schedule of events

There's a lot happening at Toy Fair

From educational seminars, demonstrations, networking opportunities, to special events, all designed to get the most out of your time in New York and help you grow your business.

Dates and times are subject to change. All events take place at the Javits Center unless otherwise noted.

On-site registration hours: 9 AM - 5 PM

8:30 AM

Product Preview

8:30 AM – 4:30 PMPress Center

Product Preview is an opportunity for exhibitors to sit down for an individual 15-minute meeting with the Toy Fair PR team to share information on their most notable products so the team can promote them.

9:00 AM

Freshman Exhibitor Orientation

9:00 - 10:00 AMLevel 1, Room 1E11

Join fellow first-time Toy Fair exhibitors along with helpful contacts from The Toy Association, T3 Expo, Balluun/ShopToys365, the Javits Center, and elsewhere at an orientation designed just for you.

This is your opportunity to ask last minute questions, get tips for making the most of your Toy Fair investment from experienced trade show specialists, and enjoy refreshments.

An optional tour of the facility will follow. Location subject to change. Check your Move-In Bulletin and Toy Fair Mobile for updates.

10:00 AM

CF@TF Inventor Day (Private Event - Inventors Invitation Only)

10:00 AM - 2:00 PMLevel 1, Room 1A03

Through Creative Factor, The Toy Association’s educational program for inventors and designers, a select number of inventors will pitch their ideas to influential toy and youth entertainment professionals and potential manufacturing partners. Initial review and selection of submissions will be done by the Creative Factor Advisory Board. Inventors and designers can apply through January 17 to participate.

6:30 PM

Toy of the Year Awards

6:30 - 9:30 PMThe Ziegfeld Ballroom, New York City

Known as the "Oscars" of the toy industry, the Toy of the Year (TOTY) Awards are presented annually to the top toys, games, and properties of the year. Administered by The Toy Association, the awards program supports the philanthropic work of The Toy Foundation, which delivers new toys to children in need. Learn more.

9:30 PM

TOTY Afterparty

9:30 - 11:00 PMThe Ziegfeld Ballroom, New York City

Can’t make it to TOTY? Get tickets for the Afterparty for only $95/person. Invite your colleagues to celebrate the night with networking, drinking, and dancing! (Tickets for the 20th annual Toy of the Year Awards ceremony include admission to the Afterparty.)

The Toy Association is proud to offer informational sessions for Toy Fair exhibitors and attendees covering topics as diverse as marketplace trends and tips for a successful exhibit experience.

8:30 AM

Product Preview

8:30 AM - 4:30 PMPress Center

Product Preview is an opportunity for exhibitors to sit down for an individual 15-minute meeting with the Toy Fair PR team to share information on their most notable products so the team can promote them.

9:00 AM

Freshman Exhibitor Orientation

9:00 - 10:00 AMLevel 1, Room 1E11
Presenters: Irena Jaroszewski and Stacy Liebensohn, The Toy Association

Join fellow first-time Toy Fair exhibitors along with helpful contacts from The Toy Association, T3 Expo, Balluun/ShopToys365, the Javits Center, and elsewhere at an orientation designed just for you.

This is your opportunity to ask last minute questions, get tips for making the most of your Toy Fair investment from experienced trade show specialists, and enjoy refreshments.

An optional tour of the facility will follow. Location subject to change. Check your Move-In Bulletin and Toy Fair Mobile for updates.

6:30 PM

Toy of the Year Awards

6:30 - 9:30 PMThe Ziegfeld Ballroom, New York City

Known as the "Oscars" of the toy industry, the Toy of the Year (TOTY) Awards are presented annually to the top toys, games, and properties of the year. Administered by The Toy Association, the awards program supports the philanthropic work of The Toy Foundation, which delivers new toys to children in need. Learn more.

9:30 PM

TOTY Afterparty

9:30 - 11:00 PMThe Ziegfeld Ballroom, New York City

Can’t make it to TOTY? Get tickets for the Afterparty for only $95/person. Invite your colleagues to celebrate the night with networking, drinking, and dancing! (Tickets for the 20th annual Toy of the Year Awards ceremony include admission to the Afterparty.)

Creative Factor

All Toy Fair registrants are welcome to participate in a full schedule of free pitch sessions, roundtables, presentations, workshops, and panels focused on the interests and goals of inventors, designers, and others in the creative community, guided by the new Creative Factor Advisory Board.

10:00 AM

CF@TF Inventor Day (Private Event - Inventors Invitation Only)

10:00 AM - 2:00 PMLevel 1, Room 1A03

Through Creative Factor, The Toy Association’s educational program for inventors and designers, a select number of inventors will pitch their ideas to influential toy and youth entertainment professionals and potential manufacturing partners. Initial review and selection of submissions will be done by the Creative Factor Advisory Board. Inventors and designers can apply through January 17 to participate.

Creative Factor Advisory Board

Brett Klisch

Brett Klisch

Creative Factor co-founder and creative director at Peru Meridian Studios

Brett Klisch is a 20-year veteran of the toy industry as owner and creative director of Peru Meridian Studios. Mr. Klisch's studio has designed, developed, and lead the manufacturing for toys that range from the biggest to the smallest companies, simple roto cast vinyl parts to complex motorized and electronic equipment.

With an original background in classical art and the performing arts, Mr. Klisch brings a showman's flair and a designer’s discipline to the many genres he has worked in. Whether fine art museum or circus, its all the same level of discipline and intensity for each and every project.

Robin Raskin

Robin Raskin

founder, Living in Digital Times

Robin Raskin is the founder of Living in Digital Times (LIDT), a team of technophiles who bring together top experts and the latest innovations to look at the intersection of lifestyle and technology. LIDT produces a number of notable conferences and expos at CES® and at conferences and events worldwide. The company’s trademark events include Last Gadget StandingDigital Health Summit, HighTech Retail Summit, FashionWareFitness Tech SummitKids@Play SummitThe Digital Money Forum and others.

In a previous lifetime, Robin honed her tech chops at a variety of technology publications. She was a columnist for USA Today online, editor of PC Magazine, founding editor of FamilyPC magazine and was one of the founding contributors of Yahoo! Tech.  Author of six books, magazine publisher, blogger, TV and radio personality, Robin has been a thought-leader at the forefront of an ever-changing topic: what it means to be digital. Robin also serves on the board of the CTA Foundation and on the ACM Practitioners Board.

She lives in NYC and the Hudson Valley, with her husband, her three drop-in-now-and-then children, and closets full of obsolete technology.

Follow Robin on Twitter @RobinR and stay up to date on all things Living in Digital Times on TwitterLinkedin and Facebook.
Billy Langsworthy

Billy Langsworthy

co-founder, Mojo Nation

Billy Langsworthy is the co-founder of Mojo Nation, a body for the toy and game design community. The three pillars of Mojo Nation are to celebrate the work done by creators in this space, to usher new design talent into the industry and to help ensure the best ideas don’t just stay ideas. Mojo Nation runs the Play Creators Festival, a three day event held in London encompassing design conferences, pitching days, networking nights and a day designed to encourage product design students to take up careers in toy and game design. Away from the Festival, Mojo Nation has also launched the tech-toy focused Play Innovation Summit, as well as Toy Design Challenges for brands including Rubik’s, Mr Men/Little Miss and The Gruffalo, while also covering the toy and game design space online at Mojo-Nation.com. Prior to launching Mojo Nation, Langsworthy was the editor of UK toy and licensing trade titles ToyNews and Licensing.biz.

Matt Nuccio

Matt Nuccio

owner, Design Edge

Matt Nuccio is the owner of Design Edge, a toy and game development, marketing, manufacturing, inventing and consulting agency. They are headquartered in New York with two satellite offices in China. For over 30 years, Design Edge has been a leading development agency in the toys and games industry. For 4 years Matt co-chaired The Toy Association's associate panel, representing all designers and inventors in the toy industry. Currently, Matt sits on the board of directors of the United Inventors Association of America (UIA) and on the Chicago Toy and Game Fair (ChiTAG) advisory board. Matt also writes a column in Toy Family Entertainment magazine focusing on the toy industry and often lectures at the American International Toy Fair, ASTRA, Chicago Toy & Game Fair, and Hong Kong Toy Fair.

Show hours: 9 AM - 6 PM

8:30 AM

Content Creators Lounge

8:30 AM - 6:00 PMLEVEL 1, HALL 1B, ROOM 1B02

Sponsored by Bonkers Toys, the Content Creators lounge is an invitation-only spot for Toy Fair's VIP content creators.

9:00 AM

Opening Ceremony

9:00 AMCrystal Palace 3B Entrance

Kick off Toy Fair with our costumed character parade and ribbon cutting with toy photographer Mitchel Wu.

9:00 AM

Mitchel Wu Gallery

9:00 AM - 6:00 PMCrystal Palace Mezzanine

Creative toy photography gallery by professional toy photographer Mitchel Wu.

9:00 AM

Generations of Play Recording Sessions

9:00 AM - 6:00 PMLevel 4, Room 4A02

Interviews with selected industry participants, in partnership with StoryCorps.

9:00 AM

The Toy Association's Member Hospitality Lounge

9:00 AM - 6:00 PMLEVEL 1, HALL 1E, ROOM 1E12

The Toy Association welcomes its members as well as members of the American Specialty Toy Retailing Association (ASTRA), Canadian Toy Association, Education Market Association, and Licensing International to enjoy the Member Hospitality Lounge, sponsored by Roundel. The private lounge offers extensive seating, light refreshments, complimentary Wi-Fi, a computer and printer, charging stations, a self-service coat check, and more.

10:00 AM

Licensing 101

10:00 - 11:00 AMLEVEL 1, HALL 1E, ROOM 1E09

At this seminar, moderated by Marty Brochstein, SVP Industry Relations and Information at Licensing International, you'll get a solid grounding in how a trademark licensing deal comes together, including basic terminology and how a deal is structured. What do you need to consider as a brand owner looking to find potential licensees? How should a manufacturer evaluate a brand, character, or children's program? What are some of the keys to forming a rewarding partnership?

10:00 AM

Big Dreams for Little Kids

10:00 - 10:40 AMCreative Factor Theater (Hall 1D Lobby)

How will kids design the future? The answer is by playing with their toys and imaginations today. The Giant Room melds the cool and playful culture of a startup with learning to create a new kind of play experience.

11:00 AM

Discover New Opportunities with STEM and STEAM

11:00 - 11:40 AMCreative Factor Theater (Hall 1D Lobby)

Find new inspiration through innovative concepts and ideas which focus on what can be devised, designed, and manufactured to bring STEM and STEAM to toys and play in new and exciting ways. Based on a dynamic research platform utilizing unique combinations of Mensa geniuses and experts in education and play, this session will share new ideas that will inspire future thinking in the areas of STEM/STEAM for the industry. The Toy Association in partnership with ProdigyWorks will conduct a discussion with one of the experts who participated in the study.

11:30 AM

Global Market Research: Japan

11:30 AM - 12:30 PMLEVEL 1, HALL 1E, ROOM 1E11

Registration is required for this program, which also includes Global Market Research: U.S. The program is free for members of The Toy Association; non-members pay only $99 to attend 1 or both sessions. During this session, presenters will highlight:

  • Demographics - population, kids 0–14 population, and geographic trends
  • Social and economic trends
  • Toy industry trends
  • Safety regulations
  • Retail channels
  • Promotional tools and media
  • Gift-giving occasions and shopping behavior
  • Brand preferences/trends
  • Superheroes
  • Kids' daily routines from wake-up till bedtime
  • Kids' play time
  • Kids and digital (screen time)
  • Pocket money
11:45 AM

Character Photo/Meet & Greet

11:45 AM - 12:30 PMCreative Factor Theater (Hall 1D Lobby)

Don't leave Toy Fair without your character photo. Meet everyone from Peppa Pig to Daniel Tiger!

1:00 PM

Content Creators: Handle with Care

1:00 - 1:40 PMCreative Factor Theater (Hall 1D Lobby)

Please check back soon for session description and speakers.

1:30 PM

Toy Trends Briefing

1:30 - 2:30 PMLEVEL1, Hall 1E, Room 1E09

Get an exclusive first look at the top toy trends of 2020 at The Toy Association's Toy Trends Briefing. Using examples from the show floor, our trend experts will highlight the hottest trends — and tell you where to find them at Toy Fair.

