I just got here again from the 109th annual American International Toy Fair held in New York City and I had a blast!
Around this time each year for the beyond few years, I’d be home feeling so exhausted having been responsible for placing together a huge sales space at the display, standing around all day meeting with clients, publicists, vendors, income reps, and attending after hour events and dinner meetings. And subsequently on the remaining day, dismantling the sales space and packing up all the toys and the whole thing that needed to pass lower back to the workplace.
But this yr was one-of-a-kind. This time, I changed into on the opposite facet attending the show instead of showing, so I came domestic feeling more exhilarated. Although I usually had the hazard to walk the display in some unspecified time in the future during the occasion, this yr became a one of a kind experience for me. I became able to stroll the show with fresh eyes and a distinctive perspective…Scouring the display for brand spanking new and progressive merchandise and warm new Hong kong toys show, and revisiting wonderful manufacturers which have lasted for years.
I realized how fulfilling it was to be part of an industry that each 12 months comes up with incredible merchandise that not handiest offers children the possibility for fun and play, but additionally has schooling fee and promotes advantageous social, intellectual, physical, mental abilties in order to last them a life-time.
In this article, I concept I would proportion with you toys that were presented by means of the Toy Industry Association, and tendencies that had been unveiled via enterprise experts.
Every yr, the Toy Industry Association (TIA) holds its annual Toy of the Year (TOTY) awards throughout Toy Fair. These have been the winners.
Toy of the Year: LeapFrog Enterprises LeapPad Explorer
Activity Toy of the Year- LEGO NINJAGO Fire Temple by LEGO Systems
Boy Toy of the Year – Hot Wheels Wall Tracks by way of Mattel
Educational Toy of the Year – LeapPad Explorer by means of LeapFrog Enterprises
Game of the Year – Angry Birds Knock On Wood Game via Mattel
Girl Toy of the Year – Fijit FriendsTM Interactive Figures by way of Mattel / Radica
Infant/Toddler Toy of the Year – Elefun Busy Ball Popper through Hasbro / Playskool
Innovative Toy of the Year – Hot Wheels Wall Tracks via Mattel
Outdoor Toy of the Year – Rockboard Scooter – Mini via M.Y. Products
Preschool Toy of the Year – LeapPad Explorer by using LeapFrog Enterprises
Property of the Year – Angry Birds with the aid of Rovio Entertainment Ltd. / Striker Entertainment
Specialty Toy of the Year – HEXBUG Nano Hive TM Habitat Set through Innovation First Labs
As a ways as traits, industry professionals noted that there has been a incidence of big-ticket objects this yr in addition to an inflow of educational toys for babies and preschool children, indicating that clients are inclined to spend extra publish-recession.
Here’s a summary of the six pinnacle trends cited by means of the Toy Industry Association:
GENERATION APP – An rising fashion diagnosed at Toy Fair 2011, this year there may be an abundance of toys that work with clever gadgets and apps. Toymakers are the use of generation to enhance traditional play patterns – no longer erase them. Physical toys remain vital to the play enjoy; in many instances, corporations have created conventional toys that have interaction with famous gadgets which can be already in so many houses… At the same time as tying in academic or lively components for a nicely-rounded play experience. Includes: Products that paintings with an app or clever gadgets and merchandise which are primarily based upon an app or net property however have no digital tie-in.
GLOWING WILD – Toys that glow within the dark or light up will infiltrate the toy aisle this year throughout multiple classes – from out of doors and energetic toys to arts and crafts and creative products. Toys in this category upload a fantastical detail to playtime for kids of all ages. They “ignite” creative play via drawing children into a global of caprice and surprise – from arts and crafts toys that incorporate LED additives to thrilling mild-up toys that thoroughly simulate fireworks. Includes: Toys that rely upon a glow aspect to power the play enjoy and toys that are similarly fun within the light of day as they’re inside the darkish (i.E. Glow-in-the-dark wood constructing blocks).
LITTLE LEARNERS – Far from easy “watch me” toys, products on this category construct cognitive and developmental talents beginning at a totally early age, transforming children into properly-rounded, lifelong learners. These toys additionally give tykes a wide range of play alternatives to pick out from – allowing them to discover their interests and abilities and develop those abilities as they grow older. Includes: Infant to pre-college toys and video games that train and project and academic toys targeted to children of all ages.
MANY WAYS TO PLAY! – Toys on this category have interaction youngsters on multiple levels. Parents can buy one very dynamic toy so as to entertain and educate a baby for hours, days, weeks and months… Letting them without a doubt get their cash’s worth. These toys have actual depth – youngsters can play otherwise each time depending on their moods or hobbies. Many of those toys also develop with a child that allows you to play in every other manner depending on their age. Includes: toys that integrate more than one play styles (i.E. Lively play, function play, recreation play, and so on.) and customizable toys (playthings emerge as a unique reflection of a baby’s individuality).
SAVE ‘N’ SPLURGE – Recent toy enterprise data released by using The NPD Group confirmed that consumers are increasingly more making “shopping trade-offs” – this is, shopping for better-priced toys on the cost of mid- to lower-priced ones. As a end result, 2012 will see a resurgence of toys that fall on the better end of the rate spectrum, as clients are inclined to loosen their purse strings a bit and spend more on merchandise that p.C. A excessive play fee punch or have a sure “WOW” issue.However, customers will continually be interested in less costly fees. Affordability changed into a fashion within the past few years and this sub-fashion will persist in 2012 as mother and father and other customers have truely come to assume huge play value at low priced charges. Includes: “The Big Ask” / wonderful toys (at better prices) and collectibles / expanded lines (at less costly prices).
YOUNG MAESTROS – A wide variety of musical toys will hit a high observe in 2012 as children of every age – from babies to tweens and young adults – rock out with toys and video games that teach them the way to play unique contraptions, practice their singing, or display off their dance movements. This trend is being driven in large part via pop culture – along with tv suggests like American Idol, Glee, The Voice and X Factor. Includes: toys for young kids that teach music basics and toys for older kids that allow them emulate their favored pop stars.
One factor significant to the general public this 12 months turned into a experience of positive power permeating for the duration of the display. A sluggish economy compelled stores to buy much less throughout the current fourth region, which allowed them to sell through maximum of their inventory and in flip encouraged them to location orders at the display. This was welcoming information for toy manufacturers!