New York, NY | February 14, 2019 –The hottest new toys, games, and youth entertainment products will come to life this weekend when the 116th North American International Toy Fair – the largest toy trade show in the Western Hemisphere – opens its doors at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center in New York City.
Produced by The Toy Association, Toy Fair New York will open Saturday, February 16, with an 8:55 a.m. ribbon-cutting ceremony and a parade of costumed characters. Immediately following the celebration, the show floor will welcome 30,000+ global play professionals – including more than 7,000 international buyers – who will explore the massive 447,000 net square feet of exhibit space overflowing with brand-new playthings from more than 1,000 toy companies.
“New York City once again becomes the epicenter of the global toy community as tens of thousands of industry professionals come to experience Toy Fair. The show is filled with deal-making, networking, after hours events, and tons of enriching educational opportunities – all designed to help our guests grow their businesses and take home actionable knowledge,” said Steve Pasierb, president & CEO of The Toy Association. “With the show’s square footage sold out, Toy Fair ’19 is our largest market event ever and the place to see the most ground-breaking toys, games, and youth entertainment products.”
Pasierb added: “As the only toy show giving professionals direct access to the lucrative $28 billion U.S. toy industry, Toy Fair New York is an essential marketplace for manufacturers, retailers, licensors, inventors, designers, and a host of related businesses from around the world.”
Toy Fair will welcome about 1,000 members of the media who will scour the show floor for innovative playthings, retro toys, licensed products, and everything in between.
From business-building seminars to information on youth trends, licensing, safety compliance, entrepreneurship, and more, Toy Fair’s enhanced line-up of educational programming includes more than 30 sessions that will augment the show experience for global attendees. Special after-hours networking events will also take place throughout Toy Fair week.
A full schedule of events can be found below or at www.ToyFairNY.com and through the free Toy Fair mobile app on iTunes or Google Play. Educational sessions are free to all Toy Fair registrants, with the exception of Global Trade & Market Expansion, which is free for Toy Association members; $99 for non-members.
TOY FAIR 2019 EDUCATIONAL SESSIONS HIGHLIGHTS
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, Videogames - The Hottest Entertainment License for Toys, and Toying with Social Media: New Names in the Toy Space. Sessions will take place on Saturday, Sunday, and Monday in Hall 1E, Rooms 1E09 & 1E11.
Toy Fair show organizers, guided by a new Creative Factor Advisory Board, have enhanced the Creative Factor educational series specifically tailored to the toy inventor, designer, and artist community. From a Play Innovation Panel, to The Gig Economy of Toys, Toy Fair registrants are invited to participate in a full schedule of roundtables, presentations, workshops, and panels focused on helping the creative community succeed. Creative Factor sessions will take place throughout the four days in the Creative Factor Theater (Hall 1D Lobby).
The Smart Packaging Tool - What It Is and What It Does will demonstrate a new benefit for Toy Association members, which allows them to easily evaluate the environmental impact of their packaging designs, as well as to see how they stack up against those of other manufacturers of the same product category. The session is open to all Toy Fair attendees. Saturday, February 16, 3:30 p.m. (Hall 1E, Room 1E11).
During the Global Trade and Market Expansion sessions, attendees will gain insights into key findings from Toy Association-commissioned research on China and Brazil. Seminar 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. Sunday, February 17, 9:30 a.m. & 11:30 a.m. (Hall 1E, Room 1E11).
During the interactive panel discussion, What Makes a Toy a STEM/STEAM Toy?, attendees will learn the characteristics that make a toy a STEM/STEAM product. Both toy manufacturers and retailers will benefit from this session, which will feature experts from a cross-section of fields including toys, play, education, and STEAM. Sunday, February 17, 1:30 p.m. (Hall 1E, Room 1E09).
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. This session is always well attended and highly recommended for media and buyers. Sunday, February 17, 4 p.m. (Hall 1E, Room 1E09).
The Toy Association’s Annual General Meeting is open to members and non-members and will cover a variety of topics including reports from 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. Monday, February 18, 8 a.m. (Hall 1E, Room 1E09).
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. The session is open to all Toy Fair attendees. Monday, February 18, 9:30 a.m. (Hall 1E, Room 1E09).
ShopToys365.com for Retailers sessions will be held throughout the four days of the show to introduce retailers to ShopToys365.com, The Toy Association’s digital marketplace virtually connecting buyers and sellers. ShopToys365.com is free for all qualified, registered Toy Fair buyers.
SPECIAL EVENTS AND AFTER-HOURS ACTIVITIES
The Toy Foundation’s 19th annual Toy of the Year (TOTY) Awards will take place the night before Toy Fair opens on Friday, February 15 at the Ziegfeld Ballroom in New York City. The networking gala will honor the best toys and games of the year and celebrate the esteemed 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 open the show at 8:55 a.m. on Saturday morning, February 16 with a parade of best-loved, costumed characters accompanied by high-spirited live entertainment. Great photo opportunity.
Toy Fair’s International Welcome Reception will be held at 6 p.m. on Saturday, February 16. Exclusively for registered international exhibitors, buyers, members of the media, and invited trade officials. Also on Saturday evening, all Toy Fair attendees are invited to CAMP’s Toy Fair Opening Night Party at 6:30 p.m. to celebrate the creative minds, talent, and people of the toy industry. As well, The Toy Association’s Young Professionals Network (YPN) is hosting its Networking Event in a trendy virtual reality space in downtown Manhattan, where guests will enjoy drinks, light bites, a panel discussion, and live entertainment.
The Canadian Toy Association’s 5th annual Great Canadian Play Date will be held at 6 p.m. on Sunday, February 17. Guests will be required to show proof of a Canadian address for entry. Also on Sunday night, Women in Toys (WIT) is hosting its 15th Annual Wonder Women Awards at Chelsea Piers, and ASTRA is hosting a Night in New York happy hour at a local restaurant.
Finally, The Toy Foundation will hold its annual Toy Bank Collection at the close of the show (4 p.m.) on Tuesday, February 19. Exhibitors donate product, which is collected at the close of the show to benefit children in need.
Registration is mandatory for access to Toy Fair 2019; verification of media and buyer credentials is required. Sign up on-site during show hours. Those who can’t make it to the show can follow Toy Fair on Twitter (#TFNY) and visit the Toy Fair Online Press Room and The Toy Association’s Facebook page for up-to-the-minute show information.
ABOUT THE NORTH AMERICAN INTERNATIONAL TOY FAIR www.ToyFairNY.com
Toy Fair is an annual event that is produced by The Toy Association. The largest toy trade show in the Western Hemisphere, Toy Fair takes place each February at the Jacob K. Javits Center in New York City. The show brings together more than 1,000 exhibiting manufacturers, distributors, importers, and sales agents to showcase hundreds of thousands of toys and youth entertainment products to retail outlets and trade guests from 100 countries.
ABOUT THE TOY ASSOCIATION www.ToyAssociation.org
Founded in 1916, The Toy Association™, Inc. is the not-for-profit trade association representing all businesses involved in creating and delivering toys and youth entertainment products for kids of all ages. The Toy Association leads the health and growth of the U.S. toy industry, which has an annual U.S. economic impact of $110.9 billion, and its 1000+ members drive the annual $28 billion U.S. domestic toy market. The Toy Association serves as the industry’s voice on the developmental benefits of play, and promotes play’s positive impact on childhood development to consumers and media. The organization has a long history of leadership in toy safety, having helped develop the first comprehensive toy safety standard more than 40 years ago, and remains committed to working with medical experts, government, consumers, and industry on ongoing programs to ensure safe and fun play.