New York Toy fair Returns

It’s been a long time since the last New York Toy Fair – February of 2020 to be exact. Then, we were all wondering what the future might hold, but at the same time thinking we are probably immune from any issues here in the states. Of course, the pandemic changed Toy Fair, the city of New York, our country, and the world.

Toy Fair New York 2023 Javitz Entrance
Toy Fair New York 2023 Javitz entrance.

But a US Toy Fair in October just doesn’t seem right, although we sure did enjoy nice weather. Then, the announcement that Toy Fair will be moving to New Orleans blindsided everyone! (Eventually, after the Fair, this is all rolled back and it all returns to New York, but not until 2025 – the Toy Association decision making is an absolute mess!)

Some General Observations

The big consolidators upstairs are getting even bigger and broader, adding new brands, and in all reality, during the uncertainty of the last few years, probably an attractive space for the small to medium toy company.
Downstairs there were many larger companies and fewer small companies in small booths. Coming out of the pandemic, there seems to be fewer new small-scale entrants. Downstairs also included long swaths of Chinese manufacturers, outside the usual pavilion upstairs. I suspect Chinese factories are looking for business as export from China appears to have less demand and therefore slowed.
Paola Reina doll company booth
Paola Reina doll company booth at the New York Toy Fair 2023.

A pretty big explosion of puzzles at the show and also a lot of doll companies compared to previous years. Of course we know that the pandemic was good for puzzle companies and so there are many manufacturers aiming for a slice of that pie. As for dolls, maybe prepandemic there were just a handful of exhibitors but this year at least a dozen companies showing dolls. Not sure I could say the booths were busy though. Oddly, Corelle was squeezed into a tiny 12 foot booth.

And finally, an enormous increase in smaller European companies, perhaps as many as 20 instead of the usual 5 to 10.