Toy Fair 2021 in New York is officially a no go. First canceled last year, The Toy Association was hoping to plan for a smaller event in May. Alas, the pandemic has continued unabated, and they have now decided to also not hold that event. They still plan to try for Dallas, TX in October, but who knows what will happen between now and then. Expect many toy companies to put on their own mini- Toy Fair events this winter and spring in their place. The full press release announcement can be found below.
I Will Miss You, New York Toy Fair
"As COVID-19 remains insufficiently resolved, The Toy Association has announced that it will not conduct an interim trade show in New York for 2021, which was previously planned to take place May 1 to 4. Plans for Toy Fair Dallas remain on course for October 2021. Providing an ongoing mix of physical and digital business opportunities for the industry will be the Association's focus this year.
"Our foremost consideration is the health and well-being of the global toy and play community and setting a clear path forward," said Steve Pasierb, president & CEO of The Toy Association. "We want to provide our exhibitors, retail buyers, and the larger toy and play community with certainty on important destination shows and the ability to take advantage of immediate opportunities through our year-round buying and selling platform."
As uncertainty about the pandemic persists, The Toy Association remains keyed in to what is possible − concentrating on its digital business offerings; bringing the industry back together in person for Toy Fair Dallas 2021 from Tuesday, October 5 through Thursday, October 7; and looking ahead to Toy Fair New York 2022 from Saturday, February 19 through Tuesday, February 22 in a newly expanded Jacob K. Javits Center, which will allow for new exhibitors, new educational offerings, expanded networking opportunities, and more.
Toy Fair Everywhere digital market weeks held throughout 2020 successfully helped toy businesses forge ahead amid the pandemic and brought in more than 3,000 buyers from 60+ countries, proving the platform's global potential for doing business despite travel restrictions and different time zones. This February, the digital B2B marketplace will further establish its position as the toy industry's first and only year-round platform, making new business opportunities possible every day.
The Toy Association will also collaborate with additional prospective retailers throughout 2021 on virtual private product preview events, which in 2020 created new avenues for nearly 400 toymakers to get their products on shelves. The next virtual event with specialty retailer Claire's is scheduled to take place on February 4.
"These proven digital opportunities should continue to be a critical part of every toy businesses' mixed sales and marketing strategy," said Marian Bossard, executive vice president of global market events at The Toy Association. "As we look forward to our time together at Toy Fair Dallas 2021 and Toy Fair New York 2022, the proof is in the pudding as to the potential of these digital tools and events to serve our members in reaching new audiences."