Events News

2023 U.S. Toy Season to Launch Aboard ‘ASTRA Toy Boat’ Cruise

ASTRA Logo Toy Fair Game and Kit Day

ASTRA has announced it will host a trade show cruise and play date Feb. 20-24, 2023. Move over Love Boat, ‘cause here comes the ASTRA Toy Boat! Details will be shared soon including itinerary and pricing. The Association is excited to share this first-of-its-kind opportunity with the specialty toy industry and hopes families will come aboard to amplify the fun and reinforce the community aspect of ASTRA.


“At our in-person board meeting this weekend at the conclusion of Toy Fest West in Las Vegas, our board of directors brainstormed about this innovative format for a winter toy trade show that will combine a focus on new products early in the year, order-writing, relationship-building, and lots of family fun,” said ASTRA President Sue Warfield.


The ASTRA board directed the staff and Warfield to immediately move forward a winter tradeshow titled the “ASTRA Toy Boat.” Further details will be announced soon. The board envisions elements of a traditional trade show with a playful twist and the ability to interact directly with its customers—kids and their families!


“We’ll share more details as we continue to work with our team and the cruise ship provider. Thinking about seeing our friends in such a friendly…and WARM setting, is just so exciting! It will be a very cost-effective way for our community to meet in person and see new products in February,” Warfield said.


When Toy Fair was canceled for February 2023, in response to its members flooding ASTRA staff with calls and emails ASTRA surveyed the toy industry (members and non-members) and received about 250 answers within a week. That’s a huge response by industry standards. The main takeaways were that the industry wants a February in-person show with a focus on new products early in the year. The ASTRA Toy Boat meets all these needs and combines it with the opportunity to make it a family vacation.


ASTRA will also continue to host its annual Marketplace & Academy with a full educational menu of seminars in June 2023. More details about the trade show cruise will be shared at the ASTRA Marketplace & Academy in Long Beach, CA June 12-15, 2022.


The upcoming ASTRA trade show in Long Beach, CA, June 12-15, is more important than ever for members. Booths are still open, but close to selling out, and the timing is perfect for specialty toy & gift retailers. Be sure to register today! For exhibit information, contact To learn more about the ASTRA show go to For organizations whose memberships may have lapsed or if they are unsure of their status, be sure to reach out now to make sure you are a member in good standing and to receive communications about ASTRA events. Dues are prorated if paid partway through the year.