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American Toy Fair 2014 breaks exhibit space record

The show will take place February 16-19, 2014, in New York

  • Key4Communications

The upcoming American International Toy Fair (February 16-19) is expected to be the largest toy trade show ever held in North America, according to the Toy Industry Association (TIA), which owns and manages the event. Though registration has been open for just a few weeks, the show has already surpassed a record-breaking 400,000 net square feet of exhibit space at New York City’s newly renovated Jacob K. Javits Convention Center.

“Tens of thousands of visitors who come to the Toy Fair marketplace will be able to feast their eyes on the biggest show in our 111 years of operation” said Marian Bossard, vice president of meetings and events at the TIA. The 2013 event –which hosted the largest exhibit area since 2000– covered just over 366,000 net square feet at the Javits Center.

This year’s expanded show floor is expected to welcome an upswing in attendees: as of press time, total registration is up 10% over the same period last year, buyer registration is up 6% year-to-date, and international buyer attendance has surged 18% over last year’s point-in-time figures. These play professionals will be among the projected 30,000 visitors in attendance, exploring aisle upon aisle of 150,000 toys, games and youth entertainment products on display by more than 1,000 exhibiting toy companies.

“Buyer registration is off to a very strong start, with 6,200 buyers from 75 countries already registered to attend the show,” stated Joan Wyche, TIA’s director of buyer relations and attendee services. To date, buyers from 20 of the “Top 25 Toy Sellers” in the U.S., including Toys ‘R’ Us, CVS, Walmart, Disney Store, Target, Kmart, and Hobby Lobby, as well as representatives from several of the “Top 250 Global Retailers,” such as Amazon, Apple, Barnes & Noble, Bed, Bath And Beyond, Dick’s Sporting Goods, Walgreen’s, and Whole Foods have signed up, with many more buyer registrants expected to pour in over the coming weeks.

Eager to count their treasured brands among the nearly 900 million licensed toys sold in the U.S. annually, key licensors from Disney, Warner Brothers, American Greetings, Sony, Sesame Street, Nickelodeon, WWE and ESPN have also registered in advance for Toy Fair ’14. Total licensor registration is up 10% over the same time last year.

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