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Dan Grech: It’s all about fun today in New York. This year’s American International Toy Fair is underway. Thousands of items are on display at the largest toy trade show in the country. Fewer of them, though, are from mom and pop shops. Here’s Marketplace’s Dan Grech.
Dan Grech: This year’s Toy Fair has 1,100 exhibitors. That’s 100 fewer than last year.
Carter Keithley is president of the Toy Industry Association, the fair organizer:
Carter Keithley: We have lost a few exhibitors, we believe in part because of the economic hardships and in part because they are scrambling to learn what will be required of them under the new laws.
Congress tightened safety tests on children’s toys in August after several dangerous toys hit store shelves. Keithley says the mom-and-pop toy makers hit hardest by these changes are at the heart of the industry.
Keithley: The toy industry is really a creativity business. And so it’s important to have creative juices coming from hundreds of toy creators out there, bringing new ideas to market.
Keithley says this year, most U.S. toys again will come from China, despite ongoing safety concerns. In strained economic times, organizers expect this year’s fair to see a 30 percent jump in toys priced under $25.
I’m Dan Grech for Marketplace.
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