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February 2015 | Vol. XIV - No. 2




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TDmonthly LIVE Toy Fair Coverage 2015 - Day 3

Hot toys from Toy Fair Day 3 and Toy Fair News


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2/16/2015 11:19 AM PST

Alex Toys announced that they won a 2015 Family Fun Award for their Shrinky Dinks Ultimate Back & Shape 3D Jewelry kit.

And Tiggly Kids announced that their Tiggly Words was named "Best of Toy Fair 2015" by Techlicious.

 

Techlicious announced Tiggly Words as the Best of Toy Fair 2015!! @techlicious @wrightsmedia #nytoyfair

A photo posted by TigglyKids (@tigglykids) on



2/16/2015 9:25 AM PST

The TIA has announced their Top Toy Trends of 2015, and we're happy to see that most of them work really well in the context of specialty retail.

"Open-ended forms of play will reign supreme in 2015, with an abundance of toys and games that allow kids to build, customize, create, and develop important skills through play," Adrienne Appell, TIA trend expert, said in a press release."We are also seeing aquatic- and dinosaur-themed toys popping up in just about every category, while pint-sized collectibles are sure to bring kids countless hours of affordable fun!"

The trends are:

MAKER MOVEMENT

The Maker Movement focuses on toys that kids build and create themselves. These toys give kids a sense of ownership and pride and help them develop physical and cognitive skills through the actual creation of the toy and through play. According to 2014 point-of-sales data from The NPD Group, the Building Sets and Arts & Crafts categories grew by 13% and 3%, so this category it hot, and perfect for specialty toy stores.

OPEN-ENDED PLAYTIME

We're excited to see that Open-Ended Playtime is being hailed as a "trend" this year (though some could argue it's the oldest form of play there is). Open-ended play encourages creativity, critical thinking, and problem solving, and these toys and games are especially useful for the busy modern child. Classic toys like bubbles, dolls, balls, arts & crafts items, construction sets, etc. can all be used for open-ended play.

MINI MADNESS

There's just something about kids and tiny toys! From the mini-plush hysteria of Beanie Babies years ago to the current Shopkins craze, inexpensive miniatures are the perfect prize for carefully saved pocket money, and kids love being able to take their collections on-the-go; and tiny toys allow them to do just that.

"SMART" PLAY

STEM toys are big this year (so far our retailer reporters especially love the Sound: Edison's Phonograph kit from Science Wiz/Norman & Globus), which is perfect for specialty toy retailers, who have always been known for carrying a variety of high-quality toys that build STEM skills. From basic block sets and finger paints to robotics kits and chemistry sets, these toys help kids develop the skills they need to succeed in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math later in life.

UNDER THE SEA

Aquatic-themed and water play toys are big in several categories, according to the TIA. From dolls you can take in the tub and mermaid plush to sea pets and educational items that teach about aquatic life, everything water-related is trending.

TOP IN TECH

We're seeing more and more interactive toys that connect with the internet, integrate Smartphones and tablets, or rely on augmented reality.

DAWN OF THE DINOSAURS

Jurassic World is being released this summer, and with it, a slew of new dino toys. Even though many specialty retailers don't carry licensed toys, dinosaur toys in general are expected to do well this year, riding the dino craze generated from the movie.

2/16/2015 9:04 AM PST

Even though it's sold at mass market, Barbara Vininsky from Jack and Jill in Montreal, QC, is having great success with Shopkins, from Moose Enterprise. "Biggest item for me at retail is Shopkins. They are flying. Moose has new items coming, including series 3 and Shopkins dolls," she told TDmonthly from the show.

2/16/2015 7:15 AM PST

Avengers. Star Wars. Jurassic World. These are the big "boys" properties of 2015, and they've got the full support of the mass-market toy industry. Hasbro is showing a slew of action figures and pretend play toys, including Avengers - Age of Ultron toys that talk to one another when they're in a group, a Captain America shield, and an Avengers Quintjet that holds a motor-cycle riding Captain America. On the Star Wars front, kids will be excited with Hasbro's customizable lightsaber set...and a Chewbacca Furby - Furbacca!



Another trend? More and more interactive toys that connect with the internet. Robotic toys are big too.

Anki has their Overdrive, a new three-inch car that can drive itself around a slotless track thanks to its sensors.

Following the success of their MiP, WowWee introduced the MiPosaurs, robotic dinos that can play ball or follow kids on their walk around the block.

"WowWee is much more than a toy company," Barbara from Jack and Jill in Montreal, QC told TDmonthly. The have some new savvy items for girls. A Snap Chat which you can take a selfie with, and Groove Cube, miniature blue-tooth speakers. They're very cool. I will keep my eyes on them for future."

And we can't forget Mattel, who has introduced an interactive Barbie who can actually converse with kids!

On the specialty end of the spectrum? Tween girl items are hot. Our retailer reporters are loving new items from Fashion Angels and Sugar Lulu that focus on fun and creative cosmetic items that combine a DIY, arts & crafts feel with cool fashion statements like make your own temporary glitter tattoos and fun new hair accessories.



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Justina HuddlestonWriter's Bio: Justina Huddleston graduated Magna Cum Laude from Emerson College with a BA in Writing, Literature, and Publishing in 2009. After graduating she was the on-site director of the Boston Children's Museum gift store for a year, selling educational, developmental, and creative activity toys that tied in with the museum's exhibits. Justina also interned at children's book publisher Candlewick Press before moving from Boston to Los Angeles, where she is now Editorial Director of TDmonthly Magazine. Read more articles by this author

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