Wednesday, September 28, 2011

A Time to Play Gets Me Psyched About Toys for the Holidays

Twice a year I go into New York for A Time to Play Toy Showcase hosted by A Time to Play Magazine and The Litzky Public Relations agency.  The press, including lots of bloggers, are invited to see the new toys being featured this season and get the full lowdown on how they work and what is educational, fun and interesting about them.  It is always a fun and informative day but this one was the best one yet.  This grandmother - and it seemed like everyone there -  was like a kid in a candy store. I’ll be writing product reviews about my favorite ones over the next few months – all from a grandmother’s perspective. But today I want to highlight briefly the trends I noticed and a few that you may want to keep your eyes out for.


First the trends. There a lots of collectibles being featured this year. The cutest little things ever. Most have some kind of collectible storage case for display and safekeeping. But these aren’t the simple kind we remember storing ninga turtles in. The “storage units” snap together, stack and spin around, and are very imaginative. My favorite was this one called “The Trash Pack.” The trash can has layers of little compartments that each hold a single small trash can with a little “trashie” in each one. The playsets are under $20 and you can buy a small two pack for $2.99. These collectible sets are great for grandparents who like to bring a small gift when they visit or their grandchildren vist them.  A child can bring their collection to show off or play with when they visit and you can always have the perfect, low cost, and appreciated small gift for them. If you are this kind of grandparent …..think collectibles this holiday season. This one is a big hit with boys and girls. I plan to do a bigger product review and maybe a giveaway before Christmas.
Another big trend - toys that integrate with the Internet. That’s right. That means that you have a toy that you hook up to a website through a usb connection and download a game, or other feature and the toy is “enhanced” or has multiple features. Innotab from vtech has a tablet for kids ages 5 – 9 that for $80 gives an “ipad like experience.”  Using an usb you can download learning software, favorite character games, eBooks, etc. There are other features including a calendar, address book and more. 

At the other end of the sprectrum you can run Barbie doll hair extensions through your printer and create your own patterns on the hair. Yes – I said the same thing you are thinking right now – Not on my printer! But I was assured it is safe to do.

Some of My Favorites at A Time to Play
Here are some of my favorites that I’ll be doing product reviews on in the next couple of months.

This  updated version of cabbage patch dolls  are going to fly off the shelves.  I have my sample and look for the review early next week.

Playskool Rescue bot and Fire Station playset – Preschool sized transformers! Hero themes! I love this!

Monster High* and Barbie with hi tech hair extensions – Grandparents can be cool giving these as a gift

Playmobil castle - Boys and girls will have oodles of creative play with this playset

Geomag  – High quality, swiss made, magnet building set

Fisher Price Big Action Construction site – Preschoolers who love Bob the Builder will go gaga over this.

The LOGO Board Game - A winner for intergenerational games playing.
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1 comment:

Susan Adcox said...

The Playmobil set and the Geomag get my vote. As for the Trash Pack, didn't we do this already? Garbage Pail Kids or something like that?