COMMENTARY: These Outdoor Toys Put a New Spin on Keeping Kids Active

Backyard Sports Mega Morph Super Hoop, from Day 6

Fresh air, sunlight, and exercise are all wonderful things. Unfortunately, many kids just aren’t getting enough of them. At the recent North American International Toy Fair, I encountered numerous toy makers who are trying to address this problem by developing new outdoor toys that encourage kids to get off the couch for some outdoor physical activity. Many feature novel tweaks to familiar play patterns, and the sheer breadth of items on-hand was impressive. Most surprisingly, not all of them try to pry kids away from their mobile devices or video screens.
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Toy Industry Donates Record-Breaking Amount of Toys for Children in Need at Toy Fair 2015

TF DonationA record-breaking 44,000 playthings were donated to The Toy Bank at the close of the 112th North American International Toy Fair in February, according to the Toy Industry Association. Two hundred and seventy companies donated the items, which were valued at $612,000. [Read more...]

COMMENTARY: At Toy Fair 2015, Classic, Low-Tech Play Is Alive and Well

Crayola Cling Maker, from Crayola

Tech toys that make you feel cooler than Marty McFly were in abundance at the North American International Toy Fair this week, such as robots that imitate your movements and a Segway-like device that tracks your thoughts. But not all of the toys at the Jacob K. Javits Center were reminiscent of what Captain Kirk probably played with as a child. There were also some stellar construction sets, high-quality hand puppets, and wooden toys that make you say, “wow.” Classic play is not dead, and not all quality toys require a microchip. Some of the most innovative new products for kids feature little to no tech at all. Here are our favorite low-tech new toys from Toy Fair: [Read more...]

Laser Pegs’ iStory Animation Teams Up with DQ Entertainment for New TV Series

PegHeadsiStory Animation Studios, a spin-off of Laser Pegs Ventures LLC, announced that it signed an agreement with DQ Entertainment International to produce a 52-episode Peg Heads CGI-animated series that will be proposed to international broadcasters. The characters will also be available as a line of toys that are compatible with other Laser Pegs building sets. [Read more...]

Digital Kids Conference at Toy Fair to Teach Creative Digital Playthings for Kids

DigitalKidsConference2015The Digital Kids Conference, taking place at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center alongside the North American International Toy Fair (hosted by the Toy Industry Association), will teach play professionals how to engage and educate kids through digital toys and games. [Read more...]

TIA to Host Programs and Events for Global Toy Fair Participants

TIAThe Toy Industry Association (TIA) has created programs and events for exhibitors, retailers, and members of the media for the North American International Toy Fair. The agenda is as follows:

International Visitor’s Welcome Reception on February 14, 6 to 7:30 p.m. The TIA will encourage registered international Toy Fair exhibitors, buyers, members of the media, and invited trade officials to meet and mingle.

U.S. Market Research Presentation on February 15, 8:30 to 9:30 a.m. International toy companies can receive help identifying potential expansion opportunities within the U.S. [Read more...]

Tickets Available for I Am Big Bird Screening During Toy Fair in NY

Feb4.BigBirdTickets are on sale for a special screening of the documentary I am Big Bird: The Caroll Spinney Story, which is scheduled to take place at 8 p.m. on Monday, February 16 during the North American International Toy Fair in New York City. Tickets may be purchased online for $25, including general admission to the movie, popcorn, soda, and a commemorative gift; VIP tickets may be purchased for $125, including a pre-screening reception.

The feature-length documentary chronicles the life of Caroll Spinney, who has played Big Bird and Oscar the Grouch on Sesame Street since 1969. The film contains footage of Spinney’s life and his collaboration with Jim Henson. The screening will take place at 8 p.m. at the AMC Theater on West 42 St., and there will be a Q&A session after the screening.

Blue Plate Media to Host its 8th Annual Media Lounge at Toy Fair

BluePlateMedialogoBlue Plate Media Services (BPM) will be hosting its 8th annual Media Lounge, featuring free presentations and workshops, on February 16 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Coinciding with North American International Toy Fair, the event is open to Toy Industry Association (TIA) members and Toy Fair participants. Along with providing competitive industry insights, BPM experts will present their toy industry media outlook for the year, delving into media spending, media mixes, and emerging trends across various toy categories from 10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. [Read more...]

Manhattan Toy Launches New Doll, Travel, and Comfort Collections

Jan5.ManhattanToyThe Manhattan Toy Company is introducing three new S.C.O.U.T. characters, Finch, Leaf, and Sophia, in its new line of dolls to make their debut at NY Now and the 2015 North American International Toy Fair. The 16-inch soft dolls in the S.C.O.U.T. collection represents girls ages 5 and up who are smart, curious, open, unafraid, and true. [Read more...]

Toy Fair 2015 Sells Out of Exhibit Space

ToyFair15LogoAs reported by the Toy Industry Association (TIA), exhibit space for the 112th North American International Toy Fair, scheduled for February 14 to 17, has officially sold out. The show has already surpassed a record-breaking 419,000 net square feet of exhibit space at New York City’s Jacob K. Javits Convention Center, and going forward, prospective Toy Fair exhibitors will be placed on a wait list (under no financial obligation).

The expanded show floor, equivalent in size to more than seven football fields, will feature hundreds of thousands of innovative new toys, games, and youth entertainment products. The North American International Toy Fair draws buyers, licensors, entertainment executives, and other play professionals from 100 countries, who will be on-hand scouting toy trends, spotting unique product lines and brands, and writing orders for next year.

Major global retail outlets already registered to attend include Toys “R” Us, Wal-Mart, Target, Amazon, Apple, and Hobby Lobby.