Barbie dolls, Zhu Zhu pets and Transformers will join upcoming superheroes from this year's films, including Thor, Conan, the Green Hornet, the Green Lantern and Captain America at the 108th annual Toy Fair, February 13-16 at the Jacob Javits Convention Center in New York City.
The largest toy show in the western hemisphere, the event attracts 30,000 attendees who will peruse more than 1,200 exhibitors and 100,000 products including 7,000 new launches in the "children's entertainment marketplace."
The show will launch on February 12 with the Toy of the Year (TOTY) Awards, recognizing the most outstanding new products in 11 categories including boys and girls, innovative, outdoor, activities and games.
For the first time, consumers were invited to cast votes online, selecting from among Alphie the robot, Barbie video girl, the Sing-a-ma-jigs and more. One single Toy of the Year will be selected from all the candidates.
Also, the Toy Industry Hall of Fame will induct Alfred J. Verrecchia, chairman of Hasbro Inc. - makers of toys such as Mr. Potato Head, Play-doh and Scrabble - and the late Donald Duncan, founder of the iconic Duncan Yo-Yo.
Almost 358,000 square feet (33 250 sq m) of exhibit space will be filled with the latest action figures, educational toys, games, trains and models, dolls, books, electronic games, robots, and earth-friendly products.
Panels will address updates on safety legislation, and "Reaching Youth through Technology" wiill cover strategies for digital media, online and mobile devices.
According to the Toy Association, the global toy industry is estimated to generate USD $75 billion with US toy sales worth approximately $21.47 billion.
January has been a big month for toy fairs, with events like Hong Kong's Toy and Game Fair on January 11-14, the UK's Toy Fair on January 25-27, and Canada's Toy and Hobby Fair January 31 through February 2. The Australian and Middle East toy fairs come in March.