The Toy Industry Association’s (TIA) 114th North American International Toy Fair,that ran from February 18 to 21 brought 31,133 global play lovers to New York City to preview hundreds of thousands of ground-breaking toys and games.
The largest toy market place ever held in the Western Hemisphere, Toy Fair 2017 was spread across 444,309 net square feet of exhibit space – the equivalent of nearly eight football fields filled with toys.
Toy Fair’s upbeat atmosphere matched an increasing U.S. toy market, which grew 5 per cent in sales last year. Eager to see the latest trends in toys, games, and youth entertainment products, 14,176 retailers, wholesalers, entertainment executives, importers, buying groups, and trade guests from 96 countries were there on the venue.
The show drew notable increases in attendees from outside the U.S., including international buyers (+10.9 per cent year-over-year) and trade guests (+33.1 per cent), as well as foreign press (+17.2 per cent). The top five countries that were there at the show were China, the United Kingdom, Hong Kong, Mexico and Japan excluding US and Canada.
The Fair had 1,131 toy companies of all types and sizes showcasing new product lines and key drivers for holiday in front of 10,276 (+2.4 per cent) mass and specialty buyers including delegations from 4,000 unique retail outlets and 22 of the nation’s top 25 toy sellers such as Amazon.com, American Girl, Build-A-Bear Workshop, Costco, CVS, Disney Store, Target, Toys”R”Us, and Walmart. Buyer attendance from brick-and-mortar outlets grew 9.2 percent.
A happy Steve Pasierb, president & chief executive at the Toy Industry Association said,”Toy Fair 2017 was a resounding success for our members’ businesses! The booths and aisles were abuzz with excitement and optimism, as the toy community continues to impress, innovate, and leverage technology, bringing new toys and games to market that enrich the lives of families everywhere.
Licensing executives from Amazon Studios, Cartoon Network, Disney Consumer Products, HBO, Lions Gate Entertainment, Marvel, Nickelodeon, Nintendo, Sesame Workshop, SONY Pictures, Warner Bros. Consumer Products, and others were also in attendance to scout new trends and forge licensing agreements with toymakers.
All attendees enthusiastically explored a vast array of skill-building toys and games, ranging from cutting edge robotics, drones, and active toys, to classic playthings like dolls, plush, and board games.