ASTRA’s Marketplace & Academy, currently in progress in Anaheim, Calif., has posted a record number of attendees, according to the American Specialty Toy Retailing Association. While final counts will not be available until Marketplace & Academy is over, early indications are that this year’s crowd was 20 percent to 30 percent bigger than last year.

“Once again, independent toy retailers are showing that they are committed to learning, investing in new products, and finding the best deals in the industry,” says Kathleen McHugh, president of ASTRA. “Even in the midst of an extended economic downturn, ASTRA members continue to tend to the basics of their businesses. They work hard and they work smart, and taking full advantage of ASTRA’s Marketplace & Academy is part of that equation.”

Next year’s ASTRA Marketplace & Academy—its 20th—will be held during June in
Baltimore. Dates will be announced.