NEW YORK, Feb. 11, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- Hundreds of thousands of innovative, creative and skill-building toys and games will be unveiled in New York City this weekend at the 113th North American International Toy Fair – the largest toy and youth entertainment product marketplace in the Western Hemisphere.
Owned and operated by the U.S. Toy Industry Association (TIA), Toy Fair will open its doors at the Jacob Javits Convention Center this Saturday, February 13, with an 8:55 a.m. ribbon-cutting ceremony. Immediately following, the show floor will open up to an estimated 30,000 global play professionals – including international buyers from more than 7,000 retail outlets – who will explore the massive 415,000 net square feet of exhibit space bursting with brand-new toys and games.
"Toy Fair kicks-off at a time of success and momentum, following the toy industry's outstanding sales growth in 2015. With over 1,200 passionate exhibitors showing hundreds of thousands of new toys, games and playthings, the excitement is palpable," said Steve Pasierb, TIA president and CEO. "Professionals from more than 100 countries will be placing orders as well as participating in Toy Fair's educational and networking opportunities. The business transactions, camaraderie, trend spotting and exchange of fresh ideas make our New York City show an unparalleled experience in the toy world!"
Toy Fair is also a celebration of play's ability to bring joy and learning to children of all ages. This year's hottest trends are revolving around technology in the air and on the ground -- from high-flying nanodrones and robots that teach kids problem-solving and building to "Ultimate Creator" toys that teach children channel their inner creative whether in culinary arts, videography or sewing. TIA's annual Toy Trends Briefing will be held on Sunday, February 14 and will explore these trends. This seminar is free and open to media, buyers, and other industry stakeholders.
Additional educational sessions at Toy Fair will cover toy safety, retail strategies, global market expansion, licensing, entrepreneurship, digital media, and more. Special after-hours networking events will also take place throughout Toy Fair week. A full schedule of educational and networking events can be found below or at www.ToyFairNY.com.
Registration is mandatory for access to Toy Fair 2016; verification of media and buyer credentials is required. Sign up on-site during show hours. Those who can't make it to the show can follow Toy Fair on Twitter (#TFNY) and visit the Toy Fair Online Press Room and TIA's Facebook page for up-to-the-minute show information.
TOY FAIR 2016 EDUCATIONAL SESSIONS AND SPECIAL EVENTS
Specific details about all Toy Fair educational and networking opportunities can be found in the schedule below and at ToyFairNY.com.
EDUCATION AT TOY FAIR
TIA's Global Trade and Market Expansion Sessions will be held on Sunday, February 14. These one-hour sessions will provide information to assist companies in assessing opportunities both domestically and in the global marketplace, focusing on economic indicators, demographics, trends and influencers in Canada (11 a.m.), and the United Kingdom (2 p.m.).
TIA's Toy Trends Briefing will take place at 4 p.m. on Sunday, February 14. All Toy Fair attendees can get up-to-the-minute trend information direct from the show floor. TIA's toy trends team will highlight the top trends and where to find them.
TIA's Toy Safety Update will take place on Monday, February 15 from 9:30 a.m. to 12 p.m. The seminar will highlight important changes in state, federal and international toy safety requirements and introduce emerging issues under consideration by legislators and regulators in key markets around the globe.
TIA's Creative Factor will offer drop-in educational opportunities organized in cooperation with Brett Klisch of Peru Meridian Studios. The sessions will be held throughout all four days and will bring together inventors, designers and other creative professionals to network and share information and resources on a variety of topics, including project funding, negotiating agreements, innovative technologies, protecting your inventions, and more. On Saturday through Monday (February 13-15) the first Ask A Pro! booth will also be open for attendees to have brief, one-on-one discussions with panelists, presenters and industry leaders.
TIA's Independent Thinking will feature drop-in educational opportunities on Saturday and Sunday (February 13-14) that provide practical information for the independent or specialty retailer. This year's program includes a look at how retailers can improve their average daily sales by up to 20% (Saturday at 2 p.m.) and tips for improving the customer experience in-store (Sunday at 11 a.m.).
