Another whimsical Toy Fair took over New York’s Javits Center and it definitely left a lasting impression.
The 116th annual event is owned and managed by the Toy Industry Association as a place for play professionals to meet and network. This year’s showcase featured Star Wars, Harry Potter, Stranger Things and that’s just the licensing. Nostalgia, tech, STEM and more were on display in the form of Tiki Toss, paper planes with engines and build-your-own ride on sets.
Here are a few highlights from the “the largest toy trade show in the Western hemisphere”
LEGO® Harry Potter™ Hogwarts™ Castle
LEGO may have outdone themselves with this one.
This collectible contains over 6000 pieces for a building experience that will take you awhile to complete. It features the Whomping Willow™, as well as the Great Hall and the dreaded Chamber of Secrets™! And if you’re a Harry Potter™ super-fan who already knows which house you’d be sorted into, there are 4 mini-figures of the legendary leaders: Gryffindor, Hufflepuff, Slytherin and Ravenclaw. The completed castle measures 22” high, 27” wide and 16” deep.
Thinking Putty Puzzle by ThinkFun
Choose from 6 different colors of Crazy Aaron’s Thinking Putty to build your puzzle. Along with blockers, bridges, and challenger cards, the player’s task is to connect the colored dots without crossing paths. Think you’re up for the challenge? Go from beginner to expert with multi-levels that develop critical skills through difficult problem solving. Great gift for kids ages 8 and up to stretch that STEM development.
Star Wars Lightsaber Academy
Do I really need to convince you how awesome this is?!
If you grew up in the ‘80s or are a new fan because of Rey and Finn, then you’ve already imagined yourself holding a lightsaber and dueling for the fate of the galaxy. But, how cool would it be to have actual confirmation that you have moved from young padawan to actual Jedi master?
Thanks to Hasbro’s Star Wars Lightsaber Academy, you actually can. It comes with an app that you use to train, learning techniques and being graded on skill and accuracy. Of course, you can also battle your friends for bragging rights. This is your chance to join the elite and feel like a part of the movies.
Go ahead and give it a whirl!
Estimated Retail Price: $50
What the Film?!
The mind is a funny, creative place. It’s the place that all innovation starts.
So, the folks at Lethal Chicken Games came up with something that checks all those boxes. Imagine having a party with a big group of friends and there’s a call for a game to keep up the good vibes. Most people are fans of movies, just different genres. You bring out What the Film?!, where you combine an actor, plot and set to create your own cinematic adventure that can be as outlandish as possible. The objective is to craft the best story, but beware since your opponents can take your idea or bury it with the right industry connections.
Let your imagination run wild and explore Hollywood with an insider’s POV.
Ever fold single pieces of notebook paper into airplanes when you were younger? And did you ever pretend it came to life with an engine that could perform real maneuvers?
Whelp, I don’t think you were the only one. POWERUP 4.0 transforms your paper airplane into a high-flying machine with double the power courtesy of two propellers! Launch, steer and land your design with the help of this ultra-durable, Bluetooth-connected propulsion motor that’s hooked into POWERUP’s app so it records real-time flight performance stats. Use the data to adjust your design for optimal maneuverability. Intended for ages 14 and up.
The POWERUP 4.0 will be available online in the fall.
NERF N-Strike Elite Titan CS-50
Your mission should you choose to accept it, is to protect your backyard/cubicle … AT ALL COSTS. Which means you’re going to need some serious defense.
Enter NERF with the ultimate one-person defense strategy. The N-Strike Elite Titan CS-50 comes with a drum cartridge of 50 foam darts that fire automatically with one press of the trigger, powered by four D batteries. Luckily, it comes with a nifty shoulder strap to help you heft all that firepower during your next standoff.
Estimated Retail Price: $100
HEXBUG Ring Racer
A twist on the usual motorized toy car, the HEXBUG Ring Racer has the ability to flip 360°, take a tumble and keep on moving. It’s heralded as “the latest in innovative, motorized technology.”
All the action takes place on dual spinning rings that self-stabilize while you control every move from the remote control. The racer comes in three different color schemes and is fully rechargeable via the USB cable that comes included. Also, don’t miss the added boost from the TURBO button and watch the excitement grow with the speed. Ages 8 and up.
Two Bros Bows
Here’s a great alternative to all the toy guns on the market: bows and arrows with soft tips.
Two Bros Bows incorporates safe play with creative designs to craft a fun experience for kids. The combination set comes with a bow, three arrows, a quiver and a target. Choose from 17 different styles, including camo, dragon, tie-dye, galaxy, flower and more. Actually being good at archery will take some time. But, this is a great set to learn technique and not worry about crazy accidents. The brothers behind the brand were ages 10 and 7 when they came up with the idea for their successful retail business.
Saturn V Rocket by Plus-Plus
At first glance, you might be a bit disconcerted when you see the Plus-Plus Space Tube for its Saturn V Rocket.
It’s a clear tube of 240 pieces that you assemble into the finished product, a 3-D puzzle that glows in the dark. Simple, cool, and elegant all at the same time. Although, the toy is intended for ages 5 through 12, adults will get a kick out of putting this together. Its dimensions are 2” L x 1” W x 11” H. The set weighs in at only half a pound and is made in Denmark. If space is your hobby, you’ll definitely feel gratified having this as part of your collection.
Legend Kit by Infento
You know how some of the best times in a parent’s life is when they partner with their kids to build something like a project for school or a treehouse? The flow of working with your hands and not having to think too much while learning things about your kid that you didn’t know before and sharing things about your past. Well, take all of that and add the bonus of building a ride on that you and/or your kid can take for a spin afterwards.
The Legend Kit by Infento gives you everything you need to create life-size vehicles, actually 35 in total. The choices range from a walker to an electric go-kart. Grab a kit, grab a kid and get building! The fun is guaranteed.
Estimated Retail Price: $1099
While the toys we’ve highlighted here are only just some of the innovations that took the New York Toy Fair by storm, we hope they inspired you to come up with new ideas – or at the very least, release your inner kid!