Tuesday, February 28, 2017

A Grandma's Highlights of Toy Fair NY 2017

Toy Fair New York 2017 -Wow! Wonderful! Whew!  I went into New York for two whole days plus two special events and wore my legs to a frazzled edge.  But what fun and thousands of toys to see – some of which won’t be on the market until later this year.  So this is really a preview of what’s to come this year.  There is way too much to put in one blog post so I have several planned.  This is just the first with some of my overall favorites.  Other blog posts about Toy Fair NY will include:

  • My Favorite Dolls
  • Toys for Babies and Toddlers
  • Intriguing Building and Science Toys
  • Books and Plush Pairs
  • Games and Puzzles Galore
  • Toys with Characters in the Movies

As always, these are the “Highlights from a Grandmother’s point of view.”  No  app enhanced toys, no drones, no violent themes and few batteries.  There are some noteworthy items with those features but we’ll leave those to the parents and grandchildren to discover.  The pictures are all my own from the displays I saw – no stock photos here – just the real thing.  For some of the items not out yet, this may be a prototype and the final may differ a little.  So there are all the caveats – let’s get on with the highlights.

Attic Treasures by TY

Attic Treasures by TY

We all remember beanie babies and you may even still have some, but another beloved Ty line was Attic Treasures which ran 1993-2003.  There are still lots of Attic Treasures collectors and they will be excited to learn that these new items will be introduced in June 2017.

Hot Dots Jr. Pete the Cat Pre-School Sets by Educational Insights

Pete the Cat Hot Dots by Educational Insights

Toys that are fun and provide learning opportunities are always my favorites.  Educational Insights specializes in this combination and I always find interesting products at their Toy Fair booth.  This year  I toured the booth with two educators from Mommy University and they were so excited about this new Hot Dots item that I just had to learn more about Hot Dots.  Every Pre-K to First grade child loves Pete the Cat.  This set has a magic pen (OK it does take AAA batteries) which will let you know if you chose the right answer.  A Pete the Cat card set, stickers, magic pen and before you know it a pre-schooler is learning reading, math, science, and social studies skills. This item is a winner of the Parents' Choice Approved Award.

Ghostbusters Ecto-1 and Firehouse by playmobil

Ghostbusters Firehouse by playmobil
Ghostbusters Ecto-1 by playmobil

Playmobil sets are such high quality and provide wonderful, imaginative  play.  For the first time, playmobil will be featuring sets with licensed characters and the first one is Ghostbusters.  The playsets have loads of details and accessories and will be available in May.  These advance prototypes look like this is going to be a winner.  And so of course I couldn’t resist having my picture taken with the Ghostbusters….

PLAY-DOH Kitchen Creations by Hasbro – Magic Oven Set

PLAY-DOH Magic Oven Set by Hasbro

There is a new PLAY-DOH culinary collection which I was very impressed with.  Preschoolers love PLAY-DOH play sets and I think the kitchen collection will be a winner.  Yes, they use batteries but only to add life like qualities.  The oven lights go on and the muffins will rise – not by cooking but by pushing the lever on the side of the oven. I saw the demo and it is very cute.  This set will be available in the Fall.   

Art with Edge Pop Art by Crayola

Crayola Art with Edge

Crayola Art with Edge

Crayola launched its Art with Edge line in the Fall of 2016 aimed at Tweens and Teens and will expand it in 2017 as the coloring craze continues. It is a line of wacky, wild coloring pages. This new set called “Pop Art” features art printed on dark paper that “pops” in bright colors when colored with Pop Art colored markers.  I thought these made beautiful finished products and should be a nice gift for the “difficult to buy for” age group.  They will be available in June 2017 and make a great summer activity.

The Beatles Yellow Submarine by LEGO

I will be featuring other LEGO sets in my building sets Highlights posts but I had to include this one here.  This set is in the LEGO IDEAS line of building sets suggested by LEGO fans.  When I checked it out on Amazon it had a 5 star rating out of 295 reviews.  You just don’t see that.  If you are introducing Beatles music to your grandchildren you may love working on building this together with them.  It includes the 4 Beatles minifigures and many cool detailed pieces.  In the reviews, some adults bought it as a gift for a child but wound up keeping it for themselves.  I can picture a bunch of grandparents playing their favorite Beatles music and having a blast putting this together.  It also can be a great group project for an older grandchild sleepover.  Now I can’t get that music out of my head…..

Many of these items are not available yet, but here are the Amazon links for those that are available and some that are in the same line and are available.

Thursday, February 9, 2017

The Tray Haven Is an Answer to the "Uh-Ohs"

Tray haven wrapped around a high chair
When a baby is first ready to sit up in a high chair and pick up Puffs, Cheerios, small toys or a sippy cup from the tray, parents are all excited at this new skill and independence.  The euphoria is usually quickly dissipated if they are spending a lot of time picking things up off the floor.  The same thing is true with the tray on a stroller.

Tray Haven is a new product that deals with this problem.  I don't think this will work with a toddler who is used to more freedom to move around, but it can be a huge help with a baby who is just beginning to sit up.  Tray Haven is basically a breathable mesh netting in sections which can clip behind a high chair or stroller and creates a see through barrier keeping food, toys and whatever else is on the tray off the floor.

It is very easy to set up and this video demonstrates just how easy it is:

Babies get frustrated too when their food and toys fall, so the Tray Haven may help keep them contented. This product may also be helpful with special needs children and adults with motor control difficulties.

Tray Haven
 Tray Haven retails for $39.99 and is available in pink and blue at Amazon.  You can also buy it directly from Tray Haven at their website