Toy Fair New York 2022 canceled over COVID concerns

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The annual Toy Fair New York trade show slated for next month has been canceled amid rising concerns from vendors and buyers over the recent COVID-19 surge.

The 117-year-old conference, the largest toy trade show in the Western Hemisphere, was canceled late Tuesday after being set to take place at the Jacob K Javits Center Feb. 19 to Feb. 22.

Some of the biggest attendees, including Hasbro, MGA Entertainment, Walmart and Target, had bowed out in recent days, as The Post first reported.

It is only the second time the century-old show has ever been canceled. It was also canceled last year because of the pandemic.

The association blamed “constant, unfounded rumors” on social media and elsewhere for the demise of the 2022 conference.

“Key to our efforts these past two weeks has been the balance of some 700 remaining committed toy manufacturers saying they need and want Toy Fair 2022 to build their businesses, weighing that against those departing and seriously on the fence,” said Steve Pasierb, chief executive of The Toy Association, in a statement.

Barbie dolls on display at Toy Fair New York.
Barbie owner, Mattel, reportedly planned to attend the trade show, but rival Hasbro had pulled out.
REUTERS
A Toy Fair exhibitor setting up his booth.
Toy Fair typically attracts more than 1,000 exhibitors, but at least 300 had dropped out for this year’s show.
REUTERS

In a separate e-mail to the association’s members on Tuesday night, Kimberly Carcone, a TIA senior vice president said, “This afternoon we benefitted from a conversation with and thoughtful counsel from the board executive committee and in the end the decision was unanimous, dreadful, and clear.“ 

The massive trade show typically occupies every corner of the sprawling Javits Center and attracts more than 1,000 exhibitors from all over the world.

Many large companies, including Walmart, have suspended most business travel. A Walmart spokesperson said in a statement, “We are restricting all non-critical business travel for conferences or supplier meetings unless approved by an Executive Committee member. We will continue store, club and supply chain facility visits.”

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