By Noelle, Librarian Extraordinaire
We’ve been at the Toy Fair for a couple of days, and seen an overwhelming amount of toys of all kinds. There’s still more to see, but I thought it would be fun to give a flavor of the fair and report on some of my favorite sights so far.
1. Walking Balloon Animals. We couldn’t get over the fact that no one had come up with this idea before. Put some helium in an animal shape and have some dangling (not air-filled) legs, add a ribbon leash and voila! You are walking a new pet! Every other person you saw at the fair was walking one of these beauties–from dogs to cats, horses, cows, elephants, dinosaurs, chickens and more! I scored an adorable corgi I named “George.” People reacted to George as though I had a living, breathing dog with me. If that isn’t magic, I don’t know what is. I was told that one of these animals would sell for between $12 and $14 retail. I doubt I’d pay that in the real world, but for the fair, these were “hot dogs.”
2. Kikbo. Hacky sack? That’s old news. Now we’ve got Kikbo. Instead of a ball shape, you have a product you put together yourself with a few discs and feathers. The feather and disc system causes the Kikbo to drop straight down instead of continuing on an outward trajectory, keeping the object closer in play and also allowing them to fall a little slower. Why do you care? It makes it that much easier to kick. Lots of fun.
3. SmartGames. This is a whole company full of single player logic games. The games are compact and include books with challenges that start simple and become more complicated. The different games are extremely clever and definitely will provide hours and hours of entertainment. I had a tough time, but I can imagine breaking these out on a long car ride and not hearing a peep from the kids.
4. Breyer Animal Creations. I was one of those horse obsessed girls when I was growing up, and Breyer horses were a daily part of my playing life. These models are handpainted–still–and are extremely lifelike and detailed. The horses also come in 3 different sizes and many, many breeds. You can buy accessories like blankets, tack, and barns to add to the fun. There are new models every year and I was thrilled to see the company thriving and the wonderful new models. If your kid loves animals and likes realistic looking ones, they will love Breyers. I was also excited to see Breyer has created other animal models, including dogs, pigs, llamas and more.
5. My last shout out: Cars Micro Drifters. Take the Cars movies franchise, make some miniature character cars, and add a ball bearing to the bottom. Add them to a motorized track with a launcher, and these mini cars shoot around the track at laser fast speeds. The ball bearings and weighting ensures that the cars always wind up face forward. It was fast and fun and I was itching to play with them myself.
Here is a quick video of the Cars Micro Drifters in action –
There you have it, just a few toys that caught my eye at the fair. There are many more items I liked and there will be plenty more coverage to come, so keep your eyes glued to this space for more!
|Noelle has been a children’s librarian for over 15 years. She’s also been a student teacher, worked as an online account manager, worked in a pet shop and as a supermarket checkout clerk, and as a dishwasher and fry cook. She is the proud mom of a beautiful daughter. You can read more of Noelle’s book reviews at Rave Reviews Log
Noelle can be reached at “Noelle @ DadDoes.Com”
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