Toy Fair

113th North American International Toy Fair Reports a 16% Increase in Overall Attendance

tf2016The best new toys, games and youth entertainment products made their New York City showing last week at the 113th North American International Toy Fair. From February 13-16, the largest toy marketplace in the Western Hemisphere opened its doors to more than 30,600 global play professionals, a 16 percent increase from 2015. Owned and operated by the Toy Industry Association (TIA), Toy Fair 2016 boasted an expansive 415,000 net square feet of exhibit space at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center, filled with hundreds of thousands of exciting, innovative new toys and games.

Despite frosty temperatures and snowfall in the Big Apple, Toy Fair was a hotbed of activity. Buyers, exhibitors, entertainment executives, members of the press, and trade guests from across the U.S. and 92 countries arrived in Manhattanfor the international toy and game event.

More than 1,200 exhibitors, importers, distributors and sales agents showcased their latest product lines and key drivers for holiday ’16 in front of 10,040 mass and specialty retail buyers, a 12 percent increase from a year ago. This included delegations from 24 of the nation’s top 25 toy sellers, such as Amazon, Walgreens, Kohl’s, Costco, CVS, Target, Toys”R”Us, Walmart, and more. More than 5,200 unique retail outlets were represented, with increased participation from 61 countries and 2,166 total international attendees. The top five countries represented by the most buyers were Canada, the U.K., Mexico, Japan and Australia.

“From total attendance to the volume of international buyers to news media attention, our exhibitors consistently reported Toy Fair 2016 was a success and one of the very best shows they attend,” said Steve Pasierb, TIA president and CEO. “The innovative and fun products displayed underscore the vitality of the toy industry and over the coming months through the holiday season will bring joy to the lives of millions of children and families. We expect the positivity, momentum and great range of products we saw on Toy Fair’s show floors to build upon the outstanding 6.7 percent sales growth the industry experienced in 2015.”

From the most dedicated collectors to educational programmers, all attendees had the opportunity to preview the full spectrum of toys and games that encourage the healthy development of children, including active toys, dolls and plush, board games, e-connected toys, arts & crafts, role-play toys and more.

“With hundreds of thousands of toys exhibited, booth traffic was consistently high for all four days of the show,” added Marian Bossard, SVP of global market events at TIA. “And TIA’s Knowledge Network offered invaluable insight beyond the purchase orders and business card exchanges on the floor.”

Toy Fair 2016 also welcomed a 7% increase in global press, with 1,110 print journalists, broadcast reporters and bloggers at the show to report on the top toy trends for 2016 – including Family Matters, Coveted Collectibles, Ultimate Creator, STEAM, and Top in Tech. Top-tier media outlets represented at Toy Fair included “Good Morning America,” “Good Day New York,” CNBC, CBS Newspath, Bloomberg, The Wall Street Journal, and Fortune.

“I have been attending Toy Fair for 19 years. Toy Fair 2016 was one of the most exciting one in years! I found treasure in practically every booth I visited,” said Katherine O. McHenry, owner of Building Blocks Toy Store, an independent retailer based in Chicago. “There was a great balance between STEAM, technology, licensed/trend, and classic/retro toys. Toy Fair was a huge success and I found myself rejuvenated and excited for the year.”

Veteran and freshmen exhibitors also left the Javits Center on February 16th equally satisfied.

Swurfer, a handcrafted swingboards company, had its first Toy Fair presence and COO Matt Ackerman said that compared to other trade shows, “the opportunities were bigger than anything we’ve experienced.”

“Not only did we get a chance to connect with — and receive orders from — our usual and expected partners, we also were approached by many other partners proposing a wide range of unexpected and exciting business opportunities,” he said. “Next year’s Toy Fair is already booked in our calendar.”

“Coming out of this year’s Toy Fair, we have experienced tremendous support from all our retail partners for our upcoming ranges,” noted Paul Solomon, Co-CEO of Moose Toys. “Shopkins and Little Live Pets continue to make a big impression and we were thrilled at the response to our new brands, Poppit, Hyper Toss, SelfieMic and the relaunch of 1980s classic, Betty Spaghetty. New York Toy Fair has provided a great platform to connect and launch with our partners programs that will ensure 2016 will be our best year yet.”

This year also featured the debut of Play Fair, which was co-hosted by TIA and LeftField Media in the Javits Center’s North hall on February 13 and 14. Capacity crowds of more than 20,000 attendees warmed up at the public celebration of play, which was presented by Nickelodeon and LEGO. Play Fair served as an arena for families to try out new toys, interact with popular characters like PJ Masks and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, play games, take photos and purchase new products.

“In its debut year, Play Fair was a success beyond all expectations that now provides the basis for a much larger show with more expansive play experiences in the future,” noted Pasierb. “Families braved cold temperatures to see, play, learn and enjoy time together. It’s clear that we’ve tapped into the passion that families and the general public have for great toys and play.”

