For the first time in the event's 72-year history, the Spielwarenmesse has been postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Scheduled to take place from 27 to 31 January 2021, the event has been postponed until a new date is confirmed in the European summer 2021.

The postponement of the event follows in the footsteps of other toy fairs that have been cancelled or postponed due to the pandemic including Licensing Expo, BLE and New York Toy Fair, while Melbourne Toy Fair's fate is yet to be decided. 

"We very much regret the decision to postpone the Spielwarenmesse 2021," Spielwarenmesse eG CEO Ernst Kick said. 

"I’d like to thank everyone who joined us on this path, and I feel sure that the improvements we have made will benefit all future events and appearances," he said. 

Preparations were already well underway for the January event, however with increasing COVID infections throughout Europe and tightening travel restrictions across the region, staging the event in person was "almost impossible," Spielwarenmesse said. 

"The new change in circumstances and concerns over the health of all participants make it almost impossible to stage the Spielwarenmesse and guarantee the customary level of quality at the end of January.

"Many countries around the world are currently experiencing a dramatic increase in the number of COVID-19 infections, leading to new travel restrictions also in major European cities.

"These developments are casting doubt among exhibitors and visitors over whether they should be taking part in an international trade fair.

"This uncertainty has been voiced in intensive discussions with the Spielwarenmesse team," the organisation said. 

Exhibitors that have already made payments for the 2021 event will have their payment refunded or transferred to the new event. 

Exhibitors will not have to take any action, Spielwarenmesse will be in contact in the coming weeks. 

The decision to postpone the event was made by the supervisory board on 24 September 2020. 

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