Toy Fair Trends 2019 #NYTF #NewYorkToyFair

Well, it’s February, so you know what that means. Parents@Play headed out to the New York Toy Fair, checking out all the new toys and games being released this year. While we found it to be overall a bit quieter then 2018, we think it will be a fun year.

In our opinion, some of the trends for the next year are a continuation of old trends, albeit somewhat updated. Some of these continuing toy trends do venture into new territories, and it’s always fun to see what the year will bring to our families.

toy narwhals

For example, dinosaurs, “mermaid” sequins (those colored sequins that flip from one color to another), llamas, unicorns, glitter everything, narwhals, and coding games and toys are everywhere. As are blind bags, DIY and make it yourself kits, toys that require or interact extensively with apps, and poop. Yes, all sorts of poop in all sorts of ways. Even glittery poop, if you’d really like to combine trendiness- and if you REALLY want to combine them, we even saw glittery poop that uses an app. There really is an app for everything.

Some of the trends you can watch out for this year will include leaning into the above already holding strong trendy toys, like glitter. Sorry, but it’s only going to get even more sparkly.  There are lots of kits that let kids make things for themselves, like soaps or bath bombs or makeup, and now there is oh so much glitter. Got a kit? Guess what, now it has glitter. Not JUST glitter, but so many toys, games, and craft kits now come with “bedazzler” type items to add rhinestones to your hair, clothing, stuff toy, whatever your little heart desires. Sequins and all manner of shiny additives can be applied to just about anything- and sometimes, taken off, and reapplied over and over and over again. Huzzah.

unicorn cat

Stick with me on the glitter for a second, Tinkerbell. There are so. many. wands right now, sold with toys and games or AS the toy/game, more then I’ve ever seen. They make sounds, hold glitter, shoot glitter (yay?) and of course, are very, very glittery. The wands are all over this year, and that is without even counting the ever-popular and only getting more so Harry Potter and Fantastic Beasts franchises, each with a multitude of their own wands and wand games to choose from. Wingardium Leviosa, these will be flying off shelves this year.

Unicorns? Yes, these are still as popular as they have been. All over, on everything, from ducks to plush to pool floats- there is a unicorn for you. And a unicorn for your unicorn, as well. (So they won’t get lonely, of course.)

unicorn sloth

However, not just horses can be unicorns anymore, so there will never have to be a “last unicorn”. In the spirit of inclusiveness, now anything can have a magical horn. Cat? Yes. Llama? Of course. Marshmallow? Even you, little sugar spun bit of sweetness. If you like it, you should have put a horn on it- because now someone else has.

What did the fox say? He said that is a lame reminder of viral videos gone by, but that won’t stop you from seeing a fox around every corner. So, I guess fox says that s/he’s awesome and will be in your house soon if there isn’t a few already.

Fox also says that he’s bringing his best bud Owl, who is another animal we are seeing much more of this year. Alpacas are also joining their cousin Llama at the “cool kids” club.

llama crafts
Slime is everywhere, in everything, and yes- sometimes even glittery. You can thank YouTube for that. Speaking of YouTube, more companies are tapping your kid’s favorite YouTube personalities to endorse products or create lines.  From slime to bubbles to fake hair and ninja toys, YouTube madness is spreading.

Super soft, extra squishy, mushy plush animals are gaining in popularity, and oftentimes in size. These incredibly plush and huggable toys range in size from backpack clips to giant beanbag-type chairs and everything in between.

fortnite star
While we are on the topic of backpack clips- just yes. Everywhere, and in ever growing popularity,  you will find objects that will help weigh down your child’s backpack. Who needs books, anyhow?

Disney Villainous: The Worst Takes It All from Ravensburger Wins “Toy of the Year” Award at Toy Fair 2019

Toy Fair Booth 2019 – Ravensburger, the German toy company loved worldwide for its high-quality puzzles, toys and games and celebrating its 135th anniversary, wins “Toy of the Year” award for Disney Villainous: The Worst Takes It All. On the heels of this breakout success, Ravensburger today revealed the next in the Disney Villainous franchise, Wicked to the Core. The new game features three new villains – Hades from Hercules, Dr. Facilier from The Princess & the Frog, and the original fairest of them all, Evil Queen from the iconic Snow White.

