Originally scheduled to take place Feb. 19-22, The Toy Association has announced the cancellation of the 2022 edition of Toy Fair New York amid concerns surrounding the pandemic.
"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," says Steve Pasierb, president, chief executive officer, 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."
The Toy Association is a significant supporter of 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.
"Certainly, there are legitimate concerns around the pandemic that has guided thinking," says Pasierb. "Many are saying they are very comfortable with being 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."
The Toy Fair New York event has a 117-year history and is a significant yearly milestone for professionals and brands within the toy, play and youth entertainment marketplace.
"Delivering a best-in-class next Toy Fair for all the varied audiences serves so well is now our focus," adds Pasierb. "We will be working with all exhibitors on the next steps to unwind February 2022 and build a solid base for visitors from across the world to again experience Toy Fair."