The American International Toy Fair, an annual gathering of toy manufacturers, took place in New York City earlier this month to unveil 2012’s newest toys. Manufacturers showcased thousands of toys at the event, many which are sure to make it onto kids’ wish lists this year.
Though all the big toy makers were there (Disney, Mattel, Hasbro etc.), the toy fair also included hundreds of smaller, often lesser known companies who also make great toys. The items listed below highlight varied manufacturers at the Toy Fair.
Asmodee, the European leader in the distribution of board games and collectible cards known for hit games Jungle Speed and Dixit, introduces Barbecue Party for preschoolers.
Barbecue Party encourages kids to utilize motor and action-reaction skills by having them load up the grill with all kinds of foods. Kids use cards to identify foods to take on an off the grill. They must be careful not to jiggle the grill or else it will “pop” off.
The game can be played in only 15 minutes, thus short enough to keep the attention of little ones. Made for 2 or more players, the game includes 16 plastic food pieces, 18 cards, & 1 pair of tongs/pliers
For more information, please visit www.asmodee.com. SRP $19.99, Ages 4+, Available June 2012
Floppets was invented by Ilyse Brainin, a reading teacher and mom from Chicago who had a vision to make cool, fun, tiny pets that kids could wear and go.
Ilyse’s motivation when creating Floppets came when she noticed her students liked to write stories about their pets. Ilyse aspired to come up with a product that would engage students’ imagination while bringing together academic and social aspects, and as such, Floppets was born. Zydeco Studios produces and distributes Floppets.
Kids can attach Floppets to their fingers, sunglasses, flip flops, backpacks, or anywhere else. The original Floppets line has a large variety of designs, and this Spring, Floppets will debut a licensed line called “The Guild” and “Labou.” The Guild is based on characters in the web series with the same name created and written by Felicia Day. Labou is a film about three kids who get lost in the Louisiana bayou in search of lost treasure.
For more information, please visit www.floppets.com. SRP $2.95, Ages 4-11, Available Spring 2012
From the makers of the popular toy FyrFlyz comes the new FyrWyrkz line from i-Star Entertainment. FyrWyrkz are safe, powderless fireworks created for kids ages 6+. FyrWyrkz produces bright lights and realistic sounds when launched into the sky. Each toy uses LED technology to ensure long-lasting fun.
The FyrWyrkz line includes several products including the FyrWyrkz Roman Candle which includes fyr-balls that rhythmically launch into the air with explosive sounds just like real Roman Candle blasts. There are no real fires or matches involved, just lots of lights and sound effects. The fyr-balls leave a trail of lights as they fall back down to the ground. The fyr-balls are reusable, providing great value for parents!
FyrWyrkz Roman Candle SRP $19.99, Ages 6+, Available Spring 2012
FyrWyrkz does not have a website yet, but to view its related FyrFlyz product, please visit www.fyrflyz.com.
National Geographic Outdoor Explorer Series & Nat Geo WILD
The respected National Geographic brand brings to kids an Outdoor Explorer Series and Nat Geo WILD via manufacturer Uncle Milton. These product lines promote learning about science and nature through fun products.
National Geographic Expedition Shoe Lights transform kids into little explorers. Kids just snap on the unique dual-mode show lights and off they go to discover wonders in the dark. Features 2 light-up modes: night-view and pathfinder. Explorer Activity Guide included. SRP $19.99, Ages 5+, Available now at major toy retailers.
Nat Geo Wild Anteater Bug Vac combines creativity with science. The snout of the baby anteater acts as a vacuum to collect the toy insects and bugs. Kids can then observe their findings in the anteater’s removable belly chamber. SRP $29.99, Ages 5+, Available Fall 2012.
In addition to the National Geographic Outdoor Explorer Series and Nat Geo WILD, Uncle Milton makes John Deere-inspired toy lines, the light-up Earth In My Room and Fireworks Lightshow, Star Wars Science Line, Genuine Ant Farm Brand, Jim Henson’s DINOSAUR TRAIN™ and more. For additional details, please visit www.unclemilton.com.
Wonderworld is a manufacturer of toys made of wood which is a safer alternative to those made of possible toxin-emitting plastics. The environmentally-friendly company uses replenishable materials such as rubberwood, tree sap, and leaf pigments to create its toys. Wonderworld’s Tree Plus Program plants 2 trees for every one that is used in production of its products.
Wonder Glow Blocks – Imagine creating a play city out of blocks that actually glow in the dark! Wonderworld has created a 30 piece glow-in-the-dark block set featuring 11 different shapes and colors. Kids can use their imaginations to create structures that that under normal light will be one color, then just flick the switch and the blocks change to a different color for in-the-dark play.
SRP $25.00, Ages 2+, Available Spring 2012
Zebra Long Bench – Add a whimsical touch to any child’s room with this wooden Zebra Long Bench, a new item from the collection of Wonder Kids Furniture by Wonderworld. Made using environmentally-friendly rubberwood, the Zebra Long Bench is finished in black and white stripes with two smiley-faced Zebras. Bench is wide enough to fit multiple kids.
SRP $89.00, Ages 3+, Available Spring 2012
For more information, please visit www.wonderworldtoys.com .
Disclosure: Author was did not receive compensation or gifts for this post. All opinions expressed are solely those of the author.
Excerpts in this article were republished here with the permission of Maria Adcock, the NY Motherhood Examiner and founder of BiculturalMama.com.