Toy Fair 2018: Here are all the details on what to do, see
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, California, 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 net 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,” says Steve Pasierb, president & CEO of The Toy Association. “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.”
Toy Fair will welcome about 1,000 members of the media who will scour the show floor for innovative playthings, retro toys, licensed product, and everything in between. Media and buyers are invited to The Toy Association’s annual Toy Trends Briefing, during which experts will announce the top trends of 2018 using product examples from the show floor. Held at 4 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 18. The seminar is free and open to all Toy Fair attendees.
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 below or at www.ToyFairNY.com.
Registration is mandatory for access to Toy Fair 2018; verification of media and buyer credentials is required. Sign up on-site during show hours. Those who can’t make it to the show can follow Toy Fair on Twitter (#TFNY) and visit the Toy Fair Online Press Room and The Toy Association’s Facebook page for up-to-the-minute show information.
TOY FAIR 2018 EDUCATIONAL SESSIONS AND SPECIAL EVENTS
Specific details about all Toy Fair educational and networking opportunities can be found in the schedule below and at ToyFairNY.com.
EDUCATION AT TOY FAIR
Licensing Content Connection, sessions Saturday and Sunday, Feb. 17-18 (free for all)
This popular educational series will provide insight into the growing world of toy licensing, which accounts for just under 30 percent of total U.S. toy sales. The four-session program will take place over two days, and include seminars such as “Licensing 101,” “How to Negotiate a Licensing Deal,” “Think Global, Act Local,” and “Are You Ready for Licensing?”
Independent Thinking, sessions Saturday through Tuesday, Feb. 17-20 (free for all)
Neighborhood toy store and specialty shop owners will find practical information to help their stores stand out from the competition in these expert-led sessions. The Toy Association’s “ShopToys365.com for Retailers” sessions will introduce retailers to ShopToys365.com, a digital marketplace that enables buyers and sellers to conduct business online before, during, and after Toy Fair. A session called “60 Innovative Marketing Ideas in 60 Minutes,” hosted in partnership with the American Specialty Toy Retailing Association (ASTRA), will share 60 proven digital and traditional marketing ideas that specialty retailers can implement for proven results.
Smart Packaging Tool – A Tool for Toy Association Members to Optimize Packaging and Save Costs, Saturday, Feb. 17 (free for all)
An introduction to a new tool for Toy Association members that will allow users to minimize the environmental impact of their packaging choices and benchmark their packaging impacts against industry averages for their product categories.
The Future of Consumer Packaging Starts Today, Saturday, February 17 (free)
Amazon packaging experts will speak to the future of consumer packaging, sharing innovations that will reduce cost and complexity – and improve the customer experience.
Global Trade and Market Expansion
with sessions on Sunday and Monday (Feb. 19 & 20) free for Toy Association members; $99 for non-members
The Toy Association will present findings of commissioned global market research to help attendees explore whether their businesses are the right fit for international expansion. The first session (Sunday at 11 a.m.) will focus on Germany, a desirable market for companies wishing to expand to Europe, and the second session (Monday at 2 p.m.) will focus on France, home to one of the fastest growing populations in Europe. Presenters will share each country’s business landscape, consumer demographics, and kids’ behavior, among other topics.
The Toy Association’s Toy Trends Briefing, Sunday, Feb. 18 (free for all)
During The Toy Association’s annual trends session, the Association’s team of trend specialists will give buyers, media, and other interested Toy Fair attendees an exclusive first look at the year’s most exciting trends in toys and games. The presentation will include product demos and examples from the show floor.
Annual General Meeting of The Toy Association, Monday, Feb. 19 (free for all)
Open to members and non-members, this meeting will cover a variety of topics including reports from The Toy Association president and chairman addressing key activities, accomplishments since the last meeting, and a look at the year ahead. A summary financial report will also be presented.
The Toy Association’s Toy Safety & Compliance Update, Monday, Feb, 19 (free for all)
The Toy Association’s “Toy Safety & Compliance Update” will share information that industry stakeholders need to know to bring safe and compliant toys to market, including: information on the revised ASTM F963-17 Toy Safety Standard; updates on state legislative and regulatory activity; information on privacy concerns and connected products; IP protection issues and developments; and international trade issues impacting toys. The session will be presented by Toy Association staff and sponsored by AsiaInspection Group, Bureau Veritas Consumer Products Services, Intertek, and SGS North America, Inc.
Sessions Saturday through Tuesday, Feb. 17 to 20 (free for all)
The creative community gathers yearly at Toy Fair to explore the show floor and hear from experts in various fields who share their knowledge on topics relevant to toy inventors, designers and entrepreneurs. This year’s drop-in sessions will explore Kickstarter success stories, STEAM education, the impact of augmented and virtual reality on play, trends in tech toys, protecting intellectual property rights at home and abroad, and more.
SPECIAL EVENTS AND AFTER-HOURS ACTIVITIES
The Toy Foundation’s 18th annual Toy of the Year (TOTY) Awards will take place the night before Toy Fair opens on Friday, Feb. 16 at the Ziegfeld Ballroom in New York City. The networking gala will honor the best toys and games of the year and celebrate the esteemed inductees into the Toy Industry Hall of Fame — all while supporting the philanthropic work of The Toy Foundation.
Toy Fair’s Opening Ceremony will officially open the show at 8:55 a.m. Saturday, Feb. 17 with a parade of best-loved, costumed characters accompanied by high-spirited live entertainment. Great photo opportunity.
Toy Fair’s International Welcome Reception will be held at 6 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 17. Exclusively for registered international exhibitors, buyers, members of the media, and invited trade officials. Also on Saturday evening, ASTRA is hosting its Celebrate Independents Reception and the industry’s Young Professionals Network is hosting a Happy Hour at a sports bar near the Javits Center.
The Canadian Toy Association’s fourth annual Great Canadian Play Date will be held at 6 p.m. on Sunday, Feb. 18. Guests will be required to show proof of a Canadian address for entry. Also on Sunday night, Women in Toys (WIT)is hosting its 14th Annual Wonder Women Awards at Chelsea Piers, and ASTRA is hosting a Night in New Yorkhappy hour at a local restaurant.
Finally, The Toy Foundation will hold its annual Toy Bank Collection at the close of the show — 4 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 20. Exhibitors donate product, which is collected at the close of the show to benefit children in need across the tri-state area.