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TFNY2016 Aquabeads Zootopia Kit
Toy Fair New York 2016 Part 1: Trends and Top Picks in Toys
February 24, 2016 Entertainment

Toy Fair New York 2016 was bursting at the seams this year. I noted a couple of trends that are picking up steam and carrying on. One trend I haven’t bought into is coloring. Coloring for adults became really big last year and the show floor indicates that it’s not dying off any time soon. I saw coloring books, sheets, posters, book marks, note pads, etc. The only one that tempted me was the Cirque du Soleil coloring book, but I’m really more of a puzzle and game person.

TFNY2016 Cirque du Soleil Coloring Book

TFNY2016 Cirque du Soleil Coloring Book

MINIS and MYSTERIES

Miniatures and mystery packs continue to delight and more and more companies are picking up on the trend. Just about any character or toy line you can think of has a miniature collectible available. Star Wars minis, LEGO minifigs, Disney Tsum Tsums, Thomas the Tank Engine minis, and too many more to list, can now become part of your collections (and play, if you’re anything like my niece, who has made a house for her Disney Tsum Tsums). Mystery packs (also called blind packs) are one the rise, too. They’re a great way to get people buying and striving for that one limited edition to complete collection and, most importantly, they’re so much fun to open!

TFNY2016 Lego MiniFigs

TFNY2016 Lego MiniFigs

TFNY2016 Disney Tsum Tsum MIni Vinyl Groot

TFNY2016 Disney Tsum Tsum MIni Vinyl Groot

TFNY2016 Disney Tsum Tsum Vinyl Minis

TFNY2016 Disney Tsum Tsum Vinyl Minis

TFNY2016 Monster High Pet Minis

TFNY2016 Monster High Pet Minis

TFNY2016 My Mini MixieQs

TFNY2016 My Mini MixieQs

TFNY2016 Thomas the Tank Engine Mini

TFNY2016 Thomas the Tank Engine Mini

TFNY2016 Thomas the Tank Engine Minis

TFNY2016 Thomas the Tank Engine Minis

TFNY2016 FInding Dory MInis

TFNY2016 FInding Dory MInis

TFNY2016 Dory Squishy Pop

TFNY2016 Dory Squishy Pop

ARTS and CRAFTS

Paper crafts seem to be on the rise. I saw several booths offering paper-folding crafts, including these adorable animals and life-size human heads (I don’t think they quite qualify as busts).

TFNY2016 Animal Paper Crafts

TFNY2016 Animal Paper Crafts

TFNY2016 Paper Heads

TFNY2016 Paper Heads

 

Spirograph is adding a card-making kit and a coloring book to its line of drawing kits.

TFNY2016 Spirograph Card Kit

TFNY2016 Spirograph Card Kit

TFNY2016 Spirograph Coloring Book

TFNY2016 Spirograph Coloring Book

 

And, of course, we can’t talk about paper crafts without mentioning Crayola. Crayola continues to innovate artistic expression for children. The big new product is the Air Marker Sprayer, which turns any Crayola marker into an airbrush spray.

TFNY2016 Craoyla Air Marker Sprayer

TFNY2016 Craoyla Air Marker Sprayer

TFNY2016 Crayola Airbrush Marker

TFNY2016 Crayola Airbrush Marker

TFNY2016 Crayola Airbrushed Chameleon Art

TFNY2016 Crayola Airbrushed Chameleon Art

TFNY2016 My Crayola Airbrush Butterfly

TFNY2016 My Crayola Airbrush Butterfly

 

Perler has beading kits and pencil-by-number kits (same as paint-by-number, but with colored pencils, rather than paints). The detail is remarkable.

TFNY2016 Perler Avengers Pencil by Number Art

TFNY2016 Perler Avengers Pencil by Number Art

TFNY2016 Perler Hulk Pencil by Number Art

TFNY2016 Perler Hulk Pencil by Number Art

 

Metal Earth, makers of single-sheet metal-crafting projects, have quite a few entertainment licenses, including Star Wars, Doctor Who, the Avengers, Disney, and more, made especially vibrant by the addition of color to the metal sheets. These are quite intricate crafts and are made from cut steel, so the recommended age is 14+.

TFNY2016 Metal Earth C3PO

TFNY2016 Metal Earth C3PO

TFNY2016 Metal Earth Millennium Falcon

TFNY2016 Metal Earth Millennium Falcon

TFNY2016 Metal Earth Boba Fett

TFNY2016 Metal Earth Boba Fett

TFNY2016 Metal Earth Biplane

TFNY2016 Metal Earth Biplane

 

Beading crafts are also increasing in popularity. Aquabeads has a Zootopia kit and several princess kits, including Cinderella with a slipper that doubles as a ring holder and you make the rings, too.

TFNY2016 Aquabeads Zootopia Kit

TFNY2016 Aquabeads Zootopia Kit

TFNY2016 Aquabeads Cinderella Slipper with Rings

TFNY2016 Aquabeads Cinderella Slipper with Rings

 

Perler has the Secret Life of Pets in bead form.

