by KRISTIN MORENCY GOLDMAN, senior communications specialist, The Toy Association
As the toy community embarks on a new year that is once again filled with challenges and opportunities, The Toy Association is committed to offering a mix of digital and physical events that will help toy companies grow their businesses and brands.
“Our key focus right now is to enable toymakers to bring their products to market, and to connect retailers with innovative toys and brands,” says Kimberly Carcone, vice president of market events at The Toy Association. “We are proud to share that we remain optimistic about the future of play, and keyed into what is possible by concentrating on our digital business offerings, bringing the industry back together for Toy Fair Dallas in October, and holding our next in-person Toy Fair New York in February 2022.”
The Toy Association successfully helped toy companies forge ahead in 2020 amid a lack of live events with its Toy Fair Everywhere digital market weeks, which attracted more than 3,000 buyers from more than 60 countries, proving the global potential of the platform for doing business despite travel restrictions and different time zones. As of this month, Toy Fair Everywhere will further establish its position as the toy industry’s first and only year-round platform, making new business opportunities possible for companies every single day.
Virtual private product preview events were also held in 2020, creating new avenues for nearly 400 toymakers to get their products on shelves at Target, Toys “R” Us Canada, Meijer, Target Plus, Family Dollar, Spencer’s, and Urban Outfitters. The Toy Association will continue to collaborate with additional prospective retailers throughout this year on these private preview events. The latest virtual event was with Claire’s on Feb. 4.
“These virtual offerings are not just ‘temporary fixes’ that will disappear when life returns to normal and in-person events resume. They are powerful tools on their own that will help companies in their mixed marketing efforts well beyond the pandemic,” Carcone says.
Looking ahead to October, plans for Toy Fair Dallas remain on course. In the absence of live events in the first and second quarters, the fall marketplace will become an even stronger magnet for the global toy community. And building on past success with the feedback and support of industry leaders, Toy Fair New York in February 2022 is sure to deliver what the industry wants, needs, and misses in the expanded Jacob K. Javits Convention Center, which will allow for new exhibitors, new educational offerings, exciting networking opportunities, and more.
In addition to its buyer-seller offerings, The Toy Association is also committed to supporting the pipeline that connects toy design students with the toy industry. Following the success of the inaugural Student Congress held last February, the goal is to serve more students and more toy businesses in 2021.
In the meantime, the toy community is encouraged to keep in touch with The Toy Association to stay in-the-know about Toy Fair Everywhere and upcoming private product preview events, in addition to opportunities related to trends and product promotions; The Genius of Play; safety, trade, and technical guidance; webinars and white papers; and more.
The Toy Association team is working around the clock to assist its members and bring value to all in the business of toys and play. Visit toyassociation.org or contact your account executive to learn more about Toy Fair Dallas, Toy Fair New York 2022, Toy Fair Everywhere, and other business and sales opportunities.
For more information, companies beginning with A–F and T–Z can contact Simon Young — firstname.lastname@example.org, and companies beginning with G-S can contact Stacy Liebensohn — email@example.com
This article was originally published in the February 2021 edition of the Toy Book. Click here to read the full issue!