Big news this week with the Toy Association (USA) announcing that the 118th New York toyfair will break with longstanding tradition and occur between September 30th and October 3rd 2023.

For decades, many toy people have traipsed across the world from Hong Kong to Nuremberg to New York speaking to the same buyers about the same products, with many international companies also having their own national fairs, such as the BTHA’s UK toyfair which occurs in January every year (under normal circumstances).

Now though, things have really changed! With the growth of mass market retailers, and with supply chain woes, the February date of the New York show was increasingly looking anachronistic. While it may have suited smaller independent retailers, the reality is that ASTRA has them well covered and most toy companies would not incur the costs of the New York show to service that smaller market. The new dates appear to offer a useful selling opportunity at the beginning of the annual sales window on the U.S. East coast, with the chance to actively influence the largest volume of sales. This would appear to future proof demand for the New York show. It is now set to become a must attend event versus becoming increasingly an expensive trade PR exercise with limited tangible payback for many companies.

For international visitors and those who have historically traipsed the international event circuit, this new timing should be good for some of the same reasons – more open access to mass market retailers at the time that matters, as well as decluttering the start of the new year which is only going to help.

Looks like us toy tradeshow circuit followers will be starting in September with the glitziest show in the business in New York and ending with the biggest toy trade show in the world in late Jan/Feb – that being Spielwarenmesse in Nuremberg. Traditionally, going from the dark and cold of Nuremberg to the dark and cold of New York was not altogether pleasant, but an additional benefit will be visitor experience – Manhattan in late Sept/early Oct is going to be a lot more fun!


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