TFNY2016 Perler Secret Life of Pets Kit

TFNY2016 Perler Secret Life of Pets Kit

TRADITIONAL PLAY AUGMENTED BY MODERN TECHONOLOGY

This is my favorite new trend. Children are spending increasing amounts of time using smartphones, tablets, computers, tv screens as play platforms. Rather than fighting the trend, smart toymakers are incorporating screens into the play methods of their toys. Here are just a few examples of this trend.

Style Me Up has created a weaving loom that works with a tablet app to create designs, along with many paper craft books.

TFNY2016 Style Me Up iLoom

TFNY2016 Style Me Up iLoom

TFNY2016 Style Me Up Disney Princess Watercolor Sketchbook

TFNY2016 Style Me Up Disney Princess Watercolor Sketchbook

TFNY2016 Style Me Up Disney Descendants Craft Books for Mel and Evie

TFNY2016 Style Me Up Disney Descendants Craft Books for Mel and Evie

 

4D Cityscape has partnered with National Geographic on a line of puzzles of ancient civilizations and now has an app the works with the puzzle, offering additional information and trivia quizzes about the subject of the puzzle.

TFNY2016 4D CityScapes National Geographic Ancient Egypt Puzzle

TFNY2016 4D CityScapes National Geographic Ancient Egypt Puzzle

 

Crayola has improved the technology in its Virtual Design Pro line. Not only can the program pick up colors, it can also pick up fabric and textures. Check out the detail on this jelly bean skirt.

TFNY2016 Crayola Virtual Design Pro Fashion

TFNY2016 Crayola Virtual Design Pro Fashion

TFNY2016 Crayola Virtual Design Pro Jelly Bean Dress

TFNY2016 Crayola Virtual Design Pro Jelly Bean Dress

 

Viewmaster has added a new game to its smartphone technology. In addition to being able to view various worlds from all angles, we can now play Escape the Labyrinth with it. Two players work together to find their way through a maze, using both the Viewmaster and a physical game book/board.

TFNY2016 Mattel ViewMaster

TFNY2016 Mattel ViewMaster

TFNY2016 Mattel ViewMaster Escape the Labyrinth

TFNY2016 Mattel ViewMaster Escape the Labyrinth

 

Mattel has Code-apillar, which uses technology to help children learn. Code-apillar brings coding to the toddler set.

TFNY2016  Mattel Code-apillar

TFNY2016 Mattel Code-apillar

 

There’s also a Chameleon in production that will teach children about colors.

TFNY2016  Mattel Color Chameleon

TFNY2016 Mattel Color Chameleon

 

Nerf has incorporated a video camera into its N-Strike Modulus line, allowing users to record First Person Shooter movies from their own point of view.

TFNY2016 Hasbro N-Strike Modulus Nerf Gun

TFNY2016 Hasbro N-Strike Modulus Nerf Gun

TFNY2016 Hasbro N-Strike Modulus Nerf Gun HD Camera

TFNY2016 Hasbro N-Strike Modulus Nerf Gun HD Camera

 

3D drawing pens are becoming popular.  I found two notable versions.  The 3Doodler has a new version of the pen and this one is not only biodegradable (within 45 days of being introduced to soil), but it also has a max temperature of 55 degrees.  When I arrived at their booth, the designer was drawing onto his bare skin to illustrate the safety of the pen.  The plastic also acts as an adhesive for ink, so you can add images to your sculptures by drawing onto a picture, then peeling away the paper once the plastic has set.

TFNY2016 3Doodler

TFNY2016 3Doodler

TFNY2016 3Doodler Sculptures

TFNY2016 3Doodler Sculptures

 

Tech 4 Kids has expanded its 3D drawing line to include a 3D drawing pen that sets by UV light.  Rather than leaving the sculpture to sit and set, the pen includes a UV light that dries the plastic as it draws.  Talk about immediate gratification!

TFNY2016 Tech 4 Kids 3D Maker Pen

TFNY2016 Tech 4 Kids 3D Maker Pen

TFNY2016 Tech 4 Kids 3D Maker Pen Sculptures

TFNY2016 Tech 4 Kids 3D Maker Pen Sculptures

STACKING GEOMETRIC PLUSHES

Stacking Geometric Plushes is what I’m calling Disney Tsum Tsums, which have exploded in popularity. I found several other types at TFNY, including Teeny Tys, which are conical versions of their popular plushes:

TFNY2016 Teeny Tys

TFNY2016 Teeny Tys

TFNY2016 Owl Teeny Ty

TFNY2016 Owl Teeny Ty

 

and Wish Factory’s Kawaii Cubes, including Warner Brothers and DC Comics characters. My favorites are Marvin the Martian and the Tazmanian Devil.

TFNY2016 Wish Factory Kawaii Cubes

TFNY2016 Wish Factory Kawaii Cubes

TFNY2016 Wish Factory Star Trek Kawaii Cubes

TFNY2016 Wish Factory Star Trek Kawaii Cubes

TFNY2016 Wish Factory Warner Brothers Kawaii Cubes

TFNY2016 Wish Factory Warner Brothers Kawaii Cubes

ANNIVERSARIES

As part of my TFNY, I like to honor the anniversaries being celebrated. This year, I found a variety, including toys, games, and books.

