Sweet Suite 2016

COMMENTARY: Manufacturers Are Shifting Gender Roles in the Toy Space

The blurring of gender roles is a trend that I’ve been noticing more and more, and I have mixed feelings about it. On one hand, I think it’s silly to try and reinvent the wheel—let’s be honest, toys that are pink, sparkly, or doll-related attract girls, while Super Heroes, cars, and trucks attract boys (this is, of course, generally speaking)—and what’s wrong with that? On the other hand, there are some toys that are shifting to neutral territory that I think are not only appropriate, but smart on the part of the manufacturers.

neutral easy bake ovenHasbro’s Easy Bake Oven is a great example of this. Introduced in the 1960s, the Easy Bake Oven has always been seen as a girls’ toy. Recently, a young girl contacted the company and asked for a gender-neutral version of the toy. Her younger brother had an interest in cooking, but Easy Bake Ovens were only available in “girly” colors, such as purple and pink. Hasbro agreed and has created a black and silver oven that looks more realistic and appeals to all young chefs. Male chefs are certainly not a revolutionary concept, especially with the range of current TV shows featuring men in the kitchen—think Top Chef, Chopped, Cake Boss, America’s Test Kitchen. I expect that this new look will attract a lot of boys when it becomes available this fall. [Read more...]

COMMENTARY: DuneCraft’s Whimsical Growing Kits Get Kids Enthusiastic About Plants


With spring right around the corner, garden centers, hardware stores, and nurseries have already begun stocking seeds, supplies, and everything necessary for those with a green thumb to plant a garden. As an avid gardener and plant enthusiast, I’ve already joined the ranks and gathered enough seeds to plant a small farm in my back yard.

So it was no surprise that I was looking forward to visiting the DuneCraft booth at the recent American International Toy Fair. DuneCraft makes more than 350 different growing kits for kids. Kits are themed. The Sensory Dome includes five types of plants, one for each of the senses; the Carnivorous Creatures kit features the infamous Venus Fly Trap and sundews—the list goes on. Not only do the kits let kids grow cool plants or foods, the packaging is whimsical and fun, similar to the idea behind Sea Monkeys. [Read more...]

Let The Toy Book Tweet Your News on the Toy Fair Show Floor!

The Toy Book’s booth, #1601, is THE place to be this Toy Fair! If you want to reach the industry, and consumers too, be sure to drop by with your toy news so we can “tweet” your news to our followers (industry, mommy bloggers, consumers, and anyone who likes toys) and to everyone at the Fair! Simply drop by with your news and we’ll get the word out for you! If you can whittle your news down to 140 characters or less we can blast it to the masses! Be sure to follow @ToyBook so you can follow our newsfeed! Even if you’re not currently on Twitter and have no idea how to “tweet,” just show up and we’ll take care of getting your message out!

Inventor Article-September/October 2009 issue

You can view the article “Everything I Know About Business I Learned from Playing with Toys” from our September/October 2009 issue now by clicking link below:


The Toy Book Toy Report-9/14/09

The Toy Book Toy Report-9/14/09:  To view click here.

The Toy Book Toy Report-9/21/09

The Toy Book Toy Report-9/21/09:  To view click here.

The Toy Book Toy Report-9/28/09

To view this week’s Toy Report, please click here.