American International Toy Fair
The American International Toy Fair (the trademarked name uses all capitals for TOY FAIR) is one of a few major toy industry trade shows held around the world. It is held annually in mid February in New York City's Toy Center, located at 23rd Street at the crossover of Fifth Avenue and Broadway and at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center, and is open to the toy trade only. It is staged by the Toy Industry Association.
The show is claimed by the promoters to be the largest toy trade show in the Western Hemisphere. In 2006, more than 1,500 manufacturers, distributors, importers and sales agents from 30 countries exhibited their toy and entertainment products in over 300,000 square feet (28,000 m2) of exhibit space.
The Javits exhibits feature demonstrations and displays in an open trade show setting, while the toy district showrooms offer a chance for buyers to consult with sales representatives from the major toy manufacturers in a quieter setting. These showrooms can be found at
- 200 Fifth Avenue between 23rd & 24th Streets
- 1107 Broadway at 24th Street
- 230 Fifth Avenue between 26th & 27th Streets
- 1115 Broadway at 25th Street
Each building (they are interconnected by upper story walkways) contains relatively small showrooms from many manufacturers, including in some cases, direct competitors (LEGO and Mega Bloks or Nintendo and Sony for example). Products featured include current lines as well as samples of products not yet introduced, or products under development. Many manufacturers will stage receptions or events prior to the fair itself for invited buyers, media representatives with an interest in the product line, or dignitaries.
Registration is open to the trade only; Toy Fair is not open to the public. Admission for buyers is free but proof of participation in the toy industry is required. Admission for toy manufacturer employees and media is not free. Credentials are still required. Toy manufacturers put a great deal of effort into promotional materials and advertising, as can be seen by the decorated bus. Many smaller retailers do a significant fraction of their total buying at the show, which often features significant discounts.