In recent years, augmented and virtual reality and voice technologies have become more seamlessly integrated into the tech gadgets and toys we use for work and play.

At Toy Fair New York, Tom Emrich, vice president of product at 8th Wall, a cross-platform development solution for building augmented reality (AR) experiences, and Ariella Lehrer, a cognitive psychologist & CEO of Legacy Interactive/Legacy Games, will delve deeper into how forward-thinking companies are using AR to keep consumers coming back for more in the session, “Out of This World Sales: IRL is Overrated, Try AR Instead.”

“Some pioneering companies are using AR to combine physical and digital experiences in the out of doors like Niantic’s popular Harry Potter and Pokémon Go games,” says Robin Raskin, founder of Living in Digital Times and Creative Factor committee member, who will moderate the session. “Some are using it to unbox packaging, revealing what’s inside the box. Some, like WowWee, are using it to tell the story behind the character that you buy. And on the backend, you can always change the AR experience so that the next episode or the next piece of the story unfolds, or a new game unfolds.”

The session will take place on Monday, Feb. 24 at 11:30 a.m. in the Creative Factor Theater (Hall 1D Lobby). Toy Fair attendees will learn about the opportunities surrounding AR and explore how it’s helping to extend the lifecycle of toys and games and building brand loyalty.

“What’s exciting across all these things is that you take a toy, like LEGO, Barbie, or any popular toy, and you have the opportunity to create new experiences with that toy,” Raskin says. “Whether they’re voice-activated or use AR or VR, you’re packaging up a whole new experience based on that toy.”

As part of its ongoing commitment to support and foster growth within the global toy inventor and designer community, The Toy Association continues to enhance Toy Fair’s Creative Factor programming, guided by its advisory board of innovators and experts across a range of creative fields. All Toy Fair registrants are welcome to participate in a full schedule of roundtables, presentations, workshops, and panels focused on the interests and goals of inventors, designers, and others in the creative community. Sessions will be held throughout the four days in the Creative Factor Theater (Hall 1D Lobby).

In addition, toy manufacturers are invited to hear product pitches from select inventors and designers during The Toy Association’s “CF@TF Inventor Day,” taking place on Friday, Feb. 21. The deadline for designers and inventors to submit their ideas to be considered is Friday, Jan. 17. For more information, contact The Toy Association’s Marian Bossard.

Toy Fair New York will take place Feb. 22-25 at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center. Visit or download the free Toy Fair app from Apple iTunes or Google Play for the full list of Creative Factor programming and other informative educational sessions taking place only at Toy Fair.