Toy Fair 2015 Sells Out of Exhibit Space

ToyFair15LogoAs reported by the Toy Industry Association (TIA), exhibit space for the 112th North American International Toy Fair, scheduled for February 14 to 17, has officially sold out. The show has already surpassed a record-breaking 419,000 net square feet of exhibit space at New York City’s Jacob K. Javits Convention Center, and going forward, prospective Toy Fair exhibitors will be placed on a wait list (under no financial obligation).

The expanded show floor, equivalent in size to more than seven football fields, will feature hundreds of thousands of innovative new toys, games, and youth entertainment products. The North American International Toy Fair draws buyers, licensors, entertainment executives, and other play professionals from 100 countries, who will be on-hand scouting toy trends, spotting unique product lines and brands, and writing orders for next year.

Major global retail outlets already registered to attend include Toys “R” Us, Wal-Mart, Target, Amazon, Apple, and Hobby Lobby.

Painting Lulu to Launch at Toy Fair 2015

Copy.ProductshotofPaintingLuluPainting Lulu, a traditional coloring book that bridges the gap to the digital world, will officially launch in February at North American International Toy Fair, located at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center.

Kids color in the Painting Lulu Activity Book, and then with the help of their parents, scan the page using the free Painting Lulu app on a smart device. The coloring page instantly appears on the device, and kids can continue coloring where they left off using the Painting Lulu Digital Crayon.

With a tap of the Digital Crayon, which is designed with a smooth touch and thick grip to fit in a child’s hand, kids can easily re-touch, save, and print their creations. The one-click share feature also makes it easy for kids to share their artwork with their parents.

Each 32-page Painting Lulu colouring book is made with 100 percent recycled paper, and the brand’s 10 different characters–including Milky, the milk carton; Toby, the plastic water bottle; and Max, the broken calculator–are intended to teach children about recycling while they color.

In preparation for its Toy Fair launch, Painting Lulu has engaged ChizComm Ltd. to handle marketing and communications initiatives, and Perpetual Licensing to manage license acquisitions.

Toy Fair PR Bootcamp Webinar to be Held on December 11

Toy companies exhibiting at the North American International Toy Fair can participate in the Toy Industry Association (TIA)’s annual Toy Fair PR boot camp webinar, scheduled for December 11 from 2 to 3 p.m. ET.

The free webinar, entitled Tips for Developing Your TF’15 PR and Promotion Strategies, will review tools and techniques for attracting the attention of retail buyers and media outlets, such as The Wall Street Journal, The LA Times, Forbes, as well as trade magazines and bloggers that attend Toy Fair.

Webinar participants will learn how to develop a well-rounded media list; leverage social media to attract media attention; strategically present product, brands, and trend information to different media audiences; and more. The session will be presented by Adrienne Appell, TIA’s senior manager of public relations; Kimberly Carcone, TIA’s senior director of trade shows and event marketing; and Gina Espinosa from Virtual Press Office.

Registration for the webinar is now open and is free for all Toy Fair exhibitors. Questions may be submitted in advance to TIA’s Jackie Retzer at jretzer@toyassociation.org.

Buyer, Trade Guest Registration Open for North American International Toy Fair

Oct22.ToyFairBuyer and trade guest registration has opened for the 112th North American International Toy Fair, according to the Toy Industry Association. Toy Fair 2014 is scheduled to take place February 14 to 17 in New York City.

The event, formerly the American International Toy Fair, was recently re-named the North American International Toy Fair, as part of a new affiliation agreement between TIA and the Canadian Toy Association. CTA and TIA will have a single toy fair, rather than single marketplace events in the U.S. and Canada.

Last year’s Toy Fair had a record-breaking 414,060 net square feet of exhibition space and welcomed an 11 percent increase in international buyers, an 8 percent rise in exhibitors, and a 5 percent spike in attendees.

Lum Lums Circle of Friendship Sighting!

Lums Lums from Imperial ToyLum Lums‘ Valerina, from Imperial Toy, holds hands with her friends at the recent American International Toy Fair. Valerina and her fellow dolls encourage positive social play for girls. Their goal is a world of inclusion in which kids can experience the treasure of friendship.

Toy Fair 2014 Shows Increase in Attendees, Double-Digit Rise in International Visitors

Last week’s American International Toy Fair in New York City drew nearly 26,500 toy professionals from 94 countries, and boasted a record-breaking 414,060 net square feet of exhibit space. According to the Toy Industry Association (TIA), Toy Fair 2014 also welcomed an 11 percent surge in international buyers, an 8 percent rise in exhibitors, and a 5 percent spike in overall attendees, bringing the total attendance to 26,493.

