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Toy Fair 2012 Saw Attendance Increases Across Multiple Categories

The Toy Industry Association (TIA) has reported that nearly 27,000 industry professionals from more than 100 countries attended the 109th American International Toy Fair. TIA reports that Toy Fair 2012 welcomed increased attendance across nearly all categories, including a 3 percent increase in buyers, a 5 increase in international participants, a 14 percent increase in licensors, and a 23 percent increase in entertainment executives. Total attendance during the four-day show was 26,730, which was a 2 percent increase compared to last year.

The top five international countries identified with the highest attendance numbers at the show were Canada, the UK, Japan, Mexico, and Australia. Significant year-to-date increases in visitors came from Colombia (+33 percent), Japan (+17 percent), Australia (+13 percent), Mexico (+11 percent), Canada (+10 percent), and Panama (+200 percent). This year’s Toy Fair also boasted the largest exhibit area since 2000 with 366,489 net square feet of exhibit space, which held the 100,000-plus products on display.

Buyer delegations from Target, Toys “R” Us, and Walmart also saw increases of 39 percent, 24 percent, and 90 percent, respectively. The 110th American International Toy Fair will be held February 10-13, 2012 at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center in New York City.

This post was originally written by Elizabeth A. Reid and published by ToyBook.com. For more news, visit www.toybook.com, follow The Toy Book on Twitter, and like The Toy Book on Facebook. The Toy Book is a bimonthly trade magazine covering the toy industry, published by Adventure Publishing Group.

TIA Identifies Top Trends from Toy Fair 2012

After viewing tons of the 100,000-plus products that were on display during the 109th American International Toy Fair last week, the Toy Industry Association (TIA) found six new toy trends for this year. A presentation was made during a “Toy Trends Tea,” hosted by TIA.

The six top trends identified were: toys that work with smart devices and apps; toys that glow in the dark or light up; educational games and toys for infants, preschoolers, and children of all ages; toys that have multiple play patterns or customizable toys; higher-priced toys that pack a “wow” factor; and toys that teach music basics or allow older kids to emulate their favorite pop stars.

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PHOTOS: Toy Fair 2012, Told Through Our Editors’ Smartphones

American International Toy Fair, held in New York City at the Javits Center every February, is always a blast, and this year’s event did not disappoint. Below is only a snapshot of the interesting people, places, and things the editors of Adventure Publishing Group saw at the fair. So click away, and see you next year!

Tons of pictures after the jump!

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Dark Horse Deluxe Offers a Unique Take on the Good Luck Trolls

The Good Luck Troll was originally created in 1959 by Danish fisherman and woodcutter Thomas Dam. At various times since the early 1960s, Trolls have been a top-selling toy, building a seldom-achieved brand equity. Dam Things, which holds all rights to the works of Thomas Dam, is in the process of launching a complete slate of merchandise activities and products for the Good Luck Trolls. Dark Horse Comics has been granted the license for a collectibles program. The line will consist of 15 different trolls, some of which are rare, sold in mystery box assortments.

Dark Horse felt the Good Luck Troll would be a natural fit in the designer vinyl and specialty retail arena, and has created Trolls with unique variations of color and surface treatments. The product development was closely supervised by Dam Things and its brand manager Dannie Festa of Festa Entertainment, including a trip from Denmark to the West Coast prototyping facility to assess and approve the works in progress.

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Tips for Optimizing Exposure For Your Toy in Real Time at Toy Fair

Fifth in a series of posts on preparing for the annual trade event.

by Julie Livingston, director, business development and accounts, Child’s Play Communications

That crazy mix of anticipation, excitement, and adrenaline occurs each year for me, as I walk into the Javits Center on opening day of Toy Fair. There is so much to do in advance of the show, not to mention managing the intensity of the four-day event and post-show follow up.

If you have already reached out to the media and bloggers to schedule appointments to meet and give them a heads up on your new products, that’s a good thing. There is a chance that some reporters may spend times “walking the floor,” but with staff cutbacks at many media companies, their time is often limited. It is more likely for reporters to come to Toy Fair with predetermined ideas of what they want to see; they may also narrow their search for specific products that exemplify a particular toy trend (or trends) they are covering, such as tech or connected toys.

As a Toy Fair exhibitor, what is the best way to handle the media on site at the show? This is often the biggest challenge for exhibitors who are preoccupied with retailer meetings and managing a handful of product samples. This post includes tips and advice on how to work with the media that attend the event.

Scheduled Appointments

If you have preset appointments, tell your exhibit booth administrator and designate another colleague as a backup, in case you are unavailable. If your backup is someone unaccustomed to dealing with the press, provide an overview of the media outlet and leave any press materials for them, as well as your business card and mobile number. Given the hectic nature of Toy Fair, it is not unusual for appointments to show up early or late, which may throw a curve ball into your day. However you handle it, make sure the reporter is taken care of properly and professionally.

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Toy Fair NY to Feature Three-Meter Touch Screens of Exhibitor Information

This year’s American International Toy Fair, to be held in New York in a few weeks, will feature an interactive, digital wall called Fair Necessities. “Fair Necessities will be an interactive gateway to all things Toy Fair,” said Kimberly Carcone, senior director of trade show and event marketing at TIA, in a press release. “With the tap of a finger, multiple users will be able to simultaneously access floor plans, event schedules, exhibitor listings, photos, videos and news clips, apps, and more on the huge three-meter touch screens.” The LCD multi-touch display screen was designed by European IT firm Uma, and will be located in the main concourse of the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center during the four days of the show.

For more information of Toy Fair, visit www.ToyFairNY.com.

This post was originally written by Elizabeth A. Reid and published by ToyBook.com. For more news, visit www.toybook.com, follow The Toy Book on Twitter, and like The Toy Book on Facebook. The Toy Book is a bimonthly trade magazine covering the toy industry, published by Adventure Publishing Group.