“The positive response from Disney fans and strategy board game enthusiasts for the growing Disney Villainous franchise has been overwhelming. In the last quarter of 2018, Ravensburger sold more than a quarter of a million copies globally of Disney Villainous: The Worst Takes It All, and it rose to Top 5 of Amazon’s Most Wished for Board Games,” said Filip Francke, CEO of Ravensburger North America.  “Even before it hit shelves last summer, we knew we had a winner and had already begun working on the next in the franchise, Wicked to the Core.”

In the Disney Villainous series, players take on the persona of classic Disney’s most wicked characters. In the award-winning The Worst Takes It All edition, players compete as their favorite Disney Villain – Maleficent, Ursula, Jafar, Prince John, Queen of Hearts, or Captain Hook. Each Disney Villain has their own storyline based on the events of their films– Sleeping Beauty, The Little Mermaid, Aladdin, Robin Hood, Alice in Wonderland, and Peter Pan. While each player remains in their story realm, villains can foil their fellow outlaws by playing Hero cards, while inching ever closer to victory.

“To engage the fans in the process, we encouraged people to “Vote” for the Disney Villain they’d like to play. We were thrilled to see that our next trio of bad guys (and gal) – Hades, Dr. Facilier and Evil Queen – made the top 10 list of Disney Villains as voted by our fans,” added Francke.
Wicked to the Core incorporates new strategies, plot twists, and play dynamics and can be played either with two or three players as a stand-alone game or can expand up to a six-player game when paired with the original Disney Villainous game. Wicked to the Core will be available March 3 at Target for $24.99 and is suited for ages 10 and older.

Mezco Toys Press Preview #NewYorkToyFair

RePosting From Mezco-

At 9am sharp on Saturday morning, Mezco held it’s annual press event. Members of the press made their way to it’s booth, cameras in-hand, ready to see what is in store for this year.

mezco toys

As a thanks for attending, everyone that registered for our event received a goodie bag stuffed with Mezco swag. This year’s bag ran the gamut with products and included:

·      One:12 Collective Blade – Toy Fair Exclusive

·      One:12 Collective Gomez – Agent Edition

·      Mezco Toyz 2019 Toy Fair Catalog

·      Mezco Toyz dog tag with chain

·      Mezco Toyz lanyard

·      Gold Gomez pin

·      Rumble Society pin

·      Blind bagged Mez-Itz

While the press event may be over, Toy Fair is just getting started! Make sure you’re keeping up with us on social media to see everything the Mezco booth has to offer.

Toy Fair Trends 2018 #NYTF

It Febuary, so you know what that means. Parents@Play was at the New York Toy Fair, checking out all the newest and best toys and games that are coming out this year, and we think it will be a fantastic year for toys. James Hamilton, of the popular pop-culture website was there to lend a hand covering the massive show floor (and we thank him for his contributions to this coverage). 

We found that some of the trends for the next year are somewhat of a continuation of old trends, albeit slightly updated. Some of these continuing toy trends do venture into new territories, and it’s always fun to see what the year will bring to our families. 

blister packs

One of the continuing trends has to be the “blind boxes”. While these have been growing in popularity, one of the variations on these “blind box” items is that the blister pack will show some of the toys or contents with one or more figures being obscured. The remaining contents are visible to the consumer, and the hidden toy is often a “rare” item.  The other big news in blind boxes is the packaging has gotten very creative, having the packaging serving a dual purpose such as being used as a Christmas ornament, storage tin, or as part of the toy itself. We LOVE this, and we think your kids will, too. 

kids coding toys

One of the other trends we witnessed is expansion of STEM based products. If you are not familiar with the term STEM, it stands for Science, technology, engineering and math (another variation is “STEAM”, where the “A” stand for Art- which we like better). Build a robot, learn to code, build atoms, mix colors, new takes on old classics like volcano building- there is no shortage of truly fun with learning options.  Starting from months old and up, the child can learns coding though programming a robot’s actions, how to use a musical instrument, and so much more. This year, education is king, and we are happy to see that trend. 

