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.
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.
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.
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.
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!)