TIA confirms Fall show as Feb fills

The Toy Industry Association has confirmed that the American International Fall Toy Show will remain in New York for 2006.
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“The toy industry remains committed to New York City as the location for the 2006 Fall Toy Show,” explained Arnie Rubin, President, TIA and President of Funrise. “We are actively considering several venues in the Toy District and other locations.”

The show will take place from October 20th-23rd, with specific information on a New York City-based venue announced shortly.

In addition, buyer registration for the forthcoming Toy Fair in February is continuing to grow and is over 9,800, close to a 10 per cent increase on last year. The show will take place February 12th-15th at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center and showroom locations in New York City.

Debuting in 2006 will be two special feature sections, e@play and Urban Bazaar: Indie Art Toys. Featuring electronic, edutainment and educational products, the e@play section will showcase handheld games, computer software and video games/accessories. In the Urban Bazaar: Indie Art Toys section, buyers will find artist-based action figures and toys that blend play with art, with influences from pop culture, music, graphic design and nostalgia.

Malcolm Gladwell, New York Times best-selling author of Blink! and The Tipping Point is the keynote speaker for the event on Sunday, February 12th, from 9-10am.

Meanwhile, the US toy industry’s search for a new permanent base seems once again to be pointing towards the previously dismissed space at 100 Church Street in New York.

Despite the Toy Industry Association's earlier rejection of it as the future home of the industry, the 200 Fifth Avenue Tenants' Association is continuing to lobby for the building as the new home of the toy industry in New York.

Tenant Association leader Andrew Stern argues that the building satisfies the original search criteria set out by the joint search committee comprised of the TIA and the tenants' group.

"Based on what is currently available, I like the 100 Church Street building for two reasons," he said. "One: It's available. Of all the things we looked at, it is available. And two: It addresses 90 percent of the criteria we established. Is it perfect? No."

Landlord, Zar Realty, is also understood to have made further concessions which may cause the TIA to reconsider.

"The owners have been aggressive in trying to allay our concerns and I would not take it completely off the table," said TIA chairman Arnie Rubin. "If they can make us an offer we can't refuse, we'll certainly look at it again. All I can say is that if the offer is good enough, I will bring it back to the board.

"It's just a building. It's concrete floors and a roof. We have nothing against the building. Everything else has to come into play to make it work for us. That's the bottom line.”

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