Growth Expected for 2014 China Toy Expo and China Kids Expo

The 2014 China Toy Expo and China Kids Expo will see a 24 percent increase in exhibitors from last year, with 1,364 global brands and 80,000 visitors participating in the trade fairs over three days.

Over 300 international toy and baby products brands from more than 30 countries and regions will be exhibiting at the 2014 shows. Both participation from exhibitors and expected visitors has increased from past years’ expos. International visitor pre-registration has increased 149 percent from last year.

New exhibition hall themes and pavilions have been created to meet the needs of this year’s trade expos, which will take place in Shanghai from October 14 to 16.

Baby and Infant Products Will Be Bigger than Ever at Spielwarenmesse

SpielwarenmesseegSpielwarenmesse eG has announced an extension of space for baby and infant products at Spielwarenmesse 2015.

Nearly 350 exhibitors will have products for babies and infants at the trade fair, ranging from toys, textile articles, strollers, and furniture. These exhibitors will be located next to similar product groups, which will include dolls, plush, and wooden toys.

The trade fair will take place in Nuremberg from January 28 to February 2 of next year.

Spielwarenmesse eG Organizes World of Toys Pavilion at Kids India 2014

SpielwarenmesseegSpielwarenmesse eG once again organized the World of Toys Pavilion at this year’s Kids India international trade fair in Mumbai. Companies from 12 countries displayed their products on Spielwarenmesse eG’s international joint stand from September 18 to 20.

In total, 153 exhibitors from 13 countries unveiled their products at Kids India, which focused on toys, baby products, licensed products, sporting goods, and leisure and hobby products.

Kids Preferred, Carter’s Sign Licensing Agreement

KidsPreferred.Carters License AgreementKids Preferred has acquired the toy license from Carter’s Inc. to develop branded plush, activity, and wood toys, puzzle, play gyms, plush rockers, and foot-to-floor scooters in the U.S. and Canada. The first items will arrive on shelves this fall. The companies will jointly develop products, which will match back to the seasonal collections of apparel and accessories.

Kids Preferred is showing the Spring 2015 collection at ABC Kids Expo Toy Fair in Las Vegas.

Delta Children Expands Line of Baby Walkers

deltaDelta Children has added to its collection of baby walkers, which help stimulate a baby’s early development and boost walking confidence, and are outfitted with toy trays.

The Lil’ Drive Walker features realistic car details, removable toy tray topped with a shifter and movable steering wheel, lights, and sounds. It is available at Walmart.com. Another product, the Lil’ Fun Time Walker, lets parents transform playtime into snack time in seconds with the quick release tray topped with a steering wheel, lights, and sound. It is available at BabiesRUs.com. Finally, the Lil’ Frog 2-in-1 Walker includes engaging sounds, lights, and toys to stimulate early mental development and balancing skills. Available soon, it also converts from a walker into a stationary activity center.

Boon Hosts Social Media-Based Contest in Four Cities

Boon [CMYK]Got plans this weekend? This past April 1, it appeared that toddlers had taken over Boon’s social media pages, and while that turned out to be an April Fool’s joke, many of the random photos posted by Boon are part of a larger social media game. Indeed, photos found at Boon’s Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest pages contain “clues” about specialty retailers in the Boston, Chicago, San Francisco, and Los Angeles areas.

Details on how to decipher these clues have been posted in videos on Boon’s blog. Through Sunday, any fans in those cities who figure out the clues—and subsequently check-in at the specialty retailer in their city on Foursquare—will receive a discount code for 20 percent off Boon products.

Demdaco Launches New Baby Products Collection with kathy ireland Worldwide

kathyirelandDemdaco has entered into a licensing agreement with kathy ireland Worldwide, one of the country’s most powerful brands founded by CEO and Chief Designer, Kathy Ireland. The new line of products, kathy ireland Baby by Demdaco, features luxurious baby blankets and plush toys designed as a result of a collaboration between Demdaco’s Nat & Jules development team and kathy ireland Worldwide.

The kathy ireland Baby collection is a natural extension to the Nat & Jules brand of children’s toys and keepsakes. The collection will be available to preview in Demdaco showrooms this winter in Atlanta, Dallas, and Las Vegas. Kathy Ireland will make a special guest appearance in the Atlanta Demdaco showroom on January 9 from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m.

COMMENTARY: Preparing for Baby… Let’s Go Shopping!

As I prepare for the arrival of Baby Boy Breyer (due in July!), I’ve taken a special interest in toys and other juvenile products for infants. While I’ve saved a good deal of baby items from my daughter, now 3, it’s always nice to have new stuff for a new baby. Plus, since he is a boy, many of the pink, girly things I’d saved just won’t do. Time to shop! Here are some of the cool, sweet, and innovative new baby items I’ve recently uncovered:

Baby Snug w Activity TrayThe Mamas & Papas never fail to come through with modern, fashionable, and functional items. The Baby Snug with Activity Tray is designed for ages 3 months and up. Once a baby can support his own head, he can try out this comfy seat. It’s lightweight, can be used indoors or out, and grows with the child so it has a longer lifespan than some similar items. The removable tray can be easily wiped clean, so it can be used for meal time, or to hold toys for play time. The removable tray comes with a beaded loop, spinning lion, bendy stalk, rattle flower, and more that can be moved around to continually interest baby.

TheShadeSince I’m having a baby in July, I’ll have options I didn’t have with my daughter, who was a fall to winter baby, such as going for walks and sitting outdoors. The challenge, of course, will be protecting my little one from insects, the sun, etc. The Shade, the very first product from Imagine Baby, is the ultimate accessory for car seats and strollers and protects babies from the sun, wind, bugs, and other annoyances. It is available in four sleek colors and is compatible with just about every stroller and car seat on the market, according to the company. It offers a breathable design, and UPF 50+ Protection from UVA/UVB rays.

swaddle.mickeyAll new moms are familiar with swaddling. It takes some getting used to, and it doesn’t work for all babies, but some babies really seem to be comforted when they’re swaddled up in a soft cozy blanket. SwaddleDesigns offers an array of patterns and styles in soft cotton flannel fabric. Swaddling instructions are sewn into the blanket so new parents can swaddle successfully on the first shot. I love the Mickey and Minnie Mouse patterns, as well as the elephants & chickies.

Check back regularly for more baby product reviews from Jackie. Views expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Toy Book as a whole. We hope that you will share your comments and feedback below. Until next time!