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Toys ‘R’ Us Is No More, But Toymakers Have Big Plans for 2019

  • Amazon, Walmart, Target expected to boost orders this year
  • Mom-and-pop stores take on added importance in many markets
Toy Fair New York, 2018.

Photographer: Eduardo Munoz Alvarez/AFP via Getty Images

After trekking to Manhattan every February from his headquarters in Coconut Creek, Florida, for the largest show in the U.S. toy industry, Gary Atkinson decided to skip this year’s event. And for good reason: Toys “R” Us Inc., once his largest customer, wouldn’t be there.

But the CEO of Singing Machine Co. reversed course after learning that the hole left by the U.S. liquidation of Toys “R” Us had chains like Kroger Co., a grocery-store chain that boosted toy offerings last year, sending bigger teams, while others retailers are attending Toy Fair New York for the first time. Rented exhibition space at the Javits Center has jumped by 10 percent to an all-time record 447,000 square feet.