The hottest new toys, games and youth entertainment products came to life when the 116th North American International Toy Fair, which is known as the largest toy trade show in the Western Hemisphere, opened its doors at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center in New York City last week.
Produced by The Toy Association, Toy Fair New York opened with a ribbon-cutting ceremony and a parade of costumed characters. Immediately following the celebration, the show floor welcomed approximately 30,000 global play professionals, which included more than 7,000 international buyers who explored the massive 447,000-square-feet of exhibit space overflowing with brand-new playthings from more than 1,000 toy companies.
Popular toy companies such as Mattel, Hasbro, Bandai America, LEGO, Ty Inc. and many more showcased some of their hottest and upcoming toys for the upcoming year.
“New York City once again becomes the epicenter of the global toy community as tens of thousands of industry professionals come to experience Toy Fair,” said president and CEO of The Toy Association Steve Pasierb. “Toy Fair is our largest market event ever and the place to see the most ground-breaking toys, games and youth entertainment products. As the only toy show giving professionals direct access to the lucrative $28 billion U.S. toy industry, Toy Fair New York is an essential marketplace for manufacturers, retailers, licensors, inventors, designers and a host of related businesses from around the world.”
Toy Fair also welcomed about 1,000 members of the media who scoured the show floor for innovative playthings, retro toys and licensed products.
Some of the exciting stuff that is coming to store shelves later this year is Hasbro’s Power Rangers Lightning Collection line. Consumers who grew up watching the original Mighty Morphin Power Rangers in the mid-’90s will want to pick up the brand new Lord Zedd and Mighty Morphin White Ranger action figures that feature 20 points of articulation and screen accurate faces, weapons and designs. The figures retail at $19.99.
Just in time for the 20th anniversary of SpongeBob SquarePants, Alpha Group, the new global master toy partner of Nickelodeon’s iconic and top-rated animated series, will debut a brand-new, never-before-seen product line. Building upon 20 years of incredible SpongeBob content and fandom, these toys have evolved from the conventional preschool toy range and are certain to excite a multi-generation fan base. The company’s imaginative range includes collectible pop culture figures, fun-loving novelties, plush and for the first time ever, SpongeBob toys that will include the infamous Nickelodeon Slime. Merchandise begins swimming onto retail shelves this spring.
Awards were also handed out at Toy Fair including LEGO’s Harry Potter Great Hall for Construction Toy of the Year, Plush Toy of the Year went to Scruff-A-Luvs by Moose Toys, Action Figure of the Year went to Mattel’s Jurassic World Dinosaur toy line and Tech Toy of the Year went to Arcade1Up by Tastemakers.