Largest Toy Show in Western Hemisphere Begins Saturday, Sept. 30
NEW YORK, NY | September 28, 2023 – The world-renowned Toy Fair® will mark its return to the global stage and throw open the doors to the Javits Center this weekend in New York City, where toymakers of all sizes will showcase the hottest toys, games, and youth entertainment products that kids and kids-at-heart will be clamoring for this holiday season and beyond.
Produced by The Toy Association™, the four-day show will open Saturday, September 30 with a 9 a.m. ribbon-cutting ceremony and a parade of costumed characters. Immediately following the opening celebration, the show floor will welcome thousands of play professionals – from inventors and designers to retail buyers, licensors, and media from around the world – to explore nearly eight football fields filled with toys and games.
“As the global industry gathers at the 118th Toy Fair this weekend, over 1,000 exhibitors are set to unveil hundreds of thousands of creative, innovative, and skill-building toys as far as the eye can see,” said Steve Pasierb, president & CEO of The Toy Association. “Attendees will tap into the latest trends and hottest topics being discussed within and beyond the toy community through various enriching seminars, build their business networks, and kick off the holiday season with a splash while gaining plenty of insight into 2024. We are excited to present a much-anticipated Toy Fair that will build on its long-standing legacy as one of the world’s leading toy shows!”
From traditional media to online content creators, members of the global press will be there to scout out the must-have toys for this holiday season and get a sneak peek at products coming down the pipeline for 2024. From toys for “kidults” and products designed with sustainability and diversity in mind, to playthings that tap into nostalgic brands and emerging properties, and everything else in between, there will be plenty of buzz surrounding the hottest toys, games, and youth entertainment products.
This year’s Toy Fair University educational programming will offer showgoers a robust assortment of business-building seminars that tackle the most pressing needs of the global toy industry. Sessions will provide perspective on the intersection of business and play in the metaverse; new data-driven research on trends and consumers; insights on toy legislation, safety, and compliance; growth strategies for retail; design tips for toy inventors; and much more. Special after-hours networking events will also take place throughout Toy Fair week.
A sample of events can be found below. The full schedule is available at ToyFairNY.com and through the free Toy Fair Mobile app available on iTunes or Google Play. Toy Fair University sessions are free to all Toy Fair registrants.
TOY FAIR 2023 EDUCATIONAL SESSION HIGHLIGHTS
Toy Fair University will feature different tracks of programming designed to meet the needs of all industry stakeholders, from buyers to media to creatives, marketers, and beyond. Below is a small sampling of programming from these tracks:
On day one of the show, The Toy Association’s team of trends specialists will explore the evolution of its toy & play trends for 2023, supported by new data from a survey of U.S. parents, and offer a sneak peek at what’s to come in 2024 during its Toy Trends Briefing. The team will present the trends and the latest developments in play with product examples straight from the show floor. Saturday, September 30 at 1 p.m. in Room 1E09.
Toy Fair’s Creative Factor series is tailored specifically to the needs of the toy inventor and designer community. Sessions will offer expert advice on taking a concept From Sketch to Shelf (September 30), Intellectual Property Protections Available for Toy Products in the USA (September 30), Designing Toy Packaging (October 1), and more. On Monday, October 2, there will also be a meet-and-greet with the United Inventors Association (UIA)’s Toy Hub advisory board, whose mission is to empower inventors through education, access, and advocacy. Creative Factor sessions will take place all four days in the Toy Fair University Theater (Hall 1D Lobby).
The Toy Association’s Toy Safety & Compliance Update will provide manufacturers, retailers, toy inventors, testing labs, and others in the toy industry with news and developments related to toy safety laws and regulations in the U.S. and abroad. The presentation will be delivered by Toy Association staff and government officials. The session is open to all Toy Fair attendees. Monday, October 2 at 9 a.m. in Room 1E09.
Through the Genius of Play track of programming, attendees will learn about Addressing the Literacy Crisis Through Toys (September 30), How Toys and Games Can Build Kid’s Mental Health Now and For the Future (October 1), and The Importance of Screen-Free Coding For Our Next Generation (October 1). Additional sessions will cover key findings from The Toy Association’s published “Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Mathematics (STEAM) Toy Assessment Framework” and how to apply this framework to product design, and the benefits of having toys and games independently accredited. These sessions will take place in the Toy Fair University Theatre.
With many of the current conversations around the metaverse, Web3, and generative AI tools still met with more questions than answers, the Metaverse education track will offer forward-looking insights into these emerging technologies and spaces. These include How the Toy Industry Can Use Generative AI (September 30), new insights on Kids and The Creator Economy (October 3), Brands & The Metaverse: Why It’s Important for Brands Now (October 1), and more. These sessions will take place in the Toy Fair Theatre.
