Where the month of February means the season of love for some and the return of AMC’s The Walking Dead for others, it’s a different kind of special season for geeks that do toy reviews or write about it for websites. It is called “New York Toy Fair”, a private event held annually, a seller’s opportunity to showcase all the new kinds of toys to buyers in the market of purchasing those items that all the geek girls and boys enjoy. This event allows press and media coverage to a limited extent. And I, your friendly, everyday nerd was fortunate enough to get a press pass this year and see for myself what this elite club was all about.
It all started with a dollar and a dream… Ok not so much a single dollar, but definitely the singular dream! About 2 weeks ago I remembered that this event was coming up and wanted to see if I could apply and join the exclusive club of Press VIPs. I just had that feeling I could do it and sure enough I was given the invitation to this magnificent event! Sadly, I was only able to make it for the last 2 days… but this is what I got to experience.
Almost everything toy related was at this event. They had everything from brain games and chemistry sets, to Silly String. Some companies chose to have a separate event the Friday before Toy Fair began while others were at different locations during the four day expo. This was it! I have arrived at the convention and it was time to receive my press pass. I checked in with the reception desk and was greeted like I was royalty. The staff asked me “Did I need to charge my devices?”,”Are you thirsty?” “Did you want to hang your jacket up and use our courtesy coat check?” Needless to say… I was impressed!
The first booth I went to was “Mezco Toyz”, These are the guys that are responsible for the One:12 Collective (i.e. Captain America, DareDevil, Punisher etc.). I asked if I could shoot video and they agreed. You should ask out of respect for their work, and especially if there’s an item coming out that they want to keep under wraps to all except those in attendance. Mezco definitely had some really awesome stuff on display. I saw everything from Marvel to DC to Star Trek and more. Once I finished up, I thanked them and moved on to the next booth which was “NECA Toys”. Their booth had some really cool products ranging from Seinfeld to Predator and Alien… they also have items coming out which look cool but I cannot mention! I circled the convention for hours on Monday.
There was quite a lot to take in. While sitting in the press box taking a minute to have a soda and a snack, I ran into my friend Boog_Nice of the A.C.B.A community. Toy Fair had brought out a lot of familiar faces, like my pal ShartimusPrime (Who I met at a meet and greet in Midtown Comics Time Square last year, and never thought that he would become one of my closest friends a year later), but it was also an opportunity to meet new people and make new friends. We all had tons of laughs before splitting up and doing our own thing. The new friends I made helped me get into the “Mattel Inc.”booth which was on its own floor and required its own press pass. It had quite the overwhelming selection of toys. I got to see some stuff which I can’t discuss except to say… It was awesome! The only part I was allowed to record and take pics of was the WWE stuff coming out later this year.
After Mattel, I went back to the press box to grab some water. I walked around some more and found myself bumping into my friends Molly and Andrea of [Insert Geek Here]. We walked around and saw some interesting stuff, and before I knew it, it was time to go home. I saw so much on my first day, but tired as I was… I couldn’t wait for Tuesday! On Monday night, I just couldn’t go to sleep. I had the same anxiousness I experience with NYCC every year. But I woke up early, got ready and made it to the convention. I was excited to start the final day. It began with sitting in the press box having some breakfast and editing the videos that I took the day before. Moments after I finished up, I received a text from my friends Noel and Danny. We all got into the booth for the company “Playmates” and saw some really amazing things. I wish I could tell you about it, but I’m sworn to secrecy!
After “Playmates”, the 3 of us walked around for a bit. Then Danny and I went into “Tomy” and Noel had an appointment with an exhibitor. Once again I cannot say anything! LOL! That’s the thing about Toy Fair. As media, you are allowed to view things and record and document them for the most part… but certain companies just don’t want their secret projects leaked! Before I knew it, it was time for all the booths to start packing up and my time at this event had come to an end. It was quite an incredible time and I hope this is just the first of many New York Toy Fairs for me. I feel very fortunate to have participated in this exclusive experience. So if this story has a moral, it’s to follow your heart and chase that dream. If I hadn’t, I never would have gotten a press pass.
(Links to the videos I recorded are below, as well as the tons of pics I took! Enjoy!!)