Toy Fair 2016 – Diamond Select Toys

tf2016There was an embarrassment of riches at the Diamond Select Toys booth as there was tons and tons of new product on display. The gallery at the end of the post has everything, so if you’re looking for the latest Marvel, DC, Muppets, Alien, Minimates, Star Trek, X-Files, iZombie, Nightmare Before Christmas, or Ghostbusters – be sure to check the gallery. A few of my personal highlights from the display included:

  • Muppets Series 1 and 2! I’ve been stoked for the first wave of Muppets figures which are set to hit stores in the next couple of seeing the 2nd wave was nice. The details aren’t finalized, so exactly how the balcony ends up being distributed is still being worked out. But, I mean, that Animal with the drum set…it’s spot on!
  • The complete Ghostbusters diorama was assembled in the display and it’s huge. Recreate the climax of the film with the Ghostbusters, Dana, Zuul, Terror Dogs…everything with the diorama that you can collect and build. I knew the pieces were included with the figures, but I guess I hadn’t realized the full scale of it – it’s huge!
  • A trio of Star Trek releases caught my eye – the Cobra phaser will make a very nice upgrade from my Playmates one from 20+ years ago, the new Khan figure from ‘Wrath of Khan’ looks amazing and DST announced that they’ll be producing the USS Reliant in their scale ship line.
  • Captain America: Civil War is right around the corner, and so are some Marvel Select figures from the film…on display were Cap, Bucky and Iron Man and all three looked great. Cap’s current look is among my favorite of his cinema looks yet and this Select figure does an amazing job capturing the look.
  • There was one item from Batman ’66 that I couldn’t have even imagined being in the booth – the William Shakespeare bust that Bruce Wayne flips the head on to reveal the switch to uncover the batpoles will be available for your own Wayne manor. Of course the head flips up and there’s hidden switches.

These are just my personal highlights from the booth. Check the gallery out below and find your own favorites and don’t forget to let your favorite comic / specialty shop know you want it!

Toy Fair 2016 – Dark Horse

tf2016Today was the last day of New York Toy Fair, but I still have a few things to get posted from the show. Among the booths I visited was Dark Horse. Their display features products from their Game of Thrones license (statues, figures and Dragon egg bookends), scale ships from Halo, staues and figures from the video game The Witcher, as well as product from Legnd of Korra and Avatar the Last Airbender.

One new property that I want to highlight is their upcoming Snoopy product. Two different Snoopy items were shown – larger flocked vinyl Snoopys and a series of blindboxed Snoopy Qee figures. Long time readers may remember a very similar product from 2011’s SDCC – I did and I’m thrilled these are seeing the light of day!

Check out all the product from the Dark Horse booth at Toy Fair in the gallery below.

Toy Fair 2016 – Spinmaster

tf2016I had the opportunity to go through Spinmaster’s toy fair booth today and saw some product that left me very excited. There was a ton to see, and I didn’t photograph everything but some of the things that caught my eye were:

  • An expanded Meccano line! Last year’s robot is being joined by several others at different sizes, including a smart T-Rex.
  • Last year brought us Star Wars Airhogs – this year we’ll see a USS Enterprise airhog. This will be hitting shelves in a few months and looked fantastic. I want one of these!
  • BB-8 was one of the breakout stars of The Force Awakens – Spinmaster will be offering one of the largest RC versions yet. Due out for the holidays, the 16″ droid offers the same rolling action as seen in the movie and promises just as much personality.
  • Chubby Puppies continue! One of my favorite new toys of last year (I bought the pug!) they’re set to return and aren’t just puppies this time. Now there’s horse, rabbits, cats and other fun animals. These small toys make great gifts or desk toys – if you have checked them out yet, you should.
  • Over the past few years, Spinmaster has offered different Zoomer animals, from cats to dinosaurs! This years new robotic pal is the Zoomer Chimp! Standing on two feet, he understands dozens of commands and has a ton of interactive features. During the brief demo I saw, you couldn’t help but to smile at his antics.
  • Power Puff Girls are set to return and Spinmaster has a wide range of products lined up to support. Among the new products is an action figure line complete with playset and villain figures – something new for the property.

Check out these highlights, and a few other things in the Spinmaster gallery below!

Toy Fair 2016 – Entertainment Earth / Bif Bang Pow!

tf2016In addition to selling tons of amazing toys and colectibles, Entertainment Earth is the distributor for Bif Bang Pow! product – meaning they bring all sorts of cool toys and products to toy fair. I had a chance to sit with them today and look at many of the new products that are either newly available or are coming soon.

