TDmonthly: Toy Fair 2010 Coverage - Feb 14th to 17th - Special Live Coverage
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  Day 3 – Feature Article

Read Day 3's Feature Article below.

Also read the other days' Feature Articles:
Day 1's Feature Article: Arts & Crafts Paint a Promising Picture
Day 2's Feature Article: Green Expansions Call for Eco-Creativity
Day 4's Feature Article: Science Kits and More Keep Kids Learning

Games Come Home to the Family
Recession Drives Game Play, New and Revived

“Board games … are coming back a lot, for families to spend good times around a good game,” Adeline Bertrix, marketing and sales manager at Blue Orange Games, told TDmonthly Magazine.

That’s the consensus among many game manufacturers at Toy Fair, who expressed optimism about the market, even in a down-turned economy.


“Families recognize that in a tough economy, a lot of things that a family does today are cost prohibitive,” remarked John Pandiscio, president of FamilyTimeFun, publisher of Dinner Games. “The fact that folks going out to restaurants ... has dipped a little has actually helped our business; more families are eating at home so our business is doing well.”

Greg Hughes, owner of Continuum Games, shared a similar view, as did The Brand Cafe, publisher of Kwizniac, a first-timer at Toy Fair

“[We're] coming out of the recession and people choose to stay home more often, play games and have a group of friends over,” Jennifer Morren, director of marketing for The Brand Cafe, told TDmonthly. “That's why we decided to launch a game.”

Another first-time exhibitor at Toy Fair 2010 is Moosetache Games, publisher of Rowboat. “There's still a good market ... because, most people, I go over to their house and they have a stack of games. That stack is not getting dusty. People still pull them out and like to play all kinds of games,” Owner John Montague said.

Manufacturers plan to support this momentum by keeping the family-oriented trend center stage, updating familiar concepts, and launching new products.


“[There's a] big trend toward basic games. Many of these actually have been forgotten, so we are trying to put them back on the market because they are gems that have been forgotten over the years,” said Julien Mayot, president of Blue Orange Games, who cited YamSlam as a “re-design of the classic dice game, to make it more portable for what people do these days.”

Another new game, Spot It, maintains the theme of portable, engaging entertainment. “[It's a] party game that fits in your pocket. You can play four games without special knowledge.”

Zeev Zahavi, owner of Smart Zone, is also launching a new game this year called Cobra Cubes. Zahavi expressed high hopes for Cobra Cubes despite retailers' more cautious buying in 2009, stating that another of Smart Zone's games, Hive, has been a strong seller.

“It takes time to penetrate games into the market,” he said. “Usually everyone that plays it falls in love with it.”

Mayot of Blue Orange Games and Montague of Moosetache Games both told TDmonthly their hope for the coming year is about more than their bottom line.

“We're trying hard to change people's habits, to spend less time in front of a computer screen,” said Mayot. “We want kids to involve technology, but it's good to remind them of the basic need to communicate and spend time playing an old-fashioned great.”


Played with a unique deck of nautical themed cards, Rowboat is comprised of several different phases play that combine luck and strategy. Combining cards face up on the table and cards held in players' hands, each player must devise a dynamic strategy in order to play his cards, as well as predict how many rounds he might win in order to score the most points and ultimately win the game.  “There's a lot to the game that forces you to create a strategy, and based on your opponents moves you have to rethink the way you're going to move forward,” John Montague, owner of Moosetache Games, told TDmonthly in February 2010. 2/9/2010 (Price: $10.99; Age: 13 and Up) [Add to my Inquiry Basket][?]

Cobra Cubes by SMART ZONE

Cobra Cubes by SMART ZONE
Cobra Cubes is a stimulating 3 dimensional puzzle that facilitates the development of logic and spatial vision. Reading and following the directions make the snake twist around the cubes. Cobra Cubes consists of 40 challenging puzzles in increasing difficulty. For 1 player, ages 6 and up. 12/7/2009 (Price: $19.95; Age: 6 and Up) [Add to my Inquiry Basket][?]


Crazy Cheese is both a puzzle and a brain-teaser, all in the same slice of cheese. With two levels of difficulty, the Crazy Cheese puzzle is designed to provide hours of entertainment for the whole family. "Beware, as simple as it appears, completing this puzzle without the solution key is a phenomenal feat of perseverance and brain power!" Bert Devort, Sales Department, Blue Orange Games, told TDmonthly. Launch date: February 14, 2010.
― Two of 40 retailers told TDmonthly in June 2010 that Crazy Cheese is one of their top-selling puzzles.
— Jeanette Lauture of Aunt Jean's Toys and Treats in Montclair, N.J. Sells about two to four Blue Orange games per month, she said in the fall of 2010. 2/4/2010 (Price: $9.99; Age: 7 and Up) [Add to my Inquiry Basket][?]

Pocket Yamslam by BLUE ORANGE GAMES

Pocket Yamslam by BLUE ORANGE GAMES
Roll five dice to win. Calculated chances and strategic choices will place the odds in your favor. After each roll, choose the dice that will get you the best combination. Each combination is worth a different point value and has only four chips, so get the best ones before they run out. Race your friends to the special bonuses and keep the suspense rolling until the end with Pocket Yamslam. It is compact, self contained and includes a chip rack. The colorful wooden retail display holds 12 games. Launch date: February 2010. 10/27/2009 (Price: $9.99; Age: 7 and Up) [Add to my Inquiry Basket][?]

