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Toy Fair's Best Booths

February 19, 2002, 12:00 AM EST

American International Toy Fair Javits Center, International Toy Center Sunday, 02.10.02, to Thursday, 02.14.02
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The second week of February turned to child's play for thousands of toy industry professionals who descended upon New York for the Toy Industry Association's American International Toy Fair. Billed as “the largest toy trade show in the western hemisphere,” the annual event takes over most of the Javits Center as well as the International Toy Center buildings on Fifth Avenue. The marketing extravaganza even overflowed onto the streets, where specially decorated cars and actors dressed as toy characters vie for the attention of attendees walking between the locations.

This year companies that lease space in the Toy Center decked out their showrooms for the hordes of visitors that passed through the buildings, and Javits was similarly done up with eye-popping trade show booths and other gimmicks to attract showgoers. Despite the fact that no one under 18 was admitted into the toy fair, most toy vendors created trade show booths and showroom presentations that were built to appeal to kids, with lots of bright colors, music, and even costumed characters walking around (we almost bumped into Madeline after turning a corner).

Among the hundreds of exhibitors at the show, we picked a few favorites that stood out: Little Kids' massive booth was a brand-laden, eye-catching sight. Designed and built by Exhibit A, the exhibit area had two large circular kiosks with individual stations where sales reps could demonstrate the company's bubble and foam-making products.

Artlist Collection's “The Dog” booth showed that sometimes a simple look can stand out. In a vast space filled with bright colors and loud designs, the all-white booth boldly showed off the puppy pictures that the company was selling on various merchandise. The sleek booth was designed and built by the Nimlok Company.

--Suzanne Ito

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