Once again, the New York Toy Fair is upon us, and toymakers worldwide will be descending upon the Jacob Javits Center from Sunday the 17th to Wednesday the 20th to show off their latest products and innovations—all with a renewed focus on safety. Despite the challenges of 2007, toymakers are confident that they will rebound, albeit with new challenges and price increases predicted at about 10 percent for many products hitting the shelves.
“Consumer confidence is clearly at a low point due to the recent toy recalls,” says Dave Carlson, CEO of AllAboardToys.com. “The toy industry needs to regain the confidence of the consumer. This will take time and will be done in part by delivering excellent quality and engaging toys during 2008 and 2009. But it will take more than just work on the manufacturer’s part to successfully re-engage with the consumers. Retailers must lead the way with new ways of serving their customers online, and we are looking forward to rising to that challenge in 2008.”
Adds Robert Marick, vice president of Disney Toys, North America: “I view 2007 as a year of reflection, and, if anything, what I’m walking out with is that product quality, satisfaction, and expectation are the most important things and we can’t get blindsided from other issues as we have to ensure that we demand the highest quality standards.”
Safety, quality, engagement, satisfaction: We expect to hear a lot about those concepts and what toy manufacturers—and retailers—are doing to improve upon them during next week’s show.