The Toy Industry Association (TIA) reports that the 113th North American International Toy Fair, which took place at New York’s Javits Center Feb. 13-16, showed a 16 percent increase in overall attendance from 2015.
The largest toy marketplace in the Western Hemisphere drew over 30,600 global play professionals, including more than 1,200 exhibitors, importers, distributors and sales agents showcasing their latest product lines in 415,000 net square feet of exhibit space. Some 10,040 mass and specialty retail buyers attended, a 12 percent increase from last year and including delegations from 24 of the nation’s top 25 toy sellers—among them Amazon, Walgreens, Costco, Target, Toys“R”Us and Walmart. Over 5,200 unique retail outlets were also represented, as were 92 countries and 2,166 total international attendees, with Canada, the U.K., Mexico, Japan and Australia sending the most foreign buyers.
“From total attendance to the volume of international buyers to news media attention, our exhibitors consistently reported Toy Fair 2016 was a success and one of the very best shows they attend,” said TIA president/CEO Steve Pasierb. “The innovative and fun products displayed underscore the vitality of the toy industry, and over the coming months through the holiday season will bring joy to the lives of millions of children and families. We expect the positivity, momentum and great range of products we saw on Toy Fair’s show floors to build upon the outstanding 6.7 percent sales growth the industry experienced in 2015.”
Toy Fair 2016 also enjoyed a seven percent increase in global press, with 1,110 print journalists, broadcast reporters and bloggers at the show. This year’s show further featured the debut of Play Fair, which was co-hosted by TIA and LeftField Media on Feb. 13 and 14 and afforded families the chance to try out new toys, interact with popular characters like PJ Masks and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, play games, take photos and purchase new products.
“In its debut year, Play Fair was a success beyond all expectations that now provides the basis for a much larger show with more expansive play experiences in the future,” noted Pasierb. “Families braved cold temperatures to see, play, learn and enjoy time together. It’s clear that we’ve tapped into the passion that families and the general public have for great toys and play.”
Toy Fair is owned and operated by TIA, which will hold the 114th North American International Toy Fair at Javits from Feb. 18-21, 2017.