Multi-Player Pentago: The Mind-Twisting Game by MINDTWISTER USA

This multi-dimension, multi-player version of the strategy game Pentago accommodates two, three or four players. Two players can play using one or two colors each, and in games with additional participants, players can choose to play as individuals or in teams.  Launch date: March 1, 2010.
— A top pick, retailer Kate Tanner, owner of Kidstop Toys, informed TDmonthly at Toy Fair 2010. 1/5/2010 (Price: $29.95) [Add to my Inquiry Basket][?]

Discombobulation™ by CONTINUUM GAMES INC.

In this fun, fast-paced game, a quick mind, fast reflexes and a good memory will help you stay on top. The goal is to be the first to play all of your cards before someone can discombobulate you with one of 10 distinctive Discombobulation™ challenges. Discombobulation challenges put you head-to-head against other players to compose rhymes, sing popular songs, make lists, mimic others, remember nicknames and much more. Mess up, you draw more cards. 3/21/2007 (Price: $9.99; Age: 8 and Up) [Add to my Inquiry Basket][?]


Hive is a board game with a difference: There is no board! The pieces are added to the playing area, thus creating the board. As more and more pieces are added, the game becomes a fight to see who can be the first to capture the opposing Queen Bee. The soldier ants battle to control the outside of the hive, while the Beetles climb up to dominate the top. Spiders move into holding positions as the Grasshoppers jump in for the kill. Each piece has its own particular way of moving, as in chess, but the moves mimic the way the insect itself moves. For instance, the Grasshopper is the only piece that can jump. Hive has been on the market since 2001 but recently underwent cosmetic revisions to make it more durable and marketable, said SmartZone co-owner Zeev Zahavi. 3/27/2006 (Price: $29.95; Age: 8 and Up) [Add to my Inquiry Basket][?]


Cards are played in sequence, progressing up or down. A player sets down cards in number order. A yellow card means to take a chip out of the Golden Gate. But then, there's some skill involved: Can a player place them at the right times to get the best chips? Or will the opportunity pass? Getting stuck with red cards means a loss of chips. "Golden Gate is an exciting card game in which you combine a little bit of luck with the right plays to start piling up your points. It’s a fast, friendly showdown for the gold with the fine craftsmanship and colorful designs you’ve come to expect from Blue Orange Games," Bert Devort, Sales Department, Blue Orange Games, told TDmonthly. Launch date: February 14, 2010. 2/4/2010 (Price: $19.99; Age: 7 and Up) [Add to my Inquiry Basket][?]

Le Boomb!™ Single Game by MAYFAIR GAMES INC.

Le Boomb!™ Single Game by MAYFAIR GAMES INC.
This game has many possibilities, including determining the starting player, deciding who is going to pay for snacks, or more. Each Le Boomb! is presented in a small clamshell that may be placed on a shelf, or peg hooked. The rules are tiny and fit on the back of the information header card inside each clamshell. The bomb opens like an Easter Egg and the die can be stored within. Le Boomb! is packed in a display box of 12 pieces featuring seven different colors. Each display contains six black Le Boomb! and one each of six other colors: Blue, Red, Green, Yellow, White and Purple. Launch date: December 2009. 2/4/2010 (Price: $4.50; Age: 6 and Up) [Add to my Inquiry Basket][?]

Seven Card Samurai by MINDTWISTER USA

A family card game set in feudal Japan during the era of the Samurai which depends on skill, strategy and planning. It is a time where bandits roam the countryside stealing the precious rice from villages. Yours is one of those villages. Defend your rice with Samurai and Ronin, use bandits and Ninjas to steal other villages’ rice and eliminate their Samurai, and plead with the local Shogun to conscript help for you. But be warned, for the other villages are doing the exact same thing. Launch date: 2010. 1/11/2010 (Price: $19.95; Age: 6 and Up) [Add to my Inquiry Basket][?]


Sumoku is a unique crossword-style game with numbers that can be played five different ways. Players add up the tiles to multiples of a number shown on the die. Once all the tiles are connected together, it's a sumoku. "Whether you look for fast action with friends, a challenging pastime, or an addictive game that brings family together, sumoku has it all! Packed with endless challenges, sumoku is pure adding fun!" Bert Devort, Sales Department, Blue Orange Games, told TDmonthly. Launch date: February 14, 2010. 2/4/2010 (Price: $14.99; Age: 9 and Up) [Add to my Inquiry Basket][?]

Monopoly: Revolution Edition by HASBRO INC.

Monopoly: Revolution Edition by HASBRO INC.
HASBRO hopes to start a revolution with its new Monopoly: Revolution Edition. The centerpiece of the game is its round board, which retains the original Atlantic City properties. An electronic system keeps track of all the money, so no arguments are necessary. The electronic system also acts as die and plays clips from hit songs for some in-game entertainment. Launch date: Fall 2010. 2/16/2010 (Price: $34.99; Age: 8 and Up) [Add to my Inquiry Basket][?]

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