Toy Fair Named One of New York’s Top Events

From advertising and technology to fashion, entertainment, sports, and more, the event planning news site BizBash has curated its 2014 list of New York’s Top 100 Events—and has named American International Toy Fair to this exclusive list. To choose and rank the Top 100 list, BizBash considers several factors including economic impact, buzz, innovation, and the event’s prominence within the communities it intends to serve. The largest toy trade show in the Western Hemisphere, Toy Fair takes place each February at the Jacob Javits Center in New York City.

Toy Fair and the rest of New York’s Top 100 Events 2014 can be found at www.bizbash.com/top-100.

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.

Grammy-Winner Alicia Keys to Cut Ribbon, Unveil New App at Toy Fair Opening Ceremony

Feb14.AliciaKeysAs first reported by the Toy Industry Association (TIA), Grammy-winner Alicia Keys, co-creator of the interactive children’s app The Journals of Mama Mae & LeeLee from Bento Box Interactive (BBI) and AK Worldwide Inc. (AKW), will help cut the ribbon at the American International Toy Fair’s opening ceremony, scheduled for Sunday, February 16 at 10 a.m. Immediately afterward, Keys will hold a press conference moderated by Marian Bossard, TIA’s vice president of meetings and events.

The press conference will include a question and answer session and introduce the new interactive storytelling app Mookey, the latest extension of The Journals of Mama Mae & LeeLee, suitable for kids ages 4 and up. Other participants in the press conference include Scott Greenberg, BBI co-founder and CEO, and Makeda Mays Green, educational adviser for BBI/AKW.

The ribbon-cutting will officially kick off the largest toy show ever held in North America, with more than 30,000 anticipated attendees from 100 countries, and hundreds of thousands of toys and games across a record-breaking 411,500-plus square feet of exhibit space.

The 111th American International Toy Fair will take place on February 16 to 19 at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center in New York. After-hours and networking events during Toy Fair week include the 14th annual TOTY (Toy of the Year) Awards on February 15 at the Grand Hyatt Hotel in New York City.

Women in Toys Collaborates with Walmart at Toy Fair 2014

WIT.WalmartWomen in Toys (WIT) and Walmart will once again collaborate to help women-owned businesses pitch children’s products and brands to Walmart buyers at the 111th annual American International Toy Fair in New York City in February.

Scheduled for February 18, the Second Annual WIT-Walmart Women’s Global Economic Empowerment Initiative will kick off with a morning panel discussion featuring Raquel Taylor and Kelly Deimel of Bobo Buddy. Immediately following the panel presentation, by-appointment-only pitch meetings between women-owned toy companies and Walmart buyers will take place in Room 1C01 at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center.

Companies that would like to apply for Walmart pitch meetings must complete the online application form by December 30. Accepted applicants will be notified by February 1. More information is available through Patti Becker at PBecker@BeckerAssoc.com or at (203) 321-6813.

UPDATE: Women in Toys says it has “received an anonymous offer from a mentor who has promised to consider an investment in a company whose products are accepted by Walmart.”

Toy Fair 2014 to Be Biggest U.S. Toy Fair Yet

The American International Toy Fair in February is expected to be the largest toy trade show ever held in North America. Though registration has been open for just a few weeks, the Toy Industry Association (TIA) reports that the show has already surpassed a record-breaking 400,000 net square feet of exhibit space at New York City’s Jacob K. Javits Convention Center.

The 2013 event—which hosted the largest exhibit area since 2000—covered just over 366,000 net square feet at the Javits Center. As of press time, total registration for the 2014 American International Toy Fair is up 10 percent over the same period last year, while buyer registration is up 6 percent year-to-date, and international buyer attendance has surged 18 percent over last year’s point-in-time figures.

Approximately 30,000 visitors are expected to attend, exploring products on display by more than 1,000 exhibiting toy companies.

Ubisoft Will Feature Watch Dogs at New York Comic Con

Ubisoft.logoUbisoft’s lineup for New York Comic Con will feature the companion app for Watch Dogs, the company’s upcoming open-world action-adventure video game, and its The Next Level competition. Attendees can check out the company’s booths between October 10 and 13 at the Javits Center in New York City.

At the Watch Dogs theater, the adversarial mode of the app Watch Dogs—ctOS Mobile, will be highlighting ways in which players can invade each others’ games within the world of Watch Dogs. Players take on the role of Aiden Pierce, a vigilante who, with the help of his smartphone, can hack into Chicago’s central operating system and control almost every element of the city.

The Next Level puts attendees’ gaming skills to the test in head-to-head competitions. Gamers will try their hand at popular Ubisoft titles, including Assassin’s Creed IV Black Flag, Just Dance 2014, and The Mighty Quest for Epic Loot, before facing-off in a mystery title for the final round. Each day, the winner of The Next Level competition walks away with a package that includes a gaming PC, a next-generation console with pre-ordered hardware, and tickets to PAX East 2014.

LEGO Systems Unveils 250 New Building Sets

LEGO Systems Inc., makers of the world’s leading construction toys, unveiled its largest collection of build-and-play toys ever–250 new products–at the American International Toy Fair. With new products launching throughout the year, children of all ages and interests will find a LEGO building set or theme to spark their building creativity, inspire storytelling and role play, or keep them engaged in imaginative play for hours. New items were on display in Booth 1351 in Hall 3B of the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center from February 10 to 13.

Products were added to the LEGO Duplo, Classic LEGO, LEGO Mindstorms, LEGO City, LEGO Friends, and Legends of Chima lines to name a few.

For more information, visit www.lego.com.

Hasbro Prepares to Unveil Iron Man 3 Line

Hasbro, Inc.,  has expanded its Marvel Iron Man 3 line with the Iron Assemblers 3.75-inch action figure assortment. Each figure features an Interchangeable Armor System, allowing one figure to create more than 25 armor combinations and allowing armor to be switched out between the 16 available figures in the line to create hundreds of additional combinations. The assortment is suitable for kids ages 4 and up, and action figures are available in six varieties.

Hasbro will release additional details about the Iron Man 3 line as the American International Toy Fair nears. The fair will begin on Sunday, February 11 at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center in New York City.

Check out the Iron Assemblers below!

 

TIA Shares Content Connection Session Details

Courtesy of Toy Industry Association

The Toy Industry Association (TIA) has announced session and speaker details for Content Connection, an educational program scheduled to take place during the first two days of the 110th American International Toy Fair.

Geared toward the growing numbers of licensors, brand owners, and entertainment executives that annually flock to Toy Fair, Content Connection will take place February 10 to 11 at New York City’s Jacob K. Javits Convention Center. [Read more...]

TIA Annual Business Meeting to be Held at Toy Fair

Courtesy of Toy Industry Association

In a letter to members issued this week, the Toy Industry Association (TIA) announced that its Annual Business Meeting will convene at 8 a.m. on February 12 in room 1E19 of the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center. Held in conjunction with the American International Toy Fair, the one-hour meeting will include reports of the chairman, president, and secretary/treasurer; the election of new Board members; and other such matters as may regularly be brought before the membership. [Read more...]