2017 Toy Trends #NYTF

Every year at about this time, every toy, game, collectible, indoor or outdoor plaything (and more) is brought to make it’s debut at the New York Toy Fair. We go to see what is new, what’s up and coming, to see what is still holding our attention and what are up and coming toy trends. This year, we’ve noticed a few repeats, as well as some interesting new products we think you will be seeing a lot of.

Toys from last year, updated w new shineys. Some of your favorite toys from last year are back again and remade for 2017 with new bells and whistles, or upgraded and updated. As we all know, sometimes the first iteration doesn’t always turn out exactly right. Try, try again- and some of the differences are fantastic.

What’s old is new again- retro is still in, and back in style. The toys of yesteryear looking just as they did when we were kids (or grandma and grandpa were) made for our kids. Only, you know- safer then they were, in some cases.

Custom built. Kids these days. The “Me” generation, the “selfie” generation- they want to express themselves, and so they will. So many toys, apps, even electronics are customizable or can be personalized. Not just with a name or initials, added, either- kids can really make toys their own right now, to varying degrees.

Food decorating toys, or toys that come in the shape of foods. From dolls to teddy bears to real food decorating kits to jewelry- our eyes are bigger then our stomachs this year, and thank goodness. Between the success of toys like Shopkins and TV shows like MasterChef Jr and Man vs Child, kids are allowed and even encouraged to play with their food. You can make your own foodie toys and designs to wear, or snuggle up with your favorite muffin or cake at night. Some scented, some not so much. With or without glitter- and don’t eat the bears.

Everybody wants to be a Pinterest star- the kids are getting in on it with all the DIY kits that help them lean to make bath bombs, loom kits, sewing, jewelry making, and more. These are NOT the kits that we had when we were kids, that our moms would wear in front of us because they loved us or displayed just because their child made them- they look like things Martha Stewert would have in her magazine, but easy enough for kids to do them. Trust me- I tried a few, and if I could handle it, any 9 year old can. No skills here, sorry folks. My kids outpace me in this aspect easily, so this is honesty talking to you right here.

Everything gets a tail- dolls, foods, your tablet- and if it already had a tail (like, say, a cat) it will get a different one. Usually a mermaid or shark tail replacement. What cat WOULD’T love an ocean swim, amiright? Get yourself and the kiddos one as well with tubes, sleeping bags, and/or sewing kits. People get tails too, equal rights after all.

To continue with the adult coloring- and yes, we are going to- add also to that adult plus kid inter-coloring. I don’t care if that’s not a word, it’s a “thing”. Bigger books or larger sheets that parents and kids can do together, or multiple kids at once. Sharing is caring, after all. This is more involved coloring. Get out the glitter markers.
(more…)

Wowwee Robots Chip and Coji

Robots are one of the most toys for kids of all ages- everyone loves them (if they work!)- and the newest generation of robots are smarter, more fun, more realistic, and can even charge themselves in some cases.  In other cases can teach you a thing or two about how they work.

Lets look at two of the latest from Wowwee.

chip dog robot

First up is Chip.  Chip is the newest affectionate intelligent robot dog.  With senors ranging from touch to audio and voice to gyros to know when it is picked up, Chip packs a lot of fun in a little package.  Chip is about the size of a tiny dog and rolls around on his wheel-feet, rugged enough to navigate most flat surfaces.  Chip expresses himself with an LED screen-wrapped-face as well as his body language.  Chip is quite fun to play with.  He comes with a remote control to fully engage with him, a ball to play fetch, and even a charging stand that he will find on his own and charge on when his batteries get low.  This final bit makes him so close to a real pet is is almost scary, where he can in essence feed himself or rest for the night after a day of play.  Chip can understand hand gestures, voice commands, and pats on his head as ways to interact on a personal level with him.  Chip is available now and retails for $163.99
(more…)

Dreamworks Trolls Dancing Troll Poppy

trolls movie toys

The new Trolls movie has some cute and silly memorable parts to it, but one of the most memorable  is the song, “Get Back Up Again”, where our heroine Princess Poppy happily sings and dances as she goes through some extraordinary adventures while on her trek to save her friends.  This song can further permeate your brain with the new Dancing Troll Poppy speaker.  With a touch of a button, Poppy shakes and spins to the song and sings loud and clear.
(more…)

Must Have Toy – Lunar Rover from GeoSmart

Disclosure- We received the below in order to facilitate this review. All opinions are our own and honest.

