US Toy Fair opens its doors

Some 35,000 visitors expected to New York?s Jacob Javits Conference Center for four-day event.
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The US Toy Fair kicked off yesterday, with the organisers saying it will attract 35,000 through the doors, including 15,000 pre-registered buyers, 5,000 trade guests, 1,200 exhibitors and their staff and almost 1,000 journalists from around the globe.

According to the Toy Industry Association, 22 per cent of the top 250 global retailers are registered, and nearly ten per cent of the Fortune 500 companies are attending including McDonalds, PepsiCo, Colgate and Estee Lauder amongst others.

New features at the Jacob Javits this year will include The Inventor Center, which showcases new toy and game ideas by those looking to break into the industry, and the Fundamentals Feature Section, which shows how learning and play work together.

“The ever growing number and range of pre-registered buyers is an indication of the importance of this major trade show,” said TIA president Carter Keithley.

Last week, the NPD Group revealed that US retail sales of toys generated $22.1 billion in 2007, compared to $22.6 billion in 2006, a decline of two per cent. This is despite the toy industry recalls and difficult economic conditions throughout the year.

Licensed toys represented 27 per cent of the total industry sales in 2007, with Cars: The Movie, Disney Princess, Dora the Explorer, Spider-man and Stars leading the bestsellers listing.

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