Check out the latest news for families and kids on back to school toys and supplies!
by Reyne Rice and Lena Hedo
The largest trade show for toys, games, and children’s products in Central and Eastern Europe, Kids Time 2017, was held in Kielce, Poland, from Feb. 23 to 25. The eighth annual international fair featured toys and products for babies and children, and recorded double-digit growth in key measurements, including more than 7,000 professional trade visitors and 474 exhibitors.
With overwhelming interest from exhibitors and buyers, the event organizers filled a total of seven exhibit halls, covering 16,292 square meters (more than 175,000 square feet), and had a wait list of nearly 100 manufacturers. Next year, the show organizers plan to add an eighth temporary hall to accommodate more curated exhibitors. The Targi Kielce Exhibition Center, home of Kids Time, is the second largest exhibition center in this part of Europe.
Discover the latest Digital Trends in Toys
and their : one hour presentation, on the Opening Morning of the Bologna Licensing Trade Fair, from 10AM to 11AM, on Monday, April 3rd, in Bologna. impact on the kids toys & licensing business
Since the Bologna Licensing Trade Fair is held in conjunction with the Bologna Digital Media Event and the Bologna Book Fair, the event wants to include two of the key fair focuses in one presentation, kids licensing and kids digital media.
The presentation aims to discover the new technologies and innovative products that are leading development of Digital Media Trends in Toys; see visual examples of the products that define this new connected play digital toybox; dive into research results of the latest Kids & Digital Study by Kidz Global to gain an understanding of this new market segment and kids preferences, attitudes and usage of digital tools and devices and see how trend-setting manufacturer Spin Master has tapped into this digital marketplace, instilling new technologies and progressive play options, for an innovative wave of interactive play experiences.
Reyne Rice, Global Trend Hunter and ToyTrends CEO, will start off the session with a visual cavalcade of digital toy trends and the products that define this space, showcasing global manufacturers across multiple categories of digital play. Reyne Rice is a toy industry trend expert/analyst, consultant, and media spokesperson, with 30 years experience marketing, researching and analyzing the toy industry, children’s technology, entertainment & licensing, and the youth market. Reyne has developed products and solutions for the media, consumers, trade associations, retailers, manufacturers, licensors and entertainment studios. Her career experience includes working as a marketing consultant, trend expert and strategic consultant for international toy trade associations, Mattel, NPD Research Group, Ogilvy & Mather, and other companies. As an international trade journalist for more than a decade, Reyne has articles published in over 60 countries, spanning the USA, Europe and Asia. She is a frequent Keynote speaker at USA and International conferences. Since 2003, Reyne has owned her own consultancy, ToyTrends.
New York Toy Fair opens this weekend and our toy trend expert, Reyne Rice, has a sneak peek at some of the coolest toys this year!
Lego continues to innovate toys for younger kids. The LEGO DUPLO Batcave Challenge lets Batman fans be their favorite superheroes and drive the Batmobile and Batcycle as they look for The Joker and Poison Ivy. Create fun action scenes using these LEGO DUPLO bricks that are two times the size of a classic brick to accommodate smaller hands and help develop motor skills. Visit shop.lego.com to learn more!
Klutz has new titles in their book-based activity kits including LEGO Make Your Own Movie. Bring your favorite Lego mini-figures to life with this beginner guide to stop-motion animation. Create short, funny clips on a phone or tablet using six backgrounds and thirty-six LEGO elements. Visit Klutz.com to learn more!
A follow up to Sew Mini Treats is Sew Mini Animals that lets you stitch and stuff an assortment of fuzzy animals from felt. These mini plushies deliver full-size fun and everything you need to make up to 14 animals is included. Add extra accessories like hats, bows, and glasses to personalize your animals. Visit Klutz.com to learn more!
From the all-new Klutz Jr. line for preschoolers, My Egg Carton Animals lets kids transform specially made egg cartons into 6 barnyard animals. Fun animal facts throughout the book give an added giggle as kids paint and add googly eyes, cotton balls, and precut accessories to make their very own farm animal friends. Visit Klutz.com to learn more!
Spin Master is reviving ZhuZhu Pets from their launch in 2009 with over 20 new Zhu’s to collect! Each little hamster has a special hidden talent to discover. With their unique personalities and unpredictable behavior, Pipsqueak, Mr. Squiggles, Num Nums and Chunk love to zoom around, dance, talk and even sing. Make sure to check these cute guys out at ZhuZhuPets.com!
Kids can have hours of fun with the Giant Volcano with T-Rex from Schleich Dinosaurs play world. Press the skull to release the stalactites, set the dinosaur trap, or hit the large stone to see the fossil puzzle erupt from the side of the volcano. This playset encourages your child to explore the exciting world of dinosaurs with over 30 additional dinosaurs to collect. Click here to learn more!
Following the collectability trend, Whiffer Sniffers have become the “It Toy” for kids who collect. The new Series 4 will be introduced this year including Sour Saul, and May B Minty that kids clip to their backpack or sports bag. They smell like everything from popcorn to jelly beans! Or take a chance with this mystery package to find a rare special edition character. Visit WhifferSniffers.com to learn more!
Celebrating its 20th anniversary this year, Aeromax Toys brings imagination to life. The Get Real Gear, My 1st Career Gear Tops, and accessories lets kids pretend to be firefighters, astronauts, chefs, and more. Pretend play inspires kids to dream big and helps build self esteem in their developmental years. They are known for their quality and durability, along with an affordable price. Visit AeromaxToys.com to learn more!
Greetings Toy, Games & Toy Tech fans! Thanks for visiting my newly updated website!
So what’s new with me? I’m excited to bring you the latest news on what’s happening at Key ToyFairs and events in North America, and across the global world of Toys & Games, Kids & Family technology, Entertainment & Licensing. I am constantly on the lookout for new trends and products that affect kids and families with the “Trickle Down Effect” (What is happening now in adult products, will trickle down to kids products within the next 12 to 18 months, or before!) Kids toys have never been more fun, interactive or engaging.
I spent the New Year at the International CES in Las Vegas in January 2017, & previewed the latest technology products for kids and families. Live from the Kids at Play Summit, I reported live news and clips of hot new tech trends, worked with the other KAPI Jurors to judge and award the Best of the Best in KAPi (Kids at Play Innovations) Awards, and got to see, and play with the latest drones, robots, electronic pets, STEM to STEAM to STREAM products, and just be a big kid in the world of technology. Yup, I do LOVE my career!
Then, I flew over to Germany to play in the biggest playground in the world at the Spielwarenmesse 2017 ToyFair in Nuremberg, Germany, where 18 halls of toys, games, kids tech, baby and infant products, costumes and more were waiting to be discovered. (See my blog posts from that Fair, here on my blog page, as well as connections to articles where I was recently quoted). As their lead Global Trend Hunter and a part of the Trend Committee, I was busy reporting on the news, meeting with other journalists from around the world, providing daily Trend Gallery 2017 Speeches, providing journalist overviews at the new Tech2Play Pavillion and presenting then latest innovations in Future Emerging Tech, in the Toy Business Forum.
In mid-February, I returned to New York City for the American International ToyFair and the Digital Kids Conference for more trend sleuthing, digital toy trend presentations , media coverage and playing with games, toys and kids technology! Saw more amazing products, and met so many new manufacturers, in the Innovation Zones, Creative Factor areas and in the show floor exhibits.
Then back to Europe, in late February, to provide a Keynote speech at the Eastern European Kids Time Toy and Baby Fair in Kielce, Poland. This trade show focuses on sales to and between many European, Eastern European, Russian and other countries (17 counties in all, attended this year), My coverage will be appearing in April 2017 issues of the ToyBook and other international publications.
In early April, I travel to Bologna Italy, where I will be one of the KeyNote Speakers for the Bologna Licensing Trade Fair, which is running concurrently with the Digital Media Hall and the Bologna International Book Fair. There, I will be featuring a presentation on the latest Digital Trends in Toys and their impact on the kids toys & licensing business. I will share the stage with Kidz Global Research Kids & Digital study results and the power of Spin Master in new technology product arenas. More news to follow.
Living with Passion,