Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Toy Fair 2014: Good News and Bad News and New at LEGO

This year, Toys Are Tools attended the Toy Fair with specialists in child psychology and education.  They loved it and vowed to return next year. In fact, first grade teacher Annie Kim said, "Every teacher should come here, every year."
Do the other LEGO sets have toilets too?  I love everything here. 

WHAT: Toy Fair Coverage 2014 and What is New at LEGO- 'Tis Awesome People!
INVEST:  Prices and availability will not be listed. Some will come out in the Spring or even later.
WHAT YOU CAN DO: Make a comment if you want to see it reviewed and/or sold at a store near you.  Sign up for newsletters from the company that manufactures the toy to find out when your toy will be available.

Curious what the Toy Fair is like?  I never knew what a huge deal it was and I've been living in New York City almost my entire life.  I really am so blessed to live here despite all this freaky snow! Ugh!  As a New Yorker, I just want to say thanks to all the companies who braved this weather to come out to New York and talk toys.  

Will have to wait a bit before Benny's Spaceship Spaceship Spaceship comes out

On a busride to the Toy Fair, I met a person who recently sold his neighborhood toy store (after 25 years) but still came all the way out to New York City's Toy Fair to say goodbye to folks whom I guess were like an extended family to him. He was the kind of man who helps wobbly women like me safely step onto an icy curb. He looked healthy, impeccably dressed, and he made me laugh. Maybe that is what happens when you work in the toy industry decade after decade. I think I may steer my kids in this direction too. Not every industry that serves children and families can have such happy people running the show. I'm really happy to be sharing news of this global village with you. 

I think I can sum up this year's toy fair quite simply as good news and bad news.  I like to start with the bad news.  

Coming this year... Ultra Agents!

Bad news: You are going to spend some money on toys this year.  It may actually be quite a substantial amount.  If you do not want to tempted then stop reading this post right now.  In fact, stay away this week because I am going to be showing you some crazy photos and videos. 

Good news: The new toys out this year are unbelievably exciting. Some of them will have you signing up for emails on when they become available.  You may have to find some excuses to buy them before the holidays.  

You know this is going to be sooooooooooo cool!

Like Harry said to Sally, "When you realize you want to spend the rest of your life with someone, you want the rest of your life to start right now."  Remember, toys provide multiple avenues for learning, just like books do.  When is the last time you made a kid "earn" a book or wait until a birthday to get a book.  So many great toys are reasonably priced.  Hope the Toy Fair post will give you ideas to have even more fun with your kids and students.  

I'll be reporting this time via trends and categories.  The first will be about building because everyone here loves that.  Might as well start with the stuff that is on top of everyone's minds these days. 

Hanging out at the LEGO booth was exciting as well as stomach-churning.  I found myself saying, "Oh Wow!!!" and then "Oh No!" because I am going to be hearing some begging this year.  Sigh...  But darn it, they are so cute. 
Look, Hero Factory has an executive controlling his robot vessel!

So, this is really interesting.  Mixels are only $5?  And I totally love these pieces.
And they are really inspiring mixing pieces around. But will the kids do so?  I am banking that they will.  Look at these mixel guys.  It's not as if any of them have this very prescribed shape.

Well, we'll just have to see.. I love these pieces.  Remember, this technique is called "SNOT" (studs not on top).  Megan Rothrock, author of the LEGO Adventure Books 1 and 2, taught this to kids at a book reading/building event at Bank Street Bookstore on Halloween. Kids were riveted.

It's all about summer jobs this year at LEGO Friends. I love the slide.  We need more LEGO playgrounds.

LEGO Juniors is new and I think will be quite successful in meeting the needs of the 4-6 year olds who want to play with the smaller bricks but could have some easier sets so that they can be more independent.

Are you a CREATOR set collector? Tester 2 is. Of course, he only wants the expensive stuff.  But I'm grateful for the sets. I really am. He is allowing himself to take apart something he made to build something else.  That is a miracle. He really likes a LEGO designer named Jamie. I love that some LEGO designers make videos to talk about their sets. 

LEGO City will have some sets with an artic theme this year. I like the orange.
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Disclosure:  Toys are Tools was not compensated by the manufacturer for the publication of this review.  The reviewed items were provided to Toys are Tools to facilitate a review.  Reviews are never promised. 


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