by JENNIFER LYNCH, content developer, The Toy Association

Shaquille O’Neal opened the show floor at the last in-person Toy Fair in 2020. | Source: The Toy Association

On the heels of The Toy Association’s successful 2023 Preview & 2022 Holiday Market in Dallas, the global play community is now setting its sights on the return of the industry’s most iconic show for more than 100 years: Toy Fair.

Taking place at the Javits Center in New York City from Sept. 30-Oct. 3, Toy Fair 2023 will offer businesses more ways to connect across the play ecosystem and more of the targeted business intelligence that attendees seek. 

General exhibitor sales opened in October and companies of all sizes — including Basic Fun!, Crayola, Jazwares, LEGO, Melissa & Doug, Moose Toys, PlayMonster, Spin Master, and more — have already committed to take advantage of the show’s new time frame to showcase both their priority 2023 holiday items and preview 2024 product.  

“Our Preview & Holiday Market in Dallas this fall really demonstrated the excitement that comes with a return to live events and set the stage for what is already gearing up to be an incredible Toy Fair,” says Kimberly Carcone, executive vice president of global market events, The Toy Association. “Toy Fair is growing right alongside the ever-changing landscape of retail and entertainment, and continuing to hold its spot at the epicenter of the toy and play industry. Show goers in 2023 will see firsthand the event’s dedication and attention to the many audiences it serves — creating new pathways for business-building connections and exposure to buyers and media.”  

Attendees can anticipate the return of the show’s seven football fields’ worth of product across every category of play, but those who walk the aisles will also be met with fewer walls and more opportunities. When thousands of members of the global press and play professionals from an estimated 100 countries hunt for the next hit toy at Toy Fair 2023, they will find a more welcoming floor plan as
part of the event’s reimagined experience. Launched to foster a more play- ful and hospitable environment, the show’s new visual merchandising initiative will require all exhibitors to make their product visible in at least 20% of their aisle-facing exhibit space.  

“Toy Fair is growing right alongside the ever-changing landscape of retail and entertainment and continuing to hold its spot at the epicenter of the toy and play industry.”

— Kimberly Carcone, The Toy Association

For exhibitors, this initiative encourages even more product engagement to attract and promote buyer interactions and to open the doors to new media opportunities during the Q4 selling season. Exhibitors who present outstanding exhibit displays will be rewarded for their achievements as part of Toy Fair’s first-ever exhibit design competition, the Reimagination Awards. A panel of media, trade show experts, and toy industry professionals will judge booths based on creativity, accessibility, effectiveness, and overall structure.   

Continuing its long tradition of offering world-class educational opportunities to all attendees, Toy Fair will debut its most robust educational program ever: Toy Fair University. Taking place over the course of the four-day show, the program is designed to encourage dialogue and drive solutions for all play professionals. The Toy Fair team is now accepting applications from professionals who would like to transform their research, ideas, case studies, and best practices into enriching sessions for show attendees.  

Toy Fair University applications are due Dec. 16. Accepted presenters will be notified by Feb. 28, 2023. To secure booth space at Toy Fair, companies may contact their account executive: Simon Yung for companies beginning with A-G (; Stacy Liebensohn for companies beginning with H-P (; Michael Lynch for companies beginning with Q-Z ( Visit to learn more.

This article was originally published in the 2022 Innovation & STEM issue of The Toy Book. Click here to read the full issue! Want to receive The Toy Book in print? Click here for subscription options!

About the author

Jennifer Lynch

Jennifer Lynch

Jennifer Lynch handles daily content for The Toy Association’s outgoing print and online communications. Her articles on toy trends, toy safety, and industry news can also be found across trade and consumer publications worldwide. As an official trendspotter for the Association, Lynch chats with toymakers throughout the year to track developments impacting the toy aisles and kids’ entertainment and has been interviewed on the latest toy trends by various outlets and publications.