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.

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.

Second Kids India to Kick Off with 40 Percent More Exhibitors

kids india 2014The second annual Kids India will kick off on September 18 with 40 percent more exhibitors than last year. The Indian trade fair will be held at the Bombay Convention & Exhibition Center, with a total of 153 exhibitors from 13 countries. The trade show organizer Spielwarenmesse eG has increased the exhibition area to 8,700 square meters, 1,500 square meters more than last year.

Kids India represents the international platform of the Indian toy industry. In addition to toys, Indian and international exhibitors will be presenting baby products, licenses, sport, leisure, and hobby. At its premiere last year, more than 100 exhibitors and over 5,200 visitors attended the trade show in Mumbai. The show offers participants free workshops and seminars, including national and international speakers discussing current issues and trends in the toy industry. [Read more...]

American International Toy Fair to Host Digital Kids Conference

DKConnThe 9th Annual Digital Kids Conference will co-locate with the American International Toy Fair in February at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center in New York City. The Digital Kids Conference will take place on February 16 to 17 and will address new strategies, valuable tools, and marketplace insight that will help youth-focused media professionals to create best-selling digital toys, games, and media services for kids. In addition, the pre-conference Learning Summit, scheduled for February 15, will explore the changing innovations occurring in learning technology, with a focus on consumer and curriculum based learning products and services.

All Toy Fair attendees will have access to the conference and Learning Summit and Toy Industry Association members will receive reduced rates to attend the sessions. Digital Kids Conference attendees will have access to the Toy Fair show floor and be among the first to view the new toys and games on display.

COMMENTARY: Endangered Species Toys Can Help Raise Environmental Awareness

CuipoGund

Endangered species stuffed animals, from Gund and Cuipo

Animal-themed toys are nothing new, but in recent months, I’ve been noticing a focus on endangered species. Shortly after Toy Fair 2014, BeginAgain released its Balance Boat: Endangered Animal Edition, a stacking toy featuring rubberwood versions of the panda, rhinoceros, tortoise, and more. Meanwhile, Green Tones by Hohner put out Endangered Animal Shakers, beautifully carved rubberwood musical toys that depict an owl, leopard, and turtle.

And on the plush front, Wild Republic has added vulnerable species such as the Siberian Tiger to its Cuddlekins line. Last but not least, Gund and Cuipo have collaborated on stuffed animals based on the endangered sun bear, emperor monkey, and three-toed sloth, among others. [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...]

U.S. Companies Look to Overseas Markets for Growth

Since the domestic market is flat, American toy companies are increasingly becoming interested in exporting, says Carter Keithley, TIA President, who also informs about the New York Toy Fair, the importance of licensing for the toy business, the trends in the U.S. marketplace, and the Association’s activities.

by Daniele Caroli, editor, Giochi & Giocattoli

In order to be updated on the U.S. toy market and on the Toy Industry Association’s activities and events, I met Carter Keithley, president, at the International Toy Fair in Nuremberg, just a few days before the opening of the New York American International Toy Fair, which is managed by the TIA. [Read more...]

Kids Preferred Brings Celebrated Folk Legend Peter Yarrow to Toy Fair 2013

Kids Preferred, one of the leading U.S. children’s toy and gift manufacturers, is proud to announce that legendary folk singer Peter Yarrow will return to their booth (No. 2167) at the American International Toy Fair, located at the Jacob K. Javitz Center in New York City from 4:30 p.m. to 6 p.m. on Monday, February 11. Attendees of the trade show and members of the press will have the opportunity to meet Yarrow, hear him sing some timeless classics, and have him sign the hardcover illustrated children’s book he co-wrote based on the iconic dragon made famous by Peter, Paul, and Mary. [Read more...]

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!

 

Use Twitter to Amplify Toy Fair Messaging

By Julie Livingston, Director of Business Development & Accounts,Child’s Play Communications; former Senior Director of Public Relations, Toy Industry Association

Want your toy or plaything to pop up more in online search? You’ve got to feed the social media engine! By regularly posting information on the leading social media platforms with relevant, ongoing messages and links, the more your company or brand will pop up in online search. This is also a primary means of putting your brand or products on the radar of the legions of reporters who use social media to do their pre-show fact-finding.

As there are a variety of social platforms to choose from, there is no “one size fits all” solution. You don’t have to be everywhere. Focus your efforts on one or several platforms that are well suited to your product, where you can shine. Consider the content itself—who will plan an editorial calendar, create the content, post it, and manage responses? This is critical because members of the press will expect to get expedient responses to their requests.   [Read more...]