This week, the world converges on New York City for the 110th American International Toy Fair, the annual event that is operated by the Toy Industry Association. This is the largest toy fair in the western hemisphere, they say, and will have over 1,000 manufacturers, distributors, importers, and sales agents exhibiting their toys, and an adoring public looking for the next big thing. Organizers estimate 150,000 toy-related products will be showcased to over 7,000 retail outlets from over 100 countries throughout the world. Whew.
The 110th show itself kicked off Sunday morning with a live performance from the star of Broadway’s Annie and a ribbon-cutting ceremony that also involved Pac Man and the Power Rangers.
“The American International Toy Fair is the world’s one-and-only gateway to all of the creativity, innovation and talent originating in the North American marketplace,” said Carter Keithley, TIA President. “From big-name toy companies and top-selling retailers, to exciting new start-ups and specialty stores, Toy Fair provides our foreign and domestic guests with exclusive access to every aspect of this great industry.”Toy Fair also offers educational seminars, networking events and other special activities for folks in the business of toys, including a Content Connection, a Digital Kids conference & safety summit, an annual toy safety presentation, and many more educational seminars.
The Toy Industry Association notes many trends for this year’s conference, including a preponderance of retro-inspired, nostalgic, and classic toys, DIY toys that encourage making stuff, toys that integrate both real and virtual worlds, physical games and toys for teens and tweens that encourage kids to (gasp) step away from virtual screens, and a continuation and enhancement of the current building toy craze.
Our very own Nick Veneris is at the Toy Fair this year, so stay tuned for even more on-the-spot news and reportage from the show floor! To view all of our pictures from the show, follow us on Pinterest.