The toy industry’s biggest trade show could leave New York after COVID cancellations

The toy industry’s largest trade show – which attracts 1,000 vendors from around the world and has been held in New York for more than a century – could take attendances and leave town, The Post has learned.

After two shows canceled due to the pandemic, big names in the industry are considering changes to the toy show, sources told the Post: One option is to move the annual show to the fall instead of its usual date. from February.

The other option is to leave the Big Apple altogether, sources told The Post.

The Toy Association is in talks with the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center about the move, group spokeswoman Adrienne Appell confirmed.

“We’ve been adamant that every aspect of Toy Fair is on the table and open to change to ensure it serves the industry today and for years to come,” the Toy CEO said. Association, Steve Pasierb, in a statement to members last week.

Toy retailers and manufacturers use Toy Fair to meet in person and place orders for the upcoming buying season.
AFP via Getty Images
A participant standing in front of the Toy Fair banner inside the Javits Center.
Some 1,000 vendors set up shop during Toy Fair and come from all over the world.
AFP via Getty Images

The association considered moving the show from its February date — it’s been held in February since 1987 — to later in the year for a while, Appell said, but the pandemic hastened the process.

Makers say showing off their new toys during the peak holiday period – when they’ll attract more media attention – makes more sense than waiting until February after the biggest toy season ends.

Moreover, the role of the living room is changing, they say. Major retailers and toymakers have found new ways to connect during the pandemic that don’t involve traveling to see each other in person.

A woman sitting among large yellow Minion toys.
Toy Fair has been canceled for two consecutive years due to the pandemic.
AFP via Getty Images

“In the past, you could take a grueling trip to Bentonville, Ark. [where Walmart is based] show just one new toy for maybe 20 or 30 minutes,” said a toy official who did not want to be identified. “Now we do all of this on Zoom.”

The Javits Center declined to comment. If it can’t accommodate a fall date for the annual toy association trade show, the western hemisphere’s largest toy show could decamp to another city, including Las Vegas, Orlando or Chicago, a source said. initiated at the Post.

A stand at the Toy Fair showcasing the construction of Magformers.
Toy Fair could move to other cities, including Orlando, Las Vegas or Chicago, sources tell The Post.
AFP via Getty Images

In January, the February 19-22 show was canceled for the second year in a row due to the pandemic.

The Toy Association’s board of directors is due to meet on February 18 to define the future of the event.

“There’s a hundred years of history here, so we’re discussing carefully,” all the implications of moving the show, Appell said.

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