2:00 PM

The Art of Play: From Sketch to Shelf

2:00 - 2:40 PMCreative Factor Theater (Hall 1D Lobby)

From the back of the napkin to the front of the store is an art form in and of itself. Top illustrators, art directors, and designers paint a picture of the creative process.

3:00 PM

Diverse Product for Diverse Audiences

3:00 - 3:40 PMCreative Factor Theater (Hall 1D Lobby)

Please check back soon for session description and speakers.

3:30 PM

Scoring Big Toy Sales with Video Game IP

3:30 - 4:30 PMLEVEL 1, HALL 1E, ROOM 1E11

For years, video games and traditional toys competed for the hearts and minds (and wallets) of kids and adults. Now video game IP is being licensed for traditional toys for kids and kidults alike. Come hear how video games are creating new opportunities for toy retailers from a former Mattel executive, now spearheading licensing for a top global video game producer.

4:00 PM

Annual General Meeting of The Toy Association

4:00 PMCreative Factor Theater (Hall 1D Lobby)

Join us Saturday afternoon in the Creative Factor Theater for the Toy Association’s Annual General Meeting. This year-end wrap-up and look ahead will include reports from the President and Chairman, election of new Board members, a review of accomplishments since the last meeting, and actions planned to address the most important issues facing the toy industry. Plus, a new addition this year gives attendees the opportunity to win prizes and network.

The Toy Association is proud to offer informational sessions for Toy Fair exhibitors and attendees covering topics as diverse as marketplace trends and tips for a successful exhibit experience.

1:30 PM

Toy Trends Briefing

1:30 - 2:30 PMLevel 1, Hall 1E, Room 1E09

Get an exclusive first look at the top toy trends of 2020 at The Toy Association's Toy Trends Briefing. Using examples from the show floor, our trend experts will highlight the hottest trends — and tell you where to find them at Toy Fair.

4:00 PM

Annual General Meeting of The Toy Association

4:00 PMCreative Factor Theater (Hall 1D Lobby)

Join us Saturday afternoon in the Creative Factor Theater for the Toy Association’s Annual General Meeting. This year-end wrap-up and look ahead will include reports from the President and Chairman, election of new Board members, a review of accomplishments since the last meeting, and actions planned to address the most important issues facing the toy industry. Plus, a new addition this year gives attendees the opportunity to win prizes and network.

Creative Factor

All Toy Fair registrants are welcome to participate in a full schedule of free pitch sessions, roundtables, presentations, workshops, and panels focused on the interests and goals of inventors, designers, and others in the creative community, guided by the new Creative Factor Advisory Board.

All sessions will take place in Hall 1D Lobby

10:00 AM

Big Dreams for Little Kids

10:00 - 10:40 AMPresenter: Azadeh Jamalian, The Giant Room

How will kids design the future? The answer is by playing with their toys and imaginations today. The Giant Room melds the cool and playful culture of a startup with learning to create a new kind of play experience.

11:00 AM

Discover New Opportunities with STEM and STEAM

11:00 - 11:40 AMPresenters: Ted Curtin, ProdigyWorks; Michael Herbst; Ken Seiter, The Toy Association

Find new inspiration through innovative concepts and ideas which focus on what can be devised, designed, and manufactured to bring STEM and STEAM to toys and play in new and exciting ways. Based on a dynamic research platform utilizing unique combinations of Mensa geniuses and experts in education and play, this session will share new ideas that will inspire future thinking in the areas of STEM/STEAM for the industry. The Toy Association in partnership with ProdigyWorks will conduct a discussion with one of the experts who participated in the study.

1:00 PM

Content Creators: Handle with Care

1:00 - 1:40 PMMODERATOR: Ed Desmond, The Toy Association

Please check back soon for session description and speakers.

2:00 PM

The Art of Play: From Sketch to Shelf

2:00 - 2:40 PMPresenters: Shane Hartley, Ravensburger; Kenny Kiernan; Fred Ellman; Carlos Mendoza

MODERATOR: Brett Klisch, Peru Meridian Studios

From the back of the napkin to the front of the store is an art form in and of itself. Top illustrators, art directors, and designers paint a picture of the creative process.

3:00 PM

Diverse Product for Diverse Audiences

3:00 - 3:40 PMPresenters: Mattel: Kim Culmone, Nathan Baynard, Monica Dreger

MODERATOR: Rob Smith, Phluid Project

Please check back soon for session description and speakers.

Creative Factor Advisory Board

Brett Klisch

Brett Klisch

Creative Factor co-founder and creative director at Peru Meridian Studios

Brett Klisch is a 20-year veteran of the toy industry as owner and creative director of Peru Meridian Studios. Mr. Klisch's studio has designed, developed, and lead the manufacturing for toys that range from the biggest to the smallest companies, simple roto cast vinyl parts to complex motorized and electronic equipment.

With an original background in classical art and the performing arts, Mr. Klisch brings a showman's flair and a designer’s discipline to the many genres he has worked in. Whether fine art museum or circus, its all the same level of discipline and intensity for each and every project.

Robin Raskin

Robin Raskin

founder, Living in Digital Times

Robin Raskin is the founder of Living in Digital Times (LIDT), a team of technophiles who bring together top experts and the latest innovations to look at the intersection of lifestyle and technology. LIDT produces a number of notable conferences and expos at CES® and at conferences and events worldwide. The company’s trademark events include Last Gadget StandingDigital Health Summit, HighTech Retail Summit, FashionWareFitness Tech SummitKids@Play SummitThe Digital Money Forum and others.

In a previous lifetime, Robin honed her tech chops at a variety of technology publications. She was a columnist for USA Today online, editor of PC Magazine, founding editor of FamilyPC magazine and was one of the founding contributors of Yahoo! Tech.  Author of six books, magazine publisher, blogger, TV and radio personality, Robin has been a thought-leader at the forefront of an ever-changing topic: what it means to be digital. Robin also serves on the board of the CTA Foundation and on the ACM Practitioners Board.

She lives in NYC and the Hudson Valley, with her husband, her three drop-in-now-and-then children, and closets full of obsolete technology.

Follow Robin on Twitter @RobinR and stay up to date on all things Living in Digital Times on TwitterLinkedin and Facebook.
Billy Langsworthy

Billy Langsworthy

co-founder, Mojo Nation

Billy Langsworthy is the co-founder of Mojo Nation, a body for the toy and game design community. The three pillars of Mojo Nation are to celebrate the work done by creators in this space, to usher new design talent into the industry and to help ensure the best ideas don’t just stay ideas. Mojo Nation runs the Play Creators Festival, a three day event held in London encompassing design conferences, pitching days, networking nights and a day designed to encourage product design students to take up careers in toy and game design. Away from the Festival, Mojo Nation has also launched the tech-toy focused Play Innovation Summit, as well as Toy Design Challenges for brands including Rubik’s, Mr Men/Little Miss and The Gruffalo, while also covering the toy and game design space online at Mojo-Nation.com. Prior to launching Mojo Nation, Langsworthy was the editor of UK toy and licensing trade titles ToyNews and Licensing.biz.

Matt Nuccio

Matt Nuccio

owner, Design Edge

Matt Nuccio is the owner of Design Edge, a toy and game development, marketing, manufacturing, inventing and consulting agency. They are headquartered in New York with two satellite offices in China. For over 30 years, Design Edge has been a leading development agency in the toys and games industry. For 4 years Matt co-chaired The Toy Association's associate panel, representing all designers and inventors in the toy industry. Currently, Matt sits on the board of directors of the United Inventors Association of America (UIA) and on the Chicago Toy and Game Fair (ChiTAG) advisory board. Matt also writes a column in Toy Family Entertainment magazine focusing on the toy industry and often lectures at the American International Toy Fair, ASTRA, Chicago Toy & Game Fair, and Hong Kong Toy Fair.

Creative Factor Speakers

Dr. Azadeh Jamalian

Dr. Azadeh Jamalian

Head of Education, The GIANT Room

Dr. Azadeh Jamalian is a former TED resident, an entrepreneur and cognitive science PhD, building invention hubs and communities for students 5 to 12 years old. Her organization, The GIANT room is a place for children to ideate, come up with challenges they care to solve, roll up their sleeves, get messy, and bring their ideas into reality. GIANT Children have the full support to take their ideas into the world by forming their own ventures, giving talks, publishing books, hosting podcasts, or even patenting their inventions! Prior to founding The GIANT Room, Dr Jamalian was the Head of Education Strategy at littleBits, and co-founded Tiggly, an early-education company that pioneered the integration of physical play with digital applications.

Michael Herbst

Michael Herbst

Educator

“I believe in creating new ways to inspire students...grabbing their attention and making subjects I am presenting more relatable to their everyday lives.”

Toys can be played with for years or minutes before being discarded based upon their level of involvement and imagination. Toys that are multidimensional and have the ability to morph will have the true interest of the user for a longer duration of time. Mike is a High School Science and STEM teacher who has taught Physics, Chemistry, Earth, and Space Sciences and other elective courses to students in grades 6–12. He’s a science program supervisor and has created new augmented reality tools for teaching geology. A father of teens, he enjoys adventurous family road trips in the RV. Mike incorporates his STEM knowledge with boundless creativity as a builder, a maker, a baker, and a brewer.

Monica Dreger

Monica Dreger

Vice President of Global Consumer Insights
Mattel, Inc.

A kid and cultural trend evangelist, Monica is a data storyteller with extensive experience in transformational markets. Monica is an accomplished researcher, strategist, and innovation leader, constantly seeking hidden trends and treasures with a special focus on youth culture. Her foresights work has helped brands come back from obscurity by tapping into the cultural zeitgeist to quickly innovate and deliver the experiences that consumers crave.

Monica is a multi-lingual Insights senior executive and entrepreneur with over fifteen years of consumer insights, brand strategy, innovation and planning experience in both local and global roles in the US and overseas markets.

She has worked in consumer insights on the corporate side for companies including Unilever, Liz Claiborne/Juicy Couture, Gymboree, and Nickelodeon trying to bring the consumer to life; as well as starting and successfully selling her own startup: CultureBaby. Currently she works at Mattel overseeing Global Consumer Insights to make sure that all kids are being continually heard and shaping the innovation pipeline.

She recently moved with her family from New York to Los Angeles and is very much enjoying the weather and beach (and not the traffic).

Nathan Baynard

Nathan Baynard

Head of Global Brand Marketing, Barbie & Dolls Category
Mattel, Inc.

Nathan Baynard, Head of Brand Marketing – Barbie & Dolls Category, Mattel, leads brand strategy and marketing for the billion dollar brand Barbie as well as the many other brands in Mattel’s Dolls Portfolio. In his 8 years at Mattel, he has led the brand and franchise marketing efforts to evolve the Barbie brand to one focused on inspiration, empowerment, and inclusivity. This has included the launch of the Barbie You Can Be Anything Brand Campaign, launching the first ever broadcast-quality series

for the brand on Netflix, Dreamhouse Adventures, and building the brand’s digital presence to being the #1 Girls’ Brand on YouTube and in social conversation through unique and digitally native content, like Barbie’s Vlog Series.

In 2018, he led efforts to launch the company’s first ever social mission, The Barbie Dream Gap Project, dedicated to raising awareness and combatting the Dream Gap phenomena that shows that as early as age 6, girls start showing a decline in confidence in their own gender’s abilities relative to boys. In his time working on Barbie, the brand has been recognized with multiple marketing and advertising awards, including Adweek’s Brand Genius, the Clios’ Brand Icon award, and most recently one of Ad Age’s Marketers of the Year for 2019 in recognition of a legacy making 60th anniversary year for the brand inclusive of pop-up experiences around the world, global Role Models programs celebrating women of note, and a host of activations across fashion, content, and pop culture. In his recent work also overseeing the rest of the Mattel Dolls Portfolio, he led the brand marketing efforts to launch Creatable World, the first gender-inclusive doll line in the market, named by Time as one of the best inventions of 2019.

A marketer always focused on developing and presenting compelling storytelling, prior to Mattel Nathan had a successful career in producing live theater, both at American Conservatory Theater in San Francisco, and at New York Stage and Film where he developed new plays and musicals by renowned artists such as Green Day (American Idiot), Duncan Sheik & Steven Sater (Spring Awakening) and John Patrick Shanley (Doubt, Moonstruck). He holds undergraduate degrees in Drama and Psychology from Stanford University and an MBA from the UCLA Anderson School of Management.

