Mar 12, 2024
ToyFest 2024 concludes, unveils 2025 dates

ToyFest concluded its 11th trade show in Las Vegas, held at the World Market Center. Toy and gift stores from across the U.S. attended the Las Vegas show, including stores from 48 states and 24 international countries.

The Las Vegas Market held their spring buying event parallel with ToyFest.

ToyFest logo“What a week! ToyFest 2024 was filled with buyers from all over the country,” said Sandy Lepire, president of ToyFest. “The show had great energy and excitement, allowing everyone to enjoy all ToyFest had to offer. Resorts World was once again a lovely host hotel. I can’t wait for 2025 as we continue to make ToyFest the best it can be for all.”

The Western Toy & Hobby Representatives Association (WTHRA) Board of Directors said it aims to keep the show affordable for the exhibitors and buyers, and the ToyFest slate of officers strive to keep the show fresh and appealing to the specialty retailer. ToyFest was honored as one of Tradeshow Executives’ Fastest 50 this year for net square feet of exhibit space, exhibiting companies and for attendance. The show will be honored this coming May in Las Vegas.

Morning Masterpieces Kit Session was packed full of buyers with breakfast and crafting to kick off the show on Sunday, March 3. Buyers had the opportunity to see and learn in a hands-on fashion the new and creative kits and crafts on the market from a sold-out room with fifteen vendors including Abacus Brands, Aqua Blocks, Bright Stripes, Crestar, DJECO, Eye Connect Crafts, Family Games America, Henry’s Toy Box, Large As Life Puzzles, MW Wholesale, OOLY, Outset Media, Sky Castle Toys, TPG Creation, U.S. Toy. ToyFest gave out extra drink tickets for the ToyFest Gala to those that stopped by each vendor table.

The ToyFest Gala was held at Resorts World, Lily Ballroom on Sunday evening. Sandy Lepire and Bill St. John kicked off the awards portion of the Gala with an introduction of the volunteer WTHRA Board of Directors and ToyFest Slate of Officers. Industry peers who passed away in 2023 were recognized with a moment of silence including Andrea Peterson co-owner of Sunshine Sales, Gary Glendel from Sweet Dreams Candy & Toy Store, Rich Brady from Play Co, Richard Gottlieb with Global Toy News, and Harvey Prince a Sales Rep who owned HPA Sales. The Individuals who were inducted into the Western Toy & Hobby Hall of Fame were Jan & Ken Hatch from The Erin Griffin Group, Tad Kato with Wildthings Sales & Marketing, Sandy Lepire & Andrea Peterson owners of Sunshine Sales, and Bruce Reynolds from Toyology. The Dinosaur Farm in South Pasadena, CA took home Retailer of the Year. Dave Plenn, owner of The Dinosaur Farm, and his son performed a heartwarming song.

There were two seminars at ToyFest, one focused on sales, trends and the future of indie toy stores with The Toy Man, Rick Derr. The second seminar was with Colleen Clifford Hendon who spoke on how Toys are used as Tools for kids.

ToyFest Game Night experienced nearly 100 attendees and a sold-out room with eighteen Game Sponsors including Arcane Wonders, Bene World Toys, Blue Orange Games, Continuum Games, Czech Games Edition, Epoch Everlasting Play, Fun In Motion Toys, Funwares, Goliath, Hootenanny Games, Kids Table BG, Mukikim, Outset Media, Pallino, R and R Games, SD Toyz, Smart Toys and Games, The Good Game Company. ToyFest raffled $400 in cash to lucky buyers as an extra perk for attending. The night was packed full of fun with some fantastic new games learned by all.

Best of ToyFest was full of great ideas and opinions from retailers on Tuesday morning. The sit-down round table breakfast awarded the following manufactures to take home the Best in ToyFest in each of the categories below:

  • Arts & Crafts: Bright Stripes (for 2 years in a row)
  • Building & Construction: Ukidz/UGears
  • Dolls / Action Figures: Tentacle Kitty
  • Games & Puzzles: Dolphin Hat Games
  • Infant: Kids Preferred
  • Novelty: Instacake Cards
  • Outdoor: Wishbone
  • Pre-School: Bene World
  • Science, Stem/Steam: Learn to Solder Kits

ToyFest raffled off $2,400 product to buyers all three days in the ToyFest Daily Raffle. For every order written, buyers received a raffle ticket to win.

ToyFest appreciates the continued enthusiasm and looks forward to seeing everyone in Las Vegas for the 2025 show happening at The Las Vegas Market, Feb. 19-21, 2025.

“We are set for 2025, and we improved on all aspects of our 2024 show,” said Bill St. John, WTHRA’s chairman of the board. “Retailers, vendors and reps gave ToyFest and the Gala rave reviews. After 62 years, we continue to get it right.”

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