Some of the highlights include:

  • Real wooden nesting dolls…particularly the DC sets. Three sets were on display a Bat-family set, a Bat-villain set and a Justice League set. Made of wood, these feature a full 360 degrees of deco.
  • The new Peg Pals! The KISS peg pals were announced before toy fair, and were joined by Marvel, DC and Star Trek peg pals.
  • Chair capes were in full force. If you’ve ever needed to make your office chair a little more super – this is the way. This unique product was introduced at SDCC 2015 and how now expanded to include even more of your favorite characters.
  • Lastly, and not Bif Bang Pow!, Entertainment Earth was spotlighting many of the exclusive products they carry from the Star Wars Black Series trooper pack to the orange Oscar the Grouch Pop! vinyl.

See these, any many other collectibles from Entertainment Earth and Bif Bang Pow! in the gallery below. And while I don’t have any pics, I got a preview of things to come and there are some awesome products in the pipeline that I can’t wait to share!

Toy Fair 2016 – Big Mouth

tf2016Last year I was drawn into a booth by a giant slice of pizza pool float. From that point on, I’ve been a fan of the products that Big Mouth produces. They’re fun, they’re cool and they’re different…so when I had the chance to see what they have this year, I jumped at the opportunity.

I won’t pretend I don’t, but I totally love their pool floats. New additions this year include a gummy bear, a box of popcorn and a giant swan.

This year they’ve taken their cool designs for pool floats and extended it to snow tubes. And don’t worry, they’ve made them a little thicker so they can handle the rigors of the slopes. The peppermint candy snow tube is a stand out.

Other product of note from their booth were licensed security safes. If you’ve ever wanted to hide your valuables in a can of Spam you’re set. And they have some drinkware that has to be seen to be believed.

Check out all the fun offerings from Big Mouth in the gallery below.

Toy Fair 2016 – Underground Toys

tf2016Over the past several years, Underground Toys has become a go-to spot for Doctor Who and Star Wars homeware products. That trend continues this year as homewares were huge…and there were some phenomenally clever ideas.

Among the standout homewares items were a Death Star BBQ grill, Darth Vader oven mitts (even a sith lord doesn’t want his hands burnt – a second time), a BB8 tea kettle and an amazing Yoda welcome mat (this may be needed at my house).

It wasn’t all housewares, of course, Underground Toys’ plush lines will continue and their Doctor Who 5″ line is getting refreshed with some new packaging. There’s nothing to report currently on any new 5″ figures – but with several new releases in 2015 (Clara, Missy, 8th Doctor, 12th Doctor) the line is still kicking.

Fans of Sherlock have some exciting toys on the way with minifigs on display. No pictures were allowed, but fans will love getting their hands on these.

Check out the gallery below for many of the new products at Underground Toys’ booth at toy fair! They’ve got some big things up their sleeves for later this year, so stay tuned.

Toy Fair 2016 – McFarlane Toys

tf2016McFaralane Toys revealed several new items in their toy fair display, but the biggest news was a change in scale for their Walking Dead figures – moving to a ~7″ size. A few remaining 5″ figures were shown, but the new larger figures were also sharing space in the display case.

Based on some concept art on display it also seems like Assassin’s Creed will be moving to that 7″ scale.

There also severaly not yet released Walking Dead construction sets on display. These continue to be as highly detailed and impressive looking as previous sets.

See all the McFarlane Toys from their booth (including a very impressive Spawn figure) at Toy Fair in the gallery below.

Toy Fair 2016 – Playmobil

tf2016Each year Playmobil has an extensive line which makes it challenging to run down all the new product.  The gallery below has everything but a few highlights of this years collection are:

  • NHL – Look or tons of new teams being introduced into the line – including my personal favorite the Philadelphia Flyers. There will also be an NHL advent calendar that lets you re-create a pick-up game of hockey on an outdoor rink.
  • Pirates! Lots of pirates are set for this year including a pair of floating pirate ships and a mysterious treasure island with a ton of hidden features and amazing details.
  • Animals. Honestly, this is among the things that Playmobil does best. From beavers to flamingos – amazing animals are spread throghout the line. A new zoo playset even provides more opportunities for cool new additions to the Playmobil wild kingdom.

Toy Fair 2016 – Factory Entertainment

tf2016Over the past several years, Factory Entertainment has built up an impressive line of product. Their 2016 product continues that trend with amazing Marvel, DC and Game of Thrones product revealed.

For both Marvel and DC the most impressive pieces were the Metal Miniatures. Standing a few inches tall, these metal statues feature great sculpts with amazing detail and excellent deco. Priced around $50 – these smaller collectibles were quite impressive. If you’re looking for a slightly larger collectible, their Motion Statues may be what you’re in the market for – the recently announced Deadpool statue is a standout for the format.

Also on display were SWAT weapons from Batman vs. Superman and Adventure Time. These plush weapons let you roleplay some combat without injury. Sounds have been added to them adding a fun new dimension.

The gallery below has these, and a ton of other product, from the Factory Entertainment booth at toy fair.

