I recently attended toy paradise (known to most as “Toy fair 2012”) which was located at London’s Olympia’s Grand Hall!
Here you will discover some truly amazing toys, many yet to launch and hit the shelves of our UK stores.
With some 200+ exhibitors of brands big and small, I have been forced to write this post in not one by two sections, as post two will showcase some of my top toy discoveries that I predict will make big impressions on those children with autism and other additional needs. But first here are some of my exciting discoveries of toys that will impress all (yes, children big & small)!
Toy fair ran for three consecutive days 24-26th January 2012. I visited on the last day which meant it was less crowded, therefore allowing me a better opportunity to get up close to toys and have a good old natter with some of the brands representatives.
Web Interactive toys
One of the first things I noted was the hype centred around toys that boast interaction with online websites. H. Grossman Ltd, the guys who brought us them gooey alien eggs that all our children went crazy for, now bring us the brand new, yet a little bit freaky “Deadstone Valley” (My, daughter of nine, is actually quite excited about the launch). Deadstone valley is all about collecting or creating corpses and then burying them on the interactive website. Collect different characters, each in their own coffin, log onto the online, interactive site which allows users to create their own characters and tombstones, then bury them in their own epitaph! This may sound a little gory, yet Grossman’s state that, judging by market research, kids are going to go barmy for the wacky range (judging by my daughters reaction, I can only guess their right)!
Last year we saw quite a bit of them Moshi monsters, here on the “A boy with Aspergers” blog, it would seem the phenomenon is set to continue and become even bigger this year! In part two I’ll expand, telling you more about the new pocket-money collectables, however for now, check out the super cool all new Moshi Monsters foldable light up scooter which is again brought to us by them guys over at Grossman LTD & Ozbozz.
Staying on the subject of outdoor play and ride on toys, Re:Creations are set to launch its new Razor Flashrider 360 this coming July. The Flash rider 360 definitely looks the business with its super sleek design. The 360’s awesome features allow kids age from 6+ to spin & spark, unleashing 360 degree turns & drifts on dual inclined wheels. You must agree, it looks pretty impressive doesn’t it?
Other top ride on’s included the awesome brightly coloured balance bikes known as “Tinybike” yes, they have already launched and some of you may have come across them before, however I haven’t and having seen them at the toy fair, I was pretty interested in this super cute addition to the world of balance bikes. The tiny design has a tiny price tag too, as these sell from as little as £45.95 and come in 7 stunning colours. Children from as young as 2 years can enjoy a “Tiny Bike”
Another top contender in the world of balance bikes has to be the wooden kiddimoto, with literally loads of designs to select from I quite like the one below, though there is a whole new design range coming to the “Kurve” range of balance bikes! So, with the addition of some very smart head-gear, these are going to ride through 2012 without a hitch.
Lastly, keep a watchful eye out for one of my all time favourite scooter brand’s “Micro scooter” for the new limited edition. It’s of a white colour design and set to be launched in celebration of the London 2012 games.
What an exciting year it looks set to be for our toddlers & pre-schoolers, what with a delightful range of beautiful coloured wooden toys forming part of the John Crane Sevi range, consisting of some very pretty and beautifully made pieces, such as the stunning wooden dolls house with additional 78 pieces and a fab pretend play collection, including the stunning little orange kitchen and oven, pre-schoolers will be in toy heaven. Another great addition to the sevi range are the beautifully made play puzzles, that double up as a puzzle play area and tidy little storage case.
Gander kids are also set to impress with new additions to its P’kolino collection. The brand that brings us beautiful yet affordable products are gearing up to launch its wooden 5 piece brightly coloured xylophone that can be nested inside on another for tidy & convenient storage once play has come to an end. I’ve received products from this brand before and was overly impressed by its quality.
WOW Toys, one of mine and the toddlers all time favourite pre-school brands, also have some exciting new launches. A real girlie vision of the “Motorbike Max” we now have “Whiz-around Amy” plus a stunning pale blue addition to the range “Ryan’s road trip” aimed at girls and boys alike.
