Christmas comes in February for us, when we attend the Toy Industry Association’s annual Toy Fair. This yearly show features hundreds of thousands of toys, filling 415,000 square feet of the Javits Center with pure fun.
We just love having the opportunity to visit with current retail partners, meet new ones, and scope out the trends for next year’s toys. Here’s what you and your kids have to look forward to in 2016:
As we toured this year’s exhibitors, we noticed something consistent: There’s always an app for that. Toy makers from Bloxels to Happy Atoms are mixing physical play with device capture and in-app learning opportunities to keep kids entertained (and learning) for hours.
This category emphasizes learning science, technology, engineering, and math skills through fun activities. Companies like ClickBlock are making 3D magnetic blocks to hone spacial cognition and mathematical thinking, while Be Amazing Toys develops a love of science early on with grow snow kits and build-your-own balsa planes.
Education through play is critical, but so is a childish sense of wonder. Small producers like Little Adventures dress-up costumes and Living Puppets life-size puppets encourage kids to loose themselves in an afternoon of imaginative thinking.
Toy producers are picking up on the give-get models that Warby Parker and TOMS have so successfully launched for adults. We especially loved Bears for Humanity, teddy bears made from 100% organic materials and built entirely in the U.S. For every bear you buy, a cuddly creature goes to a child in need.