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.


brandy said...

I can't wait to write about it. I think I have to wait until next week, though my laptop is in repair and this dinosaur will take days to load all the pics.

It was so good to meet you

~ Y said...

What a great recap (and you are so fast)!

I just loved that Cookie Monster Play Dough set - can't wait for my toddler to play with that one! Also excited about that Rockin' Elmo!!! Yaaay!

Unknown said...

toy fair is so big - i didnt see any of these fun toys! love the pic of you with elmo and cookie monster!

Unknown said...

I'm excited to see that they have a preschool heroes featuring Spider-man & Transformers. Are you able to transform the Transformers? Inquiring minds want to know, my soon-to-be 4 YO wants to know ;)

Marion Conway said...

Thanks everyone for your comments. Yes Jennifer, the transformers do transform. But the pieces are bigger and are more easily handled by a younger child.

As an example, the firehouse transforms into a fireman "hero"


Susan Adcox said...

These look like durable toys with positive connotations, which is what most grandparents are looking for.