Go to: Section menu | Main menu | Footer | Top of Page

Market Research


Largest toy fair in New York ever

Jan Sinke, Editor, Speelgoed en Hobby


Never was the toy fair, of which the 111th edition took place in February 2014 as large as this issue. All records were broken. The tendency was good, under exhibitors as well as visitors, who came from North America, but also from South America and Europe.

Before the excitement of the actual show, toy industry devotees packed into the Grand Hyatt Hotel for the Oscar worthy 14th Annual Toy of the Year Awards and Toy Industry Hall of Fame, organized by the Toy Industry Association. During the night a few new members were chosen to enter the Toy Industry Hall of Fame, like Jill Barad, former CEO of Mattel, and Horst Brandstätter, president and owner of Geobra Brandstätter, mother company of Playmobil.

Concerning the Toy Awards, which were presented in different categories, there was a big surprise. The art & crafts product Rainbow Loom from Choon’s Design, with which you can make beautiful bracelets or necklaces from rubber bands, was the winner in not less than four categories (Toy of the Year, Activity Toy of the Year, Girl Toy of the Year and Specialty Toy of the Year), which was probably a record. For the realization of the nominees, consumers and various organisations give their votes. Cumbrous, but more honest elections do not exist.

Opening by Alicia Keys
With Empire State of Mind being fames singer Alicia Keys most iconic song, it was probably fitting that she opened the 111th American International Toy Fair in New York. It was also fitting that the Grammy Award winner was on site to launch her new interactive children’s app Mookey The Journals of Mama Mae & Leelee which she co-created. And while the opening of the fair by Alicia keys was undoubtedly a highlight, it most centainly was not the only draw.

The show, which ran on a record breaking 38.274 square meters of exhibit space in the Jacob K. Javits center on Manhattan Island, boasted almost 26.500 industry professionals from 100 countries. The visitors came to see novelties at 1.153 exhibition stands. The beautiful building was recently renovated and has a gigantic entrance hall, which gives entrance to exhibition halls and various restaurants. The square before the building is filled with taxi’s and busses who bring and collect the visitors. Adrienne Appell, senior manager public relations at TIA, did not notice such a good tendency in the eleven years she is working for the fair. Appell: “in 2012 and 2013 the toy market was flat in the US, but this year will be a good year we expect."

New products
One of the most remarkable licenses on the fair was the phenomenon Grumpy Cat. Grumpy Cat is a cat with a kind of deformed face. The real name of the two year old cat is Tardar Sauce, but because of his appearance he is called Grumpy Cat. It has become a real license and you can see his face everywhere. The American companies Guns and Ganz both have a line of plush of the animal. Very funny is Insanimals: a cheerful line of insane list animals.

There were numerous electronic innovations. Orbotix showed, on a gigantic table, its product Sphero 2.0, an advanced robotic ball in the size and shape of a tennis ball, with a sturdy polycarbonate shell. You can control the ball with a smartphone or tablet. Sphero comes with two ramps, so you can catch by air right out of the box. With over 25 apps now available Sphero works with iOS 4.0+ or Android devices. Sphero is waterproof and can float in the water. With inductive loading, so no wires! When the ball is loaded you can play with it for hours.

Teenage fashion dolls
On the fair there were various manufacturers of teenage dolls. The Beatrix Girls for instance from Popstar Club: four characters who play music together in a rock band. These dolls are 30 centimeter high. Or the Prettie Girls , a group of mulicultural teenage dolls who love fashion. Americans love to show how multiculti they are. But the dolls are really nice!

Gigantic tower of playing cards

On the stand of the Belgian manufacturer of playing cards Cartamundi an enormous tower was built from playing cards. The builder was Bryan Berg, keeper of the world record. With a tower of 7.7 meter high he got an entry in the Guinness Book of Records. For shops with party articles I saw a funny product, very much suitable for the Wold Chamopinship Soccer: Atti-tutu-des , a tutu made of various layers of cambric, which you could wear on your head as well.

Growing international attendance
The final word goes to Marian Bossard, Vice President Meetings & Events at the TIA who told: “International participation in Toy Fair has grown every year for the last number of years and this year is no exception. Toy Fair 2014 has seen an 11% increase in international buyer attendance. With 94 countries attending the year’s marketplace, those who question whether the NY Toy Fair plays a key role on the international stage have their answer.”

  • La Tafanera
  • delicious
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • LinkedIn

Go to: Section menu | Main menu | Footer | Top of Page