Scheduled for February 13 to 16 at the Jacob K Javits Convention Center, the 108th American International Toy Fair in New York is one of three key events in the industry's calendar. In addition to hosting an average of 7000 new product launches a year, the event also holds the Toy Awards, dubbed the "Oscars of the Toy Industry."
The New York Toy Fair is the final of three major winter toy industry events including The Toy Fair London (January 25-27), and the Nuremberg Toy Fair (February 3-8). These trade-only toy shows help retailers predict the big toy trends of 2011 and often feature the launch of this year's 'must-have toy.'
One of the emerging themes of this year's New York toy event is the continued popularity of toys linked to movie franchises; among others, toys inspired by both the Green Lantern and Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides movie franchises are expected to be launched in New York, and Harry Potter toys proved popular at the London Toy Fair.
Another key theme of this year's toy fairs is that of eco-toys. This year eco-conscious toys include those constructed from environmentally friendly materials such as MYZOO wooden animals by Art House or those that inspire environmental awareness such as the E-Rangers Future Power Base by Playmobil, both of which made the finals of the Nuremberg Toy Awards.
This year key events at the 108th New York Toy Fair include the Toy of the Year (TOTY) Awards which honor the most innovative and creative games and entertainment products. Similarly to the Toy Awards in Nuremberg or the "Best New Toys" in London, the TOTY awards are seen as an indication of this year's must-have products. The TOTY award winners will be announced on Saturday, February 12.
Though the New York Toy Fair is open to trade professionals only, toy enthusiasts or parents eager to beat the Christmas rush can follow the event online via the New York Toy Fair Blog ( http://www.toyfairnyblog.com/ ), twitter (@ToyFairNY) , Facebook ( http://www.facebook.com/toyfairny), YouTube ( http://www.youtube.com/user/TIAssociation) and Flicker ( http://www.flickr.com/photos/toyfair).