Toy Fair 2017- As Seen From YouTube

Don’t get too excited. Alas, I wasn’t able to afford a trip to New York City to attend the esteemed toy trade show that is New York Toy Fair. (I’ll be going to New York City later this year for Blogger Bash, though, which has a mini toy fair called the Sweet Suite!) The past week or so, I’ve been searching YouTube for videos from New York Toy Fair. Below are a few that might be interesting to you! (And I definitely plan on going to 2018’s NYTF. I feel like there should be more booths getting coverage than what is out there on the internet as of this writing.  That, or it will be a pretty lackluster year for toys. Lottie, The Queen’s Treasures and A Girl for All Time were there, but I don’t see many videos from their booths on YouTube yet. Tonner was also there with Phyn & Aero, but seemed to have had a very small collection of items. He livestreamed from his booth.)

The best video that I found was a live stream from the Doll area.  (The trade show floor is split into different themed areas.) It features Lottie, A Girl for All Time and Tonner. They go through the doll area and chat with vendors.

This video isn’t from New York’s event, but Hong Kong’s. It features Kurhn dolls! They don’t show at New York Toy Fair. That reminds me, I need to add a new Kurhn to my collection soon. It’s been too long!

Here’s a tour from Madame Alexander. No audio from the company, so your guess as to price, name and release are as good as mine on these dolls. I do see many things that were on display last year, though. I have an e-mail out to the company, so maybe we’ll be hearing more about them later!

Spin Master’s Luvabella will either win your heart or creep you out. Check out the video to see why! She’s a robot baby that has some pretty awesome head movements!

I love the Barbie hologram machine!!! It looks like it will be pretty cool. It doesn’t look like they have their new thingmaker, the 3d printer, on display this year. I wonder what’s going on with that?

My Ballerina Dolls was back (and still not in the doll area, it seems). From the looks of it, they didn’t have anything super new to show. It looks like they’re re-working Clara a bit so she can be more of an ‘anything’ character. (They mentioned that in another Toy Fair video.)

Shibajuku Girls debuted their new smaller sized dolls in their booth! I still prefer the big ones to the small ones, but they look cute!

This is just a sampling of what was on display at Toy Fair. If you haven’t, I suggest going to YouTube and searching Toy Fair 2017 and seeing what else people posted. (Look up Hasbro, Mattel and Funko– they usually have great stuff on display!)

There are some videos of the new Monster High dolls out, but honestly, the dolls don’t look very exciting. Also, bad news for Ever After High fans, it looks like they had zero new dolls on display for that line. There look to be a lot of fun new dolls coming to the DC Superhero Girls line, some of which are characters I actually know thanks to the CW’s current love affair with DC themed entertainment.

Did you see anything exciting at Toy Fair or through coverage online? What was it? Let me know in the comment area!

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March 1, 2017. Tags: , , . Uncategorized. 11 comments.

Chicago Toy and Game Fair 2016 Recap

The Chicago Toy and Game Fair is a yearly event that takes place at the popular Chicago tourist attraction Navy Pier. I first learned about the fair a few years back when I was in the middle of actively pitching a reality show concept with a toy inventor who was involved with The Chicago Toy and Game Fair, also know as ChiTAG. ChiTAG has been around since 2003, bringing together “consumers, families, inventors, manufacturers, retailers, educators, hobbyists, and the media, at the start of the holiday season, to play, celebrate, discover, support, and promote the creation of toys and games.”

At its heart, this show is for independent game and toy creators who want to get their products and concepts into the hands of consumers. Unlike Toy Fair, which is more ‘look and don’t touch’, ChiTAG is ‘don’t just look, dig in and play’. The more approachable attitude of ChiTAG’s vendors, the fact that they want you to touch and interact with their game or toy, is one of the biggest things that draws it out from other toy shows. This show is heavily attended by families due to the affordable ticket prices and deals for boy and girl scouts.

Pika, pika! #chitag @chitagweek

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As seen at #chitag, @chitagweek, #roominate.

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As seen at #chitag, #happysalmon card game. (Actually, this was fun!) @chitagweek

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Besides the fair, there are a number of other neat events that happen during ChiTAG. There’s the young inventors challenge, inventor conferences for new and established creators, PlayCHIC Fashion Show, and the Toy and Game Innovation Awards (the TAGIEs). In past years, this year included, ChiTAG also has hosted the Illinois State Yo-Yo Contest on their main stage in the fair’s exhibit hall.

As seen at @chitagweek, #klask. #chitag

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I’d be lying if I said there were a lot of doll vendors there. 2016’s show wasn’t really attended by any besides one or two booths that had items that work with dolls. Even more so than in past years, this years fair was attended mostly by board and card game creators. There was a healthy amount of stem based learning companies displaying their wares, too. Below are just a few of the items that caught my eye at the show!