TIA's Licensing Content Connection will feature dedicated educational sessions on Saturday and Sunday (February 13-14) created specifically for the world of licensing, and will include speakers from the Licensing Expo and the International Licensing Industry Merchandisers' Association (LIMA), among other licensing experts.
TIA's Safety, Compliance and Environmental Program will share tools and insights stakeholders need to know to ensure that the CPSC continues to rank toys among the safest of 15 consumer product categories commonly found in the home. Sessions will take place on Sunday and Monday (February 14-15).
Digital Kids Conference & Toys, Learning and Play Summit is the must-attend event for brand owners, entertainment and media executives, marketers, producers, digital media directors and licensing professionals seeking to engage children online and on digital devices. Digital Kids is once again co-located with Toy Fair on February 15-16, providing stellar networking across the entire children's entertainment industry. The event is produced by Digital Kids Media.
SPECIAL EVENTS AND AFTER-HOURS ACTIVITIES
The Toy of the Year (TOTY) Awards will occur the night before Toy Fair opens at 6 p.m. on Friday, February 12 at the American Museum of Natural History in New York City. The dazzling networking gala will honor the best toys and games of the year and celebrate The Walt Disney Company Chairman and CEO Bob Iger into the Toy Industry Hall of Fame.
The very first Play Fair will be presented by LEGO and Nickelodeon and co-located at the Javits Center NORTH on Saturday and Sunday, February 13 and 14. Open to the public, Play Fair will be an immersive, experience-rich event with hands-on exhibits, awe-inspiring displays, dozens of toy and entertainment brands. Play Fair is a partnership between TIA and LeftField Media, and separate admission is required.
Toy Fair's Opening Ceremony will officially open the show at 9:00 a.m. on Saturday morning, February 13 with a parade of best-loved, costumed characters accompanied by high-spirited live entertainment. Great photo opportunity.
TIA's International Visitors Reception will be held at 6 p.m. on Saturday, February 13. Exclusively for registered international exhibitors, buyers, members of the media, and invited trade officials.
The Great Canadian Play Date will be held at 6 p.m. Sunday, February 14. Hosted by CTA, guests will be required to show a Canadian passport for entry.
TIA's Young Professionals Network Happy Hour and Networking Event will be held at 6:30 p.m. on Saturday, February 13 at Jack Doyle's Pub & Restaurant. All young industry professionals ages 35 and under are encouraged to attend.
The Toy Industry Foundation will hold its annual Toy Bank Collection at the close of the show (4 p.m.) on Tuesday, February 16. Show exhibitors donate product, which is collected at the close of the show to benefit children in need across the tri-state area.
About the North American International Toy Fair (www.ToyFairNY.com)
Toy Fair is an annual event that is owned and operated by the Toy Industry Association (TIA). The largest toy trade show in the Western Hemisphere, Toy Fair takes place each February at the Jacob K. Javits Center in New York City. The show brings together more than 1,200 exhibiting manufacturers, distributors, importers and sales agents to showcase hundreds of thousands of toys and youth entertainment products to 7,000+ unique retail outlets from 100 countries.
About the Toy Industry Association (TIA)
TIA is the not-for-profit trade association representing all businesses involved in creating and delivering toys and youth entertainment products for kids of all ages. TIA is the owner and operator of the North American International Toy Fair, held annually in New York City. The Association serves as the industry's voice on the cognitive, social, emotional and creative benefits of play, and promotes play's positive impact on childhood development to consumers and media. TIA has a long history of leadership in toy safety, having helped develop the first comprehensive toy safety standard more than 40 years ago, and remains committed to working with medical experts, government, consumers and industry on ongoing programs to ensure safe and fun play. For more information, please visit www.toyassociation.org, www.toyfairny.com, or www.thegeniusofplay.org.
SOURCE Toy Industry Association