NY NOW to Launch Toy Destination at Winter Show on the Heels of a Successful Summer Market

November 4, 2022

NY NOW, the leading national gift and home wholesale trade show owned by Emerald Holding, will unveil a new dedicated toy destination, PLAY USA, to its market, beginning with the 2023 winter edition. PLAY USA at NY NOW will be the first national destination in 2023 for retailers, wholesalers and distributors to source the latest and greatest toy and trend merchandise.

Taking place Feb. 5-8 at the Jacob K. Javits Center in New York, NY NOW 2023 Winter Market’s PLAY USA will showcase toys, games and trend merchandise and will capture the spirit of discovery, whimsy and joy that the products on display are created to evoke.

PLAY USA will provide a venue for the vibrant and essential specialty toy market in the Mid-Atlantic and New England states, as well as national accounts across the U.S. beginning in February 2023, which is traditionally the most important time of the year to discover new and exciting product introductions. The timing of NY NOW creates a viable and important new toy and trend resource for buyers as they look to discover new merchandise for their stores after the end of the year holiday cycle.

“The toy industry is thriving despite pandemic-related challenges, and toy sales have continued to spike, with the toy market expected to reach $231 billion by 2028,” said Alana Branston, group vice president, gift and home for NY NOW. “We are excited to create a home at NY NOW PLAY USA for the toy, game and trend professionals who want to continue doing business in the industry’s epicenter: New York City.”


Branston added that NY NOW is looking forward to inviting some of the toy brands on Bulletin, such as Candylab Toys, Green Sprouts, Pebble Child, Kaspiland and others.

“PLAY USA is guaranteed to be a vibrant and successful ‘show within a show’ for toy manufacturers, distributors and retailers alike,” Branston said.

It is expected that hundreds of companies will be featured, covering toys, arts and crafts, publishing and trend in more than 20,000 square feet of exhibit space.

Early brands who have signed up to exhibit at PLAY USA include Ty, Schylling, Ravensburger, Tonies, Fat Brain Toy Co., Playmobil, Mindware, Thames & Kosmos, Crazy Aaron Puttyworld, Tangle, Super Impulse, License-2-Play, Daron Worldwide, Baby Paper, Spincopter, Uniche, Fantasma, Fun Express and Dreamgearmand Brightz.

NY NOW 2023 Summer Market Success

The new PLAY USA venture comes following a greatly successful NY NOW 2022 summer edition in August, which showed significant increases in both brand and buyer participation compared to the 2021 edition.

Exhibitor participation increased by 54%, and buyer attendance increased by 10%. In addition, NY NOW’s international footprint significantly rose, with 221 global brands from across 48 countries, including Morocco, France, Chile, Ghana, El Salvador and many more. Exhibitors highlighted products from general gifts, accessories, home goods and apparel.

“NY NOW’s summer market exuded the power of transformation as the industry welcomed Alana, Ali and the Bulletin team to the NY NOW marketplace,” said Karalynn Sprouse, EVP, retail at Emerald. “There is a renewed, collective drive amongst retailers to connect with their current brands while sourcing new and emerging designers for their customers.

Sprouse added, “With over 250 new brands and a full schedule of panels, talks and guest appearances throughout the four days, it was inspirational to see how NY NOW reignited the power of small businesses, especially as we head toward the market’s milestone 100th anniversary.”

The NY NOW and recently acquired Bulletin teams have united and will collectively reimagine the wholesale gift and home landscape with a shared commitment to providing small businesses, designers and artisans an opportunity to have their brands discovered and shared with the masses.

“This was an exciting four days for all of us at Bulletin, joining the NY NOW market for the first time,” Branston said. “Many of our brands have never experienced a market on this scale. The exposure to the Bulletin team was definitely educational and will help firm up our strategy on ways to evolve the show for 2023.”

Support and mentorship for exhibitors was the main priority throughout the summer market’s activations, as emerging brands continue to recover from the pandemic and crushing supply chain demands. This year’s event featured a range of conversations that offered attendees expert advice, from how to engage with Gen Z to design and licensing expertise and trends for spring/summer 2023.

Buyers and exhibitors alike raved about the show.

Buyer Barbara Mooney, owner of Daisy’s has been coming to NY NOW twice a year for 15 years. 

“It’s a can’t miss show for me because you get to enjoy the energy of the show and the excitement in a magically creative place,” Mooney said. “NY NOW is important for us because we need to bring the newest and the most exciting products to our customers, and this market stays very current with what’s happening.”

Exhibitor Lisa Watkins, co-founder of Wanderfull Bags said NY NOW was the company’s first-ever trade show, and she couldn’t believe how successful it was.

“We got enough orders by lunch on the first day to recoup our entire investment in exhibiting at NY NOW,” Watkins said. “The volume of retail orders was huge, from small boutiques to large buyers, including the Marriott Hotel, a museum in Seattle and a bunch of chain stores in Texas. And we’ve made incredible connections at the market. We are beyond thrilled.”

NY NOW 2023 Summer Market will be held Aug. 13-16 at the Javits Center.

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