Yesterday, October 1, The Toy Association announced that it was making major changes to Toy Fair. Here is a breakdown of the what is coming:
Toy Fair will no longer take place in September
Toy Fair will not take place next year
Toy Fair will return to New York in March of 2025
Toy Fair will move to New Orleans in January of the following years: 2026, 2027, and 2028
When I heard this news, my first reaction was that it was a hoax. It wasn’t. Here is how Steve Pasierb, Toy Association President, described the advantages of New Orleans in a press release:
“New Orleans has state of the art facilities including a brand-new airport, renowned restaurants, museums, music, an array of event spaces, and a strong collaborative partnership between the Convention Center, New Orleans & Company, and the business community, making it a perfect, welcoming fit for Toy Fair.
Restaurants and music are nice to have but were the following considered in making the move to New Orleans.
New Orleans may be the Big Easy but it is not so easy to get to. Here is New Orleans compares to New York and Los Angeles when it comes to direct flights. There are 54 direct into and out of Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport. There are 450 direct flights into and out of New York’s three airports, and there are 174 direct flights into and out of Los Angeles.
New York offers the Toy Industry a world-wide press presence. Los Angeles gives us access to the global entertainment press. New Orleans provides only local press.
The show conflicts with the Hong Kong Show, the Spielwarenmesse in Germany, and the Atlanta Gift Show.
As to timing, we have spent three years without a Toy Fair. What in the world is going on that we are going to have another year without a Fair.
Louisiana bans 100% of all abortions. Is that going to be an issue for some Toy Association members?
The toy industry shares a long, storied history with Los Angeles and New York. Other cities like Chicago have large, active toy industry communities. There is no such history in New Orleans.
This is an important issue. It is essential that all of those who work in our industry, speak up.