I spent a couple of days walking the floor at the 107th American International Toy Fair. Toy Fair is the largest toy and game convention in the western hemisphere. It boasts about 30,000 attendees and 1,700 exhibitors which take up about 350,000 square feet in NYC's Javits Center. In other words, it's pretty huge! Not surprising, given that the toy/game business in the US alone is a $22 billion dollar a year industry.
Overall, I had a great time. Totally exhausting, but great. I met a lot of really wonderful people, all of whom are at different stages with their products and businesses.
I've been using social media a lot as I've been working on Anomia and Anomia Press, so it was particularly cool to connect with FunQ Games and Dr. Jen of Play This Way, who I had previously only encountered online.
I also met the great people from Virtue Toys and Be Blocks, both of which were attending Toy Fair for the first time. This was great to see, as I will very likely be in a similar position next year.
One of the most interesting things I saw was in the MakeDo booth. MakeDo is an Australian company that came up with the brilliant idea to create a set of connectors for use with recyclable materials. Got a bunch of old boxes? Don't recycle them(yet)! First, make a huge robot, or an awesome fort, or a dog, or, well, anything! With the MakeDo connectors you can build stuff with cardboard boxes, egg cartons, paper, plastic packaging. The world is your recyclable oyster!
I also got a chance to talk with a few people at both Set Enterprises and Looney Labs. This was a real treat for me as I have looked at both of these companies as models for Anomia Press.
To everyone I met in NYC, thanks so much for sharing your experiences and knowledge, I really appreciate it, and hope to be in contact with you as we all move forward with our various endeavors! And now, a few random photos from Toy Fair 2010.
A model of the Perplexus maze game...imagine a 3d version of the marble labyrinth game we all probably played as kids. This model was probably about 4 feet in diameter. Amazing! Check out : http://www.amazon.com/PlaSmart-BL100-Perplexus-Maze-Game/dp/B002NPBT50/ref=pd_sim_t_1 for a smaller version you can actually buy.
I don't know why I feel compelled to post this photo, it's pretty dorky, but there is something kinda cute about those ugly dolls. I must say I do feel bad for the folks who get tasked with walking around in these suits. ToyFair is already exhausting enough without having to wear a 40 pound costume all day and pose for photos with dorks like me.