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Kids Can Go to Toy Fair in 2016!

Kids Can Go to Toy Fair in 2016!

After 113 years of being left out in the cold (literally), the New York City Toy Fair held at the Javitz Center will welcome kids and families in 2016.

For a decade, I worked as an editor with toys as part of my beat. So that meant every February I’d be at the Javits Center for Toy Fair. Along with 30,000 or so other industry professionals, I’d slog through snow, or, at the very least, buck that mean wind off the Hudson, to see what’s new and next from the likes of Fisher-Price, Mattel, and 1,000 other companies.   

RELATED: Find out how to pick the best developmental toys for your child.

Reliable as the blisters I’d have at the end of the day were my kid’s plaintive cries.

“Can I come with you? Why not? You let me come to work with you once in a while!”

Year after year I broke their hearts, since no kids were allowed. Not even infants, the attendee rules stated. Not even kid reporters, I had to read to my son, who thought he could weasel his way in by writing a story for the JFK Elementary School Gazette.

My explanation that, really, it would be so boring for them, that it was all grown-ups mostly talking, did little to assuage their despair and confusion. They imagined their mommy was going to a secret world of merriment, to see wonders they’ve only dreamt of, laughing and playing the day away holding a cone of cotton candy.

In fairness, I did always find it odd. Toys as far as the eye can see, costumed characters cavorting, balloons….and only adults buzzing about in the throes of their usual workaday stress.

And now, after 113 years of a no-minors policy, kids will finally get their wish. Play Fair, a special kids and families event, will happen right alongside Toy Fair, which is essentially a business networking event for the $84 billion global toy industry.

Play Fair is launching as part of a new partnership between the Toy Industry Association and LeftField Media. The LEGO Group and Nickelodeon have been confirmed as presenting sponsors.

At the heart of Play Fair will be immersive, rewarding experiences, allowing the public to touch, feel, and interact with their favorite toys, games, and entertainment brands. Fans – from kids to adults – will experience toy reveals, photo ops, character interactions, stage performances, author readings, celebrity signings, live music, and giveaways. Retail areas will allow attendees to purchase show exclusives, limited edition products, and rare variants of beloved toys and games.

“We’re humbled and thrilled to work together with TIA on Play Fair,” said Greg Topalian, President of LeftField Media. “For more than a century, TIA has gathered the professional side of the toy world together at Toy Fair, and now families, fans, and collectors will finally get to experience this excitement inside their own event. Play Fair will be a space to create fun, engaging, and rewarding connections between brands, their current fans, and the fans of tomorrow – and get a glimpse at new toys before anyone else on the planet!”

Organizers expect Play Fair to sell out. Tickets cost $30 each, though there are discounts for larger families.

Play Fair will take place Saturday, February 13 and Sunday, February 14, 2016 at New York City’s Javits Center North. For more information, go to


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Christina Vercelletto


 Christina Vercelletto is a former editor at NYMetroParents, ParentingScholastic Parent & Child, and Woman’s Day. She lives on Long Island with her kids, a chiweenie, Pickles, and a 20-pound calico, Chub-Chub.

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