For the second year in a row Toy Fair New York has been cancelled. The Toy Association made the announcement tonight, confirming that this year's event that was scheduled for February 19 to 22, and would have been the first since 2020, will not be moving forward at the Javits Center. The annual trade event has long been a staple for toy manufacturers where they show off their new slate of products for the year, and a time for collectors to begin their budgetary planning. Toy Fair New York, formerly the American International Toy Fair, first started back in 1903 and has been ongoing for 117 years.
In a statement, Steve Pasierb, President & CEO of The Toy Association said: "Key to our efforts these past two weeks has been the balance of some 700 remaining committed toy manufacturers saying they need and want Toy Fair 2022 to build their businesses, weighing that against those departing and seriously on the fence, and needing to provide a sufficient quantity and quality across the retail buying community necessary to deliver a positive experience. As that balance has shifted, we are obligated to make the best decision in everyone's interest no matter how heartbreaking for so many and potentially damaging some business' future prospects. The wide range of other events that occur across New York City during Toy Fair week are now also impacted."
He added, "Certainly, there are legitimate concerns around the pandemic that has guided thinking. Many are saying they are very comfortable with being in New York City, at the Javits Center, and at the show given strict health and safety protocols in place, while travel concerns and for some, staff absences due to illness at home, rightfully weigh on their minds."
Previous announcements from The Toy Association indicated a clear set of guidelines with regard to COVID-19 safety and precautions for Toy Fair 2022 including all attendees be fully vaccinated and wear masks during the event.
"Delivering a best-in-class next Toy Fair for all the varied audiences it serves so well is now our focus," Pasierb concluded. "We will be working with all exhibitors on next steps to unwind February 2022 and build a solid base for visitors from across the world to again experience Toy Fair."
It's unclear how the manufacturers that had already planned their Toy Fair exhibition will handle the cancellation but the potential for online announcements from some certainly seems like a possibility.