This year’s New York International Toy Fair at the Javits Center features crowded aisles and busy publishers’ booths. On opening day on Sunday, “Delayed by the Storm” placards marked a few booths, including that of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt and Kane Miller/EDC/ Usborne. The blizzard that hit the Northeast last week came in just as exhibitors and attendees were scheduled to travel into New York on Friday and Saturday.
For the most part, however, publishers on the first two days of the show said they were writing orders and having meetings as scheduled. “I’m pleasantly surprised that it’s been so busy,” said Sharon Winningham, v-p sales and marketing at School Zone. It highlighted its new Little Busy Books line of small-format workbooks, among other titles, in the Children’s Book and Music aisle.
Just over 20 publishers—a lower number than in recent years—are showing at Toy Fair, both in the children’s book area and in other locations around Javits. Recent exhibitors such as Vision Street Publishing, Insight Editions, and long-time participant Workman were among those not taking booths at the 2013 incarnation of the 110-year-old show.
New faces included De Agostini Publishing USA, a new division of the big Italian house. “We have some products that are a good fit for independent toy and specialty retailers,” explains general manager Darren DeGuire. De Agostino was showing its Real Treasures and Real Bugs series, along with a new launch, My Animal Farm.
The Toy Industry Association estimates that nearly 20,000 retailers and other attendees will visit the show’s 1,000 exhibitors this year.