The up-beat atmosphere at the NY toy was matched by the growth in the US toy market, which clocked a rise of five per cent in sales last year.
More than 14,000 retailers, wholesalers, entertainment executives, importers, buying groups, and trade guests from 96 countries attended the 114th North American Toy Fair to interact with 1131 toy companies of all types and sizes.
Mass and specialty buyers were out in force, including delegations from 4000 unique retail outlets and 22 of the top 25 US toy retailers, such as Amazon.com, American Girl, Build-A-Bear Workshop, Costco, CVS, Disney Store, Target, Toys R Us, and Walmart.
The contingents boasting the most growth in attendance were international buyers (up 10.9 per cent year-over-year), trade guests (up 33.1 per cent), and foreign press (rising 17.2 per cent).
The top five countries represented at the show, not including the US and Canada, were China, the United Kingdom, Hong Kong, Mexico, and Japan.
Licensing executives from Amazon Studios, Cartoon Network, Disney Consumer Products, HBO, Lions Gate Entertainment, Marvel, Nickelodeon, Nintendo, Sesame Workshop, Sony Pictures, Warner Bros and others were also on-site to scout new trends and forge licensing agreements with toy makers.
“Toy Fair 2017 was a resounding success for our members’ businesses. The booths and aisles were abuzz with excitement and optimism, as the toy community continues to impress, innovate, and leverage technology, bringing new toys and games to market that enrich the lives of families everywhere,” Steve Pasierb, Toy Industry Association (TIA) president and CEO said.
“This year’s show opened doors for American toymakers to new and emerging markets around the world, brought exciting trends and play experiences to life, and unveiled inventions from talented inventors and entrepreneurs”.
“From first-time exhibitors in our new Launch Pad section, to veteran toymakers that have been exhibiting at Toy Fair for decades, the diversity of companies represented at the show continues to draw an enormous international crowd of play professionals to New York City,” Marian Bossard, TIA SVP Global Market Events said.
“Our vast range of attendees were there to build new relationships, forge deals, and enjoy a range of practical educational sessions that provided insight into global safety standards, toy trends, licensing, specialty retail, entrepreneurship, and much more.”