Following a tentative push to May 2021, the Toy Association has now completely cancelled this year’s New York Toy Fair.
A bout of ‘optimistic realism’ saw the organisers move the convention from its traditional February date to the beginning of May. But it’s now shelved the event altogether, citing continued uncertainty over the coronavirus pandemic.
“Our foremost consideration is the health and well-being of the global toy and play community and setting a clear path forward,” said the Toy Association’s president and CEO Steve Pasierb. “We want to provide our exhibitors, retail buyers, and the larger toy and play community with certainty on important destination shows and the ability to take advantage of immediate opportunities through our year-round buying and selling platform.”
The Toy Association’s focus for the rest of the year will be on digital events and Toy Fair Dallas 2021, which will take place from October 5 to 7. Toy Fair New York 2022 is currently locked in for February 19 to 22.
The outright cancellation of this year’s convention may throw a spanner in the works for the LEGO Group, which has traditionally used it as a platform to showcase its summer line-up. While Toy Fairs London and Nuremberg are typically clouded in secrecy, and open exclusively to press and retailers, New York Toy Fair has always been the first event in the calendar to allow photography.
But with no toy fairs on the slate at all for the first half of 2021 – London has also been cancelled, and Nuremberg has moved to July – the LEGO Group will have to find a different avenue to unveil its upcoming products. One of those may be Toy Fair Everywhere, which facilitates a year-round virtual showcase for businesses.