What’s Happening at Toy Fair Dallas ’21
August 3, 2021 | This October, the North American toy industry will once again come together in-person for Toy Fair Dallas, the only place where the play community can introduce new products for Q4 2022, spotlight their ’21 holiday hits, and participate in a range of specialized networking and educational events – all under one roof at the Dallas Market Center.
“From Tuesday, October 5 to Thursday, October 7, toymakers and retailers will return to Dallas to mix, to mingle, and, of course, to do business,” said Kimberly Carcone, senior vice president of global market events at The Toy Association, which produces the event. “With travel also still restricted to other key international toy business stops like Hong Kong, Dallas offers one convenient location for buyers to meet with suppliers, get a snapshot of items expected to top 2022 wish lists, and stock up on any last-minute holiday 2021 playthings, all over the course of three days.”
Here’s what you can expect to find in Dallas:
As of today, retailers registered to attend Toy Fair Dallas include 99 Cent Stores, BAM!, Barnes & Noble, BJ’s Wholesale, Claire’s, Cracker Barrel, HobbyTown, HSN, IT’SUGAR, Learning Express, Macy’s, Michaels Stores, Mastermind Toys, Urban Outfitters, and more. Buyers will be scouting innovative toys and games across every category – including trending tactile and fidget toys, licensed and non-licensed collectibles, games and puzzles, arts & crafts, and outdoor toys for the whole family.
"Toy Fair Dallas is a physical embodiment allowing us to finally have a chance to gather, share our passions, and feel imagination like a kid again,” said Justin Berry, a buyer for Urban Outfitters. “The event allows me to see the magic in action at all stages of development as well as connect with like-minded individuals to ultimately produce the best product for our consumers."
Insights & Brand Exposure
Dallas will provide show attendees with new opportunities to spot trends and present their products to buyers in unique ways. A new Holiday Driver Gallery will showcase hot products for the 2021 holiday season; that space will also invite buyers and other show guests to join The Toy Association’s Q4 Trends Update, a presentation taking place on Wednesday, October 6 at 3 p.m. (Central). The presentation will offer an analysis of the current marketplace and evolving consumer shopping trends as we head into the holidays. Some of the products featured in the Holiday Driver Gallery will illustrate these trends; learn how to have your product(s) featured in either the gallery or the trends presentation.
The Toy Association’s trends team will also be making the rounds on the show floor to see what new trends and products are on track for next year. If you’ve got a new line or exciting prototype to share, be sure to book your appointment with the trends team. These meetings help inform The Toy Association’s annual toy trends report presented at Toy Fair New York and future promotions of toy companies’ products and brands to worldwide media outlets.
Time to Network
Following the first day of business, attendees will have the opportunity to reconnect with their fellow toy colleagues at an Opening Night Party sponsored by Jazwares. This event continues to be the premier networking event for toy professionals while in Dallas. Exhibiting companies will receive two complimentary tickets for the evening of food, cocktails, and entertainment, with additional tickets available for $25 per person. Proceeds from the event will benefit The Toy Foundation. Show attendees will have a second opportunity to network during an ice cream social in the new Holiday Driver Gallery on Wednesday.
Give Back in Dallas
The Toy Foundation’s Toy Bank is the official charity of Toy Fair Dallas. With toys collected each year to distribute to local children’s charities in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, the show is your opportunity to give back. Help make play possible for families struggling in poverty, foster children, military families, kids undergoing cancer treatments, children with special needs, and others with your donations. Contact The Toy Foundation’s Elizabeth Max for more information.
Companies that would like to exhibit at Toy Fair Dallas may contact their respective account executive. Company names beginning with A–G may contact Simon Yung, H–P may contact Stacy Liebensohn, and Q–Z may contact Michael Lynch. Attendee and buyer registration may be completed online. An up-to-date overview of current exhibitors and the floor plan can be found here.
For more information on hotel and travel, registration, and retailers attending the show, visit ToyFairDallas.com.