While 2020 is in fact over, it's still going to be a bit before large scale events become a regular occurrence, and that's part of the reason that The Toy Association has officially cancelled New York Toy Fair this year (via ToyBook). New York Toy Fair typically takes place in February, but The Toy Association previously postponed it in 2021, planing to launch the event in May. Those plans have been halted though, and now it will shift focus to Toy Fair Dallas, which takes place in October. President and CEO of The Toy Association Steve Pasierb released a statement on the cancellation, which you can find below.
“Our foremost consideration is the health and well-being of the global toy and play community and setting a clear path forward,” Pasierb wrote in a statement. “We want to provide our exhibitors, retail buyers, and the larger toy and play community with certainty on important destination shows and the ability to take advantage of immediate opportunities through our year-round buying and selling platform.”
Now, while it will be October before a physical convention will once again take place (and 2022 before New York Toy Fair returns), The Toy Association is also set to work with retailers throughout 2021 on virtual private product preview events, and the first of these in 2021 will be with Claire's on February 4th.
“These proven digital opportunities should continue to be a critical part of every toy businesses’ mixed sales and marketing strategy,” says Marian Bossard, executive vice president of global market events at The Toy Association. “As we look forward to our time together at Toy Fair Dallas 2021 and Toy Fair New York 2022, the proof is in the pudding as to the potential of these digital tools and events to serve our members in reaching new audiences.”
It's unfortunate that there won't be a New York Toy Fair this year, but it makes sense to shut it down now as opposed to continuing to push it back throughout the year, especially since Toy Fair Dallas already had set up shop in October. Hopefully, that event will happen and 2022 can herald a strong return of the New York staple.
Toy Fair Dallas takes place at the Dallas Market Center from October 5th to October 7th.