108th American International Toy Fair Opens Today in New York City

Feb 13, 2011, 12:37 ET from Toy Industry Association

NEW YORK, Feb. 13, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Welcoming the talent and innovation of the $75 billion global toy industry, the 108th American International Toy Fair opened its doors today for a four-day run in New York City.  

(Photo:  http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20110213/DC47301 )

Owned and operated by the Toy Industry Association (TIA), the annual tradeshow kicked off this morning with a playful ceremony featuring live musical entertainment and a parade of popular costumed characters. Immediately following the ribbon-cutting, buyers from the more than 9,000+ unique retail outlets registered for the show surged the aisles of the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center in search of the next big toy.

The largest toy tradeshow in the Western Hemisphere, Toy Fair is expected to draw upwards of 30,000 attendees – including more than 20,000 retailers, wholesalers, importers, buying groups and trade guests from 100 countries, and 23 of the top 25 toy sellers representing more than $16 billion of the $21.8B (domestic U.S.) toy industry. Nearly 1,100 exhibitors – including 252 first-timers and representing 27 countries – fill 360,500 net square feet of the facility's exhibition space.  

Show organizers estimate the number of unique products on display to be well over 100,000; thousands of these products, destined for toy shelves throughout the year and into the fourth quarter holiday shopping season, will make their U.S. debut at Toy Fair 2011.

"Industry stakeholders from around the world come to Toy Fair each year, where they witness the creative spirit of the industry firsthand as they preview product, write orders and strike the next big deal," said Carter Keithley, TIA president.

From classic toys to interactive entertainment and everything in between, the Toy Fair playground includes: action figures and dolls; games and puzzles; construction toys, arts and creative activities; bicycles, tricycles and ride-ons; radio-controlled vehicles; infant and preschool toys; cars, trucks, and trains; puppets and plush; audio and video cassettes; computer software and video games; playground and sporting equipment; Halloween- and Christmas-themed products; books, stationery and party supplies; and much more.

TIA trend experts have already scouted the show floor and identified some major toy trends for 2011:

  • Simply Social toys include physical toys that work with apps and other e-connected toys; face-to-face "all-play" games that incorporate team and cooperative play; and socially aware toys that encourage kids to be "everyday heroes."

  • Cent-sational toys include affordable collectibles, "mini" toys with "mini" price points and an expansion of the previously seen pennies-per-play model in the form of constructible games that can be built, re-built and played in exciting new ways.

  • Performance Play is a category of games that challenge bodies and minds through active sports, logical thinking, motion-sensor technology and enhanced classic racing and competition play patterns.

  • Design, Discover and Learn is a growing trend featuring play products that emphasize "camouflage learning" (learning is fun) and "geek chic" (learning is cool); this category also includes constructibles and crafts that prioritize spatial thinking and creativity.

More information on the top trends for 2011 will be released as the week progresses.

A new Teen/Tween Zone aimed at buyers interested in toys, games and accessories for the powerful 'in-betweenie' age group made its debut on the 2011 show floor.  Also debuting at Toy Fair 2011 is Play Happens:  The Game, a social media experience that marries the fun of Toy Fair with the energy of New York City.  Up to 500 of the 30,000+ registered Toy Fair attendees will be turning Manhattan into a virtual board game by using social media tools and technology to take the fun of Toy Fair across the city.

Additional information about the show is available online at ToyFairNY.com, and up-to-the-moment information from across the show floor – along with details about educational seminars, drop-in learning centers and special events – can be found online at Happenings @ Toy Fair and via Twitter (@ToyFairNY, #TF11), the TIA Press Room, Facebook and the Toy Fair Blog.

About the American International Toy Fair

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, the show brings together more than 1,100 exhibiting manufacturers, distributors, importers and sales agents from 100 countries to showcase an estimated 100,000 toy and entertainment products to the 9,000 unique retail outlets scheduled to attend.

About the Toy Industry Association (TIA)

TIA is the not-for-profit trade association for producers and importers of toys and youth entertainment products sold in North America, representing more than 500 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 and fun play. For more information, please visit www.toyfairny.com, www.toyassociation.org or www.toyinfo.org.

SOURCE Toy Industry Association