Huge Surge in International Interest at Toy Fair 2011

28 February 2011

New York, NY | February 28, 2011 – More than 25,000 players in the global toy industry flocked to New York City for the U.S.-based Toy Industry Association’s 108th American International Toy Fair held February 13-16. The largest toy trade show in the western hemisphere, Toy Fair 2011 welcomed more than 10,300 buyers from 91 countries to scout out 100,000+ innovative products on display, while exhibitors garnered worldwide media exposure and struck business deals across 360,000 net square feet of exhibit space at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center.

The annual show saw increases in attendance across the board this year, including a 2% growth in overall attendance, an 8% increase in international buyers and a significant jump of 26% for international trade guests. Canada, the U.K., Japan, Mexico, and Brazil were identified as the top five countries with the highest attendance numbers, contributing to the overall 17% in total international attendance.

The show also drew a 10% increase in trade guests, including licensors (+8%), manufacturer’s reps (19%) and an unprecedented 31% surge in entertainment executives.

"Toy Fair continues to grow and evolve to keep abreast of the changing needs of the toy industry,” said Carter Keithley, TIA president. “The impressive increase in attendance by licensors, entertainment executives, and international buyers tells us something about where the U.S. toy industry is headed."

Representatives of nearly 6,000 unique retail outlets – including 21 of the top 25 toy retailers in the U.S. and 45 of the top 250 retailers worldwide – considered products from more than 1,100 exhibitors from 26 countries. The diversity of these retailers spanned traditional toy sellers ranging in size from specialty toy stores to big box and warehouse retailers to drugstores, supermarkets and hypermarkets, as well as alternative toy and game distribution channels such as book and clothing stores, pet shops and travel-themed retailers.

“We saw a robust and steady stream of order-writing and deal-making on the show floor,” added Marian Bossard, VP of meetings and events at TIA. “The boost in international attendance and the striking increase in licensors made for a highly dynamic and successful show.”

The energetic event attracted droves of media outlets – overall press attendance grew by 15% and international media saw a 13% rise – with representatives coming to the show to report on this year’s top trends (Simply Social, Cent-sational, Performance Play and Design, Discover and Learn) and to predict which toys and games will be on everyone’s radar come fourth quarter holiday shopping season. Major media outlets covering Toy Fair this year included The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, ABC News, BBC, CNN, Fox Business, NBC News, Parents and Popular Science.

“Toy Fair 2011 proved to be a huge success and one of Patch’s best shows in over 25 years of attendance,” said Brian Maxwell, President of Patch Products. “We saw an increase of traffic and meetings with specialty toy, mass retail and international buyers, along with quality licensors, media and inventors in attendance."

“As a first time exhibitor, I was so impressed by how many people attended Toy Fair 2011,” said Jennifer Kelman, creator of Mrs. Pinkelmeyer, LLC. “It was such an incredible environment for all the exhibitors to showcase our latest products. The response has been incredible. I look forward to Toy Fair 2012.”

The 109th American International Toy Fair will be held February 12-15, 2012, at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center.

About the Toy Industry Association

The U.S.-based Toy Industry Association (TIA) is the not-for-profit trade association for producers and importers of toys and youth entertainment products sold in North America, representing 535 companies who account for approximately 85% of domestic toy sales. Toy safety is the number one priority for the toy industry. TIA has a long history of leadership in toy safety including development of the first comprehensive toy safety standard more than 30 years ago, and working with government, consumers and industry on ongoing programs to ensure safe play.

For more information, please visit www.toyassociation.org.

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