Carlos Mendoza

Carlos Mendoza

Carlos Mendoza III is a seasoned conceptual illustrator with over 14 years in concept design, illustration and team management within the toy industry. His passion for drawing fantasy art and characters has kept him up with design trends and pop culture. This has involved leading design and development teams across a broad spectrum of brands such as Star Wars, Disney, Marvel and most recently Nickelodeon’s #1 brand Spongebob SquarePants.

Fred Ellman

bio coming soon

Rob Smith

Rob Smith

Phluid Project

Rob Smith, the CEO and Founder of The Phluid Project, has created a space, combining his profession with his passion.

After graduating from Michigan State University, Rob began a long retail career, spanning over 30 years, orchestrating multi-billion dollar businesses through merchandising, e-commerce, marketing, product development, and supply chain management.

He worked his way through Macy’s for over two decades, working within four divisions and finishing with his final position as GMM/EVP Macy’s Corporate in product merchandising.

Gaining new experiences, Rob became GMM/EVP at Victoria’s Secret direct. He was the Children’s Global Chief Product Officer for Nike, Levi’s Jordan, Hurley, and Converse with Haddad Brands.

Rob mentors numerous fashion brands and serves on the Board of Directors for Steve Madden Ltd., leading the newly created CSR committee. He’s the former Board Chair for The Hetrick-Martin Institute, which empowers, educates, and advocates on behalf of LGBTQA+ youth around the world.

Today, Rob leads and manages The Phluid Project, a leader in the Gender-Free fashion movement. Phluid, joining a global movement of freedom of authenticity and self-expression, leads with values, a powerful community, and a fearlessness to challenge the status quo. Phluid thoughtfully expands into new spaces where they can offer insight, education, and impact.

Rob lives in NYC, NY with his husband, Rod Grozier, and his dog, Jackson.

Photo Credit: Alberto Vasari

Ken Seiter

Ken Seiter

evp, marketing communications, The Toy Association, Inc.

Ken Seiter, executive vice president of marketing communications at The Toy Association, Inc., is responsible for the development, implementation, and oversight of the Association’s communications strategies, with a strong focus on the Association’s proactive safety / advocacy communications and brand integrity programs, such as the Genius of Play, which has successfully encouraged millions of families to make time for play in their day-to-day lives.

Seiter has more than 30 years of integrated marketing communications and advertising experience. He was chief marketing officer for the Specialty Food Association, held a variety of marketing communications positions at Kraft Foods, and worked for a number of agencies on high-profile food accounts.

With a master’s degree in educational psychology, Seiter taught emotionally handicapped and learning disabled children, and saw firsthand how play and toys drive their healthy development.


 

Kenny Kiernan

Kenny Kiernan

Kenny Kiernan is a self-taught artist, specializing in toy and game illustration, packaging art, and character design. He has created work for the likes of Hasbro, LEGO, Disney, Marvel, DC and Scholastic, and is an increasingly vital ally for toy and game inventors; providing concept art for some of the industry’s biggest invention houses and design studios.


 

Kim Culmone

Kim Culmone

Senior Vice President, Design Barbie and Fashion Dolls
Mattel, Inc.

Kim serves as Senior Vice President and Global Head of Design for Barbie and Fashion Dolls at Mattel Inc. She has held this position since February 2019. Kim and her award-winning team of product and graphic designers are committed to keeping the brands they steward innovative and reflective of the world kid’s see around them. Kim is entrusted with the creative direction of Mattel’s flagship brand Barbie – a category leader in innovation and a source of inspiration to children around the world for 60 years.

Prior to her current expanded role, Kim was Vice President of Design for Barbie. From 2013-2019 she was responsible for all product and packaging for the brand. During that time, she helped launch the popular @BarbieStyle Instagram channel that now has over 2 million followers and unprecedented social media engagement within the toy industry. Kim also served as Vice President, Consumer Products Design from 2010 - 2013, setting the creative vision for style guide development and licensed product design for Mattel’s global girls’ brands, including Barbie, Monster High and Polly Pocket. In this role she led Mattel’s licensing design teams around the world and developed product in 45 categories in partnership with licensees in over 150 countries.

Kim started her career at Mattel in 1999 as a designer for Barbie. Throughout her 20-year tenure at the company, Kim has maintained a creative process that emphasizes purpose-driven, human-centric design. As featured in the Hulu documentary Tiny Shoulders: Rethinking Barbie, in 2015 she led the design of the most ethnically diverse doll line in the brand’s history. That line included the introduction of three new doll body types - curvy, tall and petite. This bold product reinvention generated 5 billion media impressions, led to a TIME cover, was named one of the “Top 25 Inventions of 2016” by the magazine and received the Barbie brand’s first-ever “Doll of the Year Award”, a coveted honor from the Toy Industry Association. Today Barbie is the most diverse and inclusive doll line on the market.

Kim resides in West Hollywood, California, and is originally from New Orleans, Louisiana. She holds design degrees from Louisiana State University and Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising in Los Angeles. Prior to joining Mattel, she co-founded and was creative director of the Los Angeles-based textile art studio, The Design Garage Inc. She is passionate about the advancement of women and girls, supports the arts and LGBTQ+ organizations in her community and serves on the board of directors for the Wright Institute Los Angeles, a mental health non-profit organization and clinic, Chickenshed NYC, a non-profit inclusive children’s theater company. She is a member of the D&AD Impact Council which recognizes products and creative ideas that are driving positive change and The Toy Association’s Diversity and Inclusion Committee.

Shane Hartley

Shane Hartley

Art Director at Ravensburger North America, Inc.

Shane Hartley shapes the creative vision for products and brands at Ravensburger North America, including Wonder Forge, Brio and ThinkFun. Liaising with both designers and illustrators, Hartley plays a key role in the creation and development and new and existing products across both licensed ranges and original concepts.

Ted Curtin

Ted Curtin

Chief Innovation Officer, ProdigyWorks

Ted Curtain is Chief Innovation Officer at ProdigyWorks, a creative ideation and innovation lab that grew out of a partnership with Mensa 13 years ago. ProdigyWorks’ unique approach to breakthrough innovation comes from their exclusive global network of high-IQ thinkers and creative geniuses. From this robust Mensa-based network, ProdigyWorks combines the perfect mix of diverse thinkers to successfully tackle innovation, new product development, brand extension, and product naming for some of the world’s biggest companies and best-loved brands, including Coca-Cola, HP, Nestle, Chili’s, Chase, Pfizer, Kraft, Chik-fil-A, P&G, New Balance, Heineken, and more. You’ll benefit from Ted’s passion for accelerating innovation and moving companies ahead of competitors by tapping into high-level cognitive and cultural diversity. Ted’s ability to address real-world examples of disruptive innovation success across a variety of industries makes him extremely relevant in today’s competitive market.

11:30 AM

Global Market Research: Japan

11:30 AM - 12:30 PMLEVEL 1, HALL 1E, ROOM 1E11
Presenter: Anne McConnell, The Toy Association

Registration is required for this program, which also includes Global Market Research: U.S. The program is free for members of The Toy Association; non-members pay only $99 to attend 1 or both sessions. During this session, presenters will highlight:

  • Demographics - population, kids 0-14 population, and geographic trends
  • Social and economic trends
  • Toy industry trends
  • Safety regulations
  • Retail channels
  • Promotional tools and media
  • Gift-giving occasions and shopping behavior
  • Brand preferences/trends
  • Superheroes
  • Kids' daily routines from wake-up till bedtime
  • Kids' play time
  • Kids and digital (screen time)
  • Pocket money
10:00 AM

Licensing 101

10:00 - 11:00 AMLEVEL 1, HALL 1E, ROOM 1E09
Presenter: Marty Brochstein, Licensing International

At this seminar, moderated by Marty Brochstein, SVP Industry Relations and Information at Licensing International, you'll get a solid grounding in how a trademark licensing deal comes together, including basic terminology and how a deal is structured. What do you need to consider as a brand owner looking to find potential licensees? How should a manufacturer evaluate a brand, character, or children's program? What are some of the keys to forming a rewarding partnership?

3:30 PM

Scoring Big Toy Sales with Video Game IP

3:30 - 4:30 PMLEVEL 1, HALL 1E, ROOM 1E11
Presenter: Sarah Buzby, Ubisoft

MODERATOR: Steven Ekstract, Informa Markets

For years, video games and traditional toys competed for the hearts and minds (and wallets) of kids and adults. Now video game IP is being licensed for traditional toys for kids and kidults alike. Come hear how video games are creating new opportunities for toy retailers from a former Mattel executive, now spearheading licensing for a top global video game producer.

9:00 AM

Opening Ceremony

9:00 AMCrystal Palace 3B Entrance

Kick off Toy Fair with our costumed character parade and ribbon cutting with toy photographer Mitchel Wu.

9:00 AM

Mitchel Wu Gallery

9:00 AM - 6:00 PMCrystal Palace Mezzanine

Creative toy photography gallery by professional toy photographer Mitchel Wu.

9:00 AM

Generations of Play Recording Sessions

9:00 AM - 6:00 PMLevel 4, Room 4A02

Interviews with selected industry participants, in partnership with StoryCorps.

11:45 AM

Character Photo/Meet & Greet

11:45 AM - 12:30 PMCreative Factor Theater (Hall 1D Lobby)

Don't leave Toy Fair without your character photo. Meet everyone from Peppa Pig to Daniel Tiger!

Show hours: 9 AM - 6 PM

8:30 AM

Content Creators Lounge

8:30 AM - 6:00 PMLEVEL 1, HALL 1B, ROOM 1B02

Sponsored by Bonkers Toys, the Content Creators lounge is an invitation-only spot for Toy Fair's VIP content creators.

9:00 AM

Character Parade

9:00 AMCrystal Palace 3 B Entrance

 

9:00 AM

Mitchel Wu Gallery

9:00 AM - 6:00 PMCrystal Palace Mezzanine

Creative toy photography gallery by professional toy photographer Mitchel Wu.

9:00 AM

Generations of Play Recording Sessions

9:00 AM - 6:00 PMLevel 4, Room 4A02

Interviews with selected industry participants, in partnership with StoryCorps.

9:00 AM

The Toy Association's Member Hospitality Lounge

9:00 AM - 6:00 PMLEVEL 1, HALL 1E, ROOM 1E12

The Toy Association welcomes its members as well as members of the American Specialty Toy Retailing Association (ASTRA), Canadian Toy Association, Education Market Association, and Licensing International to enjoy the Member Hospitality Lounge, sponsored by Roundel. The private lounge offers extensive seating, light refreshments, complimentary Wi-Fi, a computer and printer, charging stations, a self-service coat check, and more.

9:30 AM

Creativity, Risk-Taking, and Storytelling with Mitchel Wu Toy Photography

9:30 - 10:00 AMCreative Factor Theater (Hall 1D Lobby)

Learn how toy photographer Mitchel Wu built his business and brand through creativity, risk-taking, and storytelling. Other topics include the importance of niches, differentiation, and knowing your value. Having worked on both sides of the table, Mitchel understands how to get your foot in the door, and then not shoot yourself in that foot once inside. Meet and greet to follow.

10:00 AM

Licensing Session hosted by Licensing International

10:00 - 11:00 AMLEVEL 1, HALL 1E, ROOM 1E11

Please check back soon for session description and speakers.

10:20 AM

Thinking Inside, Outside, and Without the Box

10:20 - 10:50 AMCreative Factor Theater (Hall 1D Lobby)

Packaging creates an emotional response (positive or negative). In this session, we'll approach the need to rethink the packaging challenges presented by e-commerce, sustainability, and reduced display areas.

11:00 AM

Magic Wheelchair Reveal

11:00 - 11:15 AMCrystal Palace, Level 3

Magic Wheelchair is a nonprofit organization that builds epic costumes for kids in wheelchairs at no cost to families. Their vision is to put a smile on the face of every child in a wheelchair by transforming their wheelchairs into awesomeness using their hands and imaginations. Be there for the big reveal of Magic Wheelchair’s latest creation!

To learn more about and support the work of Magic Wheelchair, visit their website: Magicwheelchair.org.

