Sunday, February 13, 2011

Hasbro Event Kicks Off Toy Fair 2011 with a Wow

The biggest toy event in North America – maybe the world – is the International Toy Fair held in New York every February. Retailers come to meet toy makers and see what they will have available for the Fall for the Christmas season. Toy wholesale commerce is at its peak for the year. Bloggers can attend as press  and I went to last year’s event for the first time. It is grueling, exhilarating and so much fun! I plan to write all about it.

The festivities started for me yesterday at the Hasbro Showcase featuring all of the Hasbro lines and this year highlighting their new licensing with Sesame Street Workshop. Before the program began, Elmo and Cookie Monster mingled with the crowd and posed with us for pictures. Here I am having a great time with both of them. The SSW CEO, Gary Knell, was on hand and made his remarks via an Elmo and Cookie Monster puppet duet routine that energized the attendees.

Here are some highlights of toys that will be introduced this year:
Playskool Heroes

Playskool Heroes – These are transformer playsets for boys ages 3 – 6. The pieces are bigger, easier to handle and the themes are Firehouse, Spiderman and Transformers. Some playsets include a story book with themes of friendship, loyalty and working together  - “helping” action oriented – not violence oriented. Jerry Perez, Playskool General Manager described the vision for this line as “Big boy toys for little boy hands.”

I think this product line will be a big hit as it fills a void for boys in this age bracket as they seem to outgrow “little kids toys” before they are ready for the big kid stuff. The play set open with toy setups inside and out and close into a carrying case which is perfect for visit to grandparents, travel, or a friend's house. And if you have this playset at your house for when your grandson visits, it closes up neatly and can be put away until the next visit.

Cookie Monster Lunch Play Dough Set

Sesame Street theme – Another favorite of mine were the new Sesame Street theme toys. The Cookie Monster Lunch Play Dough Set which makes letters, fruit and cookies, I know will be used at my house. I can’t wait to join in the fun.

Sesame Street Playset
 The playset which feature Mr. Hooper’s store and the Neighborhood front porch also folds neatly into a carrying case. I thought this was the cutest new toy I saw all day.

The Hasbro show allowed me to get a peek at these and many more products but they won’t be on the market until the fall.  I’ll be doing product reviews – and maybe some giveaways then.

More Toy Fair stories later this stay tuned.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Wordless Wednesday - Zach on Our Babysitting Night

Zach enjoying a book after his bath - Check out the great haircut that Pop gave him.

In PJs and ready for Bed - I love these pensive looks!

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Trout for Dinner, Another Haircut and Conversation

I haven’t posted about my grandson, Zach in a while but that doesn’t mean that there isn’t plenty happening. It just means that I haven’t been taking pictures and I usually like to have pictures when I post. So what is happening? Here a few tidbits. When you pass 18 months they pretty much say everything goes on the diet and so we took the opportunity at Sunday family dinner to have trout. Here in the first picture you can see that Zach was looking sort of skeptical and then skepticism turned to “no thank you” but in the end he was still friends with his Pop.

You will notice in the pictures above that Zach really needs a haircut and Pop, my husband Hugh,is Zach’s official barber. Although Pop has given Zach haircuts twice before this is probably at the peak time of difficulty for this project. Zach is strong and super active – How could we possibly get him to sit still for this? Well the answer is in sort of bursts. He would sit for a few snips squirm around and then resettle in. Mom helped keep him occupied and steady and I was being pretty useless - just taking these pictures. A couple of times I helped too, but not enough to take too much credit.  I guess I should have at least done a better job of washing his face after lunch.  For the record, that's a meatball that he enjoyed but I didn't wash off that well.

The other big thing happening which pictures don’t lend themselves too is Zach is TALKING!  Zach's vocabulary is expanding beyond Mommy, Daddy and Grandma. He is saying words that we all recognize including bath, more, eye. He loves his Pop, but he hasn't said that yet. Oh, he says eye when pointing to his eye. One of Zach’s favorite books features body parts and Zach points to his nose, ears, mouth and eyes. He know the word "no" very well and he both uses it and responds to it. If he goes to something he isn’t supposed to at our house he will look at me and stop before proceeding. But he is always checking.
We are babysitting on Friday night. Fish won’t be on the menu. But conversation will be.  I didn't get a picture of the finished haircut, but I'll post one next week...stop back and check it out.
My earlier post on Zach’s first haircut