Last week, The Toy Association’s Toy Fair Dallas opened its doors to thousands of toy industry professionals for a look into the product pipeline for the year ahead.

The annual long-lead event included buyers from Walmart, Amazon, and Target, in addition to representatives from other top toy retailers including BJ’s Wholesale, Dollar Tree, Hobby Lobby, Meijer, Michaels Stores, and Sam’s Club among others. Attendees received a fresh look at this year’s hot holiday products, along with an early peek at products arriving at retail in the fourth quarter of next year.

Outside of the usual showrooms and meetings, the new FutureCast Gallery presented attendees with the opportunity to see new products that might be outside the normal scope of the event.

“Because this is a heavily appointment-driven show, retailers would generally come to meet with the brands they’re currently buying from but that’s not the only reason why they’re here,” says gallery curator Steve Starobinsky, founder of Kid@Heart. “They’re also here to find that one item, that one brand, that’s going to make their year.”

Ten projected retail themes for next year were presented to attendees, including:

  • Animal of the Year;
  • The Olympic Effect;
  • Radical Sustainability;
  • Doctor, Lawyer, Engineer, Creative;
  • Beauty Videos and Make-Up;
  • Grandparent-Friendly;
  • The Spirit of Collaboration;
  • STEM;
  • Preschool Magic;
  • and Innovation on Wheels

“The FutureCast Gallery was created in response to the rapid changes happening at retail,” says Marian Bossard, The Toy Association’s executive vice president of global market events. “This list of themes and the presentation of products in line with those themes can be used as a resource for retailers as they continue to preview product and begin to set their 2020 plans in motion. Many took advantage of this new space during the show, and we’ve already received very positive feedback.”

Additional events included presentations and educational sessions from the Knowledge Network; an influencer breakfast; the opening night party, which benefited The Toy Foundation; The Toy Association’s Young Professionals Network (YPN) Mixer + Art Gallery; as well as The Toy Foundation’s annual post-show Toy Bank collection.

Toy Fair Dallas will return to the Dallas Market Center Oct. 6-8, 2020.