As seen at @chitagweek! #chitag #doll

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Snapeez are a plastic latching system that you can use to make doll clothes for your 18″ dolls (or smaller, if you’re creative)! They’re not just limited to doll sized accessories– you can make pretty much anything you’d like and there are plenty of kits to get you started! For dolls, you’ll want to check out the Mod Dress Kit, Wedding Gown Kit, the Metallic Party Dress Kit and the Doll Accessory Kit!

As seen at @chitagweek, @magicmeemees from #futureofplay. #chitag

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Magic MeeMees weren’t completely new to me prior to the show, but it was my first time seeing them in their finished look. They come in ‘play sets’ which are really just fancy displays. Magic MeeMees are supposed to represent the very, very tiny spaces in your refrigerator, holiday box, fruit bowl and other places like that. Magic MeeMees are plastic toys that talk to each other and share their emotions through their colorful belly marks. As their belly lights up (aka as they share their emotions with you), they turn in circles and vibrate. The MeeMees themselves are cute, but what I really like are the cute little play sets! You can’t move the pieces in the play sets, but they are really cute displays for these or other small dolls and toys! If you plan on buying a MeeMee for anyone this holiday season, I highly recommend buying a play set, an extra single MeeMee and a blind bag “food” item. The MeeMees are way more interesting when they can interact both with you and another MeeMee or blind bag “food” item!

As seen at @ChiTAGWeek. #chitag

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PomPom Wow was a sponsor of  ChiTAG. They had a huge PomPom tent/tunnel in their booth. Actually, I love the ease in which PomPom Wow’s pompoms work. It makes it very easy to add pizzazz to pretty much anything! We received a sample of pompoms at the show and even got to bling out our own little reporters notebooks. If you gift a starter pack to someone, I recommend picking up something for them to embellish, whether it’s a picture frame, room decor, notebooks, because it seems the starter kits don’t come with projects, just pompoms!

Wonder Crew, @playmonsterfun. @chitagweek #chitag

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Play Monster, another sponsor, was there mostly promoting Roominate and My Fairy Garden, but also had on display Wonder Crew. Wonder Crew’s tag line is “Inspired by boys, made for all”.  It looks like this line started on Kickstarter in 2015 and has been slowly getting into small, independent toy stores since. I know people are always on the look out for dolls that are ‘suitable’ for boys, so if you’re looking for something like that, you might want to give Wonder Crew a looksie!

As I mentioned, My Fairy Garden was on display at the show, as well. Now, I’m not in love with how plastic everything was in the sets on display, but I do love the concept! My Fairy Garden is an introduction to gardening for kids, but with a twist! While I would have preferred more natural elements to create the fairies world, I can see My Fairy Garden being a popular seller this Christmas!

As seen at #chitag, @chitagweek.

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Overall, the Fair is a fun way to spend the day. If they were to ask us what we might change for next year, it would be blogger outreach. They try really, really hard to get as many influences through the show as possible and plan activities to keep them engaged throughout the day. But, this year, the activities, mainly the long and involved social media scavenger hunt, was a miss for me! It involved using Twitter, Instagram and Facebook, tagging companies, taking specific photos… It was way too much to do, while trying to check out the show and try to make connections with various vendors. That element fell flat on its face for me. I’m fine with a scavenger hunt, but let’s choose one social media app next time. Another thing that would have made this easier was for the scavenger hunt to be on an app itself, as opposed to having to read it all off and fill out an actual paper form. I felt like I needed six hands to do everything they wanted and at one point, had to stop, because it was super stressful.

As seen at #chitag, polite pig pals. @chitagweek

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As seen at @educationalinsights at @chitagweek. #chitag

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As seen at #chitag, @chitagweek, knotiverse.

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Also, unlike last year, there was no indication of who might have brought samples for media who were attending. Let me disclaimer this– I don’t attend the show just for swag, but it’s nice, especially with toys and games of this nature, because 99% of the toys at the show are one’s I wouldn’t buy on my own. Two years ago, they handed us a bag of goodies; Last year, they gave us coupons to hand to booths. This year, they didn’t have any sort of indicator. It would be nice if next year, they give the vendors some sort of graphic to post on their booth, at the very least, to know they’re blogger friendly and might have freebies to give away for review. My mom and I very nearly missed the Magic MeeMees booth, which was quite generous! (You’ll be seeing them on my channel soon!)

That being said, I am grateful to the folks behind ChiTAG for the importance they put on influencers and online media. It makes for a fun filled day of play. For families, as well, ChiTAG is a great way to spend the weekend. I encourage those in the area to check it out!