Bananagrams, an anagram-building tile game, turned 10. I’d heard of the game before, but new nothing about it. I was lucky enough to watch a game between one of the Bananagram vendors and an attendee who apparently play every year. I’m very intrigued by the game and hope to find someone to play it with soon. Are any of you Bananagrammers?

TFNY2016 Bananagrams 10th Anniversary

TFNY2016 Bananagrams 10th Anniversary

 

Spirograph is offering a special 50th anniversary kit, complete with gold discs, and a new kit with shaped discs – strawberries, hearts, and more.

TFNY2016 Spirograph 50th Anniversary Kit

TFNY2016 Spirograph 50th Anniversary Kit

 

Uncle Milton’s Ant Farm celebrated their 60th Ant-iversary, releasing a new series of farms that are now interconnectable (but only if the ants are introduced to the various farms at the same time – otherwise, it’s war!). Thank you to Uncle Milton for the Ant Farm! I was happy to be able to rehome a live farm and I think they’re happy with me, too.

TFNY2016 Uncle MIlton Ant Farm 60th Antiversary

TFNY2016 Uncle MIlton Ant Farm 60th Antiversary

TFNY2016 Uncle MIlton 60th Antiversary Ant Farms

TFNY2016 Uncle MIlton 60th Antiversary Ant Farms

TFNY2016 My Gel Ant Farm Ants LUV Me!

TFNY2016 My Gel Ant Farm Ants LUV Me!

 

Hasbro’s Play-Doh is turning 60, too, and some old favorites are being released with new features. Anyone want to drill some teeth?

TFNY2016 Hasbro Play-Doh 60th Anniversary

TFNY2016 Hasbro Play-Doh 60th Anniversary

TFNY2016 Hasbro Play-Doh 60th Anniversary Cake

TFNY2016 Hasbro Play-Doh 60th Anniversary Cake

TFNY2016 Hasbro Play-Doh Dr. Drill and Fill Set

TFNY2016 Hasbro Play-Doh Dr. Drill and Fill Set

 

Believe it or not, Curious George is 75 years old this year. That mischievous little monkey has been entertaining youngsters (and their grown-ups) for three quarters of a century and his charm hasn’t faded in the least.

TFNY2016 Curious George 75th Anniversary

TFNY2016 Curious George 75th Anniversary

TFNY2016 Curious George Books

TFNY2016 Curious George Books

 

Lincoln Logs have been around for 100 years – a full century of building miniature log cabins.

TFNY2016 Lincoln Logs 100th Anniversary

TFNY2016 Lincoln Logs 100th Anniversary

 

And last, but not least, 2016 is the 100th anniversary of the Toy Industry Association, the hosts of TFNY, and the organization that helps shape the toy market.

TFNY2016 Toy Industry Association 100th Anniversary

TFNY2016 Toy Industry Association 100th Anniversary

ADVENT CALENDARS

It’s only February, but it’s never too early to start planning for Christmas. Toy advent calendars have been around for years. LEGO has new advent calendars for three of their lines: Star Wars, Friends, and City.

TFNY2016 Lego Friends Advent Calendar

TFNY2016 Lego Friends Advent Calendar

TFNY2016 Lego City Advent Calendar

TFNY2016 Lego City Advent Calendar

 

Playmobil has three, as well, with Christmas on the Farm, Pirates, and Princesses.

TFNY2016 Playmobil Advent Calendars

TFNY2016 Playmobil Advent Calendars

TFNY2016 Playmobil Christmas on the Farm Advent Calendar

TFNY2016 Playmobil Christmas on the Farm Advent Calendar

TFNY2016 Playmobil Pirate Advent Calendar

TFNY2016 Playmobil Pirate Advent Calendar

TFNY2016 Playmobil Princess Advent Calendar

TFNY2016 Playmobil Princess Advent Calendar

 

This year, Crayola will be releasing a multimedia craft advent calendar. Each day will reveal a new craft utensil – a pencil, marker, pack of clay, etc. – and there will be instructions for completing a daily craft, as well. It’s a fantastic idea – one of my new favorites this year.

TFNY2016 Crayola Christmas Countdown Calendar

TFNY2016 Crayola Christmas Countdown Calendar

TFNY2016 Crayola Christmas Countdown Calendar Gifts

TFNY2016 Crayola Christmas Countdown Calendar Gifts

TFNY2016 Crayola Christmas Countdown Calendar Crafts

TFNY2016 Crayola Christmas Countdown Calendar Crafts

 

I have more to share of my favorite vendors at TFNY, so subscribe to Adventures by Daddy now to receive a notification by email whenever a post goes up.  For more family entertainment news and reviews, be sure to follow Adventures by Daddy on twitter and “like” our facebook page too.

"7" Comments
  1. Thanks for sharing all that information and the great pictures. You’ve given me ideas for birthday and Christmas presents this year.

  2. Pingback: Toy Fair New York 2016 Part 2: Top Toy Companies and Licenses

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