The LEGO Group will need to rethink its reveal schedule for 2021, as next year’s UK Toy Fair has been cancelled.
The British Toy and Hobby Association (BTHA) announced its decision today, citing the ongoing pandemic. Unlike the New York Toy Fair, though – which has simply been pushed back to May – the annual UK Toy Fair won’t return until 2022.
“This conclusion is due to government restrictions now in place on large-scale indoor events in light of the COVID-19 pandemic,” the BTHA said in a statement. “The wellbeing of our exhibitors, visitors, staff and contractors is paramount and currently the risks are considered too great to allow the show to go ahead as dictated by the government regulations.
“We empathise with the industry’s disappointment – this is the first year that Toy Fair will not take place in 66 years. We express our thanks to all exhibitors for their patience and understanding and for the support of the wider industry, and very much looking forward to a big return in 2022 from 25-27 January.”
There will be no virtual alternative to the event, either – but exhibitors will be able to share product reveals on the BTHA’s website. Given the LEGO Group usually uses UK Toy Fair to share its summer releases with retailers and select press, it may need to take advantage of that option, or consider rethinking its entire reveal schedule.
That will have to happen to some extent anyway, of course, as the company normally gives the public a first glimpse at its new sets at New York Toy Fair in February. In the absence of that show, we’ll just have to wait and see how the LEGO Group chooses to reveal its summer 2021 products.