The Toy Association’s Toy Fair Dallas showcased the show’s new name, new initiatives and new products from toy manufacturers for Christmas and 2020.
Held on October 2nd to 4th in Dallas, Texas, the Toy Fair attracted strong representation from the big three – Walmart, Amazon, and Target – along with other top 25 toy retailers. The show drew in international distribution companies from all the world, including Australia, Chile, Guatemala, Italy, Japan, Mexico, New Zealand and the UK.
Among the show’s highlights was the new FutureCast Gallery. The experiential space invited buyers to see products outside their normal hit list and to think outside the box for 2020 retailing. The FutureCast Gallery presented 10 projected retail themes for 2020. The 10 categories included: Animal of the Year; The Olympic Effect; Radical Sustainability; Grandparent-Friendly; The Spirit of Collaboration; STEM; Pre-school Magic; and Innovation on Wheels. Twenty products were featured in the space to represent these themes, including the Harry Potter Skele-Gro Bottle by Wow! Stuff, Face Paintoos by PlayMonster and Knuckle Headz by SD Toyz.
The Toy Association’s executive vice president of global market events, Marian Bossard, said: “The FutureCast Gallery was created in response to the rapid changes happening at retail. This list of themes and the presentation of products in line with those themes can be used as a resource for retailers as they continue to preview product and begin to set their 2020 plans in motion. Many took advantage of this new space during the show, and we’ve already received very positive feedback.”
Also drawing crowds to the FutureCast Gallery were the Knowledge Network educational sessions which addressed relevant topics such as how to successfully sell products into China. Amazon also presented a session on how to protect and boost a brand in the marketplace. Likewise, FutureCast was the kick-off venue for the Influencer Breakfast, acting as a reference point for influencers to then tour the show and scout out their recommendations for the 2019 holiday shopping season and beyond.
The show wrapped up with additional supporting events for attendees. These included the opening night party; The Toy Association’s Young Professionals Network (YPN) Mixer and Art Gallery; and The Toy Foundation’s annual post-show Toy Bank collection, which saw upwards of 10,000 toys donated.
Toy Fair Dallas will return to the Dallas Market Centre for next year’s show on October 6th-8th 2020.