First of all, happy 110th birthday to Toy Fair! It’s truly
remarkable how this wonderful and really fun industry has evolved over the
As for me, I have attended the show for more than two decades and still feel
the same excitement I did when I first began covering it oh so many years ago.
As always, the aisles were buzzing with excitement driven in large part by
innovative new toys, new licenses, new technological twists on classic and
retro toys and some out of the box thinking.
Some buzzworthy items I’ve seen thus far:
POOF-Slinky Inc. put a colorful twist on its slinky line for the first time
adding colors such as purple, orange, pink to its classic steel sku. The
company also paid homage to its retro slinky dog with special packaging.
Speaking of retro, Basic Fun refreshed View Master with an
improved mechanism, 3D graphics, higher quality reels and actual stories. The
line kicks off with "Despicable Me 2" in June followed closely by Spider-Man,
Star Wars and Discovery Kids. Simon was also revamped with enhanced features.
Over at Alex, arts & crafts have definitely been kicked up a notch with the fusion of technology. One of the more interesting products was Earphone Couture whereby
girls can customize their own earphones using all kinds of materials.
Big news over at Jazwares was new license "Wizard of Oz" with the company
creating role play, dolls and playsets in fall to dovetail with the 75th
anniversary of the iconic property.
Mattel is going “app”solutely crazy adding augmented reality to many of its products.
Among my favorites was the Little People Apptivity Barnyard whereby an iPad is
placed in the case structure (with protective clear screen) within the playset.
The free app allows kids to explore the
virtual barnyard, garden, farmer’s market stand, field and inside the barn. The
company gets my vote for the coolest product I've seen at the show so far with
Hot Wheels Carcade, part of its Game On initiative to create products that kids
can enjoy with their parents. The tabletop game, inspired by classic pinball and skee-ball, lets kids shoot their cars like pinballs to hit blinking targets in time for the best score. Lots of family fun coming in July!
Stayed tuned for more
buzzworthy tidbits tomorrow!