The Most Innovative Toys for 2009 Revealed at 106th American International Toy Fair®





Wednesday February 18, 2009


The Most Innovative Toys for 2009 Revealed at 106th American International Toy Fair®

Newest and Hottest Products in Children’s Entertainment Marketplace Featured at Largest Toy Trade Show in the Western Hemisphere February 15-18 at Jacob K. Javits Convention Center, New York City

Toy Fair 2009

NEW YORK----“High play value” toys that offer hour after hour of entertainment for the money, toys that will motivate couch-potato kids to “Get Up & Move It, Move It!”, larger-than-life entertainment and movie-licensed toys, and more and more toys that incorporate a high-tech or virtual world component – these are among the very hottest toy trends for 2009 that can be found at the 106th American International Toy Fair® in New York City’s Jacob K. Javits Convention Center.

While toy manufacturers from around the globe are here unveiling the new and innovative products destined for children’s holiday wish lists later this year, other companies are commemorating major milestones for their toys and games. Can it be that Barbie is celebrating her 50th birthday and G.I. Joe is still gearing up for action at age 45? The Pink Panther and Nerf are celebrating 40th anniversaries this year and new generations keep joining in the fun as Candyland turns 60.

Toy Fair, which runs February 15-18, 2009 at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center and at additional showroom locations in New York City, showcases the excitement, innovation and inspiration behind the $67 billion global ($21.6 billion U.S.) toy industry. With “Inspiring Growth” as its theme, this year’s show features more than 20,000 attendees, 1,100+ exhibitors, 16,000 retail buyers from 89 countries, more than 361,000 square feet of exhibit space, as well as 100,000 products – over 7,000 of which have never before been seen anywhere in the world.

Toy Fair is an annual event that is owned and operated by the Toy Industry Association (TIA).

“Toy Fair is the premier meeting place for manufacturers, retailers, importers, licensors and sales representatives from around the world,” said Carter Keithley, TIA president. “Toy Fair is the most fun you can have in a convention center and we’re as excited about the new toys of 2009 as the kids will be. But Toy Fair isn’t all about play, it’s also an opportunity for toy companies to extend their reach beyond traditional retail channels, and to build their brands and grow their business.”

New Exhibitors at 2009 Toy Fair

Toy Industry Association is pleased to welcome 284 first time exhibitors to Toy Fair ’09. Major industry players, Mattel, Inc. and Bandai America, will also exhibit exclusively at the Javits Center this year. Bandai previously showed its products at a private New York City showroom and Mattel utilized both a private showroom and booth space at Javits. This year, Mattel is showcasing all its products – including Barbie – in the Galleria exhibit space overlooking the main Toy Fair floor.

Happenings @ Toy Fair

As if the great new product previews weren’t enough, there’s a lot more happening at Toy Fair this year, including the following special events and educational seminars:

  • Opening Ceremony (Crystal Palace) – Toy Fair will officially open at 10 a.m. on Sunday morning, February 15, with a parade of best-loved, whimsical costumed characters accompanied by the wacky musical comedy of The Maestrocities. A ribbon cutting ceremony will led by Jim Engle, TIA Trade Show Committee Chairman and President of Little Kids.

  • Toy Safety Update Seminar (Special Events Hall) – A must-attend for anyone in the industry, this seminar will bring together consumer product safety and regulatory officials, including the Consumer Product Safety Commission Acting Chairman, Nancy Nord, to discuss recent legislative and enforcement developments. The seminar will be held on Monday, February 16, from 9 a.m. to 12:00 noon; it will be followed by a legislative update from 12:15 p.m. to 1:00 p.m. Pre-registration is required.

  • Strategies for a Changing Retail World (1D Special Events Hall) – On Tuesday morning, February 17 from 8:00 – 9:30 a.m., retail expert George Whalen will lead a timely presentation about five things retailers should STOP doing and five things they should START doing to survive and thrive in tough economic times. Pre-registration is required.

This year’s show will feature four Drop-In Learning Centers, providing attendees with an opportunity to engage with other industry professionals while participating in a rotating series of short, informal education sessions on a broad range of topics for the industry.

  • Creative Factor (Booth 4842) – This booth, organized in conjunction with Peru Meridian Studio, brings together inventors, designers, and other creative professionals to network and share information and resources that are important to the toy and youth product industry.

  • Toy Safety Certification Program (TSCP) (Booth 781) – As TIA prepares for the launch of its new TSCP, staff will be on hand to explain how the program will support manufacturers’ compliance with the new Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA). Programming for this booth will be limited to Sunday, February 15, and Tuesday, February 17.

  • Independent Thinking (Booth 6233) – In partnership with Independent Profit and Management, TIA organizes this booth for independent retailers to discuss topics ranging from management of inventory and displays to pricing for profit.

  • Play Space (Booth 6045) – For the first time, TIA has joined with the Strong National Museum of Play and curators from the prestigious National Toy Hall of Fame to create a fun and informative learning experience that will engage participants in a discussion of topics ranging from what makes a toy a classic, to the appeal of gender-based toys, and the hits and history of electronic games.

Regular updates on all of the happenings at Toy Fair ’09 will be featured on Toy Fair Buzz, the show’s official blog.

In addition, a number of TIA-sponsored special events will be held in conjunction with Toy Fair again this year:

TOTY (Toy of the Year) Awards

Toy Fair week kicks off with an exciting start on Sunday, February 15th with the annual TOTY Awards. This gala event honors the best in toys and children’s entertainment, as well as outstanding individuals, companies and team achievements. The tribute includes eleven industry award categories and one overall “Toy of the Year” recognition.

Toy Industry Hall of Fame

Another highlight during the TOTY Awards evening is the Toy Industry Hall of Fame induction. The 2009 honorees are Joan Ganz Cooney, the co-founder of Sesame Street Workshop, and Jack Pressman (deceased), founder of Pressman Toy. The Toy Industry Hall of Fame, created in 1984, honors individuals who have made a significant mark on the American toy industry.

About the American International Toy Fair®

American International Toy Fair is the largest toy trade show in the Western Hemisphere, bringing together more than 1,100 manufacturers, distributors, importers and sales agents from nearly 90 countries to showcase their toy and entertainment products. From classic toys to interactive entertainment and everything in between, Toy Fair has it all!

Products include: action figures and dolls, games and puzzles, bicycles, tricycles and ride-ons, radio-controlled vehicles, infant and preschool toys, cars, trucks, and trains, puppets and plush, audio and video cassettes, computer software and video games, playground and sporting equipment, Halloween, Christmas, books, stationery, party supplies, and much more.

More information is available online at

About the Toy Industry Association (TIA)

TIA is the not-for-profit trade association for producers and importers of toys and youth entertainment products sold in North America, representing over 500 companies who account for approximately 85% of domestic toy sales.

TIA has a long history of leadership in toy safety including development of the first comprehensive toy safety standard more than 30 years ago, and working with government, consumers and industry on ongoing programs to ensure safe play.

More information is available online at





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