SPECIAL EVENTS AND ACTIVITIES
The Toy Foundation™ will present the Toy of the Year® (TOTY®) Awards the night before Toy Fair opens on Friday, September 29 at Cipriani 42nd Street in New York City. The awards gala will honor the top toys, games, properties, people, and companies of the year and celebrate the inductees into the Toy Industry Hall of Fame – all while supporting the philanthropic work of The Toy Foundation. Guests will also be treated to an exclusive performance by Grammy Award-winning rapper and musician Wyclef Jean.
Toy Fair’s Opening Ceremony will officially kick off the show at 9 a.m. on Saturday, September 30 with a lively parade of fan-favorite costumed characters followed by a ribbon-cutting ceremony. Great photo opportunity.
Over the course of the four-day show, attendees can visit the Otis Student Gallery, a dedicated gallery in the E-Hall near the General Sessions Theatre and Member Hospitality Lounge, displaying the senior projects of Otis College of Art and Design students, along with artwork, plush playthings, and resumes for anyone looking to get in contact with a recent graduate.
Build-A-Bear will premiere its new film, Unstuffed: A Build-A-Bear Story; Every Bear Has a Tale, by renowned documentarian Taylor Morden, at Toy Fair in the General Session Theatre, Hall 1E, Room 1E09. The night will begin at 6 p.m. at the red carpet. The exclusive viewing will follow along with a post-film Q&A with Build-A-Bear CEO Sharon Price John and the film’s director and producer.
The Toy Association’s Young Professionals Network (YPN) will host its annual Toy Fair Cocktail Party, bringing guests together at 6 p.m. in Midtown for drinks, light bites, and networking. The Canada Night at Toy Fair, hosted by the Canadian Toy Association (CTA), will also start at 6 p.m. that evening at a local bar and grill, where guests can enter a drawing for a complimentary ticket to the upcoming CTA Hall of Fame Reception & Dinner.
On Sunday, October 1, Toy Fair will serve as a meeting ground for hundreds of university students during Toy Fair’s Student Congress. The exclusive day-long event welcomes the next generation of playmakers to explore the show floor, participate in mentorship and recruitment sessions, and explore all the opportunities within the toy industry.
Women in Toys, Licensing, and Entertainment (WiT) will host the 2023 Wonder Women Awards, celebrating the industry’s leading women changemakers at Chelsea Piers beginning at 6 p.m.
On Monday, October 2, Licensing International will host its Toy Fair Party and CHiTAG will host its annual NYC Get-Together. Both events will be held at nearby bars and restaurants, beginning at 6 p.m.
On the final day of Toy Fair, Tuesday, October 3, Creative Factor Inventor Day will invite approved toy manufacturers to hear product pitches from select inventors and designers. The Toy Foundation will close out the show with its annual Toy Bank Collection, beginning at 4 p.m. Exhibitors may donate product, which will be distributed to charities in the tri-state area that benefit children in need.
Registration is mandatory for access to Toy Fair 2023; verification of media and buyer credentials is required. Those who cannot attend the show can follow along on Instagram (#ToyFairLife), LinkedIn, and X (formerly Twitter) and visit the Toy Fair Online Press Room for up-to-the-minute show information.
About Toy Fair® www.ToyFairNY.com
Toy Fair® is the largest and most comprehensive play-focused experience unifying the toy industry’s entire ecosystem with key players to help with business development and sourcing the latest products from across all forms and stages of play. Featuring thousands of new and unique toys, games, edutainment, entertainment-driven experiences, and more from around the world, Toy Fair offers attendees a competitive edge no other trade event can match.
About The Toy Association www.toyassociation.org / www.thegeniusofplay.org / www.playsafe.org
Founded in 1916, The Toy Association™, Inc. is the business trade association representing hundreds of companies including manufacturers, retailers, licensors, and others who are involved in the youth entertainment industry. The Toy Association leads the health and growth of the U.S. toy industry, which has an annual U.S. economic impact of $102.4 billion. Our manufacturing members account for 93% of U.S. toy and game sales driving the annual $40 billion U.S. domestic toy market. The Toy Association serves as the industry’s voice on the developmental benefits of play and promotes play’s positive impact on childhood development to consumers and media. The organization has a long history of leadership in toy safety, having helped develop the first comprehensive toy safety standard more than 40 years ago, and remains committed to working with medical experts, government, consumers, and industry on ongoing programs to ensure safe and fun play. As a global leader, The Toy Association produces the world-renowned Toy Fair®; advocates on behalf of members around the world; sustains the Canadian Toy Association; acts as secretariat for the International Council of Toy Industries and International Toy Industry CEO Roundtable; and chairs the committee that reviews and revises America’s widely emulated ASTM F963 toy safety standard.