Thursday, January 31, 2013

NYIGF Winter 2013- Part 2- Child's Play: American Style

Not your typical set of alphabet blocks.  Thank Heavens for that!

DOES: So you went on an international toy cruise (Part 1) and now I hope you are ready for a down-home tour.  There are many wonderful things that have been created right here in the U.S.!
NOTE: These are not reviews.  Just my invitation to you to gawk along with me!  These products look totally awesome.

Yesterday, I published a post about all the toys and other awesome family products that I found from outside these borders. However, the things made here are equally as exciting. The chief perk about these toys and products in this post? They are sold here or will be sold here when it comes out. We don't have to bite our lip reading wondering if they will ever arrive in the U.S.

Fly Grip  (New York)
Okay, I initially thought this was quite silly. Why it is necessary to put a grip on your phone? We already cover it with something so that it won't break if we drop it. Do we really need a grip? I don't know about you but having tried this on myself, I can only say one word: WOW!  I also can't stop thinking up some grand scheme that will help me to put it on everyone's device at home. (Big iPad can take two grips)  Literally, it let me hold my iPad mini and take pictures with one hand!  (The pics below!)  The Fly Grip is just like a guy you fell in love with! You had no idea he was your soulmate but then after you met him, you can't picture your life without him. Expect a review on the Fly Grip here including some good news ie. kid size availability AND the back story of the grip (Bethany Hamilton, professional surfer whose arm was taken by a shark when she was just a kid.)

Security comes in all colors and even kids' sizes!
I like these choices.  Nice and bright.

Definitely a lot of ways to express yourself!

Gryphon Design Collective  (Massachusetts) 
Sometimes I think my two kids will become designers. If there is one job in the world that will not be replaced by machines, it will be designers. Don't you think? It's all about ideas and the Gryphon folks have some excellent ideas.

For example, what could be more special than your child's face artfully placed into a storybook in which she stars. Okay, now imagine that you can create this book while hanging out in a bookstore and snapping your child's photo right at the kiosk. How fun! This not only says, "Awesome Grandparent Gift" to me but I also sense some therapeutic possibilities as well. Additionally, I need to also share with you that Gryphon also makes story cards. I love them. They are really beautiful and takes the wordless book idea one step further.

Can you see your child's face here? I can.

Like how Barkley doesn't put the new big brother/sister on the spot.  Kids are too smart!
Made by superstar kid inventor, Olivia Bouler, who's advocating for animals, one drawing at a time.

Change the sequence and you have a new story and new opportunities for language development and narration.

Eco-Kids  (Maine)
Okay, so maybe you have stopped buying styrofoam and started using more natural cleaners in your home. I know what you mean. That kind of happens when you have your first baby. However, I am so guilty of going backwards. I am not thinking about what is environmentally sound. It's nice to know about it but I haven't incorporated it into our family belief system. If you are like me, do not despair. If some of us can't be all-or-nothing-types then at least we can do what we can. Buying from the Eco-Kids brand will not only affirm to you and your family that you care but you will actually be buying some pretty good stuff too!

Did you see this video? All those boxes go into one box. That is such a terrific solution to cleaning up, not to mention it allows kids to easily pack up on their own. The naturally colored sprinkles are awesome too. Believe me when I tell you that it is not easy to find naturally colored sprinkles this pretty. Fellow gluten free bakers will know exactly what I mean!

Sprinkles and food dye sans yucky nasty stuff.
I used to make my own playdough using natural food dye.  It never looked this pretty.

Boogie Board
These are all the rage now, aren't they? At the booth, a retailer kept saying,"I can't keep them on the shelves." Well, I can believe that!  Talk about supporting the environment!  Scratch paper that will never be a miss when you try yet another pathetic basketball throw to the wastebasket.  But seriously, I also like how easily you can write with it. So smooth!  The cool part about this is that they are going to come out with a new product soon where you can save your scribbles into Evernote. I love Evernote!!!!  Can the Boogie Board and Evernote team up to save the most distracted family in America get it together?  Fingers crossed that we will be saved by the Boogie Board Man.

I didn't draw that anime drawing on the red one.  Mine is the big question mark. 

Uncle Goose (Michigan)
I usually dislike decorated blocks. After a while, alphabet blocks lose their appeal and you just get tired of them. But, Uncle Goose is changing my mind. He is giving the common alphabet block an image makeover and my goodness, has he done one incredible job.

Among his collection, you'll find number blocks that are shaped like koi fish. You will also find blocks displaying elements of the periodic table. And did you ever expect to see blocks displaying Chinese characters and even Braille? There are other countries too and if 200 years from now, an art historian wants to talk about the cultural changes that were happening in the U.S., he can point to the Uncle Goose blocks as evidence that America is a country that is interested in learning how everyone else in this world communicates.
Love the ants!

Braille blocks with Sign Language too?  Very cool.  Why settle for just ABCs when you have Uncle Goose?

Status Update Bands  (Florida) 
I like these cute rubber bands of expression.  Maybe kids can attempt to change from "grumpy" to "angry" by changing their status bands.  I like the self-awareness and affirmation possibilities here.  It's so simple too!  Check out the cute buttons to clip onto your bracelet. There are so many!

Could I exchange your grumpy for my happy?

BUTCH & harold   (New York)   
Goodbye scotch tape, hello lovely framed display of the faces I love most.  I like that kids can decorate their own rooms and if you think they made it a bit crooked, no problem!!!  Just wait until they fall asleep and then allow yourself to make those "adjustments" that you've been dying to make since they said, "Look mom, I put up all the pictures!"   The stickers looked rather simple and supposedly, you can re-peel and re-stick as long as your surface was clean.   And I totally dig the dry erase stickers too!

In our world of multitasking, we can never have enough dry-erase notes on the wall.  These are pretty so we'll look at them more, right?
See the coverage of the New York International Gift Fair Winter 2013 part 1

Disclosure: Toys are Tools has not been compensated by any of the manufacturers for the publication of this post.

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