Toy Fair 2014 Recap

The American International Toy Fair, where companies launch their latest creations to retailers and press, is definitely our favorite trade show here at Child’s Play. We were out in force for the 2014 event in New York City last week, which was attended by more than 30,000 “play professionals” from 100 countries and included more than 1150 exhibitors. We’re always excited to show off our clients’ new products and check out the other toys that will most likely land on moms’ “must-have” lists for holiday shopping.

One of the biggest trends for 2014 is toys that teach kids STEAM subjects (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math). Our very own littleBits, an open source library of electronic modules that snap together with magnets for prototyping, learning and fun, was among the popular introductions this year, generating coverage in media such as Fox News and NY1 TV, among many other media.

My personal favorites at Toy Fair this year were the multitude of robots:

  • EZ-Robot’s Revolution Six is “a very customizable hexapod robot platform with 6 legs and 12 degrees of freedom.”
  • WowWee’s MiP is a fully interactive, two-wheeled robot that navigates its surroundings while controlled by hand gestures or through a Bluetooth link to a smart phone device.
  • Vex Robotics kits allow Hexbug fans to build and program their favorite jumbo-sized Hexbug micro robotic creature, complete with motors and sensors.
  • Tosy’s Disco Robo’s face lights up with funny facial expressions that change as he dances. Kids can chat with him using a new smartphone app and choreograph his dance steps.

And to think playtime once meant only dolls, vehicles and a collection of favorite TV and movie characters.

On the more traditional note, I stumbled across one product that stopped me in the aisles: smiling plush body organs (just about EVERY body organ) from I Heart Guts! Unique – and hysterical.