The hottest new toys, games, and youth entertainment products will take over the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center this Saturday when the 117th Toy Fair New York kicks off in New York City.
Produced by The Toy Association, the four-day toy show will open Saturday, February 22, with a 9 a.m. ribbon-cutting ceremony and a parade of costumed characters. Shaquille O’Neal will cut the ribbon at Toy Fair’s opening ceremonies, alongside toy photographer Mitchel Wu. Immediately following, O’Neal will help unveil the latest Tonka toys at Basic Fun!’s booth. After the opening celebration, the show floor will welcome 25,000+ global play professionals to explore nearly eight football fields worth of products.
“New York City will once again become the meeting grounds for the global toy community as hundreds of thousands of brand-new playthings make their debut at Toy Fair, and tens of thousands of attendees gather to make deals, network, and catch up on the latest trends and hot topics throughout the show’s countless educational opportunities,” said Steve Pasierb, president & CEO of The Toy Association. “With another sold-out show about to begin, Toy Fair New York continues to grow on the global stage as the place to see the most ground-breaking toys, games, and youth entertainment products.”
Media coverage is already underway, with an estimated 1,000 members of the media expected to scout the show floor for the most innovative playthings, nostalgic toys, licensed products, and everything in between.
This year’s educational schedule ramps up with even more business-building seminars to guide all attendees on the latest information in youth trends, licensing, content creation, safety compliance, and more. Special after-hours networking events will also take place throughout Toy Fair week.
Pasierb added: “As the largest toy show in the Western Hemisphere, this is the international marketplace for professionals looking to tap into the $27 billion U.S. toy industry and see firsthand the creativity and innovation of our industry at work. Whether you are a manufacturer, retailer, licensor, inventor, or designer, if you are in the toy industry, you need to be in New York this week.”
A full schedule of events can be found below, at www.ToyFairNY.com, and through the free Toy Fair Mobile app available on iTunes or Google Play. Educational sessions are free to all Toy Fair registrants, apart from the Global Trade & Market Expansion track, which is free for Toy Association members; $99 for non-members and a Toy Association member-exclusive Sustainability Meeting.
TOY FAIR 2020 EDUCATIONAL SESSIONS HIGHLIGHTS
Under the guidance of the Creative Factor Advisory Board, Toy Fair has continued to enhance the Creative Factor series, tailored specifically for the toy inventor and designer community. From sessions that explore Voice-Activated Games to ones that help hone The Creative Habit and pose the question, ‘Is Sustainable Attainable?’, Toy Fair registrants are invited to participate in a full schedule of roundtables, presentations, workshops, and panels focused on helping the creative community thrive. Creative Factor sessions will take place over the course of the four days in the Creative Factor Theater (Hall 1D Lobby).
Toy Fair’s popular educational series, Licensing Content Connection, provides attendees with insight into the growing world of toy licensing, which accounts for approximately 30 percent of U.S. toy sales each year. Programming will include seminars such as Licensing 101, Scoring Big Toy Sales with Video Game IP, From Influencer to Licensed Brand: Navigating the Journey, Licensed Toys: 10 Ways to Succeed In A Changing Retail Landscape, and more. Sessions will take place on Saturday, Sunday, and Monday in Hall 1E, Rooms 1E09 & 1E11.
During the Global Trade & Market Expansion sessions, attendees will gain insights into key findings from Toy Association-commissioned research on Japan and the U.S. Presentations will include demographics, social, economic, and geographic trends; toy industry growth and product category demand; as well as trends in consumer behavior in each country. Japan session – Saturday, February 22, 11:30 a.m.; U.S. – Sunday, February 23, 11:30 a.m. (Hall 1E, Room 1E11).
In the interactive panel discussion Discover New Opportunities with STEM and STEAM, attendees will learn new information about innovative concepts and ideas that focus on what can be devised, designed, and manufactured to incorporate STEM/STEAM into toys and play in new and exciting ways. Both toy manufacturers and retailers will benefit from this session, which will feature experts from a cross-section of fields including toys, education, and STEAM. Sunday, February 22, 11 a.m. (Creative Factor Theater, Hall 1D Lobby).
Toy Fair attendees will get a glimpse at this year’s hottest toy and game trends from The Toy Association’s in-house trend experts during the annual Toy Trends Briefing. The team will present each trend and the latest developments in play with demos and product examples directly from the show floor. Highly recommended for media and buyers. Saturday, February 22, 1:30 p.m. (Hall 1E, Room 1E09)
The Toy Association’s Annual General Meeting is open to members and non-members and includes reports from the Toy Association president and chairman addressing key activities, accomplishments since the last meeting, and a look at the year ahead. A financial report summary will also be presented along with the election of new board members. Attendees will be treated to refreshments and have the opportunity to win prizes. Saturday, February 22, 4 p.m. (Creative Factor Stage)
The annual Toy Safety & Compliance Update will provide manufacturers, retailers, toy inventors, testing labs, and others within the toy industry with news and developments related to toy safety laws and regulations in the U.S. and abroad. The presentation will be delivered by Toy Association staff and government officials. Dana Baiocco, commissioner at the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), will deliver a keynote address. The session is open to all Toy Fair attendees. Monday, February 24, 9:30 a.m. (Hall 1E, Room 1E09).
SPECIAL EVENTS AND AFTER-HOURS ACTIVITIES
The Toy Foundation will presents the 20th annual Toy of the Year (TOTY) Awards the night before Toy Fair opens on Friday, February 21 at the Ziegfeld Ballroom in New York City. The networking gala will honor the top toys and games of the year and celebrate the inductees into the Toy Industry Hall of Fame – all while supporting the philanthropic work of The Toy Foundation.
Toy Fair’s Opening Ceremony will officially kick off the show at 9 a.m. on Saturday, February 22 with a lively parade of fan-favorite costumed characters, followed by a ribbon-cutting ceremony with Shaquille O’Neal and toy photographer Mitchel Wu.
The Toy Fair Opening Night Party at CAMP Hudson Yards invites Toy Association members to come together to celebrate a successful first day of Toy Fair at 6:30 p.m. on Saturday, February 22. Also held that evening, The Toy Association’s Young Professionals Network (YPN) will host its annual Toy Fair Networking Event, beginning at 6 p.m. This year’s event will bring guests together in the heart of Times Square for drinks, light bites, a live game show, and more live entertainment. The sixth annual Canada Night at Toy Fair, hosted by the Canadian Toy Association, will also start at 6 p.m. that evening at a local bar and grill, where guests can enter a drawing for some great Canadian-themed prizes.
On Sunday, February 23, Women in Toys, Licensing and Entertainment (WIT) will host its 16th Annual Wonder Women Awards, celebrating the industry’s leading women changemakers at Chelsea Piers, and ASTRA will host its Night in New York happy hour at a local restaurant.
Monday, February 24, Licensing International will host its Toy Fair Party and CHITAG will host its annual NYC Get-Together. Both events will be held at nearby bars and restaurants, beginning at 6 p.m.
On the final day of Toy Fair, Tuesday, February 25, The Toy Association will host the first-ever Student Congress Day, welcoming the next generation of playmakers to explore the show floor and partake in an innovation workshop. The Toy Foundation will close out the show with its annual Toy Bank Collection, beginning at 4 p.m. Exhibitors may donate product, which will be distributed to charities in the tri-state area that benefit children in need.
Registration is mandatory for access to Toy Fair 2020; verification of media and buyer credentials is required. Sign up on-site during show hours. Those who cannot attend the show can follow along on Twitter and Instagram (#TFNY) and visit the Toy Fair Online Press Room and The Toy Association’s Facebook page for up-to-the-minute show information.