11:10 AM

Manufacturing 101: From Idea to Factory Floor

11:10 - 11:50 AMCreative Factor Theater (Hall 1D Lobby)

Ideas are easy. Making them in vast quantities is not. Join Brett Klisch and Charles Berzon as they navigate how to take your idea from a napkin sketch to a working engineered prototype and then to the factory floor where your idea becomes a reality.

11:30 AM

Global Market Research: U.S.

11:30 AM - 12:30 PMLEVEL 1, HALL 1E, ROOM 1E11

Registration is required for this program, which also includes Global Market Research: Japan. The program is free for members of The Toy Association; non-members pay only $99 to attend 1 or both sessions. During this session, presenters will highlight:

  • Demographics - population, kids 0-14 population, and geographic trends
  • Social and economic trends
  • Toy industry trends
  • Safety regulations
  • Retail channels
  • Promotional tools and media
  • Gift-giving occasions and shopping behavior
  • Brand preferences/trends
  • Superheroes
  • Kids' daily routines from wake-up till bedtime
  • Kids' play time
  • Kids and digital (screen time)
  • Pocket money
12:30 PM

March of the Working Robots

12:30 - 1:10 PMCreative Factor Theater (Hall 1D Lobby)

From room service to truck unloading, from delivery to your new BFF, the robots are here. This Robots on the Runway parade looks at our budding relationship with the automated world.

1:30 PM

A Store Is Born

1:30 - 2:10 PMCreative Factor Theater (Hall 1D Lobby)

The story of the closing of Toys R Us and the opening of the new TRU retail experience has captivated the industry. If you have questions, this is the place to be. Join Richard Barry for this candid session.

1:30 PM

Packaging Sustainability

1:30 - 2:30 PMLEVEL 1, HALL 1E, ROOM 1E11

Please check back soon for session description.

2:30 PM

The Creative Habit

2:30 - 3:10 PMCreative Factor Theater (Hall 1D Lobby)

Can creativity be learned? In his talk, author and consultant Deej Johnson explains why creativity is NOT an art. Learn techniques that help inventors generate more ideas that will come to fruition.

3:30 PM

Licensing vs Self-Publishing: Which Route Should I Take?

3:30 - 4:10 PMCreative Factor Theater (Hall 1D Lobby)

You've got a great idea — what next? Do you license or go it alone? Hear from experts who have explored the multiple paths to success.

3:30 PM

How Alternative Video Streaming Drives Toy Sales

3:30 - 4:30 PMLEVEL 1, HALL 1E, ROOM 1E11

YouTube has become synonymous with kids’ streaming videos. Come learn how savvy licensors and agents are finding success in the toy aisle for these alternative TV properties.

4:30 PM

Is Sustainable Attainable?

4:30 - 5:00 PMCreative Factor Theater (Hall 1D Lobby)

Today's customers support sustainable practices in manufacturing. Recycled and upcycled materials, bioplastics, and more make green the new black. Sponsored by Green Dot Bioplastics.

5:10 PM

Toys That Time Forgot with Blake Wright

5:10 - 5:50 PMCreative Factor Theater (Hall 1D Lobby)

You may not look at a toy on the shelf at your local retailer as art, but it is. It was designed, concepted, and created through a delicate marriage of engineering and artistry. But what about the toys that get designed and concepted, but not created? Toys That Time Forgot is a book series that explores and celebrates “lost toy” projects from the 1980s through the 2000s, showcasing both the art that went into them and the stories behind them. Projects get canceled for a variety of reasons, but that doesn’t mean the effort put into these projects should be relegated to the trash bin. What did Hasbro have planned for Jim Henson’s The Dark Crystal in the early 1980s? Why did Tiger pass on the Battletoads? And did Kenner almost green-light a project in the 1990s based on a sugary confection? Come hear some of the tales that appear in the recently-released Toys That Time Forgot Volume 2 and plans for Volume 3.

6:00 PM

2020 Wonder Women Awards

6:00 - 10:00 PMPier 60, Chelsea Piers, New York City

Honoring the brightest women in toys, licensing & entertainment, the WIT Wonder Women Awards is an annual celebration of the industry's most remarkable leaders and changemakers. Learn more and register.

6:30 PM

ASTRA's Night in New York

6:30 - 8:30 PMThe Paramount, 1501 Broadway, New York, NY 10036

Enjoy live entertainment right in the heart of NYC at the historic Paramount Theater, home to performances by legendary musicians including Benny Goodman, Frank Sinatra, Perry Como, Jerry Lewis, The Andrews Sisters, and The Animals. Learn more and register.

6:00 PM

2020 Wonder Women Awards

6:00 - 10:00 PMPier 60, Chelsea Piers, New York City

Honoring the brightest women in toys, licensing & entertainment, the WIT Wonder Women Awards is an annual celebration of the industry's most remarkable leaders and changemakers. Learn more and register.

6:30 PM

ASTRA's Night in New York

6:30 - 8:30 PMThe Paramount, 1501 Broadway, New York, NY 10036

Enjoy live entertainment right in the heart of NYC at the historic Paramount Theater, home to performances by legendary musicians including Benny Goodman, Frank Sinatra, Perry Como, Jerry Lewis, The Andrews Sisters, and The Animals. Learn more and register.

The Toy Association is proud to offer informational sessions for Toy Fair exhibitors and attendees covering topics as diverse as marketplace trends and tips for a successful exhibit experience.

1:30 PM

Packaging Sustainability

1:30 - 2:30 PMLEVEL 1, HALL 1E, ROOM 1E11
Presenter: Alan Kaufman, The Toy Association

Please check back soon for session description.

10:00 AM

Licensing Session hosted by Licensing International

10:00 - 11:00 AMLEVEL 1, HALL 1E, ROOM 1E11

Please check back soon for session description and speakers.

3:30 PM

How Alternative Video Streaming Drives Toy Sales

3:30 - 4:30 PMLEVEL 1, HALL 1E, ROOM 1E11
Presenters: Sid Kaufman, Blippi (UTA); Stone Newman, Ryan’s World (pocket.watch)

MODERATOR: Steven Ekstract, Informa Markets

YouTube has become synonymous with kids’ streaming videos. Come learn how savvy licensors and agents are finding success in the toy aisle for these alternative TV properties.

11:30 AM

Global Market Research: U.S.

11:30 AM - 12:30 PMLEVEL 1, HALL 1E, ROOM 1E11
Presenter: Anne McConnell, The Toy Association

Registration is required for this program, which also includes Global Market Research: Japan. The program is free for members of The Toy Association; non-members pay only $99 to attend 1 or both sessions. During this session, presenters will highlight:

  • Demographics - population, kids 0-14 population, and geographic trends
  • Social and economic trends
  • Toy industry trends
  • Safety regulations
  • Retail channels
  • Promotional tools and media
  • Gift-giving occasions and shopping behavior
  • Brand preferences/trends
  • Superheroes
  • Kids' daily routines from wake-up till bedtime
  • Kids' play time
  • Kids and digital (screen time)
  • Pocket money
9:00 AM

Character Parade

9:00 AMCrystal Palace 3 B Entrance

 

9:00 AM

Mitchel Wu Gallery

9:00 AM - 6:00 PMCrystal Palace Mezzanine

Creative toy photography gallery by professional toy photographer Mitchel Wu.

9:00 AM

Generations of Play Recording Sessions

9:00 AM - 6:00 PMLevel 4, Room 4A02

The Toy Association welcomes its members as well as members of the American Specialty Toy Retailing Association (ASTRA), Canadian Toy Association, Education Market Association, and Licensing International to enjoy the Member Hospitality Lounge, sponsored by Roundel. The private lounge offers extensive seating, light refreshments, complimentary Wi-Fi, a computer and printer, charging stations, a self-service coat check, and more.

11:00 AM

Magic Wheelchair Reveal

11:00 - 11:15 AMCrystal Palace, Level 3

Magic Wheelchair is a nonprofit organization that builds epic costumes for kids in wheelchairs at no cost to families. Their vision is to put a smile on the face of every child in a wheelchair by transforming their wheelchairs into awesomeness using their hands and imaginations. Be there for the big reveal of Magic Wheelchair’s latest creation!

To learn more about and support the work of Magic Wheelchair, visit their website: Magicwheelchair.org.

Creative Factor

All Toy Fair registrants are welcome to participate in a full schedule of free pitch sessions, roundtables, presentations, workshops, and panels focused on the interests and goals of inventors, designers, and others in the creative community, guided by the new Creative Factor Advisory Board.

All sessions will take place in Hall 1D Lobby

9:30 AM

Creativity, Risk-Taking, and Storytelling with Mitchel Wu Toy Photography

9:30 - 10:00 AMPresenter: Mitchel Wu

Learn how toy photographer Mitchel Wu built his business and brand through creativity, risk-taking, and storytelling. Other topics include the importance of niches, differentiation, and knowing your value. Having worked on both sides of the table, Mitchel understands how to get your foot in the door, and then not shoot yourself in that foot once inside. Meet and greet to follow.

10:20 AM

Thinking Inside, Outside, and Without the Box

10:20 - 10:50 AMPresenter: Matt Nuccio, DesignEdge

Packaging creates an emotional response (positive or negative). In this session, we'll approach the need to rethink the packaging challenges presented by e-commerce, sustainability, and reduced display areas.

11:10 AM

Manufacturing 101: From Idea to Factory Floor

11:10 - 11:50 AMPresenters: Brett Klisch, PeruMeridian Studios; Charles Berzon, ProSource Global Ltd.

Ideas are easy. Making them in vast quantities is not. Join Brett Klisch and Charles Berzon as they navigate how to take your idea from a napkin sketch to a working engineered prototype and then to the factory floor where your idea becomes a reality.

12:30 PM

March of the Working Robots

12:30 - 1:10 PM

From room service to truck unloading, from delivery to your new BFF, the robots are here. This Robots on the Runway parade looks at our budding relationship with the automated world.

1:30 PM

A Store Is Born

1:30 - 2:10 PMPresenter: Richard Barry, Tru Kids Brands

MODERATOR: Robin Raskin

The story of the closing of Toys R Us and the opening of the new TRU retail experience has captivated the industry. If you have questions, this is the place to be. Join Richard Barry for this candid session.

2:30 PM

The Creative Habit

2:30 - 3:10 PMPresenter: Deej Johnson / Q&A to follow with Billy Langsworthy, Mojo Nation

Can creativity be learned? In his talk, author and consultant Deej Johnson explains why creativity is NOT an art. Learn techniques that help inventors generate more ideas that will come to fruition.

3:30 PM

Licensing vs Self-Publishing: Which Route Should I Take?

3:30 - 4:10 PMPresenters: Angie Cella, Blinger; Pete Cartlidge, Fuse London; Rena Nathanson, Bananagrams

MODERATOR: Matt Nuccio, DesignEdge

You've got a great idea — what next? Do you license or go it alone? Hear from experts who have explored the multiple paths to success.

4:30 PM

Is Sustainable Attainable?

4:30 - 5:00 PMPresenters: Charles Berzon, ProSource Global Ltd.; Brett Klisch, PeruMerdian Studios; Mark Remmert, Green Dot

MODERATOR: Carolyn Shafer, Pratt Institute

Today's customers support sustainable practices in manufacturing. Recycled and upcycled materials, bioplastics, and more make green the new black. Sponsored by Green Dot Bioplastics.

5:10 PM

Toys That Time Forgot with Blake Wright

5:10 - 5:50 PMPresenters: Blake Wright

MODERATOR: Brett Klisch, PeruMerdian Studios

You may not look at a toy on the shelf at your local retailer as art, but it is. It was designed, concepted, and created through a delicate marriage of engineering and artistry. But what about the toys that get designed and concepted, but not created? Toys That Time Forgot is a book series that explores and celebrates “lost toy” projects from the 1980s through the 2000s, showcasing both the art that went into them and the stories behind them. Projects get canceled for a variety of reasons, but that doesn’t mean the effort put into these projects should be relegated to the trash bin. What did Hasbro have planned for Jim Henson’s The Dark Crystal in the early 1980s? Why did Tiger pass on the Battletoads? And did Kenner almost green-light a project in the 1990s based on a sugary confection? Come hear some of the tales that appear in the recently-released Toys That Time Forgot Volume 2 and plans for Volume 3.

