NEW YORK — Toy Fair here kicks off on Sunday at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center with an estimated 30,000 attendees, including nearly 15,000 buyers, who will preview the latest in new products and play trends from some 1,100 exhibitors from nearly 30 countries.
This year’s Toy Fair theme is "Play Happens." The nearly week long trade show, produced by the Toy Industry Association, will run through Wednesday.
According to The NPD Group, U.S. retail sales of toys generated $21.87 billion in 2010 compared to $21.46 billion in 2009, an increase of 2%. Nearly half of the year-end total, $10.2 billion, was generated in the fourth quarter, up 3% over fourth quarter 2009.
Retail channel performance was mixed, with online/Internet sales experiencing the most explosive revenue growth over 2009 at 22%. The toy stores and food/drug channels also saw growth of 4% and 6%, respectively. The only channels to experience loss in share were department/major chain and mass merchant/discount, with respective declines of 11% and 2%.
Top properties for the year based on total dollar sales included Barbie, Crayola, Nerf, Star Wars, and Toy Story.
Licensed toys represented 25% of total industry sales in 2010. Based on dollar sales, Cars: The Movie, Disney Princess, Star Wars, Thomas and Friends, and Toy Story topped the list of 2010's best-selling licensed properties.
"Looking forward to 2011, there is much optimism coming off the strong holiday performance for toys," said Anita Frazier, industry analyst, The NPD Group, Port Washington, N.Y. "With an improving economy, several movie releases, and a wide array of innovative product coming to market, 2011 looks to be another solid year for toy sales."