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New York Toy Fair Moving To New Orleans In 2026


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The Toy Association Board of Directors has revealed the upcoming dates and locations for Toy Fair. There will be no Toy Fair in 2024 and then in 2025 it will take place one last time at the Javitz Center in NYC from March 1-4.

Then starting in 2026 Toy Fair will be moving to New Orleans, LA at the New Orleans Ernest N. Morial Convention Center. These are the next three dates given for New Orleans. Jan. 17-20, 2026, Jan. 9-12, 2027 and Jan. 15-18, 2028.

See the entire press release below:

In response to a comprehensive evaluation of marketplace shifts and thoughtful consideration of the many constituents served, The Toy Association® Board of Directors announced today that the next Toy Fair® (aka the North American International Toy Fair) will take place in the first quarter of 2025, with March 1 to March 4 secured with the Javits Center in New York City. Following the 2025 event, Toy Fair will move to January at the award-winning New Orleans Ernest N. Morial Convention Center. The confirmed dates are: January 17-20, 2026; January 9-12, 2027; and January 15-18, 2028. The Toy Association and its board conducted an extensive national search to determine these dates and locations as the best available fit for the toy community in the upcoming years.

"Prior to the pandemic, we heard repeated calls that changing manufacturing lead times and retailer buying patterns demanded a shift of the iconic tradeshow's timing from February into an earlier fall timeline. These factors and similar research findings were accelerated by the pandemic and as a board we were responsive," said Aaron Muderick, chairman of The Toy Association and founder of Crazy Aaron's. "Now, behaviors and inputs have returned to more traditional views that Toy Fair's key audiences find the most value in a North American trade event taking place in the first quarter of the year, ideally mid-January. We have again listened and responded by crafting an optimal pattern based on the needs of those we serve."

After a three-year hiatus, the world-renowned Toy Fair marked its 118th return to the global stage at the Javits Center yesterday, and more than 1,000 toymakers of all sizes are showcasing the hottest new toys, games, and youth entertainment products. The four-day show welcomes thousands of inventors, designers, licensors, importers, distributors, buyers, and media from around the world to explore the equivalent of nearly eight football fields filled with toys and games. The scale of buying-selling activity at all levels of the industry combined with the wide scope of audiences utilizing the show demonstrate the need for a central, large facility as integral to bringing together the vast diverse toy, play, games, allied products, inventor, licensing, entertainment, and other communities that make Toy Fair a world-class event.

"After gathering opinions from key retailers, members/exhibitors of The Toy Association and based on a number of evaluation factors including timing, high-quality space availability, access to transportation, and affordability for exhibitors and attendees, it became clear that New Orleans would be the best fit for the Toy Fair – and best meet the needs of all our diverse guests," said Steve Pasierb, President & CEO of The Toy Association. "New Orleans has state of the art facilities including a brand-new airport, renowned restaurants, museums, music, an array of event spaces, and a strong collaborative partnership between the Convention Center, New Orleans & Company, and the business community, making it a perfect, welcoming fit for Toy Fair. We are confident in delivering a high quality, energetic, and seamless Toy Fair experience over the next four shows, in the same way we have been delivering on this promise for more than 100 years."

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Toy Fair at Javits Center used to be the seminal week early in a given toy-collecting year.  Everything about a collectors want-lists seem to revolve around what was shown--trade magazines like Tomart's Action Figure Digest would have multiple issues devoted to the event, they ran over the course of about 20+ years.    It was a real feast.

And then, a few years ago.........it all started to sort of fragment, splintered.  Some big manufacturers started to have their showrooms off-site, and some started booking appointments for retailers and press to see the merch.  Then some decided to NOT show at Toy Fair in mid Feb, but later the next month in March at New York Comic Con.  
AND THEN the live-event kinda segued into an on-line event news-release that wasn't really beholden to specific calendar days anymore.  They'd have their "fan-events", or SDCC or Wondercon, or whenever.  Most of Toy Fair isn't action figures anyways, they are a very tiny portion of what get's show. Most of the merch shown is games, knick-knacks, sundry toy items like toy cars, sport items and pre-school stuff--well out the interests of collectors.  I'm hoping the New Orleans venue can centralize and bring back Toy Fair to a calendar date again, because I miss the old days when it was.

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