Friday, February 15, 2013

Toy Fair Highlights – What’s New and Coming Soon

Ms. Frizzle and Me

Every year I go to the International Toy Fair in New York.  Toy Fair is one of the largest of its kind in the world with 1000 exhibitors and 30,000 visitors.  I spend days going through the emails I get from exhibitors deciding which are the must visit booths and organizing them in order.  Then I put a Day 1 and Day 2 itinerary together built around special events that I have been invited too.  Companies display their best toys and introduce new toys and prototypes that will become available during the year.  It is an exhilarating and exhausting experience and I LOVE IT!!!!!   

With this article I am sharing some of the highlights and trends from my perspective.  There will lots of detailed reviews in the future.

Here are some trends that I noticed:

  • More toys and kits featuring science
  • More toys featuring toys with positive images for girls including sports, healthy lifestyle and developing skills and interests for careers like engineering.
  • More toys have an online component - When you buy the toy you get a code to unleash a digital component to the play value of the toy.
  • Collectibles packaged at “Grab one anytime” prices

I’ll be writing individual reviews and offering giveaways on some of these items but here are a few of my favorites this year:

In the science area I loved the Clifford the Big Red Dog science kits for kids ages 3 – 5 and the Magic School Bus kits with Ms. Frizzle for older kids by the Young Scientists Club.  A brand new line of science kits from Educational Insights called Nancy B’s Science Club will definitely be attractive to girls.
Clifford The Big Red Dog Science Kits for Ages 3 - 5

The Magic School Bus Slime and Polymer Lab

Nancy B Science

LEGO Friends – The line featuring themes and color schemes to interest girls won the Overall Toy of the Year Award and the best toy activity category.  I am so happy about this because I think it is important for girls to enjoy and develop the skill building that goes with playing with LEGOs.  There are a number of playsets including new ones coming out this year.  Here’s just one:
Heartlake High - Builds up and/or sideways

 Madame Alexander introduced a new Magic Dragon plush and Peter Yarrow sang to celebrate.  It was the highlight of Toy Fair for me to be two feet away from Peter and singing along to Puff the Magic Dragon with him. Every gray haired person at Toy Fair showed up for this appearance.

Peter Yarrow Sings Puff the Magic Dragon

Here's the dragon complete with Jackie Paiper and a new CD

There were so many beautiful dolls at the Madame Alexander booth but this Fancy Nancy display really caught my fancy.
Many Fancy Nancy Dolls to Choose from - and Washable!

My favorite dolls at Toy Fair are always at Corolle.  It’s a French company and they were serving Perrier.  How cool.  Unfortunately the soft lighting in their booth works wonderfully for displaying the dolls but not so good with the pictures.  Here’s one anyway:
Cuddly Miss Grenadine from Corolle

I always enjoy visiting small companies making their debut at Toy Fair.  Oops caught my eye with their colorful backpacks, soft toys, wood toys and other novelties in bright colors.  They are a Swiss company and Niccolo told me they they have “Italian design and Swiss precision.”  I’ll be writing more about these products when they are introduced in the United States in a few months.

Backpacks from Oops

 As i said I'll be writing more about Toy Fair in the next few months but I wanted to get these highlights out now.  Here are some of the items available at Amazon now:

Shop Amazon Toys - Introducing LEGO Friends for Girls

1 comment:

~Kc Waddell said...

Almost as good as being a child lose in a toy store! What fun! Just stopping by from the GRAND Social Linky Party. Thanks for sharing!