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This Just In

Toy Fair is Back in the Big Apple; Reverses Decision to Move to New Orleans

Frances Ferrante, Senior Editor
Toy Fair is Back in the Big Apple; Reverses Decision to Move to New Orleans

NEW YORK— Toy Fair first announced in early October that it would move to New Orleans in 2026 for a three-year commitment, and then, less than two weeks later, said the show would remain at Javits Center in New York City, where Toy Fair has taken place for 118 years.

The announcement of the move was made on Oct. 2, while Toy Fair was finally taking place after a three-year hiatus — having just shifted its dates to the fall in response to the needs of manufacturers and retailers. According to The Toy Book, a toy industry publication, “By the close of the show, word was already spreading that a grave mistake had been made for a multitude of reasons.” The association then sent an email to members less than two weeks later, The Toy Book confirmed, announcing the reversal and that the association is planning an event designed to support the toy industry in Los Angeles during the fall previews in the late summer of 2024.

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The intense backlash from members was intense and unexpected, according to Aaron Muderick, Chair of the Board of Directors of The Toy Association.

“It became abundantly clear through this passionate reaction that the place holds as much or more importance than the date, and that the industry’s desired location for the great industry-wide coming together remains New York City,” he said. “Thus, we have recommitted to New York and the Javits Center. We will return to the first available opening (March 1- 4, 2025) and are working with Javits Center leadership to confirm dates in February for 2026 and beyond. While February may not be completely perfect for all, given that Toy Fair has been held during this time for nearly a century, we expect that it can be perfectly imperfect for the vast majority of members, exhibitors and buyers.”

Michael Sawaya, President and General Manager of the New Orleans Ernest N. Morial Convention Center, said the initial announcement had been made at the request of The Toy Association and had come before any contracts had been signed, and that there will be no penalty for the reversal of the decision, according to nola.com.

“While this is disheartening, it is important to note that we did not displace any business nor miss any opportunities in pursuit of this convention,” Sawaya said.

Reach Aaron Muderick at (866) 578-2845; Michael Sawaya at (504) 582-3000

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