My daughters absolutely love hands on playing. They love to build and create things, so I knew that the Lunar Rover from Geosmart would be a great hit for my girls.

Magnetism is a force that pulls or pushes. Youngsters are naturally attracted to magnetic construction sets for the simple pleasure of problem solving. The benefits of this delightful play are unlimited: creative thinking, pattern recognition, fine motor skills, eye-hand coordination, decision making and even social abilities. Playing with these great blocks uses all the elements of STEM basics – science, technology, engineering and math principles.

About Smart Toys and Games, Inc.

Smart Toys and Games products develop logical thinking and problem solving skills in all ages through fun, challenging play. Each multi-level game from the SmartGames line is designed to move players through carefully sequenced levels of game play. Fun, durable, and compact, SmartGames are perfect for travel. Their construction sets allow children to explore the world of magnetism in a safe and creative way through making strong building structures and vehicles. Check out more about GeoSmart here.

(more…)

Robotic Pets and No Tech Huggables #HolidayGiftGuide

Is your child begging for a new pet this year, but you don’t want something else to clean up after? Look no further- we’ve found an array of low-maintenance pets for your holiday gift giving.

robot chimp

Zoomer Chimp is one of the latest in the line of Zoomer robotic pet toys. He has a lot of ?moves” to him, and can move on all fours as well as standing up on two legs. He can be taught to follow you, to “Chimp Talk” (repeat what you say), can be taught new words as you play with and train him, knows 10 commands (watch what happens when you tell him to “go bananas!) and will let you know how he is feeling by the color of his eyes and facial features.  Zoomer Chimp makes a lot of sounds as well, and has “progressive play” built in so he doesn’t always move the same way. His wiggles and dances are adorable and funny, which will make him a hit with kids (and dad, too). He needs 3 AAA batteries and 1 LiPo battery, and requires wall adapter to charge (not included). Prices vary – I’ve seen everything from $69-$110, so look around before you make a purchase.

zoomer hedgehog

Zoomer also put out the adorable and fluffy Hedgiez this year. They come in several colors, including blue (so boys won’t feel left out- my son adores his).  He (or she) does tricks, rolls around, and likes to play with you, as well as cuddles up and giggles. It’s a quieter toy then some robot pets, since hedgehogs are not known for wild parties, I assume. Mom and dad will love that. The fur is soft, not plastic, and can be brushed or styled with the included comb.  It will curl up when tickled (very cute) and blow you kisses. It comes with stickers as well, which is always a bonus. Hedgiez requires four AAA batteries (not included).  Prices seem to vary pretty wildly here as well- from $18-$40, depending on retailer and what sale is going on- do your homework when you buy (’tis the season!).

robot dogs

Chubby Puppies and Friends are very cute and affordable. They have been around for a little while, but they just keep getting better. They have added all sorts of animals to the original dogs (and there are a lot of dogs to pick from as well), such as bunnies, horses, pandas, all kinds of cats, and more. Some even have their own babies in the same pack (Mommy or Daddy and baby animal of choice sets) which delights my son and all children who like cute things or to play “baby” or house or….play. So, you know. All kids. Some sets come with “fashion sets” like a carrying bag for the pup and accessories like sunglasses, bows, etc, and there are playsets available as well (dog park, fashion runway, etc). The pets walk, hop, waddle by battery operated power. Each pet needs it’s (included) 1 AAA battery. Prices start at around $7.99 per pet, more for fashion sets and play sets.
(more…)

Must have Playmat from Finn & Emma

Disclosure- We received the below in order to facilitate this review.  All opinions are our own. For more information, see “I Disclose”.

