TTPM Unveils 2017’s Hot Toys

Last week, my big guy and I woke up bright and early to head to the city for TTPM’s Holiday Showcase. Always one of my favorite events of the season, TTPM named the 20 toys that they consider to be the hottest toys of the holiday season.

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From products featuring notable entertainment characters and the latest advancements in tech to standout classic toys and innovative preschool playthings, the TTPM Most Wanted List reflects the current trends dominating the toy aisles.

 

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TTPM named so many of our favorites as hot toys, and even included a few that are new to us! As much as we love learning about TTPM’s hot list, we love getting our hands on all of these cool new toys at the event.

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We’ll be sure to share our thoughts on the hot list, but without further ado, here is TTPM’s Most Wanted List:

  • Fingerlings by WowWee
  • Hatchimals Surprise by Spin Master
  • Barbie Dreamhorse by Mattel
  • Doc McStuffins Baby All-in-One Nursery by Just Play
  • Teddy Ruxpin by Wicked Cool Toys
  • Hot Wheels Super Ultimate Garage by Mattel
  • Imaginext DC Super Friends Batbot Xtreme from Fisher-Price
  • Lego Boost Nerf Nitro Paw Patrol My Size Lookout Tower
  • DropMix by Hasbro
  • KidBuzz by VTech
  • LOL Surprise by MGA Entertainment
  • LuvaBella and LuvaBeau by Spin Master
  • Nintendo Switch by Nintendo Pikmi Pops
  • Oonies by Moose Toys
  • Little Bits’ Star Wars Droid Inventor
  • Star Wars Hero Droid BB-8 Interactive Droid from Spin Master
  • Star Wars Force FX Lightsaber from Hasbro

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Due to the early buzz, so many of these were no surprise! We’ll share our video and thoughts on these toys soon!

A Day Out with Thomas Heads to Phillipsburg, NJ Delaware River Railroad Excursions

The magic of Sodor is making its way to the Delaware River Railroad Excursions in Phillipsburg once again this summer when A Day Out with Thomas comes to town. Thomas and Friends will be making several excursions at the Phillipsburg Railways and will be bringing all kinds of fun along, too!

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For two back-to-back weekends, July 7, 8, 9, 14, 15 and 16, children and their families are invited to take a 20-minute ride on their favorite engine, meet Sir Topham Hatt, Controller of the Railway and enjoy a day of Thomas & Friends fun.

In celebration of this year’s theme, Day Out With Thomas: The Friendship Tour 2017 will feature an array of friendship-inspired activities. Attendees will be able to participate in events that encourage and celebrate friendship including photo opportunities, crafts, and a fun activity that invites kids to collect passport stamps throughout the day to receive a trio of Day Out With Thomas friendship bracelets. The 2017 tour theme is in line with this year’s Thomas & Friends global brand campaign, ‘Set Friendship in Motion.’

 

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A Day Out with Thomas is a whole day affair with train rides and activities galore—perfect for those who love Thomas and trains in general. The best part of this fun day is that there’s something for everyone. From the Thomas-themed story time to the mini petting area to the train play area to the arts and crafts area, the fun is endless at A Day Out with Thomas.

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 My sons and I have had the opportunity to visit A Day Out with Thomas several times over the years. And as major fans of Thomas, this is one of our favorite summer day trips; it’s so fun to get our fill of train fun. Beyond the fun ride aboard the train itself, we love meeting the conductors and engineers who are always so cordial with all of the kids. My boys love all the fun activities, especially the bouncy rides and toy trains and demos. We have such a great time exploring the grounds of the Railways, which is about an hour away from us.

  

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A couple of things to note for those in Northern NJ like me, Phillipsburg is about an hour drive. The middle of July is typically super hot and there isn’t AC on the trains, so bring plenty of water to drink and to stay cool! Definitely plan to arrive early to enjoy all of the activities as it does get crowded for certain times AND to figure out parking. I found parking to be somewhat tricky. It’s cheaper to park further away, but there are shuttles available. Be sure to take all of things things into consideration.

