American International Toy Fair Grew in 2012

American International Toy Fair -- Largest Toy Trade Show in Western Hemisphere -- Grows in 2012

Numbers Spike for Buyers, International Guests, Licensors and Entertainment Execs

NEW YORK, Feb. 22, 2012 -- The 109th American International Toy Fair opened its doors to colossal crowds last week as nearly 27,000 industry professionals from more than 100 countries converged in New York City to scout 100,000+ fun and innovative products at the largest and most successful U.S.-hosted toy trade show to be held in recent years.

Owned and operated by the Toy Industry Association (TIA), Toy Fair 2012 welcomed increased attendance across nearly all categories, including a 3% increase in buyers, a 5% increase in international participants, a 14% jump in licensors and a 23% surge in entertainment executives. Total attendance during the four-day show was 26,730... a 2% increase over last year.

Locking in Toy Fair's spot as a gateway to global toy markets, this year's iteration of the annual event welcomed 10,592 buyers from more than 6,000 retail outlets worldwide. Nearly 1,100 exhibitors from 24 countries covered 366,489 net square feet of exhibit space – the largest exhibit area since 2000 – at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center with displays of the most exciting toys, games and youth entertainment products destined for store shelves in 2012.

"Toy Fair has evolved into one of the greatest shows on earth, attracting powerful players from the $83 billion global toy industry," said Carter Keithley, TIA President. "Our show is proven to be a critical stop on the global toy circuit and a magical, exciting experience for all who come."

"The rapidly increasing international interest we've seen over the past few years has made Toy Fair more dynamic and successful than ever before," added Marian Bossard, TIA vice president of meetings and events.

The top five countries identified with the highest attendance numbers at the show were Canada, the U.K., Japan, Mexico and Australia. Significant year-to-date increases in visitors came from Colombia (+33%), Japan (+17%), Australia (+13%), Mexico (+11%), Canada (+10%) and Panama (+200%).

Buyer delegations from Target, Toys"R"Us and Walmart saw unprecedented increases of 39%, 24% and 90%, respectively. Twenty four (24) of the nation's Top 25 Toy Sellers were represented by buyers.

The diversity of retailers at Toy Fair 2012 spanned traditional toy sellers ranging in size from specialty toy stores to big box and warehouse retailers to drugstores, supermarkets and hypermarkets, as well as alternative toy and game distribution channels such as book and clothing stores, pet shops and travel-themed retailers.

"Toy Fair 2012 was a huge success!" said Eric Levin, division head of Techno Source, a division of LF Products (a Li & Fung company). "The amount of press coverage we were able to generate was fantastic. It was the perfect way to build momentum for our key new product launches for the upcoming holiday season. Our team was energized and our customers were impressed!"

More than 1,000 press flocked to New York to report on this year's top toy trends – which include Generation App, Glowing Wild, Little Learners, Many Ways to Play!, Save 'n' Splurge and Young Maestros – and to predict which toys and games will be on everyone's radar come fourth quarter holiday shopping season. Major media outlets covering Toy Fair this year included The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Associated Press, USA Today, MTV, ABC News, CNN, Fox News, WPIX, Entertainment, and HBO Latin America Networks.

"This year's show was far and away the best we've had in our 26 years of exhibiting. The booth traffic was incredible, with fantastic feedback on our new products pouring in from buyers and press," said ThinkFun communications manager Charlotte Fixler.

"This has been one of the most successful Toy Fairs in Imperial's history," agreed Imperial Toy co-president, Peter Tiger.

"We had an amazing first experience exhibiting at Toy Fair," commented Julien Sharp, president of Funnybone Toys, one of the 228 companies exhibiting this year for the first time. "We loved our location and traffic. I am in discussions with two buyers this week about orders that would literally be two-thirds of the initial order we made from the factory."

Reflecting on the show, TIA's Bossard said: "Both big-name companies and exciting new start-ups indicated to us that they experienced four jam-packed days of order-writing and deal-making across a diverse and powerful sea of global buyers. We are thrilled that Toy Fair 2012 was such a positive event for all of our audiences."

The 110th American International Toy Fair will be held February 10-13, 2013, at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center in New York City.

About the American International Toy Fair (
Toy Fair is an annual event that is owned and operated by the Toy Industry Association (TIA). The largest toy trade show in the Western Hemisphere, the show brings together more than 1,000 exhibiting manufacturers, distributors, importers and sales agents from over 100 countries to showcase an estimated 100,000 toy and entertainment products to the 8,000 unique retail outlets scheduled to attend.

About the Toy Industry Association (TIA) (
TIA is the not-for-profit trade association for producers and importers of toys and youth entertainment products sold in North America, representing 550 companies who account for approximately 85% of domestic toy sales. Toy safety is the number one priority for the toy industry. TIA has a long history of leadership in toy safety including development of the first comprehensive toy safety standard more than 30 years ago, and working with government, consumers and industry on ongoing programs to ensure safe and fun play.