Finding the perfect items for when you have a baby is very important. I am very picky about letting my child play on the ground of other people’s houses. I always try to take a blanket or something with me so that my child won’t get all the yucky floor germs on them when we are at other places. The Playmat from Finn & Emma is an absolute must have.

About Finn & Emma:

At Finn & Emma, they live in the balance of stylish and sustainable, classic and contemporary, whimsical and sophisticated. Boring designs and toxic chemicals are a thing of the past while modern colors, fresh prints, and heirloom quality construction are abundant.

Sustainability is bountiful too. Only the finest 100% organic cotton, eco friendly dyes, and all natural wood will do for your little munchkin, and they’ve got plenty. On top of that, their garments and accessories are produced in fair trade settings that focus on social and economic independence for local people, women especially, working to provide for their families in a safe and fair environment.

(more…)

Laser X: Fun Laser Tag for the Entire Family #laserx

Laser X

Laser X is a new laser tag toy that is affordable and can be played inside or outside by kids or adults. Laser x can be played by an unlimited amount of people and allows flexibility for team challenges or a full out rogue laser battle.

The Laser X can kick your family’s game of hide-and-seek up a notch and add a competitive edge that makes it more fun. The typical laser tag session in a professional facility is about $8 per person per game, while others charge for timed sessions. So, a single two-player game of laser tag could cost you about $16. With Laser X’s two player set carrying a $50 price tag, and the one player set even less, that is about the cost of three laser tag sessions, and with Laser X you can play all day, as many days as you want.

Truth be told, initially, I wasn’t really sure what to expect with these laser tag sets. I have seen laser tag sets previously that just didn’t live up to the hype. I am happy to say that I was pleasantly surprised this time!  These are much more durable and tough than I anticipated and have no signs of stopping anytime soon. We got this set, and the 2 piece set for our kids – who love laser tag.
(more…)

And Advent Begins #HolidayGiftGuide

This past Sunday, Advent began.  Have you gotten you child their Advent Calendar yet? Most don’t follow Advent exactly, instead counting down the 23 days leading to Christmas Eve.  These two adorable options from Playmobil are no exceptions.

advent calender

For those children who love animals, the set #6624 could be perfect (I know, they call their sets by numbers rather then by names, which can be rather interesting when you are trying to find one).  This one is farm themed, and is very cute. Once a day, your child can punch out the numbered door and find a fun surprise inside, such as a kitty, cow, goat, or even a tractor. Weather you are country born, or just got a country soul, this is sure to please. About $25 at stores like Toys R Us and Amazon.

hockey set

For the sporty kids, the Playmobil NHL Hockey set #9017 will score big. This set comes with everything your hockey fan would like, such as Once all the pieces are revealed,hockey figures, two child figures, flags, goal, Stanley Cup, puck bag, and who better then to break up disagreements then a Santa referee? There are other accessories included as well (including reindeer), one for each day until Christmas eve.  Around $27.

hockey toy

If you are looking for more hockey fun, check out the PLAYMOBIL NHL Hockey Arena. This one is full of interactive fun and has a movable goalie. Just as in real games, use the player’s sticks to block or to hit the puck into the goal. Use the joystick to slide the goalie back and forth to protect the goal. You can customize your team and rink with any NHL team stickers (included). The PLAYMOBIL NHL Hockey Arena retails for about $59.99.

star wars lego

For more character sets, check out the Star Wars Carbon Freezing Chamber Set. This one is not only one of our favorites, but it also made the KMart Fab15 Toy List. This set is great not only for kids, but for Star Wars fans of all ages.  Go on a quest to rescue Han Solo from Boba Fett. This LEGO scene comes with minifigs of Boba Fett, Han Solo and an Ugnaught native. Not only does it come with the Carbon Freezing center, but also a moving elevator, detailed central control and of course, all freezing functions. Warning- only freezes LEGOs, your little brother is safe. Available at KMart for $25, prices vary elsewhere.
(more…)