From Santa Hollywood

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The New Toys for 2011 – Starting with Toys Toddlers!

posted by SantaTim On February - 24 - 2011 309 COMMENTS

Attending the Toy Industry of America’s (TIA) 2011 Toy Fair was quite exciting.  I have been attending for the past five years and each year it gets better and better.  New York’s  Javits Convention Center is the annual location for this show, which is always held in the third week of February.  (The Javits Center also hosts the National Gift Show in January) 

I think there were about 3000 booths and according to TIA this year there were over 100,000 products on display.  7,000 were all new products.   TIA tries to separate the booths into categories with toys, games, books being the general categories.  And from there you have other categories, like costumes, music, and electronics. 

Then the categories are split into age groups from babies and toddlers to adults; toys for boys and toys for girls; little toys you can take with your and big toys like bikes, scooters and powered vehicles.   The variety is amazing.

So let me start with toys for toddlers.  Quite a few companies offer products for babies and toddlers.  Throughout the show, many of the major companies offered their most famous and recognized dolls and toys.  The most well-known is Fisher-Price, which has been part of Mattel for quite a few years. 

You will still find many of the normal play toys designed for learning colors, numbers, coordination, and imagination. 

But the newest for the baby uses Mommy’s iPhone.   The “Laugh & Learn – Baby I Can Play” case is designed to encase mommy’s iPhone.  It’s  a new toy that gives a baby something to hold, play with, and learn from.  Why take a bag or box of toys on a trip if one item can do it all (At least that is what Fisher Price is saying) 

The Baby I can Play iPhone holder is designed to help keep the baby occupied while on trips or while mom is busy.  Fisher-Price has developed over 40 down loadable programs for the i-phone and all mommy has to do download some programs, slide her i-phone into the protective “Laugh & Learn Baby” unit, and give the toy to their child. 

The unit is made to withstand the handling by baby, including bangs and drops to the floor.  It is shaped like a small dish or wheel with the phone installed int he middle.  It is kid-tough, made if rubber, and there are movable rings around the outside edges of the unit, a plastic sheild to cover the screen,and a mirror on the back.   You can also operate the phone while it is in the unit.

By the way whether you buy the unit or not, Fisher-Price has made all of their 40 applications free for anyone to download.

And if you think the I-pad is hot, wait til you see the  V-reader from V-tech.  For kids from 3 to 7 this great unit has all of a child’s favorite stories and popular characters in a variety of stories (purchased separately)  Whether it is a well known fairy tale, the adventures of Dora the Explorer, or Woody and Buzz Lightyear on a special mission, any child can read along with the story teller.

And just by touching the screen at any time, the storyteller will stop.  Then by touching any word on the screen, the word is pronounced.  If the child touches a character or item on the screen, it moves, dances or reacts to the scene being read.  Children can also use the keypad to respond to a variety of creative programs, games, and questions for each story.

The V-Reader can also be connected to your computer to download certificates of acheivement for your child to receive and show as part of their learning accomplishment.  You can also download more stories on standard SD cards. 

There were actually over a one hundred electronic companies offering new products at the Toy Fair and many are now looking at programs for the younger set ages two to seven.  Right now Fisher-Price says that 60% of the top 25 i-tunes downloads are for children.

If you want to see more about the 2011 Toy Fair and to also keep yourself totally updated on everything in the Toy industry, you might want to visit a special site where our friend Chris Byrne, the Toy Guy produces updates.  Chris, along with Jim Silver and Shannon Eis, plus their video crews, spent the four days covering everything at the Toy Fair.  Check out their video reports at: www.timetoplaymag.com/toyfair/

Tomorrow:   Toys for the Girls

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