ToyFest 2019 concludes, announces dates for upcoming years
ToyFest West concluded its 7th show in the 80,000 square foot exhibit hall at the South Point Hotel, Casino & Spa and its 58th Toy Trade Show since its inception in 1961 at the Biltmore Hotel in Los Angeles, CA. Toy Stores from across the US and internationally attended the Las Vegas Show including stores from 40 states and six different countries. “We continue to improve and this year’s show was no exception,” said WTHRA President, Bill St. John.
As the specialty market evolves and major trade shows become more expensive and less accessible to the independent retailer, ToyFest will to continue to make the event affordable, fresh and relevant. This year’s show was a success, inviting, visually appealing and the buyers who attended wrote orders from the 420 manufacturers that exhibited. ToyFest received positive feedback from buyers on the quality of exhibitors, Seminars, Best of ToyFest, the ToyFest Gala, Game Night and Affordability of the site. Ted Frankel, owner of Tom’s Toys in California said “ToyFest remains one of my favorite shows. I get more work done there than any show I attend.” iPlay, iLearn sponsored a coffee giveaway to all the attendees who arrived each morning which was well accepted. And Winning Moves set up a Charging Station where the Daily Raffle for Buyers took place giving buyers an opportunity to sit and recharge their devices.
The ToyFest Gala inducted five individuals into the Western Toy & Hobby Hall of Fame, Terry Asten Bennett of Cliff’s Variety in San Francisco, Retha and Jim Davis of Kid’s Center in Tucson, AZ, and Jerry Pinsky and Peter Trouw from R-Biz Associates. Five Little Monkey’s in the Bay Area was presented with the Retailer of the Year accolade. Four Booth Awards were handed out to Manufactures and Representatives with the 2nd Place Manufacturer Booth Award given to House of Marbles and 1st Place Manufacturer Booth Award was presented to Hape. The 2nd Place Representative Booth Award was handed to Toy Sellers and 1stPlace Representative Booth Award was presented to Golden Sales. At the end of the show, Bill St. John, WTHRA President announced he will be stepping down as President after his six years, two terms, of dedication and volunteering his time. Lawrence Nissen, owner of Toy Sellers will be taking over as President for the next three years. The show was entertaining, the food was delightful and Honoree’s stayed late socializing with friends and collogues, creating an enchanting evening.
The Retail Merchandising Seminar with Lindsay Anvik was the highest attended seminar ToyFest has seen with fascinating information. The How To Drive Foot Traffic Panel Discussion moderated by Caroline Brady of Pointy was the second most attended seminar at ToyFest with panelists from Cliff’s Variety, Tom’s Toys, The Wonder Emporium and a representative from Google flew in just for the seminar. This seminar invoked stimulating and educational conversations with both the panel and the audience.
ToyFest kicked off its first annual “Best of ToyFest” for Buyers. This event is to help buyers on the final day of the show seek out some of the best toys voted by other buyers. The morning started with an inspiring conversation which led to more orders. The list is tallied and emailed to all exhibitors and attendees following the end of the show.
ToyFest Game Night was a fast and furious evening with 16 Game Sponsors and over 100 attendees. The night was packed full of fun with new games learned by all, a hosted pizza bar and drinks, $400 in cash giveaways as well as free games from some of the participating manufacturers.
ToyFest West will be back in Las Vegas for the 8th consecutive year at the South Point Hotel, Casino & Spa on March 8-10, 2020.
Future ToyFest show dates:
- March 1-3, 2021 (60th Anniversary Show)
- February 28 – March 2, 2022
- February 27 – March 1, 2023
For more information visit toyfestwest.com