TFThe top five countries represented at the show, not including the U.S. and Canada, were China, the United Kingdom, Hong Kong, Mexico, and Japan.

The global toy and play community descended upon New York City last week for The Toy Association’s 115th North American International Toy Fair. In all, 26,236 professionals attended the largest toy show in the Western Hemisphere, where they got a sneak peek at hundreds of thousands of cutting-edge toys and games shown across 442,700 net square feet of exhibit space – the equivalent of about seven football fields filled with toys. The show was held Saturday, Feb. 17 to Tuesday, Feb. 20 at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center.

Eager to see the latest trends and most inspiring new toys, games, and youth entertainment products for spring, summer, and holiday ’18, just over 11,000 retailers, wholesalers, entertainment executives, importers, and buying groups from 97 countries attended Toy Fair. The show drew an increase in international trade guests (+26%), as well as large delegations of attendees from outside the U.S., including 3,802 international visitors, of which 1,589 were global buyers. The top five countries represented at the show, not including the U.S. and Canada, were China, the United Kingdom, Hong Kong, Mexico, and Japan.

From veteran toymakers to first-time exhibitors in the “Launch Pad” section of the show, Toy Fair’s 1,049 exhibiting companies showcased new product lines and key drivers in front of 8,775 mass and specialty buyers, including delegations from over 3,900 unique retail outlets and 22 of the nation’s top 25 toy sellers, such as Amazon.com, Walmart, Target Stores, Kohl’s, American Girl, Costco, Best Buy, Family Dollar, Disney Store, Lego/Legoland Mail Order, and Dollar Tree.

The vast range of attendees eagerly explored every square inch of the convention center, which was teeming with brand-new toys and games, including collectibles, plush, dolls, action figures, nostalgic and retro playthings, innovative tech toys, family board games, outdoor toys, licensed playthings, and everything in between. Participants also enjoyed a range of practical educational sessions that provided insight into global safety standards, toy trends, licensing, specialty retail, entrepreneurship, and much more.

“New York Toy Fair 2018 was a business and media buzz success,” said Steve Pasierb, president & CEO of The Toy Association, in a release. “The booths and aisles were packed with highly-qualified toy buyers, licensors, investors, inventors, and media from around the world, generating feedback that was overwhelmingly positive. Toy Fair delivered all the energy, creativity, and innovation of the global toy industry and solidified its role as a critical gateway to the $27 billion U.S. toy market and both thriving and developing toy markets around the world. From order-writing and networking, to trend-spotting and professional development opportunities, our guests were busy from the second Toy Fair opened right up until closing day.”

The global toy industry will come together once again next year at the 116th North American International Toy Fair, taking place Feb. 16 to 19, 2019 at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center. Save the date for The Toy Association’s long-lead fall marketplace, Fall Toy Preview, taking place Oct. 2 to 4, 2018 in Dallas, TX.

TFGlobal play professionals get a sneak peek at hundreds of thousands of brand new toys and games.

The 115th North American International Toy Fair opened its doors Saturday, Feb. 17, at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center in New York City, where tens of thousands of global play professionals are gathered to see to see hundreds of thousands of innovative toys and games before they hit store shelves.

Open through Tuesday, February 20, Toy Fair ’18 is the Western Hemisphere’s largest and most important toy show, representing the creativity and vitality of the North American and global toy marketplace. Manufacturers, distributors, importers, retailers, licensors, inventors, and other toy industry representatives from six continents are at Toy Fair to do business and scout the latest toy and youth entertainment trends. Produced by The Toy Association, the show is a massive celebration of toys and play, boasting 443,400 net square feet of exhibit space – the equivalent of nearly eight football fields filled with toys.

“New York City is the center of the global toy industry this week. At the Javits Center and across the city, more than 1,000 toy companies and some 30,000 attendees from over 100 countries are exploring the products that will be at birthday parties and under the tree this Christmas,” said Steve Pasierb, president & CEO of The Toy Association, in a statement. “Those who are fortunate enough to be here are getting a first-look at the products that will dictate this year’s biggest trends that drive both the $27 billion U.S. toy market and reach consumers around the world. Toy Fair ’18 is certain to be an outstanding experience for everyone in the toy and play community.”

Toy Fair is divided into distinct product zones to help media, buyers, and other guests find exactly what they need, from action figures and arts & crafts to games, dolls, educational toys, outdoor playthings, and everything in between. More than 150 first-time exhibitors will be at Toy Fair; many of these companies will be showcasing their unique, never-before-seen products in the Launch Pad section of the show. World-class educational sessions and special events will be held throughout Toy Fair, including a toy trends briefing; licensing seminars; toy safety and compliance forums; global trade and market expansion research presentations; workshops for inventors and designers; and much more.

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New York Toy Fair 2018The largest toy show in the Western hemisphere opens for a four-day run Saturday, Feb. 17.

The hottest new toys, games, and youth entertainment products will come to life this weekend when the 115th North American International Toy Fair – the largest toy show in the Western Hemisphere – opens its doors at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center in New York City.

Produced by The Toy Association, Toy Fair will open Saturday, Feb. 17, with an 8:55 a.m. ribbon-cutting ceremony and a parade of costumed characters led by seven-year old Abby Emory of Carmel Valley, Calif., who won a trip to New York and access to Toy Fair through a “Golden Ticket” contest at Gepetto’s, her local toy store.

Immediately following the celebration, the show floor will welcome some 30,000 global play professionals – including more than 7,000 international buyers – who will explore the massive 443,500-square-feet of exhibit space overflowing with brand-new playthings from more than 1,000 toy companies.