  

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And of course, don’t forget to wear your Thomas shirts and conductor’s hats if you have them. There are lots of photo opps and the kids love being in character with their favorite Thomas friends.

 

 

Tickets are on sale now and can be purchased at www.ticketweb.com/dowt or by calling toll-free 866.468.7630.  For more information and directions, contact the the Delaware River Railroad Excursions at 877-train-ride or 877trainride.com

 

What to See and Do at Play Fair in NYC + ticket giveaway

For the first time ever, kids will be heading to Javits Center in NYC for Play Fair on Saturday and Sunday, February 13-14. Presented by Nickelodeon and Lego, Play Fair will allow kids and families to experience the latest and greatest toys, as well as meet fun characters and YouTube personalities. 

Play Fair, hosted by Toy Industry Association and Leftfield Media, will be taking place alongside of the International Toy Fair, the annual trade show for industry professionals. Because it is a trade show, kids are not allowed to walk the showroom of Toy Fair. Play Fair, however, was designed for kids and families to experience new toys and then some. Hasbro, Mattel, Marvel, Cartoon Network, Crayola, Bandai, Toys R Us and Warner Bros will be onhand at Play Fair showcasing the coolest toys.

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My family will be onsite with me on Sunday to check out all the goodies! Though we get to check out cool new toys regularly, fun experiences like this excite my guys to no end. My 8 year old will likely be in amazement of his favorite YouTubers. While my 4 year old will most likely go nuts over the entire thing! As for me, I can’t wait to let loose and check out the fun. Toy Fair is work for me, so I’m taking videos, tons of photos and taking notes. Play Fair with kids and families will most certainly add a totally different perspective to Toy Fair itself!

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So, here’s what you’ll get to see and do at Play Fair:

•       Check out the new Batmobile from Warner Bros. Pictures’ Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, in theaters March 25, 2016

•       Slide down the exclusive PAW Patrol slide, snap photos with PAW Patrol costume characters Chase, Marshall, Skye and Rubble, and get an exclusive look at the newest PAW Patrol pup, Tracker, who will join the series this fall

•       Join Hasbro for the ultimate lightsaber training session! With the help of the Empire Saber Guild, get a hands-on learning experience about lightsaber forms and techniques

•        Build a LEGO car and race it down a ramp against other LEGO builders

•        Explore the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle tunnels and mimic their favorite Turtle moves with Magic Mirror technology

•        Gross out with an epic booger battle, experience the slimy, gross play of Booger Balls for the first time by picking and flicking them at Booger Ball targets

•       Enjoy the interactive Thomas & Friends experience by Mattel

•       Create their own toy review videos and have chances to win Toys“R”Us gift cards

•       Test out the latest from NERF in the NERF arena

•       Test out the newest Razor rides, like Jetts, the new sparking Heel Wheels, and other awesome Razor rides like the Power Core E90, Crazy Cart and RipSurf

•       Purchase exclusive collectible toys

•       And every attendee will receive a gift bag with toys and fun goodies from event sponsors

 

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Play Fair’s live performances and appearances include:

•       Meet and take photos with the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Shimmer and Shine, SpongeBob SquarePants, the Miraculous Ladybug and Cat Noir, Chase and Marshall from PAW Patrol, Dora, Saban’s Power Rangers Dino Super Charge, Peppa Pig, PJ Masks, and more

•       The cast of Nickelodeon’s hit show Game Shakers – Cree Cicchino (Babe), Madisyn Shipman (Kenzie), Thomas Kuc (Hudson), Benjamin Flores Jr. (Triple G), and Kel Mitchell (Double G) – will host a panel on Saturday to debut their new app, Nasty Goats

•       Jon Scieszka, best-selling author behind The Stinky Cheese Man and The True Story of the Three Little Pigs, will read from his Frank Einstein science book series

•       All-ages comic creators Art Baltazar, Franco Aureliani, Abby Denson, Dave Roman, Matt Loux, and Misako Rocks! will sketch and sign their books for fans