Another trend which doesn’t seem to be losing any steam is the prevalence of potty humor. There is no end to a child’s (or his father’s) fascination with poop and fart noises, so the demand continues and the products expand to fill it. There is everything from games to toys with the potty theme. I guess no amount of flushing with make this one go away. 

alien stuffed toys

One thing that continues year to year and will never go away is the popularity of plush toys. This year, there are a few plush toys that seem to be everywhere. Not new, but continuing to be hot trends are mermaids and unicorns (many with sparkles, glitter, or “magic” sequins that go in multiple directions) donuts, and narwhals. In addition, you will find a multitude of dinosaurs, flat stuffed toys in every variety (even superheroes), and the new fun food toys are bananas,  pineapples, avocados, which you will see everywhere by every brand. The new trendy animals this year? Sloths, llamas, and aliens. 

While we saw tons of these toys stuffed, you will find them in blind packs, action figures, pull toys, as bouncy balls, as pillows, coloring books, crayons themselves, and in more options then you can imagine.

Jurassic park toys

While we are speaking of dinosaurs- you won’t be able to turn your head this year without looking at one (or take a step without tripping on one, as it might turn out). With the new Jurassic Park movie coming out shortly, as well as the 25th anniversary of the movie (don’t you feel old now? I sure do), not only are there a wide array of Jurassic Park toys and characters and more, but never before have there been so many books, paleontologist kits, stuffed animals, figures, remote control toys, costumes, and anything else you can think of that will have your child in a pteroble state of dino-madness.


2017 Toy Trends #NYTF

Every year at about this time, every toy, game, collectible, indoor or outdoor plaything (and more) is brought to make it’s debut at the New York Toy Fair. We go to see what is new, what’s up and coming, to see what is still holding our attention and what are up and coming toy trends. This year, we’ve noticed a few repeats, as well as some interesting new products we think you will be seeing a lot of.

Toys from last year, updated w new shineys. Some of your favorite toys from last year are back again and remade for 2017 with new bells and whistles, or upgraded and updated. As we all know, sometimes the first iteration doesn’t always turn out exactly right. Try, try again- and some of the differences are fantastic.

What’s old is new again- retro is still in, and back in style. The toys of yesteryear looking just as they did when we were kids (or grandma and grandpa were) made for our kids. Only, you know- safer then they were, in some cases.

Custom built. Kids these days. The “Me” generation, the “selfie” generation- they want to express themselves, and so they will. So many toys, apps, even electronics are customizable or can be personalized. Not just with a name or initials, added, either- kids can really make toys their own right now, to varying degrees.

Food decorating toys, or toys that come in the shape of foods. From dolls to teddy bears to real food decorating kits to jewelry- our eyes are bigger then our stomachs this year, and thank goodness. Between the success of toys like Shopkins and TV shows like MasterChef Jr and Man vs Child, kids are allowed and even encouraged to play with their food. You can make your own foodie toys and designs to wear, or snuggle up with your favorite muffin or cake at night. Some scented, some not so much. With or without glitter- and don’t eat the bears.

Everybody wants to be a Pinterest star- the kids are getting in on it with all the DIY kits that help them lean to make bath bombs, loom kits, sewing, jewelry making, and more. These are NOT the kits that we had when we were kids, that our moms would wear in front of us because they loved us or displayed just because their child made them- they look like things Martha Stewert would have in her magazine, but easy enough for kids to do them. Trust me- I tried a few, and if I could handle it, any 9 year old can. No skills here, sorry folks. My kids outpace me in this aspect easily, so this is honesty talking to you right here.

Everything gets a tail- dolls, foods, your tablet- and if it already had a tail (like, say, a cat) it will get a different one. Usually a mermaid or shark tail replacement. What cat WOULD’T love an ocean swim, amiright? Get yourself and the kiddos one as well with tubes, sleeping bags, and/or sewing kits. People get tails too, equal rights after all.

To continue with the adult coloring- and yes, we are going to- add also to that adult plus kid inter-coloring. I don’t care if that’s not a word, it’s a “thing”. Bigger books or larger sheets that parents and kids can do together, or multiple kids at once. Sharing is caring, after all. This is more involved coloring. Get out the glitter markers.

Coding also continues, and expands. There are apps abound, more toys then we could see in 4 days, more in depth coding as well as pre-coding or games for kids as young as 18 months. Might as well get out in front of this one, and these toys and apps make learning coding fun and easier. I wish I had them when I was younger, I’m a mess. Again, the kids will outpace me any day now. Perhaps I can start myself with some of the “coding light” options.