“The global toy industry will descend upon New York City for Toy Fair week – and we can’t wait to go along for the ride,” said Steve Pasierb, president & CEO of The Toy Association, in a release. “With guests from more than 100 countries expected, Toy Fair ’18 will be a dynamic experience filled with exciting new product discoveries, business-building seminars, after-hours events, and so much more – all under one roof at the Javits Center. It’s the only toy show giving professionals direct access to the lucrative $27 billion U.S. toy market – on top of being a powerful gateway to both well-established and developing markets for toys around the world.”

Educational sessions at Toy Fair will cover toy safety, retail strategies, global market expansion, licensing, entrepreneurship, and more. Special after-hours networking events will also take place throughout Toy Fair week. A full schedule of events can be found at www.ToyFairNY.com.

TOTY18LogoFingerlings by WowWee USA Inc., and L.O.L. Surprise! by MGA Entertainment both win “Toy of the Year” Award.

The top playthings and most inspiring individuals from the toy industry were honored this evening at the 18th annual Toy of the Year Awards and Toy Industry Hall of Fame induction ceremony, with proceeds from the awards program and event supporting The Toy Foundation’s important work to bring millions of toys to millions of children in need. Hundreds of industry executives attended the gala, which took place at New York City’s legendary Ziegfeld Ballroom.

The big winners of the night were Fingerlings by WowWee USA, Inc. and L.O.L. Surprise! by MGA Entertainment, which shared the distinguished “Toy of the Year” honor. Funko’s Mystery Minis by Funko, LLC won the coveted “People’s Choice” award for gaining the most votes from consumers. In total, awards were handed out in 17 categories:

* Action Figure of the Year: Marvel Guardians of the Galaxy Dancing Groot Figure by Hasbro, Inc.

* Collectible of the Year: Fingerlings by WowWee USA, Inc.

* Construction Toy of the Year: LEGO® Star Wars BB-8™ by LEGO Systems, Inc.

* Creative Toy of the Year: Star Wars Droid Inventor Kit by LittleBits

* Doll of the Year: Wonder Crew Superhero Will by PlayMonster * Game of the Year: Soggy Doggy by Spin Master Ltd.

* Infant/Toddler Toy of the Year: Teddy Ruxpin by Wicked Cool Toys

* Innovative Toy of the Year: Rubie's Jurassic World T-Rex Inflatable Costume by Rubie's Costume Company, Inc.

* License of the Year: Star Wars by Disney Consumer Products & Interactive Media

* Outdoor Toy of the Year: Bunch O Balloons Filler Soaker by Zuru

* Playset Toy of the Year: Hot Wheels® Super Ultimate Garage by Mattel, Inc.

* Plush of the Year: Disney Junior Minnie’s Walk and Play Puppy by Just Play Products

* Preschool Toy of the Year: PAW Patrol My Size Lookout Tower by Spin Master Ltd.

* Rookie of the Year: Antsy Pants™ Build & Play™ Kits by Beach House Group

* Specialty Toy of the Year: LEGO® Star Wars™ Millennium Falcon™ by LEGO Systems, Inc.

* Tech Toy of the Year: LEGO® BOOST Creative Toolbox by LEGO Systems, Inc.

* Vehicle of the Year: PAW Patrol Sea Patroller by Spin Master Ltd.

“Known as the ‘Oscars’ of the toy industry, the TOTY Awards celebrate the best and brightest people and products … all while raising vital funding for The Toy Foundation’s ongoing mission to bring help and joy to children in need,” said Steve Pasierb, president & CEO of The Toy Association, in a release. “The 2018 collection of extraordinary TOTY finalists and winners have brought endless fun and learning to kids across the globe. The annual TOTY awards process serves as a testament to the toy community’s deep talent, entrepreneurialism, and innovation!"

During the ceremony, two industry greats were inducted into the esteemed Toy Industry Hall of Fame: Andrea Barthello, co-founder and COO of ThinkFun Inc., and the late James R. Becker, founder of licensing company Anjar Co. They join an impressive roster of 74 toy industry luminaries, including Jim Henson and George Lucas, who have been inducted into the Hall since it was established in 1984. 

More than 600 toys and games were submitted for consideration last fall by companies of all sizes; category finalists, announced in November, were selected by play experts, retailers, academics, and journalists who sit on the TOTY judging committee.

MenchiesMore than 400 Menchie’s Frozen Yogurt stores will participate in the U.S. campaign for the 3-D CGI animated film.

Things are freezing cold for Firefly Brand Management. The company has teamed up with the nation’s largest self-serve frozen yogurt franchise, Menchie’s Frozen Yogurt, to create a U.S. (cross-promotional) campaign for Artic Justice – the 3-D CGI animated family film from Andrea Iervolino and Monika Bacardi’s AMBI Media Group – in August 2018.

In August, 440 Menchie’s stores in the United States will offer a limited-edition Artic Justice-themed frozen yogurt cup that features the film characters. Guests can fill-up their cup with any of Menchie’s 100 rotating frozen yogurt flavors and can top their mix with an array of toppings, including fresh fruits, candies and hot sauces.

“Menchie’s is all about serving fun, family-friendly frozen yogurt treats,” said Cynthia Modders, president of Firefly Brand Management, in a release. “They are extremely dedicated to providing only the highest level of service and quality, and are the coolest frozen yogurt brand which is a perfect fit for the arctic theme of Artic Justice. We are so excited to have them as our partner and know that this campaign will be a hit with kids and their families everywhere.”

Menchie’s also sells frozen yogurt cakes and will be creating an Artic Justice-themed cake for this promotion, which will be exclusively available at Menchie’s stores in August.  Guests can also order cakes online from Menchie’s website, or stop by any of its stores after the movie to order a celebratory cake.

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