Toy Fair features a full slate of vendors, seminars
Hundreds of thousands of inspiring, innovative, and skill-building toys and games will make their debut in New York City this weekend at the 114th North American International Toy Fair – the largest toy, game, and youth entertainment product marketplace in the Western Hemisphere.
Produced by the U.S. Toy Industry Association (TIA), Toy Fair will open its doors at the Javits Center at 8:55 a.m. Saturday, Feb. 18, with a ribbon-cutting ceremony. Immediately following, the show floor will open to an estimated 30,000 global play professionals — including 11,000 international buyers — who will explore the massive 443,000 net square feet of exhibit space bursting with brand-new playthings from more than 1,100 toy companies.
“For more than a century, New York Toy Fair has seen the launch of countless timeless treasures — from Barbie and Mr. Potato Head, to Tickle Me Elmo and Silly Putty — and has evolved into a powerful gateway to the $87.4 billion global toy market,” stated Steve Pasierb, TIA president & chief executive. “With more than 100 countries represented at the marketplace and the U.S. toy industry coming off a very strong year, we look forward to seeing the global toy community raise the bar on creativity, ingenuity, and fun at Toy Fair 2017!”
Toy Fair will unveil this year’s hottest trends in toys and celebrate their ability to transport kids to magical worlds through play. From skill-building creative toys, to adrenaline pumping active toys, to educational playthings for kids of all ages, Toy Fair will have something for everyone. Be sure to attend TIA’s annual Toy Trends Briefing, during which experts will announce the top trends of 2017. Held at 4 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 19, the seminar is free and open to media, buyers, and all Toy Fair attendees.
Additional educational sessions at Toy Fair will cover toy safety, retail strategies, global market expansion, licensing, entrepreneurship, and more. Special after-hours networking events will also take place throughout Toy Fair week. A full schedule of educational and networking events can be found below or at www.ToyFairNY.com.
Registration is mandatory for access to Toy Fair 2017; 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 TIA’s Facebook page for up-to-the-minute show information.
TOY FAIR 2017 EDUCATIONAL SESSIONS AND SPECIAL EVENTS
Specific details about all Toy Fair educational and networking opportunities can be found in the schedule below and at ToyFairNY.com.
EDUCATION AT TOY FAIR
TIA’s Licensing Content Connection
(with sessions on Saturday, Sunday, and Monday Feb. 18-20)
This popular educational series provides insight into the world of toy licensing – a market segment that accounts for more than 30% of all toys sold in the United States. The five-session program takes place over three days, and will include seminars such as “Licensing 101,” “How to Evaluate a License,” “Staying Ahead of the Curve,” “Positioning your Licensed Toys & Characters for the Preschool Market,” and “How Entertainment Media Licenses Help Drive Toy Sales.”
(with sessions Sunday and Monday Feb. 19-20)
Neighborhood toy store and specialty shop owners will find practical information in these free, expert-led sessions. “How to Harness the Genius of Play to Supercharge Your Specialty Toy Store Business” will explore how playful tools can help draw customers into a store and increase sales year-round. “Connecting Brands with Retail Toy Buyers in a Networked Economy” will share how modern toy buyers can discover new products and buyers 24/7/365.
TIA’s Toy Safety & Compliance Update
Monday, Feb. 20
TIA’s Toy Safety & Compliance Update will share important information that industry stakeholders need to know to bring safe and compliant toys to market. This free and always well-attended annual session will include 2017 priorities for the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, recent changes to the ASTM F963 toy safety standard, new regulations at the state, federal, and international levels, and news about EPA’s implementation of the reformed Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA).
TIA’s Global Market Research Sessions
with sessions Sunday and Monday, Feb. 19-20)
TIA will share commissioned global market research to help attendees expand their businesses. The first will focus on India, a rapidly expanding region for the toy industry, and the second session will focus on the U.S., the largest toy market in the world. The presentations will uncover each country’s business landscape, consumer demographics, and kids’ behavior, among other topics.
TIA’s Toy Trends Briefing
taking place on Sunday, Feb. 19
TIA’s popular trends session will be open and free to all Toy Fair attendees. The discussion will provide buyers, media, and other interested parties with an introduction to the year’s most exciting trends in toys and games. The presentation will include product demos and examples from the show floor.
(Sessions daily Saturday through Tuesday.)
Creative Factor offers free drop-in sessions relevant to inventors, designers, and entrepreneurs in the toy and youth entertainment industries. The program will feature a dozen experts who will share their knowledge about topics including new evolutions in 3D printing, taking play patterns into the digital space, sourcing in the 21st century, leveraging social media influencers, protecting your inventions, and more.
SPECIAL EVENTS AND AFTER-HOURS ACTIVITIES
The Toy of the Year (TOTY) Awards will occur the night before Toy Fair opens on Friday, Feb. 17 at The Intrepid 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.
Toy Fair’s Opening Ceremony will officially open the show at 8:55 a.m. on Saturday morning, February 18 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. Saturday, Feb. 18. Exclusively for registered international exhibitors, buyers, members of the media, and invited trade officials.
The Canadian Toy Association’s (CTA) Great Canadian Play Date will be held at 6 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 19. Guests will be required to show a Canadian passport for entry.
TIA’s Young Professionals Network Happy Hour will be held at 6:30 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 18 at Juniper Bar & Grill. All young industry professionals are encouraged to attend.
The Toy Industry Foundation will hold its annual Toy Bank Collection at the close of the show (4 p.m.) on Tuesday, Feb. 21. Exhibitors donate product, which is collected at the close of the show to benefit children in need across the tri-state area.