The U.S. Toy Industry Association (TIA), organizer of the annual North American International Toy Fair, says all signs point to next February’s exhibition being the largest in years.
Registration for the 2017 show opened last month and since then nearly 2,500 toy industry professionals — an increase of 15 percent year-over-year — have enlisted. So far, Toy Fair participants include buyers coming from across the U.S. and 39 countries, an increase of six percent over last year at this time. As well, trade guests registering for the show have increased more than 50 percent year-over-year.
The TIA’s Marian Bossard confirms the good news. “We anticipate the most dynamic Toy Fair we’ve seen in years,” she says, adding, “The early registration numbers are an encouraging sign that Toy Fair continues to be a productive and not-to-miss event for buyers, licensors, trend spotters, and other play lovers.”
In all, approximately 30,000 play professionals are expected to gather in New York City for the 114th edition of the Fair, which runs February 18 to February 21, 2017 at the Javits Center.
However, increased attendance is not the only indication of a strong 2017 show. “Toy Fair exhibit space is almost sold out,” points out Bossard. “Last year boasted 415,000 net square feet of exhibit space and this [coming] year we expect to reach a whopping 432,000 net square feet.” Included in that increased real estate and number of vendors are more than 100 first-time exhibitors with companies hailing from more than 12 countries.