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TheStreet Open House

American International Toy Fair -- February 10-13, 2013 -- Welcomes Surge In Global Visitors

NEW YORK, Feb. 19, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- The 110th American International Toy Fair opened its doors to a surge in international attendees last week, as tens of thousands of visitors from 92 countries descended upon New York City to preview 150,000 innovative toys, games and youth entertainment products at the largest toy tradeshow in the Western hemisphere.

Owned and operated by the Toy Industry Association (TIA), Toy Fair 2013 ( Feb. 10-13) welcomed a 4% increase in international attendees, a 9% rise in licensors, a 6% increase in international manufacturer's reps, and an 18% surge in foreign press visiting from 20 countries.  Total attendance during the four-day show was 24,145.

A blizzard that hit the New York City-area on the Friday before Toy Fair opened resulted in just six cancellations from the 1,066 pre-registered exhibiting manufacturers, distributors, importers and sales agents, who filled a record-breaking 375,000 net square feet of exhibit space at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center with the most exciting playthings of 2013. Toy Fair welcomed 239 first-time exhibitors who showcased cutting edge toys and games in the hopes of catching their big break.

"Despite airport closures and flight cancellations, train disruptions and the closing of major roads due to the snowstorm, Toy Fair had a terrific turn-out, and the atmosphere on the floor was upbeat and energetic right up until the very end," said Carter Keithley, TIA president. "The rise in international trade guests and press, as well as the surge in licensor attendance, reaffirms Toy Fair's place as one of the most important and lucrative toy shows in the world."

"The continued growth of international attendance is a strong trend for Toy Fair," added Marian Bossard, TIA vice president of meetings and events. "Our top-notch on-site resources for this growing global audience were well-received, with many visitors from abroad stating that Toy Fair is a must-visit destination each year."

Toy Fair '13 welcomed nearly 9,500 buyers from 5,000 retail outlets, including buyer delegations from twenty-two (22) of the nation's Top 25 Toy Sellers, such as Walmart, Target, Toys"R"Us, Amazon.com and Kmart. The top five countries identified with the highest attendance numbers were Canada, the U.K., Mexico, Japan and Australia, with a notable increase in visitors from Mexico (+8%).

"We had a fantastic Toy Fair this year!" said Jason Schneider, director of product development and marketing at Ceaco/Gamewright. "Our initial concerns that the show would be off due to the snow storm were quickly allayed by Sunday afternoon when our booth was filled to near-capacity with both familiar and new faces. Overall traffic was up and sales were stronger than ever. Nearly all of our appointments showed up (most even on time!) and the general response to our latest line of games and puzzles was overwhelmingly positive."

"This year was an excellent year for buyers that were at New York Toy Fair, not only to look and choose toys, but to place orders as well," said Richard X. Zawitz, Tanglemaster and CEO for Tangle Toys. "I felt the energy was really good – we were very pleased with the show. It went exceptionally well and we are excited already about next year's Toy Fair."

The top toy trends for 2013 – which include So Retro!, Pop Culture Persuasion, Construction Craze and Enticing Teens and Tweens – were scouted by 979 members of the press from top-tier media outlets, including New York Daily News, The New York Times , Parents Magazine, TIME for Kids, The Huffington Post, Los Angeles Times , CNBC, Reuters, Late Night with Jimmy Fallon, Bloomberg Television, VH1 and PBS.

"Toy Fair provided its attendees with unmatched opportunities to build their businesses, diversify their store shelves, market their brands, gain global media exposure, and network with play professionals from around the world," said Bossard. "We are thrilled to hear that it was once again a great success for all who attended."

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