Creative Factor Advisory Board

Brett Klisch

Brett Klisch

Creative Factor co-founder and creative director at Peru Meridian Studios

Brett Klisch is a 20-year veteran of the toy industry as owner and creative director of Peru Meridian Studios. Mr. Klisch's studio has designed, developed, and lead the manufacturing for toys that range from the biggest to the smallest companies, simple roto cast vinyl parts to complex motorized and electronic equipment.

With an original background in classical art and the performing arts, Mr. Klisch brings a showman's flair and a designer’s discipline to the many genres he has worked in. Whether fine art museum or circus, its all the same level of discipline and intensity for each and every project.

Robin Raskin

Robin Raskin

founder, Living in Digital Times

Robin Raskin is the founder of Living in Digital Times (LIDT), a team of technophiles who bring together top experts and the latest innovations to look at the intersection of lifestyle and technology. LIDT produces a number of notable conferences and expos at CES® and at conferences and events worldwide. The company’s trademark events include Last Gadget StandingDigital Health Summit, HighTech Retail Summit, FashionWareFitness Tech SummitKids@Play SummitThe Digital Money Forum and others.

In a previous lifetime, Robin honed her tech chops at a variety of technology publications. She was a columnist for USA Today online, editor of PC Magazine, founding editor of FamilyPC magazine and was one of the founding contributors of Yahoo! Tech.  Author of six books, magazine publisher, blogger, TV and radio personality, Robin has been a thought-leader at the forefront of an ever-changing topic: what it means to be digital. Robin also serves on the board of the CTA Foundation and on the ACM Practitioners Board.

She lives in NYC and the Hudson Valley, with her husband, her three drop-in-now-and-then children, and closets full of obsolete technology.

Follow Robin on Twitter @RobinR and stay up to date on all things Living in Digital Times on TwitterLinkedin and Facebook.
Billy Langsworthy

Billy Langsworthy

co-founder, Mojo Nation

Billy Langsworthy is the co-founder of Mojo Nation, a body for the toy and game design community. The three pillars of Mojo Nation are to celebrate the work done by creators in this space, to usher new design talent into the industry and to help ensure the best ideas don’t just stay ideas. Mojo Nation runs the Play Creators Festival, a three day event held in London encompassing design conferences, pitching days, networking nights and a day designed to encourage product design students to take up careers in toy and game design. Away from the Festival, Mojo Nation has also launched the tech-toy focused Play Innovation Summit, as well as Toy Design Challenges for brands including Rubik’s, Mr Men/Little Miss and The Gruffalo, while also covering the toy and game design space online at Mojo-Nation.com. Prior to launching Mojo Nation, Langsworthy was the editor of UK toy and licensing trade titles ToyNews and Licensing.biz.

Matt Nuccio

Matt Nuccio

owner, Design Edge

Matt Nuccio is the owner of Design Edge, a toy and game development, marketing, manufacturing, inventing and consulting agency. They are headquartered in New York with two satellite offices in China. For over 30 years, Design Edge has been a leading development agency in the toys and games industry. For 4 years Matt co-chaired The Toy Association's associate panel, representing all designers and inventors in the toy industry. Currently, Matt sits on the board of directors of the United Inventors Association of America (UIA) and on the Chicago Toy and Game Fair (ChiTAG) advisory board. Matt also writes a column in Toy Family Entertainment magazine focusing on the toy industry and often lectures at the American International Toy Fair, ASTRA, Chicago Toy & Game Fair, and Hong Kong Toy Fair.

Creative Factor Speakers

Richard Barry

Richard Barry

President & CEO of Tru Kids Brands

Richard Barry is a recognized global retail leader with extensive experience in the entertainment, licensing, toy and baby industries.

As the President & CEO of Tru Kids Brands, Richard is responsible for the management, development, and growth of the global brands Toys“R”Us®, Babies“R”Us®, Geoffrey the Giraffe®, and over 20 other consumer brands.

Richard currently serves on the Board of Directors of the Toy Association, the board of the Toy Foundation and has held board positions for the Entertainment Merchants Association and LIMA.

Charles Berzon

Charles Berzon

Managing Director of ProSource Global Ltd.

Charles Berzon is Managing Director of ProSource Global Ltd., a Hong Kong-based consumer goods, development, sourcing, and logistics supplier for clients in the US and around the world. He has a B.S. in Marketing from San Diego State University and an MBA from the Thunderbird School of Global Management and lived in Hong Kong for more than 20 years.

Drawing from his manufacturing expertise, he works one-on-one with his clients, helping them in a wide range of product categories such as Toys, Electronics, House wares, Sporting Goods, Pet Toys and many other.

Pete Cartlidge

Pete Cartlidge

Commercial Director at Fuse London

Pete Cartlidge is Commercial Director at Fuse London. He creates “sticky stuff” for next-gen kids and big kids.

Matt Nuccio

Angie Cella

Angie is a single mom of four beautiful children. The idea for her product, Blinger, came to her in a dream. She spent several years trying to make her product a reality. After numerous different engineering firms, designs, and countless prototypes, she finally had a working prototype. Then, with the support of her children, she sold their home and used the proceeds to build the tool in China to manufacture it. She presented her product to the toy industry at WIT Empowerment Day and Toy Fair Dallas in October 2018. There she partnered with Wicked Cool Toys, and together they launched Blinger worldwide in 2019: A dream come true for Angie and her family. Angie is a graduate of the University of Oklahoma. She and her children currently live in Avondale, Pennsylvania.

Carolyn Shafer

Carolyn Shafer

Director of the Center for Sustainable Design Strategies at Pratt Institute

Carolyn is the Director of the Center for Sustainable Design Strategies at Pratt Institute. Since 2009, she has worked to develop the Center for Sustainable Design Strategies (CSDS) at Pratt. She has acted as project manager for a number of CSDS Industry and Research projects, coordinates the annual Sustainability Crash Course, and runs the CSDS internship Program. Carolyn also teaches in the Industrial Design department and the Sustainable Environmental Systems Program at Pratt.

Mark Remmert

Mark Remmert

Chief Executive Officer of Green Dot

Mark Remmert is the Chief Executive Officer of Green Dot and serves on the Board of Directors.

Remmert was CEO of Styron Corporation based in Horgen, Switzerland from its inception in July 2009. Styron was a $5 billion, wholly owned subsidiary of The Dow Chemical Co, and the world leader in its top two products — polystyrene and S/B latex.

In his 30-year career with Dow Chemical, Remmert assumed a variety of commercial and business leadership roles in the United States, Europe, and Asia. For two years prior to Styron, Remmert held the dual roles of global business director for Polycarbonate and Compounds & Blends, and general manager of Dow Fiber Solutions (DFS), also based in Horgen, Switzerland.

From 2001–2007, Remmert served as President and Chairman of LG-Dow Polycarbonate Ltd., based in Seoul, South Korea. Remmert was responsible for the launch of the new company and guided the company to unprecedented growth. He also served for 10 years on the Board of Directors of Sumitomo Dow Ltd. in Japan, and LG Dow Polycarbonate Ltd., in Korea.

Remmert holds a bachelor’s degree in geology and geophysics from the University of Wyoming.

Rena Nathanson

Rena Nathanson

CEO of Bananagrams, Inc.

Rena Nathanson, CEO of Bananagrams, Inc., created and designed BANANAGRAMS® along with her parents and her children. She successfully brought the game to the worldwide market, where it is among the top ten best-selling toys and gifts of the last decade. In September 2012, Mumpreneur UK named Rena “Inspirational Business Mum of the Year.” She currently splits her time between London, England and Providence, RI, home of Bananagrams, Inc.

Blake Wright

Blake Wright

Journalist

Blake Wright is a journalist from Houston, Texas who has spent most of his 25-plus year professional career covering the energy industry for various publications. In 2003, he and his wife Holly launched an online toy and collectibles store called LittlePlasticMen.com, which closed in late 2006. Less than a decade later, he resurrected the name for a quarterly e-mag covering the commercial and behind-the-scenes aspects of the boys’ toys and action figure market in 2014. He wrote his first book, Toys That Time Forgot Volume 1, in 2017 while exploring the US in an Airstream travel trailer. The positive reception of the book spawned a sequel, Toys That Time Forgot Volume 2, which was released at the end of 2019. Earlier in the year, he was named a 2019 inductee into the Pop Culture Hall Of Fame. Work has already commenced on a third, and possibly final, volume in the “lost toy” series.

Deej Johnson

Deej Johnson

Deej Johnson is a creative consultant and speaker with numerous high-profile companies among his clients. They include Bananagrams, Hasbro, Tactic Games, Mojo-Nation, Harper Collins, and Disney Store. His most recent book, The Snakes & Ladders of Creative Thinking, is available now.

Kenny Kiernan

Kenny Kiernan

Kenny Kiernan is a self-taught artist, specializing in toy and game illustration, packaging art, and character design. He has created work for the likes of Hasbro, LEGO, Disney, Marvel, DC and Scholastic, and is an increasingly vital ally for toy and game inventors; providing concept art for some of the industry’s biggest invention houses and design studios.


 

Ken Seiter

Mitchel Wu

creative toy photographer

With a degree in illustration from the California College of the Arts, Mitchel spent much of his career working as a product designer for various companies, including The Walt Disney Company. Having sat on both sides of the table as both the hiring client and job-seeking freelancer, Mitchel developed a deeper understanding than most on how to get your foot in the door, and then not shoot yourself in that foot once inside. It was this combined experience that instilled in him the importance of offering both the highest levels of creativity and professionalism. 

As a creative toy photographer, Mitchel has created images for The Walt Disney Company, Warner Bros, EVA Airlines, Kinder Chocolate, Hasbro, Mattel, Moose Toys, Virgin Media and others.  His work has been featured extensively in print, online, and on television. 

Show hours: 9 AM - 6 PM

8:00 AM

ASTRA's Share the Fair

8:00 - 9:00 AMLEVEL 1, HALL 1E, ROOM 1E11

Feeling like you just don't have enough time to see all the amazing new products and vendors at Toy Fair? ASTRA's got you covered. At Share the Fair, enjoy a breakfast buffet and coffee while you swap stories and discuss the hot new toys and children's products you've seen in the aisles with your fellow retail members. Open to ASTRA member retailers only.

8:30 AM

Content Creators Lounge

8:30 AM - 6:00 PMLEVEL 1, HALL 1B, ROOM 1B02

Sponsored by Bonkers Toys, the Content Creators lounge is an invitation-only spot for Toy Fair's VIP content creators.

9:00 AM

Mitchel Wu Gallery

9:00 AM - 6:00 PMCrystal Palace Mezzanine

Creative toy photography gallery by professional toy photographer Mitchel Wu.

9:00 AM

Generations of Play Recording Sessions

9:00 AM - 6:00 PMLevel 4, Room 4A02

Interviews with selected industry participants, in partnership with StoryCorps.

9:00 AM

The Toy Association's Member Hospitality Lounge

9:00 AM - 6:00 PMLEVEL 1, HALL 1E, ROOM 1E12

The Toy Association welcomes its members as well as members of the American Specialty Toy Retailing Association (ASTRA), Canadian Toy Association, Education Market Association, and Licensing International to enjoy the Member Hospitality Lounge, sponsored by Roundel. The private lounge offers extensive seating, light refreshments, complimentary Wi-Fi, a computer and printer, charging stations, a self-service coat check, and more.

9:30 AM

Safety & Compliance Update

9:30 AM - 12:30 PMLEVEL 1, HALL 1E, ROOM 1E09

The Toy Association will host an update on pending state and federal legislation impacting the toy industry and an overview of the association's efforts to prevent passage of any harmful legislation or regulation.

10:00 AM

Toy Association Credit Meeting

10:00 AM - 6:00 PMThe Toy Association Headquarters

The one-day conference features a “Review of Accounts” and retail expert-led sessions covering a variety of topics including credit, finance, operations, and logistics. The event also includes an interactive workshop that provides insights into the challenges of the credit and collection environment and a "Beyond Credit” breakout session for senior finance and operations executives. Learn more.

