2017 Toy Trends #NYTF

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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.

Coding also continues, and expands. There are apps abound, more toys then we could see in 4 days, more in depth coding as well as pre-coding or games for kids as young as 18 months. Might as well get out in front of this one, and these toys and apps make learning coding fun and easier. I wish I had them when I was younger, I’m a mess. Again, the kids will outpace me any day now. Perhaps I can start myself with some of the “coding light” options.

Underwater/mermaids/sea creatures are everywhere.  Stuffed animals, art kits, every kind of toy. Apparently, we all want to live under the sea. Life on land has gotten far too complicated.

Narhwahls. These sea creatures (see above) just keep swimming into our hearts and minds, as well as onto shelves of toy stores near you. They are coming. In droves. Known as the “unicorn of the sea”, narwhals are pale-colored porpoises that swim in Arctic waters. The coolest thing about them, besides the water they swim in, is the ivory tusk (actually a tooth) that grows through it’s lip. Alas, what makes it awesome also makes it hunted- it’s hard to be amazing. People can’t deal with coolness, they get jealous. Pale shades aside, these come in all colors and toy options. Especially redonkulas ones.

VR headsets/games/apps. Nearly every science brand has one, and some other what I will refer to as “super brands” as well. You buy the VR (virtual reality) headset, and the app is usually free with that purchase. Experience dinosaurs, racecars, underwater sea swimming (ahem) and more. Some drones also come with headset options so you can see what your drone is doing in real time as if you were flying on it. Very cool.

VR headset

Blind packs continue to be a big deal- most brands have them, hope you are lucky enough to get all the cool stuff and stop getting all the random doubles that are in those bags because you are looking for the elusive whatdoyoucallit!!! From LEGOs (in a million varieties) to TsumTsum to CareBears to YoKai Watch disks and everything in between- everyone has a blind bag for you. Yeah, these aren’t going away, sorry mom and dad- but at least they aren’t expensive.

More racial diversity, features, disabilities are being represented in toys this year. Huzzah for humanity! Different skin tones, features (not just putting darker skin on a doll, etc), crutches, hair textures, and more are rolling out bit by bit- even very “traditional” companies are starting to be more inclusive, and we are excited to see that. Some (very few) even have dolls of different weights and chest sizes-  girls have enough pressure on them, it’s nice to see some more realistic options presented to them. Also, empowerment messaging on and in the packaging, as well as more women and people of color involved in the process then in the past. Again, a huzzah, and moving in the right direction.

Keychains/backpack hangers continue to be huge. I can’t even see backpack under all the fluffy stuffs- if you can, you won’t be able to for long. Here comes the deluge!

Escape the room toys and games continues to be a theme, just like the real life experiences one can have when you and your friends and family try to beat the clock and get out of a sticky situation. Card games in the “Clue” tradition, as well as some new ones that involve (play, plastic, not at all scary) handcuffs and timers to escape (and along this line of thought) join the mix. Fun for all ages- really.

Magic kits. There were a lot of them this year, and more options. I’ve never seen so many- so maybe The Carbonaro Effect is effective magic marketing.  Things that make you go “hmmmm”…..

minion toys

Toys with toilets. Everyone and everything has to go- even the Minions. From the largest, most mass produced brands to the smallest and most new to the market, potty humor is the thing.  Again. There is even a game where the loser is sprayed with (pretend) toilet water.  So, hit the bathroom, guys.

Drones with camera to phone capabilities/live video and gps. The drones have expanded this year- both in quantity and quality. So many more available, by your favorite brands as well as more adding them to their lines, and some newcomers.  However, some of these are so advanced I wonder how long that News Helicopter will really be necessary- some of these are insanely skilled. From still your kids can’t break to stuff teens and adults will have fun racing, there is a drone for everyone at every price range.


  1. Angela Ingles says

    My son would love the Narhwahls (and so would I)! My husband would buy a drone saying he was getting it for our son, but really, he’d be the one playing with it. Lol.

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