•       Meet Toys“R”Us mascot, Geoffrey the Giraffe, enjoy story time and participate in fun birthday-themed activities

•       Take in episodes of Ultimate Spider-Man: Web-Warriors, We Bare Bears, and Teen Titans Go! on a massive movie screen

•       Take photos with Shopkins mascot characters, including Strawberry Kiss and Lippy Lips, and color your favorite Shopkins characters

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•       LEGO Master Builder Erik Varszegi presents insider tips on creating LEGO masterpieces 

•       The girls of Make it Pop will reveal their new fashion doll series on February 14. Join them on the Toys“R”Us stage at 11:30 a.m. for an exclusive interview, live performance and a chance to meet the cast

•       YouTube personalities including DisneyCarToys, Mommy and Gracie Show, and KittiesMama will meet with fans and host toy unboxings live on the Toys“R”Us stage

Buy Tickets

Tickets start at $30 and can be purchased at PlayFairNY.com/tickets Family packs with a small discount are available online as well. Morning sessions run from 9:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., and afternoon sessions are open from 3:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. 

 

Giveaway

And thanks to my friends at KidzVuz, I have a family four pack of tickets for Play Fair to giveaway! Make sure you visit my awesome friends at KidzVuz at booth #156 at Play Fair!

Enter below! Good luck! This giveaway will end on Friday night 2/12 so the winner can be notified.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Be sure to follow my coverage of Toy Fair from Saturday February 13 to Monday February 15! I’m @jenrab on Twitter, Periscope and Instagram. I’ll have photo and vids up on the Next Kid Thing Facebook page, and I will snap some Snapchat photos too! I’m jen_rab on Snapchat

 

Master Moves Mickey Flash Mob in Times Square

Together with 4,000+ other women bloggers, we descended upon NYC to chat all things blogging, network, and in some cases, interact with brands of all sizes at BlogHer12. And because I write mainly about products and services geared to kids, I had a chance to meet up with friends and reps in the kid space. My time wasn’t just spent talking toys, it was spent dancing, too!

With its recent release of Master Moves Mickey, Mattel orchestrated a pretty cool flash mob in Times Square. Professional kid dancers, as well as adult dancers convened with bloggers like me to shout “Mickey, Mickey” while pop and locking for an unsuspecting audience.

I loved how the pro dancers truly made the sequence come to life, especially in such a short time frame. It was so cool to witness a flash mob of this scale come together and admire all of the dancers, especially the kids and the breakdancers. My friend, Eddy of Dancing Hotdogs and Daddy Uprising, hung out in the back but contributed our spins and shouts! Regardless of my inability to dance like the pros, it was super fun.

Master Moves Mickey, aka M3, was one of Biggie’s favorite toys that we saw at a recent Holiday Disney preview, so it was super cool that I was invited to participate in such a unique promo. As my friend said, now we can cross that off of our bucket list.

Review of Master Moves Mickey to come, as well as other fun toys from BlogHer 12!

Master Moves Mickey is available in stores now and retails for $69.99

TOTY: Best Toys and Games Honored at TF11

Toy Fair may IMG_9099wtmkhave been a grand stage to unveil the latest and greatest toys, but it was also the perfect backdrop to honor the best innovations from the previous year.

To kick off Toy Fair, the Toy Industry Association held their annual Toy of The Year Awards Celebration at a gala at Lincoln Center.  I may not have attended the event, but I “watched” from a distance on Twitter.  Among the best in show included many NKT faves such as LeapFrog, Crayola, Squinkies and Hexbug, with Mattel’s Sing-a-ma-jigs nabbing the Toy of the Year title.

Here’s the list of this year’s TOTY winners:

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Partying with Mattel’s Toy Story 3 Action Links

We’ve been talking a lot about food over here on NKT, but what we haven’t been talking about enough are toys.  Well, that’s because I’m doing things differently this holiday season, which I’ll explain in an upcoming post.

In the meantime, we recently gathered some friends together to indulge in the very cool Toy Story 3 Action Links from Mattel.  As huge fans of Toy Story 3, when I was invited to apply to host an Action Links party via MomSelect’s Mommyparties, I jumped at the chance.

