Here in the UK we have woken up to the news that Toy Fair New York 2022 has been cancelled, whilst the Toy Fair UK will still go on.
The Toy Association, producer of Toy Fair New York, the largest toy, play, and youth entertainment marketplace in the Western Hemisphere, has announced the cancellation of Toy Fair New York, originally set to take place, February 19 to 22, 2022 at the Javits Center in New York City.
“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,” said Steve Pasierb, President & CEO of 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.”
Toy Fair New York has a 117-year unparalleled track record of success. It remains The Toy Association’s responsibility to protect business rights, promote toy companies, advocate for members, and help members sell more product – which includes delivering a worthwhile investment in a quality, essential trade event.
“Certainly, there are legitimate concerns around the pandemic that has guided thinking,” added 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.
Pasierb concluded: “Delivering a best-in-class next Toy Fair for all the varied audiences it serves so well is now our focus. We will be working with all exhibitors on next steps to unwind February 2022 and build a solid base for visitors from across the world to again experience Toy Fair.”
Toy Fair New York 2020 was the last overseas show I attended before COVID-19 took over the world, and I was very much looking forward to attending this year. Here’s hoping that Star Wars Celebration in May will still go-ahead.