Publishers Weekly: Toy Fair 2015: Toy Stores Add More Books to the Mix

THU, FEB 19, 2015 10:58 EST

Publishers represent a small slice of the landscape at the New York International Toy Fair, accounting for less than 30 out of the 1,000-plus exhibitors in the 2015 edition. But sales executives from several of those publishers told PW that specialty toy stores—an important customer group at the show—are currently doing well with books and are looking for new titles to add to their assortments.

This growth is driven, in part, by the desire for more educational products. “Parents want their kids to have fun, but they also want to help them do well in school,” says Bill O’Donnell, director of retail and special markets for National Geographic Kids, a second-year exhibitor. As it redesigns its classic formats, such as its Photo Biographies line, to reflect its yellow-bordered branding, the company is adding Common Core-aligned content to some titles, O’Donnell says.

Toymakers also are looking to add educational value. As a result, more are turning to publishers for in-depth educational content. For the first time, National Geographic is supplying books for inclusion in the science kits that licensee Thames & Kosmos markets under the publisher’s brand.

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