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Well, folks…I did it.  I finally did it!  After years of not trying.  Decades, really.  Decades of lamenting, complaining and all around whining, I finally managed to scam my way into the Toy Industries’ biggest annual event:  Toy Fair or as we in the biz called it:  American International Toy Fair.

And it was almost as magical as you can imagine.  I say “almost”, because you guys are so used to watching TV and the using the internet that your imaginations are as shriveled up as, well something really dried up.

I guess what I’m trying to say here in a rather insulting, roundbout way is that Toy Fair 2014 was completely and utterly fucking awesome!  And I’m pretty sure my life will never be the same because of it, too.

Ok.  Are you right now, like my mother earlier, asking:  What is Toy Fair anyway, Jesse?  What’s the big deal?  Do you get dressed up?  What do you do there?  If questions like these are running through your mind, then it’s time for…

A title sequence!

The American International Toy Fair, or Toy Fair, is an annual event held in New York City and put on by the Toy Industry Association the T I A.  This year’s event ran from Feb 16th to the 20th.  2014 also marks the 111th anniversary of Toy Fair, which makes it even more super awesome because a) I was there and b) So was Ms Alicia Keys, who opened up the event.

Don’t believe any of the rumors.  It was just coincidence.  Alicia and I are just friends.

Toy Fair is held in the same palatial glass palace that holds NYCC New York Comic Con… the Jacob Javits Convention Center.  Even though they’re held in the same building, the two events couldn’t be more different.

Ok…maybe there are some similarities between NYCC and Toy Fair, but in shear size and scope?  NYCC pales in comparison.  And, yes, it wasn’t that long ago that I thought NYCC was the end all be all of conventions:

Believe you me, NYCC has NOTHING on Toy Fair.  Let me try and put this into some perspective for you. Toy Fair clocks in at 412,000 square feet of space.  I know I tend to exaggerate, but I shit you not when I say that 412,000 square feet is the equivalent of over 7 football fields.

To compare, I did a little fact checking to find the actual square footage for NYCC.  The only thing my short attention span could dig up was that there were 133,000 people in attendance at NYCC for 2013.  How that translates into square footage, I have no idea.  All’s I know is that I walked so much the two days I was at Toy Fair, my feet bled.  At least it felt like they did.

Any way you look at it, 412,000 square feet holds a lot of toys.  None of which you could buy.  Unless you were a buyer for a retail establishment of some sort, which I am not.  But, even then you could on purchase product for your store.  Not for yourself.

If that isn’t the biggest flippin tease ever, then I don’t know what is.  Surrounded by toys all and none to buy.  Sounds like a nightmare.

Or a strip club.

Still, though…Toy Fair was a lot of fun.  They had every toy imaginable there.  From big to small, they had it all.

That’s not a tagline, either.  I just made that shit up.

I got to ride this remote controlled nearly surfboard sized skateboard.  I’m chatting it up with the owner of the product.  Next thing I know, he’s shoving the remote into my hand and ushering me onto the board.

I haven’t ridden a skateboard in about 30 years.

Zing Toys was at Toy Fair, too.  They make these painfully cool bow and arrows that put anything Nerf makes to shame.  I saw “painfully” cool because until you get hit by one of these things you won’t know exactly what I mean.

Anyway, Zings had a really cool set up at Toy Fair.  they had a nice plexi glass firing range there.  You were able to have someone stand behind the plexi glass and fire at them.  Which, my pal Paco Reban so kindly volunteered for.

I also had a brush with greatness.  I was this close to meeting the artist/creator/toy manufacturer Todd McFarlane. I say this close, and I mean it.  I walked by him at least once.  And was within arm grabbing, complete fanboy fawning at least three times.  I said nothing, though.  I totally played it cool.  It was pretty reminiscent of another time I had a the Javits Center not very long ago…

One of the things I like to do at Cons is get my picture taken with cosplayers.  Now, Toy Fair is no Con, but they’re still were some mascots there.

This chick…she didn’t want to have ANYTHING to do with me.

The best part of the whole trip, though?  Is when I got home at 8 o clock at night.  After two long days of walking and over stimulation, I was totally looking forward to laying in bed an doing absolutely nothing.  I got in the car, that had been parked at Paco’s house, put the key in the ignition and

The fucking car wouldn’t start.  Sure, it was 10 below at this point.  Big deal.

The moral of the story?  Don’t give up on your dreams.  Even if they are as shallow as getting your ass into Toy Fair.

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