New York City is a very cold place. You can see steam from the sewers, you can see your nose turn purple, and you can see Best Buys and K-Marts blend in with the towering concrete buildings. If you've got the credentials, every February you can go and see the showrooms of several major toy vendors as well as seeing what the master toymakers of tomorrow have in store for the world.
As this is our first Toy Fair, we didn't go see everything but we did try to check out a few random items as well as making sure we saw some, but not all, of our favorite companies. Toy Fair is primarily an event for buyers to come to town and see what there is to purchase for their stores, but in many cases there are set-ups for the press to find out what they need. As such, some vendors aren't big on coming in and shooting pictures, while others are only too happy to help.
Each showroom had a personality all its own, with many of the people on hand ready to answer any question to the best of their ability within seconds, with others having no clue where a brand still offered by the company could be, or if it even exists. There was a real showing of great new things as well as an endless parade of delusion, and as such, it makes for good people-watching. The show is no longer just toys, but includes prop replicas, gaming companies, and pretty much anything you can "play" with in some capacity except for video gaming, which has its own trade shows all over the world.
Many companies have their showrooms in New York as a permanent installation, with fantastic offices which include furnishings the likes of which each and every toy junkie could only dream for. LEGO potted plants and coffee tables really do exist, but sadly, only for their own corporate offices. Each of our features include the images and information gathered from the show, and as some of our data became corrupt before these features were created, thanks for bearing with us.
Pages last updated February 26 2004. Text by Adam Pawlus. Images by Adam Pawlus and Mike Sullenger unless noted.