10 reasons Toy Fair New York 2020 is a must-visit

Toys, trends and emerging talent combine to make the Big Apple the place to be for licensing professionals, says Kristin Morency Goldman, The Toy Association

Written by Rhys Thomas

Posted 17.01.2020 | Events

10 reasons Toy Fair New York 2020 is a must-visit thumbnail

1. The Energy & Excitement

About 30,000 global attendees annually flock to Toy Fair New York (Feb. 22-25, 2020), where they conduct business, attend exclusive professional seminars, spot the latest trends, network with industry peers, and get up close and personal with the hottest new toys and games at the largest toy show in the Western Hemisphere. All exhibit space for Toy Fair 2020 is sold out as hundreds of thousands of toys prepare to make the trip to New York City!  

2. Something for Everyone

Opening day of Toy Fair feels a lot like Christmas morning. New, innovative, and classic playthings are showcased by U.S. and international exhibitors across a staggering 445,000+ net square feet of exhibit space. From collectible “unboxing” toys, dolls, and action figures, to preschool toys, tech toys, and outdoor playthings, the Toy Fair playground has something for everyone interested in the U.S. and global toy markets. 

The show will also welcome first-time exhibitors offering a fresh take on toys and play. Buyers can locate these new companies – and scout their unique, never-before-seen playthings – in the Launch Pad section (Hall 1E).

3. Hot New Trends

Helping buyers and media home in on the hottest new toys and games, The Toy Association’s trend experts unveil the top toy trends of the year during a Toy Trends Briefing on the first day of the show. The team uses product examples directly from exhibitors’ booths to help illustrate the latest fads, which typically incorporate pop culture and lifestyle trends from around the world.

4. Business-Building Seminars

From educational sessions on U.S. and international toy safety standards to seminars on global market research, licensing, specialty retail, toy invention, and more, enriching educational programs abound. Make the most out of your time at Toy Fair and plan to attend at least one of the many seminars offered – visit www.ToyFairNY.com for information.

5. Emerging Toy Talent

New for 2020 is an expanded Creative Factor educational program, which aims to help inventors and designers, entrepreneurs, design students, and other creative professionals forge connections, pitch their latest toy ideas, and navigate new trends and tech innovations. Creative Factor will be featured front and centre on Level 1 outside of Hall D and will be a hub of excitement, education, discovery, and networking – and even feature robots doing a runway show!

As part of its commitment to support emerging toy talent, Toy Fair will also host an inaugural Student Congress, welcoming students and faculty from a variety of disciplines who are exploring the opportunities of the toy and play industries.  

6. Licensing Opportunities

L.O.L. Surprise!, Barbie, Paw Patrol, Pokemon, and digital-first brands (JoJo Siwa, Baby Shark, Ryan’s World, etc.) are having a bigger impact on toys than ever, and this impact will be seen at the show. Special licensing programming will help attendees better understand how the evolving landscape of kids’ entertainment, social media, and pop culture fandom are impacting the overall health of the industry and the opportunities for growth that come with them.  

7. After-Hours Networking

All work and no play? Not at Toy Fair! Several “just for fun” activities will take place throughout Toy Fair week – including the glamorous Toy of the Year Awards (Feb. 21) and the inspiring Wonder Women in Toys, Licensing, and Entertainment Awards (Feb. 23) – so be sure to check the Toy Fair website for up-to-the-minute details.

8. Easy to Navigate

To the first-time visitor (and even show veterans!) Toy Fair can seem overwhelming. But a variety of resources are in place to make the show easy to navigate – and to help buyers find exactly what they’re looking for. The floor is divided into distinct product zones and the Toy Fair Mobile app – free on iTunes and Google Play – makes it even easier to find your way to exhibitors’ booths and learn about special events and activities taking place throughout the show.  

9. ShopToys365  

Speaking of simplifying the show-going experience, buyers can get a head-start on discovering new products and companies with www.ShopToys365.com, the industry’s e-commerce platform and a great tool for those who want to hit the ground running when they arrive in New York. ShopToys365.com allows retailers and toy companies to connect and conduct business transactions year-round in an efficient and engaging environment.

10. The Whole Industry Comes Together for Four Days of Fun!

It’s quite something to see the entire toy community come together at Toy Fair. You’ll see large companies mentoring young inventors, booths filled with play-lovers testing out new toys, and unprecedented product launches that will have the whole industry talking. Did you know that Tickle-Me-Elmo was first seen at Toy Fair? Who knows, you may see the next “it” toy this February – and you can tell your kids you saw it first at Toy Fair New York!

The Toy Association’s 117th annual Toy Fair New York will take place at New York City’s Jacob K. Javits Convention Center from February 22 to 25. Be among the first to see brand-new toys and games that aren’t seen at any other toy show in the world – visit www.ToyFairNY.com to register and to learn more.

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