Toy Association Helps Businesses Find Success Through Virtual Product Previews

November 8, 2021 | Since launching its first virtual product preview event in 2020, The Toy Association has provided toymakers with the opportunity to pitch hundreds of playthings to prominent North American retailers, from Target to Urban Outfitters to the most recent event with Toys“R”Us at Macy’s.

“What started as an idea to create new ways to connect our member companies with key mass market retailers throughout the U.S. and Canada during the pandemic has proven to be a critical tool in helping toy businesses forge ahead amid a challenging and sometimes uncertain retail landscape,” said Kimberly Carcone, senior vice president of global market events at The Toy Association. “Our most recent event with Toys“R”US at Macy’s buyers received the most applications to date, proving that these previews continue to resonate with buyers and manufacturers alike.”

The virtual events have also highlighted how buyers are looking to meet consumer demand for specific types of products, from requests for new educational and STEM/STEAM toys to toys developed by BIPOC-owned and socially conscious businesses.

Wildlife Artists connected with retailers through the previews and found the meetings to be productive and encouraging.

“We are so grateful to The Toy Association for arranging these private product previews, which offer opportunities that are hard enough to come by for specialty toy companies during normal times, and even more so during a pandemic,” said Caroline Ward, chief relationship officer at Wildlife Artists. “The events gave us the opportunity to grow when everyone was trying to survive and make it through turbulent times.”

The 17 previews to date have garnered close to 1,000 applications and with more planned for the future, these events will continue to create new windows of opportunity for toy businesses that lacked existing relationships with certain retailers.

“We look forward to offering even more opportunities for toymakers to partner with retailers and grow their businesses through 2022 and beyond,” added Carcone.

To learn more about upcoming member opportunities, visit