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Annual Toy Fair starts Sunday at New York's Javits Center

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The 111th American International Toy Fair, which opens Sunday (Feb. 16) at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center in New York and runs through Wednesday, looks to be the largest toy show ever held in the Western Hemisphere.

Over 30,000 toy business people are expected to attend the trade show, which will feature 410,000-plus net-square-feet of exhibit space displaying hundreds of thousands of toys and games.

“TIA [Toy Industry Association] is proud to welcome back to Toy Fair buyers from more than 7,000 retail outlets around the globe,” said TIA vice president of meetings and events Marian Bossard. “Together, the exhibitors, buyers, licensors, entertainment executives, and other play industry professionals represent over 100 countries--and all are eager to see what’s new and what’s hot in the world of toys and games.”

The four-day show kicks off Sunday morning with a ribbon cutting opening ceremony involving Grammy-winning songstress Alicia Keys, co-creator of the children’s app The Journals of Mama Mae & LeeLee. She’ll then hold a press conference with Bossard on the Mama Mae brand and “Mookey,” the latest addition to the series.

Besides the exhibits, Toy Fair will present educational programming covering topics such as play in the 21st century; toy safety; development, production, and marketing advancements; and doing business in the global toy marketplace. New this year is ShopToyFair365, a free e-commerce tool that empowers buyers and sellers anywhere in the world to connect and do business online before, during and after the show.

The largest toy trade show in the Western Hemisphere, Toy Fair is owned and operated by TIA and takes place each February at the Javits Center. It brings together over 1,100 exhibiting manufacturers, distributors, importers and sales agents to showcase an estimated 150,000 toy and youth entertainment products to 7,000 unique retail outlets from 100 countries.

The Toy Industry Association is the not-for-profit trade group representing all businesses involved in creating and delivering toys and youth entertainment products for kids of all ages. It represents over 700 companies accounting for approximately 85% of domestic toy sales, and works with government, consumers and industry on ongoing programs to ensure safe and fun play.

TIA’s annual TOTY (Toy of the Year) Awards honors the most outstanding toys and children’s entertainment properties of the past year, and celebrates the induction of five individuals into the Toy Industry Hall of Fame. It also supports the philanthropic work of the Toy Industry Foundation.

TIA’s 14th annual TOTY Awards will be held on Saturday at the New York’s Grand Hyatt Hotel.

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