Other brands specialising in pre-school toys that brought some magic to the fair, were BANDAI with their Tinga Tinga tales (already launched but continuing to grow) plus a lovely noddy range of toys and figures. Flair are also launching the much-anticipated range of Baby Jake toys (much to my toddlers delight), where’s the famous LeapFrog brought lots of toy magic with its innovative collection, including a host of new apps and software for its Leapad Explorer (aimed at 4-9 yrs) & by way of its “Magic Discovery Board” which allows pre-schoolers, and children that little bit older, the opportunity to make hundreds of learning discoveries as they explore their local community.
Something for the girls
Toy fair 2012 had plenty to impress the girls of the world! HTI Hello Kitty Vellutata collection is creating excitement on a huge scale, what with a number of huge Advertising campaigns due to hit our TV screens and the fact they were crown winners, bagging themselves an award at this years toy fair for the best girls toy 2012 for its Vellutata Mushroom house! Now you can see why I want to share this. This super sweet but cool Mushroom house, 11 piece playset is so simple, yet creates lots of playability. The set features a pretty pink mushroom house shaped carry case, that once opened up, reveals 4 delightful interior rooms set over two levels. The set includes Kitty and Fifi figures plus additional pieces of furnishing for this cute little house. Other pieces in the range include, pushchairs & pram’s, bags on wheels and this innovative “Magic Oven” a little cupcake makers dream oven, that really bakes!
Other exciting launches for girls, include the Victorious collection, based around Nickelodeons hit Children’s television series. This includes craft sets, fashion dolls, and even a stage for tweens to perform. Brands set to bring the range include flair and H. Grossman Ltd amongst others.
Ingo devices also host a great range for girls delights, many of their products are innovative yet included many of your top names such as the ever-growing monsters high! This range included a D. Camera Necklace + Bracelet that concealed a 1.3 MPX 8mp spy cam, though my favourite would have to be the Monster high 15 inch LCD TV, or the portable DVD/MP3 player with innovative 180 degree routable screen. Also check back on the blog for part two of this post to discover what ingo devices can offer the child with autism and additional needs!
If it’s a dolls house you’re after, then I suggest you look no further than the fabulous KidKraft, the brands range of dolls houses blew me away and I’m seriously considering one for my own daughter. They stock all types of doll house from super modern to very traditional. Some of my favourites are the beautifully crafted “Savannah” as well as the fabulous sleek shopping centre. I feel in love with everything KidKraft stocked. Their children’s furnishings are stunning, with their children’s bedroom furnishings certain to put a smile on the faces of both girls and boys a like. The funky vanity & stool boasting a grown up zebra print, looks set to be a winner, I even want one for myself.
Something for the Boys
There was heaps of surprises for the boys (no children over five can attend the fair, though it would seem the guys where having good fun testing out the boys toys)! Here are some of my top spots!
LEGO was one toy for boys we knew would be a hit, however I’ve included this in post two so wont include it here. IMC toys are planing to launch its fabulous new “Toy Story” range this July 2012. The range includes a funky little RC Spaceship complete with removable woody and Buzz, as will as a RC car (RC meaning remote control). Corgi, also have a fab addition to its collection of collectables diecast models, in the way of Olly, Yes, that’s “Olly the Little white van” from Mini Citv (Really looking forward to that one & so is the two boys)! BANDAI are all set to launch a new Ben 10 range as well as a new Power rangers collection (set to hit stores this July) to form part of the “Super Samurai” collection, and it’s looking like its going to be a big one! Other great contenders were of course Meccano with some great new construction kits including the new Gears of war 3 (yes, as in that video game). The theme construction kits allow a number of vehicles to be constructed and are due to hit stores sometime this August. Lastly lets not forget Hexbug who have a host of creepy surprises in store, from all new bugs to those controlled with a remote control.
Other exciting toys due for release are new educational games from Orchard toys, Doctor who toys, awesome new LEGO ranges and of course the Kurio Tablet.
All will be revealed in part 2 where I’ll reveal my top spots & predictions for children with autism and other additional needs
- Top 10 Things I Saw at London Toy Fair 2012 (GeekDad Weekly Rewind) (wired.com)
- Game of chance for toy makers (independent.co.uk)
- Toy Fair 2012: A Look at Mezco’s New Living Dead Dolls Lineup Including Dracula! (dreadcentral.com)
- New Hexbugs coming to expand creepy crawly robot range, including zombies (pictures) (pocket-lint.com)