There was an estimated 1,153 exhibiting manufacturers, distributors, importers, and sales agents, and nearly 10,000 buyers from more than 5,000 retail outlets, including delegations from Amazon, Target, and Toys “R” Us. Members of top press outlets including Associated Press, The Wall Street Journal, Huffington Post, and The New York Times scouted top toy trends.

Next year’s Toy Fair has been scheduled for February 14 to 17, and will once again take place at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center. Show information will be available in the coming months at www.ToyFairNY.com.

COMMENTARY: Plush With a Purpose

Last week at Toy Fair, I was incredibly moved and encouraged to see so many toy companies giving from their compassionate hearts. When I was younger, I wanted to write about cancer research or world hunger. This week, Toy Fair reminded me that the toy business is an incredible outlet to make a huge difference, and these toy makers are using the toy industry to teach kids the importance of giving, love, and compassion. I’ve fallen in love with a handful of toy makers who are using their platform to make a real difference. Toys may seem trivial, but aren’t kids the ones in whom we delegate our future? [Read more...]

COMMENTARY: Back to Basics: Sketch, Doodle, Paint, and Play

TF14Logo-cityDatesAfter Toy Fair 2013, the words “and there’s an app!” were ringing in my ears for weeks. This year, however, appcessories seemed more like a taboo than anything else, with most companies shying away from toys with app-enhanced features or reliability. Honestly, it was less than disappointing. I think keeping screen time and toy time separate is perfectly acceptable, and apparently, what kids and toy buyers prefer.

This year will truly mark a return to traditional play patterns. Rainbow Loom, a simple bracelet-making kit for kids, was huge in 2013, eventually snagging four Toy of the Year (TOTY) awards, including the overall Toy of the Year. That said, Toy Fair 2014 brought tons of cool innovations in the activities category, with companies fighting to be the next big thing once the Rainbow Loom craze comes to an end. [Read more...]

Power Rangers’ New Toy Line-Up from Bandai Revealed, Costume Licenses Renewed

Feb20.PowerRangersSuperMegaforceCoinciding with the February 15 launch of Saban BrandsPower Rangers Super Megaforce on Nickelodeon, Bandai unveiled the full toy line for the season at American International Toy Fair earlier this week. It includes show-accurate role play toys, action figures, and large-scale buildable robots.

Central to the new line are collectible Legendary Ranger Keys, which unlock the powers of all previous Power Rangers. A quick flip function morphs the figures into unique keys that can be inserted into multiple Super Megaforce toys to unlock special features and powers. There are over 60 different Ranger Keys to collect.

By using the Power Rangers Scanner app—available on both iOS and Android systems—on any smart phone or tablet, kids can scan any Ranger Key, morph themselves into that Power Ranger, and battle villains on-screen.

In other Power Rangers news, Saban Brands has renewed licenses with Disguise Inc., Rubie’s Costume Company, and Morphsuits, so each partner will continue producing character-inspired costumes through 2017.

There will also be a tournament, Morphin Madness, running from March 10 to April 7, in which fans can vote for their Power Rangers dream team. The bracket-style voting system rewards participants with coupons for Super Megaforce toys and a chance to win a 24K gold plated Deluxe Legendary Morpher and Legendary Ranger Key set of the fan-selected top five Rangers. Fans can vote at www.morphinmadness.com.

Yvolution Takes Kids Rides to the EXY Extreme

YVOLUTION EXY TRICKSTARTRAt this year’s American International Toy Fair, Yvolution is launching its new EXY Extreme Yvolution series. Offering kids a more extreme ride, the first two products in the line include the EXY Trickstartr, an entry-level stunt scooter with an innovative wheelie system, and the EXY Sharker, a three-wheeled skateboard made for urban street surfing.

The EXY Trickstartr is a stunt scooter for beginner riders who want to learn how to master basic tricks. It features a slick matte black/vibrant color design and comes with a special patent-pending device that allows riders to do a wheelie. Trickstartr also offers kids four ways to ride: 1) The Easy Way, 2) The Hard Way, 3) The Expert Way, and 4) The Pro Way. Once the stunt is mastered, the detachable device can be removed to improve speed and agility.

The EXY Sharker is a three-wheeled skateboard with a modern surfboard design. It is half-caster board and half-skateboard, with a front 360-degree caster wheel and traditional skateboard trucks in the back. Riders twist back and forth to get started, self-propel, carve, and pump. The quicker they pump the nose, the faster they’ll go. The Sharker also features a patented super strong ABS Tri-core grip deck and PU wheels with durable ABEC 7 bearings.

Both are suitable for kids ages 5 and up, available in green or purple, and for sale exclusively at Toys “R” Us stores and online.

Before hitting the skate park, kids can watch a series of EXY “learn to ride” videos online that help them get started with both the Trickstartr and Sharker.