NEWS

Breaking News: Toy Association confirms dates for inaugural September ’23 Toy Fair

Published on: 30th March 2022

The show will be moving from its previous February timeslot to the end of September next year, but the event will stay at the Javits Centre.

The Toy Association has confirmed dates and some preliminary details for the 2023 New York Toy Fair. As has been previously reported, the show will move from its traditional time slot at the end of February to the end of September – specifically Saturday 30th September through to Tuesday 3rd October.

While the date is changing, the venue remains the same –  the Toy Fair will remain in New York at the Javits Centre, after the Toy Association have secured dates for the event through to 2025. Specific dates have not been confirmed for 2024 and 2025, but they are expected to follow a similar pattern to next year’s timeslot.

Toy Association president Steve Pasierb explained the rationale behind the move during a press call on Thursday afternoon: “We want to put on an event that will help the greatest number of members grow their business. There was no one perfect decision that would have suited everyone – after conducting research amongst our members and discussing the findings with our board, we feel we have chosen the option which makes the show meaningful for the largest number of people.”

Steve also explained that the revised timing reflected some of the new post-pandemic commercial realities, especially around toy companies’ development and selling-in cycles, and retailers selection calendars: “The world has changed. Retailers have far longer lead-time requirements, exacerbated by sourcing challenges, transport delays and other supply chain issues. The supply chain has permanently changed – it won’t go back to the old timeline.” Steve admitted that the February Toy Fair was “already losing value”, with many retailers having finalized selections before the show took place.

Once the new autumn time slot was agreed, discussion turned to potential locations for the new event: New York won out as the best place for the widest number of stakeholders – not just retailers, but also media, analysts and those looking to build their networks at the show. Steve was also keen to point out that the show won’t resemble a “walled city”, as some have feared: “the heart of the toy fair has to be welcoming and exciting, we won’t allow it to be a sea of high white walls.”

There was also discussion over how the New York event will dovetail with the current LA ‘show’. Steve remains confident that the two shows are sufficiently different that many companies will choose to participate in both events, although he admitted that “some companies may choose to approach New York differently to the way they use the LA event.” Steve felt that buyers aren’t overly keen to spend any more in LA than “is necessary” and a two or three week gap between the two events allows people to regroup and not have to go straight from one to the other, which would have provided some logistical challenges.

Steve also drew a distinction between the companies with headquarters in the LA area and those who piggyback on the LA show by taking showrooms or hotel rooms nearby – according to the Toy Association’s research, buyers were predominantly keen to spend time with the main companies located in California as opposed to others attempting to get in on the act.

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