I’ll leave you with this question: What toy or game has excited you the most this year? If you went to ChiTAG, what did you think? Share your thoughts below!

November 28, 2016. Tags: . Uncategorized. Leave a comment.

NYTF16: Super Impulse (SI)

Super Impulse has a line I think some of you will love!  It’s called World’s Smallest. Here’s the gist. World’s Smallest is a line of working miniature replicas of some of your favorite toys. I think these would make pretty cool props for photo shoots and set dressing!

NYTF: Si

Toys featured are popular brands like Etch-A-Sketch, Rubiks Cube, Perplexus, Duncan Yo-Yo’s and Little Green Army Men. The Polaroid is one of my favorites.

NYTF: Si

New for 2016 are popular Mattel toys Fisher-Price Chatter Telephone, Fisher-Price Rock-A-Stack, Magic 8 Ball and Fisher-Price Little People School Bus. These are due out Spring 2016.

NYTF: Si

They also had a miniature GI Joe on display at New York Toy Fair, though it isn’t mentioned in the press release I received, so that may be an early prototype.

NYTF: Si

You can find World’s Smallest at most major retailers, including Walmart, Barnes & Noble, Books-A-Million, Hasting, Learning Express, Paper Source, Five Below and Ron Jon Surf Shop.

Another fun product they had on display was called Icon Glam. It plays on the 2D purse trend. (I own a 2D/cartoon purse and it’s very cool.) These sets will allow you to customize your own 2D cartoon purse. Again, what you see here is a prototype, so they’ll be making tweaks and perfecting it before it hits store shelves.

NYTF: Si

What miniatures do you think should be created in the World’s Smallest line? Do you think they’ll make good props for photos? Share your thoughts below!

March 1, 2016. Tags: . Uncategorized. 1 comment.

NYTF16: Käthe Kruse

Käthe Kruse, at Toy Fair, tends to bring more baby related toys with them than playline and Waldorf dolls, but still, they deserve to be covered due to their class and reputation in the doll world. This year, we were walked around the booth by a super knowledgeable rep who came all the way from Germany! She shared the story of Käthe Kruse with such passion. You could feel that she was quite proud of the companies heritage (and rightfully so). Below are some pictures from their booth taken this year at New York Toy Fair! (Interestingly enough, the rep pronounced this line as ‘Kay-tee’ Kruse. I’ve always assumed it was ‘Kaa-tay’ Kruse! You learn new things every day!)

NYTF16: Kathe Kruse

NYTF16: Kathe Kruse

NYTF16: Kathe Kruse

NYTF16: Kathe Kruse

NYTF16: Kathe Kruse

NYTF16: Kathe Kruse

NYTF16: Kathe Kruse

NYTF16: Kathe Kruse

NYTF16: Kathe Kruse

NYTF16: Kathe Kruse

NYTF16: Kathe Kruse

NYTF16: Kathe Kruse

NYTF16: Kathe Kruse

Watch the video tour below!

The full flickr album can be found here. Are you a fan of Käthe Kruse? What’s your favorite series from Käthe Kruse? Share your thoughts on this iconic company in the comment area!

February 28, 2016. Tags: . Uncategorized. 1 comment.

NYTF16: JC Toys

As usual, JC Toys booth delivered this year at New York Toy Fair! I’m a huge fan of their realistic baby dolls. (Check out my review of one such baby doll here.) My mom and I took a lot of photos at their booth, so definitely check out the Flickr album after finishing this post. There were so many beautiful babies to photograph! I hope to work together with JC Toys again this year to bring you another review, so keep your eyes peeled! Below are some of the cutest baby faces you’ll ever see in the baby doll world!

NYTF16: JC Toys

NYTF16: JC Toys

NYTF16: JC Toys

NYTF16: JC Toys

NYTF16: JC Toys

NYTF16: JC Toys

NYTF16: JC Toys

NYTF16: JC Toys

NYTF16: JC Toys

NYTF16: JC Toys

NYTF16: JC Toys

NYTF16: JC Toys

NYTF16: JC Toys

NYTF16: JC Toys

NYTF16: JC Toys

NYTF16: JC Toys

NYTF16: JC Toys

NYTF16: JC Toys

NYTF16: JC Toys

Check out Flickr for more images from JC Toys booth! Because they were one of the friendliest booths at Toy Fair this year, do me a favor and take a peek at JC Toys website. Then, come back and let me know which baby is your favorite in the comment area. I can’t wait to see who your favorite baby is!

February 28, 2016. Tags: . Uncategorized. 6 comments.

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