Well friends, first & foremost, Happy New Year to you and yours! Not only am I saddened by the fact that this is my first post of the year, but more so due to the content of the message.
Earlier today, The Toy Association, producer of Toy Fair New York, shared word that NYTF22 has been canceled. As COVID-19 continues to rage across the U.S. and with hospitalizations at record highs, this action was foreseeable, but heartbreaking nonetheless.
Here’s the scoop –
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Toy Fair New York 2022 Cancelled
New York, NY | January 11, 2022 – The Toy Association, producer of Toy Fair New York, the largest toy, play, and youth entertainment marketplace in the Western Hemisphere, has announced the cancellation of Toy Fair New York, originally set to take place, February 19 to 22, 2022 at the Javits Center in New York City.
“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,” said Steve Pasierb, President & CEO of The Toy Association. “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.”
Toy Fair New York has a 117-year unparalleled track record of success. It remains The Toy Association’s responsibility to protect business rights, promote toy companies, advocate for members, and help members sell more product – which includes delivering a worthwhile investment in a quality, essential trade event.
“Certainly, there are legitimate concerns around the pandemic that has guided thinking,” added Pasierb. “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.”
With about 700 toy manufacturers who remained committed to exhibiting at Toy Fair, “constant, unfounded rumors” on social media and elsewhere defied The Toy Association’s best efforts to sustain the show amid global uncertainty surrounding the pandemic.
Pasierb concluded: “Delivering a best-in-class next Toy Fair for all the varied audiences it serves so well is now our focus. 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.”
Founded in 1916, The Toy Association™, Inc. is the not-for-profit trade association representing all businesses involved in creating and delivering toys and youth entertainment products for kids of all ages. The Toy Association leads the health and growth of the U.S. toy industry, which has an annual U.S. economic impact of $98.6 billion, and its roughly 900 members drive the annual $32.6 billion U.S. domestic toy market. The Toy Association serves as the industry’s voice on the developmental benefits of play and promotes play’s positive impact on childhood development to consumers and media. The organization has a long history of leadership in toy safety, having helped develop the first comprehensive toy safety standard more than 40 years ago, and remains committed to working with medical experts, government, consumers, and industry on ongoing programs to ensure safe and fun play.
As a global leader, The Toy Association produces the world-renowned Toy Fair New York; advocates on behalf of members around the world; sustains the Canadian Toy Association; acts as secretariat for the International Council of Toy Industries and International Toy Industry CEO Roundtable; and chairs the committee that reviews and revises America’s widely emulated ASTM F963 toy safety standard.
As more and more events become virtual, one would assume that it’s only a matter of time before Toy Fair becomes a strictly online event. That said, the trend as of late has been manufacturers hosting their own events (ie – Hasbro’s PulseCon, Mezco’s 1:12 event, et al).
I look forward to the day when we can enjoy our hobby safely. Hopefully that day comes sooner than later.