Toy Fair Returns to New York after three-year hiatus

October 31, 2023

After a three-year hiatus due to the pandemic, Toy Fair celebrated its 118th return to the Javits Center on Sept. 30 in New York with 1,021 exhibitors that serve the $40 billion U.S. toy marketplace and key markets around the globe, an increase from 890 exhibitors in 2020. On day two of the event, which ends Oct. 3, The Toy Association Board of Directors announced significant changes to the timing and location of the next Toy Fair, citing evolving industry dynamics and extensive market research for their decision.

After moving to Q3 for the first time in 2023, Toy Fair will not be held in 2024 as it shifts to Q1 2025, taking place March 1-4 at Javits. Subsequently, Toy Fair will relocate to the New Orleans Ernest N. Morial Convention Center, with confirmed dates for the next three years: Jan. 17-20, 2026; Jan. 9-12, 2027; and Jan. 15-18, 2028. This decision follows a thorough nationwide search to determine the most suitable dates and venues to cater to the toy community's evolving needs, according association officials. 

"Prior to the pandemic, we heard repeated calls for Toy Fair's timing to shift earlier in the year, reflecting changing manufacturing lead times and retailer buying patterns, particularly favoring a move from February to a fall timeline,” explained Aaron Muderick, chairman of The Toy Association and founder of Crazy Aaron's. “These factors, accelerated by the pandemic, prompted a responsive approach by our board," .toy show 2023

He continued, "Now, with behaviors and inputs reverting to more traditional views, our key audiences have expressed a preference for Toy Fair to return to the first quarter of the year, preferably in mid-January. We have listened and crafted a schedule that best aligns with the needs of those we serve."

In 2020, the show attracted 24,000 exhibiting professionals and toy industry professionals, including inventors, designers, licensors, importers, distributors, buyers and media from around the world, according to a press release. Attendance number for the 2023 show will not be available until later this week, said Kristen Morency Goldman, senior director, strategic communications, for The Toy Association.

Steve Pasierb, president and CEO of The Toy Association, said, "Following extensive consultations with key retailers and association members/exhibitors, and after evaluating multiple factors including timing, availability of high-quality space, transportation access and affordability for exhibitors and attendees, New Orleans emerged as the ideal fit for Toy Fair. It aligns with the needs of our diverse guest base.”

He continued, “New Orleans boasts state-of-the-art facilities, a new airport, renowned dining options, cultural attractions, versatile event spaces and a strong collaborative partnership between the Convention Center, New Orleans & Company, and the business community. This makes it a warm and welcoming destination for Toy Fair, and we are confident in delivering an exceptional experience for the next four shows, just as we have done for over a century."

New Orleans Ernest N. Morial Convention Center President and CEO Michael Sawaya said, “We are very excited for the opportunity to host Toy Fair’s 20,000 attendees and over 700,000 square feet of fun, and I commend our staff and New Orleans & Company staff for putting in the hard work to make it happen swiftly.”

Play Reimagined in 2023

From manufacturers, distributors, importers and sales agents, to retailers, licensors, inventors and startups, Toy Fair's attendees are onsite to strike lucrative deals, stock up on last-minute holiday must-haves and get exclusive access to brand-new 2024 products before anyone else. 

With the equivalent of nearly eight football fields filled with toys and games, "there are so many exciting opportunities in store for all stakeholders at our industry's most iconic event – not to mention hands-on access to hundreds of thousands of toys for all ages," Pasierb said.

This year’s Toy Fair features both veteran and first-time exhibitors showcasing toys across distinct product zones — from action figures and collectibles, to games, arts and crafts, sustainable playthings, tech toys and everything in between. 

First-time exhibitors are featuring their products in the Launch Pad section, located on Level 1 of the show. Pavilions with products from China, India, France and a "World of Toys" Pavilion in partnership with Spielwarenmesse eG, the international toy fair in Nuremberg, Germany. The show also features a "Hot for Holiday" showcase, which is displaying buzz-worthy products for media, buyers and other trade guests to explore.

Toy Fair also offers a robust lineup of educational sessions and engaging events throughout all four days, including sessions aimed at the toy inventor and designer community; a toy trends briefing backed by new consumer research; a toy safety and compliance forum; a Student Congress for university students to learn about careers in the toy industry; as well as sessions that tackle timely topics like social media, the metaverse and emerging technologies and much more.

Guest Blogger:  TSNN -

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