Two weeks ago, I spent a day at Toy Fair 2011, checking out the industry’s newest creations and hottest products. It’s a four-day event, filled with hundreds, if not thousands, of toy manufacturers and vendors from around the world. It’s such a big show that it’s hard to digest. One day is not quite enough to see it all. Designated as a blogger with a press pass, I was able to have private viewings of some of the toy lines and I also met dozens of marketers. There was so much to look at, so many new toys to try and oggle at. It was impossible to cover the 345,000 square feet I needed to cover in one day.
As soon as I walked into the Javits Center last Tuesday and saw a life-sized Lightening McQueen car built out of 325,000 Lego pieces, I knew it was good thing I was on my own. There is no way kids should be ever allowed to enter Toy Fair, or certainly not my own kids. My son actually had a melt-down before school as I was leaving for Toy Fair.. He was convinced that I was going to see toys he had only dreamed about. He was right. I did see everything!
As far as toys go in the digital space, there was evidence that more physical games are inching closer and closer to the world of smart phone and tablet apps. Angry Birds had an impressive presence, showing off its new merchandise to accompany its app’s increasing fame, as well as a new app, Angry Birds: Knock on Wood. More and more companies are launching iPads for kids, like Fisher Price, VTech and LeapFrog. Fisher Price’s iPad stood out, mainly because it’s meant for children 6-months and up. It goes to show you how parents are giving into their children’s growing demands for gadgets, particularly the iPad. The fair included a technology expo called Engage! I was surprised to see that, despite the conference that accompanied the expo with the same name, with a wonderful line-up of sessions and accomplished speakers from all over the industry, there were only about 20 booths to represent the growing digital presence. I hope that the expo’s offerings expand next year.
There were a lot of companies that particularly caught my eye, including Zhu Zhu Pets, Lego and Mega Brands who have some of the hottest new toys around. Another one was Madame Alexander. Growing up as a little girl with a passion for dolls, I thought they had a stunning collection. It took me down memory lane. Their collection spans the the past and future, with beautifully crafted dolls. Some of their collections include the American Ballet Theatre dolls, the Tudors (based on the Showtime show), Pinkalicous, Favorite Friends, Peter Pan, The Addams Family, Cissy, Alex Runway, Little Women, the Wizard of Oz, Angelina Ballerina, Olivia the Pig, Holly Hobbie, Rainbow Brite and so many others.
One of my daughter’s favorite series, Fancy Nancy, is also represented by Madame Alexander, and I am happy to announce a giveaway! Fancy Nancy Ohh La La It’s Beauty Cloth is a doll that I love. It retails for $59.95. She’s a cutie and just came out on the market. Kids of all ages will love her. And I’m giving one to the winner of this contest!
You can win a Fancy Nancy doll by Madame Alexander on the Culture Mom today.
Disclosure: This doll will be provided to the winner, free of charge, with no requirement or agreement of review requested in turn from myself.