10:00 AM

Licensed Toys: 10 Ways to Succeed In A Changing Retail Landscape

10:00 - 11:00 AMLEVEL 1, HALL 1E, ROOM 1E11

Introducing new toy concepts, licensed toy lines, and toy-based licensed properties means navigating a rapidly changing retail marketplace. During this session you will learn how to:

  • Choose the right physical and online retail channel(s) for your target audience;
  • Market your product or property creatively in order to stand out in a multi-channel world; and
  • Compete for consumers’ attention against major toy companies that are increasingly focusing their resources on owned properties.
10:30 AM

Kids Should Be Seen AND Heard: How Families Are Influencing the Toy Industry

10:30 - 11:10 AMCreative Factor Theater (Hall 1D Lobby)

Meet two of the coolest kid content creators and find out how they grapple with the issues involved in content creation today.

11:30 AM

Out-of-This-World Sales: IRL Is Overrated, Try AR Instead

11:30 AM - 12:10 PMCreative Factor Theater (Hall 1D Lobby)

For healthy toy sales, many believe we've got to turn miles of aisles into miles of experiences. Find out how the most forward-thinking retailers are using new technologies to keep it fresh.

11:30 AM

Diversity & Inclusion: More Than Checking Off a Box

11:30 AM - 12:30 PMLEVEL 1, HALL 1E, ROOM 1E11

This open forum will provide an opportunity for the toy and children's entertainment community to share best practices for fostering diversity, inclusion, and belonging in the workplace. Brought to you by The Toy Association, Women in Toys, and Licensing International.

12:40 PM

March of the Working Robots

12:40 - 1:20 PMCreative Factor Theater (Hall 1D Lobby)

From room service to truck unloading, from delivery to your new BFF, the robots are here. This Robots on the Runway parade looks at our budding relationship with the automated world.

1:30 PM

Maximizing Global Opportunities

1:30 - 3:00 PM

Leaders in sustainability and responsible toy manufacturing will explore global opportunities to manage risks, protect brand reputation, and enhance your toy supply chain.

The seminar will explore responsible manufacturing opportunities outside of China, with a focus on Vietnam, Indonesia, and Malaysia; how to conform to emerging legislation impacting the global toy industry, such as Modern Slavery legislation or Germany’s draft Sustainable Value Chain Law; and the latest updates and responsible sourcing trends all toy companies need to be aware of. A 15-minute Q&A will follow. Visit the event page for more information.

1:40 PM

Voice-Activated Games

1:40 - 2:20 PMCreative Factor Theater (Hall 1D Lobby)

Home assistants have found gainful employment entertaining today's kids. Find out how Alexa and friends can add a new voice to the game.

2:40 PM

Take It Outdoors

2:40 - 3:20 PMCreative Factor Theater (Hall 1D Lobby)

Fresh air meets fresh play: how new play experiences check all the boxes.

4:00 PM

March of the STEM Robots

4:00 - 4:40 PMCreative Factor Theater (Hall 1D Lobby)

One of the brightest spots in the universe of play is STEM toys. Come to our parade of robots and see STEM come to life.

6:00 PM

Licensing International Toy Fair Party

6:00 - 8:00 PMClyde Frazier's

Unwind after a long day of meetings with industry peers a block away from the Javits Center. Join Licensing International for a fun night of networking, drinks, and tasty food in Clyde’s signature style. Take a shot in the free throw basketball court and network in the spacious bar and lounge. Register online. Licensing International members: $85 until 2/11, $105 after. Non-members: $100 until 2/11, $120 after.

6:00 PM

ChiTAG NYC Get-Together

6:00 - 11:59 PMConnolly's Pub

Celebrate the end of the worldwide Toy Fair season at the last and one of the most well-attended parties of NY Toy Fair. Tickets here.

8:00 AM

ASTRA's Share the Fair

8:00 - 9:00 AMLEVEL 1, HALL 1E, ROOM 1E11

Feeling like you just don't have enough time to see all the amazing new products and vendors at Toy Fair? ASTRA's got you covered. At Share the Fair, enjoy a breakfast buffet and coffee while you swap stories and discuss the hot new toys and children's products you've seen in the aisles with your fellow retail members. Open to ASTRA member retailers only.

6:00 PM

Licensing International Toy Fair Party

6:00 - 8:00 PMClyde Frazier's

Unwind after a long day of meetings with industry peers a block away from the Javits Center. Join Licensing International for a fun night of networking, drinks, and tasty food in Clyde’s signature style. Take a shot in the free throw basketball court and network in the spacious bar and lounge. Register online. Licensing International members: $85 until 2/11, $105 after. Non-members: $100 until 2/11, $120 after.

6:00 PM

ChiTAG NYC Get-Together

6:00 - 11:59 PMConnolly's Pub

Celebrate the end of the worldwide Toy Fair season at the last and one of the most well-attended parties of NY Toy Fair. Tickets here.

10:00 AM

Licensed Toys: 10 Ways to Succeed In A Changing Retail Landscape

10:00 - 11:00 AMLEVEL 1, HALL 1E, ROOM 1E11
Presenters: Ira Mayer and Karen Raugust

Introducing new toy concepts, licensed toy lines, and toy-based licensed properties means navigating a rapidly changing retail marketplace. During this session you will learn how to:

  • Choose the right physical and online retail channel(s) for your target audience;
  • Market your product or property creatively in order to stand out in a multi-channel world; and
  • Compete for consumers’ attention against major toy companies that are increasingly focusing their resources on owned properties.
10:00 AM

Toy Association Credit Meeting

10:00 AM - 6:00 PMThe Toy Association Headquarters

The one-day conference features a “Review of Accounts” and retail expert-led sessions covering a variety of topics including credit, finance, operations, and logistics. The event also includes an interactive workshop that provides insights into the challenges of the credit and collection environment and a "Beyond Credit” breakout session for senior finance and operations executives. Learn more.

9:30 AM

Safety & Compliance Update

9:30 AM - 12:30 PMLEVEL 1, HALL 1E, ROOM 1E09
Presenter: Rebecca Mond, The Toy Association

The Toy Association will host an update on pending state and federal legislation impacting the toy industry and an overview of the association's efforts to prevent passage of any harmful legislation or regulation.

1:30 PM

Maximizing Global Opportunities

1:30 - 3:00 PMPresenters: Steve Pasierb, The Toy Association; Tim Sullivan, Spin Master; Carmel Giblin, ICTI Ethical Toy Program; Edena Low, Mattel, Southeast Asia Toy Association; Michael Hyde, The Character Group

Leaders in sustainability and responsible toy manufacturing will explore global opportunities to manage risks, protect brand reputation, and enhance your toy supply chain.

The seminar will explore responsible manufacturing opportunities outside of China, with a focus on Vietnam, Indonesia, and Malaysia; how to conform to emerging legislation impacting the global toy industry, such as Modern Slavery legislation or Germany’s draft Sustainable Value Chain Law; and the latest updates and responsible sourcing trends all toy companies need to be aware of. A 15-minute Q&A will follow. Visit the event page for more information.

Creative Factor

All Toy Fair registrants are welcome to participate in a full schedule of free pitch sessions, roundtables, presentations, workshops, and panels focused on the interests and goals of inventors, designers, and others in the creative community, guided by the new Creative Factor Advisory Board.

ALL SESSIONS WILL TAKE PLACE IN HALL 1D LOBBY

10:30 AM

Kids Should Be Seen AND Heard: How Families Are Influencing the Toy Industry

10:30 - 11:10 AMPresenters: Justin Evans, Epic Toy Channel; Jason McCann, Lucy McCann, Addy McCann, Maya McCann, Tic Tac Toy

MODERATOR: Melissa Hunter

Meet two of the coolest kid content creators and find out how they grapple with the issues involved in content creation today.

11:30 AM

Out-of-This-World Sales: IRL Is Overrated, Try AR Instead

11:30 AM - 12:10 PMPresenters: Ariella Lehrer; Tom Emrich, 8th Wall

MODERATOR: Robin Raskin

For healthy toy sales, many believe we've got to turn miles of aisles into miles of experiences. Find out how the most forward-thinking retailers are using new technologies to keep it fresh.

12:40 PM

March of the Working Robots

12:40 - 1:20 PM

From room service to truck unloading, from delivery to your new BFF, the robots are here. This Robots on the Runway parade looks at our budding relationship with the automated world.

1:40 PM

Voice-Activated Games

1:40 - 2:20 PMPresenters: Valerie Vacante, Collabsco; Nick Metzler, Spin Master; Shuli Gilutz

MODERATOR: Caitlin Gutekunst, Creativity Inc.

Home assistants have found gainful employment entertaining today's kids. Find out how Alexa and friends can add a new voice to the game.

2:40 PM

Take It Outdoors

2:40 - 3:20 PMPresenters: Nis Bojin, Biba; Archit Bhargava; Shuli Gilutz

Moderator: Reyne Rice

Fresh air meets fresh play: how new play experiences check all the boxes.

4:00 PM

March of the STEM Robots

4:00 - 4:40 PM

One of the brightest spots in the universe of play is STEM toys. Come to our parade of robots and see STEM come to life.

Creative Factor Advisory Board

Brett Klisch

Brett Klisch

Creative Factor co-founder and creative director at Peru Meridian Studios

Brett Klisch is a 20-year veteran of the toy industry as owner and creative director of Peru Meridian Studios. Mr. Klisch's studio has designed, developed, and lead the manufacturing for toys that range from the biggest to the smallest companies, simple roto cast vinyl parts to complex motorized and electronic equipment.

With an original background in classical art and the performing arts, Mr. Klisch brings a showman's flair and a designer’s discipline to the many genres he has worked in. Whether fine art museum or circus, its all the same level of discipline and intensity for each and every project.

Robin Raskin

Robin Raskin

founder, Living in Digital Times

Robin Raskin is the founder of Living in Digital Times (LIDT), a team of technophiles who bring together top experts and the latest innovations to look at the intersection of lifestyle and technology. LIDT produces a number of notable conferences and expos at CES® and at conferences and events worldwide. The company’s trademark events include Last Gadget StandingDigital Health Summit, HighTech Retail Summit, FashionWareFitness Tech SummitKids@Play SummitThe Digital Money Forum and others.

In a previous lifetime, Robin honed her tech chops at a variety of technology publications. She was a columnist for USA Today online, editor of PC Magazine, founding editor of FamilyPC magazine and was one of the founding contributors of Yahoo! Tech.  Author of six books, magazine publisher, blogger, TV and radio personality, Robin has been a thought-leader at the forefront of an ever-changing topic: what it means to be digital. Robin also serves on the board of the CTA Foundation and on the ACM Practitioners Board.

She lives in NYC and the Hudson Valley, with her husband, her three drop-in-now-and-then children, and closets full of obsolete technology.

Follow Robin on Twitter @RobinR and stay up to date on all things Living in Digital Times on TwitterLinkedin and Facebook.
Billy Langsworthy

Billy Langsworthy

co-founder, Mojo Nation

Billy Langsworthy is the co-founder of Mojo Nation, a body for the toy and game design community. The three pillars of Mojo Nation are to celebrate the work done by creators in this space, to usher new design talent into the industry and to help ensure the best ideas don’t just stay ideas. Mojo Nation runs the Play Creators Festival, a three day event held in London encompassing design conferences, pitching days, networking nights and a day designed to encourage product design students to take up careers in toy and game design. Away from the Festival, Mojo Nation has also launched the tech-toy focused Play Innovation Summit, as well as Toy Design Challenges for brands including Rubik’s, Mr Men/Little Miss and The Gruffalo, while also covering the toy and game design space online at Mojo-Nation.com. Prior to launching Mojo Nation, Langsworthy was the editor of UK toy and licensing trade titles ToyNews and Licensing.biz.

Matt Nuccio

Matt Nuccio

owner, Design Edge

Matt Nuccio is the owner of Design Edge, a toy and game development, marketing, manufacturing, inventing and consulting agency. They are headquartered in New York with two satellite offices in China. For over 30 years, Design Edge has been a leading development agency in the toys and games industry. For 4 years Matt co-chaired The Toy Association's associate panel, representing all designers and inventors in the toy industry. Currently, Matt sits on the board of directors of the United Inventors Association of America (UIA) and on the Chicago Toy and Game Fair (ChiTAG) advisory board. Matt also writes a column in Toy Family Entertainment magazine focusing on the toy industry and often lectures at the American International Toy Fair, ASTRA, Chicago Toy & Game Fair, and Hong Kong Toy Fair.