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Undoubtedly, Toy Story 3 has been the most talked about movie in our house this year, so naturally, this, too, would have been an exciting party to take on and share all about. So, when the giant box of toys arrived, you can imagine our excitement!

At our Toy Story Action Links party, we invited some of Jack’s fellow TS3 fans, all of whom are in the 3-4 age group.  We played off the TS3 theme and had hot dogs wrapped with Pillsbury Crescents on sticks, veggies, cupcakes and more.  Toy Story Action Links was a great reason to get friends and kids together for a fun afternoon.
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I first learned about Action Links at Toy Fair earlier this year.  But because the movie wasn’t out yet and because the toys recreate key scenes from the story, I could only talk so much about this interesting concept.

When we first opened the Action Links sets, my husband and I were reminded of the Rube Goldberg concepts, much like that game, Mousetrap. Remember that?

Action Links embodied that same Rube Goldberg concept, where each interlinking set created a chain reaction, complete with Toy Story 3 figures.
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More Time to Play Must-Haves

Zhu Zhu Pets
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I actually never saw the Zhu Zhu Pets at the showcase, and to be quite honest, that may have been on purpose.  Besides cats and dogs, I’m just personally not a fan of small, furry things scurrying around—motorized or not.  But that’s just me.  Zhu Zhu Pets are cute little things and perhaps the next best thing to having a real live hamster around the house.  Zhu Zhu Pets are motorized, interactive (they squeak and chirp among other sounds,) can play in their habitats and can enjoy fun accessories such as a wheel and skateboard.  These are so popular that the Associated Press said that Toys R Us and Wal-Mart can barely keep them on the shelves.  After a quick glance at the TRU website, as of today, it looks like they’re out of stock of the pets themselves but it looks like they still have a 3-count set of pets on pre-order that’s set to ship in early December. The pets, themselves, retail for about $8-10 and the activity sets and accessories are $10 and up.

Dora’s Explorer Girls

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This new line of Dora toys were some of toys that I was most excited about seeing.  I wanted to see for myself what all the controversy was about with her new look.  I have to tell you, she’s still cute and sassy, and still age-appropriate for the range that she’s supposed to target.  The thing about this line of Dora dolls is that she’s growing up with the kids who grew up watching her.  The dancing Dora had on a dress that looked like something that she’d wear to a fancy party or Quincenera.  She did a simple dance and got up on her tippy toes, as seen on the video above. 

The other Dora doll that I checked out was Dora Links, which is a doll that, you guessed it, links to a computer.  You can create and renew her look by just clicking a few buttons on the computer.  I watched Dora go from a brown-eyed girl to a green-eyed girl, and from no lipgloss to all made up (though her lit up red “glossed” lips were a bit strange looking to me).  In addition to being interactive, Dora Links is multilinguaI, diverse and pretty cool; I thought Dora Link’s interactive features was an interesting innovation to a favorite doll and character. I saw so many more techy type toys that were geared for boys that I think Dora Links stood out for me, being geeky and all.


Battle Strikers from MEGA

Battle Strikers

If you read regularly, then you must already know how I feel about Battle Strikers from Mega.  Battle Strikers made the list for good reason.  We dig it!  Oh, and so can you!

Check out my review and giveaway.  I will be upping the ante and adding a second winner!  Though I don’t have another Tournament Set to give away, I have a bunch of Battle Strikers for the second winner.  Comment on the review if you want to win.  As always, I choose the winners at random and will email the winners directly, so make sure you include a valid email!

Battle Force 5 set to debut

This afternoon, together with some other NYC-area bloggers and their kids, Jack and I were invited to participate in a Playdate to check out a screening of Battle Force 5 and some toys by Mattel! Battle Force 5 might sound familiar because I blogged about it not too long ago.

I’m looking forward to checking out the toys today, and I’ll be sure to share every detail when we get back! In the meantime, check out the trailer for the Battle Force 5 show which debuts this Saturday, August 29 on the Cartoon Network.