We’ve been expecting this, but it’s no less sad to have the confirmation come. A letter from the president of the Toy Association confirms that the previously scheduled upcoming Toy Fair events have been postponed.
Toy Fair Dallas, which was to have been held in October, has been cancelled entirely. The event is expected to resume in October of 2021, and no apparent effort is underway to reschedule what would have taken place this fall. This decision may be a damaging blow to smaller toy makers depending on the Dallas show to present their goods to buyers from large retail stores, but is an understandable move for the safety of all involved due to the pandemic conditions.
Toy Fair New York is also being impacted. As ever, Toy Fair New York was scheduled for the middle of February, but the Toy Association has agreed to postpone that show, evidently due to low confidence that the public health situation will be dramatically improved by that time. However, they do say that they’re currently working on plans to move the New York event to an as-yet-undetermined date in the spring of 2021. More details about that are expected to be released later in September.
We’ve been wondering for some time just what form Toy Fair would ultimately take this February, as other shows planned for 2020 have cancelled and/or shifted to virtual forms. On the Transformers side of things, this has little realistic impact. The media opportunity that Toy Fair presents has already been partly farmed out to planned preview reveals given to pop culture websites the week of Toy Fair over the past several years. The fan media event is something that could take the form of an online presentation and a Q&A handled over a conference call, for instance. And even with Toy Fair making plans for spring of next year, we may still see something like this occur for Hasbro’s brands, as Hasbro carries out their presentations off-site from Toy Fair itself anyway.
We’ll have to watch and see what develops over the next few months, but either way it looks like what we on RFC call “The Superbowl of Toy Collecting” won’t be happened quite as planned or expected next year.