The Toy Insider, in partnership with Woman’s Day magazine, hosted the fourth annual HoliDAY of Play event on Friday, October 16, where more than 100 digital influencers and members of the press met face-to-face with some of the top companies in the toy industry to get hands-on experience with the best toys on the market.
Guests were treated to a gourmet brunch while enjoying sweeping views of New York City during this exclusive 2.5-hour event. Toy Insider Mom Laurie Schacht greeted guests with the one and only Darth Vader, reinforcing the strength of the Star Wars force this year. Schacht then gave guests a full presentation on the Toy Insider’s Hot 20, Top Tech 12, and STEM 10 picks, as well as the top toy trends of 2015, which include:
Character Craze: Thanks to the upcoming launch of Star Wars: The Force Awakens, characters will play an even bigger role in the toy box than ever before, From interactive figures like Spin Master’s Legendary Yoda and Thinkway Toy’s 16-inch Darth Vader, toHasbro’s entire line of amazing role-play fun, these toys are easily the hottest of the year. Additional characters that will continue to be mega popular among kids are DisneyFrozen’s Elsa, the pups from Paw Patrol, and new adorable dinos from Disney•Pixar’s The Good Dinosaur.
#LifeGoals: There are lots of toys on the shelves that will inspire kids to decide what they want to be when they grow up. VTech’s new line of Flipsies dolls transform from everyday girls into their dream professions, including a princess, a rockstar, and a marine biologist. There are also great options for kids who want to be professional singers and even movie animators.
Back to Basics: Classic play will never die. Video games and high-tech toys are important, but so are toys that offer kids unplugged, classic play—and this year we are getting back to basics in many ways. There are lots of toy companies coming up with innovative new toys that don’t even feature so much as a battery pack.
High Tech, Big Fun: The days of “watch me” toys are over; toys are talking and interacting with kids more than ever before. From intelligent robots to multi-function R/Cs to incredible new tablets, there are high-tech toys that will truly wow kids of all ages.
Stealthy STEM: STEM toys have made headlines for the past few years, but now toys that aren’t specifically labeled “educational” are becoming big hits—and kids don’t even know they are learning. Cool robots, arts and crafts that introduce the concept of 3-D printing, and multi-piece construction kits are some of the coolest stealthy STEM toys on the market.
Schacht closed out the presentation by announcing the dates and location for the third annual Blogger Bash conference for digital influencers. Known for bringing digital influencers a unique and interesting new experience, Blogger Bash will be held on the Majesty Yacht on July 13 and 14, 2016. The boat will be home to two days full of parties, discussions, panels, and a full-fledged expo like never before.
After the presentation, attendees mingled with representatives from Jakks Pacific, Crayola, Tech 4 Kids, TOMY, Laser Pegs, Lionel, VTech, LeapFrog, and more. Digital influencers and press were able to play with all of the hottest holiday toys sure to sell-out this year, including Singtrix’s amazing karaoke system that makes everyone sound great, Hasbro’s new Pie Face family game, and Spin Master’s incredible new buildable Meccanoid robot.
With more than 100 different toys on display, the Toy Insider’s HoliDAY of Play event had so much to offer attendees, but most of all, it gave a room full of adults the chance to play.