Tuesday, February 25, 2014

My Top 5 WOW Moments at Toy Fair 2014

Yesterday I gave a quick rundown of the booths I visited at Toy Fair and today I'm sharing my top 5 WOW moments:

5) The Hasbro Party 

As an 80s baby I have fond memories of many of the Hasbro toys especially My Little Pony, Play-Doh and Mr. Potato Head. I first interacted with Hasbro as a blogger at BlogHer '12, and it was fun to see their new developments especially with old classics such as Simon and Monopoly.  

My Little Pony's introduced Flip and Whirl Rainbow Dash (which Nia has since taken to bed with her every night since I brought it home!) as well as smaller interchangeable ponies (shown above)
The next development from Play Doh, Doh Vinci is a mess-free, quick dry system with endless possibilities
Two of my favorites, Simon and Monopoly have been remastered! Simon now has swipe technology combined with pattern recognition and Monopoly has a customizable game where you can put your own pictures and places into the game pieces

4) Hearing from Alicia Keys

I was excited to hear that Alicia Keys would be cutting the ribbon for Toy Fair 2014 and unfortunately, I missed it by just a few minutes due to traffic, but I was thrilled to be able to join her press conference announcing her new app Mookey, the second volume of her first first app The Journals of Mama Mae and LeeLee. As a mom, I'm always intrigued to hear from celebrity parents especially as it's the one area I believe it's easier to relate to them as a regular person. You can watch my clip here of Alicia explaining how her own grandmother influenced the creation of the app (the clicking of the camera's is quite loud though so turn your volume all the way up to hear!).

3) Experiencing Crayola's Innovation

 I was thoroughly impressed by Crayola's new developments from increased vibrancy of their mess-free line to the integration of apps into the child's drawings (an area I'm especially sensitive about).  

Here's a quick highlights video:


2) Connecting with Toy Entrepreneurs
With founder of Go! Go! Sports Girls Jodi Norgaard who was chosen to speak at the Women in Toys/Walmart panel during Toy Fair

There were quite a few independent toy makers at Toy Fair interspersed amongst the bigger brands, and I really enjoyed reaching out to a few of them including revisiting Go! Go! Sports Girls (last year's review on this inspiring doll is here), and I was introduced to Ask Amy - a start-up created by two NYC moms - as well as Baby Banana Brush - a silicone introductory toothbrush/teether for infants. I'll have spotlights on these brands (and a giveaway!) coming up soon . . .

1) The Melissa & Doug Blogger Breakfast 

Amy (Teach Mama) who inspired me to go to Toy Fair for the first time last year took this picture of me and Valerie of Inner Child Fun and Charlene of Charlene Chronicles about to dig in!
Maybe because I'm a constantly, ravenous, pregnant lady and they had a great spread or perhaps because we are obsessed with Melissa & Doug in our household, this experience was my favorite of Toy Fair! Being able to hear directly from Melissa, the brains behind the brand, reinforced why I like it so much. Her mantra of creating toys, especially crafts and activity sets, that are, "low skill/high impact" is one that I agree with wholeheartedly.

This easily interchangeable hot dog/ice cream cart is so clever and space saving - see how the ketchup and mustard "squirt" out?
The new Tips & Tails set would be great for pretend play (even for adults!); I'm thrilled to see the new School Time Classroom Play Set - Melissa explained how such care was taken into making this accurate for proper school readiness; the Baby Play line is a welcome addition to the Melissa & Doug family!

Melissa & Doug has introduced more animals to their super soft plush line including a python and camel - I might need a couple of these for Baby Agbai 2.0's nursery!

See anything here you or your kids would be WOWed by? Please share!