Tuesday

More from Toy Fair 2017

As nice as the walk down 34th street towards the Javits Center is, it does not compare to arriving in the ultra-modern 34th Street/Hudson Yards station of the 7 train. Going into my second day at the New York Toy Fair, I had much more of a game plan.

I picked up where I had gone on day one and headed north. One of the first people I spoke with was from the UnitedHealthcare Children's Foundation. They handed me a copy of their new children's book Oliver and Hope's Good Deeds Day the book along with branded plush characters, a board game and a custom version of SpotIt are all being sold to raise money for the foundation to help offset medical costs of children.

Then I found the weirdest thing I had seen at the fair. I will admit it was one of the weirdest thing I had ever seen. I told this to the inventor and he was good with it. The Little Diablo: The Unstoppable Devil Doll. When you look at it LD looks like any plush doll of Satan, but with a Simon game on his chest. But unlike Simon this game is a bit more wicked. Once you start playing the Devil (voiced by Jon Lovitz) starts insulting you. And he won't stop. No really he won't stop. The only way you can stop his very R-Rated insults is to beat the game. Which is not very easy. One of the guys from Uncle Andy Toys showed me the battery compartment with it twelve screws of different sizes that make this doll pretty hard to stop. They are starting a Kickstarter in the early summer.

The range of toys on display is vast. From blind bags and mini puzzles to $70 collectors level action figures and drones that cost hundreds of dollars. It was simply amazing.

I saw a lot of recurring themes at the show.
  • Augmented reality. I stopped in multiple booths that were tauting how their sticker, robot, pillow or action figure can interact with a tablet/phone. 
  • Licensing is king. And somewhere my old publishing colleagues are shaking their heads in agreement. You could barely go down an aisle without seeing something that wasn't Star Wars or Harley Quinn. From action figures and high end statues to cosplay accessories and chess sets and literally everything in between. 
  • Jumping on inner tubes might be a thing. There were at least a dozen exhibitors that I saw that had inner tube products. Some had things to hold onto some didn't. Some were stacks of tubes of various sizes. 
  • Backlash against technology. Every exhibitor I visited that wasn't talking about augmented reality was talking about kids playing with real things and not just looking at screens. I went to one (who had amazing products) that both spoke for and against tech related toys. 

As a first timer I learned a lot of things. How not to shoot Facebook Live video. Which exhibitors need pre-set up appointments. Never wear anything other than sneakers. I also played amazing games like Set and Wordspiel from Set Enterprises, Wild Salmon (full review coming soon) from NorthStarGames , the Game of 49 from Breaking Games and at least three of the 22 games that are contained in the amazing Pyramid Arcade by Looney Labs. I was shot with a high powered spitball gun that looked like a machine gun at Paper Shooters and ate at least two varieties of flavored bubbles.

I'm looking forward to next time.

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