Tens of thousands of new toys for 2016 made their debut at the Toy Industry Association’s (TIA) Fall Toy Preview held last week in Dallas. Industry analysts called the fall marketplace “more optimistic” than any show in the past several years, thanks to an abundance of creative and innovative toys that are sure to drive industry sales through next year’s holiday shopping season. 

“The toy product we saw for 2016 looked more creative and compelling than anything we have seen in years,” wrote Gerrick Johnson, analyst at BMO Capital Markets, in his Dallas Fall Toy Previewreport. “Toymakers seem more encouraged to take more risks with technology and creativity. We visited 15 showrooms and were encouraged by a good crop of creative new toys.”

Johnson said that better innovation, toyetic movies, new technology, low gas prices, and pushback by parents against digital are all having a positive impact on the U.S. toy industry, which is projected to grow 6.2 percent by year-end 2015, according to The NPD Group.

Held October 6 to 8, Fall Toy Preview 2015 grew in size and scope, welcoming a 12 percent spike in buyers, according to the TIA. Among the 770 buyers from nearly three dozen countries in attendance, a wide range of outlet types was represented, from drug stores and supermarkets to discount chains and specialty shops. Total attendance (excluding exhibiting companies) was 1,426 (up 8 percent year-to-date).

New and developing products lines were showcased by 370 companies (up 7 percent) in closed, open, or combination booths.

Fall Toy Preview 2016 will be held September 27 to 29 at the Dallas Market Center.