Citing omicron concerns, big retailers -- including Walmart, Target, Amazon and Hasbro -- have cancelled their booths at the Toy Fair, taking place at New York's Javits Center Feb. 19-22, The New York Post reports
Others, including Tonka Truck manufacturer Basic Fun, are on the fence about whether to attend the 118-year-old, in-person event. Lego and Mattel are still on board, according to The Toy Association, organizer of the event.
The event is requiring vaccinations and masks for all attendees. The show was cancelled for the first time in 2021, due to COVID-19.
Basic Fun Chief Executive Jay Foreman expects that by the time Toy Fair takes place, omicron will have subsided. However, he did acknowledge that executives at large toy manufacturers are encountering travel difficulties, particularly at airports.
For small toy companies, the thought of losing their deposits to attend Toy Fair is problematic and irksome. Brooklyn Lollipops, for instance, paid $50,000 to attend the show. "If the big suppliers and retailers won't be there, what are we going for?" asks Albert Laslaton, chief operating officer of Brooklyn Lollipops, a licensee of Nickelodeon brands.
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