Events News

Toy Industry Veterans Come Together to Create the North East Toy Show (NETS)


Trade Show Ventures, run by Christine and Alan Blumberg, have partnered with industry veteran, Lea Culliton, former president of HABA and Chairman of the ABC Kids Expo, to create the North East Toy Show (NETS), designed to bring manufacturers, retailers, buyers and key accounts together in February, where there is a void in Northeast trade shows. NETS will run from February 11-February 13, 2024 in Springfield, Massachusetts.


“The trade show calendar has shifted dramatically over the last few years and, as an industry, we find ourselves lacking an East Coast show in the beginning of the year,” said Christine Blumberg, President, Tradeshow Ventures. “We are answering the requests of our specialty toy retailers and key accounts and giving them a convenient Northeastern location for all of their 2024 purchasing needs.”


NETS has tapped former HABA USA President and ABC Kids Expo Chairman, Lea Culliton, to come out of retirement and take the position of Executive Director for the show.


“February is a pivotal time for brands and buyers to meet and many don’t have the time or personnel to travel west. NETS will offer a simple solution and bring the industry together after being apart for so long,” said Lea Culliton, Director of NETS. “ Additionally, on a personal level, working on the show allows me to step back into an industry for which I have a great passion.”


“Having Lea Culliton at the helm of this show allows Christine and I to focus on RBG Sales, dedicating our time and efforts on our customers and vendors we represent”, said Alan Blumberg, Vice President of Trade Show Ventures.


Reaction to the show has been strong so far, with both brands and retailers encouraged by the fact that their requests were heard.


“This show is exactly what we need. Because the show is centrally located in the Northeastern region, we will be able to bring our staff, which will help us create a better shopping experience for our clientele.” said Brigitte Drew and Melissa Brilliant of Henry Bears Park, a 9 store specialty toy store chain based in Arlington, MA.


“Adding NETS to the calendar is a huge opportunity for those of us on the East Coast” said Tracy Jojokian, Vice President of Sales, Ravensburger. “The Northeast represents a large segment of the Specialty retail demographic and being able to have a show on the East Coast in February, as we have done for so many years in the past, will certainly make it easy and convenient for so many of our retailers. We at Ravensburger will be supporting this show based on the resounding requests from our customers in New England and the Mid-Atlantic”


Offering a new trade show for East Coast-based industry professionals, NETS will provide an affordable opportunity for retailers, buyers and key accounts to network and see the 2024 product lines from brands. Special events will include an Opening Night Super Bowl Party, Game Night, where retailers learn to play the new games, as well as other social events.


Registration will open this Spring. For more information visit: