By Steven Biscotti
This past week was the four day trade show known as Toy Fair. Taking place in New York City, countless companies from Diamond Select Toys to Dark Horse converge upon the Javits Center. It’s easy to get caught up in the excitement of movie licenses, major product reveals, and the enthusiasm for seeing products that no one else will get to see until it hits store shelves. However, it’s rather simple that during the four day marathon of appointment after appointment, that one could easily overlook some of the more sincere of companies; the ones working at creating something innovative, challenging, and worth while. During our second day at Toy Fair, I made an effort to check out more of the show floor
and I visited New York based company, Wonderhood Toys.
Wonderhood Toys, centering on the main theme of “empower young girls [ages 4 to 10] to be the architects of their own futures”, and founded by Solange Schipani and Andrea Hollander, was started out of a desire to “create something new and unique.” Schipani and Hollander were both on hand at Toy Fair and proudly showcased their Wonderhood Main Street Maker (TM), including the Grand Hotel and Corner Shops. With a hope to create a new toy, geared towards girls, Schipani and Hollander are aiming to help inspire young girls (and boys) to build “possibilities.”
Wonderhood Toys’ Main Street Maker, due out in the Third Quarter of 2016, are really quite the exciting toys. It’s hard to even consider them toys as it feels as if the word toy, as defined by today’s standards, is just below the quality of what Solange Schipani and Andrea Hollander have created. The Main Street Maker is a building set based on 24 dual-sided, 5 inch square design panels, with 30 connectors to help engineer a 4-story “complex structure.” While children can build Main Street’s Grand Hotel and Corner Shops as they see depicted on the product packaging, it is Schipani’s hope to see children inspired to imagine, design, and construct buildings of their own design.
Interestingly, unlike building sets like Lego, Mega Blocks, and the like, Wonderhood Toys’ Main Street Maker also comes with an activity journal which “poses design challenges” and introduces the characters of Chelsea, Erik, and Emmie. Chelsea is “a budding architect” and Emmie is “an aspiring food scientist.” Schipani helped create the idea and the base line of the Main Street story and characters, along with a talented group that helped flesh out the world they have built for their toy line. Each figure comes with the building set and there are ideas of adding more characters and square design panels to help build more of an interactive world.
Considered “two moms on a mission”, Wonderhood Toys is the company to watch. As much as I love super hero figures and comic book collectibles, seeing actual toys on the market that are trying to inspire imaginations and foster creativity at an age that is so easily shaped by what’s force fed through media, it’s very exciting to see what Solange Schipani and Andrea Hollander are up to. Helping build “STEM” skills (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math”), Wonderhood far exceeds the cookie cutter approach to most figures and toys we now see at nearly every Target, Toys R’ Us, and “mom and pop” shop.
To find out more on Wonderhood, please make sure to visit www.wonderhoodtoys.com
Wonderhood is currently taking orders on their Grand Hotel (MSRP $64.99, SKU #MSM001) & Corner Shops (MSRP $34.99, SKU #MSM002)
SANTA MONICA, CA – February 11, 2016 – One of the leading designers and marketers of children’s toys and consumer products, JAKKS Pacific, Inc. (NASDAQ: JAKK) will showcase new and innovative products at this year’s American International Toy Fair in New York City.
“JAKKS Pacific prides itself on creating toys that have that ‘it factor’ and resonate with kids of all ages,” said Stephen Berman, Chairman and CEO, JAKKS Pacific. “Based on retailer feedback already, our 2016 line-up is the biggest in JAKKS’ history, with new product introductions in every major toy category.”
From construction sets to scaling vehicles and fashion play to water play, JAKKS has the ideal toy for all ages. Brands such as Real Construction® and Cliff Climber™ allow kids to experience the fun of creative and interactive play; while the new line of colorful, energetic and unique fashion dolls represent the dynamic characters from Make It Pop. The brand hones in oninspiring young people today to embrace their talents and follow their dreams. FunNoodle® Fun Heroes™ brand takes a kid’s adventure to the pool. Kids can take on the role of their favorite characters to protect friends and family by guarding the pool from monsters and villains with these action packed pool toys.
