PHOTOS & VIDEOS
It’s Toy Time!
What’s four days long, larger than seven football fields, and filled with thousands of toys? Toy Fair 2017! Each year, hundreds of toy companies from across the country come together in New York City, creating the largest toy trade show in the western hemisphere. Members of TFK’s staff attended Toy Fair to report on toy trends. Here’s a look at a few of our favorite products coming soon to a toy store near you.
Create a Perfect Pet
Own the best-behaved pet in town with Proto Max, new from FurReal Friends. FurReal is known for its lovable remote control animals. But Proto Max takes it to the next level with their new Makers line. Basic coding (no previous knowledge required) lets you make your dog one-of-a-kind—you can customize his personality, facial expressions, routines, and responses. ($120; available fall 2017)
Make a Mess
Don’t try Hasbro’s new games if you’re afraid of a little mess. Hit game Pie Face is going carnival style with the new Pie Face Sky High, where players hit the “pie hammer slammer” to let whipped cream lose on their opponents. EggedOn: The Game of Egg Roulette is another game of chance. Players crack eggs on their heads, hoping to avoid the one filled with water. (EggedOn: $20, available spring 2017; Pie Face Sky High: $25; available fall 2017)
Battle With Bugs
Mattel's KamiGami combines crafting with coding to create a cool new kind of remote control robot. Each model kit is made of light, durable plastic that can withstand rough-and-tumble play. First, you use origami concepts to create the robot. Then you use a free app to code its behavior. You can design and drive just one, or engage in competitive play with a second. ($100; available fall 2017)
Say Hello to a Hologram
Hello Barbie Hologram brings Mattel’s popular Hello Barbie to the next level. Barbie’s artificial intelligence and voice recognition allow her to answer your questions, interact, and execute your orders—your wish is her command. Her holographic image brings her to life. For example, ask her to dab. She’ll show you her moves while playing your favorite song through her Bluetooth speaker. (cost and release date not yet known)
Learn to Loom
Even the least experienced loomers can create crazily cool projects with the Happy Little Loom from Alex Toys. In addition to the portable loom, the kit includes 15 rods, a weaving tool and threader, colorful yarn, a plastic needle, and beads. Beginning loomers can master the task to make projects including belts, headbands, phone cases, and scarves. ($25; available summer 2017)
Crack a Coloring Mystery
Crayola's Art With Edge line helped create a coloring craze for people of all ages. Now, new themes add another element to the experience. Slick Pics, shown here, brings an intense metallic shimmer and shine to coloring pages. Vanishing Numbers adds mystery into the mix: follow a key to color by numbers. It takes patience to reveal the image as it takes shape. ($15, available April 2017)
Try Your Hand
Who would think that glow-in-the dark plastic bouncy balls (red, orange, green, or blue) connected by a cable can create an endless series of tricks? Zing’s Thumb Chucks are a great activity for active little hands. Twirl, flip, and twist the balls—the goal is to “control the roll.” A free app offers tutorials, tips, and a safe space to share videos showcasing your skills. ($8; available now)
Strengthen Your Spy Skills
Your mission: Train to become a secret agent with three games from Yulu: Break Free ($20, available in June), Safe Breaker ($25, also available in June), and Operation: Escape ($30, available in August). The three games tackle different spy skills but share one common theme: whether you are cracking a safe, unlocking handcuffs, or solving problems, you’ll need to work well under pressure in order to win.
Meet a Minion
Despicable Me fans can hardly wait for the third movie to hit theaters in June. In May, they can gear up for the good times with Turbo Dave, WowWee’s new Minion MiP. The wireless two-wheel robot responds to your remote control commands and hand gestures. Once you’ve mastered moving your Minion, use an app to create code to give your henchman more ways to maneuver. ($80; available May 2017)
The future of connected play has arrived. A new action and adventure game called Lightseekers combines fantasy and reality in a revolutionary role playing game for mobile devices. The game, from PlayFusion and TOMY, combines trading cards, action figures, and a variety of accessories. It can be played solo or with a family member or friend. ($70, available July 2017)
VTech’s Kidizoom Smartwatch DX2 puts the world at your fingertips. Obviously, it tells time. But with ample memory and impressive durability, the watch also takes photos and videos and lets kids play a variety of new, innovative games. Kids can also keep track of their physical fitness using its precise motion sensor. ($60, available August 2017)
Step aside, Beethoven. No musical experience is necessary to become a star composer with ThinkFun’s new game, Compose Yourself. Arrange the game’s transparent musical-note cards in any order, and enter a special code into your computer or tablet. The English Session Orchestra at Abbey Road Studios performs your new musical creation, which you can print, download, and share. ($15; available now)
Work Your Magic
Abracadabra! Master the art of deception–and learn a thing or two–with a variety of new magic kits. World’s Greatest Magic Show, from Thames & Kosmos, puts 415 different tricks up your sleeve. Ideal's Magic Science Spectacular by Alex Brands integrates science into the magician's routine. (The World’s Greatest Magic Show: $30; available June 2017; Ideal Magic Science Spectacular: $24; available fall 2017)
Which Came First?
Pizza or pepperoni? Sesame Street or Disney World? Learn about the history of everyday items and events with Chicken and Egg, a card-based guessing game. The set comes with 300 cards that challenge players to quickly determine which of two things came first. The cards also include a brief history explaining the correct answer. ($30; available August 2017)
Soak Up The Sun
The GeoSafari Solar Rover runs entirely on sunlight! Stop the rover in its tracks by casting a shadow over its solar panels, and steer or turn the rover by eclipsing one panel at a time. The device comes with three cones so you can create obstacle-course challenges, and a 20-page activity guide for inspiration. ($30; available March 2017)