After testing the waters in Dallas, Texas earlier this month, the Toy Industry Association has made it official. The mass-retail focused Fall Toy Preview is locked into the Dallas Market Center until 2010. And over in Las Vegas, the Consumer Electronics Association will formally recognize the melding of playthings and microchips at the Sandbox Summit: A Playdate with Technology, scheduled to take place during the Consumer Electronics Show in January.
The dates have already been set for next year’s TIA show that will settle into the Dallas Market Center from October 14 through 17. The organization is citing the success of the 2007 event as the reason for the return. According to TIA stats, the Fall Toy Preview drew 775 retail buyers from more than 400 separate retail operations, including Wal-Mart, Target and TRU, and exhibitor numbers were up 22% from the 2006 show to more than 280 companies.
The CES-sanctioned Sandbox Summit, operated in conjunction with the Parents’ Choice Foundation, will run alongside the giant electronics tradeshow from January 7 to 10, and is aiming to explore the ever-increasing intersection of technology and the way kids play – something the toy industry has been grappling with for a decade. The program will be split between conference sessions and hands-on demonstrations of the latest high-tech toys heading to market. Toycos, consumer electronic companies and policy makers are expected to attend, and Sesame Workshop CEO Gary Knell has been tapped to deliver the keynote address.