Friday, February 12th, 2010...11:25 am

Pre-Toy Fair Post, 2010!

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This afternoon, we’ll be driving down to New Haven and taking a train in to New York.

It’s been a while since I’ve been able to attend the American International Toy Fair, but the stars have aligned! So I’m taking a moment to hype myself up for Toy Fair, and make predictions about the trends that I’ll see in toys this year…

Prediction 1: More DIY Hong Kong Vinyl-y things. Actually aimed at kids, as opposed to KidRobot’s DIY MUNNY, which is more likely to be found in collector-oriented stores rather than the toy aisle at Target.

Last year, we saw a LOT of companies jump on the Hong Kong Vinyl/chunky figurine bandwagon. I’m thinking that this year, we’ll see a lot of crossover between that and the usual “creative play and crafts for kids”.

Personally, I really dig the kokeshi-like figurines that MGA Entertainment’s Moxie Girlz “I am…” series come with.


Prediction 2: More DIY crafts in general.

I think the whole “Build a Bear” thing is going to expand into more “make your own cute plush”-type kits, probably overlapping with “make your own cellphone charms and danglers”. As cellphones become more and more ubiquitous, I believe we’ll see more emulations of Japanese cellphone straps and tiny plush and all kinds of stuff, aimed at the Kid Market.

I was impressed to see that Bandai’s Harumika has expanded its line, and has even inspired similar toys from the Project Runway toyline by Fashion Angels. Who knew that something as simple as a fashion form to mold fabric around could become an entire genre! I suspect that it’s a combination of the resurgence in fashion-related reality TV shows and parents’ fond memories of paper dolls that’s creating this interesting niche in the toy and crafts aisle.

I’m not sure what trends we’ll see in Boys Toys. I would imagine every company is scrambling to come up with their own answer to Spinmasters’ astoundingly popular Bakugan, but the beautiful simplicity of a magnetic auto-transforming ball is pretty hard to beat.

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