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Toy Fair: Generations of Love for Toys

18 Feb

The first thing one of my kids asked me today when I came home from my day at Toy Fair is “where is Mr Potato Head”?

You see, today children are not allowed into the show at Javits but when I was younger- things were different. The show took place at the “old” toy building on 23rd and 5th in Manhattan.  Each company had a showroom behind closed doors, and my dad was the publisher of a trade magazine called Toy and Hobby World. I attended every year.

My job during Toy Fair was to make sure that every showroom for this show (that lasted weeks -not days) had 2 copies of his leading magazine. Those magazines weighed a ton- but I didn’t care. Every showroom held a different surprise and I couldn’t wait to open each door and see it all.  Certain showrooms had 2 doors, and so when I went in to drop off our book- I only made it to the reception desk area where there were no new toys in sight- THAT, was heart breaking.

Each year my favorite showroom then was Gund. The way I remember it, You walked into this world of animals right up to the ceiling! It was amazing.

In the hallways of “The Toy Building” men in suites played catch with new hot sporting toys, tried out new bikes & even trampolines! I loved it. It was funny to watch, it was fun to be a part of.

Today, the show is much shorter- but the fun continues and grows each year. New games are being played, new skateboards are being taken for a spin, connections are being made, retailers are filling their shelves, and everyone is trying to invent the next “hottest” item for the season. It’s what continues to make Toy Fair fun!

Back when I was a child delivering books to showrooms-who knew that the pages I was delivering held the true secret to staying young at heart and that I would continue turning those pages into my adulthood.

I look forward to the day my kids can attend Toy Fair and discover the cool new Mr. Potato Head themselves first hand-  and I can only hope that the love of toys will continue to grow in my family, as it has for generations.

– Laurie

Wednesday with The Toy Insider Mom: Toy Fair Trends

16 Feb

It has been one busy week with Toy Fair. So many great toys, 4 days hardly seems long enough to see them all.

Our very own Toy Insider Mom, Laurie Schacht highlighted some of the shows hottest trends this morning on The CBS Early Show and on Good Morning America! We’re very excited to share the clips with you for today’s Wednesday’s with the Toy Insider Mom post!

If you have questions you would like to submit for next week, please submit it in the form below!

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Toy Fair 2010: It’s here and Complicated Mama’s got the scoop!

14 Feb

For the next few days I will be attending Toy Fair 2010, in NYC- where I will be complicating my booth appointments at Javits getting the scoop on all the latest and greatest toys.

I’ll be sharing all of the fab toy trends hitting the toy world in 2010 via The Big Toy Book’s You Tube Channel .

Here is an Up-to-date playlist of video footage for you to scroll through (with the arrows on the sides)

And a live Whrrl story for you to follow (or join if you are at the show!)


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So follow along with us & look out for The Big Toy Book Tweets, and updates for Facebook Fans

Lots of options to stay up to date- lots of toys to be covered!

Follow however you choose, just please choose to stop by and say “Hi!” with some comment love so I don’t get too lonely in the VERY VERY large Jacob Javits Center.

-Corine

AKA- Complicated Mama

You can also check out our visit at Hasbro’s showroom here:

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Posted by: Corine/@complicatedmama
A member of the blogging community since 2003, Corine is mother of  2 beautiful children under 5 years old.  In addition to her work with The Big Toy Book, she is also the owner and editor of www.complicatedmama.com .  She is also a contributing writer for The NYMetropolista (movers, shakers and baby makers) and NJ.com/parenting.

Wednedays with The Toy Insider Mom: The "Play with me" factor

10 Feb
Goldberger Toys

Photo credit: The Goldberger Company

Gearing up for Toy Fair next week- we are beginning to see some really cool toys being announced this year.

When I look at toys the very first question I ask myself is- will this toy call out to a child…’“play with me”?  If the answer is no,  I keep walking.

When I was a child my sister had a favorite- Little Lost Baby (anyone remember her??). We couldn’t go anywhere without her. Once we were on the road for close to an hour- traveling to upstate NY- when we suddenly realized my sister had forgotten her baby doll! The panic! So my Dad did what any parent in such a predicament would do-  turned the car right around to go back and get her.

So what made Little Lost Baby so special?  She called to my sister “Play with me!” You see, Little Lost Baby was both versatile and snugly– it was in essence what I describe as, yummy! She had 3 or 4 different faces that changed by a mechanism in the back of her neck.  She would cry or laugh or coo…or of course sleep and with the exception of her face… the doll was soft and snuggable.  My sister slept with her every night.

When it comes to plush toys– a child should be able to hug it, to love it, and to sleep ON it…even if it does cool things . This year you will see new plush items hitting the market, like Animal Planet’s endangered species line.  These plush animals not only move and make sounds… they are a great learning tool for kids, making them aware of the animals that risk extinction…and the best part is– they’re soft! (Yummy!)

I have some favorite Toy Story toys that will be on shelves this holiday season. Some will call to your child for the yumminess and some will call to your child for the down right “coolness” -Like the new Toy Story Mr Potato Head- No matter how cool Mr. Potato Head is (and he is awesome), he is still the real deal that you can take apart, put together and change his expressions. Kids love that.

We saw some cool trucks calling to our little boys this past holiday season. They sang, danced and rolled to you when called like Tonka Chuck and Matchbox’s Rocky the Robot Truck -but the greatest part of these trucks? They can also be played with just like a regular truck, so if the batteries aren’t them, or a child wants to fill the truck up with dirt or toys- they can! These kinds of toys provides imaginative enjoyment for years.

Building sets have called “play with me” to children for years because it is like finding a brand new toy every time it comes out of the box. My kids used to love the playmobil circus set when they were younger.  The big top would take quite a while to rebuild each time..but each time the kids would use the set to tell a different story. That’s the beauty of blocks- your child can build a castle one day and a city the next- changing out the characters & making their experience different time after time.

This year as our children get more computer savvy, we will be seeing more and more toys where kids can actually create and download their own apps! Manufactures know that computers are calling to our children each day, so they are finding new and exciting ways to incorporate that appeal into their toys.

So whether your child is engaging because of technology, creativity, or simply cuddling- the bottom line when checking out all of the cool new toys, like those being announced next week at Toy Fair is to make sure that toy screams “PLAY WITH ME”.

If the answer is “yes!”- don’t let it pass you by!

-Laurie

Have a question for The Toy Insider Mom? Submit for next week’s post here!

Tips for Surviving Toy Fair 2010

9 Feb

It seems lately we here at The Big Toy Book are living and breathing all things Toy Fair! For us it is one of- if not the most exciting times of the year (followed up closely by the holidays of course!)

However as exciting as it is, it can also be quite overwhelming- especially for those attending for the first time.

I will be blogging live from the show Monday and Tuesday here on TBTB blog. Being a first time Toy Fair attendee myself, I thought it would be a great idea to put together a “Survival Guide” for newbies like myself. I posted some tips on my site, www.complicatedmama.com as well.

Enjoy!

– Corine/@complicatedmama

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Posted by: Corine/@complicatedmama
A member of the blogging community since 2003, Corine is mother of  2 beautiful children under 5 years old.  In addition to her work with The Big Toy Book, she is also the owner and editor of www.complicatedmama.com .  She is also a contributing writer for The NYMetropolista (movers, shakers and baby makers) and NJ.com/parenting.