So the NYC Toy Fair is approaching once again (February 11-14), and once again I'm left on the outside looking in. I'm very curious about the Toy Fair since it's the only convention that I know of that's right in my backyard, only a matter of blocks away. I'll try to get to BGG.CON and Essen some day, but in the meantime, I'd love to just find my way into this exclusive Javits Center event. I guess there are two things I'm curious about. The first is what the event is like, and the second is how narrow or broad the "trade only" admissions policy is defined. For those of you who have attended, I gather that eurogames are obviously nowhere near the focus of the event, but that they have some small presence, is that right? Are there some familiar publishers (maybe even designers) present, or is it really not something worth being sad about missing? When I did a search of exhibitors on the convention's website (http://www.toyfairny.com/), I did find Mayfair, Ravensburger, and Z-Man listed, but not Rio Grande, Uberplay, Alea, or even Days of Wonder surprisingly. So what's it like inside the elusive convention? My second question is about the admissions policy (http://tinyurl.com/4xb52), and what people's experiences with it have been. They emphasize that the event is very much not open to the public, and that you have to be able to document a professional affiliation to the trade. So should I just give up now and forget about it, or keep trying to work on my blog, even though it'll never quite be an profession, more like an obsession.
i went last year as a guest of my bro-in-law who works for tia, the company that puts on the fair. i hadn't yet discovered bgg at that time so i didn't pay as much attention to the boardgame co's as i would have had i gone later. i do remember seeing mayfair's booth where they were mainly demo'ing where's my fish and they also had a 3-d settlers set on display. i also talked with one of the designers of wits & wagers.
it's not like other cons because you can't buy anything there (unless you're buying like 10 copies for your store, but even then they'll ship it later, can't get anything that day). everything is geared towards industry folks, and many people at booths will be reluctant to spend time with you if you're not a buyer for a store or something like that. there are some freebies to be had but not as many as at other conventions. my only gaming related freebies last year were a killer bunnies calendar and promo cards, and a pack of perplexcity.
in terms of freebies, i actually made out better at last years new york comic con (also at javits - http://www.nycomiccon.com ), i got a magic starter from wotc's booth (only rolled a 6 on the d20) and a clout starter + 2 boosters from a guy demo'ing clout in the gaming area. not worth the price of admission though, unless you're really into comics and the guests that'll be there.
A friend of mine runs an action-figure oriented website that generates a ton of traffic. He goes to Toy Fair every year, but if I remember correctly, he says that many of the more interesting displays/presentations are privately held outside of the main convention building. I could be wrong, but that's what I seem to remember.
in terms of freebies, i actually made out better at last years new york comic con (also at javits - http://www.nycomiccon.com )
I'm not really into comics, but I am planning to attend ComicCon this year just for the spectacle. I'm trying to get tickets via a friend who works for the exhibition company.
Edit: Oh, and they have a fairly funny video on YouTube.
Last edited Mon Jan 29, 2007 1:05 pm (Total Number of Edits: 3)
It is nifty. It is not a place for general public. It is tons of useless crap that ppears in party goodie bags, tons of stuff that will never see the real market and a handfulk of products of interest.
My girlfriend is a buyer for a catalog, and has been to several trade fairs at the Javitts Center. Obviously, each one is going to have slightly different policies and levels of enforcement, but she says all she has to do to register is to bring her company ID and drivers license. I don't think they try to do any sort of verification that either are legit, so presumably you could print up a fake ID for "Rosen Importing Ltd" or something similar.
Last edited Mon Jan 29, 2007 2:04 pm (Total Number of Edits: 2)
Thanks everyone for your replies, I appreciate the advice
It sounds like the convention may not really be what I'm looking for, so it's probably not worth the trouble of pretending to be involved in the board game business. I think I'll probably just hold-off and wait for a few years until I can afford to make Essen my first convention experience, maybe 2008 will be my year, heh.