S-h-h-h-h-h! Steve Velte Has the Skinny on “Toy Fest”

Toy Fest, formerly Toy Fest West, has stepped into the void created by the move of the NY Toy Fair to September. In the past, this show was considered a “west coast rep show.” So, to change that perception, Toy Fest expanded outreach and encouraged the journey west for buyers, reps, and vendors east of the Mississippi.

So how did they do? To gather that information, I spoke with over 80 exhibitors and buyers. Frankly, the feedback was overwhelmingly positive. Here are some of the comments:

“Really good foot traffic” – Fun-In-Motion

“Buyers were really engaged” – Fat Brain

“Fabulous Traffic” – AQI

“More Events made the entire show better. Opening Gala, Game Night, morning seminars” – Abacus Brands

“Much better order writing YOY” – Golden Sales

“Game Night was Great” – Gray Matters Games

“Busier with a lot of Orders” – Wrebbit 3D

“We’ve had a 50% increase in orders in two days compared to all of last year” – Hot Focus

“We are going to expand our presence next year” – Cra-Z-Art

“Definitely more orders” – Infantino

There were also some new product introductions with promising futures, such as offerings from Randimals, and Marmals, unique designs from Fun-in-Motion, Where’s Squeaky from Blue Orange, Flyfecta from Fat Brain, black light elf track tracking from TINSL, and innovative products incorporating AR & VR including the 2022 TOY Bill Nye VR Science kit. All of which were very, very cool.

The only resounding negative regarding the show was the addition of the fourth half day, which was considered a waste on both sides of the aisle.

So, Toy Fest sans West hit a solid triple. If they continue to innovate, I think they can establish themselves as a significant stopping point on the Toy Fair Calendar. I did hear a rumor that the East Coast is planning a similar event in Feb/ March next year. I am not a fan of that. I want to encourage the industry to get behind a few key events to help ensure they are successful and make life on vendors, retailers, and reps more manageable and successful rather than forcing them all to make tough choices on attendance or exhibiting.

Good job, Toy Fest, and I look forward to next year!

One thought

  1. Excellent review Steve! I agree with you on most of your points. Toy Fest was well planned, well run, and one of the most efficient shows we’ve worked. Kudos to the Toy Fest Staff, all TF Exhibitors and our retailers who attended to ensure that this show was as successful as it was. We came straight from The Astra Toy Boat and experienced back-to-back successful Toy Industry events that proved that trade shows are back!

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