Toy Fair 2016 – IAmElemental

tf2016One of my stops today between appointments was with at IAmElemental to check out their second series of figures. Following on the success of their crowdfunded first series, they’re looking to continue their message of inclusion and empowerment while making some really awesome toys.  The second series of 4″ figures is themed Wisdom and has 7 unique figures – Creativity, Ingenuity, Curiosity, Logic, Exploration, Mastery and Oblivion. There are some great sculpts included in this line – be sure to see them in the gallery

Also on display was the 6.5″ Courage core power figure.

Toy Fair 2016 – Kotobukiya

tf2016Kotobukiya is always a favorite stop during toy fair, and 2016 was no exception as there were some reveals that knocked my socks off.

The gallery below has pictures of everything revealed at the show, but there are a few properties that I’ll focus on.

Starting with the DC products, look for a new pair of ArtFx+ statues from Batman vs. Superman – reenacting the scene where the two titans battle. Each statue is sold seperately and include interlocking bases building a bigger scene. Other new DC product in the booth included new ArtFX+ Lex Luthor and Joker, Red Robin and Red Hood ArtFX+ statues and art for the Wonder Girl Bishoujo statue.

For their Marvel product, the ArtFX+ X-Men were rounded out with the addition of Beast, Wolverine and Rogue. The next series of ArtFX+ statues will be focused on Spidey and his gang. Two fine art statues were also included in the display – Black Panther and Thanos.

Kotobukiya’s Star Wars ArtFX+ line continues to be impressive – look for a stand alone Force Awakens Stormtrooper (with 3 pauldrons) to be available soon, followed by Captain Phasma (chromed, as she should be), Kylo Ren and a droid 3-pack with C-3PO, R2-D2 and BB-8. The BB-8 has a magnet in his allowing him to stand without a flat spot – a nice touch.

Also shown was art of a Bishoujo statue of The Bride from Kill Bill. Personally, I’m ridiculously excited for this and look forward to more details from Kotobukiya!

As stated earlier – there was a ton more in the booth, which you can see below.


Toy Fair 2016 – The Loyal Subjects

tf2016A few years ago while walking the rows and rows of the toy fair, I stumbled across the booth of The Loyal Subjects – and now they’re a must stop each year. This year was no exception and I was treated to the latest vinyl figures from Masters of the Universe, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, G. I. Joe (including vehicles!!), Power Rangers, My Little Pony, Mr. Potato Head and Transformers.

The highlights of the display were the Masters of the Universe figures and the Joe vehicles. I was surprised by how well the vehicles translated to this style – I hope these are succesful and other properties do similar.

Check out all the newest Loyal Subjects toys from toy fair in the gallery.

Toy Fair 2016 – Schleich’s DC and Peanuts

tf2016I will be the first to admit that I love the Peanuts vinyl figures that Schleich produces, so when I had a few free minutes before toy fair appoinments today, I made sure to stop at the Schleich booth to check out the newest offerings for booth Peanuts and DC comics.

On the DC comics side of things, look for new vinyl figures of Wonder Woman, Aquaman and Cyborg. There will also be 2-packs of Superman vs. Lex Luthor and Batman vs. Bane. The packaging will also be refreshed to be more collector targeted.

There will also be figures from Batman vs. Superman – an armored Batman, a (fantastic looking) Wonder Woman and a Batman vs. Superman two pack.

For their Peauts offerings look for new single figures including Olaf and Peppermint Patty and new mutlipacks featurings Snoopy’s brothers and sisters (Spike, Olaf and Belle), a baseball pack (Charlie Brown, Lucy and Snoopy) and a two pack of Schroeder (with piano) and Lucy.

See these all in the gallery below.

Toy Fair 2016 – Wicked Cool Toys

tf2016Last year at Toy Fair, Wicked Cool Toys handed me what became a toy fair favorite – Cat Paw. When I had the chance to visit Wicked Cool Toys again this year I jumped at the chance.

Cool new product this year includes the X-treme Cycle Moto Cam – an RC adventure bike with a built in action cam. There’s also a version without the action cam, but both are very cool RC bikes with a gyroscope which helps keep them up right and rolling.

Also new was an expanded Wild Kratts line, based on the hit PBS series. From figures to role play toys, there’s something for every fan of the show.

Wicked Cool toys also offers a number of toys for kids into cooking. They offer both the Girl Scout Cookie Oven and the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle pizza oven – both of these can develop your young chef. They also have a number of kid scaled cooking sets – from burgers to pasta, these can help get your kids cooking.

Other products on display in the Wicked Cool Toys booth were an expanded Girl Scout line, Cabbage Patch kids, some WWE products including role play microphones and more. They also teased the return of Teddy Ruxpin for 2017 – and it seems like a perfect time for him to make a return. See everything from the Wicked Cool Toys booth at Toy Fair in the gallery below.

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