target, Kohl’s, Costco, Best Buy, Walgreens, Disney Store, A.C. Moore, and Michaels Stores. In addition, licensing executives from NBCUniversal Brand Development, Netflix, Nickelodeon Consumer Products, Marvel Entertainment, Sesame Workshop, Sony Pictures, Warner Bros. Consumer Products, and others were also on-site to scout the hottest trends and forge licensing agreements with toymakers.
Overall, more than 10,600 retailers, wholesalers, entertainment executives, importers, and buying groups attended Toy Fair. The top five countries represented at the show, not including the U.S. and Canada, were China, the United Kingdom, Hong Kong, Mexico, and Japan.
In addition, Toy Fair New York welcomed nearly 1,000 print journalists, broadcast reporters, YouTube influencers, and bloggers to report on the top toy-trends of 2019 – including Unboxing 2.0, Compound Crazy, Throwback Toys, Foodie Fun, Inspirational and Aspirational Play, and Explosive Entertainment. Top-tier media outlets represented at Toy Fair included ABC News, Bloomberg, CNBC, NBC, NPR, CBS, FOX, Good Morning America, Yahoo! News, The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, Newsweek, New York Post, HuffPost, Associated Press, Forbes, Good Housekeeping, Inc.com, Parents Magazine, Wirecutter, and influencers Stephen Sharer, Ninja Kidz, and ThatYouTub3Family, among others. Beyond the walls of the Javits Center, the social media world was also buzzing with Toy Fair news. On opening day, Toy Fair was a trending topic on Twitter. Over the course of the show, #TFNY had 191 million impressions, and was used in more than 97,000 posts across social media.
In addition to deal making, participants enjoyed more than 30 educational sessions, covering global safety standards, new toy trends, licensing, global trade and market expansion, and more. In addition, thousands of Toy Fair registrants participated in roundtables, presentations, and workshops focused on helping the creative community succeed through an expanded Creative Factor educational series, guided by a Creative Factor Advisory Board.
“More than ever, Toy Fair New York is a must-stop destination for global play professionals who consider it the place to find the most cutting-edge toys, games, and youth entertainment products coming to market,” added Marian Bossard, executive vice president of global market events at The Toy Association. “We are extremely proud of the platform we have built for buyers, sellers, and in fact, the entire toy industry ecosystem, to come together, forge new connections, and learn actionable insights on how they can grow their businesses, both here in the U.S. and across the world.”
The elements were echoed in the positive experiences by Toy Fair exhibitors and buyers.
“We are still buzzing from all the excitement at the show. During Toy Fair, we had many appointments with buyers from some of the largest national retail stores in the world – many of whom noticed how much Far Out Toys has grown in just 12 months,” said Kristina Brimer, manager, Far Out Toys Inc. “It was such a fantastic show for us as many new doors were opened and we like to think that some important relationships have been solidified.”
“Toy Fair helped us connect with our retailer base and introduce our new product line to them. “The show is a great way to jumpstart the year when trying to get a new product into the market,” said Carter Malcolm, owner, Constructive Eating.
“The Toy Association executed another amazing Toy Fair this year,” said Christopher Sutton, category merchant, toys, Family Dollar. “It was once again the destination to meet with top vendors, view the hottest trends, and get introduced to new entrants to the market. This year in particular, it was fascinating to see the presence of so many new social media influencers on the floor.”
Josh Belt, direct merchandising manager, JOANN Stores, said: “The toy industry is alive and well. We are excited to bring in the latest trends to inspire kids to learn and create. There was definitely excitement in the building!”
The global toy industry will come together once again next year at the 117th North American International Toy Fair, taking place one week later from Saturday, February 22 to Tuesday, February 25 at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center. Save the date for Toy Fair Dallas, The Toy Association’s long-lead marketplace, taking place October 2 to 4, 2019 in Dallas, TX.