GM Thought of the Week

New York Toy Fair 2017

Last weekend, I walked over 75,000 steps.

No.. this was not some new exercise regime, it was New York Toy Fair 2017.

Spanning 443,000 net square ft. across 4 days (18th-21st February), thousands of global industry professionals jam packed the Jacob K Javits Convention Center to see the latest toys, games, youth and entertainment products.

Despite boasting a long list of exhibitors, the fair seemed to be a tale of two halves. On one hand you could see the new launches for established multi-national companies such as Hasbro, Mattel and Lego and on the other there were smaller outfits such as Light Up Inc who teach kids how to build light circuits and basic coding.

A noticeable trend amongst the smaller companies that we do not see so much of at the London Toy Fair was the need to find a distributor. It seemed many exhibitors in London already have a distributor on board so it was quite striking a thought to think that so many great toys that we saw over the 4 days may not reach mass distribution.

Something that caught my attention that is not utilised enough in London is the use of advertising near the venue. On hailing a quintessential yellow cab on the way to the fair, you would be greeted by a Zhu Zhu advert on the TV screen. On walking into the Javits Center it was hard not to notice the giant Barbie billboard opposite.

These brands were capitalising on the fact that, for this weekend, the city was overrun with Toy Fair attendees. It certainly made them stand out to me so may have caught favour with buyers too. Something for our UK colleagues to consider in  the run up to next January…