Makedo Makes for Crafty Construction

Earth Day has come and gone, but hopefully, the important lessons from the day continue to linger in your home, as I hope it will in ours, too.

There are so many fun and fabulous green toys on the market, especially now that the eco-friendly segment continues to grow as parents become increasingly more aware.  But one concept of green toys I hope to see more of, are upcycled toys such as Makedo.

Makedo robot


Makedo, a concept that I learned about at Toy Fair, is a connector system that enables materials including cardboard, plastic and fabric to easily join together to form new objects or structures.

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Toy Fair 2010: They Call it Puppy Love

In perhaps every imaginable shade of pink on the spectrum, Toy Fair 2010 offered a glimpse of some of the girliest toys a girl could imagine.

Beyond the obvious girl toys–dolls– Toy Fair showcased a lot of girls’ (and guys’) best friends, too.  Continuing the ongoing trend of taking stuffed animals to the next dimension, here are just a few of the many, many pet-themed toys I learned about at Toy Fair.

Littlest Pet Shop

One of Hasbro’s best selling girls properties that are best known for their cute, beady eyes, The Littlest Pet Shop, has quite a few new goodies this year. Just a few of the many new additions to their line include the Rescue Tails Center that will give girls a platform to care for their pets. This set comes with an ambulance with a light-up X-ray machine and plenty of accessories to provide thorough check-ups.  Retail Price: $39.99/Available: Fall 10

Littlest Pet Shop Rescue Tails Center

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Affordability and Accessibility at Toy Fair

Apologies for the lack of posts, but as Toy Fair wrapped up, I had my own wrapping up to do, to the tune of  3,000 photos and bags upon bags of flyers and flashdrives of press kits. I’m sure you noticed, but I did much more Facebooking and Tweeting than updating over here, simply because internet access was scarce in the media room.  But I digress…

For my First Toy Fair, this was an exciting and extremely productive event.  I was been able to meet with a number of the big companies to hear about their latest and greatest, but, as you know, I also love learning about the smaller, lesser known companies as well.

Gloworld rattles and plush toys

I’ll try not to be redundant in my posts, as I’m sure a few of you have read some of my updates already.  So, as I continue to wrap my brain around all of these toys, I thought I’d offer a quick update.  Next week, I’ll go through a myriad of topics, but for now I thought I’d talk about what I saw and relate it to what the “real” experts had to say.


wooden yo yo from ImagiPlay

Several of the “Toy Experts” have cited accessibility and affordability as prominent themes throughout the event.  Obviously, I’m no expert, but as a parent and writer who seeks out these trends, I’m always drawn to see how it all fits.

Generally speaking, of all the modern and attention-grabbing products, I found, for the most part, many new products were being marketed as affordable.  Of course, affordability is a subjective term in this context, but nonetheless, affordability is a burgeoning theme throughout this industry.


Heavily influenced by the turbulent economic crisis and volatile job market, companies recognize the consumers’ needs, thus emphasizing affordability of their new products.  There’s so many to include in the affordable category, but since I met with MegaBloks, Goldberger and ImagiPlay, these companies come to mind.  All three of these companies had seemingly different new products to showcase that were tailored for budget-minded families.

new Gloworld toysGoldberger Lily Layette


MegaBloks, well known for their Preschool Construction Toys, had several new items that I know my kid would love, most notably the new Thomas construction train sets, which are in the $20 range.  Goldberger had a variety of dolls I loved, but the new Lily dolls from their eco-friendly line are under $20.  ImagiPlay, as one of my favorite sites tweeted, is pioneering the eco-affordable toys, especially with their new yoyos

But, perhaps accessibility of toys is most noticeable in the size of toys.  As the toy experts said, many toys were compact, condensed and suitable for on-the-go play.
Goldberger Lily LayetteImagiPlay wooden play sets

For both boys and girls, from tiny tots to teens, compact toys ranged from new variations of plush rattles as seen in Playskool’s new Gloworld line to wooden playsets such as the ones from ImgaiPlay to electronic readers like VTech Toy’s Flip to the new bikes like those from Tech Deck.


(I’m still updating photos, but I’ll be sure to update as soon as they’re all up!)

Cepia Unveils Next Zhu Zhu Pets: Kung Zhu

Live from Toy Fair:  Here’s a sneak peek of Cepia’s next line of Zhu Zhu Pets: Kung Zhu. The ninja-themed Zhu Zhus are going to be marketed to boys, but after someone asked, “why not girls too?” the president of the company said they’ll address their focus.

The robotic hamsters, which were “it” toy for 2009 are hoping have another hit with these battling hamsters.  I will be sure to add more details later, but for now, here’s a glimpse at the new guys:

Go Big, Go Green at Toy Fair

So, it’s here!  For the past couple of days, I’ve been indulging in the excitement of Toy Fair, here in NY.  Because it’s an industry trade show, I’ve been busy working and meeting with various companies that reached out to me.

In case you haven’t already, be sure to join me on The Next Kid Thing Fan Page and twitter to see my updates throughout Toy Fair.

With thousands and thousands of exhibitors at Toy Fair, it’s obviously going to be difficult to cover every single company.  I will, however, try to do a roundup of products that are of interest, and perhaps, the next kid thing.

Yesterday, after my meetings, I spent the majority of my day walking the floor.  There are a lot of really great exhibitors, and of course, many new products that are being launched in conjunction with Toy Fair.  I made it a point to check out green and sustainable toys, and was quite pleased with the amount of products that have joined this category.

Some companies have been in the Green sector before “green” was its own category.  There are literally hundreds of fabulous toys, so for now, here are just a few of my findings.  (Please note, these photos are from my phone, but I’ll be sure to share much, much more tonight.)