New this year, JAKKS further innovates the BIG-FIGS™ line; solidifying it as the new gold standard in collectible action figures and everyday play. Several scales will now feature sound and motion, along with hot, new licenses including Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice™, DC Classics,Halo, Warcraft, and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.
· Cliff Climber™: Climb and conquer with the all-new Cliff Climber™ toy from JAKKS Pacific! Watch as this amazing vehicle uses its “reaction traction” to climb over a variety of obstacles. When there’s an object in the way, Cliff’s back wheels will open up to give him the traction needed to climb up and over it. Also, because Cliff is part of the Max and Friends™ crew, he can push and pull up to 120 pounds as well as climb!
· Real Construction®: Real Construction® is the tool based construction line giving kids the experience of what it’s like to safely Saw it, Nail It, Build It – just like using real wood, but without all the sawdust and mess! Kids can stretch their imagination and build anything they can dream of. Whether it’s a treasure box or tool box or speed boat or helicopter, the creative possibilities are endless.
· BIG-FIGS™: BIG-FIGS action figures are an all-new BIG way to play out the excitement of your favorite brands. BIG-FIGS from JAKKS Pacific are the ultimate in action figures. Ranging in scale from 20-inches to 48-inches, these big figures are huge on fun for kids and collectors alike. The line includes some of the most popular entertainment licenses around such as DC Comics, Halo, Power Rangers, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, World of Nintendo®, and more.
· Fun Heroes™ Bow and Arrow Set: Get ready for the most action packed pool toy of the summer with the FunNoodle® Fun Heroes™ Bow and Arrow set. Kids can take on the role of The Archer, and impress their friends with awesome pool archery skills. Includes two water bomb arrows to drench your targets.
· Make It Pop: Make It Pop is an empowering and inspiring music-infused daily scripted series for young girls who love fashion, music, friendship and laughter. This energetic series from DHX Media, Nickelodeon and Canada’s YTV follows three unique girls – Corki, Jodi and Sun Hi – who come together over their love of music to form their own band, XO-IQ. A brand new fashion doll line representing these aspirational young women is available now exclusively at Toys R Us.
Disney, Marvel and Star Wars Toys:
· Disney Princess Magical Wand Cinderella: To help Cinderella get ready for the royal ball, girls can wave the Fairy Godmother’s magical wand to transform Cinderella’s look. Girls can start to create the magic with a short wave, and then wave the wand longer to create a colorful light show on her dress, and have her sing “Bippidi Bobbidi Boo” or “A Dream a Wish Your Heart Makes.” Cinderella also says more than 20 different phrases.
· Disney “Star Darlings”: Based on the popular line of books and animation, the Disney “Star Darlings” collection is an aspirational line of dolls and accessories that encourages girls six and up to be confident, to believe in themselves, and to shoot for the stars! Girls can play out the astronomical adventures of Disney “Star Darlings” with Sage Starling and the rest of the Star Darlings from Star Academy! The Starland fashion dolls really know how to let their inner star shine through their “out of this world” fashions! These fully poseable dolls feature shimmer skin and sparkly Royal Reflection™ eyes that every dreamer is sure to love!
· Disney Princess Belle Musical Tea Party Cart:Girls can make teatime extra special by inviting guests to join Mrs. Potts and Chip for a royal tea party! As girls push the teacart, they watch as it magically spins and plays the iconic song “Be Our Guest” from the movie Beauty and the Beast!
· Disney Tsum Tsum Figures: Tsum Tsum (Stack Stack in Japanese) is a playful, adorable collection of favorite Disney characters that kids and kids at heart can collect, stack and display. New from JAKKS Pacific is a collection of collectible figurines in three different sizes featuring some of the most beloved Disney characters of all time!
· XPV® Marvel RC Rollover Rumbler™: New from JAKKS Pacific is the XPV® Marvel RC Rollover Rumbler™ vehicle. Kids can choose their Super Hero and control this vehicle as either Captain America or Iron Man for twice the RC action! Maneuver the vehicle with Super Hero speed then watch it do amazing flips and extreme 360s!
