Nickelodeon's Toy Fair Party

February 20, 2001, 12:00 AM EST

Nickelodeon's Toy Fair Upfront event Hammerstein Ballroom at the Manhattan Center Monday, 02.12.01, 7 PM onward
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The Hammerstein Ballroom was transformed into a Nickelodeon branding extravaganza for the network's Toy Fair Upfront event, held to coincide with the Toy Manufacturers of America's annual week-long Toy Fair. John Creech Design & Production built a giant replica of the doghouse from Blue's Clues. A rocket from the show Jimmy Neutron (built by Lorelei Guttman Design) periodically took off with an explosion of steam. And the trademark orange Nick splatter logo was printed on all of the cocktail cups. It all made guests feel like they were in the middle of a Nick cartoon. Dora the Explorer, Spongebob Squarepants, Rugrats and five other Nick shows were heavily promoted to a crowd of more than 1,000 retail toy buyers, advertisers and journalists.

The event was headed up by Lara Salamano, manager of Nickelodeon consumer products, and was designed and produced by Terry Gipson, Nolan Baynes and Jane McGivena of MTV Networks' special events department, and Kiri Tannenbaum, manager of Nickelodeon promotions and marketing.

Guests had plenty of attractions to keep them busy. Impact Productions brought in a giant inflatable slide and interactive video games. Dora the Explorer's area featured a cool party favor made by Color-A-Cookie: Cookies with Nick characters on them that guests could color with edible, fruit-flavored ink markers. Bruce Smick Amusements provided an artificial climbing wall. DJ Eric Galuskin from Soul Kitchen Productions spun an eclectic mix of 80's music, perfect for the young-at-heart crowd that mingled among the cartoon props. Nickelodeon cartoon artists Russell Spina, Manny Galan, Steve Crespo and Sergio Cuan were on hand to sign copies of cartoon sketches of the Rugrats, Dora, Blue's Clues and Spongebob.

The Catering Company provided a variety of foods: Ribs, cornbread, brioche, pizzas and mini fruit custards were served on tables in front of giant Nick lightboards (by Beyond Imagination). A candy table was covered with M&M's, licorice, chocolate hearts, lollipops and jelly beans, so partygoers could get a nice sugar rush before taking to the slide.

--Suzanne Ito

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