Check out the toys Natalie and her family saw at the Toy Fair
Toys! Toys! Toys! Weren’t we just lucky enough to be invited to every little boy and girl’s dream come true! The Toys “R” Us Toy Vendor Fair – Toronto’s largest Toy Box! My kids were in toy heaven as they perused through all of the most amazing toys that are expected to hit shelves soon at Toys “R” Us, just in time for the holiday season!
When we first arrived, we met up with Toys “R” Us Chief Play Officer, 13 year old Julianne Bisnaire. She gave us a quick rundown on what she believes will be some of the hottest toys of the season. One of her top picks included the Crayola Marker Airbrush. I have to admit, that even I wanted to buy one of these for myself. With this amazing airbrush, you can attach it to almost any Crayola Marker, pump it up, and Voila! spray out fine marker ink designs onto whatever surface you choose, including paper and fabrics like a T-shirt. The Crayola Marker Airbrush kit comes with 8 washable markers, 4 bright fabric markers, 4 Stencils, and 20 sheets of blank paper. Love This! Also, another of her top picks was FURBY, which is an adorable plush toy that comes in a multitude of colours. It is an interactive toy that will develop a distinct personality based on the way your kids play with it, and you can play with it any way you want, tickle it, feed it, pet it, play music for it, or if you want for it to become naughty, pull it, shake it, and flip it upside down. It has very expressive LED eyes, and initially speaks FURBISH, which later turns into English the more that kids talk to it. You can also download the free FURBY app and virtually feed and communicate with your FURBY online. Very Cute!
To be honest, I just wanted to let my kids discover their own favourite toys at the fair, since I figured that they were the real toy experts in our family. Both my 4 and 8 year olds were really drawn to the new Skylanders video game called Skylanders Giants. In this game, you can now use bigger characters called Giants, which have greater strength than their regular Skylanders counterparts. The kids loved to use the new Giant characters to bash down walls, and stomp through floors to hidden levels. All of the regular Skylanders characters can still be used in the new game, and there are 8 new Skylanders characters including Pop Fizz, which has a cool dual “Jekyll & Hyde” personality, as well as 8 new Giant characters, which can be bought separately. This game is expected to be released Oct 21, 2012, and can be pre-ordered online from Toys “R” Us.
Another video game which the kids were drawn to was the Lego Lord of the Rings video game. Both of my boys love playing all of the Lego video games, and this one was no exception. At first, I couldn’t figure out why they were rehashing The Lord of Rings theme at this point in time, but then I was reminded that The Hobbit movie is due out this fall, and that there would be a lot of Lord of the Rings toys coming out to highlight this fact. And as we swung around through to the Lego area, there were a lot of Lego Lord of the Rings sets on display. The other Lego sets which my Lego fanatic 8 year old was excited to see were the new Lego Monster Fighters sets, with a Vampyre castle, and various creepy monster vehicles, the Lego Ninjago Ultra Sonic Raider, and the Lego Super Heroes sets, including The Batcave!
Mega Bloks also had a huge display of building sets in their area. In particular they were promoting their new Mega Bloks Halo building sets, with a huge 7 foot tall Halo figure standing on guard. My 14 month old also loved riding on their ride on Whirl ‘N Twirl Race Car. This little ride on was actually very easy to turn and manoeuvre for my little guy’s little legs. It also had storage trunk under the seat, perfect for holding all of his favourite toys. Toddler Winner!
We found another unique building block toy at the fair which I have never seen before, the nanoblock. Basically, these are miniature building block sets with micro building blocks which you can connect together to form various miniature objects such as animals (lion, elephant, giraffe, etc.), musical instruments (piano, drum set, guitar, etc.), and world monuments (Eiffel Tower, Taj Mahal, Sagrada Familia, Mont Saint-Michel, etc.) I think that these will really take off since you would be able to fit these into a very small space, and they come in some very unique designs, so they should be very collectible. You could build your very own miniature world!
Another thing that both my older boys loved to play with were the Micro Chargers, electronic quick charge mini racing cars which charge in about 8 seconds, and can run on the track for close to a minute. Micro Chargers cars are designed in a 1:175 scale, so that these mini cars can reach incredible track equivalent speeds of over 600 miles per hour. They can either be charged with a hand charger, or by using the 4 car charger that comes with The Micro Chargers Time Track Playset.
My 8 year old’s eyes lit up when we walked around the corner and he found a whole bunch of K’NEX Angry Birds building sets. He absolutely goes bonkers over Angry Birds stuff. In these K’NEX building sets, you can actually build an entire level from everyone’s favourite App – Angry Birds, and then destroy it. There were both regular K’NEX Angry Bird sets, as well as K’NEX Angry Birds Space building sets.
As we were walking away, my 14 month old found one of his most favourite toys of the fair. He just could not seem to get enough of the Bright Starts Having a Ball Get Rollin’ Jet Popper This cute little roll and push airplane shaped popper toy took fun to the next level, by adding colourful balls that came out from both the top and the bottom of the “jet”. My little toddler was having a blast not only pushing the popper toy around, but also watching the balls whoosh out from the jet and roll all around the floor. Good Popping Fun!
There were a few more toys that my little toddler really enjoyed playing with during his travels of the toy fair. One of these special toys was Bouncy, the Furreal Friends, My Happy To See Me Pup. This sweet, cuddly little puppy was so irresistible, and just had to be picked up and cuddled. It even made happy puppy sounds when it was picked up. Some other toys which he found mesmerizing were anything with Elmo, such as the Playskool Sesame Street LOL Elmo who laughs uncontrollably and tells up to 8 jokes, and ride-on toys such as the Step 2 Easy Steer Sportster.
My 4 year old’s favourites at the fair included the Playskool Heroes Electronic Spider-Man Stunt City, where you can make Spider-man climb up a magic wall that lights up and makes sounds, swing him on a web, and then flip him off a roof. Also, he really liked the Fisher Price Disney’s Jake and the Neverland Pirates, Jake’s Musical Pirate Ship Bucky, which plays a pirate song, says 25 different phrases, and comes with a real working cannon, as well as Tick Tock Croc, who explodes from a hidden trap door. Finally, he kept looking at the Hot Wheels Wall Tracks Super Combo pack, which apparently is the ultimate Wall Track set with 4 complete sets, and 5 Hot Wheels cars to zoom down your walls!
Some cool toys that caught my eye at the fair included the Kurio, an Android based tablet that has been made family friendly by having a protective drop safe bumper surrounding it, it’s packed with preloaded kids’ content, it has powerful parental controls, and it contains safe web surfing for kids. I was also impressed with the funky KRASH! bicycle helmets which had cool 3D silicon spikes in wild biker designs, and names like Victor Vector. To round it off, I had a hoot playing the new Xbox Kinect Nat Geo TV game, which changes you into an animal before your very eyes, and transports you and your surroundings into a jungle habitat. In a role play game. as a wild jungle cat I was able to pick up cubs with my mouth, and place them into the den – UNREAL – I was totally amazed at how the Kinect sensor could pick up when my mouth opened and closed.
Well. that certainly gave me some ideas for Christmas Shopping. Now off to Toys “R” Us to beat the holiday rush!