Toy Fair 2014!
I just returned from my 34th Toy Fair and I am often asked if I still enjoy looking at new products. The answer is Yes! I still get jazzed when I see a very thoughtful toy that was created to teach a skill, to stimulate the imagination or to tickle the giggle factor in life. Toys can be joyful and we spend endless hours hunting down a collection of new and old products that we feel are best of the best for 2014.
I saw some interesting trends that I’d like to share. It’s always fun to see what the newest thing is in each category and it seems that for plush; hedgehogs and foxes are the it animals for 2014 (not including Grumpy Cat)! What does the fox say to this? He says.. Ring-ding-ding-ding-dingeringeding! If you haven’t seen or heard the YouTube sensation that is “What Does The Fox Say” you may want to check it out. From books to videos to plush, the fox is going to have a good year.
We saw last year how popular Living Sand was and now we are getting the new and improved Sands Alive! Sands Alive can only be described as a fluffy, marshmallow-like dough that can be molded into all sorts of shapes. As you play with Sands Alive you see how it gets its’ name, because it seems to move on its own. If you haven’t experienced the Sands Alive phenomenon you will have to stop in and test our sample which will be coming in any day now.
We saw an overwhelming line up of amazingly good games, which tells me companies know that kids and families still love to play board games not just electronics. Families are going offline for games. A great example of a brain-building game that will only help further a child’s education in technology is Robot Turtles, coming in June. It’s a game that sneakily teaches preschoolers the fundamentals of programming. Imagine, you are giving your child the foundation to possibly create the next new app at age 12. Companies are getting smarter and your child is benefiting from that. How do old toys compete with mobile and smart devices? They don’t, they adapt to them.
We are seeing more and more companies introducing creative toys with an electronic twist. Whether it is a jigsaw puzzle with an app that makes the puzzle come to life or a device that you put your Ipad in to create interactive art.
Even some books are being infused with technology. With the combination of interactive books and augmented reality apps, learning can be a blast for everyone. This new feature turns the book into a window to the world of science and imagination. These types of e-connected toys are only going to further expand a child’s ability to create and imagine a brighter future.
But we still believe that the fundamentals of 3-dimensional toys, games and manipulatives are still the best choice for wholesome activities and play. An abundance of new and exciting baby, toddler, bath and building toys are also on their way. What we are seeing is both new and old toys coming together and working in harmony. We have to keep moving forward and we are selecting the best of the best for your child and our future. We’ll keep you posted on the newest of the new and please stop in and check out the new arrivals.
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