Underwater/mermaids/sea creatures are everywhere.  Stuffed animals, art kits, every kind of toy. Apparently, we all want to live under the sea. Life on land has gotten far too complicated.

Narhwahls. These sea creatures (see above) just keep swimming into our hearts and minds, as well as onto shelves of toy stores near you. They are coming. In droves. Known as the “unicorn of the sea”, narwhals are pale-colored porpoises that swim in Arctic waters. The coolest thing about them, besides the water they swim in, is the ivory tusk (actually a tooth) that grows through it’s lip. Alas, what makes it awesome also makes it hunted- it’s hard to be amazing. People can’t deal with coolness, they get jealous. Pale shades aside, these come in all colors and toy options. Especially redonkulas ones.

VR headsets/games/apps. Nearly every science brand has one, and some other what I will refer to as “super brands” as well. You buy the VR (virtual reality) headset, and the app is usually free with that purchase. Experience dinosaurs, racecars, underwater sea swimming (ahem) and more. Some drones also come with headset options so you can see what your drone is doing in real time as if you were flying on it. Very cool.

VR headset

Blind packs continue to be a big deal- most brands have them, hope you are lucky enough to get all the cool stuff and stop getting all the random doubles that are in those bags because you are looking for the elusive whatdoyoucallit!!! From LEGOs (in a million varieties) to TsumTsum to CareBears to YoKai Watch disks and everything in between- everyone has a blind bag for you. Yeah, these aren’t going away, sorry mom and dad- but at least they aren’t expensive.

More racial diversity, features, disabilities are being represented in toys this year. Huzzah for humanity! Different skin tones, features (not just putting darker skin on a doll, etc), crutches, hair textures, and more are rolling out bit by bit- even very “traditional” companies are starting to be more inclusive, and we are excited to see that. Some (very few) even have dolls of different weights and chest sizes-  girls have enough pressure on them, it’s nice to see some more realistic options presented to them. Also, empowerment messaging on and in the packaging, as well as more women and people of color involved in the process then in the past. Again, a huzzah, and moving in the right direction.

Keychains/backpack hangers continue to be huge. I can’t even see backpack under all the fluffy stuffs- if you can, you won’t be able to for long. Here comes the deluge!

Escape the room toys and games continues to be a theme, just like the real life experiences one can have when you and your friends and family try to beat the clock and get out of a sticky situation. Card games in the “Clue” tradition, as well as some new ones that involve (play, plastic, not at all scary) handcuffs and timers to escape (and along this line of thought) join the mix. Fun for all ages- really.

Magic kits. There were a lot of them this year, and more options. I’ve never seen so many- so maybe The Carbonaro Effect is effective magic marketing.  Things that make you go “hmmmm”…..

minion toys

Toys with toilets. Everyone and everything has to go- even the Minions. From the largest, most mass produced brands to the smallest and most new to the market, potty humor is the thing.  Again. There is even a game where the loser is sprayed with (pretend) toilet water.  So, hit the bathroom, guys.

Drones with camera to phone capabilities/live video and gps. The drones have expanded this year- both in quantity and quality. So many more available, by your favorite brands as well as more adding them to their lines, and some newcomers.  However, some of these are so advanced I wonder how long that News Helicopter will really be necessary- some of these are insanely skilled. From still your kids can’t break to stuff teens and adults will have fun racing, there is a drone for everyone at every price range.

What’s New in Toys? Plenty.


New York Toy Fair was this past week at the Jacob Javits Center in (you guessed it!) New York City.  Host to the worlds largest gathering of toys and games, organized by the Toy Industry Association, hundreds of toy manufacturers and game publishers gather to show off their recent and upcoming products to retailers, buyers, and the press. The New York Toy Fair is filled with nearly every toy, game, form of electronic entertainment, and outdoor play thing you can imagine. With roughly 100,000 products and 7,000 new toy debuts (not to mention 30,000 “play professionals” from more then 100 countries) NY Toy Fair is a wonderland for your inner child.

With all these toys, we wondered what was new for this year. Some things, like the very popular monsters, zombies, mustaches, and duct tape crafts are still holding strong, with plenty of new dolls, kits, toys, and you name it coming out this year in every shape and size.  You name, it, it can be found with a mustache.

