Toy Tech: We Are Groot



I try to teach my son to stay grounded, even though his dad knows so many famous people due to his job in the toy industry. Yes, I am close, personal friends with Groot, the stage and film actor whose recent blockbuster movie has firmly established him as a major Hollywood player.

In all seriousness, the 2015 Toy Fair was jam packed with the frenzied buzz of creative energy. A diverse variety of industry professionals filled the Javits Center, ranging from amazingly talented designers and straight-laced executives, to hired actors in need of better agents and some rather interesting characters, one of which was wearing a cap with a propeller on top—chicks dig that.

From retail to promotional toy offerings, it was great seeing old friends along with making some new ones. The really innovative companies and seminars, especially the one on Toy Trends, made my trip more than worthwhile. 

The key trends discussed were the Maker Movement, Open-Ended Playtime, Mini Madness, Smart Play, Under the Sea, Top Tech and The Dawn of the Dinosaurs for 2015. Not only were these trends explained in detail, but also included demos of the most noteworthy toys in those categories.

Special thanks to all of the companies that let me spend time sketching and discussing the heart of their toy concepts. The people at Kotobukiya had the patience of Job as I gushed over their Marvel Avengers Age of Ultron Hulk Buster statue. Man alive! What great sculpted detail and design. I’m still gushing.

It’s amazing how many people read Global Toy News and appreciate the industry specific content Richard’s blog provides. It was great to put faces on the people from both large and small companies who emailed me to discuss my posts and the toy industry in general. Your insights are most appreciated.

Although competition fuels our industry, most of us are bound together with a united vision and mission, to make the very best toys possible and innovate new patterns of play for the next generation of consumers. At the end of the day I think my Hollywood friend says it best regarding the toy community—we are Groot.


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