American International Toy Fair – Largest Toy Trade Show in Western Hemisphere – Grows in 2012

21 February 2012

The following is a re-print of a press release posted by the Toy Industry Association (TIA). View the full release on ToyAssociation.org.

The 109th American International Toy Fair opened its doors to colossal crowds last week as nearly 27,000 industry professionals from more than 100 countries converged in New York City to scout 100,000+ fun and innovative products at the largest and most successful U.S.-hosted toy trade show to be held in recent years.

Owned and operated by the Toy Industry Association (TIA), Toy Fair 2012 welcomed increased attendance across nearly all categories, including a 3% increase in buyers, a 5% increase in international participants, a 14% jump in licensors and a 23% surge in entertainment executives. Total attendance during the four-day show was 26,730 … a 2% increase over last year.

Locking in Toy Fair’s spot as a gateway to global toy markets, this year’s iteration of the annual event welcomed 10,592 buyers from more than 6,000 retail outlets worldwide. Nearly 1,100 exhibitors from 24 countries covered 366,489 net square feet of exhibit space – the largest exhibit area since 2000 – at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center with displays of the most exciting toys, games and youth entertainment products destined for store shelves in 2012.

“Toy Fair has evolved into one of the greatest shows on earth, attracting powerful players from the $83 billion global toy industry,” said Carter Keithley, TIA President. “Our show is proven to be a critical stop on the global toy circuit and a magical, exciting experience for all who come.”

“The rapidly increasing international interest we’ve seen over the past few years has made Toy Fair more dynamic and successful than ever before,” added Marian Bossard, TIA vice president of meetings and events.

The top five countries identified with the highest attendance numbers at the show were Canada, the U.K., Japan, Mexico and Australia. Significant year-to-date increases in visitors came from Colombia (+33%), Japan (+17%), Australia (+13%), Mexico (+11%), Canada (+10%) and Panama (+200%).

Buyer delegations from Target, Toys”R”Us and Walmart saw unprecedented increases of 39%, 24% and 90%, respectively. Twenty four (24) of the nation’s Top 25 Toy Sellers were represented by buyers.

“Toy Fair 2012 was a huge success!” said Eric Levin, division head of Techno Source, a division of LF Products (a Li & Fung company). “The amount of press coverage we were able to generate was fantastic. It was the perfect way to build momentum for our key new product launches for the upcoming holiday season. Our team was energized and our customers were impressed!”

More than 1,000 press flocked to New York to report on this year’s top toy trends – which include Generation App, Glowing Wild, Little Learners, Many Ways to Play!, Save ‘n’ Splurge and Young Maestros – 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, Associated Press, USA Today, MTV, ABC News, CNN, Fox News, WPIX, TMZ.com/AOL Entertainment, and HBO Latin America Networks.

“This year’s show was far and away the best we’ve had in our 26 years of exhibiting. The booth traffic was incredible, with fantastic feedback on our new products pouring in from buyers and press,” said ThinkFun communications manager Charlotte Fixler.

“This has been one of the most successful Toy Fairs in Imperial’s history,” agreed Imperial Toy co-president, Peter Tiger.

The 110th American International Toy Fair will be held February 10-13, 2013, at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center in New York City.

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