Toy Fair occurs every year in February in New York City. Hundreds of toy companies, from start-ups to industry giants like Spinmaster, Mattel, and Disney strategically set up their booths or conference rooms in the Jacob Javitts Convention Center, (or the Times Center if you are Hasbro) to debut the new toys of the year.
Attendees include retail store buyers and media representatives, because Toy Fair is not open to the general public, or any person under the age of 18. While some companies have toys in their booth that have been through final production, many booths have prototypes. There is an unexplainable, contagious buzz in the hallways as a media representative as you race from appointment to appointment, taking in all of the new products and having some fun photo opportunities.
In the media lounge, part of the conversation is often talking about the trends, new toys and those hidden gems. Industry friends and even family members always ask what my favorite toy is and it's often a question that renders me completely speechless, given how overwhelming the whole experience is, until I've had some time to process it all. This year was my 4th Toy Fair and every year I feel like I am strategically a little smarter with my appointments. However, there is never enough time to see everything I'd like and my friend Christy Matte from Quirky Fusion says says it perfectly in her most recent post, "I love hearing the stories and meeting the people and seeing the love and passion behind some really wonderful toys."
So here's my re-cap of my favorite experiences from Toy Fair 2013. While I don't have all the specific information and imagery for some of these new toys and products given that they aren't yet in final production, these are some of the trends, toys and items I thought I'd highlight from Toy Fair 2013.