now!!! The American International Toy Fair is where all the major players come
out for some serious fun. From Hasbro to independent start-ups like Toronto’s
own Mompreneur driven SwaggerTag this is, hands-down, the most important North
American Toy Trade Show. The 108th event welcomes the global toy
industry to reveal the most sought after toys for the coming holiday season.
Of course, the major players like Mattel have an entire
building to themselves equipped with their own limos and drivers. Unless you’ve
got the buying power for the likes of Toys R Us…you can just fuggitabout entering their building.
More than 30,000 in attendance who represent 7900 retailers, media and industry
types are bombarded with over 100,000 products from 1100 toy companies from
around the world. The economy is making a slow comeback worldwide with the Toy
Industry Association projecting at cool $21.8 billion in North American sales
One of the biggest announcements that came out of the Toy
Fair was Mattel’s Barbie & Ken have
reunited, of course on Valentine’s Day. If you recall Barbie and Ken were
introduced in 1961 as a couple until their break up in 2004. Then Barbie was
seen “dating” Australian surfer dude Blaine. And in true PR hype Ken was
spotted in various locations in Manhattan. I just happened upon him at Magnolia
Bakery on the night of Valentine’s. Barbie was busy working the Fashion Week
But some neat stuff that caught attendees attention…Here a
Flying Fish – no
doubt the most talked about item of the show. Think remote control mylar giant
fish floating over your heads.
unveiled at this show with much garnered attention. It’s a step machine,
scooter and bike all in one. Zikes has
different age levels, looks cool and will get teens to school on time..and come
to think of it..I want one!!!! The product looks expensive and since it’s just
launched it may take another year before these beauties arrive in Canadian bike
and high-end toy retailers.
HexBug – glow in
the dark bugs and track. And introducing the new remote controlled spider!
Between this and the plush Micro Organisms (the much in demand Bed
Bugs) I’m feeling a tad itchy!
Angry Birds – the
popular game app has taken over the toy industry with licensed toys in various
formats including plush, figurines, dodge balls and board games. Be ready to be
flocked! You’ve been warned!
the extend their successful licensing sets based on films like Star Wars, Harry
Potter (Hogwartz Castle!) and Disney tie-ins.
Fever?? Yes, the boy with the Usher marketing machine continues to expand the
empire now with with JB dolls and mini stage vans. Betcha saw that coming! When
will this fever break?
GLEEks will be happy with a number of items coming out this
holiday season including the popular game series Scene It? Glee version..are you Team Schue or Team Sue?
Redakae – from
SpinMaster, the people who created Bakugan comes trading cards with 3D
animation effects and technology that tracks your attacks. A Redakai TV show
will be coming to the Cartoon Network this year.
Power Rangers Samurai
is the new generation of the popular action heroes with a tie-in to the
Nickelodeon show that launched this month. The action figures are starting to
creep into major toy stores already and the company is anticipating to make it
onto the “must have list” of many kids this holiday season.
The Fantasma Web
Runner – a remote control spider that runs around on ceilings and walls.
About the size of an adult’s hand.
toddler friendly iPhone case…really? I know some of my friends dare to give
their toddlers their iPhones so, this item will save the inevidable drop and
smash. It comes with 3 games that are age appropriate and responds to movements
As mentioned there are zillions of toys that were pitched at
the American International Toy Fair and way too many to even take in. After 4
days of “Yes. No. Maybe. Cool.
Cute.”..and a few thoughts of “what were you thinking?” I’ve got my game on and
I’m ready to play!
Let the games begin!
(Sonya Davidson sent in this contribution after being blown away at the American International Toy Fair in New York City. We hope you enjoy it as much as we did!)