Creative Factor Speakers

Archit Bhargava

Archit Bhargava

Head of Marketing for Pokémon GO and Ingress at Niantic, Inc.

Archit is head of marketing for Pokémon GO and Ingress at Niantic, Inc.

Caitlin Gutekunst

Caitlin Gutekunst

SR. DIRECTOR OF MARKETING & BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT, CREATIVITY INC.

Caitlin Gutekunst is a versatile business development executive who excels at identifying market trends and bringing new technology experiences to life across retail and digital marketplaces. A brand marketer at heart, Caitlin has 10+ years of experience building global strategic partnerships, finding new audiences, and driving revenue for top consumer brands like LeapFrog, Disney, Mattel, Viacom, and more. Currently, Caitlin is the Senior Director of Marketing & Business Development at Creativity, Inc, an award-winning product design and content development studio that has produced over 7,000 product experiences, including immersive voice experiences on Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant for brands like Netflix's Stranger Things, The Wiggles, Disney Music Group, ABC's American Idol, Coachella festival, and more. When Caitlin is not traveling the country, you can usually find her sailing in San Francisco Bay.

The McCann Family

The McCann Family

YouTube channels Tic Tac Toy and Tic Tac Toy Family

Jason (father), Lucy (mother), Addy (9), and Maya (7) comprise the family behind the YouTube channels Tic Tac Toy and Tic Tac Toy Family. In the last 4 years, they've grown their combined channels to over 4.5 million subscribers with over 2 billion total views. Over the last year, they have expanded their distribution across Roku, Apple TV, and Amazon's steaming platforms and have also launched their own toy line in the U.S. and U.K.

Zai Ortiz

Zai Ortiz

Zai Ortiz is the visionary entrepreneur-turned-game-maker who drives immersive entertainment experiences that blur the lines of gaming, film, and play in the physical and digital world. Zai is the Co-Founder and President of Virsix Games, a collective of forward-thinking storytellers, innovators, designers and engineers uncovering the ways technological advancements will shape and redefine entertainment experiences. In collaboration with Nolan Bushnell, the Founder of Atari and Godfather of Video Games, Zai led the design and development of St. Noire, the world’s first murder mystery board game powered by Amazon Alexa - awarded the CES 2020 Best of Innovation Award along with 2020 Kapi Award for Best Use of Emerging Technologies. Zai’s most recognizable work is his creation of the J.A.R.V.I.S. system holograms in Marvel’s Iron Man. His portfolio includes stunning visuals for films such as TRON: Legacy, Mission: Impossible, Thor, The Twilight Saga, and Sherlock Holmes. Zai’s work has exhilarated billions of viewers and inspired a generation of artists.

Ori Inbar

Ori Inbar

Ori is a world-leading expert in the Augmented Reality industry and has devoted the past decade to fostering the AR ecosystem as an entrepreneur, ecosystem builder, advisor and investor. He is the Founder and Managing Partner for Super Ventures and CEO of AugmentedReality.Org, the non profit that produces AWE - the top industry conference for AR since 2010. In this role he leads worldwide operations for Augmented World Expo (AWE), the largest global conference and events for AR and VR with over 10,000 attendees worldwide. In 2009, Ori was the Co-founder and CEO of Ogmento (now Flyby Media - acquired by Apple to be the foundation for ARKit). Previously, as Senior Vice President at SAP, Ori grew the SAP Netweaver platform from a concept to a billion dollar business. He lead the development and launch of dozens of products and business applications including the world’s leading enterprise portal, which in 2001 was acquired by SAP for $400 Million.

Melissa Hunter

Melissa Hunter

Mommy’s World on YouTube

Melissa Hunter is the mom in Mommy’s World on YouTube and the founder of Family Video Network. When her daughter Grace was 8 years old, she asked to start a YouTube channel similar to the ones that they watched together before bed. Armed with a webcam, they started to review dolls and open blind bags and film their doll hunting excursions. Known for their complete lack of professionalism, they amassed a fanbase of 750,000 subscribers. For five years they shared their love of dolls and toys with families until they chose to retire and live a private life. Still enjoying the process of creating and communicating with viewers, Melissa carried on and re-branded to Mommy’s World. The world of families who create video content for other families to enjoy has become her passion and with Family Video Network she helps those creators navigate this new and often confusing industry.

Tom Emrich

Tom Emrich

Sometimes called the “man from the future”, Tom is recognized as one of the world’s leading thought leaders in augmented reality (AR), virtual reality (VR), & wearable technology and has over 10 years of experience working with these technologies.

Tom’s thoughts are often sought after by media giants such as CNN, BBC, Forbes and The NY Times, and conferences such as TEDx, Slush, CES & SXSW.

Currently, Tom leverages his unique mix of experience and relationships gained as a venture capitalist, product manager, journalist, consultant, evangelist, and community builder to help organizations prepare for the next wave of computing as VP of Product at 8th Wall.

Ariella Lehrer

Ariella Lehrer

Ariella Lehrer is a nationally recognized augmented reality and digital gaming expert who has founded and led three interactive companies over the past 30 years. She has produced more than 25 licensed games with Crayola, Universal Kids, NBC Universal and others. Her Emergency Room simulation series of games sold more than one million units at retail. In the past few years, Ariella has focused on AR and has executive produced games, smart toys and educational apps that focus on the interplay between the physical environment and digital apps. Ariella has a Ph.D. in Cognitive Psychology and writes about children and technology on her blog at Ariellalehrer.com.

Nis Bojin

Nis Bojin

Head of design for Biba

Nis is the head of design for Biba: a company making mobile games to help parents get their kids off couches and back outside on the playground. With a PhD in Interaction Design, Nis has spent 15+ years focusing on designing for and with kids and has worked with a number of children's and youth brands including Sony's Hotel Transylvania, ReBoot, PBS Kids, and others. Biba games were recently named one of Time Magazine's Best Inventions of 2019.

Nick Metzler

Nick Metzler

As the Incubation and New Business Specialist for the Games Team at Spin Master, Nick scours the globe to find innovative products and companies that are integrating new technologies into board games. Nick has been inventing games since he was 4 and was named the Rising Star Innovator of the Year for the Toy Industry in 2018. His game ‘Good Question!’ is a fresh way to play with a smart speaker—simply draw a card and figure out how to prompt the smart speaker to say the word on the card… without you saying the word at all. Ask any question to the speaker, no downloads or special skills required!

Shuli Gilutz, Ph.D.

Shuli Gilutz, Ph.D.

UX research, Children's Technology

Shuli Gilutz, Ph.D. specializes in UX research, assessment, and design of interactive products for children. She works in industry and academia, teaching, advising, and conducting research, and as a strategic consultant for the development and design of children's digital experiences. Dr. Gilutz is a global speaker about kids and digital media, age-appropriate UX, usability, play, and learning. She teaches at Tel-Aviv University, Shenkar’s Toy Invention program, and is a board member of the Designing for Children's Rights Association. 

Website * Twitter * LinkedIn

Reyne Rice

Reyne Rice

GLOBAL TREND HUNTER, TOY TREND EXPERT, CONSULTANT, MEDIA SPOKESPERSON, WRITER

For over 20 years, Reyne Rice has been regarded as the knowledgeable voice of the toy industry, advising on kids and family and youth trends for toys, games, technology and entertainment. A seasoned toy industry professional with over 30 years’ experience in marketing, researching and analyzing the toy industry an  youth market. She has owned her own consultancy, Toy Trends, since 2003.

Reyne has developed products and solutions for the media, consumers, trade associations, retailers, manufacturers, and licensors, providing key insights and analysis for small, mid-tier and Fortune 500 companies. She consults regularly with a wide variety of industry leaders, providing insights and direction on toy industry issues, marketing partnerships/sponsorships, and provides public relations strategies and solutions, and trade show consulting. She is a featured media spokesperson in the USA, Canada and Germany, representing the key driver products that represent each year's trend stories. She serves as a juror on multiple annual Award programs.

She is frequently consulted and quoted in business and consumer publications, including USA Today, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Reuters, CNN Money, Financial Times, Fortune, Businessweek, Brandweek, Forbes, TIME and featured on Good Morning America, Fox & Friends, CBS Marketwatch, NBC Nightly News, CBS Early Show, Fox Business.

Reyne is published in domestic and international trade and consumer outlets, in over 60 countries, a contributing editor for the Adventure Publishing Group, for Spirit of Play publications, SpiritOfPlay.com, ReyneRice.com, and published regularly in ITMA (International Toy Trade Magazine Association) publications worldwide.

Valerie Vacante

Valerie Vacante

founder, collabsco

Valerie Vacante is the Founder of Collabsco, a strategy and innovation firm based in Austin, Texas. In a connected world of entertainment, play, living and learning Valerie has pioneered award winning digital products and experiences across IoT, AR, VR and beyond. In 2018, Valerie launched the first-ever connected play landscape; this year, her latest iteration maps over 260 connected play experiences, emerging technologies and business growth opportunities. Valerie has expanded Collabsco’s innovation efforts across the US, Europe and South America helping companies build their portfolios through collaborations with inventors, startups and global brands. She is also the Co-Founder of TechUp, a curated service that showcases innovative products on a global stage as featured at WIRED Live, WIRED Next Generation, CES and SXSW. In between driving what’s next in technology, culture and design, Valerie has recently been named one of the “Top 25 Women in Technology” by PCR, she serves on the SXSW Innovation Advisory Board, as a CES KAPi Awards Judge, a Global Expert to MassChallenge, an international speaker and technology writer. You can find her almost anywhere creators are designing the future.  

Show hours: 9 AM - 4 PM

8:30 AM

Content Creators Lounge

8:30 AM - 4:00 PMLEVEL 1, HALL 1B, ROOM 1B02

Sponsored by Bonkers Toys, the Content Creators lounge is an invitation-only spot for Toy Fair's VIP content creators.

8:30 AM

Student Congress Meet and Eat

8:30 - 9:30 AMLEVEL 1, HALL 1E, ROOM 1E09

Students and industry professionals are invited to network over breakfast.

9:00 AM

Mitchel Wu Gallery

9:00 AM - 4:00 PMCrystal Palace Mezzanine

Creative toy photography gallery by professional toy photographer Mitchel Wu.

9:00 AM

The Toy Association's Member Hospitality Lounge

9:00 AM - 4:00 PMLEVEL 1, HALL 1E, ROOM 1E12

The Toy Association welcomes its members as well as members of the American Specialty Toy Retailing Association (ASTRA), Canadian Toy Association, Education Market Association, and Licensing International to enjoy the Member Hospitality Lounge, sponsored by Roundel. The private lounge offers extensive seating, light refreshments, complimentary Wi-Fi, a computer and printer, charging stations, a self-service coat check, and more.

9:30 AM

Student Congress Professional Panel

9:30 - 10:30 AMLEVEL 1, HALL 1E, ROOM 1E09

Students will hear toy industry professionals speak about their role in a variety of companies, from product designers for manufacturing companies to sustainability managers working for retailers. Students can better understand the scope of careers within the toy industry and get a feel for which opportunities interest them.

10:00 AM

March of the STEM Robots

10:00 - 10:40 AMCreative Factor Theater (Hall 1D Lobby)

One of the brightest spots in the kid's universe of play is STEM toys. Come to our parade of robots and see STEM come to life.

10:45 AM

Student Congress Innovation Workshop

10:45 AM - 12:15 PMLEVEL 1, HALL 1E, ROOM 1E09

Hosted by Deej Johnson from Mojo Nation, this hands-on workshop is a unique opportunity for students to get their creative juices flowing.

11:00 AM

Games for Good

11:00 - 11:40 AMCreative Factor Theater (Hall 1D Lobby)

Please check back soon for session description and speakers.

12:00 PM

Reality Check: VR and Mixed Reality Meet Kids in an Alternate Universe

12:00 - 12:40 PMCreative Factor Theater (Hall 1D Lobby)

Please check back soon for session description and speakers.

12:15 PM

Student Congress: Booth Visits and Exploring the Show Floor

12:15 PM - 2:30 PMJavits Center - All Levels

Students are invited to walk the show floor and meet with exhibiting companies. This is a chance to see 150,000+ new playthings from nearly 1,000 exhibiting companies and speak to inventors, marketers, and more!

1:00 PM

Staying Out of Trouble: Is Your Brand or Product Ready to Pitch, License or Sell?