· Star Wars Saga and Star Wars: The Force Awakenscharacters are available in BIG-FIGS™ action figures of various sizes including a 20-inch Rey, a desert scavenger destined to become a Jedi Knight and the 31-inch BB-8, the only version of the toy based on the new iconic droid that is sized to go on adventures with kids and features lights, sounds, a retracting tool arm and optional stabilizer pegs for display.
THAMES & KOSMOS PARTNERS WITH MATTEL TO CREATE
NEW BARBIE ® THEMED S.T.E.A.M. PRODUCTS
Sneak peek to be unveiled at American International Toy Fair at Thames & Kosmos Booth #1855
New York (Feb. 2016) – Thames & Kosmos has become a leader and innovator in products that foster an appreciation of Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math (S.T.E.A.M.) education for children. As a result, Thames & Kosmos is partnering with Mattel to leverage the world of Barbie to create licensed S.T.E.A.M.-themed products aimed to inspire kids around the world.
Check out a sneak peek of the first Barbie product that will be on display at American International Toy Fair in New York City, February 13th – 16th, Booth #1855. The kit includes plastic building pieces and science experiment materials, as well as a Barbie doll, to create a complete experience based on the concept “You Dream It… You Make It!” From math and science to biology and chemistry, each kit is built to “Barbie-Scale” and meant to be compatible with the original Barbie Dreamhouse.
“We totally reimagined what a science kit could be by researching what kids who love Barbie would WANT to play with, what they would really gravitate toward. From there, we designed S.T.E.A.M. lessons around those,” said Ted McGuire, President of Thames & Kosmos. “Based on this research and our experience, the projects in the kit have an element of engineering design, creative expression and personal artistic expression — clearly qualifying each as a S.T.E.A.M.”
“We’ve created an incredibly powerful tool that builds on the skills and knowledge of each discipline that is essential for a child’s success in school and, ultimately, the real world,” added Andrew Quartin, CEO of Thames & Kosmos. “Because play and project-based learning is so deeply intertwined in how students learn most effectively, we’re honored to be working with Mattel on this project, as we inspire children to not only have fun with Barbie, but also will encourage kids to explore and develop skills in such fields as engineering, science and more.
IAmElemental (http://www.IAmElemental.com), creators of the first female action figures designed specifically for children, will reveal the company’s newest collection, Series 2/Wisdom, at Booth #5853 at the North American International Toy Fair on February 13-16, 2016.
Suitable for ages 4+, Series 2/Wisdom is a collection of seven 4” articulated action figures based on the “Elements of Power – superpowers that already exist inside each one of us,” said Julie Kerwin, IAmElemental’s Chief Elemental Officer. “Our first figures, Series 1/Courage, were modeled on Joan of Arc. Our muse for Series 2/Wisdom is an inspiring woman, recognized in history as not only a pioneer in STEM learning, but also a polymath – a great thinker on a variety of subjects. We look forward to revealing our muse and her Wisdom Warriors at Toy Fair.”
The design of Series 2/Wisdom continues in IAmElemental’s tradition of providing a strong, healthy female figure, drawing inspiration from ancient warriors as well as modern superheroes. IAmElemental will begin accepting pre-orders atwww.IAmElemental.com for Series 2/Wisdom on February 12, 2016, with shipping anticipated in August 2016 to pre-order customers, specialty and online toy retailers. Individual figures will be available at MSRP $10.99 and complete sets at MSRP $69.99.
Mez-Itz Suicide Squad 5-Pack
Mezco Presents Mez-Itz Suicide Squad 5-Pack
In the DC Universe, when a job is too dangerous for even a hero to handle there is just one group to call: the Suicide Squad.
Based on Warner Bros upcoming action adventure film of the same name, the Suicide Squad is comprised of a team of the world’s most dangerous, incarcerated Super Villains:
Each figure is in the 2inch scale. All feature 5 points of articulation.
Each character has been carefully recreated by the Mezco design team to match their on-screen appearance in the new big-budget spectacular.
All five characters are packaged in a collector friendly window box suitable for display.
Pre-order yours here:
Follow us on Facebook