(First appeared in ToyBook, USA, Feb 2018 issue.)CES 208 Article TOYBOOK Feb 2018 issue page 1
CES 2018 Article TOYBOOK Feb 2018 issue pg 2
(Originally posted on DailyLounge.com, by Amelia Floyd.)
Reyne Rice is back at the Toy Fair in NYC with this year’s hottest trends!
Lego adds fun to playing and taps into our imaginations! The LEGO brick is turning 60 this year and to celebrate, they have created five LEGO 60th Anniversary “What Will You Build?” sets, designed to inspire creativity and open-ended building. The boxes are colorful and filled with classic bricks, special elements and mini-figures. LEGO is a timeless, nostalgic toy that brings parents back to their childhood and connects them with their own kids. By focusing on Bigger Thinking, kids will build self-confidence with fun. No rules, just play, explore and discover. AND, in April, the Mini-figures celebrate their 40th anniversary~ Click here to learn more.
Kids can explore their dreams, while learning swimming skills with Fin Fun’s Mermaid Tails that let kids swim like real mermaids. The quality of these tails are spectacular, and Fin Fun offers a 60-day Tail Tip Guarantee. The patented monofins are inserted into the tail and the quick-release design, lets you remove the tail with just a tug and a kick of the feet. Mermaid tails are recommended for competent swimmers 6 years and older, and ONLY with adult supervision. Adults can wear them too! Coral Cloud is a NEW Limited Edition color and Mariana’s Tidal Wave is a consistent best seller. Click here to learn more.
Are you looking for a fun game that challenges your kids? Build OR Boom by Goliath Games encourages kids, ages 4 and up, to hone their STEM skills. Each child sees who can be the first to bring the blueprint cards to life. Kids work on their own platform, quickly but carefully, to match the blueprint. Be the first one to finish, then SMASH the boomer and demolish the other players’ building to win the round. Driven by kids’ imagination and parents will love that no batteries are required. Click here to learn more.
Smartgurlz is a line of Award winning, self-balancing robots and action dolls that teaches girls to code. As Seen on Shark Tank, just connect your smartphone or tablet to the E-Learning app and give your daughter STEM confidence and provide loads of fun. Watch your robot roll across the room, perform dance moves or play learning games. The app includes missions, books and a step-by-step tutorial on how to code! Click here to learn more.
A future of retailing that envisions physical retail shopping, paired with an insatiable consumer passion for innovation. A vision that focuses on retail spaces embracing tactile and in-person experiences to delight shoppers, and products that are integral to solidifying that sensation of discovery.
There are some positive examples of brick-and-mortar retailers that have provided welcome experiences for consumers and received both encouraging customer support AND money in their cash registers. This is a profitable sign that the brick-and-mortar retail trend focus can be a working model, for retailers who are willing to shake things up.
Never say never. Listen to your customer’s requests and meet their needs. The TrendWatching team has reported that Everlane, a prominent online fashion retailer has just opened a flagship retail fashion outlet in New York City, in December 2017. The brand, who originally stated over five years ago that they would NEVER open a retail outlet, has listened to their consumer base, and met their high-touch demands for a store where they could touch and feel the fashions, and a place where they could return merchandise in-store.
This launch store location does combine online shopper profiles, linked to their POS (point-of-sale) in-store retail experience, by requiring their customers to link the two, before leaving the retail location, providing a seamless shopping footprint.
Even Amazon, the largest online retailer, has invested in physical retail. Amazon recently purchased the Whole Foods grocery chain, for $13.4 Billion US dollars. Jeff Bezos, Amazon’s contrary founder, has placed a stake in the ground for expansion into brick-and mortar retailing, and plans on reaching new consumers, through physical retail stores, combined with online ordering and delivery systems. Click-and-collect retail shopping is not a new trend. Yet if managed correctly, it can be an enhanced benefit to some consumers, especially millennials, who value convenience and time-saving features, yet demand quality goods, and eco-friendly and organic options.
Embrace your authentic atmosphere and make local a prominent feature. Stores that reflect their local community and offer local artists and makers a chance to shine, provide a true compass for both local shoppers and tourists. This unique approach to honoring your differences can provide a fresh face to your retail location, and invite repeat sales.
The Village Toys shop in Incline Village, on the shores of Lake Tahoe, California, offers a nostalgic feel for their customers, with a combination toyshop and ice cream parlor. This approach encourages cross-over sales for the huge Fourth of July visitor crowd swelling the town’s population seven-fold on this popular Holiday as a destination location. And year-round, the owners keep their finger on the pulse, rotating in new merchandise (such as jumping on fidget spinners, early in 2017), combined with classic toys and games.
Be the new retail model that makes sense, to consumers and manufacturers. At the recent Digital Kids Summit, held in Austin, Texas, in end of September 2017, a new store concept, B8ta, was the focus of an evening field-trip for conference attendees. The revolutionary retail store boasts new technology and demos for consumers, seeking the latest in tech and gadgetry for kids and adults.
One of the store co-founders of this San-Francisco based chain of 10 locations, Vibhu Norby explained their store concept charges manufacturers for the privilege of being featured in their high-tech, high touch stores. Products are demonstrated by associates, who are NOT pressured to sell the merchandise, but are tasked with showing the product features to the customers who enter the store, based on the customer interests.
This shift in thinking about the consumer experience has raised 19.5 Million US dollars in investments, and challenges how physical retail space can be monetized differently. Recently, B8ta announced that their smart-home-focused B8ta products will be featured in 70 nationwide USA Lowe’s DIY home improvement stores, and that selected Macy’s flagship locations will also feature B8ta in-store boutiques.
Retailers who can provide a compelling destination for their customers, and a unique reason for consumers to choose them, over other alternatives, have a chance at surviving the “retail apocalypse” that has plagued many less-than-innovative retail chains. Many started out fresh and different, and then became tired, and less exclusive.
Surprise and delight your customers, be the source of expert recommendations and demonstrations, and your customers will not only become loyal patrons, but they will broadcast your message through word-of-mouth and social media.
THE 2018 KAPI AWARD WINNERS ARE:
Selected each year, from hundreds of entries and new Tech products, designed for kids, ages birth to 14 years. The esteemed international judges review and debate the best of the best across multiple categories. This year’s winners include new-comers and veterans. See the list below and go to www.kapiawards.com for photos and more information, on each product.
Honorable Mentions go to Elfkin for creating a personal robot that includes a voice-activated messaging system that’s safe for young children and Dynepic for iOkids, a woman, and veteran owned company, creating an aggregated safe entertainment environment for kids.
Reyne Rice, Judge & Presenter at CES 2018: Kids at Play Innovations (KAPI) Awards: January 10th, 2018. Las Vegas, Nevada
What are the KAPi Awards? The 9th Annual KAPi (Kids at Play Interactive) Awards celebrates excellence in children’s media, presenting awards to some of the most deserving people and products in the kids’ tech industry. The KAPi prize identifies children’s technology products that raise the bar for innovation and excellence during the past 12 months.
Who selects the winners? Our panel of distinguished judges, representing all facets of the kids’ media business, engage in a series of conversations via phone and email to determine what the characteristics of good kids’ digital play should be and which nominated products are most deserving. http://kapiawards.com/faq-2/
Additional inquiries should be sent to:
Tonda Bunge Sellers, Producer