1:00 - 1:40 PMCreative Factor Theater (Hall 1D Lobby)

You put a lot of time, money, and effort into creating your brand or product. Before you can pitch, license, or sell it, you need to protect it! Wherever you are in the process, this session will help you identify what is protectable about your brand, how to make sure you own it, and other simple things you can do to get ready for potential pitches, sales, licensing deals, and even crowdfunding activities.

2:00 PM

Subscriptions: Scheduled Surprise

2:00 - 2:40 PMCreative Factor Theater (Hall 1D Lobby)

What better way to build loyalty with your youngest customer than to generate anticipation? Should you be thinking about a subscription program? An idea only your mailman will hate.

4:01 PM

Annual Toy Foundation Toy Bank Collection

4:01 PMJavits Center - All Levels

Exhibitors can impact the lives of children in need and make show wrap-up a breeze by donating product. At the close of Toy Fair, volunteers comb the show floor to gather donated samples for The Toy Foundation’s Toy Bank. As our way of saying thank you, all donors will receive a donation receipt for tax purposes and listings on The Toy Foundation website as well as in the 2021 Toy of the Year Awards Tribute Book. To sign up, visit Booth 5701 or email Elizabeth Max.

4:01 PM

Annual Toy Foundation Toy Bank Collection

4:01 PMJavits Center - All Levels

Exhibitors can impact the lives of children in need and make show wrap-up a breeze by donating product. At the close of Toy Fair, volunteers comb the show floor to gather donated samples for The Toy Foundation’s Toy Bank. As our way of saying thank you, all donors will receive a donation receipt for tax purposes and listings on The Toy Foundation website as well as in the 2021 Toy of the Year Awards Tribute Book. To sign up, visit Booth 5701 or email Elizabeth Max.

9:00 AM

Mitchel Wu Gallery

9:00 AM - 4:00 PMCrystal Palace Mezzanine

Creative toy photography gallery by professional toy photographer Mitchel Wu.

Creative Factor

All Toy Fair registrants are welcome to participate in a full schedule of free pitch sessions, roundtables, presentations, workshops, and panels focused on the interests and goals of inventors, designers, and others in the creative community, guided by the new Creative Factor Advisory Board.

ALL SESSIONS WILL TAKE PLACE IN HALL 1D LOBBY

10:00 AM

March of the STEM Robots

10:00 - 10:40 AM

One of the brightest spots in the kid's unvierse of play are STEM toys. Come to our parade of robots and see STEM come to life.

11:00 AM

Games for Good

11:00 - 11:40 AMPresenter: Martin Horstman, Tink Digital Inc

MODERATOR: Tonda Bunge Sellers, Living in Digital Times

Please check back soon for session description and speakers.

12:00 PM

Reality Check: VR and Mixed Reality Meet Kids in an Alternate Universe

12:00 - 12:40 PMPresenters: David Kleeman, Dubit Ltd.; John Dempsey, Blok Party; William Tustin, Chicken Waffle

Please check back soon for session description and speakers.

1:00 PM

Staying Out of Trouble: Is Your Brand or Product Ready to Pitch, License, or Sell?

1:00 - 1:40 PMPresenter: Stephanie Pottick, Esq.

MODERATOR: Brett Klisch, Peru Meridian Studios

You put a lot of time, money, and effort into creating your brand or product. Before you can pitch, license, or sell it, you need to protect it! Wherever you are in the process, this session will help you identify what is protectable about your brand, how to make sure you own it, and other simple things you can do to get ready for potential pitches, sales, licensing deals, and even crowdfunding activities.

2:00 PM

Subscriptions: Scheduled Surprise

2:00 - 2:40 PMPresenter: Mike Rothman, Fatherly

What better way to build loyalty with your youngest customer than to generate anticipation? Should you be thinking about a subscription program? An idea only your mailman will hate.

Creative Factor Advisory Board

Brett Klisch

Brett Klisch

Creative Factor co-founder and creative director at Peru Meridian Studios

Brett Klisch is a 20-year veteran of the toy industry as owner and creative director of Peru Meridian Studios. Mr. Klisch's studio has designed, developed, and lead the manufacturing for toys that range from the biggest to the smallest companies, simple roto cast vinyl parts to complex motorized and electronic equipment.

With an original background in classical art and the performing arts, Mr. Klisch brings a showman's flair and a designer’s discipline to the many genres he has worked in. Whether fine art museum or circus, its all the same level of discipline and intensity for each and every project.

Robin Raskin

Robin Raskin

founder, Living in Digital Times

Robin Raskin is the founder of Living in Digital Times (LIDT), a team of technophiles who bring together top experts and the latest innovations to look at the intersection of lifestyle and technology. LIDT produces a number of notable conferences and expos at CES® and at conferences and events worldwide. The company’s trademark events include Last Gadget StandingDigital Health Summit, HighTech Retail Summit, FashionWareFitness Tech SummitKids@Play SummitThe Digital Money Forum and others.

In a previous lifetime, Robin honed her tech chops at a variety of technology publications. She was a columnist for USA Today online, editor of PC Magazine, founding editor of FamilyPC magazine and was one of the founding contributors of Yahoo! Tech.  Author of six books, magazine publisher, blogger, TV and radio personality, Robin has been a thought-leader at the forefront of an ever-changing topic: what it means to be digital. Robin also serves on the board of the CTA Foundation and on the ACM Practitioners Board.

She lives in NYC and the Hudson Valley, with her husband, her three drop-in-now-and-then children, and closets full of obsolete technology.

Follow Robin on Twitter @RobinR and stay up to date on all things Living in Digital Times on TwitterLinkedin and Facebook.
Billy Langsworthy

Billy Langsworthy

co-founder, Mojo Nation

Billy Langsworthy is the co-founder of Mojo Nation, a body for the toy and game design community. The three pillars of Mojo Nation are to celebrate the work done by creators in this space, to usher new design talent into the industry and to help ensure the best ideas don’t just stay ideas. Mojo Nation runs the Play Creators Festival, a three day event held in London encompassing design conferences, pitching days, networking nights and a day designed to encourage product design students to take up careers in toy and game design. Away from the Festival, Mojo Nation has also launched the tech-toy focused Play Innovation Summit, as well as Toy Design Challenges for brands including Rubik’s, Mr Men/Little Miss and The Gruffalo, while also covering the toy and game design space online at Mojo-Nation.com. Prior to launching Mojo Nation, Langsworthy was the editor of UK toy and licensing trade titles ToyNews and Licensing.biz.

Matt Nuccio

Matt Nuccio

owner, Design Edge

Matt Nuccio is the owner of Design Edge, a toy and game development, marketing, manufacturing, inventing and consulting agency. They are headquartered in New York with two satellite offices in China. For over 30 years, Design Edge has been a leading development agency in the toys and games industry. For 4 years Matt co-chaired The Toy Association's associate panel, representing all designers and inventors in the toy industry. Currently, Matt sits on the board of directors of the United Inventors Association of America (UIA) and on the Chicago Toy and Game Fair (ChiTAG) advisory board. Matt also writes a column in Toy Family Entertainment magazine focusing on the toy industry and often lectures at the American International Toy Fair, ASTRA, Chicago Toy & Game Fair, and Hong Kong Toy Fair.

Creative Factor Speakers

David Kleeman

David Kleeman

Senior Vice President Global Trends, Dubit Ltd.

Strategist, analyst, author, speaker, connector — David Kleeman has led the children’s media industry in developing sustainable, child-friendly practices for more than 30 years. He began this work as president of the American Center for Children and Media and is now Senior Vice President of Global Trends for Dubit, a strategy/research consultancy and digital studio.

When he began this work, “children’s media” meant television. Today, he is fascinated by, and passionate about, kids’ wide range of possibilities for entertainment, engagement, play and learning. David uses research, insights and experience to show that much may change, but children’s developmental path and needs remain constant.

David is advisory board chair to the international children’s TV festival PRIX JEUNESSE, Board Vice President for the National Association for Media Literacy Education, and on the board of the Children’s Media Association and the Advisory Board of the Joan Ganz Cooney Center. He was a Senior Fellow of the Fred Rogers Center.

David travels worldwide seeking best practices in children’s entertainment and learning. He has spoken (and, more important, listened!) on six continents and writes extensively for varied audiences.

John Dempsey

John Dempsey

Blok Party

John is an Eagle Scout whose DNA resides in social play. A lifelong gamer with a technical background and passion for bringing people together, he created dozens of hardware electronics kits teaching kids how to code. Eventually, he dropped out of college to pursue his dream—to unite people with the power of play. Since then, he has gone on to create PlayTable, a revolutionary gaming project that is pioneering new space for social gaming.

William Tustin

William Tustin

Chicken Waffle

Bill is a partner in Centertec and Chicken Waffle. Centertec is a preeminent venue for providing unique, exciting VR/AR technologies to families, large groups, and students. Chicken Waffle is leading the way in XR Toys, XR Education, VR/AR Esports and high-quality VR/AR game development in the industry. Chicken Waffle has created several AR/VR toys for major brands under its white label program. Several of their industry partners' toys have won major awards and accolades for their cutting edge technology in AR/VR. Several of their AR/VR toys have become major STEM products for teachers and families across the world. In May 2019, Chicken Waffle won Best In Show VR at AWE in Santa Clara. At CES in 2020, Chicken Waffle won Best XR Esports Experience. They released a fun VR game and app called Baby Hands VR last year, where the player picks up toys in VR or on an app. Baby Hands VR is being played by all the top YouTube stars and has a total of over 650 million YouTube views, making it well-known by children across the world.

Stephanie Pottick, Esq.

Stephanie Pottick, Esq.

Licensing, Business & Legal Consultant

Stephanie is a legal, licensing and business consultant who is passionate about helping entrepreneurs and corporations protect their brands and businesses. Licensed to practice law in California and New York, she focuses on trademarks, copyrights, contracts and licensing. Before becoming an attorney, Stephanie was an executive at Sky Kids Inc., a NJ toy company, where she was involved with various aspects of the business including sales, marketing, product creation, manufacturing and more. Stephanie’s slogan is Legal Advice Before You Need A Lawyer®. Her goal is to help brand and business owners create and grow successful programs through legal protection and by identifying opportunities, adding value and minimizing risk.

Mike Rothman

Mike Rothman

Co-Founder and CEO of Fatherly

Mike Rothman is the Co-Founder and CEO of Fatherly, the leading digital lifestyle brand for today's parents. Through a combination of expert advice, live experiences, and consumer products, Fatherly empowers moms and dads to raise great kids and lead more fulfilling adult lives.

Previously Rothman was one of the founding employees at Thrillist, responsible for all sales and revenue operations. Rothman also serves on a number of non-profit boards, including Career Gear, which provides mentoring and workplace appropriate clothing to men in poverty, as well as The Moth and ProPublica. Rothman is on the business advisory council for Hot Wheels, the number one selling toy company in the world. Rothman was named one of Ad Age's 40 Under 40 and Oprah's "Super Soul" list.

8:30 AM

Student Congress Meet and Eat

8:30 - 9:30 AMLEVEL 1, HALL 1E, ROOM 1E09

Students and industry professionals are invited to network over breakfast.

9:30 AM

Student Congress Professional Panel

9:30 - 10:30 AMLEVEL 1, HALL 1E, ROOM 1E09
Presenters: Michelle Grossman, VIACOMCBS; Dave Harris, Fisher-Price; Andrew Perlmutter, Funko

MODERATOR: Kathleen Campisano, CHIZCOMM

Students will hear toy industry professionals speak about their role in a variety of companies, from product designers for manufacturing companies to sustainability managers working for retailers. Students can better understand the scope of careers within the toy industry and get a feel for which opportunities interest them.

10:45 AM

Student Congress Innovation Workshop

10:45 AM - 12:15 PMLEVEL 1, HALL 1E, ROOM 1E09

Hosted by Deej Johnson from Mojo Nation, this hands-on workshop is a unique opportunity for students to get their creative juices flowing.

12:15 PM

Student Congress: Booth Visits and Exploring the Show Floor

12:15 PM - 2:30 PMJavits Center - All Levels

Students are invited to walk the show floor and meet with exhibiting companies. This is a chance to see 150,000+ new playthings from nearly 1,000 exhibiting companies and speak to inventors, marketers, and more!