Expanding this year are apps and virtual worlds of every kind.  Every toy, every game, every-everything has a virtual aspect to it.  Have a teddy bear?  Here’s an app to go with it. New robot?  App.  Learning Portuguese?  There’s an app to go with that.  There are even toothbrushes with apps- I’m not kidding you.  I’m waiting on an app for apps.  An app organizer, perhaps?  Because I’m app-ed out, app-arently.

02 18 14 180

Also trending this year are interactive talking toys (dolls or bears or robots that talk back to you, do as you request, and sometimes sing and tell stories), unicorns (nearly every major manufacturer has at least one, as a doll’s “pet” or as it’s own stand alone product), and anything retro. Some toys, like Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, are back with a new look- some, like the Fisher Price dial up rotary phone, looks the way it did the first time it came out decades ago- right up to it’s packaging.

Got a crafty kid?  There is every kind of weaving kit you can imagine, and from every brand big or small. Weaving rugs, potholders, bracelets, scarves- really anything and everything.  This is building on the success of the Rainbow Loom, one of the TOTY’s toy of the year award winners for 2014.  If you have not heard of this toy yet- where have you been?  There are plenty to choose from- take the kids and choose your poison.  Want to take it up a notch?  The variety of jewelry making kits is as wide as the Sochi Olympics building difficulties.  From things that you could actually get your mother to enjoy wearing to the standard sting of colored wood and glitter, you can find something to suit your little designer. Bead/peg kits are also going to be all the rage this year, with not only jewelry kits but craft kits, stained glass makers, 3D pictures, and more- all made with beads, pegs, or “dots”.
[Read more…]

Toy Fair – Best Of Baby

At Jacob Javits Center in NYC, there were recently unveiled a line of baby items innovative enough to make a new parent excited, parents of older kids jealous, and grandparents wonder where all these items were when they were new parents. Here are some of the most interesting items I noticed for babies at Toy Fair 2013.

New, lightweight and easy to take along with you, journeyBee (manufactured by ParentLab) presents for the first time in the US, a travel crib that’s safe and lightweight and created specifically for families on the go. The journeyBee is a the next generation of pack-and play/port a cribs, a portable crib for those who are always on the move. This crib is perfect for road trips, hotels, camping, outdoor play, or bringing along to friends and family’s homes for easy nap time or playtime. Weighing in at roughly 10 pounds and easy to carry on your back, there are no multiple unpacking trips trips required. No tools needed, easy to set up, and recommended for 0-18 months.

Also available in bassinet form, the “mini” is as easy to use and set up as the journeybee, but weights only 4.3 lbs and closes up to be smaller than most purses. Recommended for ages 0-6 months. For more information, go to

journey beeFor the first time ever, the award-winning Twilight Turtle is offered with a sound option. From the makers of the award-winning Twilight Turtle™ and Sleep Sheep™, comes Twilight Turtle Tunes™. Cloud b has added bluetooth technology via a Twilight Turtle Tunes App (free), which adds to the known and loved starlight projection of the original [Read more…]

New York Toy Fair- Where Fun and Games Begin

Starting tomorrow, the Jacob Javits Center in New York City will be host to the worlds largest gathering of toys and games, organized by the Toy Industry Association. Hundreds of toy manufacturers and game publishers gather to show off their recent and upcoming products to retailers, buyers, and the press. The New York Toy Fair is filled with nearly every toy, game, form of electronic entertainment, and outdoor play thing you can imagine.
With roughly 100,000 products and 7,000 new toy debuts, NY Toy Fair is a wonderland for your inner child. Here are a few toys who made their premiers at the Javits Center in 2012 that were interesting, innovative, and fun for families.
CrayolaDigital Light Designer

This fun and adaptable new drawing medium is designed to allow children to draw and create with lights.
The Digital Light Designer uses colored LED lights to let kids draw, imagine, and be creative- with no mess. Using a special attached stylus on a spinning 360 degree domed drawing surface, kids can easily switch between eight different colors, or erase and start over. They can also save up to fifty creations. It takes 4 D Batteries or alternately, can be plugged in.


These plush robot freinds have glowing chests that help children learn to be brave in the dark. When you touch the hands of these toys (available in several varieties), a soft light glows and gives comfort to scared children. Brobo also has animated webisodes, [Read more…]